It’s tempting,especially for soccer fans, to feel that Sepp Blatter or Michel Platini is the King of European Hell ((and on some level, Blatter could perhaps be considered the King of ALL Hells)). But the honest truth at the end of the day is that Bernie Ecclestone is the true King of European Hell. King of Sport (allegedly), King of European Hell. The absolute ferocious and terrible dictator of Formula 1 for the last 10, 11 thousands years give or take a few. And yes, I know F1 is an international sport, but at heart and in it’s origins, it is European to the core.
The good news is that Bernie Ecclestone might not be the King of European Hell for very much longer. He has been asked to step down from his position on the F1 Board of Directors by his fellow board members. He will still run the day to day operations of F1, but his discretion will be limited. He will be on a very short leash from now on.
He could very well be on his way to prison. This Thursday he was indicted on bribery charges in Munich…accused of slipping a £27 million pay packet to a German banker to swing a deal in his favour.
Bernie’s days appear to be numbered in F1. He’s ruled the sport with an iron fist since at least the days of The Invasion of The Great Heathen Army. But unlike the France family, who’ve ruled NASCAR since the days of The Nine Years War, Bernie has no family waiting in the wings to carry the torch onward. Also, of course, despite all his power, money, influence, and scurrilous demeanor, Ecclestone doesn’t actually own Formula 1. When he goes away, the bureaucrats will take the sport over.
And that won’t be a very good thing either.
Bloody Hell!! NASCAR is going to really shake up The Chase this coming season. At least that’s the proposal and preliminary indications.
Here are the basics of what’s proposed.
First off, the Chase will expand to 16 drivers. All drivers who had wins, and then those highest in the points w/o wins if there aren’t 16 drivers with wins. Points will be reseeded as usual and then the boy shave at it. After the 3rd race of the Chase, the bottom 4 drivers in points are eliminated. After race 6, the next 4 are eliminated. Then after race 9, 4 more are eliminated leaving the top 4 drivers heading in to Homestead to duke it out for the Championship.
Those four drivers will have their points reset so they tee it off at Homestead even in the points. The driver from those 4 who finished highest at Homestead will WIN the Championship.
Crazy stuff, yes? But it might work.
Bear in mind this has not been officially implemented. Just proposed. But I wouldn’t bet against this scheme or a variation of it being announced fairly soon.
A pity they didn’t have this in place LAST season.
If it had been, Matt Kenseth would have won the Championship.
In a consanguineous vein of craziness, NASCAR announced a NEW Qualifying scheme today that looks very similar to what is done in Formula 1. ((Note to F1 purists: Not the same, but similar)). This will be applied this season to all the races except for the Daytona 500.
At tracks over 1.25 miles in length, there will be a 25 minute opening round of qualifying with all drivers out on the track. After a 5 minute break, the 24 fastest drivers from round one will duke it for a 10 minute session. There will be another 5 minute break, and then the top 12 drivers from round 2 will have at it for a final 5 minute session. Fastest driver from round 3 will have the pole with the rest of field set on qualifying times from the three sessions.
At tracks under 1.25 miles, there will be 2 sessions. Session 1 with all vehicles will 30 minutes. Then the fastest 12 from session 1 will tee it up for 10 minutes and the fastest driver will take the pole.
When I say fastest driver, it’s not going to be a heats race or anything like that. It simply means fastest laptime in the session—just like F1.
My guess is that it might force teams to go away from traditional qualifying setups and run whatever they plan to run during the race. But then again, I’ve guessed wrong before. What are your thoughts on this?
In any case, it should give us a bit of excitement during qualifying.
If any Man U fan thought that this would be even close to being a competitive game, then there is no hope for him or her. It’s a building year, perhaps two even three for the red side of Manchester. Moyes is no Sir Alex, but then again, No One Is….there will never be his like again. So anyone who would have picked to follow is his footsteps would have been doomed to trek of condemnation through a slough of despond. Moyes is a good man and a good coach…he’ll soldier on through, but not with the team his is saddled with.
So despite a bright start, Man U lost a match that they fully expected to lose. The match was not as close as the scoreboard would indicate.
Chelsea took control of the match and dominated, as expected. And Samuel Eto’o played like the Samuel Eto’o of olde.
My only complaint with Chelsea on the day is that they took there foot of the gas for a bit midway through the 2nd half and gifted Man U a garbage time goal from Chicharito. I’m not at pleased with that and Jose I’m sure will have a word with a few of the lads about the importance of staying focused and at full-speed ruthlessness.
AS for the violence, well….there was a little chippyness here and there throughout the match. And to his credit, Phil Dowd let the lads play, although his show Luiz a yellow at the 19th minute for illegal usual of the elbow. But towards the end, 1 minute in to stoppage time, the red card was shown to Vidic for a ((football cliche alert)) horror tackle® on Hazard. And also in a fit of stoppage time desperation, Rafael got a yellow for a two-footed tackle of, I believe, Ramires. That should have been red as well, but Dowd showed Man U a bit of mercy there.
So the violence didn’t settle it after all. The Eto’o hat trick did.
Evidently, Wayne Rooney is already on the Chelsea payroll. Theoretically he was in Egypt healing his groin injury. But the truth of the matter s that he was actually easing his way into the Chelsea squad by working as a steward at Stamford Bridge during Sunday’s Chelsea-Man U tilt. There he is. Checking out the scoreboard as his former mats are getting a good hiding as Jon Obi Mikel readies himself to go on for Oscar and adjusts his shinguards under the watchful eye of 4th official Lee Probert.
In more truthful transfer news, it appears that Juan Mata will be heading to Man U for a tidy sum of £40 million. It’s not official yet, but should be announced shortly…pending a medical and all that dross. It’s sad to see Mata leave the Bridge, but he’s fallen out of favour with Mourinho, and realistically, his game doesn’t quite fit the game that Chelsea are playing at the moment. He’s really a square peg in a round hole and while I hate to see him leave, he’ll be better off elsewhere. Though I do hate seeing him go to Man U(re). I’d rather see him to to PSG, or Borussia Dortmund or Juventus….anywhere but Man U.
Oh well. He was a great asset to Chelsea the last few seasons and a fun player to watch. I wish him the best ((except when he plays Chelsea, of course)).
Man U sure could have used Mata today.
I hate to kick a team while it’s down, so I won’t mention here that in today’s Capital One Cup semi-final tilt, Manchester United lost to the mighty team from Sunderland 1-2 on pens. After 120 minutes, it was 3-3 on aggregate. And then, the penalty kickers stepped up to the plate, and well, it was a truly stunning spectacle. And Sunderland ran out winner sinking 2 penalty kicks to Man U’s one! Yes, you read that right. But you didn’t read that here, since, as I said, I wouldn’t mention it.
And I haven’t.
And I didn’t.