As a rabid soccer fan for most of my life (I haven’t missed a game since 1994, the first year the tournament was widely broadcast in the US), you might think that I am the last person to know how an average American sports fan might get interested in a “foreign” sport like soccer. But the fact is that over the years I have had a chance to convert many people from non-participators to rabid fans, and there is no better opportunity to do that than The World Cup.
I understand entirely that soccer can be difficult and even boring to watch at times, especially if you don’t know what the hell is going on. Trust me that I have seen games played at the top level that are just plain painful to watch, full of diving, crying, and cheap shots, and all of them have involved Cristiano Ronaldo. But apart from hotly contested league matches in England or Italy, The World Cup is generally the most exciting soccer you can see, especially in the early rounds when teams are trying to assert themselves and get into the knockout stages.
But let’s not concern ourselves with any of that. I am here to talk to the guys that hate the game. I’m not here to tell you why it’s great, to learn the rules, to study the history and to suddenly become some kind of multi-culti pansy that people like me are repelled by. Not at all. Instead, I want you to have a reason to join the party, despite the fact that you think soccer is for Euro-trash and illegals. So here we go:
A) It’s a chance to be fiercely patriotic:
The US is progressing. We have a passable and improving professional league with an increasingly talented pool of players. Most of our guys have proven themselves in Europe’s best leagues. But we’re still pretty weak in the eyes of the world, and the World Cup is a chance for us to stick it to some elitist, pompous asses who don’t give us a chance. We are a country that is used to winning everything it really wants to, and soccer is the last place in the world where America isn’t feared. Well, if that doesn’t get you fired up, you’re not my audience.
The last time the US faced England in The World Cup we won, 1-0. It happened in 1950, and nobody here cared, but the English hate to be reminded of it. Even if they beat us on Saturday by twenty goals, their record against us in major competitions will only be 1-1. Don’t let them forget that.
I love England, and will pull for them in every game but ours. They have been our best friend since we booted them, their taxation, their syphillis and their in-bred king off of our shores, but for 90 minutes on Saturday they are the enemy, and that’s some fun stuff. All the rest of the countries involved? Well, I’m sure I can come up with a reason to hate each of them with a passion for 90 minutes, and so can you. If you treat each match-up with that same blind xenophobia, you will have something invested in all 64 matches.
So get out there and root for The Yanks if for no other reason but to rub it in somebody’s face that doesn’t look like you. And when we eventually get eliminated (and we will), I’m sure one of your ancestors escaped from one of the remaining countries a hundred plus years ago. Adopt that hell-hole for the rest of the month and support them with a passion. This might be your best chance ever to score with a foreign girl. Trust me, they’re usually drunk.
B, C, and D) If you need any other reasons, you can go to Hell
There you go! Enjoy The World Cup!
Hopefully I’ll get asked back as we go to blog about whatever is interesting to me during the Cup. I also hope this offended some people. Please let me know in the comments section.
*=in no way related to or in violation of Marvel Comics and their creations
Thursday, June 10, 2010
THE FIGHTINS have yet another despicable picture of a Phillies fan gone wild. I thought those people up there only drank Natty Light and Yuengling? Coors Light? Are you fucking kidding me kid? This kid should have got tasered for bad taste. Cold activated bottle my ass! This kid would probably throw batteries at me if he knew I was making fun of him.
Posted by Matt Fairchild (email@example.com) at 2:46 PM
Reggie Bush and USC assistant coach Todd McNair royally screwed over the future of the USC Football program. Check out this excerpt from the NCAA report:
``At least by January 8, 2006, the assistant football coach had knowledge that student-athlete 1 and agency partners A and B likely were engaged in NCAA violations. At 1:34 a.m. he had a telephone conversation for two minutes and 23 seconds with agency partner A during which agency partner A attempted to get the assistant football coach to convince student-athlete 1 either to adhere to the agency agreement or reimburse agency partners A and B for money provided to student-athlete 1 and his family. Further, during his September 19, 2006, and February 15, 2008, interviews with the enforcement staff, the assistant football coach violated NCAA ethical conduct legislation by providing false and misleading information regarding his knowledge of this telephone call and the NCAA violations associated with it. The assistant football coach failed to alert the institution's compliance staff of this information and later attested falsely, through his signature on a certifying statement, that he had no knowledge of NCAA violations.''
Now the official word is USC will lose 10 football scholarships per year for 3 years. A total of 30! This is absolutely devastating for any football program no matter how much depth you have on your roster. They are banned from postseason for 2 years and their wins from 2004 and 2005 have been vacated by the NCAA since Bush was ineligible. Now the Heisman Trophy Trust can look into taking away Bush's Heisman since essentially he wasn't an eligible player that season. Vince Young will now wrap his sweaty chest around the stiff arm statue. All of Bush's records will be erased from the USC books and it will be like he never played in 2004 and 2005.
The Bush Push of 2005 doesn't exist and now Notre Dame can claim victory. If they want they can be like Alabama and chalk up another National Title that they didn't earn.
It looks like Lane Kiffin's start in Los Angeles is off to a great start. He seems like a good, clean play by the NCAA rules coach to help clean up the program.
So what does the SportsCrack nation think about the sanctions? Fair? Not so much?
Posted by Matt Fairchild (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 2:05 PM
Picture of TrueBall
That’s just my opinion but seriously, am I the only one over Ben Roethlisberger?
Granted the guy has won two Super Bowl rings for the Steelers, but how many girls do those rings allow him to (allegedly) molest? I mean really?!?!? I’ve watched him first hand pass around girls like they were another Coors Light… wait my bad, in Pittsburgh, the drink IC Light (Iron City Brewing Company for those of you not familiar, is cheaper, yet not as fulfilling version of Miller). I’m not denying the guy’s athletic ability, I’m just curious to know how someone who’s just a shade away from becoming the next OJ Simpson, off the field of course, keeps getting away with whatever heinous crimes he'd like.
I’d love to see Roethlisberger, Michael Vick, Marcus Vick, Terrell Owens, “Pacman” Jones, the entire Minnesota Vikings Team (I’m on a boat!), Milton Bradley, Carlos Zambrano, John Rocker, Lou Holtz (sorry Matt, but it’s way past his time to move out of the spotlight), Ron Artest, Gilbert Arenas, and Stephon Marbury compete on a new reality game show called “The Biggest Head Case”. I mean really, how much do athletes think they can get away with? They say money can’t buy happiness, but it should be able to buy an adviser who helps you make good decisions and a PR agent that helps smooth over the bad decisions that you make anyway. How are kids supposed to look at athletes as role models when the people who are in the public spotlight somehow think that it is okay to carry guns through airports, in locker rooms, rob kids outside of McDonald's, force themselves on young girls, or fight with their team mates on the field? Personally, I don’t want my kids to grow up as thugs and I’m tired of watching professional athletes make a mockery of the class of our parent’s generation.
Guys like Ken Griffey Jr. and Cal Ripken should be the norm, not the exception. In the era of steroids, cheating scandals, gloves that seemingly don’t fit (even though DNA evidence does exist), skipping court hearings at will, toting pot in “hidden water bottle compartments”, giving yourself fake names (Ron Mexico was hilarious though… haha… someone has the bumps… haha), cheating on your spouse and claiming you’re addicted to sex (seriously… who’s not?!?!?) and public figures literally getting away with "murder", I can honestly say I miss the days when we were worried that a pitcher may have a bit of petroleum jelly under the bill of his hat. Now I have to worry that the same “superstar” may be in a bar one day with the daughter that I don’t have yet and convince her that “it’s okay” and show he has a temper if she doesn’t consent to whatever he feels justified in doing.
Not that I wish harm on anyone, but I wouldn’t be sad if a certain someone rode his motorcycle into the Allegheny River, without a helmet, got frostbite, lost a few fingers, couldn’t play football again, and ended up on a couch like the rest of us talking about our “glory days”. Just in case "Big Ben" is reading and gets his feelings hurt, he can always send his bouncer to beat me up like he tried to do in Jack’s (check it out if you ever go to the Burgh by the way... cheap beer... good crowd) in Pittsburgh back in 08, but somehow I feel like he may be too busy riding his motorcycle without a helmet or scaring another girl into sleeping with him as he’s been accused of in the past.
Just in case you haven't seen the latest, check out this article from Katie Thomas and Richard Sandomir of the New York Times
The 20-year-old college student who said she was assaulted by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told an investigator that she and her friends thought his presence in their college town was “weird” and said she did not fight because she feared he had a short temper, according to interviews released Wednesday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
During a 10-minute video interview, the woman said she and her friends were initially excited when they learned that Roethlisberger was spending the evening of March 5 in Milledgeville, a town 80 miles southeast of Atlanta that is home to Georgia College & State University. Roethlisberger owns a vacation home nearby.
But upon reflection, she said on the video, which was posted on the Web site of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “That’s weird. You’re in a college town. He’s 28 years old.”
In addition to the interview with Roethlisberger’s accuser, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation released other audio and video recordings related to the case. In April, the local district attorney declined to prosecute Roethlisberger, citing a lack of evidence and the accuser’s desire that he not be charged. But he was suspended for up to six games by the N.F.L. for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy.
In Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger took part in a Steelers practice session Wednesday but did not talk with the news media, according to The Associated Press.
One of the woman’s friends, Nicole Biancofiore, said Wednesday that she was upset the agency released the videos, including one that featured an interview with Biancofiore, who was in the club that night.
“I think it’s ridiculous that the videos are released when there are no charges being pressed,” Biancofiore said in a text message to a reporter.
A call to a number listed as belonging to the accuser’s mother was not returned. She has not made any public statements about the case.
The videotaped interview with the woman was the second she had given to investigators: the first took place soon after the reported assault, when the woman acknowledged that she was drunk. The second interview was conducted the next day, and she appeared relatively calm as she answered questions. In the video, her face is blurred.
Asked about some details of the sexual encounter, the woman, who said she is 5 feet 4 inches, said she did not fight back. “I noticed throughout the night he kind of had a short temper,” she said. “I obviously didn’t want him to hurt me any more than he was going to.”
Like I said, dude's a deuche, but that's just my opinion...
Posted by McPeters at 10:48 AM
Just when I thought everything was going to kind of make sense in this college football conference realignment Andy Staples of SI.com has the balls to throw this wrench....
A source confirmed to SI.com late Wednesday that emissaries from the SEC initiated discussions with Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne months ago, and while the SEC is just one of several potential options for the Aggies, it remains an option heading into Thursday's meeting between Texas A&M and Texas officials. At the meeting, power brokers from both schools will discuss a last-ditch effort to save the Big 12, even if Nebraska's Board of Regents votes Friday to leave for the Big Ten. "It's on life support," the source said of the Big 12. "But people have come off life support before."
Officials also will discuss a potential invitation from the Pac-10 that also would include four other Big 12 schools. Presumably, they also will discuss the SEC's talks with Texas A&M.
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/andy_staples/06/10/aggies.options/index.html#ixzz0qTAe7ahO
Get a free NFL Team Jacket and Tee with SI Subscription
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has an ace up his sleeve or at least he thinks in A&M. But what the fuck dude? You could have got Texas! Why settle for pennies when you can get Franklins. SEC just needs to go balls to the wall and go get Notre Dame. Sure ND not close to the Southeastern region but neither is A&M. The revenue and rating with Notre Dame in the fold would be tremendous. Maybe Slive has pocket aces. Who knows?
Posted by Matt Fairchild (email@example.com) at 9:43 AM
Inside USC's Scott Wolf had this terrific quote in regards to the USC sanctions...
``We got killed,'' said a source who saw the report but not wish to be identified.
I feel bad for them. There is no reason for them to stick around. It's a murder scene now. Transfer. Transfer. Transfer and get out of that hell hole before you get sliced too.
Disclaimer=This shirt has no affiliation with any USC organization. It refers to "FUCK" AND "U" AND "SPOILED" AND "CHILDREN."
Posted by Matt Fairchild (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 9:17 AM
Matt Hayes of the SportingNews.com is reporting that the University of Colorado is set to announce a move to the Pac-10 Conference as early as today.
Colorado is now officially the first domino to fall in college football expansion. The Buffs will formally announce today that they are leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-10, according to a source close to the situation.
The Big 12 is also expected to lose Nebraska to the Big Ten, and those two losses will be the beginning of the Big 12's breakup.
Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are also expected to announce their plans to leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10 as soon as today.
Even if Nebraska doesn't leave for the Big Ten, Colorado is still committed to the Pac-10. If the Big 12 somehow stays intact –- without a Nebraska defection — CU still would be part of a two-team Pac-10 expansion, possibly including Utah.
The Nebraska situation could be cleared up as early as today.
The PAC-16 is going to be an amazing football conference finally. I know there are PAC-10 apologists out there but the only real football history the conference has in terms of national power is Southern Cal. But now with the additions of Texas and Oklahoma you could make a solid argument that they are now the best football conference in the nation. Take a deep breath SEC fans.
With the formation of a 16 team power conference in the "Pacific" you would have to think the Big Ten is now looking to expand from the 12 teams they have now (I'm including Nebraska) and will look to add 4 more teams. Notre Dame joining makes sense. So does Missouri, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers because of the TV market.
The SEC should look to expand and raid some of the ACC teams. Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami, and Georgia Tech could be outstanding additions and would further expand the SEC TV reach (although it could be argued that Clemson and Georgia Tech regions are already SEC dominated).
The problem with all of this is you still need at least one more "super" conference. The Big East, ACC, and Big 12 leftovers would have to form a new conference. Kansas with it's rich basketball history and tradition would be left grasping for conference straws if all this goes down. That doesn't seem right and I believe teams like Utah, Boise State and TCU deserve the chance to move into a power conference. I'm not using "BCS" anymore because with these super conferences the BCS would become void and we could move forward to an eventual playoff system with 8 teams (4 super conference champs and 4 at-large bids).
A College Football playoff would get almost or near the same ratings that the Super Bowl gets domestically. It would be huge and the buildup to win the conferences or at least be in the top 5 at the end of the year to reach the playoff would not diminish the regular season at all as some idiots have argued.
Posted by Matt Fairchild (email@example.com) at 8:51 AM
This is what sports is all about. Jeremy Roenick is so proud of his former team in the Chicago Blackhawks winning their first Stanley Cup in 49 years that he loses his composure. I can respect players who gave their all for the team and I believe Roenick was one of those guys during his playing days. Plus he was a hell of a threat from the right wing in EA Sports NHL 93. Only one of the greatest video games of all-time. Don't even try to argue it. Here is the video courtesy of The Big Lead...
And by the way the only time you are allowed to cry in sports is because you are so happy. It's like seeing the birth of your kid. Crying allowed. Losing a game you are not allowed. Man up.
Posted by Matt Fairchild (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 7:53 AM
A two-year bowl ban and a loss of more than 20 football scholarships are among the sanctions that the NCAA has dealt USC, a source with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday.
The NCAA, the governing body for collegiate sports, informed USC of its decision after a four-year investigation regarding allegations centered on former football player Reggie Bush and former basketball player O.J. Mayo. The NCAA could make its decision public as early as today.
It took almost 4 years but it looks like the NCAA woke up and did the right thing. Listen I get it that a lot of major football programs bend the rules and have "excessive practice time" and "players get paid on the side" and most of these "student" athletes don't in fact go to class or even take their tests. But the way USC just blatantly told the NCAA to F off for all these years in regards to the obvious infractions caused by the Bush and Mayo cases and then to go out and hire a snake like Lane Kiffin makes everything they got worth it in my opinion.
Now all the players on the team can transfer without penalty of sitting out a year because of the infractions. You hear me Seantrel Henderson and Kyle Prater. These 5 star athletes can transfer almost immediately from my understanding and can play next season under NCAA rules. Notre Dame, UCLA, and Cal could always use an extra tackle or wide receiver. I'm just saying guys you might want to take a look.
Only if you want to take a pay cut. Consider it pro bono work and getting an actual education before you go to the NFL.
Posted by Matt Fairchild (email@example.com) at 7:34 AM