Armistice Day

My annual update of the piece I wrote for Veterans Day and why we shouldn’t forget its original commemoration.

Anyone who went to war will have their own personal sacrifice to live with, if they were fortunate enough to live through it in the first place. One does not have to serve in a front line unit to end up in harm’s way, but only the veterans who served in actual combat know the full measure of such service. And yet, we can all know that such events give good reason to mark the end of wars, lest we forget what happens in them.

That fact has never been more important than right now…

Read the Article

 

 

Super League Hoopla Explained for Americans

What is the Super League and Why It’s a Horrible Thing

Using baseball as an analogy, to help Americans understand

Imagine last year’s Major League Baseball division winners playing their MLB season this year, while also competing in a year-long tournament that includes the division-winning teams from eight nearby nations whose Major League Baseball is as good or better than in the USA.

The top prize being tons of money and a trophy considered more rare and special than the World Series. That is the Champions League.

The Super League was supposed to be the richest clubs  (i.e. Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Cubs) starting an Only Rich and Powerful Teams Allowed League from all those nations, which would vacuum up all the future top talent and TV revenue, destroy the Champions League that many “little David” clubs get to now and again, and degrade and possibly destroy the 180 year old leagues in the various nations.

Now imagine if the last place teams from each MLB division got “relegated” to the minor leagues each year and were replaced by the top teams from the minor leagues. That is how all the European leagues operate. But the Super League would do away with that. It would only be for and about whoever is rich enough to afford the Super League dues, regardless how many games they lose.

It is nothing less than a plot by American hedge fund managers and Emirati sheiks to create a money mine beyond the wildest fantasies of the NBA’s and NFL’s greediest owners, and with complete disregard for the impact on local populations supporting hundreds of smaller pro and semi-pro teams that enrich the cultural fabric of millions of common people.

-man-city-chelsea_super_league_onemanz
Manchester City and Chelsea, Champions League semifinalists, have pulled out of the Super League.

Manchester City was the first of six English Premiere League teams to announce they were backing out of the Super League, after the public backlash from fans and politicians. Chelsea and the other four soon followed. Less than a week later, the project appears to be doomed, as clubs in other nations have either backed out or declined their secret invitations. But there may be legal challenges going forward to try to force the Super League into existence.

While executives of some European clubs claim the project will continue to develop, the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) and their world-governing body FIFA have threatened to expel any Super League teams from their domestic leagues, and block their professional players from representing their home countries in international competitions like the World Cup. Fortunately, most players and coaches came out against the Super League when the secret plans were made public.

In England, where soccer was invented, there are 72 professional teams (including 3 from Wales.) But there are actually 140 individual football leagues, with over 5,200 clubs, all part of the same divisional pyramid system, where the top teams of a league are promoted to the next tier for the following season, theoretically able to advance all the way to the top 20 teams of English Premiere League.  And the revenue sharing from the top tiers trickles down a good ways into the lower divisions.

Similar systems exist in France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, and to a lesser extent in other nations like Russia, Portugal, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The Super League threatens to destroy or at least greatly cripple and disfigure European football as we know it and as it has evolved from its earliest organizations of the mid-1800s.

Emblems of the top leagues in and around EuropeEurope_Football_Leagues_onemanz

Revolutionary Russia – Monday Map




 

Come the Revolution!

March 8, 1917, “bread riots” in Saint Petersburg light the flame that engulfs Tsarist Russia

For the next five years the chaos of revolution changed Russia forever. And the map the late Nicholas II’s vast empire was latered into a number of new states. By 1923 most no longer existed, having been destroyed by or absorbed into the U.S.S.R..
Russia 1917 Revolution States onemanz

Little Known History

Few westerners remember the existence of such places. But when it comes to Russia, Siberia is a name known to many, even if they do not know where it is or much about it – other than as a place in the movies or TV shows where people were sent when they had done something bad. But deep in the American conscience the dreadful omen associated with Siberia remains, because of the ill-fated invasion of Siberia by American troops in 1918.

Here is a fascinating article from Smithsonian magazine about the forgotten troops that ended up in the middle of the Russian Revolution in those days.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/forgotten-doughboys-who-died-fighting-russian-civil-war-180971470/

 

Too Tired to Go to Bed?

Ah yes.

Those special moments, when you feel extra tired extra early and can’t even find the wherewithal to watch TV, or even want to get up to head to bed.

But you manage to get up and shuffle down to the kitchen to wash out your water glass, and all those other odds and ends that you haven’t washed yet, and then wipe down the counters, and brush your teeth and wash your face, and floss, put down some dry cat food and fresh water, and take off your slippers and get undressed and find you are now wide awake and nowhere near being able to fall asleep.

Sigh.

T Spoon Phillips Music for a Socially Distant Audience

Spend and Hour with Your Humble Spoon

T Spoon Phillips Live Every Wednesday!

T Spoon Phillips Live Social Distancing

Live from Brooklyn.  On YouTube Live, that is!

Each Wednesday at 3 PM Eastern (7 PM British Summer Time) and 8 PM Eastern (5 PM West Coast.)

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