Archive for the ‘Global View’ Category

What time is it?

September 6, 2007

Actually, time for my fantasy football draft but TTL is boldly not studying this year. After getting burned by drafting with a little bit of knowledge the past few seasons, going with the gut this year. That’s all you’ll hear about my NFL fantasy but maybe more on my Premier League Fantasy Team (c’mon Clint Dempsey) as the season goes on.

The 2007 Rugby World Cup begins Friday in France. Most pundits including TTL (a little bit of knowledge is dangerous) predict New Zealand to win it. The All-Blacks have only won 1 WC despite being the best rugby-playing nation in the galaxy. There is a huge gulf in talent between the top 8 sides and the rest of the world, so expect some ridiculous scores posted on teams like Namibia, Portugal and sadly the semi-pros from the USA. The big interest in the pool stage is who takes 2nd in Pool D, France or Ireland, although Argentina has a puncher’s chance of sneaking into 2nd. Anyway, the 2nd-place finisher faces NZ in the quarterfinals which is something that contenders Ireland and France want to avoid at all costs. Particularly the French, as this game takes place in Cardiff, Wales and not in France. And the tournament organizers, the IRB, whose dream final is NZ v France in Paris.

TTL enjoys international rugby and will spend some time at the pub watching games. And due to an unprecedented media blackout of the RWC watching live games might be the only way to go.

Also glad that England will relinquish the Web Ellis trophy they won in Australia in 2003. The defending champs are a shadow of the physical side that bullied and kicked its way to the title. Definitely have a like/loathe relationship with England international teams as TTL knows all the players and sorta wants England to do well but just so I can root against the English. They’re like a nation of passive-aggressive Philly fans but with much cooler singing.

As this post takes on a personal nature, might as well bemoan the fate of the Cubbies. Dropped into a tie for 1st in the Central with Milwaukee today after closer Ryan Dempster gave up 4 in the ninth to lose 7-4 to LA. Troubling developments all week as this team looks close to imploding a la 2004. Not playing very good baseball, particularly at the plate, as they continue to swing away with reckless abandon. Over the 4 game series the Cubs’ batters walked 18 times, stuck out 22 times, left 58 men on base and grounded into a mind-boggling 10 double plays. Not quite the winning formula. As a lifelong Cubs fan it is terrifically exciting when the Cubs play meaningful September baseball. Just wish they wouldn’t play so much like typical Cubs.

That’s it for today. Thanks for checking TTL.

TTL’s Global Sporting Event Calendar (for the next 2 weeks)

May 15, 2007

TTL knows the average sports fan’s plate is quite overflowing now with the NBA playoffs, baseball&Bonds, Stanley Cup playoffs, MLS (anyone watching?) and NFL mini-camps (feel the excitement!?!).  But looking over the global (non-USA as you TTLers all know the important dates) sporting calendar in the next few months, and some big events are on the way.  Let’s just throw a few out there that might grace the pages of this blog. 

May 16 UEFA Cup Final in Glasgow at 20:45 CET (2:45 pm EDT). 

Espanyol v Sevilla 

The all-Spanish Final should be a good game as Sevilla hopes to repeat while Espanyol hopes to claim some important silverware of its own.  Sevilla are the favorites and are chasing a distinct treble; the UEFA Cup, the Primera Division (currently 3rd but only 2 points off leaders Real Madrid/Barcelona) and the Copa del Rey (they play Getafe FC in this domestic cup final in late June). 

May 19 FA Cup Final at Wembley in London at 16:00 CET (10:00am EDT)

Chelsea v Manchester United

The “Dream” final to inaugurate the new Wembley stadium with the Premiership Champs taking on 2nd place finishers Chelsea.  TTL will have full preview of this later in the week but this game should be hot, feisty and compelling.

May 23 Champions League Final in Athens at 20:45 CET (2:45 EDT)

AC Milan v Liverpool

Just counting the days until the Cousin of All Rematches.  Will obviously discuss this game in greater detail a bit closer to the date but let’s GO LIVERPOOL. 

May 28-June 1o French Open at Roland Garros

Can Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal on clay to claim the one tennis Grand Slam he hasn’t won?  Federer is actually struggling a bit lately.  The Tiger Woods of tennis has not won in his last 4 tournaments, which ridiculously has not happened since 2004.   Nadal has simply won 77 straight matches on clay.  Every sport needs a good rivalry and Men’s tennis has it now with these two.  The Women’s side looks wide open but TTL likes the gritty Belgian Justin Henin to win.  Also, TTL will hopefully make the trip down to Paris to take in some live action and blog about it.

June 2 and June 6 Euro 2008 Qualifiers

These are important games but there are no great match-ups on these dates.  The most interesting of the fixtures is Estonia v England.  It is a must win game for England or else their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008 and manager Steve McClaren’s job will be in grave danger. 

Well, the calendar took on a very footballiferic nature but such is life.  Trying to expand the blog a bit and have received a few great suggestions from the TTLers.  If there is a topic one wants covered let TTL know.  It is always great to hear from you guys whether in the comments (please do) or personally.  This Best of Sports #6 is dedicated to the hardcore readers.  

This picture captures everything that is great about sports.  The Wigan manager, Paul Jewell, showing utter joy at the final whistle of his team’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.  Wigan had to win to stay in the Premiership and did (TTL wrongly predicted Wigan would be relegated).  This loss relegated Sheffield United and all the emotions of this fact:  disbelief, despair, jealousy, bewilderment etc. can be seen on Neil Warnock’s face.

jewellwarn_g.jpg

This is both faces of sports and can only happen when one lays it all out there.  Enjoy the games.