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Definition of Remontada
Remontada is a word of Spanish descent that means comeback or recovery. In the sporting sense, it means to claw your way back up from a deficit by acquiring goals or points. While the word hails from Spain, it came into consciousness among English-speaking regions during the 8th March 2017 game between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Three weeks prior to this game, PSG wrote off Barca in the first leg with a 4-0 win that outplayed them at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.
On that fateful day three weeks later, the brilliance of Lionel Messi and Neymar inspired one of the most astounding comebacks in history. During their home game in Barcelona, Barca was already at a 3-0 lead by the 50-minute mark. However, PSG’s Edison Cavani quelled their recovery mission with an away goal. By minute 87, the scoreboard was still the same, and Barcelona seemed to have an impossible challenge ahead of them. However, Neymar put them back on the map with a free-kick, and he also scored a penalty in the first stoppage time minute. Sergi Roberto hammered the final nail after 95 minutes, sending PSG home with a 6-1 score in what seemed to be impossible circumstances.
For days after the match, the phrase ‘La Remontada’ echoed across not only Spanish press but also global news outlets to emphasize the uniqueness of Barcelona’s remarkable achievement. To date, this feat remains the top Remontada for history books. There have been other significant comebacks in history, such as:
- In 2005, when Liverpool clawed back up from a 3-0 first-half defeat by AC Milan and equalized by scoring three goals in the second half. They went on to win the tournament through penalties.
- When Barcelona beat Liverpool 3-0 in the first leg of the 2018/19 Champions League semi-finals, only for Liverpool to turn it around and beat the 4-0 in the second leg.
- When Spurs overcame a 0-1 first-leg deficit to Ajax by beating them 2-3 in the second leg. All three goals were a hat-trick by Lucas Moura, and he scored them all in the second half.
Definition of La Undecima
La Undecima is a phrase used to reference the legendary European club Real Madrid. La Undecima is Spanish that translates to the eleventh. In football, it referred to the team’s quest for an eleventh Champions League title.
Previously, Real Madrid had been chasing La Decima, which means the tenth, and they made it a reality in May of 2014. The club beat Atletico Madrid to claim the Champions League title for the tenth time in the finale held at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon. Atletico was in the lead with a 0-1 score for most of the game, but Sergio Ramos equalized it with a powerful header during injury time and sent it into extra time. Gareth Bale delivered a powerful header that made the score 2-1 in the 110th minute. Marcelo and Ronaldo took advantage of Atletico’s distress and scored two quick goals that ended the game at 4-1. After setting a record number of ten Champions League titles, the team sets its sites on La Undecima.
Real Madrid had waited twelve years to earn the UEFA Champions League title for the tenth time, but they only had to wait for two to reach the eleventh one. On 28th May 2016, Real Madrid made history by beating the same rivals, Atletico Madrid, in the finals held at the San Siro Stadium. Sergio Ramos was also the shining man in this match and set the Los Blancos on the road to victory. Real Madrid beat Atletico 5-3 during a penalty shootout after the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
ROW in The Hockey World
ROW is an acronym used in hockey for Regulation plus Overtime Wins. In the National Hockey League, standings determine every team’s position. Teams win by accumulating the most points throughout the season to earn a place in the playoffs. Out of the many columns that show how teams gained points, some determine the position of teams with tied scores, and ROW is among them.
ROW was a column introduced in the NHL during the 2010/11 season to differentiate between the shootout and regulation/overtime wins. When several teams have the same points and regulation wins, the one with a greater ROW is given precedence and ranks higher. This column is a crucial tie-breaker for teams with equal points at the end of a regular season. However, in the 2019/20 season, the NHL added the Regulation Wins (RW) column, which is prioritized in settling tie-breakers.
The addition of ROW to the NHL came as a by-product of a 2005/06 rule change that saw tie games eliminated and replaced with shootouts. There was a lot of reluctance by teams to have matches won from shootouts, which was considered underhanded and gimmicky. Several seasons later, the league concluded it was better off separating team and shootout wins. Teams that won in regulation or overtime were given priority without changing the point distribution. The NFL awards two points to the team’s standing despite bow the win is acquired. ROW is the third most important way of settling tied teams, and it comes after RW.
Definition of Moneyline
Moneyline bets are considered among the easiest to place in all of gambling. Even if you are not gambling but are invested in a match or event, you have most likely made a moneyline bet. This stake consists of simply choosing the team or player to win. If the predicted results pan out, the sportsbook pays the due winnings. Simple. Unlike other wagers, there are no spreads, and this bet has only two outcomes to it. The real trick is understanding how the moneyline payout schedule works.
Sportsbooks usually list each team with odds depending on the real probability of the event’s outcome. On each side of the displayed figure is a (-) minus or (+) plus sign. The former is placed next to the team that has the highest chances of winning. The latter is awarded to the underdog team or player that is considered the most likely to lose. The moneyline bet options are often provided in low-scoring sports like football, hockey, and baseball. However, they can be added to widely popular, high-scoring games like American football.
The most straightforward way to understand how moneyline bets pay is by the use of example. For instance, Team A is considered the underdog and gets +200 odds. If you place a bet of $100 and they end up winning, the wager will pay $200 in profit. Therefore, the final cashout will amount to $300. Team B, which is determined to have better winning chances, can have -150 odds. Therefore, to get a chance at winning $100, you have to place a $150 bet. If they win, the final payout amounts to $250.
Definition of La Decima
La Decima is the Spanish term for ‘the tenth’ in English. This phrase is used in reference to Real Madrid’s chase for their tenth Champions League cup, which came to fruition in the 2013/14 season. Real Madrid is considered the top goal scorer in Spain and holds a top spot in the global squad. The team had won its ninth trophy in 2002, and it was not until twelve years and millions of dollars later that they got to accomplish La Decima.
Real Madrid achieved their long obsession with La Decima while playing against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League finale at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon. For most of the match, Los Blancos were overwhelmed by their city rivals with a score of 0-1. However, Sergio Ramos delivered an equalizing header towards the end of normal time. Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, the club’s two most expensive players, proved their worth and netted two goals in extra time. Marcelo Viera da Silva Junior also scored during extra time. Real Madrid overwhelmed its opponents with a 4-1 win.
After the La Decima conquest, Real Madrid set their sights on La Undecima, the eleventh Champions League cup. This time, they only had to wait two years to accomplish the feat, which became a reality on 28th May 2016. This match was also against Atletico Madrid and was played at the San Siro Stadium. Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Marcelo were the key players that made the decisive goals to cement La Undecima in history books.
Definition of Game in Hand
A game in hand is used to describe a sports team having played one less game than other teams it is being compared to in league competitions. For instance, if Team A is second in the English Premier League after playing 12 out of 38 matches and Team B holds the first sport having played 13 marches, then Team A is said to have a game in hand in comparison to Tottenham. Having a game in hand in nearly all cases is considered an advantage because the team has more chances to earn points and scale to better rankings on the league table. If Team A plays their eleventh game and win, they are likely to take the first spot from Team B. Teams can have multiple games in hand and sometimes be as many as three.
Definition of Past Post
Past post, also known as past posting, is when a stake is placed on a game or event that has already begun. This usually occurs because the bookmaker has made a mistake, often because of confusing the time when the event is supposed to start. Past posting is not like live betting because the latter is intentional, and sportsbooks make sure to change the odds to suit how the race, match, or event is unfolding. Past post bets commonly feature the same odds as to when the game began.
Since past posts are usually mistakes on the sportsbook’s end, there is no definite approach to dealing with the consequences. Often, when this happens, the situation is handled at the gambling den’s discretion. In some instances, the bookmaker will accept these bets and pay those that win, especially when the sports wagered on are not widely followed. In others, the casino will void the wagers and try not to pay them out. Some players escalate the situation to the necessary gaming authority, which can result in court cases. Such events are rare in online sportsbooks since most of them have ironclad terms and conditions in place stipulating that malfunctions void payouts.
A sportsbook in one such dilemma is BetMGM, which is currently debating whether to pay bettors that acquired $250,000 wins from past post bets. The Nevada Gaming Control Board, the body BetMGM is answerable to, does not have laws in place for such situations.
Definition of Knock It Out of the Park
Knock it out of the park is a popular English idiom that means to perform a task exceptionally well or acquire an extraordinary achievement. The phrase is used both in and out of sports. However, its origin is deeply rooted in sports.
Baseball is the most likely source of the phrase ‘knock it out of the park’ considering the basic parts of the sport. In the game, a ball is thrown by the pitcher to a batter whose job is to hit the ball hard using his bat. Ideally, the batter’s goal is to knock the ball out of the park (the pitch on which the game takes place). Hitting that hard would allow them to run all four bases safely and score a ‘run’ for their team. This feat is undoubtedly challenging to pull off and is one of the rare events in a season. Knocking the ball out of the park requires them to strike it exceptionally well. The near impossibility of performing such a stunt was adopted to explain when an extraordinary event occurs figuratively.
The earliest adoption of this phrase was in the 19th century, during which baseball had taken off as a wildly popular sport. The term was widely used in the baseball context, and it was later adopted in the literal context. Today, it is considered a common thing to say in the English language.
Definition of OTB
OTB is an abbreviation for ‘off the board’ or ‘off-track betting’ and is usually used by bookmakers. When an event is off the board, it means that it is not available to place bets on at the moment. In most cases, off the board games are usually listed as ‘Barcelona OTB’ with the abbreviation placed where the odds would ordinarily be.
Mostly, sportsbooks usually declare a game or event off the board for one of two reasons. The first one is if they have yet to figure out the line for the game. For example, football game lines are usually determined six days before the event takes place. Therefore, even if the semi-finals in the National Football League are concluded, and a date is set for the Super Bowl, the line will be off the board until bookmakers can decide where the opening line will be set. If you visit sportsbooks more than six days before the event, you will probably see OTB placed next to it.
The second major reason for OTB is when a bookmaker temporarily pulls the game due to an occurrence altering an already set line. For example, let’s say Barcelona is set to go against Arsenal in an important season game within a week. Barca opens as the most likely to win, and the odds are in their favour. During the next few days of practice, Lionel Messi strains his knee and is declared out of the match. This changes the game’s potential outcome, and bookmakers have to go back to the drawing board to adjust the odds since Messi is a vital player in Barcelona.
Definition of Knickerbocker
The word ‘knickerbockers’ has a long history that traces back to the 1600s. The term was used by Dutch settlers who came to New York to describe the kind of pants they wore. The pants rolled up to the knees and were also referred to as knickers. In the 19th century, the word was adopted in literature and used in popular novels. Knickerbocker was also used to describe a New Yorker who could trace their roots to Dutch settlers. Soon enough, it was used to describe anything that came from New York.
Knickerbockers was first used in sports in 1845 as the name for one of the first organized baseball teams that played with rolls similar to those used today. Alexander Cartwright was behind the team’s founding and named it the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club inspired by the Knickerbocker Engine Company No. 12, where he volunteered. Cartwright’s experience with town ball inspired many of the rules set for the game, an older game similar to baseball that he played around Manhattan. The new game became very popular among New Yorkers, and the first official game was played against the New York Nine.
An organization named Knickerbocker was created to regulate the sport. By 1958, the game was adopted across the United States, and the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed. The Knickerbockers started losing their influence, and the club died out in the 1870s. A century later, New York’s National Basketball Association team reclaimed the name to become the New York Knickerbockers.
Definition of Majority Draw
Majority draw is a term used in various full-contact combat sports such as mixed martial arts, boxing, and other sports contended by striking. A majority draw occurs when two of the three judges that determine the event’s results declare that neither of the fighters won by displaying tied scorecards. The third judge indicates a clear winner of the two fighters, with one of them having a higher scorecard. Accordingly, the result is declared as even since most of the judges see it as such despite one of them stating one of the fighters as the victor.
The majority draw is one of the rarest decisions given by judges in professional MMA or boxing. The only other ruling that is harder to come by is a unanimous draw where all three judges have tied scorecards, or a split draw, where two judges declare a winner of different fighters and the remaining judge scores a draw. Some prime examples of a majority draw include:
- When the YouTuber white-collar boxing match between Logan Paul and KSI ended, one judge scored 58-57 in favor of KSI, and the two scored 57-57.
- During Stephen Thompson vs. Tyron Woodley at UFC 205, two judges’ scorecards were a draw, and the third one scored 48-47 with Tyron Woodley as the winner.
- During UFC’s 256 between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo, one judge scored 48-46, and the other two scored 47-47. This event is set for a rematch at UFC 263.
Definition of Relegation
Relegation is often used by football leagues globally and is used to define the demotion of teams to a lower division. This works with sports that have a hierarchy of leagues. In the United States, each sport plays in one league, such as the NBA with football and NHL with hockey. However, in England, the Premier League is considered the top football league with several others beneath it, and it goes as follows from top to bottom:
- Premier Division
- League One
- League Two
- Conference North, Conference South
- Northern Premier Division, Southern League, Isthmian League
There are twenty Premier League clubs every season. The teams that end up in the bottom three divisions end up at the top of it are relegated to the Football League Championship. Three teams are taken from the league below and promoted to fill their place. The selected teams are the two in the Championship League, and a winner from a playoff ranked between third and sixth. Other leagues that apply similar relegation rules include La Liga, Bundesliga, France Ligue 1, and Serie A.
Relegation is an important part of football leagues because it maintains excitement at the bottom of the league throughout the season. In American sports, where bottom placement does not matter, fans only focus on the teams at the top, forgetting those at the bottom. However, with relegation, teams have to worry about their performance all year long to avoid being among the bottom three.
Definition of Sarri-Ball
Sarri-ball is a soccer-playing tactic invented by Maurizio Sarri, the current Juventus coach, a legendary team in his home country Italy. The system was first used during the S.C.C Napoli campaign for the Serie A cup in the 2017/18 season. The team did not win the title and lost to Juventus, but Sarri’s playing tactic was applauded and led to his attaining a lucrative contract in London.
The Sarri-ball system uses aggression, compactness, and high pressing on defense to win. The application of the tactic begins with the three players placed at the front tasked with pressuring the opposition to make a mistake, which might lead to an opening. The central midfielder is the key player, with five other players pivoting around him, making it easier to move around the field as a unit. The team has to stay compact and have a high defensive line while making the space between the front and back players as small as possible. The central midfielder and two center backs possess the ball as much as possible to lire in the opponent. Once they come in, the team moves in a fast and accurate break forward.
While Sarri-ball is effective, it also opens the team to many vulnerabilities, like the opposition taking advantage of the space left behind and running in to score. Therefore, players have to be at peak fitness, have optimum concentration, and use sharp passing patterns.
Definition of Calciopoli
Calciopoli refers to the 2006 scandal that rocked some of the biggest names in Italian professional football. The term can be translated to English as ‘Footballgate”, inspired by the Watergate scandal. It could also mean Footballvile. It was created by the media outlets by analogy with ‘Tangentopoli’. The scandal’s most affected professional football league was Serie A, and Serie B felt it to a lesser extent. Calciopoli was unearthed in May of 2006 when several telephone interceptions by the police revealed a messy deal between team managers, referees, and officials surrounding the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons.
Calciopoli was first uncovered when GEA World, the Italian football agency, ran investigations after newspapers published the recorded telephone conversations. Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo, Juventus’ general managers, were found to have liaised with officials to influence referee selections for the 2004/05 season. These appointments were to make favourable decisions to influence matches’ outcomes, which was considered match-fixing.
These events coming to light caused Juventus to be stripped of their 2004/05 champions title, and they were relegated to Serie B six points deducted. They were also placed last in the 2005/06 championship. Other major teams were involved in the scandal as well and suffered the repercussions. Lazio, Milan, and Fiorentina were downgraded to the last place in the 2005/06 season and relegated to Serie B. Milan lost three points while Lazio and Fiorentina lost fifteen. Regina was also relegated to Serie B, but the ruling was later handed down to losing fifteen points.
Definition of Hail Mary
A Hail Mary describes a desperate play in sports, especially American football, which has a minimal chance of success. It is associated with the Catholic Hail Mary prayer made to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, due to its small chances of success. The earliest traces of the expression date back to the early 1930s when Jim Crowley and Elmer Layden used it, former members of Four Horsemen, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football club. It was used to describe a long pass with a low probability of succeeding, normally of the alley-oop variety. The pass was attempted at the end of a half when the thrower’s team cannot execute any other play due to being too far from the end zone. For over four decades, the phrase was used in Notre Dame and other Catholic universities only.
Hail Mary gained popularity after the Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings NFL playoff game held on 28th December 1975. When describing his touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson that won the game, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach said that he said a Hail Mary. However, the most memorable Hail Mary moment occurred on 23rd November 1984. Boston College was about to lose to Miami with six seconds left in the game. However, the Boston quarterback Doug Flutie threw a touchdown pass that cleared 52 yards, winning the game. This move mostly succeeded because the opposing team’s secondary kept receivers in front of them on the goal line, leaving the post route open.
Definition of Scorigami
A Scorigami is a wordplay of score and origami that refers to a scoring combination that has never happened before. The term can be used in any sport or league, but it was coined to refer to American football, particularly the NFL (National Football League). It was coined by Jon Bois, an SB Nation sportswriter, when covering the 2016 season. Scorigami’s affiliation with American football more than any other sport is because its point values are unusual. Since the phrase was created, a program was developed to track every Scorigami in the National Football League’s history. By January 2021, 1066 such scores have been recorded, which Cleveland Browns being responsible for the latest one when they defeated Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37.
The Seattle Seahawks have the highest recorded Scorigamis in NFL history, mainly acquired when Pete Carrol was the coach, and he was even coined ‘the wizard of modern Scorigami’ by Bois. Between 2011 and 2019, the team has at least one recorded Scorigami per season. One such memorable score was when the Seattle Seahawks went against Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. The team won with a score of 43-8. Carroll proclaims he has no idea why they frequently score anomalies, but he is thrilled anytime they happen. In 2020, Major League Baseball also had its first Scorigami in 21 years when the Atlanta Braves scored 29-9 against the Miami Marlins.
Definition of Puck Line
The puck line is a term used in the hockey world, and it is the sport’s form of the point spread. In most cases, sportsbooks present gamblers with three standard betting choices when staking on major sports: the moneyline, the spread, and the over/under. The same case applies to hockey, but unlike most other sports, the most common stake is on the moneyline instead of the spread. You can still wager the spread in this sport, but it is referred to as the puck line instead.
The puck line is usually depicted as +1.5 for the underdog and -1.5 for the favourite. Such small figures are because hockey is a low-scoring game with a varying house edge depending on how even the teams are. If the puck line is placed on the favourite, it has to score more than two goals to win. If it is on the underdog, it has to either lose by one goal only or win.
One fine example is from the January 2020 game between the Capitals and Flyers. Capitals were the favourite team and predicted to win with -114 on the moneyline. The Flyers were the underdog with +104 on the moneyline, making the results a toss-up considering how close the odds were. On the puck line column, punters bet on whether the Capitals would win with two or more goals. Since this is stricter than just a win, the odds were +185. On the other hand, the Flyers puck line was listed as -225 since maintaining a score of one from the opposing team drives up the winning chances.
Definition of Blaugrana
Blaugrana is a popular nickname awarded to the legendary football club Barcelona. The name refers to the team’s jerseys worn when playing home games that consist of blue and red stripes. In Catalan, ‘blau’ translates to ‘blue’, and ‘grana’ translates to ‘white’. Therefore, in English, Blaugrana means the blues and reds. Barcelona has two other jersey colors to choose from (black and pink), and they are used during away games. However, the blue and red ones stand out from the lot.
FC Barcelona is among the most successful football clubs globally and has been running since 1899. Unlike most other teams, Barca is considered a symbol of Catalan culture, and its supporters own and operate it. With a worth of $4.06 billion, it is the fourth most valuable club worldwide and the richest one with an annual revenue turnover of more than €840 million.
Blaugrana also boasts a trophy case unlike most others with titles in every league they have played. At home, the team has collected 26 La Liga, Copa del Ray, 13 Supercopa de Espana, and other titles amounting to 74 trophies. In the international scene, the club has collected five Champions League, four Cup Winners’ Cup, and three FIFA World Cup titles. In its exhibition games against bitter rivals Real Madrid dubbed El Clasico, Barcelona has won 115 times. Individual players have also collected trophies of their won with a record number Ballon d’Or, European Golden Shoe, and FIFA World Player of the Year awards.
Definition of Opening Line
An opening line is the first set of odds or lines provided by bookmakers for an event. These odds paint a picture of how the linemakers think the game will pan out. The availability of opening lines varies from one sport to another. For games and events that are not closely followed, these lines can be provided even on the morning of the day they are supposed to happen. However, for popular sports, the opening lines are set a lot sooner. American football is among the many sports where opening lines are set. Setting this line early is critical for bettors that intend on handicapping their card. Usually, the opening lines for the National Football League and college football games are set on the Sunday evening a week before the event. Punters can then follow how the line is changing during the week’s course to see where big money is.
The opening line provides the first chance to place a stake. Professional and sharp gamblers are usually the quickest to jump on the opportunity since they consider it the sportsbook’s honest view on the game results. Regular bettors prefer to wait, with some staking just before kickoff to see if any incidences interfere with the game. In nearly all cases, the sharp gamblers get the best line with one or two points more than the rest. However, this does not make the opening line the best line to place bets. You would rather take time to educate yourself on the event and take a line later on than rushing to wager on the first one you see.
Definition of Designated Player (MLS)
As applied in Major League Soccer, a Designated Player refers to one of three players that are signed to a team and considered outside their salary cup. This is achieved by either footing their transfer fee or offering them higher wages. They operate under the Designated Player Rule put in place just before the 2007 MLS season kicked off, allowing teams to fish for star players in the international market. This rule is nicknamed the Beckham rule after star footballer David Beckham, the first Designated Player in the MLS. Beckham joined the league after signing a contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy that lasted five years and came with a guaranteed salary of $6.5 million annually.
In 2006, MLS capped player salaries at $1.9 million, and it was raised to $2.1 million and $2.8 million in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The figure was changed to $2.55 million in 2010 in an agreement between MLS and MLS Players’ Union to last until the 2014 season elapsed. During this time, the salary would increase by five percent automatically every year. Some of the Designated Player rules include:
- Each designated player received $335,000 of their pay is charged to the salary cap and footed by the league while the team owner covers the rest;
- Teams were allowed up to three designated players and cold trade their designated spot with another club;
- There is no expiration date on the rule.