Casino Royale is either the fifth Bond, or the first Austin Powers movie. The soundtrack album by Burt Bacharach is considered by some audiophiles to be the greatest recording of all time. Listen to: Casino Royale with Herb Alpert, and The Look of Love with Dusty Springfield.
Hampden Park as it was configured the last time Rangers and Hibs met in the final. Source.
It's the Scottish Cup final: Rangers vs Hibs. For the first time, two second-flight clubs meet in the national cup final. (But it's not the first time anywhere in the world, or even in a long time: FC Tokyo and Kyoto Sanga played in the 2011 Emperor's Cup final while they were both members of J2.) Take it as proof that the Championship is a good league.
It's only the second meeting of Rangers and Hibs in the final. The other occasion was May 1979. The teams played two 0 - 0 games before Rangers won it 3 - 2 in the second replay. Nowadays there are no replays in the Scottish Cup final.
The Cup final went to three games three times in the early years of the 20th Century. In 1903 Rangers beat Hearts in three. In 1910 Dundee beat Clyde in three. In 1908 the fans rioted at the end of the second game and the cup was not awarded to anyone.
Rangers last appeared in the Scottish Cup final in 2009, Hibs in 2013. If Rangers win they will become the first team to win the Scottish Cup, the Championship title and the Challange Cup all in one season, and probably the only one ever. If Hibs win, it will be their first Scottish Cup win since 1902.
Each side took two wins in Championship play, but Rangers knocked Hibs out of the Challenge Cup.
This is Rangers' first game since May 1st. Hibs played on May 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, and 13th.
It's also the FA Cup final today: Crystal Palace [1 - 2] Manchester United.
Do the Scottish Cup and the FA Cup often end on the same day? About half the time.
Which Scottish club and which English club have won the cup in the same year most often? Rangers and Arsenal, five times: 1930, 1950, 1993, 2002, 2003. Did they ever win on the same day? Yes. May 4, 2002.
Rangers and Manchester United have won in the same year four times: 1948, 1963, 1996, 1999. On the same day? Not yet.
[That's because Hibs win3 - 2. In the year hibsing it came into popular usage (meaning to collapse inexplicably) Hibs end their 114-year Scottish Cup drought.]
[Today was also the final of the Coupe de France. Paris Saint-Germain beat Marseille 4 - 2.]
Meanwhile, Premiership playoffs, the finals:
Leg one (Thursday): Falkirk 1 - 0 Kilmarnock
Leg Two (tomorrow): Kilmarnock [4 - 0] Falkirk
Kilmarnock enter the playoffs with two losses and a draw in the month of May. Falkirk have two wins and a draw.
Kilmarnock's playoff history: In May 1906, Kilmarnock faced Port Glasgow in a one-game playoff. Both clubs had finished the season with 20 points, good for 14th place in Division One. Port Glasgow won 6 - 0.
New Morton strip. On Tuesday Morton unveiled their 2016-17 home kit, and it was awful. A day later the club withdrew it. On Friday the club announced that supporters would be able to vote on a slate of designs. The vote will be held May 28th to 30th, so as to meet the SPFL design deadline of June 1st.
The Europa League final was played May 18th. Liverpool 1 - 3 Sevilla. Sevilla specialize in winning this cup. The tournament began back on June 22nd, 2015, and the next one begins June 20th, 2016. Eleven months out of twelve it's Europa League season. But no single club participates over eleven months. The early entrants usually crash out by the end of the group stage in December, and the eventual Cup winner might not join till the Round of 32 in February. Still, in 2013-14, Sevilla joined in the third qualifying round on August 1st and won the tournament on May 14th, nine and a half months later.
Also May 18th, its was Ottawa Fury 0 - 2 FC Edmonton in the Canadian Championship preliminary round, second leg. Ottawa win on aggregate and move on to face Vancouver.
Also May 18th, AFC Champions League, Group of 16 (first leg):
Urawa Red Diamonds 1 - 0 FC Seoul
FC Tokyo 2 - 1 Shanghai SIPG
Yesterday in the FAI Cup second round it was UCD 4 - 3 Bray Wanderers.
It's the final of the Federation Cup in India: Mohun Bagan [5 - 0] Aizawl
Also: Kilsyth [1 - 2] Largs. [Largs earn promotion to the West of Scotland Super League Premier Division.]
Today is Grunnlovsdag (Constitution Day). Norwegians go around in bunad, or traditional costume, and celebrate their independence. The image above depicts The Battle of the Square, May 17, 1829, in which the authorities of the United Kingdon of Sweden and Norway tried to suppress the holiday. Source.
Blaublitz Akita are* a soccer club playing in Japan's J3 League, the third flight of Japanese football. Their hometown is Akita, Akita Prefecture, in Tōhoku. The club was founded in 1965 as TDK SC, the company team for TDK the magnetic tape manufacturer. They joined the JFL from the Tōhoku league in 2006, took on their present name in 2010, and were admitted to J3 in 2014.
Blaublitz is German for Blue Lightning. The team colour is blue. The ferocious dude on the emblem might be in reference to Japan's oldest kabuki theatre, the Koraku-kan, which is in Kosaka, Akita Prefecture. The club badge would fit right in on the side of a bottle of alcohol, some kind of milky vodka drink perhaps.
Blaublitz's ground, Akita Municipal Yabase Football Stadium, holds 4,992, which is 258 less than the capacity of Stranraer's Stair Park.
Blaublitz is** one of three J3 clubs located in Tōhoku, along with Grulla Morioka and Fukushima United.
Blaublitz are currently 1st in J3, one point up on Kataller Toyama who are newly relegated from J2. Today Blaublitz host Kataller. [Akita 1 - 0 Toyama.]
*Plural in British English. **Singular in North American English.
League One play-offs, finals, second leg (yesterday):
East Stirlingshire 0 - 1 Edinburgh City
Edinburgh City are promoted to League Two, and East Stirlingshire go down to the Lowland League. Edinburgh City are somewhat tenuously connected to the Edinburgh City who were league members in the 1930s. After they folded, an amateur club carried on the name, and granted it to Postal United FC in 1966. So they might be a newco or they might be an an oldco. I could refer to them as New Edinburgh City, which is a very slightly amusing joke if you're from Ottawa, Ontario. It will be interesting to see if the Shire make it back quickly, or go the way of Old Edinburgh City, or perhaps become the first fourth-tier/fifth-tier yo-yo.
League One Play-offs, finals, first leg (Tuesday):
Clyde 1 - 3 Queen's Park
Second leg (yesterday):
Queen's Park 0 - 1 Clyde
Queen's Park are promoted to League One.
Clyde's playoff history. Clyde finished 9th in the 2007-08 First Division. They defeated Alloa and Airdrie to stay up. In 2013-14 Clyde finished 4th in League Two. East Fife (9th in League One) beat them.
Queen's Park's playoff history:
2006-07: defeated Arbroath and East Fife to move up to the Second Division.
2008-09: lost to Stenhousemuir.
2009-10: lost to Arbroath.
2010-11: lost to Albion Rovers.
2011-12: lost to Stranraer.
2012-13: lost to Peterhead.
2014-15: defeated Arbroath, then lost to Stenhousemuir.
Championship Play-offs, finals, first leg (Wednesday):
Stranraer 1 - 1 Ayr United
Second leg (today):
Ayr United [0 - 0] Stranraer
[Ayr win on penalty kicks and are promoted to the Championship.]
Ayr United's playoff history:
2008-09: defeated Brechin and Airdrie to get into the First Division.
2010-11: defeated Forfar and Brechin to get into the First Division again.
2011-12: lost to Airdrie.
2013-14: lost to Cowdenbeath.
Stranraer's playoff history:
2014-15: lost to Forfar.
2013-14: lost to Dunfermline.
2011-12: defeated Queen's Park then Stirling Albion to get into the Second Division.
2007-08: defeated Montrose, then lost to Arbroath.
2006-07: lost to East Fife.
2005-06: lost to Partick.
Premiership Play-offs, semi-finals, first leg (Tuesday):
Hibs 2 - 2 Falkirk
Second leg (Friday):
Falkirk 3 - 2 Hibs
Falkirk advance; Hibs are in the 2016-17 Championship.
Falkirk's playoff history: The Bairns played their first playoffs two Mays ago. After finishing 3rd in the Championship, they defeated 4th-place QoS in the quarterfinal, then lost to Hamilton in the semifinal.
Largs Thistle 2 - 0 Greenock Juniors
Lowland League Cup final: East Kilbride 0 - 0 Gretna. EK win on penalty kicks.
Canada. Wednesday it was FC Edmonton 0 - 3 Ottawa Fury in the Canadian Championship preliminary round, first leg.
India. Wednesday it was Mohun Bagan 0 - 3 South China in the last game of the AFC Cup group stage. Yesterday was the second leg of the Federation Cup semi-final: Shillong Lajong 0 - 0 Mohun Bagan. MB advance to the final.
The I-league season ended three weeks ago. It's so short I missed the event. Mohun Bagan finished second behind Bengaluru. I'm going to have to follow the club again next season to make a proper job of understanding Indian football. The key component, I think, is the Calcutta Football League, where Mohun Bagan play in the fall.
Faroes. On Thursday it was AB 2 - 3 B36. Tomorrow it's B36 [3 - 1] B68.
Ireland. Friday it was UCD 3 - 1 Cobh Ramblers
Sweden. Östersund [2 - 0] Goteborg
Turkey. This is the last weekend of the schedule for Karşıyaka. They visit Altınordu AŞ. [Altınordu win 3 - 1. Karşıyaka finish 18th, and are relegated.]