Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Other Football

And yes, I mean Futbol. I don't post about sports much because there are so many good places to read about sports (like Sportsfilter) and there are other things that interest me. Sportswise, I'm mostly interested in soccer and baseball , but I do pay attention to other sports--I just don't get as worked up about them as I do about baseball and soccer. Of course, most sports are always a good excuse to hang out with friends and have a few cold beers.

As for baseball, my favorite team, the Red Sox, are perilously close to media over-exposure right now. Even I'm getting tired of Johnny Damon and his beard. And the Braves? Well I think everyone who doesn't follow them is probably sick to death of them: for example incoming college freshman can't remember when they weren't in the playoffs. I mean, think of that.

So, soccer it is. Arsenal in particular. Like most Americans of my age, I sort of chanced upon soccer in general. It first entered my consciousness during the run up to the '94 World Cup, and I enjoyed that greatly. But it was a slow process. By the time I was ready to begin following it, I was lucky enough to attend a match at Highbury, and just like that, I was an Arsenal fan. I had never been to any sporting event where the passion ran that high. Not even college football, and I've heard Rocky Top in Knoxville. Of course, beating Chelsea that day didn't hurt, even though I had no idea what that meant at the time.

So with that background behind me. I'm now a fixture at the Brewhouse Cafe on many weekends. And now that the season is in full swing, it's time for me to pontificate. So far, Arsenal have looked to be slowly finding their form. They won their opener against Newcastle in a rather boring display for most of the match (aside from Robin Van Persie's fantastic goal in the last 15 minutes), and outplayed defending champions Chelsea in a 1-0 loss (the goal was offside I tell you [Ed. Note: Sure, they always are aren't they]. They found their form yesterday though, thumping Fulham 4-1.

Today, the Champion's League draw was announced. My first thought, having Liverpool and Chelsea in the same group will suck for their supporters, but make for some entertaining football for me. (I will be pulling for the Reds, Damon, don't worry.) In fact, I think this group is probably the hardest of the bunch because of Liverpool's presence here (defending champion and all) instead of whichever Romanian or Welsh team they beat to qualify. Both English teams should still move on though.

Arsenal's group consists of Ajax, Sparta Prague, and FC Thun (from Switzerland). I reckon that Arsenal and Ajax should easily advance, as it is one of the easier groups.

UPDATE: Edited slightly for clarity and to provide some link love to Sportsfilter.

UPDATE Deux: As usual, Arseblog has some thoughtful insight to add.

NP: "If I Love You?" - The Brian Jonestown Massacre

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