Category Archives: Sports

Real deal: Kaka's off to Madrid

Fourfourtwo.com called it “letting a screamingly obvious cat out of a transparent bag”, but the Brazilian superstar is moving from Milan to Spain for about €68m, far under the €100m Man City supposedly bid during the season just past and just falling short of the world record €73m Madrid paid for Zinedine Zidane in the halcyon galactico days. The word going around is that he could be joined by Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Ribery, which would be enough to terrify most defences into submission as soon as they saw the team sheet.

Another wrestler dead

Andrew “Test” Martin has passed away at age 33. I haven’t followed the industry for a few years but it’s still always sad when a worker dies — and it’s happened far too many times. The cause of death is as yet unknown. WWE veteran Jim Ross has a long blog piece remembering Test here.

I'm tired…

…busy, ill, worn out and my computer (y’know, the one with Vista that I keep bitching about) is screwed. Firefox had slowed to a crawl, this blog can’t be updated in Safari and, oddly enough, IE is the star performer in the browser stakes. But I digress. It is, however, approaching the 13th anniversary of John Bosman’s glorious court victory that changed soccer forever. But what if he hadn’t won?

No Beckham bounce

David Beckham may cost Major League Soccer $50m a season for his five-year contract (and that’s $100m gone already), but his impact on the league’s success has been marginal at best.

MLS officials at the time envisioned more TV viewers, as well as higher attendance and franchise values.

Their optimism was based on landing a player many called the biggest star to play the game in the United States since Brazil’s Pele signed in 1975 to play in the MLS’s predecessor league.

Early returns for the MLS have been mixed as stagnant TV ratings and a lack of profits contrast with higher attendance and franchise values.

TV ratings ticked up to 0.3 [that's 0.3% of Americans watching television, my edit] from 0.2 in Beckham’s first year before slipping back to 0.2 in the just completed season, all on Walt Disney Co’sABC, and ESPN networks, according to the Nielsen Co.

Those are a far cry from the 0.9 rating garnered in the league’s first season in 1996.

For the record, I don’t begrudge the man his $250m contract. Well maybe I do a small bit, but more from envy than resentment. If somebody waved that much money in my direction I wouldn’t say no right off the bat. However, I still don’t see it paying off as a proper investment, even if it is only part of MSL’s marketing push. It’s also unfair to put the responsibility of raising the league’s profile on one man’s shoulders.

John Aldridge = legend

John Nicholson loves Aldo and you should too. He was, after all, one of the top strikers of the 1980s, if not all time.

No one thinks of Aldo. He’s been forgotten somehow. But he was THE man when it came to sticking it in the net in the 80s and 90s and he did it at all levels from his days at South Liverpool right up to World Cups. He was even a big success in Spain, the first non-Basque players to play for the Real Sociedad. He was the very definition of a goal machine. If you wanted a finisher to rely on you got Aldo in. He never had a bad season. Not one.

Even in his 30s he could still pull this off:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXjuc9NpO1w[/youtube]

I remember seeing this on television. One of his more memorable moments revisited:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSJVL74OlQk[/youtube]