A football coach tries to coach football

For those of you who haven’t been across the pond, the Tottenham Hotspurs are a real football (soccer) team. I know, when I was in England and first heard the name, I thought it was a joke.

Tottenham was about an hour from where we lived. Sadly, the only football match we saw was when the San Diego Chargers met the New Orleans Saints at Wembley Stadium in London in 2008.

Yeah, I know. Wrong football.

Football vs. football: What do people really want to watch?

Every year, the Super Bowl comes around and the mavens in the sports media tell us that it’s the biggest sporting event in the world.

Then every four years, the World Cup comes around and mavens in the sports media tell us that it’s the biggest sporting event in the world.

So which one is it? (Via Beutlerink):

World-Cup-viewersBut (the NFL fans whine) you’re comparing something that happens every four years to something that happens every year.

Really, are you going to make me do the math?

Multiply the Super Bowl number by four, and you’re still short by the entire population of North America, where the only people who care about the Super Bowl live.  And when you think about it, lots of people in the world don’t have televisions. So the World Cup is a community event where villages gather in front of a lone TV to see what’s going on.

And unlike the Super Bowl, they’re not tuning in just to watch the commercials.

I was in Belgium during the 2006 World Cup, and the city put a huge monitor in the middle of the street near the Bourse (the stock exchange building) downtown and closed off the area to automobile traffic. We roamed the streets with an Italian flag and joined all the Italians after Italy beat France in the final. That year in Paris, they put a big screen on the Eiffel Tower which allowed everyone to see Zidane’s headbutt heard around the world.

In 2010, we were in a restaurant/pub in London watching Spain beat the Netherlands in the final, although the highlight of that tournament was when the U.S. tied England because goalie Robert Green let this get by him. We were watching that match with a bunch of Brits who were ragging us on how badly American asses were going to be kicked. Let’s just say, the Americans were the ones gloating at the end.

Check out this photo gallery at the Washington Post to see how people are watching the World Cup around the globe. This is not how we watch the Super Bow.

The ‘R’ word

We have a professional football team in Washington, D.C., that’s drawing a lot of anger because of its name.

How much anger?

Watch this:

That ad was scheduled to run during the NBA Finals last night, but given the buildup, the California-based Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation could have saved its money, because the ad already had two million hits on YouTube.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ad like this before. A group saying that a team name that has been used for decades is racist. But we’ve seen this change in attitude over the years. In case you don’t know it, look up the name of the St. John’s University basketball team before it became the Red Storm.

One thing that is intriguing, though, is that the tribe is OK with the use of the word “Indian.” Here’s what I mean:

And it’s a confusing term. Whenever I the the news and there’s a reference to an Indian, I have to work out in my mind … well, does that mean someone from Southwest Asia or the native population of North America?

And Louis is right. The name is a mistake. The Europeans were looking for a western trade route to India, spent an ungodly amount of time on the water, realized they’d screwed up and when they spotted land, they said, “Oh, yeah. Right. We’ve found India.”

Here’s what Christopher Columbus wrote in a journal about to his first voyage to America in 1492 (via Britannica)

…and I saw the Moorish king come out of the gates of the city and kiss the royal hands of Your Highnesses…and Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians…took thought to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the said parts of India, to see those princes and peoples and lands…and the manner which should be used to bring about their conversion to our holy faith, and ordained that I should not go by land to the eastward, by which way it was the custom to go, but by way of the west, by which down to this day we do not know certainly that anyone has passed; therefore, having driven out all the Jews from your realms and lordships in the same month of January, Your Highnesses commanded me that, with a sufficient fleet, I should go to the said parts of India, and for this accorded me great rewards and ennobled me so that from that time henceforth I might style myself “Don” and be high admiral of the Ocean Sea and viceroy and perpetual Governor of the islands and continent which I should discover…and that my eldest son should succeed to the same position, and so on from generation to generation forever.

Yep. He’s looking for India. Along with insulting Muslims and Jews. So when he finally gets to America and figures, we’ll maybe this isn’t India, I guess the first thing on his mind isn’t to go back to Spain and tell the king and queen: … Look, your highnesses. About that voyage you funded to get to India? Well, I ended up God knows where. …

Guess he just went back and said: … Yeah … Sure … India … Nice place!!!

And get this! According to the Library of Congress, a map of the new world with the name America didn’t appear until 1507. Columbus died in 1506. Could he have been calling the place India up until he died?

Of course, none of this has anything to do with football.

The World Cup is depraved and decadent

Or more specifically, its governing body, FIFA, is, according to John Oliver:

That is impressive. Make a country change its laws against drinking. Create your own court that can send people away to jail for 15 years. Put an outdoor game in a country where the temperature is 122 degrees.

Can you imagine an American sports organization pulling something like that?

New details have emerged about the deal bringing the Super Bowl to Minneapolis.

Some of the conditions include: hotel accommodations, free police escorts and free advertising. They’re on the long list of requests in a confidential 153-page document obtained by the Star Tribune.

The National Football League made the specifications before it named Minneapolis the host city for the 2018 Super Bowl. Dated November 2013, the document details everything from field preps, to reserving bowling venues for the Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic.

Nice try NFL. You’re in the Pee Wee League compared to FIFA’s professional corruption status.

What the hail? A weather delay in Brussels.

You know, when the weather guy says there was hail the size of golf balls, I used to think it would be cool to see that. I’ve seen hail before, but it’s usually the size of BBs.

But there was a football (soccer) match in Brussels today at King Baudoin Stadium (which, as all of you Bruxellois out there know is near the Atomium and Bruparck) between Belgium and Tunisia, and this happened.

There you are. Hail the size of golf balls, and, according to photos, a few chunks the size of tennis balls. Any ideas what the broadcaster is saying. It isn’t French (which I understand) or Dutch or German (which I don’t), and those are the three official languages of Belgium. (Actually, it’s Portuguese.)

Now, for an attitude adjustment. I’ve decided it would not be cool to see that. And it would be horrific to be in it. But if you want a similar experience, go to a crowded golf driving range and stand in the middle of the open field as dozens of golfers all swing full force and take shots at you.

And note that is you were to do than, it would be less dangerous than what happened in Brussels. When the sky dumps chunks of ice on you, there’s no way you can avoid them in the open,

(Oh, the match was suspended until the storm ended. Belgium ended up winning 1-0.)

 

The ESPN test

I have a relative who used to work for ESPN in a pretty high profile position. Let’s just say there were times I’d be away from home and I’d glance up at a television screen and, “Wow. My relative is on ‘Sportscenter.'”

In all our conversations about getting a job and working at ESPN, the subject of an entry test never came up.

But today, I see on Deadspin that ESPN tests its new employees. If you’re thinking about working there some day, here’s what you have to answer in 45 minutes. Think fast!

Louisville’s three first-round NFL draft picks

Well, Teddy Bridgewater went in the first round of the NFL draft … as the very last pick.

The Minnesota Vikings took him, which means he’ll be wearing lots of gloves next year (via ESPN):

Next season will be the Minnesota Vikings‘ last in the 31-year-old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, and fans of the purple and gold can look forward to blue lips and red cheeks as they shiver through two seasons of old-school outdoor football.

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said Friday that the team plans to play at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, while the team’s new stadium gets built at the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis.

Teddy wasn’t the only Louisville Cardinal selected in the first round.

NCAA Football: Louisville at Kentucky

That’s safety Calvin Pryor on the right, who went to the New York Jets as the 18th pick. Here he is in action:

And, to everyone’s surprise another Card was drafted in the first round before Teddy. At No. 26 the Philadelphia Eagles took Marcus Smith:

Louisville had three picks go in the first round. That’s the best the team has ever done. The only other team to match that number was Texas A&M. It’ll be interesting to see how Louisville does in the coming college football season. New quarterback, new coach, new strategies and a new conference.

But for now, let’s have one more look at Teddy firing up the crowd:

teddy