For those that are new to the ‘Beautiful Game’, January is a special time. Not only does it bring about a highly congested fixture list (at least in England), but also a month-long period in which clubs across Europe may buy, sell and loan players. Potential purchases can save a club from relegation to the lower divisions, or bring a club glory for years to come. But by the next the next transfer window, supporters call for many of these same players to be shipped off to far-away lands, never to be heard of again. This should be a time of great excitement for football fans.
College basketball fans at Trinity have good reason to be excited. This season, students will be able to watch a young, exciting and potentially top-tier team up close and personal at their home away from home, the XL Center in downtown Hartford. And no, I am not talking about the Uconn women, although they too are well worth the price of admission.
Last night’s Champions League Group Game between Real Madrid and Ajax ended in farce, as two Madrid players were sent off in the game’s dying embers for time-wasting, despite leading 4-0. Xabi Alonso took seemingly forever to take a free kick, pointlessly stepping up and then back from the ball. Minutes later, the Ajax crowd found out that Sergio Ramos is apparently unable to play without his socks being very specifically adjusted. Both players received their marching orders and as a result, will miss Real Madrid’s next Group Game against French side Auxerre. However, this match is essentially meaningless, as Real Madrid have already qualified for the tournament’s Knockout Stages.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has called for the creation of a task force charged with making the next World Cup “more attractive” than the last. FIFA’s primary concern is that of ‘quality’. When the most exciting moment of a tournament is when a particularly gifted octopus predicts the outcome of the final, you know it’s a pretty poor World Cup. And let there be no mistake about that.
It has now reached the point of utter absurdity. For the first time in 10 years, Derek Jeter is a free agent. Jeter, whose historic career has produced 5 championships, the most hits in Yankees history, and a .314 batting average, has become an iconic player and the face of the most successful franchise in sports.
However, after the worst offensive season of his career and whispers that his age is affecting his range in the field, contract negotiations between Jeter and the Yankees have become complicated and have turned into a war of words through the media. The Yankees, who have reportedly offered Jeter a 3-year deal worth $45 million, believe they are being more than fair for a 36-year-old on the decline, coming off his worst statistical season in which he batted .270 and had an on-base-percentage of .340.
The Tennessee Titans claimed the troubled wide receiver Randy Moss off waivers this week in a move the Titans hope will help them secure a playoff berth in a competitive AFC South division. This will be Moss’s 3rd team this season, and there’s a good reason the Titans were the only team in the NFL who wanted him following his 4 game stint with his old team, the Minnesota Vikings.
While many people believe this will be a low-risk high-reward move that will greatly benefit a 5-3 Titans team, this is a potentially disastrous move that could derail a promising season for this team. Yes, Moss is one of the most talented wide receivers in the game, and poses a huge deep threat for all opposing defenses, but at the same time he is a chemistry-killing self absorbed poison, who unless placed in the perfect environment will inevitably cause problems and draw attention to himself in a negative way. They say a leopard never changes its spots and there are numerous reasons to believe that won’t happen here.
This was the message Wayne Rooney received from balaclava-wearing ‘fans’ (if you can call them that) gathered outside his Cheshire mansion last week after it became clear that the England striker was unwilling to sign a new contract with Manchester United. Rooney cited the club’s lack of ambition as his primary reason for wanting to leave, presumably a reference to the obscene amount of debt the Glazers (the club’s American owners) have loaded onto the club. This opened up the door to negotiations with Manchester United’s mega-rich neighbors and hated rivals, Manchester City. However, in a sensational U-turn, Rooney recently agreed to a 5-year extension, which could earn him up to £200,000 a week if his play meets certain standards. Too bad for all the City fans who got tattoos of Rooney’s face and replica no. 10 shirts.