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Whodya cheer for? Picking a footie team...

I'm guessing I'm not going to get to see too much hockey over there

sunny 16 °C

The NHL finals are set, and games start up tomorrow. The Pittsburgh Penguins are taking on the Detroit Red Wings. It should be an exciting final, as both teams have pretty potent offenses. I, however, am worried that I won't get to see the champion crowned. The finals are a best of seven series, with the final two games scheduled for June 4th and June 7th. With both games at 8:00 PM Toronto time, that would put them at 1:00 AM London time. Even if I can find a place to watch the games, they'll probably shut down before the game is over.

Me with the Stanley Cup, taken in Denver in 2001 when they hosted the All Star Game

Anyway, I need to concentrate on starting to watch European sports. No more American football, baseball and hockey. I have to start watching Rugby, Cricket and (most importantly) Soccer, or as they call it over there, football.

The UEFA Champions League final was played on Wednesday, with Chelsea from London facing off against Manchester United. As Chelsea is from London, I was thinking of cheering for Chelsea. The game ended in a 1-1 tie, and went to penalty kicks, where Man U ended up winning a nail-biter.

So now I can't cheer for Chelsea. I mean, not only did they lose the UEFA Champions League Cup to Man U, but they also came in second in the Premiership to Man U and they lost the 2008 Carling League cup to Tottenham. Obviously they are not closers. I'll have to pick another team to cheer for...

Luckily, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League, Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association and the Toronto FC of Major League Soccer are looking to purchase a team. They are eyeing a Premiership team (source). As the article says, "A sports banking executive who specializes in European soccer said three English Premier teams would probably merit interest from the like of MLSE: Everton, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur."

Personally, I hope they buy Tottenham, as that's a cool name for a team. Hotspur. Plus they play in London.

As such, I'll just wait for them to decide who they will buy and then I'll just start cheering for them. And I can wear my Toronto FC jersey to the games and not look out of place, right?

Me at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup last summer (July 22, 2007)

Just kidding, of course, both about Chelsea not being closers (obviously coming in 2nd a lot means they are good team, so please don't write me) and also about having to pick a team right away. In all honest, I can't even figure out how the soccer leagues work over there. There's promotions and demotions and apparently 5 different cups that a teams can win. Some of the games don't count towards some of the cups, and some games are just friendlies that apparently don't count for anything.

It's going to require a hell of a lot of study before I understand it all, I'm sure. By study, of course, I mean sitting in a pub having someone explain it to me over a pint of beer.


So, if anyone understands it all and wants to explain it to me, I'll buy a pint at the local.


Posted by GregW 12:17 Archived in Canada Tagged sports living_abroad migration_experiences

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