25 August 2006

Being silly about the Champions League draw

Comments like those following will probably anger some people and cause them to say that I'm just a silly American who doesn't appreciate football. Well, that used to be the case, but now I'm addicted to what I'm in the habit of calling calcio, the rest of the world calls football, and silly Americans call soccer.

Nevertheless, the UEFA Champions League, even though it only includes European teams (despite the fact that it seems to be slowly encroaching on Asia, but I won't go into that), has a remarkable cultural and linguistic diversity. Enough so that from any one viewpoint it is possible to poke at least some fun at the conglomeration of letters and syllables that are the best football clubs of Europe. These teams might just sound a little silly if you're a native speaker of English.

Group Stage qualifiers

Sporting Clube de Portugal: Clube is a funny word. [Warning, linguistics dork moment ahead] Moreso if you pronounce it with the Portuguese bilabial fricative as their Wikipedia entry indicates you should. Best way to approximate it without resorting to the IPA is "kloobth."

Galatasaray SK: Galaxy Ray? Wasn't that the weapon on the Death Star that could blow up planets?

FC Shakhtar Donetsk: FC ShockTarts 'n' Donuts. Mmm...donuts.

FC Steaua Bucuresti: Reminds me of the Animaniacs episode when they try to pronounce the vowels AEIOU all as one word.

FC Dynamo Kyiv: Naming your soccer club "Dynamo" is like having your college mascot be the Bulldogs.

Benfica: Far, far too close to the Italian for "good pussy."

Ones that didn't make the cut

All these teams were knocked out in the third qualifying round and are thus playing in the first round of the UEFA Cup.

FK Crvena Zvezda: I call it Red Star or Stella Rossa. There are way too many Vs and Zs otherwise.

Fenerbahçe SK: Gesundheit.

FK Rabotnicki: Sadly, FK Snively didn't place high enough in the league for a spot in Champions qualifying.

...and I know I shouldn't go as low as to humiliate the teams that were eliminated in even earlier rounds, but I can't resist:

MyPa: Despite being knocked out of Champions League, MyPa is still looking forward to it's annual derby with YoMama.

No comments: