Recent Comments by billsaysthis

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

It's like deja vu: Brazil go out of the Copa America on penalties to Paraguay for the second straight time. Especially surprising that Dunga put on Ribeiro for his goalscorer Robinho in the 88th minute, presumably for his PK skills, only to have Ribeiro push the ball wide right when Paraguay's Villar went left.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:37 PM on June 27

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I was not expecting it but what a great weekend of football this turned out to be! Starting with Serbia/Brazil in the U-20s World Cup Final, then all the matches from Copa America and Women's World Cup plus Earthquakes beating (a down bleeding, to be fair) Sounders in MLS, well, wow.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:37 AM on June 22

Brazil's World Cup Stadiums, One Year Later

@rcade I believe your OP answers your question. The corruption is precisely why these stadiums were built.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:55 PM on June 19

U.S. Beats Nigeria, Wins World Cup's "Group of Death"

Bad officiating has been the hallmark of this tournament, which is really saying something IMO considering the level at, say, last year's MWC. Not offside, a handball, not a handball.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:46 AM on June 17

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Excellent Guardian look back at the team that launched modern soccer in America, the 1990 World Cup squad.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:22 PM on June 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

US lose to Serbia on PKs ending a solid run at the Under-20s World Cup in New Zealand. Despite missing four starters, the American boys held a larger, physically imposing team scoreless for 120 minutes. GK Zach Steffan, the team's Man of the Match, did his part by holding on to the 9th round of kicks, with 17 year old CB Cameron Carter-Vickers a dominant presence in front of him.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:49 AM on June 14

Enter the Women's World Cup Confidence Pool

As in the past, I'm happy to lend my JS skills to the project. Which, to be clear, is what I do at my day job.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:43 AM on June 09

U.S. Women Impress in World Cup Opening Win Over Australia

Agree, US passing was very weak and back four were incohesive. The team created a lot of turnovers but turned many of them right back to the Matildas; as Oguchi Onyewu said a few years ago it isn't enough to win the ball, you have to convert it into an offensive opportunity. Back four did not seem to have a great understanding of each other, especially Klingenberg who I think wasn't used to having to defend so deep so quickly as the US have generally been winning the midfield battles in games she's played.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:36 AM on June 09

Enter the Women's World Cup Confidence Pool

@rcade I took that meaning from your text on the page, thanks for fixing it.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:37 PM on June 07

Barcelona Wins Champions League, Completes the Treble

Terrific match to watch--once Barcelona scored early Juventus couldn't stay with the Catennacio plan and had to come out, meaning that if Barca's finishing had been a bit better the game could've been over inside 15 minutes.

Juve held on and climbed back in but for all the talk beforehand of Pogba and Vidal they were no match for the opposition midfield, who constantly dispossessed them and broke up attacking moves. MSN were constantly harassing Barzagli and Bonucci, who must have been giving thanks to the grounds crew, but for me the real men of the match were Iniesta and Busquets for how well they stifled and starved Tevez and Morata.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:35 PM on June 07

Enter the Women's World Cup Confidence Pool

In, go USAians!

posted by billsaysthis at 04:37 PM on June 05

Warriors Win Game 1 of Finals Despite LeBron's 44 Points

No wonder the salary cap is going to $90 million!!!

posted by billsaysthis at 10:38 AM on June 05

Arsenal Dismantles Aston Villa in FA Cup Final

Was out Saturday morning so I taped this and the Copa del Rey. I made it through 44 minutes of the latter, blocking the bottom news crawl each time soccer came around, before the idiot commentator spoiled the FA Cup result. Which is just as well since I enjoyed my day much more without seeing that, should've realized I was never going to enjoy it.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:31 AM on June 01

Henchmen arrested, but the Joker is still at large

Europe won't be unified on this--Putin is all in for Blatter, denouncing US actions as interventionist, and while Platini called for Blatter's resignation the French FA chief is still voting for Blatter because he "doesn't know" Prince Ali.

Curiously, I've not read that Jeffrey Webb has been removed from his CONCACAF presidency...

posted by billsaysthis at 10:45 AM on May 28

Henchmen arrested, but the Joker is still at large

Considering the corruption likely goes much further, and that Blatter is the king of the stuffed brown paper bag, I'm not sure this will change the election. Note that all of the men arrested or charged are Western Hemisphere nationals, even though there were widespread rumors of deals with plenty of FIFA/national org officials in many other geographies.

On the plus, side the Swiss have also opened a criminal investigation and today seized lots of material from the FIFA HQ offices which are, after all, in Switzerland. And since Blatter is a Swiss national, I don't think the Swiss police would've arrested him on an American extradition warrant, but one can hope their own charges will include his lying, sleazy ass.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:49 AM on May 27

Is Manuel Neuer the template for future goalkeepers

I dunno, rcade. You need the right kind of scheme and players in front of the keeper to make this work and not everyone can play like his team(s).

posted by billsaysthis at 10:41 AM on May 27

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Today was pitiful from my Reds. Sorry but last week and this make me question Brendan Rogers' ability to prepare a team for the game because in both the squad fell down immediately after giving up a goal.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:15 PM on May 24

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I don't think the columns are wide enough for the full season, the federal income tax will overflow. But day-um!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:38 AM on May 23

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Not sure about the lost ticket sales angle: Brady jersey sales spike post-Deflategate.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:08 AM on May 13

NFL Took Millions from U.S. Government to Salute the Troops

Waiting for the first team to announce they're returning the cash. I am a patient man, you see...

posted by billsaysthis at 12:51 PM on May 12

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

rcade, that table came out a month or more ago.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:32 PM on May 09

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Denise McCluggage: 1927-2015

posted by billsaysthis at 11:03 AM on May 07

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Owlie, hard to think of better words. Will be wearing my Messi jersey today like the god among men he is.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:54 AM on May 07

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

100+ goals for MSN this season, with half a dozen games or so still to play. Liverpool's four strikers (Balotelli, Lambert, Borini, Sturridge) have eight. Liverpool don't miss Suarez, no not at all.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:56 AM on April 29

Rangers Close to Trade with Angels for Josh Hamilton

That is a wild deal, which, as much sense as it might make for everyone, still strikes me as setting a bad precedent. Can't the Rangers throw in a utility player or their 5th best minor league prospect? A couple of draft picks??

posted by billsaysthis at 02:15 PM on April 26

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Kreskin? Helen Keller could've called that one. McLellan got them up the hill but instead of reaching the peak he stumbled and fell. Ownership not interested in putting Humpty together again.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:44 AM on April 22

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

As a 12-13 year old I truly appreciated the weekly visit to Hee-Haw. Buck and Barbi #ftw.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:03 PM on April 19

U.S. Men Win 2-0 Over Mexico in San Antonio

We were missing plenty of first choice players too. This wasn't an international date so both teams mainly selected domestic league players.

Dos a Cero!!

posted by billsaysthis at 10:19 AM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

You guys!

posted by billsaysthis at 12:04 PM on April 08

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Not sure I read this correctly but somehow I seem to have won the SpoFi NCAA Tourney bracket. Like IBM, never seems to be wrong to buy Duke.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:03 AM on April 07

Australia bowls out New Zealand on 183

For sure fun to watch.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:51 AM on March 31

Australia bowls out New Zealand on 183

Pretty enjoyable for me to be able to watch the semis and the finals live while I'm down here.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:33 AM on March 30

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

We were at dinner (in Brisbane) last night and I was having a tough time not constantly updating my phone to see the score. Very happy to see the Kiwis pull it out, hope that the Aussies can do the business tomorrow to set a real local final.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:36 AM on March 25

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Heart rules the head, dfleming, as an economist I'm sure you understand that better than me. Add in the politicos' fundraising requirements and there's just no contest, sadly.

The real way to contest government spending on sports facilities is to find a way to make a similar emotional/pocketbook connection for that same money. Viral videos of cute babies who seamlessly transition to little kids sitting in, say, messed up classrooms, or the like. Who knows, I'm an engineer.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:31 AM on March 19

Yahoo Tourney Pick'em Pool

In. Thanks Grum.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:28 AM on March 17

SF 49er rookie Chris Borland retires at age 24 due to worries about his future health from concussions.

For sure a hammer blow to the Niners but I have to respect a guy for passing up several million to avoid the possibility of debilitating injury.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:20 AM on March 17

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Not to mention that Qatar is hardly much better on this kind of scorecard.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:35 AM on March 13

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

@ufez, and once again the northwest is completely ignored despite the brand new Levis Stadium and the packed houses you always get in Seattle and Portland.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:44 PM on March 12

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The price of distraction in front row seats.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:43 PM on March 12

The NFL free-agency period begins with a slew of major moves

As a Niner fan I'm just in ConfusionLand. One of my co-workers was on Andrew Luck's O line and had a cup of coffee with the 49ers and yesterday at lunch he just had no explanation for the team's moves. Only that we won't be challenging the Seahawks for the division title but the Rams for the cellar.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:51 AM on March 11

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Calling it "one of the things that makes football a tough business," the Colts released Reggie Wayne yesterday. Sad day for Indy, especially if his knee is recovered enough for him to go out and feature for another team.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:41 AM on March 07

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I'm glad the Mets and MLB are doing this but as Alderson says there's more to be done. Murphy's comments are odd but then his command of English is apparently not as strong as his ball playing, net net his stance is far more welcoming than I'd have expected. (Example to the contrary: AL county stops issuing all marriage licenses.)

posted by billsaysthis at 11:41 AM on March 04

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Grum, that is outstanding.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:04 PM on February 19

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Jackie Robinson West stripped of U.S. Little League title for cheating. The adults, that is, not the kids.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:47 AM on February 11

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Peruvian team make standstill protest against violence: As a protest against fans' assault on players, the Alianza Lima squad did not move for 20 seconds after the starting whistle. Fortunately this confused the opposition, who simply passed the ball between their defenders until the Alianza players started playing.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:44 AM on February 11

UNC's Legendary Coach Dean Smith Dies

Growing up in NJ, which has great high school and poor college hoops, I was a big fan of the UNC/Duke rivalry in large part because of Smith. One team might be having an off year (rare) but for these games all that was out the window.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:21 AM on February 09

Former Portuguese footballer Luis Figo joins crowded field looking to unseat Sepp Blatter as President of FIFA.

Something like five major sponsors have already left FIFA as contracts expired but I don't see any sign of change.

Instead I see Real Madrid taking $500M for putting Abu Dhabi in the name of the Bernabeau.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:13 AM on January 30

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Fair enough, rcade. I meant historically speaking.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:46 PM on January 20

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

49ers job is worse than Oakland, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Buffalo?

posted by billsaysthis at 11:59 AM on January 19

Buckeyes Win College Football Playoff

Who starts for Ohio State next season, assuming all three QBs are healthy?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:37 PM on January 13

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I know this is a couple of days late but I've been waiting 30+ years to say this: Lazar scores the winner for Liverpool!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:39 AM on January 12

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Is there a Bieber curse? I mean, I hope so, it would be really cool if there is.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:21 AM on January 05

Hard hitting preview of the upcoming Cowboys/Lions wildcard game.

That is sick. But I like the Jerry getting blown bit ;)

posted by billsaysthis at 08:28 PM on January 03

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

"My feet were so cold I couldn't tell the difference between Rogers' feet and the turf" will be 2015's "Ooh baby baby, push it good."

posted by billsaysthis at 12:52 PM on December 31

New Jersey Devils Will Have 3 Coaches

Umm...

posted by billsaysthis at 10:42 PM on December 28

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Devils replace DeBoer with 3-headed coaching staff. GM Lamoriello said he'll "go on the bench to make sure it works for now" and "until I feel comfortable with the situation."

posted by billsaysthis at 12:44 PM on December 27

How Boxing Day Became a Highlight of the Sports Year

Would be even more awesome-sauce if the Premier League could schedule rivalry games on Boxing Day. Burnley-Liverpool (don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to get three points today), West Brom-Man City, Leicester-Tottenham, Man Utd-Newcastle, Everton-Stoke, etc... don't really stir the blood.

Boxing Day should be derbies where possible, something meaningful as second choice and best remaining for the rest. I know there are lots of scheduling constraints but this should be practical.

Happy Boxing Day to all the SpoFi tradesmen and servants!

posted by billsaysthis at 03:13 PM on December 26

Can True Sports Fans Switch to a New Favorite Team?

I guess I'm not going with the crowd. When I moved to the Bay Area I took on the 49ers and Sharks as my teams and never really gave the Giants or Devils much of a second thought, though I was happy for them when they won Super Bowls and Stanley Cups.

Have always been a Liverpool FC mainliner, courtesy of a college roommate from there. If you put me in isolation and said I could only watch games involving one team I wouldn't hesitate before answering LFC. #ynwa!!

Life is a journey, IMO, and if we're supposed to grow and learn along the way (or vice versa) then I don't see the fan for life thing being important. If TS1 and I do move Down Under (as we keep talking about) then I'm sure I'll adopt the local AFL and A League sides too and I see no problem with that.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:01 PM on December 18

Oklahoma Judge Asked to Overturn High School Playoff Game

This is the opposite end of the pendulum swing of how many of us experienced childhood 30-60 years ago in terms of parental involvement.

Hopefully. Because if the court actually takes the case rather than dismissing out of hand we are in for a whole world of trouble.

"Ooh, you handed out a curriculum that didn't mention every single reading assignment and project." "Oh the rules say the clock restarts on a receiving team player carrying the ball into the field."

OMG people!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:33 AM on December 09

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Barry Hearn whirlwind hits home in Scottish football's Hampden HQ. Mr. Snooker'n'Darts goes for the SPFL's, er, bullseye.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:02 PM on December 04