Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My mind continues to be blown

I'll admit that after getting their asses kicked by Costa Rica, sleepwalking past El Salvador, and getting rocked by Italy and Brazil I was pretty down on the US Men's National Team. I'm by no means a soccer expert but even I could tell that their tactics were ridiculous, that they were playing with no emotion (outside of scared, perhaps), and that guys were out of position. They were headed into what everyone assumed would be the last game in South Africa as part of the Confederations Cup and what many hoped would be Bob Bradley's last game. What a difference a few days makes.

Headed into the Egypt game they basically needed a 3-0 win combined with a 3-0 Brazil win over Italy. Pretty much impossible for a team that had, to that point, been outscored 6-1. Well, they got exactly what they needed and advanced to the semis against the #1 team in the world, Spain. Spain had just set the world-record for wins in a row (15) and were tied with Brazil for the longest unbeaten streak (35). They had crushed the three teams they played and had two of the most fearsome goal-scorers in the tournament. Well, we got lucky against Egypt but against a good team it will be more of the same.

Oh, how wrong I was. I was fortunate enough to get to keep an eye on the game thanks to a boss that likes soccer and ESPN360, one of the greatest inventions known to man. They came out playing with a purpose and right from the start you could tell they weren't going to back down. Jozy Altidore, one of the Americans' best young players, is under contract with Villareal, a Spanish team, except he never gets to play for them so it was extra amazing when he muscled his club teammate out of the way to put the first goal into the net.

Spain came back firing and the much-maligned back four played the best game they had in ages. They were everywhere inside heading out Spanish crosses or getting a toe on the ball to disrupt passes. Anything that they let Spain get by them Howard was right there to stop. Just an amazing performance when I thought they were way overmatched against Torres and Villa.

Clint Dempsey redeemed himself from some shaky play earlier in the tournament by putting in the insurance goal off of a really dumb decision to not clear that ball. Kind of a fortunate goal and I still don't know why the hell Donovan just won't shoot the fucking ball when he has it right there but, hey, it worked. So, probably one of the biggest wins in US history. I might rank the Mexico and Portugal wins in WC '02 a little higher as far is in my lifetime goes but there aren't many bigger than this one.

Next up they have the winner of Brazil-South Africa in the finals. Brazil whipped them once already but this team is flying high so it might be fun to get another crack at them. After that the B-team goes to South America for the Gold Cup then it's a huge qualifier in Mexico City, a place where the US has never won. Overall I like to see the team and sport get some buzz here as this was plastered over every sports website I saw. I really just like to see the team play like they should, with heart and an abandon that a team with no pressure should play like. After the Egypt win the team was pretty defensive about the (extremely minor compared to someplace like England or Brazil) criticism directed their way but if that's what it takes to get them to play like this I'm happy.

With all of my focus turned to this I'm kind of bummed I didn't get to pay much attention to, South Carolina's Republican governor, Mark Sanford's hilarious story. Earlier in the week someone there noticed, hey, where's the governor been? His aides, security detail, and wife were all like, uh, dunno. After a day, the aides said, uh, yeah, we talked to him, still not sure where he is. His wife, meanwhile, is dropping all kinds of comments about taking care of her kids and how he missed Father's Day. Then the aides changed the story into, he's hiking the Appalachian Trail (something I've always wanted to do but I guess I have a job that I can't just leave without telling somebody...). Then people are like, hey, here's his car at the Atlanta airport. Then his car mysteriously moves to a SC airport. Then he comes home today and, wouldn't you know it, he was down in Argentina having an affair.

Must have been a bad connection on the phone. Did he say "I'm hiking the Appalachian trail" or "I'm getting some Argentinian tail?" I'm just glad to see we have these "family values" Republicans like Mark Sanford and John Ensign and David Vitter and Larry Craig and, well, I could keep going but this is long enough. But I'm so glad we have these guys keeping the sanctity of marriage intact in the face of this merciless onslaught of teh gays. Heaven forbid we allow gay couples in committed relationships to obtain the benefits conferred with marriage. Why, something like that would devalue their own marriages which everyone knows is meant for a man and a woman and the man's Argentinian lover.

What makes this even more hilarious to me is that the Dobson/Falwell crowd begged Sanford to run for president because the selection they had to choose from was just so pitiful and they needed someone with real Christian values to carry their standard. Ha. Ha.

Unfortunately, the actions of scumbags like him affect his wife and children. In a refreshing change of pace she didn't have the tearful standing beside him press conference that so many of these wives choose to put themselves through and released this statement.

On a sidenote, in a hilariously predictable manner, Fox News identified this guy as a Democrat, something they've, uh, been known to do in the past anytime a Republican is facing some sort of scandal or horrible polling result. Yeah, but they're a legitimate news organization...


Blogger schlokhre said...

respect to US soccer...

why does anybody (or all kansans) still believe the republican party?

3:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home