Krammerheads Uncensored Sports Talk

Adult talk about sports. Not for the squeamish.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Spamming my own blog!

Nobody seems to read this blog, so I'm going to spam it!

Feel free to buy some of my crap at:


http://www.zazzle.ca/krammersemporium

or

zazzle.com/KrammersEmporium*

Don't forget to take your safe setting off, so you can see all of the products.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Show racism the red card. What?


Okay, it's been over a year since I have felt the need to blog. But this is just too good to pass by.

Major League Soccer's supporters groups, who call themselves "The Independent Supporters Council" (ISC) have decided that this weekend they will take a stand against racism and homohobia in the sport. That is, I take it, a stand against racism and homophobia by supporters of the league. They will be standing up and showing red cards after the national anthems in some sort of unity against racism and homophobia.

This is a bit odd, because there has been no real incidents of homophobia and racism by supporters in the league of note. Of course the real reason for the demonstration by the supporters groups around the league is to promote themselves. Just another way to say "hey look at us, we're really neat! Please let us be the centre of attention!"

Now I have no problem with promoting yourself. I was an original member of the Southsiders before a lot of people who claim to be original Southsiders were around (nothing like re-creating history hey guys?). There was nothing like getting yourselves in the papers. At least back then it was for actually supporting your team, not promoting yourselves.

Unfortunately this scheme can backfire. The non MLS fan, or the casual MLS might look at this and think that there must be a lot of racist and homophobic fans in MLS. After all why would these fans making these huge gestures if there wasn't a big problem? They might turn away from the league thinking there is some sort of big problem with bigotry. They might not realize that this is the supporters groups trying to promote themselves once again.

The image above was of the original Southsiders. A group that was about supporting the team, not about promoting themselves. We were a supporters group, not a political party.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Video of the day.

It's been too hot and too busy of a time to update this blog lately. So here's a video clip. It's a game from 1980 featuring Vancouver Whitecaps and AS Roma from Empire Stadium. It was part of a tournament called the Trans-Atlantic Challenge Cup. Also included is an interview with Rudi Krol.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why Canada will not be good in international soccer.

The answer? It's the mentality of our up and coming players. For instance here is a story of a person that worked where I did this summer. We talked a lot about soccer in the couple of months he worked and I got a brief insight into how young soccer players think. By no means do I think this isn't the norm:

He's 20 (I believe) and going into his second year of university soccer out in eastern Canada. Although he is a Canadian citizen the team he follows internationally is Argentina. He has no family ties to Argentina but he has grown up to believe that nationality means nothing, just pick a team that you find talented and exciting and make that your team. Needless to say he couldn't care less about Canada's national team. When it comes to club teams he only follows teams that play in the best leagues in the world. He laughs when you talk about watching MLS games on TV or the internet, and you can forget about talking about the league the Whitecaps and Montreal Impact presently play in.

Although he plays a high level of college soccer he has no plans to turn pro. Obviously he isn't skilled enough to play in the top leagues in the world. My guess is he doesn't have what it takes to play in MLS, but that's just a guess. He could possible play in the USL/NASL or whatever name the second division and lower leagues will call themselves in the future, but my guess is that won't be prestigious enough. So he will finish out his college career and that will be it for soccer with him.

This obviously is more common in soccer than anything else. Soccer in Canada has the highest participants of any sport here. Yet for the majority of these young players playing for Canada, or in Canada (or the USA) just doesn't have the allure for them. So what chance does Canada have in creating a good international soccer program? We certainly don't have the money that's for sure.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Heritage Cup.



The Heritage Cup is a trophy that was started by the supporters of the Seattle Sounders and the San Jose Earthquakes to be played for between clubs that have the same nicknames as those in the old NASL days. It was a good idea at the time as those were the only two teams in the league with nicknames the same as their predecessors in the NASL. However now that the Whitecaps and Timbers are joining MLS next season there will be a total of 4 teams playing for this trophy. This wouldn't be a problem but three of these teams will also be playing for another trophy-The Cascadia Cup. This trophy is played for by the 3 teams in the Cascadia region of North America. This would leave San Jose out....so both fan trophies will be up for grabs next season. This has lead to at least one supporters group crapping over the other tournament and trophy. Fair enough.

Some of the complaints however is that the Heritage trophy is cartoonish, ugly and looks nothing like soccer trophies in the rest of the world. I'd like to address that last point first. It's good the trophy doesn't look like other trophies. The Cascadia Cup looks exactly like the Voyageurs Cup which looks exactly like a whole bunch of other fan supporter trophies in various sports. Don't get me wrong, I donated money to both the Cascadia Cup and Voyageurs Cup. I have nothing against them, I do have something against those that would insult this other trophy because it's not the one they created. Unlike the Voyageurs and Cascadia Cup, this trophy was designed by the fans (at least one) not "off the rack", so yes it does look different.

But take a look at the Heritage trophy. The design of the Cup with the stars is the exact replica of the NASL soccer ball. It seems to me that that is a perfect representation of what the cup should look like if they are honouring the old NASL.

The trophy looks fine to me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Memories of old times in the Southside

The Vancouver Southsiders are the Vancouver Whitecaps main supporters group. I say supporters group as opposed to "fan club" because it's always been about singing, chanting and creating an atmosphere.

It started off as a group of people who congregated behind the goal at Swangard stadium, trying to get away from the soccer moms and their kids, who seemed to be there just to chat and let the kids run around which really took away from the game day experience. Back then the team was known as the 86ers, and they installed a beer garden behind the goal when they realized this area was going to be occupied by loud supporters. At first a group of flag waving, occasional flare lighting group known as the Hrvatski Hooligans came to the forefront. They were more concerned with cheering on Johnny Sulentic than the club though. Cue what has become the Southsiders-the Carlsberg Crew. So named because the beer sponsor was Carsberg, and since there was nothing formal the guys chose that name to identify themselves. This group was started by Ted Carefoot aka "Rasta" and his sidekick Johnny Funch aka "the Colenel" and a group of their friends. I was one of those back then congregating in the area, and joining in on the songs and chants when I felt like it. There was no group discussion board back then so we all started posting discussion over on the official 86ers site's message board. We'd talk about that nights game and what interesting things had gone on in the South side that night. After awhile the club let us know that their message board was not a place for discussions to take place just messages from people who had visited the site who wanted to leave their thoughts on it. It was at this time that I was known for my strong opinions, and the fact that I seemed to be the only guy who actually followed the whole league, not just the home side, even though there were more than twice as many teams in the league in those days. Nobody could put a face to my name though, until one day in sneaky fashion as I entered the south side one of the group yelled "hey Krammerhead", I turned around and looked and they all laughed. One guy yelled "I knew that was you" and I was in for good. Then came founding member Rasta's discussion board. It was also at this time Rasta had started his official supporters group website. Basically a simple one with a few photo's and a list of members (I was not even considered an official member yet, just an affiliate as you will. Still I was listed on the website, not bad I suppose, at least I was acknowledged that I was there at the start.

Then the beer sponsor changed and without much thought the group name changed as well. The group became known a the Canterbury Crew, not the Canterbury Court as the Southsiders official website claims. We were known as the guys in the Canterbury court by the guys who used to do the commentating on the local community channels coverage of games, but only because that is what the club officially named the south side beer garden-The Canterbury Court. At this time with the change of beer sponsors seeming to be a yearly thing it was I (at least from what I remember...and I had a better memory of it than most as I wasn't drinking at games back then) who suggested that the group pick a name that would last longer than the beer sponsors. I can't exactly recall who came up with the Southsiders name, but it was chosen because that what we were, guys who watched the game from the south side of the field.

Then came Rasta's argument with the club over his press pass being revoked. This may have been just before the club became the Whitecaps although Rasta would have a better memory. He deleted his discussion board overnight. I decided I'd fill in the void and started a replacement discussion board. A lot of previous members were lost and only some of them came back once they found out that there was a new discussion board and the group had not disbanded. In 2000 or 2001 I started my own Southsiders website, at times it was the official site, then I decided to just call it an unofficial site, because it contained my strong opinions. There were game day photo's, match reviews, stats etc. After awhile I was asked if I'd let someone else with better website knowledge take over a new fangled discussion board and later a new official website. I agreed.

I was away from the Southside/Whitecaps game's for a couple of years due to burnout. Being an overzealous fan for a decade can wear you out. I returned last season and had some really good times, but it was different. It became more structured, being the show instead of supporting the show seemed to become increasingly important. Paid membership was introduced at the end of the season for this season to pay for supporters things such as Tifo, road trips, etc. Since I'm not much of a Tifo guy (streamers and confetti are not really my thing) and I don't travel to road games due to passport and work issues, not to mention I'm poor, I've decided not to pay remain in a group I was instrumental in starting and helping keeping it alive along the way.

Recently I was reading their discussion board and have seen plenty of arguments from it's members. Some want to light off flares and smoke bombs, others don't. Others are angry that the group doesn't sing and chant all game, and others are angry that some supporters will criticize the home side's players. It has been suggested by some that if you don't like to do things their way (singing all game, only positive comments yelled) that you should get the hell out of the south side.

So I think it's clear. If I find my way at a Whitecaps game in the future I'll probably watch from elsewhere in the stadium, whichever stadium that might be in future years. Soccer games are supposed to be fun, and I suppose I will take the advice of these new guys.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Remember when sports commentators weren't there to be the show?

I'm old. I remember back in the seventies when I became a sports nut that you could watch a sports event on TV (on the occasion they were on) or watch the sports news and you would be told about the game in proper English by a commentator taking his job seriously. Nowadays we are subjected to a bunch of wannabe television/radio stars trying to be the news event.

I was walking by a TV today that had the descriptive text on for the hearing impaired. Baseball highlights were on and I read that the bases were "juiced". I immediately though the bases must be like half of the players in baseball: on steroids. Then I realized the pun. The bases were loaded, and being loaded= "juiced". Ah, more coolness from the sportscaster. These same guys with gel spiked hair that bring us other great phrases like "there's a buck thirty nine left in the period" which is supposed to mean a minute and thirty nine seconds left in the period. A buck 39? To me that's saying there's a $1.39 left in the period, which makes no sense.

Then we have the live sports events where the guys in the booth get into phony arguments (nearly every NFL telecast seems to have one of these) just to prove to the viewers that they are passionate about the game. How about the games where the commentators talk about everything but the game? Yes it's nice that you had a nice dinner last night and was talking to a very nice waitress etc, etc, but could you please get back to the game?

Man, I'm old.