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Sports Then and Now



Why Manchester United and Gambling Go Together 3

Posted on January 05, 2021 by Dennis Hamming

Manchester United, one of the world’s most famous football clubs boasting more silverware than any other club in the United Kingdom and over history one of Europe’s elite teams, alongside only Barcelona FC, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Whether you love them or hate them, week in week out they capture a large amount of viewers. With their never say die attitude (well, at least over Sir Alex Fergusons’ 25 years in charge) and high tempo football it’s been a very intense and exciting roller coaster ride for us all! 

Why are slots similar to watching Manchester United?

Watching Manchester United gets the heart beating, a buzz that you may find similar to that in playing slots. They are both built on the same fundamentals. A long, sometimes controversial history. Both were created at very similar times. Manchester United were founded in 1878 and were formally known as Newton Heath L&YR Football Club. The original slot machine was made in New York by Sittman and Pitt in 1891, although very different to the slot machines you find nowadays especially to slots available in an online casino but the concept was the same. Manchester United and slots, although both dont always win, at some stage eventually they will. 

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Soccer is Back on a Global Scale 1

Posted on June 25, 2020 by John Harris

While most team sports in the United States are just getting started on the path back to competition, soccer (known as football to the rest of the world) is back in full swing. As can be expected, football betting is also back on track as the competition heats up.

Though there are still more games left to be played, Liverpool has already staked their claim as the English Premier League Champions with a record of 28-2-1. Given the impressive record, some are wondering if this Liverpool squad ranks among the greatest teams in Premier League History. However, the season disruption due to COVID-19 certainly makes it a bit hard to compare this season to other past campaigns.

Bill Connelly from ESPN did a great job ranking the 27 previous Premier League seasons to identify the greatest champions in league history.

While the Premier League season is nearing conclusion, there is still a lot to be decided including Champions League and Europa League spots, the fight for relegation and the FA Cup.

Read the rest of this entry →

Jose Mourinho – Too Cautious to Succeed? 0

Posted on April 01, 2018 by John Harris

MourinhoCurrent Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, for nearly two decades now, has perhaps been the most important coach operating in the game of football. Champions League and Uefa Cup successes at Porto, turning Chelsea into the leviathan they are today, guiding Internazionale out of the wilderness and into the limelight and stopping Pep’s Barcelona, (albeit briefly) with Real Madrid all marked him out as one of the game’s brightest minds.

However, it is undeniable that his star is beginning to wane.

In fact, Mourinho’s position at Old Trafford is looking more perilous with each passing day. Despite signing a contract extension that theoretically sees him employed until the year 2020, Mourinho sits at odds of just 5/1 with Titanbet to leave his post in the summer.

After spending a total nearing £300 million, Jose Mourinho has ensured that the fans demand the utmost from his side. Of course, a club like Manchester United always need to be in the hunt for trophies, yet the Salford club’s demands extend far beyond the need for silverware. The club long for the brand football so regularly displayed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fearing that Manchester United are losing what made them unique and are in the process of morphing into ‘just another big club’, we often hear a chorus of fans singing, “ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK!!”.

Manchester United have the players to play a more cavalier style of football, yet the manager in the dugout is reluctant to shift his foot too far from the break peddle. Mourinho, by his very nature, is a cautious individual, and nowhere was this more evident than in Manchester United’s recent elimination from the Champions League. Read the rest of this entry →

17 Most Valuable Sports Teams in the World 3

Posted on November 07, 2014 by Dean Hybl

Th Staples Center is home to two valuable basketball franchises.

Th Staples Center is home to two valuable basketball franchises.

You already know how great your favorite sports team is, but do you how much they’re actually worth? The following list is a pretty simple ranking sheet based entirely on the monetary value of each of the individual teams on the list, regardless of sport. Most of the teams on this list will be familiar to people who aren’t even familiar with the sport because they dominate the headlines of their respective sports year after year. Here goes:

17. Philadelphia Eagles
I bet if you asked anyone in the broader sports world if the Eagles were the sixth most valuable American Football team they would say no. The truth is, the market is deep as the $1.314 billion valuation proves. Eagle fans are avid and are being rewarded with stadium renovations that make it more enjoyable to continue to support their team. These guys are proof that it matters when people love and support their teams.

16. Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal is arguably the most successful club in British Premier league history, particularly because of their reliability. They’re a contender every year. For an American comparison, they’re basically the Yankees. Rich, based in a big city, London, and regularly in the running for the pennant. That’s probably why they’re worth $1.331 billion.

15. Los Angeles Lakers
This list is quickly becoming one of teams that you love to hate. The Lakers are a dynasty franchise that has had periods of dominance every decade since the seventies. With that in mind it’s surprising they’re only valued at $1.35 billion considering Ballmer just bought the Clippers for $2 billion.

14. New York Jets
The Jets have struggled to fill MetLife stadium the past two years and stand at 26th in NFL attendance rankings but they have a slice of one of the largest markets in football so they’re worth $1.38 billion.

13. New York Knicks
The Knicks had the biggest average audience in the NBA this past season with 163,000 viewers per game. It’s pretty astonishing considering they were losing more than 50 percent of their games at that time. Those masochistic fans have made the Knicks worth $1.4 billion.

12. Houston Texans
Texas is one of the most avid football states in America, so much so that there is a TV series AND a movie about how important High School football is to its residents. Although these depictions were fictionalized, that really speaks to the markets yearning for more ever football. $1.45 billion.

11. Boston Red Sox
Now that they’ve broken the curse, they can’t seem to stop breaking it. They’re making up for lost time with a third World Series title in ten years. That’s especially amazing since this is the sport with the second fewest repeat champions in the four major North American sports. $1.5 billion.

10. New York Giants
The more loved of the two New York teams at the moment, the Giants, have a better winning record these days to be happy about. Thus, they get all of the New York bandwagon to tune in. It’s made them $200 million wealthier than their counterparts. $1.55 billion. Read the rest of this entry →

Is It Time For Ferguson To Call It A Day At Manchester United? 3

Posted on December 05, 2011 by Rod Crowley

It has often been seen in the past that Manchester United usually begin their surge towards winning the Premier League at around this time of year. Last season was a little different; they began well and maintained their form for most of the season, winning an unprecedented 12th title for their venerable boss, Sir Alex Ferguson. The great man also guided United to their third final in four years in the Champions League and although they were well beaten by Barcelona, it was nonetheless a great achievement.

Whilst he continued his winning ways at Old Trafford last year, he was no doubt casting an eye across Manchester to neighbours, Manchester City, who have been spending huge amounts of money on putting together a team that would be capable of topping Sir Alex and his Man Utd team’s dominance and it looks like this season could be the first that the power in Manchester final shifts towards the blue half.

Sir Alex has also spent money in the past 12 months, bring in amongst others, Ashley Young, David De Gea in goal and Phil Jones. He has also introduced Danny Welbeck and talented midfieder, Tom Cleverley from the youth team.

There was no bigger smile in football, when Sir Alex walked off the Wembley pitch back in August with a tenth Charity Shield having seen his team bounce back from a two goal deficit and defeat City 3-2 in what was more than a just curtain raiser to the current season. That win spoke volumes of what football is all about to Sir Alex; winning against your major rivals is a huge motivator for the man who has been at Manchester United since 1986 regardless of what is at stake. It was one-upmanship at its absolute best and it gave United a huge lift as the new season got underway the following week, for which they were favourites to win the Premier League crown once again.

Five wins from five Premiership games followed, including that now famous 8-2 massacre of Arsenal at Old Trafford, which was followed a week later by a 5-0 thrashing of Bolton. United were riding a ‘crest of a wave’ and Sir Alex was clearly putting it up to City in no uncertain terms. City however also went on an unbeaten; moreover, they were improving with every game under boss Roberto Mancini.

Then of course came the real showdown on 23rd October at Old Trafford when United, still in very confident mood entertained City for a match that was all about deciding Premier League supremacy at that time. The result of course will celebrated for years at the Etihad Stadium as not only did City gain revenge for the Charity Shield reverse, they took United apart, running out 6-1 winners; a result that had previously been unheard of in a Manchester Derby at the “Theatre of Dreams”.

Worse still for Sir Alex was that result appears to have knocked the resolve from the team who are no longer playing with their early season verve and they have also had a dip in Champions League form. City meanwhile have a taken a commanding lead in the Premiership where they are still unbeaten in 14 games in which they have amassed an incredible tally of 48 goals.

United’s season could reach the depths of despair this week, should they lose to Basel in their final game in the group stages in the Champions League. The Swiss side were good enough to snatch a 3-3 draw with the at Old Trafford in September and know that they have a great chance of causing a major upset.

With United already out of the Carling Cup and struggling to keep up with Man City in the league, many are questioning whether Ferguson’s time at Old Trafford is fast coming to an end. He turns 70 at the end of this month and whilst that will no doubt ignite more reminiscing about what he’s achieved in 25 years at the club, there is no getting away from the fact that that if he chooses to stick around a while longer, he could be facing the biggest battle to date and maybe the best thing he could do is allow the search for the next Manchester United manager to begin ready for him stepping down as the task of overhauling City’s emerging dominance does not look like a short term task!

Fevered Pitch: Strange and Terrible Tales From the World of Soccer 5

Posted on September 18, 2010 by Andrew Jeromski

If you are one of the five or six people who have actually read any of my other irresponsibly chimeric screeds (hi Mom, Aunt Kate), then you no doubt realize I have a peculiar fondness for the bizarre and the off beat.

I also possess a passion for the sport of soccer, which is a fortuitous thing, as the world of association football is literally overflowing with all manner of chiseling crooks, dangerous thugs, craven lunatics and twisted perverts. This means that the well of weirdness that FIFA keeps in the secret attic of a small church in southern France will never run dry, much to the satisfaction of those like myself who take great pleasure to revel in the arcana of the beautiful game.    This is something that many American fans overlook; the petty dramas of the transfer market, the vicious hatred between rivals fans, the wealth of impossible personalities and the far fetched happenings of international soccer.

Take the case of the Togolese national team. I mean, imagine you are a Togolese international, and you awake one morning, switch on your TV and see a match report from a friendly in Riffa, Bahrain that you are pretty sure never happened–at least not with the Togo team you play for. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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