Archive for October, 2008
Oh, would this be nice.
With Bob Brenly not getting hired in Milwaukee, Rick Sutcliffe won’t be replacing him in the Cubs’ booth. So he’d be available to team with Jon Miller on ESPN’s big show.
That would fix that thing over there.
…but you can buy me Rock Band in late 2009 because Harmonix has landed The BeatlesÂ for a new video game.
I can’t decide if this will keep Baby Boomers on the job longer so they can pay for it or force them to retire so they have more time to play it.
But it’s going to be huge.
Major League Soccer has announced a redesign of its championship trophy. It’ll award the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy to the winning team at MLS Cup on Sunday, November 23. By my count, this is the third different piece of hardware in the league’s 13 seasons.
DC United won the first two Alan I. Rothenberg Trophies, named for the league’s founder:
DC also won the first redesigned Rothenberg Trophy in 1999, seen below next to the new version:
As you might expect, the new trophy declined to speak to reporters.
Putting much less thought and many fewer words into it than Nick did:
1E Columbus vs. 4E Kansas City: I’m guessing you recall 2004, the last time the Crew made the playoffs and won the Supporters’ Shield and crashed out in the first round. I don’t expect a repeat of that. PICK: Crew
2E Chicago vs. 3E New England: There’s a nice, new, fresh matchup, huh? New England is without Steve Ralston and now Taylor Twellman. And ESPN decided this was the series they wanted to televise? PICK: Fire, in a mercy killing.
1W Houston vs. 5E/4W New York: Yes, New York slides to the West because they were the final entrant and the East had five teams get in. So the team in New York could conceivably be the Western Conference champions. Okay, seriously, that would never happen anyway. PICK: Dynamo.
2W Chivas USA vs. 3W Real Salt Lake: The intriguing matchup of the first round, actually. RSL has some momentum, but Chivas already knows how to win. Some of Salt Lake’s guys probably had to dump non-refundable vacation tickets they booked in the 85th minute against Colorado last Saturday. Oops. PICK: Goats.
You think officiating high school football is easy? (Trust me, it’s not.)
I’ve had some tough games (had one last night), but at least I haven’t been run over by a golf cart, like this unfortunate official in Oregon.
The full story is here.
After an off-season of turmoil, the pro indoor soccer season is underway.
What’s that? You missed it?
The PASL-Pro (one of three, maybe three-and-a-half, pro indoor soccer leagues we have now) kicked off Saturday as the Stockton Cougars beat the Colorado Lightning 10-5. Former MISL MVP Greg Howes had two goals and four assists and Aaron Susi had a hat trick in the win.
Stockton’s going to shred the league, likely going anywhere from 14-2 to 16-0, and their opening-night crowd (3,239 announced, not that impressive) is likely to be bigger than some PASL teams’ total attendance for the season.
Still, the league is taking baby steps. Right now, they’re actually the leader in the clubhouse, as neither the XSL nor the NISL have played a game yet (the NISL has already lost a team – Orlando – but may be gaining one in Massachusetts before the season starts) and the AISL is still trying to get re-organized.
If I haven’t mentioned this before (I’m sure I have), I love indoor. I’m one of the few people who finds the fun and quality in both brands of soccer and indoor and I go way back. It’s sad to see that the indoor game has had to take this major step back this season (with teams scattered among leagues of varying quality), but I hope it means an eventual strong setup.
Indoor’s been around for almost 30 years now (in fact, we’re coming up on the thirtieth anniversary of the first MISL game ever) and nobody’s been able to kill it yet (not for lack of trying).
The XSL season is supposed to begin Dec. 13. The NISL is scheduled to startÂ Nov. 15, but they’re likely to have to rework the schedule after Orlando’s
demise hiatus and the possible addition of the Mass. Twisters.
(thanks to Nico for this one)
If memory serves, that’s Danyelle Sargeant, who you may remember from giving us this beauty a couple of years ago. Ouch. Tough business, this.EDIT: YouTube has taken the video down (sorry, the image above isn’t clickable). Basically, Ms. Sargeant asked Mike Singletary about his conversation with his “mentor,” Bill Walsh, after taking over the 49ers’ head coaching job. Mr. Walsh has been dead since July of 2007. You may see this video pop up again somewhere, but, apparently, not on YouTube.
For the first time since 2005, average attendance at Major League Soccer games dropped ever-so-slightly in 2008. The average of 16,459 was slightly off from last year’s 16,770. Below are the teams ranked by percentage increase in average attendance over 2007:
(San Jose, obviously, didn’t have a 2007 – but their 2008 figure, split between Santa Clara and Oakland, was almost identical to their last season in the league, in 2005 in Spartan Stadium.)
- Total attendance was a record (which makes sense – with a record number of teams) – almost 3.5 million.
- LA had the biggest increase, which on one hand is odd because they were horrid, but on the other hand makes sense because you had a full season of Whatsisname.
- There were modest gains and losses in almost every market but Dallas, where the 14% drop was the biggest in the league (not the first time Dallas’ average has dropped quite a bit, but they had fewer excuses this time and the one they used – most games being on TV - is ludicrous).
- Kansas City’s average was off slightly, but they moved to a much smaller temporary yard and filled it consistently. Supposedly they’re doing pretty well in keeing the integrity of their ticket pricing (something that was not the case years ago) and, obviously, atmosphere is much improved over Arrowhead.
- I’m concerned about Colorado.
- Next year is obviously very important for Salt Lake, though, financially and aesthetically, they should be in much better shape. Their second-game-new-stadium attendance is a bit troubling, and their first playoff game is at 4pm on a Saturday, so we won’t have a real accurate picture of what RSL can do for a while yet.
- Did I mention I’m concerned about Colorado? Great stadium. Good location. I like the market. I just don’t know what they’re doing there.
- Galaxy road games (which averaged 28k) stoked the leaguewide average by about 6%. But only nine of the top 25 crowds in 2008 were LA visiting (13 were Galaxy home games, though, meaning 22 of the 25 top crowds in the league this year featured LA). Galaxy road games ranged from 46,754 in New York to 18,713 in Colorado. Becks missed only two road games (at TorontoÂ because of an England call-up andÂ at HoustonÂ because of yellow card accumulation) and three home games (all because of national team duty).
- I would expect Seattle to do well in 2009. I don’t know if it’ll be 20k or 25k (I’m sure it’ll be very big early), but it should be a positive. Salt Lake will have a full year in their yard (but they’ll have to work at it). Colorado needs to stop the bleeding. New York may not get into their new yard until late 2009, and a lame duck year probably won’t be good for them. All in all, I’d just make a guess that 2009’s average will be slightly over 2008’s. Not leaps and bounds, but an increase, which would be great, all things considered.
A kenn.com exclusive: the lost episodes of The Manny Headroom Show!
I didn’t create this, but I knew the guys who did and just found the tapes recently. Here is the first in the series:
Just to close the work week, don’t get any other ideas…
- These are supposed to go to kids in impoverished countries, I thought, but you can get one (thanks to Nico for the tip).
- Jay Glazer and Chris Mortensen can fight over why neither of them broke this story. [ESPN.com]
- Ladies and jellyspoons, your Los Angeles Sol. [LA Times]
- Shortest press release ever. But it’s still more than Don Garber has written on his blog for the last couple of months. [MLSNet.com]
- That’s it. My back hurts. Have a good weekend.