Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Wednesday afternoons were made for drinking
There are few days in the year where it is socially acceptable to start drinking at 2:30 p.m. However, today is one of them. Forget the Super Bowl, the world’s most watched sporting event is the UEFA Champions League final. And, with apologizes to Sao Paulo and Boca Juniors fans, it’s also the unofficial world championship game of club football.
In case you’ve been too busy following the Memorial Cup, it’s an historic final today between two English sides—Chelsea and Manchester United. For the non-soccer inclined this is a Red Sox/Yankees final and it evokes all the same dilemmas for the neutral observer. Who do you cheer for when ‘both lose’ isn’t an option?
Although I hesitate to bring it up, it’s also historic in that it will mark the first time a Canadian-born player takes part in the game. I’m not a fan, but I won’t bore you will a tired old rant about Mr. Hargreaves’ decision. Other than to lament what could have been had he made the braver choice.
In the lead-up to the game much of the talk has been focused on the future of the extremely talented and incredibly annoying Cristiano Ronaldo (a man who has accomplished the impossible—he’s made ManU more unlikable).
Chelsea will go into this as the underdog. And, as the slightly more interesting story. One would have thought that Roman Abramovich’s money would have got them to a CL final sooner, but if you were to guess six months ago you would have thought that this was the least likely Chelsea team to play for the title. As Stephan Brunt points out, it could be its only chance for a while too.
So, if you see any middle aged guys with subtle British accents stumbling out of a pub around mid-afternoon today, give them a break. It’s a big day.