Monday, July 31, 2006
He's got good stuff, but mentally, he was not always there, and the Twins had tried just about everything they could think of to get him on track.
In return, the Twins picked up minor league pitching prospect Zack Ward. He's 22, and has had great success at the single A level.
I can't help wonder if this isn't part of a bigger plan. The Twins are rather flush with pitchers and pitching prospects. They have the two best left hander starters in the game, they have the lowest bullpen ERA in the game, and a closer who might be amongst the Save leaders in the league again this year had it not been for the Twins horrific start to the season.
So why another prospect? The rumor mill is churning still with Soriano rumors, and the Nationals might be gettinga little antsy. They were looking two good prospects in a trade, and so for they haven't gotten it.
The Twins have great pitching prospects--they think so much of Matt Garza and Kevin Slowey that they were considered untouchable in trade discussions. So perhaps, the Twins thought picking up another prospect like Zack Ward and packaging him one of the the Twins "touchable" minor leaguers (Boof?) and oh, let's say Shannon Stewart, would give them a shot on Soriano. Maybe it will.
Just a few hours left to find out. But as much as I was down on Soriano becoming a White Sock, he would bring some desperately needed power to the Twins lineup. The Twins outfield consists of players who are either too young to be relied upon (Tyner, Rabe, Kubel), or veterans prone to injuries (Rondell White, Shannon Stewart, Torii Hunter). 2/3rds of those veterans haven't been hitting the ball anywhere near well, either.
But what the hell, let's make the prediction official:
Twins will give up Zack Ward, Boof Bonser (sorry, Boof!) & (hopefully) Shannon Stewart for the right to rent Soriano for the rest of the season.
DO: Work hard in the off-season, so that when camp begins you are physically prepared for the grueling two-a-day practices and intense heat. This is after all the NFL, where any slight advantage should be sought. Being in top shape is key to a successful completion of camp and getting a shot at some playing time.
DON’T: Make 4-7 daily trips to Fat Burger, wherein you consume your meal before you even leave the parking lot and then feel compelled to turn right back around to get another meal, so your pals at home waiting for you to start the second half of a game of Madden don’t think you are a pig for eating it all before you got back.
DO: Study your playbook. It is just as important for all players to be mentally prepared as it is to be physically prepared for training camp and the up coming season. There is no better way to impress the coaching staff than to have the plays down pat, so that you can concentrate on displaying your physical skills.
DON’T: Spend the off-season smoking tons of ganja and exploring your inner self, or searching for enlightenment, or sitting around listening to “Tabla Express”. It doesn’t help your chances of passing drug screenings, and it isn’t very becoming for a hard-assed NFL player, people might think you are gay. Anyway, smoking crack is actually better suited for the fast paced, physical game that is football.
DO: Take time to make a positive impact on your community by volunteering or doing some type of community outreach. Being a well rounded, community active player is good for the soul and great for team PR as it prepares for a new season.
DON’T: Play for the Cincinnati Bengals and end up in jail or being sentenced to “community service”. Although wearing orange is no big change, sides of highways are dangerous and road crews are notorious for offering further nefarious exploits. And please watch out for tasers, they sting.
DO: Bring with you to camp some of the comforts of home to make the transition a little more bearable. Also, college dorm beds are small and your average NFLer is huge, so bring a quality mattress pad along to help yourself get as much quality rest as possible, you’ll need it.
DON’T: Bring with you your own hyperbaric chamber to sleep in; even if it does help you recover from injuries more quickly. It is just creepy, Count Darren Sharper, and what happens when a fun prank results in you being sealed in the thing, causing you to miss practices and lose your starting spot to Tank Williams or Willie Offord? Hell, the Vikings need your ball hawking skills out on the field, not hermetically sealed.
This list could go on and on, however I thought getting a few of the more important do’s and don’ts out there for the Rooks to see was the least I could do. Maybe my blogging mates can add their own lessons for NFL Training Camp.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Miwacar said this:
DVDA, many months later, finally notices he's been besmirched, and responds with this
Miwacar suggests that DVDA was drunk for a solid 5 years. this is true, but rude to point out.
It begins to get a bit ugly, here
DVDA admits to maybe being drunk, but also bored by Miwacar
Finally, race capper Idiot Savant garwood b. jones realizes that this is a race with two losers and no winner, and plays Condi Rice.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Well, rest assured, the United States Olympic Committee is managing the run-up to the onset of the preparation of the beginning of the bidding for 2016 in a very hands on fashion. In fact, they did the world a favor, and eliminated Houston from contention. Not that running a marathon in the middle of fucking July in Houston wouldn't be fun, or anything. And Lord knows, when you think of cities that happily greet foreigners, Houston has to finish in the top 10 or so in Texas. But the USOC decided that Houston did not past muster. No word yet whether Texas will form their own Olympic Committee and compete for the spot as The Republic of BowieHouston.
Ah, but our finalists for the US' bid, if the US decides to bid (this is all pretty preliminary, as you may have already sussed out, Reading-for-context skilled visitor.)
Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles. We will now handicap each city's chance to become the USOC's choice to get behind. If you get better odds, gamble them.
Chicago: Simply the finest city on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. You heard me Gary, Indiana!
1) A big city, rich in cultural activities, sure to impress all those international dickheads who will be flooding the city. Also, home to the first documented serial killer in US history! Awesome!
2) A citizenry with a rich tradition of rabidly supporting even the most perennially poorly managed, underachieving, sports franchises for decades without abandoning hope. They will clearly be able to form bonds with Finland's 4 X 100 team, or Ghana's 10m Diving Team, or whatever. And they will actually be disappointed when those teams don't win.
3) Hot and heavy cetacean fucking. Surely, the Shedd Aquarium, realizing the market for cute baby whales and shit, will by 2016 be just a cute sea baby making factory. And you can't make cute sea babies without serious cetacean fucking. And Europeans are into that shit. They're into all sorts of shit. They're sick fucks, is what I'm saying.
1) The citizenry consider "Hey, Douchebag" to be a friendly international greeting.
2) Easy to imagine scenarios in which athletes sampling local cuisine become too drunk and fat to compete in their events.
3) Summer in Chicago is stickier and sweatier than a sumo wrestler's mawashi in a sauna. Unpleasant.
Heartwarming Olympic Torch Lighter:
Michael Jordan, out of hiding after several years, when it was disclosed in 2011 that he had lost all of his millions on hookers, gambling and blow. Everyone watching tears up looking at the shattered husk of the man as he shuffles up the stairs, thinking, "Jesus Christ, just how much fun did that man have?"
Odds: 7 to 2
San Francisco: A wonderful city. Clean, quiet, well-dressed. A nice city. Why hasn't it found a nice lady city to settle down with yet? His roommate San Jose is nice, too.
1) Could be just the fan base that Greco-Roman wrestling needs to reach. (last gay joke, I promise)
2) Liberal enough for those god-hating secularists of old Europe to have a good time. If skateboarding has been added by 2016 (why wouldn't it be, given current trends?) expect a startingly high proportion of the teams to have glaucoma sufferers on their squad.
3) Who doesn't want to see a marathon that features Lombard Street? Take that, you overly healthy sons of bitches. Make them run up it twice! I hope you get Jim Fixxed! I promise to drink a beer and smoke a cigarette in rememberance of you, Marathon runner.
1) Emperor Bush would almost certainly be against handing one of the hotbeds of the Rebel Alliance such a coup. He and his Freedom Troopers would probably threaten any nation that attended with the awesome democratizing force of the FreedomStar in orbit around the planet. It's not a moon.
2) Temperature may be a bit unpredictable. As Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I've ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." It was considered funny in the 19th century. We've come a lot way since then, haven't we, Larry the Cable Guy? Git er Done!
3) The cryogenically frozen head of Bill Walsh is going to think he knows how to do everything himself.
Heartwarming Olympic Torch Lighter:
Barry Bonds, in his 30th and last year of major league baseball, and recently passing both Josh Gibson and Sadaharu Oh on the homerun list. Despite well documented claims by the Fox-CBS-NBC-Disney-NY Times media conglomerate (aka "What To Think, Inc.") that his newest training regimen consists of drinking baby's blood and exposing himself to high levels of gamma radiation, the San Francisco fans still love him in all his Green-skinned, baby eating glory. He still hits dingers!
Odds: 3 to 1
Los Angeles, "The City of Angels" : the least apt named city in America!
1) They've done it before. Twice. 1932 and 1984. That's gotta count for something, right? Right?
2) A willingness to bulldoze any poor neighborhood to build absolutely anything. Raze this well-planned affordable housing project in central L.A. to put in a Doggie Daycare the likes of which this planet has never seen? Consider it done--yesterday, baby.
3) What better way to celebrate human's potential for achievement than holding the event in a city that would be an affront to God himself, if He/She/It were to exist? James Ellroy will be on hand to record audio guides to the city. He has agreed to do so for free, as long as he can use the following words: "Fuck", "pederast", "Panty-sniffer", "nigger", "Ofay", "jizz", "hinky", "Johnny Stompanato" and the sentence "When Pete Bondurant cracked his knuckles it carried the sound and menace of a forest fire."
1) Shit, they've had it twice before. What are we, Australia? We've got more than 2 fucking cities that can hold a Summer Olympics.
2) May be destroyed by a North Korean missle by the time 2016 rolls around. Hell, 2008 is looking a little sketchy.
3) We need more time to make the city presentable. 10 years is not enough notice.
Heartwarming Olympic Torch Bearer:
We've run a couple of options through the focus groups, and we've got some really exciting cross-generational appeals that we think we'll be able to vertically integrate throughout the market. Amongst all genders, all races, ages 45 on up, the Digital Holograph of Jesse Owens tested through the roof. It's a very exciting market, but we're unsure about his appeal to the younger generation. If you want to capture all segments of the youth movement, we suggest Suri Cruise and Shiloh Pitt-Jolie carrying the torch together, finally putting to rest that bloody mini-riot from 2015.
But if you really want to blow the demographics up, and really, baby, the sponsors are clamoring for exactly this. Picture it: Suri and Shiloh, one hand each on the torch, and one hand resting on the shoulder of Vladimir Guerrero, who is in turn riding piggy-back on a giant Mickey Mouse. It's golden. The contracts are ready for signing--BK and Mickey D's are fighting for the Drink Cup concession. We've got Nicholas Cage ready to play all 4 characters for the movie version, we've got Michael Bay willing to direct, and this is where it gets sweet, we've got this genuis recluse, Alan Smitee to write the screenplay.--Millions in the offing. [SNNNNFFFF] Oh, sorry--want a bump?
Without Weinstein influence:10 to 1
With Weinstein influence: 2 to 1
I don’t know about you, but I hate the international cycling world and their ongoing attempts to discredit American cyclists. I don’t have any grudges based on their hatred of all things American, but every time they’re beaten by an American in one of “their sports”, they cry foul or drugs or testosterone, as now is the case. Don’t those sniveling Frenchmen and Swiss understand that American males just produce more testosterone than they do? It is one of the reasons why we kick so much ass and draw their ire in the first place. I mean most American women produce more testosterone than your average Frenchy.
The way I see it, Floyd Landis is the innocent victim of ongoing continental jealousy and finds himself in the initial grip of their ploy to strip him of what he rightfully earned. He is an American goddamnit, and God is on his side, so I personally do not fret the outcome of this most recent Euro tea bagging of an American sportsman. USA USA USA!!!!
As a serious homer for the Twinkies, I remember similar spittle-filled discussions with DVDA around the time of the 2001 MLB draft. While the portrayal of his boastfulness about landing Prior seems about right, the portrayal of the Twins carefully weighing the merits of each player and deciding on Mauer over Prior based on those merits seems somewhat revisionist. As I recall, the fact that the Twins drafted Joe Mauer #1 overall was necessitated by Prior demanding a $10M+ signing bonus. Pohlad said he wouldn't pay it, there were worries over a protracted holdout, and so everyone in the Twins organization made the decision that what was forced upon them (to take an extremely good hometown player in Mauer).
While the national reaction was somewhat mixed, generally "the Twins were ripped for taking Mauer over Prior. The decision was viewed as a case of a team taking a hometown high school kid who wanted less of a bonus. " (Dallas Morning News)
I remember taking a typically-Midwestern optimistic view toward Mauer but being disappointed that we couldn't find a way to get a deal done with Prior. Kudos to anyone who had the faith in the move all along. I particularly commend anyone who watched the Twins crash out of the playoffs in 2002-2004 and didn't find themselves saying, "Joe Mays seems pretty good and I'm excited about Mauer coming up... but, boy, Mark Prior would look awfully good in a Twins uniform right now."
One thing that we can certainly agree upon. The Twins and the Cubs made the correct picks at #1 and #2. The only other player from early in that draft to be a major contributor at the MLB -level is Mark Tiexiera taken #5 by the Rangers.
Afternote to DVDA: We fans want a real baseball hero to cheer for, one that combines the poise and manners of Cal Ripken, the desire and stroke of George Brett, and the drive and hustle of Paul Molitor; one that comes without all of the overpaid hype (Arod), selfishness (Ramirez), bad attitude (Bonds), inscrutibility (Ichiro), and poor command of English (Ortiz) that plague so many of the games other great hitters. Is that so wrong?
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Clearly, lets be reasonable, (the proceeding phrase has been submitted for trade marking and I'm more than willing to sue.... though the preceding threat probably holds little credence due to the fact that most of the miscreants who frequent this site are aware that the lawyer I have on retainer isn't particularly savvy or... shall we say... good.... anyway, back to my point.... what was I talking about again?)... oh yeah... the entire point is that we were silly kids arguing about our favorite sports teams who have now turned into sillier and somewhat more pitiable 30 somethings (which is the new something or other according to the NYTimes)
Anyway, obviously everyone was basing their judgments on the opinions of professional scouts who may or may not suck. Regardless, the ultimate point is that your average Twin fan got lucky that Joe Mauer has turned into a Nazi Superhero, and the average Cub fan has gotten punched in the nuts multiple times for reasons that have alluded me but have ultimately helped me to understand the obsequious need to believe that some Jew on a cross two thousand years ago justifies the senseless slaughter of our sons and daughters in 2006 so that fags can't marry.
So in closing, I believe the words of "one of US", namely Jeff Dubay wraps this up succinctly.... "You cowards, you pathetic coward” ... (Look under jingle bank) -dvda27
Oh, and one last thing. That fact that you knew someone stupid enough to argue that Marcus Camby was going to make a better pro than Timmmay Duncan (who should of been a Celtic anyway) is an obvious straw man argument.
And coming up with an allusion to a beloved old school video game in order to bolster your point is below the belt. Body blow... body blow
First and foremost, the original post stated, and I currently argue, that I had endless discussions with DVDA, if you can call getting spit on whilst the maniac rants in your face a discussion, about how the Mauer pick was in fact a great pick for the Twins even if they were passing up on Prior. These discussions usually ended with DVDA saying something along the lines of,” Your fucking mother could make the right pick in this situation with a tit tied behind her ass. The Twins are fucking stupid! Mark Prior is the second coming of Christ in stirrups bitch!” There was no convincing him of anything, as these arguments usually went with DVDA, who I should mention is a friend and a person I respect greatly, from some goddamned reason.
Secondly, I think any front office that considers anyone “the best pitching prospect ever” is just as retarded as the SF front office. And we all know that the Cubs are infamous for their poor front office dealings. I never once said then or now that Mark Prior was bad or wasn’t qualified to be a #1 pick, it was about having to always defend my team’s selection of a local kid with a huge upside and getting nothing but jittery, blank stares back and responses like the one in the previous paragraph. It reminds me of similar discussions with other friends about how Marcus Camby was going to be a better NBA player than Tim Duncan, all kinds of wrong.
Also, Mauer's injury was a result of a freak slide into a wall, whereas Prior's injuries have been numerous and varied and most don't bode well for a long pitching career. But let's not squabble over issues that might really have some impact on reality. Let's get downto brass tacks.
Joe Mauer was a better pick than Mark “Glass Joe” Prior.
Yes sure enough, Mauer is awesome and hasn't been riddled with injuries this year while Prior is displaying the type of bad luck with injuries only brought about by smashing a mirror over the black cat you're fucking under a ladder. As a Twinky fanatic you obviously have every right to crow to your hearts content.
A couple of quick things though, the criticism of the pick was based at the time on scouting reports that Mark Prior was perhaps the best pitching prospect of all time. That's it. It doesn't matter if a catching prospect projects to be Johnny Fucking Bench.... you always take the pitcher in that situation. For instance, if Liriano were available in that draft, you’d take him first… Its not that complicated. Now obviously, Prior's future is muddied by the fact that he's been dogged by injuries, but that’s nothing but hindsight (not to mention Mauer hasn't exactly been a rock up until this year... so I guess we can have another nice round of postings if Prior has a healthy season next year and wins 20, while Mauer Bo Jacksons his hip. That'll learn ya)
Finally, the idea that the drafting of Mauer somehow freed the Twins up to rape the Giants with a broom handle is the biggest lump of bullshit that I've ever heard. Kudos to the Twins management and the compromising pictures in their possession, but the mental illness pervading the SF front office has no bearing on Mauer's value.
Having said all that, I hope the Twins go on to win the Series, and that Joe Mauer continues to illicit effusive praise as a near perfect ball player... even if it is mostly racist at its core.
Neshek does indeed have a curious arm motion. All funky sidearming, submarining angles. Someone on the bat-girl blog suggested Neshek needs a new nickname, and I of course, thinking in comic book parallels, instantly jumped to:
And then I quickly realized that that was stupid. Stupid brain. Stupid grouchy Atlantean princes.
The thing that makes Neshek such a pain in the ass to hit, I'm assuming, is that he's all weird sideways arm movements and herky jerky delivery, and that ball still hits 94 mph. That can't be fun to hit against. If I were in the batter's box, I would probably burn two strikes just entranced by the guy's motions. It's hypnotic.
(link via Deadspin's Blogdome)
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Doesn’t quite sound right, not as definitive as World’s Fastest Man, but it is the reality due to a 9.77 world record turned in by both Asafa Powell and Justin Gatlin and their inability to race one another to decide who is faster. It’s a ridiculous jab and duck dance that is pissing me off and the rest of the world that follows world class sprinting. Dear Lord please don’t let this lead to the need for bushy haired promoters to stir up controversy and then spout off something asinine like,” Only in America.” Seeing as Powell is Jamaican and this isn’t boxing, the whole prospect is wrong, but yet if this evasive two-step that Justin Gatlin is currently conducting goes on, we might find ourselves with Don King posing with a starter’s pistol in hand with an American flag protruding from the barrel and shit eating grin that is seen only in America.
Monday, July 24, 2006
As a Twins Fan, I am unhappy with the prospect with Soriano coming onto a team that already has a tendency to hit homeruns off the Twins.
But I wouldn't be crazy about this deal if I were a White Sox fan, either. Their problem isn't offense, particularly hitting for power, which is all about Soriano offers. Their pitching is in a slump, and they need to correct that. Their problems don't lie with their offense, not in any real sense.
If Soriano comes in he will certainly hit some dingers. And they will be impressive, and all that. But his defense his sketchy at best, and bringing him in will probably force the shuffling of the rest of the outfield. Plus, if the ESPN crew is going to sing his praises as an offensive threat, we should at least take a moment to point out that he is on his way, AGAIN, to over 120 strike outs (88 already). Not a great feature in your leadoff hitter, or your second batter, for that matter.
If the White Sox can get him cheap, so be it. And the way the rumors sound, they may get him very cheap, indeed. But he doesn't address any of their actual problems. That said, I don't relish the Twins having to face Soriano throughout the second half of the year.
Via VH1's Best Week Ever blog, we were directed to this collection of Beckham vacationing photos. Is that underwear? Is that a tiny white swimsuit? Ooh, who cares?
However, David--don't forget: the sun is no friend of the British Isle population. Get a robe, and maybe a nice big straw hat. You look like you are on the verge of becoming one big heat blister, and that's not very sexy at all. Let's be careful out there, people.
Ah, we kid our brothers to the east. La Crosse is a lovely town, and boredom is rarely a direct cause of death there. Alcoholism, drunk driving, and various other pursuits taken up because of boredom, however? Very much a cause. But beer is probably not to blame for the death of several hundred bass.
The Wisconsin DNR have their ideas as to what caused it:
Nearly all of the 582 bass were marked with a clipped tail fin, evidence they were caught and released during a bass-fishing tournament from July 12-15, said David Hobbs of the state Department of Natural Resources.
This is the second year that higher-than-normal fish deaths were reported in the area following the Wal-Mart FLW Stren Series Bass Fishing Tournament, which attracted 400 anglers.
Last year, most of the dead fish tested positive for largemouth bass virus, which can cause death when the fish is stressed.
But the tournament participants aren't sold that they are to blame. One angler busts out something that sounds a lot like the Bass Tournament Fishing version of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as his defense.
Ed Stellner of Onalaska is quoted in the article as saying, "However, I also should point out that there's a bass-fishing tournament in La Crosse every weekend, and when's the last time you saw this many dead? After last year's tournament (which was the first year of the study).''
Do you see what he's getting at there, people? Maybe the DNR, simply with their methods of observation, are killing the bass themselves. It is rather an elegant defense of the tournament. Because we don't know how many bass die after a tournament unless the DNR does its study, but we do know that lots of bass do die if the results are studied. Classic Heisenberg, baby. A real-life metaphor for Quantum Mechanics only comes along once in a while, and I was getting tired of that retread Schroedinger's Cat anyway.
Stellner may very well be right. It seems that if stress can worsen the effects of Largemouth Bass virus, it seems any way of being caught would have potential dangerous repercussions for the fish.
Clearly, somewhere, Carl Hiassen is scratching his head, and asking his assistant, "Are you sure this didn't happen in Florida?" Hiassen, of course, wrote one of the funniest books about Bass Fishing tournaments ever (not a lot of competition in that genre, admittedly) in Double Whammy. Perhaps you should peruse your favorite used book store--crime books almost make it there, no matter how goddamn funny they are.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Part 2: Favorite Sayings (part 1: Favorite Books, here)
I feel a little bad about having stripped the favorite sayings as the second part of the my data mining experiment on the Washington Redskin Cheerleader site. As I've been putting the various sayings/quotes into categories, it has forced me to think what I would put down. Now, I have been on the planet more than most of the DC cheerleaders (not all of them, though) and I studied things in college that would make me a prime candidate to come up with a pithy/wise/brilliant quote--my double barreled shotgun of education was English and Religious Studies. I've been exposed to more brilliant lines of prose and poetry and faith than my co-poster Chato has been exposed to types of VD. But if someone asked me for a single quote to sum up my attitude, depending on the day, it could just as easily be a Coen Brothers quote as something mindblowing from The Bhagavad-Gita. One day it could be, "A doughnut with no holes is a danish." The next it could be, "Religion is the opiate of the masses". So, I regret boiling down these presumably smart, insightful women to their one off selection the day the Washington brass circulated their surveys, and presumably said something like, "Fill this out or you're fired. Don't forget to get your pussies waxed before the Charity Event this week. Some of you look like fucking jungles down there. Carry on."
I think sayings are a little more fluid than books, and I have no pity for the woman who thought the most important book in her life was "Dogs for Dummies". That's admitting so many things at once that the mind boggles. Your favorite book is "for Dummies", for example. It's right in the title. And it wasn't Shakespeare for Dummies, or Nuclear Physics for Dummies. It was fucking Dogs for Dummies. Dogs are pretty dumb. I mean, Christ, that's the most important book you've ever read? Jesus, the woman who picked "The Giving Tree" just lapped you on the intellectual track.
Anyway, back to the Sayings/Quotes section. Though, I have to admit, it is really difficult to blog when Fox Movie Channel is showing "Die Hard" uncut. Maybe my saying would be "No fucking shit lady, does it sound like I'm ordering a fucking pizza?"
So, methodology, once again--40 cheerleaders, 40 responses. I've chosen the categories to divide them into. Once again, if you don't like my categories, or my choices of what goes where, feel free to comment, but feel more free to start your own blog, your lazy motherfucker. though in this case, we have 41 responses, because I'm so flummoxed by one saying that I had to put it in two places. But when determining percentages, I'll stick with using 40 as the total amount. We'll have quotes from Helen Keller, Neitzsche, Saint Paul, The Shawshank Redemption and a bunch from that old talker, Anonymous.
OK, enough foreplay, let's get fuckin'. (hey, maybe that would be my saying)
Category 1: No response at all
Washington Cheerleaders: 2
Interesting, the two cheerleaders who did not have a favorite book did have favorite sayings, and conversely, the two cheerleaders who did not have favorite sayings had favorite books: The Color Purple, and The DaVinci Code. What, "We have to get to the library, fast" didn't resonate? And I've read The Color Purple, and there is plenty to quote, dammit. I'm shocked by the idea of an intellectually lazy cheerleader.
Category 2: Be an Indivdual, Says the Lady who Wears the Same Skintight Uni as 39 Other Women.
Washington Cheerleaders: 1
Perhaps unsurprisingly, noncomformity isn't a big focus amongst cheerleaders. At least not explicit noncomformity.
Key Quote: "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
Category 3: Jesus Saves!
Washington Cheerleaders: 4
Percentage of Quotes that are Philipians 4:13: 75%
The Bible is a more popular quote machine than book. Only one Cheerleader (Chastity, duh) selected The Bible as a favorite book. But Philipians 4:13 was picked 3 times (once by Chastity) and 2 Corinthians 4:17 also made an appearance. I think it worth noting that not a single quoter of the Bible selected Jesus' words. They picked crazy ass Paul. Probably a post for another blog, but Paul was a fucking crazy ass bastard, convinced the world would end in his lifetime. And his vision of Christianity is far more dominant than any of Jesus' actual followers (you know, assuming he existed and had followers, and all that).
Key Quote: "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 (It should be noted that this category could have been rolled into another category--guess which one!)
Category 4: Life is Fun, if You Want it to Be!
Washington Cheerleaders: 8
The Highest Percentage of Cheerleaders turned out for this one. Cheerleaders love life! I bet in their online ads, they mention that they love to laugh, too. As if there are people who really dislike laughing, or life. God, I hate life. I would just like to quash it, preferably in the womb. Which is why I'm pro-choice. Though I like to think of it as pro-death. I hate babies and life so much! But not these ladies, they love life!
Key Quote: It's difficult to come up with a key quote, because we have 8 cheerleaders, and 8 different quotes, and while they all are somewhat similar, it is hard to pick one, and use that as the defining quote. I'll pick one from our winner for Smartest Book--Anabel, who said this: "Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things". I may love her. Though of course, if she really isn't interested in petting sweaty things, our love won't last long.
Category 5: Effort is the Key, or The Lutheran Work Effort Rocks
Washington Cheerleaders: 4
There are two subgroups here. One is that effort will be rewarded, and the other is that effort itself, whether it fails or not, is a reward in itself. Or as a group of Germans once said, "Arbeit Macht Frei". Are these Cheerleaders Nazis? I don't know that they aren't.
Key Quote: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars."
Category 6: Cheerleading is Dancing, and Dancing Is Important
Washington Cheerleaders: 1
Dancing makes an appearance in quite a few cheerleader's comments, but for the most part, it is used as a metaphor for being free with one's life. Not here--this about how dancers are better than atheletes, and better than artists. It is a self-serving quote, and I respect that.
Key Quote: "It takes an athlete to dance, but an ARTIST to be a dancer."
Category 7: The Golden Rule
Washington Cheerleaders: 4
Percentage of Cheerleaders who used the classic Golden Rule line 75%
I won't mock anyone who makes the Golden Rule a central part of their life. It is the most basic expression of human decency available out there. If everyone actually lived by the Golden Rule, we would be doing OK. Of course, people who live by the Golden Rule get their money stolen, get their children stolen from them, and generally speaking, are considered "rubes". You've taken advantage of someone who lived by the Golden Rule--admit it. You found some Flanders and worked him over.
Key Quote: The expanded Golden Rule, posited, of course, by the woman whose favorite book is Dogs for Dummies. "Treat people the way you want to be treated, and most importantly, treat animals the way you want to be treated."
Category 8: Advice and Stuff
Washington Cheerleaders: 3
Honesty. Love. Grabbing your Life by the balls. Whatever. This is the melange group. And really, in terms of life quotes, they are a bit lacking. But whatever, I shan't judge the quotes. If they really work for the people who quote them, that's good enough for me. But really, is anyone inspired by:
Key Quote: "Honesty is the Best Policy."
Category 9: True If You Ignore Real Life, or "Cancer doesn't affect Good People."
Washington Cheerleaders: 7
Percentage that say "Everything happens for a reason"--42.8%
This category is all about karma, or how people who do good things get rewarded at some point, or some other bullshit meant to keep the revolution down. It may be the single most infuriating idea for me. It's nonsensical, it's counter-productive. I think every person who honestly believes that "Good Things Happen to Good People" effectively sets us back about 100 years. Good things happen to bad people, all the fucking time. Um, Donald Trump. QED, motherfuckers. I've learned that people don't know what QED means, so I'll state it here--Quad Erat Demonstratum. Thus It Is Proven. If you have paid attention in High School Geometry, you'd know that, lazy ass.
Key Quote: Everything Happens for a Reason.
Category 10: Life Might Sometimes Suck, but Enjoy the Good Parts.
Washington Cheerleaders: 7
This is a pretty existential look at life, sometimes overly romantic, sometimes overly cynical, but something I can get behind. If one has studied enough Existentialism, one knows it doesn't have to be the atheistic brand of Camus or Sartre--Kierkegaard's Leap of Faith being a fine example of Theistic Existentialism. We see both kinds here and a few examples of nonreligous existentialism. the only real person quoted is Helen Keller, and she is full of God's love in that quote. I don't want to be a wet blanket (of course I do), but I have to assume that quote comes from before Helen grew up and became a huge communist, worker-rights radical. Quoting Helen Keller is great, and much better than quoting, say, Paul. But it is rare when the person quoting Helen Keller knows a damn thing about her besides the fact that she was blind and deaf. I find that irksome.
Key Quote: "Get busy living or get busy dying." -- The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Quote: as much as we'd love to pick Anabel again, for her line about not petting the sweaty things, we should pick someone else. And really, anyone who picks Angry German Philosophers as their quote, we respect.
Give it up for Shaina (whose favorite book was also all about seeing things before you die. She's consistent!)
We will be looking into getting interviews with Anabel and Shaina. We will most likely fail, but we will try.
All the Quotes:
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
" I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me." -- Philp. 4;13 KJV.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" -- 2 Corinthians 4:17
"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching."
"Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things"
"Don't worry about money; the best things in life are free."
"Don't miss the small joys in life while searching for the big ones."
We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."
"Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."
"Do not dwell on that over which you have no control. What's meant to be will be"
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars."
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars."
"You never know until you try."
You can do anything you set your mind to do!"
"It takes an athlete to dance, but an ARTIST to be a dancer."
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
"Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you."
"Treat people the way you want to be treated, and most importantly, treat animals the way you want to be treated."
"Honesty is the best policy."
"There is only one happiness in life, and that is to love and be loved."
"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own."
Everything Happens for a Reason.
"There is a reason for all things. Faith means we don't always have to have the answer."
"God will never give you more than you can handle."
"Everything happens for a reason"
"What goes around comes around."
If it's meant to be, it will be. Everything happens for a reason.
"Do not dwell on that over which you have no control. What's meant to be will be"
"The really blessed people do not necessarily have the best of everything, they are the ones who make the most of whatever life throws at them."
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
"If at first you don't succeed, try harder."
"Get busy living or get busy dying." -- The Shawshank Redemption
"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance!"
"Life is like a dance, you learn as you go."
"It's wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky--behind me and before me is God and I have no fears." (Helen Keller)
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Intro: The Team, as most NFL teams have, saw fit to give the cheerleaders their own webpage, and have them answer burning questions that no one would have ever thought to ask them. I think their answers are fascinating, and we can learn some general trends in the world of cheerleaders. I encourage others to peruse their favorite team's cheerleader pages, and see what you can find. Believe me, "favorite book" is just the tip of the iceberg in Washington.
Methodology: 40 Washington Cheerleaders. Some named 0 books, some named multiple books. Multiple books got ignored--first book was used for those daring literary lions of the Andover, MD pitch. Zero book cheerleaders get their own designation. All categories and decisions as to what book fits into what category were mine alone. Got a problem with how I classified a book? Feel free to comment. Feel more free to start your own goddamn blog, you lazy motherfucker.
Let's get to it.
On the assumption that no reading at all is worse that reading even the worst pablum (that theory will be put to the test) let's deal with our "no favorite book readers" first. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt--maybe they do have a favorite book, and they are just ashamed of it. Maybe Washington managment scrubbed their answers. Regardless, out of 40 cheerleaders, their numbers are small:
Washington Cheerleaders with no favorite book: 2
Percentage of Total Cheerleaders: 5%
category: Favorite books that I have either read, or enjoy canonical appeal (details available at the end of the post, under Book Type 2)
Washington Cheerleaders whose favorite book fits this category: 9
Percentage of Total Cheerleaders: 22,5%
Percentage of Books mentioned that deal with Race/Gender Relations: 82%
category: Books that are sappy, sentimental crappy bullshit--chick lit, Albom (details available at the end of the post, under Book Type 3)
Washington Cheerleader whose favorite books is sentimental crap, or chick lit: 8
Percentage of Total Cheerleaders: 20%
Percentage of Books mentioned authored by Nicholas Sparks or Mitch Albom: 63%
category: Books that are mass market, stupid fun (Book type 4)
Washington Cheerleaders who picked current paperbacks bestsellers: 9
Percentage of Total Cheerleaders: 22.5%
Percentage that are Dan Brown authored: 67%
category: Books that require an awful lot of belief to work (book type 5)
Washington Cheerleaders who picked religious texts: 5
Percentage of Total Cheerleaders: 12.5%
Percentage that are not the Bible: 80%
category: Books for children, or oddly specialized books: (book type 6)
Washington Cheerleaders who picked books in this melange: 6
Percentage of Total Cheerleaders: 15%
Percentage that are clearly meant for children: 33%
category: Super Smart Books--books I'm not sure I'd understand (book type 7)
Washington Cheerleaders who picked books that are super academic: 1
Percentage of Total Cheerleaders: 2.5%
As far as I'm concerned , the most interesting cheerleader based on book choice is the the last category, Book Type 7. That book is "Wealth of Nations", and is the favorite of super smart Washington Cheerleader Anabel.
Not just a pretty face and a rack.
update, 8/4/06: While researching favorite movies, it came to my attention that Anabel has changed favorite books. She is now backing "Freakonomics", which I think still qualifies as the most surprisingly academic book for a cheerleader so far revealed.
To the other types of books:
Type 1: No book
Type 2: Books with a canonical appeal, or books I have a love for:
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkein
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (twice selected)
The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night Time by Mark Haddon
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Girl With The Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Type 3: Sappy Bullshit:
Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (selected twice)
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (selected twice)
Finding Your Own North Star
The Devil Wears Prada
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Type 4: Fun mass market bullshit
The Davinci Code by Dan Brown (selected 5 times)
Intensity by Dean Koontz
Daddy's Little Girl by Mary Higgins Clark
Beach House and Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson
Type 5: Religous stuff:
The Bible by the unerring hand of God, despite more continuity errors than a 20 year movie franchise
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (selected twice)
The Left Behind Novels by LaHaye, et al (selected twice)
Type 6: Childrens books, how to, philosophical works, or just Huh?
Cheeky the Mouse
The Giving Tree
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
A Time For Dancing by Davida Walls
1000 Place to See Before You Die
Dogs For Dummies
But back in May, back when he was still a reliever, we said, That Francisco Liriano was going to be the next great Twins Lefthander, and if you were playing fantasy baseball that picking up a pretty solid lefthander reliever then would pay dividends as he became a starter later on.
Well, we don't like to toot our own horn here. Yes we do. We like to do all sorts of things to ourself. Incredibly filthy things. But that's not what we are discussing here.
We are here to talk about the fact we were talking about Liriano, and recommending him for Fantasy Baseballers, back on May 14th. If you picked him up, you have a potential Cy Young Winner on your squad. Congrats.
If anything, we were not effusive enough in our praise of him at that point. He's really only had one bad game since that time, which is crazy for a 22 year old rookie. To be fair to us, which we do try to be, we were at the time a bit distracted by the fun of Boof Bonser. That link, by the way, will take you to one of our favorite jokes of ours:
16. If you say Boof Bonser 5 times in a row, with perfect sincerity, you are transported to The Shire in Lord of the Rings, where you will live as an upper-status Hobbit named Bonser Boof.
That's fucking hilarious. We stand by mixing nerdy and sportsy jokes into one super sweet melange. We are the bloggification of Greg Maddox.
OK, so we haven't blogged much lately, but I, me, personally, myself..me, me, me have undertaken a profound project. A statistical analysis of some of sports least understood accessories.
I would have had a first look on board last night, but blogger crashed halfway through my post, and I was temporarily soul-crushed. But later tonight, after a nice beer, and some good natured jawin about my awesome Liriano predictions, we'll get down to some fairly straight-forward math work that will open up an awesome social science type window.
You'll be jealous that I thought of this. Maybe. I may have oversold it. Dammit. It'll be pretty good, though.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
So you'll excuse if I don't use the word "Redskin" too much from here on out.
I grew up in Northern Virginia, and I love the Washington Football Squad, and delighted in stories of mother suing sons for Season Tickets, and I even got to see the 'Skins play back in 1991, during their run to the Super Bowl. I was present for their one home loss that season, to the hated Dallas Cowboys. It was the first time I felt a stadium fucking vibrate. It wasn't just loud, my seat was literally shaking my ass underneath me.
But we won't forget that at that game (and every other game they play) there was a small angry band of Native Americans demanding that the team change their name. And they are right.
Well meaning Native American and Honkies go on TV and say things like "Imagine if there were a team called the Bronx Niggers. Imagine the uproar!" And they are right, but wrong, too. The fact is, "nigger" is now somewhat accepted parlance in black youth culture, and in the meantime, no one would be crazy enough to try that stunt. The reason is that there are far too many black people who would boycott and the simple economic pressure would be the end of that. Native Americans are far too repressed to be compared to Black Americans, and it's a much, much more hateful term. It's like if there were a team called the Brooklyn Niggers, and the owner said, "No, it absolutely has to be the Brooklyn Watermelon Sucking Blackies."
I've known a few Native Americans, and they have never discussed how it became somewhat cool to refer to each other as "redskin". It's too hateful to reclaim, and too basic. It isn't some word of uncertain origin. It's origin is right there in the name. Just as Asian baseball players won't ever happily claim the nickname "The Yellow Peril". Indians, Chiefs, etc, are bad enough. But Redskin is on another level. There simply isn't a metaphor than can do the Awfulness of it All justice. The Washington Dirt-Eating Savages might be more respectful.
So as I write the stuff I'm going to write, you'll notice, possibly that I'm going out of my way to not use the Washington's football squad official nickname. I love the team, I love the way Jack Kent Cooke ran it, and I love a lot of the players. I hate, and I'm embarassed not just by the name, but the fact this country allows it to exist. The reason it exists, of course, is that Native Americans are so marginalized, and were so effectively cleansed back in the day (from 1470-1970) that even when they show up to protest the most hateful public name in sports, they could only muster a handful of protesters. Not that many Native Americans living on the East Coast these days. For some reason, they all live in the deserts of Utah, Arizona and Oklahoma.
OK, Sermon done, Serious data mining upcoming.
Monday, July 17, 2006
About a Boy's Nicholas Hoult:
A Decade of Hearty, American Food
At this point, it should be mentioned that no one has ever seen these two in the same room at the same time.
Anh, it's too hot today to think--cleverly, I mean. About sports.
So with that I Dislike Your Favorite Team is back. Suckers!
Sunday, July 16, 2006
She has a ton of Lego reenactments.
At the moment, my favorite is the Steroid Hearings from last year.
She also has a pretty awesome t-shirt store. Go buy her shirts, and go read her blog.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
But Cleveland has been faltering of late anyway. The real tests for this Twins team, and the only chance they have to move up is beating Chicago and Detroit.
This is more like it. Jesus knows that little girl is about to clean him out. She's setting up for a vicious slide tackle--do his sandals and robes hamper his soccer ability?
Did you ask that question? Bitch, it's fucking Jesus! He's walks on water, you think he needs a kickin' pair of Patricks to work the ball? Fuck you. But that little ginger kid is going to wipe him out. Just more proof that redheads are the devil's tool. You hear me, Sally Oberbeck? (Please note, the kids are on opposite sides, wearing different jerseys, and yet both seem intent to knock out the Prince of Peace. 3 team soccer is a crazy, post-Rapture game. I look forward to watching it from Purgatory. If it weren't for my stupid doubts, I could have been in heaven, wrecking Jesus' ACL.
Jesus will turn the other cheek, obviously. But tackling Jesus still seems like a good way to lose out on the heavenly halftime snacks. Everyone else gets Walleye and grape juice. You, you little ass, trying to tackle Jesus (and hitting a bit early, by the by) you get water and fucking carp.
Water and carp. Boys and girls, that's how Southeast Asia got punished. I kid, I kid. While kidding, I think it is important to note that if Jesus if half-man, that tackle hurts him in his one half human genitalia. And really, Jesus, you should be wearing a helmet.
If Jesus can do it, so can I. Sure, I'm not 2000 years old, and no one is proclaiming me the Messiah, YET. But I'm a bit of a perv, and apparently, so is Jesus.
Blessed are the children, because they make me feel funny in my pants. Jesus, you sick fuck!
Jimmy, you are the caddy. That means you go fuck off for a few minutes. Get out of here. Seriously, dude. Get out of here. Your cockblocking bullshit is beginning to piss me off. Scram. Jenny, your brother is polluted with demons. He is Legion. I may have to knock him out. Now, how does this grip feel?
Jesus walks on water, but when it is frozen, The Messiah straps on skates like anyone else. Hey, Jesus' shinguard fell down. Hack the Bone! Hack the Bone!
I've got nothing to say here.
buy one for your friend that you don't really like. The selection is Awesome.
During that time, and only during that time, do women's testosterone levels reach a typical man's regular amounts (obviously, Bea Arthur and Brigette Neilsen are the exceptions that prove the rule).
And so, to quote my sister, "So...if it seems to men that women behave with unseemly aggression one week out of the month, they are merely behaving as men do EVERY DAY of their lives!"
To which I say, "Fuck you, bitch. I'll burn your fucking house down."
* Actually, she's a teacher. Not even a science teacher, too.
** Read it once. Thought we were unduly mean about Barbero. Last time I checked, though, he is still just a fucking horse, and shouldn't be getting more air time or American aid than the Palestinians. He is.
*** Read it. Didn't co-author it.
**** In theory. Haven't gone looking for it.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Most curious/disturbing news includes
1. Jean Strahan claimed that she found filming equipment in her sisters room when she was staying with the couple. Mike was filming his wife's sister! Craziness. But it is nuttier than that. According to the timeline, Jean discovered the equipment 2 years before the marriage! Ladies, I don't pretend to be a relationship expert, but here's something I know. If your fella is taping your sister getting undressed without her knowledge, he's probably not marriage material, ya dig?
2. I'll let the article speak for itself (emphasis mine):
While embarrassingly bringing up the fact he once got a sperm test when she couldn't get pregnant, Jean also said her husband hounded her throughout their marriage in an effort to change the prenup.
She also claimed that once, in 2001, he had a lawyer write her a letter that said he wanted to change the 20 percent set aside enshrined in the prenup to "zero percent."
"I told [Michael] I wasn't redoing anything - I said we were trying to get pregnant," she testified.
As she recalled this, she started crying, prompting Strahan to laugh and turn to the media seating section with a smile.
I think Strahan is lucky divorces aren't handled by juries. A jury would probably snip his balls at this point.
One last highlight. This is a New York Post article, so you know you can expect some nice turns of phrase. Reporter Jeane MacIntosh outdoes herself with this awesome alliterative run, and I just want to give props for referring to Strahan as "the gap-toothed grid great." Awesome.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Syd Barrett PinkFloyd Landis Calrissian!
Ms. Patrick's response could be either a well placed mock of Mr. Carpenter's comment or an uncomfortable string of prattle in an effort at a blase reaction (I didn't see the footage and, in this case, her delivery would be key). Either way, this should serve as a shot across Michelle Wie's bow that if you try to compete with men you will be branded a bleeder and given a red velcro "P" to wear on your chest when your monthly visitor could impact your ability to play nice with the boys.
Well, since we're putting menstruation on the table for women athletes, why not investigate the question fully? Isn't the aggression Mr. Carpenter refers to a result of a woman's changing body chemistry during her period? Couldn't this impart a competitive advantage for ladies who are predisposed to a short fuse and a take no prisoners attitude? Aren't we opposed to performance enhancing hormones???
In gratitude for Ed Carpenter's effort to raise the level of discourse, I hereby propose this blog seek out and, occasionally, award the Ed Carpenter Award to the sports celebrity who transcends the boundaries of decency and traffics in the arenas of sexism, racism or stupidly offensive conduct.
For the inaugural Ed Carpenter Award, I nominate Ed Carpenter.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Here's a sample, though Sanford has more:
And 2 out of 2 lip-readers agree.
Britain's top forensic lip-reader, Jessica Rees - whose skill has led her to be summoned as an expert witness at criminal trials - believed Materazzi called Zidane a "son of a terrorist whore" before he added, "So just f--- off".
The Daily Mail said it, too, engaged a lip-reader who reached the same conclusion as Rees.
thanks to our compatriots at Sanford for the heads up
A lot of commentators are saying that Zidane lost the game for France. which I find to be a bit on the ridiculous side. Some ESPN types are also blaming the substitution of Henry, which seems equally ridiculous.
Henry wasn't able to move--he was cramping up ferociously, and if you are trying to win the game before PK's, he had to come off. HAD to.
Zidane fucked up, there's no disagreement anywhere there. But would he have scored again? Who knows? Is he a lock to make his Penalty Kick after 120 minutes of play--he almost missed the one he took in regulation. There's no such thing as a lock in the PK's. Ask Roberto Baggio.
I'd say in some ways, the most obviously target for wrath has so far gone unscathed, in part because of Zidane theatrics, and the fact that dumbasses like Jay Mariotta and Woody Paige are commenting on a game they know absolutely nothing about. And that person is David Trezeguet. He missed his PK--he was the only man to do so. He didn't get stopped--Buffon didn't make a remarkable save or anything. Trezeguet hit the crossbar. Unfortunately for him, unlike Zidane's shot, it didn't bounce inside the goal after the richocet. There's your difference in the game--where the ball hits the crossbar.
So maybe you can blame Trezeguet, or maybe you can blame the inconsistent crossbar. Or you can still blame Zidane, I guess. But I'd say missing the deciding PK is a more obvious factor in the loss than not being on the pitch at the end, no matter how dramatic the exit.
photo via here. Legos are becoming quite the social history medium.
Monday, July 10, 2006
The Harkis reference is a term for Algerians who fought on the French side in Algeria’s war for independence, and it is a severe insult for someone with Zidane’s heritage.
I somehow doubt that he's so ignorant he doesn't know the word terrorist, but I bet he doesn't know his Algerian colonial history.
According to the lip-reader, Materazzi then said: "Go f*** yourself."
A Brazilian television channel, Globo, quoted lip-readers as saying the Italian defender called Zidane's sister a "whore".
With my admittedly limited Italian and lip-reading skills, here's what I was able to make out: "Oh Shiny-Pated French man, it would do me much honor if you put that beautiful dome into my heart." It was clearly a trap, but one baited with honey, not vinegar.
Damn your slimy wiles, Materazzi!
Lost in all of that, I'm afraid is that Zidane was having another great match right up to that point. His penalty kick was one of the cheekiest manuevers I've ever seen. Who chips a penalty kick? I don't think I had ever seen that before, either. His smashing header almost put France on the podium. It was an absolute rip, and I'm still unsure how Buffon managed to play that well throughout the Cup. He had a marvelous performance all tournament, and the Final was no exception.
I think we all knew it was going to be a low scoring game, even if the first 20 minutes suggested that it would not. I'm just happy it wasn't 0-0, so all the bloviating American dickbags who feel qualified to discuss the sport because they played American football (or just write about American football) can stop complaining about the prevalence of 0-0 draws in the Final Game. (By the by--the 0-0 draw in the Final? Only happened once--it just so happened to be the one played in the US, back in 1994)
There will also be some talk among the bloviators about how Penalty Kicks are a stupid way to decide a final game. And they are almost right, but not really. Here's why they are wrong.
Soccer is played on a large field, with no more than 14 guys being used, in total . They play, if extra is reached for 120 minutes, with a 15 minute halftime, and just a few minutes here and there for other stoppages. Yes, they take mini breaks here and there on the pitch--but essentially, they are working incredibly hard for 120 minutes. You can make them play forever, but the chance of any team getting a goal as fatigue sets in becomes less and less likely. Really, if no one scores after 120 minutes, and you keep on playing, it becomes as much of a crapshoot as Penalty Kicks, and possibly more than one. The folks who complain about soccer's silly way of ending a game often complain (ala The Weekly Standard) that soccer doesn't have moments where the entire team is counting on a one-on-one matchup--that soccer is game for people who shun the responsibility of the spotlight. Tell that to David Trezeguet. The same folks who complain seem to have no problem with the ridiculousness of an NFL sudden death overtime game, which takes that game and basically turns into a coin toss. Penalty kicks are not the ideal way to decide a game, clearly, but soccer would need to change the rules to make anything more palatable (one suggestion--increase the number of substitutions--add 2 more at the start of extra time, for example).
So, the Zidane headbutt. I'm still unsure of what to think. I mean, yes, incredibly stupid, and borderline horrifically violent, though I have to agree with Will at Deadspin that it was an undeniably cool moment as well. We will be talking about it for years to come, and that makes it cool. What did that Italian dude say to Zidane? Best guess is that was something extremely, extremely racist.
The Italians are known--both their fan base, and some of their players (NOTE: I am not saying Materazzi is one of those players) for having proudly taunted black players on the pitch (Lazio--Mussolini's old favorite club-- being one of the most infamous places for anyone with dark skin to enter). Zidane is of Algerian extraction, and I simply can't think of anything else that would make him that angry. It was clearly just words that set him off. He has a temper, to be sure, and I've seen him do rash things, but it was almost always in the context of violence being done to him. Zidane has been one of the best players in the world for 10 years or more, and I'm sure he's had a lot of shit whispered in his ear before. I'm speculating, but this must of been particularly bad.
You can't excuse Zidane, at least, not officially. But I have a very 'wait and see' attitude towards how I'm going to end up feeling about this incident.
Italy played the way Italy plays. They flopped when they could, played tough defense (led by the oddly charismatic Cannavaro) and scored opportunistically. Was it pretty? Not most of the time. They remain a very disciplined team on defense, a rather whiny team on offense that I think could have acheived this result in much more compelling fashion, if they would just let their talent out. I have a much larger respect coming out of this game for France, who I didn't pick to go far, played better than I thought they would, and showed moments of exhilarating beauty, and really dominated the extra sessions until Zidane's departure. We will be talking about their younger players a lot come Euro 2008.
Anyway, I'm ready for another World Cup. Let's just them up and go again.