Tintin Forums

Tintin Forums / The Members Lounge /

Cross-cultural discussion

Page  Page 1 of 2:  1  2  Next » 

Jyrki21
Member
#1 · Posted: 27 Jun 2004 20:33 · Edited by: Jyrki21
I thought that with people from a number of different countries here, this might be kind of a neat forum for people to pose questions to one another they might not otherwise have the opportunity/gall to ask to a real, live, breathing person in the flesh. :)

So if you've ever wanted to know about aspects, customs, quirks, values, stereotypes, or anything else about countries represented on these boards, ask away!

I'll vouch to answer questions about both Canada and the United States (I'm American-born and most of my family lives in the U.S., and I was raised in Canada with frequent visits to my father on the other side of the border), as well as the other two countries where I've lived for longer periods, Israel and Switzerland.

As long as the discussion is kept cordial and civil, I think this could be a fun and interesting resource.

...and I may as well start.

Can someone tell me the deal with the European Soccer/Football Championships going on right now? I loosely follow what happens -- and they're a very big deal here in Toronto, with so many expats from other countries -- but I'll admit I know nothing of the history.

Does it come every four years? Is it the second-biggest deal to Europeans after the World Cup? How come I don't remember this much excitement about it in North America before? Is something different?

And while we're roughly on the topic, what exactly does the UEFA Cup represent?

Moderator Note: Combined two consecutive posts.
jockosjungle
Member
#2 · Posted: 27 Jun 2004 21:45
Permit me to answer your question

The European Championship happens every four years, two years after and before each world cup.

Yeh it's almost as big as the World Cup, for many countries it's bigger because it's easier to qualify as Europe takes only 9ish teams to the World Cup but plays 16 in the Euro Cup. Hence smaller teams get a shot at playing. I think most continents have an equivalent to it though

No idea why this is now a big deal in North America and hasn't been before, maybe more people are taking an interest in soccer. Can't see why this tournament should be any different to any other one. The last world cup was a bit annoying (i was in the USA at the time) because most matches were on in the middle of the night.

The UEFA Cup, not really on topic, you should probably start a new thread (JK). The UEFA cup is a European club tournament, you have to qualify for it by doing well enough in your country's domestic league but not well enough to have qualified for the Champions League, you can also qualify by winning a cup competition (FA Cup, Intertoto Cup, etc.). It's a simple knockout tournament involving club sides across Europe, is played every football season throughout the year.

Hope this answers your questions.

Rik
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 28 Jun 2004 11:03 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
Jyrki wrote: Can someone tell me the deal with the European Soccer/Football Championships going on right now? I loosely follow what happens -- and they're a very big deal here in Toronto, with so many expats from other countries

The championship (and football, as we usually refer to it generally) is a VERY big deal here in the UK. Up until England were knocked out last Thursday there were about 250,000 England fans in Portugal - and only a few of them could ever hope to get a ticket to a match. Even in the match that England played with the host nation (Portugal) the English fans still outnumbered the Portuguese in the stadium. I guess it must be a lot quieter there now after England's dramatic exit, leaving some quite disappointed restaurant/bar owners in the Algave !

There were some very glum faces all over London last Friday. You see, us English (a lot of us anyway) always think that we're going to win it, and since 1966 (when we won the World Cup) we just can't get used to not winning ! Personally I've been very disappointed with the quality of the football from a lot of the teams in these championships so far with some very dull games and not what you would expect from world-class teams and players.

Do Canadians (or any other nationalities) have the same levels of obsession with ice-hockey (or anything else) as the Brits have with football, or are we just a bit too obsessed?
jockosjungle
Member
#4 · Posted: 28 Jun 2004 12:10
I think quite a few nations are obsessed with football such as Brazil, but I can't think of that many that are obsessed with it as us Brits!

And yeh we're desperate to win a major tournament, there's always so much hype about us, how we have a good team and we can do it this year but we never ever do. I've been in tears after every major tournament that England has ever been in.

I have a question though what is it with the franchise system in North American Sports? I couldn't see it ever working, I know the basics. But if my team in England (Nottingham Forest) ever up sticks and moved someplace else I'd still be a fan of Forest and could never simply support the next team that moved in.

Rik
Jyrki21
Member
#5 · Posted: 28 Jun 2004 16:35
I have a question though what is it with the franchise system in North American Sports? I couldn't see it ever working, I know the basics. But if my team in England (Nottingham Forest) ever up sticks and moved someplace else I'd still be a fan of Forest and could never simply support the next team that moved in.

I'd be happy to. A lot of Britons I speak to seem to have the idea that our franchises up and move around like players. Not so. A few franchises have moved in recent years (particularly in the late 1990s), but it's quite a rare occurrence when it happens.

As far as I know, team ownership doesn't differ that greatly between European and North American sports leagues. You still have private owners operating teams for proft (which happens more in some sports than others), acquiring players, competing against the teams of other owners.

The main distinction is for the players, if anything. In each of the four major North American sports (basketball, football -- what'd be American football over there -- hockey and baseball), upon joining a league, you typically enter by being drafted. And then once you're on contract, it's standard fare for the club that owns your rights to be able to trade you to another club within the league.

The draft system ensures that you'll never get the tactics of clubs like Manchester United (wooing tiny children to come play for them at a young age), nor the single- or two-team dominance typical of European leagues, whereby all the best players merely sign with the same couple of teams over and over, so that every league seems to have its Real Madrids, Juventi, Maccabi Tel Avivs or whatever.

That's not saying there aren't "usual suspects" in North American leagues which tend to dominate year after year -- there most certainly are -- but it's not nearly as predictable, and this is in spite of the draft system which at least goes some distance to give everyone a chance. The dominance instead stems from the ability to retain players when their contract is up, as usually an elite class of richer clubs will tend to pick up free-agents or trade for players that other clubs know they won't be able to keep much longer.

"Buying" and "selling" are not terms used for players the way they are in Europe, even though many deals have come close to amounting to that. (In most leagues you're not actually allowed to trade a player for money only, so usually draft picks or prospects are thrown into the mix, if not other players). Effectively, every player in the NBA, NFL, NHL or Major League Baseball is signed with the 'league.' And contracts seem to have a much more binding quality in North American sports, too, so a team is rarely at the mercy of one of its players the way you see in Europe. (It does happen, but all the player can do is refuse to report).

But to get back to the topic at hand, the franchise system basically ensures that all the clubs are first and foremost a part of the league. Though in a number of sports you have indeed had partial mergers between leagues, such that the same players from one club remained with the club, but one day found themselves in a new league, but that doesn't really happen any more. (1970s phenomenon, really). If a team were to fold now (hasn't happened in a long time), its players would be dispersed among the other remaining teams, not follow the owner's fortures (for example, to a new club in a lower league).

So basically at any given time, you will always have the best collection of players available... there's also no risk of a team being demoted as in European sports, so it's not like star players will be wasting away in the equivalent of the 'B-league.'

That aspect of European sports is actually rather puzzling or amusing on this side of the ocean. The thought of a huge market like New York or Toronto falling to the minor leagues due to poor performance is unfathomable here, as it would be such a colossal loss of revenue. And because, again, players are tightly on contract with their team, it's not as though they'd easily have the option of playing for someone else in the top league if that were to happen (as I can only assume happens in European leagues when a team is demoted?)

I know that in practice, clubs like Arsenal or Liverpool are never demoted, but this just goes back to the disparities and predictabilities I was talking about before.

But as for the relocated franchises (I'm guessing this is what you were asking about before?) ,it has happened, particularly in hockey (since both Canadian and U.S. teams are involved, so the exchange rate sometimes makes things tough for the smaller Canadian ones) that teams become too unprofitable and relocate elsewhere. Hockey is a bit of an anomaly because, while universally popular in Canada, it is still virtually unknown to much of the U.S., even though they have 24 teams among them. So owners are often trying to break in to various non-traditional hockey markets, just because there's a lot of money there (particularly in the southern U.S.) which they're trying to tap into, often unsuccessfully. There's a huge injustice in snapping a team away from people in, say, Winnipeg (in Manitoba, central Canada) where all they love is hockey, and moving it to Phoenix, Arizona entirely for financial reasons, but that's precisely what happened. The Manitoba economy wasn't performing and players were getting too expensive to keep a team there. Same thing happened in Quebec City and Minneapolis, Minnesota some years ago. All three were huge hockey markets, but lost their teams due to unprofitability.

So the team stays the same player-wise (it will often change its name and colors to establish a new identity, but sometimes not, which leads to the absurdity of clubs like the NBA's Utah Jazz. Utah is perhaps the least jazzy place on earth, but the team used to be in New Orleans), but is based out of somewhere else.

For this reason, you'll often see a team's history lumped together to reflect this ("This is the first time that the Quebec/Colorado franchise has done such-and-such"), but a lot of new fans in particular are clueless as to the team's origins.

But I repeat, this actually doesn't happen all that often... it is mostly a phenomenon of the 1990s when player salaries started getting ridiculous in all sports and many smaller-market teams quickly became very unprofitable. Most markets have been exhausted now, so there should be a slow-down in relocations.

Why it bewilders Europeans so is beyond me, however... :) It's no different than any other corporation relocating or changing its name.
george
Member
#6 · Posted: 28 Jun 2004 18:00
I have a question though what is it with the franchise system in North American Sports? I couldn't see it ever working, I know the basics. But if my team in England (Nottingham Forest) ever up sticks and moved someplace else I'd still be a fan of Forest and could never simply support the next team that moved in.

Don't forget that as of this season I believe Wimbledon FC will be
consigned to history and are re-branded MK Dons, to better reflect their new location, Milton Keynes. I'm not sure, but this could be the first example of such a relocation in English league football in years and years - (Woolwich) Arsenal being the one most people talk about, but that was 100 years ago, give or take.

I know some former Wimbledon FC fans who now support AFC Wimbledon. The parallels aren't exactly the same as with American sports because the teams play at a different level.

Actually, I've an American uncle who still can't accept the Brooklyn
Dodgers now play 5000km away. He transferred his allegiance to the New York Mets eventually, but I think a part of him still longs for the old days...

George
jockosjungle
Member
#7 · Posted: 28 Jun 2004 22:22
Thanks for the answers on franchises, really answered the question for me. Another does rise though.

Without relegation/promotion to and from the major leagues what is the point?

When i stayed in Louisville there minor league baseball team the Riverbats won their league, but they don;t get promoted to the major league?

No offence but that's a poor way of doing anything, knowing that if you finish bottom that all that's going to happen is that you get to have another go next year and doing a bit better and a minor league team knows they are never going to have a major league run.

I guess that's why they need a franchise system, in Engliand theoretically I could start a football team tomorrow, start out as a lowly Sunday league pub team but knowing one day my team could get promoted to the Premier League. But if you live in the USA and you have a minor league team you know you're never going to see a good team in your town.

It's a substantial loss of revenue for a team to drop to the first division here, £20 million is a ballmark figure to lose, but that's part of the reason you support the team the thrill that maybe your team will get promoted, etc.

Am i right in thinking if a team does badly the NFL (or whoever) gives them better players in the draft to do better next year?

Rik
Jyrki21
Member
#8 · Posted: 29 Jun 2004 18:51 · Edited by: Jyrki21
Without relegation/promotion to and from the major leagues what is the point?

...

No offence but that's a poor way of doing anything, knowing that if you finish bottom that all that's going to happen is that you get to have another go next year and doing a bit better and a minor league team knows they are never going to have a major league run.


North American sports leagues are much more removed from their populist roots than European ones. If I start my own beer league hockey team, they're not really supposed to reach for the stars and aim for the pros, because the pros are a well-established unchanging circuit, made up of people paid to play the game. Players who are good enough -- from any city or country -- will end up there. The major leagues are, in and of themselves, meant for entertainment. There's no end goal beyond winning the championship (which, in all North American sports, is always a much more important goal than the regular season).

Likewise, owners of minor league teams aren't striving for anything except player development. Baseball and hockey both have an extensive minor league system (the other two sports don't really have minor leagues per se, although there are a couple of smaller basketball leagues which exist just for players not good enough to make the NBA). Almost every one of those teams is linked to a major league team. So, for example, when my favorite hockey team, the Vancouver Canucks, wants to send a fringe player down to the minors, they send him to their affiliate in Winnipeg, the Manitoba Moose in a league called the American Hockey League. (These affiliations are fluid, so it won't always be Manitoba, but the players whose rights are owned by the Canucks would stay in their system). If Manitoba wants to send him down further, they send him down (this is the second tier of minor leagues now) to a team in Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.

So each individual player is striving to play well enough to get called up, but the purpose of the team isn't to advance. A smaller city like Louisville, Kentucky would not be able to support a major league team... there just isn't enough money there. Likewise, if a city like New York were not to be in the major leagues, millions of dollars of revenue would be lost.

The Louisville team you saw would have been the minor club for a major league team. (There used to always be a team there called the Redbirds, who were the affiliate of the Boston Red Sox... don't know anything about the Riverbats).

So basically, most minor league sports teams are just part of a bigger organization (they're usually called 'farm teams'), and don't have aspirations of their own. Major league teams tend only to be in the biggest cities.

Am i right in thinking if a team does badly the NFL (or whoever) gives them better players in the draft to do better next year?

They will draft earlier than teams who did better, yes. But usually the effect is slow in coming.
Danagasta
Member
#9 · Posted: 22 Jun 2005 15:59 · Edited by: Admin
True, American sports are usually more concerned with money than anything. I think it's our culture as a whole, really.
In Knoxville, TN, we have the Tennessee Volunteers, a college football (the American kind that's like rugby mixed with Tsalagi stickball--painful and even deadly!) team. College teams are a huge thing in the US, and many people almost worship them. Knoxville, by the way, is three times the size of New Haven, CT, where I live now. The money is most definitely there, and it's pumped into sports like nothing I've ever seen.
Courtney
--
EDIT:
Posted: Jun 22, 2005 08:02:55
I'm going to link to a site explaining anetsa/anetsodi--Tsalagi stickball. I keep forgetting that I have to explain these things LOL. It's a game similar to lacrosse, but the sticks used are only about 20 inches long and two are used instead of one.
http://www.uga.edu/~toli/information/variations.html

--
[Edited by Admin: Combined 2 consecutive posts. Note to poster: please use the 'edit' function when possible, thanks!]
maxmordon
Member
#10 · Posted: 5 Jun 2007 20:50
Interesting post. Something I was always wondering... How is the British Prime Minister chosen?

Any questions about Venezuela, southamerica, etc. I am here for it

Page  Page 1 of 2:  1  2  Next » 

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Forum Posting Guidelines.

Disclaimer: Tintinologist.org assumes no responsibility for any content you post to the forums/web site. Staff reserve the right to remove any submitted content which they deem in breach of Tintinologist.org's Terms of Use. If you spot anything on Tintinologist.org that you think is inappropriate, please alert the moderation team. Sometimes things slip through, but we will always act swiftly to remove unauthorised material.

Reply



  Forgot your password?
Please sign in to post. New here? Sign up!