Monday, May 14, 2012

WILD FINAL DAY IN THE PREMIERSHIP

So on Sunday morning I tuned in to the Manchester City- Queen's Park Rangers game on television here in frozen Canada to see what the finish of the Premier League season would be in England.

I deliberately tuned in late (read: slept in) and was cursing at the television when I turned the game on in the second half, with the score already 2-1 for QPR. Meanwhile, Man United was winning their game. I had been pulling for City to win and end 44 years of being the "LA Clippers" of the Premier League, and here they were throwing it all in the garbage.

I also was turning in to the radio feed from TalkSport in London, following all the action from all over England. Honestly, I thought City was done for by the time stoppage time rolled around. The fans all thought they were done for; they were all crying and throwing things in disgust.

And then in stoppage time they get a goal from Edin Zdeko to tie it, and then a couple of minutes later Sergio Aguero scores to put Man City up 3-2 -- and they won the title!!

Meanwhile the guys on the radio are screaming at the top of their lungs and saying "Oh my God" and things like that over this turn of events. This really was the greatest finish to a season ever. 

It was exciting stuff and a great way to end the Premier League season. It's too bad I didn't follow the season as much as I could have, but that's what happens when you live in Canada and have to put up with hockey highlights every night. Here in frozen Canada, soccer just isn't a high priority like it is in England.

Over there, soccer is major-league stuff, the kind of thing that puts all our North American leagues to shame, including even the NFL. The whole world really is watching.

The soccer broadcasters were all going on and on about how exciting a finish it was and how soccer was unrivalled for drama compared to all the other sports, and how this was why people follow the game. Well, I dunno about that-- the end of the major league baseball season last year was pretty dramatic, and there's lots of drama in American football every week and during the postseason.

As for hockey and basketball, though, I'll agree, they don't match the other sports for drama because of their lame-o, everyone-gets-in-the-playoffs regular seasons.

They could take a few lessons from the soccer people who at least have compelling regular seasons.

Anyway. it may be the end of the Premier League season, but the dramatic finish has me all revved up to watch more "football," as they say. Soccer season never really stops. There's the Champions League finale between Chelsea and Bayern Munich this Saturday. Also this weekend, there's the Mexican league final between Santos Laguna and Monterrey. (Yes, I actually care about Mexican football.) In a few weeks is the Euro 2012 tournament. And of course, all summer long we have MLS featuring our own local teams in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

At this point I should point out that Toronto FC should consider themselves very lucky to be playing in MLS instead of a real league with relegation and promotion. If MLS were the Premier League Toronto FC would be heading straight for relegation. They lost eight in a row to start the season, and the fans are fed up..

Really, MLS ought to consider kicking the team out of the league at the end of the season, they are that big an embarrassment.

May I also point out that Toronto FC are owned by the same jokers who are running your Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors into the ground. I didn't think it was possible for there to be a bigger train wreck in Toronto sports than the Maple Leafs, but FC have managed.

Here's a suggestion I have. The FC owners ought to sell the team to the owners of Manchester City. Then the new owners would simply take the Man City formula of throwing money at the team and spending on players, and then Toronto FC would start winning again. Hey, it's a thought.     

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