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Filling The Void

Filling The Void: Entertainment AND Education

Revisit the 2009 Final of a competition that has had its ups, downs, and rebranding, over the years in an attempt to stay relevant

Carling Cup Winners 09 by James Kieran Nguyen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Filling The Void: Entertainment AND Education

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Having a hard time with this whole “social distancing” thing? Yeah – us too. Especially when it comes to the lack of sports. So, we here at The Turf thought we’d offer a way to help ease the pain and suffering. While we may not have any of the current sports leagues to watch live, there is PLENTY of archive footage available at our fingertips. We’ve scoured the internet and assembled some of the most iconic, noteworthy and remarkable sporting events we could find. We also found some mundane, run of the mill matches and contests, that seemed banal at first watch. However, at this point, we’ll take anything that resembles sports, right? Each day, we’ll feature one of the contests and provide you a link where you can relive the glory, exhilaration, and thrill from the comfort of your couch.

A Lesson in History and Business

As with pretty much every professional sport, soccer is a business. Sure, it’s also entertainment for those of us who follow the sport or even just watch it casually, but make no mistake – it is a business and the almighty dollar (or British Pound, or Euro, or Peso…. you get the idea) rules the roost.

Today: Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur – 2009 Carling Cup Final

Today’s offering is one of those referred to above as “mundane” or “run of the mill” in the sense that there’s nothing exceedingly special about it. It’s essentially “just another game”. Yes, it’s the Final of club competition in England – but that’s about it. I enjoyed the viewing mostly because I’m a Manchester United fan and got to watch a match I hadn’t previously seen. It gave me the chance to see players I’d not seen in the United jersey before – or players who now wear other jerseys that I’d forgotten had called themselves “Red Devils” at one time. This match even went to penalty kicks – only the third time it had happened in the final of this particular competition at the time.

“Show Me The Money!!!”

While I enjoyed watching the game (and I promise you will too – it’s a great back and forth between formidable opponents), I found the research I did for this article just as fascinating. The sport (and the business of it) are a huge network/web of competitions – ranging from the ultimate worldwide tournament (The FIFA World Cup) to the smallest of professional leagues domestically around the globe.

A quick internet search led me here, to the competition site. It’s now called the Carabao Cup – though when this particular match was played it was referred to as the Carling Cup. If you are curious about the history of this particular tournament, I highly recommend the read. You can also check out the Wikipedia page, which gives a glimpse into the business side of the sport (touching on the origins and motivations behind the creation of the competition in the first place).

Reading about the background reminded me of a piece written by Kevin Morin, where he explores steps that could be taken here in the United States to potentially improve and expand upon the framework we have for the sport in our country. It’s a great piece and full of conversation starters that hopefully will give us “soccer junkies” lots to discuss as we continue our “social distancing”.

See You Tomorrow. Stay Safe. Stay Smart. Wash Your Hands.

Joe is an actor who grew up eating, living and breathing sports. He spent many an afternoon on the soccer or baseball field in his youth (and even gave several other sports a shot) before a series of events put him on the path to pursuing a performing career. Subsequently, he's worked almost every other type of job you could imagine while trying to support that endeavor. Whenever he's not working any of those jobs, he can often be found watching, playing or discussing sports in some way. Most of that banter revolves around the Mets, Giants, Rangers or Manchester United. His short term goal is to fully convert his fiance into a rabid sports fan, not someone who leaves the room whenever he turns a game on.

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