I'm attempting to remain upbeat by not thinking about our shitty hockey team and shitty local hockey media and how Mike Harrington needs a punch in the gunt and how Jesus Christ what if everything except Lindy was the problem and we're rebuilding with the wrong blueprint and this is all going to turn into a quintessential #becauseitsbuffalo fuckup that my son will have to live with through a lifetime of sport sadness steadily replicating the life I've led to date and the feeling of emptiness in my heart left by a missed field goal and foot in the crease and it'll just be passed on to a kid who doesn't know better and will surely love these teams too because he inexplicably thinks his dad is the tits and makes infallible decisions?
I just can't. Fuck. Dammit. Balls in the mouth.
So instead, I'm revisiting the bloggasuperfranchise that is my Intermittent Footy Roundup. See! It's been a long time! INTERMITTENT!!!! Ha. Words.
I don't care that my squad is regularly garbage pants or that they've been bounced out of every tournament they've been in this season or that they might very well finish below their last season finish. There is a palpable and probably unjustified sense when I watch them that, even if they ultimately disappoint, they are on the upswing and, in the meantime, will be giving us a lot to be joyful about. Like, for instance, when they got eliminated from the Europa League by Zenit St. Petersburg last Thursday, this still happened.
Oh, and it was his second goal of the game, this being the first:
As for the Premiership, well, LFC sits in 8th with 11 games to go and 9 points to make up for a shot at 4th. It's absurd to even think about that, but when Pool trounces Swansea like they did a week ago, anything seems possible. (Pro tip: it isn't)
1. Liverpool only plays three matches against top 10 squads during their last 11 games, with fixtures against:
- Fulham (11th place, LFC beat them 4-0 at home)
- West Ham (13th place, LFC beat them 3-2 away)
- Newcastle (14th place, LFC drew 1-1 at home)
- Southampton (16th place, LFC beat them 1-0 at home)
- Wigan (17th place, LFC beat them 3-0 at home)
- Aston Villa (18th place, LFC lost 3-1 to them at home but then Villa really started to blow so my point remains untarnished), Reading (19th place, LFC beat them 1-0 at home)
- QPR (20th place, LFC beat them 3-0 AWAY at a game I should have been at but for the rescheduling that had them playing while I flew out of Heathrow FML)
2. The matches against top 10 squads are all at Anfield where the Reds will face an Everton side they should have beaten away but for an erroneous offside call as Suarez put in the winner, a Chelsea side sort of reeling under new management and who LFC drew with at Stamford Bridge this season, and a Tottenham side that should, by all accounts, smoke the Reds heartily, but since they're followed by so many Buffalo sports fans I know will instead perish of typhoid on the trip to Anfield.
I really have no other reason to hope other than the simple mathematical possibility of it. Beat those top 10 sides at home, each of which is currently ahead of LFC in the standings (CFC by 10, THFC by 9 and EFC by 3), and suddenly the Mighty Reds start creeping up the table and salvage an otherwise disappointing campaign.
Just so we're clear, though, NONE of this will happen. Especially now that I've publicly talked about it.
On those bleak days when my squads are shit, which is always, Champions League football provides me the solace of watching the best clubs in the world (YES, the world, eat shit CONCACAF) play The Beautiful Game. While the Reds remain out of that tournament until further notice read: never, it's a cup tournament that I get to watch with little to no rooting interest except when Manchester United is playing and I can pray for the entire team to fall into a pit with alligators and scorpions and no cell phone reception.
After the first leg of all the Round of 16 fixtures, the surprises are found with the success of a few away teams as Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain (Yachtsman's Ligue 1 team and new home of David Beckham and his sexy pants) and Bayern Munich all won away from home. With away goals counting as the tie breaker on aggregate, this is especially good news for these teams as they look to advance. Most surprising of these results has to be Celtic's 0-3 home loss to La Vecchia Signora, though the Scottish Premier League is crumbling at the seams these days so who knows. As for the most satisfying of these, it has to be Arsenal's home loss to last year's runners-up, Bayern Munich. Good Christ I hate Arsenal and everything happening with them lately gets me wet. They're likely to be eliminated after Bayern takes care of them in Germany, and at the moment the Gunners are sitting in a paltry 5th place in the EPL table. Arsenal is a club built to compete in the Premier League only insomuch as they want to lock down Champions League play but never actually win titles. In fact, they've qualified every year since 2005 which makes the current state-of-things particularly delightful. They're a team that prides itself on consistency in the midst not over-spending, and now that frugality might just be haunting them. Finally.
In addition to looking forward to Arsenal's demise, the fixtures to look for in the second leg are without a doubt Manchester United hosting Real Madrid, and Barcelona hosting AC Milan. As for the former, United secured a draw at Santiago Bernabeau and thus have the benefit of an away goal tiebreaker. The first leg was scant on action as I watched on DVR with my infant son on my lap, but you have to think Real will be looking for at least two so that they can take the away goal advantage and since they're basically a one man show, you have to think Christiano Ronaldo will score a couple.
/cries to sleep with aging memories of European glory
I'm not really ready for this. Last time I watched Major League Soccer live, which I intend to do on March 16th, the Red Bulls crumbled against a pedophile-led DC United. After going out to Red Bull Arena the night before only to have the game snowed out, the experience of returning to RBA and watching Nick DeLeon win it in the 88th minute left me numb in every way imaginable. Don't worry, I drank a lot afterwards so I could avoid feeling feelings for as long as possible.
Seriously, though, I just re-read the recap of that game and holy shit I wish I hadn't. Ugh.
But it's a new season! With a new RBNY manager and a new sense of how-long-will-it-take-to-piss-on-my-dreams-and-probably-face-too!!!
I'm sure I'll have actual, well-formed opinions about RBNY when they actually start playing real games, though for the moment I am less than heartened by their pre-season results. Competing in the "Desert Diamond Cup" which sounds exceedingly lame, they lost two and drew one, including two losses to New England which doesn't bother me at all I love New England so much everything about that region is great please where is Tom Brady I want to poop on his face.
Also, it looks like the MLS to Queens project is in full swing with a strong hope for success. As a Queens resident, I can attest to the support that the idea is getting locally, with supporting posters up in various businesses in my neighborhood. There is still a lot to be done, however, including finding an appropriate site and getting the City fully on board (a task which may be exacerbated if Bloomberg leaves office before the wheels are truly set in motion). From what I'm reading, the 2016 season is the target, which is great since I'll likely be living in the New Jersey suburbs by that point thus guaranteeing that I won't be forced to switch allegiances based on geography. Bullet dodged.
That's it for now. I'll try to be back with these more often unless the Sabres actually start to be good but don't hold you're fucking breath. We started a blog about teams that make us puke, so you'll be seeing lots of our alternative content - baseball, NASCAR, footy - in the coming weeks. One of these days, we'll actually start the soccer podcast we've been scheming about - maybe March 16th for the RBNY opener - but for now you get my long-winded, over-written prose also known as how I kill a slow Monday afternoon at the office.