Rating Gibraltar’s Premier League, based solely on the team names

Gibraltar

Recently, UEFA, Europe’s governing body decided to allow Gibraltar — Hold up, I can’t carry on talking about Gibraltar without noting that, due to a tenuous international situation between Spain and Britain regarding Gibraltar, and a general lack of space, they had to put the airport right in the middle of the doggone city.

Gibraltar2

Quick, the light turned yellow, get through the intersection and land!

Anyways, Gibraltar is all kinds of messed up. Every team has someone named Duarte on it, and the first place team has a +60 goal differential. Last place has a -80. They play 14 games a season. Still, somehow, the winner of the Gibraltar Premier League will get entry in the Champions League first qualifying round (and they will get a team in the Europa League as well, and I desperately hope Rosenborg will end up flying into this weird ass airport)

Anyways, a fun thing about Gibraltar is their 8 teams, since they can’t really claim to be from anywhere by Gibraltar, have a bunch of creative names. Here they are, rated in order of silliest to least silly.

Lincoln Red Imps
College Europa Cosmos
Lions Gibraltar
Lynx
Manchester United
Gibraltar Phoenix
Glacis United
St. Josephs

I should note that “Glacis” means downhill, basically. The Red Imps are like smaller versions of the Red Devils who play for Manchester United. No no, the one in England. But the Imps are like Englands Man U because of their dominance. This is their 12th win of the Gibraltar Premier League in a row.

Oh, before I wrap this post up, here is a list of the Second Division, which is even more delightfully named.
FC Brittannia XI
Boca Juniors (named after an Argentine team, in a British dependency. Weird)
Cannons FC
College Pegasus
FC Hound Dogs
FC Magpies
FC Olympique
Leo Parilla FC
Lions Pilots (!)
Mons Calpe SC
Red Imps
Sporting Glacis

More teams need to be named after flying horses.

Links of the Day 4/19/14

Holy buckets, it’s 60 degrees and raining. Sorry for copying in a map instead of the picture of the food yesterday. That was stored on my clipboard from a post at Victoria-Weather. Go check out that site, why don’t you.

The NBA playoffs begin today. Here is a bracket. This is a sports blog.

Mr. Met dare not approach the president.

Speaking of the NBA, the Jazz won a meaningless game against the Timberwolves, and their draft lottery chances took a hit.

SCOREBOARD
MLB
(Yesterday)
Texas 12, Chicago 0 -The American League Central has some catching up to do.
Kansas City 5, Minnesta 0 – Lots of singles, not any runs.
(Today)
Kansas City 5, Minnesota 4 – Kurt Suzuki hit a home run, had 3 runs batted in. The fact that is so highly regarded  by Twins fans says bad things about the team’s chances this year.

On the Menu: Cilantro-coconut chicken and broccoli

I made an egregious mistake when I made this, and you will be surprised as to what it was. This was essentially chicken with some stewed vegetables. What is often the case when stewing veggies like this, the flavor needs to come from the broth they were stewed in. This broth had everything, it had ginger, it had garlic, it had shallot, it had jalapeno…. and it was all very flat.
Oh, when I tasted it while it was cooking, it was deeply flavorful, with a lot of texture, from the sweet coconut milk to the biting jalapeno, all playing with the salty chicken breast, but then I made my mistake. I plated it over rice. The depth of flavor was lost. The broth was too thin, and rice is such a big block of starch that it overwhelmed everything. I think it would be better as a type of soup. There are leftovers, I’ll try it and let you know.

Links of the Day 4/18/14

Good afternoon. I think I would trade those two Twins wins yesterday for one Wild win.

A nice breakdown of Chris Colabello and whether or not he’s actually any good.

Last night’s Game 1 hurt. It hurt bad.

Is Yasiel Puig receiving death threats?

SCOREBOARD
MLB
Minnesota 9, Toronto 5 – The Blue Jays issued 12 walks to gift the Twins a double header sweep.
Boston 3, Chicago 1 – It was a double perfect game through 5, and then, it wasn’t.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
Colorado 5, Minnesota 4 (OT)- Ugh. Terrible. The Wild were within 15 seconds of winning it.
Football League Championship
Blackburn 0, Yeovil Town 0 – The Rovers are done caring about this season.

Expectations higher for the Wild

minnesota-wild-logo

The Wild’s first playoff game of the 2014 season is starting around now in Colorado. They have only ever been the favorite in the opening round of the playoffs once (Against the Avalanche, a series they lost in 2008) and have only won a post season series in 2003 (when they beat those Avs again, as well as the Vancouver Canucks). Their post season history includes a lot of the Ducks and Avs, now that I think about it.

This year, despite not being a favorite in their series, and despite that memorable 2003 run, this might the team with the weightiest expectations. They have the star player, like they did in 2004, except instead of Marian Gaborik, it’s Zach Parise. Unlike 2004, Parise has a lot of support. The Wild have made aggressive trades during the past two seasons, adding Jason Pominville and Matt Moulson, grabbing some of the only talent remaining in Buffalo. Additionally, the Wild have a lot of young, home grown talent waiting to bust out, like Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle and Jonas Brodin.

There are problems. There are depth issues on defense behind Brodin and Ryan Suter, and they are on about their 8th goaltender, but with the amount of work the front office has put into this season, and the talent on the roster, Wild fans have to feel a little bit better about their chances than in years past.

Oh, but for the record? I don’t think they will get out of the first round.

Links of the Day 4/17/14

The coldest game at Target Field was today. And I was there!

AJ Hammons is coming back next year, which is good for Purdue.

Did you miss night one of the playoffs? Here is a recap.

Jared Burton: Terrible lately 

SCOREBOARD
MLB
Boston 6, Chicago 4 – The various Sox varieties have been competitive in their little series.
Minnesota 7, Toronto 0 - Kyle Gibson was really good today. The weather was pretty cold though. This has been Ryan Henning, reporting live from Minneapolis.

The Stanley Cup playoffs begin tonight

CupPicksThe NHL, more than any other league, really, steps up their level of competition in the post season. The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight around 6pm. Above, you will see my picks for the playoffs, which are in a bracket form this year. Since they are in bracket form, rather than being reseeded, NHL.com has released a bracket challenge, which is why I was able to make these picks. You can too. You have less than an hour.

Since you have all my selections in bracket form, I will instead give you a few quick thoughts on things.

1) I’ve been saying since the beginning of the season that I think the Ducks are the team to beat. They have too much young offensive talent, they have a goalie who is prone to get hot at the right times, and they are very difficult to beat at home. Not only that, but if things work out like I expect they will, they will get a conference semifinal in which they don’t have to leave town, which will help preserve a bit of energy.

2) Traditional rules of thumb regarding back to back championships won’t come into play. That is to say, usually, teams that make deep runs don’t have the legs to do it again the following season. I expect both Boston and Chicago to go deep this year despite reaching the finals last year, but Chicago is ravaged by injury and Boston will have a tough road to get out of their division If they don’t make it to the Finals this year, it won’t be because of things that happened last year, but rather events from this season.

3) The East is an enormous, jumbled mess. Save for Columbus, I could see any of the 8 teams there reaching the finals. Philadelphia has been playing like their hair is on fire since a very poor start. The Stanley Cup is about who gets hot as much as it is about a team’s talent level.

4) Go Wild!

 

Links of the Day 4/16/14

How’s your day going? I imagine that answer depends on what side of I-94 you live on.

Josmil Pinto is a good hitter. Also, he doesn’t dive into first. That’s Punto, not Pinto.

Here are the Vikings being all awkward with their well wishes for the Wild.

Jose Abreu hit a completely lame home run.

SCOREBOARD
MLB
Chicago 2, Boston 1 – This is approximately the score I expect for most White Sox games this season.
Toronto 9, Minnesota 3 – Jared Burton has lost something.

Entertainment Roundup: The Changing face of Late Night

LettermanThe transition from the 80s, 90s and 2000s is now complete. Every host that had a network late night show in 2002 has been replaced or moved to another gig. It started when Jimmy Kimmel started a show in 2003, then Craig Ferguson replaced Craig Kilborn on the Late Late Show on CBS. 2009 was a mess for NBC, as we all can remember Conan O’Brien left Late Night for the Tonight Show, then was forced out and moved to TBS. His successor on Late Night, Jimmy Fallon, moved to the Tonight Show when Jay Leno was pushed out of the job, and Seth Myers took over for him a couple of months ago.

The last major domino is going to fall next year. David Letterman is retiring in 2015, and will be replaced by Stephen Colbert. There are also reports out that Ferguson will be replaced as well in 2015. Ferguson’s status with CBS is tied to Letterman and his production company. CBS decided to pay him 10 million dollars to not take over for Letterman, and apparently didn’t even consider him. Instead, it sounds as though, from that article by the NY Daily News I linked to, CBS is looking at Chelsea Handler to take over the 1230 spot, freed of the constraints of Worldwide Pants’ control of that time slot.

I have always loved late night talk shows. I like the monologues, the sketches, the guest interviews, all of it. I watched Letterman religiously, mostly because I couldn’t stand Leno, especially after the Conan fiasco, which meant I didn’t watch Jimmy Kimmel until very recently. When Jimmy Fallon came around, and Conan came back, I started to divide my time between all of the talk shows. When Fallon moved to the Tonight Show, I started to include him and Kimmel into my rotation.

David Letterman’s ability to be serious when a situation called for it, and his tenure always made his show seem the most important, rather than just silly. His ties to Carson and an era gone by earned him a special kind of respect. He was often discounted by younger fans because he was older and he didn’t offer the arbitrary humor of his competitors. Dry, clever humor is always my favorite kind, but the 6 hosts that will have shows (allegedly) by late 2015 all bring their own qualities. Here’s my breakdown of the 6, in descending order of who I think will be least to most enjoyable by, let’s say, the middle of 2016, though I suspect I will enjoy all of them.

6: Conan O’Brien (TBS) - Late Night was good. I liked what he did on the Tonight Show. He always struggled a bit with the monologue, but his sketches were innovative and funny, if for no other reason than their low production values. Ever since he was pushed out of the Tonight Show, he seems to have lost a step. He veers too often towards blue humor, where he is clever enough not to fall back on it. It almost seems that, with nothing to continue to strive for, his ambition is sapped, and his on screen product just isn’t as good.

5: Chelsea Handler (CBS) - I only know Handler from her appearances on other shows. I think one thing she has over other hosts, like Seth Meyers, especially, is an ability to be conversational with an audience. Another thing that I have noticed, however, is that she defaults to blue humor as well. I’m not like Jerry Lee Lewis in my opposition to women working blue, but I think with the daily late night shows, constantly being crass gets tiresome and shows a lazy mind. Handler seems smart enough to get by even if she tones it down, and she has the ambition the O’Briend has lost. It will take some time, but I think she can look to Kimmel as an inspiration. He converted from a raunchy Comedy Central Host to a perfectly fine network host, while still being funny.

4: Seth Meyers (NBC) - I like Meyers. I think he has the dry, acerbic wit that we will be missing when Letterman leaves. What he doesn’t have, in my opinion, is the every man pathos that Letterman did. He still reads like a newsman from his days on Saturday Night Live. His bits need work, he needs to work on his delivery and he needs to figure out his interactions with guests (his stand ups with Martha Steward and Mario Batali were brutal, though part of that was defiintely the fault of his producer and director for letting them last so long.) Fred Armisen isn’t really a great comedic spoil as the band leader, either. Seth is more of a straight man, and Armisen doesn’t play off of that well. There are a lot of issues with the show right now. What Meyers does have, though, is an excellent writing background. The original Conan took a while to sort itself out, but he had a writing background as well. Meyers’ show won’t be as silly as the Conan version, but it will be immeasurably better by the end of the year.

3: Jimmy Kimmel (ABC) - If nothing else, Kimmel is the most veteran face after 1030 (Central Time)  right now. He has his show figured out, and has his own style. He has a rapport with guests, and seems to have a cabal of friends out there willing to take part in bits. He doesn’t go for the overtly silly, over the top jokes, and has shied away from his Man Show image. His monologue relies heavily on content found on Youtube or online, which adds a level of fan involvement that many people appreciate these days. I suspect with Leno out of the picture he will start pulling in better guests, with his being the biggest show on the West Coast. The problem he has? He just doesn’t make me laugh as often as other hosts. I don’t know what else to say. It’s nothing against him and I can’t put a finger on it.

2: Stephen Colbert (CBS) - Colbert, people suspect, will be a complete wild card. I don’t know that the result will be as crazy as anyone expects. Sure, Colbert will be playing it straight after hosting the Colbert Report in character, but he sort of adapted The Daily Show to the character. In my mind, Colbert will simply bring a new life to The Late Show, rather than completely reinventing it. I think Colbert is funny, he is clearly inventive enough to come up with the Colbert Report character, and his appearances as himself on other shows give a window to a strong, affable personality that will likely play well on a grander stage. I think his transition will be much easier than Meyers’ was. He isn’t as acerbic or wry as Letterman, but then, nobody, save for maybe Handler, will be when he’s gone.

1: Jimmy Fallon (NBC) - Almost everyone I talk to that watched Fallon is surprised by how much they like his show. His problem on SNL was his inability to get through a show without getting a serious case of the giggles. His talk show — scratch that — his variety show is built around his inability to keep a straight face. He plays silly games, has fun with his guests, doesn’t linger over the monologue and most importantly, has thoroughly embraced social media. His kinship with celebrities, notably Justin Timberlake, has helped make the show even better. He has the best band in late night, and Steve Higgins has a great presence as a studio announcer and comedic partner to Fallon. His writers craft excellent bits, and his embrace of the music mashup has led to great viral videos. As I said, this is a variety show in it’s truest sense, with games, comedy bits, singing and audience interaction. Not only is the show funny, but it’s fun. It’s going to be hard to knock Fallon off the top perch by the end of 2015, if you ask me.

But still, none of these shows will carry the weight that David Letterman has for the past 30 years. Not that it’s necessary, but I will miss late night talk shows having a little bit of gravitas.