Saturday Fútbol and Elephant In The Room Open Thread

Don T

Don T

Poor choices, mixed results.
¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
Titans4Eva
Don T

It’s Saturday morning and there’s fútbol! Huh. Looks like a slate for the hardcore, in La Liga and the EPL. And, c’mon: it’s mid January. Even if Liverpool were playing Man City for the top of the table, with the losers getting full body waxes after the game… I’d still be obsessing about the Jax D being more good than cocky, and Nick Foles’s ceiling—Andy Dalton? Improved bank shots?

Xavier Rhodes deflection sends Alshon Jeffrey to the med tent

All times Central, listings per my TV. Primary source, baby!

Atlético Madrid (2nd) vs. Girona (11th) –  9:05 AM, BeIn Sports

La Liga is at the midway point. Girona, a Catalonian club founded in 1930, is on its first year in the top flight. Their goalkeeper is a Moroccan named Bono. (“Only in New York.” —PK)  After being bounced from the Champions League, El Atléti is a respectable second in Spain, with 42 points—nine behind Barcelona. However,

“Wanda Metropolitano” is Atlético Madrid’s home stadium, and last Wednesday’s stabbing was about control of Frente Atlético, nazi ultras who cheer for the team. (Fun Fact! Atlético is coached by an Argentinian nicknamed Cholo.) The team recently signed Diego Costa for a second tour of duty. EPL fans know about Costa. Say what you will about him; regardless of form, Diego is a world-class head case.

 

Villarreal (5th) vs. Levante (16th) –  11:20 AM, BeIn Sports

The Valencia derby! Which would impressive if it involved the prime club of the region. What team is that?

 

Las Palmas (20th) vs. Valencia (3rd) – 1:35 PM, BeIn Sports

Valencia CF, who aim to get three easy points and a beach day on their trip to the Canary Islands to meet a Las Palmas destined for the Segunda: 19 matches, 11 points, 14 goals, 46 conceded. A Las Palmas fan sums up last week’s 6-0 at Girona:

Via the outstanding @Opiumtv (timeline NSFW)

Over in England,

Brighton & Hove Albion (16th) vs. Chelsea (4th) – 6:25 AM, NBCSN

Chelski’s hanging in there, with two wins and three draws in the last five games. Brighton might as well be called the blasé boids:

Via premierleague.com

Keep it stoic, lads [vacant stare].

 

Burnley (7th!) vs. Manchester United (2nd) – 9:00 AM, NBCSN

These two teams drew 2-2 three weeks ago. Take away those two goals, and Burnley has only 15 in 22 games. Manager Louis C.K. truly is the EPL’s  Mike Mularkey.

Via Wikimedia.org & wn.com

The other 9:00 AM games, presumably in NBC For Pay, are:

 

Merseyside Boycotts (redacted) vs. West Bromwich Albion (19th)

Sam Allardyce—

 

West Ham United (11th) vs. Bournemouth (13th)

Mid-table fixture. In culinary terms: overpriced burger and a seltzer.

 

Arsenal (6th) vs. Crystal Palace (12th)

I forgot to say that Arsenal transferred Alexis Sánchez to Manchester Unit… OK. I refuse to believe Tom Coughlin has some sort of Patriots kryptonite. His Giants teams could crush a QB with four linemen rushing, among them Justin Tuck. The Jags may do the same, but that would unleash the “Tom Coughlin: The Genius That Wasn’t Washed-Up”  narrative before the Super Bowl. Nobody wants that.

 

Leicester City (8th) vs. Watford (10th)

On the other hand, the whole Cheatriots thing: I don’t buy it. Year after year, New England starts slow, makes solid contributors out of waiver wire pickups, and then ends up on the AFC Championship. Belichick and McDaniels (in Denver) got caught videotaping a long time ago. My guess is both fellas value their rep enough to engage in that again. Deflated balls? Yeah, there was  malfeasance—at the very least, a coverup. Now, the competitive advantage gained by a few psi eludes me, but I’m gonna guess it amounts to

And I’m sure Brady’s stats are better after the 2nd half of that Colts game. What else is there in the CHEATERS file? The, uh, TB12 non-traditional health services. The other principal has a past, but his current methods haven’t been found illegal. (As far as anyone knows.)

 

Stoke City vs. Huddersfield Town

The breaks the Patriots get from the officials seem lopsided compared to the other teams. And yet, the overall officiating is terrible, and the convoluted game rules disfavor common sense and the naked eye. On the other hand, this is certain: Gronk is incredible; Belichick is the best coach; Brady is Another Level; and their most vocal fans are insufferable. I’ll feed my spite only as to those fans. As to the rest, I’m done. There’s too much bad shit in the real world to spend time resenting actual excellence in sports.

 

Manchester City vs. Newcastle United (11:30 AM – NBC)

Last week’s defeat at Liverpool (4-3) ended Man City’s streak of 22 straight EPL games without a loss—during which City earned  62 out of a possible 66 points. Newcastle is just three points above the relegation zone. I see Newcastle employing an 8-1-1 formation in this one.

 

Finally, gotta say I’m in Balls’s Camp: I think there’s nothing lesser about fútbol. But goddammit, there’s only three games left in the NFL season! And, AND, Jags @ Pats can turn out to be competitive. Vikes @ Philly looks pretty damn exciting—and the Linc being filled with dog masks promises to be hilarious and terrifying.

An Iggles fan pleads with The Rog for compensatory picks due to Wentz injury, via  Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

So, sorry; I can’t help myself. Championship Sunday is the best single day on the sports calendar, IMHO. And  should New England win, at least we’ll be spared the Doug Marrone Bills to Jax arc packaged as a prepotent-diva-to-humbled-grinder narrative. 🤮.

Gifs via giphy.com banner via i.ytimg.com; substance-y #content via Wikipedia, elpais.com, premierleague.com, theguardian.com, and dailytelegraph.com.

Don T
Don T
Poor choices, mixed results. ¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre! Titans4Eva

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blaxabbath

And Ayton, arguably the best player in the conference and an expected lottery pick, is discovering emotion and letting it shit all over his game.

blaxabbath

This is worst UA team in years.

theeWeeBabySeamus

YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!!!!

– NC State

blaxabbath

Not necessarily because of the losses they have either. The way they can’t string together two decent halves.

King Hippo

yet still 6-1. WHAT A CONFERENCE!

blaxabbath

This year’s PAC is absolute dog shit.

theeWeeBabySeamus

YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!!!!

– Arizona State

blaxabbath

2nd to last in the conference, Arizona State?

theeWeeBabySeamus

Baxsetballing is hard!!!!!

– Bobby Hurley

blaxabbath

Stanford recruiting definitely a strong believer in the paper bag test. #maga

scotchnaut

SUPER UNDER-RATED PLAYER ON A TEAM THAT YOU HATE:

King Hippo

I hated this fucking guy, with the utmost respect…

blaxabbath

Doug Baldwin, to the extent that he doesn’t get much National love.

King Hippo

ND making a run, need them or the Trees to cash me out for the day since Boomer Sooner couldn’t defend the desperation three. 2/2 would have like+$500 daily, +$1,900 overall

theeWeeBabySeamus

GODDAMMIT OKLAHOMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

theeWeeBabySeamus

Oh Wolverine, how far thou hast fallen….

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

I hope that’s North Dakota.

King Hippo

I bet on the devil hisself, if’n the odds right

/also am mostly neutral on the Domers in hoopsball, in that they can sometimes stop greater evils (Dook, U*NC)

yeah right

Scotchy mentioning John Randle made me start thinking about why I love this year’s Vikings team more than I usually love them. Well, that and I was just wearing my Alan Page throwback jersey to the grocery store.
I became a Vikings fan during the Purple People Eaters era. I fucking love a good defense and especially a defensive line and this year’s team checks all those boxes.

Defense first.

C’mon on boys. Bring that fucker HOME!

King Hippo

Defense is fucking great. Which is why I will bet the over (and nothing else) in Minny/Jaguras Superb Owl of Destiny

theeWeeBabySeamus

I’m presuming you meant the under?

King Hippo

nope, because tendencies out the window

theeWeeBabySeamus

comment image

theeWeeBabySeamus

But I have no room to talk.
Imma ’bout to drop more on Jags even with the narrowed lines, I think.

And prolly also Vikes ATS.

Redshirt

Former Bengal, Cornhusker and American Hero Rex Burkhead is the one who hurt Tom Brady’s hand! If the Patriots lose, I humbly submit his name for DFO Canonization.
comment image

yeah right

Harrumpphh!

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I hereby nominate Redshirt for the most improved GIF usage award.

scotchnaut

PLAYER NOT ON YOUR TEAM THAT YOU LOVE: I’m going John Randle-love that guy’s enthusiasm.

yeah right

That’s a bad bad man!

blaxabbath

That Stanford money is good as gone, Hippo.

King Hippo

within a point, dude! The key was me turning teevee box OFF

blaxabbath

Is STAN’s coach just a fat Brad Stevens?