Sports Americans Don’t Care About


bendtner.jpg

See that? That’s Niklas Bendtner. And he’s white. And the Tottenham defense—cough*oxymoron*cough—has managed to make him look like the Michael Jordan of Denmark (Yes, it’s Engligh football, but Arsenal’s Bendtner is Danish).

Really, has anyone of Danish origin ever gotten that much air? (more…)

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mahmoud.jpgAs I steal liberally from the New York Times…

“This is a great time for Iraqis, and a small reward for their suffering from killings and displacement. This is a message to the entire world that Iraqis want peace, good, and building their country. This message is opposite to all the agendas working against the goals of Iraqis. The Iraqi politicians have failed in unifying Iraqis, but football did that.” —Akram Al-Ghaderi, 33, journalist.

As promised—and I know how many of you intended to hold me to this—I managed to crawl out of bed early this morning to watch the Asian Cup final between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Okay, I slept in a little and missed the entire first half. Fortunately, it was still knotted at 0-0 when I arrived at the pub. Even the sport’s most ardent supporters have to admit it’s a major flaw when you can miss half the event and still not really miss anything.

From what I saw, Iraq created more chances and were deserving of the win. Still, Iraq was so shaky toward the end of the match that its defense was registering on the Richter scale and if there had been three or four more minutes of stoppage time the Saudis would have found a way to equalize.

But the match itself wasn’t nearly as entertaining as my watching experience. (more…)

spic3.jpgThere are all kinds of ways to make this political. I mean, the Iraqis can’t even enjoy their Asian Cup semi-final win without another round of Car Bomb Derby breaking out (and incidentally, “Soccer Victory Lifts Iraq; Bombs Kill 50” is the clubhouse leader for the Surreal Headline of 2007 award); and there will be no irony lost on the fact that their opponent in the Asian Cup final is the country that actaully sent 15 of the 19 hijackers into our buildings.

But ultimately it’s just sport—22 men, one ball, no hands. And athletes at this level, they aren’t political. They play for their country, but they do not die for it.

(more…)

mcbride.jpgOr at least nobody cares about soccer according to almost every ESPN talking head over the last week. And if ESPN says it, it must be true.

The actual truth is that pretty much every ESPN property had at least one segment on soccer last week and with good reason as David Beckham arrived in America.

There’s not much more to say about Beckham that hasn’t already been blithered about, but if you need a complete and accurate rundown of what his arrival really means look here.

As for the soccer bashing… almost every bit of it over the last week can be more or less translated as: “Beckham is in American but nobody cares about soccer in America.”

Really, then why is it the lead segment on PTI? Why is Jay Mariotti pretending to be knowledgeable about soccer on Around The Horn? If nobody cares about it in this country then why are people talking about it on the primary sports outlet in this country? When you truly don’t care about something, it’s not the first thing out of your mouths (the WNBA doesn’t come to mind). (more…)

hockey_in_july.jpgThat’s a lie. It’s actually just time consuming. So unless it’s your job, you kind of have to really want to write about something to make the effort. That would explain the long gap between posts. Well that and my new love for Kige Ramsey.

Anyway, I’ve almost written several posts but 1) I only kind of care enough about any of them to take the time and 2) Only one of the ideas lends itself to much humor. So, rather than start sounding like George Will, I punted. Really. Last night I worked on a puzzle while watching the All Star game. It’s pretty great, the second I’m done I just put it back into exactly the same state as when I started. My attempts to combat entropy are futile.

Universe 1 – Precious Roy 0

Here’s a list of what I almost wrote about (Or, alternatively, find out why I’ve got hockey in July for artwork): (more…)

usmnt.jpgThe least surprising thing about last night’s US v. Argentina match was the final score, a 4-1 pasting.

We sent Kasey Keller and a bunch of kids with little international experience. They had to open the Copa against an Argentinian squad that clearly aims to win this thing: Messi, Tevez, Crespo, Mascherano, Riquelme. I don’t know if we’ve ever produced a player as good as any one of those guys.

I can’t comment that much on the match because I saw all of about 30 seconds of it. The bar I was going to go watch it at had the incorrect start time listed on its Website. I went to dinner with friends hoping to get out in time to catch the second half, only to learn that by the time we sat down to eat, it was already halftime. (more…)

dufaux.jpgMeet Laurent Dufaux. Your Tour de France winner.

From 1996.

Dufaux actually finished fourth in the tour that year, five and a half minutes behind winner Bjarne Riis.

However, Riis came clean today (May 25, 2007) that he rode dirty during the Tour. In addition to EPO, Riis admitted to using cortisone and human growth hormone and noted, “The only effect I had was that I rode faster.” See, folks. Drugs work. (more…)