One of the unfortunate consequences of following European soccer is you need to waste a lot of brain space trying to remember all the unique competitions that unfurl on the continent. For instance, last spring one of my co-workers asked me what exactly the UEFA Cup was. It was a bit of a head scratcher. It's easy to explain the Champions League, maybe not the qualification process, but the tournament proper. But the UEFA Cup? There isn't exactly a North American counterpart to Europe's second-tier club competition. (Let's not even begin to try to understand the InterToto Cup.)
Anyways, things got even more complicated today when the UEFA Cup was rebranded the UEFA Europa League. What's that line about prettying up a pig?
For some reason methinks this name change is going to take a long time to stick, sort of like how people still call it Division I-AA college football instead of the Playoff Subdivision, or whatever it's officially known as.
The UEFA Cup isn't all bad. It can produce some good soccer and interesting cross-national matchups. It's a shame the new competitions format will still include the parachuting in eliminated eight Champions League third-place group finishers in the knockout stages.
It does bear noting that the Europa name change isn't unprecedented. A couple years ago NFL Europe rebranded as the totally different NFL Europa. Yeah, that worked out pretty well, right?