Daily Archives: June 21, 2010

Trying to Get Into the World Cup…

I’ve always found it tough to get into soccer, but DO make more of an effort when the World Cup rolls around. Maybe it’s because I haven’t followed soccer at any other point in my life or like MCeezy found, somethings just aren’t for you. Maybe it’s because I didn’t play soccer past the age of 10. Maybe it’s because we bring guys into the MLS like Beckham who are obviously washed up even before making their trip overseas. Whatever the case, I try hard to get excited about watching some of the matches during the World Cup, and this year, I’ve found it harder to get into than years past (maybe because it’s still the first round). I might be missing that roommate who fills out brackets, and is constantly waking me from my slumber to watch two countries I’ve barely even heard of.

I’ve had numerous friends/roommates tell me about the glorious game of soccer is in an attempt to get me more engaged, but it just isn’t happening for some reason. I can understand and appreciate the different types of strategies being used by different countries, and how they are supposed to be effective, but still find myself bored through much of the matches. I feel like you have to watch at least two or three games just to witness one highlight reel goal, or a guy breaking ankles with some moves, or even some great goalie saves. I love the clips that Dyslecix and Cali4Dre send in the e-mail chains, but never see those happen live. Instead, during games I find myself wondering if that was a foul or the player took a page from the Vlade Divac School of Flopping. At least with the NBA, they are scoring every couple times down the court, and you’ll see a few amazing dunks or drives during the game. Speaking of, here’s a funny clip of what the NBA would be like without scoring. With soccer I feel like I can change the channel for twenty or thirty minutes, and when I go back, 80%  of the time nothing has really happened. Another thing I’ve found myself hating is the extra time. Why is there only one guy who knows how much extra time there is at the end of a half/game? I find it comical when a team is losing by a couple of goals at the end of a game, and they are  just passing the ball back and forth essentially killing the clock, but nobody knows exactly how long that clock will last!

Anyways, I think the major reason I don’t watch is because the U.S. basically sucks at the sport. I’m sure if there was a freakish Lebron type athlete on our team, I’d probably get into it a little more. It’s hard to get excited about our team when it’s considered a great year to make it to the second round or quarterfinals, and if you didn’t know what being a Warriors fan is like, rooting for U.S. soccer might just be a fair comparison expectation wise. They are exciting and watchable, but you know that they aren’t going anywhere. American’s don’t like to root for anything that loses, and until the U.S. makes it to a semi or finals match, we will continue to be apathetic towards the sport. I’ve watched both of the US matches, we got lucky in one, and robbed in the other. It was rough seeing them lose to a bad call on Friday, and the one problem I have is that EVERYBODY saw that we got screwed, but there’s no way to reconcile it. If everyone concedes that it was in fact a goal, why are we left with a tie when there WAS a decisive winner?!? At least with Jim Joyce we got an explanation and an apology. If this is the beautiful game that the world loves, then we need some way to get it right or at least some words from the man who made the call to be pissed about or forgiven completely! The whole story was as unsettling as the BP oil spill. Another thing that irks me about that game is we now could conceivable get knocked out of the World Cup by the tie breaker of, pulling a name out of a hat. It might be a long shot for that scenario, but if the U.S. gets another draw with a final of let’s say 0-0, and if England gets a draw with a 2-2 score we would have the same amount of goals and points as England. The third and fourth tiebreakers after team points and goals scored would also match up, and we’d be left with pulling a name out of a hat. This has to rate above the blown call that Crowley made on the ridiculous meter. I don’t even think I could’ve made this up! Who the f*** wants a drawing to decide something like this? Bring the two teams out to the field for a shootout, thumb wrestling, paper rock scissors, anything somewhat competitive instead of this!  Imagine if there was a tie in the Super Bowl at the end of overtime, and they stopped the game to pick a winner out of a hat. All hell would break loose! I’m actually kind of rooting for that to happen now that I know it’s a possibility! It’s actually possible for it to happen in a couple of groups. Maybe that will be my motivation for watching this week’s games. Let’s go USA, can you play to tie the game!?!

A Moment of Silence For Manute Please

Manute Bol died on Saturday from kidney trouble coupled with a painful skin disease at the very young age of 47. I meant to get a post up about one of my favorite Warriros players growing up when I heard that he passed away, but time just didn’t allow that to happen over the weekend. He played three of his ten seasons for the Dubs, and I’ll always remember the first time I saw Manute play live in Oakland. My uncle took me to a game, and the 7 foot 7 toothpick was the guy that easily caught my 8 year old attention span. Just watching the guy run up and down the court was amazing. I remember his legs reminding me of stilts, and had a hard time figuring out how they supported him. From that point on, I always followed him on the court when watching them play, whether he was bombing an ill-advised three or if he was just roaming along the paint waiting for someone to try to throw up a shot that he could swat into the fifth row. I will always be grateful to him for what he brought to the Warriors, as he was there during the Run TMC days, and that was truly our last golden era in Bay Area basketball.

He was a selfless man on and off the court, and was known rightfully for his shot blocking abilities. Manute was the only player ever to block more shots (3.3) than score points (2.6), which shouldn’t come as a surprise from the NBA’s tallest player ever. Manute has the most blocks per 48 minutes (8.6), and also ranks fourteenth on the all-time block list with 2,086 for his career.

Bol was even more of a man off the court as he helped his home country (Sudan) more than anyone ever had. He donated about $6 million of his earnings to help his impoverished home country. It’s too bad that being on those missions may have been what lead to some of his health problems, but we know that he would be the first to say it was well worth it… His countless missions to the Sudan to helped inspire the unispired, and has shown people that sometimes guys do spend their money on a worthwhile cause! His legacy will live on through the work he did off the court.

Manute was my team logo for fantasy last season, so I guess I’ll have to keep that for another year as a tribute to him, and his greatness as a person!