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rfrobison
05-29-2010, 08:55 AM
OK,

Here are my predictions (alas, just guesswork) for the U.S. side in the group stage of the World Cup

Game 1: U.S.A. 1, England 3

Game 2: U.S.A. 2, Slovenia 0

Game 3: U.S.A. 2, Algeria 1

England and U.S.A. advance to the round of 16.

On the other hand, it is entirely possible that the U.S. will lose every game. The 4-2 loss the other day to the Czech Republic raises serious questions about their defense, and I understand the U.S. squad is battling injuries among its defenders, in particular.

Anyone else have predictions? How about for other teams and rounds?

nikkibong
05-29-2010, 09:52 AM
My money's on the Celtics.

rfrobison
05-29-2010, 10:05 AM
:)

Lyle
05-29-2010, 05:47 PM
USA should advance, but good back four play is a must. Algeria is looking bad though, so the U.S. should advance if it can beat Slovenia.

I don't expect much from the team. Charlies Davies is kind of an unfortunate miss this summer, and Onyewu is not 100 percent, along with whoever else is not totally fit. With a fully fit squad I think they could have made it into the quarterfinals again, but I expect them to either not advance or advance and lose in the round of 16.

In a more difficult group (like in Germany) they wouldn't advance, I think.

rfrobison
05-30-2010, 02:28 AM
Important not to read too much into this as the Turks had nothing to play for, but it's still a hopeful sign. (http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/news;_ylt=AuCpsso1sx4R2HPxOHfIrq0mw7YF?slug=ap-turkey-us)

rfrobison
05-30-2010, 08:18 AM
England vs. Japan in final World Cup tune-up. Good chance to see what we'll be facing in a couple weeks. Live match in progress.

rfrobison
05-30-2010, 10:17 AM
England is looking pretty strong to my (highly amateur) eye. Lotta speed on the wings and excellent ball-handling. If the U.S. gives Rooney too much space in the middle he'll cut them to ribbons, I'm afraid.

As for Japan, they don't have much to brag about other than some excellent saves by Kawashima. Japan's coach rashly promised a semifinal appearance at this World Cup, but with Cameroon, the Netherlands, and Denmark to contend with in their group, one can't rate their chances of getting out of the group round very highly.

Score could easily have easily been 3 or 4 to 1 tonight. Interestingly, Tulio, a Brazilian-born Japanese, had Japan's only score off a corner kick. He then tied the score for England with an own-goal.

Now if they could just get a few other players to put it in the net, maybe their coach could say "semifinals" without sounding like he's joking.

allcam30
05-30-2010, 01:19 PM
my thoughts:

Definitely USA and England to go through to the last 16.
Game 1: USA 0, England 1
Game 2: USA 3, Slovenia 0
Game 3: USA 4, Algeria 0

USA to the semis. A lot of Premiership players and USA should not be underestimated!

Lyle
05-30-2010, 03:18 PM
That was Turkeys B or C team, I think.

Lyle
05-30-2010, 03:20 PM
Semis might could have happened with last summer's team, but not this summer's team. The U.S. won't score 3 goals on Slovenia, I bet... lots of goals could come against Algeria, but probably not.

U.S. is mediocre at best this summer. Too many injuries.

rfrobison
06-05-2010, 11:03 AM
In it's final tune-up for the World Cup, the U.S. had a good showing. Everybody knows that the Socceroos aren't exactly world powers, but I'm guessing the U.S. is feeling pretty good (http://g.sports.yahoo.com/soccer/world-cup/news/buddle-scores-2-to-lead-us-over-australia-3-1--fbintl_ap-wcup-us-australia.html) going in.

Lyle
06-05-2010, 12:09 PM
Yes, Goodson and Demerit in the back light my world up. Although, we did find a way to make it to the quarterfinals with Jeff Agoos in the back line. Although he had to be removed for bad play, I think by the quarterfinals though.

U.S. actually has an "easy" schedule through to the quarterfinals. They could do it. We've got spirit and that American thing that Alex Ferguson has talked about.

rfrobison
06-12-2010, 09:23 AM
Looks to me like Asian soccer has arrived, if the South Korean's performance was anything to go by. They clearly dominated the Greeks this afternoon.

As in so much else, it seems, Japan looks on in stupefied awe.

Ocean
06-12-2010, 09:51 AM
Looks to me like Asian soccer has arrived, if the South Korean's performance was anything to go by. They clearly dominated the Greeks this afternoon.

As in so much else, it seems, Japan looks on in stupefied awe.

Since nobody else seems to care to keep this updated properly, here are the results so far:

2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

South Korea 2 : 0 Greece

Uruguay 0 : 0 France

South Africa 1 : 1 Mexico

Go Uruguay!

:)

Ocean
06-12-2010, 02:27 PM
One more result:

2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

Argentina 1 : 0 Nigeria

Wonderment
06-12-2010, 04:09 PM
Grrrr.

Go Cameroon! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva uruguayos queridos y uruguayas queridas! Go Honduras.

graz
06-12-2010, 05:20 PM
Grrrr.

Go Cameroon! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva uruguayos queridos y uruguayas queridas! Go Honduras.

Last I checked, Southern California was in the USA. Why don't you root for your home country? You're not prejudiced, are you?

USA 1 : 1 England

Wonderment
06-12-2010, 05:42 PM
Last I checked, Southern California was in the USA. Why don't you root for your home country? You're not prejudiced, are you?

Fair question. I think it's a mix of too many years of loathing mindless displays of USA-USA-USA! nationalism. And then there were all those wars. I can't root for aggressor nations.

I do concede that rooting for ANY nation strikes me as infantile and stupid.

It's hard to suspend all political judgments and just enjoy the sport, despite all the high-minded Olympic-type ideals. I am very upset, for example, that Mexican President Calderón is at the World Cup, while dozens of Mexicans are getting slaughtered in the drug war he started (well over 20,000 dead so far.)

My preference for Cameroon is supremely silly, given that country's horrendous corruption and egregious human rights abuses. On the other hand, a win for a poor country would be a heartwarming Slumdog Millionaire narrative.

I don't take the sports thing all that seriously. I'm the only person in my household who wasn't born in Mexico though, so it's easy to jump into the ethnocentric pool and wallow for a few days. No harm, no foul.

graz
06-12-2010, 06:06 PM
Fair question. I think it's a mix of too many years of loathing mindless displays of USA-USA-USA! nationalism. And then there were all those wars. I can't root for aggressor nations.

I do concede that rooting for ANY nation strikes me as infantile and stupid.

It's hard to suspend all political judgments and just enjoy the sport, despite all the high-minded Olympic-type ideals. I am very upset, for example, that Mexican President Calderón is at the World Cup, while dozens of Mexicans are getting slaughtered in the drug war he started (well over 20,000 dead so far.)

My preference for Cameroon is supremely silly, given that country's horrendous corruption and egregious human rights abuses. On the other hand, a win for a poor country would be a heartwarming Slumdog Millionaire narrative.

I don't take the sports thing all that seriously. I'm the only person in my household who wasn't born in Mexico though, so it's easy to jump into the ethnocentric pool and wallow for a few days. No harm, no foul.

If I were you, I think I would need a scorecard and a rulebook just to decide which side of the bed to get up from in the morning :)

UPS or Federal Express?
My guess is that you'll choose UPS because they wear brown and are unionized. Amirite?

Soccer (futbol) really seems to incite nationalistic vigor everywhere except here though, imo. I enjoy any athletic poetry and find it easy to leave the politics aside. The Nike soccer commercials are nothing to sneeze at either.

rfrobison
06-12-2010, 06:44 PM
One of the advantages for the U.S. side is that nobody (much) cares about soccer (!), so no pressure for them. I remember President Bush inviting the team to the White House after their quarter-final run in Japan/Korea in 2002.

I can just picture the briefing he got: "Now remember, Mr. President, these guys play soccer. Soccer."

And now, for something completely different, I dedicate this to Wonderment:

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Yeah, as my dad used to say, a tie is like kissing your sister. But against England, I'll take it!

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

rfrobison
06-12-2010, 07:02 PM
Oh, I almost forgot: One of the disadvantages for the U.S. side is that nobody (much) cares about soccer...

Ocean
06-12-2010, 07:35 PM
Last I checked, Southern California was in the USA. Why don't you root for your home country? You're not prejudiced, are you?

USA 1 : 1 England

graz, Wonderment's explanation was quite clear. But when it comes to sports, and especially soccer that hasn't been even close to popularity compared to the more traditionally American favorites, why not root for the little countries? Isn't it amazing when countries with smaller populations and by far fewer resources make it to these world tournaments? If one of us was rooting for a country that comes closer in wealth to the US, I would understand the complaint, but in this case?

Wonderment
06-12-2010, 08:59 PM
My guess is that you'll choose UPS because they wear brown and are unionized. Amirite?

Brown shirts, no. Definitely a fascistic outfit. Plus, they're all hyperactive. I think they're on steroids and/or meth.

I actually know my USPS mail carrier. She's always got time to stop, chat and still finish her route. Of course, she expects an annual tip at Xmas time, but my strict standards of separation of church and state preclude me from ponying up.

listener
06-12-2010, 09:06 PM
Speaking of rooting for (or against) the US, here's an amusing take on the whole question:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-june-10-2010/world-cup-2010--into-africa---two-teams--one-cup

rfrobison
06-13-2010, 12:49 AM
Listner,

Once again, thanks for sharing. Keep this up and you may change my mind about "The Daily Show."

listener
06-13-2010, 01:13 AM
Listner,

Once again, thanks for sharing. Keep this up and you may change my mind about "The Daily Show."

1. I am not, nor have I ever been, associated in any way with Comedy Central or its affiliates. :)

2. Though Jon Stewart has a (bleeding) liberal heart, he is not an ideologue. I have seen him go after injustice and hypocrisy from all points on the political spectrum.

3. He has a bunch of really funny, talented people working on his show, like John Oliver, Wyatt Cenac, and others.

4. He regularly has conservative guests on his show, and sincerely tries to be fair to them and to find common ground. (See his recent interview with Tim Pawlenty (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-june-10-2010/tim-pawlenty), for example.)

5. Notwithstanding the above, I sometimes find him annoying (though less so recently than in the past).

6. Conclusion: You don't have to be liberal to love Stewart.

[? (http://img.allposters.com/6/LRG/10/1064/23TL000Z.jpg)]

rfrobison
06-13-2010, 06:28 AM
Excellent piece (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703509404575300794290598112.html) in the WSJ online (hope those interested can read it) about the growth of the "Beautiful Game" in the states.

Interview is with the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation--an economist at Columbia University.

Immigrant, economist, U.S. soccer fan--don't tell my wife, but I think I'm in love.

Ocean
06-13-2010, 01:11 PM
Pardon my reminiscence. Could someone please clone him (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW2Rwpqwh1U&feature=related)?

If you don't want to watch the whole thing, start at 5:40 till the end.

Wonderment
06-13-2010, 02:34 PM
-don't tell my wife, but I think I'm in love.

Dont' worry; all your secrets are safe, here, on the Internet.

rfrobison
06-13-2010, 06:03 PM
:) :)

rfrobison
06-14-2010, 11:57 AM
It would appear that I have underestimated the side from my adoptive country--as did Cameroon. The lions sat on their hands for the first half and the Japanese side just waited for their concentration to break. Wasn't pretty, but a win is a win is a win.

Omedeto Nippon! (Congratulations Japan!)

Wonderment
06-14-2010, 06:22 PM
Reaction to our loss. It's a sad day in the jungle. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL1d9eXafKU)

rfrobison
06-15-2010, 09:06 AM
I'm thinking 5-0 Brazil and and a lifetime membership in a labor camp for the sons of the Dear Leader.

Place your bets, folks!

Ocean
06-15-2010, 04:52 PM
Here is an update, sorry for the delay!

2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

Brazil 2 : 1 North Korea

Côte d’Ivoire 0 : 0 Portugal

New Zealand 1 : 1 Slovakia

rfrobison
06-15-2010, 06:32 PM
Brazil 2, N.K. 1??

That's gotta be a mistake!

Ocean
06-15-2010, 06:35 PM
Brazil 2, N.K. 1??

That's gotta be a mistake!

Well, it looks like the initial result was closer to Brazil 20, North Korea 1. But they dropped a zero in order to avoid a world wide nuclear conflict...

bjkeefe
06-15-2010, 06:44 PM
Well, it looks like the initial result was closer to Brazil 20, North Korea 1. But they dropped a zero in order to avoid a world wide nuclear conflict...

Hee!

Also, more NK-related stuff: pic of the day (http://pourmecoffee.posterous.com/photo-of-the-day-via-jimmytraina).

Lyle
06-15-2010, 10:58 PM
They quite possibly could have won. They didn't put a foot wrong in the first half. Nicking a goal seemed likely at some point (came too late of course) They're a sound team. That's what 9 months of playing together will do for you, I guess.

I was surprised New Zealand got a draw though. They're certainly the least good team in the tournament. Good for them though.

Sad thing though is that North Korea's fans are fake (http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/north-korean-fans-chines-actors/), and they had to work out in a public gym (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYm_b5ZQMCI&feature=player_embedded) in South Africa cause they couldn't afford to have their own training base.

listener
06-16-2010, 03:13 AM
Hee!

Also, more NK-related stuff: pic of the day (http://pourmecoffee.posterous.com/photo-of-the-day-via-jimmytraina).

And a little bit of backstory on the NK victory (er, defeat):

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37720858#37720858

rfrobison
06-16-2010, 09:35 AM
That photo was absolutely brilliant. I wonder if Mr. Kim saw it?

popcorn_karate
06-16-2010, 02:59 PM
They quite possibly could have won. They didn't put a foot wrong in the first half. Nicking a goal seemed likely at some point (came too late of course) They're a sound team. That's what 9 months of playing together will do for you, I guess.

Dude!! That was some of the most beautiful soccer off the tournament thus far. absolutely great game!

listener
06-17-2010, 12:12 AM
Listner,

Once again, thanks for sharing. Keep this up and you may change my mind about "The Daily Show."



2. Though Jon Stewart has a (bleeding) liberal heart, he is not an ideologue. I have seen him go after injustice and hypocrisy from all points on the political spectrum.

Regarding the above, last night Jon Stewart laid into Obama (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-15-2010/respect-my-authoritah) fairly mercilessly. As someone who is generally sympathetic to the President, this was somewhat painful for me to watch, but I had to acknowledge that Stewart made some important (and heartfelt) points.

Wonderment
06-17-2010, 12:49 AM
Regarding the above, last night Jon Stewart laid into Obama fairly mercilessly. As someone who is generally sympathetic to the President, this was somewhat painful for me to watch, but I had to acknowledge that Stewart made some important (and heartfelt) points.
__________________

Yes, I was surprised at how critical Stewart was. Since he will do nothing that might jeopardize ratings, his demographic must be newly receptive of criticizing POTUS.

Of course, because people cut Stewart some slack as the comedian whose job it is to speak "truth(iness)" to power, he can get ahead of the curve on Obama criticism to some extent. But he was a big cheerleader for the campaign and year one; so I can't help but think there's a new trend out there that he's following.

I've noticed MSNBC pundits also taking off the kid gloves lately. Rachel Maddow has been pretty tough on the administration's response to the oil spill.

listener
06-17-2010, 01:10 AM
Yes, I was surprised at how critical Stewart was. Since he will do nothing that might jeopardize ratings, his demographic must be newly receptive of criticizing POTUS.

Of course, because people cut Stewart some slack as the comedian whose job it is to speak "truth(iness)" to power, he can get ahead of the curve on Obama criticism to some extent. But he was a big cheerleader for the campaign and year one; so I can't help but think there's a new trend out there that he's following.

I've noticed MSNBC pundits also taking off the kid gloves lately. Rachel Maddow has been pretty tough on the administration's response to the oil spill.

I don't know that this is a particularly recent development, although perhaps the Gulf situation has brought somewhat increased criticism of Obama from some of those in showbiz who are thought of as being supportive of him. Having watched both Olbermann and Maddow with some regularity over the last year, I can say that this is not a new phenomenon for them. For quite some time, both of them have been at times quite critical of the President, especially with respect to matters of human rights, privacy and lack of government transparency. (Which is why I find attempts at equating Fox News with MSNBC so unconvincing.)

This is also not the first time I have seen Stewart be highly critical of the President. I agree that it might be possible to describe Stewart as a "cheerleader" for Obama's Presidential campaign, but I did not see his coverage of year one that way. And although like any television host, I am sure that Stewart is aware of and sensitive to his ratings, I don't think I would go as far as to say that he only criticized Obama last night because he had some inside information that such criticism would not jeopardize his ratings. That's a little too close to conspiratorial thinking for my taste.

bjkeefe
06-17-2010, 02:18 AM
Yes, I was surprised at how critical Stewart was. Since he will do nothing that might jeopardize ratings, his demographic must be newly receptive of criticizing POTUS.

[...] And although like any television host, I am sure that Stewart is aware of and sensitive to his ratings, I don't think I would go as far as to say that he only criticized Obama last night because he had some inside information that such criticism would not jeopardize his ratings. That's a little too close for conspiratorial thinking for my taste.

I'd add that your thinking on this, Wonderment, suggests that you believe there are very few lefties (or however you might characterize the core of Stewart's audience) who are impatient with Obama or receptive to criticism of him. This would not accord well with views you've expressed elsewhere.

Wonderment
06-17-2010, 02:52 AM
I'd add that your thinking on this, Wonderment, suggests that you believe there are very few lefties (or however you might characterize the core of Stewart's audience) who are impatient with Obama or receptive to criticism of him. This would not accord well with views you've expressed elsewhere.

I dispute Listener's notion that it's conspiratorial thinking to believe Jon Stewart is driven by ratings, i.e., popular opinion of his opinions. On the contrary, ratings is the essence of talk show hosting, and comics like Stewart and Colbert have to keep it funny in an irreverent but popular way. They pander to their demographic.

Masquerade news programs, like Olberman and O'Reilly, are a little different. They are much more partisan and totally owned by their constituencies.

"Real" news programs (the networks) are also ratings-driven, but have higher standards of objectivity (albeit leaving much to be desired).

Although I'm anything but an expert on TV demographics, I'd speculate that Stewart's audience is more young, hip and fairly well-educated than left-wing. Sure, most young, hip college-educated people voted for Obama, and there is overlap between hip/cosmopolitan and progressive, but "left" is a stretch. I'd go with vaguely liberal (and immature for the over-25 crowd).

I may have misread the degree to which Stewart has been critical of Obama. I don't watch the program all that regularly. There's a vibe in the culture that Obama is turning out to be more Wall Street, Pharma, Big Oil and Pentagon oriented than we expected, and that his populist rhetoric ("kick ass" and punish "greedy" bankers) is phony. Perhaps it's a fleeting meme. Perhaps Republicans are making it all up. Or perhaps voters are noting a gap (chasm?) between eloquence and outcome.

bjkeefe
06-17-2010, 03:09 AM
I dispute Listener's notion that it's conspiratorial thinking to believe Jon Stewart is driven by ratings, i.e., popular opinion of his opinions. On the contrary, ratings is the essence of talk show hosting, and comics like Stewart and Colbert have to keep it funny in an irreverent but popular way. They pander to their demographic.

Masquerade news programs, like Olberman and O'Reilly, are a little different. They are much more partisan and totally owned by their constituencies.

"Real" news programs (the networks) are also ratings-driven, but have higher standards of objectivity (albeit leaving much to be desired).

So, you're willing to believe network shows -- which have a lot more money at stake, I might point out -- can have higher principles, but not, say, Jon Stewart or Rachel Maddow? Why can't JS be honestly motivated by the goals to be funny and critical about whomever is in power, and RM be honestly motivated to be a good reporter, albeit with no compulsion to play at being "balanced?"

I'm not saying that they care not a whit about their ratings, but I don't see where you get off being so cynical about their motivations and the degree to which they are captives of their supposed target demographics, when it's just as likely that they believe their ratings are best kept healthy by delivering the best show they think they can put together. Sometimes, it really is true that the cream rises to the top, even in the teevee business.

You ask me, the networks are far worse about letting themselves be driven by worries about appealing to the audience they want to attract and hold. This is one of the reasons, I suspect, I find their offerings almost universally unwatchable. Including their news programs.

Although I'm anything but an expert on TV demographics, I'd speculate that Stewart's audience is more young, hip and fairly well-educated than left-wing. Sure, most young, hip college-educated people voted for Obama, and there is overlap between hip/cosmopolitan and progressive, but "left" is a stretch. I'd go with vaguely liberal (and immature for the over-25 crowd).

Okay.

I may have misread the degree to which Stewart has been critical of Obama. I don't watch the program all that regularly.

He is, regularly. Calls 'em as he sees 'em, but insists that his primary goal remains finding what he and his staff can make funniest, independent of who provides the unintentional hilarity.

There's a vibe in the culture that ...

I call Lambchop.

Wonderment
06-17-2010, 03:40 AM
Why can't JS be honestly motivated by the goals to be funny and critical about whomever is in power, and RM be honestly motivated to be a good reporter, albeit with no compulsion to play at being "balanced?"

I think Rachel is honestly motivated, a good reporter and plenty smart too. On your assessment of Stewart, I disagree.

Speaking of honestly motivated, I'd be curious what you make of what Gail Collins counts as President Obama's "17 references to God, prayer, blessings or faith" in his Oval Office speech.

I'd think all that "hand of God" stuff would qualify in your assessment as either nuts or hypocritical: "We pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day."

I guess if you have 17 references to God, you don't really have the opportunity to talk about global warming. Not the proper time or place anyway.

bjkeefe
06-17-2010, 03:45 AM
There's a vibe in the culture that ...
I call Lambchop.

A more nuanced response might start here (http://www.cjr.org/feature/embrace_the_wonk_1.php?page=all):

But political-science research, while not questioning that a president’s effectiveness matters, suggests that the occupant of the Oval Office is, in many ways, a prisoner of circumstance. His approval ratings—and re-election prospects—rise and fall with the economy. His agenda lives or dies on Capitol Hill. And his ability to move Congress, or the public, with a good speech or a savvy messaging strategy is, while not nonexistent, sharply constrained.

The whole article deals with political science versus political reporting and is worth a look. For dessert, or perhaps an aperitif, see Christopher Beam's (http://www.slate.com/id/2256068) "The Only Politics Article You'll Ever Have To Read: What if political scientists covered the news?"

(These links were mentioned during the recent Henry Farrell/Charli Carpenter diavlog (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/28695), and I apologize if you've already read them. (I forgot to check them out at the time.))

Also, see the Newell post I swiped and reposted (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=165512#post165512) in the latest Bob&Mickey thread, if you haven't already.

rfrobison
06-17-2010, 03:59 AM
Can I interject with something totally irrelevant here? It's kinda funny to read all this high-minded discourse under a thread titled "U.S.A. 1, England 1."

bjkeefe
06-17-2010, 03:59 AM
I think Rachel is honestly motivated, a good reporter and plenty smart too. On your assessment of Stewart, I disagree.

Okay.

Speaking of honestly motivated, I'd be curious what you make of what Gail Collins counts as President Obama's "17 references to God, prayer, blessings or faith" in his Oval Office speech.

I'd think all that "hand of God" stuff would qualify in your assessment as either nuts or hypocritical: "We pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day."

Ugh. Don't get me started. I was finishing dinner while watching that, and it did not make the last few bites go down well at all. (Thank the FSM for red wine.)

I guess if you have 17 references to God, you don't really have the opportunity to talk about global warming. Not the proper time or place anyway.

Touché. Yep.

I think Newell had the right take, in a post I referred you to in my previous reply (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=165534#post165534), that this wasn't really a good time to go on and on about AGW due to political realities, but that some reminder of it would have been nice, not to mention responsible. But the endless godma really put me off. Not only does a politician (or any HMFIC) repeatedly urging his audience to pray sound to me like "Uh, we pretty much don't have any good ideas here," it was also politically bad for two reasons -- further irritation of a chunk of his base, and an easy target for wingnuts to pick at; e.g., because he's not a "real Christian" or whatever makes them pant.

I wish he had just given a sober Chief Executive report of the facts, along with the near-term plans, and if he felt he had to be more inspirational in closing, because the punditocracy always wants to yammer about "leadership," I would have liked him to have talked about it in terms of a coming together to deal with a big mess, that can and will be cleaned up, and how that can and will be done exclusively by the corporeal inhabitants of this planet only.

I realize, as I have since the early days of the campaign, that Obama thinks it's more important to play the faith card than I do, so I wasn't unpleasantly surprised. But I didn't like it at all, that's for sure. Not often that I mutter "STFU" when he's on the screen, but this time ...

bjkeefe
06-17-2010, 04:07 AM
Can I interject with something totally irrelevant here? It's kinda funny to read all this high-minded discourse under a thread titled "U.S.A. 1, England 1."

Hah! Not irrelevant at all. If there's anyone who should apologize for thread-irrelevance, it's Wonderment and me. Sorry for messing up your page. If it looks like it's going to continue, I'll try to get Wonderment to follow me over to some place with more plausible deniability concerning going off-topic.

I admit I kept looking up at the subject line while editing the last few posts and thinking, "Eh ... really ought to ... do ... something ... about that ...?" But then I'd forget while trying to remember how to spell politically or something.

rfrobison
06-17-2010, 04:12 AM
No prob. Maybe I'll just change the thread title...

rfrobison
06-17-2010, 04:13 AM
Like that. Now you can keep going without any nagging guilt.
;)

bjkeefe
06-17-2010, 04:16 AM
Like that. Now you can keep going without any nagging guilt.
;)

Heh. Maybe we should put you in charge, down in the Gulf.

rfrobison
06-17-2010, 04:22 AM
No, thanks. I'd rather be boiled in a barrel of BP oil than be responsible for trying to clean it up, I think.

rfrobison
06-17-2010, 09:25 AM
Well,

So much for the "arrival" of Asian soccer, I guess. The Argentinians were simply too good. My only regret is now Maradonna will undoubtedly start saying some kind of crazy stuff...

bjkeefe
06-17-2010, 01:51 PM
Hah! Not irrelevant at all. If there's anyone who should apologize for thread-irrelevance, it's Wonderment and me. Sorry for messing up your page. If it looks like it's going to continue, I'll try to get Wonderment to follow me over to some place with more plausible deniability concerning going off-topic.

In that spirit, Wonderment, please see here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=165567#post165567).

Lyle
06-17-2010, 03:18 PM
I love it when Maradona talks crazy. There is no stopping the abomination that is Maradona. It all comes from a good place though.

Ocean
06-17-2010, 05:36 PM
Well,

So much for the "arrival" of Asian soccer, I guess. The Argentinians were simply too good. My only regret is now Maradonna will undoubtedly start saying some kind of crazy stuff...

Here (http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/standings/index.html?cid=google_onebox) are the current standings.

South America seems to be strong these days. :)

kezboard
06-17-2010, 06:28 PM
...namely, that Slovakia has a 0.68% chance of winning. They actually issued a 37-page report on it, which they (supposedly) did in their spare time and which (supposedly) does not necessarily reflect the view of the Slovak government. According to the analysis, though, if it snows, Slovakia will win.

listener
06-18-2010, 02:16 AM
The latest threat to Excepcionalismo Americano (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37769194#37769194).

(And what's up with the "jamming it down our throats" thing all the time? First it was HCR, then Financial Reform, and now... the evil SOKKKER! There must be some sort of Freudian interpretation of this constantly recurring theme -- if only I could think of what it might be...)

bjkeefe
06-18-2010, 02:40 AM
The latest threat to Excepcionalismo Americano (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37769194#37769194).

(And what's with the "jamming it down our throats" thing all the time? First it was HCR, then Financial Reform, and now... the evil SOKKKER! There must be some sort of Freudian interpretation of this constantly recurring theme -- if only I could think of what it might be...)

Hint, hint. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=165709#post165709)

More on this (the menace part, not so much the jamming part):

Intentional comedy:

• Newell: "Conservatives Explain Inherent Socialism, Anti-Americanism of Soccer (http://gawker.com/5560461/conservatives-explain-inherent-socialism-anti+americanism-of-soccer)"

• Pierce: "Bold men and their games (http://www.boston.com/sports/columnists/pierce/2010/06/bold_men_and_their_games.html)"

Unintentional hilarity:

• NewsBusters: "Media Make Selling Soccer a Goal (http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-philbin/2010/06/09/media-make-selling-soccer-goal)"

• Some Malkkkin guest-blogger: "USA vs. England; Updated (http://michellemalkin.com/2010/06/12/usa-vs-england/)"

A taste from the last, to get you started:

Now, on to the other match, which I refuse to consider an England vs. USA spat, but rather as the Obama administration vs. England.

rfrobison
06-18-2010, 06:03 AM
The latest threat to Excepcionalismo Americano (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37769194#37769194).

(And what's up with the "jamming it down our throats" thing all the time? First it was HCR, then Financial Reform, and now... the evil SOKKKER! There must be some sort of Freudian interpretation of this constantly recurring theme -- if only I could think of what it might be...)

DISCLAIMER: I say this as both a righty and soccer lover.

Just you wait. Let the guys make the semis or the finals someday and you'll hear Rush, Glen, and the gang declaim at length about how soccer (!) is as American and Mom and apple pie, and how we needed to come along to show them furn'ners how the game is really played.

Looking forward to it. Just hope we can come away with a win from Slovenia later today (tomorrow morning where I'm at).

rfrobison
06-18-2010, 10:52 AM
Down 2-0 at the half and the prognosis is not good. Not good at all. The U.S. is playing hesitantly and their defenders look like they're playing on another planet.

Geez, it's like they expect Howard to do everything. Unless Coach Bradley gives them the pep talk of all pep talks at halftime, I don't see how they get out of this one alive.

Maybe it's just as well. I'd hate to see what an actual contender would do to the U.S. if they give up two goals in one half against little Slovenia.

DISCLAIMER: I will gladly eat my words if they can somehow salvage a tie, let alone a win...

nikkibong
06-18-2010, 11:25 AM
an article in defense of the dread vuvuzella

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9020/

rfrobison
06-18-2010, 11:40 AM
MUST---EAT---WORDS---YUM----YUM!!

rfrobison
06-18-2010, 11:55 AM
Only thing worse than the U.S. play in the first half was the officiating. The ref totally lost control of the game and stole a goal from the U.S. on a free kick in the second half.

Oh, well, they're still alive Gotta hope now that the U.S. can pull it together and win big against Algeria.

bjkeefe
06-18-2010, 01:56 PM
DISCLAIMER: I say this as both a righty and soccer lover.

But not as a RealConservative™!!!1!

;)

Just you wait. Let the guys make the semis or the finals someday and you'll hear Rush, Glen, and the gang declaim at length about how soccer (!) is as American and Mom and apple pie, and how we needed to come along to show them furn'ners how the game is really played.

I should have thought that would have happened after (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_Women%27s_World_Cup#Tournaments) 1991 and 1999, but maybe for Rush, etc., women don't count as RealAmericans, either? Even if they're mama grizzlies (http://www.google.com/cse?cx=007432832765683203066%3Azj_ist-lct4&ie=UTF-8&q=mama+grizzlies&sa=Search&siteurl=www.google.com%2Fcse%2Fhome%3Fcx%3D0074328 32765683203066%253Azj_ist-lct4)?

Ocean
06-18-2010, 04:51 PM
My daily updates:

2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

England 0 : 0 Algeria

Slovenia 2 : 2 United States

Germany 0 : 1 Serbia

Somewhat unpredictable so far...

rfrobison
06-18-2010, 06:58 PM
Excellent point. Unfortunately Women's sports do not get nearly the attention that men's do. That IS sexism, but not much one can do about it, I guess.

Thing is, the fact that the U.S. women are so dominant just gives the doofuses more cheap fodder along the lines of: "Soccer is for sissies," etc.

James Taranto, whom I generally think is amusing -- apologies -- is constantly belittling the sport. Would have liked to see HIM play in that very rough Slovenia match yesterday!

rfrobison
06-18-2010, 10:22 PM
This one comes courtesy my friend David:

How do you tell U.S. supporters from other teams' fans?

The U.S. fans are all in ties.

bjkeefe
06-18-2010, 11:04 PM
Thing is, the fact that the U.S. women are so dominant just gives the doofuses more cheap fodder along the lines of: "Soccer is for sissies," etc.

Good point.

rfrobison
06-19-2010, 09:25 AM
The Blue Samurai acquitted themselves well, but unfortunately you don't get points for solid defense. Looked like the Dutch strategy amounted to: Control the ball, lull the opposition to sleep, bore them to death, and wait for a mistake.

Can't call it an exciting style of play, but it worked in this case.

Ocean
06-19-2010, 10:11 AM
The Blue Samurai acquitted themselves well, but unfortunately you don't get points for solid defense. Looked like the Dutch strategy amounted to: Control the ball, lull the opposition to sleep, bore them to death, and wait for a mistake.

Can't call it an exciting style of play, but it worked in this case.

I'm not watching the games, but yeah, I hate it when they resort to those tricks instead of using good play. I (vaguely) remember a World Cup final or semifinal between Italy and Argentina, when all Italy was doing was kicking the ball out whenever they had the chance. They couldn't keep the ball from the other team's offense and they couldn't penetrate their defense. That trick served them well, I think they ended up winning.

Here is the update so far:

2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

Netherlands 1 : 0 Japan

England 0 : 0 Algeria

Slovenia 2 : 2 United States

Germany 0 : 1 Serbia

Ocean
06-19-2010, 04:42 PM
010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches


Cameroon 1 : 2 Denmark

Ghana 1 : 1 Australia


I guess Argentina and Netherlands with 6 points each are going to next round.

Ocean
06-20-2010, 06:32 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

Brazil 3 : 1 Côte d’Ivoire

Italy 1 : 1 New Zealand

Slovakia 0 : 2 Paraguay

And to nobody's surprise, Brazil with 6 points has classified for the next round.

rfrobison
06-21-2010, 09:23 AM
That's more like it.

Ocean
06-21-2010, 05:46 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches


Spain 2 : 0 Honduras

Chile 1 : 0 Switzerland

Portugal 7 : 0 North Korea



And for tomorrow, please be informed, that no matter what the results are, Wonderment, I'm still intending to continue our friendship. ;)

Wonderment
06-21-2010, 06:10 PM
And for tomorrow, please be informed, that no matter what the results are, Wonderment, I'm still intending to continue our friendship.

I am prepared for perhaps the most important test of the principles of nonviolence and reconciliation in my lifetime. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In-pu_Hj8FM)

Ocean
06-21-2010, 06:25 PM
I am prepared for perhaps the most important test of the principles of nonviolence and reconciliation in my lifetime. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In-pu_Hj8FM)

Suspense! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKxw&feature=related)

Wonderment
06-22-2010, 12:26 AM
We are teaching Shanti to say, "¡Gol de México!" So far he's got "Gol." If he pulls off the whole phrase I'll post the video. But now that Cameroon is eliminated Shanti may be in no mood to cooperate.

Ocean
06-22-2010, 07:20 AM
We are teaching Shanti to say, "¡Gol de México!" So far he's got "Gol." If he pulls off the whole phrase I'll post the video. But now that Cameroon is eliminated Shanti may be in no mood to cooperate.

I bet saying Uruguay comes to him much more easily!

Wonderment
06-22-2010, 02:51 PM
I bet saying Uruguay comes to him much more easily!

Well, at least we didn't eliminate each other. That would have irreparably damaged our relationship :)

Someone will be playing the dreaded argentinos in the next round. Good luck with that.

Lyle
06-22-2010, 04:49 PM
Mexico gets to play the Hand of God. Mexico might could pull off an upset with a bit of good fortune.

Ocean
06-22-2010, 06:01 PM
Well, at least we didn't eliminate each other. That would have irreparably damaged our relationship :)


No, Wonder! Don't let that happen! Be strong! ;)

Ocean
06-22-2010, 06:05 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

Nigeria 2 : 2 South Korea

Greece 0 : 2 Argentina

Mexico 0 : 1 Uruguay

France 1 : 2 South Africa

bjkeefe
06-23-2010, 01:53 AM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

[...]

France 1 : 2 South Africa

Ah. No wonder Florian was so crabby these past few hours. ;)

Congrats on Uruguay, though!

Florian
06-23-2010, 02:05 AM
Ah. No wonder Florian was so crabby these past few hours. ;)

Congrats on Uruguay, though!

Crabby? Why? Because I think that journalists lack savvy and that your over-the-top comments lack sense?

I have never had the slightest interest in watching overpaid grown men hit, kick or throw rubber balls to the cheers of the multitude. Whether "les bleus" win or lose means as little to me as the latest journalistic commentary on the events of the day. :p

bjkeefe
06-23-2010, 02:08 AM
I have never had the slightest interest in watching overpaid grown men hit, kick or throw rubber balls to the cheers of the multitude. Whether "les bleus" win or lose means as little to me as the latest journalistic commentary on the events of the day. :p

Oh, sure. You say that NOW that France has been beaten. :D

Florian
06-23-2010, 02:17 AM
Oh, sure. You say that NOW that France has been beaten. :D

Si j'étais typiquement chauvin, ce serait une explication plausible de ma remarque. Mais je suis un chauvin atypique. I really do find soccer and most sports boring.

bjkeefe
06-23-2010, 02:19 AM
Si j'étais typiquement chauvin, ce serait une explication plausible de ma remarque. Mais je suis un chauvin atypique. I really do find soccer and most sports boring.

Actually, I have no problem believing that, nor do I think any less of you for it.

Ocean
06-23-2010, 07:13 AM
Ah. No wonder Florian was so crabby these past few hours. ;)

Congrats on Uruguay, though!

Thank you, Brendan.

I don't think I've followed the World Cup all that much in many years. It's all your fault, folks. Well, you can blame it mostly on rfrobison's contagious enthusiasm. :)

rfrobison
06-23-2010, 08:58 AM
Don't mention it, O. (Can I call you O?)

It's 10 p.m. here and I'm poised to listen to the U.S.-Algeria game on ESPN's radio webcast. Here in Japan, only the England-Slovenia match is on TV. Grr!

Hope they have what it takes! I'll check in in about two hours or so with my incisive and witty soccer commentary...And if you believe the "incisive" part I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in.

rfrobison
06-23-2010, 11:57 AM
Absolutely fantastic finish.

I really had given up, but apparently Landon Donovan had not. Soccer doubters be on notice: America has a new sports superstar on its hands.

Great effort. On to the round of 16!

Lyle
06-23-2010, 12:39 PM
I don't know if Landon Donovan is a sports superstar, but he was the hero today. And thank God for it!

Wonderment
06-23-2010, 02:11 PM
And thank God for it!

And may God bless the United States of Algeria.

Lyle
06-23-2010, 03:31 PM
Yeah, pity for Algeria. They should have not loss to Slovenia or drawn against merry ole England.

Wonderment
06-23-2010, 03:43 PM
Towards the end of this 1-minute video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wglnzizkGyk) Shanti makes his first attempt to say "Gol de México" after saying "Gol" a few times (and "pollo"; go figure). Listen closely for his very last words on the video. He's still mumbling, but he'll get it.

listener
06-23-2010, 03:52 PM
Towards the end of this 1-minute video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wglnzizkGyk) Shanti makes his first attempt to say "Gol de México" after saying "Gol" a few times (and "pollo"; go figure). Listen closely for his very last words on the video. He's still mumbling, but he'll get it.

Cute!

Perhaps after Shanti masters that phrase, he can move on to "vuvuzela." ;)

bjkeefe
06-23-2010, 03:58 PM
Cute!

Perhaps after Shanti masters that phrase, he can move on to "vuvuzela." ;)

Or the vuvuzela sound, in which case I predict Wonderment will within three days come up with a new recipe for Cameroonian pollo.

(I once met a parrot whose favorite noise to make was the sound of a screen door slamming. He spent a lot of time in his cage with the shroud drawn, consequently.)

uncle ebeneezer
06-23-2010, 04:03 PM
LD will get the attention but really those other guys who started the break and the guy who took that first shot that the goalie couldn't handle really set the whole thing up. That said, being at the right place at the right time don't mean shit unless you put the ball in the net so hats off to all of them. Great finish!

Ocean
06-23-2010, 05:43 PM
Towards the end of this 1-minute video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wglnzizkGyk) Shanti makes his first attempt to say "Gol de México" after saying "Gol" a few times (and "pollo"; go figure). Listen closely for his very last words on the video. He's still mumbling, but he'll get it.

Hmmm... I'm extremely suspicious of that ending. I think it's one of those situations for "verlo (oirlo?) para creerlo."

http://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/aktion/action-smiley-002.gif

Ocean
06-23-2010, 05:46 PM
Don't mention it, O. (Can I call you O?)



That's fine, but let's leave the short form (O.) for close friends only. ;)

rfrobison
06-23-2010, 06:46 PM
Agreed. I believe it was Jozy Altidore who started the break (and I was about to write a nasty post about him not doing anything the whole night..except send a shot inexplicably over the crossbar from about 10 feet away in the first half, but then he redeemed himself in that final run). Clint Dempsey got the first rebound, and he was great all game. And then Donovan put it away.

My only disappointment was having to watch a web streaming broadcast because the game wasn't on TV here. Without a doubt, the best match I've ever seen.

Maybe now some of my fellow right-wingers will shut up and stop dissing soccer.

Or not. It sure as heck doesn't matter to me at the moment.

rfrobison
06-23-2010, 06:47 PM
Allahu akbar!

Wonderment
06-23-2010, 07:51 PM
It's just his first try. By the semifinals he'll do better.

rfrobison
06-23-2010, 07:56 PM
I'm liking the U.S. chances of making the quarter finals in their upcoming match against Ghana Saturday. I'm so pleased with the U.S. performance so far that even if they come up short, I'd still say they've had a great tournament.

If Ghana should prevail (and Japan not) I'll transfer my loyalty points to the West Africans--closest I could get to Senegal this time around.

Ocean
06-23-2010, 07:58 PM
It's just his first try. By the semifinals he'll do better.

You should teach him to say "U.S.A., U.S.A.!" Don't you want him to be bilingual?

listener
06-23-2010, 09:04 PM
You should teach him to say "U.S.A., U.S.A.!" Don't you want him to be bilingual?

That will only work if he can be taught to pump his claw at the same time.

Ocean
06-23-2010, 09:13 PM
That will only work if he can be taught to pump his claw at the same time.

Can we settle for an upward stretched wing?

listener
06-23-2010, 10:31 PM
Can we settle for an upward stretched wing?

Yes, if done in proper rhythm with the chant, that would be acceptable. :)

Lyle
06-24-2010, 12:39 AM
U.S. have a good chance to make the semi-finals actually. Possibly even the final itself depending on who beats whom in the other side of their half of the bracket... I see Brazil, the Netherlands, or Spain being in the other semi-final spot.

Ghana is good though, possibly better than the U.S. They should have possibly beaten Germany today. They had beau-coup scoring chances and the controlled a lot of the match. Germany just was able to put away one of their chances, and Ghana did not.

Personally I was hoping we'd get Serbia on Saturday, because or speed and athleticism would work well against them. Ghana has all that and more though. They are weak at goalie though.

Wonderment
06-24-2010, 12:41 AM
You know I can't resist posting baby pictures.

Wonderment
06-24-2010, 12:43 AM
and the Peace sign (or V for victory over Argentina)

listener
06-24-2010, 12:44 AM
You know I can't resist posting baby pictures.

awww...

Wonderment
06-24-2010, 12:45 AM
Wing shot.

Ocean
06-24-2010, 07:27 AM
You know I can't resist posting baby pictures.

I've got to admit, Shanti is irresistible. :)

Whatfur
06-24-2010, 08:28 AM
Simpson's take. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noOHdTQd6H8)

rfrobison
06-24-2010, 06:31 PM
OK, I confess. I know nothing about soccer. Actually, not that big a confession since I can't really claim to follow the sport closely except when the World Cup is on.

Still, going into the group stage I would have said that Japan's elimination was a fairly safe bet, especially after their rather poor showing in all the warm-up matches. Wrong. Again.

Japan has shown it can both score and defend. This ought to silence the people here who've been calling for Okada's head. (He's the coach.)

Next up, Uruguay. Ganbare Nippon!

Ocean
06-24-2010, 07:28 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

Denmark 1 : 3 Japan

Cameroon 1 : 2 Netherlands

Slovakia 3 : 2 Italy

Paraguay 0 : 0 New Zealand

Ocean
06-24-2010, 07:32 PM
Next up, Uruguay. Ganbare Nippon!

Not so fast, my friend. Your next game will be Japan- Paraguay. Here, (http://www.beachcomberpete.com/south_america/South_America_3.gif) look. ;)

Wonderment
06-24-2010, 08:00 PM
Not so fast, my friend.

Guay do you say that?

rfrobison
06-24-2010, 08:02 PM
Not so fast, my friend. Your next game will be Japan- Paraguay. Here, (http://www.beachcomberpete.com/south_america/South_America_3.gif) look. ;)

Oops. My apologies to the Paraguayans. BTW, Uruguay is up against South Korea. Another intriguing match.

Don Zeko
06-24-2010, 10:27 PM
Algeria loses, wa ham d'Allah. Also, USA! USA! USA!

rfrobison
06-25-2010, 12:02 AM
U.S. have a good chance to make the semi-finals actually. Possibly even the final itself depending on who beats whom in the other side of their half of the bracket... I see Brazil, the Netherlands, or Spain being in the other semi-final spot.

Ghana is good though, possibly better than the U.S. They should have possibly beaten Germany today. They had beau-coup scoring chances and the controlled a lot of the match. Germany just was able to put away one of their chances, and Ghana did not.

Personally I was hoping we'd get Serbia on Saturday, because or speed and athleticism would work well against them. Ghana has all that and more though. They are weak at goalie though.

Would be cool if the U.S. could avenge its 2006 loss to Ghana on Saturday. Sadly for me, the game airs Sunday morning at like 3:30 a.m. local time. I don't think I can drag myself out of bed to watch, but maybe...

listener
06-25-2010, 02:49 AM
The US is now a Third World country. John Oliver reports (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-june-23-2010/world-cup-2010--into-africa---us-beats-algeria).

Ocean
06-25-2010, 06:44 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

Chile 1 : 2 Spain

Switzerland 0 : 0 Honduras

Portugal 0 : 0 Brazil

North Korea 0 : 3 Côte d’Ivoire

This was the end of the first round. Tomorrow the round of 16 will start. How exciting!

rfrobison
06-25-2010, 08:00 PM
Well, we've reached the knockout stage of the World Cup and somehow, through a combination of good fortune and determination, the Yanks (not the most imaginative nickname, guys) have managed not just to survive but to win their group.

Lots of unexpected results so far. I'm looking forward to more.

So here are my (fairly uninformed, faith-based) predictions for the round of 16. Let's hear yours. Anyone can play!

South Korea 2, Uruguay 1 -- Although this would rate as a mild upset, I'm thinking South Korea will benefit from their speed and the fact that most everybody underestimates the skills of Asian squads.

U.S.A. 2, Ghana 0 -- Going out on a limb here, considering the U.S. has only scored three goals in total through the first three games of the tournament, but I've got a feeling they're going to get a few good breaks against Ghana, who are apparently missing their best player to injury.

Germany 1, England 1 (Germany wins on penalty kicks) -- OK, relying on nothing more than stereotypes about defensive German play and England's scoring difficulties, here. I'm open to corrections from more knowledgeable observers on this one.

Argentina 3, Mexico 1 -- Argentina is just too good. No way they'll loose this one unless Madonna -- er, Maradona and team are busted for cocaine possession before the match and fail to make bail in time for the kickoff.

Netherlands 1, Slovakia 0 -- Haven't been too impressed with what I've seen of the Dutch so far, but they'll do enough to win.

Brazil 2, Chile 1 -- The Chileans will be anxious to slay their regional rival, but I'm following that old soccer maxim: When in doubt, pick Brazil. Anybody else watch the Brazil-Portugal match last night? Those who, like me, thought Brazil was always exciting on the pitch was proven wrong. Zzzzz! Let's hope that's the last we see of that type of match.

Japan 2, Paraguay 1 -- Pure home team bias here, but the Blue Samurai or Samurai Blue or whatever it is they are called are on a hot streak. (Can't imagine why, but I like it.) And I confess to not having seen any Paraguay matches so I could be way off on this one. Thoughts?

Spain 1, Portugal 1 (Portugal wins on penalty kicks) -- Was none too impressed by Portugal last night, and I hear Spain struggled to advance to the knockout stage--I haven't actually seen them play. Only question in my mind is which of these World Cup underachievers will be least motivated. I'm predicting Spain.

So their you have it. I invite correction from all the true football aficionados. Have at it.

Go U.S.A.!

Wonderment
06-25-2010, 08:05 PM
Shanti improves in this 15-second video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX6nyPF5424)recorded in anticipation of the Big Game. Not perfect yet, but he's getting there.

listener
06-25-2010, 08:10 PM
Shanti improves in this 15-second video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX6nyPF5424)recorded in anticipation of the Big Game. Not perfect yet, but he's getting there.

Hey, definitely getting there! :)

rfrobison
06-25-2010, 08:13 PM
Hilarious! Good luck to you, Shanti and Mexico!

Please beat Madonna and the boys.

Ocean
06-25-2010, 08:18 PM
Please beat Madonna and the boys.

You mean this Madonna (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Spy3Nd2D6w)? ;)

rfrobison
06-25-2010, 08:31 PM
Actually, I'd totally forgotten about that. But, yeah, I confess I wouldn't mind seeing them gauchos have a good cry at the hands of Mexico.

JonIrenicus
06-26-2010, 01:41 AM
Ok I am not, and likely never will get into soccer, just something about watching a bunch of ant sized human beings incur brain damage every time they head butt a ball and not score for hours on end that lacks a personal appeal.


Anyway, when I go to google news they have scores plastered on the right side...


N Korea was like 0-3 in one game, in another earlier one it was 0-7....

The scores of the other team were almost double digits. Based off normal soccer games, this would seem to take decent teams days to achieve, but not teams that face N Korea.


So, they are the international Clippers of Soccer?

Ocean
06-26-2010, 08:56 AM
So, they are the international Clippers of Soccer?

I'm not sure what being Clippers of Soccer means, but if I understand the context, I would think it's a team that always loses and allows their rivals to score lots of points. If that's the case, I guess you could say that they are indeed the Clippers. I don't think, however, that was their intention when they classified for the Cup.

They played three games, lost all three, scored one goal, and received 12 goals against. Good try. ;)

Ocean
06-26-2010, 12:45 PM
South Korea 2, Uruguay 1 -- Although this would rate as a mild upset, I'm thinking South Korea will benefit from their speed and the fact that most everybody underestimates the skills of Asian squads.



Latest update:

2010 FIFA World Cup™: Round of 16


Uruguay 2 : 1 South Korea


Heh.

Oh, perhaps you made a typo?

(Sorry, rf, you asked for it and I couldn't help it...)

Wonderment
06-26-2010, 03:12 PM
¡U-ru-guay, u-ru-guay, u-ru-guay! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_mLduu12FE)

Ocean
06-26-2010, 03:17 PM
¡U-ru-guay, u-ru-guay, u-ru-guay! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_mLduu12FE)

Yes, one of the most beautiful anthems.

uncle ebeneezer
06-26-2010, 03:26 PM
Ocean, just for your edification. The Clippers are not only known for losing alot, but they are also the unfortunate organization that has often traded it's best players, had stars come to their team only to get injured or suddenly play nothing like they had for other teams, or drafted star players out of college who turned out to be busts in the professional realm. I don't think that these elements are what JI was referring to for Korea, but when somebody mentions the "Clippers" it's more than just invoking a perennial loser, it's almost on the level of being cursed. Possibly the biggest goof in the history of the Clippers was drafting Sam Bowie (who?) while passing on a youngster by the name of Michael Jordan. Ouch!!

Ocean
06-26-2010, 03:36 PM
Ocean, just for your edification. The Clippers are not only known for losing alot, but they are also the unfortunate organization that has often traded it's best players, had stars come to their team only to get injured or suddenly play nothing like they had for other teams, or drafted star players out of college who turned out to be busts in the professional realm. I don't think that these elements are what JI was referring to for Korea, but when somebody mentions the "Clippers" it's more than just invoking a perennial loser, it's almost on the level of being cursed. Possibly the biggest goof in the history of the Clippers was drafting Sam Bowie (who?) while passing on a youngster by the name of Michael Jordan. Ouch!!

Hey! Thanks!

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 06:08 PM
Or the vuvuzela sound, in which case I predict Wonderment will within three days come up with a new recipe for Cameroonian pollo.

Another take (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXRnDUGWdTU), from elsewhere in the animal kingdom, via Radley Balko (http://www.theagitator.com/2010/06/25/late-morning-links-5/).

rfrobison
06-26-2010, 07:51 PM
Well boys, it was fun while it lasted. I had recorded the match but made an error and it cut out early in the second half. Just as well.

It's hard not to agree with the AP headline writer who said the match showed the U.S. isn't ready for the big time.

Too many early goals and a defense with holes and forwards who don't seem to know how to score.

It's too bad. They couldn't have asked for a better draw in the round of 16. It's going to be a long trip home, I bet.

listener
06-26-2010, 09:28 PM
Another take (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXRnDUGWdTU), from elsewhere in the animal kingdom, via Radley Balko (http://www.theagitator.com/2010/06/25/late-morning-links-5/).

:D :D :D

Ocean
06-27-2010, 04:28 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Round of 16


Argentina 3 : 1 Mexico

Germany 4 : 1 England

United States 1 : 2 Ghana

Uruguay 2 : 1 South Korea


As you can see above, the chances of winning are much higher if you're on the left.

bjkeefe
06-27-2010, 04:34 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Round of 16


Argentina 3 : 1 Mexico

Germany 4 : 1 England

United States 1 : 2 Ghana

Uruguay 2 : 1 South Korea


As you can see above, the chances of winning are much higher if you're on the left.

And, this is Proof (http://www.google.com/cse?cx=007432832765683203066%3Azj_ist-lct4&ie=UTF-8&q=%22Center+Right+Nation%22&sa=Search&siteurl=www.google.com%2Fcse%2Fhome%3Fcx%3D0074328 32765683203066%253Azj_ist-lct4) that the USA is a Center-Right Nation!!!1!

Ocean
06-27-2010, 04:41 PM
And, this is Proof (http://www.google.com/cse?cx=007432832765683203066%3Azj_ist-lct4&ie=UTF-8&q=%22Center+Right+Nation%22&sa=Search&siteurl=www.google.com%2Fcse%2Fhome%3Fcx%3D0074328 32765683203066%253Azj_ist-lct4) that the USA is a Center-Right Nation!!!1!

Yes. Perhaps for the next World Cup there will be some progress.

Wonderment
06-27-2010, 04:43 PM
I made a very high-stakes bet ($1.00) with a friend. I have Brazil and Argentina; he has Spain and Netherlands.

So my sorrow over Mexico's loss to Argentina is offset by the enhanced probability of future profit. On the advice of my broker, however, to reduce my exposure I may have to hedge by buying some bundled German default swap mortgage derivatives.

Ocean
06-27-2010, 04:50 PM
I made a very high-stakes bet ($1.00) with a friend. I have Brazil and Argentina; he has Spain and Netherlands.

So my sorrow over Mexico's loss to Argentina is offset by the enhanced probability of future profit. On the advice of my broker, however, to reduce my exposure I may have to hedge by buying some bundled German default swap mortgage derivatives.

If the one you want can't win, love the one that wins. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5IVuN1N6-Y&feature=related) ;)

Wonderment
06-27-2010, 05:09 PM
¡Buen consejo!

That is my ocean in the video (no, not you, silly, the real ocean!). Looks like Malibu, about 100km from my house.

Ocean
06-27-2010, 05:14 PM
¡Buen consejo!

That is my ocean in the video (no, not you, silly, the real ocean!).

Wait a minute! I am the real Ocean. Your ocean is something else.

And yes:


Looks like Malibu, about 100km from my house.


Yes, I thought of that when I picked the video. :)

Wonderment
06-27-2010, 05:18 PM
Now, of course, I have to figure out how to get one of the ones I'm with and love to stop saying "Gol de México" every 2 minutes until the next Mundial.

Ocean
06-27-2010, 05:23 PM
Now, of course, I have to figure out how to get one of the ones I'm with and love to stop saying "Gol de México" every 2 minutes until the next Mundial.

LOL!

Unintended consequences?

Wonderment
06-27-2010, 06:11 PM
Unintended consequences?

Yes, as Paul Bloom would appreciate, Shanti was supposed to embody the essence of triumph and transmit his energy to the Mexican team so they'd win. Unfortunately, they probably trusted the eagle (http://images.clipartof.com/small/32302-Clipart-Illustration-Of-An-Eagle-On-A-Cactus-With-A-Serpent-On-A-Green-White-And-Red-Mexican-Flag-In-The-Shape-Of-A-Heart.jpg)instead. Still, I'm puzzled that my magic didn't work.

Ocean
06-27-2010, 06:15 PM
Still, I'm puzzled that my magic didn't work.

Well, you don't know whose magic was operating on behalf of Argentina.

If that offers any consolation. :)

rfrobison
06-28-2010, 02:18 AM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Round of 16


Argentina 3 : 1 Mexico

Germany 4 : 1 England

United States 1 : 2 Ghana

Uruguay 2 : 1 South Korea


As you can see above, the chances of winning are much higher if you're on the left.

Well, then, on behalf of those lonely few keeping vigil on the right: Goooo Ghana!! ;)

rfrobison
06-28-2010, 06:00 AM
Maybe you could get Shanti to say: "Goal contra Estados Unidos!" (Sorry if I butchered the grammar. I took French in school.) Every two minutes ought to be just about right.

[SIGH]

uncle ebeneezer
06-28-2010, 12:18 PM
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g256/junglecity73/Post.jpg

Ocean
06-28-2010, 05:33 PM
Yes, since I heard about that headline I can't avoid having the words "sore losers" popping up in my head. Oh, well!

Ocean
06-28-2010, 05:36 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Round of 16

Brazil 3 : 0 Chile

Netherlands 2 : 1 Slovakia

Argentina 3 : 1 Mexico

Germany 4 : 1 England

And here (http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/index.html) is the layout of the coming matches.

uncle ebeneezer
06-28-2010, 06:20 PM
Hopefully the rest of the world realizes what a joke the New York Post is.

Ocean
06-28-2010, 06:26 PM
Hopefully the rest of the world realizes what a joke the New York Post is.

Hopefully.

listener
06-29-2010, 04:21 AM
Hopefully.

The NY Post a joke?

What (http://danhoard.mlblogs.com/Headless%20Body%20resize.jpg) the (http://maremare1225.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/shiite.gif) heck (http://www.boulder.swri.edu/clark/chance/74xfkiss.jpg) are (http://img.skitch.com/20090921-e1wxwf7ipgw1cq1xytukigkfyb.preview.jpg) you (http://www.onejerusalem.com/wp-content/piece_in_the_middle.jpg) guys (http://www.robbtodd.com/storage/ahole.jpg) talking (http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/4048/nypkl8.jpg) about (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_LLRF0cz7T0U/R9aka0WlCpI/AAAAAAAABoc/1mdPVIbV5rI/s400/NewYorkPostMarch112008.jpg)???

(Extra cookie points for whoever can spot the fake headline)

(Actually I love the Post's headlines!)

Ocean
06-29-2010, 09:02 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Round of 16

Spain 1 : 0 Portugal


Paraguay 0 (5) : 0 (3) Japan

Brazil 3 : 0 Chile

Netherlands 2 : 1 Slovakia

The left column trend has been replicated.

South America continues strong.

This is the next round (quarter finals):

Quarter-finals

02/07 16:00 Netherlands - Brazil

02/07 20:30 Uruguay - Ghana

03/07 16:00 Argentina - Germany

03/07 20:30 Paraguay - Spain

listener
06-29-2010, 11:20 PM
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Round of 16

Spain 1 : 0 Portugal


Paraguay 0 (5) : 0 (3) Japan

Brazil 3 : 0 Chile

Netherlands 2 : 1 Slovakia

The left column trend has been replicated.

South America continues strong.

This is the next round (quarter finals):

Quarter-finals

02/07 16:00 Netherlands - Brazil

02/07 20:30 Uruguay - Ghana

03/07 16:00 Argentina - Germany

03/07 20:30 Paraguay - Spain

Both trends bode well for Uruguay... (http://baass.info/pixel/AlmaWang_FingersCrossed.jpg)

JoeK
06-29-2010, 11:58 PM
Hopefully the rest of the world realizes what a joke the New York Post is.
Since I am not NY Post reader, I could be off, but to me the headline is clearly ironic and self-deprecating. And very funny indeed.

bjkeefe
06-30-2010, 12:00 AM
Since I am not NY Post reader, I could be off, but to me the headline is clearly ironic and self-deprecating. And very funny indeed.

That was my reaction, exactly. Could have been something Wonkette would have written.

AemJeff
06-30-2010, 12:05 AM
Since I am not NY Post reader, I could be off, but to me the headline is clearly ironic and self-deprecating. And very funny indeed.

I'm with Joe on this.

But, what do I know? I'm no soccer fan. The closest I came to seeing any World Cup coverage I was having dinner in a churrasqueira with my wife. Ocean: when I turned around to look at the screen for a moment (all the commentary was in Portuguese) the one word I recognized was "Uruguay" - so I may have seen the home team playing while I was there!

Ocean
06-30-2010, 07:17 AM
Since I am not NY Post reader, I could be off, but to me the headline is clearly ironic and self-deprecating. And very funny indeed.

It's interesting that you say this. I heard about this headline through the comments that were made while listening to a NY radio station on my way to work that morning. The comment by the radio people had the connotation that the reaction was that of disdain for a sport that the US hasn't been able to excel at. But you're right, the NY post may have intended as an entirely ironic reaction. <sigh of relief> :)

Ocean
06-30-2010, 07:20 AM
I'm with Joe on this.

But, what do I know? I'm no soccer fan. The closest I came to seeing any World Cup coverage I was having dinner in a churrasqueira with my wife. Ocean: when I turned around to look at the screen for a moment (all the commentary was in Portuguese) the one word I recognized was "Uruguay" - so I may have seen the home team playing while I was there!

You're revealing some serious non-vegetarian eating habits there. ;)

And it certainly could have been one of the games that Uruguay played. They belonged to the first group, group A, so they usually play the first day of each round.

Ocean
06-30-2010, 07:25 AM
Both trends bode well for Uruguay... (http://baass.info/pixel/AlmaWang_FingersCrossed.jpg)

I wish I could say the same for the semifinals. Even if Uruguay wins against Ghana, it is likely that Brazil will win against Netherlands which will make the semifinal between Brazil and Uruguay. And let's admit it, that's as tough as it can get.

We'll see.

rfrobison
06-30-2010, 09:13 AM
I've got the Samurai Blue blues. With the U.S. and Japan out I am officially a soccer ronin (samurai without a lord). Any suggestions about whom I should pledge my allegiance to?

I'm thinking Ghana, since their performing well would reflect better on the U.S., but I'm open to other options. Or cash inducements if anyone really needs help cheering on a team.

uncle ebeneezer
06-30-2010, 02:51 PM
I can see that. But isn't it also possible that the Post is trying to play ironic by conveying a view that they actually hold?? Sortof like Glenn Beck claiming that he's just pulling a Steven Colbert. I'm not enough of a Post reader to know for sure how often they use irony. That said, it did make me laugh.

Ocean
06-30-2010, 05:35 PM
I've got the Samurai Blue blues. With the U.S. and Japan out I am officially a soccer ronin (samurai without a lord). Any suggestions about whom I should pledge my allegiance to?

Yes, Uruguay.

I'm thinking Ghana, since their performing well would reflect better on the U.S.,

Are you trying to pick up a fight, of all people, with me?

... but I'm open to other options.

In that case, change fast before this thread starts to deteriorate. I would accept without problems having someone root wholeheartedly for his/her favorite team. But rooting for anyone, just for practice and against my favorite, isn't justified, at least in my eyes. No way!

Or cash inducements if anyone really needs help cheering on a team.

Good luck with that!

popcorn_karate
06-30-2010, 06:37 PM
Ocean, just for your edification. The Clippers are not only known for losing alot, but they are also the unfortunate organization that has often traded it's best players, had stars come to their team only to get injured or suddenly play nothing like they had for other teams, or drafted star players out of college who turned out to be busts in the professional realm. I don't think that these elements are what JI was referring to for Korea, but when somebody mentions the "Clippers" it's more than just invoking a perennial loser, it's almost on the level of being cursed. Possibly the biggest goof in the history of the Clippers was drafting Sam Bowie (who?) while passing on a youngster by the name of Michael Jordan. Ouch!!

sorry, Eb. Those were my supremely unlucky Trailblazers drafting bowie over jordan.

luckily we made up for it by drafting Greg oden over Kevin Durant in 2007.

uncle ebeneezer
06-30-2010, 06:41 PM
Oh my god, you're right!! My bad. Still, I think my general account of the Clippers reputation for awfulness stands (including some TERRIBLE draft/trades.)

popcorn_karate
06-30-2010, 07:06 PM
Oh my god, you're right!! My bad. Still, I think my general account of the Clippers reputation for awfulness stands (including some TERRIBLE draft/trades.)

absolutely true on the meaning of the clippers. just don't try stealing my albatross ; )

uncle ebeneezer
06-30-2010, 08:03 PM
I would never...

For the record, the #2 worst pick on most lists:

Michael Olowokandi
1st Pick 1998 (Los Angeles Clippers)
With the first pick in a loaded draft, the Clippers pull the trigger on an underachieving 7-footer from the college basketball powerhouse that is the University of Pacific. The Kandi-Man retired after nine uninspiring seasons. Among the players the Clippers passed on to get him? Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, Rashard Lewis, Mike Bibby, and Antawn Jamison.

popcorn_karate
07-01-2010, 03:06 PM
I would never...

For the record, the #2 worst pick on most lists:

Michael Olowokandi
1st Pick 1998 (Los Angeles Clippers)
With the first pick in a loaded draft, the Clippers pull the trigger on an underachieving 7-footer from the college basketball powerhouse that is the University of Pacific. The Kandi-Man retired after nine uninspiring seasons. Among the players the Clippers passed on to get him? Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, Rashard Lewis, Mike Bibby, and Antawn Jamison.

wow. that was one hell of a draft year! nothing could ever top bowie/jordan, but that comes pretty close considering how many of the alternatives were amazing players.

TwinSwords
07-01-2010, 10:13 PM
I honestly have no idea why it's the least bit controversial to point out that the conservative movement is completely crazy. This is the dominant political force in the nation: a party of mad men.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Lc_-bt09Mac/TCzrkz69-gI/AAAAAAAAFxU/Q9d7P8OsfqY/s1600/Picture+2.png

Check out this madness (http://blog.american.com/?p=16158):

The world is crazy for soccer, but most Americans don’t give a hoot about the sport. Why? Many years ago, my former White House colleague Bill McGurn pointed out to me the real reason soccer hasn’t caught on in the good old U.S.A. It’s simple, really: Soccer is a socialist sport.

Think about it. Soccer is the only sport in the world where you cannot use the one tool that distinguishes man from beast: opposable thumbs. “No hands” is a rule only a European statist could love. (In fact, with the web of high taxes and regulations that tie the hands of European entrepreneurs, “no hands” kind of describes their economic theories as well.)

Just amazing.

I'm honestly wondering if this is a spoof blog and I've been had.

bjkeefe
07-01-2010, 11:33 PM
I honestly have no idea why it's the least bit controversial to point out that the conservative movement is completely crazy. This is the dominant political force in the nation: a party of mad men.

[...]

I'm honestly wondering if this is a spoof blog and I've been had.

Yep. If it weren't for wingnuts, we wouldn't need a Poe's Law, would we?

BTW, in case you missed them in the shuffle, from a couple of weeks back: more OUTRAGE, in video (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=165713#post165713) and textual (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=165718#post165718) form.

For connoisseurs only, as Roy would say, but I know you are one, so ... enjoy.

bjkeefe
07-02-2010, 05:19 PM
... the Ocean (http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Uruguay+beats+Ghana+penalty+kicks+reach+World+semi final/3228936/story.html). <-- spoiler alert

Ocean
07-02-2010, 06:34 PM
... the Ocean (http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Uruguay+beats+Ghana+penalty+kicks+reach+World+semi final/3228936/story.html). <-- spoiler alert

Heh. Thank you for following up on this. :)

Yes, I'm very happy with the results of that game. And additionally, Brazil lost. As much as I love Brazil, and I usually root for them in the World Cup, in this case, well, I selfishly like the fact that they won't be the rivals in the semifinals. Not that Netherlands are not a good team, of course they are, but, Brazil has always been very difficult for Uruguay due to the kind of game they play.

Anyhow, we'll see how the games go tomorrow.

Here's the update:

2010 FIFA World Cup™: Quarter-finals

Uruguay 1 (4) : 1 (2) Ghana

Netherlands 2 : 1 Brazil

rfrobison
07-02-2010, 07:59 PM
Ocean,

Hey. Congratulations on your team's win and I hope they do well in the next round...but only 'cause I like you.

That blatant handball that saved Uruguay from defeat in regulation time is a pretty cheap way to advance. Just like Maradona's "Hand of God" against England in '86.

So I guess the South American strategy is: "If it looks like you're going to lose, cheat. The other side might miss their penalty kick and you could 'win' in the end."

Ocean
07-02-2010, 08:06 PM
Ocean,

Hey. Congratulations on your team's win and I hope they do well in the next round...but only 'cause I like you.

That handball blatant that saved Uruguay from defeat in regulation time is a pretty cheap way to advance. Just like Maradona's "Hand of God" against England in '86.

So I guess the South American strategy is: "If it looks like you're going to lose, cheat. The other side might miss their penalty kick and you could 'win' in the end."


Oh, sports!

There's always something, isn't there?

Wonderment
07-02-2010, 08:29 PM
So I guess the South American strategy is: "If it looks like you're going to lose, cheat. The other side might miss their penalty kick and you could 'win' in the end."

Why is it cheating? Are fouls in basketball cheating? Is pass interference when a quarterback throws for a touchdown cheating? It was a rule violation, and it was punished according to the rules.

Cheating involves deceit -- throwing a spitball in baseball, stealing signals from another team, using banned substances, etc.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-02-2010, 08:47 PM
Why is it cheating? Are fouls in basketball cheating? Is pass interference when a quarterback throws for a touchdown cheating? It was a rule violation, and it was punished according to the rules.

Cheating involves deceit -- throwing a spitball in baseball, stealing signals from another team, using banned substances, etc.

If it was deliberate, it would be cheating. And it might well have been. Ghana played the better match today. I actually really like the Uruguayan team, but the weaker side won today.

rfrobison
07-02-2010, 09:59 PM
Why is it cheating? Are fouls in basketball cheating? Is pass interference when a quarterback throws for a touchdown cheating? It was a rule violation, and it was punished according to the rules.

Cheating involves deceit -- throwing a spitball in baseball, stealing signals from another team, using banned substances, etc.

Ah, I really don't care enough about these two teams to get into a heated argument over it, and I only saw the clip on Yahoo, not the whole match --pretty hard to watch the tournament for me this year because of the time difference.

But as Preppy said, there's a difference between a foul committed inadvertently and one done deliberately. That one looked deliberate to me. So did Henri's handball that ended up eliminating Ireland in the qualifiers, so did Maradona's "Hand of God."

I guess you could say, "Hey, it's part of the game," but it sure doesn't do much for the image of the sport. Taken to the extreme it would mean players should just pick up the ball and run every time the other team had a chance of scoring. Then they could just settle every game on penalties....[SIGH]

Incidentally, I once heard a theory that this is how rugby got started. Some kid on a soccer pitch picked up the ball and started running with it. The other kids ran after him and they started scrumming. Suddenly they stopped and said, "Hey, this is fun," and the rest is history. I have no idea if it's true, but it sure makes a nice story.

Wonderment
07-03-2010, 12:25 AM
But as Preppy said, there's a difference between a foul committed inadvertently and one done deliberately. That one looked deliberate to me. So did Henri's handball that ended up eliminating Ireland in the qualifiers, so did Maradona's "Hand of God."


No, there's a critical difference. In "la mano de dios" incident, Maradona got away with it. The illegal goal counted. Here Uruguay suffered the consequence, and Ghana had a relatively easy chance to end the match with a penalty shot victory.

I still don't get why you and Preppy think this is more of a "cheating" incident than an ordinary foul in basketball to prevent a player from scoring a layup.

Taken to the extreme it would mean players should just pick up the ball and run every time the other team had a chance of scoring. Then they could just settle every game on penalties....

Same for basketball. Taken to the extreme, players would foul each other on every shot. The game itself, however, balances incentives so that doesn't happen. It's the Free market theory of sports :)

Ocean
07-03-2010, 12:31 AM
I guess you could say, "Hey, it's part of the game," but it sure doesn't do much for the image of the sport. Taken to the extreme it would mean players should just pick up the ball and run every time the other team had a chance of scoring. Then they could just settle every game on penalties....[SIGH]


Since your "taken to the extreme" possibility is not going to happen, you have no argument here. The only valid conclusion I could acknowledge is that sports aren't always fair, the same as many other aspects of life.

I wouldn't advise that you get carried away assigning fault to South American teams. As far as I know, that kind of questionable game that you point out has been carried out by many teams from the most diverse origin.

Ocean
07-03-2010, 12:32 AM
Same for basketball. Taken to the extreme, players would foul each other on every shot. The game itself, however, balances incentives so that doesn't happen. It's the Free market theory of sports :)

Good metaphor!

rfrobison
07-03-2010, 03:03 AM
Since your "taken to the extreme" possibility is not going to happen, you have no argument here. The only valid conclusion I could acknowledge is that sports aren't always fair, the same as many other aspects of life.

I wouldn't advise that you get carried away assigning fault to South American teams. As far as I know, that kind of questionable game that you point out has been carried out by many teams from the most diverse origin.

True enough. I'm just glad it happened to Ghana and not to the U.S. If it had, I'd have to spend the next four years listening my fellow righties (99% of whom couldn't care less about soccer) prattle on about how the refs, other teams, President Obama, the media, etc., etc. conspired to rob us of our place in the semis.

Actually it was lackluster play on the part of our team that did that. [SIGH. Again.]

I'm taking that loss much harder than I should for a very sometime fan of the "Beautiful Game."

rfrobison
07-03-2010, 03:09 AM
The game itself, however, balances incentives so that doesn't happen. It's the Free market theory of sports


That's just like you, Wonderment. Using my favorite tools against me. That's a red card for you!

I win this argument on penalty kicks!!

;)

bjkeefe
07-03-2010, 04:57 AM
[...]

Another one for the collection, and to remind you that these wingnuts just will not stop (http://www.ordinary-gentlemen.com/2010/07/salary-caps-are-the-epitome-of-capitalism/) (via (http://twitter.com/UOJim/status/17604408337)):

Salary Caps Are the Epitome of Capitalism

by Mark Thompson

…Or at least that’s the takeaway I get from this remarkably idiotic attempt by Marc Thiessen to paint soccer as “socialist” because France.*

We all know what sport a manly free-market-lovin' man like Marc Thiessen likes, don't we? Of course we do. Even a simple machine only needs a two-character hint.

rfrobison
07-03-2010, 11:52 AM
What can one say? The Germans put on a clinic. I'd like to express my heartfelt sympathy to Madonna...

Then again, maybe I won't.

Bwaaahahahahahahahha!

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 12:17 PM
I still don't get why you and Preppy think this is more of a "cheating" incident than an ordinary foul in basketball to prevent a player from scoring a layup.

FIFA rules are different from NBA rules in that 'intent' is actually part of the criterion determining the magnitude of the offense on some fouls. Not all fouls, but some. That's usually the line between a foul or hard tackle and 'aggressive play,' which merits a card. So using a really egregious foul on purpose, tactically, in the stricter leagues (Germany and Spain) is a huge offense in soccer in a way that it isn't in basketball. By contrast, in some leagues where officiating is lax (Italy, England, a number of Latin Am countries), bending the rules to stave off an attack from the other side is valorized. So in my case, it probably has something to do with the fact that I grew up watching a stricter kind of soccer where cleanliness was key.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 12:18 PM
What can one say? The Germans put on a clinic. I'd like to express my heartfelt sympathy to Madonna...

Then again, maybe I won't.

Bwaaahahahahahahahha!

Indeed. We're giddy with glee in my house this AM. BEAUTIFUL stuff from Germany.

Ocean
07-03-2010, 01:09 PM
What can one say? The Germans put on a clinic. I'd like to express my heartfelt sympathy to Madonna...

Then again, maybe I won't.

Bwaaahahahahahahahha!

Indeed. We're giddy with glee in my house this AM. BEAUTIFUL stuff from Germany.


So, tell me, are you germanophiles or argentinophobes?

"Bwaaahahahahahahahha!" and "giddy with glee" don't arise from pure, neutral appreciation of sportmanship. Come on, share with the crowds!

bjkeefe
07-03-2010, 01:12 PM
FIFA rules are different from NBA rules in that 'intent' is actually part of the criterion determining the magnitude of the offense on some fouls. Not all fouls, but some. That's usually the line between a foul or hard tackle and 'aggressive play,' which merits a card. So using a really egregious foul on purpose, tactically, in the stricter leagues (Germany and Spain) is a huge offense in soccer in a way that it isn't in basketball.

FYI, the NBA has a set of rules that do, in fact, require the referees to make judgment calls about intent, and accordingly, there are progressively more severe penalties.

For example, there is something called a "clear path" foul, in which a player fouls another player who would otherwise have had an uncontested breakaway lay-up. Penalty: two foul shots, plus the team whose player got fouled gets possession again after the free throws.

There are also the "flagrant-one" and "flagrant-two" fouls, which are called when in the view of the officials, excessive, unnecessary, and/or dangerous physical action was part of the foul. These mean extra foul shots and possession, and either two f-1s or one f-2 results in immediate ejection of the offending player, plus probably additional discipline from the Commissioner.

There are similar rule structures in other basketball leagues, although I don't know the details off the top of my head. See here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagrant_foul), if you're interested.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 01:18 PM
FYI, the NBA has a set of rules that do, in fact, require the referees to make judgment calls about intent, and accordingly, there are progressively more severe penalties.

For example, there is something called a "clear path" foul, in which a player fouls another player who would otherwise have had an uncontested breakaway lay-up. Penalty: two foul shots, plus the team whose player got fouled gets possession again after the free throws.

There are also the "flagrant-one" and "flagrant-two" fouls, which are called when in the view of the officials, excessive, unnecessary, and/or dangerous physical action was part of the foul. These mean extra foul shots and possession, and either two f-1s or one f-2 results in immediate ejection of the offending player, plus probably additional discipline from the Commissioner.

There are similar rule structures in other basketball leagues, although I don't know the details off the top of my head. See here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagrant_foul), if you're interested.

Noted. If it's not in the rules, then what explains the gap--that Wment correctly points out--between the way we treat the intentional foul in soccer (frowned upon among a lot of fans) and basketball (much more part of the game)?

bjkeefe
07-03-2010, 01:28 PM
Noted. If it's not in the rules, ...

???

I just got through explaining what the official rules are, concerning intentional fouls in the NBA.

... then what explains the gap--that Wment correctly points out--between the way we treat the intentional foul in soccer (frowned upon among a lot of fans) and basketball (much more part of the game)?

And perhaps I should have made it clearer, but fans and players alike deplore flagrant fouls in basketball.

As far as the "gap" goes, I think in all sports that I've ever played, there is an understanding that there is a difference between some kinds of violation/fouls/cheating and other kinds. There is a gray area on some things, where it is actually considered winning play, worthy of kudos, to get away with something that is technically against the rules. For example, subtle holding in football, basketball, or soccer, in such a way that the ref can't see, just enough to delay your opponent by half a step. Or, when covering second in baseball on a stolen base attempt, falling down on top of the runner and feigning an inability to get up when the throw gets away from you, to give the centerfielder a chance to run in and get it.

And then there are "smart" fouls. For example, an intentional foul in basketball when you're not in the penalty, that forces the other team to take the ball out of bounds, especially with time running out. For another: fouling someone on the way to the basket who would otherwise throw down an inspiring dunk (unwritten "rule:" No Layups In The Playoffs), or because this player is a bad free throw shooter. Here, you could say that play is in strict accordance with the rules, and the decision is made tactically, in anticipation of the known penalty.

And then there is the third category, where it is agreed that the play is dirty, and everyone thinks it's bad. For example, a crackback block, or clotheslining or grabbing the face mask in football, submarining an airborne player in basketball or soccer, or throwing behind a batter's head in baseball.

I don't want to go on forever about this, but do you get some sense of these distinctions as I see them?

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 01:47 PM
???

I just got through explaining what the official rules are, concerning intentional fouls in the NBA.



And perhaps I should have made it clearer, but fans and players alike deplore flagrant fouls in basketball.

As far as the "gap" goes, I think in all sports that I've ever played, there is an understanding that there is a difference between some kinds of violation/fouls/cheating and other kinds. There is a gray area on some things, where it is actually considered winning play, worthy of kudos, to get away with something that is technically against the rules. For example, subtle holding in football, basketball, or soccer, in such a way that the ref can't see, just enough to delay your opponent by half a step. Or, when covering second in baseball on a stolen base attempt, falling down on top of the runner and feigning an inability to get up when the throw gets away from you, to give the centerfielder a chance to run in and get it.

And then there are "smart" fouls. For example, an intentional foul in basketball when you're not in the penalty, that forces the other team to take the ball out of bounds, especially with time running out. For another: fouling someone on the way to the basket who would otherwise throw down an inspiring dunk (unwritten "rule:" No Layups In The Playoffs), or because this player is a bad free throw shooter. Here, you could say that play is in strict accordance with the rules, and the decision is made tactically, in anticipation of the known penalty.

And then there is the third category, where it is agreed that the play is dirty, and everyone thinks it's bad. For example, a crackback block, or clotheslining or grabbing the face mask in football, submarining an airborne player in basketball or soccer, or throwing behind a batter's head in baseball.

I don't want to go on forever about this, but do you get some sense of these distinctions as I see them?

1. I meant, if the DIFFERENCE is not in the rules, because as you pointed out, the rules are similar.

2. I see what you're saying, but I think in many of the top soccer leagues, though not in all, the social sanction on the use of the intentional foul as a strategy is stronger than it is in basketball. That's been my impression in all the years I've followed professional sports. You don't think that's true. Fine. Wonderment, who asked about this, seemed to think it is. And if it is, I'm wondering why.

Ocean
07-03-2010, 01:50 PM
Noted. If it's not in the rules, then what explains the gap--that Wment correctly points out--between the way we treat the intentional foul in soccer (frowned upon among a lot of fans) and basketball (much more part of the game)?

There are technical fouls and dirty play fouls.

I'm not sure what you're trying to figure out here, but here (http://www.soccer-fans-info.com/soccer-fouls.html) is an informative link, and a clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF4iWIE77Ts)from one of the most famous (infamous) fouls caught on tape.

And here is an excerpt:

History actually recorded some famous soccer fouls that sparked controversy all around the world. The first professional foul (a foul where the defender intentionally fouls an attacker that has a good chance) was "patented" by Willie Young of Arsenal, who committed a deliberate foul on Paul Allen of West Ham, in the 1980 FA Cup Final the two teams played.
The incident sparked some intense controversy both on and off pitch, as the gesture countered all fair-play rules that the game was played around. Since then however, the professional foul became a common and an accepted method of stopping a team from having a good opportunity on goal.


Another negatively famous foul was the one made by Olympique Lyonnais' Serge Blanc on then Celtic's striker Henrik Larsson. TV Cameras caught the exact moment of the foul and showed how Blanc's leg catches Larsson's leg on the ground and breaks it. The images horrified many viewers as they seemed like taken from a war movie.


It seemed that Larsson's leg was dangling down from the spot it broke, but eventually doctors claimed that it was an illusion caused by his shinpad going down the side of his leg and that the fracture isn't as bad as it looked on cameras. Still, Larsson had to recover for 1.5 years before returning to the big stage of European soccer.


Last on the list of famous soccer fouls just came in on the last World Cup from Germany. In the final played by France against Italy, France's captain, Zinedine Zidane was going to play his last official soccer game ever, as he announced his retirement from both his club and the national team after the final.


Being considered the best player of the tournament so far and knowing that this would be the magnificent France captain's last match, the camera was pointed at him almost as much as it was pointed to the game itself.


Unfortunately for Zidane, this meant that his 114th minute headbutt of Italy's Marco Matterazzi was clearly caught on tape, sparking worldwide feelings of anger, disappointment, frustration but also empathy from Zizou's fans.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 03:11 PM
There are technical fouls and dirty play fouls.

I'm not sure what you're trying to figure out here, but here (http://www.soccer-fans-info.com/soccer-fouls.html) is an informative link, and a clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF4iWIE77Ts)from one of the most famous (infamous) fouls caught on tape.

And here is an excerpt:

Thanks Ocean. Who could forget about Zidane's sad exit from the game? My question is really more sparked by Wment's comment which was about the way fans, the culture surrounding the sport etc. treat the deliberate use of the foul as a part of strategy. My experience has been that when talking about basketball with people who big basketball fans it ranges from 'eh, it's part of the game' to 'eh, there's a line somewhere, but it's blurry.' Whereas when talking about soccer, the reaction ranges more to, 'the teams that do that kind of suck.' Now that could be reflective of who I know and what clubs and leagues I follow, but when Wment asked why rfrobinson was more upset about this than (in WM's assessment) a basketball fan would be, I agreed that there is a difference in perception between the sports and I wanted to know why that is there.

Ocean
07-03-2010, 03:19 PM
Thanks Ocean. Who could forget about Zidane's sad exit from the game? My question is really more sparked by Wment's comment which was about the way fans, the culture surrounding the sport etc. treat the deliberate use of the foul as a part of strategy.

Yes, I guess by now I figured what you meant. It seems that the tolerance to foul play has become more widely institutionalized in some sports as compared to others. I don't know enough about sports to speculate. But I would imagine that it has something to do with the culture that surrounds that particular sport. Soccer is more difficult to interpret because the entire world is involved in it. But I guess it's somewhere half way between, say, basketball where fouls are part of the game tactics, and golf where they wouldn't be tolerated.

Do you have any thoughts about what makes the difference?

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 03:26 PM
Yes, I guess by now I figured what you meant. It seems that the tolerance to foul play has become more widely institutionalized in some sports as compared to others. I don't know enough about sports to speculate. But I would imagine that it has something to do with the culture that surrounds that particular sport. Soccer is more difficult to interpret because the entire world is involved in it. But I guess it's somewhere half way between, say, basketball where fouls are part of the game tactics, and golf where they wouldn't be tolerated.

Do you have any thoughts about what makes the difference?

Yeah, you've basically nailed what I was getting at. I don't have a great answer at all. I follow basketball but not obsessively, so I said at first that it was something in the structure and regulation of fouls in basketball, but BJ convinced me that's not it. Beyond that, I really haven't the faintest idea, because of soccer's global nature.

Although, maybe that global nature is a form of explanation. Despite soccer players playing most of the time for clubs, many of the sport's most famous moments and cherished rivalries are international. And in international sports, whether it's a World Cup or the Olympics or whatever, there's a lot of strange idealism about proving the mettle not only of the athletes but the society etc. and with that, admittedly, a lot of nasty political bashing of the other side. But in that context, it's embarrassing to have your side play low. That's speculation, because as I said, I have no clue and asked the question in the hope others did, but it's one theory.

Ocean
07-03-2010, 03:43 PM
But in that context, it's embarrassing to have your side play low.

My guess is that throughout the decades of international competitions, the different countries have been on both sides of the camp at different times. I would imagine that if your team is playing clean, but loses because the other team has displayed the full complement of tricks, you can find consolation in the gentlemanliness of your side. But, possibly there would also be a feeling of being fools who should have played hard to match the opponents. So it really depends on how you choose to look at it.

Have you ever seen the movie Rollerball (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollerball_%281975_film%29)? Leaving the political connotations aside, it is a good example of the escalation of brutality in sports.

Ocean
07-03-2010, 04:28 PM
Here are the results for today:

Argentina 0:4 Germany

Paraguay 0:1 Spain


The next games are going to be July 6th Uruguay -Netherlands, and July 7th Germany - Spain for the semifinals.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 04:33 PM
My guess is that throughout the decades of international competitions, the different countries have been on both sides of the camp at different times. I would imagine that if your team is playing clean, but loses because the other team has displayed the full complement of tricks, you can find consolation in the gentlemanliness of your side. But, possibly there would also be a feeling of being fools who should have played hard to match the opponents. So it really depends on how you choose to look at it.

Have you ever seen the movie Rollerball (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollerball_%281975_film%29)? Leaving the political connotations aside, it is a good example of the escalation of brutality in sports.

Hmm...you may be right. I do think, on balance, soccer culture is less tolerant of this than some other sports (though as you say, it's not golf). But since I can't quantify the distinction or explain it, I'll drop it.

I haven't seen Rollerball. Perhaps I should.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 04:47 PM
So, tell me, are you germanophiles or argentinophobes?

"Bwaaahahahahahahahha!" and "giddy with glee" don't arise from pure, neutral appreciation of sportmanship. Come on, share with the crowds!

Oh, I'm a lifelong Germany fan. Good story actually: I was IN Germany on family vacation in the winter of '89-'90, at the wee age of 3 when the wall came down, or rather a few weeks after it officially fell but as it was still in the process of being dismantled. Some close family friends of ours who lived in the US during the 80s and whose son Max was my best friend at the time had just moved back to the country and we were visiting them. And I have an early memory of being in the middle of Berlin and watching what I thought was a huge construction site, and having my mother explain that this was the remnants of a world historical event. And so when, that summer, they won the Cup, I watched with my dad who was a Germany fan, and my reaction was something akin to, "Oh, we went on vacation there. That was fun. Max lives there. I like Max. Go Germany!" After all, I was four. But that is when I started following soccer and my love for Germany sort of stuck. Now, I remain a Germany fan because I like the way they play--clinical, technically sophisticated, fast passing, team coordination, not a lot of ego, no diving or madness of that kind, etc.

So that's my story.

Ocean
07-03-2010, 05:03 PM
Now, I remain a Germany fan because I like the way they play--clinical, technically sophisticated, fast passing, team coordination, not a lot of ego, no diving or madness of that kind, etc.


Yes, that's a good description of traditional German play. Perfectly (or almost) aligned.

rfrobison
07-03-2010, 07:03 PM
So, tell me, are you germanophiles or argentinophobes?

"Bwaaahahahahahahahha!" and "giddy with glee" don't arise from pure, neutral appreciation of sportmanship. Come on, share with the crowds!

Neither. As impressive as Germany's play was--and I've never seen a team so dominate another at the World Cup, especially a traditional power like Argentina--I'd be lying if I said my joy didn't spring almost entirely from seeing Maradona humiliated. He's said a lot of stuff about the U.S. that I think was contemptible. And while I realize it's silly of me to bring politics into it, I strongly dislike the Kirschners as well.

I do feel a tad sorry for the players and the fans, though.

rfrobison
07-03-2010, 07:08 PM
I was IN Germany on family vacation in the winter of '89-'90, at the wee age of 3 when the wall came down...

Man, I feel old. Thanks, Preppy. ;)

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 10:36 PM
Neither. As impressive as Germany's play was--and I've never seen a team so dominate another at the World Cup, especially a traditional power like Argentina--I'd be lying if I said my joy didn't spring almost entirely from seeing Maradona humiliated. He's said a lot of stuff about the U.S. that I think was contemptible. And while I realize it's silly of me to bring politics into it, I strongly dislike the Kirchners as well.

I do feel a tad sorry for the players and the fans, though.

This is one of the issues in international sports. Things like the Olympics and global tournaments in individual sports are, historically, supposed to be about peace. In a sense, they are about separating national pride from jingoism. Maybe that's a fool's errand. Because this kind of political interpretation of the teams always seeps in. I guess I'm opposed to it, even though I see it everywhere and find its presence inevitable.

For example, today, as I tweeted joyfully about the game, I received several direct (note: private) messages back telling me I was basically the equivalent of a WWII collaborator. I think that's sort of shameful. But, judging by my Twitter account and the plethora of anti-German cheers common in many European countries who suffered either Nazi takeover or wartime destruction, mine is a minority view.

So, like I said, probably a fool's errand. But I had to put it out there anyway.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 10:40 PM
Man, I feel old. Thanks, Preppy. ;)

Hey, number 13, Thomas Müller was only 2 months old.

AemJeff
07-03-2010, 10:50 PM
Hey, number 13, Thomas Müller was only 2 months old.

You're not helping!

Wonderment
07-03-2010, 11:06 PM
This is one of the issues in international sports. Things like the Olympics and global tournaments in individual sports are, historically, supposed to be about peace. In a sense, they are about separating national pride from jingoism. Maybe that's a fool's errand. Because this kind of political interpretation of the teams always seeps in. I guess I'm opposed to it, even though I see it everywhere and find its presence inevitable.

Right. One Israeli op ed I read was expressing relief that they didn't qualify, since it would have entailed a nightmare of recriminations and protest.

For example, today, as I tweeted joyfully about the game, I received several direct (note: private) messages back telling me I was basically the equivalent of a WWII collaborator.

I grew up in a post-war environment in which people would not buy German products, like VWs. Even I, however, cannot hold a grudge for 65 years. Plus, it's idiotic to blame today's Germans for their grandparents' Nazism.

Since I lose $1.00 if either Holland or Spain wins the World Cup, I will be fervently rooting for Germany to beat Spain. But then, of course, I want Uruguay (http://www.lacelesteblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/A-celebrar.jpeg) to defeat Germany.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 11:11 PM
You're not helping!

I know, I'm cruel. But I will atone for my sins by spending Saturday night (on a holiday weekend!) at home, transcribing reporting tapes, and translating them from Urdu into English as I go.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-03-2010, 11:33 PM
Right. One Israeli op ed I read was expressing relief that they didn't qualify, since it would have entailed a nightmare of recriminations and protest.

And sadly, the op-ed writers' predictions would probably have been right.

I grew up in a post-war environment in which people would not buy German products, like VWs. Even I, however, cannot hold a grudge for 65 years. Plus, it's idiotic to blame today's Germans for their grandparents' Nazism.

Right. It's hard. The cultural memory of war is a powerful and strange thing. Two books worth reading: The Silence of Memory (by Adrian Gregory) and The Myth of the Blitz (by Angus Calder). They're both about Britain, in WWI and WWII, but they're also the best work on memory I can think of.

Since I lose $1.00 if either Holland or Spain wins the World Cup, I will be fervently rooting for Germany to beat Spain. But then, of course, I want Uruguay (http://www.lacelesteblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/A-celebrar.jpeg) to defeat Germany.

I must admit, that while my heart is always with Germany first, I can't really hate any of these teams, because they all play soccer in a way I respect and admire. So my chances of true outrage and grief are much lower this time than they were at this stage in the last Cup. And boy did I grieve.

Ocean
07-04-2010, 12:01 AM
Since I lose $1.00 if either Holland or Spain wins the World Cup, I will be fervently rooting for Germany to beat Spain. But then, of course, I want Uruguay (http://www.lacelesteblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/A-celebrar.jpeg) to defeat Germany.

:)

rfrobison
07-04-2010, 12:27 AM
Well, having copped to the sin of soccer jingoism, I will now try to repent by saying I am enjoying the tournament immensely and hope that everyone else is, too.

I read an essay by Christopher Hitchens in Newsweek before the winter Olympics in Vancouver decrying sports precisely for bringing out ugly nationalistic passions.

After reading it I thought: What a spoil sport--literally. Here's hoping I and others won't prove Hitchens right.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-04-2010, 01:07 AM
Well, having copped to the sin of soccer jingoism, I will now try to repent by saying I am enjoying the tournament immensely and hope that everyone else is, too.

I read an essay by Christopher Hitchens in Newsweek before the winter Olympics in Vancouver decrying sports precisely for bringing out ugly nationalistic passions.

After reading it I thought: What a spoil sport--literally. Here's hoping I and others won't prove Hitchens right.

Nah, you're not the worst in that you recognize it as irrational.

And yes, I recall that essay. I hear that critique a lot actually from friends. I'm a critic of sports nationalism, as noted above, but when I hear it from them, it sounds more like a mask for just not liking sports to begin with. The Hitchens piece sort of read like that.

bjkeefe
07-04-2010, 03:12 PM
1. I meant, if the DIFFERENCE is not in the rules, because as you pointed out, the rules are similar.

Okay.

2. I see what you're saying, but I think in many of the top soccer leagues, though not in all, the social sanction on the use of the intentional foul as a strategy is stronger than it is in basketball. That's been my impression in all the years I've followed professional sports. You don't think that's true. Fine. Wonderment, who asked about this, seemed to think it is. And if it is, I'm wondering why.

You've drawn the wrong conclusion about my thoughts from what I've said in this thread. I have no opinion on how strongly people elsewhere in the world view intentional fouling in soccer, relative to other sports. I don't pretend to have enough exposure in this area to have formed any.

I was merely trying to clarify for the record what the rules are in the NBA, and what the perceptions concerning various kinds of intentionality are, since you seemed unfamiliar with both.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-04-2010, 03:52 PM
I was merely trying to clarify for the record what the rules are in the NBA, and what the perceptions concerning various kinds of intentionality are, since you seemed unfamiliar with both.

Your description of the rules, I thank your for. As for perceptions, what you laid out mostly corroborated what I have experienced watching basketball and talking to more serious basketball fans. I still feel that in international soccer, the social sanction is stronger that what you described, but I remain confused as to why, though Ocean did try to help me work it out. Since I seem to be the only person who cares to understand why this is the case, I dropped it.

bjkeefe
07-04-2010, 04:16 PM
Your description of the rules, I thank your for. As for perceptions, what you laid out mostly corroborated what I have experienced watching basketball and talking to more serious basketball fans. I still feel that in international soccer, the social sanction is stronger that what you described, but I remain confused as to why, though Ocean did try to help me work it out. Since I seem to be the only person who cares to understand why this is the case, I dropped it.

Okay. Whether the level of outrage over certain kinds of fouls in basketball fails to rise to the same level in connection with international soccer is, as I've said, something I can't comment on. For the record, though, you did not at first demonstrate any awareness that there are, in fact, certain kinds of fouls in basketball that are viewed by fans and players alike as highly egregious.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-05-2010, 02:40 AM
Okay. Whether the level of outrage over certain kinds of fouls in basketball fails to rise to the same level in connection with international soccer is, as I've said, something I can't comment on. For the record, though, you did not at first demonstrate any awareness that there are, in fact, certain kinds of fouls in basketball that are viewed by fans and players alike as highly egregious.

Right, the question I'm asking is one I understand that you're not in a position to help me with. Oh, well. I'll ponder elsewhere.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 05:03 AM
Right, the question I'm asking is one I understand that you're not in a position to help me with. Oh, well. I'll ponder elsewhere.

I get that you're committed to never admitting that you were wrong about anything, but trying to bullshit your way out of getting called on making making (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168059#post168059) erroneous (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168065#post168065) assertions (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168155#post168155) on things you don't know about is probably not going to improve the chances of your getting "help" "elsewhere."

Ponder that.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-05-2010, 08:50 AM
I said at first that it was something in the structure and regulation of fouls in basketball, but BJ convinced me that's not it.

Read more carefully. I've already admitted where I was wrong and you were right--on the rules. I still maintain that I am right about the differing cultural and social sanction, but since you say you're not in a position to dialogue about that, this is now a silly exchange.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 12:23 PM
Read more carefully. I've already admitted where I was wrong and you were right--on the rules. I still maintain that I am right about the differing cultural and social sanction, but since you say you're not in a position to dialogue about that, this is now a silly exchange.

Sorry, but that's still at least half a load of BS. In addition to not knowing the rules of basketball, you have also demonstrated that you don't get the "cultural and social sanction" aspects of it, either. Just talking to a friend or two or watching the odd game on the teevee does not make you informed enough to say that there's something different about how breaking the rules is viewed in general, worldwide. Particularly in Very Serious Person Trying To Have Lofty Conversation tones. You simply do not get basketball and the differing ways fans and players view different kinds of infractions. End of story.

The real problem here is this: you couldn't just respond by acknowledging I was right and you were wrong about the facts. You grudged out one line about oh, okay, teh rules, whatever, butIwastalkingaboutsomethingelse and then basically continued, but never mind about your precious facts and rules, I can haz gut feelingz!

The mistake was probably mine: instead of trying to be polite about it in the follow-ups, I should have been more blunt. The point I was trying to get across to you -- evidently, too subtly -- by stating that I was in no position to comment on attitudes, worldwide, about soccer, was that neither were you regarding basketball, since you made it clear, repeatedly, that you only have a casual acquaintance, at best, with the game.

Now, you're right about one thing: this has long been a silly conversation. But I'll be goddamned if I'm going to let someone be wrong on the Internet and then use that to affect a pompous attitude. You may do one or the other, but you may not do both. There's no room for playing Thomas Friedman or Bill Kristol or Ann Althouse here, and I for one have no patience for any such punditizing-in-training.

nikkibong
07-05-2010, 12:25 PM
Sorry, but that's still at least half a load of BS. In addition to not knowing the rules of basketball, you have also demonstrated that you don't get the "cultural and social sanction" aspects of it, either. Just talking to a friend or two or watching the odd game on the teevee does not make you informed enough to say that there's something different about how breaking the rules is viewed in general, worldwide. Particularly in Very Serious Person Trying To Have Lofty Conversation tones. You simply do not get basketball and the differing ways fans and players view different kinds of infractions. End of story.

The real problem here is this: you couldn't just respond by acknowledging I was right and you were wrong about the facts. You grudged out one line about oh, okay, teh rules, whatever, butIwastalkingaboutsomethingelse and then basically continued, but never mind about your precious facts and rules, I can haz gut feelingz!

The mistake was probably mine: instead of trying to be polite about it in the follow-ups, I should have been more blunt. The point I was subtly trying to get across to you by stating that I was in no position to comment on attitudes, worldwide, about soccer, neither were you regarding basketball, since you made it clear to begin with that you only have a casual acquaintance, at best, with the game.

Now, you're right about one thing: this has long been a silly conversation. But I'll be goddamned if I'm going to let someone be wrong on the Internet and then use that to affect a pompous attitude. You may do one or the other, but you may not simultaneously do both. There's no room for playing Thomas Friedman or Bill Kristol or Ann Althouse here, and I for one have no patience for any such punditizing-in-training.

Flagrant foul!

;)

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 01:01 PM
Flagrant foul!

;)

Yeah. Comparing anyone to any of those three is probably a bit excessive.

uncle ebeneezer
07-05-2010, 01:46 PM
The question that I find most interesting is why some forms of cheating (for example: Kobe getting a defender in the air and then jumping into him in order to draw a foul and go to the free-throw line) are considered acceptable and even laudable, whereas others (Vlade Divac-esque dramatic flopping) is widely scoffed at. They are both trying to take advantage of the exact same rule to the exact same result.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 02:14 PM
The question that I find most interesting is why some forms of cheating (for example: Kobe getting a defender in the air and then jumping into him in order to draw a foul and go to the free-throw line) are considered acceptable and even laudable, whereas others (Vlade Divac-esque dramatic flopping) is widely scoffed at. They are both trying to take advantage of the exact same rule to the exact same result.

I don't see how you can call doing a head-and-shoulders or ball fake "cheating." Trying to draw a defender into fouling you while you're in the act of shooting has been a tactic of the game since the peach basket days.

I take your point about there being some similarity here -- you are in both cases trying to get a foul called on your opponent -- but I don't see them as playing in the same spirit, and I know I'm not alone in this. (Kudos to Jeff Van Gundy for saying out loud on national TV something I have wished for -- permission for the refs to call a T for particularly egregious flopping.) As I see it, flopping is trying to work the refs, trying to get them to make a call on something that hasn't actually been committed. By contrast, drawing your defender into committing a foul while you're in the act of shooting seems more like a feinting baserunner in baseball trying to get a pitcher to commit a balk, or a quarterback trying to draw the defensive line offside by using a staggered count.

I will agree with you to some extent -- I do hate how fouls are too often called for a shooter blatantly jumping into the defender, and were I the commissioner, I'd send a memo to the refs to favor the no-call if the shooter has not jumped straight up.

Finally, when you take jumping into the defender to an extreme, I am not convinced that is much (app)lauded, except by fans of the particular player or team at the particular moment. And if that's the standard, then I'd say flopping is equally (narrowly) applauded -- home team fans loved them some Vlade in a close game.

uncle ebeneezer
07-05-2010, 03:00 PM
Your physical distinctions are valid and I have disagreement with those. But I think the spirit is not that different (regardless of how long people have been doing either). In the majority of cases I witness the shooter (Kobe, Paul Pierce, whoever) changes the motion of shot/drive/move specifically to initiate contact with the other player, exaggerates the effect of the supposed contact (flailing arm etc.) in order for the ref to call a foul. Whether or not contact occurs, the offensive player then acts just as much a baby as the flopper does and whines about how could the ref could possibly NOT give them the extra scoring opportunity? The offensive player acts as if a foul has occurred even if it didn't. In spirit I see this as just as obnoxious as the guy who tries to alter/redirect his motion in the lane to initiate contact (draw a charge), exaggerates the effect of the supposed contact, and then whines...

Personally I wish the NBA would really crack down on both sides with quick technical fouls. The fact that just about every scoring attempt in the NBA, ends in a player from one side crying to the ref about the result is something that really makes the game tough to watch at times.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 03:29 PM
Your physical distinctions are valid and I have disagreement with those. But I think the spirit is not that different (regardless of how long people have been doing either). In the majority of cases I witness the shooter (Kobe, Paul Pierce, whoever) changes the motion of shot/drive/move specifically to initiate contact with the other player, exaggerates the effect of the supposed contact (flailing arm etc.) in order for the ref to call a foul. Whether or not contact occurs, the offensive player then acts just as much a baby as the flopper does and whines about how could the ref could possibly NOT give them the extra scoring opportunity? The offensive player acts as if a foul has occurred even if it didn't. In spirit I see this as just as obnoxious as the guy who tries to alter/redirect his motion in the lane to initiate contact (draw a charge), exaggerates the effect of the supposed contact, and then whines...

Personally I wish the NBA would really crack down on both sides with quick technical fouls. The fact that just about every scoring attempt in the NBA, ends in a player from one side crying to the ref about the result is something that really makes the game tough to watch at times.

Yep. At the extremes, I agree with the similarity and with your distaste.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-05-2010, 04:45 PM
The point I was trying to get across to you -- evidently, too subtly -- by stating that I was in no position to comment on attitudes, worldwide, about soccer, was that neither were you regarding basketball, since you made it clear, repeatedly, that you only have a casual acquaintance, at best, with the game.

Point taken. I don't for a second pretend that I'm an expert on basketball. I follow it, but casually. I talk about it with friends who follow it more rigorously. And I have a hunch I can't prove about its culture. You are perhaps right that that--combined with your lack of knowledge re soccer--is a poor basis for conversation, which is why for the last three rounds of this exchange I have been attempting to end the conversation and move on.

As for my tone, I am often relatively formal. In the time I've been on this board, you may have noticed that's just the way I write. I'm sorry if that's pompous. It's not intended as such.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 05:25 PM
Point taken. I don't for a second pretend that I'm an expert on basketball. I follow it, but casually. I talk about it with friends who follow it more rigorously. And I have a hunch I can't prove about its culture. You are perhaps right that that--combined with your lack of knowledge re soccer--is a poor basis for conversation, which is why for the last three rounds of this exchange I have been attempting to end the conversation and move on.

Uh, okay, except that who is forcing you to continue to respond?

As for my tone, I am often relatively formal. In the time I've been on this board, you may have noticed that's just the way I write. I'm sorry if that's pompous. It's not intended as such.

Just so you know, I did not mean by "pompous" anything to do with your formal tone or anything else to do with your writing style. I was speaking of your persisting in trying to sound knowledgeable on something you're not, not to mention belaboring a point that was increasingly tangential to my original objection.

Last word is all yours.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 05:30 PM
Yep. At the extremes, I agree with the similarity and with your distaste.

Oh, but to clarify, I'd only like Ts called on excessive floppery, maybe after one warning. I don't think Ts should be called for a shooter jumping into a defender; that should just be a no-call.

As for players spending too much time working the refs, I agree that it can get a little eye-rolling from a fan's perspective. On the other hand, it does not usually do anything but hurt such players themselves, and as a consequence, you see the better coaches telling them to knock it off.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-05-2010, 05:54 PM
Uh, okay, except that who is forcing you to continue to respond?



Just so you know, I did not mean by "pompous" anything to do with your formal tone or anything else to do with your writing style. I was speaking of your persisting in trying to sound knowledgeable on something you're not, not to mention belaboring a point that was increasingly tangential to my original objection.

Last word is all yours.

I continued to respond only because I like to make sure I've reached some understanding with the other person, even when it's an understanding to disagree, before I leave the conversation. It really was not my intention to feign false expertise and I did say earlier that my experience of basketball was more casual. As for belaboring, the point was tangential to what you originally said, but not to what I originally posted. If there's pomposity in persisting with the conversation I wanted to have and dragging you into it even though you'd engaged me on something else, then I apologize for it. To me it seems more like foolishness, though I'd apologize for that too.

In any case, we've exhausted the substantive part of this exchange, and I'm not inclined to go in meta-circles. So let's move on to other threads.

uncle ebeneezer
07-05-2010, 06:31 PM
I think T's for flopping would be a very good idea too. The most general thing I would love to see is a change to where contact is a foul if it had some effect on the result of the play. Two guys jumping up for a board and colliding in mid-air. Catching somebody on the elbow/arm with your fingertip while they are shooting. Getting a hand up defensively and having somebody dunking into your extended hand. Bumping down low. Bumping on screens. All of these would be better treated like the NFL treats incidental contact on receivers in my opinion.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 07:16 PM
I think T's for flopping would be a very good idea too. The most general thing I would love to see is a change to where contact is a foul if it had some effect on the result of the play. Two guys jumping up for a board and colliding in mid-air. Catching somebody on the elbow/arm with your fingertip while they are shooting. Getting a hand up defensively and having somebody dunking into your extended hand. Bumping down low. Bumping on screens. All of these would be better treated like the NFL treats incidental contact on receivers in my opinion.

I know what you mean about incidental contact. At least in theory.

The thing is, though, there already is a lot of incidental contact in the game, which is at various times more or less closely called, as the officials decide they ought to rein in emotions on the court or can safely "let them play."

The other thing is, some contact that might seem incidental can, in fact, be fairly profound in its consequences. If you nudge someone at the peak of his leap, say, while he's going for a rebound, you can move him quite a ways, more than enough to take him out of position to grab the ball or tip it in. If you tap a jumpshooter's elbow right before release, you can easily change what would have been a basket into an airball. If you can add a little something when setting a screen, you can buy your teammate a half-step, and that's all a lot of scorers need.

We will always gripe about "touch fouls" and the like, but for my money, the NBA refs generally do a bang-up job at what looks like an impossible task to me.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 08:11 PM
From "The Soccer Ignoramus' Guide to the World Cup Semi-Finals (http://gawker.com/5579865/the-soccer-ignoramus-guide-to-the-world-cup-semifinals?skyline=true&s=i):"

... it's time. Four teams left. Pick one. How? Well, I have some thoughts about that. To wit:

Three mostly irrational (but awesome) reasons to root for…

URUGUAY:

1. Uruguayans are surprisingly hot.

Ocean
07-05-2010, 08:34 PM
http://images.clipartof.com/small/22149-Clipart-Illustration-Of-A-Yellow-Emoticon-Face-With-Pink-Lips-Winking-And-Smiling.jpg

JoeK
07-06-2010, 03:28 PM
Affrikanners must be proud to see Netherlands doing so well in the World Cup. I teared up a little; their people suffered so much.

Wonderment
07-06-2010, 04:37 PM
Life. Not. Fair.

AemJeff
07-06-2010, 05:23 PM
Affrikanners must be proud to see Netherlands doing so well in the World Cup. I teared up a little; their people suffered so much.

Wow Joe, that was some of the lamest agitprop I've seen around here. Lyle isn't that transparent.

JoeK
07-06-2010, 05:58 PM
Wow Joe, that was some of the lamest agitprop I've seen around here. Lyle isn't that transparent.

I disagree, I think it's one of my better posts, even with the misspelled word Afrikaners. Why do you say it's lame?
And why is it agitprop? It is both humorous and true*. Agitprop is neither.

Have you ever heard of an interpretation that, for example, District 9 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1136608/) is an allegoric depiction not of apartheid, but of the plight of whites in the post-apartheid South Africa?

* It's not true in a sense that I didn't really shed a tear. That was the funny part.

Ocean
07-06-2010, 06:06 PM
Life. Not. Fair.

I. Had. Bad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hgw_RD_1_5I&feature=related). Feeling. No. Surprise (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcZrXZx3hO4&feature=related).


Okay, enough!

On the bright side, Uruguay is still among the four final teams.

Cheers! :)

uncle ebeneezer
07-06-2010, 06:24 PM
Condolences to you Ocean. If there's an upside, at least now the world is aware of the "surprising" hotness of Uruguayans! ;)

Ocean
07-06-2010, 06:34 PM
Condolences to you Ocean.

Thank you, uncle.


If there's an upside, at least now the world is aware of the "surprising" hotness of Uruguayans! ;)

True, but it's only surprising for the non-connoisseur. It's just concealed from the public eye.

PS: Modesty is also concealed, but there. ;)