EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday. No three-day weekend or a four-day work week, so let’s just get into it. I will add, though, that a study of a cross section of people in Iceland working 4 days a week was pretty successful and well received. You hear that ‘Murica?! Today we will talk about… Kucherov T-Shirt, Italy win Euro, Argies win Copa.
In this brave new world, everything is sanitized. The great characters of yesteryear would not be welcomed in a league that worries about what the children might see or what the mommies might say. Nikita Kucherov is a throw back to players that only care about winning. If people saw them as a heel, they embraced it because it underlines how much they didn’t care what their detractors thought. So Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lighting was photographed this weekend with a t-shirt that had his image drinking a beer, like he was post-game after winning the Stanly Cup. The shirt has the words “18M over the cap on it.” As our own Ben Whitney has pointed out, through a crater-sized loophole in NFL accounting, Tampa Bay was allowed to keep their core together AND stay under the cap, as Kucherov was placed on the IL all season.
Then the playoffs started and Kucherov was suddenly healthy enough to play. He then goes on to lead the Lightening to the Cup, while being the top playoff point scorer. Somehow having Kucherov join the team and being 18M over the salary cap is all perfectly legal, because it happened in the playoffs. I am pretty sure the other owners will raise a fuss soon and this loophole will be closed.
World Soccer News
I know Soccer puts people to sleep but this is an update on the winners of the European and South American Championship.
Italy Wins Euro
Despite having to travel more, their players logging more minutes played and more miles run going into the final against England in London, Italy won Euro 2020 via penalty kicks. The frustrating part for soccer fans watching at home had been how England had so many offensive weapons but decided to play defensively and never press the issue. The only brought on their best attackers late in the game, 2 of them enter the game with the specific purpose of taking PKs, which they missed as to be expected. England scored in the second minute and then rather than keep on the pressure, they laid of, as their coach is always defensive. This allowed the Italians to get back in the game and score a tying goal late. Then the Italians hung on for kicks where they won it all. It was really poor game management by the England coach and further proof that you have to play to win the game and not to lose.
Argies win Copa
Argentina won the South American Soccer Championship, aka Copa America, over Brazil on Saturday. This is a big deal because of the legacy race between two greatest players of the modern era; Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Despite Portugal not being as large as Argentina, Ronaldo not having as many talented players alongside him and how much more difficult the Euros are (and less frequently played – every 4 years to 2 years), Ronaldo has made one final and won another. Messi, on the other hand, had won everything at the club level with stacked Barcelona teams, made a WC final and a few Copa finals with Argentina, but had yet to win it… until Saturday night. This will allow him to counter his detractors, although he still has the Maradona argument to deal with. As you can tell, I am firmly in the Ronaldo camp.
Thanks for reading, comment below and come back tomorrow for Ben Whitney.