Fred T. Jane

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Everything posted by Fred T. Jane

  1. Coach Russ Faulkenberry unofficially changed the name from Bulldogs to Ragin' Cajuns in 1963 for the football team, and the student body overwhelmingly chose it in a "change the school mascot!" contest a decade later. This was when the school was 90%+ local in terms of enrollment.
  2. One of my professors has a paper detailing how Russell Long essentially blackmailed the NFL in order to get the Saints in exchange for he and Lindy Boggs' role in brokering a settlement for the merger. Back room deals indeed.
  3. Not only that, but perhaps a new Wigan Athletic logo?
  4. Not exactly true. The Elo equation doesn't factor in location in terms of weighing matches, only the expected result. And you don't always get more points for beating better teams because it will penalise you for not beating them as "bad" as you're allegedly supposed to. For example, the US beat Barbados in 2000 to the tune of 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier, and beat Mexico 2-0 in 2007 in an annual friendly. Guess which match got the US more points?
  5. Elo's equally useless since it doesn't weigh friendly matches (the majority of international football matches) fairly (it treats all friendlies equally, without account of the opposition or location. In other words, the US match against Argentina in the US is worth the same base amount of points as its friendly against South Africa in January in South Africa, which is an affront to common sense.), much less the flaw in Elo that you can improve your rating by not playing and letting your opponents do the hard work for you.
  6. I knew Beckham was a great midfielder, but I don't think he has enough defencive prowess to make it in the majors... *rimshot*
  7. No it didn't. The current FIFA World Rankings (which for the record are as useless as a slide rule in an English teacher's desk [Oh wait, I have one in my desk, snap... ]) were released on 3 June and the newest rankings involving the European Championships will not be released until 2 July. And considering the system in which FIFA uses, the Dutch win over Italy today probably wouldn't give them enough points to move them over England into ninth (The fact that England is considered the ninth best team in the world should tell everyone the utility of the rankings), much less a 313 point gap to overhaul Italy. Perhaps you should divert your football researching efforts to more fertile ground, like why English teams failed so miserably in the European Cup in the late 1980s.
  8. The Czechs show how completely useless they are, yet somehow get 3 points out of the match. Unlucky Switzerland. And as for the other match, folks in Geneva can find the "Have you seen Cristiano Ronaldo" milk cartons in their local stores this coming morning. Thankfully for Portugal the rest of their group is completely toothless now (thanks to Alexander Frei, today's most active striker--and that's saying something, going down injured) in the attack, but until they get a real striker not named Pauleta, they'll still be screwed.
  9. Their homeslice Sidney Crosby didn't win.
  10. Franzen? It's Zetterberg. Rather amusing to hear the Pens fans chant Fleury's name. Perhaps they're chanting the name of the fellow who lost the series for him?
  11. ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah *ahem* Let me compose myself. ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
  12. Or "MLS pulls as good of a rating as the NHL did when it was on ESPN2 also."
  13. All but a couple of the clubs in the English Football Pyramid do not pay out dividends to neither their owners nor their shareholder/club members as (1) Their shares do not pay dividends, if they're a PLC/Club, (2) Operating Costs are so high that every pence is needed to break even, or simply (3) They're seriously hemorrhaging money. And I'm sure MLSE's billionaires will love the first serious demand for a $150 million transfer kitty to return Leeds to their Rightful Place in English Football when/if they manage to return to the Premier League by significant figures within the club and its supporters. And if they're stupid enough to cave in to that, I bet they'll love the $150-200 million yearly wage bill that such spending Leeds would get as a result even more. Simply put, English football is place for two sorts of folks: The absolute richest folks around or folks who love losing cash by the millions. These groups aren't mutually exclusive either, as the 9 ownership groups listed above have found out.
  14. Done: National Basketball Association: 540,873 seats for 30 arenas = 18,029 seats with 17,757 average attendance per game= 98.5% capacity National Hockey League: 553,580 seats for 30 arenas= 18,452 seats with 17,265 average attendance= 93.6% capacity Major League Soccer: 282,386 seats for 13 stadia*=21,722** seats with 16,770 average attendance= 77.0% capacity*** ------------------------------------------------------ * MLS had 13 teams in 2007. **Numbers are hard to be accurate for MLS because DC United, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, and Red Bull New York limit their seating well below their stadia's capacity, generally only one side of the stadium is open for seating. I unfortunately had to guesstimate for these. The figures I used were as follows- DC United: 22270 (lower West [?] stand at RFK), New England Revolution: 24120 (Half of lower stand at Gillette Stadium), Real Salt Lake: 18000 (Half of Lower Stand at Rice-Eccles Stadium), Red Bull New York: 20100 (half of lower bowl at Giants Stadium) ***MLS has 6 stadia with larger capacities than the largest in the NBA (United Center with a 22,200 capacity) or the NHL (Bell Centre with a 21,273 capacity), with the Home Depot Center (Home for the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA) having a capacity of 27,000 and Robertson Stadium (Home of the 2-time MLS Cup Champion Houston Dynamo) topping the list at 32,000 [edited to add info]
  15. Let's take a look at these owners... Abramovich (Chelsea)- Spent £150 million in 28 days in the Summer of 2003 to turn a top-half Premier League side into title contenders. Bought the club, ground, and club's debts with cash, and has funded the club through interest-free loans from himself. Glazer (Manchester United)- Used a shell company to execute a hostile takeover of the previously-publicly traded club. The £660 million ($1.2 billion) refinancing plan places 100% of the debt load on the club, including £256 million ($512 million) on the clubs physical assets. The club posted a loss of £56 million ($112 million) loss this past fiscal year, mainly because of the club only servicing the interest of the refinancing plan (at 14.5%, a rate higher than the one I got in March for a loan for major repairs to my car) and backloading transfer repayment agreements. Lerner (Aston Villa)- Owns Aston Villa after buying shares in a non-hostile takeover. Funds the club in a similar situation to Abramovich, but with the current credit crunch (Lerner is the chairman and majority stockholder in MNBA), transfer funds available to the club will be reduced. Gaydamak (Portsmouth)- Scion of the Russo-Israeli Gaydamak family. Bought 50% of Portsmouth in 2006, and bought out then co-owner Milan Mandaric 6 months later. Funds the club in a similar situation to Abramovich, but Portsmouth posted a £50 million ($100 million) loss this past fiscal year, mainly through a high wage bill. Drumaville Consortium (Sunderland)- A consortium of 7 Irishmen: Niall Quinn, Charlie Chawke, Louis Fitzgerald, Jack Tierney, Paddy Kelly, Pat Beirne, John Hays, and Patsy Byrne. Bought the club when it was reentering the Coca-Cola Championship and have a limited financial base for transfers. Gudmundsson (West Ham United)- Bought West Ham and leveraged part of the debt against the club. In a personal financial crisis at the moment because of the financial meltdown in his native Iceland (Prime interest rate is currently ~15%) Hicks & Gillet (Liverpool)- Each own 50% of the company through a shell company that put 100% of the £500 million ($1 billion) purchase price on the club. Despite the club spending £40 million ($80 million) on transfers this past Summer, none of it came from either's pockets. Plans for the funding of the new Anfield are on hold because neither will pony up the money personally to fund it. Shinawatra (Manchester City)- Former Prime Minister of Thailand bought the club and its debts with cash, and is funding the club in the same fashion as Abramovich, Lerner, and Gaydamak. Mike Ashley (Newcastle United)- English Sporting-chain magnate bought Newcastle and half of the club's debts for £134 million. Within 2 months of buying Ashley reportedly put the club up for sale and has balked at spending the cash necessary to bring players to the club to threaten the Top 4.
  16. I'd be remiss if I didn't further explain what I was talking about when I was doubting MLSE's ability to fund Leeds United to the point where their supporters expect. For the uninitiated, Soccer in the rest of the world (and to a small extent MLS) works on a completely different system of acquiring players than in North American sports. Players under contract are not traded, but rather bought and sold according to their perceived value. There are no restrictions on Free Agency, but players who go on "free transfers" are generally players who aren't wanted by their club, rather than potential fortune changers like they are in North America. If they were to buy Leeds United, the amount of cash spent would possibly go a bit like this: 2008-09 season: MLSE drops $10 million on players in the offseason to provide the impetus to get Leeds back into the Coca-Cola Championship 2009-10 to 2011-12 season: MLSE consolidates Leeds' position in the Coca-Cola Championship, and gets an annual team salary at about $30 million, spending about $10-15 million along the way. 2012-13 season: Leeds United rolls through the Coca-Cola Championship to win the title and earn automatic promotion. Whilst the trophy is nice, the $70 million in television money paid to the team after the next season is what the supporters at Elland Road are crowing about. Their ire grows when MLSE says that half of the $70 million will go to eliminate the debt on the club's books (including deferred payments on previous years' transfers) and buy their stadium, Elland Road, back from the creditors. 2013-14 season: Leeds' return to the Premier League, a decade after their demise, ends with the club staving off relegation on the last day of the season. Leeds supporters breathe a sigh of relief as January signing Wayne Rooney, on his last go-around before retiring, scores the winning goal. As long as they remain in the Premier League, they're guaranteed at least $70 million in income, which will offset their near $60 million in annual player wages. Leeds supporters demand better players than the old and worn out Rooney, and the cycle continues... If you're keeping score at home, MLSE would have shelled out $50 million to get players into the squad, and that's before the ~$200 million in player salaries in that six year span. This is just for a squad that would be surviving by the skin of its teeth in the Premier League, not someone challenging for the Title. For the record, player salaries are generally lower in Europe than in North America (Though in the English Premier League the average salary is about £1.1 million, or about $2.2 million), as Europe's top earner (Kaka) earns $14.2 million per year, but because the only way
  17. A bit late to say it, but Real Zaragoza's kit will look real nice in the Segunda Division...
  18. Of course. Sunderland spent over £40 million (That's about $80 million, folks.) on players this past season after being promoted to the English Premier League. They ended the season 3 points above the relegation zone.
  19. Attendance Figures National Basketball Association: 21,841,480 over 1,230 games= 17,757 average attendance National Hockey League: 21,236,255 over 1,230 games= 17,265 average attendance Major League Soccer: 3,270,210 over 195 games= 16,770 average attendance Just sayin'.
  20. Leeds United is also the only draw in town (advantage over Fulham) and Leeds has four times the population as Sunderland. And, I hate to be so presumptuous, but MLSE doesn't have near the cash to make Leeds a true moneymaker on the scale of the bigger clubs in England. As Tom Hicks and George Gillett found out, the cash needed in the US to make you a winner is just enough to tick off the supporters and demand more... which is just what Leeds supporters would do.
  21. Haha, NBC's Wundermannschaft is getting pimp-slapped. At least when the Oilers got swept by the Isles in 1983, they scored a couple of goals in the first two games... [edit] i speel gud.
  22. OK, time to handicap Euro 08... Group A Czech Republic- Apart from England, the most overrated side in Europe. And unlike England, they're old (Jan Koller? Tomas Galasek?) and injury prone (Cech is a disaster waiting to happen and Tomas Rosicky's Talc-esque legs are keeping him out of the squad). 3 and out. Portugal- Who brings 1 true forward with them (Hugo Almedia of Werder Bremen) to a tournament? A side that will be far too reliant on midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring prowess. Too bad for Portugal his big game experience consists more of mashing Englishmen's groins than actually scoring goals. They'll advance, and probably win the group despite this. Switzerland- Who's the only team to go without a loss in the World Cup and not win it? The 2006 Swiss national team, that's who. They're an extremely well-organised side with a decent punch up front (Alexander Frei's comeback from a bad injury was nice as well as Blaise N'Kufo's breakout season in Holland), which with the home support should be enough to get them through into the knockout phase. Turkey- Like Switzerland a well organised side, but apart from the Altintop twins, not a lot of depth. 3 and out. Group B Austria- Worst host side for a major competition ever (So bad Austrian supporters passed around a petition asking that the national team decline their place as to not embarrass the nation)... until 2010. 3 and out. Croatia- Eduardo da Silva's injury ripped the heart out of the team, but Slavan Bilic has a ton of young talent to pick up the slack. Through to the knockout stages. Germany- So deep and young everywhere... except in goal. Too bad for the opposition old goalkeepers tend to be assets rather than liabilities. Through without breaking a sweat. Poland- Any other tournament and any other draw they would have a chance to advance. Too bad they're stuck with Germany (again). 3 and out. Group C France- Raymond Domenech chooses rosters through a variety of factors, including their astrological sign. This and Domenech's persnickety tastes leave Juventus' scoring machine David Trezeguet out of the line up in favour for... Djbril Cisse? Thankfully they have Lyon starlet Karim Benzema who carried Lyon to the title this season. Can he do the same for France? In a word, Non, as his sign probably clashes with Thierry Henry. 3 and out. Italy- The defending world champs have their stout back four once again, a non-nonsense midfield, and unlike Germany 2006, 2 forwards that are on fire (Del Piero and Luca Toni) in Europe this season. They'll advance. Netherlands- As usual a weak back four, 2 midfielders in Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder who like to occupy the same space in midfield, and a plethora of creative forwards. Their 4-3 shocker over Austria may be a portent of things to come, but at least they have France primed to implode in their group. They'll advance. Romania- Poor Romania. A second Golden Generation. Too bad they're in the Group of Death. 3 and out. Group D Greece- The defending champs are back after rolling through qualification with ease. Considering the group and their style of stifling play, they'll win the group. Russia- They stumbled into Euro 2008 thanks to England's collapse, and despite some handy players, won't make it out. 3 and out. Spain- So much talent. So many disappointments. But thankfully for Spain, they have Fernando Torres and disgruntled David Villa looking for something to prove. They'll advance, but not as group winners. Sweden- You have Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Make that what you will. 3 and out.
  23. I guess this tops Moses Alou's method of curing his hands to improve his batting?