Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If Strange Hairstyles Were Worth Points In The Premiership . . .

. . .then Manchester City would be breezing towards the title. Let's look at but three of the players over at Eastlands.

1) Blumer Elano (a bit unfair to include him, as he hasn't seen too much playing time of late and is undoubtedly being shipped out in January) and his white feller cornrows.

2) Jo, Brazilian striker or Buckwheat impersonator? First with his hair very poorly cornrowed, and then au naturel. 3) Stephen Ireland, the former Irish international and owner of some very peripatetic hair. The first picture is from 06, the second from 07, and the last from 08. It seems that in 2006 his hair began the long migration from the back of his skull to his jaw line, arriving there in 2008. Also note the presence of pre-cornrow Elano and faux-hawked Robinho in the last picture. For the strange saga of Stephen Ireland - who is having an outstanding year for City and has been a real pleasure to watch play - start reading here.



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Serie A Quote Of The Week

"I must admit I have a dressing room curiosity over Beckham . . . I want to see if he is equipped as he is in the Armani underwear adverts."

Marco Boriello, AC Milan striker and apparent package gazer, speaking on David Beckham's loan move to the Italian giants. This is probably more a case of poor phrasing than actual excitement over seeing Beckham's package. After all, Boriello does know this girl, Belen Rodriguez:

Believe it or not, this is not Boriello's first member-related news story. He once famously claimed he failed a drug test because the day before the test his girlfriend, pictured above, had rubbed cortisone lotion on his twig and berries before sex.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The German Christmas Pickle

Ever see one of these things in a store or on a Christmas tree and think, wtf? Placing a pickle ornament on the tree is said to be an old German tradition but nobody can quite explain why. As it turns out, nobody in Germany has ever heard of it either.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Correction

Samichlaus is 14 - 15% alcohol by volume, which makes it come in at a whopping near 30 proof. They used to have it at the Waterfront Ale House here in the city.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa Claus Beer

It's called Samichlaus, and it's the strongest beer in the world. Brewed only one day a year - December 6th, St. Nicholas' Eve - in a single brewery and then left to stew in cold storage for 10 months, Samichlaus is 15 proof. If by some miracle you can find it at your local bar, buy it. If not, you can order it here - http://www.internetwines.com/rws28827.html.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mirko Vucinic Jumps Out Of His Pants

After scoring the last gasp winner for Roma against Cagliari over the weekend. Why he did this, nobody knows.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rudolph, Exposed

In England, at the Body Worlds exhibit.

The Actual Cost Of The 12 Days Of Christmas

Each year PNC Bank calculates the actual cost of The 12 Days Of Christmas. For instance, what would 10 lords a leaping cost in 2008 dollars, and then what would all the items cost combined. This year it's a bit over $21,000. Click here for the link.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Georgie The Belfast Boy

Can't embed this one for some reason but here's a clip of George Best for you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeFIWJYg5BE

Weird European Christmas Traditions And More

Hi everybody! It's me. I've been gone for a long time because I realized that with scant exception, nobody really gives a poop (more on that later) about what bloggers have to say. Of course, that's not universally true. My buddy Swandad is a great exception. He runs a fine blog that a ton of people like and enjoy, me included. But he is surely one in a thousand. For the rest of us, nobody cares about our thoughts on life or food or anything (especially religion and politics). If somebody did, we'd be paid to share those thoughts. Those views on Sarah Palin or Joe Biden, those thoughts on the meaning of life, those announcements of what you believe, tales of what you ate for breakfast, well, I hate to break it to you but nobody cares. I'm the guy telling you that you have a giant boogie hanging from your nose.

So, this blog is now OPINION FREE! It'll just be a link to other things or a display of pictures and videos and such. I find a lot of this as I trawl the web so this is where I'll put the stuff instead of emailing people the links, items, whatever. I report, you decide. Those of you who feel obliged to do so may continue to spew your personal electronic diarrhea all over the internet.

OK. Now, let's get to some good links. Today's theme - awful European Christmas traditions. All courtesy of Der Spiegel Online:
Austria's Terrifying Christmas Demon

Black Pete: Holland's Heart-Warming Tradition Of Christmas Slavery

El Caganer - Catalonia's Very Poopy Christmas



Monday, November 3, 2008

Mark The Date

Rarely, if ever, do I get a laugh out of Saturday Night Live anymore. And Ben Affleck receives more than his fair share of derision. I remember a few years back at the White House Correspondents Dinner when Jay Leno suggested that Affleck borrow the bomb sniffing dogs working the event to sniff the scripts on Ben's desk. But behold, reader, a new day is dawned. Ben Affleck was pretty good on this past SNL. This bit is stupendously funny.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Maradona

The greatest player of all time, good friend of noted human rights and free speech activists Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, and former huge fan of Colombian exports, has been named head coach of the Argentine national team. I get the distinct feling this won't end well. His whacky antics don't exactly give you the feeling that he would be a stable coach. Pele, the Brazilian goal machine who found international stardom after escaping from a Nazi prison camp, must have felt Maradona was getting too much attention so he offered a bit of an underhanded congratulations.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Night Video

I was going to post a video of Don Mattingly but it seems that MLB corporate has cleaned Youtube of any videos of Mattingly playing. I can understand protecting your property but they go too far. You know at the end of a game when they say something like, "Any rebroadcast, reproduction, or description of this game without the expressed written consent of MLB is strictly prohibited." Do you know that, in a very technical reading of the rule, you are prohibited from talking about last night's game at the water cooler without getting MLB's permission? It's crazy. I'm going to have a glass of milk and go sleepies.

Thoughts On Chelsea-Liverpool

Sadly, after much research, I found that we cannot have an outcome in which both teams lose today. It's not even been too fun to watch (20 minutes are left).

Every time I watch Chelsea or England my dislike for Ashley Cole grows (as I write this, he just absolutely whiffed on a shot in the 73 minute). His contempt for the referees is absolutely disgusting. Incredibly, the only player I think is consistently more disrespectful than Cole is his partner on the Chelsea back line. That would be John Terry. Why aren't these guys shown more cards?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ah, The Rooney

1-1 currently between Everton and United at Goodison Park. Former Everton starlet and current United megastar Wayne Rooney has been working under a hail of boos every time he touches the ball. His response after receiving a yellow after a hard tackle - to face the Everton faithful and kiss the United badge on his jersey. I love it! Anderson on for Park. Good grief this kid is good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jon Stewart

Anybody else take a look at page 106 of the just released Erdos And Morgan Opinion Leaders Study? No? Well, I'm going over it now and while I'm delighted to see that my group is ranked as one of the 25 most influential media in terms of influencing Congress, I am a bit embarrassed to find The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on the same list. Hey, no slap here at Jon Stewart. He's got a funny show. But what does it say about America that his show would in any way influence our legislative branch? How is it possible that that show is on the list but The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, and The Nation are not? Hey, Congress, absolute shame on you for taking this show seriously. Among other things.

This Day Is Called The Feast Of Crispian

Not today, actually. Saturday is St. Crispin's Day. A day that, like the days of many saints, would have been largely forgotten were it not for its mention in what is probably the greatest bit of writing Shakespeare ever gave us. Here then, let's watch Kenneth Branagh as King Henry V giving the famous Crispin's Day speech in the 1989 film Henry V.

Click here for the text of Act IV, Scene III.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cacka Dookies In The News

You both know me - I'm all about preserving this planet. I dutifully recycle as told (though I question its actual net gain for the environment), consume as little as possible, buy locally whenever I can, etc.. I, like all of us, have a deep vested interest in doing this because there's actually no place else for us to go once this world is shot. But in their race to institute environmental change, large segments of the "green" movement are moving further and further away from practicality and honesty. They seem to be more concerned with doing something that suits their purposes rather than doing something worthwhile for all of us. Look at this load of shit (literally) from England. The greenies fell on their face when they set out to prove that washable diapers are generally better for the environment than disposable ones but they refuse to admit they were in fact quite wrong. And in this instance by "they" I mean the English government. It's absolutely shocking. Add this to the mountain of policies inflicted on us all that basically say, taxpayer, go fuck yourself.

This Sporting Weekend

That's certainly more like it United! The good guys thumped West Brom 4-0 on Saturday. Rooney is in supernatural form lately, and it looks like Berbatov might be finding his touch again too. Look out world if Sir Alex has a collectively in form four man front of Rooney, Tevez, Ronaldo, and Berbatov. It's going to be devastating.

Yesterday I had either the greatest fortune or most profound misfortune to have watched Tottenham take on Stoke. It was hard to take your eyes off the TV because it was such a bad match but it really was buckets of fun nonetheless. For instance, Stoke managed to hit two posts and a crossbar in a three second span. A missed penalty that dinged off of one post, dinged off the other - all while not crossing the goalmouth - to come back out into the box, where Rory Delap (he of the insane 40 yard throw ins)

missed an open net and hit the crossbar. OK, he had scored earlier in the match, but that was still a bad miss. This game had 11 minutes of injury time at the end. 11 minutes! Two red cards for Tottenham, who have gone into complete and utter freefall. They are making Everton and Newcastle look like Chelsea and Man Utd. The Tottenham players are saying they're behind their coach, and Berlitz school dropout, Juande Ramos. That's a sure sign he'll be gone shortly. Has there ever been a more talented team to perform so poorly?

Inter thrashed the bejunipers out of Roma yesterday. 4-0 but it wasn't even that close. Inter looks scary this season. So does Ezequiel Lavezzi of Napoli, who lead Napoli to a big win over Juventus. Juve coach Claudio Ranieri will probably be on the unemployment line with Juande Ramos by next week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Say, How's The Traffic In Tehran?

I imagine it's quite terrifying if this is any indication of what you can expect to deal with on your drive home from work:
Iran's Revolutionary Guards' missiles on the Persian Gulf highway after a military parade, just outside Tehran, on Sept. 21. AP/Vahid Salemi

Call me crazy, but if I have to be caught in heavy traffic I'd rather it not be while my car is crawling alongside 4 trucks carrying trucks carrying short-range ballistic missiles. Something tells me that this just can't be safe.

So Long, Bobby Meacham

Bobby Meacham, the Yankees' third base and infield coach has been given the heave ho. In spite of my childhood hopes to the contrary, Meacham never became the great player some suspected he would. But he seems to be a very pleasant guy and of course he was a memorable part of some of the worst Yankee teams of my childhood. I think I probably still have his baseball cards.

Anyway, here's a question for both of you. Why do baseball teams need so many coaches to begin with? I'll give you the manager and the pitching coach, and grudgingly the first and third base coach, but do teams really need a "bench coach"? Or a "hitting coach"? What does the actual manager do anymore? And what does a "bench coach" do that the manager is unable to do. Much as I love him, I never understood what the hell Don Zimmer was doing with the Yankees. He seemed like a mascot. As a bench coach, it seemed his only job was to sit there and talk with Torre. They reminded me of old men sitting in a barbershop or in McDonald's at breakfast.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kapow!

Vitali Klitschko lands a real doozy of a punch against Samuel Peter during their fight on October 11.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ringo Has A Message For His Fans

To all of the people around the world who adore him, to all the people whose support over the last 45-odd years have elevated him to a level of otherworldly wealth and fame, to all the people who wish to tell him how much he has meant to their lives, Ringo Starr has a message - go fuck yourselves.

Monty Python

My dear two readers, I've had a different sort of upbringing.

I have always loved Monty Python. Love it.

In my teens, while kids at other schools were taking Home Ec and Workshop, I found myself studying Hegelian and Thomistic philosophy among other strange studies. Shockingly, those studies have very little application in the workplace. When you're out of school and you find yourself working in a deli, people don't want to hear about Aquinas' proofs of God's existence. They really just want their sandwiches.

Finally, I was the only blanco in the Bronx who was soccer crazy. Friday nights were spent watching RAI Italian soccer preview show, in Italian. I watched whatever soccer I could find on TV, which wasn't much in America back then.

That's why I consider this clip from a Monty Python special made for German TV to be the greatest mix of soccer, philosophy, and comedy ever. Granted, this may be the only time these things have been mixed, but it is genius nevertheless.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Sun Rose In The East Today . . .

. . .and so Michel Platini had something stupid to say. Remember that - if the sun rises in the east, Michel Platini will say something stupid, especially about the Premiership. Michel Platini, former French international, 3 time European Footballer Of The Year, and hairbrushophobe,
is the President of UEFA. He's got a real bug up his ass for English soccer (football, futbol, etc) and he seldom misses the opportunity to let everybody know. Just a week or so ago he blasted Arsene Wenger (coach of Arsenal and Platini's fellow Frenchman) and now more recently he's torn into English clubs for poaching young players from around the world and for having too many foreign owners and players in the Premier League. So says the Frenchman who reached stardom playing in Italy for Juventus. And now there's talk of UEFA barring English teams that carry too much debt from playing in European competitions. Give me a break - is anybody or any group not in debt right now? Seems like there's two things going on here. The first is a poorly hidden European resentment of the strength of the Premiership, and the second is that now even football (calcio, soccer) is being affected by the creeping neo-socialism that is taking over Europe. Michel Platini and his ilk may in some way think they're helping, but they are really just helping to suck all of the fun out of the game.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Let's Talk About Cesc, Bay-bee

Yes, I stole that line from a t-shirt. But let's indeed talk about Cesc because his hair cannot be ignored any longer.Here he's shamelessly drawing attention to what is rapidly becoming a hair disaster.
You know how wolfmen can bite you and you become a wolfman yourself? Well, it seems David Villa and Fernando Torres bit Cesc during the Euros, because he's been forming a half lady, half pointy sideburn hairdo. And he isn't embarrassed to point to it during a match. If I had just saved Arsenal from the awful prospect of losing to Sunderland (come on, I love Keano but Sunderland just isn't supposed to take 3 off of Arsenal) I wouldn't take that opportunity to say, "Hey world, look at my lady's hairdo complete with Spock sideburns". I've also got something to say to all the players who wear those ridiculous hairbands - you should be ashamed of yourselves because you know where you bought them and it wasn't in the mens section. Just stop it already.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

This Sporting Weekend

Quick recap.

United appear to be approaching full stride. They beat Blackburn at Ewood Park 0-2 on Saturday but it could quite easily have been 0-15. My star player of the match - aside from Blackburn goalie Jason Brown whose play was Buffon-like - was Anderson. He was everywhere and fought for everything. The guy is simply getting better and better and is going to dominate the midfield for United for a long time. I always felt that Chelsea could beat us at any time because of the power and speed of their midfield but Anderson will go a long way to allaying my concerns. In other game note, Ronaldo dove twice, Rooney missed two nearly open nets but did later score, and Berbatov and Tevez still need to go to a barbershop and not a salon.

Anybody catch Inter versus Bologna? Zlatan Ibrahmovic's back of the heel kung-fu goal was absolutely ridiculous. My predictions seem to be forever wrong but I feel confident in saying that I can quite easily see them winning the Champions League this year. At full health, they have a devastating offense (Ibrahimovic, Adriano, Quaresma, Mancini, Balotelli, Muntari, etc) that can be matched by perhaps two or three other clubs. And while Mourinho may be an instigator, he does seem to get large doses of loyalty and hard work from his players. Watch out for Inter.

In a clash of the pathetically underachieving, Everton and Newcastle drew 2-2 today. What on earth is going on with these clubs? We know some of the reasons why Newcastle is floundering, even if we can't understand it, but Everton is in freefall for no particular reason it seems. This was a tight team last year and now they're giving up goals like crazy. Joleon Lescott won me my fantasy soccer league last year by scoring about 8 goals and giving up not too many but now he, and the team, are really hitting the skids.

Look out hockey -the New York Rangers are in first after taking two in a row from Tampa in Prague. Poor Petr Nedved, could the Rangers have dropped him and ended his comeback attempt at a worse time? Right before the team travelled to his home country to play a few matches?

And finally there's the Cubs. Good lord, what's left to be said about them? What new way will they find to not win the World Series? This was basically the best team in the NL and they went out without firing a shot. Oh to be a fly on the wall when Sweet Lou got them into the clubhouse after the final game. And remember when I mentioned the Lee Elia Incident? Here it is.

Friday, October 3, 2008

More Newcastle Follies

The circus continues in full stride up at Newcastle United. Mike Ashley still hasn't been able to sell the club. The team is playing so poorly (these guys are not playing under the best conditions so it's sorta kinda understandable) that there's an actual chance they'll be relegated. And as if this all wasn't bad enough, interim coach Joe Kinnear has attempted to stabilize the club by pouring gas on the fire. After taking exception to press coverage of his decision to allow the players a day off, he launched a potty-mouthed tirade against a few of the assembled reporters. It's nearly as good as the famous Chicago Cubs Lee Elia Incident. Here's the audio

The transcript can be found here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

From One Kung Fu Kick To Another

Sometimes dropkicks on the pitch are directed at the ball. Behold the amazing Johan Cruyff scoring an amazing goal. Frustratingly, the clip is narrated in Foreign so I have no idea what they're saying.

Cantonaaaaaa!

Before the dark hand of corporate sports completely scours Youtube of any clips worth watching, feast your eyes on this compilation of Eric Cantona goals.



American sports fans saw very little if any of Cantona because he infrequently played for the French national team and there were few ways to watch live English soccer (football, calcio, etc) in America back then. You may remember him as the guy with the beard from the Nike Joga Bonito commercials, but also as the player who infamously drop-kicked and punched a heckler during a match, earning him a nickname of Kung Fu Cantona.



Cantona's undoubtedly a genius but he's also a fellow who marches to beat of his own drum, so after the incident, he had this to say at a press conference.



When the seagulls follow the trawler it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Somali Jolly Rogers May Soon Be Glowing Like St. Elmo's Fire

Here's news that Somali pirates recently raided a ship and found more than they, or we, can be comfortable with. The pirates are not comfortable because they're dying. As though they came into contact with some very bad stuff (NBC stuff. Not the network, but nuclear, biological, chemical stuff). Read the article and judge for yourselves.

Pirates Are Back In A Big Way


Despite the fact that there have not been any peg-legged, eye patch wearing, puffy shirted sea salts with parrots on their shoulders terrorizing the seas for the past 200+ years, piracy never went away. And though you may not realize it, the cost of piracy is tremendous. Some estimates place as much as a 16 billion dollar yearly price tag on piracy. That's lost cargo, ship damage, insurance costs, etc.. I'm sure quite a bit of that cost gets placed on the consumer.

In some spots piracy is actually flourishing. Like the Somali coast, which has been experiencing a massive increase in piracy. They've gotten so brazen and well-armed that a tanker containing 30+ Soviet era T-72 main battle tanks was just recently seized by 40 to 50 pirates. They're demanding $20 million for the release of the ship. They won't get it, and they won't get the ship to port either, because there's a US destroyer (among other warships of various nationalities) waiting to send them to Davey Jones' Locker the second they make a break.

The French have also recently been forced to take notice of the problem plaguing the Somali coast. In April they had some of their commandos (who are really quite proficient, contrary to popular belief) open a can of whoop derriere on some Somali pirates who had seized a boat carrying French tourists.

Back In The Sad Saddle Of Blogging

Sorry I've been away for so long. I've been quite busy. But now I make my triumphant return to the sorry art of blogging to satisfy the needs of the two of you who actually read this thing. So let's celebrate my return with some book reviews, shall we?

1) Scared Of Santa: Scenes Of Terror In Toyland. Denise Joyce and Nancy Watkins have assembled 274 pages worth of pictures featuring terrified, screaming, crying children sitting on Santa's lap. It's a picture book (very little reading involved for those of you who are not avid readers) with laughs on any random page you open to and would thus make an especially great addition to any bathroom magazine/book rack. It will be released October 14th.

2) Brocabulary: The New Man-I-Festo Of Dude Talk. Daniel Maurer's compilation of guy phrasing is admittedly kind of funny but it's also sort of sad in the way it highlights an annoying and possibly dangerous trend in society. You see a great deal of this stuff now. The Man Show, Man Rules beer commercials, etc.. There was a time when men aspired to marry and have a family, be successful at work, and be a solid citizen. Not so today. Nowadays men are encouraged to extend their adolescence, and all the bad form that accompanies it, for as long as possible. A great article describing this trend can be found here. Anyway, you'll have a laugh over words like "holaroids" (naughty pictures of women), "mammouflage" (something that makes it hard to gauge the size of a girl's boobs), and "cock bottom" (the low point of your sexual career), but you might - if you're an old-fashioned guy like me - ultimately find this a bit childish.

3) Never Shower In A Thunderstorm: Surprising Facts And Misleading Myths About Our Health And The World We Live In. I absolutely love this one. It's a book you will burn through in no time at all. New York Times columnist Anahad O'Connor has put together a compilation of answers to many of the questions we've all asked and worried about. Will shaving make your hair grow back thicker? No! That's an old wives' tale. Does alcohol really kill brain cells? No, thank God, or I'd be long dead by now. Can you fight off a shark by punching it in the nose? Not really. There's over 200 pages of this sort of stuff. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some Thoughts On The End Of The Yankee Dynasty

Here's a great, great article on the Yankees' fall from the top. It's written by Buster Olney, one of the best sportswriters around and author of the fantastic The Last Night Of The Yankee Dynasty. That book is mandatory reading so click the link and buy it, you two people besides me who will ever read this blog.

I agree with Olney's view that the Yankees' failure to develop players combined with their signing of expensive free agents has led to the mess we're in. That mess being no October baseball. What an awful feeling. Is this what it's like to Pittsburgh Pirates fan?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Corralejas!

My Colombian brother-in-law is always telling me about the corralejas. Colombian amateur bullfighting. He always goes when he's down there. Well, it's not really bullfighting so much as it is a few hundred guys getting incredibly wasted, jumping into a ring with an enraged bull, and then running in terror. Here's a video, complete with a soundtrack that reminds me of the music I often heard at night when I lived behind a 24 hour gas station in the Bronx:

I love the arena this event takes place in. It seems more like a gigantic lean-to than any sort of proper sports venue. I wouldn't sneeze or cough too hard if I were standing next to it for fear of bringing the whole thing down. Anyway, the video you just saw made it seem like it's all fun and giggles. It isn't always. If you'd like to see about 9 minutes of the bull winning, big time, click here. Let me warn you first that watching a bull trample and gore somebody is an exceptionally awful thing, so don't click the link if something like that, or techno music soundtracks, will upset you.

Ronaldo Dives Again

Finally, I got a sporting prediction correct this weekend! Cristiano Ronaldo came on as a sub in the United-Chelsea mega clash (a 1-1 draw) and almost immediately took a dive. Frank Lampard came a bit too close to the Portugese fair play activist - within 3 feet or so - and Ronaldo then hit the deck after it appeared he was hit by a sniper round or had stepped on a landmine. I shouldn't even call it a dive because it was so much more than that. So incredible in fact that even Alberto Gilardino would be hard pressed to match its technique.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Watching The Pre Game Ceremonies Before The Final Yankee Stadium Game And . . .

. . . I'm just so embarrassed right now. For the Yankees. This whole thing is so overdone it's shocking. It looks like the Yankees raided a nursing home, took all the old-timers out, slapped ancient Yankee uniforms on them, and then made them stand in center field pretending to be very old Yankees. So these guys are standing out there somewhat unsure of what to do, and most of them look like they need to sit down soon.

And then this whole nonsense of, "Ladies and gentlemen, Roger Maris' son, Randy Maris! Randy Maris." It's crazy. What's with the need to cart out the family members of deceased players?

And and, watching the real old-timers run out onto the field is nerve-wracking because they look very unsteady on their feet.

Just please play the effin' game already. These Yankee ceremonies have gotten completely out of hand.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

So Long Yankee Stadium

Please forgive my Macdonald Carey moment here . . . like sands through the hourglass, so goes the last game at Yankee Stadium. Tomorrow is the last game there.

But doesn't it seem like people are getting too worked up about this? I'm a lifelong Yankee fan and I'll be the first to admit the Stadium was a bit, well, not so good. It was filthy, it stunk, and your feet would get stuck to the floor if they set in one place for too long. The beer from the upper deck canteen guys tasted like an unbelievably foul perversion of the brewing process. The big bat was ugly. And to top it off, the Yankees were (and will continue to be) located in a dire neighborhood.

I thought the Stadium actually lacked character, especially those lifeless blue padded outfield walls that destroyed the original uniqueness of left center field. Those monuments were in play at one time!The Stadium was special because of the team, and for not much else. My mom used to go back in the 40's and 50's, before the Stadium got cookie-cuttered in the 70's, and she always felt the Stadium was ruined after the rebuild. Anyway, it's all a moot point because the financial crisis caused by people taking mortgages they couldn't pay, combined with the astronomical ticket prices the Yankees are asking means none of us will ever step foot in the new Stadium.

Still, I've got just a ton of great memories of all the games I watched there.

The one thing I hope the Yankees leave behind is the Bob Sheppard announcement impersonations by Jim Hall. He's Sheppard's backup as the Yankee Stadium announcer, and since Sheppard has been sick for quite a while, it's all Hall all the time. Hall, it seems, intentionally tries to sound like Sheppard, and it's very irritating to me because he doesn't. Please, please use your own voice!

Oh, and Pavano is 4-1. I am stunned.

United head to Stamford Bridge tomorrow to take on Chelsea! FSC, 9:00 AM ET.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ronaldo Returns!

For the record, I think United will receive quite the spanking from Chelsea. Yet there's a ray of hope for United fans. Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Cech will feel like he's at the front row of the Olympics diving competition because Cristiano Ronaldo returns for United!

Speaking of the match, just my two cents here but Paul Scholes, England international, masterful midfielder, and noted ginger, should probably not start this match. Chelsea's midfield is just too strong and fast. Is it just me or does Scholes seem to be losing a step or two? Oh, right, it is just me - nobody else reads this. Anyway, he's an all-time great but I think he should start with the Claude Makelele type appearance schedule.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quite Interesting

The show, that is. QI. A British quiz show and judging by the clips I've seen it seems like one of the greatest shows ever to grace TV. Sadly, it's not available here but you can find clips on Youtube. Like this one:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fans To Owner: Go Fudge Yourself

Very strange story here regarding Newcastle United Football Club. Mike Ashley bought the club less than two years ago, and when you total up the purchase cost and the money he's poured into the club, he has spent a quarter of a billion pounds in total. A quarter of a billion. That's out of pocket. Anyway, everything seemed to be all roses at first.

Recently though, NUFC's manager, and former perm enthusiast, Kevin Keeganbailed out on the team (not the first time that has happened, it must be noted) due to his inability to control player transfers. For both his playing and coaching exploits, Keegan is revered as a sort of demigod up in Newcastle - the Geordie Messiah is his nickname - and when he walked out the fans turned quite savagely on Mike Ashley. At this weekend's past match, there were widespread and in many cases very nasty demonstrations against Ashley. In a nutshell, Mike Ashley committed two grave errors in the fans' eyes. He chased out one of their heroes and he didn't spend enough money to bring in top notch players. Both points are quite debatable but the end result of the fans' actions has proven to be amazing. Mike Ashley is putting the team up for sale. From his recent statement:

I have the interests of Newcastle United at heart. I have listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do, but it won’t happen overnight and it may not happen at all if a buyer does not come in.


You don’t need to demonstrate against me again because I have got the message. Any further action will only have an adverse effect on the team. As fans of Newcastle United you need to spend your energy getting behind, not me, but the players who need your support.

We can't say that Ashley hasn't had his share of guffaws during his brief time at the helm of Newcastle but his being pushed out by the fans is just insane to me. His purchase of the club and subsequent infusion of money into the coffers to help pay down the club's debt essentially saved NUFC from folding. And yet here he is faced with fans who are so opposed to him that he is now forced to sell the team. On last night's Fox Football Fone-In (one of the best shows on TV, by the way), Steven Cohen was spot on when he basically wondered who in their right mind would buy the club now after seeing what's just happened. However it shakes out, it's going to be a very interesting scene up in Newcastle.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Richard Wright, R.I.P.

Richard Wright, founding member of Pink Floyd, has succumbed to cancer at 65. What a sad thing. As they say on Dark Side Of The Moon, "we've all got to go sometime", but each time a figure from my youth passes it reminds me that time eventually crushes all before it.

In his honor, view this oddly Syd Barrett-less clip of Pink Floyd performing See Emily Play.

Rick Monday, You Made A Great Play

Rick Monday saves the flag.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

After Only Five Starts . .

. . . Carl Pavano has injured himself again. He left in the sixth inning. He now has seven wins in his 4 year Yankee career. He got a fair amount of abuse walking off the mound. Part of me can't help but feel badly for the guy, because I'm sure he doesn't want to be a constantly injured boo bird target. Either way, this is one of the worst Yankee signings ever. If not the worst. The Yankees have now shelled out something like $5,700,000 for each of his Yankee wins.

Not A Good Sporting Weekend

Manchester United handed Liverpool a gift 2-1 victory yesterday away at Anfield. An own goal from Wes Brown (though it was clearly Edwin Van Der Saar's fault) and a disgraceful display of clearing the ball out of the box from Ryan Giggs (I'm actually ashamed to criticize the guy after all he's done for the club) were all Liverpool needed. United's goal came from this guy (make sure you're sitting and have had your coffee before you look) - Aghhh! Carlos Tevez! Good grief, get a haircut dude!

My second favorite Italian team - Roma - suffered an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Palermo. Made all the more embarrassing because Palermo is kitted out in this -
Yes. It's pink! PINK! How can they go out onto the pitch like that? Roma may have the best jersey in all of soccer - not the sponsor stuff, but the logo of Romulus and Remus suckling on the She Wolf - and they lose to guys in pink jerseys.

Finally, the Yankees' season may be over but this kid Phil Coke looks great, and he had another lights out performance yesterday. He's yet to give up a run in seven relief innings. Excellent stuff, and I hope he's the real deal. But why, oh WHY, are the Yankees not allowing Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy to get some big league experience considering the season has, for all intents and purposes, been over for weeks? Why do they keep putting Ponson and Pavano out there? So what if Hughes and Kennedy get pounded? Who cares? Let them get some experience.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soccer Actually Helping Those Who Need Help

Ok, ok, settle down, we've laughed enough about the Homeless World Cup. It's a preposterously stupid attempt to make people think that "soccer cares" and that soccer can cure the world of all its problems. "If everybody just played the footie like, there'd be no more bad stuff and the world would be well good, like." So silly.

But sometimes soccer can help. This is an amazing story of how Mauro Raffaelli, an Italian psychiatrist, has used soccer to successfully help schizophrenics in their struggle for normalcy. Here's a quote:

Sandro was a perfectly ordinary, rather handsome young Italian man. He was working as a bodyguard for the Italian president. But the stress of carrying a gun, and worrying about assassination attempts, catalysed a latent psychosis in Alessandro. Sandro says: "I like to think that my mum was my first medication. I guess football was my second. Football worked for me because it helped me escape the prison of madness... The weird thing is, the opposite team became the voices in my head, they embodied the voices, and that helped me. It made them real. And then I could cope."

A really nice story and continued success to the folks that do this.

Possible New Soccer Competition

Maybe the folks who run this event can get together with the folks who run the previously discussed Homeless World Cup and form some sort of super tournament for the unhoused.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 Years After

From wandering through the nations, o'er the waves,
Brother, I come, and stand beside thy tomb
To give thee the death-offering of the grave,
To call thee, vainly, dumb in Hades' gloom.
Oh, weary is the fortune that bereft me,
I give or gave our fathers long ago
The sad fraternal duty that is left me,
The dreary gifts unto the shades below.
Accept them, dewy with a brother's tears;
Accept the sorrow that they cannot tell,
And through the long eternity of years,
Brother, farewell, for ever fare thee well!

-Catullus, Carmen CI, as translated by Andrew Lang

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Homeless World Cup

This is one of the strangest things I've ever seen - http://www.homelessworldcup.org/. I'm sitting here quite unable to make sense of it. Have a look at the site and I'll meet you back here.

OK, welcome back. See what I mean? I quote from their site:

Are you currently homeless and would like to play in the Melbourne 2008 Homeless World Cup? Contact your team directly.

Was that line written in the expectation that even a single person reading it would say, "Why, yes, I am a homeless soccer player, and a member of a homeless soccer team. Thank goodness I came across this site while surfing the internet."

Good reader (both of you), I ask this - does a soccer tournament for homeless people (in easily accessible Australia, no less) seem like a sensible way to spend money fighting the very real, very serious problem of homelessness? Does it in any way seem like playing in this tournament should be anywhere near the top of the priority list for people suffering through what must be an unimaginably awful and degrading fate. Personally, I would put things like housing, a job, and hygiene higher on my list than "play in homeless soccer tournament".

And it seems that money is indeed being spent on this. Nike, UEFA, The U.N., Real Madrid, and Manchester United are listed as sponsors of this tournament. Now what if the money spent on funding a soccer tournament were applied to a different method of helping the homeless. What if they spent that money on . . . (are you sitting?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . actual HOUSING for the homeless! By homelessworldcup.org's own admission, only 44% of the participants in the 2006 Homeless World Cup have "improved their housing situation". 44%? What the fuck! Is this organization not even housing all the players who participate? Is it "play a few games and then back to your refrigerator box, you slob"?

This group has lots of famous supporters. Eric Cantona, Didier Drogba, Rio Ferdinand, Luis Figo, Ringo Starr. Wait a minute. Ringo Starr? The same Ringo Starr who VH1.com lists as having been worth $111 million in 2000 supports this group? And 56% of the players from the last tournament still don't have improved housing? On the tournament site Ringo is quoted as saying, "Get into the Homeless World Cup. Participate in sport changing the world." Sport changing the world? What about using some of that money to rent these people an apartment or two. Oh, goodness no, sorry. That won't work. Give the homeless guy a soccer ball instead. The pride of knowing he participated in this tournament will keep him warm at night when he's sleeping in a garbage can.

Speaking Of Hard Tackles

. . .it's 1-1 in the 90th minute in the North Korea-South Korea World Cup Qualifying match. Coming up today, England-Croatia on pay per view. On Fox Soccer Channel we get Russia-Wales and Macedonia-Netherlands.

The whole World Cup process seems really overdone. It's 2008 and they're playing qualifying for matches for a 2010 tournament? It's just so silly.

Missile Defense Update

The U.A.E. - yes, home to the owners of Manchester City - are interested in buying 7 billion dollars worth of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile systems from the U.S.. 7 billion. Saints preserve us!

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN0845547120080908

It's good and it's bad. It's good because it will provide a shield against Iranian missile systems and greatly diminish their menace. It's bad because we'd be giving this extremely sophisticated hardware to a country that is officially opposed to the very existence of one of our strongest allies - Israel, the likely target of a full-scale Iranian missile attack. And if you're like me then you'd be worried that these things would be parked too close to Iran without our direct protection. You'd also need to go potty. So excuse me, please.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Top 10 Worst Premier League Haircuts

A great listicle from The Sun. See, I told you that Coloccini fellow's hair was extremely suspect.

Gol! ( x50+ )

This will upset my fellow Manchester United fans, but Cristiano Ronaldo is truly not the best player in the world. That title goes to one Lionel (Leo) Messi, the tiny Argentinian who plays for FC Barcelona. In the following clip, he scores a goal that must surely rank among the greatest ever. However, I think the clip is more notable for the announcer's work in calling the goal. It's in Spanish so I don't know exactly what he's saying, but I counted at least 50 "gol"s in a 10 second stretch. This is wild. Behold!

Monday, September 8, 2008

"Shake" Your Monday Blues Away

. . .with this amazing clip of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac featuring Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan. Before Lindsey Buckingham and the chicks ruined the whole thing with all of that Rhiannon nonsense, Fleetwood Mac was one of the most bestest bands in the world. Here they are performing live for The Hef himself. I'll let you guess what the song is about.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Johan Cruyff

I just saw that very annoying Amstel Lite commercial where the seemingly animatronic elderly Dutchman jibber jabbers something in Foreign and then bouncy music plays over a montage which depicts Amsterdam as one big non-stop keg party.

And for some reason that reminded me of a book I read recently entitled Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius Of Dutch Football by David Winner. It's a really well done overview of the history, style, and mixed results of Dutch football (calcio, soccer, etc). In it the author explores how such a small nation (Wikipedia says their total population is under 17,000,000) consistently produces such outrageously gifted yet frequently flawed players. Johann Cruyff is the undisputed king of Dutch soccer - almost as important to Dutch society as a whole as he was to Dutch football - and he figures heavily in this book. But it's hard to understand just how good a player was through reading along. So without further ado, here's a bit of Cruyff embarrassing defenses worldwide.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"I Never Knew Hot Dogs Were Bad For Me", "God Bless America" Bashing, And More!

In a continuation of Mayor Mike Bloomberg's attempts to suck all of the fun and flavor and personal savings out of the lives of New Yorkers, the Yankees have been hit with a health violation by the city for not having posted calorie counts on the menu boards at the Stadium. Here's the article.

I have just a quick thought on this. If you need a large print sign to inform you that the nachos and (what passes for) cheese at Yankee Stadium is not a healthy food choice, or if you're so lost that you are unaware of just how incredibly unhealthy a hot dog is, then you shouldn't be allowed to go to a Yankee game. Or anywhere. Stay at home. You're fucking up the world for everybody else.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

On another Yankee note, famed sportswriter and facial hair enthusiast George Kimball, in his America At Large column in The Irish Times, laments the 7th inning God Bless America ceremony that takes place at every Yankee home game. Here's his article, and here's what I find fascinating about it. I quote,

"over the years I've come to regard the drum roll for God Bless America at Yankee Stadium as the signal to head outside for a smoke break."

Kimball doesn't really make any attempt in this article to hide his political leanings or his disdain for the views and practices found on the other side of his hill. He doesn't like what he views as the crudely enforced patriotism at Yankee Stadium, or how the Republican Party and the "pro-Iraq lobby" have co-opted both the song and Ronan Tynan (huh?), the Irish tenor who sometimes signs the song at Yankee Stadium. And so on. He doesn't seem to want that whole scene forced on him.

That's fine. It's America, and as an American George Kimball's right to express those views is still well and justly protected. Yet he seems to have no problem with smoking at Yankee Stadium. That must be OK because it suits him, despite the fact it's a legal no no. And despite the fact that many people at Yankee Stadium may not wish to smell or be exposed to the smoke from his cigarette.

So here's to you, George Kimball. You don't like having views and practices you disagree with forced upon you, and you're going to smoke a cigarette in a no smoking area to prove it.

Teapot, this is Kettle. Kettle, this is Teapot.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

No league footie this weekend. The Yanks were humiliated by lowly Seattle last night. But the NFL is back. My NY football Giants might have won their first game, but I'm worried how they'll finish without the services of the great Osi Umenyiora.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

BASE Jumping Gone Horribly Wrong

It's not often that you can say your parachute didn't open, you crashed into the side of a mountain, and you lived to tell the tale. Amazingly, Hans Lange can say just that. And luckily for all of us, his crash was all caught on tape.



Read the story of his crash and incredible survival here.

Some Thursday Morning George Best

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Baby Jumping Festival

But it's not the babies that are jumping.No, silly, it's Spain's El Colacho Baby Jumping Festival. What's that you said? You can't understand why a man wearing an outfit that looks like a high school band uniform/Mexican wrestler outfit hybrid is leaping over terrified children? What are you, stupid or something? They're obviously jumping over the babies to keep the devil away.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,575011,00.html

Also at Spiegel Online, this fantastic article on new wind turbines that could revolutionize the enrgy industry.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,575877,00.html

And finally, now that it doesn't much matter, the Yankees are spanking first place Tampa Bay.

John Cleese Trashing American Football? And Americans Too?

This is a very strange clip, part of The Art Of Football From A To Z by John Cleese. The whole series is airing soon on Gol TV and many are funny but this one, about football (American), confuses me greatly. Is it comedy that misses the mark, or just a deliberately mean spirited slap at Americans? If it's the latter then we have to ask, what was John Cleese thinking?


Regarding the origin of the word "soccer", see here - http://www.usembassy.org.uk/rss/transcripts/worldcup2006a.html
- and here -
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soccer

Monday, September 1, 2008

More On Manchester City

Manchester City as it turns out was just today, or recently, purchased by Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment. They've got tons of cash. Tons of it. There'll be lots of spending in Manchester City's future.

Abu Dhabi is part of the United Arab Emirates, and incredibly, you cannot enter the UAE with an Israeli passport. You will be denied entry. In fact, I've read a few articles that suggest it may be that you can't even enter the UAE if you're passport has been stamped in Israel. Why do I bring this up? Because before the new owner came in, Manchester City signed Chelsea defender Tal Ben Haim - an Israeli national. He's a man who will not be permitted to enter the UAE, home country of his team's owner, simply because he is an Israeli.

So how do you feel today if you're Tal Ben Haim? I imagine you'd be rightfully upset and already preparing your transfer request.

Robinho's Possible Booger Is On The Move . . .

. . . to Manchester. Manchester City, that is. MCFC spent something like $65,000,000 to buy Robinho from Spanish champions Real Madrid. But the big transfer news today happened on the red side of Manchester, as my guys picked up one Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham for something like $60,000,000. He is a player of unusual touch and vision, and a magnificent passer. A fabulous player who will be massively successful at United, but there's one problem for me. He wears a girl's hairband on the pitch.He's going to have to work on that. As I hear, the new Berbatov chant at Old Trafford will be the following, sung to the tune of Jesus Christ, Superstar:

Dim i tar
Ber ba tov
He's got his own
Pers'nal hair dress er

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Possible Booger In Robinho's Left Nostril

Booger, or no booger, in the left nostril of disgruntled Real Madrid forward Robinho (not pronounced "robin-hoe", but more like "roe-bean-yo"), pictured today at a press conference in Madrid.I report, you decide.

Scouser Wigs

Just finished watching a relatively lifeless 0-0 draw between Aston Villa and Liverpool. The game was most notable for the handful of Aston Villa fans who were sporting scouser wigs to taunt the Liverpool players. It was really very funny. But what are scousers, you ask? "Scouser" is a derogatory term for a Liverpudlian. Liverpudlians seem to take an inordinate amount of abuse from the rest of England, not in the least for their late propensity to have perms and for growing porn-esque mustaches. My good friend Terry From Derry lived in Liverpool and confirms this unusual trend. "There was a terrible spate of perms in Liverpool", he says.
In his TV show, a British comedian named Harry Enfield had a recurring skit about "scousers". Here's a clip-

Friday, August 29, 2008

Zenit Win

Zenit wins 2-1 in a match that United seemed to not show up for, Carlos Tevez excluded. This match will forever be remembered for one of the most blatant yet skillful handballs of all time. Paul Scholes slapped the ball into the net from about 20 yards. Amazing! And then he was ejected.

Yankee/United Weekend Preview

So, this afternoon (evening) in Monaco we have United facing off against Zenit St. Petersburg in the UEFA Super (Duper) Cup. It will be interesting to see how hard the tackles against Zenit's Andrei Arshavin are. I imagine this game will be played with all the hard defending of an NFL Pro Bowl. Now if Arshavin picks up an injury then nobody, including the most likely buyers - Tottenham, will buy him before the transfer window closes at the end of August. And that will seriously impair United's chances of signing Tottenham's ace Dimitar Berbatov. Or maybe not. Tottenham also look set to sign Arshavin's fellow Russian Roman Pavlyuchenko so maybe they'll let Berbatov go. Who knows?

On another note, will somebody please tell Cristiano Ronaldo that there is indeed such a thing as being too tanned?There's also such a thing as chest, arm, and leg hair. I find it very, very peculiar - alarming in fact - that a man would remove that hair for any other reason than competitive swimming.

In other news, the Yankees host the Blue Jays tonight at the Stadium. By the way, did you know this is the final year the Yankees will play at the old Yankee Stadium? It's also the last year you'll be able to afford to see them play at home. Anyway, Carl Pavano is pitching for the Yankees against A.J. Burnett. Burnett pulled the Yankees pants down and spanked them with a 13 strikeout victory a week or so ago. Should be another Toronto victory tonight and one more step towards quickly ending this disastrous season.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some Georgie Best To Brighten Your Day

Here's a bit of George Best to brighten your day.



He set a standard that people talk about even now and I suspect this will always be so as long as there is film of him, because what they see is something that, for all the talented players of today, they believe is no longer available. They do not see anyone who is quite like George Best.
-Sir Bobby Charlton

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Moritz Volz

Fulham FC and Germany defender, David Hasselhoff fan, and facial hair enthusiast Moritz Volz, pictured here impersonating the Hoff - is a genuinely refreshing figure in modern sports.

Have you read his columns in The Times Of London? You haven't? What is wrong with you? Do you realize what you've been missing? Some of the funniest, sharpest sports writing you will ever read in your life. Articles like "How To Bluff Your Way To The Top Of The Game", and "If Sepp Blatter Had His Way I’d Be Working In a German Restaurant".

And then there's this amazing instant classic, "Stumped By Stubble, The Beard Is Back". Volz ponders why there is less facial hair in modern football (soccer, calcio, etc.) and then gives his list of the best and worst beards in the history of the sport. Along the way he makes this very astute observation regarding the outlandish beard once sported by former American defender Alexi Lalas, "that was a bit ill-advised — when you’re a ginge (red head) you should be limiting your hair growth as much as possible, not exaggerating it".

Moritz Volz - inaugural member of the HTADB Hall of Fame.

Yankees Season Wrap-Up

What, you're saying it's too early for a wrap-up because it's only August 27 and the season is still in full swing? Nay, fair reader, you are wrong. The season is over for The Yankees. That Alex Rodriguez double play with the bases loaded and 1 out was it. I hope I'm wrong but, well, I'm not.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Poo Poos: The New Black Gold

I've always been amazed by how much power is generated by the human stomach. How can a seemingly innocent order of chicken tikka masala inserted into the mouth create so much noise and violence as it exits through the posterior? Film yourself holding a match to your plate of tikka masala and you'll be disappointed when you play it back. Now, a few hours after eating, with the camera running, hold a match to your butt as the tikka masala begins to pass in gas form and you may have a Youtube Classic on your hands. In The Gas We Pass - The Story Of Farts by Shinta Cho we learn that the average adult releases about half a quart of gas per day. 365 / 2 = 182.5. That's nearly 183 quarts - just under 46 GALLONS! - of combustible gas released per adult per year. Surely there is some way to harness this windfall (tee hee) of energy.

Well, some enterprising folks have bypassed farts altogether and have begun harnessing the power of the fart's big brother - the caca poo poo. In this fantastic article, we see how some Kenyans are using their poopies, and the sun, as their energy providers. The poo is used as a very effective fuel and the sun is used to naturally purify water. Although poo based energy would be insufficient to satisfy the average American's gluttonous consumption of energy, perhaps this article does offer some lessons for us. Perhaps we should try to get out of the grip of petroleum and use some other sources that are here at home and in plenty of supply. Like nuclear, hydro-electric, solar, and, of course, wind (in all forms).

Monday, August 25, 2008

United Update

We're in the 87th minute at Fratton Park, and Paul Scholes still cannot tackle.

United At Portsmouth

1-0 to United after 3/4 completed. Darren Fletcher is making us forget all about that Portugese fellow. What was his name again?

One thing you can say watching United today (tonight) is that we are on the verge of a golden era. Imagine a decade or so of Rooney, Tevez, and Anderson playing together. We all know about Rooney and Tevez, but Anderson may be the best of the bunch. He can play up front or he can dominate as a holding midfielder (he really beat up Messi while marking him in the Olympics semi-final). He is a tireless player, strong as a bull, and will only improve on his already sharp passing touch. It is incredible to ponder. Add that Portugese fellow, Ronalski, McDonaldo, whatever his name is, and it's going to be a wonderful spell.

Ugly Footballers

My good friend Andrew, a long suffering Norwich City fan, has submitted this bit of internet gold -

http://www.uglyfootballers.com/index.asp

I can't believe that some of the true monsters of the Premiership were left out, but what can I do? This is a good starting point for discussion.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

If Derek Zoolander Ran FC Bayern Munich

. . .then the team would introduce their new 2008 uniforms like this.

Wait a minute, that really was their new kit launch press conference! Good grief, what on earth were they thinking? And how did everybody not burst out laughing at this incredibly weird display of performance art? It reminds me of The Dude's landlord performing his dance quintet in The Big Lebowski.

Olympic Wrap-Up

Here are some clips from the closing ceremonies of the last big event held in Beijing, lest the world forget.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olympic Update

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Boy, I'd love to kick the shit out of this referee"? Well, meet Angel Matos, Cuban taekwondo Olympian.He didn't like it when the referee disqualified him from the bronze-medal match. So he gave the ref a Billy Jack. Doesn't the referee look like he's impersonating a beaver?

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/judo/news/story?id=3549903

By the way, this is a Billy Jack, performed by, well, Billy Jack:

Friday, August 22, 2008

This Sporting Weekend

Carl Pavano is back as the starting pitcher tomorrow, Yankee fans. Having only 5 wins thus far in his 4 year Yankee career, we've paid $8,000,000 per Pavano victory. Bringing him back is, for me, the official notice that the Yankee season is over. They need to win most every game remaining to ensure a playoff spot, and they're resting their hopes on Carl Pavano? And Sidney Ponson? What happened to my Yankees?

And on Monday, United visit Portsmouth in a rematch of last year's FA Cup Semifinal. I'm thinking United only gets a draw out of this. Chelsea and Arsenal will almost certainly win their matches so United will find themselves 4 points behind after Week 2. Bad news indeed.

Book Review - The Ballad Of Billy And George

"When I was a kid, I wanted to do two things: play major league baseball and be in the circus. I'm lucky. I got to do both"

- Graig Nettles, on playing for The New York Yankees

The Ballad Of Billy And George (The Lyons Press, Guilford, CT, March 2008)
Great book here. Former Yankee beat reporter Phil Pepe tells the very funny, very strange tale of The New York Yankees of the late 70's - early 80's, with the incredibly bizarre relationship between George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin serving as the focal point. I miss those teams. Today's Yankees just aren't the same and it kills me. They're nowhere near as fun to watch. But winning or losing, Martin's Yankees were always exciting. You just never knew what was going to happen. Some funny quotes from the book:

"When you open it, it tells you how good it is."

-Catfish Hunter, suggesting that the Reggie Bar (which was actually pretty good) was just as full of itself as its namesake.

"Yeah, I signed 'Albert Walter Sparky Lyle Junior.'"

-Sparky Lyle's response when asked if he had indeed signed the bare ass of a lovely young lady who boarded the team bus in Chicago looking for autographs.

". . .I enjoyed playing for him. I used to like the way he took a bed check. He'd look in the room and say, 'Yeah, the bed's here.'"

-Sparky Lyle on Billy Martin

Should be mandatory reading for any Yankee fan.

Still Awake

Well, I'm still awake. Normally when I read blogs I fall asleep, so I figured actually making one would put me out even quicker. But it hasn't. So, I'm sitting here eating cheese (Hannah's Choice Sharp Cheddar, not bad) wondering what to write about. How about a little footie?

Anybody catch the Man Utd - Newcastle match last weekend? It's very rare that the Geordies go to Old Trafford and don't take a beating from my guys but Newcastle managed a 1-1 draw against what looked like United's reserve team. Of more importance than the match was the incredible display on the pitch of hair gone wrong. In this day and age, is it really OK for a man to have hair like Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini? Doesn't this guy make enough to afford a comb or a hair dryer? Or a hair cut for that matter?And take a look at his fellow Argentine national - and Newcastle winger - Jonas Gutierrez (on the left, though the other guy has some freaky hair himself). Yikes!


What's with this ongoing epidemic of bad hair in soccer? Everybody says hockey players have the worst hair, but they cannot possibly compete with soccer players. Bad hair on soccer players seems to have gotten so out of hand in Nigeria that sporting officials have taken steps to normalize players' hair. They're doing it for the wrong reason, I might add (the Nigerian officials think it is "gay" . . . not that there's anything wrong with that) , but still. It's a first step towards no more of this sort of nonsense.Or this.


Good Morning

Hi everybody. I can't sleep so I started my very own blog. Hmmm, where to start? How about with this picture of an aspiring Chinese gymnast training for the Olympics?


Aww, just look at how happy this little pumpkin is. Tears of joy, those are.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-486069/Is-China-really-fit-proper-place-stage-Games.html