Saturday, August 08, 2009

The proper way to honor a legend

What is the proper way to honor a legend?

Is it to retire his jersey, have a special day for them, or build a statue in their honor. That is what we do in the United State, but in England they do it a different way. Take a look around at the classic stadiums in England and many of them have stands that are named after long time club heroes.

Take West Ham United's Upton Park, two of their stands are named after all-time great players Bobby Moore (above) and Sir Trevor Brookings. Nottingham Forest has a stand named after their iconic manager Brian Clough at the City Ground, and Wolves have a stand named after Wolves legend Bill Wright at Molineux.

I know what people are asking right now, what is the point of this. Last week the Eagles lost long time Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson. Johnson was the heart and soul of the defense and meant so much to the crazy fan base. I wonder how the Eagles are going to handle honoring a man that was one of the faces of the franchise for so many years.

The Eagles should name one of the stands after the Johnson. Doing this would allow fans from all generation to remember how much Johnson contributed to the Eagles. At West Ham, kids ask their parents to tell stories about Moore and Brookings, just imagine the situation at Lincoln Financial Field when a young child ask his father about how great a coach Jim Johnson was, all because they are sitting in the Jim Johnson Stand. I know the Eagles will do the right thing and honor him in a variety of different ways, but naming a stand after him would allow the fans to keep his memory for a long time.

Say it with me, the Jim Johnson Stand, it has a real nice ring to it.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Champions League Playoffs are interesting

In some years the final round of Champions League Playoff can be almost a bore, but this year that could be different with one tie Arsenal vs. Celtic. The team that drops this tie could be in financial trouble. Both clubs count on the Champions League group stage money in order to fund their spending, so going out before that stage could be a mess for both. Rangers went out in an earlier playoff round last year and they are still trying to dig out from the lost revenue.

Here are some predictions for the playoff round:

  • FC Sheriff v Olympiakos: Olympiakos
  • SV Red Bull Salzburg v Maccabi Haifa: Red Bull Salzburg
  • FK Ventspils v FC Zurich: FC Zurich
  • FC Copenhagen v Apoel Nicosia: FC Copenhagen
  • Levski Sofia v Debrecen: Leveski Sofia
  • Lyon v Anderlecht: Lyon
  • Celtic v Arsenal: This has PK written all over it, but I can not see Wenger going out at this point.
  • FC Timisoara v VfB Stuttgart: VFB Stuttgart
  • Sporting v Fiorentina: Fiorentina
  • Panathinaikos v Atletico Madrid: Panahinaikos, the shocker of the round. Last years the Greeks booked a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Some leagues are up and running, while others about to start. It feels like it has been a long time since we have all had club football.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Is he staying or is he going?

The Daily Mail Soccer section has differing views on what is going to happen to Liverpool's Xabi Alonso. On the top of their site, they have a story about Liverpool and Real Madrid agreeing to the fee for Alonso, while right under it they have a story about Real dropping their interest in Spanish midfielder. I think the real story is that Alonso is heading to Real, but maybe the Daily Mail should update their site a little quicker.

Blast from the Past

College football preview magazines often focus on the positives of a football program, but often the positives turn out to be false. Here is a look back at some cover of the Smith & Street College Football previews from the last couple of years. Some cover choices now seem a little weird.

2006 Washington edition: WSU's Jason Hill. It's been a touch couple of years of state of the Washington when it comes to college football.
2005 Pennsylvania edition: Pitt's Tyler Palko. He was once thought to be a superstar but now it seems like a bad choice.
2004 Washington edition: Charlie Frederick, really. Wow it must have been a weak year in Washington.
2003 South Carolina edition: Really Dondrial Pinkins. I'm a big college football fan and this name caught me by surprise.
2003 Texas edition: Coach Fran and A&M. This had to be long before the secret email newsletter.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Making a Case

For the last three season, Mike Teel has both loved and vilified for his play as the QB at the State University of New Jersey, but one thing is clear Teel should have his #14 retired for good. I know what people are going to say, ya he started the season 1-5 last season, while some of that was his fault, some of the blame has to go the players around them.

After starting the season so bad, Teel rallied to bring the Knights to a bowl. On October 25, 2008, Teel threw 6 touchdown passes for 361 yards against #17 Pittsburgh, a school record. He was chosen as National Player of the Week for the first time in his career. On December 4, 2008, Teel had a career night in the final home game of his college career, completing 21 of 26 passes for 447 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions as Rutgers routed Louisville 63-14. The yardage and touchdown totals were single game school records as the Scarlet Knights finished their schedule at 7-5. After being so bad, Teel finished the season with 25 TD passes and a completion percentage of 61.6 percent, the highest in his three year career as a starter.

Teel's career is almost story book. He won three straight bowl games as a starter also beat two top five teams at home in nationally televised games, South Florida and Louisville. Those two wins are the two biggest in the history of the school.

During his career, Teel set passing records in all major categories including yards, 9,383, and touchdowns, 59. Those are numbers that you can not turn your back on. He was also drafted in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Seahawks.

I know some people that sit in my section during the season hated Teel, but I have always been on of his biggest supporters. The staff at Rutgers should show their appreciation for him contribution to the program and retire his #14. Thanks Mike for making Rutgers football matter.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

OTWT Preseason Notebook #2

OTWT home office is a buzz as ESPN 360 is up and running that means more preseason games for the second installment of the preseason notebook.

• After a terrible Champions League Final United's Anderson looks like he is going to grow up a little.
• He might not be Ronnie, but few are, Valencia might be better then people think.
• Watching United vs. Boca Game, it looks like Rooney might be playing in a role similar to Totti's at Roma. That creative player between the forwards and the midfielders.
• Everton is still Everton and that means that they are just solid, so solid.
• After watching Milan in the Audi Cup, I can only say one thing they are terrible. I would be shocked if they qualified for the Champions League next year.
• Why do I have this feeling that Gibson is going to have a huge roll for United this season.
• Munich looked to be a team that is deep enough to make a run to Champions League Final.
• Ever time Michael Owen goes down I hold my breath, cause he could always be out for a while.
• Watching the Ajax and Atl. Madrid game and am wondering if Martin Jol is going to wear a hat all season like he did last year, when he was in Germany.
• The Barca kids are amazing. Its like the football factory never stops.
• Sometimes I think that Wenger knows something that no one else knows.
• Wenger needs to find more playing time for Jack Wilshere. He was super impressive during Arsenal game vs. Rangers.
• What is a more valuable preseason Cup to win the Peace Cup or the Emirates Cup.
• Villa's Peace Cup win could give them the confidence to get off to a good start in EPL.