By In Stuff

London Calling

Heading to England for the weekend to find (best I can) and write about the passion of the Premier League leading into the season. I can only hope to learn as much as An American Coach in London:

If you have any ideas or thoughts or suggestions … please include them in the comments or send them here. I have a few cool things going in England, but I can always use more.

In the meantime, the BR Hall of Fame is getting fascinating. All of the numbers will be available at the end, but you should know that in the last batch, current Hall of Famers Cap Anson, Charlie Gehringer, Paul Molitor (wow, Molitor?), Arky Vaughan (Bill James’ second-best shortstop ever!). Eddie Murray (3,000 hits! 500 homers!), Dizzy Dean, Phil Niekro and Robin Roberts ALL failed to get 75% of the vote. They will all get one more shot as the loser’s bracket comes back around but … pretty stunning stuff. The BR Hall of Fame will be mega-exclusive.

And so I’m fascinated what will happen this go-around. I put up 15 new players — 13 current Hall of Famers, plus one who many think did not get a fair shake (Kevin Brown) and probably the most iconic Japanese player ever (Sadaharu Oh). Early vote signals suggests ALL OF THEM will have a tough time getting the necessary 75%. A pattern definitely seems to be developing.

Also, a little bit of housekeeping:

1. I am updating the BR Hall of Fame page as players are elected in. I am filling in the Hall of Famers bios as time permits — I’m pretty far behind right now, but I’ll catch up.

2. The NBC Links page now links to … NBC’s Archive Page for me. They are continuously working on improving this page, which I appreciate.

3. NBC has a new RSS Feed for my stuff.

4. I hope you are enjoying the Favorite Athlete series. Thursday’s entry — Jonah Keri on Tim Raines — is a lot of fun. There are a few more really good ones on the way.

5. I’ve got lots and lots of posts in the works including:

— Ceremony of the Keys.

— How my daughter learned to stop worrying and like baseball (sort of).

— Bonds.

— How this time I really did pick my Premier League team.

— Two amazing running backs.

— Pixifoods revisited.

— My new favorite informercial.

— The best baseball team featuring players who never played in the big leagues (BR request)

OK. Gotta get to the airport.

18 Responses to London Calling

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Don’t “pick a team” – let the team pick you.

    • djangoz says:

      That’s exactly what we’re going to do. We have a few teams we’re keeping an eye on, but we’re just going to watch the first month and see who draws us in. It’s exciting!

    • Jake Bucsko says:

      that’s how I feel about Everton now. I chose to follow them, but now I feel like they picked me and it could not have gone any other way. Come on you Blues!!

  3. djangoz says:

    My partner and I are going to start watching the EPL each week for the first time starting this season. I have to say the NBC sports package (online and cable) is pretty great.

    As a 42 year old midwestern male who was a big football and baseball fan as a kid, I now find that I’m primarily interested in soccer and MMA (and a little basketball). Interesting to see some of the changes happening in America around sports. Though if anything it just seems like it’s getting more diverse, not that the traditional big 4 sports are losing ground.

    But I do wonder if in 20 years MLS will eclipse the NHL. I sure wouldn’t have thought that even 5 years ago, but the MLS is really rocketing forward. Who knows, maybe I’ll be watching that and not the EPL in decades to come.

  4. T.R.M says:

    Go to as many derbies (pronounced darbies) as you can. Tottenham-Arsenal, Manchester City-Manchester United, Newcastle-Sunderland.

  5. T.R.M says:

    Oh, and Liverpool-Everton is always a great one, especially now that the two teams are relatively level

  6. troy says:

    Stay through the 17th and go see West Ham’s opener, against Cardiff City. I’ll buy you a pint. Won’t really help you find the passion of the Premier League, but it’s the only game I could get a ticket for the weekend that I’m there, and besides, free pint! You also can bring this shirt home for the girls:

    Come on, you Irons!

  7. Tim Hadachek says:

    Come home to watch MLS instead. Plus it’s a great excuse to come back to Kansas City! Sporting KC are approaching 30 consecutive sellouts at Sporting Park.

  8. stnylan says:

    Try and watch some Ashes cricket whilst you are over here.

  9. Joe, don’t know how much you have been following EPL news, but you need to get caught up on the saga of Luis Suarez with Liverpool (and Arsenal). Don’t know that it fits yours “passion of the Premiere League” theme, but it is an interesting story line going into the season.

  10. clashfan says:

    If you’re looking for non-sports related stuff, I really enjoyed seeing Hadrian’s Wall. Edinburgh Castle, too.

  11. 5hoursahead says:

    The Premier League is all about money these days (and I’m a Liverpool fan). The real passion is in the lower leagues – I’m also a Lincoln City fan. 🙂

  12. I had a process to pick a team about eight years ago and ended up supporting Tottenham. They fit my criteria almost perfectly. About a year or so after beginning to closely follow them and the EPL, I realized I had picked the mirror image of my favorite baseball team, the SF Giants. So, maybe they did pick me as well.

  13. If you’re in Manchester at all, let me know and I’ll buy you a pint.

  14. Blogger_Phan says:

    ^^Scott, Spurs seemed to pick me too!
    If Bale stays, this team is going to be really good

  15. nycgeoff says:

    Watch a non-league game! Would be great to get your perspective on a game played in front of 800 or so people, and how it differs from the premiership.

  16. sgoode says:

    For a team below the Premier League for Americans to get behind, look no further than Derby County in the Championship, a club that was started as a BASEBALL team in 1889. Even after the club switched to soccer, it played its games at the Baseball Ground until 1997. The original club even had a third baseman named Jack Robinson.

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