Thursday, February 23, 2006

Soccer & Lesbians

Donnie, Hoobs, Nickjimmy and I gathered after work yesterday to watch two of the best soccer teams in the world meet head-to-head in the first leg of the UEFA Cup Round of 16.

Much like American sports, the refs totally jobbed Chelsea by red-carding one of its defensemen early in the game. FC Barcelona evetually overcame a 1-0 deficit with two second-half goals, winning 2-1 and heading home for Leg 2. The first half was admittedly a bit slow -- the soaked and freezing pitch at Stamford Bridge wasn't exactly in playing shape -- but the second half was action-packed.

When the return legs begin in a couple weeks, make sure to set your TiVos and stock up on some Bud/Coors Light tallboys.

After the match we flipped around the tube, and we settled for a while on the Texas/Kansas State basketball game, which really served as a tutorial for incompetence. And not just on the part of the players or coaches (KSU's coach was in a freakin' neck-brace, high comedy), but the announcers too.

Who in their right mind thought it would be a good idea to let famous Jewchick-baller and alleged Martina-lover Nancy Lieberman join the already amateur two-man broadcast team?

I'm not trying to be sexist (although I know this thought clearly is), but it's virtually impossible to take this game seriously with this boxlicker spouting rudimentary points like an American explaining bluejeans to a pre-glasnost Russian.

I think the most embarassing part of this for last night's unnamed color analyst was when he said, "As Nancy just said..." I'm sure, from a confidence standpoint, the last thing you want to do as a basketball telecaster is quote the girl named Nancy jabbering next to you.

And really, c'mon ESPN! How can you possibly put Nancy in the booth and not set her up with Jimmy Dykes? Such a wasted opportunity.

Slack Link of the Day: This just in, the new geek wonder drug -- LSD.

Slack Video of the Day: There are very few things in this short life that make me laugh louder and harder than the inaccurate Arrested Development chicken dances.

And this chicken dance clip's pretty damn good, too...


At 1:50 PM, Anonymous SpanishMiguel said...

My first post in a while - start talking about European soccer and you'll see me on here more frequently.

For my money, there's Barcelona and then there's everyone else when it comes to club football. Chelsea has a bunch of really strong and fast dudes and a great defense, but they're really not comparable with Barca.

Barca has the best striker in the world (E'too), the best playmaker (Ronaldinho) and the best young talent (Messi), as well as a great central defender (Puyol), as well as Deco, Marquez...

You know how most people think soccer is boring? Now think of the last 20 minutes of the match, when Barcelona could have scored six times - this happens in EVERY Barcelona match and they're the only team I've ever seen that can do this. Imagine having Lemieux and Gretsky on the ice together, and that's what it's like watching Deco and Ronaldinho play together. Keep in mind that Xavi, another fantastic midfielder who is basically the on-field captain of the the Barcelona offense, has been out for the past 4 months.

Even before the red card, Barcelona had full control of the match last night. Officiating in soccer is a fucking joke, and the red card should have been yellow, but there was also a missed penalty on a Chelsea defender who blocked a shot with his outstretched arm. Chelsea got a cheap goal the way the usually do, but is there any doubt who was the better team? The world's other great teams - Juventus, Bayern, Chelsea - watch their games, and after you start masturbating out of boredom, get a tissue, wipe yourself off, and turn on a Barcelona match.

All this coming from a Real Madrid fan...

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Jason Mulgrew said...

I like Donovan McNabb.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Kenny Alias said...

"He solved his toughest technical problems while tripping to drum solos by the Grateful Dead."

Dude, he may be a programmer but he's cool as hell in my book.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

He's a superstar to us all, Kenny...gotta love a mainstream magazine touting the benefits of acid. Craisins.

Spanish, I was gonna email you and rub in Madrid's 1-0 loss. But I didn't get to watch it, so I thought better of it.

Barca is indeed pretty sick, and they're a super fun team, but I think Chelsea definitely could have held their own with 11 men. I actually thought they did a fantastic job of holding Ronaldhino in check for much of the game.

Yeah, after the red card the refs must have known they focked up, because they clearly called the game in favor of Chelsea. And really, we were commenting all first half about how Del Horno was beaten several times yesterday. That red card *could have* been a mini-blessing, but the 10 men thing made it tough for them to attack.

Puyol looks like a punk. I don't like him. And am I the only one who thinks Hernan Crespo kinda resembles Gabriella Sabatini?

Either way, excited for Leg 2.

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous SpanishMiguel said...

It wasn't Del Horno's fault - It was Leo Messi playing the part of John Holmes, going in and out and through over whoever he wanted. Even after the Spanish/Basque defender left, Messi still came all over Chelsea's face and hair.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Don Fiedler said...

If Chelsea has 11 men and joe cole is still in the game with crespo, lampard & robben with duff and SWP on the bench, then it's a totally different team. also remember that chelsea was without its best defender at making forward runs and pushing the wings up the side (gallas) and without the speed from deep in the midfield (essien) who allows lampard to get forward into space. instead, they had to bring out drogba, who is useless against barca's ball control and played geremi's corpse in the back, not his natural position.

barca may be more sexy but when the chelsea long-ball machine is going, they play some of the coolest and fastest footie in the world (see barca v. chelsea, 2d leg last year and bayern/chelsea in the next round). chelsea are obviously rather stupid, however, as i think the crappy field fucks up their pace just as much as barca AND mourinho had no business bringing SWP onto the field with 13 min. to go yesterday. where was huth to play for the tie?

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Drogba is an instant classic by the way...he's basically a smaller version Lennox Lewis with no smooth soccer skills. Instant classic.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger MDS said...

Ace, what is your opinion of Pam Ward on ESPN's college football broadcasts?

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

You mean Pam Ward on ESPN's coverage of Northwestern's football games? I think she did the NU game every week this year (strangely, nearly every single NU game was telecast nationally this year).

I think Pam Ward is probably the best female announcer/reporter in the business. She's pretty damn good. Still, and I hate to sound foolish and bigoted here, but I think even the worst male announcer is preferable to Ms. Ward.

It's basically going along with the John McEnroe Theorum -- he claims even at this age he could probably beat Serena Williams.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous SpanishMiguel said...


When Chelsea had 11 men on the field for 35 minutes they didn't produce a single scoring opportunity.

In fact, until Drogba came in the game, they had no offense whatsover. Essien's absence was cancelled out by Xavi and Giuly both unavailable for Barca.

I admittedly catch only five or six Chelsea matches a year, but every single one I see involves nothing happening, the ball bouncing around with no direction, one swift counter attack by chelsea, a goal, and then defense the rest of the game.

Barca's play is not merely "sexy" - they control the tempo of the game and have a few players who are liable to score at any time.

I watched last year's Champions matches and felt that Barcelona outplayed Chelsea considerably more than the scoreboard showed. I can't even recall a single decent scoring opportunity for Chelsea in the match at Camp Nou.

Great detail: The spanish announcers pronunciation of "Wright-Phillips" was exactly "Ray Feely."

At 5:56 PM, Blogger MDS said...

See, I disagree with you about Pam Ward. I think she's a damn good play-by-play woman, and I'd take her over a lot of the play-by-play men. I actually think she's kind of self-conscious about being a woman in a man's game, and that works to her advantage. Most of the play-by-play guys spout off opinions, and frankly, I don't need their opinions. I can form my own opinions. What I need from play-by-play people is basic information like which substitutes have come in, when a team is in its nickel package, etc. I think Ward knows that men won't take her seriously if she spouts opinions, so she doesn't even try. Sticking to the basic information makes her one of the best in the business.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger ahren said...

"Dude, he may be a programmer but he's cool as hell in my book."

shutup. we're cool.


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