19
Apr

Blackpool coach sent to stands after hitting his own player

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In a matter of just three years, Blackpool have gone from a Premier League side to possibly dropping to England’s third division. And after just two wins in their last 25 Championship games, tempers are beginning to boil over at the crisis-stricken club.

During the opening minutes of Friday’s game against Burnley, angry fans tossed dozens on dozens of tennis balls onto the pitch in protest, temporarily delaying the match. Signs asking for the removal of club chairman Owen Oysten littered the stands. And to top it all off, assistant coach Bob Malcolm was sent to the stands in the second half after smacking one of his own players.

Malcolm appeared to take offense at something substitute Steven Dobbie said, and in response struck the forward before promptly receiving his marching orders from the officials.

Check out the slap:

Things are quickly going from bad to worse for Blackpool, who after the 1-0 loss to Burnley now find themselves in the relegation zone with three matches to play.

Image provided by Reuters.

19
Apr

Tiziano Crudeli goes Tiziano Crudeli after Balotelli, Taarabt score for AC Milan

No one will ever confuse Italian TV commentator Tiziano Crudeli as a straight shooter. And frankly, we don’t care.

Crudeli, an avid AC Milan supporter, lost his marbles on live television after Mario Balotelli and Adel Taarabt helped the Rossoneri capture their fifth straight win by defeating Livorno 3-0 on Saturday. Take a listen:

Despite the result, Milan face an uphill climb after a subpar start to their Serie A campaign. The Italian giants remain five points behind city rivals Inter Milan in Serie A to secure a Europa League spot.

Just don’t tell Crudelli.

19
Apr

One-legged soccer player inspires World Cup commercial

imageImage via Coca-Cola

Get ready to choke back the tears, because this is one heck of a story.

Nico Calabria was born with only one leg, but the rare disability hasn’t stopped him from achieving greatness in the sport that he loves. Playing soccer with a prosthetic leg at first before opting to use forearm crutches, Nico has competed — and even excelled at — varsity high school soccer, playing against boys who have both their legs.

Now 19, Nico has become one of the best players on the United States National Amputee Soccer Team and an inspiration to millions. When he was 13, Nico also became the first person to ever summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on crutches, raising more than $100,000 for charity in the process.

Inspired by Nico’s amazing journey, sports drink makers Powerade have now featured him as part of their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, and the ad is perfect. Watch:

For more on Nico’s story, check out Coca-Cola’s profile on him.

H/T Huff Post

18
Apr

Wolves win over Rotherham nearly abandoned because of pitch invasions

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Perhaps Wolverhampton fans should take lessons from Brentford fans on how to properly invade the pitch, because on Friday they almost cost their club the match for spending too much time on the field.

The Wolves defeated Rotherham in a wild 6-4 victory, but it wasn’t without frequent interruption.

The invasions started small…

…but slowly got more and more out of hand, and eventually resulted in two huge invasions in the final minutes of the match:

Luckily for the club and that obnoxious group of fans, the referee was incredibly patient, because the madness could have cost them the match.

Wolves have said they expect a fine, and condemned the fans, but let’s be honest: they’re just as excited as everyone who ran onto the pitch on Friday. After all, they’re going back to the Championship!

(H/T SB Nation)

18
Apr

Brentford gain promotion to Championship, both fans and players go nuts

League One side Brentford FC needed all the stars to align to secure promotion to the Championship on Friday.

First, they had to beat Preston North End. Check:

Next, they needed both Leyton Orient and Rotherham to lose. Orient’s match ended just before the Bees won, so that result was secure.

But could Wolverhampton beat Rotherham? This video contains that answer pretty definitively:

And of course, no promotion would be complete without emotional fans letting it all out on the pitch:

Finally, after all was said and done in the Bees’ 2013-14 season, the players went down to the pub to celebrate with their loyal supporters. Party on, y’all. You deserve it!

Congratulations Brentford. It’s been a long time since you’ve been in the Championship — more than two decades — so enjoy while it lasts.

18
Apr

This is what happens when pro footballers play against children

The only way to make a scrimmage between young kids and real, actual footballers somewhat competitive is to outnumber the professionals by a large margin.

But even then, it’s never really fair fight. It does, however, lead to really amusing plays and goals, like this one from John Terry:

Let’s see them try that one against a real team and see how far they get.

18
Apr

Gareth Bale issued speeding ticket for brilliant solo goal

The local police in Valencia have quite the sense of humor. After Gareth Bale score his absurdly amazing solo goal to give Real Madrid the Copa del Rey trophy, the cops issued him a fake but totally hilarious speeding ticket.

Well played, Valencia cops.

Not only that, but there’s some great humor in the details as well.

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Registration: 11
Class: Much
Scores: and assists
Model: Not at the moment

And because you know you want to watch it again, the goal that prompted the clever ticket:

H/T r/soccer

17
Apr

USA defender John Anthony Brooks benched due to giant back tattoo

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Getting tattoos is all fun and games until you can’t do your job.

According to the Berliner Morgenpost, United States men’s national team defender John Anthony Brooks was benched by Bundesliga club Hertha BSC Berlin last weekend after Brooks got himself a “large-scale” back tattoo, which hence has prevented him from being able to play comfortably.

Of course. 

As tattoo-lovers know, for several days following the procedure, one is advised to avoid intense physical activity, tight-fitting clothing, and sweaty conditions, among other things.

In hindsight, as a professional athlete Brooks should probably have known better than to get ink done in the middle of the season.

Understandably, Hertha coach Jos Luhukay was not pleased:

"I don’t have any understanding for that. The tattoo could lead to an inflammation, and, naturally, that is not good," Luhukay told the paper.

Nope, not good. Next time, wait until after the season, John.

(H/T SBNation)

Image provide by Getty.

17
Apr

PAOK fans erect “ring of fire,” dump anchovies on rivals’ bench

PAOK’s feud with Greek record-champions Olympiakos is one of the fiercest in the country. To make sure we all remember this, the PAOK fans went all-out prior to the rivals’ Greek Cup tie this week.

First, the home supporters formed a giant ‘ring of fire’ by lighting hundreds of flares in every section of the Toumba Stadium. The impressive yet frightening display delayed the start of the match due to the thick smoke taking several minutes to clear.

But the PAOK fans didn’t stop there. In fact, things got really weird. Or should we say, fishy. Believe it or not, one troublemaker then made it his mission to dump a crate of anchovies all over the Olympiakos bench.

Why anchovies? Since, Olympiakos’ home ground is in Athens’ port of Piraeus, their supporters were kindly nicknamed “anchovies.”

The salty fish might make for nice pizza toppings, but seat covers… not so much. Here’s proof of the incident (the culprit was later arrested):

image(Image via Greek Reporter)

After this second act of mischief, the referee ordered a clean-up operation and directed both teams back to the dressing room until he was guaranteed by PAOK’s security team that it was safe for them to return. The delays took over an hour, and once the game finally did start, tempers didn’t simmer down any.

Multiple fights and skirmishes broke out throughout the match, both on and off the pitch, with three players shown red cards and flares thrown onto the field, causing continuous, intermittent stoppages in play. The second half alone needed 15 minutes of stoppage time to compensate for all the commotion.

And after all of that, PAOK moved on to the Greek Cup final thanks to a 1-0 win.