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Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Or a case of cross-cultural unintended communications?

Regardless, look the official logo for the World Cup in Brazil and tell me that isn’t a face-palm:

That’s just marvelous. Brazil’s contribution to bad logo design. 😀

PS: If anyone happens by this cobwebby corner of the Internet, is the face-palm a gesture of embarrassment in Brazil? Or is this something a Brazilian would just not have noticed?

PPS: Once again, the embedded tweet has trouble displaying. If you don’t see it, try reloading, or just click the link.

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Go, Broncos

49ers-logo

Well, that was disappointing. After a house-afire start, sacking Seahawks’ QB Wilson and forcing and recovering a fumble, my beloved 49ers went on to lose, 23-17. The Seattle Seahawks, lead by former U$C coach Pete Carroll (who left the school on the hook for all the NCAA violations that occurred during his tenure there as head coach), will go to the Super Bowl to face the Denver Broncos.

Go, Broncos.

Let’s be honest, the Seahawks deserved to win: they played better, especially in the 4th quarter when we turned the ball over three times. And on that last one, I really have to wonder why they ever called that play, when there was plenty of time to call a timeout and come up with a plan of attack over 2-3 plays. The desperate shot to the endzone could have been saved for last.

Still, this is the toughest we’ve ever played them in Seattle and a sign of progress. In three years under Harbaugh, we’ve been to three NFC Championships, winning one, and one trip to the Super Bowl. For any 49er fan with a functioning memory that can recall the rotten days under Singletary, Nolan, and Erickson, the last three years have been a remarkable turnaround. And, at the end, we had a good chance to win the game, in spite of the horrid officiating.

No, I’m not saying the refs threw the game to Seattle. Again, they beat us. But many of the calls were terrible and at least one, which should have been a “roughing the kicker” penalty, undoubtedly influenced the course of the game. The crew tonight was incompetent.

Nor has officiating been a problem in only this game. Many times during the year in many different games, we’ve seen awful calls that were obviously wrong. The NFL needs to do something about this, because it’s hurting the game, itself. And it needs to be done this off-season.

Anyway, that’s now over and done with and, as my friend Alfred likes to say, we’ll allow ourselves a day or two to mourn, then get ready for next year.

As for Super Bowl Sunday… Go Broncos!*

*(No, no divisonal or conference loyalty. Not when Pete Carroll is coaching.)

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satire sports football

Well, first thing I’d do is move the kickoff line back to the 30 and then rescind the Emmitt Smith “No taking off your helmet when celebrating rule.” Things like that turn the NFL into the No Fun League.

But, my major project would be divisional realignment, trying to keep divisions as compact as possible, which is hard out West, and to take advantage of what seem to be natural rivalries. One thing I’d do is eliminate the Conferences, which are just holdovers of the NFL-AFL merger. Instead we’d have eight divisions of four teams each. The eight division winners plus the four teams with the best records that did not make the playoffs would enter the “tournament.” I’m sure some sort seeding plan could be worked out, but I’m too lazy. 🙂

Anyway, here are my suggested divisions, with their startlingly original names.

Pacific Division
Seattle
San Francisco
Oakland
San Diego

Southwest Division
Arizona
Denver
Dallas
Houston

South Central Division
New Orleans
Tennesee
St. Louis
Kansas City

North Central Division
Minnesota
Green Bay
Detroit
Chicago

North Division
Cincinatti
Cleveland
Buffalo
Indianapolis

Southeast Division
Tampa
Miami
Jacksonville
Atlanta

East Division
Charlotte
Washington
Baltimore
Pittsburgh

Northeast Division
New England
NY Giants
NY Jets
Philadelphia

I would rather have had Pittsburgh in the “North Division,” because the rivalries there feel natural, but then placing Indianapolis becomes a problem. Regardless, this is my gift to you, Commissioner Goodell.

Just make sure I get credit. 😉

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satire sports football

It’s no secret that I despise the University of Spoiled Children, so you can imagine my glee when I read that head coach Lane Kiffen had been fired after another big loss, this time 62-41 at Arizona State. ($C alums are notoriously ruthless with the coaches.)

But, it’s the way they fired him that has me laughing out loud: outside the terminal at LAX, and then kicking him off the team bus, leaving him to find his own way home.

Well played, Pat Haden, well played. 😀

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Introducing the UroClub!

Uro-club

Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is.

Ew.

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Yeah, you can say I was cheering last night:

Niners-Packers

Just call it “Harbaugh’s vindication.” 🙂

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It’s not my style to praise thugs and possible murderers:

On the day Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis announced he would be retiring after this season, my thoughts drifted back to a bitterly cold winter day in a cemetery in Akron, Ohio.

That’s where Richard Lollar was buried and where his bespectacled grandmother, Joyce Lollar, showed me his grave more than a decade ago.

As I wrote then, she crunched through the snow with leafless trees etched against a gray Midwestern skyline. A frozen drizzle fell from above. With her shoe, she scraped the snow and the ice and the dirt from her grandson’s grave site and said a short prayer that ended with: “We miss you, Richard. We love you.”

(…)

Joyce raised Richard Lollar, who was left dead in the street in the early morning hours on Jan. 31, 2000, — a few hours after the Rams defeated the Titans in one of the most thrilling Super Bowls in history. And then came one of the most chilling post-Super Bowl scenes in history. A brawl outside the Cobalt Lounge, an upscale Atlanta nightclub, turned into gory spectacle of steely knives, mangled flesh and a river of blood. The 24-year-old Lollar and his 21-year-old boyhood buddy from Akron, Jacinth Baker, were both stabbed multiple times in the heart, the knives savagely twisted into their vital organs. The killers knew exactly what they were doing.

Lewis, his two good friends — Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting — and nine others sped away from the crime scene in a 40-foot Lincoln limousine. Lewis, Oakley and Sweeting were charged with the killings and cleared in a controversial court decision that still leaves many questions unanswered.

At the very least, Lewis knows what happened that night. Until he comes clean and owns up to his part, he can go to Hell.

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Brazilian Dwarf Soccer:

Courtesy of The Jawa Report, which also has the highlight reel from the Lingerie Football League. You’re welcome.

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I may have to create a new category for animal athletic events: first we had Cowboy Monkey Rodeo, then Wiener Dog Races, and now… Bunny Dressage!

That rabbits like to hop is hardly a secret. But now European rabbit enthusiasts have harnessed their bunnies’ natural talents to create a new spectator sport… rabbit showjumping.

Invented in Sweden in the early Eighties, Kaninhop involves bunnies bouncing their way around courses consisting of several small jumps of varying height and length.

Snoopy, a black-and-white bunny from the German city of Jena, is the star of the local Kaninhop club – and he makes spends his days leaping over all manner of barricades, jumps and rails.

‘Snoopy can jump 60 centimeters (about 2 feet) high,’ proud Claudia Fehlen, the 23-year-old founder of the Jena bunny hopping club, told Der Spiegel.

‘And he has done well in tournaments. He came in second once, and third another time.’

Over the past few decades to sport has spread far from its Scandinavian homeland and clubs have now sprung up in several other European countries, the U.S., Canada and even Japan.

And yes, we have video:

Be sure to click through to see photos of Snoopy and his pals in action.

What’s next? Armadillo bowling?

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At least at the secondary school level:

Hah! I bet the opposing coach was just steaming. 🙂

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A capoeira fighter who must think Hong Kong action movies are documentaries gets what he deserves in a momemnt of comedy gold:

I hope his friends stopped laughing before he woke up.  🙂

PS: Anyone familiar with the opening of the old Dick van Dyke show will know what I mean when I call this an “ottoman moment.”

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I’m not a great fan of baseball, though I do like the Minor Leagues, but I have to admit that this is one of the most entertaining sports moments I’ve seen in a long time:

Sign that man up for the gymnastics team, too!

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WTF was that??

I think new GM Allen would be insane not to fire the lot of you after that stunt.

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Some of these I quibble with and some I can’t say one way or the other (I’m not much of a baseball fan and I lost interest in basketball several years ago), but Number One is spot on.

And that picture – hah!

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Sure it was only the Hall of Fame game, the first and most meaningless of the NFL pre-season games, but, still it was football, and the regular season is only a month away.

And that is a good thing.

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Now what am I going to do tonight?

 

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So, I’ve just turned off tonight’s Saints-Packers game. The second half turned into a blowout and it lost interest for me.

One thing struck me about tonight’s commentary: Tirico, Kornheiser, and Jaworski talked again and again about the controversy surrounding the decision to let Brett Favre go to the Jets this last summer.

“Controversy?” Hello? What none of the guys would mention, what no one on any network seems willing to mention, is that Brett Favre became a huge pain in the backfield because of his drama-queen behavior. How long’s it been? Three years since he started the “Will he or won’t he retire” dance? Four years? Five? He played with the Packers and his fans as if they were a yo-yo.

And then, when he finally does decide to retire, the NFL and the networks honor him with a year long paean to his greatness, including seemingly endless video of his wife singing his praises. With the end of the season, we all bid him a fond and well-deserved farewell.

So, of course, that summer, he says “not really!” I mean, honest to Pete, after the team has begun their transition to Aaron Rodgers, Favre comes back and says he wants to play. You just know that had to be causing all sort of disruption in the locker room, divided loyalties and whatnot. And what about Rodgers? What’s that supposed to do to his confidence thinking he’s the one, then he may not be?  And all the plans management had made for the future, planning on life without Favre?

Feh. To Brett and his ego, that doesn’t matter. It really is all about a little kid who just can’t grow up.

And, to come back to my original point, not one person in the TV media has the guts to call him on it.

Cowards.

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Hope in a loss?

Tonight my 49ers lost 29-24 to the Arizona Cardinals, yet I’m not upset. Why?

Because, for the first time in six losses, they actually made a game of it and had a chance to win in the last couple of seconds. Yes, the players blew it at the end and Coach Singletary’s call wasn’t the smartest one, but they played hard, beat the crap out of the Cardinals, and left the NFC West leaders sweating bullets until the very end.

And I think all credit goes to the new coach, Mike Singletary. He’s demanded they play with passion, toughness, and a will to accept nothing but winning, and it looks like he’s getting through to them.

Next week, we play the Rams, our ancient arch-rivals. They’re even worse than we are, so we should be able to beat them if we play anything like we played tonight. If we do, or even if we lose but still play hard, I’ll start thinking tonight wasn’t a fluke, but instead a trend.

It would be a nice change after all these years.

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Boo on the NFL

Well, what do you know? Opening day of the football season, yet the NFL doesn’t care if fans on the West Coast get to see the first half of the game.

Or am I the only fellow here who works until 5:00 PM?

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