billsportsmaps.com

December 26, 2011

2011-12 League Two – Stadia map, with galleries of the top 4 clubs in the table, 1st place Crawley Town, 2nd place Cheltenham Town, 3rd place Southend United, and 4th place Shrewsbury Town.

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2011-12 League Two Stadia map




Note: to see my most recent post on the English 4th division, click on the following: category: Eng-4th Level/League 2.

On Boxing Day, 2011, League Two is led by Crawley Town. The Red Devils of West Sussex were pretty much expected to be at or near the top of the table this season in the fourth division, because their transfer and wage bill (abetted by anonymous Far East investors) far exceeds other clubs in League Two. A 15-game unbeaten run was ended by Gillingham today, though, but it still looks like Crawley are in prime position to gain their second consecutive promotion under the mercurial Scot, manager Steve Evans. Crawley lead 2nd place Cheltenham Town by 3 points. Cheltenham Town in second place is a shock, seeing as most media outlets and bloggers pegged them for a relegation battle, not a promotion campaign this season. Ex-Robins MF and captain Mark Yates has been managing Cheltenham Town for 2 years now, and his squad plays some nice passing football, and only Swindon Town have less goals conceded (18) than Cheltenham (at 20, tied with Shrewsbury Town). Cheltenham have a stellar away record, boasting 8 wins, then a draw (to Barnet), in their last 9 matches away from Gloucestershire. Cheltehham Town have had two spells in the third tier (for a total of 4 seasons, last in 2008-09), and it’s starting to look like they could be returning to the third division. Perhaps the biggest impediment to their success could be the eventually-chewed-up-turf at Whaddon Road, the result of their groundshare with Gloucester City AFC (of the Conference North). Last year [2010-11], the poor pitch conditions played a part in Cheltenham’s struggles in the second half of the season, but maybe the mild winter, so far, will aid the Robins this season.

In 3rd place (which is an automatic-promotion-place in League Two) are Southend United. The Essex side, under much-travelled Scottish manager Paul Sturrock, shot out of the gate, but now seem to have flagged a little bit, with 4 straight defeats (two league and two cup losses). In 4th place are a club that was expected by most to be in (another) promotion campaign – Shrewsbury Town. The Shropshire-based club are run by longtime Hereford United manager Graham Turner, who returned in July 2010 to the place where he finshed his playing career and began coaching. In 5th place are the Staffordshire-based Burton Albion, who are managed by Canadian international Paul Peschisolido. In 6th place are the Kent/Thames Estuary side Gillingham, who are managed by Dartford, Kent-born Andy Hessenthaler. In 7th and in the final play-off spot are Wiltshire’s Swindon Town, who are managed by Rome, Italy-born West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio.

From Guardian.co.uk/Football League Blog, ‘League Two 2011-12: the bloggers’ half-term report
The people who really know their clubs give us the lowdown on the League Two season so far
‘.

On the map page, which you can see by clicking on the segment at the top of this post, you can see stadium photos of all 24 clubs in the 2011-12 season of the English Football League Two. Alongside each stadium image, club info is provided – club crest, year of formation, location, stadium capacity, 2010-11 average gate, list of the seasons spent by the club in each of the top 5 Levels of English football, and 2011-12 kits. At the far right on the map page is a location-map of the 2011-12 League Two. At the lower right of the map page are 2010-11 and 2009-10 average attendance figures (from home league matches), as well as league movement (if any) these last 2 seasons.

Below are photos of the grounds of the top four clubs in the League Two table as of 26 December, 2011 – 1st place, Crawley Town (Broadfield Stadium). 2nd place, Cheltenham Town (Whaddon Road). 3rd place, Southend United (Roots Hall). 4th place, Shrewsbury Town (Greenhous Meadow). Also included are photos of standout players on the squads (including team goals and assists leaders), as well as photos of the managers.

Crawley Town. Est. 1896. The Red Devils. Broadfield Stadium, cap. 4,996. Crawley, West Sussex.
First season in the Conference [5th Level], 2004-05. First season in the Football League: 2011-12.
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 2,535 per game (up +152.8%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 3,198 per game (up +26.0%).

crawley-town_broadfield-stadium_tyrone-barnett_matt-tubbs_steve-evans_segment_.gif
Crawley Town Image and Photo credits – Aerial view of Broadfield Stadium from bing.com/maps/. Entrance photo by Shaun at 100groundsclub.blogspot.com Photo of West Stand [at center] by Peer Pawelczyk via soccerway.com. Photo of terrace [at lower center] by Smidrophenia at flickr.com. Photo of Broadfield Stadium [at far left] from worldgroundhop.blogspot.com. Photo of West Sussex countryside by PhillipC at tripwolf.com. Matt Tubbs photo from skysports.com. Tyrone Barnett action photo by Frances Leader/Action Images via guardian.co.uk/football/football-league-blog; Tyrone Barnett photo in white kit from football365.com. Action photo including Kyle McFadzean from crawleytownfc.com/gallery. Andy Drury photo from thisissussex.co.uk. Steve Evans photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

Cheltenham Town. Est. 1887. The Robins. Whaddon Road, cap. 7,066. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
First season in the Conference [5th Level], 1988-89. First season in the Football League: 1999-2000.
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 2,980 per game (down -8.1%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 3,339 per game (up +20.%).

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Cheltenham Town Image and Photo credits – Aerial view of Whaddon Road from bing.com/maps. Small photo at upper right from wolves-stats.co.uk/Cheltenham_Town. Large photo of Cheltenham from the adjacent hillside by Adrian Pingstone at en.wikipedia.org/Cheltenham. Small photo of the three stands [at the center] by footix at Panoramio.com. Exterior photo [at lower left] from thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/. Photo from inside the stands [at lower left] from http://www.courtoffside.com/forum/album.php?albumid=15. Large photo of Main Stand by Shaun at 100groundsclub.blogspot.com.
Jimmy Spencer, Darryl Duffy, and Kaid Mohammed action photos from CTFC.com/galleries. Marlon Pack action photo from features.rr.com; Marlon Pack photo from teamtalk.com/cheltenham-town. Mohammed/Jombati/Smikle celebrating photo from ctfc.com/Gallerycirencesterpeople.co.uk. Photo of Mark Yates from http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/football.

Southend United. Est. 1906. The Shrimpers. Roots Hall, cap. 12,392. Southend-on-Sea, Essex.
First season in the Football League: 1920-21, charter member of the Third Division.
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 5,274 per game (down -31.6%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 5,801 per game (up +9.9%).

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Southend United Image and Photo credits – Aerial view of Roots Hall, bing.com/maps. South Stand photo [at top, center] from footballstadiumguide.co.uk/southend-united. Roots Hall main entrance and camera gantry photos from portmanroadtothesansiro.blogspot.com. Fans in South Stand with flags from footybunker.com. Roots Hall photo at far left by Shaun at 100groundsclub.blogspot.com. Aerial photo of Southend-on-Sea by terryjoice at en.wikipedia.org/Southend-on-Sea. Liam Dickinson photos from southendunited.co.uk. Kane Ferdinanand photo from flblog.dailymail.co.uk, ‘Talent scout: Southend United’s Kane Ferdinand‘, by Joe Ridge. Ryan Hall photo from southendunited.co.uk/page/Gallery. Photo of Paul Sturrock with squad at Roots Hall from echo-news.co.uk/sport; Paul Sturrock photo from football.co.uk/southend_united.
Images of old Southend United kit badges are from Historical Football Kits site at http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Southend_United/Southend_United.htm.

Shrewsbury Town. Est. 1885. The Shrews. Greenhous Meadow, cap. 9,875. Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
First season in the Football League: 1950-51
(Shrewsbury Town were elected to the Football League, Division Three North in 1950, after being Midland League champions in 1949-50).
2010-11 avg. gate (home league matches), 5,876 per game (down -7.5%).
Current {26 Dec., 2011} avg. gate, 5,436 per game (up +6.4%).
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Shrewsbury Town Image and Photo credits – Aerial photo of New Meadow (aka Greenhous Meadow) from forums.electronicarts.co.uk. Main entrance photo from thegroundhog.wordpress.com. Pre-match photo of New Meadow by ynysforgan_jack at Flickr.com. The Old Market Hall in Shrewsbury photo by Asdfasdf1231234 at en.wikipedia.org/Shrewsbury. River Severn at Shropshire photo from sirpetespics.blogspot.com. Old kit badges of Shrewsbury Town from historicalkits.co.uk/Shrewsbury_Town. South Stand photo from the-prostar-stadium.blogspot.com. Mark Wright photo from shrewsburytown.com/Gallery. Lionel Ainsworth photo from AMA Sports photo agency via shropshirestar.com. James Collins photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Graham Turner photo from shrewsburytown.com.

After 22 matches played by most clubs in the 2011-12 League Two season, here are the 3 top scoring leaders and the top player in assists…
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Photo credits above – Izale McLeod photo by Tom Jenkins at Guardian.co.uk. Billy Kee photo from burtonalbionfc.co.uk/gallery. Matt Tubbs photo from crawleytownfc.com/gallery. Ryan Hall photo from indiatimes.com.

Last season [2010-11], League Two as a whole averaged 4,175 per game, which was an 8.3% increase over 2009-10. Currently [26 Dec., 2011] League Two’s average attendance is 4,252 per game, which is a 1.8 percent increase from last season. [Current League Two attendance, including unofficial league average (ESPN Soccernet).

At the end of each League Two season, 4 clubs gain promotion to League One [which is the 3rd Level of English football]. First, second, and third place finishers get promoted automatically to League One each May, while the 4th through 7th place finishers compete in a play-off to determine the fourth promoted club. On the other hand, at the end of each League Two season, only 2 clubs are relegated to the Conference National [which is the 5th Level of English fooball, and the highest level in Non-League football]. League Two is the only level in the Fooball League that has a disparate number of promoted teams versus relegated teams [the other levels, the Football League Championship (the 2nd Level) and the Football League One (the 3rd Level), have 3 go up and 3 go down each season]. Currently, the clubs in the League Two relegation places are Plymouth Argyle and Northampton Town, with Dagenham & Redbridge, Hereford United, and Barnet within touching distance of the dreaded drop.

_

Photo credits on map page -

Accrington Stanley/Crown Ground, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
AFC Wimbledon/Kingsmeadow (aka Cherry Red Records Stadium), bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Aldershot Town/The EBB Stadium (Recreation Ground), bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Barnet/Underhill Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Bradford City/Valley Parade, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Bristol Rovers/Memorial Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s eye satellite view.
Burton Albion/Pirelli Stadium, http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/4422509.jpg.
Cheltenham Town/Whaddon Road (aka Abbey Business Stadium), bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Crawley Town/Broadfield Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s eye satellite view.
Crewe Alexandra/Alexandra Stadium, shepherd-gilmour.co.uk.
Dagenham & Redbridge/Victoria Road, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Gillingham/Priestfield, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Hereford United/Edgar Street, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Macclesfield Town/Moss Rose, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Morecambe/Globe Arena, sixtamesides.blogspot.com.
Northampton Town/Sixfields Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Oxford United/Kassam Stadium, footballaway.co.uk.
Port Vale/Vale Park, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Plymouth Argyle/Home Park, bing.com/maps/Bird’s eye satellite view.
Rotherham United/Don Valley Stadium, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Shrewsbury Town/Greenhous Meadow [aka New Meadow], James Humphries (aka Colds7ream) at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Meadow.
Southend United/Roots Hall, bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Torquay United/Plainmoor, bing.com/maps/Bird’s eye satellite view.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football League Two‘.

Thanks soccerway.com for current attendance figures.
Thanks to European-football-statistics.co.uk, for attendance data from previous seasons.

Thanks to these two sites…
1). Data for ‘Seasons spent in Levels’ lists, thanks to http://stats.football365.com/hist/tier3/attable.html [data up to 2001-02].
2). For league placement data from 2002-03 and on, plus general data on the clubs’ league placement through the years, thanks to Footy-Mad.co.uk sites of each club, usually [at the top menu bar there] at ‘Club/League History’. Example, Barnet-mad.co.uk.

Thanks to historicalkits.co.uk, for images of old kit badges.

Thanks to crawleytownfc.com.
Thanks to [Cheltenham Town] CTFC.com.
Thanks to southendunited.co.uk.
Thanks to shrewsburytown.com.

December 22, 2011

2011-12 UEFA Europa League: Knockout Phase, Round of 32.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,UEFA Cup / Europa League — admin @ 11:33 am

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2011-12 UEFA Europa League Knockout Phase, map with attendance data


2011-12 Europa League Knockout Phase, Round of 32 – News and Fixtures – UEFA.com/ Europa League/Index.

From TheScore.com/Footy Blog, by Ethan Dean-Richards, from 19 Dec., 2011, ‘Man United have an opportunity to entertain in the Europa League‘.

Here are rthe Group Stage group winners…
PAOK [Thessaloniki]
Standard Liège
PSV [Eindhoven]
Sporting [Lisbon]
Beşiktaş
Athletic Club [Bilbao]
Metalist Kharkiv
Club Brugge
Atlético Madrid
Schalke
Twente [Enschede]
Anderlecht

Here are the clubs that, by virtue of finishing 3rd in their groups, moved from the Champions League Group Stage into the Europa League Knockout Phase…
Manchester City
Trabzonspor
Manchester United
Ajax
Valencia
Olympiacos
Porto
Viktoria Plzeň

Here is the Round of 32 draw
Porto v Manchester City [2nd leg now 22 Feb]
Ajax v Manchester United
Lokomotiv Moscow v Athletic Club
Red Bull Salzburg v Metalist Kharkiv
Stoke City v Valencia
Rubin Kazan v Olympiakos
AZ v Anderlecht
SS Lazio v Atletico Madrid
Steaua Bucharest v Twente
Viktoria Plzeň v Schalke
Wisla Krakow v Standard Liege
Sporting Braga v Besiktas [1st leg now 14 Feb]
Udinese v PAOK
Trabzonspor v PSV
Hannover v Club Brugge
Legia Warsaw v Sporting CP

Ties scheduled for 16 and 23 February, 2012, except Sporing Braga v. Besiktas on 14 February; and Manchester City v. Porto on 22 February.
_
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 UEFA Europa League‘.
Thanks to European-Football-Statistics.co.uk, for attendance data.

December 14, 2011

Argentina: Primera División, 2011-12 Stadia map, featuring 2011 Apertura champions Boca Juniors.

Filed under: Argentina,Football Stadia — admin @ 6:49 pm

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Primera División de Argentina, 2011-12 Stadia map


The map page features a stadium photo of each club in the 2011-12 season of Primera División de Argenina. Alongside each club’s stadium photo is club information, including…the full name of the club; the year of the club’s formation; their location; their stadium’s name and capacity; the club’s professional Argentine titles (and year of last title); the club’s Copa Libertadores titles (and year of last title); the club’s total Copa Libertadores appearances; the length, in seasons, of the club’s current spell in the Argentine top flight (and the year they (re)entered the first division); and how the club finished in the first half of the 2011-12 season [which was the 2011 Apertura].

At the top, right of the map page, next to the AFA crest, is a season-and-a-half synopsis, listing the last 3 title winners and the clubs that went down to, and came up from, Primera Nacional B…
2010-11 champions –
Apertura: Estudiantes (5th title).
Clausura: Vélez Sarsfield (8th title).

Relegated to Primera Nacional B (in June, 2011):
Gimnasia (La Plata)
Huracán
Quilmes
River Plate

Promoted to Primera División (in June, 2011):
Atlético de Rafaela
Unión [de Santa Fe]
San Martin (San Juan)
Belgrano [Córdoba].

2011-12 champions -
2011 Apertura: Boca Juniors (24th title).
2012 Clausura: TBD [the 2012 Clausura will begin in the first week of February, 2012].

The 2011 Apertura was won by one of the two most popular Argentine football clubs, Boca Juniors [the other one of the two biggest clubs in the country is River Plate, who are currently in their first-ever professional-era season in the second division, but will almost certainly be back in the top flight for the 2012-13 season]. This is Boca Junior’s 24th professional Argentine title, second only to the 32 pro titles won by River Plate. Boca ended as undefeated champions, as well as being the champions with the most points difference ahead of second place.

From the essential Hasta El Gol Siempre site, ‘Apertura 2011: ¡Boca campeón! (video)‘.

From Guardian.co.uk/football, from 22 November, 2011, by Jonazthan Wilson, ‘Boca Juniors’ binary finery a tribute to manager Julio César Falcioni
Boca Juniors are a team cast in Julio César Falcioni’s gnarled image, and the Apertura champions-elect are all the better for it
‘.

From ArgentinaIndependent.com, from 6 December, by Rory McClenaghan, ‘Football Season review: The Return Of Boca Juniors‘.

julio-cesar-falcioni_darío-cvitanich_rolando-sciavi_boca-juniors_2011-apertura-winners_r.gif
Photo credits above – Ortigoza and Cvintanich acion photo by Enrique Marcarian/Reuters via uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. Cvintanich photo from AFA via http://www.argentinaindependent.com/life-style/sport/football-season-review-the-return-of-boca-juniors-/. Schiavi photo and Bombonera title celebration photo from Daylife.com/Boca Juniors. Falcioni photo from pesstatsdatabase.com.

From goal.blogs.nytimes.com, from Dec.13, 2011, ‘In Argentina, Violence Is Part of the Soccer Culture‘.

The Argentine clubs that have qualified for the 2012 Copa Libertadores…
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The 5 Argentine clubs which have qualified for the 2012 Copa Libertadores are…
ARG-1, Vélez Sarsfield (2011 Clausura champion).
ARG-2, Boca Juniors (2011 Apertura champion).
ARG-3, Lanús (best 2011 aggregate among non-champions).
ARG-4, Godoy Cruz (2nd best 2011 aggregate among non-champions).
ARG-5/First Stage [aka preliminary round], Arsenal (qualified as best performance by a club in the 2011 Copa Sudamericana not already qualified).

In terms of all-time Copa libertadores appearances, the 2012 Copa Liberadores will mark the 2nd appearance by Godoy Cruz, the 2nd appearance by Arsenal de Sarandi, the 4th appearance by Lanús, the 13th appearance by Vélez Sarsfield (who have won 1 Copa Libertadores title, in 1994), and the 23rd appearance by Boca Juniors (who have won 6 Copa Libertadores titles, their last in 2007).
2011-12 Copa Libertadores‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

From Youtube.com, posted by giovar94, a 13-minute video compilation of the best goals in Argentina in 2011 – this video is incedible – ‘Especial Tyc sports 2011 parte 8 [Mejores goles Argentina]‘.
[Thanks to the Guardian Sport Blog for the above link {see this}.]
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Photo credits (stadium photos on map page) –
All Boys/Estadio Islas Malvinas, somosracingrc.com.ar.
Argentinos Juniors/Estadio Diego Armando Maradona, ca.bestpicturesof.com.
Arsenal [de Sarandi]/Estadio Julio Humberto Grondona, Hopp Hard Ingo at europlan-online.de.
Atlético Rafaela/Estadio Nuevo Monumental, atleticoesrafael at panoramio.com.
Banfield/Estadio Florencio Sola, estadiosargentinos.wikispaces.com.
Belgrano/Estadio El Gigante de Alberdi, fercabc at en.wikipedia.org.
Boca Juniors/ Estadio Alberto J. Armando (aka ‘La Bombonera [the Chocolate Box]), estadiosargentinos.wikispaces.com.
Colón/ Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López, goolvinotinto.blogspot.com.
Estudiantes/, estadiolp.gba.gov.ar.
Godoy Cruz/Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, tiki-taka.org/forums/index.php/topic/12586-copa-america-2011/
independiente/Estadio Libertadores de América, InfiernoRojo.com via elgrancampeon.blogspot.com.
Lanús/Estadio Ciudad de Lanús, Hopp Hard Ingo at europlan-online.de.
Newell’s Old Boys/ Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, newellsoldboys.com.ar/institucional/elclub/.
Olimpo/Estadio Roberto Natalio Carminatti, aurinegro.com.ar via fussballtempel.net.
Racing/Estadio Presidente Perón (aka ‘El Cilandro’), racingclub.com.ar via es.wikipedia.org.
San Lorenzo/Estadio Pedro Bidegain (aka ‘el Nuevo Gasómetro’ (the New Gasometer), footballzz.com.
San Martin (SJ)/Estadio del Bicentenario, karawang.us.
Unión [Santa Fe]/Estadio 15 de Abril, eltope at panoramio.com.
Tigre/Estadio José Dellagiovanna, Gabriel Sabugo at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estadio_Coliseo_de_Victoria
Vélez Sarsfield/Esadio José Amalfitani, juststadium.com.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en. and es. and de. wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Argentine Primera División season‘.
Thanks to NordNordWest for the blank map of Argentina.
Thanks to Sam Kelly at Hasta El Gol Siempre and at the Hand of Pod podcast (link to it here at SoundCloud).

December 9, 2011

UEFA Champions League: 2011-12 Knockout Phase (16 teams), location map with attendance data.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,UEFA Champions League — admin @ 9:31 pm

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UEFA Champions League: 2011-12 Knockout Phase (16 teams)

Nine clubs return to the Round of 16 – Milan and Inter from Italy, Arsenal and Chelsea from England, Real Madrid and Barcelona from Spain, Marseille and Lyon from France, and Bayern Munich from Germany. Serie A (Italy) boasts the most clubs, three. Two clubs each come from England (the Premier League), Spain (La Liga), France (Ligue 1), and Russia (the Russian Premier League). The Republic of Mancunia boasts none, with both Manchester United and Manchester City flaming out and going into the ‘penalty’ league (to use SAF’s words)…’Shut it, Fergie! Platini hits out at United boss for calling the Europa League a ‘penalty’‘ (DailyMail.co.uk).

This is the first time into the Round of 16 for four clubs – APOEL (Cyprus), Basel (Switzerland), Napoli (Italy), and Zenit (Russia).

The matches for the Round of 16 will be in February and March, with first legs on 14–15 & 21–22 February, 2012; and second legs on 6–7 & 13–14 March, 2012.

The draw will be held on Friday 16 December…
Group winners go into one pot…Bayern Munich, Internazionale, Benfica, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, APOEL, Barcelona.
Group runners-up go into the other pot…Napoli, CSKA Moscow, Base, Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, Marseille, Zenit [St Petersburg], Milan.
From UEFA.com, from 9 Dec., 2011, ‘Last 16 await Friday’s draw‘.



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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 UEFA Champions League

Thanks to European-football-statistics.co.uk for 2011-12 attendance figures.
Thanks to Soccerway.com for current attendance figures.
Thanks to Football-lineups.com for Portugal attendance figures.
Thanks to Izumi.com for the photo of Allianz Arena.

December 6, 2011

NFL, 2002 Season: map with helmets.

Filed under: NFL>2002 helmet map,NFL/ Gridiron Football — admin @ 9:21 pm

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In 2002, the NFL added its 32nd franchise, the Houston Texans. And also that season, the NFL also underwent its most extensive re-alignment of its divisional format since the AFL/NFL merger of 1970. In 2002, in place of the 6 divisions, 8 divisions were instituted – 4 in the AFC and 4 in the NFC.

The major changes were:
-Seattle Seahawks switched conferences, to the NFC (NFC West).
-Arizona Cardinals moved from NFC East to NFC West.
-newly-formed AFC South comprised of Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans.
-newly-formed NFC South comprised of Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
-both the AFC Central and the NFC Central were renamed AFC North and NFC North.

The scheduling format was also tinkered with. One of the new elements that was long overdue was the elimination of the situation where teams were often playing every team in the other conference more than every team in their own conference. A team could actually go on forever not playing a team in their own conference if they finished, year-in, year-out, in certain places in the final standings. It was a pretty basic and glaring flaw. Another scheduling modification in 2002 was the drop from 4 games to 2 games per team that were scheduled the following season based on final standings. In other words, since 2002, good teams have not been punished with as tough a schedule the following season; and poor teams have not been rewarded with as soft a schedule the following season. And wins per first-place teams has increased since 2002, as the second link coming up shows (at the [1]-footnote below). First link is to the en.wikipedia page on the ‘2002 NFL season/Expansion and re-alignment [see third paragraph and down]‘…
Here is an excerpt from that Wikipedia article…”The league also introduced a new eight-year scheduling rotation designed so that all teams will play each other at least twice during those eight years, and will play in every other team’s stadium at least once. Under the new scheduling formula, only two of a team’s games each season are based on the previous year’s record, down from four under the previous system (the previous system also used standings to determine interconference match-ups). An analysis of win percentages has shown a statistical trend upwards for top teams since this change; the top team each year now averages 14.2 wins, versus 13.4 previously.[1]…”(end of excerpt).
[1], from June, 2008, from MIT-alumni-run site called The Fount.info ‘16-0: The myth of Perfection ‘.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII [Super Bowl 37], which was played in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium.
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Thanks to misterhabs.com/Helmets, aka Helmets, Helmets, Helmets site. At that site I got most of the helmet illustrations on the 2002 map; some helmet illustrations I found at each team’s page at en.wikipedia.org… ‘National Football League‘.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘National Football League‘.

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