CONCACAF, everyone's favorite soccer federation, announced today that they are "increasing" the prize package for the 2016-2017 Champions League. A total of $1.2 million will be divided as such:
- $500,000 for
Club Americathe tournament winner.
- $300,000 for the runner up.
- $200,000 a piece for the two losing semifinalists.
While those numbers may not seem like that much, it's certainly a huge improvement from last year where there was exactly $0 in prize money (I was personally amused by them using the verb "increase" in the press release). Putting things further in perspective though, it's got a really long away to go compared to UEFA's Champions League, which handed out around $100 million to Real Madrid as the winner. In fairness, Real is over $750 million in debt, most of it due to the amount of hair product that Ronaldo requires.
As a reminder to those of you who haven't memorized the format of Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (TM) tournament, it is played in two phases between the "best" 24 clubs in CONCACAF: a group stage from August to October, and a knockout round from February through early May. The competition winner not only takes home a decent amount of bacon, but it gets the honor of trying to lose with dignity at the FIFA Club World Cup as CONCACAF's representative.
As a sports blogger and fan though, I'd like to skip past all of the "facts" involved in this, and get to wildly speculating what the Timbers should do with the money when they win the tournament. Getting my David Letterman on, here's my top 10; feel free to add your own in the comments.
How the Timbers should spend $500,000 from winning the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (TM)
1) A field trip for Lucas Melano to the back of the net.
2) Combating depression and other mental health issues by mailing a smiling picture of Diego Chara to every household in the US.
3) Installing an actual bar at Providence Park.
4) Hiring Jeff Gillooly to enact revenge on Nigel de Jong.
5) Fines resulting from bringing back the retro jerseys.
6) Taking Diego Valeri and his family out to literally any restaurant in Portland that isn't Piazza Italia. I'm tired of you eating the same food, and I'm not even the one eating it.
7) The future salary of the mystery left-back everyone says the Timbers are targeting.
8) You know how foam cut-outs of fingers in the "we're number one" shape was all the rage in the 90s? The Timbers should have a version of that with a chainsaw.
9) Creating a line of Fanendo Adi orthodontic products.
10) Physically throwing Seattle in an actual bonfire. If that's not possible, then just a free beer for everyone.