I know I'm awful for barely blogging about my current whereabouts, let alone all the variety of interesting things happening in the world. Well, trust me, there's just not that much interesting been going on. As a matter of alleviating some guilt, here is what I'm doing currently. I flew to Toronto on Sunday (Canada Day!) and spent some quality time hanging out with my cousin and my friend Paul. Then "home" to Vancouver on Tuesday, to spent some time relaxing with the family here (you can check out the photo left of the 'big dig' that is their new backyard, complete with babbling brook and pond). Added bonus to coming home at this time was the FIFA U-20 World Cup. My dad and I caught a double header of Uruguay-Jordan and Spain-Zambia. It's great that Canada is hosting an event of this magnitude, and cool that I got to see players like Gerard Pique live at Swangard Stadium, where I saw most of my first soccer/football matches. And extremely cool added bonus is that we just got tickets to the legendary reggae producer and artist Lee "Scratch" Perry next Saturday at the fabulous Commodore.
Who the hell is picking YLE's Champions League games this year, Vladimir Putin? After being on Nelonen for as long as I can remember, Finland's national broadcaster YLE started broadcasting Champions League games this year. YLE will also broadcast two games some weeks. So we can expect to see the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea, Milan, Real Madrid and Lyon, right? Nope. After starting with a predictably boring 0-0 game between PSV and Liverpool, and tonight's Arsenal-Porto game, we'll be treated to five straight games involving Moscow's two Champions League contenders.
We'll kick things off tomorrow with Spartak-Sporting Lisbon, and we'll see Arsenal again against CSKA on Oct 17. Obviously we'd all rather watch the Spartak-Inter game on Hallowen, instead of the ho-hum Chelsea-Barca game that night. I mean, what have those teams done lately? And it's not like there's a big rivalry between them or anything. YLE will wrap up their 2006 broadcasts with... yes, you guessed it CSKA Moscow v. Porto on 21.11 and Spartak-Bayern the day after. Horosho!
I really don't know what's going on. Either YLE wants to have early broadcasts (all the remaining broadcasted games are played in Moscow), wants to save money sending their broadcast team to the home stadium, or Viasat have preference on Champions League games they broadcast. It might be time to get Viasat, or just watch the Barca matches on PCast.
For some reason Javier Saviola has never gotten a really fair shake at Barça. Rijkaard and/or Laporta seemed to have had it in for him, despite some good performances, especially for Argentina. After spending seasons on loan at Monaco and Sevilla, it seemed Saviola was destined for a permanent move away from Camp Nou. But now after a pretty successful pre-season, Saviola now looks set to stay and fight for a place. I've always liked Saviola, and he was great in the World Cup. Plus, I think Barça need better coverage up front after losing Larsson (and Maxi Lopez).