Friday, August 22, 2008

Don't throw a bag or urine at us because we're beautiful

Found this over on TOR and thought it was worth a post.

I especially liked Deuce's contrast between playing in Europe vs. playing away in CONCACAF. Clearly there's more to it as those on the receiving end of racist taunts in parts of Europe could attest. Many say the issue is one of passion, and I think this is partially true, but mostly it all goes under the heading of "Contrasts (see "culture")". And this is a subject I have always enjoyed exploring. What do you think?

(I remember a baseball player once telling the story of playing in El Salvador or Nicaragua one time and getting a bag of iguanas thrown at them ON THE FIELD. Now that will get you into the clubhouse fast.) Read more!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Losing in the Olympics and other blessings, er, I mean curses

OK, I'm not afraid to admit it, when the US lost in the Olympics to Nigeria the other day, my secret thought was:

"Man, I can't get enough of that Natalie Coughlin...."

Er, um, I mean, my OTHER secret thought was "Well thank you Petr Nowak for delivering the coaching job I always expected of you. Now I get to have Stuart Holden and Pat Ianni back here in Orange that much faster."

So does that make me an unpatriotic swine? Go ahead, sling them stones at my glass house. I can handle it. The fact of the matter is that when Dynamo is not playing, I am all U-S-A!!! But during the season, I wind up dumping the red, white and blue for Orange faster than a Dutch fanatic. I can't help it. It's just the way my emotions seem to run.

Now, does that mean I root against the US? Heck no, I'm not THAT much of a scumbag. Winning the Gold Cup last year was beyond awesome. And if the US had advanced into the quarters in Peking (Oops, dating myself here), Beijing, I would have rooted for them. But admit it, how many of you watch these games rooting for the US but at the exact same time are praying to whatever happens to be your deity of the moment that your player, meaning your club's player, doesn't go down with some horrific injury? Let's be honest here.

ell, just as I find myself getting settled in to the idea that Holden and Ianni are coming back from that polluted sinkhole to my hometown polluted sinkhole (Hey, native Houstonian here. I can get away with that.), along comes the news that Brian Ching, the Flyin' (though easily grounded with injury) Hawaiian, has been called up to the national squad for the qualifier against Guatemala. And I'm not ashamed to say my first thought was "INSERT EXPLETIVE SERIES HERE!" Now he still gets to play for Dynamo Friday against RSL here at the Rob, but will miss next week's match against (Thank you Dan Loney for my all-time favorite putdown fake name for a team) Bizarro Chivas. Now las chivitas will be without Sascha Kljestan for that game as well, but still.

But of course, like so many other multimational clubs, we wait the call-ups for the Canadian National team. I fully expect that good-looking hirsute fellow to my left will be playing for Canuckistan, as well as one Mr. Patrick Onstad. Will this madness never end?

Oh, well, if you can't beat 'em... U-S-A!!!! (Just please don't get hurt Brian.) Read more!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Petr Nowak's Silly Olympics

I don't know about you, but somehow today, this just makes me think of Petr Nowak.

And then there's this one, which kind of summarizes the whole US Soccer effort, now doesn't it:

(Background music: Sportscast intro)

Newscaster: And right now it's time for athletics, and over to Brian Goebells in Paris.

Goebells: Hello, well you join us here in Paris just a few minutes before the start of today's big event: the final of the Men's-Being-Eaten- By-A-Crocodile event. I'm standing now by the crocodile pit where- AAAAAAHHHHH!

(FX: Crocodiles eating, French exclamations and sirens)

Newscaster: Ah. Well I'm afraid that we've lost Brian. While they're sorting that out, we have a report from Barry Loothesom in Lughtborrow on the British preparations for this most important event.

Loothesom: Here at Lughtborrow are the five young men chosen last week to be eaten by a crocodile for Britain this summer. Obviously, the most important part of the event is the opening 60 yard sprint towards the crocs. And twenty-two year old Nottingham schoolteacher Gavin Watterlow is rated by some not only the fastest but also the tastiest British morsel since Barry Gordon got a bronze at Helsinki. In charge of the team is Sergeant Major Harold Duke.

Duke: Aww, well, you not only got to get in that pit first, you gotta get EATEN first. When you land in front of your croc, and 'e opens his mouth, I wanna see you right in there. Rub your 'ead up against 'is taste buds. And when those teeth bite into your flesh, use the perches to thrust yourself DOWN his throat...

Loothesom: Duke's trained with every British team since 1928, and it's his blend of gymnastic knowhow, reptilian expertise and culinary skill that's turned many an un-appetizing novice into a crocodilic banquet.

Duke: Well, our chefs have been experimenting for many years to find a sauce most likely to tempt the crocodile. In the past, we've concentrated on a fish based sauce, but this year, we are reverting to a simple bernaise.

Loothesom: The British team are worried because Olympic regulations allow only the competitor's heads to be sauced. Gavin Morolowe...

Morolowe: Yes, well, I mean, (clears throat) you know, four years ago, everyone knew the Italians were coating the insides of their legs with bolinaise, the Russians have been marinating themselves, One of the Germans, Biolek, was caught actually putting, uh, remolarde down his shorts. And the Finns were using tomato flavoured running shoes. Uh, I think there should either be unrestricted garnishing, or a single, Olympic standard mayonnaise.

Loothesom: Gavin, does it ever worry you that you're actually going to be chewed up by a bloody, grey crocodile.

Morolowe: The only thing that worries me, Jim, is being the first one down that gully.

Loothesom: Well, the way things are going here at Lughtborrow, it looks as though Britan could easily pick up a place in the first seven hundred. But nothing's predictable in this tough, harsh, highly competitive world where today's champion is tomorrow's crocodile shit. And back to you, in the studio, Norman. Read more!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

How 'bout that American hero Stuart Holden?

LIke the commentator said, Marvell Wynne may have done the work on the flank, but it's only as good as the finishing. So my question is, just where has that left foot been all year Stu-boy? And, you do plan to bring it back to the States with you when you get back, right?


And here are some postgame comments:

Read more!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

An old-fashioned beat down

Just came back from the Dynamo/Columbus game. Like I said up top, an old-fashioned beat down. (Here's a running account from Bernardo Fallas.)

Columbus was not without chances in the second half, but that's why Pat Onstad, bless his 40+-year-old Canadian self, is still one of the top keepers ever to play in this league, to stop those chances cold, and in the most dispiriting fashion possible.

What might have gotten lost in the goal scoring and strong up front play was the play of Rhode Island rookie Geoff Cameron in central defense. Physical, aggressive, ranging all over the field, the young man is making a name for himself in this league. Alejandro Moreno in particular, while nursing his bruises tonight, must be thinking "What must I do?" Cameron, a third round SuperDraft pick mind you (which brings up a whole other discussion for another time on what is the SuperDraft really), is the real deal.

And if you missed it, here you go:

Read more!

Friday, August 1, 2008

OK, alright, maybe one of the best, flukiest goals of all time

What's Korean for "I don't believe what I just saw?"

Or better yet, what's the French for it, because it's clearly what's on the face of the Ivory Coast "keeper" here. Read more!

One of the worst back-passes I've ever seen and more reasons why I can't stand Lee Naylor

Boy, you see this and you just have to wonder what Paul Hartley was thinking. Obviously, he didn't see Bent, but if I were his youth coach, I'd of had to really calm down or li'l Paul's parents would probably have had me removed from the field!

And watching Lee Naylor screw this up is just reason No. 572 why I ended last season hoping I had seen the last of the guy in the Hoops. What the we ginger one continues to see in this guy is just beyond me.

Read more!