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What is the TOOTBLAN of soccer?

I'm on a quest.

Elsa/Getty Images

In another part of my sports life, I sorta dabble in the sabermetric side of baseball. I'm not nearly as immersed in it now as I was five or seven years ago, but I still believe that stats are very useful in understanding sports, and I believe that when married with the old school eye test, they can definitely help people follow the game better.

Wait! Don't run away! That's not really what I'm here to talk about! I swear!

Anyway. I was watching the Mariners play the Astros last night, when I saw Astros player Jose Altuve commit a fairly fundamental baserunning effort and get thrown out at second. The details aren't important - he thought there was more time, there wasn't, and he was out fairly easily. It's a garden variety play, happens fairly frequently. Up until a couple years ago, this was basically called a baserunning blunder, and that was that - but then, somewhere, some enterprising stat person decided that, since one of the keys to a successful baseball team is the ability to get on base, you're kind of a dope if you get thrown out stupidly like that.

And just like that, this enterprising person coined what I believe to be one of the greatest phrases in sports - Thrown Out On The Bases Like A Nincompoop. Why is that phrase so great? Because its acronym is TOOTBLAN. TOOTBLAN is one of the best descriptors ever coined - it's so perfectly awesome, and all it takes is seeing a TOOTBLAN once before you see one, nod knowingly, and think TOOTBLAN every time you see one.

Baseball is, of course, a very stat-friendly sport, full of acronyms - ERA, BB, K, BABIP, OBP, SLG, etc - but no acronym is better than TOOTBLAN. TINSTAAPP is kind of a close second, but it's a much more abstract concept (There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect) and thus lacks the immediate punch of a good, solid TOOTBLAN.

As I was watching this most recent TOOTBLAN, I thought to myself, hey self? Soccer needs better acronyms. They don't even need to be stats-related; soccer acronyms could relate to a single play or a common series of events, anything that would lend itself to a catchy acronym like TOOTBLAN.

So, Short Fusers, I'm throwing this open to you. This season's toast; we're all tired of thinking about the games. So let's think about something fun. Let's find soccer's TOOTBLAN*. What do you have?


This tweet appeared a bit ago and it's pretty much perfect:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you COOPLAFT. Can you do better? Because TSF is totally going to make COOPLAFT a thing.

*bonus points from Travis if you can make it spell Flamini**

**but it still has to be a real gameplay-related thing - I'm not running a Make Flamini's Name A Funny Unrelated Acronym thing