Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Lucky Few

It's Christmas in June.  Soccer fans throughout the world are holding their breaths just a bit today, ready to exhale for an entire month.  I am, for lack of a better term, excited.  But if you have a better term please send it in.  My symptoms include dry mouth, perspiration, and a complete inability to work.

The World Cup is March Madness in June.  That is if March Madness were an international affair pitting the top athletes in their sport against each other every four years.  So yes, World Cup is better than March Madness.  That should say something to those nay sayers out there.  Especially since I used to loathe futbol.

But now I am part of the lucky few.  I am aligned with those in this country that can witness and marinate in the greater picture that is soccer.  I was once befuddled by those that could sit around and watch a game that had no score for an hour and a half.  Now I know the answer to that question is easy.  You sit and watch.  Once you do so, you will never look back.

My arguments were the same as yours.  The scoring is too low.  Well that's a very American thing to say.  Sometimes the foreplay is just as tantalizing as the act itself.  In soccer the build up of a potential goal is like an hour with a beautiful woman.  Except if you're me, you are drinking beer and the room probably smells like carnitas.  I am talking about the game watching not the being with a woman...but the same for that too.  Either way the passing and movements in open space are like poetry. That is of course if poetry was awesome.

What else?  Oh yeah the flopping.  I can't help this.  I hate it.  You hate it.  The players feel foolish doing it.  Its a necessary evil that more people should just accept.  Running around for ninety minutes is tiring. So if there are no timeouts in this sport, why not just fall down and say "Hold on a fucking second, I'm Super winded over here."  I can deal with that.  I think I might employ this tactic in my daily life, perhaps after reaching the top of a flight of stairs.

Then there is the possibility of a game going to kicks.  This is another acceptance that one has to make for a game that already takes from every player all they can muster.  When running for 90 minutes does not give us a winner, the players will run for thirty more.  If they still have none they can either run for a little more and make a complete mess of the field or they can just kick the ball and call it a day.  I hate that this happens, but really there is no other way.

But in the arbitrariness of the free kick is the justice of it all.  Both teams get a coin flip.  The rest is left up to fate.  I like that idea.  Let's let some magical mysticism decide the game.  I guess.  I'm sure I will still be pissed in the end.  But here's to the journey.  That is all soccer is after all.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


There is one case where tie does not go to the runner.  It is when the pitcher of record is working on a perfect game and it is the ninth inning.  That being said Jim Joyce missed an obvious call to rob Armando Gallaraga of a a perfect game. Don't believe me? Check here.

Basically in the ninth inning of a perfect game, all players are secretly telling themselves, "please don't hit it to me, please don't hit it to me."  Now Joyce has given us, "Please hit a fly ball, Please hit a fly ball."

I just checked and "My Bad" does not sufficiently cover it for apologies.


ESPN re-aired Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals. Being a Laker fan, I appreciated this memorial as much as remembering when I shit my pants in kindergarten...OK, first grade.

I came to a revelation. The Lakers were grossly over matched in 2008. I just didn't see it then. Let's start with Paul Pierce in the first game. If you recall he broke his knee. So much so that he had to be carted off with a look of despair and pain. He grimaced like he had been shot in the leg. But then as if a brilliant ploy, of which I am sure there was none, he comes out of the locker room skipping. Pierce basically came out like Daniel Laruso in Karate Kid. Although please recall Laruso was limping after. Pierce was not. So the Lakers lose the match up between athletic trainer Gary Vitti and whatever magical potions and/or small Japanese janitors they have behind their locker rooms in Boston.

We also lacked depth. Ronny Turiaff was in the game with the Lakers down six in the fourth quarter in game 1. That is my only argument.

I also realized that the finals are quite over before they even start. To prove this all one has to do is witness the glory and splendor that is NBA officiating. Its the only sport that it's audience brazenly declares that you get "calls" at home. Where in any sport is this so prevalent. A foul is a foul and it is only less of a foul if you are a home team in the NBA. The Lakers have four games at home this series.

So who wins? With questions on one side about injuries and the other about age, this series will come down to who has to go deep into their bench early and often. If Brian Scalabrine gets more minutes in the series than Adam Morrison then the Lakers are looking good. Here is to hoping Morrison keeps on those warm-ups.