ESPN hosts blogs for each of the English Premier League teams. I’ve been following the ones for Swansea and Cardiff most of this past season. Yesterday all twenty sites posted final grades for the teams. B-plus and F, respectively: no surprise there. I think I will be following the Premier League even more closely next season. This year, it was just getting to the point of knowing who the twenty were. And where they were.
I remember being curious that nobody was identified with London. There have to be teams in the largest city in Britain, right? Of course there are. It’s even worse than New York’s two or three teams per major league sport. London had six of twenty.
I’m still fascinated by Liverpool having two teams in two large stadiums less than a mile apart. And only separated by a big park. I saw that on Google Earth. Amazing.
With Fulham going down, London might get QPR back in the league to top themselves off at 6. But I’ll be rooting for Burnley. They seem an appropriately underdog side. And like Cardiff, they seem to have plenty of soap opera off the field. It will feel like 2013-14, if this keeps up.
On the other side of the Atlantic, I noticed the BBC report on Brazilian protests. Brazil hosted the World Cup one other time, 1950. It’s a different world now. Sport is big-time money. And we can’t have the top players on the top teams competing in old, moldy stadiums. Can we?
And yet, if the hosting of the Cup were determined for the countries with the best venues, it would never get to Latin America or Africa. And yet, unlike the Olympics, Latin America has hosted a lot of world competitions in football: six of the first thirteen World Cups. But none since 1986.
What’s Brazil’s bottom line? $15B spent. Eight lives lost. Corruption, poverty, unrest, discouragement–is that what good sport needs? I don’t have the answer. I don’t suppose it’s possible to split up the hosting duties between more than two nations.
Meanwhile, after my June sabbatical, the young miss and I had better get serious about our return to Sporting Park for an MLS match. I love going to that venue. Love it.