a (late) visit from world cup

August 29, 2006 at 12:45 pm | Posted in brian, football (soccer) | 3 Comments

after the world cup i had this idea for a physical version of this blog. the idea was to compile the best world cup related articles from this guy knows what i’m talking about, make about a million photocopies of said articles and distribute them (possibly at gas stations). but i haven’t been very motivated this summer. i did, however, sketch out a kind of introduction for this unrealized zine which i had tentatively titled “a visit form world cup.” seeing that this zine will never come out, i have decided to post the introduction with the hopes of getting our five readers excited about the real football season which just started. so read this and then watch some (unamerican)football games or don’t read this and watch some (unamerican)football games because they’re fucking awesome. but don’t just settle for the dog and pony show (is that the right phrase?) they call the mls.

a visit from world cup

i have an urge to make these introductory remarks simply a list of reasons why (unamerican)football is the best sport in the world. i think that hypothetical list would look something like this (but while this list is numbered it is not numbered in order of importance):

1. unlike the major sports in the us, the world cup winner can realistically claim to be world champions.

2. while most ignoramouses complain about (unamerican)football is boring, it’s actually the least boring sport to watch because:
2a. there are no commercials
2b. there are no timeouts
2c. there are no significant stoppages of play
2d. the action is non-stop

i’m sort of over this list idea. i think i would rather compare and contrast (unamerican)football with the major us sports–baseball, basketball and (american)football– in terms of boredom.

baseball, to the casual fan, is nearly unbearable to watch. the pitcher nods off seven different pitches from his catcher, goes into his eighteen second pre-pitch stretch, holds it and finally throws home. at this point it’s either a ball or a foul ball. then the enitre routine is repeated except the pitcher adjusts his hat for twominutes before even looking towards the catcher. plus it’s like ten minutes in between every half-inning and don’t even get me started on mid-inning pitcher changes. what are bullpens for if the relief pitcher is going to throw twenty warmup pitches once he’s in the game? don’t forget conferences at the mount, base-runners changing their batting gloves, pickoff attempts, batters calling timeouts and throwing around the horn. with all this time-wasting it’s a wonder baseball games ever finish . . . under four hours.

basketball: if bill walton is one of the announcers, just turn off your tv. if not, it’s still probably a good idea to turn off your tv or get some coffee because i don’t know how you’re going to stay awake during this snooze-fest. basketball is the only sport that i’m aware of where “tv timeouts” are inserted to borify any action. past that it’s all twenty second timeouts (which are more like a minute), fouls, defensive three seconds and half-times with the worst kinds of player profiles imaginable. but even the game itself is boring: walking the ball up the court, throwing into the post, waiting for the double-team, kicking it out to someone who misses a jumper, rebound and repeat. (there are two exceptions to boring basketball–the suns [specifically steve nash] and allen iverson.)

(american)football: i saw a commercial the other day for some sort of nfl tv package where you could watch 8 games at once. they also offered a feature where you can watch an already finished game with all the inaction taken out–no commercials, no timeouts and not even huddles. you can watch an entire (american)football game–every single play–in about a half-hour. if every game last over three hours but there is only a half-hour of action, wtf am i watching for over two-and-a-half- hours? answer: commercials (and never good ones, except that one with peyton manning), replays of every play (sometimes multiple replays), official replays (as in when teams challenge a call using instant replay), huddles, substitutions, tv analysts with their in-depth reporting on the sidelines (i use in-depth and reporting loosely) and shots of bored fans.

the consensus: anybody who complains about(unamerican)football being boring is (1) a liar, (2) unaware of (unamerican)football and simply repeating what they hear on sports radio or (3) evil. the real reason there is such an effort to discredit (unamerican) football is because it’s so hard to advertise during matches.

Give me a V-I-P

August 29, 2006 at 12:07 pm | Posted in football (soccer), whitney | 1 Comment

I’m about Pee Wee-ed out.

The other day I drove my brother up to his soccer game in Heber – he only puked blue Gatorade twice on the way up. Here’s the low down, bullet style:

-Anthony rocks (pronounced Antony, of course). His overly enthusiastic father who was so into the game you would think Anthony’s million dollar sponsorship was dependent on this one game: Vipers v. Cobras (I kid you not).
-My brother plays defense. He likes this best because it means he has to run the least amount.
-The grown man in the Hawaiian shirt and super short khaki cutoffs perched on his lawn chair next to me didn’t appear to have a child on the team, but he was no less interested than any of the soccer moms. He must have had money on it or something, because he had a few potentially embarrassing run-ins with the refs.
-Best part? Bananas at half time and cookies and root beer afterward. Enough for all us die-hard fans. Also, pee wee sports gives me another excuse to head on down to my Uncle Tomasso’s Italian ice place for some free celebration goods. (Uncle Tomasso is totally not Italian. He’s fronting for the cash! Scummy or just plain good business?)
-Vipers won, if you were wondering. Were you sitting next to me on this park bench right now you would see me raising the roof in triumph.

he is some nice looking young talent

August 22, 2006 at 12:09 pm | Posted in basketball, brian | 4 Comments

this wasn’t supposed to be the title, but the commentator just said this in the basketball game i’m watching. this probably doesn’t seem funny yet, but just let me set up a little context. the game i’m watching is italy v senegal in the world basketball whatevers, so you need to remember that the color analyst is talking about an hunky italian forward. also, you have to hear this guy: whenever he comments on anything the italians do he uses this excited and somewhat breathy voice. i feel like i should have a punchline to kind of sum everything up, but i don’t know how to do a punchline here. but you get it, the analsyt is crushin on the italian. i mean he just said he’s got a sweet stroke in his breathy voice.

the actual title: 1, 2, 3, usa!

i saw the most touching piece about team usa (basketball) on espn prior to the aforementioned game. it was all about the pride to be representing the usa and how coach k is going to masturbate with his gold medal. then they brought on a col. brown, complete with an introduction by coach k saying something about what you learn today is more important than the world champion(something or other)ship. i thought i’d write this entire article sarcasticly (except that first bit is not sarcastic) but this show was too ridiculous. so col. brown started speaking about selfless service and how, i guess, it’s the same thing on either the battlefield or the court. that’s pretty bad, but it just keeps getting worse. then col. brown told some story about a soldier who took shrapnel or something to save his platoon(?). but then the soldier was sitting right there in the room, and he was also blinded by his anjury, but he wasn’t just blind but actually lost his eyes, not only that, he wears two glass eyes, and then col. brown talked about how he wanted to stay in the army . . . blind.

that’s about as bad as it gets.

but then it got worse.

the camera cuts away to d wade who is crying, then we see a shot of chauncey billups crying, but then a shot of gilbert arenas not crying (and possibly looking disinterested). right now, gilbert arenas is my favorite player on usa basketball. then after the speech(?), the basketball players were able to comment on the story and d wade makes some speech(?) about the personal pride he feels when he wears the usa jersey and how he and officer blind (i didn’t get his name, i just got that he was blind but still wanted to serve) were alike and so on. [from the story that opened the article: the commentator just admitted to having many “issues.”] then officer blind watches(?) a usa basketball practice but with headphones with running commentary from d wade. after the game gilbert arenas walked over to the blind guy and the blind guy just felt his chest and asked about the chest brace gilbert was wearing. gilbert arenas was kind off creeped out.

so gilbert arenas is still my favorite player on usa basketball.

the real zidane story

August 19, 2006 at 9:05 pm | Posted in aaron d.w., football (soccer) | 2 Comments

it’s been months since the controversial end of the world cup and zidane’s career. after sifting through all the testimonies and all the footage, the truth of what happened comes out. turns out zidane is a terrorism stopper, not supporter.

if you think that cat terrorist is cute, go to kittenwar.com and vote for her.

nominations by becky

August 15, 2006 at 3:59 pm | Posted in becky, misc | Leave a comment

this fittest list is brilliant. mainly because i’m going to take it as an opportunity to perv all over this blog. i’m sorry if that was not the list’s function or design. i can’t help myself. a few of the fittest men that i would have nominated have already made the list (andy roddick, david beckham), but I have come up with a few more for consideration. this wasn’t easy, considering the vast number of attractive athletes. italy’s soccer team also made it difficult. here are my nominations (in no particular order):

1. jeff francoeur–right fielder for the atlanta braves 6’4″, 220lbs, 22 years old, with a yearly salary of almost $400,000. perrrfect. look at me

2. fabio grosso–left back, left wing for italy 6’3″, 181 lbs, a fellow sagitarrean, also born in the year of the snake (it’s like we’re soul mates!). and look at that skin! check me out

3. andrea barzagli–center back for italy 6’1″, 174lbs. sure, he only played in 2 games out of the entire world cup, but he’s just so pretty! what’s up with these italians? mmm mm

4. bucky lacek–skate. he has been my favorite skater ever since i knew he existed. it started out because we shared a name. having grown up with the nickname bucky, i became an instant fan. later, i found out he was extremely attractive and that was the icing on the cake (for those of you who like cake, or more specifically icing [i don’t really]). oh, and he’s also just so good at what he does. it’s bucky

5. Mike Mason–FMX. this year was his first time in the x games and he did a great job. he looked great doing it too. he also looked great in this photo i took with him (other people have been removed from the photo to protect the innocent). how YOU doin?

6. Kelly Slater–Surf. one of the greatest surfers of all time. possibly the greatest? i don’t know. but he’s tasty and his girlfriend is a total babe. he can also surf amazingly on some seriously crap waves. do you like what you see?

7. Dynaformer–horse. a thoroughbred stallion (like some of these other guys). what a stud! he has won over $650,000 in 30 races. not only that, but his offspring have won over 3.7 million this year alone. according to wikipedia, this makes dynaformer one of the united states’ leading sires in terms of offspring’s winnings. does the word “sire” make anyone else think of vampires? no other buffy geeks here? okay! buh bye. serve me up some of THAT

update on ricky williams

August 15, 2006 at 12:13 pm | Posted in aaron d.w., football (american) | Leave a comment

ricky williams — beard and clipboardthe update is that not only is he the coolest football player ever (see you later, karl mecklenberg), he’s also the unluckiest. i mean, espn demonizes a lot of players, but those players don’t always end up suspended for a year. and those players don’t always end up getting ridiculed by joe (fat-faced) theismann. and they don’t usually end up breaking their arms.

after receiving his one-year suspension from the nfl some of the canadian teams starting looking into signing them. they don’t pay as much as the nfl, but they also don’t have a drug policy. that makes it a nice place for ricky to stay in football shape for the year. he was signed by the toronto argonauts which is a way cooler name than any nfl team has including the cleveland browns and the san diego chargers. anyways, they signed him to a one-year contract with the permission of the miami dolphins for like $300,000 or something.

right after he signed the contract, joe theismann spoke out against the move, saying, “This is a feeble excuse for the Toronto Argonauts to sell tickets. I am embarrassed to have worn that ‘A’ on my helmet, to think that they would stoop to this level to sell tickets, to bring in someone who is not worthy of playing professional football. It’s a damn shame that the Toronto Argonauts would not show a lot more class and pass on somebody who has been a repeat drug offender. I don’t ever want to be mentioned in the same breath as Ricky Williams as a football player.”

this guy knows what i’m talking about has already discussed the problems with suspending ricky williams here and here. so obviously we (as in me and brian and possibly others) are upset that theismann gets to talk about ricky like that. just because his name rhymes with heisman, he thinks he can say whatever he wants about mr. williams. while it’s true that the argonauts probably signed ricky with hopes that he would both help the team win and help the organization sell more tickets, how is he not worthy of playing professional football? he doesn’t beat his wife. he doesn’t get in motorcycle wrecks without helmets. he doesn’t take steroids. he doesn’t have a gambling problem. he doesn’t perform leud acts at a boat party. he doesn’t brandish fire arms if he gets upset. so give me a break, theismann, he’s not a bad guy. maybe you’re just upset because your son does coke.

anyways, ricky started playing in the cfl (canadian football league). in case you’re curious, the cfl is a different game of football from the nfl. the field is 110 yards long with 20 to 25 yard-long end zones instead of 100 yards with 10 yard-long endzones. the field is also 11 2/3 yards wider than in the nfl. they only have 3 downs instead of 4. they can kick field goals in the middle of plays after they already pass the line of scrimmage. the teams have 12 players which usually means that they have 2 tailbacks. multiple players can be in motion at the same time and players in the backfield can even be in motion toward the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. there’s no fair catches and less timeouts, although the clock stops after every play during the last 3 minutes of each half.

in his first 4 games ricky had two different games where he rushed 18 times for 97 yards which isn’t so bad. but he also had two games where he had a combined 20 yards on 17 carries. to his credit though, his team was playing from behind so they didn’t run very much. he also had 7 catches in 4 games. so he wasn’t playing spectacular, but he was doing okay. and then in game 5 during the first half, he put his arm down to break his fall and fractured it. he seems to be recovering ahead of schedule and he’s in great spirits according to an article on cfl.ca.

seriously though, ricky can’t catch a break. it breaks my heart, but he’s a fighter and that’s the best we’ve got. don’t worry ricky, some people still think you’re super-cool.

mad phat dope sick ill fresh wicked bad rockin rad

August 2, 2006 at 5:11 pm | Posted in becky, misc | Leave a comment

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. It was sick! The US Open is the highest rated qualifying surf event for men and women in North America. It’s also the most heavily attended (you can imagine what this does to parking on my street). This year the U.S. Open went hand in hand with the Beach Games (do they always? I don’t know). The Beach Games featured skateboarding, BMX, FMX and beach volleyball. I was hoping to get some interview time with some of the greats like Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, and Rob Machado, but to no avail. Kelly Slater and Andy Irons didn’t even compete (WTF?) and Rob entered the competition late and surfed the early morning heats (and who expects me to get up at 8:00am to see those?). But overall, the whole weekend was great. Sofia Mulanovich won the women’s open. She surfed amazingly, and the Americans loved her accent. Rob Machado rocked it, coming out on top after losing last year in a close final with Andy Irons. Roy Powers came in second, much to the dismay of many of the ladies (who don’t care how well he can surf, just that he looks pretty doing it [not that he can’t surf]).

To get a feel for how things went, I have included some of the highlights of the weekend, and some things that overshadowed the games.


1. Getting hooked up with VIP passes (in a way which didn’t involve sleeping with powerful men) . These things were like gold. Most of the athletes couldn’t even go where we went. We spent parts of the day in the Surfer’s lounge drinking Sobes and eating some new brand of chip that some moto x guy just came out with.

2. The O’Neill Tow At aerial demonstration. Several of the best “radical surfers” were there, being towed by jet skis, which launched them into insane maneuvers. Also, watching that one dude surf right through the pier. That was crazy.

3. Sitting at the beach for hours, soaking up the sun and watching the sports (and probably getting cancer).

4. Watching the Grand Master skate-off at the Soul Bowl.

5. Meeting skaters, surfers, FMX and BMXers who’s names I don’t know and really don’t care about.

6. Seeing the Huckin Chicken (Jeff “Ox” Kargola) in action! woohoo! I had that Burger King Huckin Chicken song in my head the entire weekend. Which was annoying for everyone considering I don’t know any words except for “big huckin chicken”. I barely know the tune.

There were a few things that I felt overshadowed the games. Here they are in all their (non) glory.

1. The shameless amount of promotions EVERYWHERE. Granted, from an advertising perspective, this was brilliant. There were tents all over the beach which offered free stuff–hats, wristbands, airbrush tattoos, keychains, drinks, etc. Everyone on the beach became billboards and bumperstickers. Hot girls wearing practically nothing, with O’Neill airbrushed across their stomachs? You know people are looking at that! Attractive men wearing Corona hats? Beer never sounded so good! Genius! It made me want to puke. Until I got my pink Tonik senorita trucker hat that I am completely in love with. But, hey, at least I’m representing health insurance!

2. The Secret Machine. WTF? Everywhere I turned I saw hats and t-shirts saying “the machine is NOT evil”, or protestors toting signs that said “stop the machine” or “the machine is evil”. What is this secret machine, you might wonder. Secret Machine is a new surf film by Globe. Sonny Miller was hired to work on the film and recently disassociated himself with it, making this statement:

“I’m all for pushing things forward” says Miller, “but to develop some kind of secret machine that spits out surf films is taking progression way too far. It’s just not true to the essence of what we do and now that I know what their intentions are, I won’t be a part of it any more. I think the machine is evil.”

Since then, he has been organizing boycotts and protests to the film. I was curious to find out what the fuss was about (i.e. what the hell is he talking about? i mean, could he be more vague?). After some scanty research online, I found this statement that Globe made in response:

“Don’t believe Sonny Miller. For over 20 years, Globe has stood for quality and innovation, but today, our reputation has been attacked by Sonny Miller, the renowned surf cinematographer and recent member of our Surf Film crew, in allegations made against our methods and principles. Sonny Miller has filed claims and made public statements featuring misinformation about Globe and its upcoming Surf Film, to be released July 29th 2006 in Laguna Beach, CA. Globe strongly objects to the claims and encourages the surfers everywhere to make up their own minds.”

I still have no idea what is going on. Machine? What does said machine do that is so evil? I found a statement from a “concerned group” which said:

“We know Globe is releasing its film with some very disturbing secret machine generated surfing in it,” said Peter Townend of the ActivEmpire, a brand management, athlete representation and events consultancy. Adding, “It’s like taking those dream cartoons you used to doodle on your school notebook and turning them into life. It’s completely killing the soul of the surf video.”

Wow, this sounds serious. The constant use of the words secret machine was leading me to believe this was some big crazy joke or publicity stunt. I mean “secret machine”? “disturbing”? Is it the last days? I asked some protestors “what’s the machine?” and they couldn’t even answer me. They had no clue! All they did was hand me a flyer and tell me to read the second paragraph (because they had no clue!). I finally found something that alluded to what the secret machine was/does. “An advanced, machine-generated light and sound experience“. Ahhhh. Okay. So…to sum up, after extensive research, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only people who even care or understand (care) what this is about are a few surfers (obviously not the ones in the film) and filmmakers (obviously not the ones who made it). I would probably totally care if someone would actually explain it to me. Thanks for almost ruining my weekend by making me do research.

war on doping

August 2, 2006 at 11:00 am | Posted in misc, pillowtalk | Leave a comment

IAAF (The International Association of Athletics Federations) president Lamine Diack said on the governing body’s Web site: “Although it is a matter of deep regret that one of the biggest stars of our sport is facing serious doping charges, I would take this opportunity to emphasize the IAAF’s total commitment to the fight against doping.
“In order to defend the credibility of our sport, we will engage all our efforts, in co-operation with partners such as USADA, to defend the majority of athletes who are clean, against those who break our anti-doping rules.”

you may think that this is another post about Mr. Barry Bonds, but it’s not. This post is actually about the 100-metre co-world record holder Justin Gatlin (he’s also an olympic gold medalist in sprinting).

I personally feel that there’s no indication that Brother Gatlin has been doping at all. I may even write him a letter suggesting that he contact the ACLU to see if they can investigate whether his civil liberties have been trampled on. Gatlin has accepted that something out of the ordinary was found in a recent drug test, but can’t explain why the unordinary substance was found. His coach took a daring step and alleged that it was Gatlins masseur (whom apparently has a diabolical vendeta against Gatlin) that rubbed the steroid cream into Gatlin’s legs without Gatlin knowing it. I think that’s a buyable story, I mean someone is to blame right? We all know the masseus had opportunity, and apparently motive. I just have a hard time overlooking the fact that Gatlin’s coach Trevor Graham has been involved with “at least a half-dozen other athletes who have received drug suspensions” (quoted from http://www.tsn.ca/olympics/news_story/?ID=173084&hubname= )

All in all, this whole story leaves me wondering if the IAAF’s “war on doping” will be as effective as the USA’s War on Drugs, or War on Terror have been. For the sake of all humanity, let’s hope so.

(one of) my nominations for fittest ath-l-ete

August 1, 2006 at 11:04 am | Posted in basketball, pillowtalk | Leave a comment

I’ll be the first to admit that there are just some sports that I’d rather watch women play than men. One of them being basketball. So you can just imagine my joy when the Wnba came to be. With that in mind, I make my first nomination for the vote of hottest ath-l-ete (said with three syllables): Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm.

I have a few reasons to vote ms. jackson as the fittest athlete, none of which include that she is currently ranked as the 5th greatest player in the league, or the fact that she’s ranked as the best center in the league.

Most of my reasoning is because she is 6’5″ tall. I being 6’4″ don’t find many women that are taller than me, and I think that it’s incredible to have a woman of her stature to look up to (literally). She is a perfect definition of an Amazon woman (ok well maybe not perfect, but good enough).

Another reason that I think Ms. Jackson is the fittest athlete is because she looks good in form fitting outfits. I know you’re thinking that a lot of athletes can pull it off, but as indicated slightly to the left of these words…. she can really pull it off (and I doubt that anyone would mind if she did).

Lastly, I feel that for any athlete to be nominated as the fittest, they need to have rockin hair. Some may (erroneously) feel that Ms. Jackson has plain drab hair. As you can see from this final picture, not only does she have cool hair, but she uses it as a weapon in her game. Steal the ball from her? She’ll whip your eyes out with that flowing mane. Going for a sweet 3-pointer? Not gonna make it with that distraction. She demonstrates fine male peacock abilities to attract attention, making her opponents lose their skills.

anyways, long story made short Ms. Jackson = my first nomination.

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