THE EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE WILL END FOOTBALL

THE EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE WILL END FOOTBALL

As I begin this I would like to say Rest In Peace to what was the glorious game after being murdered on April 18, 2021. It had a great run with some fantastic moments such as Liverpool in Athens, Aberdeen winning the European Cup, Kaka’s solo goal against Man United and the illustrious phrase “and Solskjaer has won it” in the historic treble winning Man United team in 1999. Seeing that the billionaires of the world wan to centralize all the money flowing throughout Europe.

I am very disgusted, saddened and angry when the news was announce last evening. The European Super League has 12 founding members with three other teams set to be included. The twelve founders as of April 19, 2021, are Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus, with German clubs Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig rejecting the chance to be involved.

Looking at the structure, there will be two groups of 10 teams, with the top four from each side going to a somewhat “knockout” competition for the trophy. I have news for you, we have a competition like that: it’s called the champions league. What these teams are doing is making certain teams remain in a competition for every year. This is unfair to the rest of the footballing world and upcoming teams.

Look at the teams in the competition as well! Arsenal!?! Really?!? Arsenal haven’t been good since 2017 and are currently 9th in the Premier League, only because Leeds and Aston Villa haven’t played their respective games as well. Tottenham were eliminated from the Europa League by Croatian team Zagreb and sit 7th in the league. Juventus are 5th in the Italian Serie A and are atrocious as a football team. Four of the “founding clubs” have never won the Champions League/European Super Cup, but are considered super teams because of money.

Also, the greed involved in this was obvious. Each team will get a “bonus” of between 200-300 million Euros, and receive 400 million Euros each year for competing. A league with no relegation is basically the MLB, NBA or NFL. I’m not saying that those leagues are bad, but with the concept of relegation and promotion it adds a level of excitement to the season. As Sky Sports pundit says “It’s a joke!” Former coach of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson said “It’s a load of Nonsense.”

It will end football because with the popularity and revenue that these teams bring, it would mean that sponsorship deals would decrease. Now they have stated that at least 450 million pounds to the pyramid, which is double what UEFA give to the league pyramids, but that was sustainable with TV rights and sponsorship deals. In 2009, Arsene Wenger, former coach of Arsenal stated that a super league might be formed within 10 years (2019) because of what he was hearing behind the scenes. Coincidentally, Wenger was fired a year before the supposed inauguration and it was shot down by those in high positions.

My view on this is that all those teams are scared. They are afraid of the Leicester City’s, the West Ham United’s, Everton, Real Betis, Atalanta, etc. who are generally better than at-least 7 of the teams in the new league. On the other hand, I am happy with the response from UEFA as the President Aleksander Ceferin has banned the teams from their domestic league and UEFA competitions. They have also banned players from competing for the countries on the world stage for their country.

Ed Woodward is the scum at the heart of all of this. The former investment banker and Manchester United’s Vice-Executive chairman was the one who ran the deals through all the sponsorship and the deals. He contracted JP Morgan, his former employers, to fund the competition. It is with a sad heart that I relinquish my position as fan of Manchester United. I have friends who support the club and have also relinquished their position and those who support other top clubs who have denounced the league and have supporting others. Florentino Perez, Ed Woodward, Joel Glazer and Andre Agnelli. The snakes of the world.

JOEL EMBIID OR DAMIAN LILLARDWHO SHOULD BE THE MVP?

JOEL EMBIID OR DAMIAN LILLARDWHO SHOULD BE THE MVP?

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Arguably the best Centre in the league, Joel Embiid is one of the leading contenders for the MVP of the league. In his 5th year he has never looked as aggressive, or as controlled as he is now. This is the player we all knew would be seen one day, and he has finally come to fruition. He is having a career year averaging 29.6 points per game including 36 in his last game, in only 26 MINUTES. He is shooting 52% from the field, another career high, shooting 38% from the three-point line, close to 11 rebounds per game and a steal a game.

The former 3rd round pick is dominating the league from the centre position and is second favorite odds on to win the MVP award at +450, behind only Nikola Jokic from the Denver Nuggets (-250), as per draft kings. The 7 foot tall Cameroonian has the Philadelphia 76ers in pole position in the Eastern Conference at 37-17, half a game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets who have won a game less. Being one of the best players in the league, if he can keep up the career season he is having and fighting the injuries that plague him so, the MVP award might be easily nailed on.

Others in the race behind are last seasons MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (+1200), and even Damian Lillard (+1600). In my opinion, Lillard should be at the top of the discussions for the prestigious award. He is averaging just under 29 points per game in the fifty-one games he’s played this season. Rookie of the Year in 2012 for the number 6 overall pick in that years draft, the 30 year old is very important to the Portland Trail Blazers since he has been drafted including that clutch last second 30 footer against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2019 playoffs.

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He has been effectively the leader and the go-to guy for the Trail Blazers in his 8 years in the league, and has been overlooked and under appreciated by the league and its analysts. The 6 foot 2 inch point guard might not have the most audacious statistics to his name, but with the “clutch gene” he has led this team through thick and thin, even during a period when there were only 11 fit players.

For me Lillard and Embiid are two of the best and most consistent players in the league, with all types of skills in their locker. “Jojo” is marginally a better player because of his defensive stature compared to the NBA star/rapper Lillard. With all things in consideration, I do think those two players should be within the top 5, or even 3 at the end of the season: Lets see.

Take me out to the ball game cause it’s OPENING DAY!

Take me out to the ball game cause it’s OPENING DAY!

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As we all brace ourselves for the commencement of a new baseball season, we will be hoping it goes better than last season, which was interrupted in its short time by COVID-19. Last season didn’t have the 162 games to accommodate the health and safety protocols, so we’re all hoping for a better time this year round.

With an ever-present financial constraint brought on by the pandemic, it shows in how the way people are being paid in terms of years. Gerrit Cole will earn a MLB pitcher record $324 million over a staggering NINE years being signed by the New York Yankees. Francisco Lindor signed a deal with the New York Mets on Wednesday lasting TEN years and will earn $341 million. The organizations are spreading the money out to accommodate for the financial difficulties they have to work through.

Those are just some of the monumental long term deals that have been made in Major League Baseball during the global pandemic. So, who are the favorites? Vegas has the defending champions Los Angeles Dodgers as favorites at 7/2 odds onto win the 2021 World Series. Second best odds are the New York Yankees at 11/2, with the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres at 9/1 odds on. As a Yankees fan myself I would take that bet and just mark the calendar for the day of the World Series. The new season begins today April 1, 2021at 1:00 pm est so lets get ready to PLAY BALL!

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LIONEL MESSI vs. CRISTIANO RONALDO – WILL ANY RECEIVE THE HIGHEST HONOUR?

LIONEL MESSI vs. CRISTIANO RONALDO – WILL ANY RECEIVE THE HIGHEST HONOUR?

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Seeing as both greats of the sport, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are nearing the end of their respective, lucrative careers, both players have yet to lead their team to the highest honor in football, the World Cup.

Both players who have a combined score of 20 goals at the prestigious competition since 2006 have no better than a runner-up place by Lionel Messi at the 2014 World Cup where they lost to Germany in extra time. Cristiano Ronaldo’s best placing at a world cup was 4th in his first World Cup in 2006, losing in the semi-finals to eventual winners Italy.

At the latest World Cup in 2018, ‘CR7’ started the competition by storm scoring the first four goals of Portugal’s six at the competition which catapulted them into the round of 16, including a hat-trick against Spain: the first against the country in a competitive fixture in their history. Messi on the other hand started off struggling with a 1-1 draw with Iceland and missing a decisive penalty in the game. Things got worst when Argentina was humiliated 3-0 by runners-up Croatia, but they found salvation through their ‘Messiah’ as he scored in a crucial win over Nigeria to send them to the round of 16 where they also got eliminated versus winners France.

Even though both players haven’t won the biggest international trophy, they have other accolades to boast about. Cristiano has won the UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship in 2016, while Leo only has an Olympic gold medal which he won in 2008. They might not be prestigious as the World Cup, but they are trophies that people look at as major achievements.

But the burning question shall remain, will any of the two greatest players of the generation lift the elusive trophy seeing they’re approaching the end of their playing career? In 2022, it might be the last time we see either 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo or 33-year-old Leo Messi perform for their countries. Your bet is as good as mine.

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LONG LIVE THE LEGEND OF ELGIN BAYLOR

LONG LIVE THE LEGEND OF ELGIN BAYLOR

LA Lakers Legend Elgin Gay Baylor

Elgin Baylor was born in Washington D.C, on September 16, 1934 to parent Uzziel Lewis and John Wesley Baylor. He was following his older brothers Kermit and Sal who were both players. Since being in the D.C area at that time, African-American players were banned from using facilities so playing in that area wasn’t ideal for an upcoming NBA player. He then played his in high school for Phelps Vocational High School where he set a record 44 points against Cordoza High School. Even though he was a special and talented player, his academics faltered and eventually dropped out of school before the 1952-53 season when he then went to work in a furniture store and played recreational in the local leagues. Baylor received a scholarship to attend the College of Idaho to play basketball and football. A year after he averaged 31.3 points for the season, the school dismissed scholarships and fired their head coach, meaning Baylor couldn’t attend the school anymore. He was then recruited to Seattle University, but he had to sit out a year to register for his eligibility to play. He was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers 14th overall in 1956, which he turned down to finish schooling.

The Minneapolis Lakers kept an eye on him as a player as they then drafted him as the number one overall pick in 1958, which he accepted. As a rookie, Baylor finished second in scoring, averaging 24.9 points and 15 rebounds a game, and won rookie of the year. He scored 55 points in a game, which at the time was the 3rd highest score in NBA history. Elgin then took the previously 19-53 Lakers, to the NBA Finals in his first season, which they lost to the great Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics, which sparked the famous rivalry. Two seasons later he scored 71 points against the New York Knicks which was an NBA record. Throughout his 14 year career, the 11-time All Star scored over 23,000 points, 11,000 rebounds and under 4,000 assists. The 86 year old died on March 22,2021 and is remembered by his wife Elaine, and children Alan and Alison.

REST IN PEACE TO A LAKERS GREAT