There’s a new event that has sports fans in the United States buzzing with excitement. It performs especially well in the coveted males 18-49 demographic, and its numbers see a high spike among those who identify themselves as casual or passionate fans of soccer.
Gather ’round the tele, kids. It’s time for some Dempsey-Gazing.
As you probably already know, Clint Dempsey is having a fantastic season in the Barclay’s Premier League with Fulham. As his goal tally continues to rise faster than the price of unleaded gasoline, fans and members of the media speculate more and more and Dempsey’s future.
You may have heard he has one more year left on his deal with the Cottagers, but he’s said hoping to play Champions League football. Fulham’s options appear to be sell him this summer and reap a financial gain or keep Dempsey another year and then lose him on a free transfer.
Dempsey has also said he’d prefer not to relocate his family. This has led many to conclude that Dempsey is bound for Arsenal, Tottenham or perhaps even Chelsea this summer – a prospect that seems to have the American soccer community in a tizzy. (more…)
Sir Alex Ferguson has a problem. He just has too many awesome forwards. He said as much last week, and that was before his team went and put up 8 on Arsenal, a tally high enough to beat most Big Ten football teams.
It almost sounds like some sort of clever prank, like a viral marketing campaign sure to reveal some sort of punch line sooner or later. Side after side in the EPL need forwards. Arsene Wenger would probably swear off puffy jackets for good to get someone in the squad to complement Robin van Persie. Stoke and Fulham don’t seem to even have any forwards on their roster. Swansea is yet to score in three matches. (more…)
JON ARNOLD — We all have that guilty pleasure. You know, that TV show or maybe trashy novel series we can’t get enough of, but would be semi- to completely mortified if anyone found out about. Apparently something called Bachelor Pad was on tonight that had plenty of people excited. Jersey Shore draws disconcertingly high numbers. My favorite is certainly not VH1′s delightfully odd Mob Wives, and I don’t know where you would’ve gotten that idea. Oh, you’ve read tweets? Well then.
For the most part, we know what to expect from these things. They’re nicely packaged in their time slot, allowing us to escape from our real lives for a few moments and think about how much more civilized we act than some people or peer into the lives of others to see how they live. Typically these shows are actually kind of mundane. Nothing really happens, but then there’s that one moment. The moment all the characters build up to during their talking head interviews. The scene they showed at the end of the last episode when the voice over said “Next week on ______.” The one where the audio has to be so heavily censored it sounds more like a hearing test than any sort of discernible dialogue. And that? That is what keeps us tuning in the next week and the next and the next.
Of course, sports haven’t been immune to the reality show treatment. Plenty of athletes have starred in their very own reality shows (most shows run for about as long as Tyson Gay, and for good reason), and players’ wives and/or girlfriends have moved seamlessly from tabloid fodder to reality stars. But sometimes there’s a character within the game who brings the reality show to us, without all the guilt, time and effort of watching an actual show. There he or she is, right there in the middle of the game we love and are already glued to. As if sports didn’t provide enough drama on their own, there’s something else there to provide that jaw-dropping moment. (more…)
ZAC LEE RIGG — Jokes about a 0-10-0 formation hinted at a deeper point: It was very unclear how Liverpool would align tactically this year. An ever-increasing array of relatively equal midfielders coupled with Kenny Dalglish’s tactical adjustments last term (he experimented with a three-man backline, among other variations) kept any insight into the 2011-12 season murky.
The opening match of the season, a 1-1 draw with Sunderland, finally gave a pretty good idea of what Dalglish has had in mind while making this summer’s purchases. Here’s how the team lined up:
Panama advanced to the semifinal of the CONCACAF Gold Cup by beating El Salvador 5-3 in penalties. Luis Tejada scored in the 90th minute to tie the game up at 1-1, and then added a penalty goal in the win.
Panama will meet the United States in Houston for the semifinal round, having previously handed the Americans their only group stage loss in Gold Cup history. CONCACAF.com has the highlights.
JON ARNOLD – Reading FC is headed to the Championship playoff final for a chance to earn promotion back into the Premier League after they beat Cardiff 3-0 Tuesday afternoon.
As a journalist, I tend to shy away from any sort of team affiliations. Even during the three years I covered my now-alma mater as a student, I made sure to distance myself from any sort of fandom. For some reason, though, I’ve been supporting Reading FC for most of my adult life. That’s why I’m celebrating this result in the middle of the afternoon here in the United States. (more…)
MAURA GLADYS- The legendary Old Firm match between Celtic and Rangers made the wrong kind of headlines this week. The 1-0 Celtic victory Wednesday night saw three Rangers dismissals, ten yellow cards, a verbal scuffle between Celtic manager Neil Lennon and assistant Rangers manager Ally McCoist and thirty-four fan arrests in Celtic Park after the match. The incident has thrown the Scottish Football Association into crisis mode, and sparked discussion in the media about the effect of football and violence on Scottish society and the future of the Old Firm game. (more…)
It’s time for the first leg of the rest of the Round of 16. The first four games had enough drama for the entire round. Hopefully they left some for the rest of the matches. Without further rambling, a look ahead to Tuesday’s matches:
JON ARNOLD - Tuesday provided two entertaining games as promised. Can the Wednesday fixtures give us more great Champions League action? If they live up to their billing, then the answer is yes. A quick look ahead at tomorrow’s matches:
JON ARNOLD - The UEFA Champions League officially got under way in June (who can forget Montenegrin club Rudar Pljevlja’s 3-0 opening victory over Tre Fiori, San Marino’s finest side?), but now is when it really starts getting good. The Round of 16 kicks off Tuesday, and it’s sure to be full of entertaining football between team you’ve heard of before (no offense meant to those of our readers in European microstates or Montenegro). Here’s a look at Tuesday’s games, with previews for Wednesday set to come tomorrow: