Happy Monday, Spursland! 34 days, my friends. That is all the separates us from an end to our long trudge through the summer. Don't get me wrong, I love the team i pledge my personal MLS allegiance to, but if they aren't playing I am not watching. The games just aren't good enough. As for Baseball, my team has been in last place or close to it since I was 11 so the vast majority of my life has been enduring them rather than celebrating them. So when we get this close to the opening day of the English season i get a little excited. I make a paper chain to count down the days to the glorious return of watchable sporting events, much like small children (and this 26-year-old) do at Christmas.
Since being appointed head of the soccer chickens, AVB has done a lot of press. However, since the English sporting press either slept through their ethics class in J school or haven't seen The Newsroom yet, they haven't been totally above board when presenting his quotes in the print. To be more specific, he is being cast as a prat who took the Spurs job for no other reason than because he is evil and must avenge himself against the defenders of all that is good, of the Queen, the empire, and little children Chelsea FC. Even the BBC is not immune to this crap so yes, I do think it is time you cut the guy a break. In fact, I would go so far to say that perhaps you owe him a nice dinner.
Rumors that Tim Sherwood "lured" the kid away from the Northwest? Check. Rumors that Sir Alex is more than slightly miffed? Check. Levy allegedly lowballing another club offering a max of one-third of their requested fee? Check. This story, true or not, meets all of my criteria to necessitate putting on my dancing shoes. Suck it, Fergie.
What's happening around SB Nation after the jump
Why is this news? I mean, I included it here because I know more than a few of you gentlemen are perverts and have serious internet crushes on Hope (what pigs they are, eh, ladies). But this was years ago so what is the big deal? I am guessing that if we somehow gathered everyone who will read this sentence together into one room (all nine of you) and truthfully answered a few questions, "have you ever been drunk in class" or "when was the last time you took a schedule one narcotic recreationally", I have a feeling we would find out a lot more shocking things.
It is easy to poke fun at Portsmouth, and it is funny to boot so I find it understandable to that people laugh at them. I have done it myself. But when I see this and realize just how far this team has fallen It actually pains me. A few years ago, just as Portsmouth's troubles were becoming public, a few friends and I took a group of about 20 Portsmouth fan, including this guy out after a friendly between Portsmouth and DC United. Portsmouth were on tour in America trying to raise money to pay off their debts. It was one of the saddest and yet inspiring things I have ever seen. The team got to DC only hours before the game due to a mix up with the airline. To add insult to injury, they were forced to play in borrowed DC United away jerseys because they had none of their own and we in the crowd let them know we were not happy about it.
I can't remember the score or who won. I do remember the fans, all traveling with the team from England, not one living in America, all 200 of them. They were all policed very strictly to keep them away from the DC United supporters. That is, until the end of the game when they broke through security. We were, to be truthful, shitting ourselves. We saw them coming and thought there might be a fight, but it wasn't violent at all. It was something that I, to this day, find inspiring. First it was just the crazy guy, then we looked up and saw them all coming (extra points if you can pick me out in the video). And we sang together, supported the players together, and after the game we took them out in the sweltering DC heat to our favorite bar. We sat outside and talked about everything from the culture of the game to love until 3 am.
The fans of Portsmouth are with out a doubt some of the coolest people I have ever met. The most important thing that they wanted to express to us that night was how much they LOVE their club. Love the way you hear parents talk about their children right before they donate a kidney to them. Those guys love their team so much it awed me, and it wasn't a love the shirt kind of passion that you could imagine would lead to violence. It was more the kind that right now has me imagining them having a bake sale to raise money for this fallen giant. Portsmouth, now sick and diseased financially, get well soon. We miss you guys.
I still don't like you.
I humbly present to you TheRoosevelt's first law of player pricing: "The Inverse English Value System : Americans". Okay, I need a better name, but run with me on this. We all know English players playing in England are overvalued something ridiculous (oh hey, Andy Carroll). I now believe, based on the prices bandied about for Clint Dempsey, Landon Donavon, and now what Bradley was sold for, that Americans are all undervalued just because they are Americans. I also wouldn't be surprised if the reason Mikey came at such a low price was that Roma were advised that they could get him for a low ball price because he is an American by current Rome resident Bryan Ashlock, the dick.