"Ties. And no playoffs. Why do you even do this?"
August 5, 2013 12:26 AM   Subscribe

With the English Premier League season less than two weeks away, there have already been a number of massive shakeups to the established order. Among the most shocking are the appointment of Jason Sudeikis Ted Lasso as head coach for the Tottenham Hotspurs, and Luis Suarez returning to a relatively normal office life in Uruguay.
posted by Errant (57 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
This specific type of sporting fish-out-of-water comedy will never get old for me. I's worth mentioning Terry Tate, office linebacker. I know there are a lot of ESPN commercial bumpers that have similar jokes with athletes in the office.

"Will you explain to me how that was offsides? No I'm asking you, seriously, explain offside to me. Makes no sense."

I had this exact conversation at my little sister's soccer game today. After 20 years of her children playing soccer my mom still doesn't understand this rule.
posted by edeezy at 12:49 AM on August 5, 2013


Saw this yesterday and wondered if someone might put it up here. Testament to the performers that such an old idea can still produce real laughs, I think.

(Huge love for Terry Tate, too.)
posted by ominous_paws at 1:55 AM on August 5, 2013


A pedantic British person writes: Tottenham Hotspur [singular] Football Club, are informally called Spurs [plural], but not Tottenham Hotspurs.
posted by misteraitch at 2:05 AM on August 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


An amused American responds: that's a quote from the first line of the ad and is fairly deliberately incorrect.
posted by Errant at 2:07 AM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


An embarrassed Brit subjoins: that possibility did occur to me moments after posting not having clicked the actual link!
posted by misteraitch at 2:14 AM on August 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


For those interested in putting in 60% effort and 4,000% time, the Metafilter Premier League Fantasy game has been reopened for the season. I hoping that with NBC putting a big push behind their coverage, we'll start to see more interested American fans. So join up now so you can say you loved it before it was cool!

(Also, Go Cowboys. But not those ones.)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:29 AM on August 5, 2013


This has been doing the rounds on the football boards and has been surprisingly well received. Previous American broadcasts have been less than successful.

Hopefully that last line was an indication that he's going to try Rugby Football next.
"Where are their helmets, why aren't they stopping?"
posted by fullerine at 2:30 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


The US could be so good at football if they tried (shakes head)
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:51 AM on August 5, 2013


Ties are possible in the NFL. Bah.
posted by Justinian at 3:12 AM on August 5, 2013


"How many countries are in this country?"

"Four."
posted by empyrean at 3:25 AM on August 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


A pedantic British person writes...

They make other kinds of British persons?
posted by GoingToShopping at 4:21 AM on August 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


Suarez diving made me chortle.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 4:43 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Luis Suarez returning to a relatively normal office life in Uruguay.

Needs more biting.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:58 AM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


I laughed.

I still don't get the whole offside(s) thing either.
posted by octothorpe at 5:04 AM on August 5, 2013


The best way I found to think about it was that offsides is a rule made up to keep a team from just parking a dude next to the goal at all times. If there is going to be a one-on-one situation, it needs to be "earned" by the player bringing the ball through themselves rather than having it lumped forward to them. The implications of the rule, though, is what gives the often confusing "why is that guy waving a flag at that player who is in the middle of the field?" moment.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:08 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Robocop, that is exactly what we did the first year I played as a kid, where they didn't worry about the offside rule. We had a player that had something wrong with his leg, so he'd park himself up in the 18, we'd loft it down, and goal.

Sure other teams must have hated it, but they could have always just man marked him.

Didn't seem to be an issue in the year level bellow, where things like 'formation' and 'field position' were apparently above the kids' level.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:19 AM on August 5, 2013


The thing about the offside rule is that it's really simple in principle, and really complex in practice.

In theory, it's as easy as this: you can't hang around near the goal on the off-chance that someone lobs a ball down to you, as that would result in all the strikers crowding round the goals all the time. So, there's a rule - at the moment when one of your team-mates passes the ball towards you, you can't be too near the goal.

How near is too near? That's defined by where the other team is - you can't be any nearer to their end of the pitch than their last player. See? Simple.

The reason it's so confusing in practice is to cope with all the edge cases. For example, the goalkeeper is usually on or very near the goal line, so he doesn't count as the "last player". That means that the "last player" is actually defined as the next-to-last player, but that does occasionally lead to confusing situations when the goalkeeper is not the closest player to the goal line.

Or how about the edge case where one of the strikers is lying injured on the ground near the corner flag? Although he might technically be in an offside position, he's not affecting anything, so it would be unreasonable to ding him for offside as soon as the attacking side makes any move towards goal. Therefore, you're only penalised for offside if you are taking an active part in the game, and the interpretation of exactly what that means has been the genesis of many an argument down the pub later.

Add in the complication that all of the above is completely irrelevant if you're still in your own half of the pitch (you're not offside at all in that case), and it starts to be more understandable why so many intelligent people have problems understanding this stuff.
posted by ZsigE at 5:22 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


OFFSIDE: originally there was no offside rule, but it was introduced to stop goal-hanging, and players hoofing the ball up to the opponents box. The rule originally said that there had to be 2 opposing players (usually defenders) between the attaking player and the opposition goalkeeper as the ball was played forward. If there was only one player you were offside. Then it was changed to only one defender to try to make games more attacking.

The rule also says "behind", so the attacker can be in line and not be offside - hence why there are so many dodgy decisions - the attacker will "play off the defenders shoulder" - i.e. be in line with the last 1,2, 3, or 4 (defending on formation and play) defenders. This is how the offside trap works - the defenders take a step forward in unison and raise their arms and the attacker is left in an offside position. Teams like Liverpool (with Alan Hansen and even before him!) and Arsenal were excellent at this in the past.

Nowadays the rule has been complicated by the addition of phases. Essentially it was never an offence to be offside, just to receive the ball, but now it is considered that if a player who was offside originally, but not directly involved in the play, then becomes involved in the play when the ball comes back out (i.e. from the goalkeeper saving it or a rebound off the post) and scores, then an offside is given as the player has gained an advantage from being offside originally (less space/time to reach the ball).

I hope this helps clear things up slightly.
posted by marienbad at 5:24 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


This remains my go-to article for the modern application of offside: The Question: Why is the modern offside law a work of genius?
posted by Errant at 5:40 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


For example, the goalkeeper is usually on or very near the goal line, so he doesn't count as the "last player". That means that the "last player" is actually defined as the next-to-last player, but that does occasionally lead to confusing situations when the goalkeeper is not the closest player to the goal line.

This seems like making it needlessly more complicated than it is. It's usually just given as two opposing players between you and the goal, which covers both one being the keeper and neither being the keeper.
posted by hoyland at 6:10 AM on August 5, 2013


This seems like making it needlessly more complicated than it is.
You are aware that this is soccer, right? Most things are needlessly complicated, especially when the simplest of all options would be to simply pick the ball up, knocking any defending players out of the way, and throwing it into the opponents goal.

You say complicated. I say organizational structure. The Ref's Union says "let's call the whole thing off."
posted by Blue_Villain at 6:29 AM on August 5, 2013


GallonOfAlan: "The US could be so good at football if they tried (shakes head)"

Hey, we have footballsoccer teams here. Even my city that's probably more famous for its NFL team than anything else has a brand new soccer stadium right downtown. It holds almost 4,000 fans.
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 AM on August 5, 2013


Shall we discuss how now "even" is supposed to equal '"behind" in offsides. Or is that too much inside football? :-)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:44 AM on August 5, 2013


I think we're building towards a Torres-copter level finish to the transfer window this summer. There are a slew of big moves that are one handshake away from going off in a chain reaction. Bale to Real Madrid will likely be the spark - Ronaldo then returns to ManU to soothe his ego and recoup some of the 85+ million Bale will cost or the 42 million Suarez will go for. ManU then can let Rooney go to Chelsea. Liverpool spends its 42 million windfall on resigning Andy Carroll or at least convincing Christian Eriksen to wear a long, curly wig.

Meanwhile, Arsenal let Gervinho and Chamankh go as Arsene has found two new wonderplayers- Chaminho and Gervankh, who but for their large mustaches look just like the departing players.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:58 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


If this was a TV show, I would totally watch the shit out of it.

COME ON YOU SPURS!
posted by metaxa at 7:08 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ha, very good. I got a good chuckle out of, "How many countries are in this country?"
posted by Mister_A at 7:41 AM on August 5, 2013


You say complicated. I say organizational structure. The Ref's Union says "let's call the whole thing off."

I'm saying the explanation was needlessly complicated (seemingly intentionally so).
posted by hoyland at 7:41 AM on August 5, 2013


Offsides is simple. The furthest guy back on the defense is like the blue line.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:51 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pretty much it! It's a necessary evil to prevent people hanging on the goal.
posted by Mister_A at 7:54 AM on August 5, 2013


There's some kind of formula or theorem or something that proves that the first person in a Metafilter football/soccer thread to try to explain the offside law will invariably get it wrong.
posted by dyobmit at 7:54 AM on August 5, 2013


ibmcginty: "Offsides is simple. The furthest guy back on the defense is like the blue line."

The network could animate a blue line on the field like the NFL down lines.
posted by octothorpe at 7:56 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


COYW!
posted by grubi at 8:02 AM on August 5, 2013


There's some kind of formula or theorem or something that proves that the first person in a Metafilter football/soccer thread to try to explain the offside law will invariably get it wrong.


Considering the Royal Mint got it wrong, I think the formula is simply: "If you try to explain the offside rule, you will get it wrong."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:04 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


For the visually minded, the best way to think about the offside rule is to, while watching, imagine a straight line that goes through the second-to-furthest-back player. No attacking player can be behind that line and have the ball passed to them. If they are they're offside.

However, that invisible line never goes further than the white halfway line. No one can be offside in their own half.

Additionally, if the ball is behind the second-to-furthest back player, the invisible line now runs through the ball. No player can be offside if the ball is in front of them.

Furthermore, no player can be offside if there is a throw-in.

The effect of this rule is to create a continually contracting and expanding area of play. One of the things that Barcelona have been so good at is to manage that process. The basic idea behind total football, the tactical philosophy first set out by the Ajax team of the 1970s is that an attacking team wants to enlarge the area of play by forcing defenders back thereby giving the attacking team more space in which to create a chance, but a defending team wants to minimize the area of play by having their defenders as high up on the pitch as possible. Barcelona are adherents of the total football philosophy.
posted by Kattullus at 8:08 AM on August 5, 2013


Furthermore, no player can be offside if there is a throw-in they are Pippo Inzaghi.
posted by Errant at 8:13 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Considering the Royal Mint got it wrong, I think the formula is simply: "If you try to explain the offside rule, you will get it wrong."

Look, that coin thing was funny, though I did feel it was a bit of a strange special case. But we're not here to discuss that. We're here to laugh at Spurs, which I think we can all agree on.
posted by dyobmit at 8:22 AM on August 5, 2013


Tweet from Boston Red Sox owner John Henry last week. (He also owns Liverpool and bought the Boston Globe last week.)

"What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?"

(Emirates is Arsenal's stadium)
posted by surplus at 8:34 AM on August 5, 2013


If you understand offsides in hockey, just imagine that soccer has a moving blue line that changes position with the last defender of the opposing team.
posted by downing street memo at 8:36 AM on August 5, 2013


Look, that coin thing was funny, though I did feel it was a bit of a strange special case

Yes. If I recall correctly, it was "triangles are always offsides, square are never offsides."

Or it was "five more of these and I can get a beer." I forget.

-E
posted by eriko at 8:40 AM on August 5, 2013


The US could be so good at football if they tried (shakes head)

We are the best in the world.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:51 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Japan would beg to differ.

What Olympics?
posted by Kattullus at 9:04 AM on August 5, 2013


For the visually minded, the best way to think about the offside rule is to, while watching, imagine a straight line that goes through the second-to-furthest-back player. No attacking player can be behind that line and have the ball passed to them. If they are they're offside.

However, that invisible line never goes further than the white halfway line. No one can be offside in their own half.

Additionally, if the ball is behind the second-to-furthest back player, the invisible line now runs through the ball. No player can be offside if the ball is in front of them.

Furthermore, no player can be offside if there is a throw-in.


Kirk: Yes, but what you're after is a royal fizzbin, but the odds in getting a royal fizzbin are astron... Spock, what are the odds in getting a royal fizzbin?

Spock: I have never computed them, Captain.

Capt. Kirk: Well, they're astronomical, believe me.
posted by Naberius at 9:11 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Japan would beg to differ.

FIFA would beg to differ. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:12 AM on August 5, 2013


It is always very amusing when in the pub and people ask howcome the US isn't good at football. The look on their face when I say that in the US football is a womens sport and not a mens sport is priceless. Especially with the mention that the US womens football team usually does really well in international competitions, it tends to really take the air out of their sails and stop the usual insults that were bound to follow.
posted by koolkat at 9:27 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only time I ever truly understood offsides was when it was explained to me by about 5 people in a shouted, drunken combination of Catalan and Napoletano. Little crusts of uneaten bread were used as a visual aid.
posted by elizardbits at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel very strongly that this should be the gold standard of sporting discussions.
posted by elizardbits at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2013


Since this is at least a somewhat relevant thread and this has annoyed me for a long time, I just want to rank silly Major League Soccer team names.

3. D.C. United
Not actually an amalgamation of any existing teams.

2. Real Salt Lake
Not actually approved by any royals.

1. Houston Dynamo
Not actually associated with a Soviet athletic club.
posted by Authorized User at 10:10 AM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Since this is at least a somewhat relevant thread and this has annoyed me for a long time, I just want to rank silly Major League Soccer team names.

Wait till you hear the LA Galaxy referred to as Los Galácticos. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:12 AM on August 5, 2013


The look on their face when I say that in the US football is a womens sport and not a mens sport is priceless

Yup, that'll show them, knowing their sport is played by weak, disgusting women
posted by ominous_paws at 10:30 AM on August 5, 2013


"What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?"

Strong words from the owner of the team that paid £35 million for Andy Carroll.
posted by asterix at 11:15 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not actually associated with a Soviet athletic club.

These guys would like a word with you. (As might these guys, too.)
posted by asterix at 11:19 AM on August 5, 2013


Offsides is simple. The furthest guy back on the defense is like the blue line.

Not true. In hockey, the puck must cross the blue line either in possession or before any other player enters the offensive zone, period. They will delay calling it if the puck crosses you're offsides, but you're too far away to play the puck and you're clearly trying to get onside. So long as nobody else crosses until you touch the blue line, the penalty isn't called. Usually, though, this is a cockup and the defense has taken possesion by the time you get onside.

In soccer, it is perfectly legal to pass the ball over the "blue line" to another player, so long as he was behind the "blue line" at the moment the pass starts. It doesn't matter if the player receiving the pass crosses the "blue line" before the ball does, so long as he didn't cross before the ball was played forward.

In hockey, the moment the puck cross the blue line, the play would be whistled offsides, since the receiver was in the zone both without the puck and before the puck crossed the line.

And most of the "disputes" in offsides are people making the judgement when the ball is touched by the receiver, which is not when offsides occurs. It occurs if the receiver is in a offsides position when the ball is played toward them -- if they're not when the ball is kicked forward, then run through and get the pass, that's not offsides, that's a brilliant pass.

(We won't deal with "active" or "impeding" aspects in the basics above)

If you have possession of the ball, or are behind the player who does, you are *never* offsides. The ball trumps the defender at all times.
posted by eriko at 11:32 AM on August 5, 2013


These guys would like a word with you. (As might these guys, too.)

Oh there are plenty of examples. In communist countries or at least countries with active communist parties, all either associated or just inspired by the very much communist Dynamo Sports Society started in 1923 by none other than Felix Dzerzhinsky. Which is why it's so hilarious that there is a Dynamo sports club in Texas.
posted by Authorized User at 12:33 PM on August 5, 2013


The youth soccer league in my city is known as Dynamo Soccer and looking at their about page I see that it was founded by a Russian immigrant so I guess that he brought the name with him.
posted by octothorpe at 12:45 PM on August 5, 2013


Yeah to be fair, the Dynamo name has lost almost all connection to it's origins by now. But Texas is still the last place one would expect to find one.
posted by Authorized User at 1:00 PM on August 5, 2013


Yes, clubs called Dynamo were traditionally associated with the state security apparatus. What amuses me is that they managed to come up with Houston Dynamo after having to ditch Houston 1836 because it had anti-Mexico implications, but that's also misunderstanding how clubs are named!
posted by hoyland at 1:01 PM on August 5, 2013


Therefore, you're only penalised for offside if you are taking an active part in the game, and the interpretation of exactly what that means has been the genesis of many an argument down the pub later.

One of my favorite things is when one of the attackers is caught offside in the middle of a developing attack. They can't be part of the play now, and they have to make that clear. So they turn around and walk slowly back onside like they were struck with a sudden insight or just happened to be taking a stroll when this football game developed around them.
posted by bleep-blop at 5:11 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


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