View Full Version : Is Gonzaga to College Basketball...

06-11-2008, 10:05 AM
...as Portugal is to European (or World) Soccer?

Both are small but always well-regarded and respected, but never quite the power of, say, Italy or France or Germany. But if taken too lightly, they will beat any country. And if they get on a roll, who knows? Look out. But they can be knocked out early if they don't bring their A-Game.

And even though Portugal has a good history and nice scenery, you don't often hear people wanting to visit Lisbon or Estoril or any particular place in Portugal... Instead, it's always London, Rome, Paris, Athens or Barcelona.

But, to me, it seems Gonzaga basketball = Portugal soccer and other aspects. The potential is there but hasn't quite reached the highest status. Yet.

Your thoughts?

06-11-2008, 10:08 AM
SO who is Cristiano Ronaldo?

I vote Morrison I mean they two are almost identical.

But on todays team Austin Daye for sure, all sorts of wow factor.

06-11-2008, 10:12 AM
Is this analogy foreshadowing for a Zag preseason Portugal trip?

06-11-2008, 10:27 AM
First off I absolutely love that we have a thread that relates to EuroCup on this board.

I don't think Portugal is the right comparison, becuase although they are a smaller country, they do not have the "underdog" tag that GU tends to have. In fact they were known as a perennial underachiever, until the last 8 years when they have really begun to emerge as one of the world power's. However, the talent was always there, which I don't think is true of GU. I'm not sure who to compare GU to, as it is so rare for a truly unknown team to make a huge impact over a long period of time in soccer (although Greece won Euro 2004 at 80-1 odds)

06-11-2008, 10:41 AM
I do, however, find myself always pulling for Portugal, just like many neutral fans pull for Gonzaga. I can't think of a better comparison. Like I said, Portugal can beat anybody but only if they bring their A-Game. They can also lose early to anyone. It seems there is less margin for error with Portugal as there is with the Germanys and Frances of the soccer world.

06-11-2008, 11:23 AM
Maybe Mexico instead. Good squad, dominates their league/federation with only the occasional hiccup (the US), some good showings in the big show a while back, but a notch below the European and South American elites.

But I hope they are Portugal, or maybe the Dutch- they're much sexier analogies.

06-11-2008, 11:56 AM
They also come from a non-BCS league and have never actually won a major tournament, though of gone relatively deep on a couple of occassions.

06-11-2008, 12:58 PM
Please, no soccer references. Using the word soccer tends to attract an undesirable element to the blog. Next thing you know, we will be discussing tennis and polo ponies.

GU is to NCAA BB as the Texas Rangers are to MLB. Both teams have had considerable individual talent over the years. Both teams attract loyal (perhaps fanatic) fans. Both teams have had highly respected coaches / managers. Neither team has been able to climb the mountain to ultimate tournament / playoff success.

[I was also thinking of using the Mariners as my example, but they suck so bad this year I don't want them mentioned in the same sentence as the Zags]

06-11-2008, 01:15 PM
I'll stick with Portugal.

I was thinking maybe Switzerland or another smaller (but good) country that plays good soccer. But Portugal seems to fit best.


06-11-2008, 01:37 PM
And Switzerland just got eliminated....so lets stick with Portugal

06-11-2008, 01:57 PM
And Switzerland just got eliminated....so lets stick with Portugal

Definitely. Portugal sounds cooler anyways.

06-11-2008, 02:24 PM
Portugal is much cooler then the Swiss, although not quite the level of my favorite team in the world, the Romanians, who are also taking part in the tournament.

Also for 75Zag. I know that many people do not appreciate soccer, and I really can't blame them because of what is usually on TV in this country. But if you get a chance to watch any of this tournament, I really believe you might start to enjoy the sport. This will be the highest quality player's in the world playing in one of the most important tournaments in the world.

06-11-2008, 03:00 PM
I'd say Croatia. They had a great run a few years back (2004 Olympics?) and are always considered to be competitive. There's only 4.5 million people in the entire country, but they're consistently competitive at the world stage. I'd say we compare with them pretty well.

06-11-2008, 03:04 PM
Portugal has produced numerous individual players who have had great professional careers. Gonzaga has Stockton. They both are fun to watch, but they share nothing else in common IMO.

06-11-2008, 03:06 PM
I like to compare GU with Arsenal since they both have an attractive, free-flowing style of play.

06-12-2008, 08:05 AM
Croatia, and the nations formerly known as Yugoslavia, have produced some great players. I actually considered Croatia before listing Mexico, but decided they'd be the equivalent of a fourth or fifth best team from, say, the ACC.

As far as style of play, it would be the Netherlands at the international, and Ajax at the club level. There's no argument from me on Arsenal as they use the concepts of total football (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Football) developed at Ajax.

From wiki:

In association football, Total Football is a system where a player who moves out of his position is replaced by another from his team, thus retaining their intended organizational structure. In this fluid system no footballer is fixed in his or her intended outfield role; anyone can be successively an attacker, a midfielder and a defender.

Total Football's tactical success depends largely on the adaptability of each footballer within the team. It consists of footballers being extremely tactically aware, allowing them to change positions at high speed — in its simplest terms, every player is comfortable in any other position. It also puts high technical and physical demands on the players.

Zag 77
06-12-2008, 08:20 AM
It is not fair to compare GU to chronic soccer underacheivers like Portugal, Mexico and Spain.

Better to compare us to teams that surprisingly get to the later rounds against all expectations like the US or South Korea in the 2002 World Cup or Greece in the 2004 Euro.

06-12-2008, 08:34 AM
South Korea, Greece, US, Cameroon, Denmark = Valparaiso, George Mason, Davidson, NC St., Bucknell

Cinderella stories.

The Zags have shrugged off that label. Some may choose to see them as underachievers and some may see them as solid.

06-12-2008, 10:22 AM
I just returned from Croatia.

It gets my vote: small, Catholic, rabid fans, giant slayers.

Go Hrvatska!

Zag 77
06-12-2008, 12:07 PM
I must say that the Croatian Checkerboard uniforms are pretty cool and unique.

06-12-2008, 01:02 PM
After slaying the mighty Germans today (the favorites to win this year's Euro Championship), I feel that we compare well with the Croats. The team colors match as well.

Idi Hrvatska!!!