February 22, 2013
I. Spartan Training: The Commencement
I have never been incredibly fit in my life. I’ve never seen a six-pack of abs on me. In fact, for more than half of my life, I’ve been overweight (the ‘Glory Days’). In high school, I joined sports, but even then I never managed to reach a very remarkable level of fitness. Since being in college, I have not had any external motivation to get fit…until two weeks ago, when I, along with brothers and friends, made the decision to register for the Spartan Race in Pennsylvania on July 13, 2013. Accordingly, I established a ten-week training schedule, as well as a diet plan that I will be following. This article will be the first of a series of 5 romanticized articles that follow my progress.
The first week I did power rankings was the best day in college basketball in the entire season. I got to attend Pitt beating UCONN, then watched Florida blowout Mizzou, Louisville lose to Cuse in the final minute, Michigan State upend OSU by 3, and then end with possibly the best game of the season Butler beating Gonzaga. I watched all of these games without even changing the channel. It was quite honestly one of the best weekends I’ve had since I got to college. I was looking forward to more of that with all of the great matchups in the Big East and Big 10. But ESPN has not delivered. Since then their Gameday games have been horrible, including tomorrow’s game of Mizzou at Kentucky. Every Friday night I go on to ESPN to plan my day out around the basketball, and I am tired of seeing only one game I need to watch. FYI, Saturday’s is Georgetown at Syracuse.
As always, these rankings are based on how likely they are to win the national championship, not how they are playing right now. Let’s do it.
So I finally decided to introduce a pretty remarkable new feature to The Sports Floor – It’s called ‘Goal Of The Week’. I don’t think I need to explain further.
Some may be thinking at this point “hmmm … Isn’t this just going to be a Messi/Ronaldo bandwagon?” The answer is no as you will see from the this week’s chosen winner, and I would just like to reassure everyone that you will be witnessing something special each weekend. It would be an extremely rare circumstance if I had to choose a player twice to claim this award.
This week’s pick was chosen from the 2nd tier competition in Europe, known as ‘The Europa League’ (basically teams that finish between numbers 4-6 in their countries domestic league) and features a majestic strike from an generally worldwide overlooked Belgian player (unless you follow the Premier League religiously) who goes by the name of Moussa Dembele. The attacking midfielder’s 89th minute strike put Spurs into the next round of the Europa League against French outfit Lyon – who are one of the most renowned teams in France.
But that’s enough chit chat – i’ll let you judge the quality of this strike for yourselves.
>>> Check out this great Fox Sports video – Dembele rescues Spurs against Lyon <<<
The Latest Lowdown on the Champions League Knockout Phase
Top Contenders for the cup Barcelona who have won the title 3 times since 2006 face a trip to the San Siro where they will encounter an AC Milan side in the round of 16 that looked a lot different to the one they played in last year’s Quarter-final. The match will kick off at around 2.45pm Easter Time. The ‘Rossoneri’ as they are so affectionately known by their own fans have lost some prominent figures in the 1st team over the past season that include the sales of world class players Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris and Brazilian international striker Alexandre Pato to Club World Cup Champions – Corinthians. The unconventional looking new lineup won’t include recent flamboyant addition to the squad Mario Balotelli, as he is cup tied by his previous employers Manchester City. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the in’s and out’s of Mario, this guy set off fireworks in his own bathroom and set fire to his house. He is one of the biggest liabilities in the world of soccer and has the brain capacity of your average goldfish. The Argentinian wizard himself Lionel Messi will obviously be one to watch along with his talented disciples Xavi and Iniesta, and it will be interesting to see how veteran defender Carlos Puyol will fair again in this competition at the ripe old age of 34. Although it maybe easy and blindingly obvious to predict that Barcelona the stronger of the sides will come out on top, this is the Champions League and a big upset is always on the cards.
However Turkish outfit Galatasaray F.C is the team that I’m really excited about watching tomorrow, who also play at 2.45pm ET. This is because of the recent additions to their first team – former Champions League winners Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba. Both are players that I have admired for a few years now and the combination of these players along with the rest of the already established first team will create a formidable lineup.
Galatasaray are likely to play a (4-4-1-1) formation, and not only will the lethal combination of Sneijder and Drogba up front be crucial to the club’s chances for the up and coming game but so will the attacking and defensive work ethic from their full backs Emmanuel Eboue and Albert Riera. Both must be as enigmatic when defending, as they are when they enter the attacking equation.
They welcome the German side Schalke 04 who have been significantly weakened by the deadline day sale of playmaker Lewis Holtby to English Club Tottenham Hotspur. Much like AC Milan they should not be ruled out however with Target Man Klaas Jan Huntelaar always a danger for the opposition’s defense along with some recent impressive performances from the rapid Jefferson Farfan who plays on the right wing.
Schalke are likely to play a (4-2-3-1) formation, with Julian Draxler taking the playmaker position that belonged to the departed figure Holtby.
The most intriguing matchup in this game will be to see the tussles between Farfan and Riera on one flank of the pitch. This will definitely make for an exciting game.
– Asgard over and out.
Why the Chicago Blackhawks are without a doubt currently playing the best hockey in all of the NHL
On 31st January 2013 (Transfer deadline day) one of the biggest named stars in soccer for the past 15 years David Beckham announced that he was to join Champions League contenders Paris Saint Germaine on a free transfer, in order to complete the twilight years of his career in some style. Beckham at the grand old age of 37 was a shock transfer simply because many feel that he has nothing more to give at the top level of the game. Obtaining the number 32 jersey number Beckham also announced that he would be donating his pay packet to a local Parisian children’s charity and instead opt for the French Ligue 1 minimum wage that would see him earn just €2000 a week.
Many have questioned the intent on Beckham’s behalf … is he doing this out of good will, is he avoiding the French tax regime, or is the whole thing just a publicity stunt. Funnily enough PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti ruled out a move for Beckham a few weeks before the transfer took place, and admitted once the deal was complete that he had nothing to do with it the whole ordeal. No one aside from the player and the club know what the real reason was for the deal, however one things for certain – PSG star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich had a contrasting opinion in regards to the whole situation.
Following David Beckham’s announcement upon signing a five-month contract with PSG that he will donate his entire salary to a Parisian children’s charity, Zlatan Ibrahimovich has announced that he will donate all of his wages to himself.
“I heard Beckham’s decision and it made me think,” Ibrahimovic told reporters while on duty with the Swedish national team. “Who is most deserving of all of the money that I, Zlatan, am paid? The answer is Zlatan. The children of Paris are not leading Ligue 1 in goals this season. I am. I have 20 goals. The next best players have 12. Twelve! If anything, the children of Paris should be giving me even more money for having the privilege of being in the same city as my incredible quality. And so should David Beckham. Call it a Zlaritable donation.”
In other words once again Zlatan has proven to the world that he is the boss, and if ever a time comes when a Swedish man is eligible to become President of the United States of America, I shall be voting for him.
You don’t get bullshit with Zlatan – just common sense.
– Asgard over and out.