FanDuel - WFBC

April 13, 2014

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 19 comments

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

Ryan Smyth

posted by tommytrump at 06:35 PM on April 13

Ryan Smyth

It was a nice send-off for Captain Canada. The Canucks were pretty awesome to come back for the hand shake.

posted by grum@work at 09:49 PM on April 13

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.

The last 20 years of sports has been dream-making times, it seems:

NHL
1994 - New York Rangers win their first title in over 50 years.
1997 - Detroit Red Wings win their first title in over 50 years.
2010 - Chicago Blackhawks win their first title in almost 50 years.
2011 - Boston Bruins win their first title in almost 40 years.
2012 - Los Angeles Kings win their first title in history (over 40 years).

MLB
1995 - Atlanta Braves win their first title in over 45 years.
2002 - Anaheim Angels win their first title in history (over 40 years).
2004 - Boston Red Sox win their first title in over 85 years.
2005 - Chicago White Sox win their first title in over 85 years.
2010 - San Francisco Giants win their first title in over 55 years.

Then there is perennial cellar-dwellers/losers winning the Super Bowl, like New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Heartwarming "overcoming-the-odds" teams like Manchester City in the EPL, Dallas Mavericks in the NBA, and Deportivo winning in La Liga.

posted by grum@work at 10:22 PM on April 13

It was a nice send-off

Too bad Martin Brodeur was undecided about his future. Had he declared for retirement prior to Sunday's game vs Boston, I would bet the send-off would have been similar to Smyth's, if not more so. As it was, the New Jersey fans were loud and enthusiastic in their recognition of what Brodeur has meant to the team, the league, and indeed the game as a whole.

posted by Howard_T at 03:11 PM on April 14

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

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?

Aren't most major teams in the EPL just a "group of mercenaries" backed by foreign money?
ManU is American owned.
Liverpool is American owned.
Chelsea is Russian owned.
Arsenal's biggest shareholder is American.

I would think waiting 40+ years while watching their immediate/hated rivals win 11 times in between, and then winning it on what many consider the most exciting day in English football history in the greatest season of the EPL might qualify as "heart-warming".

The last 5 minutes of that game alone would probably be considered "overcoming-the-odds".

posted by grum@work at 04:32 PM on April 14

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

I adopted Tottenham when I began following the Premier League in 2006.

But this year I got tired of the constant stream of big-money imports, which changed the personality and play of the team each year.

So I committed an act of sacrilege and began following West Ham instead.

The team I want to follow at the Premier level is Sheffield Wednesday. I listen to their matches and catch the occasional game on Bein Sport.

posted by rcade at 09:58 PM on April 14

The team I want to follow at the Premier level is Sheffield Wednesday.

I actually saw them play live when I went to England with my wife back in 2007. While we were in London, we decided to see if we could catch a professional football match. Unfortunately, we chose the weekend when there were a slew of big matches and couldn't land any tickets for the local London teams. So we dropped down a level and went to watch Charlton Athletic host Sheffield Wednesday over in Greenwich.

A quick subway and bus ride, a walk across the prime meridian, and then following the crowd through a suburb and OH there's the stadium. The Valley seats about 27,000, and it looks a bit on the old/worn side. A fair sized (and friendly) crowd helped us get to our seats.

SW score two goals in the first half, but CA came roaring back to score three in the second half, including a late one just before injury time. The stadium went bananas. I still wear my red Addicks jersey (which I picked up in the team store outside the stadium on the way out) on the weekends.

posted by grum@work at 11:38 PM on April 14

The team I want to follow at the Premier level is Sheffield Wednesday. I listen to their matches and catch the occasional game on Bein Sport.

Like a lot of Championship teams, Sheffield Wednesday have their own youtube channel.

Highlights are usually posted about 36 hours after each game.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:55 PM on April 14

Man City have zero homegrown starting players except Joe Allen

I know we use this metric a lot when trying to prove our favorite baseball teams are morally superior to the Yankees, but I don't think it means much in soccer: having homegrown stars feels like a hallmark of a big-money club as it means you have the money to maintain a robust youth system to scout and develop talent and the money to keep the player once they become a star.

Coutinho, Henderson, Mignolet and Sturridge were acquired as (relatively) unproven youngsters

Except for maybe Zabaleta and Kompany, none of the ten outfield starters were less than stars when purchased

You can't claim credit for one and dismiss the other. You're cherry-picking, especially if you're going to hold up De Michelis as someone they've bought who's been a big help.

That said, I assumed someone describing a Man City victory as "heart-warming" must have been sarcastic.

posted by yerfatma at 08:09 AM on April 15

Thanks, Bismarck. I wish all the games were broadcast online, like NBC Sports is doing with the Premiership.

posted by rcade at 09:34 AM on April 15

Trying to decide who's the most heart warming underdog out of Liverpool and Man City is adorable.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:38 AM on April 15

Thanks, Bismarck. I wish all the games were broadcast online, like NBC Sports is doing with the Premiership.

Every time I see Jordan Rhodes score I die a little inside.

Stupid Roy Stupid Keane was trying to sell Pablo Counago to Crystal Palace, but the Spaniard couldn't agree personal terms. So Keane thought "well, I've already decided to sell a Striker..." and moved Rhodes to Huddersfield for £350,000 instead.

Rhodes has only gone on to score 136 goals in 233 games since.

A front line of Ipswich youth products Rhodes and Connor Wickham would have been properly, err, heart warming.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:44 AM on April 15

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

Aren't even in the top 20 when looking at all sports teams in all leagues worldwide. They're #5 in their actual league, those plucky underdogs!

posted by yerfatma at 02:46 PM on April 15

Trying to decide who's the most heart warming underdog out of Liverpool and Man City is adorable.

I watched the second half of the Liverpool - Manchester City match when I got home from church on Sunday. I found I had a warm sensation in my heart, but I think it might have been heartburn from the onion bagels.

To be serious, watching that match was perhaps the most involved I've ever been in a soccer match. The tension and drama were coming close to a playoff NHL hockey level.

posted by Howard_T at 03:15 PM on April 15

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

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.