Sunday, June 27, 2010
As far as the US in the 2010 World Cup, in all seriousness and as a non-Soccer fan I view their run as a failure. They went 1-1-2 in what many considered the weakest group on paper. For Tech fans .500 might be acceptable, not for Americans. If not for a last minute goal that was dramatic albeit involved a 10 yard unimpeded shot that a 10 year old could execute, the US would have been heading home without a win. If not for that goal, the signature moment would have been a tie with an England team that was slaughtered by Germany in their knockout game. In 2002 the US advanced to the quarterfinals. If I was a US soccer fan 8 years after that finish, I would be extremely disappointed with this World Cup.
Finally, I will be glad to see this event end. ESPN has force fed this stuff for the last month for ratings. I think they might have driven away some people who might have been attracted otherwise. If your hobby, sport, or form of entertainment is good enough for you then thats all that matters. I know nobody really cared about Georgia softball other than myself and Anymouse, and that was because of his love affair with Megan McCallister, but I'd rather watch 1,000 softball games than 1 soccer match. And maybe I shouldn't have wanted the US to lose but this crap has taken way to much time away from talk about whether Christian Robinson or Daryl Gamble should start. The United States has a whole bunch of high level sports to offer that are more exciting and entertaining to the general public. The majority of the rest of the world has little other than soccer to offer and is why the worlds game is just that. But the US is awesome because it has more and better to offer its citizens. When Georgia plays Louisiana- Lafayette there will be 92,000 people in attendance and 10 times as many people at Coaches' for a meaningless non-conference game in which everyone knows the outcome than the biggest soccer match in US history .Soccer, just like olympic sports, will always struggle to gain attention on a regular basis in this country. And at the same time, the US will struggle to compete because the best, fastest, and strongest athletes we have to offer will play the sports that ESPN covers 365 days a year, not 4 weeks every 4 years.
That said, here goes.
Soccer is dumb. It is too slow and soccer fans remind me of post-'04 Red Sox's fans. I didn't know either existed (soccer fans OR Red Sox's fans) until about 6 years ago. In the US, soccer is the flavor of the month and every Joe Blow wants to pretend like they completely understand the game and they have never been able to live without it. There is also the issue of trying to force it down your throat.
This weekend, I was put in a situation where I had no option other than to watch the US match with strangers in a Villa (Yea, I said Villa) in North Georgia. My dislike for soccer was voiced early and after an incredible goal scored in the game before the US game one of the lifelong soccer fans that I was hanging out with looked over and said something along the lines of "is that exciting enough for ya?". I conceded that it was an incredibly athletic move and it was rather exciting. I later got to thinking that it was probably as exciting as one of Lebron's dunks or one of Dwight Howard's blocked shots, which happens at least every game**.
All that said, I am glad the US did as well as they did. Not because I love my country or anything foolish like that. Instead, its because nothing good ever came from being spiteful.
*Snuffy, send me your new address and I will put a check in the mail today.
**I mention this story to highlight some soccer fan's attitudes toward non-soccer fans, not to debate whether soccer is more exciting than any other sport.
I like soccer. I play a lot of FIFA, and I watch soccer from time to time on television. I watched the World Cup in 2006, and I've seen at least part of almost every game this time around. Enthusiasm for the sport has obviously grown in the past decade. The United States won their group. They made it farther than France and Italy. We lost to an up and coming Ghana team in extra time of the knockout stage. The guys on the team proudly represented their country.
The blog has caught World Cup fever. Barstool is on bridge-watch today. By tomorrow he will realize the United States can be proud of what they accomplished, and he will enjoy the rest of the Cup. Still, he will wonder what might have been. Shane hates soccer, but he has discovered that it's a good excuse to daydrink. He said it best the other day, "Be excited that you live in a country that is badass in everything." Mouse takes soccer for what it is, roots for the US in the Cup, and catches every MLS match during college football season just go get Rick. Jack, Rick, and Patrick don't like soccer. They do not enjoy watching soccer. They are probably sick and tired of people trying to get them to open up to a sport they've never cared for. Just like they don't tell people to sit around and care about US luging, they don't want to be told that they should like soccer. I might be way off with people's respective thoughts about soccer, being patriotic, and the World Cup, but I feel like this is a pretty basic summary of our feelings. Please tell me if I'm way off.
(Lebron James is the best basketball player on the planet right now. No honest, aware person who follows the NBA would argue this. Kobe is a great, great player. He is a better shooter than Lebron right now. But if you're picking a 5 on 5 game for your life and Lebron and Kobe are there, you pick Lebron. He's a better defender; off the ball and on the ball. He's a better shot blocker and rebounder than Kobe. He attacks the basket better than Kobe, and he's a better finisher. He's stronger, quicker, and faster. Lebron is a much better passer. Kobe is a better 3 point shooter and free throw shooter than Lebron; he is not a better closer or better in the clutch than Lebron. He has a better supporting cast which gives him more freedom- 1 on 1 matchups, the ability to get more shots, and guys who will pick up the slack when he goes 3 for 13 in the first half during a game 7.)
People across the world debate who's better all the time, Kobe or Lebron. Both of them play in the United States and for the United States. Also playing in the NBA and for the US national team are Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Dwight Howard, all of who I would argue are better than Kobe right now but that's for another day. My point: if you want to root for something the US is the best at and beats the hell out of other countries in, it's basketball.
How much of the basketball did Rick, Patrick, and Jack watch of the 2008 Olympic games? Probably not that much. Maybe Jack watched some; I don't know and I don't care. There's nothing wrong with not liking something. I watched every minute of every game and I loved it. Does that make me patriotic? No, it just means I like basketball and watching guys compete for their country. If other people don't like that, then it doesn't make them anti-American. It doesn't make me better for watching it, either.
And Joe- we own basketball. We have owned basketball, and we will continue to own basketball. Since 1936 our men's national basketball team has competed in 16 Olympics. We've won 13 of 16. We placed second once and our two disasters came in 2004 and 1988 where we won bronze.
In 2008 we went 8-0 with an average victory margin of over 25. We beat the Argentinians by 20 in the semis. We beat Spain twice, by 37 and by 11. We have the best players in the world and luckily, proper coaching and organization in place. So as long as our best NBA players are proud to represent their country, which they currently are, then we will dominate every damn Olympics from now until 3012.
So what's my point to all this? I think we should try to win em all in everything. I hope we win the World Cup in 2014, and I'll watch every game. I can't wait to watch Lebron and Chris Paul dominate France in 2012. I rooted my ass off for the US when they almost beat Canada earlier this year in hockey. For mine and Bill's sake, I hope we win every women's volleyball medal the next time they play. But I won't watch because I dislike volleyball, and I won't tell other people they're wrong for not watching. And even if I think someone is missing out by not watching Lebron pin people and dunk on foreigners, I think it's only the right thing to do not to look down on someone or call them stupid for not wanting to watch a sport they don't enjoy.
Schiv and Joe, I know yall haven't promised harm (at least not yet) to Rick if he doesn't watch the next World Cup. There are going to be people though will try to tell him he's wrong for not watching, and the whole thing will annoy the shit out of him and many, many other good Americans. I can see where he's coming from, and I'll laugh every time he rips on soccer, the Cup, or US soccer players, because it's funny. Maybe something will happen where he will find a reason to watch and root for the US in the next World Cup. Maybe not. But you can't blame a guy for being happy something is over, when it's constantly on tv and tons of people he doesn't like try to tell him he's wrong for not liking it.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
With recent FB statuses , "the yanks are coming" and "Landon, you complete me", Bryan is about as hip as it gets. He has sported his Donovan jersey downtown and introduced many of us to the Beer Monster. Pretty cool. He has repeatedly attempted to convince us to like, I mean, watch soccer. While he been unsuccessful in doing so, his ability to fight the good fight is only one of the many of the things which endear him to us.
I couldn't tell the difference between Daniel Hurley and Schiv my first few years at BC. Luckily, Daniel has his head shaved now and Bryan continues to wear his hair perfectly messy. Trips to Christy's now come only 3 times per year: Christmas, the week before Cowboy Ball, and March 16th. Senior year at BC, Bryan began to blossom with teacher feuds, the microphone at basketball games, and being one of the only 4 people at BC football games. He was one of the lucky few to be in the same JROTC class as Chris Collins, Logan Beytagh, and a handful of other fine cadets which made that class my favorite of all during high school. Later, Bryan would go on to join the Mouse and myself in my favorite college class. Our field trip across Georgia the day after St. Patrick's Day remains the least favorite memory of my college life.
Contrary to popular belief, the ability to make Shane look like an idiot is not the only reason I like Bryan. For the last year, Schiv has hounded us about giving the World Cup a chance. He thinks it is the best and has given us many reasons to watch us. Luckily, this has only been going on for a year. Since Bryan's freshman year at Georgia, he has fought a similar fight with Benedictine. The Order heard way more BC stories than I'm sure they cared to hear. Many go away to college, become important, and return only at St. Patrick's Day to show their new friends how cool the parade is. Bryan went away, became important, but never became that guy, instead choosing to hang out at Rue Bourbon for the better half of a decade with KA's and Savannah people alike. Most of the guys he's brought to Savannah have been a lot cooler than him anyways.
Career highlights for Schiv include multiple intramural tennis and soccer championships, a 3 on 3 football championship, an 03/04 basketball championship, and Katie Crider. Besides these things, Bryan has studied politics for six years now and is one of the best people I know to talk politics with. He's educated and aware enough to know that people's different experiences allow for different feelings in the both. Most importantly, he can discuss important issues without talking down to you. Such a thing is quite refreshing in this current political climate. For all these things and for all the fun times we've had which are too hot for OIA, I say, Happy Birthday, Schiv.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Ric Flair vs. Cristiano Ronaldo
Flair: 6'1" 245 lbs.
Ronaldo: 6'1'' 165 lbs.
Winner: Ric Flair (Bigger's not always better but in this case it is- that's what she said)
Flair: Professional Wrestling
Winner: Ric Flair (Wrestler's don't just run around kicking a ball; stifle your sexual insecurities some time and watch it- you'll see the big difference)
Flair: State Amateur Wrestling Champion; Played College Football at the University of Minnesota
Ronaldo: Played soccer all his life
Winner: Ric Flair (Flair's more diverse and has played tougher sports)
Flair: Nature Boy, Slic' Ric, Space Mountain
Ronaldo: Ronnie, Rocket Ronaldo, CR7
Winner: Ric Flair (Ronaldo's nicknames show zero creativity)
Flair: Charlotte, North Carolina
Ronaldo: Funchal, Madeira
Winner: Ric Flair (Easy choice- Charlotte is in the USA, the greatest country EVER; I have no idea where the f*** Funchal is and I didn't think it was worth my time to look it up)
Worst Injury Suffered
Flair: Broken Back at the age of 26 after surviving an airplane crash in 1975- doctors said he would never wrestle again; 35 years later he's still the man.
Ronaldo: Sprained Ankle from getting kicked in the shin October 2009; out for a month and returned to play in Novemeber 2009
Winner: Ric Flair (There's not a shin guard big enough to protect Ronaldo in a plane crash)
Drink of Choice
Ronaldo: Juicebox (orange flavor)
Winner: Ric Flair (Bourbon St. doesn't have $1 juiceboxes)
Winner: Ric Flair (You do the math: 16>9)
Female Sexual Partners
Flair: 4,000 (In 1986 alone)
Winner: Ric Flair (These numbers are just rough estimates based on research)
Supports Gay Marriage
Ric Flair: No
Winner: Ric Flair (Homosexuality is a sin, it's in the Bible; I don't make the rules, God does)
Hall of Famer
Ric Flair: Yes- Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008
Winner: Ric Flair (Once again simple answer- one's a legend as voted on by his peers, the other is not)
Ric Flair: Beating Harley Race for his 2nd NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a Steel Cage at Starrcade '83: A Flair for the Gold
Ronaldo: Winking at Wayne Rooney in the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals
Winner: Ric Flair (Harley Race is one of the toughest SOB's to ever walk God's green earth; he would never wink at an opponent, he'd just kick their ass)
Last but certainly not least...
Based on their mic skills, who would you pay money or flip the channel to watch? Be honest with yourself.
So there you have it. Ric Flair stands victorious once again. Was there ever any doubt? I say no. What say you?
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
My apologies for missing Wednesday...
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
You might not like him, but I do...
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Friday, June 04, 2010
-- I may not be rocking and rolling in Athens like Patrick and Rick, but I guess this is the next best thing. Watching Georgia athletics and having a Terrapin or two should make it feel a little like Athens tonight.
-- You'd think Georgia would have it pretty easy after handling the best player in the country last night, but it looks like Tennessee's pitcher is going to be at least as tough tonight. She shut out Arizona, which scores like 8 runs a game, yesterday and shut Georgia down in the SEC tournament.
-- McCloud looked like Georgia's third-best pitcher last night, but what do I know? She's starting again.
-- Savannahian Watch: Dotson pops out on the first pitch, and a ridiculously easy first inning for Georgia. Again, what do I know?
-- It makes me feel really old when the announcers talk about college athletes who "grew up watching" sporting events that happened in 2005.
-- Evidence that these softball teams must be really quotable: One analyst's favorite quote of the week was "It's anyone's game."
-- Georgia puts two on with one out and gets nothing. The way Renfroe has been pitching for Tennessee, that really hurts.
-- And John Wooden just died, so I'm breaking news in here, too, tonight. Does this make Mark Fox the world's greatest living basketball coach now? I'm not sure if that sentence was in poor taste or not.
-- Actually, play-by-play announcer, it probably is a coincidence that the school at which Wooden coached has more national championships in all sports than any other school. His titles helped, I'm sure, but unless he invented water polo and volleyball, it is a total coincidence.
-- Quick hook for McCloud: a walk and two wild pitches to start the second.
-- Not good. Tennessee up 1-0 on another wild pitch/passed ball, this one from Arevalo. Then an infield single and a ball off the pitcher's glove. Then a hit batter. Oh boy.
-- Another run on another wild pitch, and they get out of it. Tennessee up 2-0.
-- That shot of the body-painted Georgia students gave me a thought: Do we have any evidence that JJH4 isn't actually in Oklahoma City right now?
-- Georgia catches a break of its own with a single on a dribbler....Dramatic strikeout call there, ump....Second and third, top of the order up, runner thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch...and, another rough half-inning.
-- Savannahian/Control-Problem Watch: Dotson hit by a pitch to lead off the third...A bunt single, and another pitching change. Ugly start, to say the least...Owen, the third pitcher, hits somebody herself. This is unbelievable.
-- Next pitch grand slam. Now that was unbelievable.
-- So it's 6-0 now with Georgia coming up in the third, and I'm not sure they've got a fourth pitcher they can go to if need be. And the announcers are right: getting thrown out at home with Schlopy up was brutal.
-- Nothing is going Georgia's way right now. Goler smokes one right to the center fielder. It's not crazy to start thinking about the run rule at this point. Not being cynical. That's just how this sport works.
-- Savannahian/Run-Rule Watch: Dotson singles and goes to second on an error after a lead-off triple. 7-0. She's stranded at third.
-- Maybe this is nitpicking, but play-by-play announcer, every SEC school that plays softball can take recruits to a big stadium on fall Saturdays and then show them the softball facilities. Then again, maybe high school girls are just really into checkerboard end zones.
-- Georgia loads them and scores on an infield single, but that's it. And yeah, that might be it for Georgia, too. That's seven stranded runners that come immediately to mind.
-- I didn't know John Wooden had such a profound effect on the sport of softball. Let me be clear: I'm not trying to disrespect someone on the night he died, but these people don't have to try so hard to make an event like that central to their Friday-night softball telecast.
-- And it's still 7-1 going into the bottom of the fifth. It's hard to imagine Georgia is going to get many more chances like the ones they've had.
-- A rare strikeout for Goler on a questionable call, but Wiggins eventually comes around on an error. It seems like everything Georgia does is with two outs, and another strikeout ends the fifth. 7-2.
-- I can't wait for the complaints tomorrow about how long this post is.
-- Savannahian Watch, Pt. 4: Dotson slaps her way on with one out, but no damage done. You've got to give Owens credit. She's done a hell of a job outside of one pitch. That was one massive pitch, but still.
-- Not much to say about the sixth. Georgia gets one on, but with two outs and it's still 7-2. Two-three-four due up in the seventh, at least, if Owens holds here.
-- Nice double play to get out of the seventh with two on. It's easy to play the what-if game in any situation, but it's hard to believe this thing is one pitch away from being 3-2.
-- At least they didn't wait for two outs to get a couple runners on, and a three-run homer to make it 7-5.
-- Hesson follows with a one-out single, but Renfroe gets the next two. Just wasted too many chances the first few innings, even with that disastrous wild-pitch fest earlier.
-- The loser's bracket scenario is almost impossible. Win tomorrow and twice on Sunday to make the final. I've got no idea who's playing who, because the NCAA's bracket and the other stuff I'm reading don't match up.
-- I thought about typing some more filler to get it over with and make this post take up the whole page. But I'll just end it here. Just know that this was as fun for me to write as it was painful for you to read Saturday afternoon. 10-6.
2. I'm sure y'all stayed up for the softball game last night. Another late start tonight against the Fightin' Dotsons. I'm thinking about a live blog, but I'm worried I'll run out of steam after about two innings.
3. Speaking of live blogs, I've gotten a little World Cup fever this week. It all started with Joe Posnanski's great profile of Landon Donovan in Sports Illustrated. Not a bad few weeks here with the World Cup along with the NBA Finals, college baseball and the Braves looking like the '27 Yankees.
4. I don't know what this is supposed to be, but I love it.
5. A great music year for me (new DBT, Hold Steady, The National, Gaslight Anthem, Jack White) gets better with a new Ryan Bingham record due this fall.
And on the subject of Ryan Bingham, I can't post the song of the century too many times: