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eehh
07-22-2006, 05:54 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060719

ZeUs!!
07-22-2006, 09:39 AM
Awful article about the Premiership. Your football team should be about who your Dad supports, who you go to see on a Saturday afternoon, and who you're prepared to support when they inveitably slide down five divisions, not who you've just googled

NaiLed
07-22-2006, 10:13 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/p/plymouth_argyle/5205344.stm

Sleepy Weasel
07-22-2006, 11:29 AM
Of course if you live in America you can't just support the local team, or whoever your family supports. I read every Simmons article, I like his stuff. I'm glad he's going to try to give soccer a chance, it might help more americans get interested in it. I know I've gotten more into basketball simply because he writes about it so much.

ZeUs!!
07-22-2006, 02:07 PM
But even so this guy has taken everything appealing about football and - for want of a better expression - Americanised it into a clone of a heavily commericalised American sport. Not that I'm slating American sports, but football is not an American sport in essence and so juding it on American merits is ignoring everything thats appealing about football. For example he calls the Premiership the EPL, this is the first and hopefully last time I'll ever see this acronym. Why do you need an aconrym anyway, its a two word name; The Premiership? The author recognises this, as he says in the second paragraph


You know how Red makes the comment that, after a life spent in Shawshank, he can't even squeeze a drop of pee without asking for permission first? I feel like that's happening to us. American sports have been ravaged by TV timeouts, ticket price hikes and Jumbotrons that pretty much order fans how to act. Just look at what happened in the NBA playoffs. Miami fans were urged to wear all white like a bunch of outpatients from a psych ward; the Detroit announcer screamed, "Let's give it up!" and "Lemme HEAR YOU!" as the crowd responded like a bunch of trained seals; Clippers fans weren't able to stand and cheer after an outrageous Shaun Livingston dunk in the Denver series because disco music was blaring at deafening levels. And it's not just basketball. During Angels games in baseball, the crowd waits to make noise until a monkey appears on the scoreboard. You can't attend an NHL game without hearing the opening to "Welcome to the Jungle" 90 times. Even our NFL games have slipped -- you cheer when the players run out, cheer on third downs, cheer on scores and sit the rest of the time. It's a crying shame.

... However from reading the rest of the article he may or may not realise just how much he has been affected by it, in that he can't strip away the commericalism of the sport and just look at it for what it is, 22 men kicking a ball about, and decide whether or not that entertains you. On the first page he already committed one of the cardinal sins surrounding football which we term 'gloryhunting', a term that seems to have bene exported to the rest of Europe, when he says "Goal No. 6: Pick a team that's successful enough to crack Channel 613 from time to time and will avoid the ignominy of getting kicked out of the EPL. And by the way, that can happen. At the end of every season, the bottom three teams are relegated to the second division, with the top three teams from the second division getting called up. (Imagine if baseball did this?) You don't want to be stuck with a team that gets relegated. So that factored in more than anything else. There are 20 EPL teams in all. I ruled out nine immediately because of relegation dangers and other factors (in no particular order):". Football, and any sport, is as much about the highs as it is the lows. The fact that there's so many fixtures you have to follow per season compared to Formula One racing or tennis or basketball means that winning everything can get a little dull. Teams that yo-yo in and out of the Premiership have more committed fans because they care, nothing's taken for granted. However in the case of this author, he has special circumstances as his team won't be shown on American tv anymore, but its still not a good point to base an article on.

Towards the bottom of the first page he reels of the names of nine less glamerous Premiership clubs, and evaluates them on factors such as how 'decent' their 'uniforms' are. I agree the article is flippant and tongue-in-cheek, but that isn't an excuse for it being shit. He even got his facts wrong about Man Yoo; "Financially, they blow almost everyone out of the water and purchase as many up-and-coming young stars as possible; they're almost like a European All-Star team." If they're so fucking good then how com'es they're so wank?

As if to cement the subtle hints of patronism in the article, near the top of the second page he states "(Important note: Instead of "captain" and "coach," they use the words "skipper" and "manager" in the EPL.)" Aside from my obvious problem with the s******ing and fun-poking nature of this comment, football doesn't use the word captain then why do all captain's armbands say 'captain'?

His complete failure to even recognise any aspects of English culture and assess the sport on American terms when it actively tries to distance itself from American sports, thus resulting in a negative and almost "aw look at that quaint sport we should adopt as a novelty" is highlighted when assessing Manchester City. Simmons states: "• Sponsors: A travel company called Thomas Cook. It's a bad sign when you have a sponsor that nobody knows, right?" If they weren't on every fucking high street in the country then he might have a point. This is compunded by the fact he continually jokes that Newcastle United are named after a beer, and that its hilarious a team would name themselves after a beer and you're bound to make loads of friends by ordering a beer that shares its name with the football team for the sheer comedy value. If my nan had a cardiac arrest on the carpet in front of me right now I would laugh harder. He then reiterates his inside joke and continues poking fun at Newcastle later in the article:


(Bonus reason to pick them: Did I mention they're named after a beer? As one reader points out, "There is no better way to announce your team allegiance during a match when you first walk into a bar; the bartender asks what are you having and you can proudly announce 'Newcastle.' Often gets a beer raise and nod of the head from the other Newcastle fans watching the match." Sounds like fun.

What a dickhead.

Simmons then does what he's been doing all article - taking American principles and applying them to a compeltely un-American sport - but instead reverses it and splits his metaphorical sides when he says "(Bonus reason to pick [Liverpool]: They have the best song: "You'll Never Walk Alone," which sounds eerie when they're belting it out before games and absolutely electric after big victories. It's so good, Pink Floyd even found a way to work it into a song ("Fearless"). I've said it before, I'll say it again: We need to figure out a way to come up with team songs for American sports. How much better would Knicks games be if the fans sang Tom Petty's "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" after every game?)" No, it would sound ridiculous because American sports aren't a working class sport, and none of the stigmatisms that come attached to the English working class such as jingoism and the nationalism/patriotism and local pride it spawned has been demonstrated through drunken songs. It would look completely out of place if some guy with a hat and two cans of budweisers strapped to either side of it, connected to his mouth via a straw suddenly jumped up and belted out You'll Never Walk Alone. But the author already knew that, he was patting the quaint little sport on the head whilst chuckling to himself as he typed out his amazing metaphor.

The icing on the cake was when after all his research he finally picked the team that impressed him most, and referred to them by the wrong name. Tottenham Hotspur have never been called The Spurs, they're just Spurs. Having outlined their only nickname in the first part of his assessment of the club, he then called them "the Hotspurs" later in the article, rounding off by referring to them once more as "the Spurs". Well done.

This article is aimed at the American complete football novice, and if that was me reading about this new sport for the first time I would get completely the wrong picture about whats actually involved. I'm lucky in that I've got the prespective of an existing fan, as opposed to a potential convert, so I can see all thats wrong with the article

genocidal
07-22-2006, 02:38 PM
And the fact that Newcastle is one of the shittiest beers in England so you'll probably be sitting by yourself after shouting it out in a pub.

ZeUs!!
07-22-2006, 02:41 PM
Its Newcastle Brown Ale, not Newcastle, thats a place

genocidal
07-22-2006, 03:53 PM
I knew both of those things but in America we just call it Newcastle most of the time. Sort of like we call it Bud instead of Budweiser.

H I M
07-22-2006, 04:36 PM
"(Bonus reason to pick [Liverpool]: They have the best song: "You'll Never Walk Alone," which sounds eerie when they're belting it out before games and absolutely electric after big victories.

Celtic do it better :P

Also, I've seen the EPL used alot up here since we have the SPL. To alot of people outside England The Premiership is just a TV name, just like Spain's La Liga.

Galleleo
07-22-2006, 07:51 PM
Isn't it called Managers in England because generally they do more within the club then just coach the team?

Sleepy Weasel
07-22-2006, 11:07 PM
If you read the next article he wrote he corrects himself on the EPL and Spurs thing along with some other things.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060721

Zeus you're normally a pretty intelligent guy, but I don't think it's possible for someone to have misread that article more than you did. I'm not sure I even have the time to explain it all to you.

Mantra-Slider
07-23-2006, 04:13 PM
please do tho sleepy cos I find this every interesting.
nice effort in that post mike, and for once eehh made something good with starting this topic.

eehh
07-23-2006, 05:07 PM
Awful article about the Premiership. Your football team should be about who your Dad supports, who you go to see on a Saturday afternoon, and who you're prepared to support when they inveitably slide down five divisions, not who you've just googled its good to see you understood the humour in the article..

genocidal
07-23-2006, 05:29 PM
I have a problem with his misrepresentation of American sports. Sure it's all commercialized to hell but the spark isn't gone from every sport. Most NFL games get pretty involved by the fans and he glosses over that by saying that fans only cheer "on third down and when their team comes out to play". Has he ever been to an NFL game? Cheers come all the time before players, when teams go on good runs, kicks, etc.

And need I say anything past NCAA football? The intensity is there for every Division 1 football team - especially from the students. I haven't been but to two different college teams' football games but I've been to almost all of the Gator football games in the past 2 years and will continue next year. Fans are completely crazy at almost any college football game and that's what makes it so much of an experience; the home field advantage is a huge thing and the student sections at all games are noisy and rowdy as hell.

And then there's college basketball. I mean what the fuck, maybe he wanted to just focus on professional sports for whatever reason but not making clear as to why he did and not even referring to the passion involved in those is stunning. Everyone knows soccer fans go wild in Europe but it's not just isolated to them - it's crazy in virtually all of Latin America and many parts of Africa. Not to mention the insane American fans for various other sports. I'm sure it's great for him that he's getting into a sport that he can't personally support based on the criteria that Zeus gave for supporting a team (parents, tradition, etc.) but I'm not sure why he needs to knock American sports as "subdued" just to make his point about how passionate soccer is.

NaiLed
07-24-2006, 12:22 PM
let's just agree the guy who wrote it is a knobhead

404 Not Found
07-24-2006, 02:00 PM
1st of all....Bill Simmons is one of the worst sports writers I have had the displeasure of reading. ESPN has moved his sorry ass around for quite some time and has now dumped him as a low life writer for the ESPN magazine. This guy couldn’t even be successful as a TV anchor for ESPN2 for re-caps of tennis and golf at 3AM in the morning!

In noting that he has a book out called "Now I Can Die In Peace", it is obvious to me that he is trying to stir controversy to get attention for sales. Perhaps he is trying to outsell T.O. and his B.S. book of crap?

I was amazed to see his hatred towards the Yankee's in this article noting that they purchase their way to championships...hmm I guess he was to busy giving oral to Ted Turner and the Braves for almost a decade? Hmmm...Are the Yankee's in 1st this year? NO! Did they win the World Series last year? NO! Dumbass example of Simmons lack of being current in sports; bad enough he mentions watching old Celtics games and calls it Birds Era. Sorry, but the ERA should be the Lakers and Jabar and Magic...not Bird! I was a Sixers fan and watching the games at this time. What Simmons fails to mention is that his excitement came from a closet that was ancient sports structure known as the old Boston Garden. This venue is not even standing anymore. I could say that the Sixers games would be better too if we look back at the Dr. J era at the old Philly Spectrum or any old venue that is no longer big enough to handle the crowds that want to see games of their home teams...but most of the old teams do not play in their original venues anymore. What's sad is that I do not think Simmons has ever been to any NCAA basketball games or even an NFL game with the dumb ass comments he has made. 3rd down is when people cheer? What crap...come to Philly Simmons you asswipe! Eagles and most NFL teams have fight songs, as do all college teams...I have no clue as to what the hell this guy is on? Should I think of how NFL football was here in Philly when the Birds played in Franklin Field and could seat 20,000 instead of 100,000 like today? Well obviously the intimacy has changed...duh.

The comment he makes: we’d rather hear artificially created noise than genuine noise. Again this poor excuse for a sports writer who is out of touch. I personally think that due to him sitting in either an Air Conditioned or Heated press box for games, of which sound is pumped in via. The TV monitors in the box, is what this guy is too accustomed to! Perhaps he should sit with the fans in the stadiums seats and deal with the weather and screams that are non stop in NFL games and college hoops and football! I also must note that this guy has never been to a local sports teams Pub scene during NFL games, as these places are in my opinion, just as fanatical towards the home team as any fanatical sports enthusiasts that make the fan base of a city or town, even the Football and Rugby games I have attended in the U.K.

Bill Simmons is just a piece of crap that is at the bottom of the ESPN barrel of crap that never surfaced trying to make a sale on a crap book that will end up in the 40% off budget bin as you walk into a Barnes & Noble.

He at least makes one good comment: I haven't liked soccer since the New England Tea Men were thriving back in the mid-'70s. They thrived to lose! They sucked! That was because the Philadelphia Atoms & Cosmo's as well as most teams in the old league kicked the asses of the Tea Bags, as we called them, every match. Yes, football or Soccer at that time was actually really big in the States with Pele' and the NY Cosmos playing a part of the draw.

I was surprised that nothing was mentioned about the idiot fans that are band wagon fans that support the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Braves, as they had the slogan attached to them as America's teams. And yet he goes off on the Yankee's...uhg....again I repeat that Bill Simmons is one of the worst sports writers I have had the displeasure of reading.

ZeUs!!
07-24-2006, 02:25 PM
If you read the next article he wrote he corrects himself on the EPL and Spurs thing along with some other things.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060721

Zeus you're normally a pretty intelligent guy, but I don't think it's possible for someone to have misread that article more than you did. I'm not sure I even have the time to explain it all to you.Whilst the specific wording of the article doesn't criticise English football directly, his search for cheap laughs meant he created an air of piss-taking and joking at the expense of certain aspects of the game, and any respect for the sport was buried deep under a misplaced sense of American literary machoism

genocidal
07-24-2006, 02:29 PM
We can't all be English "cup o' tea" panies, Zeus.

But in all seriousness, I agree with Zeus and 404.

Facetious
08-06-2006, 03:42 AM
i skimmed it, and i liked it. then again, i think soccer is boring as all hell, so maybe my opinion is invalid.

basically, instead of slamming him for not respecting your sport enough, id give him credit for being an american sports writer and writing about your sport, which practically no americans give a flying fuck about.

404, he does mention bandwagon cowboy fans, and he is a red sox fan, so of course he hates the yankees. thats like his thing. i dont think his comments on crowd noise are that far off, either. i havent been to a baseball game where anything that happened in the game elicited bigger cheers than the crowd noise meter.

scumbag
08-06-2006, 07:07 AM
We can't all be English "cup o' tea" panies, Zeus.

doesnt stereotyping rock!

ZeUs!!
08-06-2006, 07:10 AM
This thread is going in the wrong direction

unrealistic
08-14-2006, 05:32 AM
I agree with him on one thing, being a Spurs fan is not easy.

ZeUs!!
08-14-2006, 03:00 PM
I agree with him on one thing, being a Spurs fan is not easy.http://ipswichtown.rivals.net/default.asp?sid=911&p=2&stid=8419246