Saturday, June 17, 2006

Jooooooooooooooooooke!

... would probably be the best way to describe the USA-Italy World Cup match today, which I managed to catch this afternoon in my well-cooled apartment rather than go anywhere near the 88-degree weather outside. The United States actually looked much sharper today than they did in the absolutely flat performance against the Czech Republic, dominating the midfield and attacking the Italian goal far more aggressively. Although a win would have been nice, the 1-1 final is something of a victory for the U.S., considering they've never even won a World Cup match on European soil, and Italians are simply an international powerhouse.

Unfortunately, the game itself was essentially ruined thanks to some horrific reffing. Three red cards in one game? Are you kidding me? In the refs' defense, when Eddie Johnson said preparing for this game was like going to war, he may not have been using such an inappropriate misnomer after all, as the two teams combined for 35 fouls in what was an ugly dogfight from the start. However, like well-behaved children shopping with their moms in a department store, referees should be seen and not heard, and should never have the sort of impact they had on this game. By the time the final whistle, both teams were exhausted, playing 10 on 9 for almost an entire half, and neither had a chance to break open the tie.

Sure, it's one thing to call De Rossi's red card when he flagrantly smacked McBride upside the head with an elbow, but the others were simply late slide tackles. Let's face it, soccer is a violent game, played physically at its highest levels of competition. The golden rule of reffing or umpiring a game in any sport is to try to let the players play the game as much as possible, and not let calls affect the final outcome, especially one of this magnitude. Why couldn't these guys figure that out?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Lightning-Rod


As a Red Sox fan, it's my natural duty, in addition to being irrationally obsessed with their success, to rip on Alex Rodriguez, the Golden Boy we once tried to bring over to Boston and has since had some difficulty living up to hype of being the face of baseball. I actually don't hate the man, per se, because I really think he does go out there every night and give 100%, but he's the victim of an unfortunate set of circumstances that he's going to have a lot of trouble getting out of. Making as much money as he does, and playing in the city that he does, there's a certain level of expectation regarding not only the product he delivers on the field but his persona as well. He's simply not a likeable guy, and that fact coupled with his failure to bring another championship to New York so far means he's a targeted man not only in Boston, but in his home city as well.

So it should be no surprise that a site like arodsucks.com, which, according to the site itself, A-Rod and his agent attempted to shut down, exists and is flourishing. The most interesting part about the site is the guestbook, which seems to have attracted just as many New Yorkers as Bostonians. Some are there just to bash A-Rod with the typical pointless drivel, but others, such as my roommate, prefer a far more poetic approach, which he submitted to the Boston Globe last year in support of David Ortiz being selected over Rodriguez for AL MVP, but was unable to get published:

"Papi ought to be, the AL MVP,
Sluggin' 600, 400 OBP,
You can do the math that on base plus sluggin',
Has got sucka MC opposing pitchers buggin'!

What did you do for the hurricane kids?
50,000 dollars, thats what Big Pap did,
Thats like 1% of his income--sheeeit!
The Pap has got heart, brawn and wits.

Shiftin' on my boy now, you mother@%!$%*&'n dunce?
Whatchoogonnado when the motha@%!$%*&a bunts?
Now the shift's off and you suckas be clowns
when the Pap drives the gap and you misplay the bounce.

Oh yeah, I've heard of ARod, I think I know the name,
That bitch who pads his stats in the 20 run games?
Well Papi's clutch hits put that playa to shame
Better pitch around my brotha or you'll wish you never came!

AROD YOU'S A LOSER, A MUTHAF@%!$%*&'n POSER!
STEINBRENNER BETTA TRAD'YA, FOR JORGE DE LA ROSA!
STEP YO ASS ASIDE, GET OUT OF THE RACE,
OR VARITEK IS GONNA GLOVE YA IN THE MOTHER@%!$%*&'n FACE!

Clutch hits keep comin' the VORP keeps climbin',
Four years with the twins you know this brotha put his time in,
Thats we standin' here bustin these rhymes and--
YO! Pap's the MVP, mother@%!$%*&er!
"

I can't imagine why.