Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Football Season is Upon Us!

Hopefully you didn't think I was talking about American Football . . .

Tomorrow is the start of the 2008-09 Barclays Premier League -- you know, the one with Manchester United and Chelsea and all the rest. While I'm not quite as excited about tomorrow's season opener as I am about the start of the NFL or NCAA football seasons, I will admit that I'm getting up at 5:30 to watch the very first match of the year.

Since the Twins are easily handling the Mariners, and since blowouts aren't all that much fun to cover, I'll limit myself tonight to a predictions post for the Premier League. If any of you are also English football fans, feel free to leave your own predictions in the comment section.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I'll reveal that I will be rooting for Manchester City and Hull City this year. This is sort of the equivalent of a baseball fan saying that he roots for the Brewers and Pirates -- the Brewers (read as "Man City") are sometimes decent but never seem to get to the promised land, and the Pirates (read as "Hull City") essentially have no chance to win. Of course, my attachment to Hull is brand spankin' new, since they just earned a promotion to the top tier (can you imagine if Rochester was playing for a chance to get into the big leagues?). With that said, here are my predictions for this season's finishing order:

1.) Manchester United
2.) Chelsea
3.) Liverpool
4.) Tottenham
5.) Arsenal
6.) Aston Villa
7.) Portsmouth
8.) Everton
9.) West Ham
10.) Blackburn
11.) Manchester City
12.) Middlesbrough
13.) Wigan
14.) Newcastle
15.) Fulham
16.) Bolton
17.) West Bromwich Albion
18.) Sunderland
19.) Hull City
20.) Stoke City

These predictions are based on the hours and hours of research that . . . well . . . ok, no, I pretty much pulled them out of my you-know-what. I know a little bit about the Premier League, and I pay a bit of attention to transfers and what-not, but for the most part I'm guessing. Considering how poorly my performance predictions turn out even when I think I know something, however, it probably doesn't make a wit of difference.



  • At Fri Aug 15, 11:01:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I would like to get into soccer but I hate the MLS and I don't know where to watch other leagues. Where can you watch the Premier League?

  • At Sat Aug 16, 01:46:00 AM , Anonymous Twins Fix said...

    I'd love to help you break down schedules and rosters and coaches/managers, but I got nothing. Sorry. :)

    Instead, how about Phelps? Did you watch the 100m fly? I bet Milorad Cavic is losing sleep because he cut his fingernails the night before. Crazy how close that finish was.

    I loved the half stroke by Phelps at the end. It just goes to show how simply gliding can slow you down so much, while pretending the finish line is another five meters past the actual line is a good mental tool.

  • At Sat Aug 16, 05:35:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    Anon -- there are two ways to watch the Premier League that I know of. The first is to subscribe to the Fox Soccer Channel through your cable provider. I have Comcast, and to get FSC I had to subscribe to a sports tier that included the NFL Network, ESPN News, and a few others as well as FSC. It costs about $5 a month, but for me is well worth it.

    The other thing to do if you have a good internet connection and don't mind watching games online is to go to www.myp2p.eu and watch games on there. Just set the time to your local time (unless you have Greenwich Mean Time down pat), click on Football, and pick the match you want to watch. Most of the Premier League games can be played in Media Player. Some of them require you to download a different player (like Sopcast). This also works for numerous other sports, including cricket (if you feel like sitting around for hours being completely and utterly perplexed).

    Twins fix -- the Phelps race was amazing. They did a great job of breaking down that finish -- I loved the overhead angle. For me (and clearly, millions of other Americans) this Olympics has been about Phelps. After he finishes up tonight, there's not a lot left that I'll care about all that much. The thought of having Track & Field as the lead sport the rest of the way is a bit discouraging.

  • At Sat Aug 16, 08:40:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the info.

  • At Sat Aug 16, 12:14:00 PM , Anonymous Twins Fix said...

    Nah, track and field is where the real fun is. I could seriously watch guys run the 1500m all day. It's simply incredible how fast they go, and they can still turn it on the last 400m.

    Regarding swimming, are you a sick of hearing Rowdy's squeaky voice as I am? Granted, he puts things into perspective by how excited he gets, but I think he also loses some credibility by going insane while giving "stroke-by-stroke" the last fifteen meters of a close race.

  • At Sat Aug 16, 12:49:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Crazy announcers are part of the fun -- I don't mind that too much. As for Track -- while I absolutely respect what they do, I don't really enjoy watching it. I'll be interested in seeing where the ratings go over the second week without swimming in the lineup.

  • At Sat Aug 16, 03:20:00 PM , Anonymous Marty said...

    Mr. Taylor,

    I can't believe you can't comprehend the relatively simple rules of cricket but have no problem explaining the impossible route it takes to watch Premier League football.

    If you want, I can explain what an LBW is.

  • At Sat Aug 16, 03:47:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    I was just excited to discover that there really was such a thing as a "wicked googly" in cricket. That, and the fact that the matches just sort of go on and on and on and on. And, if I recall, that you don't actually have to run after hitting the ball if you don't want to (that's my kind of sport!).

  • At Sat Aug 16, 04:23:00 PM , Anonymous Twins Fix said...

    I was ticked to discover there is such a thing as Olympic walking today. I guess it is 20k (12 odd miles) and there are strict rules about not going too fast, having one foot touch the ground at all times, and only bending one knee at a time.

    I also heard that there are mist machines and periodic shade throughout the course. Crazy.

    I watched a clip of some and I must say I never thought they would be going that fast. That is fast walking...

  • At Sun Aug 17, 08:49:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    Rough TV schedule for European Football.

    I get both Fox Soccer Channel & GOL TV in my Comcast digital package. I can't remember which league is on which, but times below (ES/DT)

    Saturday 9:30 am ET...Germany Bundesliga
    Saturday 10:00am ET...England Premiership
    Saturday noon onward...Matches from Spain, France & Italy

    Sunday 9:00am ET...Italy Serie A

    Sunday afternoon...Usually Spain, usually 2 games.


    the Dragon

  • At Sun Aug 17, 09:01:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    I think you are in the ballpark on your predicted table, with a couple of exceptions.

    Tottenham, you've got the betting line, I AM NOT convinced Tottenham are quite that good. Highly unlikely anyone outside the BIG 4 (Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Liverpool) sneak into the top 4.

    I think Aston Villa looks good for 5/6/7, AND my soft spot Wigan (For full disclosure I have a "coffee Money" wager on Wigan to finish best outside BIG $ at 66-1) I think will be fighting for European spot.

    You probably have all the suspects in 5-14/15, who knows what order.

    I think West Brom finishes bottom 3. They are a team on the promotion/relegation rollercoaster.

    In the Championship, look for Birmingham.

    I invest alot in soccer and look for value. In Bundesliga, I am looking at Hoffenheim to pay dividends through Christmas/New Year. Last year in Spain, Almeria was great value, will be watching them.

    In Italy Serie A...My ALL Name Team, The Chievo of Verona "Flying Donkey's" are back.

    While it's hard to see games outside the Big Leagues, one can folloe on either flashscore.com or futbol24.com


    the Dragon


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