Carta Roja Para Ronaldo?!?!

Ronaldo Face Off

Cristiano Ronaldo es probablemente el mejor futbolista del mundo, pero hasta ayer, algo que nunca ha recibido es una carta roja durante la competición del Champions League. Mas importante, la razón por merecer la carta es tan absurdo que no merecía ni una carta amarilla.

Ronaldo debuto en el Champions League por Juventus contra Valencia, un oponente que Ronaldo conoce muy bien al largo de sus 9 años con Real Madrid. En el minuto 29, Jeison Murillo buceo cuando estaba defendiendo a Ronaldo. En respuesta, Ronaldo puso su mano en la cabeza de Murillo – y por eso, el arbitro le dio una carta roja – un razonamiento tan ridículo que creo que el arbitro debe ser suspendido o al menos disciplinado por su mal juicio.

Gracias a Dios, UEFA ha anunciado que Cristiano Ronaldo va a perder solo un juego contra BSC Young Boys el 3 de Octubre y no perdería su regreso a Old Trafford para jugar contra su ex club Manchester United, un partido que cada vez que pasa es bien anticipado.

Pero en todo caso, el punto que hay que enfatizar es que UEFA y FIFA necesitan tomar un fuerte esfuerzo para mejorar el oficionamiento del fútbol.

La Administración de los Steelers Han Perdido su Equipo?

Mike Tomlin

Este fin de semana fue una pesadilla para los fanáticos de los Pittsburgh Steelers. Como si no fuera suficiente malas noticias que ya no tienen LeVeon Bell, ahora hay que navegar el enojo de su mejor jugador, Antonio Brown. Durante el partido contra los Kansas City Chiefs, cuando Brown estaba teniendo dificultad con la defensa de la oposición, Brown se enojo con el entrenador ofensivo, Randy Fichtner. Esto ha causado el inicio de rumores de que Brown ya está harto de estar con el equipo, igual como sus compañeros que han estado sufriendo bajo la dirección del equipo. Hay que pensar si Mike Tomlin, el entrenador del equipo, ha perdido el apoyo de su equipo.

Si es cierto y Tomlin no tiene la confianza del equipo, sería una gran perdida por los Steelers. El equipo es uno de los mas estable en la historia de la NFL, con solo 3 entrenadores en los últimos 50 años. Aunque acaba de empezar la temporada, ya llevan 2 partidos que no han ganado y la cultura del equipo se siente peor que en años pasado. Hay que resolver esta situación rápidamente antes que ell problema se ponga peor.

Messi in Miami?

Messi Miami

The name Messi immediately conjures memories of great achievements for FC Barcelona, but if David Beckham were to have his way, Lionel Messi might be coming to the MLS sooner than you think. After an effort that’s years in the making, David Beckham finally announced that he is founding a new MLS franchise in Miami, aptly named Inter Miami, due to play its inaugural season in 2020. And as with all new clubs, Beckham wants to start off with a bang by bringing in arguably the world’s best player.

Obviously, this is a long shot. Messi has never played for a club other than FC Barcelona during his entire senior career, and he’s previously said that the only club he would leave Barcelona for would be his boyhood club San Lorenzo in Argentina. Also, the idea of a player of Messi’s caliber leaving Europe and going to the MLS is pretty farfetched. Finally, there’s the not-so-small obstacle of the price that Inter Miami would have to pay in order to pry Messi away from Barcelona’s clutches, an amount that undoubtedly would reach well above $100 million, which would smash the MLS transfer record.

However, the payoff for such a move is unmistakable. Having Lionel Messi playing in the United States of America would immediately boost the league’s profile and would attract all sorts of top-flight talent stateside in the hopes of playing against Messi. In order to accomplish all of this, though, the financial hurdles to overcome would be immense: the aforementioned transfer fee, the pay structure, which would in turn change the pay structure of every MLS franchise, and more. However, this would likely be offset by the crazy amounts of money that Messi himself would bring just with his mere presence: ticket sales, merchandise sales, TV rights sales, etc.

If David Beckham could manage to get this done, it’d be amazing, but the odds are certainly not in his favor at the moment.

Is He Really Coming Back?

MayPac

Footage from a Las Vegas nightclub obtained by ESPN shows Floyd Mayweather facing off with Manny Pacquiao and promising to fight him before the end of 2018. Obviously, this would be a huge matchup, but it’s not necessarily a done deal, as seemingly every sports news outlet would have you believe. Sports fans sometimes forget that there are many factors that go into making a fight happen. And there’s also the not-so-small factor of getting Mayweather and Pacquiao to actually agree to fight.

In any fight, there first needs to be a negotiation phase, which typically takes a few weeks to a couple of months. This is done in order to sort out who gets paid (fighters, promoters, TV broadcasters, etc.), how much they each get paid, and more. That said, the negotiation phase for a potential Mayweather v. Pacquiao II would take much longer than a matter of weeks. Also, there’s the issue that fighters usually spend about 2-3 months prior to a fight doing intense training on a daily basis. Just this alone would seemingly rule out the possibility of seeing this matchup before the end of the year. But there’s one other factor that could make this rumor become nothing more than that: Floyd Mayweather, or rather, Floyd Mayweather’s ego.

The stories about Floyd Mayweather’s ego are legendary: buying multimillion-dollar mansions, wearing million-dollar outfits and even traveling with hundreds of thousands of dollars at all times. The fact of the matter is that Mayweather loves attention and will do seemingly anything to get it. And with the GGG-Alvarez megafight happening the within 24 hours of the news, Mayweather only cares about making the story about himself. That’s why this rumor should only be taken with a healthy grain of salt. Mayweather has a reputation for stirring up rumors only to have them come out to nothing. That said, this would likely be the only match that Mayweather would come out of retirement for, and that’s why people are talking about it.

I don’t know if this match will happen, though I do know that there’s virtually no way that it’d happen within the next three months, but if it does, it would obviously be the biggest boxing match of the last few years.

Angel for Life?

Mike Trout

For at least the past 5 years, there has been a unanimous pick for the best baseball player in the world and his name is Mike Trout. He plies his trade in Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but a constant point of debate among MLB experts is whether Trout would one day leave the Angels for a bigger team with a richer history like the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox. However, he recently signed a contract extension, thus reaffirming his commitment to the Angels. But something like that wouldn’t ever dissuade MLB franchises with deeper pockets like the aforementioned Yankees or Red Sox. So the Angels obviously want to make a statement of intent to assure Trout of their undying commitment to him. So what’s their response?

How about something that’s never been done in the MLB and rarely in all of sports: a lifetime contract. Obviously, this wouldn’t be a bad investment by any means (Trout is already a surefire Hall of Famer despite only reaching the playoffs once through 8 seasons), but is this really a route the Angels are willing to go down? Also, could this start a trend across the league?

Any kind of contract like this would obviously be monumental in its value. Trout already makes $33.25 million/year after signing his latest contract extension, so the annual value of this contract would likely be larger. So would the Angels really want to shell out at least $35 million/year for at least the next 10-12 years? To be honest, if we were talking about any other player, I would immediately laugh at the insanity of such an idea and say no. But this is Mike Trout we’re talking about. He’ll likely go down as the greatest position player to ever play, at least from a statistical standpoint, and maybe the greatest player in general. Obviously, the Angels should do whatever they can to make sure he stays permanently, as retaining Trout not only makes sporting sense, it makes fiscal sense. There’s no question that he puts butts in seats and along with the addition of the sensational Shohei Otani, Angels Stadium will likely be sold out for years to come.

But what about other teams and other great players? Could this potentially start a trend of teams dealing out lifetime contracts to their best players to make sure they never leave? For instance, the Atlanta Braves have several young upstarts who have revolutionized the team, making them a seemingly perennial playoff threat for years to come. Leading the charge is Ronald Acuña Jr., perhaps the best rookie to come to the league since Trout himself. Could the Braves decide in 6-7 years’ time to give him a lifetime contract and keep him in Atlanta for his entire career? Only time will tell, but the honor of a lifetime contract should be reserved for only the cream of the cream of the crop, like Mike Trout.

The Final Step to becoming the Classroom Bully

Pique Sad

Now that the European transfer window is closed for the summer, I’m reminded of an interesting take on the summer’s activities that I came across regarding FC Barcelona and how they’ve officially lost their title of being “innocent.” I read an answer on Quora Digest that responded to the question of what the person thought about Barcelona’s capture of Malcom from Bordeaux right out underneath from AS Roma. The scathing reply reminded me not only of why I’m a proud Real Madrid fan, but also of how much FC Barcelona has changed as a club since the turn of the 21st Century.

The answer, written by a man named Thach Nguyen, discusses the fact that Barcelona came out of this transfer saga looking like the stereotypical high school bully that everyone hated growing up. Everyone remembers that person: they were loud, braggadocious, and flat-out mean. This comparison works well when you realize that Malcom was on the plane about to go to Rome when FC Barcelona barged in and threw more money at both Bordeaux and Malcom to join after getting a no from Chelsea on Willian.

Of course it stirred up a huge amount of press. After all, it is FC Barcelona signing a premier young player, and considering the way in which they did it, it was noteworthy. That said, it certainly left a bad taste in people’s mouths. That’s because people are starting to see the attitude with which Barcelona conducts business: they smaller clubs around in the hopes of getting what they want. For instance, they’ll never get to do another deal with a Brazilian club again after the fiasco that got stirred up in the aftermath of acquiring Neymar. According to Santos, Neymar’s former club in Brazil, they’re still owed about $12 million in add-on money from the deal, yet Barcelona has refused to acknowledge the truth of that fact.

Basically, FC Barcelona is no longer the underdog that they have always positioned themselves as. Instead, they are now the true “Evil Empire,” which happens to be what they affectionately call Real Madrid.

Mack is Money

Khalil Mack Bears

Why is it that people sometimes need to go somewhere else in order to be fully appreciated? That’s the case with Khalil Mack, who after holding out for virtually all of Oakland Raiders’ training camp with no resolution in sight, was traded to the Chicago Bears earlier today. Immediately after the trade was formalized, the Bears jumped at the opportunity to offer him a huge extension, 6 years and $141 million (with $90 million guaranteed), to be exact. It’s extremely confounding that a team, particularly one with as rich a history as the Oakland Raiders, would be happy with trading away its best player and arguably the best defensive player in the entire NFL. The answer might actually lie not with Mack and his unwillingness to take less, but with the new head coach who seems to want nothing more than to push his agenda.

Even though Khalil Mack could change the game simply with his presence, he wasn’t welcome any longer in Oakland because of what can only be described as a personal mission by new head coach Jon Gruden to make sure everyone falls in line. Mack wasn’t doing that with his insistence on being paid handsomely and Gruden decided to jettison his best player for a pair of 1st-round draft picks that likely will never pan out to be as great combined as Mack is alone. Without a doubt, this is a losing situation for the Raiders and it’s a decision they will come to regret in the coming years.

Meanwhile, Chicago and the Bears organization must be jumping for joy at the prospect of having the league’s best defensive player on their team. After all, the Bears haven’t had the league’s best defensive player on the team, with the exception of Brian Urlacher, since the fabled ’85 Bears defensive unit led by Mike Singletary, which struck fear into the hearts of every opponent they faced. Without a doubt, Mack will continue doing what he does best despite the change in scenery (the cold won’t bother him since he attending college in Buffalo). The best part is that Mack’s arrival will help rejuvenate the great Packers-Bears rivalry, a certified boon for the NFL.

Obviously, Gruden’s tenure as head coach of the Raiders has gotten off to a dubious start. Now, it’s imperative that he stop trying to push whatever agenda he has in order to prevent the team from going belly up.

The Rise of Turnover “Things”

Turnover Chain

Last season, the University of Miami’s football team launched itself back into the public eye thanks not only to stellar defensive play, but also an interesting totem to signify their successes: the Turnover Chain. The idea was that if a defensive player forced a turnover, that player got to put on the Turnover Chain, which was just a large jeweled University of Miami logo on a big silver chain. The phenomenon caught fire almost immediately, and pop culture responded accordingly. This season however, the University of Miami is no longer alone in having an object with which to celebrate a turnover.

Turnover Beads

For instance, Tulane University’s football team instituted a regionally-appropriate version of the Turnover Chain with some Turnover Beads. Obviously being in New Orleans makes this a no-brainer, but it signals a desire to catch the attention of fans and TV audiences alike as if to say, “Hey! Our defense is damn good also!”

Turnover Throne

Perhaps an even more outlandish example is one that was just witnessed today in Idaho. Apparently, Boise State has raised the stakes and has created a Turnover Throne. Basically, it’s an ornate, white throne and the player responsible for the turnover gets to sit in it. Updates on how the team will be transporting it to away games have not been released yet, however.

This is all fun and games, but it signifies a larger trend that college football is starting to care more about making defense a priority. College football has long been notorious for having games that end up being offensive shootouts and only once in a while do we get to experience true defensive battles. Maybe that’ll begin to change. After all, what better way to celebrate defensive success than by utilizing some cool, eye-catching device?

What’s In A Contract?

Odell Beckham Jr.

After months of negotiating and speculation to the contrary, Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants finally came to an agreement on a contract extension worth $95 million over 5 years with a whopping $65 million guaranteed. From a sporting aspect, this obviously is an incredibly important development, but I feel that it’s even more important from a cultural standpoint.

Today’s NFL largely dissuades showing individuality. It’s a topic that’s heavily debated and the league is often looked down upon for its restrictions on things such as end zone celebrations and the like. With that in mind, it’s important to have a player who you know stands out on the field, and no one in the NFL screams “individuality” like Odell Beckham Jr. does. In 4 years, Beckham has gone from standout college wideout to NFL marketing sensation and is on track to eclipse every wide receiving record out there. Retaining a player like that, among other things, energizes the fanbase and lets them know that you as a team mean business.

But getting a contract doesn’t just mean something for Odell. In fact, it means a great deal for the rest of the players in the NFL who feel that they don’t get paid enough or receive enough guaranteed money. $65 million guaranteed blows the previous high out of the water (I’m excluding quarterbacks from this). What this means is that more skill players can ask for higher and higher premiums than they would usually get. It also positions Odell Beckham Jr. as a trailblazer for these high-profile players to start receiving the money they deserve.

Now what’s left is to see running backs get paid the same amounts. Hey, if it worked for Todd Gurley, why can’t it work for everyone else?

A Holdout with no end in sight

Khalil Mack

Losing your team’s best player for a reason you can’t control is devastating, but losing someone as good as Khalil Mack is for the Oakland Raiders because of a refusal to negotiate a contract he wants, something that is controllable, is downright frustrating. Others might even say it’s plain dumb to not want to pay a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year the money he so richly deserves. Whatever you may think of the issue, the fact of the matter is that the Raiders will be without their best player and the length of time that he’s gone will depend on which side, Mack or ownership, decides to budge first. And knowing Mack, he’s not going to move.

Khalil Mack is what you would call a generational talent; someone who can change the trajectory of the game simply by being on the field. Some argue that the best defensive end in the NFL right now is J.J. Watt, but I disagree wholeheartedly. While Watt is good, he’s had injury problems, none of which Mr. Mack suffers from, thus the reason why he reigns supreme.

So considering that he’s the best at his position in the league, and one of the best defensive players in the league overall, why can’t he get paid the money that he deserves? To be completely honest, it’s not like the owners are necessarily hurting for cash. After all, THEY OWN A SPORTS FRANCHISE! In fact, a smart owner would be jumping at the possibility of making sure he’s satisfied so he can continue to make the team great. This, combined with the fact that Odell Beckham Jr. just got a $95 million contract from the New York Giants (that’s another article entirely), means that there’s a lot of talk about unfair discrimination against Mack, something that he surely does not enjoy being subjected to. 

But seriously, pay the man. The longer you don’t, the more spectators judge the owners for being stingy. Plus, losing Mack will surely put a big stain on new head coach Jon Gruden’s tenure before it even starts.