Recent Comments by jjzucal

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Five

I believe this is the first time I have led this merry bunch. Let's see if I can keep this up AND prepare for the EPL fantasy season.

Ottawa by 6

Edmonton by 23

Winnipeg by 5

Calgary by 13

Toronto by 17

posted by jjzucal at 08:25 PM on July 18

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Four

Toronto by 4

Calgary by 10

Edmonton by 10

B.C. by 14

posted by jjzucal at 09:20 PM on July 12

Wayne Rooney Signs Two-Year Deal with Everton

It's a shame; I saw Rooney as one who potentially was a "legacy" player - someone who would have retired a United player. Van Gaal started Rooney's his drop when he brought in Dupay and Martial. Mourinho had him close to persona non gratis until Ibra was hurt, so he became a good insurance policy. Thought he might stay for that reason but better he go to where he'll play regularly.

I don't know if this was meant to be light-hearted or ages-long yearning to return, but he stated he has worn Everton pajamas since he went to United.

As for earnings, Everton likely would have been higher in recent seasons had it been able to qualify for Europe more than 2009-10 and 2014-15 Europa League.

posted by jjzucal at 11:12 PM on July 10

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Three

Last week was probably the first week in which I was atop the leader board (albeit tied). We'll move on and begin our annual drop into mediocrity.

Montreal by 10

Winnipeg by 5

Toronto by 7

Saskatchewan by 13

posted by jjzucal at 09:04 PM on July 05

SCOTUS will hear New Jersey sports betting case

Latching onto Bill, what happens if multiple states permit sports betting relative to questions of contest-fixing? Would state boards conduct their own investigation if they believe one is warranted? Most countries (at least, maybe all) that permit sports betting are regulated at the national level.

Example: Chelsea -2.5 Brighton (expecting Chelsea 3-0, 4-1 win), but Brighton pulls 7-0 shocker. This likely would raise the eyes of British regulators. Switch the EPL clubs to MLS clubs of equal levels: are we to imagine that multiple state boards would look into this result. The only way I could see this work is with national regulators and staff who are highly knowledgeable at betting patterns and eyes for detecting "cheating" or "fixing."

On a side note, since I live in New Jersey: I'm 20 miles west of the Atlantic City casinos; I know they're struggling, but I don't like the idea of betting only at racetracks and casinos. It would put all sites on the east side of the state (AC, Freehold, Monmouth, East Rutherford); if one lives along the Delaware River, it's at least a 1-hour trip to place a bet. I can't see them doing online; I think the idea is to visit the sites and stay: bet on some horses race or play a few hands of poker.

posted by jjzucal at 06:39 PM on June 29

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Two

If Ottawa and Calgary tie again, it'll be decided on penalty kicks.

How about field goals ... by the linemen?

Calgary by 3

Toronto by 17

Edmonton by 6

Saskatchewan by 10

posted by jjzucal at 09:37 PM on June 27

Trump Runs Over the Biggest Rule of Golf Green Etiquette

What really matters, in the end: what did he shoot? I mean honestly, not counting mulligans?

Sadly, the president makes John Daly look physically fit.

posted by jjzucal at 09:28 PM on June 27

Ice Cube Begins 3-on-3 Basketball League

I'm not sure ... viewers may see this as a way to chance to see their former stars but as a novelty.

The IOC connection, however, would be interesting as the USA could be seriously challenged given a country needs only a couple of studs and doesn't have to go 9-10 deep.

posted by jjzucal at 08:30 PM on June 25

Soccer Rules Body Considers Timed 30-Minute Halves

I like it when your team needs a goal, extra time is well past the alloted number and your player passes it back instead of making a cross, causing the ref to blow the whistle.

And said team goes apoplectic when the whistle is blown. My point is that this proposed rule change would mean an offense could get into trouble, send the ball back, and try again to score. It would make Fergie Time seem laughable. A mushroom cloud would come from Ian Darke's head.

posted by jjzucal at 10:14 PM on June 19

Soccer Rules Body Considers Timed 30-Minute Halves

I sense the only item that might go through is the ABBA format (hereafter called the ABBA "The Winner Takes It All" format). While I understand the reasoning, the ideas seem too radical for traditionalists.

Timed halves: the most radical - fans have been used to 45 minutes, plus stoppage time, controlled by the referee, for 140-plus years. My gripes involve the referee - excessive time on free kicks, questionable amount of stoppage time relative to goals, cards and injuries. Late time-wasting actually is a minor part of the 90 minutes. There also is no mention as to how much time would be allotted for extra time: presumably two timed 10's?

Ending period when ball leaves touch/goal line: accepting this means time would be tacked onto the 30 minutes. Currently extra stoppage time ends when a club (usually seeking a tying or winning goal) passes the ball away from an attacking position. It would seem a club could retreat 30-35 yards out, reset, and attack multiple times before a defense could take the ball and put it out of play. This would need to be addressed.

Self-pass on free kicks: the excessive time often comes from defenders who stand over the ball until forced to retreat by the referee. The rule has been clear: 10 yards; start enforcing the rule. Inform defenders to move away immediately; if they stay, show a yellow card.

posted by jjzucal at 02:21 PM on June 19

Celtics Trade No. 1 Pick to 76ers

ESPN showed the Celtics-Lakers "30 For 30" series which, as a Sixers' fan, made me remember why I wished the Soviets had nuked Boston Garden (after Yankee Stadium; had to have priorities). Now, not only did we trade with them, we gave them a No. 3 AND future No. 1 just to move up two spots to No. 1? I feel like the Sixers' brass were saying, "Rob us some more."

I will agree with BB on Noel: the trade was stupid at the time ("The Process" has taken forever thanks to trades) and it now looks asinine.

posted by jjzucal at 06:11 PM on June 18

The 13th Annual chicobangs Memorial SpoFi CFL Pick 'Em

Here's the TV schedule for TSN, RDS (including the ROUGE et NOIR) and ESPN. ESPN3 (online) is to carry all games.

Montreal by 10

Ottawa by 2

Edmonton by 11

Toronto by 13

posted by jjzucal at 10:16 PM on June 17

Girl's Soccer Team Banned from Tournament

If anyone is familiar with the American television show, "I Am Jazz," Jazz Jennings was born male in 2000, lived life as a girl since around kindergarten, but at age 8 was banned by her state youth soccer federation from playing with girls' teams. The U.S. Soccer Federation forced the state association to accept her in 2011 and adopted a transgender policy in 2013.

posted by jjzucal at 07:10 PM on June 06

Huddersfield Town have been promoted to the Premier League for the first time by beating Reading 4-3 on penalties at Wembley

I saw a Twitter joke as to how Huddersfield reached the Premier League: they spent 4 million on transfers this season. Throw in a couple of loans, retain much of last season's side, and you're suddenly walking onto the Anfield and Old Trafford pitches.

posted by jjzucal at 07:06 PM on May 30

England Adds Post-Match Bans for Diving

In other football news, sigh.

Or you're happy for a club whose wage bill is in the bottom 6 of the Championship.

Side note: there have been 10 "City" clubs in the Premier League; should Huddersfield Town win, it would become just the third "Town" after Ipswich Town and Swindon Town.

posted by jjzucal at 05:58 PM on May 18

Forest Green Rovers: The village team that reached the English Football Leagu

Glad to see them finally get through, but one concern: they now will be subject to Financial Fair Play regulations. How much more debt will the club be able to add on top of what was a total of 5.4 million after the 2014-15 season (can't find anything for 2015-16)?

posted by jjzucal at 02:10 PM on May 15

Golf's Army of TV Rules Tattletales Just Lost Some Power

Followed by Mr Sane ... we demand a Dubious Penalties Committee and that they give Middlesbrough a 2-1 win.

Oh, have we gone off-topic?

posted by jjzucal at 07:52 AM on May 01

Golf's Army of TV Rules Tattletales Just Lost Some Power

I understand these changes, but I wish it would go all the way: rules questions will come only on the course. There is absolutely no reason why tournament / tour officials should accept telephone calls, emails and SMS postings about alleged rules' violations from outside sources. If a course official oir golfer doesn't spot or declare it, move on.

posted by jjzucal at 08:52 PM on April 30

Joey Barton in trouble - again

I'm thinking more of his antics; this gave me a bit of knowledge on both sides - from his upbringing to Question Time (I did not know much about the latter, though I do follow him on Twitter).

posted by jjzucal at 10:18 AM on April 29

Joey Barton in trouble - again

1) Betfair went to The FA. Was there a potential this story would come out, snagging the company in the process, so the company gave the notification? Betfair obviously looks much better now than had this story been "breaking news."

2) I wonder how many players have accounts with these companies: surely some of them place bets on soccer matches?

3) Joey Barton will NEVER be confused with a Mensa member.

posted by jjzucal at 02:43 PM on April 28

ESPN laying off 100, including on-air personalities

It's interesting how some of the competition - The Longhorn Network and SEC Network - were created with the assistance of ESPN/Disney. Sort of like being your own worst enemy.

Interesting, also, that it appears many of the NFL folks are getting bumped the day before the draft. I presume, instead of working on a team basis, fewer remote analysts might handle coverage on a division basis?

posted by jjzucal at 04:14 PM on April 26

MLB *Play of the Year* is pretty much locked up by Chris Coghlan after this bit of insanity.

9.65 ... points lost for hitting Molina's helmet.

I was curious as to when Coghlan thought about the flip. Crashing and sliding weren't going to be successful options; flipping looked to be a spur-of-the-moment decision.

posted by jjzucal at 01:19 PM on April 26

Brighton and Hove Albion promote to EPL

Newcastle defeated Preston North End 4-1 to get the second automatic promotion spot and return to the PL at the first call.

posted by jjzucal at 09:20 PM on April 24

Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison; conviction will be voided

Hernandez's family will donate his brain to Boston University's CTE Center for study.

posted by jjzucal at 09:26 PM on April 20

Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison; conviction will be voided

Judging by the Washington Post's reference to the Kenneth Lay - Enron trial, it looks like both (civil trial evidence and Patriot/NFL compensation) are possible.

posted by jjzucal at 04:34 PM on April 19

Aaron Hernandez found Not Guilty of double murder

A twisted "Good News, Bad News" scenario:

Good News: you've been found not guilty.

Bad News: you're going back to prison.

posted by jjzucal at 04:22 PM on April 15

Tony Romo heading into broadcasting with CBS

It may. I've seen several articles that state the Cowboys have previously converted base salary into signing bonus money paid throughout the contract. That gave them cap relief earlier, but they'll likely take a good-sized hit this season.

posted by jjzucal at 04:00 PM on April 04

World Cup 2026: Fifa reveals allocation for 48-team tournament

New Zealand would go straight through. It's likely the loser of the OFC final would go into the playoffs along with COMEBOL 7th place and CONCACAF 4th-place playoff winner (if 2 groups) also should be in the mix.

posted by jjzucal at 09:44 PM on March 30

World Cup 2026: Fifa reveals allocation for 48-team tournament

I would have preferred 40 teams, but in five-team groups. Would have extended the tournament only a few days but would have prevented losing the first match from being nearly a death sentence.

I'm glad Oceania finally gets a full spot. If South America can have 6, I would like to see Oceania get two ... but I realize it would require getting a number of countries to move from the more lucrative AFC.

Let's see if UEFA will keep it simple and go with 8 groups (current format: 9 groups). As for CONCACAF, 6 teams gives the mid-level sides a major chance to sneak in. Take the fourth round, turn it into two six-team groups, and maybe Canada or Guatemala steals positions.

posted by jjzucal at 07:00 PM on March 30

NFL team owners approve Raiders' move to Vegas

Raider Nation may have stayed together through the LA move and back, but Al Davis had a way of making you want to get behind the team. I don't think many fans will follow Mark out of town ... and expect a good amount of empty seats in Oakland before then.

posted by jjzucal at 04:28 PM on March 27

AFC Wimbledon Still Not Over MK Dons Taking Club

I remember AFC Wimbledon during my days with My Football Club - tragic loss to them in 2010 FA Cup first round replay (goals at 90+ and 120+). It was in the midst of their 5-promotion in 10-year run.

Wimbledon has high hopes as it's looking at constructing a 20,000-seat stadium after selling Kingsmeadow to Chelsea.

The ultimate laugh: MK Dons is just six points above the drop zone. Imagine the Wimbledon party if MK Dons relegate a second consecutive time.

posted by jjzucal at 07:53 PM on March 16

The Table Never Lies

Interesting that Brentford got rid of its academy. I understand the logic, but I would think eventually it would mean having to rely on transfers to pick up older teens to develop for the first team.

posted by jjzucal at 07:36 PM on February 23

Lincoln City bringing magic back to FA Cup

Agreed. I decided to look at Leagues 1 and 2 and compare to my remembrance of my time with My Football Club at Ebbsfleet United (2009-13) with some of the clubs that promoted and never returned: AFC Wimbledon, Crawley Town, Fleetwood Town, Stevenage, Cambridge United, Newport County; Gillingham was a few years before that.

It's not easy to return given there's just two promotion spots, but it may be easier now given relegated sides got an increase in parachute payments (100 percent of League 2 share in first year, 50 percent in second).

posted by jjzucal at 07:28 PM on February 23

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal 'mentally collapsed' against Bayern Munich

Reading huge Arsenal fan (and general blowhard) Piers Morgan on Twitter (@piersmorgan) was pure GOLD! He's wanted Wenger out for a few seasons.

As he put it before the match - chances of Arsenal winning were, "No Hope, Bob Hope and No Hope." He reminded everyone of that at 4-1.

If I'm not mistaken, haven't there been reports Wenger's been offered another 2-year contract?

posted by jjzucal at 12:19 AM on February 16

Total eclipse of the park

This is what's fun about minor-league sports. Have parents take the day off, bring the kids, get a game and a memorable experience, and get home with hours of sunlight to spare ... all at a reasonable cost.

posted by jjzucal at 03:49 PM on January 29

SportsFilter's 15th Anniversary

Nearly 12 years? In that time I've lived in five residences in New Jersey. Where has the time gone, indeed! I've learned a few things:

1. I'm lousy at picking winners.

2. I'm lousy at fantasy sports (which carries beyond SportFi).

3. I'm lousy at being active on the site (I hope I contribute positively when I post).

Thanks for keeping the site going, rcade. I've liked the mix of "news of the day" articles with those that are hidden under the radar or are thought-provoking.

posted by jjzucal at 10:14 PM on January 24

It's the end of the World Cup as we know it

I can live with having less panic about the U.S. not making the World Cup.

It shouldn't be that difficult for the USA! USA! USA! if the proposed breakdown goes through: 6.5 spots for CONCACAF (out of 35 current full members). Likely would mean the Round of 12 would continue as two 6-team groups with top 3 in both advancing and fourth-place teams playing off to enter WC playoff.

Another proposal would be that any group-stage draw would go to (immediate?) penalties.

posted by jjzucal at 08:34 PM on January 11

Haslams apologize for 'disappointing year'

I dunno. Four full seasons, three head coaches, three general managers, 15-49 record. Awfully hard to "top" these numbers, though I can understand the sentiment given Kroenke plunged the knife deep into the city of St. Louis' back when he applied to relocate to Los Angeles.

posted by jjzucal at 10:16 PM on January 05

Divorcing Couple Go to Court Over Cubs World Series Tickets

Here's my problem: she probably never gave a damn about tickets prior to this (or we might have seen this story during the NLCS). Looks to be a case of someone wanting to be the "good parent" for one of the moments that will live in the kid's memory. This case, unfortunately, also will live in his memory as just another squabble between his parents.

posted by jjzucal at 10:50 AM on October 30

Raiders Stadium Backers To Las Vegas: Give Us $750 Million, Or Else

In the real world, city officials would say, "Buh-bye!" Given big spenders (and not-so-big-spending vacationers) come to Las Vegas, and the city was awarded an NHL franchise, I think city officials will bend over to get a tax plan through.

posted by jjzucal at 08:49 PM on August 29

Fantasy Premier League Week 2 Begins Today

Took a chance that Arsenal actually might score, so I went Foster for Schmeichel: 6 points lost. Guess I also need to find another real striker (Lukaku-Defoe-Ighalo).

posted by jjzucal at 06:51 PM on August 20

Hope Solo Calls Sweden 'Cowards' After U.S. Loses Quarterfinal

Looks like Pia Sundhage shoved it back in Hope's face: "It's OK to be a coward if you win."

Hope got a head start on the Olympics with her mocking of Brazil related to the Zika virus, including a selfie of her in a bug-screen helmet while holding a bottle of bug repellent.

posted by jjzucal at 02:21 PM on August 13

Join SportsFilter's Fantasy Premier League

Automatically re-entered. Hopefully will not face a Palace-like season repeat: led at the New Year, collapsed in second half, crawled across finish line.

posted by jjzucal at 03:22 PM on August 08

The NBA officially pulls the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, NC

As for the issue, I am one who believes gender dysphoria is natural, something with which one is born. Is transitioning a "choice?" I'd say yes given the other option often is suicide. This law had nothing to do with "religious freedom" or keeping straight men, dressed as women, from raping females in women's rooms (media outlets have searched nationally and have found less than 5 cases in nearly a decade) - it simply was another state passing another anti-LGBT law, but it needed other stuff to make it not look like an anti-LGBT law ...

... thus, what owlhouse has posted should scare the hell out of North Carolina residents for it means that the state government can override anything that displeases them. Taking away a person's right to access the courts also may be considered unconstitutional in the federal sense.

Also, since it was addressed: corporations are people (the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed it) and the NBA is a corporation. If you believe this was a political action, the NBA's being upfront is better than many corporations who use "shell" organizations and political-action committees to express their opinion.

Sorry if I've gone overly political, but I don't know how this subject could be addressed without a political angle.

posted by jjzucal at 04:46 PM on July 24

Brazil Knocked Out of Copa Centenario by Handball Goal

Holden, don't make me cry about Fox Sports' handling of the CAC now that it has the upcoming World Cup.

As for the brouhaha, it happens far too often. I realize referees do not want to be the "focus" by issuing multiple cards (which potentially affects the match through second-yellow red cards then or later), but they need to take charge. The same needs to occur on fouls when multiple opponents run in and call for a yellow (which itself is supposed to be a yellow for unsportsmanlike conduct). It looks bad for the referee and the game.

posted by jjzucal at 01:30 AM on June 14

Chris Christie: Hot Female Tennis Players Are Hot

Before opening the link, two words came to mind: Craig Carton. Thank you for not disappointing me. Man is an incredible jerk.

posted by jjzucal at 12:25 PM on June 10

The Greatest is gone.

MSNBC usually shows "prison porn" (life for prisoners behind bars) on weekend nights, but last night it re-aired its studio coverage from the morning, then aired several documentaries - I believe one was "Rumble in the Jungle."

When Mike Tyson was in his prime, pounding opponents within a few rounds, people would think I was nuts when I'd state Ali would beat Tyson. It wouldn't necessarily be by a knockout but, if Tyson tried to overwhelm Ali early, Ali would have let him wear out (as Foreman did in Zaire). Ali's brain over Tyson's brawn probably would have resulted in a 4- or 5-point decision across the cards.

posted by jjzucal at 01:10 PM on June 05

SportsFilter Copa America Centenario Pick 'Em

Group A: Colombia (winner), United States, Rodriguez.

Group B: Brazil (winner), Ecuador, Coutinho.

Group C: Uruguay (winner), Venezuela, Cavani.

Group D: Argentina (winner), Chile, Higuain.

As for last night, I got a few "likes" on Twitter from Villa fans when I noted "It is the first time Guzan played with a real defense since ..." (Fill in the blank with any match date in the past few seasons) About eight minutes later, I added, "Never mind."

I don't drink alcohol, but that would have been a damn good time to start.

posted by jjzucal at 04:29 PM on June 04

AFC Wimbledon Win Promotion to League One

I saw this a few days ago: I did not know Akinfenwa had spoken with several MLS clubs before re-signing with AFC. It's a shame ... he could have helped some of the lower performers and would have been a crowd-pleaser.

posted by jjzucal at 04:45 PM on June 03

AFC Wimbledon Win Promotion to League One

At least he was told days prior, so he would have been released win or lose.

Rcade's line, however, is appropriate. I feel sorry for those who bust a seam to win promotion (especially to the Prem or Champ) only to be told they're not good enough for the next level. Occasionally you hope for the player to "pull a Vardy" and defy the naysayers.

Next season's ties come as AFC fans enjoy some large slices of schadenfreude: promotion followed MKD's relegation from the Championship.

posted by jjzucal at 05:10 PM on June 01

AFC Wimbledon Win Promotion to League One

Unfortunately, they will go into League One without "The Beast" as club icon Adebayo Akinfenwa was told a week before the final he would be released.

posted by jjzucal at 09:05 AM on June 01

Premier League Fantasy 2015-16 final results

We were tops at New Year's; top 3 percent worldwide. Everything looked rosy. Then, like Crystal Palace, we started a slow collapse. Held on to Ighalo far too long; Lukaku and Barkley were worthless; and I finally grabbed Kane and Lloris just in time for the nuclear meltdown.

At least we pulled a Big Sam and avoided the drop into the second division (which could have been called SpoFi for Losers). Maybe we should have hired Rafa to save us from ourselves.

posted by jjzucal at 09:21 PM on May 19

Manchester United Match Cancelled by Bomb Scare

I referred to a shirt as a "jersey" (such as a hockey jersey), and, oh, the responses were nasty!

I presume Man United was going to use a lineup of mostly kids and reserves considering the FA Cup final on Saturday; presumably that will be more so since the match will be played Tuesday night.

As for the device being left after a security training session, that is head-shaking. One would think all objects used, and their sites, would have been accounted. The Twitterverse was insane: "Someone can bring in a package, but I can't bring in a bottle of water."

posted by jjzucal at 07:43 PM on May 15

Texas City Will Build $62.8 Million High School Football Stadium

According to the school district, majority of the bond projects are for district schools. Presumably that's why it passed with 66 percent of the vote.

posted by jjzucal at 08:49 PM on May 10

AHL Team Soaks Portland for $34M for Arena Renovations, Leaves After Two Years

I realize it is only a minor-league team, and presumably no one thought of a sale possibility during the five-year period, but even a 10-percent payout -- $3.4 million -- might have been enough to make a prospective owner deal with the city during the process. City officials and taxpayers became an afterthought at $100,000.

posted by jjzucal at 08:48 PM on May 06

Leicester City One Step Closer to Immortality

The Guardian's Fiver column discusses Leicester's "ragbag assortment of cast-offs, journeymen and bargain basement buys" as well as Danny Rose's "apology" after the Spurs' match.

posted by jjzucal at 07:31 PM on May 03

Leicester City One Step Closer to Immortality

The fight around the tunnel after the final whistle was a nice touch too.

Aw, I was like Ranieri ... I had a doctor's appointment so I didn't see the match! Guess I'll have to stumble upon some videos.

posted by jjzucal at 02:10 AM on May 03

Leicester City One Step Closer to Immortality

Yet, it Tottenham fail to win, Claudio Ranieri may be the last to know his side's the Premier League champion. Nice to know he still has his priorities in order.

posted by jjzucal at 05:12 PM on May 01

Giants' John Mara: NFL May Dump Kickoffs

I've thought about using the Canadian version of having the choice of kickoff or scrimmage, only extending it to include after touchdowns (since the rule covers only field goals).

Teams with good return men might want to have the scoring team kick off; a team which needs to score late (as in a 2-minute drill) might want to take possession immediately. Keep the start at the 20-yard line.

posted by jjzucal at 08:08 PM on April 20

James Fallows Learns Something about British Soccer and Sarcasm

As one who was part of an organization (MyFootballClub) that now gives financial support (and material given we spent money to put match commentary on the Internet) to Slough Town FC, I take great umbrage at relating Slough (7th tier) to Aston Villa. Aston Villa performs like it'd have trouble in the Southern League Premier.

posted by jjzucal at 05:12 PM on January 21