The GBU: Money Ain’t a Thang for Chelsea FC

By Tim Marcin
Elm Staff Writer

The Good
The week before the Superbowl, you would expect me to talk about football. I guess that’s true, but I have a different kind of football in mind. The English sort. Yes, I can hear the collective “who cares?” coming from the campus, typical of American sports fans. But just hear me out.

This week marked an unprecedented landmark in soccer transfer history. What happened was the equivalent of numerous blockbuster free agent signings or trades taking place in one day. One team stood out as a clear winner, however: Chelsea FC. Chelsea made the marquee move of the transfer window, breaking the English transfer fee record (the price to the rights of another team’s player) by paying 50 million pounds ($79.5 million) to land former Liverpool star striker Fernando Torres. Chelsea, sitting in the fourth position in the English Premier League behind Manchester United, is now absolutely saturated with talent. The defending champs have three elite strikers, with Ivory Coast national Didier Drogba, Frenchman Nicolas Anelka, and the newly added Spaniard Torres. At any given time they have three finishers who can put the game on their back, and carry Chelsea to victory.

Not satisfied at only bolstering their already blistering attack, Chelsea also added promising Brazilian defender David Luiz from Benfica for 25 million euro ($34 million). Luiz is only 23, but is a rising young star defender, who will be on a back-line with the likes of proven stars such as John Terry and Ashley Cole. This is all excluding the fact that Chelsea has proven talented midfielders like Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, and Florent Malouda. In essence, they are an all star team, looking poised to make a charge at United, who only hold a relatively small 10-point cushion. Chelsea may very well have propelled itself into first place with these bold moves.

The Bad
Okay America, you win, I’ll mention some “real football”. Since, however, no football is actually being played until this weekend, I can only speak on the ridiculousness of the press coverage leading up to it. Every last little thing is over-analyzed, nit-picked, and beaten to death until not one more ounce of a story can be found. For instance, a few injured Packers “tweeted” complaining they were not going to be in the team picture. This turned into a full-blown “picturegate” and proves my point. Coach Mike McCarthy quickly resolved the problem, and that should have been the end of it. The media on the other hand, had to drag it out into a weeklong ordeal…that was never really an ordeal in the first place. Everyone asked: Would it distract the team? Is there a rift between the players? Does Aaron Rodgers have a problem with Nick Barnett?

Honestly, who cares?

Apparently we all must care, because we allow this to carry on. If nobody cared, nobody would watch—but obviously the story must be bringing in ratings because it played constantly up until the picture was taken (later in the week with all the players). I guess the Superbowl has become so big that anything about it will be covered and watched with great interest, as shown in the monstrosity that is media day. Swarms of reporters spewed into Dallas, engulfing stars in a sea of microphones, hoping for a morsel of a story. It seems like a bit much, yet we all continue to watch. I did, but that doesn’t make the fact that we all care and watch these nonsense reports any less stupid.

The Ugly
Oh, the Cleveland Cavaliers. They define the word ugly right now. They have lost 21 straight games (at the time of this writing). They haven’t won a contest since December 15. Their overall record is a dismal 8-40. Do you think Dan Gilbert misses LeBron now? Is he currently drafting a nicer letter, begging him back? A team that was first to 40 wins the prior year is now the first to 40 losses. They have nobody to take on the bulk of the scoring, don’t play good defense, and are playing like a team defeated. It’s sad to see all of the doomsday predictions about LeBron’s departure coming true. Cleveland is a city in dire need of a championship, and it looks like the Cavaliers are not bringing them one any time soon.

The worst part—the team that handed them their telling 40th loss?

Lebron James’ Miami Heat. Cleveland has to be stinging from the pain.

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