Another bump for my Friday question before I ramble: What is something on the internet that will come as close as possible to snapping you out of a bad mood? Keep it PG, please, and you’ll find out why soon (maybe).
Ramble of the Day
Sport is full of beautiful things. I don’t need to list them for you, but I’m sure plenty of things, general and not, spring to mind. A trophy falls into the category of “beautiful football things” for many reasons, which, again, I am not going to list out. Yet, while winning a trophy, almost any trophy, is beautiful in its own right, the trophies sometimes do not live up to the beauty of the moment.
The thought sprung to my mind when I saw this tweet ranking trophies that watchers of women’s football in the United States would be familiar with.
Trophy rankings— thrace ️ ⚽️ (@thrace) August 3, 2018
3. ShibaLeaves (version 2.0)
?. NWSL pic.twitter.com/vlAzvCILEy
The Women’s World Cup trophy, Tournament of Nations trophy, and the SheBelieves Cup trophy are all rather well designed. There’s clearly a bit of artistry to them, which helps add to the allure of the tournament. The champion of the National Women’s Soccer League, though, gets to hold...that. Winning the NWSL is very obviously a greater achievement than winning the SheBelieves Cup or the Tournament of Nations, neither of them being FIFA-sanctioned tournaments. The trophy should probably reflect that, and it unfortunately does not.
My appetite was not satisfied with that one tweet. I simply had to find out what other ugly sports trophies were out there, and I Googled “ugliest sports trophies” to find out. I limited my options to championship trophies because I find most other trophies to be ugly. Here are the ones I found at 11:30 on a Sunday night.
First on the list is the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, handed to the winner of the National Basketball League every year. It feels somewhat like the cousin of the Tournament of Nations trophy, but the literal shine disguises its poor design. The biggest problem with this trophy, though, is that it’s so literal. We know it’s a basketball trophy; you don’t need a gold-coated recreation of a ball going into a basket. The Vince Lombardi Trophy of the National Football League also suffers from this problem.
This one is the NCAA Championship Trophy, awarded to college champions in the United States. Jalen Brunson of Villanova is holding it in this picture after winning the men’s basketball tournament, but all of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s trophies look like. Every. Last. One. What a terrible design. No one should have to celebrate a big accomplishment by being photographed with that.
Meet the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Test cricket series between Australia and Sri Lanka. This is just plain creepy and I do not want to look at it anymore.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy also popped up on a bunch of lists, and while I do not hate it, I will admit that it has its faults. I do not care as much as others that it is not an actual cup, though the actual shade of gold we ended up with is not my favorite. I am not sure that I understand what is holding up the sphere at the top, but I am also not sure that I care. I am not as offended by it as others, but maybe I need my mind changed.
An honorable mention goes to these bottles of cologne that my older sister saw the other day. The cologne is called Invictus, and I don’t know what it smells like, but it looks silly. Just stick to the usual model that allows for creativity, folks.
tl;dr: There are plenty of ugly trophies out there.
Links of the Day
Pep Guardiola has said Phil Foden is ready for Premier League action after Manchester City’s victory in the Community Shield.
Transfer roundup: Barcelona have signed Arturo Vidal from Bayern and Moussa Wagué from KAS Eupen; Burnley have made their first signing of the offseason, adding Ben Gibson from Middlesborough; Leicester have signed Rachid Ghezzal from Monaco; Juventus have signed Idrissa Touré on a season-long loan from Werder Bremen; Liverpool have signed teenager Bobby Duncan from Manchester City; Everton have signed 18-year-old João Virginia from Arsenal
Today’s longer read: Donald McRae interviews Joey Barton on the wild playing career that he believes sets him up perfectly for a managerial career for The Guardian