Recent Comments by sbacharach

Even if you don't follow La Liga, it's worth reading The Sids

My favorite is Best Pundit.

posted by sbacharach at 05:28 PM on May 29

Landon Donovan Left Off World Cup Roster

With Landon or without him, I think getting out of the group is a pretty huge ask, but I'm disappointed. I also think it's more about off-field than on-field, and I'm more inclined to think that Klinsmann is putting his personality ahead of the team than that Donovan would have done that. Will removing him from the squad heal any sort factional issue in the dressing room or will it create one (or neither, I guess)?

posted by sbacharach at 01:23 PM on May 23

Arsenal Comes Back to Win FA Cup Over Hull City

Even after just Cazorla's goal, I think there was already "the feeling it was only matter of time", though of course you never know.

The Sanogo to Giroud to Ramsey goal was definitely worthy of an FA Cup winner - the "beautiful" in "The Beautiful Game".

posted by sbacharach at 01:02 PM on May 19

Crossing Over:

A couple months ago I went to the 1st leg CONCACAF Champions League game between the Xolos and the Galaxy in Carson, CA. The Tijuana fans brought an outstanding atmosphere to the Stub Hub Center. I'd like to get down to a game sometime in Tijuana to see them on their own turf. I admit I was a little intimidated by the idea (I haven't been to TJ in 25 years), but reading this article has made it seem a whole lot easier.

posted by sbacharach at 12:22 PM on May 12

Ronaldo Speaks Up for Field-Crashing Fan Who Hugged Him

Great story rcade. I never heard about this incident, and I'm happy to see Ronaldo take a moment out to send some support this guy's way.

posted by sbacharach at 03:22 PM on October 15

Is Roger Federer Done?

If he's like most of the greats, it's hardly ever been about money, lifestyle, or rankings. It's about Grand Slam championships, and that's all it's about.

posted by sbacharach at 11:19 PM on August 20

Robbie Rogers Unretires, Signs with L.A. Galaxy

I think Rogers participation in MLS is fantastic, but I'm disappointed that the Galaxy have lost Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire in the process. Magee was an absolutely vital player in the Galaxy's playoff success of the past two years, and I'm concerned that the league - which has a vast amount of control over transfers - has sacrificed Magee's spot on the squad to make sure Rogers can play in a high-profile (by MLS standards) club in a diverse, liberal city.

That being said, the Galaxy just routed the Sounders 4-0, and perhaps I'm just being a bit of a conspiracy theorist. But, Magee scored some huge goals when it counted the last couple campaigns.

posted by sbacharach at 10:12 PM on May 27

ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons from Twitter for Criticizing 'First Take'

In the past couple weeks I just started to listening to Simmons' podcast, the B.S. Report. Even when he discusses stuff I don't care much about (i.e. MLB, Boston sports), he's still pretty thoughtful and entertaining - at least I think so. Interestingly, in just the last few days, he was mentioning how he was proud of ESPN in the way they've never told him not to do a story of some type. The guy he was interviewing - sorry I forgot who it was - was an investigative reporter and he echoed those sentiments. I think the context had to do with reporting on head injuries in the NFL and criticizing the league response. Anyway, funny now that ESPN puts the hammer down a bit. I expect this will come up in his next podcast.

posted by sbacharach at 02:51 PM on March 15

Olympics drop wrestling for 2020

I think any sport where an Olympic gold is considered the pinnacle achievement in that sport should stay right where it is. There are sports where the Olympics are practically an afterthought compared to other events, e.g. soccer (World Cup), which are better candidates for elimination, IMO.

Agreed. Get rid of tennis. And isn't golf going to be added? I'm against that as well for the same reason.

posted by sbacharach at 06:07 PM on February 12

Lower-level clubs oust 5 EPL sides in FA Cup

With the fight that Brighton put up against Arsenal (and the sorry excuse for a defender that is Andre Santos), there could have been an additional casualty from the EPL.

posted by sbacharach at 08:21 PM on January 27

Lance Armstrong Admits Using PEDs, Destroying People

I second MrB's comments about lack of remorse. Lance felt like he'd almost gotten away with it but was just dragged back in at the last moment. Poor guy.

posted by sbacharach at 02:49 PM on January 18

Lance Armstrong Admits Using PEDs, Destroying People

Not defending Armstrong at all, but I think the laughter was a mask for awkwardness; the truth (or some of it) is brand new territory for him.

The destruction of others' characters and careers is the most the damning thing for me. I can't excuse, but I think I have a better understanding of, the mentality behind all the doping, but the outright bullying is unforgivable - a fact he actually recognized in the interview.

If it were just the doping and I saw him on the street, I would walk up and say hello, but the borderline sociopathic way he attacked anyone who got in his way makes me want to keep my kids away from him, not that I would fear for their safety, but because I associate him with vindictiveness, not exactly a family value. That being said, I have a friend who trained on the Xterra Tri course in Maui with him a couple years ago - just the two of them for over an hour - and reported that Lance was a mellow, down-to-earth guy (now it appears with a pretty strong dark side).

posted by sbacharach at 02:47 PM on January 18

Tony Hawk Ruffles Feathers with Family Photo

I'm with Hawk on this one. Though I'm glad that safety has increased in general over the years - seatbelts, airbags, helmets, etc., people who decry the photo/incident have gone a bit too far. Is anyone really going to go out and try this themselves just because Tony Hawk did it? There is an extremely long list of things he can do that I cannot, and I am smart enough to know that.

posted by sbacharach at 02:24 PM on December 20

Russian Team's Fans Demand All-White, All-Straight Team

Shameful. I don't know how closely associated the fan club is with the team, but this might be a case for UEFA to mete out some punishment? Russia hosts the World Cup in 2018 - will FIFA have something to say? With the Winter Olympics coming up in Sochi in 2014, maybe the IOC will have a statement? Or is that all a bit too optimistic on my part?

posted by sbacharach at 01:17 PM on December 18

Bradford City stuns Arsenal

@etagloh: I thought Wenger put out a surprisingly strong squad for this game, at least compared to what he's normally done for the League Cup in the past. That's why I personally find this loss to be pretty distressing. Normally, I'd just shrug it off as a minor, relatively meaningless competition, but not this time.

posted by sbacharach at 11:08 PM on December 11

NFL Might Eliminate Kickoffs

Debo270: I'm not really into the NFL, so I'll stay out of the main conversation, but I love me some Southpark, so I'm definitely with you there

posted by sbacharach at 05:14 PM on December 07

UCI claims 'moral authority' to lead cycling

I would hope that it's only certain people running UCI and not the whole organization itself that has been part of the problem. At the very least they need to clean house at the top and somehow introduce more transparency.

posted by sbacharach at 01:07 PM on October 23

Boxer Orlando Cruz: I'm a 'Proud Gay Man'

Just reading the headline, I'd have to say this guy is an absolute hero.

posted by sbacharach at 12:00 PM on October 05

Ryder Cup 2012: Medinah miracle comes to pass for Europe

I agree with the frustration of watching the implosion on holes 17 and 18. On a related note, I think it's great that Phil can be such a gentleman to his opponent, but at the same time, it didn't look like he was very bothered by seeing it all slip away. You don't have to root against your opponents, but it almost looked like he was rooting for his.

posted by sbacharach at 05:34 PM on October 01

Tom Sims, skate- and snowboard pioneer, died Sept. 12 of cardiac arrest. He was 61

A true pioneer.

.

posted by sbacharach at 12:09 PM on September 17

Trying their best to win at losing

I'm with Atheist: it's up to the organizers to try to provide an entertaining competition; it's up to the players to try to win medals within the system set up by the organizers. The organizers made a mistake and the players were punished for it. I wonder also, is most of the anger because the players didn't do a good enough job of hiding their desire to lose or that they tried to lose in the first place?

posted by sbacharach at 01:45 AM on August 02

Germany Shows Greece Who's Boss

Games like this one and performances like we saw from Ireland make me wish this tournament would stay at 16 teams rather than being expanded to 24 as is the plan by Platini, I believe. Yes, there were some nervous moments for Germany after the Greek equalizer, but all in all, I didn't think it was worthy of a quaterfinal of a major tournament.

posted by sbacharach at 08:42 PM on June 22

Greece, Czech Republic Advance in Group A

I was thinking Russia could be a dark horse to win the whole thing. Never mind.

posted by sbacharach at 06:45 PM on June 16

Denmark Stuns Netherlands 1-0

Van Persie scored like crazy this past season (topped the EPL) for Arsenal. The Dutch setup doesn't seem to accomodate both him and Huntelaar on the pitch at the same time.

posted by sbacharach at 08:28 PM on June 09

USA 5-1 Scotland

Very cool you made it to the game, rcade. I wish we got more USMNT games played in California, but against just about any CONCACAF opponent (not that Scotland is a part of the confederation of course) you'd probably have more opposing fans than home supporters.

posted by sbacharach at 12:17 AM on May 28

USA 5-1 Scotland

Scotland were lazy, disorganized, and slow, and the US made them pay time and time again. Rarely have I been so impressed with a performance by the US as I was with this one. Excellent movement, dominant in the midfield, building from the back, good communication, clinical finishing. Now we'll see how things go against Brazil on Wednesday...

posted by sbacharach at 12:40 PM on May 27

Chelsea Wins Champions League

an incredibly talented person who squanders his talent flopping around and crying

Robben may do his share of flopping around and crying (as do too many footballers), but not at the expense of squandering his talent. He is a gifted winger with an incredible left foot. The Chelsea defense did a better job than many teams of closing him down quickly whenever he cut in from the right side to try for a strike from outside the box.

posted by sbacharach at 08:45 PM on May 20

Chelsea Wins Champions League

Another epic. How can you not bring back Di Matteo and Drogba after this? I actually see it the other way. I think this might be the perfect time for Roman to clean house - DiMatteo, Drogba, Terry, maybe Lampard too. The stars are aging, and I truly don't see how they can repeat this sort of march through the Champions League again. There were just too many improbable wins and they were clearly the lesser side today. Let's not forget they finished 6th in the EPL (though maybe they could have nicked 4th if they'd cared more about the league the last few weeks). DiMatteo was a great motivator the last couple months, but I'm not sure he's the guy you want to shape that rebuilding project.

posted by sbacharach at 08:57 PM on May 19

Manchester City Wins Premier League

Still trying to catch my breath.

posted by sbacharach at 12:56 PM on May 13

Pep Guardiola to end reign as Barcelona coach in summer

The end of an amazing story and possibly the beginning of a fascinating new one:

Will he take a year off before heading back to football? Who will lure him out of "retirement" and for how much? Which owner would he be willing to work with and in which country? How would he do without the likes of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, etal? Can Pep truly come up with a "non-Barcelona" way of tactics and management if he doesn't have the types of players who can play that way? He never needed a Plan B before because Plan A was so good. Sir Alex has successfully rebuilt ManU on numerous occasions - is Pep capable of that kind of managment (though he did successfully preside over some changes involving Ronaldinho, Ibra, Eto'o, and a few others).

posted by sbacharach at 12:50 PM on April 27

Man-Down Chelsea Buries Barcelona

Outstanding intensity and drama. The Lampard pass and Ramires chip combined for as beautiful a goal as you could hope to see to take a side through to a final.

scully - I love the Gunners but if they can't secure 3rd place at this point, maybe they don't deserve Champions League football next year (though I would hate to see RVP leave too - of course maybe he will anyway).

posted by sbacharach at 11:41 PM on April 24

NASL All-Time Leading Scorer Giorgio Chinaglia Dead at 65

I went to a couple LA Aztecs games with my Dad at the Coliseum, but I wasn't even 10 at the time, so I barely remember it. Still have some stickers though!

posted by sbacharach at 03:18 PM on April 03

Women's Volleyball Players Get Bikini Reprieve

It must be due to the fact that I grew up in sunny Southern California - the birthplace of beach volleyball - that I find many of the comments above not really offensive, just extremely ignorant.

Besides playing indoor volleyball (6 v 6) in high school, college, and afterward, I also played lots of 4 v 4, 3 v 3, and yes, tons of 2 v 2. Trust me, there is a LOT of strategy in 2 v 2. If you as the viewer does not perceive it (or the commentators don't explain it well), don't blame the sport. Generally, I like SpoFi because there is not the usual bashing of sports (like soccer) because people don't know any better, but this thread seems to be an exception.

Granted, there are more offensive possibilities with six a side as opposed to two, but then, for example, why is singles tennis so much more popular on TV than doubles?

posted by sbacharach at 11:22 AM on March 29

Economists Imagine the Death of Football

Tyler Cowen has been interviewed multiple times on Econtalk. He has many interesting and provocative views on some big issues of the day.

posted by sbacharach at 04:50 PM on February 10

Fabio Capello Resigns As England Manager

After an impressive qualifying campaign and the ensuing hyped expectations, the Rooney ban and the Terry/Capello flap may bring people back to Earth.

posted by sbacharach at 05:09 PM on February 08

An Open Letter from Kenny Powers to Tim Tebow

Just finished Season 2 of that show on Netflix - hilarious.

posted by sbacharach at 02:46 PM on February 08

Contador should have hired Armstrong's lawyers

As long as Evans can still gain valuable seconds (if not minutes) on the Schelcks in the time trials, the interest remains.

posted by sbacharach at 01:24 PM on February 06

Contador should have hired Armstrong's lawyers

Thou shalt not editorialize in a front page post.

Sorry - my bad. I've been more of a responder in the past, not a poster.

posted by sbacharach at 01:22 PM on February 06

Volleyball's Wizard of Westwood to retire at the end of this season

I've lived much of my life in Southern California. I played volleyball from age 13 to about age 33. In short, Al Scates is a Coaching God. He's right there with Wooden, Sir Alex, and Coach K.

posted by sbacharach at 08:11 PM on January 20

Pepe defends his stomp on Messi

Pepe and the captain of the Concordia cruise ship should hang out together.

posted by sbacharach at 06:58 PM on January 19

Art Howe Disgusted by 'Moneyball'

I work with Mike Magnante (cut from the A's near the end of the book - I haven't seen the movie yet). We've discussed the events over lunch several times, and there's little he disputes about events in the book, though he does take issue with "Moneyball" as as effective strategy for winning in the playoffs. Mike met with the director before shooting, and it was made clear to him that it's a movie meant to sell tickets and tell a good story - and that perhaps some truth would be tossed out. A big inaccuracy is that MLB players start vesting into the pension from day one in the big leagues - being a few days short of ten years when your career ends is mathematically insignificant as far as your future compensation.

posted by sbacharach at 04:57 PM on September 29

Cesc Fabregas finalizes move to Barcelona

Spend, Arsene, spend!!!

posted by sbacharach at 10:50 AM on August 15

Plenty of Good Seats Still Available: The collapse of the sports ticket bubble

It's one of the few sports that's still better in person.

I would suggest that the owners are hoping there are still plenty of sports better in person. I've always felt that the biggest positive delta between watching at home and watching there is hockey.

posted by sbacharach at 08:33 PM on August 04

Man City Pulls Striker When Backheel Backfires

I attended the game yesterday, but I have not watched ESPN's take on it. From my vantage point, 40 rows up, midway between the halfline and the goal he was in front of, it was showboating of the highest order. The Man City fan I was next to was appalled and very appreciative when Balotelli was pulled. The crowd went apeshit because he disrespected the other team. Making it or not wasn't an issue. It wasn't even a particularly enthralling move - it was more on the lines of a taunt, and I'm glad Mancini had the wherewithal to sit Mario's ass down (and yell at him as he came off the field).

posted by sbacharach at 01:36 PM on July 25

Cadel Evans Takes Yellow Jersey

Best TDF in years. So many battles, so many subplots, lots of drama the whole way through. The competitors really seemed to respect each other, which gave it a better vibe too. From day-to-day, it was very hard to predict stage winners and team tactics - the early attacks in the Alps, in particular, were surprising. The unpredictability throughout the 3 weeks made it exciting virutally every stage. Andy, dude, you gotta work on that time trialing some more or you will likely never wear yellow in Paris.

posted by sbacharach at 04:26 PM on July 23

The top 10 sports broadcast calls of all time.

Every Fall for the week leading up to Big Game (Cal v. Stanford), you hear Starkey's call of "The Play" around the Berkeley campus - never gets old. And that was a guy who was totally overwhelmed by what was going on in front of him, which is part of the charm.

posted by sbacharach at 02:55 PM on April 07

Cobi Jones Leads Soccer Hall of Fame Class

Cobi's obviously a shoe-in for the hall. I know this is a long way off if at all, but I hope one day he gets consideration as a coach. He's a good guy (I met him briefly in 1994 just after the WC), he seems to command the respect of all other players, he comes off as intelligent and thoughtful, and he's assisting with the LA Galaxy. Maybe a future USMNT coach? Again, a long way off if at all.

posted by sbacharach at 11:19 PM on March 30

Study: Stretching Does Not Prevent Running Injuries

From my own experience only, stretching before and/or after running has not helped me at all and sometimes used to hurt me. When I used to play volleyball and other sports involving explosive movements, stretching was necessary, but since becoming more of a runner in the last few years (~25 miles/week), I've stopped stretching completely and have experienced no muscle injuries because of it.

posted by sbacharach at 12:17 PM on February 22

Auburn Tigers Win BCS Title Over Oregon Ducks

Anyone else appalled by the state of the field? It's one thing to water the pitch (which it looked like they did) for soccer so the ball can zip around, but quite another for American football. From the opening kickoff injury all the way through the game, I saw no less than a dozen players slip because of the sorry state of the turf.

posted by sbacharach at 11:54 PM on January 11

Blackburn's Diouf Taunts Opponent with Broken Leg

Diouf and Joey Barton have a special in hell reserved for them.

posted by sbacharach at 12:20 PM on January 10

Barkley: 'You Can't Send Small Junk'

Gotta love Sir Charles.

posted by sbacharach at 05:05 PM on December 20

Rookie Linus Omark Sends NHL a Message

I don't watch enough hockey for a particularly informed opinion - was the spin move such a big deal that he's going to get his ass kicked for it the next time those teams play? Showboating Lite if that.

posted by sbacharach at 05:09 PM on December 14

Did the BBC Kill England's World Cup Bid?

Some of she same UK football officials who were decrying the BBC as being unpatriotic for airing the program are now, after the vote, accusing FIFA's process as being corrupt. Hypocrisy.

I agree with Holden - the whole bidding process was a colossal waste of time and money. Blatter wanted to spread football to new frontiers. Not much else seems to have mattered (except perhaps the host countries' making financial "promises" about football development in their regions).

posted by sbacharach at 12:48 PM on December 07

Beckenbauer: Play Qatar World Cup in January

Great idea except plenty of major clubs would have a fit because of injuries and fatigue to their top players in the middle of the European season. The African Cup of Nations already causes some minor problems in that regard. The relationships between national federations and big clubs are already kind of prickly because of all the qualifiers and friendlies. There would have to be a wholesale change to the club season schedule. Of course they have over a decade to figure that out.

posted by sbacharach at 05:07 PM on December 04

World Cups Awarded to Russia in 2018, Qatar in 2022

Very disappointed. Congrats to Qatar, but I was already getting excited for 2022 in the States. '94 was a huge experience for me making me into an international soccer follower.

posted by sbacharach at 11:04 AM on December 02

Madison Square Garden Will Have Spectator Bridges

So next is transparent floors for Spectator Underpasses?

posted by sbacharach at 12:01 AM on November 27

The Knick Killer

Watch ESPN's 30 for 30 movie "Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks". It explores this incident among others. Very entertaining flick.

posted by sbacharach at 01:24 PM on November 20

Steve Nash Announces Birth, Divorce

The postpartum depression certainly isn't affecting his play. The Suns shot out of their minds last night (20 for 30 behind the arc at one point before finishing 22 for 40) in beating the Lakers in LA.

posted by sbacharach at 03:17 PM on November 15

Roy Halladay's Advice for Kids

I think "The Onion" has for years been the best source around for satire and comedy.

posted by sbacharach at 01:31 PM on November 10

Tottenham Beats Inter Milan 3-1 in Champions League

Here's a start?: Gareth is the slightly less famous cousin of Hollywood gadabout Christian Bale, possessing most of the stunning good looks of his Batman relative but with far larger anger issues than merely cursing incessantly on set.

posted by sbacharach at 11:30 AM on November 04