Tuesday, September 30, 2008
What? That is art? Yep. See, real art is too deep for me. It requires thought and knowledge, neither of which are strong points for me. But comedy and sports, damn, I like that. So if I were ever to frame something and hang it in my house, this picture of a bat terrorizing people at a baseball game would be a choice selection.
Why? Because there are so many things to see and love:
-The guy who is sitting there and appears to be getting his face caved in by the bat without doing a thing to prevent it.
-The sheer terror on nearly everybody's faces.
-The guy who hasn't done nearly enough to shelter his 2 year old daughter, who herself appears to be the only one trying to catch it.
-The chick using a pizza box to protect herself (or is completely unaware anything is going on and is sliding pizza into her mouth).
-That chicks friend who doesn't seem to care and goes on eating her popcorn because that's just how hard she is.
In another disgraceful decision by random variables, I have not been awarded this year's opportunity to kick for a million (dollars). In TSN, the CFL, and Wendy's annual competition, 4 people across Canada (2 East, 2 West) get to showdown for an opportunity to kick a 50 yard field goal for 1 Million $$$ in Toronto this Friday October 3.
And despite the hundreds of entries I have made, someone else from Saskatoon won. Can you believe it?! Hundreds of entries! It must be horrible luck for me not to get picked.
And now there is only one thing to do. Drink my sorrows while eating baconators. Yes, that's right. It's my bi-annual anger management party where I support the CFL by drinking Gibson's whiskey and eating Wendy's baconators. Then, in a state that will only be described to me later, I will yell at the likely overweight and overage man on the TV trying to kick field goals for prizes. Last year was a hoot with what I'm sure is now in divorce proceedings where a gentleman of the form I described earlier missed from 20,30,40,50 yards to win nothing. The look on his wife's face was priceless. And so was the Shadenfreude from this here viewer.
I don't know what's wrong with the world and why the cosmos has aligned against me. I could be a marketing dream out there kicking million dollar field goals and tempting teams to sign me. I could change my name to Wendy Milliondebotte (maybe Wendel would be better). I could get the red haired chick tattooed on my ass. I could celebrate field goals to make soccer players jealous. Regardless, this was just another opportunity missed.
So, friends, I invite you to join me in my now annual event that I affectionately term Gibsonators night. Kickoff is 5 PM for Toronto - BC to be followed immediately by Calgary vs. Saskatchewan.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
What a great weekend for football fuck-ups. I mean the whole Ed Hoculi thing and even in that game b/w the Chargers and Broncos, they couldn't do an instant replay in the first half because the replay equipment wouldn't work. Hilarious.
And HAHAHAHAHHA, he's done it before!
some others: click here
A while ago, I made the cunning discovery that Sean Avery looks exactly like Brian Austin Green. Unfortunately, I was unable to piece together any other traits that tie them together.
But now I have a better match: Philip Rivers. Both he and Avery look exactly the same, have big mouths, are utter douche bags, and need to be slapped in the face/kicked in the neck more often. I can't stand either of these guys, though sadly I have to admit, both are pretty good athletes.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Well, that was not fun.
Truth be told, I was enjoying Canada's successful defending in the first half. They probably executed their game plan exactly how they would have wanted it. We probably all knew they would concede at some point, but there was a way back into it had we not slacked off on a corner kick to give Mexico the 2-nil lead. And it brings up a subtle point I forgot to make in my tips for improvement last night: defend well, defend smart.
I thought it would basically go without saying. But it seems Canada needs to be reminded. Specifically Paul Stalteri, whose lazy challenge on Rafa Marquez's near post header cost us any chance to salvage a point (not to mention the fact there wasn't anyone defending the near post). Which sadly has left me to make the following observation, Stalteri is costing us. Here is a guy who by all rights made me a Spurs fan when I started to really get into the EPL a few years ago. He was probably the highest profile Canadian in the world, having then just recently won the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen. Though his start with Spurs was bright, helping them to two 5th place finishes, he has now been dropped from Ramos' first team and is now rotting in the reserves. Whereas he was making crisp, dangerous passes through the Chelsea defense two years ago in the later stages of the FA cup, you would now be hard pressed to find where or if he is even playing at all, even with the reserves. I still love his passion and perhaps there is nobody better we could put in his position, but the lack of creativity and the defensive lapses are hurting big time. Eg. He and Serioux couldn't decide who would take the man with the ball in one of the Honduran goals in Montreal.
Which isn't to say there was a whole lot to be happy about at the back once we went down. Hastings can only knock it deep and Serioux is an expert and either giving away cheaply by overdribbling or just duffing a long pass that probably wasn't going anywhere anyway and leading to a dangerous counterattack. Klukowski though, played amazing. He is confident on the ball as ever and provided the only outlet of our last third of any quality. He was also defending very well, save for a few stupid challenges which gifted dangerous free kicks.
The refreshing thing was that the reffing was amazing. Mexico probably had more to complain than we did (Blanco's yellow should instead have gone to De Guzman for his early ankle buster). I wish we could have that quality of reffing in every game. His early yellow for a dive in the box probably set the tone for the Mexicans, who for the most part played with honesty and integrity. Of course, they didn't have to worry as much about getting the result as Jamaica or Honduras did in Canada.
One of the bright spots for me was the play of Nakajima-Farran. He was confident on the ball and had he been able to get further up the field, I think he would have been dangerous. I hope to see him in that position for the rest of the qualifiers.
Which brings us to a sobering reality. We are now desperate. I don't think we can continue this defensive posturing. We need to put Gerba AND Friend up front and hope the midfield can shut things down. Everybody saw how Friend was hopeless to corral any long balls sent his way. It is just asking too much. With two of them up there, we stand a way better chance. Plus, late in the game, our forward push was even unsettling the Mexicans to play lazy clearances which gifted us the ball back.
To make things even worse for the next match, we lose two huge parts of our team. De Rosario and Serioux will miss the next game against Honduras. This could be killer. Some combination of Stalteri/Brennan/McKenna/Hume are going to have to fill this void.
I think this was an improvement though. We played to a game plan well and we even found the score sheet under desperate circumstances (which was a beauty of a dead ball from Hume to Gerba). I think if we can just learn to avoid the hair-pulling offsides we had last night, we can start surprising people.
In the end, it turns out drinking beer while watching the game wasn't the solution to our problems. Damn, that is one sacrifice I am always willing to make.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Canada plays away to Mexico tonight (7PM on Sportsnet). They look to gain at least a point to garner some sort of respectability and of course put some desperately needed points on the board. But let's face it, after an ugly game (Canada's quality, Honduran antics, pitch, refereeing, and coaching) on Saturday, how can anything really be expected in Mexico? I think the typical media forecast would be something like this:
"With Canada dropping points from their first two games on home soil, perhaps a visit to Mexico is exactly what they need. The pressure to play in front of their home fans and having to deal with being called the best team Canada has ever had assembled may have gotten to them in their opening games. So with only the soccer to concentrate on, they look to add points to their group standing."
I really hope Gerry and Craig are in a SN studio in Toronto too, so the team can rest assured that Craig isn't flipping out somewhere in the stadium.
As I said, the last game was ugly.
Here are some things we can do to improve:
-Stay calm. Don't make rash challenges, you know they are going to dive and roll and scream. Don't shove anyone either for the same reason. The last thing we need is cards.
-Don't expect the ref to help you out. Besides seeming biased, they appear to only call fouls which are accompanied by a dive / play acting. If you don't do these things, you probably won't get the call.
-Don't give the ball away in midfield (I'm looking at you De Guzman). We get really hurt by counter attacks because our defense can't react quick enough. We saw that twice on Saturday. So move the ball quick.
-Hit the net. We haven't had a lot of shooting chances lately, but we all know De Guzman and DeRo can hit it from a ways out. Give it a shot, but hit the freaking net.
-Good Crosses. We are strong up front, but we need to get the ball to Gerba/Friend's head first. Stop wasting chances.
-Act like a coach who knows what he's doing. Why the hell did Mitchell take out Gerba for Friend? When you need more offense, don't sub off your forwards. What the fuck!?
It's really hard to see anything positive coming from tonight's game, but I will always hope and cheer for the best. Here is the formation and personel I would like to see on the pitch tonight:
If I were to change this anywhere, it would probably in center of defense. I didn't think Hastings played well at all last game. My hope is that Hume pushing forward with speed will be a good complement to Friend's power and size. De Rosario and Brennan need to get balls in the box. De Guzman and Hutchinson need to concentrate on shutting Mexico down in the midfield. And most importantly, the defenders need to be organized as hell and not get caught ball watching / confused as to who is going to take the man with the ball / giving it away in our own end. If things get desperate late, sub Brennan and put Gerba up front. Then push Hutchinson out wide.
Here's hoping for the best.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Giggs, from ESPN Soccernet...
'You just have to appreciate the money they have got,' Giggs told Key103. 'Signing Robinho is a big statement to football as a whole because he is a world-class player.It is sad how money is what earns you respect in the soccer world these days. I think it is because the big four in English soccer know nobody can compete with them without it. The rest are left to fight for scraps. There will be no surprise winner of the Premier League this year (unless you count Liverpool or Arsenal as surprises). There probably won't be a surprise winner of the EPL any year, unless said winner were to have the red carpet rolled out for them the way Man City was. This is the sad state of professional soccer.
'With the amount of money they have got to spend, the next few years will be interesting and we will just have to wait and see what happens.'
The way the media is talking, you would think Man City is destined for success. But all they've done is acquire ONE player. I guess the expectation is that once the January transfer window opens up, there will be a flood of players coming in. So, if you're Steven Ireland or Darius Vassell or Dietmar Hamann, you must basically know you have 4 months left playing for the club. I, however, don't think much is going to change with Robinho arriving. They are already a decent team and they will continue performing above average. But by January, they will be out of the title race, along with most others.
It would be so refreshing to see someone pip the big four for the title and show the world that quality can be built and not just bought. Come on, you Spurs (and yes, I realize Spurs are for the most part a buyer).