The Weekly Dump – February 8th

John Terry - Father of the Year

John Terry – Father of the Year

I’ve spent a few of these weekly link dumps to have a little fun at the expense of the Scousers and Gooners and anyone else worthy of a pop, so I suppose I should be an equal opportunity jerk and take a shot at my boy John Terry. Chelsea stalwart, former English captain, and all around fine fellow. Until.

Terry sets precedent – Rumors had been widely circulated that Chelsea tough guy John Terry had been spending some quality horizontal time with the lady friend of former mate Wayne Bridge. The British court system was heavily weighted against the press up until last week when they were given permission to document the details. Now it is the biggest sporting sex scandal since Tiger Woods showed up at a random Hooters.

Terry sacked as English captain – No real surprise here as the entire nation was calling for his head. Just to keep things interesting with actual football, Fabio Capello named Rio Ferdinand as the replacement.

Naturally the Archbishop of Canterbury had his say“Clearly, a lot of people think there isn’t a problem there and that’s a pity because adultery is adultery. It’s a shame that we lost that sense that faithfulness matters. I’d like to see it back.”

John Terry named Father of the Year – That’s right, after spending an entire week splashed across every rag in the nation for schtupping a former friends chippy (at least her, probably more) someone had to bring up his Father of the Year award.

Terry leads Chelsea over Arsenal – Like any hard headed footballer, he then went out to anchor the Blues in a solid display to crush the final hopes The Gooners had of winning the league this year. Even after Samir Nasri claimed they would not be intimidated by Chelsea. All’s well that ends well.

“Physical strength is very important, but if we are able to compensate for this deficiency through our technique, like Barcelona, I can’t see where the problem is. Look at Xavi and Andres Iniesta, they are not physical monsters.”

Liverpool looking to for £100 million by the summer – Never a dull moment around Liverpool even after squeaking by Everton this weekend. The owners are now looking for a £100 million cash injection or they might sell the club. Liverpool supporters may have a tough decision whether to hope for the cash or pray the American owners crawl back to the states. They are also looking for investors to help with the process of building a new stadium so they can move out of Anfield.

The Weekly Dump – January 18th

Kop in bloom

The Kop during happier times (Andy Teebay/Propaganda)

“Blow me f*** face” says Liverpool to a supporter – It may seem I like to bag on those lovable Scousers because it’s true. I had a rough time picking a lead story for the link dump but I think this short yet descriptive email from Tom Hicks Jr to a Liverpool supporter is a fine start. The next obvious step was Hicks resigning from the Liverpool Board of Directors.

How did the rest of the week go for Liverpool?

Crashed out of the FA Cup to powerhouse Reading.
– While losing to Reading, Torres and Gerrard go down with severe injuries.
Give up a last minute goal to draw with Stoke City.
Ryan Babel twitters his unhappiness with Rafael Benitez.
Benitez then apologies for the team being crap.
– And the final nut kick, stories of Steven Gerrard ready to leave Anfield.

Glazers take £20m out of Manchester United – Continuing the EPL trend of Liverpool and Portsmouth, reports are now coming out about just how deep the historic club is buried in debt. It is so bad they might consider selling Old Trafford (and leasing it back). At least they have their FA Cup money to help out. Nevermind. The Daily Mail has a good rundown of the situation.

Meanwhile ManU supporters think Sir Alex should quit – They mean it as a way of protest. It seems a perfectly reasonable, non-knee jerk response and certainly much better than the standard French response of “Go on strike. Again.”

Chelsea score a touchdown – The American Football version, hanging 7 goals on hapless Sunderland despite missing Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou to the Africa Cup of Nations. Not all is happy at Stamford Bridge though as Michael Essien has a knee injury forcing him from African and club competitions.

Shorthanded Arsenal can catch Chelsea – The Gooners have a chance to tie Chelsea atop the leaderboard with a midweek match against Bolton but will be making their second half run without 9 first team players including Robin van Persie and Johan Djourou who are lost for the year.

Thierry Henry to meet with FIFA – Noted French cheat (not mutually exclusive) Thierry Henry will finally meet with the FIFA disciplinary committee concerning his handball in World Cup qualifying. I’m not sure what they can actually do other than a typical sternly worded slap on the wrist at which point the French national will surely lay down his weapons and form an underground. None of this makes a difference to the Irish side which was cheated out of a spot in the 2010 World Cup.

Liverpool Seeks to Indoctrinate American Children

liverpool-kids

Discovered something interesting while home in Dallas for the holidays … my brother-in-law has a niece who apparently takes her soccer pretty seriously. And her team: The Reds.

She’s very proud to play on Liverpool. My first guess was this has to be some sort of Tom Hicks gig. Sure enough — Liverpool FC America, “combining the traditions of Liverpool with the pride of Texas”.

Brilliant concept, really … considering how many bajillions of American kids play soccer, it’s a shame that none of us were taught about the greatness of the EPL until after our own play had been relegated to the Sega/Playstation/Xbox leagues. But now, American youth soccer players come with a team to root for right from the pre-pubescent git-go.

Will be interesting to see if this catches on and expands. I’d so want my (theoretical) children to go to Aston Villa Goalie Camp, for example.

UPDATE: Everton has something similar (out of Connecticut, I believe):

http://www.evertonamericact.com/

Liverpool Fan Freed 4 Years after Conviction for Victory Celebration-turned-Attempted Murder

I didn’t know the original story, but found it kinda interesting to learn how Michael Shields was convicted for the attempted murder of a Bulgarian man after a Liverpool Champions League victory.

Shields — 22 now, 18 at the time he was fingered as the chap who dropped a concrete slab on the head of Martin Georgiev — became the first Brit to receive a Royal Pardon for a crime committed overseas.

He gave a statement upon his release, saying after spending four years in British and Bulgarian prisons for a crime he didn’t commit:

“I knew I would never walk alone.”

Anti-Chelsea Postgame at The Lodge

Where better to celebrate a victory drown your sorrows than at a tiddie bar filled with fans of the team you were unsuccessfully rooting against? Add multiple vodka tonics and a penchant for violence and you’ve got a winner … but not before a Chelsea fan tries to make nice by offering up his Samsung blue in exchange for Sangyfarha’s red. Fortunately a drunken Syrian steps in to broker the peace.

A poetic statement on football’s international diversity and an American trying to come to grips with riot mentality and a conflicting desire for women in 8-inch heels.

Soccer in American Culture

American fans of European football are starting to (proudly) come out of the closet … Here’s a fun exchange a couple days ago that you never woulda seen in 2007:

I was a fan of “Morning Joe” even before I knew Scarborough was a Liverpool lover who unsuccessfully predicted a 3-0 win for the Reds. Mix in his cohort’s suicide jokes about American soccer coverage and I think we all can see where this is going.

It’s Go Time

Due to travel restrictions imposed by the UN, Interpol, and the Texas Board of Corrections the Dallas office of Soccerati is prohibited from traveling overseas for the next two years.  So in order to catch all the big games of the Champions League we are forced to watch on the telly.  Luckily for us there is a great bar called the Mini-Bar that is cozy, football friendly, and has an amazing selection of beer.  So with a cast of characters that includes disparate members of the Batfaces, and those I’m convinced are Basques separatists, Soccerati is going through the pain of seeing Liverpool give up an away goal to the Chavs of Chelsea.  That game is still tied, but what is occurring in Barcelona right now to a Bayern side is clearing payback for Guernica and the Condor Legion.  Great second halves to come.

Liverpool vs. Aston Villa = Sang vs. Dan

Big game tomorrow … Liverpool really needs to win, and can move within a point of Man U … Villa has been struggling of late, and with an Arsenal victory today, needs to pull of the whole 3 points to say, hey, we still belong in the top 4.

If they can do it, I might change my name to OMGBradFriedel.

Pretend Betting the EPL (FullTiltSoccer.net?)

I’m in an American Football “pick’em” league and doing quite well — top 1 percent. Currently ranked 24th out of nearly 10,000 in Las Vegas, and 244th out of more than 140,000 nationwide. (Tied for 1st out of 13 in the Danieldinho family group.)

Of course I’d love to be able to claim such success making these picks on the Premier League … but I just don’t know the teams well enough. And though, as strange as this may seem, I’ve never made a bet in a casino sports book … I’ve been having a hankering to bet me some soccer. So I’ve started making some practice picks, to see how I would do as I get up the nerve to lay down some real money on the games.

Frankly, I’m not 100 percent sure I’ve even got a complete understanding of how the wagers work. But in my little soccer betting world, I made a pretend $100 wager on each game — either the amount it would take to win $100, or $100 to win more.

My results this weekend, with my pick in bold:


-150 Middlesbrough 1:1 Arsenal
+100 Aston Villa 4:2 Bolton
-400 Hull City 2:2 Liverpool
-100 Everton 1:0 Manchester City
+190 Fulham 0:0 Stoke City
+100 W Bromwich 0:4 Sunderland
+100 Blackburn 0:3 Wigan
+210 Manchester Utd 0:0 Tottenham
+220 Newcastle 3:0 Portsmouth
-650 West Ham 1:1 Chelsea


Total: -$380

Hmm, without Liverpool and Chelsea, I’d be +$670. So I guess what I’m learning here is that the big-disparity favorites simply don’t make sense to bet on?

My pretend full betting card woulda required putting up $2,010 in an attempt to win $1,315.

My pretend no-bigboy betting card woulda cost me $960 in an attempt to win $1,115.