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2019 One of the Greatest Miami Dolphins Seasons Ever!

2019 One of the Greatest Miami Dolphins Seasons Ever!
“Whoa! That is a big statement! Winning five games should not be counted as a great season to anyone” I hear you shout at your screens.
But look, these were not just any old 5 wins, in any of the old greatest Miami Dolphins seasons ever discussions!
Ok, ok, excluding the Perfect season and the other Superbowl seasons, those deep Marino led playoff runs and the wildcat season oh and the mighty D seasons of the late 90’s/early 2000’s. The wild cat year? I knew it could not last (it was a gimmick)? Gases 10-6 season? I was duped to be fair. I still stand by the statement “2019 being one of the greatest Miami Dolphins seasons ever”.
Firstly, a little about me. I am from the UK and first started watching the beautiful brutal game way back in 1984. The games were on in the early hours of the morning at 14 years of age, I had to sneak downstairs (we only had one TV in those days) and watch the game of the week on Channel 4 (yes, back then we only had four channels). Watching games with the volume down (so my parents couldn’t hear me), was tough but the excitement and the “violence” was new to me unlike rugby the speed was immense, my eyes darting around the screen trying to locate the ball. Those same eyes came to hate the horrible Mondays in school, where I was falling asleep, but this new game (new to me) with bright colours fanfare and cheerleaders made it all worth it. Getting to watch teams like the Bears, Redskin, Raiders, and 49ers (what was a 49er? I could only imagine some behemoth gold digger with huge hands and gap teeth). English football teams seemed rubbish by comparison, we had the “Blues” “the “Reds” or worse the “Canary’s” or the “Magpies” hardly the type of names to instill fear in your opponents. In those early days, I had not decided on a team to follow, would it be the Lions or Bengals (with the cool, tiger stripes on their helmet) or those New York footballing Giants? I just could not decide but come January 1985, that changed, I “snook” downstairs to watch this thing called a Superbowl, the team in white, a team called the Dolphins v the team in red those behemoth 49ers. As the game progressed, I wanted that team in white to come back and win, sadly, as we all know, that never happened but I felt it was my duty to see if that team in white could win it all next year. After all, they had a “quarterback” named Dan Marino who not only wore no.13, to f**k with the footballing Gods but made throwing the football look magical as well as being supposedly the best young quarterback in football. So, I became a lifelong Dolphin fan, and imagine how my affiliation for this team grew when I found out they had the ONLY perfect season. The year I was born!! I was meant to be a Dolphin fan!
So, back to that great 2019 season, I know some out there have already scoffed at the title and not bothered to read, which is shame because I’m hoping to show everyone why I think it was one of the best ever.
Let us go back to the beginning and relive it together.
New coach, new beginning, haven’t we heard that before? See, being a Dolfan, we were spoilt we had the great Don Shula (RIP) for what seemed like ever and we won consistently with perhaps only the Packers, Steelers, Cowboys, and the Patriots with the same luxury. Yes, occasionally we would drop a 6-10 or 8-8 season but those years we had excuses, an “injury” or we were unlucky against a bad team or two. But after Shula, we fell into the trap of the lower teams the ones not worthy to be in the same sentence as the Dolphins. that trap was inconsistency in the head role, did we love Jimmy Johnson really? (yes, we felt he could win us a Superbowl) but to me he replaced our mini deity. Ok, Shula had some issues like, why, why, why keep Tom Olivadotti around? I had a hard time understanding that (frankly still do), anyway love him or hate him Johnson built a good foundation then buggered off. Dave Wannstedt next, hmmm, even though his tough running program would eventually be good enough for second most wins for a head coach in Dolphins history and our first division title in the 2000s, we just did not have the same feeling for him.
Then it spiraled out of control • Jim Bates • Nick Satan • Cam Camuuurgghhron (thank you Camarillo) • Tony Sparano – RIP • Todd Bowles • Joe “wet lettuce” Philbin • Dan Campbell – My choice for the next full-time head coach, sadly not to be • Adam “Stare through a wall” Gase
A sorry bunch, no wonder we only had two winning seasons with that lot.
After all the “new head coach, new beginnings bullsh*t over the years, forgive me, if I wasn’t waving the flags for this “new beginning”. After all, how many 7-9/8-8 seasons do you have to go through, before you become cynical?
Brian Flores – new coach bringing, a wining attitude and new culture blah blah blah. Win big year one, then disappear like most of the others. I suppose I was happy we had addressed the minority coaching element. Yeah, sure, and he just helped coach that Pats defense in the Superbowl! Again, yeah, OK. Something a little different than all the Offensive minded geniuses that have come and gone over Don Shula express way piqued my interest but I certainly had lost hope that Cowher would come out of retirement, so here we go again.
Preseason woes I understood the jettisoning of older talent. Sorry, I loved Cameron Wake, I liked Kristian Alonso and Kenny Stills, but we needed a fresh start. I liked this approach, I liked the fact we were tearing it down and starting again, for the first time in over 20 years I had some optimism. I knew this coming season would be tough but at last, not the same old “overpay for a couple of names” and hope for the best approach. To be honest, I was thinking, why Stills and not Devante Parker? Weren’t you? Minkah Fitzpatrick, shocked me but hey if you do not like it here, there is the door. Laremy Tunsil? Hmmmm, not sure what is happening, let us see how it all plays out I thought.
When the preseason rolled around and new faces were churning through., I still felt its was a good thing, knew there would be painful things to come and could not understand the media giving Flores a whooping “he’s putting players lives in danger” etc. I wanted to give this guy a chance, we were finally doing something different.
Tank for Tua or Fitzmagic? I never understood the whole tanking notion. No one plays to lose and even if the coaches were coaching to lose, individual players own pride would force them to go against the coaching. I just do not get it!! No one player can change a franchise fortunes, yes, the great ones are instrumental in a franchise’s direction, but you need fifty plus players to play this game (Eighty if your Miami). Quarterbacks do not block for kicks, do not play in a 3 deep cover shells, and rarely catch their own throws. I had seen too many franchise’s push all their chips in, on a number one quarterback draft pick only to flame out and be right back where they were three years later. Was I concerned about our QB situation? Dam right, we had an unproven Josh Rosen and an aging Ryan Fitzpatrick, that could not win over 16 games. My thoughts were Fitzpatrick for 4-6 games and Rosen all the way.
Boy was I wrong.
But still, I liked what we had done, created massive cap space, acquired a sh*t load of draft picks and we would probably end up with the no. 1 pick as well. Bring the hurt, next year’s our year!
Week 1 v Ravens – 0-1 FUGLY is the only word that can be put here. Nothing to be happy about, apart from not being shut out! (I hate it when, we cannot even muster a field goal) Jason Sanders put our first points of the new season up with a 54-yard field goal. Then later some kid wide receiver called Preston Williams, scored a wonderful toe tapping 6-yard TD. The rest of the game, we will just leave behind us shall we.
Not getting shutout felt like a blessing and that undrafted free agent wide receiver showed a little. Come on guys? what did we really expect. We had newly signed offensive lineman and defensive backs playing their first NFL snaps ever! It has been reported since that half the players did not even know each other’s names for heaven’s sake.
Week 2 v Patriots – 0-2 See above but worse!! My pet peeve we did not even get a single score. Come on are we really that bad? Absofudginlutley! Bad, bad, bad game but come on, typically for us, the only game Antonio Brown plays for the Patriots is against us!
102 points given up in two weeks, how is this one of the greatest seasons in Miami history you ask? Well that is all part of it. These lows were low, like snake belly low. Somehow, I felt like this was part of the plan? Was this what tanking for Tua looked like? How would we turn it around? Fitzpatrick was being Fitzpatrick. Rosen, Rosen, Rosen, we chanted in unison. Rosen’s going to come in and light it up, I thought. Yes, massive lows but still I had optimism
Week 3 v Cowboys – 0-3 Another drubbing but signs of some life were showing, Rosen was in, though not great he seemed to be able to handle it, no interceptions even though he like Fitz before him was running for his life most of the time and we also held them to 31 points. Was there improvement? No, not much.
It was around this time the “takes no talent” war cry came into my consciousness. I had seen it all over the years, no more “fail forwards” or copied “winners within” bull, please.
I’d seen it mentioned through the preseason but watching this team I started to hear the “it takes no talent” mentioned where coaches ran with their groups, I saw the early buds of accountability show through, not the fake accountability that Gase talked about. I saw actual accountability DB’s holding their hand up owning blowen assignments, not the pointing fingers, I saw a really bad O line start to fight through to the whistle. Yep, losing felt awful for this storied franchise, especially the way we were losing but I felt this is going somewhere. Didn’t you?
Flores was growing on me.
Week 4 v Chargers – 0-4 Hmmm, liked seeing Walton out there he looked good in his little time on the field, Grant’s good return would have been great if a penalty had not brought it back. As for Rosen, doubts were forming in my mind. Yes, a fairy tale ending would have seeing him doing great things, but his play was erratic, and that interception was UUggllyyyy. On a high note, Parker and Williams were both starting to shine, and it was our second game with only allowing 30 points.
I couldn’t complain, I knew this first month would be tough, but we had a bye week coming and the Redskins were next, I felt we could take the Redskins and get our first win, excitement building, FINS UP.
Week 5 bye week
Week 6 v Redskins - 0-5 Bring it on! This is our week! Two winless teams, my excitement for the “takes no talent” crew against a poor Redskins team was palatable. Then BUMP! Down to earth like a stone, Rosen was like a scared kid, sacked a bunch and those picks. Fitzmagic, Fitzmagic, Fitzmagic! We chanted, oh’ how fickle we fans are. After watching our defense playing its best and Fitz back in the fold, doing his thing we were on the up. Flores deciding to go for two points was gutsy, showing belief in his players and a belief in the “process”. Maybe if we had tied that game with momentum on our side, for sure we would have won. But he went for it all and the skins knew they got away with one.
Week 7 v Buffalo 0-6 Our AFC East rivals always give us a game and we were ready! The excitement that Fitz brought from the previous week was still coursing through my blood with names rising through the ranks like Walton, Williams, Gesicki and Parker on offense and Mcmillan,, Wilkins, Biegel and Charlton on defense things were looking up. I honestly felt good, we were 0 -6 but it was coming together, and our play was improving.
Week 8 v Steelers 0-7 We traded Drake. Walton must be the guy now? The coaches must see something, maybe it was the fumbles for Drake? This season is weird every week there is a new name for the defense and O line and now it seems a new runner. The game: We were winning! Can you believe it! We are out in front against the steel curtain, alright not the “real” steel curtain but you know where I am coming from. It was Fitz v Fitz, their Fitz, our old Fitz won this battle. “tosser” (English for w**ker) with our Fitz throwing two picks, that gives me fits! A weird call from the defense allowing for a Pittsburgh touch down allowed us a great glimpse into Flores mindset. Flores response “We can second guess a lot of calls. I am not going to second guess that one. I thought we had success with the call, and they made a play." Competitive and a true belief into the process. I am really starting to like our coach. 0-7 never felt so good.
You could feel we are ready to start winning, we were close, so close. Watching no names start to play ball, seeing defensive lineman Christin Wilkins in the endzone every time we scored on offense was fun! Watching other teams rejects perform at a high level was infectious! We are doing something that never has been done before, yes there have been tear downs and rebuilds before but nothing on this scale and now we were being competitive too!
Week 9 v FTJ 1-7 The ol’ enemy, why we hate the Jets more than anyone else I’m not quite sure. They have never kept us from the Superbowl’s of the early 90’s like the Bills had and they haven’t dominated the division like the Pats either. I blame Marty Lyons and Jason Klecko for taking the best center in football Dwight Stephenson down. Yes, the Jets, we just do not like em!
What a game, our first win of the season, over the FTJs and one in the all staring eyes of Gase.
With some great plays from Gesicki, Williams (sadly Williams was injured in this game) Beigel and Needham, who for an undrafted free agent that may or may not have made it on to the practice squad in other years has really been improving each week. This was our first complete game and though not perfect we had one in the win column 1-9.
Hearing complaints that the Dolphins were not tanking right (incredulously chuckling to myself while I type this), can you believe it?
Week 10 v Colts - 2-7 8 beers, large bag of bacon crisps (potato chips to you guys) I am all in for this one. After last week’s game, the talk all week, the Indianapolis Colts will bring the Dolphins down to earth and the tank was still on. Where do we begin?
Defense, defense, DEEEE FENCE, with 3 turnovers and a stout end to the game the D kept us in it all day, on one particular interception I found myself shout “YES, PARKER, YES!! Then asking myself “Parker? Who the hells Parker? I had to check that Miami had not done a Gronk special and put Devante Parker out there but another new defensive back Stephen Parker had made a great play in the secondary! That is just how this season is rolling, unknowns stepping up and doing things that “takes no talent” (I use this on my kids now, honestly). I now am in awe of how a 37-year-old QB can move and run and duck and slide go headfirst into defenders. I hold my breath each time, thinking, get up son, get up! And he duly does with his chin strap over eyes and the beard flowing everywhere. This season is now fully infectious (bad choice of words considering the year we are having) but this was last year, and I am loving it!
Two wins, feels like 10. We are competitive, with everyone saying we should not be, everyone apart from Flores who all year talked with belief that they were sticking to the process. THE PROCESS WAS WORKING!
Week 11 v Bills - 2- 8 This game brought us back to an ugly reality, we can win but we are not quite fully there yet. Did any of us really think we would go 3 in row?
The score line seemed remarkably similar to the last game v the Bills, but the stats were not. Fitz threw for over 300 yards and Parker (the Devante one) caught 135 of them. Another player who I feel could do some great things used right, is Jakeem Grant and he showed us that explosive talent with a kick return, which to me is the single most exciting play in football (please don’t replace the kick off NFL) he then added a seven yard TD run as well as three catches. I am loving seeing him in the endzone surrounded by everyone at least a foot taller than him (I’m 5’5) go Grant!!
Week 12 v Browns 2 - 9 The Browns game was a strange game to me, all the euphoria of wining a couple of games and the recent good play seemed to fizzle out a bit in this game and it is the game I least remember. Jarvis Landry makes me cry. He scored two touchdowns against us, but I loved him when he played for us. His energy and physical play were awesome, and I would have loved to see him retire a Dolphin for life, with all the team receiving records but alas it was not meant to be.
Week 13 v Eagles - 3 - 9 Was not looking forward to this game, really needed to see the life return to the team, needed to feel renewed but to be honest I expected a hammering. So, to my surprise a bunch of cast off’s, undrafted free agents, a couple of rookies with just a sprinkle of seasoned vets put a beat down on a recent Superbowl champion, YES!! that’s my Piggin team, right there!! GO FINS!
Fitz played a great game throwing high point balls to Gesicki and Parker all day, along with three TDs. It was also time for the intern, another running back Patrick Laird was proving he could be counted on and finally we saw a glimpse of the old Albert Wilson who has quietly come on late in the season after last year’s injury. Of course, we will never forget the Mountaineer Shot! Haack threw an under-arm throw to the waiting Sanders in the back of the endzone what a play! What a formation! what the hell!! That was audacious! It ranks right up there with the other great Miami’s moments, the Miami Miracle, the Wildcat, the Clock Play, the Sea of Hands and Longest Game, you name em!
Did I mention I was really starting to like our coach!
Week 14 v FTJ - 3 -10 A team that was supposed to flop badly, who had no chance of winning a single game, a team of deadbeat and losers, anyway enough about the Jets. There we were, sitting right there with three big juicy wins. Honestly, at this point in the season, I am more excited for the upcoming game than I had been in years. We had so much to like, an aging QB journeyman, playing some of his best ball in years, a budding superstar at wide receiver, a genuine threat at tight end and a defense playing with “out any talent” and as we already know it “takes no talent”. But with all that said and done, we were coming into the dreaded December! 30 years ago, December was our month, especially at home. Lately it has seemed like December was our Achilles heel. How many times did we need one win in December? How many times where we stood with 7 wins in our pocket only to walk away with those same 7 wins? How many seasons wasted because we panned out in December? I hated December and low and behold, a game we Couda, Shouda Woulda won, we lose by a single point to those stinking Jets.
Week 15 v NY Giants - 3 -11 Staying up north, we faced a NY Giants team that hadn’t done sh*t all year, with a better roster than ours may I add but this was Mannings day and the whole team rallied around him (even though I’m sure he was trying to lose with all those picks) but we just couldn’t get over the “last home game for Manning” hype. I am not too upset about this, after all it was Manning that twice denied Brady & co, let him have this one in lieu of saving the 72-perfect season for us I thought.
Those dreaded December blues were kicking in though. It would have been a shame to flame out like so many teams of the past.
Week 16 v Bengals – 4 - 11 I had ordered pizza in, beers were chilled. I thought no way are we going to lose to the Bungals! (well, I actually prayed we would not lose to the Bungals)
WE WON? WE WON!! In December! yeah! “Ok, calm down, it was against the Bungals”, I can hear you thinking but come on, what a game, the two worst teams put on the best show this Sunday (tanking my backside). We came back from a couple of down weeks and showed that this team, this organization is now different from previous years, there was no “not playing for this coach” or “we’re not good enough” mentality anymore. There is a pick ourselves up and let us keep working attitude and I love that.
Good game from Fitz and his magic with a “big man” TD for Wilkins, yep you read it right, Christian Wilkins the defense end, Wilkins joined William "The Refrigerator" Perry as the only rookie defensive linemen with a touchdown reception in the Super Bowl era (and to see him celebrate was so much fun, love it!). Parker, Gesicki and most of all Albert Wilson who looked exactly like he did before he was injured. Our defense was playing lights out till the 4th quarter. Then we had an implode and I thought, as did all of us “here we go again” but into overtime we managed to get the wining field goal and we galloped away with a sneaky but well deserved win.
As a fan, that game gave you everything you’d want, the thrills of an offense, rolling to its own tune, a defense playing tough, the dreaded completed onside kick and finally on to the field goal to seal the win. Our ““fourth”” win of the season!
Do not forget the fans singing happy birthday that day to the” Jaw” Mr. Shula at the 72 reunion. What a day to be a Fins fan! I was all in, on the “process”.
Week 17 v Patriots – 5 - 11 You want a fair tale ending?
Well alright, I will give you one. Miami beating New England in their own back yard to finish the season 5 – 11 (feels like 11-5). How about them apples! Pats fans. We had not beaten the Patriots at home since 2008 (I do not even know how that is possible)? But yep, this win was the proverbial cherry on top. Our man Fitz led a final drive to take the win and give us all, lots to celebrate A. Our fifth win B. Force the Pats into third place (no home field advantage for later in the playoffs) C. Ruin Tom Brady’s final regular season game, with a little extra help from our very own Mr. Rowe’s early pick six!
Two massive wins in late December and the last one probably the sweetest of them all. Man, what a season, probably one of the greatest in Miami’s history wouldn’t you agree?
How does that make you feel? I feel like, this last season is the turning point for our next decade. Yes, there’s lots variables injuries, trades, rookies not panning out but to think we can win five (could easily been six or seven) with the squad we had. To feel like we finally have some direction. To see players, respond to a coach in the right way, I would say the futures bright, the futures aqua, white, and orange!
Thoughts on the future Brian Flores Have I mentioned I like this guy, we have had enough of the one hit wonders, the, lets all be friends and the downright letdowns at the head coach position, haven’t we? I think, Brian Flores is fair but hard and every report says the players like him, so yeah, he has got four more years and I would like to see those extended after those four years, if we are still trending in the right direction. Am I expecting Superbowl’s? of course I am, I’m a fan but realistically, playoff runs, consistency and an identity would suffice, just some overall stability. Bringing back the glory days, where we are in the conversation come January for a few years, A HOPE, A CHANCE, that is what fans want. A feeling that this could be our year (every year) not having to deal with the December blues, certainly not watching our division rivals every January while we lament another year of what if’s, that is for sure.
Players I would like to see in the Pro-bowl next year
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Hold on, “not Tua?” I here you say. I love Tua and the fact we did not tank and still got him is great. And yes, he could play next year, he’s certainly a more gifted athlete than Fitz but Fitz as something else, the IT factor, I would like to see him get us into the play off hunt, have a final great season and get a Pro-bowl nod then ride off into the sunset.
Matt Breida- Love his speed and it would be great if he became our feature back and puts up Pro-bowl type numbers this year Devante Parker – Well this is obvious; I would love to see him continue and get some recognition
Albert Wilson – I know some people think he’s a bust but when healthy this guy makes plays, I saw so many times, how he would give a move on someone and gain more YAC , don’t sleep on Wilson next year.
Mike Geiciki – See Parker above, he is ready to truly breakout and with more consistency from the QB position, he can make it
Ted Karras – Yes, the center, it would be great! he becomes the leader of our offensive line and it would piss Pats fans off too!
Christian Wilkins – This kid showed enough for me to think he can play up to his draft status and get in
E. Ogbah/ S Lawson – Either of these guys going to the Pro-bowl next year bodes well for our defense
Jerome Baker – He may get lost with all the new linebackers coming in but with his range, it would be great to see him get a ticket too
Kyle Van Noy – The big name at linebacker, I hope he is worth it and plays lights out all year
X Howard/ B Jones – Why not? We could potentially have the best one-two cornerbacks in the league, I would watch the Pro-bowl just to see those two white Dolphins helmets on either side of the field at the same time.
I know realistically not all those guys will get in, but any combination would be great
Players I hope continue to grow on our team
Tua Tagovailoa – Yes it would be great if he starts straight away but see “fits for Pro Bowl” above, I would be happy to see him learn and show up in spot duty giving us glimpse of what he can do and getting us hyped for 2021
Patrick Laird – Our intern, love his speed and elusiveness and it would be great if he became our primary backup to brier (I know we have Jordan) but Jordan has a different running style. Hopefully, Laird can put up decent numbers
Jakeem Grant – Probably my favorite player, please stay healthy & please keep returning kicks for TD’s. I hope Brian Flores and Chan Gailey have some ideas on how to use him in our offense properly, he could be our Tyreek hill with good coaching and the right scheme.
Austin Jackson – I hope this rookie gets it and quick, him and Hunt would be great, if they can play for ten years maybe becoming our new Richmond Webb and Keith Sims combo? Davon Godchaux - I know some of you will be saying he is already established but it would be great if he continues maybe he could be a Pro-bowler this year?
Vince Beigel – I loved this guy’s motor from last year and I really hope he does not lose out on reps with all the new additions at linebacker
Nik Needham – This is another player like Beigel that I’m rooting for, to me, his name was coming up all season (some not great) but most of it solid play and again I hope he doesn’t lose on out reps due to other players that have joined the team.
Erick Rowe – He moved around last year filling in where needed but with a full year at safety it would be great to see him evolve his game to the next level
Come back players Preston Williams – If he can come back and at least be the same player as last year, we can all expect big things from this undrafted player
Bobby McCain – Is he a slot guy or a safety? It would be nice to see him really get his teeth in to one role that would really benefit the team
Andrew Van Ginkel – Was injured for most of the year but managed to comeback late in the season. It will be interesting to see if he can fit and keep a roster space, he did flash at times, so, here is hoping.
Well there you have it, my breakdown of one the greatest seasons in Miami history, a season full of highs and lows, despair, and incredulities. This team showed the media types that they have no idea what goes on under the bonnet of an NFL team.
We as fans, finally had season worth investing in and we should have genuine hope that we have turned the corner. A season, that saw us break records both good and bad, a season that will live long in the memories, lasting longer than any other in recent times.
A 5 -11 season that does not leave us dreading next year but has given us instead, a euphoric sense of pride and anticipation for what next year brings. I for one feel the best about this team since Ricky Williams 1800 yards season! Yes, we have been given hope before only to be let down, but I do not get that sense this time around. Do you?
Thanks for reading.
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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 13, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002
  • Okay, look, here's the deal. The obituaries, as sad as they are, contain some of Dave's best work. But good lord, they are looooooooooong. And they never contain anything newsworthy that is relevant to 2002 or anything. But they're always super interesting from a historical perspective. But last week, Dave wrote a brief obit for Lou Thesz (only 5,000 words, ahem) and promised to go into more detail this week. So this week, we open with a 16,000+ word obituary for Lou Thesz and I just can't. Sorry. It's really good though, you should all go read it. But I've got, like, a family and a job and responsibilities and stuff. I can't recap this. It's an incredible piece of work though.
  • The World Wrestling Federation is no more. On May 5th, the company unveiled its new name, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dave recaps the history of the company briefly (was originally called "World Wide Wrestling Federation, or WWWF, until 1979 when it was shortened to WWF, which is has remained for the past 23 years). But as of this week, the company has been rebranded to WWE. The website domain was changed to and all references to "WWF" were changed to "WWE." The scratch logo was also changed, with the F being removed, so now it simply looks like "WW" (which, honestly, never really did make much sense to me. Even though the logo has changed, it's still "WW" to this day). Anyway, this all stems from the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit over in the UK, in which the WWE lost every court case and appeal. They were planning to appeal the ruling in the UK's highest court, their final last-ditch effort to save their name, but the reality is, they weren't going to win that case. Vince McMahon and the company blatantly and repeatedly violated the agreement they signed in 1994. It was 1000% obvious they were in the wrong here and they had gotten spanked by every single court before, often losing their appeals by unanimous decisions. So they weren't going to win this final appeal either and they knew it. So they dropped the appeal and threw in the towel and finally agreed to just change the name. The WWE has until May 15th to remove all references to "WWF" from their shows and merchandise. Any merch with "WWF" on it can no longer be sold after that date. All video packages and posters will have to be changed and any "WWF" mention or logos after that time on television or in past footage will have to be censored. Last year, during the court case, the WWE claimed it would cost them more than $50 million to change their name and to deal with all the legal and rebranding headaches that come with it. But this week, they backtacked on that and said it wouldn't be that expensive after all. Who knows if that's true, but the idea of this costing $50 million was enough to make the shareholders shit themselves, so Dave says they claimed it won't cost that much in order to keep the stock from plummeting. Anyway, none of this had to happen. In 1994, Vince McMahon and the Wildlife Fund signed an agreement that the wrestling company would not use the "WWF" name for promoting itself outside of the U.S. (since the Wildlife group is based overseas) and that worked well for a year or two. But then Vince McMahon apparently decided, "Meh, who cares about agreements?" and began repeatedly and blatantly violating it, constantly, for years, at which point the Wildlife group finally got upset enough to file a lawsuit. Anyway, on the first Raw since the name change, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler repeatedly stumbled over the new initials, accidentally saying "WWF" multiple times. Gonna take time for everyone to get used to calling it the new name.
  • The buyrates for Wrestlemania 18 are in and it appears the event will have to settle for being the #2 biggest money show in wrestling history after it came up short and failed to surpass Wrestlemania 17. Final numbers aren't in yet, but latest estimates put it somewhere around the 800,000 buys range (ended up being about 880,000) which is quite a bit down from WM17. It was also #2 in total revenue from live gate and merch. Internally, it's actually being seen as something of a disappointment because with the power of the Hogan/Rock dream match, they were hopeful this show would top 1 million buys but unless something drastic changes with these buyrate numbers, it looks like the final total will be a good bit short of that.
  • NJPW's latest Tokyo Dome show is in the books. The show drew a sellout crowd of 57,000 fans, there to see the Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa dream main event (which ended up going to a 30-minute draw). It was the biggest non-Jan. 4 crowd NJPW has drawn to the Dome in 2 years. So that's the good news. The bad news is that the show flopped in the ratings on TV. A big part of that is because the Chono/Misawa match didn't air as part of the show (due to the Asahi-TV/Nippon TV network issues discussed in past issues) so the televised show was built around the Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa vs. Scott Norton/Hiroyoshi Tenzan match and man, the fans sure didn't seem to give a fuck about that. In fact, the rating was so bad that there's concern that this will be the end of pro wrestling on prime time TV in Japan for the foreseeable future. But there are justifiable reasons for the rating. The show went head-to-head with the Kirin Cup soccer tournament, which was a huge deal and did more than double the rating the NJPW show did. Unlike the U.S., wrestling and "real" sports in Japan have a major crossover audience, so having real sports competition severely hurt NJPW's show. Also, while Ogawa is a draw as a singles star, putting him in a tag match against Norton and Tenzan isn't exactly setting the world on fire. The show lasted 6 hours, which was way too long and the crowd was burned out before Misawa vs. Chono even started.
  • Other notes from the NJPW show: it opened with an hour long 30th anniversary ceremony. They had a 10-bell salute for Lou Thesz and brought out a bunch of legendary NJPW names from the 70s and 80s. Then they did an angle where Antonio Inoki came out to give a speech, but he was attacked by Tiger Jeet Singh. But then Chyna made the save, attacking Singh, running him out of the ring, and challenging him to a match. Inoki's ex-wife, famous Japanese actress Mitsuko Baisho then made an appearance, getting a huge pop, and she and Inoki did his famous catch phrase to kick off the show. Minoru Suzuki of Pancrase (who started with NJPW as a pro wrestler) was also there. Jushin Ligher and Minoru Tanaka won the IWGP Jr. tag titles and then Liger challenged several NOAH wrestlers who were at ringside (most notably KENTA) and they all jumped in the ring and it ended with a staredown. The Steiner Brothers reunited to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki, with Chyna as the special referee. Tanahashi was working hurt, but he still worked. They did a spot where Tanahashi ran into Chyna and he went down off the bump instead of her and Dave seems annoyed by this since Tanahashi is a guy they really need to be pushing who can be a huge star for this company. Dave doesn't like him selling bumps for Chyna. Anyway, decent match but the Steiners basically steamrolled them and Tanahashi was pinned by Scott Steiner. Chyna then challenged several All Japan Women at ringside as well as Scott Steiner, Tanahashi, Sasaki, and even IWGP champion Yuji Nagata, saying she wanted a title match. Dave thinks this company has lost its damn mind. Speaking of Nagata, he retained his title in the next match. And then, of course, the main event. Usually during interpromotional matches, the crowd is always super pro-NJPW but this time, they went insane for Misawa and it was clear there were a ton of NOAH fans in the building. Chono did some Inoki moves and Misawa did some Great Baba moves, to kinda have a spiritual "Baba vs. Inoki" tribute in the match I guess. Ended in a draw and by the time it was over, no matter how big the dream match was, the crowd was burned out and weren't as hype for the match as you might expect once the entrances were done.
WATCH: Misawa vs. Chono highlights
  • Goldberg has received a full buy-out of his WCW contract from Time Warner and as of this week, he is now an unsigned free agent. Goldberg did not request the buy-out, the decision was made by the Time Warner side after the most unprofitable quarter in their history. The company was looking to cut expenses, even at a loss, just so the books can look better in future quarters. Goldberg reportedly received almost all of his remaining salary (more than 90% of the nearly $3 million he was still owed) in order to get him off their books. When Goldberg realized he's going to be a free agent a year earlier than expected, talks with WWE started up. But as usual, they went nowhere. WWE (I feel like I'm having to get used to typing that all over again. Really does feel like 2002 again) has interest in him, especially given the way ratings continue to plummet lately. But Goldberg has always wanted more than WWE is willing to pay. Plus, they're feeling burned right now after signing Hall and Nash to big money, long-term contracts for part-time work, only to have Nash get injured and Hall likely to get himself fired at any moment (that moment is coming sooner than you think), and neither of them really getting over in any meaningful way. Even Hogan, who is also making big money for a reduced schedule, was hot for a minute and boosted ratings and buyrates. But after only a few months, that train already seems to be out of steam and TV ratings are back to floundering with Hogan as champion leading the shows. So WWE is kinda gun-shy on opening the checkbook and paying out the ass for these big stars, futilely hoping that one of them is the quick-fix that can stop the bleeding.
  • There's also the question of how Goldberg would fit within the WWE locker room. He hasn't been shy about his dislike for Triple H, dating back to WCW when Triple H trashed Goldberg in a radio interview and saying that even if Goldberg was available, they wouldn't want him (which, at the time, when WCW was still alive and Goldberg was the biggest star in the company, is just about the dumbest thing he could have said. In 1998, WWF would have gladly traded 10 Triple H's for Goldberg). Anyway, Goldberg took the comment personally and even confronted Triple H face-to-face at the Toy Fair convention in New York a couple of years ago, in a bit of an ugly scene where Goldberg was yelling at him and Triple H and Stephanie kept their heads down and said nothing. Goldberg also has a lot of dislike for Scott Hall, which is another of Triple H's good friends, so ya know. The latest on Goldberg is that he's considering working some in Japan but he's just fielding offers right now. Word is he's interested in working with PRIDE as well as NJPW. Of course, if he's looking to maximize his money potential, WWE is still the place to go if you want to make big bucks. If promoted right, matches against Rock, Austin, Triple H, and others could do huge buyrates. And if they keep Goldberg and Austin apart for a year and build to a match with them at Wrestlemania, well, needless to say, that show would set records. Dave talks about how Goldberg got nuclear hot in 1998 and even in 1999, he was the biggest drawing wrestler in the business. But by 2000, the company was dying, Goldberg was injured, and "Jesus Chris with an Etch-a-Sketch" couldn't have drawn in WCW. Dave again does the math and talks about how WWE should have brought Goldberg in for the Invasion angle. Yes, it would have cost them a lot of money and upset the salary structure, but he would have more than made up for it with the kind of buyrates he could have drawn with those dream matches and the Invasion angle might have had a chance. But alas.
  • And of course, who's to say how WWE would use Goldberg? They already have Brock Lesnar and they're currently giving him the unstoppable monster push. Lesnar is bigger, younger, and a more legitimate athlete (for whatever that's worth). And WWE probably isn't going to give Goldberg an endless string of jobbers to beat. In WWE, he's going to be expected to work longer matches, sell for people, etc. They won't book him the way WCW did so who knows how he'd get over in WWE? If they wanted to build to an Austin/Goldberg match, it would make sense that Goldberg first has to plow through guys like Triple H, Undertaker, etc. And politically, that just ain't gonna happen. Dave doubts NJPW can afford him for anything more than one or two big shows. As for PRIDE, he could probably make a lot of money there, but the problem is.....PRIDE is a shoot. They haven't had "worked" matches in a couple of years and doing so now would kill their credibility. Which means Goldberg would have to go into a legit shoot and one embarrassing loss there would severely hurt his future earning potential. In the end, Dave thinks it's inevitable that Goldberg will end up in WWE, but probably not any time soon. But he's certain it will eventually happen. There's too much money on the line for both sides and WWE's ratings woes are making them desperate, so it'll happen some day (yup, less than a year from this).
  • And the moment is here! For those of you who had "under 3 months" in the "How long will Scott Hall last?" pool, come collect your prize. Scott Hall was released by the WWE this week due to misbehavior on the European tour. Firstly, he went on a drunken binge during the entire tour and was even worse on the plane ride home (much more on that in a bit). Dave says this was inevitable. WCW fired him. Even ECW stopped using him when he got arrested at one point. And even though he was seemingly behaving during his Japan tours, even NJPW cut ties with him shortly before he went back to WWE because they were fed up with some of his antics. And now WWE has fired him. Dave talks about how Hall made a drunken spectacle of himself in the locker room on his very first day back in WWE, before the NWO even debuted on TV, then he showed up in Toronto for Wrestlemania in no condition to perform (later came out that he was hungover from the night before), which caused Austin to insist on ending their feud at WM (which was the plan, but Dave says Austin has continued working with Hall afterwards simply because they don't really seem to have any other credible opponents for him). Hall's match with Bradshaw at Backlash was an embarrassment and the night before that show, agents had to help him back to his hotel. Just endless incidents like this. In Europe, Hall was such a blatant drunken mess that even the other wrestlers were calling for him to be fired. Hall was 45 minutes late for the bus they all took to London and then passed out in the locker room during the show. On the plane ride back, he was starting fights with people and eventually passed out and it got to the point that people were worried about his health. When they got back to the U.S. for Raw, they literally had to wake him up from a drunken stupor backstage to send him to the ring to do his segment (and yes, he wrestled). After the show, they fired him. No one came to his defense, and even Hall's closest friends are now admitting that he simply can't handle the pressures of being on the road and being released is the best thing for him right now. Dave talks about how a lot of wrestlers have been fired in the last couple of years for drug and alcohol issues and that's all well and good, but the big problem is why hire them in the first place? Scott Hall's issues were not a secret. It wasn't like he cleaned himself up before he came to WWE. He was getting in trouble and collecting arrests like Pokemon all the way up until the day they brought him back. Anyway, Hall had a 2-year deal, believed to be worth $600,000-per-year downside for only 10 dates per month. So a really sweet deal, but it's gone now.
  • Hey, speaking of that European tour, turns out there was a bit of trouble on the flight back to the U.S. Perhaps you've heard of it. Most of the trouble wasn't even due to Scott Hall. Turns out Vince McMahon didn't make the trip and lots of people decided that was a good reason to cut loose and have fun. Plus, since everyone has seen Hall get away with being drunk 24/7 for the last few months, they figured nobody would get in trouble. So....folks got DRUNK. Among the various incidents on this flight: Goldust got on the speaker system and began drunkenly serenading his ex-wife Terri with love songs. Terri was extremely uncomfortable and begged him to stop and then Jim Ross had to go sit him down. Ric Flair also "started to get wild" but Jim Ross calmed him down as well (Dave doesn't seem to know just yet exactly what Flair "getting wild" entailed, but if you don't know, it involved getting totally naked except for his robe and started helicoptering his dick at flight attendants. And it gets worse if you feel like researching it. The flight attendants later filed a lawsuit against Flair and accused him of sexual assault). Curt Hennig was spraying people with shaving cream and he kept trying to get Brock Lesnar to fight him. Lesnar, being a newcomer, didn't know how to handle it and didn't want to get in trouble, but he ain't gonna let Hennig talk shit to him either. So anyway, Lesnar got up and basically annihilated Hennig, repeatedly taking him to the ground and embarrassing him because, well, of course he did. It's Brock Lesnar. At one point, Lesnar slammed Hennig up against the side of the plane, right into the emergency exit door, which freaked everybody out for obvious reasons. Michael Hayes got into a scuffle with Bradshaw and then tried to pick a fight with Hall (although everyone on the plane said Hall had it coming). Anyway, Hayes was apparently obnoxious as hell and annoyed everyone. But then he made the mistake of falling asleep and someone (believed to be X-Pac) cut his hair off. When Hayes woke up, he was furious and tried to fight several people. The next day at the Raw tapings, his entire mullet was in a plastic bag, pinned to the wall of the locker room for everyone to see. Gerald Brisco, Arn Anderson, and Hayes all caught a ton of heat from Vince afterward since they were the people who were supposed to be in charge. Anderson and Hayes especially, since their jobs are to keep the boys under control, but they were apparently having just as much fun as everyone else. Everyone's waiting to see how Vince is going to handle this situation. As noted, Hall was already fired and Hayes got an earful from Vince, Stephanie, and JR at Raw the next day, but there will likely be more fallout. Undertaker was also said to be furious over how out of hand everything got (I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this).
  • Anyway, while they were in Europe, WWE presented its latest UK PPV, Insurexxtion. As usual with the UK PPVs, this was little more than a glorified house show. They announced the show as sold out, but there were empty seats everywhere. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero for the IC title was the show-stealer according to every report Dave heard, and was said to be far better than their Backlash match. Brock Lesnar teamed with Shawn Stasiak (lol wut) and lost to the Hardyz. Brock beat up everybody after the match. Triple H beat Undertaker in the main event and Dave doesn't know why since Undertaker is the one challenging Hogan for the title at the next PPV. The top rope broke during the match when they did an Irish whip into the corner and when the rope snapped, a metal piece broke off from the corner and flew into the crowd and barely missed hitting a small child in the face.
  • Smackdown on 5/2 drew the all-time lowest rating in the history of the show. Dave says that's the scariest thing to happen to WWF in the past 5 years. It was also the 3rd lowest rating for any Smackdown or Raw dating back to 1998. The rating was a full 18% drop from the week before, which was already scary. The rating was even lower than previous holiday episodes. So what was the problem? Well, it was headlined by Hogan defending the WWF title against Chris Jericho (as it turns out, the final time the "WWF" title was ever defended). Dave says the title has been meaningless for years now and Hogan's steam is running out. And Jericho hasn't recovered from spending the first part of the year being emasculated and playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon in the Wrestlemania feud. Add all that together and you've got a recipe for a shit ratings night. Among other things. Dave isn't blaming this all on Hogan and Jericho by any means, there's a lot of problems with the company as of late, from bad storylines to failing to make new stars, and it's all starting to come home to roost.
  • Keiji Muto wrestled a match in AJPW under his alternate gimmick of Kokushi Muso. Turns out "Great Muta" isn't his only other persona. The Kokushi Muso gimmick is basically like Hakushi in WWF, where he's covered his entire body in Japanese writing. He originally debuted the gimmick in Michinoku Pro last year, when teaming with....Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki, who occasionally brought back the old Hakushi gimmick in Japan). Anyway, same thing here. He teamed with Hakushi for this match, while using that gimmick (Muto would use that gimmick a handful of times throughout the years, always when teaming with Hakushi. It's like that was only his gimmick for that team. The last time he used it was in 2009, also in a tag match with Hakushi).
  • Former NOAH Jr. champion Naomichi Marufuji underwent knee surgery this week and should be out around 6 months (ends up being 9 months).
  • NJPW is doing an angle (according to Dave) similar to the Vince/Flair angle last year where Antonio Inoki and Masahiro Chono are battling over control of the company. Although it's more realistic. Inoki is in the press talking about how many of NJPW's shows aren't doing well and is pushing for them to use Naoya Ogawa more, while Chono doesn't want to. Inoki is also saying Chono needs to retire from wrestling and focus his energies on managing the day-to-day business of the promotion full-time. Dave says this is an angle, but it doesn't sound like much of one to me, and I think later years have kinda proven there was a lot of blurring between fiction and reality here, because there was a ton of behind the scenes turmoil in NJPW during this period.
  • Will Smith appeared alongside Antonio Inoki at the Japanese movie premiere for the film "Ali" based on Muhammad Ali's life. Crowd went absolutely insane for Inoki (I've tried like hell and can't even find a picture of them together. But then again, I can't find a single pic from the premiere at all).
  • When reviewing the recent Dos Caras Jr. shoot fight in Japan, Dave talks about the guy's potential as a wrestler. He has a strong amateur background, legit shoot skills, and a famous name. Dave thinks, if he's even halfway a decent worker, he can almost be a guaranteed star in Mexico (based on his name alone) and probably Japan too, if he decides to pursue that career (indeed he did, and indeed, he was fairly decent at it. Of course, he later became Alberto Del Rio, accused rapist and pretty much confirmed all-around piece of shit).
  • Former long-time WCW referee Randy Anderson passed away this week after a long battle with testicular cancer. Back when WCW was still around and he first got diagnosed, they did an angle out of it where Eric Bischoff fired him and then laughed at his wife and kids when they begged him to give Anderson his back. Of course, he was later re-hired when Flair became on-screen commissioner and continued to referee until 1999 when the cancer forced him to retire.
  • Random news and notes: Bobby Heenan is said to be in good spirits and is especially excited because WWE recently contacted him about doing a WWE Magazine feature on him. Verne Gagne's wife Mary passed away from cancer this week. Goldberg will be appearing on this week's Wrestling Observer Live show to be interviewed. Mil Mascaras is releasing an autobiography (in Spanish of course) and man, I'd love to find an English translation of that because I bet it'd be interesting. Chyna appeared on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this past week.
WATCH: Chyna on Sabrina The Teenage Witch
  • Bruno Sammartino turned down an invitation to attend the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in New York (yes, that HOF existed and still does, in a different city now). Bruno did an interview with the local paper and said "Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it's over. I don't want anything to do with it anymore." Bruno managed to turn the discussion to the WWE, despite them not having any affiliation with this HOF and grumbled about how Vince McMahon blocked him from being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. However, the new MSG owners have apparently promised Bruno he'll be inducted this year, since he sold the place out 200 times (Dave jumps in here to correct it and says the real number of sellouts is closer to 45. Bruno only main evented the Garden 127 times and by no means were they all sell-outs. But it's one of those myths that has been perpetuated for so long that Dave begrudgingly recognizes that people are always going to believe the 200 number is true, but it's not even close. He compares it to the claim that Andre The Giant was 7'4, which also wasn't true but people repeated the lie so often that it became accepted as fact).
  • Afa Anoa'i Jr., the son of the legendary Wild Samoan, is a star football player at his high school and is being recruited for Penn State. He also sometimes wrestles on his father's indie shows (that would be Manu, who was very briefly part of Legacy with Orton, Dibiase Jr., and Cody).
  • Former WCW announcer Scott Hudson will be doing commentary for Jerry Jarrett's new promotion, and Bob Ryder is said to be in a major front office position.
  • Jarrett has put out a press release saying that his new promotion has had talks with Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Word is Warrior wanted a 15% ownership stake in the new company, which pretty much ended those talks right there. They're also apparently interested in Scott Hall now too, with the idea that since they're only doing 1 show per week, he won't be a screw-up here. Dave is skeptical. Anyway, currently Road Dogg and Brian Christopher expected to be some of the company's top stars and Dave's not optimistic.
  • XWF wrestlers were told last week that a television deal should hopefully be finalized this week. But Dave has been told no chance it's happening that soon. The rumors are that the deal is either with the FX or Fox Kids networks. Ted Turner had inquired about buying this promotion a few months ago, but when he learned how much it would cost to get them off the ground and make them competitive, he lost interest (TV deal never materializes, company is already dead, etc. etc.).
  • The Scorpion King slipped to 2nd place this week, falling to the new Spider Man movie which did a record breaking $114 million opening weekend. Randy Savage has a small role in that movie.
  • Speaking of, The Rock worked his first match in about a month at a Fort Lauderdale house show, teaming with Hogan to beat Jericho and Angle. After the match, Hogan tried to get Rock to pose with him, but Rock wouldn't do it. Rock thanked the fans for the success of Scorpion King and said it would likely be his last match for awhile. There was a ton of local media there, but Rock didn't talk to any of them. Basically, the house show was in his neck of the woods and he simply decided to show up and work it just so he could see his friends and hang out with the locker room, he had no interest in doing interviews. He was just there because he wanted to be. Backstage, Rock was telling people that Hollywood higher-ups have told him he has to leave the wrestling business if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Those in the company feel it's a certainty that Rock really is leaving and he's likely going to break out of wrestling into Hollywood and actually become a rare success story (yeah, you could say that).
  • Look how long this is already. Imagine if I had covered that Lou Thesz obituary in full. JUST IMAGINE!
  • Notes from Raw: Dave compares it to an episode of Thunder, with the crowd half-dead for everything. Also, the roster was exhausted after just returning from the Europe trip (and the plane ride shenanigans) and that was apparent too. Brock Lesnar won his match via pinfall instead of the usual ref stoppage and Dave says that word is Triple H got in Vince's ear and convinced him to end the ref stoppage gimmick for Brock. Sure, why not? Hogan was supposed to ride off on Undertaker's bike at one point, but then the motorcycle wouldn't start. It was one of those awkward live-TV moments where time stood still and nobody knew what to do. Flair finally turned heel on Austin, to a shocking lack of heat from the crowd. Nash returned, etc. Dave recaps the rest of this show and it sounds like a lot of bad WCW stuff, coincidentally enough with a lot of the same people.
WATCH: Hogan can't start the motorcycle
  • The man who played the effeminate gay guy applying to be Vince McMahon's secretary on Smackdown a few weeks ago was new creative team member David Lagana. He recently joined the company and has written for several other TV shows, including "Friends" and has a strong knowledge of the industry (Dave says if you've been reading the Observer closely for the last few years, you're probably familiar with him, he's written in to Dave a lot over the years).
  • Dave goes on a brief rant about how to use older stars. In the past, everyone, even Vince McMahon, talked about how you should use guys like Hogan and Flair in small doses and how WCW's reliance on older stars like that is what made them less special. Dave talks about back in the day in Memphis, Jackie Fargo would come back once or twice a year and he was always the biggest star in the company when he did. Because he was used sparingly. But WWE has pretty much built its company around Hogan and Flair (and to a lesser extent, Vince and Undertaker) over the last few months and they've been totally overexposed because of it. Just 6 weeks ago, Hulk Hogan was getting some of the largest crowd reactions in the history of the business. Now, he and Undertaker are practically hearing crickets during their on-screen interactions.
  • Lita underwent neck surgery this week and isn't allowed to do anything physical for 9 months. Scotty 2 Hotty also had neck surgery and is expected to be out for about a year. Both are expected to make full recoveries though.
  • Jesse Ventura admitted this week that he received WWF stock options as partial payment for some work he did with them. Dave doesn't know if it's related to the Summerslam appearance a few years ago or the XFL announcing gig. Ventura says he has 10 years to exercise those stock options but wouldn't give any further details.
  • Scott Steiner told WWA he will work their next UK tour but after that, he's going to WWE. Dave is skeptical. Reports are that Steiner was in horrible pain after every match he worked on the last WWA tour and there's significant doubt that his body will hold up to a WWE schedule.
  • The new Steve Austin "What!" DVD has a lot of WCW footage, including the full Austin vs. Steamboat match from WCW Bash at the Beach 94. Dave doesn't say so, but I believe this is the first time WWE used any of the WCW library for commercial release after they purchased it the year before.
  • Someone writes in and asks Dave to stop spending so much time writing about steroid use in wrestling and instead says he should write a story about racism in the business. This person writes about the allegations from years back of Dusty Rhodes using the N-work with impunity, or the time DX parodied the Nation by wearing blackface. The WCW discrimination lawsuit, the embarrassing angles they've done with Mark Henry such as Sexual Chocolate, etc. This guy is asking why is it white wrestlers outnumber black wrestlers by 35-to-1 ratio in the U.S. (70-to-1 in Mexico and 80-to-1 in Japan). He wants to know why Dave isn't writing about that stuff. Dave responds and agrees that the blackface DX promo was racist, and it was racist when Buff Bagwell did it in WCW and when Roddy Piper did it in the 80s. Dave says wrestling, especially from the 70s through the 90s, had a horrible history of exploiting stereotypes and/or saying and doing racist things. You can argue it's gotten better, but no doubt the problem still exists. Dave lists some examples but he also pushes back on some others. For example, he's heard people complain that Booker T isn't being used properly due to his race and Dave disagrees. It's true that Booker T probably deserves a bigger push, but you can make the same case for guys like RVD and Jericho and Raven or DDP (when he first debuted, at least) and that didn't happen either, so Dave doesn't necessarily think Booker's lack of top-star push can be blamed on his race (we're less than a year away from Triple H definitively proving otherwise).
  • There's also 2 letters about the Rock/Hogan match at Wrestlemania and they couldn't be more different. One guy writes in and he can't understand why people are praising that match because if you put aside the hot crowd, it was awful, everyone's moves looked bad, it was embarrassing, etc. and says Hogan should have retired afterward. Then someone else writes in and says he was there live and, taken as a whole, Rock vs. Hogan was the greatest match he's ever seen. Basically the same "love it or hate it" opinion people have about that match to this day. Also, someone else writes in about the recent Low-Ki vs. American Dragon match from an ROH show and puts it up there among some of the greatest matches of all time (listing off several classic WWF matches like Shawn/Razor and Owen/Bret at WM10 for example). So there ya go.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: more fallout from the Plane Ride from Hell, more on the beginning of Jarrett's new NWA-TNA promotion, more on the NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
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Tier debate: Should The Athletic, Simon Johnson and Liam Twomey be upgraded to Tier 1?

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate of any of the above named. I voiced strong resentment to paid subscription for the Athletic initially, expecting the same washed up rumour mill drivel. Since then I have used a free trial and changed by opinion.
The Athletic aren’t first to the news, but they are the most reliable. I think this is important with the media even outside of football now, we have too many ‘first to report’ and too few ‘first to validate’.
Liam Twomey
Off the bat, Liam Twomey is not a transfer correspondent. However, he has written extensive articles on behind the scenes and general running of the club. He only makes observations when really pressed. It’s not so much what Twomey has got right, it’s that he hasn’t got anything wrong. After Ziyech was confirmed Liam wrote how Chelsea scouted him and the same for Timo Werner. The fact he shares by-lines with David Ornsein (who is Tier 1) should provide him more credibility.
Simon Johnson
First, I’m taking a big spoon of humble pie with this one. I was very vocal about my distrust for SJ when he was at the Standard and posting on Twitter. Since his move I’m yet to find any fault in anything he’s reported. It was Simon who’s been the real driving force of the Chilwell to Chelsea rumours, writing about it as early as 4 December 2019 which has since been confirmed by supposed Chelsea unofficial spokesman Matt Law (who I know is also a Tier 2 journalist on this sub).
I, unfortunately, don’t have the time to go through each of their Twitter’s (since joining Athletic) to corroborate if they’ve put out any bullshit rumours since then but as far as I have seen they have not.
I welcome any counter arguments and look forward to seeing if members agree!
View Poll
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Australian Football Across the USA and beyond

As the AFL returns to play this weekend, audiences in the USA and around the world will get another opportunity to see Australian Rules football live on major TV channels.
The hope is that the "lull" in other sports, as well as the high visiblity of the games on these channels, will help grow attention worldwide, and bolster the grass roots programs that have been thriving around the world for the last couple of decades.
As you can tell from my flair and handle, I am involved with the United States Australian Football League, which has been around since 1997. The USAFL currently has 46 clubs from across the country and more than 2000 athletes. While the league began with Australian expats and American players who grew up with the game on ESPN in the 1980’s, more than 70% of the league’s players are now American-born and raised. Of the 46 clubs, more than half of them have women’s programs, which is an arm of the sport that is growing rapidly with the AFLW pathway in place.
In addition to the regular season, the league hosts three regional tournaments and a National Championships that have been broadcast on ESPN3 each of the last two years. The USAFL Nationals are the largest tournament for the sport anywhere in the world, eclipsing anything even in Australia.
If you’re in the US, and watching the game of Australian Football on TV has you interested in being involved closer to home, go to and check out our social media outlets. We also have a YouTube Channel and an affiliated TV show with games and highlights over the last decade or so. I also host a weekly podcast where we talk to players, umpires, coaches, and other folks around the league to get their stories on how they started playing “footy” and about the clubs themselves, among other things.
North of the border, AFL Canada has more than thirty clubs from coast to coast in a handful of regional leagues. AFL Ontario is the largest and oldest of these leagues, having been founded in 1989. AFL Europe and AFL Asia each have their own structures and tournaments, with the Euro and Asian Cups drawing a great many teams and crowds each year. South Africa has had a long history of Aussie Rules development, and teams in Bogota, Colombia and Santiago, Chile lead the way in establishing the game in South America.
While there is no world championship a la, say, the FIFA World Cup, the AFL International Cup is a triennial tournament held in Australia that attracts the best players from outside Australia in what is the only truly global tournament for the sport. The first tournament was held in 2002, and the women’s division was added in 2011. PNG is the most successful men’s team, having been in six straight Grand Finals, winning three. On the women’s side, Ireland and Canada have squared off in all three women’s title games so far, with the Irish taking two from three. This year’s tournament, which was scheduled for the Sunshine Coast in August, has been postponed to July/August 2021.
A total of 154 players in the VFL/AFL have been born overseas. The UK, with 64, has the most, many of them playing in the league’s first half-century or so. There are currently 14 foreign-born players in the AFL, Ireland leading the active player count with four. Everyone knows about Dallas native Mason Cox, and Canada has Andrew McGrath, who moved to Australia as a kid and grew up playing the game. A total of four Americans have played in the AFL – only Cox and Jason Holmes were born and raised Americans to American parents. Canada has had two AFLers – McGrath and Mike Pyke, a rugby-convert who famously won a premiership with the Sydney Swans in 2012.
The pathway and the newer nature of AFL Women’s makes it easier for players overseas to break into that league. Eighteen AFLW players hail from Ireland, all of them Gaelic football converts. The USA boasts of one AFLW participant, Danielle Marshall of the Western Bulldogs. Dani is the first American, male or female, to come up through the USAFL program and play top-grade Aussie Rules, having spent two seasons with the Arizona Hawks.
My thanks to the sports crew for helping to promote the great game of Aussie Rules overseas. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or would like to get involved locally, no matter where you are in the world.
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Teams that haven't won their league and are playing in the top division around the world Part I (UEFA)?

Well, it's about time to kick off a new series. I thought about what to do for a while and I felt like discussing something similar to my one-hit wonder teams from the last series: the title-less teams.
I've never felt like a traditional football fan. I love chaos at the top of the table and I wish it would happen more often worldwide. Sadly, there are just some leagues that weren't designed for this to happen. I feel for fans of teams that don't have a league title in their trophy case...hopefully there's some other silverware you can hang onto in the meantime. There's still a chance for some of you guys to make noise at the top of the table, and I certainly hope you do. In the meantime, this series is to let you know that we haven't forgotten about you guys.
There are many more teams that have never won league titles than there are one-hit wonders. Unlike with one-hit wonders, where I could take liberties and not include all of them due to lack of historical data, that is not the case here as data is much more up-to-date for the current season even in smaller leagues. I don't have that much spare time on my I'll simply list the teams that haven't won.
Feel free to discuss any teams that you feel are surprising. I may have made a few mistakes, correct me if I included an incorrect team but one possible reason a team may not listed is because they may have won an amateuregional title in the past.
By the way, if you somehow stumble upon this post a few months later, some of these entries may become outdated. Why? Relegation, man. You can't make a list unless you're in the top league to begin with. I don't want to list every team that has played top-flight football in history; some lists will be overwhelmingly long.
After the one-hit wonder series, this is going to be a really easy way for me to let off some steam while hopefully sharing some nice trivia with everyone. EDIT: just to avoid any further confusion, I list the name of current top-flight league but titles are counted throughout the top-flight history of a nation.
Kicking things off with UEFA, here we come:
Albania (Albanian SuperLiga): Laçi, Bylis, Luftëtari
Andorra (Primera Divisió): Inter d'Escaldes, Engordany, UE Santa Coloma, Atlètic Club de Escaldes, Ordino, Carroi
Armenia (Armenian Premier League): Lori, Noah, Gandzahar
Austria (Austrian Bundesliga): Wolfsberg, Hartberg, Rheindorf Altach, Admira Wacker Mödling*, WSG Tirol*, Mattersberg, St. Pölten
Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan Premier League): Zira, Sabah, Sabail, Gabala
Belarus (Belarusian Premier League): Isloch Minsk Raion, Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino, Gorodeya, Minsk, Neman Grodno, Slutsk, Energetik-BGU Minsk, Vitebsk, Smolevichi, Rukh Brest
Belgium (First Division A): Charleroi, Zulte Waregem, Excel Mouscron, Kortrijk, Sint-Truiden, Eupen, Oostende, Waasland-Beveren*
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina): Tuzla City, Radnik Bijeljina*, Velež Mostar, Sloboda Tuzla, Mladost Doboj Kakanj, Zvijezda 09
Bulgaria (First Professional Football League): Cherno More, Arda, Etar, Tsarsko Selo, Botev Vratsa, Dunav Ruse, Vitosha Bistritsa
Croatia (Croatian First Football League): Lokomotiva, Osijek, Gorica, Slaven Belupo, Istra 1961, Inter Zaprešić, Varaždin
Cyprus (Cypriot First Division): AEK Larnaca*, Pafos FC, Nea Salamis Famagusta, Enosis Neon Paralimni, Ethnikos Achna, Doxa Katokopias
Czech Republic (Czech First League): Jablonec, Slovácko, České Budějovice, Mladá Boleslav, Bohemians 1905**, Teplice, Karviná, Fastav Zlín, Opava, Příbram
Denmark (Danish Superliga): Randers, Horsens, SønderjyskE, Hobro
England (Premier League): Crystal Palace, Southampton, Brighton & Hove Albion, West Ham United, Watford, Bournemouth, Norwich City
Estonia (Meistriliiga): Paide Linnameeskond, Tammeka, Tulevik, Kuressaare, Narva Trans, TJK Legion, Tallinna Kalev
Faroe Islands (Faroe Islands Premier League): AB, Skála
Finland (Veikkausliiga): FC Honka, FC Lahti, RoPS
France (Ligue 1): Rennes, Angers, Brest, Metz, Dijon, Nîmes, Amiens, Toulouse
Georgia (Erovnuli Liga): Locomotive Tbilisi, Dinamo Batumi, Telavi, Merani Tbilisi, Chikhura Sachkhare
Germany (Bundesliga): RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen, SC Freiburg, 1899 Hoffenheim, Union Berlin, FC Augsburg, Mainz 05, SC Paderborn
Gibraltar (Gibraltar National League): Lynx, Bruno's Magpies, Lions Gibraltar, Mons Calpe, Europa Point, Boca Gibraltar, College 1975
Greece (Superleague Greece): OFI, Atromitos, Xanthi, Asteras Tripolis, Lamia, Volos, Panetolikos, Panionios
Hungary (Nemzti Bajnokság I): Mezőkövesd, Puskás Akadémia, Diósgyőr, Kisvárda, Paks, Kaposvár
Iceland (Úrvalsdeild karla): Fjölnir, Fylkir, Grótta, HK
Ireland (League of Ireland Premier Division): Finn Harps
Israel (Israeli Premier League): Hapoel Hadera, F.C. Ashdod, Sektzia Nes Tziona, Hapoel Ra'anana
Italy (Serie A): Atalanta, Parma, Sassuolo, Udinese, Lecce, SPAL, Brescia
Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan Premier League): Zhetysu, Kaisar, Ordabasy, Okzhetpes, Caspiy, Kyzylzhar
Kosovo (Football Superleague of Kosovo): Ballkani, Gjilani, Llapi, Drenica, Flamurtari, Ferizaj
Latvia (Latvian Higher League): Daugavpils, Jelgava, METTA/LU, RFS, Tukums, Valmiera Glass ViA
Liechtenstein (Liechtenstein Football Cup, not an official league, will list every team that hasn't won): FC Ruggell, FC Treisenberg
Lithuania (A Lyga): Kauno Žalgiris, Banga, Riteriai, Panevėžys
Luxembourg (Luxembourg National Division): Differdange 03*, Union Titus Pétange, UNA Strassen, Racing FC*, Victoria Rosport, Etzella Ettelbruck, Hostert, Mandorf-les-Bains, Rodange 91, Muhlenbach Blue Boys
Malta (Maltese Premier League): Sirens, Gżira United, Balzan, Mosta, Gudja United, St. Lucia, Senglea Athletic, Tarxien Rainbows
Moldova (Moldovan National Division): Codru Lozova, Dacia Buiucani, Dinamo-Auto, Florești, Petrocub Hîncești, Sfîntul Gheorghe, Speranța Nisporeni
Montenegro (Montenegrin First League): Iskra, Podgorica, Petrovac, Kom, Grbalj
Netherlands (Eredivisie): Utrecht*, Vitesse, Groningen, Heerenveen, Emmen, VVV-Venlo, PEC Zwolle, Fortuna Sittard, RKC Waalwijk
Northern Ireland (NIFL Premiership): Larne, Carrick Rangers, Dungannon Swifts, Ballymena United, Warrenpoint Town, Institute
North Macedonia (Macedonian First Football League): Akademija Pandev, Shkupi, Struga, Borec
Norway (Eliteserien): Aalesund, Haugesund, Kristiansund, Mjøndalen, Odd, Sandefjord, Sarpsborg 08
Poland (Ekstraklasa): Pogoń Szczecin, Lechia Gdansk, Jagiellonia Białystok, Raków Częstochowa, Wisla Płock, Korona Kielce, Arka Gdynia
Portugal (Primeira Liga): Braga, Rio Ave, Vitória de Guimarães, Famalicão, Moreirense, Gil Vicente, Santa Clara, Vitória de Setúbal, Belenenses SAD*, Tondela, Marítimo, Paços de Ferreira, Portimonense, Aves
Romania (Liga I): Botoșani, Gaz Metan Mediaș, Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe, Hermannstadt, Chindia Târgoviște, Politehnica Iași, Academica Clinceni, Voluntari
Russia (Russian Premier League): Krasnodar, Rostov, Arsenal Tula, Ural Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Orenburg, Krylia Sovetov Samara, Tambov, Akhmat Grozny, Sochi
San Marino (Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio): Juvenes/Dogana, Cailungo, Virtus, San Giovanni
Scotland (Scottish Premiership): Livingston, St Johnstone, Ross County, Hamilton Academical, St Mirren
Serbia (Serbian SuperLiga): Vojvodina**, TSC Bačka Topola, Čukarički, Radnički Niš, Spartak Subotica, Voždovac, Mladost Lučani, Radnik Surdulica, Napredek Kruševac, Proleter Novi Sad, Javor Ivanjica, Inđija, Rad, Mačva Šabac
Slovakia (Slovak First Football League): DAC Dunajská Streda, Zemplin Michalovce, Zlaté Moravce, Senica, Sered', Nitra, Pohronie
Slovenia (Slovenian PrvaLiga): Celje, Aluminij, Mura, Tabor Sežana, Bravo, Triglav Kranj, Rudar Velenje
Spain (La Liga): Getafe, Villarreal, Granada, Osasuna, Levante, Alavés, Valladolid, Eibar, Celta Vigo, Mallorca, Leganés, Espanyol
Sweden (Allsvenskan): BK Hacken, Falkenbergs FF, IK Sirius, Mjällby AIF, Varbergs BoIS, Örebro SK, Östersunds FK
Switzerland (Swiss Super League): Thun
Turkey (Süper Lig): İstanbul Başakşehir, Sivasspor, Alanyaspor, Gaziantep, Denizlispor, Antalyaspor, Yeni Malatyaspor, Çaykur Rizespor, Konyaspor, Kasımpaşa, Kayserispor
Ukraine (Ukrainian Premier League): Zorya Luhansk**, Desna Chernihiv, FC Oleksandriya, Kolos Kovalivka, SC Dnipro-1, FC Mariupol, FC Lviv, Vorskla Poltava, Olimpik Donetsk, Karpaty Lviv
Wales (Cymru Premier): Connah's Quay Nomads, Bala Town, Caernarfon Town, Newtown, Cefn Druids, Aberystwyth Town, Carmarthen Town, Airbus UK Broughton
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Portugal, Mozambique and African Football - A Brief History.

On the 10th of July 2016, Portugal were crowned victors over France in the final of the European footballing championships for the first time in their history. Portugal’s only goal in the final, coming in the second half of extra-time, was scored by Eder, a player born in a former colonial possession: Guinea-Bissau. In a final contested between two former colonisers, 37% of the two squads consisted of players with linkages to each country’s former colonial possessions.
Drawing on this, the post examines the sporting (specifically football) relationship between Portugal and one of its former colonial possessions, Mozambique, examining how developments in one region of the world can have profound consequences on individuals on the other side of the globe. Firstly, the relationship is examined during the colonial period, detailing Portugal’s cultural influence over Mozambican traditions and noting the use of cultural technologies, such as football, to sustain their colonial power. Following, post-independence Mozambique is examined, highlighting their poor relationship with Portugal and weak economic infrastructure caused by years of civil war. Lastly, we take a brief look at FIFA's relationship with the African continent during the early-to-mid 20th century and understand the predatory migratory practices employed by European footballing clubs towards the latter part of the century.
Pre-independence Sporting Relationship
In 1885, a conference held in Berlin, between a number of European superpowers, was scheduled with the intention of regulating the European colonisation of Africa. During the conference Portugal were given Mozambique, along with Angola and Guinea-Bissau, disregarding any form of African governance and allowing Portugal to take rule (Armstrong, 2008). Mozambique’s sporting organisations developed under Portuguese colonial rule with the practice of modern sports only becoming legal in 1906 (Domingos, 2007). However, 1931 provided the first records regarding the implementation of systemised sport in Mozambique. A Portuguese captain named Ismael Mário Jorge produced a report to the Paris Colonial Congress detailing the separation of ‘physical education’ and ‘sports’. The report centred on the idea of sustained colonial power, ensuring the focus on ‘physical education’ would lead to a greater number of athletes to compete for the colonial state (Portugal) (Domingos, 2007).
Introduced to them by the Portuguese, football quickly became the favoured sport of many Mozambicans, with most cities across the country naturally adopting a love for it. However, large cities such as Lourenço Marques were ‘forced’ to accept the sport through Catholic missionary schools (Darby, 2007a) ensuring every child attempted the sport to demonstrate their (future) potential. Football was used a tool to continuously reinforce cultural hegemony over Mozambique, and many aspects of Portuguese culture were often forced upon many of the locals. Football teams were encouraged to affiliate themselves with prominent Portuguese football clubs (i.e. ‘Sporting Lourenço Marques’), and the locals often developed an affinity towards the Portuguese club instead. Additionally, Portuguese teams would tour around Mozambique frequently and radio broadcasts of Portuguese football was preferred (Darby, 2007a). Many of these practices possessed a significance beyond football, serving to transmit a “vehicle of ideas, beliefs, values and conventions that contributed to consolidate the imperial mission” (Domingos, 2007, p.480). Dirks (Cited in Domingos, 2007) shares the same sentiment stating that “colonialism was made possible, and then sustained and strengthened, as much by cultural technologies of rule as it was by the more obvious and brutal modes of conquest that first established power on foreign shores”.
Footballing Success
The late 1940’s and 1950’s saw early forms of modern day academies in Mozambique. Although the Portuguese possessed no direct ownership over many of the Mozambican football teams, clubs such as SL Benfica and Sporting Lisbon would often send scouts to permanently live in Mozambique with the job of sending over promising footballers (Armstrong, 2008). The success of Lucas Figuereido ‘Matetu’, a Mozambique-born footballer who finished top scorer in the Portuguese league in 1953 and 1955, created a significant impact on the recruitment of African footballers. Portuguese clubs started sending more scouts to Mozambique, beginning to understand the potential of African recruits. The domestic game was greatly affected by these African recruits as Benfica’s first European Cup (Champions League) winning team in 1961 consisted of 4 African born players. Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar introduced the ‘indigenous people’s rule’ which gifted assimilated nationality to Mozambicans who were considered exceptional players (Darby, 2007a). Those who possessed enough talent to be exported to Portugal were often naturalised and called up to the national team.
Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, known universally as Eusebio, is considered one of Portugal’s greatest ever players. Born in Mozambique, Eusebio was scouted from a young age by Benfica and was naturalised soon after he signed in 1961. Not only did Eusebio lead Benfica to a European Cup win (1962, he signed a couple days after Benfica had beaten Barca 3-2 in the final of 1961), he also carried Portugal to a 3rd place finish at the 1966 World Cup, finishing top scorer of the competition with 9 goals. This process of naturalisation can be considered as another tool to reinforce the Portuguese cultural hegemony. Darby (2007a, p.502) describes this process of naturalisation as the “enrichment of the developed world at the expense or impoverishment of the developing world”. The regular radio broadcasts of Portuguese football allowed many Mozambicans to follow Eusebio’s successful career with immense pride. However, adopting the thinking of Klein (1991), Darby (2007a) argues the success that Eusebio received (as well as other Mozambican-born players) after assimilating Portuguese nationality contributed to a belief among Mozambicans that life and culture were better in Portugal. Many believed that in order to become a successful footballer, one needed to become a Portuguese citizen leaving the Mozambican domestic game heavily under developed. The exportation of gifted Mozambican individuals continued until the 1970’s serving to continuously under develop Mozambican football.
Post-independence relationship
Following a decade of colonial war, Mozambique eventually gained independence in 1975. The newly installed Marxist, FRELIMO (The Liberation Front of Mozambique) government took steps to de-Europeanise the sport, cutting off various links with Portugal. The FRELIMO government demanded all Mozambican football teams drop any Portuguese affiliation from their name. Additionally, Portuguese teams were no longer welcomed to Mozambique and most importantly, in an effort to stop the export of their most talented footballers, a ban was placed prohibiting local players from leaving the country (Darby, 2007a). However, Mozambique found itself involved in a civil war 2 years after it gained independence. The civil war demolished any hope of developing a professional league due to “sabotage from neighbouring states, economic collapse, broader economic mismanagement and massive displacement of indigenous peoples” (Darby, 2007a, p.500). As a result, Mozambique’s weak political and economic infrastructure stunted the development of their domestic game; causing many footballers to flee the country as a playing career brought minimal financial reward or stability.
The ban preventing local players from leaving the country was lifted in 1987, as the FRELIMO government saw little results from the Mozambique international team during the years. The civil war began to come an end in the late 1980’s, as talks between the FRELIMO government and opposing RENAMO movement (Mozambique Resistance Movement) were held allowing Mozambique to become a multi-party state (Darby, 2007a). The lift on the ban allowed Portugal to reinstate its historical connection with Mozambique. Many teams assumed their previous Portuguese-affiliated names and Portuguese clubs began sending scouts to watch local teams again. The end of the civil war left Mozambique in an economically weak position, allowing Portugal to take advantage of the newly lifted ban. Portuguese footballs European success in the late 1980’s coupled with Mozambique’s weak economic infrastructure led to a high migration of Mozambicans to Portugal. Portuguese football clubs utilised their financially stronger position to dictate the terms in which they bought Mozambican footballers. Players who were shown even a slight interest would put pressure on their team to sell, and the precarious conditions of Mozambique football forced many of the teams to sell players at a fraction of their value (Armstrong, 2008). Clubs found themselves “in a position of dependent trading [facilitating] the de-skilling and underdevelopment of African football on terms and conditions set by recruiting Portuguese clubs” (Darby, 2007a, p.504).
The relationship between Mozambique and Portugal provided a similar narrative among other African and European football connections. Darby et al. (2007), as well as Darby (2007b), Poli (2006, 2010), Schokkaert (2014), Bale (2004) and Littlewood et al. (2011) all provide pieces of literature examining the exploitive relationship between European and African football clubs and the reasons for player migrations. The consensus amongst authors relates to the poor economic conditions, and subsequent weak footballing infrastructure, of many African countries, otherwise known as ‘push’ factors (Darby and Solberg, 2009). Any serious footballers living in one of these African countries understands the need to travel abroad to make a living from the sport (Der Meij, 2017; Esson, 2015a), a notable ‘push’ factor applicable to many Mozambicans. In 2007, 69 percent of African footballers plying their trade in the Portuguese leagues hailed from one of its former colonies. And although there are relatively few Mozambicans playing professionally in Europe (in 2007), those that do are based exclusively in Portugal (Darby, 2007b, p.445). It is difficult to predict the current numbers/ratio of former colonial links in Portugal’s domestic league but comparing Portugal’s 2006 World Cup squad (2 former colonial linkages) and EURO 2016 squad (7 former colonial linkages) demonstrates a slight increase that could be applicable to the domestic league. Conversely, the blame should not be solely put on Portugal. Those who possess enough talent and skill to be rewarded with a move abroad often choose a familiar cultural environment. Part of why so many Mozambicans (and other former colonies for that matter) still decide to migrate to Portugal can be down to the fewer linguistic and cultural barriers, established during Portugal’s colonial rule (Darby, 2007a).
FIFA and Africa
To further understand Mozambique’s underdevelopment, it is important to analyse FIFA’s approach to African football during the 20th century. FIFA adopted a very Eurocentric approach to football up until the 1970’s. Throughout the 50’s and 60’s, African countries were often denied entry to the FIFA World Cup and requests for a confederation were continuously rejected as “Africa had not yet sufficiently organized themselves to merit a say within world football” (Darby, 2000a, p.42). The resulting effect forced many African born players to travel abroad and adopt the nationalities of eligible nations, often making use of their former colonies in France, Belgium and Portugal (Schokkaert, 2014). Joao Havelange’s election as FIFA president in 1974 changed the way the African continent was viewed by the world football’s governing body. However, decades of neglect had left considerably less time for African football to develop in comparison to its European counterpart. The commercialisation of European football, beginning in the late 1980’s, further extended the economic gap. In a period where African football was beginning to find its feet, the creation of the Premier League and UEFA Champions League injected enormous amounts finances unmatched by African football. Revenue received from broadcasting rights would continue to rise and the passing of the Bosman law in 1995 ensured more money ended up in players and agents’ pockets (Poli, 2006).
Europe became an increasingly attractive prospect for African footballers as even the lowest paid players in Ligue 1 (French first division) received significantly more than the highest paid in the African continent (Darby at al., 2007, p145-6). Additionally, academies became ever more prominent as European teams utilised their rise in finances to set up ‘schools’ across Africa (Darby, 2000b), even going so far as to acquire African clubs with the intention of bypassing specific regulations preventing the exploitive purchases of African footballers (Darby and Solberg, 2009). Mozambique’s lift on the ban that prevented local players from leaving the country not only coincided with the increasing commercialisation of European football, but happened during a time where Portuguese teams were the most dominant in the continent (3 out of the 4 Champions League finals from 86/87 to 89/90 featured a Portuguese team).
FIFA’s Eurocentric approach to African football during the mid-20th century, coupled with Portugal’s exploitive migratory practices once the player-ban was lifted certainly endured lasting effects on Mozambican football. Ironically, Mozambique saw its most international success shortly after the ban was lifted appearing in 3 African Cup of Nations during the 1990’s. However, lifting the ban allowed the scouting of up and coming Mozambicans to be naturalised into Portuguese culture and subsequently opting to represent the Portuguese national team. Mozambique found themselves within a position of dependency, enabling the underdevelopment of domestic football whereby the terms and conditions were set by the recruiting Portuguese clubs. Similar to African migratory exploits in other countries (Darby, 2000a, 2000b, 2007b, 2012; Bale, 2004; Darby et al., 2007; Littlewood et al., 2011) European teams utilise their economic power to dictate the terms to which African players are purchased. As a result, African football is undervalued and underdeveloped as most are purchased with the intention of either bettering the performance as a club, profiting from the talents of the individual and widening the skill gap between African and European teams, or, in the case of many Portuguese clubs, selling the player to a more prestigious club and profiting immensely, furthering the economic gap.
Employing a positive perspective in reference to African football migratory practices highlights a minimal number of benefits for African football. Those who adopt this perspective tend to examine the players who have ‘made it’ in professional football, discussing the financial benefits not only received by the individual, but by family members and communities ‘back home’. Thus, it is important to note that the majority of Africans who travel abroad in hopes of ‘making it’ often do not, and are either transported home in horrendous conditions or left to fend for themselves alone in an unfamiliar city (Esson, 2015b). Many believe the international success of African teams comes down to many Africans migrating abroad and adopting ‘European’ tactics, but it is difficult to ascertain these ‘successes’ when one looks at African footballs record within World Cup history. Only 3 times has an African team made it to the quarter-final of a World Cup (Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010) and none have yet to advance further. Employing a positive perspective turns a blind eye to the exploitive practices of European football teams. Although some benefits can be seen in the life of the individual who ‘makes it,’ these numbers are often miniscule and do not represent the wider majority of African youths who traverse continents in pursuit of their dreams.
References & Further Reading
Armstrong, G. (2008). Football in Africa. Basingstoke [u.a.]: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bale, J. (2004) ‘Three Geographies of African Footballer Migration: Patterns, Problems and Postcoloniality’. In Football in Africa: Conflict, Conciliation and Community, edited by G. Armstrong and R. Giulianotti. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 229–46.
Darby, P. (2000a). Africa's place in FIFA's global order: A theoretical frame. Soccer & Society, 1(2), pp.36-61.
Darby, P. (2000b) ‘The New Scramble for Africa: African Football Labour Migration to Europe’. European Sports History Review 3: 217–44.
Darby, P. (2007a). African Football Labour Migration to Portugal: Colonial and Neo‐Colonial Resource. Soccer & Society, 8(4), pp.495-509.
Darby, P. (2007b). Out of Africa: The exodus of African football talent to Europe. Working USA. The Journal of Labor and Society, 10(4), 443–456
Darby, P. (2012) Gains Versus Drains: Football Academies and the Export of Highly Skilled Football Labour. Brown Journal of World Affairs, 18 (2). pp. 265-277
Darby, P., Akindes, G. and Kirwin, M. (2007). Football Academies and the Migration of African Football Labor to Europe. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 31(2), pp.143-161.
Darby, P. and Solberg, E. (2009). Differing trajectories: football development and patterns of player migration in South Africa and Ghana. Soccer & Society, 11(1-2), pp.118-130.
Der Meij, N., Darby, P. and Liston, K. (2017). “The Downfall of a Man is Not the End of His Life”: Navigating Involuntary Immobility in Ghanaian Football.
Domingos, N. (2007). Football and Colonialism, Domination and Appropriation: the Mozambican Case[1]. Soccer & Society, 8(4), pp.478-494.
Esson, J. (2015a). You have to try your luck: male Ghanaian youth and the uncertainty of football migration. Environment and Planning A, 47(6), pp.1383-1397.
Esson, J. (2015b). Better Off at Home? Rethinking Responses to Trafficked West African Footballers in Europe.
Frank, A.G. (1969) Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Held, D. (1999) Global transformations: Politics, economics and culture. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Klein, A. (1991) Sugarball: The American Game, The Dominican Dream. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
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submitted by -HeyMrRager to soccer [link] [comments]

A List of Sidehustle Ideas from SidehustleSchool.Com

[More ideas in the comments below too.]
  1. "Cheap Plane Tickets" Site Becomes Million-Dollar Hustle ...
  2. $10,000 Side Hustle Helps Musician Land Full-Time Job ...
  3. 13-Year-Old Australian Creates Schoolyard Lollipop Fortune ...
  4. 23-Year-Old College Student Uses “Sweatcoin” App to Earn ...
  5. 3D Printing Brings Cosplay Into 21st Century
  6. A Life of Travel Leads to a House-Designing Hustle
  7. A Packed Closet Leads to Secondhand Subscription Boxes ...
  8. Academic Advisor Creates Profitable Karaoke League
  9. Accidental Side Hustle Becomes Decorative Family Business ...
  10. Accountant Earns $233751 Reselling Items He Buys at Walmart
  11. Acrobatic Mom Jumps Through Hoops to Become High-flying ...
  12. Active “Type 1” Lifestyle Inspires Sticky, Successful Side Hustle
  13. Actress Becomes Organizational Director of Organization ...
  14. Aerospace Apprentice Soars to Seven-Figure Sales Heights ...
  15. Alcohol Fueled Idea Sells Over 1500 Shirts in Less Than a Year
  16. An Everyday Bag That Gives Back to Women in India
  17. Art Teacher Draws Her Way Into Ceramic Shop
  18. Artistic Cartographer Maps Out Successful Side Hustle
  19. Artistic Duo Sells 8000 T-Shirts in One Year
  20. Aussie Engineer Moves to Farm, Earns Passive Income
  21. Aussie Stretches Out with Online Store for Tall Women
  22. Aussie Student Starts Million-Dollar Bikini Biz
  23. Australian Hacker Creates Passive Income Anatomy Course ...
  24. Auto Employee Earns $100,000 Selling Stickers on Instagram ...
  25. Avid Travelers Turn Finding Deals Into Vacation Planning ...
  26. Bargain Hunter Designs One-of-a-Kind Flea Market
  27. Bartender Brews Up Brewpub Tour Biz
  28. Bass Player Starts BassLayerz Clothing Hustle
  29. Bean-Lover Grinds Way To $4,000/Month Family Coffee ...
  30. Bearded Man Grows $500 A Month Grooming Business
  31. Bearded Man from Finland Cashes In on Holiday Cheer
  32. Beekeepers Build Buzzing Backyard Business
  33. Birds of a Feather Flock to Your Bank Account
  34. Bitcoin YouTuber Earns Thousands in Affiliate Commissions ...
  35. Blogger Earns $140,000 from Beta Phase of Online Course ...
  36. Blogger Turns Leftover Cherries Into $5,000/Month Income ...
  37. Boy Scout Merit Badge Leads to Leatherworking Lifestyle ...
  38. Bring Your Own Cannabis to this “420-Friendly” Painting Class
  39. British Pub Manager Bakes Pork Pies for Profit
  40. Brooklyn Photographer Gets Paid to Throw Confetti at People ...
  41. Business Students Make $125,000 Selling Headphone ...
  42. Busy Marketing Professional Fills Niche with Biking Wine Tours
  43. CLASSROOM: Four Ways to Identify Moneymaking Ideas ...
  44. CLASSROOM: Goals, Agenda, and Your First Assignment ...
  45. Call Center Employee Uses Patreon to Fund LGBTQ Podcasts ...
  46. Canadian Moms Invent Baby Monitors for Active Toddlers ...
  47. Canadian Sports Enthusiast Earns $1,000/Month Selling ...
  48. Car Enthusiast Races Towards Reselling Success
  49. Cat Lover Creates Cat-tivating Portrait Series
  50. Catholic Designer Creates Stylish Apparel Line
  51. Childhood Game Master Earns $1 Million from Nerdy ...
  52. Coffee for Firefighters Brings the Heat!
  53. College Ministry Leader Starts Digital Agency
  54. Colorado Nutritionist Reworks Role to Get Paid Twice
  55. Comic Book Curator Creates Custom Crate Subscription ...
  56. Continuing Education Directory Earns Six Figures
  57. Copywriter Carves 140 Characters into $50,000 in Cash
  58. Corporate Employee Makes $350,000 Selling Mosquito ...
  59. Coupon Code Site Earns Copious Profits
  60. Crafter's Shop for Dreadlock Wearers Unlocks $3,500/Month ...
  61. Creative Illustrator Creates Creative Podcast for Creatives ...
  62. Curated Gift Boxes for Breakups and Baby Bumps
  63. Data Geek Charts Course From Analyst to Author
  64. Data Scientist Turns Teaching Frustrations Into Recurring ...
  65. Designer Earns Extra $5000/Month Posting Logos on Instagram
  66. Designer Illustrates Success with Personalized Wedding ...
  67. Designer Performs Magic, Turns Dream Into Reality
  68. Designer Turns Bad Parking Into $25,000 Per Year
  69. Detroit Women Make Jewelry for Profit and Social Good
  70. Digital Camera Blogger Snaps Into Passive Income
  71. Distracted Coach Creates Accountability Software
  72. Dog Stocking Hustle Earns Husky Payoff
  73. Dutch Personal Shopping Service for Kids Measures Up
  74. EXTENDED CUT #13: When to Let Go of Good Ideas
  75. EXTENDED CUT #14: Start a Service Business in Less Than ...
  76. EXTENDED CUT #5: How to Choose Between Multiple Ideas ...
  77. Electrical Engineer Becomes Romance Novel Cover Model ...
  78. Electrical Engineer Sells $800 Swarovski Crystal Bikinis
  79. Elementary School Teacher Pans for Gold in New Zealand ...
  80. Engineer Codes His Way To $3,700 Per Month
  81. Engineer Earns 7-Figures from “Crowd-Purchasing” Project ...
  82. Engineer Makes $64000 Selling Nerdy Playing Cards on Reddit
  83. Engineer Reprograms Herself, Finds Confidence to Start Over ...
  84. Enjoy an Ice Cold Beverage in a Mug Made from Ice
  85. Equine Lover Makes $5,000; Stables Business to Change ...
  86. Exercise App Encourages Fitness While Helping Sick Kids ...
  87. Farmer Makes “Tater Tats” for All Your Produce Tattoo Needs ...
  88. Fashion Buyer Creates Quirky Comfort Craze
  89. Father and Son Duo Produce Traveling Play
  90. Faux Taxidermy Turns Heads on Home Decor
  91. Fidget Spinner Cookie Sensation Leads to Sweet Profits
  92. Finance Guy Makes Bank With Swimsuit Line | Side Hustle ...
  93. Firefighter Uses Chainsaw for Jumbo-Sized Woodworking ...
  94. Flipping 101: The College Textbook Edition
  95. Florist & Sculpture Professor Make Presidential Lip Balm ...
  96. Foreign Correspondent Launches Career App
  97. Former NFL Player Sells Ice Shakers for $20000/Month Income
  98. Freelancer Starts New Hustle to Help Frustrated Clients
  99. Friends Foster Korean Face Mask Frenzy
  100. Friends Team Up to Deliver Compassionate Tech Support ...
  101. Friends Turn Gift Boxes into Prosperous Project
  102. Frustrated Mom Grows Hair Brush Hustle to Seven Figures ...
  103. Full-Time Mom Ships $35,000/Month in Frozen Bread on ...
  104. Gamer Levels Up Life With eBay Side Hustle
  105. German Funeral Urns Are Not a Dying Business
  106. Guitar Builder Carves Out Woodworking Moneymaker
  107. Guitar Teacher Sells Lessons on Craigslist and Makes $80/Hour
  108. Hair Salon Owner Designs Mittens for Cold Runners
  109. Hand Grippers Make for a $60,000-Strong Hustle
  110. Hand Lettering Artist Upgrades Cheesy Photo Booth Props ...
  111. Handkerchief Side Hustle Becomes Million-Dollar Blowout ...
  112. Harvard Med School Program Manager Gets Paid to Travel to ...
  113. Health Scare Inspires Adventurous Career Change
  114. High School Bootlegger Grows Up
  115. High School Teacher Spins His Way to Profits
  116. High School Teacher Turns Woodworking Hobby Into a 5 ...
  117. Honeymoon in Nepal Becomes Fashion Accessories Business
  118. Husband and Wife Team Pampers Their Way To Profit
  119. Insomniac Dreams Up Herbal Hustle
  120. Insult This! Witty Event Organizer Prepares You to Respond to ...
  121. Introvert Builds Networking Experience to Help Women
  122. Jailhouse Medic Turns House Calls Into Healthy Profits | Side ...
  123. Japanese Designer Folds Profitable Paper Wallets
  124. Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Pins Down Mobile Workout Tool
  125. Job Recruiter Helps LinkedIn Connections with Resumes ...
  126. Junk Removal Service Owner Earns $22,000 A Year From ...
  127. Kids' Books Prove To Be More Than Child's Play
  128. Kiwi Coder Makes Extra $50000/Year from Virtual Paintbrushes
  129. LA Graphic Designer Influences Influencers
  130. Lawyer Moonlights as Needle-Felt Children's Book Author ...
  131. Left-Handed Artist Creates Right-Brained Side Hustle
  132. Librarian Invents Eco-Friendly Dental Floss
  133. Lifelong Girl Scout Earns Her Side Hustle Badge (And $3,500 ...
  134. London Chocolate Tours Lead to Sweet Success
  135. London Clerk Hires Ghosts to Visit Boss, Earns Passive Income
  136. London Photographer Rents Camera Gear 1,100 Times
  137. Lost & Found: How Lost Property Helps a UK Woman Find Her ...
  138. Maine Couple Bootstraps Boutique Fitness Studio
  139. Make $4,000/Month Renting Out Cars You Don't Own
  140. Man Buys 100 Animal Skulls from Bali; Turns $10,000 Into ...
  141. Man Earns $100,000 Serving Clients on $5 Website
  142. Man Earns $85000 Promoting Mexican Avocados on Snapchat
  143. Marathon Runner Earns Full-Time Income Trying On Shoes ...
  144. Marketing Consultant Creates Private Retreats
  145. Marketing Professional Produces Giant Puppet Performances ...
  146. Marriage Inspires Theatre Captioning App & Service
  147. Mental Health Counselor By Day, Headband Artist by Night ...
  148. Millennial Invests Side Income For Passive Profits
  149. Mindful Moms Make $70,000 on Family Affirmation Cards ...
  150. Mindreading Performer Goes from Dorm Room to Paid ...
  151. Miniature Dollhouse Website Pays Full-Size Profits
  152. Mom Finds Love As Dating App Ghostwriter
  153. Money Grows on Moringa Trees
  154. Moonlighting Makeup Artist Earns Extra $25,000/Year | Side ...
  155. Movie Editor Turns 19th Century Art Into Full-Time Job
  156. Multiple-Use Plastics Take Big Bite for the Environment
  157. Museum Educator Improvises From Day Job to Side Hustle ...
  158. Music Graduate Makes Spare Change Filling Spare Rooms ...
  159. Musician Turns Drum Lessons Into Six-Figure Podcast
  160. NYC Banker Launches All-Natural, Drinkable Pickle Brine ...
  161. Nature-Loving Neighbors Create Kids Subscription Box
  162. Networking Success Is Served with a Side of Eggs
  163. New Jersey Blog Earns Six-Figure Income
  164. New Mom Recruits 3,000 Chinese Caregivers
  165. New Mom Uses Pinterest to Launch Parenting Blog
  166. New Mother Gives Life To Self-Care Coaching Business
  167. New Yorker Covers Up With Comfy Underwear Line
  168. No Guts, No Gory: The Hollywood Mom & Pop Prop Shop ...
  169. Nomad Family Cooks Up $40,000 Profit With Houseware ...
  170. Nomadic Designer Profits from Writing About Life in a Bag ...
  171. Oh Snap! Photography Site Turns Into Passive Income Hustle ...
  172. Oklahoman Spreads Light, Sells Candles, and Shares Profits ...
  173. On-the-Go Mouthwash Gets Mini-Makeover
  174. One Man's Trashed Mash is Another Man's Cash
  175. Operations Manager Manages to Make Heavy Furniture Light ...
  176. Organic Loungewear Becomes Sleeper Sensation
  177. Orthodontist Bites Off Solution to Teeth-Pulling Problem
  178. Outdoorsman Sees the Forest for the Trees, Finds Financial ...
  179. Outsource Date Night With This Sexy Side Hustle
  180. PE Teacher Makes $11,000 with Membership Site
  181. PE Teacher Resells Concert Tickets, Earns $12,000/Month ...
  182. Paralegal Takes Flight with Remote Work
  183. Paternal Twins Produce Passive Publishing Profits
  184. Pathetic Triathlete Creates $30,000 Facebook Group
  185. Pay Off Student Loans With Your Spare Change
  186. Philadelphia Foodie Toasts Competition with Sweet Treat ...
  187. Philadelphia Lover Maps Out $35,000/Year Side Hustle
  188. Photographer Visits 30 Countries, Leading Tours & Getting Paid
  189. Physical Therapist Sells 57,000 “Neck Hammocks”
  190. Physician Assistant Earns $12,000 In 10 Months Coaching ...
  191. Police Officer Funnels Frustration Into Six-Figure Hustle
  192. Policy Researcher Offers Private Tours of Nation's Capital ...
  193. Popular Instagram Account Becomes Fashionable Clothing ...
  194. Pottery Barn Commissions Art from Independent Photographer
  195. Proud Mainer Brings Whoopie Pies to the World
  196. Public Health Employee Earns Extra $2,000/Month with ...
  197. Published Author Adds Income Source; Makes Additional ...
  198. Put a Cap in It: Architect Makes the Write Choice; Starts Luxury ...
  199. Q&A: How can I inspire a “Must-Have-This” service?
  200. Q&A: How can I turn furniture repair into passive income ...
  201. Q&A: Is it still possible to profit from a blog?
  202. Q&A: What are your best tips for Etsy?
  203. Q&A: When should I start posting on social media?
  204. Rehearsal App for Actors Earns $500,000
  205. Resistance Is Futile! Brooklyn Fitness Fanatics Sell “No Days ...
  206. Role-Playing Pastor Rolls The Dice On $2800/Month Hustle ...
  207. Romance Novel Expert Teaches Proofreading for $2000/Month
  208. Sales Rep Seasons the Day with “Bad Spanish Tacos”
  209. Savvy Bride Turns Budget Wedding Into Six Figure Success ...
  210. Savvy Sleeper Pillowcases Produce Dreamy Profits for Tech ...
  211. Savvy Stationery Site Offers Cards for Divorce & Diwali
  212. Seattle Developer Takes Flight With Popular Travel Site
  213. Second Grade Teacher Earns Second Income
  214. Serial Business Builder Creates Digital Checklist Tool
  215. Should I hire a lawyer and get a patent?
  216. Side Hustle Turned Full-Time Job Disrupts Car Rental Industry ...
  217. Sisters Find Puppy Love After Launching Dating App
  218. Social Worker Bakes Cupcakes for The Walking Dead
  219. Software Engineer Scavenges For Profits
  220. South African Writer Launches Accidental Acting Career
  221. South Carolina Man Learns to Make Candles by Watching ...
  222. Speech Pathologist Sells Turkish Tea Towels By the Seashore ...
  223. Sports Writer Wins Big Gambling On His Own Book
  224. Squeaky Clean Couple Raise the Bar with Online Soap Sales ...
  225. Store Manager Makes Micro Gainz For Macro Profits
  226. Stressed-Out Mom Gives Up TV to Launch Her Hustle
  227. Student Bytes Into Lucrative Web Host Biz
  228. Student Gets Paid to Help People Rent Adventures
  229. Stylish Clothes Reseller Becomes Fashion Consultant
  230. Super Fan Scores Big in the Football Community
  231. Tailor-Made Teas Brew Steamy Steeped-In Profits
  232. Teacher Hustles to Pay Off $100,000 in Student Loans
  233. Tech Broker Moonlights as Luxury Lifestyle Artist
  234. Teenage Fitness Fan Jumpstarts Athletic Apparel Brand
  235. Tennessean Meets Nepalese Sherpa on Lyft Ride, Sells ...
  236. Texas Couple Turns Test Scores Into Treasure
  237. That's the Spot! Dog Lover's Hustle Becomes Fur-ever Biz ...
  238. The 10-Year Quest for Must-Have Mustard
  239. The Battle of the New Zealand SpeedCubers
  240. The Hero's Journal Helps You Make Progress Toward Your ...
  241. The Paleo Bagel: No Wheat, No Worries
  242. The Rise and Fall of
  243. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Digital Nomads
  244. The Snuggle Is Real: Architect Moonlights by Selling Designer ...
  245. Think Like a Lawyer: An Underground School For Lifelong ...
  246. This Standing Desk Costs Just $37
  247. Toronto Startup Employee Bakes Custom Cakes
  248. Tote-ally Functional Bags for Women on the Go
  249. Trip to Europe Inspires Adventurous Blanket Biz
  250. Turn It Up to 11! Musical Mash-Ups Provide Passive Income ...
  251. Tuscan Vacation Inspires Leatherworking Hustle
  252. Twelve Months of Experiments Leads Coach to Clarity
  253. Two Women Create Swimwear Brand for D-Cups and Up ...
  254. Un-Tours Of Myanmar Offer Adventure and Unpredictability ...
  255. University Director Turns Draining Problem Into Profitable ...
  256. Vegan Food Lovers Sprout Plant-Based Festivals
  257. Vintage Clothing Shop Sells Retro Jeans for Modern Money ...
  258. WEEKLY RECAP: 3 Priorities to Keep You Focused
  259. WEEKLY RECAP: All the Things You Want to Do
  260. WEEKLY RECAP: Barking Up the Right Tree
  261. WEEKLY RECAP: Before Beginning, Prepare Carefully
  262. WEEKLY RECAP: Do You Have to Be Passionate About What ...
  263. WEEKLY RECAP: Does Your Idea Pass the Grandmother Test ...
  264. WEEKLY RECAP: Going from Hobby to Hustle
  265. WEEKLY RECAP: Government Shuts Down, Your Life ...
  266. WEEKLY RECAP: Health Coaches May Need to Be Certified ...
  267. WEEKLY RECAP: How to Design a Profitable Online Course ...
  268. WEEKLY RECAP: If You Ever Feel Insecure, Don't Miss This ...
  269. WEEKLY RECAP: Keeping Up With What Matters
  270. WEEKLY RECAP: Pay Attention to the Ideas In Your Head ...
  271. WEEKLY RECAP: Scavenger Hunts, Bow Ties, & Horses ...
  272. WEEKLY RECAP: The $0 Startup, Sign Hustles, and Ways to ...
  273. WEEKLY RECAP: The Conversion Problem
  274. WEEKLY RECAP: Tiny Houses, T-Shirts, and Romance Novels
  275. WEEKLY RECAP: Understand Your Ideal Working Conditions ...
  276. WEEKLY RECAP: What Prevents You From Making Progress ...
  277. WEEKLY RECAP: Why Do a Product Launch Only Twice a ...
  278. WEEKLY RECAP: Why You Should “Return Every Handshake ...
  279. Wedding App Founder Exchanges Vows for Coding Book Biz ...
  280. Wedding Bells Ring Brighter if the Bride's Not Broke
  281. Weekend “Book Registry” Site Earns Passive Income from ...
  282. Weekly Recap: All You Need Is Luck and a Million Dollars ...
  283. Weekly Recap: Don't Compete with Amazon
  284. Weekly Recap: Find a Community to Support Your Goals ...
  285. Weekly Recap: Food Trucks, YouTube Makeup, and Marijuana
  286. Weekly Recap: How to Identify Side Hustle Ideas in Your ...
  287. Weekly Recap: How to Stop Procrastinating (Really!)
  288. Weekly Recap: Making Time for What Matters
  289. Weekly Recap: Should You Ever Buy Someone Else's ...
  290. Weekly Recap: Starting a Coffee Delivery Service
  291. Weekly Recap: Starting and Ending a Seasonal Side Hustle ...
  292. Weekly Recap: Weekly Recap: Finding a “Hook” as a Dietitian ...
  293. Weekly Recap: What Kind of Profit Margin Should You Have ...
  294. Weekly Recap: Will People Pay for History Lessons?
  295. Weekly Recap: Winning the Side Hustle Lottery
  296. Weekly Recap: “This Time, It's Different”
  297. What's In the Box? Low-Carb, Low-Sugar Snacks
  298. When Fashion Flops, This Designer Follows a Shiny Object ...
  299. Yoga Enthusiast Stretches B-School Education Into Fair-Trade ...
  300. Yoga Teacher Cleans Up with Home Organizing Business ...
  301. Zombie Apocalypse Prevention Podcast Earns $200,000/Year ...
  302. “Bendy Straw” Idea Raises $1.8M on Kickstarter
  303. “Fun Guy” Becomes Spore-Adic Mushroom Farmer
  304. “Random Acts of Kindness” Project Earns Non-Random Cash ...
  305. “SwitchPod” Camera Tool Raises $415,748 on Kickstarter ...
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submitted by 1913intel to sidehustle [link] [comments]

In-depth Athletic Club CM Guide 2020

Given that there seems to be a lot of interest every year in doing a “Basque Challenge”/Athletic Club RTG, along with LOTS of questions about who is eligible, what names are considered Basque, how to find enough YA prospects while also keeping the Basque identity of the team, etc. As a die-hard fan of the team who plays 2-3 Athletic Club cm’s each year, I thought now would be a good time to share a comprehensive guide (for 2020, at least) before all the SoFIFA shortlists with huge errors begin to appear. I’ve organized the guide in three parts:
  1. Eligible layers to sign, ranked based off realism and team need.
  2. Guide for YA scouting
  3. List of Basque names for regens (Spain and South America)*
*The name lists are based off of what I’ve seen in FIFA 19. If I find that the name pools have changed for FIFA 20, I’ll post updates in the comment section.
PART 1: IRL Eligible players to sign
Note: La Real (Real Sociedad, Athletic Club’s major rival) has most of the young Basque talent outside of Athletic’s youth setup. They try to include anti-Athletic clauses in the contracts of their homegrown players, which say that their release clause increases at least 10% if Athletic attempts to buy them. In general, it’s already way too easy to tempt players away from their current team in CM, let alone from a major rival. If you buy a player directly from La Real, I’d suggest paying 20% above asking price/release clause for realism’s sake.
Scanned players (ranked by realism x team fit):
Ruben Pardo-Skilled offensive midfielder who has fallen out of favor at La Real. Might be worth signing on a free as a backup midfielder, assuming his contract expires in 2020 like in real life.
Jon Bautista-Underperforming young striker at La Real who’s been loaned out to a Belgian club this year. I could see La Real secretly being ok with Athletic signing him, since they don’t know what to do with him and can sign foreign strikers. Could be an Aduriz replacement if you can get him up to 80+ overall through dynamic potential. In any case, besides maybe Barrenetxea, he’s the only young Basque striker out there IRL.
Unai Bustinza-Athletic Club academy product and former player. Athletic Club is already good at central defense, but if Yeray or Nunez get bought out, Bustinza is a good insurance option.
Sabin Merino-Pretty average attacking player from Athletic's academy who was a rotation player for a few years before moving to the Spanish second division. He had lots of potential, so it would be cool to give him a second chance on the team.
Javi Martinez-Former star for the club. Would be cool to bring back, but he’s not much better than Dani Garcia and he declines quickly, so you might be better served using the money on a young CDM in Igor Zubeldia.
Azpilicueta-No affiliation with La Real, so a late-career move would be realistic. The problem is that there are already a ton of good Basque RB’s and the strict YA player requirement makes it difficult to invest time and money in older players.
Eraso-Former Athletic player. Not great, but could work as a Raul Garcia replacement/backup while you look for YA talent long-term at CAM
Odriozola-Former La Real player, but would likely sign IRL if offered a massive salary. Best longterm RB and can play RW as well.
Mikel Merino-Current La Real player, although he could have signed with Athletic a year ago. A move would be realistic if you overpaid for a transfer to make him a consistent starter, taking Unai Lopez’s spot on the roster.
Zubeldia-La Real academy product and best young Basque CDM. Would be realistic if you drastically overpaid and made him and made him starter.
Ander Herrera-Former Athletic Club star. While he could bring some goals, probably not worth the price given his age. Had the chance to sign on a free this summer but went to PSG
Elustondo-La Real academy product. Only worth signing if you lose Yeray and/or Nunez
Raul Fernandez and Oier Olazabal-Very average GKs. Good scans, but Athletic Club is known for churning out good GK’s so they likely wouldn’t sign a 30 year old backup, unless they let Herrerin go.
Zaldúa-La Real player and yet another Basque RB, except worse. No reason to sign him, really.
Illarramendi-Captain of La Real and likely not worth the price. Unrealistic in any case.
Only remotely realistic if you’re already competing in UCL:
Kepa-Left Athletic on bad terms. You could bring him back if you want a scanned player at GK, but Athletic Club is known for producing solid GK’s, so you might want to go with a YA talent long-term.
Laporte-Left team on good terms and has stated he’d like to return, but it’s not like Man City is gonna let a smaller team poach its star CB.
Oyarzabal-The star and future of La Real. He’s loyal to the team and likely wouldn’t come over even with a massive overpay. More realistic if he first moves to a team outside Spain.
Griezmann-Athletic eligible. (Fun fact, the San Mamés crowd still boos him for being a former La Real player). You’d be signing him way past his prime, and it may be better to give that playing time to prospects.
Scanned, but too old to sign:
Anaitz Arbilla, Jon Erice, Manu Garcia, Nacho Monreal, Markel Susaeta, Iturraspe, Fernando Llorente. Some of these could be somewhat realistic options for retiring and using as manager.
Eligible players without scans (not comprehensive)
Alex Berenguer-Athletic almost signed him over the summer. Best realistic signing at the wing.
Aguirregabiria-Second best longterm fullback option after Odriozola. His generic is as close to the real thing as generics get.
Ramalho-Same case as Unai Bustinza, similar rating.
Robert Navarro-May or may not be in the game this year, since he’s only 17. Best u-21 Basque attacking prospect. Just signed for La Real a month ago.
Others: Stephane Ruffier, Pablo Hervías, Aitor Fernandez, Barrenetxea, Kevin Rodrigues, Kike Barja, David Garcia, Alex Remiro, Borja Sainz, Ander Guevara
NOT ELIGIBLE (as far as the current mgmt. is concerned)
Contrary to popular opinion, having Basque ancestry DOES NOT make someone Athletic eligible. The main criteria continues to be being born in the Basque Country or living there for a large part of their childhood/adolescent years. What confuses people is that when it comes to recruitment of youth players from outside the region, the team does take into account family ties. That is to say, when they were teens, Athletic considered signing them to their youth team order to MAKE them eligible, if that makes sense (I can explain this in the comment section, if you want). That said, there has been some debate lately as to whether the children of Basques should be considered eligible, and to a lesser extent, whether people of Basque descent who identify as Basque can qualify without having been born or raised in the Basque Country. TL;DR: Asensio and all of the Basque-Argentinian players (Higuain, Otamendi) are NOT eligible according to the current interpretation of the policy. If you want to alter the policy to sign these players, that’s your call. Here’s a list off the top of my head (scanned players only)
Asensio and Hugo Mallo-Basque dad.
Lucas Perez-Only claim to eligibility is that he spent 2-3 months at the Alavés youth academy. Not enough time to be considered eligible, by any standard.
Higuain-Apparently super proud and in touch with his Basque roots. Supposedly speaks a little Basque, but this could just be a rumor.
PART 2: Youth Academy
The only two Basque first names in the YA pool that I've seen in FIFA 20 are Aitor and Xabi. And, as far as last names, I’ve seen Aguirre, and possibly Garmendia and Imaz in FIFA 19, and Vergara in FIFA 20. Igor (a not uncommon Basque name) is in the Romanian YA name pool, and Romanians are one of the biggest immigrant groups in Bilbao, so I would count that as a Basque name (with a Romanian last name).
In any case, don’t worry about only signing Basque YA players, since plenty of players with very Spanish names have starred for the team over the years. If you want more Basque names on your roster, see my regen name list below and try to sign the good ones at a young age.
Still, given the high importance placed upon developing youth players, it’s important to get the most out of Youth Academy. In order to not scout solely within Spain, I allow certain “slots” for non-Spain nationals that correspond with recent examples of Athletic Club players. I usually allow only one player for each slot.
  1. The Iñaki Williams slot: Son of immigrants born in the Basque Country. Has dual nationality, but unlike Iñaki, opted to play for parents’ country (this was the case for a recent Athletic Youth player who played for the Cameroon u-20 team.). Allows you to scout one player from Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, or Romania (these are the main immigrant groups in Bilbao). Increase this quota to 2-3 players in year 4 or 5.
  2. The Fernando Amorebieta slot: Born to Basque parents in South America and raised in Basque Country. Opts to play for country of birth because he didn’t have chance at Spanish NT. Must have Basque surname (see list below for Basque surnames found in South America).
  3. The Aymeric Laporte slot: Player discovered by Athletic Club’s scouts in the French Basque Country and signed at an early age, although his ties to the Basque Country may be tenuous. Expand the quota to 2 if you’re really desperate.
  4. The Kenan Kodro slot: Player from random country, born in Basque Country and spent much of childhood there because his dad played pro football in the region. You can use the “scout future star” feature here, since the point is that he is from a random country not associated with immigration to the area. There are 5 first division teams in the Basque Country, with players from almost all continents, so this idea isn’t that far-fetched. If you don’t want one of your star players to be Dutch or whatever, you can either sell him, or just scout a random country instead of using the future star feature.
  5. The Antoine Griezmann slot: Foreign player from the youth setup of a Basque team (Eibar, La Real, Alavés or Osasuna). Any regens aged 16-18 (or even real players, if they happen to sign one of the few 16-17 year olds) from these teams are technically eligible, just as Griezmann is technically eligible despite not being from the French Basque country.
PART 3: The name pool
There are plenty of people in the Basque country with Basque first names and Spanish last names, or vice versa. Full Basque names are a plus, but not necessary. Just don’t sign anyone with “Franco” as a first name, and you’re good lol.
-“?” indicates a very common name that could be in name pool, but I have yet to see it in FIFA 19.
-If a name is found in a country other than Spain, I’ve listed it afterwards in parentheses.
-If it’s a Hispanic name that ends in -eta, -mendi(a) or -aga, it’s almost certainly Basque.
-I’m 99% certain that there are no Basque surnames in France, both for regens and YA players.
First names (Only found in Spain, unless otherwise noted): Ander, Andoni, Gorka, Gaizka, Iker, Hodei, Jon, Iñigo, Iñaki, Xabi, Einar, Unai, Ekhi, Aitor, Asier, Julen, Gaizka, Eneko, Aritz?, Kepa?, Jokin?, Mikel (Spain and Venezuela), Joseba, Igor (Romania)
Last names: Altube, Oleaga, Olabe del Arco, Aguirre, Aguirregabiria, Merino Zuloaga, Eguskiza, Bilbao Arteta, Garmendia (Spain and Argentina), Unamuno, Imaz, Muñiz, Arnáiz, Lasure, Larrea Gambara, Guridi Aldalur, Irigoien, Areta (Chile), Zuniga (Chile), Echave (Chile), Echeverria (Chile), Ibarra (Ecuador), Arrieta (Colombia), Loaiza (Colombia), Elizalde (Uruguay), Zabala (Uruguay), Goitia (Argentina), Gorriarán (Uruguay), Unsain (Argentina), Borgueray (Ecuador), Garay? Otamendi?
Anyways, I hope this info helps you fill out your rosters and get the most out of your Athletic Club CM’s this year. More importantly, I hope that FIFA’s career mode can help develop interest in the club and create a bigger fan base outside of Spain. If you’re interested in the Athletic Club community, please check out for great reporting in English. Its accompanying podcast is also very well done. If you live in California, we have a thriving peña (fan group) with watch parties in San Francisco and SoCal and annual trips to the Basque Country to see a game at San Mamés and meet some of the players. There’s also a Peña in London, if you live in the UK.
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How to select the Best International school in Bangalore: 30+ questions to help you

Choosing among the "Best International Schools in Bangalore"

The question "Have you decided on a school for your daughter / son?" invokes anxiety in many a parent. We believe that gathering plenty of information about prospective international schools from the school head, admission officer, teachers, other parents and websites goes a long way in making an informed choice. However, knowing the right questions to ask is as important as knowing whom to talk to! We have prepared a detailed list of crucial questions about choosing among the Best International schools in Bangalore, based on our interactions with many parents over the years.
Here are the 30 must ask important frequently asked questions (FAQ) by parents from the school.
  1. Which boards are the school affiliated to? Are those affiliations valid?
The international school in question might boast of many board affiliations. The best way to verify this claim is by visiting the respective board's website and checking if they list the school's name.
Cambridge curriculum -
International Baccalaureate -
Ontario ( Canadian Curriculum) -
  1. Does the school have a NOC from the Block Education Officer (BEO)?
A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Block Education Officer authorises the school to run its operations in a particular block or zone. Running a school without NOC is legally prohibited.
  1. Who is the head of the school?
The right leadership can make a huge difference to the school's culture and its progress. Be sure to inquire about the current school head's past experience, credibility, work ethics and vision.
  1. What kind of background and experience do the teachers have?
Teachers have a very powerful influence on a student. Teachers must have adequate training in art and science of teaching. They must also be qualified their area of expertise. Experience in working with Best International Schools in outside India is a plus.
  1. Do the teachers attend regular professional development (PD) courses or seminars?
Professional development programmes help teachers strengthen their skills across a variety of areas. They are generally conducted by experienced teachers, researchers, psychologists and other professionals. The topics may include new teaching methodologies, how to deal with different challenges in the classroom, difficulties faced by children, effectively communicating about these challenges with parents and best approaches to overcome them, etc.
  1. How many faculty development programmes does the school conduct every year?
4-5 faculty development programmes in a year would be optimum.
  1. Are the school staff always friendly and approachable?
Your children will be interacting with the school staff for a large portion of their day. It helps to know that they are approachable and helpful!
  1. Does the school employ all female staff in pre-primary / primary section?
Check if the school values the care and safety of pre-primary and primary children by employing only female staff.
  1. Do the staff goes undergo any verification process like Criminal Background Verification (CBV) prior to recruitment?
As a parent, a child’s safety and well-being is constantly on one’s mind, especially when they are at school. Ensuring that all the school staff have cleared CBV checks goes a long way in any untoward incidents in the future.
  1. Does the school provide any insurance cover to children for accidents that occur within the campus?
The school’s duty is to prevent any accidents while on the campus. Even in case of any unfortunate accident, insurance cover is an added bonus.
11. What is the average class size?
A class size of 25 is ideal. 30 should be the maximum limit.
  1. Are the classrooms airy, bright and spacious?
A healthy environment is essential for learning to happen in leaps and bounds. Make sure that you inspect the look and feel of the classrooms where your children will be spending a good portion of their time!
  1. Are all the classrooms equipped with multimedia equipment (AV system, projector, computer etc.)?
AV / Projector / Computer / iPad are essential for application based learning.
  1. What is the school's approach to art and music? What kind of creative freedoms and boundaries are offered to the students?
The school’s programmes must expose children to art and music from many countries & cultures. Look for something beyond ordinary programmes that help kids discover their own strengths, interests and styles rather than teaching art & music as a mere classroom subject.
15. What kind of facilities does the school offer for sports?
Ideally, the school should have a playground for athletics & track events, and at least 3 to 4 different sports facilities like - Football, Cricket, Basketball, Swimming, Lawn Tennis , Martial art , Chess , Table Tennis etc.
16. How much time is dedicated for extracurricular / co-curricular activities? What are the types of activities offered?
Ideally there should be at least one period of extracurricular or co curricular activity 5 days a week. All schools offers various kind of activities. Check out how interesting and relevant those activities for the children.
  1. How many PTMs are conducted in a year?
Three (3) PTMs a year would be the optimum goal.
  1. Does the school maintain transparency in communication between teachers and parents? What are the means of communication used? How frequently can a parent meet the teacher, coordinator or head of the school?
A trustworthy school will grant opportunities, within reasonable time-frames, to meet teachers, academic coordinator or the school head to have your queries and concerns addressed. A good school should have an open door policy for parents.
  1. Are all classrooms and labs equipped with smoke detectors? Does the school conduct regular mock fire drills / First Aid training for staffs and teachers?
As per government regulation all schools should be fitted with fire fighting equipment like Some detectors, Fire alarm , Fire extinguishers. And schools are suppose to conduct mock fire evacuation drill at least 4 times a year. Schools should conduct basic first aid training for its staff and teachers. These training helps during an emergency.
20.Does the school have a certified, in-house nurse? Do they have a tie up with nearby hospitals to provide timely medical care?
Make sure that the school has all the requisite resources to respond to any medical emergencies. The school must also have a policy of actively communicating with the parents about the same and take permissions from them with regard to any medical treatment.
  1. How has technology been integrated into the curriculum? Is it too dependent on technology or lacking in it? Do they provide access to iPads, internet , computers or laptops to the students?
A correct mixture of established teaching methods and modern technology can bring out the best in a child. Overt dependence on technology can cut students off from the real world and very little technology can leave them behind in the career race.
  1. Does school have child protection / anti bullying policy? Are these policies rigorously followed?
The school must have zero tolerance for bullying. Bullying or abuse faced during childhood or adolescence can have long lasting consequences. So make sure that you obtain a copy of the anti-bullying policy and understand the same.
  1. Does the school have a psychological counselor?
At any point. a child must be able to seek psychological support from a trusted person. A counselor can help with character development, stress management & curtailing harmful habits. They can listen to the student at the right time in the right way and provide suitable help.
  1. How many foreign languages does school offer? How experienced are the language teachers?
Children must be free to pursue multiple languages of their interest, under the guidance of experienced language teachers to help them thrive in a well connected world. Students from different countries must be provided adequate support and resources to pick up their language education from where they left it. English as second language (ESL) programmes for non-native English speakers can help in building the careers of students.
Most of the Schools in India offer French , Spanish and German as modern foreign languages.
  1. Does school offer programmes like Theater / Art & Design / Model United Nations / Public speaking / TED / wildlife club etc.?
Look for world-class programmes that introduce children to new ideas,cultivate leadership skills, research and writing skills, communication and cultivate a sense of community.
  1. Does the school give importance to Community Service? What kind of impact have their programmes made on the society?
The school must take active initiatives that take learning beyond the school campus and inculcate the spirit of service and compassion among the students. Participation in community development programmes also helps children develop a sense of accomplishment in the real world. Community service or SUPW should be integrated part of curriculum.
  1. Is the school library rich in learning resources? Does the school bring in poets, authors, scientists, and other personalities to visit the school & interact with students?
The library must stock enough books, CDs, DVDs and also have access & subscription to online learning resources like encyclopaedia, learning programmes and so on. Do check how often the school brings in interesting people to interact with the students!
  1. Transport – How old is the school's fleet of buses? Are they owned or outsourced? Are they equipped with speed governors, fire extinguishers, GPS etc.? Are they regularly serviced? Are there female attendants in the bus? Do drivers undergo security checks and verification of experience?
Ideally, the school fleet should be owned and operated by the school and be in good shape. All the points above should be fulfilled to ensure the child’s safety.
  1. Are there any innovative programmes for the development of students’ skills and personality?
Look out for entrepreneurship programmes, computer programming, community service, credit programmes, Student council that are considered for university admissions and so on.
30. Always insist on a school tour!
Schools should always open for guided tours and allow for interaction with teachers, coordinator or head of school, depending on who is available with prior appointment.
Best International school in Bangalore
We hope that you feel much more prepared to face this important decision of selecting among the Best International Schools in Bangalore. If you feel that more questions can be added to this list, share them with us in the comments below.
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Affiliation categories. Club affiliation of England Athletics is granted in three categories: Voluntary Club – A voluntary sports club is defined as an amateur, non-profit making collective of unpaid personnel whose main purpose is providing athletics activities and/or competition as a leisure pursuit.This does not exclude any clubs who may fundraise or generate profits which are 100% re LEXINGTON, Ky. – UK Athletics’ phased approach to its return to activity continues. The initial screening process has been completed for the football team and student-athletes are The soccerloco affiliate program is one of the most lucrative in soccer. All affiliates start at 8%, but can earn their way up to 10% of every sale based on performance bonuses. 8% commission on all sales below $6,000 in a month; 9% commission on sales over $6,000 in a month; The Official Athletic Site of the Kansas Jayhawks. The most comprehensive coverage of KU Athletics on the web with highlights, scores, game summaries, and rosters. Powered by WMT Digital. Find our more about the benefits of your athletics club or running club affiliating to England Athletics, the process for affiliating and support available.

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