Monday, April 14, 2008

ü75's *NEW* Most Hated Team of the Moment: Queen of the South

Sorry, Liverpool. Your reign lasted only a couple of days. There is a new team that draws my ire, having beaten a team I follow in a game I expected my team to win. Usually this occurs in a knockout tournament, though sometimes a costly loss in league can trigger it. Some teams are exempt from being a MHTotM since they are always hated, like Chelsea, Manchester United, Rangers and some others. Still, until 9.30 AM on Sunday, I never thought I'd have to drop Liverpool to add Queen of the South as my Most Hated Team of the Moment.

Part of the reason a team becomes a MHTotM is because I am paying attention to the match. If I had no knowledge of Saturday's game until mid-afternoon (my time), I would just shrug it off and say, "oh well". Unfortunately for me on Saturday, that was not the case.

Saturday's game was a 12.15 kickoff Glasgow time, or 7.15 AM EDT. Since I had no expectations of being up at that time, I made no plans to follow the game. My son had a different idea of what time was appropriate for weekend wakeup, though, and chose 7.20 to start fussing. Seeing as I go to sleep around 2 and young'uns normal wake time is around 9, this was a tad early for me. I got him up, got a bottle ready, and plopped us both in my recliner.

Early morning Saturday TV is unfit for adults, even those with child-like tendencies. I flipped around for a bit before realizing there was not a damn thing on. I pulled up the menu to see if there was anything on the DVR that I could watch. Nope, just my wife's recording of Secret Life of a Soccer Mom. Then it dawned on me, Aberdeen is playing, and in a game they should easily win. I fired up my laptop.

By the time I got logged on, about 20 minutes had passed. I pulled up BBC's play by play, which always runs a few minutes behind. In another window, I pulled up SkySports live ScoreCentre. Uh oh, Queen of the South scored. Well, it was still early so I wasn't panicked. I refreshed the BBC page to get the writeup of how they scored. When I digested that, I went back to the ScoreCentre and saw Aberdeen tie the match up within 15 minutes. Alright, now we'll score a few more and get to the final. Halftime came, my son finished his bottle, and Aberdeen were said to be in control of the tie.

With my son playing around me, I settled in for the second half. I didn't have much time to settle because a goal came almost immediately. As you can probably guess, QotS scored it. I cursed (don't tell my wife). Four minutes later, Aberdeen leveled again 2-2. Three minutes after that QotS scored again. Jebus! Aberdeen then notched a third comeback goal six minutes after. Before the BBC liveblog could catch up, the dagger came. John Stewart, who started his career at Aberdeen and played there until 2006, scored QotS's fourth goal one minute after Aberdeen got their third. Despite Aberdeen hitting the crossbar and post in quick succession two minutes later, the SPL squad could not score again. 4-3 was the final, with five of the goals coming in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

This is the first ever cup final for Queen of the South who had previously only been to the semis once, 58 years ago. This season, they are mid-table in the First Division, safe from relegation, but almost 30 points behind the promotion challengers. Now, like Gretna two years before them, if the right team makes the final opposite them (Rangers in this case), QotS will be a lower division club playing in Europe. Bastards.

Yesterday, in my Google alerts, I came across a short blog post by an American who just moved to London. He caught the game, and was "thoroughly unimpressed" by it. He cites that it seemed like Scottish soccer was like Arena Football in that there was too much scoring. And here I thought Jim Rome told us Americans don't like soccer because there is not enough scoring.

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