Recent Comments by billsaysthis

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Clubs cannot withhold players during official international dates, but I'd like to see what happens if a couple of the big ones try.

One scenario a friend puts out which might see this happen:

The big European clubs (RM, Barca, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Man U, Juventus, PSG, AC, Inter, etc..) decide enough is enough with losing players from injury or just being overtired from summer tournaments, as well as having to share the immense TV money with so many smaller clubs that they break off from UEFA and their naitonal FAs and finally launch the mooted Euro Super League.

This would be an American style league, no promotion/relegation, and destroy the TV value of all the domestic leagues and UEFA Champions League. The teams would be in a position similar to RM and Barca in Spain, only globally.

As this league is not sanctioned by FIFA/UEFA those august bodies tell the players that lining up for any of its games would disqualify them from playing for their national sides. Of course this is exactly what the teams planned for and they tell the players that the money will make it worthwhile.

An Irish friend and fellow Kopite says this will happen within 10 years, probably triggered by FIFA's insistence on staging 2022 WC in Qatar in the winter.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:23 AM on July 22

How is Qatar building a national team for the 2022 World Cup?

Sadly, as John Oliver said recently, football is a religion and no matter how disgusting FIFA are we won't stop rooting and watching our teams. Kind of like carte blanche for douchiness.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:15 AM on July 15

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

ROFL

posted by billsaysthis at 10:27 PM on July 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Congratulations to @holden for winning the SpoFi World Cup fantasy league, with @goddam a close second and--after a huge gap myself--third. @grum wins the Costanza.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:07 PM on July 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Forget the Euros, the tournament of Summer 2016 will be the Copa America Centenario, which the US will win in thrilling final against Colombia*.

* Or so my daydreams claim, though sometimes we beat Chile

posted by billsaysthis at 12:04 PM on July 14

Liverpool Sells Luiz Suarez to Barcelona

And it will take a big bite of his La Liga season too. But he missed a relatively similar chunk this past season and faded towards the end and still was crucial to the second place by a hair finish.

Let's say Sturridge goes from 22 to 25 goals, Sterling goes from nine to say 15 goals, and Lallana puts in 12 (compared to the seven scored by Coutinho, Moses and Allen). That's 11 goals--who are LFC buying that plays in the front two (or three in a 4-3-3) that scores 20 times his first season in the EPL (or at least with LFC)? And that's assuming Gerrard gets so many PKs he scores 13 again, since Suarez drew quite a few of those.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:25 PM on July 12

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

If Lebron knew he had to "return home" why did he meet with seven other teams? Although not quite to the same extreme I'm with @phaedon on this one.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:19 PM on July 12

How (Not) to Survive the Running of the Bulls

I don't have to be faster than the bull, just faster than you amigo.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:13 PM on July 12

Liverpool Sells Luiz Suarez to Barcelona

The money would go a long way to replacing him if there were a player available that could actually replace him. Sanchez was one such and we did not get him; I'm not saying don't let Suarez go, although he ought to have been a man about it rather than biting Chiellini and using his father-in-law as a mouthpiece, but that LFC ought to have stood stronger to Barcelona.

Yes Sturridge, Sterling, Lallana, Coutinho are all very good but none can step in and scare central defenders for 90 minutes, with any movement taking the defenders' eyes off the ball. Yes we have plenty of cash to splash, but we had that anyway from the increased TV money and Champions League.

The issue is that qualifying for the Champions League next season will be crucial because that TV contract is going up massively and if you aren't in it next season you will be a have not for many years absent a ManU Moyesian slip up. Keeping Suarez one more season would have almost certainly ensured LFC qualify again, losing him makes that a much dicier proposition.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:12 PM on July 12

Liverpool Sells Luiz Suarez to Barcelona

I bit something this morning and wished it was a chunk of that turncoat's ear. Liverpool's management should be ashamed of themselves for not pressuring Barcelona to make Sanchez come the other way, too.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:40 AM on July 11

Argentina Faces The Netherlands for Spot in World Cup Final

Netherlands players with the exception of Kuyt and van Persie had the look of fear on them, and van Persie just looked exhausted. I couldn't believe that according to van Gaal the first two players he asked to take the first penalty wouldn't do it; also couldn't believe van Gaal told the press that.

Good luck, ManUre, hope you enjoy the fight for a top half place again.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:29 PM on July 10

Brazil Faces Germany for Spot in World Cup Final

The whole tournament when on attack the other players looked for Neymar and otherwise stood around aimlessly waiting on his moves, without Neymar they just stood around on attack and the Germans simply walked up and took the ball off their feet. Without Silva at the back they were exposed as a backline that only knows how to attack--Dante is an excellent center half but he had no integration with the team.

Scolari wanted one magician--Neymar-- and nine thugs and never imagined his one magician would miss a single minute of play, or maybe didn't want him thinking there was anyone challenging his place, so Scolari didn't bring a backup magician.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:02 PM on July 09

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

That is an awesome GIF, grum!

posted by billsaysthis at 12:16 PM on July 08

U.S. Falls to Belgium Despite Epic Tim Howard Performance

One would think so, Yerfatma.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:10 PM on July 04

This isn't The Onion : Championship League football owner cuts player from team because date of birth is unlucky.

Coudn't Kenny have just told him to consider his birthday May 16b?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:58 PM on July 04

U.S. Falls to Belgium Despite Epic Tim Howard Performance

We might not see Timmy, although 39 isn't too old for a top class keeper these days, but Brad Guzan is showing with Aston Villa he ought to be an able replacement.

I love how well the USMNT did in the tournament after so many pundits forecast going home with perhaps one point in the group, well done mates!

Still, I wonder what might have been without Jozy's hamstring going blam. I'm not convinced Jurgen made the right choice to start Dempsey at the top rather than make a straight swap (positionally) for Wondo or Johannsen.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:32 PM on July 02

Mexico Faces The Netherlands in Round of 16

Whether coaches should be allowed to speak with players on a water break, and I don't see the problem since the ref calls for the break, both coaches have the same opportunity and Herrera not taking advantage is on him, not van Gaal.

As for the clock, given that wireless integration of the referee's watch and the stadium clock is trivial technically (and therefore inexpensive, a stated FIFA consideration) I don't see why they don't stop the clock for anything that would generate injury time. Maybe a button for an extra, say, 10 seconds for when the ref takes a beat to decide it's happened.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:10 PM on July 01

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

For all the goalscoring, there have been some truly outstanding performances by keepers. Costa Rica, now Algeria, can't blame Rais for the loss in any way.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:48 AM on July 01

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Liverpool should get the biggest check they can from Barca by, say, July 15 so they can turn around and buy a couple of replacements. Lailana and Lambert are great additions but neither is taking Suarez's place.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:45 AM on July 01

Colombia Faces Suarez-Less Uruguay in World Cup Knockout

rcade, Monaco is owned by a Russian oligarch so unless that 2.7B Euro divorce settlement did more to his bank account than expected I doubt it.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:13 AM on June 29

Luis Suarez Banned 9 Games for Biting Opponent

Why do Liverpool pay the big price for a bit of idiocy done in an Uruguay shirt? And why is this punished more harshly than headbutting? FIFA BS, that's why.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:03 PM on June 26

Portugal Ties U.S. in Final Seconds of Match

Jurgen Klinnsman has done a lot of good things as US coach but putting Timmy Chandler on at left back in injury time was not one of them. Timmy f'ing Chandler!

posted by billsaysthis at 10:46 AM on June 23

Luis Suarez Pushes England to Brink of World Cup Elimination

Suarez did to Cahill, Jagielka and Hart what he did to EPL defenses all season. Yes, Gerrard tipped the ball to him but that was still well out of scoring range, it was the defenders who just don't know how to deal with Suarez.

As a fellow Red (waves to Ricardo) I am very much looking forward to the new season.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:24 AM on June 21

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

How about that Swiss defense. Looks like Mr. Cheese was the backline coach for today's match because, well, holes.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:56 PM on June 20

SportsFilter World Cup Confidence Pool Standings

Rooney, corner kicks go in the direction of the field, not behind it. Just saying...

posted by billsaysthis at 11:58 AM on June 16

SportsFilter World Cup Confidence Pool Standings

Three days and not one has gone as I'd expected, even Brazil who I expected to beat Croatia only did so with help from the ref buying Fred's dive. Uruguay without Suarez was like birthday cake without chocolate frosting--just not worth eating.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:37 PM on June 14

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

That game yesterday left me speechless, and if you know me, that's just never happening. RvP's header was magnificent but afterwards Xavi and Co just collapsed. Six goals in the 19 games of the last three tournaments total, five in the first here; Spain may or may not be done and dusted but that loss was one for the ages.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:38 AM on June 14

Enter SportsFilter's World Cup 2014 Confidence Pool

Fixtures will do for sample data.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:38 AM on June 13

World Cup 2015 Fantasy League is ON!

I used the send an invite function and here's the details:

BillSayThis invites you to join his/her group, SpoFi 2015, for McDonald's FIFA World Cup' Fantasy!

Build your fantasy team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup'.

Strategise, select starting XIs, buy and sell players and score points. Manage your team to the top of the match day or overall leaderboard and win massive prizes.

Please click on the following link to join BillSayThis's group:

http://en.mcdonalds.fantasy.fifa.com/leagues/1783

Here is the private password you need to join: spofi2015

If you still can't join, uggh!!!

posted by billsaysthis at 10:44 AM on June 12

Enter SportsFilter's World Cup 2014 Confidence Pool

Yes, @rcade, jQuery would do the trick. Do you plan to post the code to, say, Github?

posted by billsaysthis at 10:34 AM on June 12

Enter SportsFilter's World Cup 2014 Confidence Pool

Would be great if the picks page had a list on the right that was updated as you selected teams on the left. Or even updating the dropdown list to remove the selected teams. I could write you some JS if you like.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:34 PM on June 11

World Cup 2015 Fantasy League is ON!

OMG I am so dense, I think the password is spofi2014.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:12 PM on June 11

World Cup 2015 Fantasy League is ON!

I set up a league for people at my office and one person has got the same error from trying to join that league :(

I did submit a support ticket but I'm not feeling positive that anything will get done in time.

So great that they only allowed signups four days before the opening kick!

posted by billsaysthis at 06:15 PM on June 09

World Cup 2015 Fantasy League is ON!

Weird--I used Chrome browser, maybe try a different browser?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:11 PM on June 09

World Cup 2015 Fantasy League is ON!

Password for the league is spofi2015.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:31 PM on June 08

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Grandpa Shark?!?!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:35 AM on June 07

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Annoyingly teams and leagues cannot be setup until Sunday on the FIFA fantasy site.

On the plus side your logins from four years ago (if you had one) are still in the system.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:45 PM on June 04

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Guys, I think we had enough interest to do a World Cup fantasy league. If okay, I can set one up at http://en.mcdonalds.fantasy.fifa.com/ unless someone knows of a better choice.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:00 PM on June 03

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

@grum, the new Real Madrid away jerseys are pink so that would be a nice addition for you.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:57 PM on June 03

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Scudamore remains Premier League chief executive as league review determines "no disciplinary action is required or justified." Other commentators disagree.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:36 PM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

By custom do you mean double wide pallet?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:32 PM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

I vote for both confidence pool and fantasy league.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:30 PM on May 19

Marina Hyde on the really troubling aspects of the Premier League's Richard Scudamore

Seems comparable to the NBA/Sterling event and the difference in responses are appalling--if Scudamore's jokes had been racial- or religious-based instead of gender he'd have been locked up or lynched, respectively.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:47 PM on May 14

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

You drink young blood, you get young again. Scientists proved it last week, right?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:38 PM on May 09

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Was expecting old timey organ soundtrack ;)

posted by billsaysthis at 11:52 AM on May 05

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

@bender: Games at the new 49ers stadium, please ;)

posted by billsaysthis at 12:54 PM on May 02

Manchester United Fires David Moyes

Still, very sad for fans of every other team that The Chosen One wasn't given another full season in charge.

One holds out hope, though, that the clamor to make Giggs' appointment permanent is loud enough to make that happen. Hilarity will ensue.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:46 AM on April 22

Manchester United Fires David Moyes

@rcade: Have you looked at the managerial changes in Argentina, Brazil and Italy? How can you even ask that?!?!

posted by billsaysthis at 10:38 AM on April 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Hugh, from your lips to the FA's ears.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:29 PM on April 20

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Jozy Altidore draws a penalty and Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini puts the PK past backup keeper Mark Schwarzer to hand Mourinho his first Premier League home loss in four seasons of bossing Chelsea. Angry Mourinho congratulates referees.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:34 PM on April 19

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Very nice, Howard!

posted by billsaysthis at 09:29 PM on April 18

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Sure, yerfatma, #5 and about 60% of the total payroll of #1 in their league.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:39 AM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Manchester City top global pay table with average salaries of 5.3m a year and Liverpool aren't even in the Top 20 at an average of 3.4m.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:34 AM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

There's a difference between foreign ownership and pumping wads of cash into a club to buy trophies. And by wads of cash I mean somewhere north of $750 million net transfer spend in the few years since the current ownership took charge. Chelsea are the only other English club I'd put in this category. FYI, Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Fulham are owned or controlled by Americans too, but even Arsenal don't come close to Man City/Chelsea spending.

Let's compare Man City and my Red.

Look at Liverpool's starting X1:

- Gerrard, Sterling, and Flannigan are homegrown at the club, - Coutinho, Henderson, Mignolet and Sturridge were acquired as (relatively) unproven youngsters, with Coutinho and Sturridge not even getting regular minutes at Inter Milan and Chelsea, respectively, - Lucas, Skrtel, Agger and Suarez were doing well in second level leagues when acquired, and, - only Glen Johnson was a proven Premier League players when bought.

Man City have zero homegrown starting players except Joe Allen. Except for maybe Zabaleta and Kompany, none of the ten outfield starters were less than stars when purchased. You could quibble about Fernandinho but as he was already a regular for Brazil I wouldn't give that argument much weight. Silva, Nasri, Dzeko/Negredo, Aguero, Toure, De Michelis, Navas and Clichy were all proven starters and national team regulars

posted by billsaysthis at 09:49 PM on April 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Heartwarming "overcoming-the-odds" teams like Manchester City in the EPL

Seriously, what's heartwarming about a group of mercenaries backed by Middle East oil money?

As I understand it, Man City fans are a decent bunch (unlike their city neighbors) so I don't begrudge them a title or trophy but not sure how that makes two seasons ago heartwarming.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:48 PM on April 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Liverpool produce thrilling display on weekend of flags and flowers I'm getting really excited, first title since I started actively following them in the late '90s seems a real possibility after today's wonderful result.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:11 PM on April 13

Oops: Atlanta Braves Set Fire to U.S. Flag

That's what I call planning!

posted by billsaysthis at 12:12 PM on April 10

Abby Wambach: Players Didn't Get Coach Fired

I think the last sentence is the only explanation needed. Seventh for a team that has made or won pretty much every final since the late '90s and hadn't lost a game in about two years is not acceptable. The explanation that Sermanni is trying to develop a new generation of players doesn't work well since I couldn't see any consistency in selections; I read elsewhere that he averaged one new player every time he called the team together.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:12 PM on April 10

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I think Martinez is a very good manager and doing a good job at Everton. But:

- Lukaku and Barry, two of Everton's most important players, are on loan and unlikely to be back next season. - Ross Barkley, for better or worse, is in the same boat as say Wayne Rooney a decade ago and just as likely to be back at Goodison as Wayne was because Wainwright won't be able to resist the amount on offer. - Martinez is on the rise and whether he leaves this summer or in two or three, leave he will because he'll never realize his ambitions at the club.

Moreover the focus is on Wenger because:

- he's been so good for so long and this kind of late season breakdown is the opposite of his historical record, - his contract is expiring and he's hesitated to sign a new one (whereas Martinez is in the first year of his), and - Gooners have been slowly raising the heat on him for the last 24 months and a loss to Wigan or in the cup final will surely result in a lobstering.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:15 PM on April 07

American recruit scores first goal for the Swans

Definitely the opposite direction than the normal. Not sure how basketball prepares one for footy, except for the jump balls and of course being taller than average will help with balls up in the air.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:02 PM on April 07