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 Euro 2016 soccer draw

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PostSubject: Euro 2016 soccer draw   Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:27 pm

Badger Bob also a BIG soccer fan. Can watch hockey and soccer all day. And if a Formula 1 auto race went all day, say 2,000 miles instead of the usual 200+, could watch that all day as well. (Basketball on the other hand largely unwatchable.)

Paul, this is mainly for your benefit. But we may have other soccer fans in the group as well.

Euro 2016 draw announced today. For me, this tournament, the European Championship, is always a great watch. Defending champion Spain. Defending runner-up Italy.

Some history as WALES has qualified for the European Championship for the first time. This is good news for Wales. But have to point out that for 2016, the size of the tournament has expanded from 16 teams (four teams in four groups) to 24 (4 x 6).

Now, the tournament is the same size and will cover the same time period as the World Cup.

Also in the European Championship for the first time is Northern Ireland. In a major tournament for the FIRST TIME is Albania (small hard-line communist nation) and Iceland (can't have much time each year to play soccer since most of the land is frozen year-round).

Wales is in Group B along with England as well as Slovakia (part of my heritage) and Russia. Gotta believe people in United Kingdom will be abuzz when Wales plays England.

Paul, will you care about this game? Will you watch it? Who will you root for?

Did some quick research. Looks like last time Wales and England played an international match that mattered was in March 2011, a Euro 2012 qualifier won by England, 2-0, in Cardiff, Wales.


Looks like F Darren Bent scored a goal that day for England. He was a strong offensive player at that point of his career. But upon signing with my favorite England Premier League team, Aston Villa, he pulled a disappearing act. Think Alexandre Daigle, Pat Falloon, etc.

He was owned by Villa from 2011-2015. In that time, he scored 21 goals in 61 club games. He was so worthless that he was loaned out by Villa to three other teams, including two in lower leagues.

After last season, he was released by Villa and is now slogging along for a team in the Championship, League 2 in England.

In Euro 2016, top two teams in each group advance to knockout stage of 16 teams. Also advancing will be four third-place teams.

OK, soccer on my mind as I am keeping track of Manchester United playing Premier League game at AFC Bournemouth. Back to that for now.

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PostSubject: Re: Euro 2016 soccer draw   Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:37 pm

Truth be told, I only follow soccer during the World Cup, once every four years.

I'm a bit puzzled when it comes to understanding why I don't like soccer more. I'm a huge fan of baseball - including pitching duels - so it's not the pace of the game. I like slow/strategic, don't need fast-paced/gobs of scoring.

I have quite a few European friends and they, like most of Europe (the World, actually), are OBSESSED(!!) with the game. So what's my problem (or maybe, what's their problem)?

I dunno.

John, what attracts you to the game?
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PostSubject: Why Badger Bob enjoys soccer and brain teaser   Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:01 pm

Paul, sorry for the delay in responding.

I played soccer up through high school. Really enjoyed participating and was a decent player. Probably should have gone to a small (D3) college and continued to play competitively for a few more years.

What I like about the game:

Players are athletes who are in great shape. Have to perform movements that require a lot of dexterity such as passing and trapping the ball while consuming a LOT of energy.

I too don't need lots of scoring. I love the anticipation as a build up occurs and a goal, although rare, is scored. This is ALSO why I like listening to hockey on the radio. Anticipation builds as the announcer's voice rises. Will the team I am rooting for score?

Soccer to me is really visually appealing to watch. Really pretty to see the play develop, especially when it results in a goal. This is the same as in hockey.

As with hockey, best if your view stays slightly ahead of the play. Look at where you EXPECT the ball or puck to go. This is why I don't buy the argument from people who say they can't follow the hockey puck on TV. That's because you are looking at where the puck is AS OPPOSED TO where it is going. I will agree that it does take time to develop an "eye" for this. Not something that happens overnight.

I also LOVE the passion exhibited by the fans. This is different than the hooliganism.

If I ever to go to Villa Park in Birmingham, England for an Aston Villa game, I would be among people who I don't know but with whom I share a common bond. They would probably wonder what the heck is an American doing in Villa Park and why does he root for Aston Villa.


The star on the logo indicates a European Championship, 1982 UEFA Super Cup, which was predecessor of Champions League.

(Hey, good news today. Aston Villa with a 1-1 draw with West Ham, which is in the middle of the table. Villa still in last and in danger of relegation. But two draws in a row and starting to did out of the hole. I think it will be close, but Villa will end up avoiding relegation I say with fingers and toes crossed.)

Also, for me, rooting for Aston Villa holds same appeal as does Formula 1 auto racing. Events taking place in far off venues that I hope to visit some day. (As mentioned, I have seen Formula 1 races in Montreal and Indianapolis. Would like to get to race venues in Europe and Asia. HAVE NO INTEREST in going to race venues in South America.)

That brings up to a brain teaser? Why does Badger Bob root for Aston Villa?

The reason has to do with classic rock music. I decided to begin rooting rooting for Aston Villa in December 1976 after seeing my first "big arena" concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. Please seek to guess as to which band was the headline act that night. The band was promoting the release of an album.

I can tell you that the opening act was Detroit's own TED NUGENT. Can't make this up. The combination of Nugent first and ??? second made for one GREAT show!!!

Since Badger Bob is playing the Ice Cats in this period, the following photo is appropriate:


I had my share of Jack Daniels that was spirited into the venue. (I am sure you guys did the same thing when attending shows at Cobo Hall.) But I do remember plenty about that show and am still a fan of both bands. So I had JUST ENOUGH to enhance my enjoyment of the show.

Remember, IT'S ALWAYS A GREAT DAY FOR HOCKEY, TED NUGENT and the other band that was the headline act at Madison Square Garden in December 1976. Badger Bob over and out.
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PostSubject: Re: Euro 2016 soccer draw   Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:34 pm

Tom Hanks and Ozzy Osbourne are both fans of Aston Villa. Since it's unlikely Tom Hanks was playing MSG in 1976 (or any other year for that matter), my guess:

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PostSubject: EXCELLENT PAUL!!!   Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:50 pm

Morgan pries the puck loose at center. He skates up the right wing. Gets around Ekman-Larsson (pain in the rear last night)...He winds for a slapper from the right circle...MORGAN SHOOTS AND SCORES!!!  Very Happy A goal scorer's goal into the far left upper 90!!!

As Penguins' announcer Mike Lange would say, "He beat Holtby (another pain in the rear last night) like a rented mule!!!"

 cheers  cheers  cheers
You are the first person EVER to get the correct answer JUST LIKE THAT. It could be that your British heritage provided an advantage. Nevertheless, have been asking that question for like 40 years without a successful answer until now!!!

Actually, all four original members of Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass guitar) and Bill Ward (drums) all BLACK SABBATH fans. They all are from Aston, Birmingham.

I purchased a program at the show. Still have it. Somehow, I managed to get the program home in excellent shape.

Upon reading in the program, learned that the members of Black Sabbath are fans of the Aston Villa Football Club.

As said, I was a soccer player. I had gone to a few North American Soccer League games in Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium. The team was the Philadelphia Atoms. At this time, Pele was with the New York Cosmos.

But since I already was a Formula 1 fan, I realized that there COULD BE better soccer beyond the shores of the United States. So here it was, karma staring me in the face. I decided I am now an Aston Villa fan.

Having Aston Villa win the 1982 European Championship, defeating German perennial power Bayern Munich in the final in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, solidified me as a fan. This was an improbable win, 1-0, on a goal from forward Peter Withe late in the second half.

Bayern Munich missed all kinds of chances and Aston Villa had to use its backup goaltender. It was destined to be Aston Villa's day.

Back to Black Sabbath.

Tony Iommi really a STRONG guitar player who may not get the recognition he deserves since Ozzy is always top of mind when anyone says Black Sabbath.

The album being promoted on the tour in December 1976 Technical Ecstacy.


Technical Ecstacy not high on my list of favorite Black Sabbath albums. It's OK. I think others are much better.

So will leave with the original video of the classic song "Paranoid," title track from second album of the same name. Includes a NICE guitar segment from Iommi at 1:19 to 1:40!!!

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