Friday, October 31, 2008


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


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.


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.