owlhouse's profile

Name: bill pennington (no, not that one)
Location: Australia, but reasonably peripatetic
Member since: June 26, 2004
Last visit: July 28, 2014

owlhouse has posted 135 links and 2816 comments to SportsFilter and 11 links and 754 comments to the Locker Room.

Sports Bio

I'm Australian, but a Pom by birth. So, watching Australia beat up England at sport is a bit like watching a family fight.

My main reason for being here is to eavesdrop on quality discussions on sport, society and culture. I like to think I've also added a bit to the mix.

I am learning about North American sports, mainly from this site. I think I like baseball, but I have this uncanny feeling that if I start to get involved, I'll end up being a Cubs fan. Ditto for the Lions in American football. It must be a self esteem problem. I am clearly not drawn to success, as my lifelong devotion to Derby County indicates.

Recent Links

Crossing Over:: Club Tijuana is also San Diego's team.

posted by owlhouse to soccer at 04:33 AM on May 11 - 1 comment

American recruit scores first goal for the Swans: Patrick Mitchell, a college basketball player from Iowa, signed for AFL's Sydney Swans last year.

posted by owlhouse to other at 02:43 AM on April 07 - 2 comments

Through Thick and Thin: Using Manchester United as an example, how happiness doesn't always relate to winning all the time. With real psychology stuff.

posted by owlhouse to soccer at 03:10 AM on March 30 - 2 comments

The Best Football (Soccer) Writing 2013: It was a good year for the long form piece, judging by this list.

posted by owlhouse to soccer at 01:39 AM on January 16 - 0 comments

This is Football: Normally the English FA can be relied upon to do something stupid. However, they commissioned poet and writer Musa Okwonga to pen an ode to celebrate their 150th anniversary. With a few special guests.

posted by owlhouse to soccer at 12:06 AM on December 20 - 0 comments

Recent Comments

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Good counterpoint to the Super League: the qualifying rounds of the 2014-15 Europa League have already been running for a few weeks.

posted by owlhouse at 11:52 PM on July 23

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The 40th birthday of the Gray Nicholls Scoop, the cricket bat that spawned a revolution. This makes me feel old.

posted by owlhouse at 10:21 PM on July 22

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

For the owners, it's not a question of winning, never has been.

It's only about franchise value, and eliminating competition. Every business owner would love to operate in a monopoly and, failing that, a cartel. The Euro Super League would be a cartel.

posted by owlhouse at 09:43 PM on July 22

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 5

My nephew (the one in Guelph) had to do a test for his Canadian residency. Edmonton by 12. So what kind of questions should you be asked? BC by 15. I'd like to hear your thoughts. Ottawa by 7. But no references to the Meech Lake Accords, Tim Hortons or Wayne Gretzky. Even Australians can carry on a conversation about those. Saskatchewan by 15.

posted by owlhouse at 12:09 AM on July 21

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

I think it would be great for Qatar to recruit and play an Israeli.

In fact, I'm secretly hoping both Israel and Iran qualify for 2022.

posted by owlhouse at 08:59 PM on July 17

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

It's good that the players don't seem to be too loyal to playing for Qatar or too loyal to the program when a bigger club in Europe comes calling. I guess in a perfect world, FIFA would accredit or otherwise regulate these forms of international academies, as what they do can be pretty close to the definition of labour trafficking.

Still, it's not so different from private schools in New Zealand offering scholarships to promising teenagers from the Pacific to play rugby for the school. Ask a Kiwi about this and they get all high and mighty about what a wonderful country they are to provide education to such underprivileged kids. However if you're smart, from Tonga but can't play rugby, I guess you miss out.

posted by owlhouse at 02:14 AM on July 17

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

It's a perfectly cromulent ceremony.

posted by owlhouse at 02:09 AM on July 17

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

In a 4-3-3 you can bring the wide strikers back into a 4-5-1. In fact, this is how most "modern" or flexible versions of 4-3-3 are played (cf: Holland).

No Australia in that list? I guess we were relegated.

posted by owlhouse at 09:39 PM on July 16

SportsFilter's World Cup Confidence Pool Winner

Thanks for organising this rcade, and congrats to tron.

Only 4 years to go until Russia 2018!

posted by owlhouse at 09:56 PM on July 15

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 4

If you're ever in Guelph. Edmonton by 11. Drop into Grey Rock Clothing on Quebec Street. Toronto by 17. Say hello to the lovely Beth, and ask after my nephew Joel. Calgary by 12. If you mention Timmy Cahill's wonder goal against Holland, they might even give you a discount off their range of sweatshop free clothing. BC by 15.

posted by owlhouse at 09:42 PM on July 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Settle. It's 24 teams.

Fox Sports in Australia does a pretty good job of covering football, including the A-League and most overseas leagues. We were luck with three decades of SBS coverage that set a very high standard, which Fox seems to respect.

posted by owlhouse at 09:56 PM on July 13

Germany Wins World Cup

Fluid first half, staccato second half and very scrappy injury time, but the best team won.

Re: the concussions. I can't remember a World Cup with so many head clashes but yes, there needs to be an effective protocol.

When journalists come to interview Palacio in 20 years time, up in his reclusive retirement home in Bariloche, I'm sure he'll open the door a crack and yell "No, I don't want to talk about it!"

posted by owlhouse at 09:51 PM on July 13

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 3

I did? Sorry, you're on your own.

Different Jen, Jen.

posted by owlhouse at 04:00 AM on July 13

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 3

I've never set foot in Canada, or North America. Montreal by 7. However if I did, I'd be certain to stop off at the Wolf Den Hostel and Nature Retreat at Algonquin National Park. Edmonton by 18. Why do you say that, owlie? Well, it's just been bought by one of my old aid worker colleagues from Afghanistan. Toronto by 12. If I do end up going to my nephew's wedding in Guelph in February, I'll drop in. Jen told me that she has a pair of snowshoes ready for me. Saskatchewan by 15.

posted by owlhouse at 10:15 PM on July 09

Argentina Faces The Netherlands for Spot in World Cup Final

I quite enjoyed it, as a textbook on defensive structures.

If he was fit, Depay probably didn't play because Van Gaal wanted to keep the 5-3-2 against Sabella's fluid 4-3-3. Depay has come on previously on the left when Van Gaal wanted to flip the switch to his own 4-3-3.

It was an overly cautious approach - I thought he might go for it in the last 20 minutes, but this would have left some gaps for Messi and Aguero between the lines. The 5-3-2 allowed him to man mark Messi with De Jong and then Clasies, as well as have back up.

In the end, the team that looked like they wanted to win got through the penalty shootout. I wanted Holland to finally get a World Cup, but this version is pretty hard to love.

posted by owlhouse at 10:10 PM on July 09