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Thread: NHL boycotting Olympic ice hockey.

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    Toddler Radge
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    NHL boycotting Olympic ice hockey.

    I see the upcoming Winter Olympic ice hockey tournament will be watered down, as the NHL has refused to either schedule a break in its season or release contracted players.
    The two main bones of contention were the issues of insurance for players and advertising contracts. The IOC paid eyewatering insurance premiums to cover NHL stars against injury four years ago, but negotiations broke down at an early stage this time. As always with these jamborees, a lot of highly-paid NHL stars and their sponsors were unhappy at having to endorse Burger King / Pepsi / Adidas / Hilton for two weeks when they have contracts with McDonald's / Coca-Cola / Nike / Marriott. Negotiations on "ambush marketing" broke down quickly as well.
    I've never seen how national associations' claims on contracted players are legally enforceable and the legality of the "ambush marketing" rules of major sporting jamborees is highly questionable.
    Wouldn't it be great if football clubs & players put their collective foot down with regard to FIFA and UEFA's jingoistic willy-waving events?
    I admit that I hate international soccer. As a distraction in the old days, it was mostly harmless. Games were shoehorned into the season. They didn't disrupt the real stuff.
    Nowadays, international breaks punctuate the first few months of the season to an annoying extent.
    What the hell is the point of international soccer now - in a "sporting excellence" context. The "being chosen for your country is the highest honour..." line may have held water thirty years ago, but now it's utter rubbish. Standards of club football at top level are way above the international tournaments. I'd want 16/1 to consider Germany or Brazil for the Champions League and they're some way in front of the 3rd best national team.
    The most entertaining thing about World Cups is the hilarious racial / cultural stereotyping practiced by every media outlet in a toecurlingly tokenist "anti-racist" environment. From questions about witchdoctors being mandatory at the first press conference of sub-Saharan African teams to the tut-tutting when a German let's down us civilised northerners by diving in a manner that won't raise an eyebrow when a Mediterranean player does it, the entire circus is a script from an episode of "Love Thy Neighbour."
    Apart from the comedic irony element, there is feck all of merit in World Cups and Euros these days... and that's without going into either the process of awarding these circuses to countries or the politics and culture of the regimes that get them.
    Well done to the NHL and I hope football clubs grow a pair and follow the NHL's lead.

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    Radge Private Member





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    I see where you're coming from about football although I'd probably disagree if we qualified for these tournaments more often or even ever!

    The packed pubs in Scotland for the big country games suggest they are still popular though and with so many snouts in the trough nothing is going to change ... except maybe they'll become even more commercialised!

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    Quote Originally Posted by St.Anne's View Post
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    I admit that I hate international soccer. As a distraction in the old days, it was mostly harmless. Games were shoehorned into the season. They didn't disrupt the real stuff.
    In many ways, this is what the UEFA Nations League is trying to find a solution for. The calendar will generally have evenly-spaced competitive matches, which are of particular value to low-ranked countries, and they should negate the need for additional clusters of fixtures that have players away for long periods. It does nothing for tournaments like the African Nations Cup, but that doesn't impact Scottish clubs all that much in the overwhelming majority of cases.

    And I quite like international football. So do most football supporters in the country. I generally disagree with most of your conclusions about them, but your mileage (as always) may vary.

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    Toddler Radge
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    It's the practice of international associations virtually pressganging players who are contracted to clubs, often without insurance cover and at great inconvenience to those clubs, that gets me.
    That may be understandable in sports where the club game is subsidised by the revenue generated in international fixtures, but it doesn't apply in soccer at anywhere near top level. I have no idea what the arrangement is between the FA and English Premier League clubs over Ing-Ger-Lund appearances but I'm fairly sure there is some scheme in place. Most national associations don't have the money to finance such a scheme.
    The Qatar World Cup Final is scheduled for December 18th. What is UEFA going to do about Champions League matches? What is the DFB going to do about its cherished winter break? What's the SFA going to do? International squads will be assembled at the start of November. Are the major European leagues going to finish in mid-July and then start the following season more or less immediately? Just so an extremely unpleasant totalitarian regime, that's lucked-out with some natural resources, can have a holiday and get some advertising. I cannot believe the clubs are simply taking this as if they're a body double in an early Sasha Grey movie. It's ridiculous.
    Then there's the mystifying question of why a top-level professional player would want to perform in largely second-rate fixtures. "In this day and age..." is a favourite prefix - on this site and others - for anyone about to condemn unorthodox views and call for those voicing such views to be arrested. Well, one might think that "In this day and age..." the narrow-minded nationalism behind soccer prioritising international matches might be frowned upon by "right-thinking" players. I always quite admired Bernd Schuster for refusing to play for West Germany. Granted, his initial downing of tools was due to a spat with the DFB, but he did subsequently say that the international events were willy-waving scheidt. You'd think someone might follow his lead.
    Why the feck would a top-level player want to trek to Albania, Moldova or Ungobungistan to play on a potato field anyway? Without even mentioning the inevitable customs delays and the local authority digging up the road outside your hotel overnight. I was at school with a player who went on the play a fair few times for Ing-Ger-Lund. He's not English - he was probably the only kid in school who cheered louder than I did when Ing-Ger-Lund lost, and I include the Scottish kids in that - but he was qualified. I stayed in touch with him after he made it as a pro. He was/is rather higher class & better educated than anyone else who played for Ing-Ger-Lund and, unlike many of his team-mates, would have been able to point to Albania on a map and tell you something about Enver Hoxha when Ing-Ger-Lund were drawn to visit Tirana. He admitted he was uncomfortable about going there. If he had a European club tie in an Iron Curtain country or constituent republic of the USSR, the place may have been grim but, if you were involved in a car crash or got seriously ill, you were going to be treated in an adequate medical facility by Communist-trained doctors who were on a par with physicians in the West. If your appendix burst in Albania however... These days half the eastern European countries that existed 30-odd years ago are falling to bits and as for those that didn't exist 30-odd years ago, let's not go there - especially if we're a £100k per week footballer whose national team wouldn't finish in the top half of English League One.
    Admittedly I'm sort of stateless. I more or less consider the English borderline subhuman no matter where I am and I don't need to be back in Ireland very long before I start to think the same of the Irish. (I suppose that's only true of London & Dublin, but still.) The idea of supporting Ireland at anything, simply because they're Irish, is something I can't get my head around... & don't even start me on Scots😂.
    The whole thing just seems odd. The idea that if you're a lawyer, banker, builder, chef, tinker, tailor or candlestick-maker your national trade body could just ring up your employer and borrow you for a month for its own use - free, gratis & for nothing - is ridiculous.
    Hopefully the clubs will grow a pair well before 2022.

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    ****ed off Radge

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    It's football
    Illegitimi non carborundum.

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    radge grandad radge

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    @St.Anne’s ur you a murican?


    Think I might nip over to Gorgie Farm and count some Chickens before they've hatched

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    Toddler Radge
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    Where I come from, "football" is a 15-a-side game: a game for ruffians, played by ruffians, as the saying goes. "Soccer" is a game for gentlemen, played by ruffians; rugby is a game for ruffians, played by gentlemen; hurling is a game for gentlemen, played by gentlemen.
    Where I used to live, "football" is a 13-a-side game, invented by local boy Rupert Murdoch in the late-50s... "soccer" not being invented by Rupert Murdoch until the early-90s.
    A few hundred miles south of where I used to live, "football" is an 18-a-side game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by St.Anne's View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Where I come from, "football" is a 15-a-side game: a game for ruffians, played by ruffians, as the saying goes. "Soccer" is a game for gentlemen, played by ruffians; rugby is a game for ruffians, played by gentlemen; hurling is a game for gentlemen, played by gentlemen.
    Where I used to live, "football" is a 13-a-side game, invented by local boy Rupert Murdoch in the late-50s... "soccer" not being invented by Rupert Murdoch until the early-90s.
    A few hundred miles south of where I used to live, "football" is an 18-a-side game.

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