Sunday, November 11, 2007

Are you ready for some football? U-NI-TED



For those who get this blog by email or who have trouble seeing the football field, here's the link http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=52.20627&lon=0.155812&z=19&l=0&m=a&v=2

Most of you reading this blog probably haven't played all that much with the satellite image map in the right column. It's from wikimapia, the same folks who bring you wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Basically, it's a stunningly clear satellite image on which people can mark objects and attach descriptions of comments (A nice blog entry explaing some basics is here. I simply like zooming in and out of Cambridge, looking at the aerial view of things I normally see from ground level. For example, when I looked at our house, I noticed the image was taken right at the start of construction of the new apartments across the street--the site is cleared but no building yet.

In any case, one day I was looking at Coldhams Common, a parklike area where the recreational leagues play soccer. Since I didn't quite know where the fields were I looked at the wikimapia and was amused to find an American football field marked off next to the soccer fields. After a bit of Googling this morning, I discovered there's a British American football league and our area fields a team, the Cambridgeshire Cats. They apparently play during the summer--their last game was a few weeks ago--so I'll have to wait til 2008 to attend a game and report back.

For those following the Amber Wave, the UK form of football, KT and I yesterday attended Cambridge United's amazing come-from-behind victory, 2-1, over Aldershot ("Sit down! Shut up! Aldershot!" was one of the non-obscene Cambridge chants). This was the first round of the FA Cup, which is England's famously democratic tournament where almost any team in the nation can qualify and play against the big boys, even Premier League teams like Manchester United. Cambridge had won its qualifying matches and drew a home game in the first round, the first FA cup match at home in many years. They also drew Aldershot who happen to be the top team in our own league. It was a very entertaining match and today at 5pm they draw for who plays who in the next round. The Premier League teams get byes for another round, I believe, but Cambridge could certainly play a team from the league or two above. Sometimes the lower league teams make quite a run. It would be like a single A minor league baseball team ending up in the Major League baseball playoffs, or George Mason University making the Final Four in college basketball. Hope for a miracle (and another home game)!
--jt

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