Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Meet Ultimate deLux - Part 4

OK, this will be a short one, since I was stuck at work later than planned. Actually, it's only going to be one, but she deserves her own post after Geneva.


(In her pre-Gimp phase)
Nickname(s): It's just a symbol, ❦, but you can call her The Artist Formerly Known As The Gimp. Though I'm open to suggestions.
Best Throw: You should ask her marker as s/he lies on the field sobbing in shame.
Why She's Awesome: How many other teammates do their nails between games*? Or keep a good attitude after being injured** and having some jackhole teammate nickname you "The Gimp"? Pretty much none. AND, in spite of barely being able to walk, she still represented at the party! She's also been known to kick extensive ass on the field, but I know that's not what you're interested in.

* Now that Benny and Surly aren't playing? Only Jan.
** An over-amorous male on the opposing team tried to impress her by demonstrating how hard he could knee a woman in the thigh. Judith was underwhelmed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet Ultimate deLux - Part 3

So, the big question on everyone's mind is... Where's Fred? Well, I don't like being confined by the strictures of an arbitrarily sorted system like the alphabet. So, I decided to introduce a bit of stochasticity and skip Fred. Or I had a brain fart.


(I chose this one solely for the glowing Stop!)
Nickname(s): Stiffy, Reverend, and I'm pushing for Brazil -- for the hairlessness
Best Throw: He throws out faaaaaabulous pregame sermons
Why He's NOT Awesome: This is much less work. And it's simple. I tend to approach ultimate tournaments like blockbuster movies -- I expect to be disappointed, and if I'm not? No loss. But Fred, with his insistence on kicking ass on the field and being relentlessly great off it has ruined this. Now I go to tournaments expecting to have a blast! Sure, I haven't been disappointed yet, but it's only been 5 tournaments -- it can't last forever.


(Gudi had to sign a pledge to improve her fashion sense before we allowed her on the team)
Nickname(s): Lord knows i've tried, but Gudi (sounds like Goody!) seems to have beaten out Kiosk. It's a shame -- entirely too positive.
Best Throw: She specializes in having the disc with no cutters, at which point I say something like, "Ooof, Gudi's in trouble" and then she shatters the mark and I look like the jackass with no confidence in his teammate.
Why She's Awesome: Actually, she's kind of a female version of Fred -- always happy, funny, and positive* -- yet more than happy to dish out as much heckling as I am. However, she does need work on either her rollerblading or her beer fetching -- I'm not sure which.


("Lich the elf! Lich the elf! Lich the elf!")
Nickname(s): Lich (pronounced "Lick", short for Liechtenstein)
Best Throw: She loves to throw long, down-the-line forehands while I yell "You have a dump". If you watch videos closely, you can usually see her turn to me, give me the finger and say, "dump this, JT".
Why She's Awesome: Ines has been part of the team from the start, and has improved at almost every tournament. Yet she somehow has kept a clean party slate -- I think her record is 7.2 minutes. However, once her destiny** as elf is fulfilled, she'll have no choice but to stay til the end!


(Jan is wondering what the hell I'll put for a caption, but Fred seems impressed by Jan's ass)
Nickname(s): Meister
Best Throw: Since he only turns it over once a year, I'd say
Why He's Awesome: Ah, Jan. One of the more "experienced" members of the team, he's always got an insight on tactics to help the team. Much more importantly, he's always there with a heckle or to point out any buzz-killery by the Captain.


(Meryl uses this as her screensaver)
Nickname(s): Meryl wants Angel, but she just doesn't understand (or, more likely, care) what blatant cock-blockery this would be
Best Throw: Forehand hucks that are inexcusably dropped by the D captain.
Why He's Awesome: Meryl would say his vegetarianism, French skills, elfery or angel face***. I like how he shuts down his defender, gets a big d, then acts like it's no big deal. Also, you can tell he wants to come over to the Dark Side**, but he's too nice. All in good time.

* I swear, we need more jackasses on this team. All this positivity is going to taint the bitterness of my blog.
** Cue "Imperial March" music from "The Empire Strikes Back"
*** Benny wants you to check out this video as explanation

World Cup Live Blogging: Spain - Portugal 1st Half

Title 0:59 - Torres finally shows something other than a leaden touch -- nice start to the match! Too bad they're not playing the USA, that would've gone in.

02:50 - Spain looks like a) they want to score early and b) they want to do it off a shot from the left wing.

06:15 - Hmmmm... I'm not sensing ANY respect for the Portuguese right back.

7:30 - Excellent fighting for position by the Spanish defense on the corner. Unfortunately, they were fighting with each other. On the follow-up, they head it right to a wide-open Portuguese player. Not good.

9:20 - Nothing is funnier than a Portuguese player whining about an opponent diving. Pot, meet kettle.

11:00 - The crowd has figured out how to make the vuvuzuelas work in unison -- this is going to get old in a hurry.

20:00 - It's actually been exciting, but I'm a bit live-blogged out.

26:00 - The USA wrote the definitive* book on beating this Spain team -- clog the middle, force them to the wings, and then counter with speed against Puyol and the Spanish D. Early on, Portugal passed on this to play their own game, but now they've closed down the middle a bit.

34:00 - Ronaldo had a legit complaint earlier on, but now he's just diving and whining. Good to see the ref isn't going for it. Now, will he sack up and play, or keep going to ground? I'm not betting on the former.

38:00 - Anyone else think the vuvuzuelas are a invention of the liberal media, like the "moon landings" and "evolution"? Godless, deaf bastards.

OK, that's enough. I'm just not feeling the snark. Sorry!

* i.e., the only one. The Swiss admitted they followed it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Meet Ultimate deLux - Part 2

Day 2, and remember, each day the names get further in the alphabet and nudity gets more likely!

FBers go HERE for videos, photos and links


(Apparently the elf hat allows Dani to see dead people)
Nickname(s): Wu? We need to work on this. I like Skillz, because he pivots like a Greek God*
Best Throw: Anything done while in a yoga stretch.
Why He's Awesome: Though quiet, Dani's quite hilarious. He's also insightful and has given lots of good feedback. Except for telling Meryl that I suck. That's just not right. Well, it *IS* correct, but uncool.


(This is why Santa electrifies his fences)
Nickname(s): Blu-Ray, Menage, Dav -- he collects these like Meryl collects tournament crushes.
Best Throw: Inside out flick. Sucka!
Why He's Awesome: Great host, great cook, cuts deep, cuts short, plays D. But I've never heard him sing. So that might be his weakness. Tip for our opponents -- challenge him to karaoke.


(I told you the forehand was tasty)
Nickname(s): None. I'm stuck on this one.
Best Throw: Tasty forehands!
Why She's Awesome: Steve had long been the nicest person on the team, but I've finally turned him to the dark side. Franzi, though, is always smiling and supportive. Having her on the team is like taking a Xanax while playing with a puppy -- instant happiness**


(Frauzi can't go 5 minutes without balancing on something)
Nickname(s): Frauzi, I guess. Also, Energizer Bunny, since she never loses energy.
Best Throw: After Windmill, I'd have to say her pull. Winning a contest will do that.
Why She's Awesome: It's not her great play, because she selfishly injured her knee and will miss worlds. So, it's her relentless cheering and support on the sidelines.


(Just look how excited he is to steal one of my elf votes! And how everyone else can't wait to hear the next name)
Nickname(s): NOT Freak, as that's lame. Well, not yet. It's a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency nickname.
Best Throw: Up for debate, but after playing against him, I can say he'll catch pretty much anything.
Why He's Awesome: I was skeptical that he would fit in so late in the season, but I think it took him all of 2 minutes to be part of the team. He even heckles Meryl and is a strong elf candidate!

* Scooberus, the god of handling. And god of captain annoyance.
** Though with no side effects and no hassle of housebreaking!

World Cup Live Blogging: Brazil - Chile 1st Half

Oops! Got caught up doing a post on Ultimate deLux. Blame them, not me.

12:00 - Second best thing about the vuvuzuelas? I don't have to watch the TV to know if I have the right channel. Best thing? Stay tuned. Worst thing? Everything else.

16:00 - What's the deal with refs and baldness? And do you think they shave their heads and shine them before the game, or just a shave? THIS is what sideline reporters are for.

17:30 - I think Brazil and Argentina have the best uniforms. The Germans prefer white, which is boring and pretty much look like every other white jersey on the planet. The Dutch sometimes look good in orange, but the light blue socks at the Euro killed it for me. Italy would get a nod if any of their players had made an effort, and if France had played in the World Cup I would mock their craptacular unis with the plastic crap on the back. But they didn't, so I won't. But I love the fact that the Chile flag looks like the Texas flag from a distance.

20:30 - This match just took the 2010 title for Most Needless Chest Traps at 47. Mark it down in your diary.

22:00 - Robinho better hope Brazil wins, because that cheeky back heel crap is going to get him a punch in the nuts from Dunga.

25:00 - This live blog brought to you by ultra-tasty Tegernsee Hell, best described by the German adjective, "leckerbayernmünchenärgern" which means, roughly, "as tasty as Bayern Munich is annoying."

27:00 - Note to Brazil: If you didn't collapse screaming everytime someone blows a vuvuzuela at you, legit penalties would be more likely to be called. That was a clear penalty, if not a red. I'm just shocked that a ref missed a call.

29:30 - You want a sign that the refs suck? Kaká is, I think, the most carded player in the Cup so far. He just oozes nice, doesn't he?

32:00 - I'm really hoping for a Chile goal to really turn this one on. Like Iron Man 2, I was hoping for more. Unlike Iron Man 2, there's been no Scarlet Johannson to distract me.

34:30 - Brazil scores on a corner, with more than a whiff of inevitability. Edson Buddle, take notes.

36:30 - Luis Fabiano tries a backheel that is a) unwarranted and b) a humiliating failure. It was like me trying to pick up a woman at a bar.

39:00 - Chile has a great comeback to pull one back, until they decide to shoot at the corner flag instead of the goal.

43:00 - While they screw with the ball, I'll list my players in the tournament I'd least want to meet in a dark alley:

  1. Lucio - He always looks angry and on the verge of going into a bezerker rage.
  2. Rafa Marquez - He's insane and has a history of jackassery
  3. Michael Bradley - Also looks insane most of the time BUT he managed to not get carded.  He just seems like the kind of guy who's always intense.  Imagine him flossing!

Players I'd be least worried about meeting in a dark alley:

  1. Anyone from France - Need I say more?
  2. Messi - He seems like he'd apologize for bumping into you
  3. Gareth Barry - He ran like a gimpy sloth on the Özil goal
44:00 - How does Brazil make a 3 on 6 break look like they have the numbers advantage?  Oof.  The match with the Dutch is going to be freaking awesome.  That's me channeling my inner Bibby.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meet Ultimate deLux - Part 1

Worlds start a week from today (at 8-freaking-30 am!), and I want my readers (both of you!) to meet the team, since I think they're pretty awesome. I'll go in alphabetical order, because I'm boring. I'm not going to say too much about on-field play, as our opponents might be scouting us online and I don't want to give away secrets*.

FBers go HERE for videos, photos and links


(I should've remembered that Big Dog doesn't like to be called Scampi)
Nickname(s): Big Dog, Scampi (not a good idea)
Best Throw: Anything done while bouncing.
Why He's Awesome: There are, of course, many reasons, but the best is that the first time he played with deLux, we played a post-game game with an Italian team where Meryl was blindfolded and had to identify 4 guys on the team only by grabbing their asses. The first was short and so she guessed me (or Martin, I forget). But the next 3 she kept saying, "Adriano?" with a hopeful, smitten tone in her voice that no one could forget. She may deny it, but we have witnesses. Also, he's soooooo good on the field and fun off it. But that is all best summed up by grabbing an ass and saying, "Adriano?" And be on the lookout for his alter ego, Clark. He's pretty hilarious.

Ann Christine

(Why is Big Dog grabbing his junk and looking dazed? And wtf is up with Meesh and Frauzi?)
Nickname(s): AC. Which is kind of lame, but we're working on it.
Best Throw: The high backhand. As a short guy, I like to tell myself I can still throw high backhands over tall guys**, but AC actually does it.
Why She's Awesome: She is the massage QUEEN! In Geneva, every time we couldn't find AC, she'd be getting a massage. I think she averaged 2 or 3 per day. To be fair, Till didn't seem at all unhappy about the situation. Also, AC always has a mischievous smile that makes me wonder what she's up to.


(Bob taking the Duke out for some air in Amsterdam)
Nickname(s): The Duke!
Best Throw: Sweeeeeet forehand hucks.
Why He's Awesome: Jules and I actually thought he was the Duke of Luxembourg when we first met. Sure, we're gullible, but he's quite dignified. He's also top of the table in the Teammates You Want To Travel With league (Most of the old sallaD and Ovary Action players were relegated). Everybody loves the Duke!


(Everything's coming up Milhouse!)
Nickname(s): TBD. This is something I'm really, really embarrassed about. The problem is that it's been so long, he's earned an awesome nickname. But you can call him Milhouse if he's wearing flood pants.
Best Throw: Increasingly, all of them.
Why He's Awesome: Let's see, is it the awesome jerseys he designed? Is it his solid heckling? His rapidly improving play? Good attitude? No. I would say I like him. He has balls. I like balls***. And he laughed when I posted the Milhouse link with his photo.

* Riiiiiiiiiight.
** It's a big lie.
*** From Team America. He's also awesome because we like so many of the same movies.

World Cup Live Blogging: Germany - England 2nd Half

OK, this is a great game with a new winner for Worst Call of the World Cup, so I'm going to blog the second half.

But first, I need to mock the halftime discussion.

Studio - I'm not sure who the gremlin in the studio is, but he needs to chill out. He went off on a rant with the usual crap about technology taking over the game, going so far as to say that there would be no joy, no life if we allowed tech to ruin the humanity of the sport. Because, apparently, tennis has no joy or humanity since they added the cyclops (not to mention instant replay). Dolt.

Outdoor viewing areas - With the BRUTAL mid-80s heat, some fans are getting heat stroke. Settle down, drink some water and sack up. Remember, it's only 85.

Müller update: He had a great pass to set up the 2nd goal, but England clearly scouted him via my blog, since they haven't bothered to cover him. Other than the one nice touch, he's done his part to not make them pay. I'm worried about his shoulder, though, since he spends most of the game holding his hand up making the "my bad" thumbs-up.

47:20 - WTF is up with the German coach and wearing the EXACT same outfit as his assistant? It's not like the USA coaches and track suits or the England coaches and the gray suit -- they keep changing outfits and matching. It's more than a little bizarre.

48:50 - Even with his bad positioning on the first Ghana goal, I still think both England and Germany would gladly swap their keepers for Tim Howard. They've both made a few decent saves, but they're spastically incompetent for large stretches. Neuer, in particular, looks like a Team America-style panic on most shots.

51:30 - Another England shot off the crossbar, but this one goes up. Neuer for some reason pulled back his hands -- he was about an inch from looking a complete fool there.

52:50 - The linesman looks more terrified than Donovan did before his PK. I'm not seeing vacations in England in his future.

54:00 - Terry gave away a ball at midfield that he was lucky didn't become a replay of the Ghana goal last night.

56:40 - England looks surprisingly nonchalant, given the score. Their defense looks like they just want to take a break.

59:00 - England has now started to actively move away from Müller when he's got the ball. It's gotta be insulting.

61:50 - I don't know if Löw told his defense, "Let's give them a bunch of opportunities right around the penalty box" or if they're just taking the initiative on their own.

65:00 - Apparently Joe Cole is a typical English soccer player. Thanks for the tip, announcer.

66:20 - Well, England's strategy of ignoring Müller finally failed. Of course, he wouldn't have had a chance if Lampard had played instead of whining after his crap free kick hit the wall.

69:30 - Müller should've made it 4-1, but whiffs his first chance. A minute later and England again sleeps on a counter to give Germany a 3v2 and Müller buries his shot in to the open net. Terry was apparently chatting up a teammate's girlfriend instead of, say, playing defense.

73:00 - I guess Capello forgot to talk about preventing counter attacks at halftime.

76:00 - England has shown that with its insanely slow central D, they are screwed if forced to push for a goal.

86:00 - Short break to chat with the OC, and we're back. I don't understand why Capello waited so long to take off a defender.

91:00 - Löw has, not surprisingly, put on a scarf. I wonder if that's the German equivalent of Red Auerbach's victory cigar?

So, England's out. I wonder if this is the end of the Lampard-Gerrard midfield? It should be, since it can be fairly called a disaster. The score is misleading, but this England team is hopeless playing from behind. Is Capello gone, or staying to try to redeem himself at the Euro in 2 years?

Now, Germany vs Argentina/Mexico. Germany looked good in the first half, but their D is shaky. I can't imagine Messi, Tevez, Vela or Dos Santos will be held to 1 goal*.

Last word -- German post game sucks. No highlights, just endless scenes of players hugging fans. I am curious if this is normal, or more than usual. It seems a bit much celebration for a round of 16 game.

* OK, I guess England wasn't, either.

Self-googling Results

I decided to google myself this afternoon, and the results were shocking -- there are a lot of JT Richardsons floating around. Here's what I found:

The actor - Have you wondered what I would be like if I were a former football player turned actor? Or I was black? Well, wonder no more.

The biochemist - Apparently not all JT Richardsons are crap at chemistry lab work.

The cat - At least, that's his Facebook photo.

The sociology of religion guy - I wonder if he believes in Jebus?

The dead guy - I guess the rumors of my demise were NOT greatly exaggerated. At least one JT Richardson got married!

The Twitter guy - In his own words, he's "Technology/nature/cycling/music lover". Seems reasonable enough.

and finally,

The Jackhole - This one just feels right.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

USA Fan Pre-Game Warmup

Just like the US soccer team has a preset gameday routine, so does this US Soccer fan:

Wake-up Call: This is variable, depending on the day. On weekends, there's no wakeup, but on weekdays or tournament days, there may be an alarm. No matter, the snooze button isn't just allowed, it's encouraged*.

Breakfast: Available from wake-up until 10am, when the cafeteria is closed. However, fans have espresso drinks on weekdays and brewed coffee on weekends until the games begin. And sometimes after.

Lunch: One of the 3 most important meals of the day, the selection varies. Sometimes a sandwich, sometimes Indian, but recently it's been salad**.

Pre-Game Beer: Adaptability is the key here. You take what's available. So far, it's been Heineken***, Dos Equis Dark, and Beck's. God willing, there'll be a Budvar Dark on tap for an upcoming game.

Lying To Oneself: The actual lies vary, but tend to be of the "I'm not going to turn into a stressed-out psycho fan" or "I'll keep my cursing to a minimum". Which raises an interesting question -- is it really a lie if I know it's not true at the time I tell it to myself?

Then once all this is out of the way... kick-off!

* Like there's no tomorrow.
** Which explains why I haven't been winning many friends
*** In Amsterdam, cut me some slack

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Schadenfreude World Cup?

With Italy and France "fighting" to win the coveted "Most Indifferent" award at the World Cup, and either Germany or England not making the quarterfinals*, Euro soccer arrogance is getting its comeuppance early. All my coworkers who snorted at the statistical irrelevance of no Euro team EVER winning outside Europe are now beginning to think it might not be such a coincidence, after all.

Add to this the horrid performance of African teams that brought in mercenary Euro coaches** (I'm looking at you, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and South Africa!), and it's been a less than auspicious start for UEFA.

And for the cherry on the day's sundae, the TV broadcast just showed a SMOKIN' hot Danish woman petulantly ignoring the guy trying to chat her up as Japan polishes off Denmark. And, apparently, one fan's sex life. Still, free sushi on me***!

* A JTInGermany guarantee!
** After Man City and especially his debacle managing Mexico, we can agree that Sven Goran Eriksson is better at banging secretaries than managing, right?
*** Tell Piranha to put it on my tab.

USA Celebration Special!

I do miss sportcenter commercials. Two recent ones, with Jozy:

and Landon:

You Stay Classy, Algeria

So, your team gives up a late goal and leaves the World Cup with a measley point and no goals? How do you handle it? Well, obviously, you walk up to a female reporter after the game and slap her. At least, that's what Rafik Saifi did. Nice work, jackass.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When Honesty Is Too Much

For some reason, the Italian football federation was offended when a Cabinet minister said that Italy would "buy" a win against Slovakia. He claimed it was a joke, but then went on to say that several Slovak players would play in Italy as a result.

What I don't understand is why anyone is offended by the remarks. We all know this is going to happen, right? The only question is how much has to be paid.

World Cup Live Blogging: Germany - Ghana 2nd Half

Soccer break, for the longest tennis match I've been aware of in my lifetime.

Mahut - Isner, now 54-all in the 5th, and 9 hours, 20 minutes. Now, THAT's a day's work.

54-55: These guys should get triple pay. Take it away from someone that merely played 3 sets.

57-56: Insane.

59:00 - I finally decided to check a game BEFORE a goal was scored. Nice shot by Özil!

60:15 - Ouch, Germany almost gave it right back.

68:00 - I like this score -- puts the USA vs Ghana. Assuming that the refs can stop taking away our goals, that would be good for us.

73:00 - The announcer needs to settle the fuck down -- "Perfekt für Cacau!"* is a bit strong when the ball is 10m in front of the guy.

74:00 - Australia is taking a page from South Africa's book and making a late run. That pretty much eliminates Serbia.

77:00 - Podolski has been Sir Sucks-a-lot, hasn't he?

89:00 - Got distracted, now back for the finish -- England vs Germany, should be a good one! The UK are already worried about the chances of PKs!

91:00 - SO, USA-Ghana is ON! Time to get some payback for 2006! And Mahut-Isner will go on for a THIRD day. Insane.

* "Perfect for Cacau!"

World Cup Live Blogging: Germany - Ghana 1st Half

Ok, I was going to watch this out at a bar, but decided not to -- chances were too high of me partying the night away after Landon sacked the eff up. Wow!

8:00 - I like the black unis for the Germans. Very slimming.

9:30 - There are 2 keys to short corners -- pass to your team and don't let Müller get involved. I'm still waiting for him to not suck against a good team*.

12:45 - Just saw the Ghana Boateng. I assume this is the first time (half-?) brothers have faced off in a World Cup?

13:15 - A lesson to you kids watching out there -- don't wait for the ball or you will miss your chance to score in a World Cup. D'oh!

23:30 - Ghana's going to rue wasting that opportunity...

24:30 - But not as much as Germany will waste that one. Ouch.

31:00 - Soooooo, this game is interesting and all, but quite a letdown from the USA game.

38:00 - The old Germany special -- an uncalled handball on the goal line! Way to hit it old-school, Lahm!

40:30 - That was sketchy as a foul, much less a card. He got the ball before he touched him. Looks like Germany isn't going to be able to blame the refs for this one.

45:00 - OK, I'm switching to Wimbledon for the insane Mahut-Isner match that's at 52-53 in the 5th. Holy crap.

* No, Australia, you don't count.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

When Flopping Comes Around

FBers go HERE for video.

A few World Cups back, a jackass named Rivaldo decided that being talented wasn't enough -- he wanted to win the diving title, too. Here's the move:

Now, if you speak Spanish, Portuguese or Italian, this is quality soccer -- but for the rest of the world, this is an excellent example of being a little punk bitch.

Tonight, Brazil got their comeuppance, as star Kaká got tossed when an Ivory Coast-er* dropped like he'd just received a Zidane-style headbutt. Of course, Brainiac waited until the 88th minute and IC was losing 3-1 before pulling his stunt. Nice work, Pottsie.

Net result, Brazil plays a man down for 5 minutes and still wins. Seems like a Pyrrhic victory for cheaters, huh?

* Cote d'Ivoire, my ass. I speak English, it's Ivory Coast, regardless of what your goverment says. When you call it "United States of America" and not L'Etat Unis, then we can talk.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Guess WWJD Doesn't Apply To TV Arguments

So, a 61-year-old man was beaten to death BY HIS FAMILY for wanting to watch the World Cup instead of gospel. Call me an irrational soccer fan, but this seems like an overreaction. Or is the last part of the Beattitudes, "Blessed be the soccer fans, for they shall die a violent death"?

Then again, maybe they'd always hoped they would be beaten to death over a TV argument, so it's just following the Golden Rule.


To read the full news article, click on the post title.

Friday, June 18, 2010

World Cup Live SMSing: USA-Slovenia

A transcript of my SMS to Il Chaddissimo after the ref waived off (with NO! explanation) the 3rd USA goal:

No more USA aid to motherfucking Mali!

I think that sums it up, and less obscenely than expected.

Koman Coulibaly, if you're reading this, GFYYMF. Go with yourself.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

World Cup Live Blogging: Mexico - France 1st Half

Let's be honest -- I HATE the Mexican soccer team. But I respect them. The same can't be said of France. I'm almost embarassed to say it, but my love of Schadenfreude triumphs -- I want to see France eliminated. Vivá Mexico!

4:00 - Wow, those France uniforms are godawful ugly. Like, USA-'94-denim-ugly. What's up with the plastic?

7:00 - Mexico's aren't much better. They shouldn't have lost the old sun-disk print. Those were cool.

7:50 - Jesus, did Vela ever blow that. Wide open and he puts it 10meters (maybe even 11 yards!) over the bar -- from the edge of the goal box. Tool.

9:10 - Did Mexico get Fabien Barthez, the French keeper from '98, to play goal?

14:00 - Apparently Mexico's only offensive strategy is to kick it over the top and hope to beat the offsides trap. What happened to all the creativity Alberto is always blathering on about?

15:30 - So do 2 challenges that deserve yellow cancel each other out?

20:00 - Wow. In 20 minutes this game has had more action than the Greece-Nigeria crapfest. Rarely has either team kicked to no one or dribbled into a double-team when someone is free. It's disconcerting.

25:00 - So, my thinking that Mexico was getting run off the field was due to Vela being treated for a hamstring injury. Or possibly he's taking acting for a card to a whole new level.

31:00 - Adios Carlos! It's too bad for Mexico this didn't happen a bit later, since Blanco can't quite hack 60 minutes anymore.

40:00 - Mexico is beginning to control, but they can't quite get past Lloris. But the wings of France can't come close to staying with the Mexicans. It's worse than Bocanegra and Spector out there.

44:15 - I'm not sure if Anelka used to be able to shoot anywhere other than at the keeper, but Old Man Nikolas keeps hitting it right at his chest.

45:00 - Ribery hit the turf like he thought there was an underage prostitute under the grass.

45:00+ - I think it's kind of BS that the half ends on a yellow card. Sure, he misses the next match, but he also stopped a very promising attack -- with no follow-up. That's Le Crap.

World Cup Live Blogging: Argentina - South Korea

My first chance to see Argentina's brave efforts to overcome Maradona's "coaching"! Let's get to it.

2:00 - Messi just stands around as the throw-in goes over his head. He couldn't look less psyched. Bravo Diego!

6:30 - Argentina is looking surprisingly confident. Look for Diego to sub someone out soon. They are dangerously close to competence.

9:25 - Sweet tackle, American football-style, by 19. If you're going to get a yellow, make it count. Nice work! Apparently, the Koreans are taking a page out of Germany's 1990 World Cup final against Diego.

12:00 - Heinze (Number 6) for Argentina is showing respect for his coach by wearing a throwback haircut from the 80s -- To quote Pepper from Dodgeball, "It's gotta be the hair. It's beautiful. Feathered and lethal. You just don't see it nowadays."

16:15 - Own goal! Let's just say that it's good this happened to SOUTH Korea. Still, the keeper should've had that.

16:50 - And to make up for it, he makes a lame gratuitous dive at a ball 5 meters away from him on the restart. Face saved!

23:00 - Walter Samuel is injured, who will play the role of 2 First Names for Los Albicestes?

24:45 - Apparently Diego told the team, "Let's hit our crosses straight at the keeper." To their credit, they've listened to him so far.

26:30 - The Korean coach apparently told his team, "Let's foul Messi like there's no tomorrow."

33:00 - The Korean strategy of guarding the 2 guys closest to the goal with one defender pays off! For Argentina. They're kind of crapping the bed on this one. By "kind of", I mean "doing everything they can to".

37:00 - Aaaaannnnndddd... Argentina is into full "let's screw with the ball" mode.

39:00 - OK, I spoke too soon. That was a wicked-hard shot (though right at the keeper).

44:00 - That's why everyone (except Diego) loves Messi. Wow.

45:00 - Let that be a lesson to you kids out there -- don't screw with the ball in front of the goal.

I think I'm going to pass on blogging the second half. I'm beginning to feel bad for this Korean goalie.

Windmill Windup 2010 Wrap-Up

FBers go HERE for photos and links. Big Dog should be happy about this turn-around. But he'll probably still whine about something.

Ultimate deLux had our last prep tournament before Worlds, Windmill Windup in Amsterdam. How was our 3rd year in the 'dam?

Travel: I arrived Thursday afternoon in the 'dam, so I wasn't planning on doing any touring, just having a tasty dinner. This was delayed by Fred, who decided to shave his chest again before leaving. But the food was great, and it was fun to hang out with the gang a bit, even if I was exhausted by the time I went to bed. And, yes, I am old*.

Party: Much lamer than the previous two, but part of this was due to me leaving early and also missing an hour for captain talk (decision: let's stop getting injured). But I did see the USA tie England, so there's that. AC did some great elf-dancing, and I was thrilled to see 2 cool shirts: WWXD (What Would Xena Do?) and Camel Toe (a picture of a camel and a tow truck).

Play: We played very sporadically. We got crushed by Codhands, but it should've been much closer only we had a lot of drops. How many? I had 3 D's -- in my first point. That's not good for anybody. We again had injuries, which was annoying. We also lost 3 games we should've won, a first for us. We choked against Ouf's zone to miss the quarters, then lost consecutive universe points to 2600 and Principality of Seeland. Very, very frustrating. Why? Let's just say we never lost 2 universe points in a row under Chunk. Of course, we didn't get to play in the 9-16 bracket under him, either. I think the real blame lies with Giggles and the Gimp for not being there.

Selfishness Report: Here are the injuries, and their explanations (not necessarily what was claimed by the injured party):
  • Meike: Still fighting an ankle sprain, but she took one for the team and did stats.
  • JT: Recurrence of the Ankle injury, also knee pain. I'm falling apart. Meryl has started calling me "Old Yeller" -- and Tobi was hanging around a lot. Not good.
  • Torben: Torn ab muscle meant that Flash (ah-ah!) missed Sunday.
  • Martin: Knee, played on Saturday and Sunday. I think he had a bit of "the best medicine" on Friday night.

Team Fun:  More good times, including a monster team meal on Friday night and an elf vote that intrigued the TD. Speaking of the elf vote, a lost vote in the hat might've robbed your favorite blogger** of his first elf vote victory. Since Tammy is the favorite in Prague, I'm going to have to step up my game*** to have a shot. However, Benny & Lord Surly made an appearance, so it was lots of fun. I do love me some OC****.

Smoking:  No one actually visited a coffeeshop, though the Bob-Marley-sized spliff in the player pack might've been smoked. I can't say for sure, since I was screaming "Suck it, Limeys!" during the time in question.

Photos:  Enjoy!

** I'm assuming you only read this blog and no others.
*** My "game" consists mainly of cursing.
**** Caaaaalifornia!

Geneva Talampaya Wrap-Up

FBers go HERE for photos. Apologies to Big Dog for the delay.

So, Ultimate deLux had our second tournament of the year, Talampaya in Geneva.  How was it?  Let's get the breakdown, pitifully late:

Travel: I only had an afternoon in Geneva, and by afternoon I mean "5pm until I'm ready to put up my tent". So, I decided that since all the museums were closed, I'd try the 2 microbreweries I found in town. One is across from the train station, Les Brasseurs, and it specializes in getting people drunk enough for night trains. The other, Brasserie du Molard, is attached to a Brit pub. It has a decent brown ale.

Party: Another great party! I've always been skeptical of party themes, but this one (Mars & Venus Invaders) was successful enough to overcome 8Euro (10Chf, pronounced "chuff") beers.

Play: We played well, but again sporadically. We only had 15 people, but this was down to 11 at one point due to injuries (thankfully none serious). Martin kicked ass until he was hurt, then he really didn't seem to play at all. Fred apparently forgot he was the Reverend and not the Priest, as he was abusing his opponents all weekend. A big shout-out to Till for keeping us fairly healthy and enabling me to play, brace-free!

Injury Report: Here are the injuries, and their explanations (not necessarily what was claimed by the injured party):
  • Judith: Thigh bruise suffered when she let an opposing man on top.
  • JT: Recurrence of the Ankle injury, mostly fixed by Till.
  • Weebs: Uvula sprain during warmups, definitely Meryl's fault.
  • Meryl: Hamstring, aggravated during 4 hour post-game tactics discussion.
  • Martin: Knee, partially torn meniscus hurt showing up the D captain.

Team Fun:  The team really stepped up their game and we had a blast. Good elfery by Meryl and lots of bonding. The bar has been raised high for Amsterdam and Prague -- can the herbs, beer and competition beat out Geneva?

Photos:  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How 'Bout No?

Being in the 'dam makes me think of Austin Powers 3. It's not great, but the dutch accent of Goldmember never fails to make me laugh. This one's for you, Reverend.

Here are the bits I always remember:
Freaky-deaky Dutch

and How 'bout No?

Postcard of the Year

Whatever they're sellin', I'm buyin'!

To me, the only questions are:
  • When is Vader Day (to translate from freaky-deaky dutch)?
  • How do we celebrate it?
Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World Cup Live Blogging: Brazil - North Korea 1st Half

7:00 - 2 minutes in for me, and Brazil has already shown why they dominate in Shots 5 Meters Wide. Do they practice on super-wide goals to increase their confidence or something?

10:30 - That's a great shot by the Reds... if you're playing England. Against a sober keeper, that's an easy save.

12:00 - I've been watching less than 10 minutes and this already has the looks of the 2nd half of the USA-Brazil game at the Confed Cup

15:15 - The North Koreans' 5-4-1 is the soccer equivalent of eating a big block of cheese. It stops the action, but you're not going to feel good about it.

19:00 - I don't think that Dunga should be allowed to pick out his own clothes. He looks like an extra from "Popeye".

21:15 - Wow. What a crap pass from Kaká. No pressure, and that killed a great counter.

24:00 - Wow. ANOTHER crap pass from Kaká to kill an attack, again with no pressure.

25:20 - That was a, um, confident shot by North Korea. Those off-balance shots from a few feet off the sideline are always dangerous. To unsuspecting fans.

28:30 - That's new. I've never seen a Brazilian flop playing defense before, but Kaká just tried it.

35:00 - The longer Brazil goes without a goal, the more likely they are to check out. I see them as only slightly mentally stronger than Glenn Beck.

45:00 - Anyone else keep hearing Kim Il Jong singing "I'm Ronery"? Maybe it's just me.

OK, I'm going to spend halftime watching The Game of Their Lives about the 1966 team that beat Italy and almost beat Portugal in the quarters.

World Cup Live Blogging: Ivory Coast - Portugal

Starting a bit late due to a nap that spiraled out of control. No links or photos in this one, just snark!

79:30 - I'm not sure why Ivory Coast (IC from here on out) didn't put 10 men in the wall, since there was NO chance that Ronaldo wasn't going to shoot that.

80:45 - Great work by IC to watch that ball go out of bounds rather than attempting to play it.

82:00 - I like the IC unis, but I'm betting Puma convinced them that by getting the skin-tight style, they wouldn't have to also buy Under Armour-ish undershirts. I also will be shocked if Casey hasn't already bought one of these.

87:00 - How much product does Ronaldo use? He's been running in the rain for 90 minutes and his hair is still douche-ily perfect. And does Drogba not own a mirror? He looks like Malcolm X, pre-Islam days. That's not a compliment.

90:00 - Great cross by Drogba -- to no one. Way to follow, team. And be selfish for a change, Didier!

92:00 - IC really is picking their spots -- passing when open on the dribble, dribbling when the open pass is there. It's like a clinic on bad offensive decisions.

93:00 - Wait, the ref called it in the middle of a corner developing? I don't blame him, since IC was showing no inclination toward competence, but still. I have to blame Sven Goran-Eriksson (or however the Swedish Douche spells it) for the scoreline. I think he would've turned the 1982 Brazilian team into a boring, bunkered-in bunch. Not a fan. North Korea has to be thrilled with this result, while the fans should be asking for a refund.

Monday, June 14, 2010

World Cup Live Blogging: Italy - Paraguay

Ok, I'm starting a bit late. but such is life.  FBers go HERE for the whole post, including links.

12:00 - Daniele DeRossi apparently is more comfortable giving cheap shots than receiving them. At least, I don't remember him flopping and whining like a punk bitch in the 2006 World Cup when he gave McBride a bloody nose. On the bright side, he looks a lot like Will Ferrell as a homeless man with his beard.

19:45 - Paraguay has mounted an "attack" and they look slightly less imposing than the Belgian army in 1940. The net efficacy has been the same so far.

21:59 - Holy crap, that guy looks exactly like Dan Saenz. If he pulls both hamstrings simultaneously I'll be suspicious.

23:45 - When Lippi looked up, I expected him to say, "Nice beaver!". The German commentator apparently doesn't share my love of Frank Drebin jokes.

26:50 - 6 straight touches between the teams without ground contact -- and the ball crossed midfield 3 times. That was fun.

27:30 - Do they even check birth certificates for Italian nationality or just walk next to a person, and those that fall and feign injury get passports?

- You know what I miss? Luca Toni's "dago mustache".

38:20 - Fortunately, I stopped looking for Chris Farley videos long enough to see de Rossi get skyed for a goal. That's a shame.

45:00 - Buffon apparently is allowed one goal per game, and then he gets yanked. Not sure if he's hurt, or just out of hair gel.

50:00 - Apparently Tim Duncan has been working with the Italian team on their reactions to blatant fouls.

62:30 - Paraguay is boldly eschewing the man at the back post, relying on their D.

62:31 - Oops. Too bad their keeper can't read the ball.

64:30 - Feeling the heady rush of the goal, the Italians immediately charge back to flop in the box rather than make an effort. Bravo.

69:45 - Classic Camoranesi -- come in late, intentionally stomp the guy, weasel out of a card.

85:00 - OK, the game got boring, so I watched John Oliver of The Daily Show visit the US Soccer training camp. Good times. Back at the game, both teams clearly have better ticket distribution systems than the USA and England, or at least more attractive female fans than the USA and England.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Schadenfreude - World Cup Warmup Edition

FBers go HERE for video

One of the downsides to soccer is that jackholes rarely get their comeuppance -- the combination of minimal contact and red cards means that you can be a complete tool* and never get the ass-kicking you so richly deserve. But, as proof that there is a God, I offer you Arjen Robben -- well-known as a whiny punk, he flops like there's no tomorrow. Are the soccer/football/fútbol gods pleased?

I would say no. Of course, if he didn't show off, would the** Netherlands have been able to hold a 6-1 lead in a meaningless game? We'll never know.

* Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo, I'm looking at you.
** I never know if I should capitalize "the" before "Netherlands". I also never care enough to find out.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Jozy Altidore Finally Pisses Me Off

Jozy sprains an ankle and a week later is playing sans brace. It took me 8 weeks. Jackhole.

The Innocent Prisoner's Dilemma

You're convicted of a crime you didn't commit (and even the presiding JUDGE thinks you're innocent!) -- do you admit guilt to try to get parole -- after 15 years in jail? And if you do, and get paroled, this admission of "guilt" can be used against you for the rest of your life. Good times in US justice!

Not to sound like a flaming liberal, but guess the demographic of the person in question. If you picked "Young African-American male", you win!

With that, I'm going to drink to forget. Fuuuuuuuuck, this is depressing.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Good Times With Bad Feet

One of the many joys* of my ongoing ankle problems is the discovery that gently massaging the spot where my ankle and leg meet causes tingling all along the side of my foot where the scar from the surgery is. I have to admit, it's kind of addicting.

* A constant reminder of my looming mortality, random shooting pain, fear of imminent reinjury, pain in the opposite leg from overcompensation**
** Not that kind of overcompensation, jackass.