A wonderful two-stage tribute and show of honor and respect from within the US team:
When Wambach came on, Lloyd put the captain's armband on her. Then when Rampone came on, Wambach must have transferred the armband to her at some point. I didn't see the actual transfer to Rampone occur, but she was wearing the armband at the end of the match. Part of the perfect orderliness of the universe on this triumphant day for the USA side.
posted by beaverboard at 10:11 PM on July 05
It seems like pretty piss-poor stadium design though to have one team at such a distinct disadvantage to start an evening game.
That's exactly what I kept thinking. Lloyd may have decided the outcome when she won the coin toss and chose to defend the shady end in the first half.
Solo was similarly hindered by the sun in the first 20 minutes of the second half, and Japan took advantage.
Absolutely appalling conditions for a championship match. They could have planned a later start time to avoid the sun factor. It wouldn't have killed the US East Coast to stay up until 10 or 11 to watch. People in England were willing to be up at all hours to watch their team.
posted by beaverboard at 09:30 PM on July 05
Pleased to see England gain a historic victory at the WC yesterday, but wish that once again, questionable and inconsistent officiating had not played a notable role - with the whole match, not just the result.
Glad that Laura Bassett was able to play and do well in the aftermath of the devastation and heartbreak of her own goal against Japan. Deeply forthright BBC radio interview with Bassett here.
The way that England had come on in the tournament, they would have made a worthy opponent in today's final.
posted by beaverboard at 11:08 AM on July 05
Holy moly. Stonie owns Coney. Perennial hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut has been dethroned by Matt Stonie in a stunning turn of events that is apparently not a complete "upset".
Both the new and former champ are from San Jose, which can now be considered both a gastromonic and tectonic epicenter.
The new champ was not totally surprised by the outcome. "I trained hard for this." Stonie told ESPN.
posted by beaverboard at 03:04 PM on July 04
Also, it seems as though there has been a bit of an increase in handballs throughout the tournament, which I had partially attributed to the ball's speed and behavior on the livelier playing surface. Some of the refs have not called handballs on a consistent basis.
One more reason to be angry with FIFA: on some plays where a foul clearly occurred and the refs clearly did not make the correct call, replays were not made available to Fox and others broadcasting the matches live. On more than one occasion, Fox announcers mentioned that FIFA had chosen not to make a replay available for a certain critical play. All in the name of preventing FIFA and the tournament from appearing to be all the more poorly administered, one assumes. I think that falls under FIFA's "protecting the integrity of the game" fairy tale.
posted by beaverboard at 10:14 AM on July 01
It was announced that Sepp Blatter, the self-proclaimed godfather of international women's football will not attend the WC final. Perhaps the decision had something to do with having to cross too many time zones, or the extended length of summer daylight at higher latitudes. Or the relaxed fit of the players' shorts in defiance of his stated preferences. No mention of any concerns with regard to the RCMP, CSIS, or any possible USDOJ indictments waiting to be unsealed.
posted by beaverboard at 09:16 AM on July 01
In hindsight, Australia's goal against USA in the group stage was one of the significant accomplishments of the Matildas' campaign.
I'm not sure that USA would have fared as well against France in the semi-final. France really found themselves after their bitter loss to Colombia. I would have loved to see Thomis and Delie test the USA backline. It's not just their size and speed, but also their fitness that makes them such a challenge to defend.
Disregarding all loyalties, I would have enjoyed watching a France-Japan final.
posted by beaverboard at 01:20 AM on July 01
I hope that Coach Ellis was not providing advance rationale for giving Wambach major minutes with that comment. Ellis will need to be at her very best and most intuitive (if she is capable of that) with the roster management for this match.
I would not play Heath much if at all. She lacks the required fortitude to go up against the German midfield and backline. Also would not start Rodriguez. Her speed translates into pressure more than it translates into opportunities. Krieger should be ordered to ignore the temptation to send long balls forward.
posted by beaverboard at 04:11 PM on June 30
Is there an injury report on the German WNT? They were nicked up pretty good in the process of getting past France. Personally, I would want to see Marozsan able to play. She made such a difference when she came in against France. Not sure if Kimme and Krahn were hurt as well, but I hope they can go. All in the name of seeing the best quality possible on the field.
posted by beaverboard at 12:54 PM on June 30
As a kid, I first saw Scully hosting daytime TV game shows and talk shows and had no idea he was the voice of the Dodgers. Then when he got some network TV sports gigs, I thought: "Great, now they've got talk show hosts doing games. Who'll they get next, Monty Hall or Mike Douglas?"
Little did I know...
The first couple of times I heard him on air doing network games, I thought: "Hey, this guy seems to have a knack for sports announcing. Let's give him a chance and see what he can do."
Eventually, I found out what many others already knew about this sublime talent.
All those years I had to listen to Garagiola when I could have been listening to Scully...
posted by beaverboard at 11:42 AM on June 30
Yesterday's US team could hang in there with yesterday's first half German team.
I question the subbing off of both Thomis and Delie. And the order of PK's for France, where you have Lavogez with all of a dozen caps or so taking the 5th shot instead of the captain or an older player like Necib.
US is fortunate to be facing a team that just went through extra time and PK's. As the old Tarzan and Carradine/Kung Fu saying goes: "If after a journey of a thousand miles you meet an opponent, of what must you be sure? That the journey was theirs."
Germany will need to recover as best they can. US team fitness remains a strength and was not overly taxed yesterday.
posted by beaverboard at 09:19 AM on June 27
Knicks go Baltic; fans go ballistic.
posted by beaverboard at 09:55 PM on June 25
I am stunned and deeply impressed that cixel routinely birdies the third hole, which is a killer Par 5.
posted by beaverboard at 03:58 PM on June 25
I need to read through that story a few more times to make sure I get what's going on.
I didn't realize that US Postal Inspectors had such dynamic crime fighting capability and initiative.
I didn't realize that evidence so critical could be kept off limits, unacknowledged, hidden from public view, and shuttled around between government bureaus like that. Even though the people keeping the documents hidden knew full well how useful they would be to an ongoing investigation. They could have redacted the documents to protect the third parties that they claim to be so concerned about.
The reasoning of the US Attorney's office for denying access to the material sounds and feels like discretionary nonsense. They were content to let the saga play out as it did without that evidence. So much time, effort, and bullshit wrangling could have been avoided.
How did OTL and Dowd finally get access to the docs since the FOI request was previously denied?
posted by beaverboard at 03:25 PM on June 22
It'll be interesting to see if either Hershey's or Nestle's tries to create a good time branding opportunity with the Nats, the way that Reese's did with ET.
"The official major league choco syrup of the nation's capital."
If that doesn't work out, a canned spinach company could always do a deal with sailor man Matt Williams.
When DiMaggio was in the midst of his legendary hitting streak, the Heinz company (home of the "57 Varieties") was going to give him $10,000 when the streak reached the 57th game. So of course, the streak ended at 56 games. Instead of the dough, he got Marilyn Monroe.
posted by beaverboard at 11:37 AM on June 22
Good to see Australia holding its own against Brasil. If AUS had just a tiny bit more team speed...
When two teams have a similar primary kit (yellow shirts), who determines which team wears their alternates? Is it done by world ranking or tournament seeding?
posted by beaverboard at 02:03 PM on June 21
I want to let grum get in on this with the details, but I'm a Dave Steib fan from way back, and I recall that he totally dominated on the mound in consecutive starts only to be cursed by fate. It may have even been more than 2 starts. It was landmark heavy shit. Grum will know.
posted by beaverboard at 11:43 PM on June 20
If you want to be perfect, you can't hit Tabata.
(Just trying to get out in front of the tabloids, who will have a hard time resisting the allure of that one, or some variant of it).
posted by beaverboard at 08:06 PM on June 20
If Chambers Bay was tricked out like a miniature putt-putt golf course, instead of having a windmill or a pirate ship, it would have the Exxon Valdez.
posted by beaverboard at 03:30 PM on June 20
People were waiting for JR Smith to stop sucking and go into one of those nutty unconscious spells of his, and he finally did so - when it was too late. A couple of his 4th quarter threes were just ridiculous, with little or no shooting form and a defender draped all over him. If he had kept going and had helped the Cavs take the game when it looked like the Warriors were cruising home, that would have been wild.
Warriors minus Iggy have a tough time in this series, the Warriors without Curry aren't even recognizable.
One reason the Finals went as long as 6 games is because the Warriors were essentially playing without Klay Thompson. He was a non-factor and had a miserable series. Hope it wasn't because he was inappropriately rushed back into service after the head injury.
posted by beaverboard at 07:46 AM on June 17
Congrats to Australia for going through. Owl or someone here had thought they wouldn't get out of the group this time around.
Wambach has said that the US attack has been affected by having to play on turf fields. Perhaps so, but the service has looked awful at times for several of the top teams.
I would not want to face France at the moment. They look like a hornet's nest ready to take out their sheer annoyance with each other on an unlucky opponent.
posted by beaverboard at 07:20 AM on June 17
I worry about our perspective sometimes. I was disappointed when the posting of Blatter's resignation only got a handful of responses after we went to the wall about deflategate. I will be disappointed if this story does not exceed the deflategate response count.
The Cards? So clean and successful, so pleased with themselves, and proud of their "Way".
The Astros? They were a doormatting afterthought. Not really worthy of hackage at the time. Looks like they were more a victim of convenience than anything, with the idiot GM not being diligent and inventive enough to scrap his old passwords and come up with new ones. This is like hacking into Prince Charles' cell phone by looking up the names of his dogs and nannies.
Now I want to go look at the background on the process of moving the Astros out of the NL Central to the AL West. How was that engineered, and by whom?
I always felt it made more sense to move the Padres to the AL West and move the Astros from the NL Central to NL West, so that Texas would continue to have a team in each league.
posted by beaverboard at 12:33 PM on June 16
I posted this to huddle at almost the same moment, which was misguided. You guys win because this is way more than huddle material.
posted by beaverboard at 11:50 AM on June 16
The headline read: "Cardinals Face FBI Inquiry", and I figured it was more archdiocese malfeasance.
But no - the rest of the headline read: "In Hacking of Astros Network"
On edit: an extraordinary SpoFi occurrence: Ufez and BornIcon both created individual FPP's on this at almost the same moment that I posted this to the Huddle. This can be combined or deleted.
posted by beaverboard at 11:41 AM on June 16
I wouldn't necessarily bet against fellated. Doc has got a hell of a list that he effortlessly draws from.
It is so remarkable how seamlessly Doc fits the upper levels of his exclamatory astonishment and incredulity into the flow of the broadcast.
posted by beaverboard at 11:41 PM on June 15
What a difference having an extra day off between Games 4 and 5 made for LeBron. Unfortunately for them, the schedule doesn't allow for that extra down time again before Games 6 and 7.
I wish the Cavs could put the effort into total team recovery and replenishment that LeBron puts into his recovery between games.
A couple of interesting pieces on LeBron's workload and level of athletic stress and the intensity of his and his trainer's hour by hour dedication to recovery here and here.
posted by beaverboard at 10:34 AM on June 15
If the Warriors win and they don't give the award to LeBron, they have to find some way to acknowledge what he has done in this series. His effort needs to be immortalized the way Willis Reed's Game 7 in 1970 has been. This is sustained heroic effort in the face of tremendous odds.
posted by beaverboard at 10:19 AM on June 15
I like a series where the teams take turns winning two games in a row. Something about that dynamic is intriguing. Hoping to see this go 7 regardless of the eventual winner.
posted by beaverboard at 03:24 PM on June 14
Sepp Blatter has been sticking needles into the eyes of a voodoo doll created in the likeness of a Women's World Cup referee.
posted by beaverboard at 09:19 AM on June 14
Fox Sports' online streaming of the World Cup must be on overdemand at the moment. Access to USA-Sweden is all glitched. I had no trouble watching all the Swiss-Ecuador mismatch I wanted, then the issues began when the USA match got going and I tried to switch over to it.
For future USA matches, I'll have to get logged in and hunkered down before the center ref grabs the match ball on the way out of the tunnel.
From the Unsolved FIFA Mysteries Department: no explanation given thus far for why 4 minutes of added stoppage time were announced and displayed for the end of the Australia-Nigeria match, but it was ended by the ref's whistle with only 1 minute of added stoppage having elapsed. I was trying to imagine what it would be like if a North American pro basketball, football, or hockey game got casual with the clock like that. The refs wouldn't be safe at the Vatican.
posted by beaverboard at 08:55 PM on June 12
I had trouble with that time link as well, and my take on it was that local time meant the time in the province where the match was being played. If you look at Vancouver matches, clicking between the links amounts to a 2 hour difference (I think) if you're in the eastern US.
When I saw "WHAT THE HELL SEPP!" before reading the text above it, my initial gunshot reaction was that Blatter had named Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has just been acquitted on pimping charges, as the next FIFA president.
posted by beaverboard at 01:17 PM on June 12
No horse compares to Secretariat in those 3 yr old races. I think he holds the track record in all 3 events. He's in a class of his own.
Better to compare Pharoah to Seattle Slew and Affirmed. And probably toss out Pharoah's Preakness run on a slow, sloppy track.
I'm not sure that any of those 3 horses even turned in the second fastest times after Secretariat in any of the three races. They just took on all comers and won all three races in their respective seasons of glory. Affirmed's accomplishment being the most memorable because he had such a capable and valiant rival in Alydar.
posted by beaverboard at 10:44 AM on June 12
I couldn't figure out why they couldn't fill the modest stadium in Moncton for England v France of all things. The place looks like a decent sized high school or small Division 2 collegiate facility at best.
I don't think the weather could have been that much of a factor. I can't imagine anyone from the maritimes would be discouraged by a bit of lashing rain. They know how to handle it. Very few umbrellas in the stands, and many full foul weather sets.
I noticed that they cleverly lit Olympic Stadium for the evening Brazil v Korea match, so that the vast empty upper sections of seats were concealed by darkness.
Here in the US, schools are still in session, and I know lots of families in the northeast are planning to head up to see some matches as soon as the kids are done, so hopefully, the crowds will start to swell a bit toward the end of the group stage.
posted by beaverboard at 11:12 PM on June 11
I watched part of the 30 for 30 segment on Reggie Miller last night during breaks in the NHL action. I now have a much broader appreciation for the dynamics of his formative years. What a daunting family environment he grew up in.
Those two escaped killers in upstate New York better hope the US Marshals find them before Cheryl Miller does.
posted by beaverboard at 10:10 AM on June 11
The closest King and court team I can think of off the top of my head is the 1988 Dodgers with Hershiser. But nobody had dubbed Hershiser the best of his generation only to have him exceed all expectations and venture beyond the existing accolades. And his supporting cast wasn't that pedestrian, but they were significant underdogs going into both the LCS and the Series. Hershiser just had a historic extended supreme moment that carried his team to the title.
posted by beaverboard at 12:09 PM on June 10
No matter what happens from this moment forward, it already feels historic. And the Cavaliers have already made their mark. If the Warriors prevail, it will be seen as the Cavs being supremely valiant in defeat. LeBron has a locked in look about him that is unreal.
I'm still living off the afterglow of what the Pistons did to the Lakers in 2004, and thus far, this is more remarkable. What Cleveland has going for them is that LeBron knows what it's like to be on the more talented team and get outplayed for the title.
The Warriors right now remind me of Tony Dungy's Colts: brilliant when things are going according to the script, and at a loss when the script is tossed out and victory has to come from marshaling what core essentials can be found deep within. I greatly admire what Steve Kerr has done this year, but I'd fly Coach Izzo in to talk to Draymond and his teammates before Game 4.
posted by beaverboard at 10:52 AM on June 10
Another part of this is that high school and college age guys in NHL cities start their own beards if/when their team makes the playoffs, which is a fun added dimension.
I also enjoy the contrast of watching a rink full of scruffians zoom about while listening to Doc Emrick's clarion, neatly groomed voice describe the action.
posted by beaverboard at 09:41 AM on June 10
I don't get to watch much hockey during the regular season, so I really only see the guys in their bearded state. It would be strange to me to see them clean shaven.
It's not that they look bad with the beards - I think they look great. It's that by June, most of them look like President Grant and President Hayes.
posted by beaverboard at 11:36 PM on June 09
The US backline had a few moments that frightened me. They'll need to get a bit more organized as the tournament goes along.
posted by beaverboard at 10:03 AM on June 09
This comes off as very bush league. It's too bad Coach Auriemma (who knows something about maintaining an elite level rivalry) didn't find out about this before Diaco went ahead with it. UConn's athletic department is too accomplished to have something like this cooked up in the school's name. It seems as though Diaco is striving for relevance before excellence.
By contrast, when the Ravens and Steelers were starting to build their rivalry, the Steelers were the better team at first and the Ravens were fairly newly relocated and felt like the junior partner in the arrangement. After a particularly hard fought game, a Ravens player was asked about the developing rivalry and replied: "It isn't a rivalry until the Steelers say it is".
posted by beaverboard at 09:57 AM on June 09
In certain parts of the continent, there are some people who think that this won't affect the Patriots at all. The league will turn a blind eye to it and the team won't even get a slap on the wrist. Because they're the Patriots.
posted by beaverboard at 02:11 PM on June 08
The pressure readings on the tires of Brandon Spikes' car look adequate at first glance. So it must have been something else.
posted by beaverboard at 01:20 PM on June 08
That would be the least of his worries.
In general, yes, but Derrick Rose might disagree.
posted by beaverboard at 10:58 AM on June 06
This situation reminds me a bit of the 89 Finals when Byron Scott went down before Game 1, then Magic did his hamstring in Game 2 and tried to play, but couldn't.
The result was writ in stone at that point, but the Lakers hung very tough, losing Game 2 by 3 points and Game 3 by 4 points. They were valiant in the face of inevitable defeat.
If Irving is not available and the Cavs exhibit comparable grit and valor while playing severely shorthanded, my hat's off to 'em. If the Cavs win the title without Erving, then they're all rugged geniuses, and Erie will be renamed Lake LeBron.
But to do that, they would need a level of focus and brilliance from Smith and Shumpert that those two guys seem unprepared to deliver.
During certain stretches of the game, LeBron was so automatic on iso plays under insane degrees of difficulty that I had a hard time believing the Cavs were only shooting 47% from the floor. I don't get into discussions of who is the greatest of all time, but that guy has a dimension that is heretofore unwitnessed in my experience.
Cavs need at least one win so I can be done hearing the talking mofos yak that LeBron has never won a Finals game in a Cleveland uniform. For god's sake - enough already.
My main enjoyment at the moment is watching Iguodala making the most of things. Living in Celtics country, I blasphemously found the Iguodala/Dalembert/Miller Sixers highly entertaining to watch, so I'm glad to see Andre get this opportunity.
posted by beaverboard at 02:50 PM on June 05
Irving mentioned that the injury felt different than the tendon issues he already had happening and if they are starting to rule out ligaments, hope it's not meniscus. Would much prefer to see the Cavs compete with as many weapons available as possible.
posted by beaverboard at 08:20 AM on June 05
Oh, and there's a Triple Crown attempt coming up and the Houston Astros are in first place. What?
The main challenge in Houston at the moment is finding a place for all the airborne pigs to land safely. So they can report to the pitmaster.
posted by beaverboard at 03:27 PM on June 04
After last night's Stanley Cup game, and with the NBA Finals and Women's World Cup about to begin, this is a golden moment for sports in North America.
To Blatter, Warner, Blazer, and the high ranking FIFA officials already facing charges -- the scenery is here, wish you were beautiful.
posted by beaverboard at 01:01 PM on June 04
Now that FIFA officials have begun admitting to taking bribes (Chuck Blazer's admission was announced today), perhaps the money flow can start being evaluated and expressed in terms of impact on the "donor" countries.
I'm not as interested in who the individual recipients of the bribes are as I am in the amount of the bribe, the country paying it, and the economic cost of the bribe relative to country size, population, GDP, poverty rate, etc. What was the effect of paying bribes on the smaller, poorer countries?
Not that we should be shocked if smaller, poorer countries spend money in such a way, given the other inappropriate expenditures that occur in some of those countries. Rather, I want to look at FIFA in terms of how many bribes from poor countries they facilitated and accepted, knowing what the economic impact of paying the bribes would be on those countries.
posted by beaverboard at 05:16 PM on June 03
Seems like he'll be in office several more months until a new person is elected. If allegations and revelations keep pouring forth in the meantime, his remaining in office will only become more painful and embarrassing.
He probably knew it was going to come to this, but proceeded to get himself re-elected anyway instead of calling for an emergency election to elect a successor while delegates were convened (if that were possible under FIFA bylaws).
Perhaps someone reminded Blatter that when Pope Benedict stepped down, he transitioned comfortably into well appointed quarters on the grounds of a small sovereign state.
If FIFA officers keep getting indicted and hauled away, they're going to get to a point where they might not have a quorum when a vote is called.
Parts of this have been like a CliffsNotes version of Nixon's Watergate.
posted by beaverboard at 03:23 PM on June 02
Patriots film their practice with a drone (in fulfillment of the scripture).
That is the New Testament version.
SpoFi is the ancestral mountaintop source of the Old Testament version, which predates it.
(Hope rcade files returns for SportsFilter with the IRS as a for-prophet enterprise).
posted by beaverboard at 11:38 AM on June 02
Gosh, this will be upsetting to all US casual diners who have bought into the hospitality gospel according to the Outback Steakhouse marketing department. Stunning to learn that Australia is not brimming with hearty, cheerful can-do barbie wranglers just waiting to prawn up the next group of hungry Yanks who walk in the door ready to have the time of their lives.
The first Australian I can remember who brought the fuck you squint to the States was tennis titan Rod Laver. He was from the pre-McEnroe era, so he didn't pull spoiled brat entitlement tantrums.
When a dubious call went against him, Laver would just look up at the Chair Umpire and do to his umbrella what kids do to dry leaves with sunlight and a magnifying glass.
posted by beaverboard at 10:11 AM on June 02
This just in from the "Send In the Clowns/Isn't It Rich" department:
Deposed FIFA executive Jack Warner cites an article from The Onion in his own defense.
The article is cited beginning at around the 5:00 mark.
Here's the article.
posted by beaverboard at 06:39 PM on May 31
Sobering generational and historical perspective:
The last Chicago Cub to have played in a World Series has died.
posted by beaverboard at 02:45 PM on May 31
Thank you dfleming for the enlightening details. Given the general topography on the Halifax side of the harbor, I can understand how it would be tough to find suitable land space and engineer a stadium. (Heading east on the highway from the south shore, I remember it being continually downhill all the way to the waterfront once you hit Quinpool Rd.)
But over on the Dartmouth side, it seems like a stadium could be more workable. No realistic prospects there? Is Dartmouth a completely separate municipality and as such would have to form their own bid?
posted by beaverboard at 11:15 AM on May 31
Just looking through all the upcoming match venues for the Women's WC. How were the sites chosen?
No Regina, Calgary, Toronto, Quebec, or Halifax, but Moncton is in the mix.
posted by beaverboard at 09:11 AM on May 31
I was sitting in a pub watching a good part of this. At the bar, with the audio turned off, as a way to remain cheerful and hydrated despite the unseasonably warm weather.
The born and bred all-American Ram Tough truck driving guy sitting next to me was providing himself with a running private commentary on the match, and seemed knowledgeable in many respects. It was a bit surreal - rather like watching international compulsory figures with Ted Nugent.
As the match and his patronage at the bar concurrently matured, his speech became less and less decipherable. He eventually reached the point where "Arsene Wenger" and "Aston Villa" became indistinguishable from one another and then, finally, became interchangeable.
At that point, on a cultural basis, I felt as though the US had reached a moment where a fair bit of sporting progress had been achieved.
posted by beaverboard at 06:26 PM on May 30
Marco Polo flees pleasure palace, and will no longer be documenting his travels and whereabouts.
posted by beaverboard at 08:53 AM on May 29
I remember the 1975 Finals. Two games in, the commentators were saying that the Bullets had no answer for Warriors' center Clifford Ray down low.
Ray played at 6'9". He had 2 inches on Bullets center Wes Unseld who was 6'7". (But Unseld's shoulders were at least 6'3" wide).
Magic could have played his whole career as a ball handling center back then and taken the league apart. Every game might have been like his Game 6 in the Finals against the Sixers after Kareem got hurt.
I think the 75 Finals was also one of the first times two African-American head coaches competed for the title. Maybe the first. It wasn't as big a deal in the press as when Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith faced each other in the Super Bowl.
posted by beaverboard at 11:58 AM on May 28
The ongoing brilliance of Rick Santorum: announces today that he's running for the top job but picks the wrong organization.
posted by beaverboard at 01:42 PM on May 27
Strolling down Bushstrasse
posted by beaverboard at 01:34 PM on May 27
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