May 30, 1995	EFL 2010 Nightmare Scenario (Stig Oppedal)
Jun 12, 1995 	Liechtenstein Is Better Than Pele (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Jun 26, 1995	GreeMcedonkians (Alan Douglas)
Jul 25, 1995	James Bond Signs For Manchester United (Garry Archer)
Jul 26, 1995	Ranking World Cup Winners (Andrew Wayne, Ariel Mazzarelli, Sergio Adeff) 
Aug  1, 1995	You too can write up an all-time top XI list (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Sep  6, 1995	Yellow cards for diving,  or Anal retention in futbol (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Oct 11, 1995	Top 10 Predictions As Difficult As Denmark-Espa~a (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Nov 22, 1995	Top Ten Razones why South Korea would be a better WC site than Japan (Ariel Mazzarelli)

From: Stig Oppedal (
Subject: EFL 2010 Nightmare Scenario
Date: May 30, 1995
Keywords: crosspost to  

Is it only my imagination, or is football becoming more Americanized? Task 
Force 2000 comes up with the brilliant idea of replacing throw-ins with 
kick-ins, in order to encourage more long balls into the penalty area. Sky 
Sports rearranges the fixture list in order to televise Monday Night 
Football. Joao Havelange suggests dividing the game into four quarters. And
now Sepp Blatter, the man who each day has "50 new ideas, 51 of which are 
bad", is toying with the idea of time-outs. It appears that football is 
evolving into, well, football. Gridiron football. 

So I imagine it won't be long before Sepp sets up a European Football League, 
where teams will be replaced by franchises complete with nicknames, cute 
mascots, glitzy cheerleaders, and, most important, billion-dollar TV deals. 
Here's what the EFL might look like in the year 2010 (the top four teams in
each division make the playoffs, where each round is played as a best-of-
five series): 


Atlantic Division            Central Division
-----------------            ----------------

Amsterdam Colts              Lisbon Eagles
Manchester Red Devils        London Monarchs (see Note 2)
Warsaw Vikings (see Note 1)  Brussels Sprouts
Glasgow Rangers              Bavaria Bombers (see Note 3)
Istanbul Horns               Paris Mighty Ducks
                             Milan Tycoons


Eastern Division             Mediterranean Division 
----------------             ----------------------

Gothenburg Angels            Catalonia Crusaders
Turin Zebras                 Rome Gladiators (see Note 4) 
Kiev Unpronouncables         Golden Fleece Argonauts 
Madrid Blizzard              Moscow Matadors
Vienna Waltz                 Marseille Oilers

Note 1 - pending court decision; the legality of the owner's attempt to move
         the franchise from Oslo has been challenged by the other owners. 
Note 2 - new franchise; formerly of the World Football League. 
Note 3 - name changed this season on EFL/television insistence; formerly 
         named Bayer Lederhosen. 
Note 4 - name changed from Rome Cardinals as part of image boost.

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Date: June 12, 1995
[ECQ: Liechtenstein 0, Ireland 0]

Honestly,  even the most diehard Pele fanaticao has to recognize that he would
not have been able to hold Ireland to a 0-0 draw.  He might have been able to
hold out during the first 45 minutes,  and frankly it would not surprise me if
he scored first.  But during halftime Mr. Charlton would have corrected some
misconceptions that his team had in regard to the offside rule,  and they
would have comfortably scored most of the shots that were shot accurately at
goal.  Under optimal conditions,  Pele would have lost 5-2.

Subject: Re: FYROMacedonia LEAGUE RESULTS
From: (Alan Douglas)
Date: June 26, 1995 (Simon Moore) writes:

> Note: This isn't a topic for debate. It's as certain as Monday
> follows Sunday that this newsgroup hasn't agreed on
> Macedonia/FYROM/whatever (or on much else for that matter)

As some might recall, I graciously served as the r.s.s mediator
when this dispute broke out last year.  So I would like to remind
everyone that I did actually conduct a vote on this issue.  The
result was unanimous (1-0 with 17200 abstentions).  I shall now
quote the relevant article {}:

|> It is resolved by unanimous descision that in the newsgroup
|> that the PFKALGs (People Formerly Known As
|> Lunatic Greeks) and the PFKALMBSAAFBOs (People Formerly Known
|> As Lunatic Macedonians By Some And As FYROManiacs By Others)
|> shall henceforth be collectively referred to as
|> "GreeMcedonkians" until such time that they get a clue.  In
|> this way, they shall hopefully learn to live in peace and
|> harmony.

There!  I trust that this appropriately settles this very
delicate and sensitive issue to everyone's satisfaction
(GreeMcedonkians notwithstanding)

I should also note that I have submitted a similar proposal to
the UN, and they'll be voting on it as soon as they're done with
the booze and prostitutes I sent along.

From: (Garry Archer)
Subject: James Bond Signs For Manchester United!
Date: July 25, 1995


But... it could have happened.  The following is _absolutely_true_:

Thomas Connery was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1930 and grew up in a
cold-water tenement flat in Fountainbridge.  At age 9 he was up at 5:00 am
working as a milk delivery boy on a horse-drawn cart -- and then went to
put in full day at school.  He dropped out of school eventually and became
a full-time milkman.  At 16 he signed up for a 12-year term in the Royal Navy.
He was discharged after only a year because of a duodenal ulcer.

Connery returned home and learnt the woodpolishing trade -- buffing furniture
and coffins.  At this time he decided to take up body-building and also
became a part-time model at a local art school to supplement his income.

In 1953, Connery entered the Mr. Universe contest in London -- and won
third place in the tall men's division.  While in London he auditioned
for a part in a production of "South Pacific" -- and landed a job in the
chorus where muscular young men were needed.

It was at this time he took the name of Sean Connery and then he toured
with the company for 18 months.

Not only was Sean Connery talented at acting, but he showed great ability
as a football player.

While on tour in Manchester the "South Pacific" team played a local junior
team.  As luck would have it, Matt Busby (later Sir Matt), the manager of
Manchester United, was scouting at the game.  Busby was immensely impressed
by the tall young Scot.  When the game ended, Busby immediately offered
Connery a job with the club for the enticing and princely sum of 25 pounds
sterling per week -- almost double his acting salary.

Sean Connery loved football and dearly wanted to accept the offer.  But
after much consideration, he declined, admitting later that it was one of
the toughest decisions he ever had to make:

        "I really wanted to accept because I'd always loved the game.
But I stopped to assess it and asked myself what's the length of a
footballer's career?

        "A top-class footballer could be over the hill by the time he
was 30, and I was already 23, but more than that I wanted something that
would last and so I decided there and then to become an actor, because
it was fun.

        "It turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves."

The rest, as they say, is history.

(An article about Sean Connery, whom went on to become James Bond 007 in
the movies, appeared in the August/September 1995 issue of British Heritage

Subject: Re: Brazil Germany Italy Argentina
From: (Andrew Wayne)
Date: July 26, 1995

You are all fools. Or maybe - Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

The greatest world teams must have won the World Cup, right?

That leaves: Uruguay, Germany (west?), Italy, Brazil, England and 

Now we have to rank these:

Rank    Team    WC Finals       WC Victories    Percentage Rate

1       Uruguay         2               2       100%
2       England         1               1       100%
3       Brazil          5               4        80%
4       Argentina       3               2        67%
5       Italy           5               3        60%
6       Germany         6               3        50%

This is assuming the deciding match of the 1950 finals, between Brazil
and Uruguay is the equivalent of a final - Otherwise Uruguay would be
1 final,  2 victories, with a 200% rate, which I find to be statistically

There - best team ever is Uruguay, followed by England. So your Germany,
Brazil, Argentina, Italy nonsense is patently wrong.


Subject: Re: Brazil Germany Italy Argentina
From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Date: July 29, 1995

"Gunther P. Nacke"  wrote:
>Hi, what stupid logic is that??

It is only logic to the stupid.

>Why do you devide the number of titles by the number offinals played?
>This means onl penalizing for consistancy? Or do you want to say that 
>one tean that won the two finals it played (and that in 30 and 50) is 
>stronger all over than a team that played the 6 finals and won three?
>Don't you agree yourself that this argumentation is pretty insane!!?!!

Oxygen is essential for us,  don't you agree?

>Tyhe fact that Uruuay is at the top of this list shows how much this 
>statistic says, NOTHING!!!  Uruguay in WC's has been a second class 
>team over the last 40 years!

A little historical ineptitude never hurts.

>If anything is wrong, than your common sence! This is the most rediculous 
>statistic I have seen so far on the Net. I hope you ment this as a joke!

You know,  gentle humor is the branch that treats the butt of the joke gently,
if it has one at all.  Andrew's post did not really have a butt,  is that why
you went out of your way to become it?  Too bad the post of the week has
already been awarded.

Subject: Re: Brazil Germany Italy Argentina
From: (Sergio Adeff)
Date: July 31, 1995

Argentina played in 4 Finals, not 3 as you guys kept writing in this 

A more meaningful table would order:
first, by championships won,
second by finals played,
third by most recent final played.

This results in (only 9 countries and 1 province :-) ever played the Final):

  Rank  Team    WC Finals       WC Victories    
  1     Brazil          5               4        
  2     Germany         6               3
  3     Italy           5               3
  4     Argentina       4               2
  5     Uruguay         2               2
  6     England         1               1
  7     Netherlands     2               0
  8     Czechoslovakia  2               0
  9     Hungary         2               0
 10     Sweden          1               0

From: (Andrew Wayne)
Subject: Re: Brazil Germany Italy Argentina
Date: Aug 2, 1995

Arthur Mandel wrote:
>Sergio Adeff wrote:
>>This results in (only 9 countries and 1 province :-) ever played the Final):
> this is a clear reference to Uruguay being a "province" of Argentina

Did he say Holland, rather than the Netherlands? If so, we have another 
province; We also have Czechoslovakia, which is now two countries,both
of which used to be merely provinces. Isn't it confusing?

And: West Germany is just one part of Germany. 

By the way, England is a country, it's just not a nation. I'm not sure
whether it qualifies as a province too; it depends on how you look at it...

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: You too can write up an all-time top XI list
Date: August 1, 1995

Ok,  here is a typical algorithm seen on RSS to make up these lists:

a) Put in lots of names that other people say are good,  even though you never
saw them except possibly for 15 seconds of some video clip.

b) Do not,  under any circumstances,  put Diego as #1.  If possible,  try to
make up some futbol reason for it,  but any sort of excuse will do (except of
course for the one that he is from Argentina).  If you are worried that this
will reflect badly on your understanding of the game,  you have your
priorities all wrong.

c) Try to get some UK players on the list (you know who you are).

d) Do not include any South American players except for those that played in
Europe,  and do not include any from Uruguay;  to justify this step,  mention
that even though lots of oldtimers say that these guys were really good,  you
never saw them play except possibly for 15 seconds of some video clip.

e) Do not include any Italian players,  since you probably don't know who the
best ones were.  If you want to sound knowledgeable,  pick an oldtimer (and
definitely not Baggio),  but make sure it's not an Argentinian!  Hint:  see if
any stadia are named after an oldtimer.

f) To ensure that you're not accused of bigotry or ignorance,  find some place
on your list for Diego and DiStefano.  Places 5-10 are FIFA-friendly.

g) If you feel like picking a goalkeeper,  pick Yashin.  It does not matter if
you never saw him play,  except possibly for 15 seconds of some video clip.

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Yellow cards for diving,  or Anal retention in futbol
Date: Sep 6, 1995

Why is a dive not a red card,  and a hack a red card? Elementary,  my dear

a) a dive injures no one (maybe the diver if he falls wrong), a hack might
injure the innocent player;
b) a dive does not interrupt the flow of play,  it is solely an attempt to
fool the referee and it is neutralized by the referee not being fooled (which
is why a yellow card is not really needed either, except for "moral"
reasons)--whereas a hack must be sanctioned,  and the only thing that the
innocent party can get from it is a free kick.

On another level,  there is also

c) a good dive is a sign of higher intelligence,  a good hack is a sign of

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Top Ten Predictions As Difficult As Denmark-Espa~a
Date: Oct 11, 1995

So Denmark is playing yet another crucial match against Espa~a.  Knowledgeable
rssers shrug their shoulders as neither team is ever a serious candidate to
win a serious tournament,  but the Eurocopa does have its surprises;  thanks
to hard work and political coincidence (DiStefano, Yugoslavia) both of these
teams have actually won the tournament once.  If one were to predict things
based solely on that fact,  it might be a difficult choice;  an examination of
history between these two teams,  be it superficial or exhaustive, would
however make the choice about as difficult as...

(Hosts listed first where relevant)

10. Tyson v McNeeley
9. OJ v Stacey Koon (taser not included)
8. Argentina v Chile
7. Brasil v England
6. Uruguay v Brasil
5. Austria v Hitler (Austria plays at home)
4. Germany v France
3. Diaphragm v Condom
2. Racing v Independiente 
1. Maradona v Pele

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Top Ten Razones why South Korea would be a better WC site than Japan
Date: Nov 22, 1995

10. Japan banned Maradona, hence Argentina, from playing there in 1994.

9. South Korea asked Maradona to make his first return appearance there.

8. Japan has never qualified for the World Cup.

7. South Korea has qualified for the last three World Cups, a performance
superior not only to the current hosts, but in fact to all the hosts going
back to West Germany in 1974.

6. Japan would be a very expensive site for the thrifty rsser.

5. South Korea would be an expensive site for the thrifty rsser.

4. The last one to invade the other was Japan.

3. Korea might patch itself together for this tournament.

2. In Japan they are always trying to change the rules, usually in a
nauseating direction.

1. When the ancient thread about whether we like picking the winner by penales
was recently resuscitated, and the messages written there reached the
characteristic blend of absurdity, ignorance, poor taste, and Rothenbergian
revisionism, Dong-Yal Seo@korea.south suggested that, since penales were so
distasteful to a particular poster, FIFA should decide a level game by a
sudden-death overtime period, where every 5 minutes an additional ball would
be tossed out onto the field.