FanDuel - WFBC

July 21, 2014

SportsFilter: The Monday 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 - 22 comments

When a headline link mentioned that a member of the WC champ German team was retiring from international competition, I was hoping it wouldn't be Lahm.

But it is.

posted by beaverboard at 10:59 AM on July 21

He is leaving international competition at the top of his game. Also the first of many who will express no intention to participate in Russia.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:39 PM on July 21

Are you suggesting that political concerns will trump the desire to play in the World Cup for some players? I don't see that happening in Russia. I'd even be surprised it happened in Qatar. The Cup is such a rare opportunity that skipping one -- when you would be there otherwise -- would be an enormous blow to a career.

I'm surprised Lahm is done. He'd likely be there at 34 one last time, though he could've seen some decline and not start.

posted by rcade at 01:11 PM on July 21

Are you suggesting that political concerns will trump the desire to play in the World Cup for some players?

Personal safety concerns . I suppose these do evolve from the current political mess.

Do players professional teams have the right to prohibit a player from World Cup competition?

posted by cixelsyd at 01:28 PM on July 21

Shakhtar Donetsk's owner has confirmed six players have refused to return to Ukraine for the new season as conflict rages around the club's home city.

Brazilians Douglas Costa, Fred, Dentinho, Alex Teixiera and Ismaily plus Argentine striker Facundo Ferreyra remained in France following a friendly against Lyon on Saturday.

posted by rumple at 01:30 PM on July 21

And after the game, at two in the morning, he took our players away. The very talented ones: Teixeira, Douglas, Fred. The rest are not so important.

Oof.

posted by grum@work at 01:54 PM on July 21

Riquelme withheld himself from competing with different teams on different occasions for reasons less critical than life, death, or national honor.

posted by beaverboard at 01:57 PM on July 21

Rcade is currently grappling with how to tell Jerry Jones that there's a new sharif in town.

posted by beaverboard at 03:19 PM on July 21

Heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury is having a bad day.

He had a scheduled fight this weekend (a rematch against Dereck Chisora) canceled due to injury (Tyson's had this happen to him a couple times). This infuriated Tyson, who took to Twitter to vent his spleen, and tried to call out American Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber). However, he ended up getting the wrong handle and calling out English soccer lady Lucy Bronze (warning: NSFW language) (@LucyBronze)

It should be noted that Tyson Fury is considered not a bright man and is mostly famous for this:

posted by Bonkers at 05:42 PM on July 21

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

Are these teams still as valuable when half of them are below average in Euro Super League and most or all of them won't be winning league championships year after year any more?

posted by rcade at 04:25 PM on July 22

I don't see why not. The Browns are still extremely valuable, and their fans know they suck going into every season. It's worth quite a bit just to be on the biggest stage, never mind being the headliner.

posted by bender at 07:51 PM on July 22

Are these teams still as valuable when half of them are below average in Euro Super League

That sounds like the killer to me. It's great to be Bayern or PSG or Barca/ Real in your current domestic league but losing to some other superpower would Devalue The Brand. Why not soak up the upside-down TV contracts and keep stomping your local opposition while the rigged game is still rigged? Losing one estrella* out of the galactico to injury every couple of years in a tournament is a small price to pay. As much as I complain about the NFL, the owners look like Marxists when compared to European football teams. A TV contract that pays all teams equally? Might as well dust off the guillotine! Let them eat transfer fees and loan players.

* Yes, I've been drinking, why do you ask?

posted by yerfatma at 08:31 PM on July 22

It's worth quite a bit just to be on the biggest stage, never mind being the headliner.

But these teams are all headliners, and putting them into a single league would change that. Let's say this league starts tomorrow and Manchester United is in the bottom two or three places for the first decade. Does Man U really come out of that as valuable in 2024 as it was when this league began?

posted by rcade at 09:03 PM on July 22

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

Does Man U really come out of that as valuable in 2024 as it was when this league began?

Setting aside for a moment that I don't really expect that a top flight team like Man U could spend a decade in the cellar of this hypothetical super league considering the vacuum that the league would have for all of the elite talent, yes, I do think that the worst team in this league would still enjoy a continental and global audience that is well beyond what they have now. This league is MLB, if baseball was the world's favorite game.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I want it to happen, but if it did happen, no question I want my team in it, not out of it.

posted by bender at 10:51 PM on July 22

I'm not getting the reasoning that Man U couldn't spend a decade in the cellar. Some elite team has to be the worst of the best. All of them would vacuum up the world's soccer talent. Someone's vacuum would be a Hoover instead of a Dyson.

As an EPL fan for a disreputably short time, I'd prefer the massive English football pyramid over a best-of-the-best, no-relegation league. If you lopped a few of the top teams off, it would enhance the reputations of the teams that moved into their places. I could live with that. Man U isn't just Man U fans. It's fans who enjoy hating Man U when they play them in the EPL.

It will be a shame when some scheme blows up Premiership relegation.

posted by rcade at 08:56 AM on July 23

Well, you kind of focused on the part of my comment that I considered to be less important and ignored my point, but I'll address your comment anyway:

Yes, someone has to be at the bottom of the league, and I'm certainly not saying that that team won't be Manchester United. The size of the super league matters. If it's 8 teams, then sure, MU could be the worst, but if this thing ever happened, it wouldn't be that small. If it's 20 teams, maybe they are down at the bottom sometimes, but I have a hard time imagining a lengthy stay as the worst team of the lot. The Yankees (of the last couple decades) spend more money than everyone else. They've had a couple of lousy seasons, but that doesn't last long.

As for this league drawing all of the talent, I would fully expect that the vast majority of the elite talent in the world would want to play for one of these teams, and that talent is enough to fill 20 teams. We were talking elsewhere about who moves aside to make room for James Rodriguez at RM, and that's today. All of the teams would be stacked. Some would be better than others, but all of them would be incredible, and the increased worldwide exposure would vastly increase all of their values.

And like I said above, I am not interested in seeing this happen. Though as I think about it and the money that could be made, it kind of seems like only a matter of time before this starts to happen.

posted by bender at 09:39 AM on July 23

Well, you kind of focused on the part of my comment that I considered to be less important and ignored my point, but I'll address your comment anyway ...

Maybe I agreed so much with everything else you said it didn't need a response?

I adopted Spurs for a while, but got tired of the enormous turnover of players that was necessary for them to stay within striking range of a Champions League spot. I wonder if that's how Euro Super League would feel, with a star player turnstile every year because of the fierce big-money Darwinism.

I hang out now in the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday -- ain't no big money mercenaries rolling in and out of Hillsborough -- and in the EPL watch West Ham lob it deep and hope for the best.

It's weird the NFL is so egalitarian. It isn't American for a rich man like Jerry Jones not to be able to buy achievement.

posted by rcade at 09:53 AM on July 23

Sorry, in print sometimes it's difficult to tell if we're arguing or not.

As much as I love the World Cup and watch every US match, friendlies and all, I don't follow any club soccer nearly as closely. However, college football (which I follow much more closely) is heading down the same path as we have been discussing. Over the last few years, there has been a lot of conference realignment, and though it has died down for now, it seems like it could easily swing back around to consolidating into the fabled super-conferences or even getting rid of conferences altogether and consolidating the top teams into a smaller elite division, leaving the rest behind. The level of competition might increase, but the sport is richer for having a broader range of teams.

posted by bender at 12:25 PM on July 23

I never want to be the Armada or the Counter Armada. I always want to be Boise State.

posted by beaverboard at 01:38 PM on July 23

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

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