College Football Makes A Conference Call
Can't you put a status update on slacks? Yeah, let me try that. Excuse us. We can't report a podcast right now because we have to figure out our status updates okay I saved. Mine has a little microphone and. The promise people won't know what it means. Hey there welcome to take down the shore. The hot takes up the sports world, the numbers that proved them rights or tear them down. Today is. July Fourteenth Twenty Twenty and I'm seriously the sports editor here it by thirty eight joining me from new. York City is senior sportswriter. Neil pain I kneel. Hi Sarah. How's it going? It's it's you. It's a very Monday Tuesday. I feel like it's going to be Monday's all the way down. From here on out. And from Los Angeles by Thirty Eight. Contributor Foster Hi Jeff. How're Ya, it's hot here I can run this this Mazda recording studio I might have to turn the turn the AC on. I don't think you're allowed to do that. In your reported. We're not supposed to sit in the garage with the engine running. Now Not That Depends on how the show goes right Jeff. Yeah Yeah True Yeah. So Neil I heard. You've been watching some Formula One. You're getting back into your pre pandemic These these Watson formula the Weird Sports. Yeah I mean this was like a nice return for normal. See for me, you know Mercedes has dominated so it's just like normal and Ferrari is having a lot of drama. This is great formula. One is great because it's not really about the races themselves That's guys driving around. You know of course a bunch of times whatever, but it's really about the soap opera aspect of it with the teams, and in this particular case, Ferrari there young up and Comer Charlotte Clare ran into his older and sort of like fallen from Grace Sebastian venable punctured a you know his own chassis in the process just destroyed both of their races on the first lap of the race. Punctured I think no. Lights Chassis on puncture. That's. Rule number one of four. You. Ask Your your the the weird sports that you like are truly amazing. I can't figure out. Why do why you like Formula One. Because you did a story on Formula One. And Now! When I was when I was twelve. Oh right, and that's what most of these things come down to write like. Did I like Sport Xyz when I was twelve? Yes, then. Yes, I'm going to be into it. Did you like formula? One when you were twelve couldn't even drive I found so fun. One one time we're on vacation and I found a Formula One magazine at the place that we're staying. And it happened to be on a race weekend, and so I just was like reading the magazine, and watching it and I was like Oh my God. This is pretty awesome, and that was the genesis of my Formula One Phantom, so really really that could have been anything and sent neil pain on a completely different different. Yeah it could have been about birding or like model plane building, and then all of a sudden. You Know Butterfly flaps. Its wings were not here. Wow you're. So true! On today's show we'll talk about latest cancellations delays, and Conference only schedules as college football desperately tries to keep its Jenga Tower of a season from falling down while also talk about Manchester City is successful appeal of its Champions League ban, and what that might mean for the future of UEFA financial fair play rules. And finally we'll take a deep dive into date with a rabbit hole of the week. A series of dominoes fine over the past week has made the college football season seem even more unlikely, or at least more complicated last, Wednesday the Ivy League announced, it was canceling all fall sports for twenty twenty, then on Thursday, the big ten announced that it would be restricting its scheduled to conference. Only play then on Friday, the PAC twelve followed suit and went to a conference only model. The PAC twelve also announced that its commissioner. Larry Scott has contracted cove nineteen and was in quarantine so everything in college. Football is going great. The ACC SEC and big twelve of all said they will determine what they're doing by. The end of July, but voluntary workouts have already started on college campuses, and in the case of some schools including Ohio State and North Carolina. They've already stopped because of positive coronavirus cases. Colleges are between in Iraq Oh between a rock and a hard place here with the financial incentives, they have to play especially football and the obligations they have to protect their students, but money Jones had this to say on ESPN's outside the lines about the presence of student athletes on campus right now. Everything above football from the numbers of players needed to feel the team, the proximity of the players while they're on the field. Lots of obese players, and the rich old men on the sidelines is a covert Red Flag Arizona's take precautions only allowing twenty Kobe negative athletes as of now, but it is a living breathing. Bad idea the schools are trying because the financial repercussions of missing to season would be monstrous. That's uncomfortable, but it's honest and it's understandable. But having athletes on campus when it's too dangerous for the largest student body. That's given the game away. It was a long ago. We'd assault a player's character for receiving pocket change from a booster. There's more perspective now greater recognition of the inherent unfairness, so-called amateurism and reaction. Victimless crime has been tempered. But we still don't have enough perspective to see a player. As why was good enough for him isn't good enough for his classmates fill in the obvious blank because the players worked for the school and a real students don't. So is this rights are our schools sacrificing player safety for the financial incentives that they have to play? Jeff. What do you think about that? Yes yes, the answer to that question. If they play would be yes, because. That's just the way college sports is I mean it's about money? I mean these are the two. This is a revenue sport. This and it's serious. It's a serious to the revenue for a lot of these. All these athletic departments with football teams especially on a year where you already lost the NC. Double A. Tournament you already took a big revenue had not to mention the the money that schools left and right are hitting are gonNA get in general by not having? You know people on campus You know there's just not. Zahn of money in there to support a full athletic department and I think they need football for you know to to float a lot of these athletic departments and I think what we'll see you know you know. It's about money, but it's not in some cases about greed. It's about money that's necessary to you know, keep student athletics going I mean I think we might see programs shutdown. We might see all sorts of effect to this in not just the this year in the next couple. Couple of years. Yeah, and this idea that you know sacrificing player safety for financial incentives. I mean that is true pretty much everything not just in sports, but like the whole of society is sacrifice being people's health to some degree or another because of financial incentives, I mean it is sort of a balancing act between like how much activity can we sustain while you know trying to keep the virus? And I'm not saying that we're doing that at the moment, but I mean that's like. Like the terrible thing about the virus is that it shuts down a lot of the things that make our economy go, and so you have to choose like it's about trade offs, and in this particular case. Yeah, you're totally right, Jeff. If this a sport that didn't generate money like football. Football is the Revenue Generating Sport not just of revenue, Generating Sport and so you know if it were any other sport, they cancel it and in this particular case they're keeping it open because the. The consequences, and in some ways self-serving for the athletic directors in the school, certainly, but the consequences financially short and long-term could be really devastating, and that's why they're trying it now. That being said it's a pretty easy fix. You could give everyone in the country red shirt. We already have redshirt as a system you know for injuries or transfers and you know you give everyone a red shirt, and then if you need a red shirt on top of a redshirt or call that something new. I mean. A pink shirt and and yeah. You're a year older, but you know. Most of them are not going the NFL anyway and we've seen guys you know. Play College football long past their actual like graduation from solid. What does, it matter. You know. Yeah, I mean. I I don't know that there is like malicious intent here grown adults athletes. Can decide for themselves whether the trade off is worth it for them whether their family needs them to not not play, not go to these bubbles, or whatever, or whether their family needs them to play students don't. I feel like the college needs to take more of a step to protect their students. They're still that weird. You know they're not quite fully formed adults yet. I know they're technically adults, but they seem young. They seem younger all the time. Honestly Maybe that's just me feed very old. All of us. Yeah but I feel like there's something else that that colleges older students there and like if it's taking that hit for a year financially. I. Mean I think we're the whole. Country is taking a hit financially right I. It's just interesting to me. How this like every sport situation we've encountered is a microcosm of what the country at large is facing the money in college. Athletics I think is just GONNA. Make happen even regardless of of students, testing positive, or not I don't. Do you guys think it is going to happen that? The season is going to happen for college football who? Who I don't know I mean the we'll talk about the conference. Only stuff which I think maybe makes it more likely that it's going to happen, but I was just. GonNa say offered the decentralized nature of college sports and college football. Since we're talking about it I think also plays a big role in just why it feels a lot less well organized and more dangerous I mean. They didn't even have a centralized national championship until pretty recently. that. You know it's just this hodgepodge of a bunch of different. you know tolerance is for risk and you know they're organized by conference, and by Athletic Program you know deans of the different schools like there's so many different moving parts, and there's no centralized leadership to to say like this is how we're doing it, which is actually somewhat similar to the situation to like. Maybe. Really familiar right? Yeah! I mean, every state has stitched together its own. You know wildly dispirit response plan intesting testing plan all of these things and they've had different outcomes as a result, and so I think college football might be the most American of all sports in a lot of different ways, and that's why we're kind of seeing it. Struggled to to come to grips with. This is probably even more so than the pro sports. Yeah well so all right the conference only models will those make a difference here I mean. You know the big ten is not exactly a tight, little regional outfit anymore to be. It's not anymore. I mean Nebraska's traveled Maryland Wisconsin supposed to go to a records like the big ten. Isn't that so neither is the PAC twelve? So Neil? Are they really mitigating risk here? I mean they're probably mitigating it some just because the fewer places you have to travel to fewer opponents that you have to play you know probably cuts down on the transmission if there is some kind of outbreak in one place. In theory, if each conference is a bubble, unto itself then if there's some kind of outbreak with one team, it won't affect all of college football. It will only affect the teams that those have played, but as we saw when things shutdown back in March, the ripple effect of how quickly you know some positive tests on one team can spread out across a bunch of different other teams. I think it's I think it's two things. I think the main thing is about time. You know the the ANA conference games of the first three games by doing this. You're buying time I think. The way. Were seen. You know spikes hospitalizations in intests and. Across the country, they just can't start right now in this. Current environment the way that the way this thing see is seemingly spiralling out of control again. they need good news. They need to see cases going down I think from a medical perspective that they won't start I if cases are still climbing like this so by by pushing it back to what first week in October. Or late. September, whatever it is you're buying a little more time for things to turn around and even within that. If you're you know if it's just conference play, you can also cut down from a a nine or ten game schedule to you know even fewer games. If you had to you know you could say you're just playing the teams in your division. If you have divisions in one of these conferences so I think that's a big factor, it gives them more control and also gives them control against who they're playing. They can just set the rules at at as you said Neal. Comparison to the Federal Government and state responses. Is Very Apt. In this case, there is no national leadership, and and really the losers will be the the group of five conferences. I think because those conferences generally have less money and they depend on these games, and you know we pro. We point to these high profile. You know Ana Conference match ups you know at the beginning of the year, and those are the ones every watched, but that's not the vast majority of the vast majority is not Alabama crane USC. It's Alabama plane. Kent State. And well, that is not an important game to Alabama, that's very important game to Kent State especially in terms of money. So if we if cultural does go ahead and and colleges do try to get a this fall, but all five power five conferences, which conference only schedules that has a bunch of other implications to Neil. What would that mean for the College Football playoff while they have said that? They are just GonNa. Use the same criteria as always. Four best team! Which I think is. I've, Already. I think last year we made the case for an Expanded College Football playoff one that probably includes automatic bids for all the power, five conference, plus some at large or maybe something from one of those group of five conferences as well and. That made sense an enormous season. I think that's the only thing the makes sense in a situation like this. Because if every conference is their own self contained closed system, we have literally no way to know who you know how the conferences stack up, and it really is going to default back to like the SEC. The big ten Clemson I mean they'll probably just use the perceptions of how good the conferences were from twenty nine a replay of last year's playoff. Yeah! It might actually be that which would be a real shame you know obviously as far as these things go in the grand scope of things, it's a small shame, comparatively in the pandemic, but it it. It definitely speaks to the fact that in college football. You're already don't play enough games and not enough of a sample of different opponents to get like a great idea of the best teams. Are you know relative to each other? And now we're just GONNA totally. Blow up any chance that we have to compare teams across conferences also don't know what Notre Dame is going to do. All of Vera like would they join a I mean? Frankly they should have joined the conference a long time ago. So this is on what they get But at the same time would they like provisionally joined the big ten or something for like one season only just to be able to play a conference schedule, and how you know love to be a fly. Fly on the wall for negotiations around that but yeah, I mean it just creates a logistical problems in in terms of deciding who makes the playoff? You WanNa talk about playoffs that have asterisks attached to that. This would be one in addition to you know cramming a season in a against all advice for medical experts or logic or reason or you know. The optics of having college players play while college. Students are not even on campus putting all that aside off of that we would have this like Weird Sham of a playoff in which we'd have no idea who the best teams are still just pick them anyway and have them play each other. Though honestly, that sounds like all the other playoffs too so. At least it's a little better under normal circumstances than it would be this year. It's tricky. It's tricky, because also you have some conferences you know like the big ten. They'll play conference games, and then some like AC in the SEC, the played and Also. What do you do with these? Non Conference. Annual matchups like for instance Notre Dame Clemson is supposed to Godin Notre Dame. Clemson also is supposed to as they always do play South Carolina, so it's GonNa. Come down to this weird choice. Like do we play South Carolina? Do we go to Notre Dame? and or or either like what if they don't do either because it's not you know non conference games are just off the table period. We'd lose all these rivalry games like Iowa state for you. Sarah Georgia or detect for me. You know there's a bunch at Jeff. Your biggest rival is in conference, so you'll still get. Michigan State Right. Which I you love. Michigan. Teams in the State of Michigan. Eastern Michigan. Again, maybe Michigan State if we have prime Y-, so you have that problem but I guess what you're GonNa make the SEC teams. Do is play another SEC game which they've always avoided. You don't sort of analyzing themselves by limiting their conference schedule because it's so hard, so that's interesting, but then he went. Back to the playoff. It would be ludicrous to not expand the playoffs this year of all years. I think their fear. Is that once you expand the playoff? There's there's no going back you can't do. Anyway? It's going to be amazing and exciting. Everyone's GonNa love it, and also by the way it will bring in more. We're talking about money and we're talking about these struggling programs. It will bring you your offer that up to the the highest bidder ESPN whoever wants to pay for people will pay for it. That's a lot more money, so. It's ludicrous that they would expand this year. Li Ye take these PAC twelve teams, you know the the job of the pack twelve to lose ANA conference in the beginning, and then have a good year in your conference and knock gets elected to the playoffs. That's the rule. That's just how it works. So all of a sudden Oregon doesn't have to play Ohio State and and USC doesn't have to play Alabama. They probably GONNA have great year. So guess what now. You'RE GONNA have to be. You can't automatically cross them out because they had those earlier losses and the decision, making is going to be impossible. Yeah, what if all of the power? Five conferences are won by undefeated teams, and then you have to and then prone like a UCF. Someone like that that also goes undefeated, and then all of a sudden. You're picking four from six undefeated teams I. Mean like how does that work? The whole thing is seems like it's. A threat the BOGIN. Are we really going to seriously have the? Beef O Brady's bowl. I mean that seems insane, but yeah, that's something I haven't thought about having heard anything about whether. Those are being canceled or not. I mean we need the beef. O, Brady's bowl? Homily Yeah. It's not. We can't have that then. We should just cancel the entire college football season. It would be wild to me if this is the year that we get the change. We wanted in college football that we get an expanded playoff. Make Notre Dame joined conference like. Wouldn't that be wild? That was the outcome of this going forward. Then they are the players, and it's just isn't even college football now. Where even our? We don't even know you anymore college football. And then we can end the discussion here for now. Let's take a quick break before we talk about soccer. We have more big news from the world of European soccer, and I am not talking about Tottenham Gritty win over Arsenal on Sunday in the north London Darby. Just kidding teams a trash the game. I was very happy to win, but it was not a fun viewing experience at all. The Court of Arbitration for sports on Monday overturned the decision by the Union of Football Associations or UEFA that had banned Manchester City from European competition play two years. It also cut the amount city was find from thirty million euros to ten million euros. This basically wiped out. The financial penalty panel levied against city for lying about where it's revenue came from, but it did penalize city for obstructing way investigation into its financial dealings. The, ruling has significant implications for city and for big football clubs across Europe and for the future of UEFA financial fair play roles. Ryan Hon of Rear FC had this to say about the future of financial fair play on the Stadio podcast on Monday walls financial fair play I. Think came from a good place. widdly! And it has done of good I think it has checked a certain amount of clubs and stops them from. Going completely wild on on expenditure. However as time's gone on, I mean it's been here for over a decade now. It's now cemented those people at the very top with the highest amount of revenues because Club's small revenues with FFA, they're never gonNA. Be Able to get to the point where they can properly contend over sustained period, because they generate the revenue I think what it has done. Is that it? Is Not the. Sandra, masterpiece is like another nail in the coffin. Now you have to kind of question. Why is there? Its initial goal has been fulfilled to a certain degree. However. When clubs do violate the rules. There is very little fallout so I know. We talked about the man city ruling back in March, but that was before. The pandemic doesn't really count so neil. Even remember what who even knows that Neil. Can you walk us through the financial? What financial fairplay and why? It was implemented in the first place? Yes sure so, these are rules that are basically intended to keep clubs from spending excessively on players. You know it's a little bit like what we're used to over here. In the states like salary caps revenue, sharing that type of thing but there's also unique twists to these particular rules for soccer, so the ideas that. Clubs can spend only the money that they earn in revenues, not the money that they're often ridiculously wealthy owners pour into the COBB's and so it means that in order to increase the amount of payroll that you take on as a team, you have to bring in more money in sponsorships, and they can't be sponsorships that are sort of connected to the owner, so for instance in this particular case, cities owner was accused of basically using this airline company that he also owns as Shell Company to funnel sponsorship money into the soccer. Soccer team, but in fact it was actually allegedly money that he himself. Just Kinda used at the the sponsoring company as a middleman for to divert his own money into the team, and then took on more payroll added better players and Yada, Yada Yada won a lot of matches so the the rules are intended to keep you from doing that. Basically as a check on how much influence these wealthy owners can can kind of exert and and try to win compared with teams that are owned by a more modest billionaires. Billionaires right exactly. It's like the difference between. Being one of the five richest people on earth and just being. A normal run of the mill billionaire. But you know that's the general idea of how it's supposed to kind of work in UEFA especially, since you with is comparing teams across not just one football, organization or country, but all of the major leagues in countries, and trying to find common way to keep them from. You know if you had one team in the EPL that just went hog wild spending money you know. Would it really be fair for? For them to then entered this competition across clubs from all over Europe and and then just run roughshod over them, so it's like their way of trying without maybe meddling in the affairs of each individual country and League of trying to keep things in some kind of competitive balance, but I think we argue a lot over how effective that actually is right right right, so jeff does the does this court ruling? Are they free and clear now. No, I mean well, yes. They are free and clear, and they're not exonerated. Silly, because if you look at it, it really comes down to a you know a statute of limitations problem. it the original. Violation stems from a two thousand fourteen thing where both Man City and Paris Saint German were already punished, and then it was at SORTA. Timed out which makes me think. Why did we? Even bother with all this. If we knew like I'm not a lawyer married to alert, but it would sense I would guess that you gotta stay in this coming. This counterargument went to appeal that it had timed out, so it makes me think that this whole charade. Might have been pointless. Yeah I saw someone say that the UEFA? They thought the the allegations were so strong that it would overcome that like time barred. Issue which seems like that's like the kind of thing that just makes something new right like. You can't really get over that so so it's really hard to know whether whether A. Court case like this would be successful in a different situation, but also has tried this repeatedly with different clubs, and not it has not worked. Do you think that other big clubs will just? Throw caution to the wind and spend all of their money. They're suddenly you know sponsored by. Some company with burying the team owners name. That's just funneling money directly into the team, and I mean why, not in this particular case, they even had smoking gun e mails that basically made it clear that they were doing this, but because of the statute of limitations thing I guess it just didn't matter, and it does show that you know in cases where you have to choose between you know the amount of time that's passed versus the severity of the evidence. It seems like they're gonNA. Choose the the quarter of you know. Sport is going to choose income down on the side of the amount of time. That's passed now. We should also say that you know. Know, money doesn't necessarily one hundred percent by championships in European soccer, and with the two teams that you talked about Sarah Tottenham and Arsenal you know didn't have the types of seasons that they envisioned for themselves despite massive payroll budget, so you know it's possible for for teams to kind of sneak up from the bottom ranks, or at least the mid tier, and make some noise, but again you know competitive balance I think is a lot worse in European soccer than it is, and any of the major pro sports that we talk about on the show from North America. so if anything, this might embolden them to try to take it to an even greater level, yeah! I feel like it's going to be harder for four teams to for teams that don't have that financial advantage. Because if you can, if you can spend enough money to get yourself into regular Champions League appearances, there is so much money in the league that it can really be a self perpetuating thing. You just have a head start on every other team and can by the players that will make you better whether you're. A team that's good at buying the right players is part of the problem for some of these rich clubs. Looking at you Tottenham, but like I mean that's that's if you can buy enough. Players can also afford to make mistakes about who you buy, and that's been a flaw. With financial fair play as it exists since it came into place, because it really is sort of saying well, here's some money that you're allowed to spend, and here's some money that you're not allowed to spend, but the money you're allowed to spend is kind of just comes from this cycle like you mentioned of. The best teams get more sponsorship money and do better and then get more sponsorship money, and it doesn't really address the core problem you got. You got those sponsorships because you want a lot and you're very visible, and you keep making the Champions League or winning your Domestic Cup and it just perpetuates itself forever. Yeah, it doesn't make a lot of sense that they're trying to stop owners. Particularly, let's be honest. Foreign owners Russian oligarchs, people from the Emirates American billionaires by the way, yeah. from coming in and buying titles going full Steinbrenner but When when you're trying and by the way if the steinbrenner years showed everything that that doesn't always work, and we've seen that in soccer, too. But if you're trying to get an owner to not use money or a group owners that they have. It's to me. It's a flawed system and I get that it helps the smaller clubs, but it seems like. Term. These teams will will find a way to use their resources. Well so should there be some sort of salary cap, or some kind of of that kind of a system in soccer, or should there. Should it be a free for all which is better, I mean think from a competitive balance standpoint it would be great to see some kind of salary, cap, or revenue, sharing or something like that, but again you have to work it out, not just at the league level, but also across all of the countries in leagues, and you start to get into some really complicated ways of balancing. Across all of them and I think also, the problem is in order to get that accepted. You would have to have buy in from the top teams that are the ones that benefit greatly from the current system and don't want to be forced to spend less, and so it seems like it'd be kind of a nonstarter for The most powerful clubs yeah I mean it the there was a period there. Were you know these top leagues and you know you could argue still exists just seemed way too top heavy, but at the same time the global economy with everything going on not doing great, so an influx of cash and the sport I mean you know. Maybe, maybe it'll be more embrace than it was in previous years all right, we should be encouraging the wealthiest the point one percent to be spending, so spend on soccer teams may as well right. No and that's a big thing about this. Is that I think the financial fair play rules as they currently exist are all are transparently about reducing players ability to make money more than about leveling the playing field between You know the top clubs you're bringing them back down toward the middle of the pack. Because what it saying is basically we don't want you just going crazy and spinning a bunch of money on transfers, and ultimately raising the salaries of these top players in creating bidding wars for these top players using your personal wealth that then will raise the the salary expectations for everyone. In in European soccer, and suddenly you know you have the top players make a lot of money and I. Know that you know. The top players are the Ronaldo's the message in all these guys. They make a bunch of money. They're the Mo- I think the highest paid athletes in the world as a general rule but at the same time they could be making more based on the revenues, especially based on the amount of money that these owners want to put into their teams. Teams and the financial fair play rules kind of make that more complicated as we've seen city, they necessarily stop it from happening. Yeah, I think that's a fair point that the other. The other teams that want like city not be to be able to spend as much as it wants. It's not because they're worried about the less wealthy teams. They're worried about having to pay more than they want to pay to the players up. Yeah, lots of things can be true at the same time. But it's also. Like, they should embrace the globalization of the sport I mean you know there's? Four, an ownership is not going anywhere, and if anything, it's going to increase in all these leaks you look at you know this chinese-ownership left and right in in the English league in all, not even just the top tier you know in the lower ranks to so maybe new owners. If you can't keep up with these teams well right, and maybe that's the way we're going to get more cinderella stories because they're suddenly an influx of cash from a new. New owner with lots of money to spend. What city itself was one of those teams long ago. You know they were not the powerhouse. That, they have been in recent years for a long time, and then they just sort of zoomed up and it happened to coincide with new ownership. It's funny how that works yeah. I. Don't know when I turned into the Gordon Gecko. Yeah. I like that good on you. Of course, there's one very real outcome of this of the court ruling. So now Manchester City has one itself a Champions League spot for next season, and any premier league club, hoping to sneak into the David's blake with the fifth spot in the table is now firmly out of luck, so lester the last great Cinderella Story EP l.. And might be the last Cinderella who knows is now in. Danger of not getting that Champions League spot they are. In fourth place tied with men you and who knows if they'll be able to pull it out so and we knew this would happen I mean. When we talk about this, the first time that there was a as as much as it looked like there was a smoking gun against city. We knew that the court of European sport or whatever the organization is called would have some very European. Bureaucratic sport person stuff to poll left the essentially up their sleeve the Fort Person. Yeah well, you know the type. They were blazers. You know it's a whole thing. But yeah, it stinks for for the teams that are on the cusp. You know especially. Wester bad for them, because it looks like now they're going to be the odd team out because of this, but on the flip side, and here comes Gordon again. Take! Meld. City is clearly the second best team in that league. By a significant distance so I. Thinks they're the bad are soccer. Power Index thinks they're better than Liverpool liberals just gotten kind of lucky this year. Which I think is actually true. The almost even Liverpool fans can admit that so yeah, if you want the best teams from the EP L. in league, it does seem right. That man said he would be there, but if you were I. I'm glad that Tottenham was so far down the table that I was like they're not gonNA. Champions. League is over. Maybe they can hold on for. Europa I duNno, now, not even apparently, there's still a non zero chance to our model whereas. If. You're a Lester Fan, a you. You're still riding on fumes of the championship so I don't feel that bad for you. i. in fact you can arguments the the best team to happen to. Be You, as we said we talked about it, you had to know that this was a very likely scenario. And then it's really insurer. A spot in the Champions League you had to be in that that top four, not fifth-place. And they still have a chance, but it is much more precarious than it was a couple of months ago. All right, we can leave this here for now. We'll be back in a moment with our rabbit hole of the week. At Five thirty eight, we often find ourselves falling down various rabbit holes of data some lead to stories some. Don't we end each week? Show with one of these descents? The hot take down of the week. Take it away, Neil. Yes, so on Monday. Related to something that we talked about a link last week, Washington's NFL team officially announced that it would be retiring. It's nickname and logo there saving read Dan. Snyder and coach Ron Rivera working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud tradition, rich franchise, and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next hundred years like have this image now of. MIRA, interest those two with Photoshop Yeah. Consulted. It's the two of them in a room going. About wildcat, Ron Rivera is a graphic designer at heart. So this makes sense. Graphic design is his passion. Little known fact, so you know we said last week. This has been a long time coming. I think we'll probably have plenty to react to. When the new name and branding does get unveiled of right now, I wanNA. Talk about the club that Washington just joined which is teams that made nickname changes so since nineteen one, there have been thirty one nickname changes for MLB teams for any reason, the most recent came in two thousand eight. The devil rays became just the raise but they're pretty rare nine have taken place since World War Two. Of those four were of the Tampa Bay rays type variety, which was a team changing his name without changing cities Washington will be in that club. Those four were Tampa Bay in two thousand and eight devil rays, nineteen, sixty five Houston Colt. Forty five's became the Houston Astros, and then there are two that you guys might not think we'll count. We'll see in nineteen. Fifty Four. The Cincinnati Reds became the Cincinnati red legs, and then in nineteen sixty after six years they decided. Let's drop the legs. We'll go back to being read. That's why did he do that? Why did they I? Don't know I did not de Delve that deep into the rabbit hole, but they went from reds six years they were the red legs, and then they went back to the reds officially, speaking terrible, whether not that counts the other five were all due to relocating so the Montreal Expos Washington became the nationals in two thousand five Washington senators became the Texas Rangers Nineteen, Seventy two. The Seattle pilots became the Milwaukee brewers in one, thousand, nine hundred. Hundred seventy, the another version of the Washington senators became the Minnesota twins in Nineteen, sixty, one Sarah's twin, and then of course, the St Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles in nineteen, fifty four now in the era before that, though there were a ton of nickname changes twenty, two of them, and only three were because of a franchise changing cities. We think about these happening more often because you change. The Team Expos the national style, but actually that was pretty rare in the pre. World War Two or kind of leading up to World War Two era. So, there were five by the braves alone. They were the bean eaters. Then there were the doves, then they were the Rustler's. Then there were the braves, then they were the bees the Boston bees, and then five years later they went back to being the braves, and then you know move to Milwaukee now Atlanta. They're under fire by the way right now. and may eventually have to change to something new. and so the cubs they were the Chicago orphans and no. Team we now know as the New York. Yankees were known as the Baltimore Orioles before nineteen three now. I should say full disclosure. There's debate over whether this counts as the same franchise. In the Yankees have decided, it's far too Gauche to be associated with the orioles in a previous life, and so they actually officially leave that chapter out of history and ask baseball reference to change it at one point or another, so that the nineteen three Baltimore Orioles, but it you know it was. I think the ownership was transferred to the same person and a lot of the players transferred to the same team that made up the Yankees at that point. Or The highlanders I guess is they were before the became the Yankees The phillies were actually known as the Blue Jays as in what Toronto is called right now in nineteen, forty, three and nineteen, forty four. That's a fun little departure as well so basically my takeaway for baseball was they played really fast and loose with team nicknames in the first. Half, of, the twentieth century, before you know kind of stabilizing into what we think of now in in the post war period. Let's move on to the NFL so. So the NFL and the various Pro Leagues that merged into it over the years have had thirty three total nickname changes going back to nineteen twenty one only one of which is technically comes since nineteen sixty three. That was when the Tennessee oilers became the Tennessee Titans in one, thousand, nine, thousand nine. I say technically because the Cleveland browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens in nineteen, ninety six, but the NFL ret conned the franchise continuity when the browns came back in nineteen, ninety nine, and so now the. The Ravens are considered an expansion team that started in one, thousand, nine, hundred, six, that just happened to have all of the former browns players on its roster, just by chance randomly and the browns. They're just took a little hiatus between one, thousand, nine, hundred and one thousand nine, so it's not technically team name change because the Ravens are considered to be a new team that came into existence in ninety six a couple, the early AFL teams changed their names and nineteen sixty three. The Dallas Texans became the Kansas City. City chiefs and the Titans of New York Jeff's titans of New York became. That's new. York jets that very same year, and there's also nine cases contained in that thirty three number that pertained to one of my favorite phenomena, which were teams that merged during World War Two, the steelers merged with the eagles to become the ST goals in nineteen, forty, three, the steelers and the Chicago cardinals became Pitt, Card Hyphen pit, or after they went oh, and ten that season sports writers took to calling him the carpets. They rolled out the red carpet for other teams to to have victory that was in nineteen, forty four Boston Yanks in the Brooklyn. Tigers merged in just became the yanks capital, the capital Yanks not. In nineteen, forty five, and before World War Two. There are a lot of fun name changes involving teams that still exist to this day. The steelers were the Pittsburgh pirates until nineteen forty the Detroit lions were the Portsmouth Ohio. spartans until nineteen thirty four and back when the Redskins were in Boston before they went to Washington. They change to that from Boston braves just like the baseball team in. In nineteen, thirty three, there's Chicago bears were known as the Chicago Staley's which are named after player-coach e Staley until nineteen, twenty two, and just the last note on the NFL of those thirty three teams twenty one came without the team, changing city so Washington will become the twenty second team to change its name without actually relocating to a new city. Oh my God! I just had a terrible. What if what if dance later? Goes the route of eighty staley and renames the team. Snyder's. Great Yeah I think that would be in keeping with with his reputation. We would have a problem with that. Okay? Looking forward to that announcement all right, sorry. No No, this is good content so in the NBA going back to nineteen fifty one. That was when my data started I believe there. That's missing a couple of seasons from the very beginning technically of the NBA, but anyway they're in two thousand fourteen name changes including the Aba the most recent and most mind boggling one came in two, thousand, fourteen and fifteen when the New Orleans Hornets became the New Orleans Pelicans and the Charlotte. bobcats became the Charlotte. Hornets which itself was. Was a name of a former team that existed from nineteen, Eighty, eight, two, thousand, two. This is now a little bit of Cleveland Browns Baltimore Ravens Situation, so it's unclear as to whether fully counts toward this right now. They set it up so that all Charlotte teams are part of the same franchise continuity and all New Orleans teams including the two seasons that the Hornets played in Oklahoma City because of Hurricane Katrina are also part of the same continuity. Are you guys following? Every time we do anything on NBA like recent history. We screw up something about the Hornets Thirty Teams Yeah we're off guides, Pelicans and other horny. Very, ripe for confusion so before that all went down the previous name change was when the Washington bullets became the Washington Wizards going into the nineteen ninety eight season, because the name bullets made owner, a Poland, uncomfortable, given the high number of murders and shootings in DC in the early nineteen nineties, though this was not the first name change for that franchise, though the bullets were previously known as the Chicago packers, and the Chicago Zephyr CZ until nineteen, sixty four, in which they move to Washington, and became the not great ultimately became the bullets. Yes, the Zappers they should bring that back I mean there's so much potentially are with Z.. You don't have a lot of starting with Z. Z is great letter. Yes, we should do more with the Chicago Ziegler's. In one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety nine, the buffalo braves moved to San Diego and became the San Diego Clippers that then moved to La, and are now my amended pick to win the twenty twenty. For. The Philadelphia Seventy sixers were the syracuse nationals until nineteen sixty four, but my favorite are all of these teams from the Aba, the American Basketball Association, which did a lot of wild things in the sixties and seventies, the red white and Blue Ball the three point line, but they also really fun. When it came to name changes, my favorite is the Memphis team so it went from being the New Orleans buccaneers to the Memphis pros to the Memphis towns. Now. What's Tam? You might wonder well. That is an acronym. Acronym for Tennessee. Arkansas and Mississippi am and their logo was a Tama shandor style had now that was in the colors, the Oakland A.'s so green and yellow and white, then became the memphis sounds they were part owned by Isaac. Hayes fun back, and it was a musical reference to the soul music, coming out of the city in the sixties and seventies you also had the Oakland Oaks, which became the Washington, capitals would became the Virginia squires. The Denver rockets became the Denver Nuggets which exist now. New Jersey. Americans became the York Nets, which then later became the New Jersey Nets, which are now the Brooklyn Nets. The Pittsburgh. Pipers became the Pittsburgh. condors The Dallas. chaparrals became the San Antonio Spurs the San Diego conquistadors speaking of problematic games. became the San Diego sails and the Houston Mavericks moved to Carolina became the Carolina cougars, and then moved to become the spirits of Saint Louis, which is a great thirty for thirty about how they negotiated and at the merger of the Aba in the NBA, they were able to get a permanent cut of all NBA TV revenue in perpetuity, in exchange for not existing anymore, and that was the lineage of the Saint. Louis the spirits of St Louis so of those twenty four name changes only nine. Nine were of the Washington. Variety without an accompanying franchise relocation so basketball you know when when they change their names. It's because they've changed to a new city most of the of the time whereas in baseball and especially football, it's more just things happen new owner, or you've had a racist team name for a long time now, but sometimes not, but I think basketball I think. Basketball being notable for the teams that moved and didn't change their names, and their names make no sense like the Lakers. There's UTAH. Are they talking about stover? And also there are no grizzly bears anywhere near Memphis. Anywhere near. Legal. That's a fault you can take with these ones that like we've been talking about teams that changed names, but the arguably yeah, the ones that didn't change. Changed names to to just make any sense geographically. Or for their new locale, so those are just you know there's a long history long lineage of teams changing their names that Washington will now join. Not all of them were done back. Most of them were not done to avoid you know long-held problematic names, but mainly because of other very weird and assorted reasons but this will join that, so it's. It's not that odd for all the people saying like Oh. We've been known as this team name for a long time, and you know this and the other. Teams changed their names all the time in sports. Yeah, it doesn't need to be that big of a deal. And in fact, maybe we should take time to change problematic names, but just dumb named to I had also forgotten before we talked about this last week. That Stanford University of Stanford had been the Indians until as recently as nineteen seventy two. That is not that long ago and does anyone ever think about that now? There's so like so well known as the Cardinal. So! This doesn't need to be that big of a deal for organizations making better choices. In Syracuse did the same thing they used to have a stereotypical native American character, and then they changed the orange, and now they have auto, the orange, which is one of the most beloved mascots, and I would argue the Stanford tree in its ramshackle, Bizarre self-designed. is also one of the most beloved and iconic mascot, so you can get something better on the other side if you make a change like that, yeah, absolutely. ill didn't do college, but there are some great ones in college according to Wikipedia, not a primary source. Go with it anyway. It is operatives. Have you heard my rabbit holes? The Nebraska. Cornhuskers I'm just GONNA point them out. which is, it's a solemn name. You know my criteria. I like unique names that that aren't found elsewhere but they're used to formerly known as the antelopes. The bug eaters The old Gold Knights, the rattlesnake boys and the tree planters. Rattlesnake boys is amazing. Rattlesnake tree planters I mean bug eaters. Bug eaters is something they still like hold onto to. There's like still for raisin. Good reason, also fun fact, they are never known as the cornhuskers. They're always husker's to husker fans, so you can always tell if someone knows Nebraska. Football wealth if they say cornhuskers. Okay well I'm sorry I little midwestern facts for you. But they are. That's fine, but they are technically the corner. Shirt! And the bug eaters. Always bugging servers, and and but but now I'm only going to refer to them as the rattlesnake boys. Old Gold Knights. Yeah. All right well. That was a very fun. Rabbit Hole. I love thinking about all these weird old team names There's so many good names in history that the Washington football team could choose from so we'll see hopefully maybe by next week. We'll know what their new name is. I said go with Tam's. The Tam's yeah absolutely. Attributed Tennessee Arkansas Mississippi, which border Washington DC. I still like the filibuster. Now, they won't do that. Any of filibuster. Pretty Fun I. Think they'll go. I actually think they'll go with the red tails just because I know from going to Washington Games that. They are obsessed with that fight song. the hail to the so they can keep that those lyrics intact, and I really do think that is important part of their tradition, so the they'll go with that hails the busters I think it's good to to name your team around fight song. I like that a lot actually. All rights that will do it for this week's show. Thank you so much for joining us. We will be back in your feed next to save if you like what you heard. Please describe if you are subscribed. Please rate and review US wherever you listen to podcasts, it. Other people discover the show and I. Promise I will read Your Review. You can also email us at podcast at five thirty eight dot com to let us know what you think. Are podcast. Producer is Sarah Jacket Tony Child is in the virtual control room and our podcast commissioners chat ballot for Neil and I'm Sarah. Thanks for listening doctor time.