Hello again, in light of all the Sochi excitement where we get to watch biathletes brave the balmy elements and shoot at circles reminiscent of food as well as the spectacle of lingerie-clad Russkies showing off their short and curlings on ice, we figured we'd get in on the action.
I am loath to provide a sporting alternative to this breathtaking stuff. Fret not, however, this one is just as homogenic in excitement (and caucasity) without the added distraction of beautiful women. If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m talking about soccer, specifically the European Champions League, baby. After a long hiatus from qualifications, the (lack of) action for the final 16 teams kicks off this Tuesday and Wednesday. Here’s a quick rundown of what you shouldn’t be looking for.
Today's matchups consist of Bayern Leverkusen vs. Paris St. Germain and Manchester City vs. Barcelona. We all know how Germany vs. France in anything turns out so we will focus our energies on the other game. If you aren’t sick of Barcelona you haven’t been paying attention. Luckily, this is easily the best matchup of the final 16 and not many people would be surprised to see the large lads from Manchester kick these tiny tapas-eaters all the way back to the Iberian peninsula in ignominy.
For the uninitiated, this is Manchester City, not former behemoths of glory, Manchester United, who play next week (and are shit). One of the perks of European football is a billionaire oligarch can pick up your crap team (Man City), spend half a billion dollars in talent and presto, you suddenly have legions of fans basking in your reflected glory.
One Asian plutocrat bought the Welsh team Cardiff City this summer and changed their colors of 125 years from blue to red (Asians love red apparently) and bruited the idea of changing their mascot from a Bluebird to a Tiger (think Dan Snyder). Needless to say, the people are revolting.
If you are snowed in Tuesday crack open some Scrumpy and give City-Barca a shot, it can’t be worse than the last Superbowl.
Wednesday has AC Milan vs. Atletico Madrid and Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich. Sadly, the heyday of Italian football is long gone so unless you want to watch a team from a country that makes Russian racism/homophobia look like a love-in on the Ellen Show vs. the third best team in Spain I suggest the latter fixture. Arsenal, the pride of North London, has a manager (Arsene Wenger) who was recently dubbed ‘a specialist in failure’ by rival coach Jose Mourinho of Chelsea (think Bobby Knight).
Reigning champions Bayern Munich will pay a visit that everyone expects to be one-sided in their favor. However, these same two teams were matched up last year and an even worse Arsenal side managed to tie the Übermensch over the two legs and lost on the away goals rule (don’t ask).
I intended to give a review of the four matchups next week as well but I imagine no one even read this far. Manchester United is playing a shit Greek team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they fucked up that gift draw as well as they’ve fucked up their entire season to date. They will NOT be playing in the Champs League next season. Just had to type that out for some personal therapy.
Oh well, if this isn’t your cup of tea, it’s back to Sochi and the crack analysis of Roker/Lauer braving the two-man luge.