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July 29, 2009

France: the clubs in the 2009-2010 Ligue 1 season, with average attendances from 08/09.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,France — admin @ 6:20 pm

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Note: to see my latest map-&-post of Ligue Un, click on the following: category: France.

The 72nd season of Ligue 1 will begin on 8th August [2009].

Last season, under second-year manager (and 1998 World Cup winning defender) Laurent Blanc, Bordeaux ended 7 seasons of league domination by Lyon. The squad won their final 11 games to claim the 6th French Title for FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

This season, at Marseille, after a front-office shake-up that finds former Chelsea and Juventus defender Didier Deschamps at the helm, the best-supported club in France hope to claim their first national title since 1992. Lille and Paris Saint-Germain, who were 5th and 6th place finishers last season, will probably be in the race for the title, but it remains to be seen if last year’s surprise 4th place finisher Toulouse will remain competitive…after all,  the club from the rugby-intensive south-west of France barely avoided relegation 2 seasons ago. Their good showing last season was aided a great deal by 08/09 Ligue 1 leading scorer André-Pierre Gignac (24 goals). Here were the leading scorers last season in Ligue 1 {click here (espn soccernet.com)}.

Here is TheOffside.com‘s Ligue 1 section {click here}.

You can see information on the three promoted clubs (BoulogneLens,  and Montpelier) from a post I made on 1st June…{click here}.

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Thanks to the E-F-S site, for attendance figures {click here}.  
Thanks to Albion Road site, for information on some of the smaller clubs in the league {click here (set at Club Profiles / Grenoble Foot)}.  
Thanks to the Markus Schaal at the RSSSF site,  the maker of this chart,  which helped me find the highest finish of some of the clubs {click here}.  
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Ligue 1, 2009-10)}.

July 27, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Colorado Rockies.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 6:04 pm

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Colorado Rockies Auxillary Chart,  featuring uniforms and logos from the history of the Colorado Rockies franchise (1993-2009)…click on the following title: colorado_rockies_auxillary-chart2009__.gif

Colorado Rockies history, with photos, from the Sports E-Cyclopedia site {click here}.

Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here (set to Colorado Rockies)}.   Thanks to MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Dressed to the Nines site,  featuring basenball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here (set at Colorado Rockies 1993-2001)}.   Thanks to MG’s Helmets,  for the Rockies batting helmet {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Colorado Rockies page)}. 

July 22, 2009

England: 2009-10 League Championship, with attendance figures from 08/09 season.

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The map shows the 24 clubs in the 2009-10 season of the English Football League Championship,  which is the 2nd Level of professional football in England and Wales.

Here are the oddsmaker’s picks for the best promotion candidates in the Championship this season  {click here  (Statto.com)}.  The three clubs that were relegated from the Premier League in May are the three favorites for promotion back to the top flight…Newcastle UnitedWest Bromwich Albion,  and Middlesabrough.  Also highly rated for promotion are Ipswich Town (on the strength of new manager Roy Keane);  Sheffield United (who, with their large attendances, have been perennial favorites for the jump three seasons running now);  and Reading (despite a horrible second half of last season).   It is interesting that even with all the cash at their owners’ disposal,  Queens Park Rangers are now less highly rated for promotion.  QPR has the 7th best odds for promotion now, versus second-best odds for promotion one year ago.  All those managerial changes and the accompanying front office discord have taken the shine off noveuu-riche QPR’s potential,  it seems.  Also,  note how decently-rated the three East Midlands clubs are,  at 9th, 10th, and 11th best odds for promotion…  Nottingham ForestDerby County,  and Leicester City.  Forest had a tough time of it last season in their return to the 2nd Level;  Derby County had an abysmal season following their horrendous last-place stint in the Premier League (in 07/08);  while Leicester has just bounced straight back to the Championship following their first-ever season in the 3rd Level.  All three clubs have solid fan bases and will draw well,  and that certainly can’t hurt their chances.

Here is a 2009-2010 League Championship preview,  from SportingLife.com,  written by Pete Thompson {click here}.  

**Here are the kits for the clubs in the 2009-2010 League Championship,  from the Historical Football Kits site {click here}.

Thanks to the E-F-S site,  for attendance figures {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here  (set at League Championship 09/10 season)}.   Thanks to the FootyMad.net sites,  for each club’s League history {click here (set at League Championship main page)}.

July 19, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Detroit Tigers.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 4:45 pm

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Below: Detroit Tigers Auxilliary Chart,  featuring uniforms and logos from the history of the Detroit Tigers franchise…established in 1894 in the Western League (I) as Detroit,  and established in 1901 as the Detroit Tigers,  a charter member of the American League [MLB] - (1894-2009).

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Detroit Tigers team history and photos,  from the Sports E-Cyclopedia site {click here}.

Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here (set at New York-Penn League logos)}.   Thanks to MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Dressed to the Nines” site, featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here (set at Detroit Tigers 1927-1935)}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Detroit Tigers page)}. 

July 14, 2009

England: 2009-2010 League One, with attendance figures from 08/09 season.

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Note: to see my latest map-&-post of the English 3rd division, click on the following, Eng-3rd Level/League One.

This map begins my 2009-2010 English Football category.  I started with League One,  which is the 3rd Level in England,  because a viewer posted a comment in which he asked me for the map (he’s a Norwich City supporter).   Plus I am fascinated by League One…the way-station between the upper leagues and the lower leagues,  and the league that these days usually features the biggest disparity in clubs’ average attendances [but not this season, thanks to Newcastle' United's relegation to the 2nd Level]. 

I have kept the same framework for this map as last season  {you can see my League One 08/09 map, w/ attendances from 07/08, here}.  But with this map,  I have added information on… A). each club’s past two seasons (ie, where they finished in the table);  B). each club’s highest-ever finish;  C). each club’s Major Titles (if any) / or significant Titles [well, I wanted to list FA Trophy Titles- three clubs here (Colchester United,  Wycombe Wanderers,  and Yeovil Town) have won it- and I didn't want to call the cup competition of Non-League Football a major Title];  and D. the total seasons each club has spent in the 1st Level (if appilcable).

One interesting aspect of the 2009-2010 League One season is that all 7 of the newly arrived clubs are from the south of England…the three clubs relegated from the 2nd Level (the League Championship):  Charlton Athletic,  Norwich City,  and Southampton;  and the four clubs promoted from the 4th Level (League Two): Brentford,  Exeter City,  Gillingham,  and Wycombe Wanderers. 

As has been the case for the last decade,  again League One will feature some pretty big clubs that have spent significant time in the top flight,  but have currently fallen on hard times.  In addition to Leeds United beginning their third season in the third tier,  there are 3 more clubs which traditionally draw more than 20,000 per game…the aforementioned three clubs that were relegated from the League Championship.  Incidently,  while on the subject of the higher-drawing clubs here,  Huddersfield Town had a 37 percent increase in their average attendance last year primarily because they slashed season ticket prices.  Another West Yorkshire club,  the League Two side Bradford,  has had success with this policy for the last two seasons,  and Huddersfield followed suit.  Maybe other lower division clubs will take notice. 

Here are the oddsmakers’ picks for the best promotion candidates in League One this season  {click here (Statto.com)}.  Not surprisingly,  Leeds United tops the list.  Other clubs highly rated for promotion are Norwich CityCharlton Athletic,  last season’s 3rd-place finisher MK DonsHuddersfield Town,  Brighton & Hove Albion and last season’s Playoff finalist Millwall.

I have included this link to the web version of the weekly Norwich newspaper called the Pink’Un {click here}.  Here is their away grounds [ie, League One 09/10] guide  {click here}.

Here is the Historical Football Kits site’s page on the kits in League One for the 2009-2010 season {click here}.

Thanks to the Footy-Mad sites,  for their indispensible League History lists for all the football clubs {click here (set at Footy-Mad / League One main page)}.   Thanks to E-F-S site,  for attendance figures {click here}.      Thanks to Huddersfield Town FC official site {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here}.  

July 12, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Florida Marlins.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 4:00 pm

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Below: Florida Marlins Auxillary Chart,  featuring selected uniforms and logos from the history of the Florida Marlins franchise (1993-2009).

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Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Dressed to the Nines” site,  featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here}.   Thanks to MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here (set at Florida Marlions logos)}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Florida Marlins page)

July 7, 2009

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: Map and Chart, with Cities represented; and attendances for July 2009 (from average attendance figures from 4 to 5 home games played per team).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Brazil — admin @ 4:16 pm

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As part of my ongoing effort to get a better handle on the domestic futebol scene in Brazil,  I have made this map and chart,  which looks at the make-up of the current Brazillian Campeonato Série A,  on a city-by-city basis,  with current attendance figures. 

On the map and chart,  I have shown each club’s current average attendance in graphic form,  on the far right,  via proportionally sized crests.  Below that is the list of average attendances.  On the left is a breakdown of each city that has a club in the top flight in 2009…the cities are listed from north to south.  I have put a photo which is of the city’s skyline or otherwise representative of the city.   Within each cities’ section,  I have listed the club or clubs that hail from the city,  with a thumbnail profile of each club (ie,  date of origin,  major titles,  and current average gate,  plus 2008 average gates). 

In the middle of the map,  at the bottom,  is a list of the cities with 2009 Campeonato Série A representation,  with their populations.  The numbers to the left of each city on the list are their population-size rank.  The populations are for the Municipio ,  or administrative district,  of the city,  not the metropolitan area.   In case you’re curious about the largest cities in Brazil that lack a top flight club in 2009…the 4th largest city in Brazil is the capital,  Brasilia;  the 5th largest city is Fortaleza (which is north-west of Recife);  the 8th largest city is Manaus,  which is deep in the interior,  on the Amazon River (which is visible on the map,  up in the north of Brazil).   To see their locations, see this map (cia.gov site).   Here is the list from Wikipedia that I used  {click here  (List of Largest cities in Brazil)}. 

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On 30th June,  São Paulo’s Corinthians defeated Porto Alegre’s Internacional in the final of the Copa do Brasil.  Corinthians are in the process of restoring their place at the top of the Brazilian futebol scene, by A). returning to the top flight for 2009;  B). signing former two-time European Footballer of the Year Ronaldo,  and thus grabbing lots of media attention;  C). winning the Paulista state championship earlier this year,  and now D). gaining a much-coveted qualification for the 2010 Copa Libertadores,  by winning Brazil’s national cup.  The only thing is,  for Corinthians’ league matches,  the crowds have not shown up…the club can’t even draw 12,000 spectators these days for their Campeonato Série A games. 

This fact flies in the face of the assertion that Corinthians are the second-most supported club in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro’s Flamengo are considered the best-supported club in Brazil,  and drew league-leading 40,694 per game last season).    [I covered the topic of the best-supported clubs in Brazil in my first post about the Campeonato Série A,  here.]    But there is another factor at work:  Corinthians cup run has drawn fans to those matches at the expense of domestic matches.  For the first leg of the Copa do Brasil final,  Corinthians drew 37,438 (which is almost 26,000 more than their league matches have drawn).  Last season in Série B,  Corinthians drew 23,786 per game in their promotion campaign.  Maybe Corinthians raised ticket prices upon gaining promotion (I tried to find out about that,  but I had no luck).

Meanwhile,  the highest average crowds right now can be found at the surprise of the season,  Atlético Mineiro,  who are from Belo Horizonte,  where they tend to be overshadowed by two-time Copa Libertadores champions Cruzeiro.  Atlético Mineiro drew 16,312 per last year,  but this year they were drawing almost 12,000 more per game.  Then Sunday,  the club drew 48,651 to the Mineirão,  the municipal stadium they share with Cruzeiro.  They were only able to get a 1-1 result to basement-dwelling Botofogo,  though,  and lost their first place position to Internacional,  who beat Náutico 0-2,  on 2 goals by Manchester United target Nilmar.  Internacional seem poised to win the title this season.

The explanation for why Atlético Miniero’s local rivals Cruzeiro have seen a 43% dip in their turnstile count is that many fans have opted to attend Cruzeiro’s Copa Libertadores matches rather than their domestic matches so far this season.  And the poor economy has no doubt contributed to this.  Cruzeiro drew 56,898 and 52,906 for Copa Libertadores matches in May and June,  but a recent league match versus Florianopolis minnows Avaí only drew 3,435 pagantes ,  or paying customers (more on this later).  

The same factor is at work with respect to Porto Alegre’s Grêmio,  whose gate figures this season are around 13,000 lower than their last season’s average gate of 31,725.  Grêmio drew 36,725 and 40,452 for their home Copa Libertadores matches in June and July .  Grêmio’s attendances were second highest in the league in 2008;  Cruzeiro’s turnstile count last season was 24,235,  the 3rd highest. 

On 2nd July,  Cruzeiro eliminated Grêmio from the Copa Libertadores,  and will face Argentina’s Estudiantes de La Plata in the two-legged final,  which is to be played on 8th July in La Plata, Argentina,  and 15th July in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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Two last points on the attendance figures.  First off,  they are not as accurate as western European football attendance figures.  It is widely believed that many clubs under-report the figures for tax reasons.  Also,  there are divergent sets of figures,  because some outlets report only paying customers,  and some report all attendees,  including those who got in free,  plus the media.  The figures I am using are from the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol site {click here,  and go to the 7th selection listed on the far right: ‘Estatísticas Da Competição’,  then see ‘Bloco 2′).  These figures fall into the second category (total paying and non-paying attendees).  The figures that I originally was using came from the WorldFootball.net site (it’s on my blogroll),  and show only paying attendees. 

The second thing is that in general,  the figures will change as the average attendances of Cruzeiro and Grêmio (and probably Corinthians) rebound;  and will likely increase with respect to the whole league,  as crucial derbies and their corresponding swells in attendances get added to the tallies.  So I will update this map later in the season.  One thing I noticed is that last season,  all the clubs that were relegated were at the bottom of the attendance list (with the exception of Goías).  And this season,  a similar trend can be seen in the fact that the 6th-lowest drawing club is Botofogo,  who are at the bottom of the standings,  while the other lowest-drawing clubs are 2 of the 4 just-promoted clubs (plus the over-achieving Goías,  and Santos,  who are at mid-table).  The club that is contradicting this whole trend is the painfully low-supported newcomers Barueri (to hear how you pronounce the club’s name, click here). This club was established only 20 years ago,  and is from the outskirts of São Paulo.   Barueri can barely draw 3,000 per game,  yet they sit fourth in the table,  with convincing 4-2 wins over both Belo Horizonte clubs this season.  The thing is,  Barueri drew 9,024 in Série B last season…again,  I suspect the club hiked ticket prices. 

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For updates on the Campeonato Serie A,  I have added a nice site to my blogroll…it’s under ‘Brazil: Gringo’s Opinion’ {click here},  and it is the blog of Jon Cotterill,  who is a football commentator for TV Globo in São Paulo.  I also have linked up his 2009 Campeonato Série A preview,  and I have also added a link to his TV network’s site,  which has good highlights of the Brazilian top flight.  But you can see highlights right from his posts.  My new routine this summer is to check out the results and highlights Monday nights.  It’s a good way to stave off European football withdrawal. 

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Campeonato Brasileiro Série A 2009).  And special thanks to Jon Cotterill,  who was nice enough to show me where to find the attendance figures that I used. 

July 5, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Houston Astros.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 8:49 am

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Below:  Houston Astros Auxillary Chart,  featuring selected uniforms and logos from the history of the Houston Astros franchise,  established in 1962 as the Houston Colt .45s (1962-1964) / Houston Astros (1965-2009).

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Houston Astros team history with photos, at Sports E-Cylopedia  site {click here}.

Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Dressed to the Nines” site,  featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here (set at Houston Colt .45s/ Houston Astros, 1962-1970).   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here (set at Astros logos)}.   Thanks to Fan’s Edge.com {click here (set at Round Rock Express merchandise)}.   Thanks to Dugout-Memories.com (Vintage caps by American Needle), {click here}.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Houston Astros page)}.

July 1, 2009

Canadian Football League, 2009.

Filed under: Canada,Canadian Football League — admin @ 4:50 am

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Defending CFL champions are the Calgary Stampeders,  who beat the Montreal Alouettes, 22-14,  in the 96th Grey Cup at Olympic Stadium in Montreal,  on November 23, 2008.  It was the Stampeders’ 6th Grey Cup Title,  and their first since 2001.  This season’s Grey Cup will be played at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium,  on November 29th.

CFL page at TSN [Canadian Sports Network]  {click here}.

Calgary Stampeders 2009 preview at TheCanadianFootball LeagueReport.blogspot.com {click here}.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2009 preview {click here}.   Saskatchewan Roughriders 2009 preview {click here}.   [all the other teams' 2009 previews also at http://thecanadianfootballleague.blogspot.com/  ]  

The Canadian Football League’s 52nd season begins with Toronto at Hamilton,  and Montreal at Calgary, on July 1st,  which is a national holiday known as Canada Day (formerly Dominion Day),  and is the anniversary of the 1867 treaty {see this},  which united Canada into a single country of 4 provinces {see this map from the Atlas of Canada site}. 

Canada is now a federation comprised of 10 provinces and 3 territories. { See this map: Animation of the Territorial Evolution of Canada. }  The 10 provinces {see this from Wikipedia} are,  (from west to east):  British Columbia (1871),  Alberta (1905),  Saskatchewan (1905),  Manitoba (1870),  Ontario (1867),  Quebec (1867),  New Brunswick (1867),  Nova Scotia (1867),  Prince Edward Island (1873),  Newfoundland and Labrador (1949).   The 3 territories are (from west to east):  the Yukon Territory (1898),  the Northwest Territories (1870; partitioned in 1999),  Nunavut (1999) {see this].

Thanks to Geology.com {click here}, for the base map of Canada.  Thanks to MG’s Helmets {click here},  for the helmets.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here}.   Thanks to Logo Shak {click here}.   Thanks to this page, for the attendance figures {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia (click here,  (set at Canadian Football League page)}.

Update: For the 1960′s-style rero helmets that the 8 teams are wearing for a few games…Thanks to MG’s Helmets {click here}.

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