Final Thought Heading Into the Weekend

I can neither put into words nor really believe how excited I am about the Pan-Pacific Challenge.

I need several more hobbies, clearly.

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Crew TSII: TFC and Crew Cup…no, seriously, TSII

(Again, “TSII” is my handy acronym for “this shit is important.”)

Yesterday, the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC (TFC) announced the creation of a formal “mini-rivalry” inspired by similar trophies Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs seem to love so much.  No, this one doesn’t set the earth shaking, but – y’know – what the hell?  Neither team has one of these mini-cup thingies and it’s certainly not as bad as some cat named Ben Knight (writes for Toronto’s Globe and Mail) makes it out to be.

The most priceless thing in all this are allusions that TFC fans seem to somehow feel like the Crew are beneath them.  From Knight’s column:

“Columbus is the first team Toronto needs to pass to vacate last place in the East Division. TFC fans have felt all along, I think, that their team is superior. And even though the Crew got two wins and a draw in three meetings with the Redcoats last season, those feelings still persist.”

So, let me get this straight: In spite of performing worse than Columbus, both indirectly and, yes, directly, TFC fans feel their team is better.  Uh huh.  Does the sun always shine in Toronto?

Look, I doubt fans of either are thrilled, but this makes as much sense as any of MLS’s  mini-rivalries.  The hard reality is geography combined with the fact that both teams kinda, sorta suck makes a decent case.  Yeah, Toronto has all those wound-up fans and Columbus doesn’t – at least not always – but the relevant measure takes place on the field.  And I’m not talking about the number of seat cushions landing thereon.

So…just sit back and enjoy it.  I just can’t wait to see what they name it.  (Please let the name be awful, please let the name be awful, please let the name be awful…).

BONUS
– This should be neither surprising nor remarkable, but, for some reason, I can’t believe someone took the time to map out the Universe of Star Trek.  Left up to my, I would just draw a picture of “space.”

Liking Live Soccer TV a Little More

And that’s thanks to the one-stop newsletter they put out – every Friday by the look of it.  I have to say, that makes me feel a little better.  And the layout ain’t too shabby.

BONUS: Funny link I found through Fark.com: a list of the top 5 hottest female hockey players in the collegiate ranks.  Tell me if you notice something of a theme among the players (psst….look at their hair).  And the name of the site on which it’s posted, The Wicked Wrister….well, let’s just say that sounds different to hockey fans than it might to the layman.

Me being me, I ambled down to the comments where I noticed some dissent as to who belongs in the Top 5.  So, armed with Google, and the names of the colleges, I thought I’d check out the unhonored competition.  First was Emily Kranz, who plays for the University of Wisconsin.  The only image I found under that name wasn’t so flattering and, for all I know, that’s not even our Emily.  Wanting another look, I tried to find Ms. Franz on the U of Wiscahnsin women’s hockey site, but didn’t find so much as her name…and I checked down to the B-team and C-team.

Figuring Wiscahnsin Hockey wasn’t working, I thought I’d take my chances with finding Jenna Cowan from the University of Maine.  That went a little better – and, again, do note the hair color…the theme persists.

Totally side-tracked by now, I thought, “Hmm…what would happen if you typed some random person’s name into a Google image search with the filters off?”  Didn’t think it would take long to hit something NSFW…a suspicion that only seemed more plausible when Jenna Jameson’s name cropped up early in the search.  To my surprise, it took till the sixth page…and it wasn’t Jenna Jameson.

Anyway, that’s some dumb stuff I learned yesterday.  And now you know it too.

One-Liner guide to La Liga- Jornada 24

La Liga keeps chugging along like tailgaters at a Buffalo Bills game. It’s Jornada 24 and I’ve decided to do something a bit different this week. I’ll still give out the Spanish cultural tid-bit so that you all may receive your weekly immersion. But, I’ll also drop a few links, quick stories about what happened in La Liga this week so that everyone can know what’s going on. In essence I’m making a more comprehensive preview, except for my brief previews that have evolved from one liners because well..thats hard.

By the way, I try my hardest to find stories on La Liga in English to link to for everyone, but part of the fact that I write about La Liga is because not many English blogs or Bloggers for the matter, are devoted to La Liga. Much of my reading takes place on Spanish Language websites or blogs, but when I can find the appropriate English links, I’ll give them to you all here. Vale?

Listos? Venga, vamos!

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Off-Season Progress Report: Mime’s A-Wastin’

For good or ill, here’s the plan for this and future editions of the Off-Season Progress Report. Every Friday, I’ll list all the player moves, trials, and rumors (with a snowball’s chance in Hell of coming together…and some that don’t) that appeared on my screen over the previous week. This feature will continue until – I believe – March 3, when Major League Soccer’s (MLS) teams must have their rosters down to 28 players, as required by league rules.

One category, the trialists, is a little more complicated than the others. To begin, I’m assuming that anyone drafted between the SuperDraft and supplemental draft – all identified here – is, effectively, on trial. I imagine some draftees have gone home already, but ignore them until the final cut comes along…and I may not acknowledge it then (too much to know, frankly). As for all other trialists, I can only name those whose names I’ve seen and I’m confident I’ll miss a couple players per team….all while blaming your team for failing to get out the good word. Given the gap, however, I welcome any and all additions to the record; drop ‘em in the comments field or send to me an email (jeffbull71[at]yahoo.com).

OK, that’s that. All the movement I saw (or cared about) appears after the jump. Current rosters for all teams are embedded under each team’s name. Continue reading