English Premier League Opens Today
What is that, exactly?
Given the increased popularity of soccer in the United States over the past few years, it seems natural to recognize the most widely-followed league in the world. The English Premier League, currently sponsored by Barclays, a London-based banking and financial services institution. It is composed of 20 clubs at any given time. The clubs that actually make up the league are different every year, as English football utilizes a system of relegation and promotion. At the end of every season, the bottom three clubs in the Premier League are relegated to a lower division, the Football Championship, and the top three teams in the Championship (determined by record, goals scored, and a playoff) are promoted to the Premier League. Needless to say, there's a lot of turnover at the bottom of the table as new clubs fight to stay up and mid-table clubs try to avoid the embarrassment of relegation.
Since the Premier League is the most widely viewed sports league on the planet, a non-follower will recognize many top clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, and Manchester United. Manchester United is the third-most valuable sports team in the world after Real Madrid and Barcelona, both Spanish clubs. Beyond the elite clubs, casual fans are often less knowledgable.
The three newcomers to the Premier League this season are Burnley, Leicester City, and Queens Park Rangers. Staying among the elite will be no easy task, as many of their competitors are equipped with better facilities (QPR's stadium holds only 18,000) and are better funded (the salary cap does not exist in the Premier League).
If you're a non-follower interested in the sport, you can catch Leicester City vs. Everton at 9 a.m. today on NBC Sports Network. Team USA keeper Tim Howard plays for Everton. Manchester United vs. Swansea City is on that same channel at the time of this report's publication.
Bears In the Premier League
There aren't any. Sorry.
2 guys creating buzz at #Baylor's training camp: power running soph RB Devin Chafin who Petty raved abt & Ishmael Zamora, a fast 6-4 TF WR.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 15, 2014
Baylor players can't wait for first scrimmage at McLane Stadium Saturday morning.— John Werner (@JohnWernerTrib) August 15, 2014
Baylor coach Art Briles wants to have at least two scrimmages at McLane Stadium to simulate regular season schedule.— John Werner (@JohnWernerTrib) August 15, 2014
Briles believes Seth Russell will be primed to start next season when Bryce Petty is gone, He also likes Chris Johnson's progress.— John Werner (@JohnWernerTrib) August 15, 2014
Per Werner, the scrimmage in McLane is by invitation only, so don't go showing up trying to get in. It will be nice to see Russell get more reps in game time and learn to take care of the ball in a real game situation.
Around the Big 12
BREAKING -- Cleveland Co DA to file one misdemeanor count of act resulting in gross injury vs #Sooners RB Joe Mixon.— Guerin Emig (@GuerinEmig) August 15, 2014
Mixon police affidavit: Victim sustained fractured jaw, fractured cheek bone, fractured sinux, fractured orbit which caused eye hematoma.— Guerin Emig (@GuerinEmig) August 15, 2014
That's... well, that's quite a smack.
DA confirms conviction of misdemeanor charge vs Mixon is up to year in jail and $500 fine. #Sooners— Guerin Emig (@GuerinEmig) August 15, 2014
Most other details of the case at this point are snippets of witness statements and speculation by the pro and anti-Oklahoma spin machine. Oklahoma is handling the issue as a university, and Mixon's participation on the football team is now out of the athletic department's hands.
In happier news, Kliff Kingsbury seems to endear himself to every fan base that should hate him.
It takes a gifted man to reference Ginuwine, give Arkansas fans something to smile about, and make the internet gush in one fell swoop. As good as it was, there was still something better:
"A stone cold predator. Also pictured, a bear." -Justice Don Willett