Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sometimes the World Explains Soccer: The Definitive World Cup Preview

The World Cup is rapidly approaching-- it begins June 9th in South Africa-- and you might be feeling overwhelmed. It's a lot to tackle. Eight groups. Thirty two teams. So many questions. So much information to navigate. What kind of defensive system does Algeria use? Who will start in the Slovenian mid-field? Will David Suazo be able to play for the Honduras squad? What is the primary export of Honduras? Where is Honduras?


Do not fret, because G:TB's World Cup Preview will set you straight. It's not comprehensive and it's not objective, but it is certainly definitive and it is certainly American made. And there is enough insightful analysis to pique your interest and prepare you for the opening round.

If you need a reminder of exactly how huge the World Cup is, I highly recommend Franklin Foer's book How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization. Outside of America, soccer is more than a sport. It is an expression of culture and religion, and a reflection of politics, economy and national character. Unlike American professional sports, soccer is not an escape. It is not a high-scoring carnival, like basketball and football, or a whimsical national past time like baseball . . . no, soccer is life: frustrating, low scoring, unfair, and full of failure. And sometimes soccer explains the world, and sometimes, the world explains soccer.

Group A: South Africa; Mexico; Uruguay; France

Mexico

The team to beat in Group A. Their pace of their play is slow (some might even call them lazy) but watch for their daring breaks across the mid-line and into enemy territory. Will the backbreaking labor of mid-fielders Johnny Magallon and Andres Guardado be enough to establish the Mexicans on the opposition's turf? They must obtain a legitimate foothold there . . . off-sides, obstruction, and other illegal activities will devastate their plan of attack. If they can pull this off, a wealth of opportunities will abound. But Uruguay, France, and South Africa may erect an impenetrable wall of defense. If the Mexicans are driven back onto their own side of the pitch, then opportunity will be scant.

South Africa

The home team advantage isn't going to help much here, because South Africa doesn't play as a team. They need to learn to cooperate and not battle themselves. Things will work out better for them if the likes of Matthew Booth can learn to assist players like Katlego Mphela.

France

France eliminated Ireland from the World Cup in an especially rude manner, when Thierry Henry set up his game winning goal with a blatant hand ball. It is a play that was simply deemed uncouth, and Henry's reaction was equally elitist and ill-mannered. France will get what they deserve.


Group B Argentina; Nigeria; South Korea; Greece


Greece

The team to watch in this group. They have struggled since their 2004 Euro Championship, but they have a taste for victory, and they will go for broke in order to win. They may stretch themselves too thin offensively, far beyond their potential, and then there will be disaster, unless incredible defensive play can bail them out.

Group C England; United States; Algeria; Slovenia

England

England's success hinges on super-striker Wayne Rooney, who recently injured his groin, but he seems to be taking the injury with a stiff-upper lip and a stoic attitude. Look for the Brits to carry-on in this manner, with expansive wins over the smaller nations. They won't have trouble until the face the upstarts: the United States of America.

United States

It is inevitable, and it will come: the US is destined to battle Britain. Our melting pot of players-- ranging from Tim Howard to Landon Donovan to Jose Torres to Brian Ching to Oguchi Onyewu-- will give the English squad fits. Though the Americans play might be more primitive, their quick striking guerrilla style and camouflaged runs should prove to too radical for the hard-nosed British.


Group D: Germany; Australia; Serbia; Ghana

Germany

Precise and methodical passing will advance Germany deep into the tournament, where they will humorlessly decimate squads such as France, England, and the Netherlands. Their passionate and motivational coach, Joachim Low, has inspired fervent unity between players such as Hans-Jörg Butt, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller, Arne Friedrich, and Andreas Beck. They are a loyal and zealous group, but late in the tournament, once they have progressed far and done great damage, look for the US to step in and deal those Hun bastards . . . excuse me, the Germans . . . a loss in the final round.


Serbia

Radomic Antic, the Serbian coach, is another formidable figure. It is doubtful, however, that the Serbian squad can remain unified enough to give the Germans a problem. They might clean up Ghana or Australia, but then fragmentation among the ranks will do them in.

Group E: Netherlands; Denmark; Japan; Cameroon

Netherlands

Total football. Brilliant orange. Brilliant football. Total orange. It's best to watch the Dutch team in a dark cozy place in the heart of Amsterdam. On a big TV. The players leave wavy orange trails behind them on the screen. You can just sit and watch and laugh and eat and watch the patterns they make on the screen. Interlocking patterns. Dutch patterns. There is meaning in their patterns and sometimes I know what the meaning is, but then I always forget.

Japan

Take note of the Japanese Ronaldo, Takayuki Morimoto. He is young and incredibly dedicated. He will careen headlong straight at the goal with no thought other than to score, even if it means great personal loss. But if he fails, he is rumored to take things very, very hard.

Group F: Italy; Paraguay; New Zealand; Slovakia

Italy

With stars like Fabio Cannavaro and Andrea Pirlo, the defending champs seem to be the team to beat, but sometimes you need to research internationally to get the full story. Pak Ui-chun, the North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, has remarked that the Italian players are a "follicular disgrace" and the Pyongyang media calls them "emotionally feminine and overly defensive."

Group G Brazil; North Korea; Ivory Coast; Portugal

Brazil

Will Coach Dunga get Robinho, Durval, Juan, and Lucio to flow in synchronized rhythm? Or will it all be Kaka?

North Korea

Pyongyang media reports that this team is "the best the world has seen and will ever see and that they will prevail without follicular shame." But Vice premier Kwak Bom Gi, an ardent supporter of the national team, worries that the lack of "secret escape tunnels" from the South African stadiums might rattle some of the North Korean players.

Group H: Spain; Switzerland; Honduras; Chile

Spain

With loads of Premier League talent, Spain is obviously a threat to win it all, but they are not the fastest starters and sometimes by the middle of the match they can appear almost sleepy, as if they need a mid-game nap. But late in the game, there is no nation more vibrant and exciting.

Switzerland

No real identifiable style here. I predict that they tie every game.

That's it for now, but be on the lookout for more definitive World Cup analysis in the future. And if anyone questions the completely biased opinions you've received here at G:TB, you know what to tell them . . .

Uruguay.

137 comments:

TR said...

Nazi salutes and sweaty men in their underwear. Seems about right.

zman said...

This confirms my opinions on soccer.

And this confirms my opinions on Idaho.

http://tinyurl.com/y7xn8z6

Igor said...

I see the French surrendering early.

Igor said...

And the Brazilians are going to get waxed.

Dave said...

there were so many ways to go for each country-- i think my favorite is spain.

zman said...

Don't underestimate the efficiency of the Japanese squad. Although they sometimes get stuck in "full-throttle" mode, causing them to crash and burn.

Geoff said...

This post really could have used a Greasetruck song.

Dave said...

no, actually my favorite is the netherlands.

perhaps we could all write stereotypical close-ups for every country, like we each took a sport for the winter olympics . . .

Dave said...

that's the first request for a "greasetruck" song ever.

zman said...

Not true! I repeatedly requested more Greasetruck movies with songs about single-celled organisms. I love me some amoebae.

Igor said...

I love hearing each country's cheers and songs in the World Cup. My favorite: "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight -- Slovenia, Slovakia, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated! We're gonna do it!"

Dave said...

that is true, zman, you have expressed your love of "greasetruck" songs, videos, and lyrics, but i discounted you because you are obviously insane.

i listened to "mos dub" yesterday, i love the music player in the post.

i am going to get to work on a cheer for "uruguay."

Geoff said...

File this one under "Moments when I'm super duper proud to work in Republican politics." Here's an ad where a Democrat candidate in Alabama is mocked openly for expressing a belief in evolution.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJG-7s1e5eM&feature=player_embedded

zman said...

Parts of the Bible aren't true?!

Geoff said...

"Some" parts, Andrew...other parts are unimpeachable fact.

zman said...

Baloney. My buddy Bob Sacamano was swallowed by a whale just last week.

TJ said...

"Albania, Albania, you border on the Adriatic...

Your land is mostly mountainous, and your chief export is chrome."

TR said...

If you want to learn a lot more about the vagaries of religion than you care to know, I recommend Christopher Hitchens' "God is Not Great." It's a step-by-step takedown of almost every closely held belief of every religion. I put it down after reading 2/3 because it was such a massive bummer.

Or you can read Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven for a great takdown of Mormons. Although you don't really need the back story on that religion to mock them.

Geoff said...

I saw Christopher Hitchens at O'Hare a couple weeks ago. If the suit he was wearing cost more than $35, he was ripped off. I think it was made of felt. And he was unshaven, had not combed his hair since waking up and he was wearing black nurses sneakers.

Igor said...

Life's not so peachy after you disprove the existence of God.

Dave said...

i love "under the banner of heaven." mormonism is awesome because the miracles happened in the near past and possibly in your neighborhood.

any day now, you might dig up some golden tablets with revelations about polygamy. this is more fun than all those ancient scrolls in the middle east.

Dave said...

and another thing, when i found MY religion, other people are going to get crucified, not me.

zman said...

Isn't Hitchens British? I thought it was impossible for Brits to own bad suits.

Marls said...

Zman - I work with a lot of Brits. The suit thing goes one way or the other. They are either perfectly tailored or they look like lumpy steve after a three day bender.

Dan said...

they also seem to like the elongated dress shoe. ever notice that? the brits and many of those from far away east.

Dan said...

my wife gets "People" magazine. on the cover yesterday was your man Bret Michaels. (i'm not speaking to anyone specifically, i just like to say "your man") two pics actually, one of which showed him in his hospital bed, looking to be unconscious, wearing his....bandana. groan.

zman said...

Was he wearing elongated dress shoes? Or a soccer jersey?

Dan said...

he was in a hospital smock - but it was an Ed Hardy hospital smock...pretty dope

TR said...

He wears the bandanna b/c he is bald as can be. I bet he made a pretty penny letting himself get photographed. I'm surprised Daisy De La Hoya didn't make a cameo.

Igor said...

He's bald to the bone. A bald mamma jamma. He's Bald, Bald Leroy Brown, baldest man in the whole damn town. His wallet is the one that says "Bald Motherfucker" on it.

Geoff said...

Sounds like someone's career is humming along just fine, thank you...

Comedian Damon Wayans signs copies of his new novel, "Red Hats" (Borders, Largo, MD 7 pm).

zman said...

I just got an email from Live Nation alerting me that, amongst other things, Limp Bizkit is appearing at the Comcast Center on May 15. I'm not sure if I'm more disturbed that Limp Bizkit is back together, or if there's sufficient interest in their reunion to warrant putting on a show at a 20,000 person capacity venue.

zman said...

"Ed Hardy hospital smock" and "pretty dope" inspired AWL. Did Daisy DLH get her own show by making a sex tape with bald Bret?

TR said...

Limp Bizkit opened for Metallica at Giants Stadium in 2003 and I had the misfortune of seeing them. Metallica fans booed Durst throughout his weak, weak set.

Dan said...

is no one here follicley challenged, besides igor? i've got some thinness up there, and a spot that could probably use a little paint job if i'm being truthful. please don't hate me b/c i'm balding.

Geoff said...

I believe Marls starting balding sometime during the fourth season of Family Ties.

Igor said...

A man evolves, he gets taller with less hair.

I am Modern Man. When I want to see what my primitive ancestry may have looked like, I take a gander at Rob.

Igor said...

Ah, that fourth season of Famaily Ties -- the last good one before the show jumped the shark with the addition of Gheorghe mockeree Brian Bonsall as Andrew.

When did G:TB jump the shark? Maybe when some of its dipstick writers started changing their names?

Perhaps long before. There are G:TB purists out there who say it hasn't been the same since it was just TJ's insane ramblings on news of the weird, Nats updates, and Barry Manilow reviews.

zman said...

Or maybe "As man"?

My hairline is rapidly approaching Roger Sterling territory.

Geoff said...

You know, Meredith Baxter-Burney was pretty hot back then...I can't believe she ended up being a lesbian. If almost anyone else in the cast had come out as a lesbian, I would have found that easier to believe...and I include Michael Gross on that list.

Dan said...

maybe greasetruck can do a remake of the theme song..."what would we do baby....without uu uu uuu sss? sha la la la"

Mark said...

I'm pretty sure I'm the baldest of the G:TB staff. Started losing my hair at 19 and committed to full shaving of the head at 21. Of course, my Mom has 5 brothers who all went bald before 28 so I always knew it was coming. I make up for my lack of hair up top with ridiculous/huge beards though. Not unlike Geoff. Though, our beards and reasons are entirely different.

Mark said...

In other news, after 2 days of devouring pain killers I can see why people become addicted to them. Not because they're good but because they're impossibly weak. I'm probably 4X over the recommended dosage and I'm still pretty together. And I'm only 5'10" 170 lbs. Can't imagine how many I'd have to take if I was typical pro athlete size.

zman said...

Carl effing Pavano is back from the dead.

Geoff said...

My beard is named Leslie.

rob said...

i'm going to watch the bruins/flyers game at a bar in philly. if you don't hear from me after 8:00, please send help.

Dave said...

rob, what are you doing in philly?

i think i'm into a family ties cover.

my hair is making a comeback right now-- by obft-- with my stache and feathered hair-- i am going to swing.

Dave said...

and did anyone notice my "jump the shark" double reference to the previous gheorghe follicular clampdown post. today might have been the day.

zman said...

G:TB hasn't jumped the shark. According to Wikipedia, "Jumping the shark is an idiom used to describe the moment of downturn for a previously successful enterprise." I posit that G:TB was never successful enough to suffer a shark-jumping downturn.

TJ said...

Mark, tell me you saw LeBron's "only three bad games in seven years" quote?

Mark said...

Dave-- I don't care for your negative attitude. Actually, that's probably just the drugs talking. I love negative attitudes.

TJ said...

This place jumps the shark when we add Ted McGinley to the editorial staff.

And someone better call Jerry - he needs to get the Halak-smith to Pittsburgh, stat.

Mark said...

Oh, I did. If I wasn't on IR right now I'd be penning a post on LBJ. His performance last night was terrible but is arrogant attitude in the post game presser may have been worse. I hate to say it, but I'm really starting to develop a disdain for him.

TJ said...

Mark, Skip Bayless and Ted went from driving a LeBron hater hatchback to needing a Boeing 747 for their new compatriots. And frankly, after that performance last night, I'm sitting in first class.

Mark said...

I never hated LeBron, just thought he had more flaws than most were willing to acknowledge and that he had been a bit prematurely anointed. What pushed me farther was the need (it seemed) for so many to be apologists on his part. There were some red flags, imo.

And lately, they're much brighter than before.

TJ said...

I have no idea why, but Jay-Z and Eminem are going to be in the espn2 baseball booth after this commercial.

Mark said...

A-Rod was the quimby in their three man soul train this afternoon.

zman said...

Quimby + three man soul train --> AHL.

zman said...

I feel like quimby should be a z call. Maybe it already is, if you're playing word-association and TJ is involved.

TJ said...

It seems the Yankees have called up Cleavon Little to be a utility OF.

Shlara said...

Um, the 8th seeded Habs are probably going to the Eastern Conference FInals.

Wow.

TR said...

Z-Man: Pavano was back from the dead last year as well, unfortunately.

Family Ties fans: I'm pretty sure Bonsall wasn't until much later. Season 4 sounds about when Tom Hanks or Geena Davis had their runs.

zman said...

These "What is iPad" commercials could also be "What is zman's schwantz" commercials. Thin, powerful, lasts all day, goes anywhere.

Mark said...

When did Malorie's BF Nick join the Family Ties cast? I liked that guy.

TJ said...

I believe he was from Saratoga Springs, NY. He was a big deal on local TV when he showed up on the Ties.

Shlara said...

Penalty Shot!
I haven't seen one of those in AGES!

zman said...

I just learned that the zwoman engaged in dwarf tossing. She threw Beetlejuice.

zman said...

She just pulled out Beetlejuice's business card. www.jollydwarf.com. Ridiculous.

rob said...

dave - i'm in philly for work through friday. and the bruins are about to cost me a lot of money.

Dave said...

you're betting on hockey?

that's like betting on pinball.

Geoff said...

That's nothing. Last weekend Swint laid $50 on which one of my kids the priest was going to baptize first.

Igor said...

TR, you'll note that I said Season 4 was the last good season before Bonsall ruined it. The aforementioned, afore-hot Meredith Baxter Birney's character Elyse delivered the baby in a classic two-parter in the middle of Season 3. While the episode dated itself a little with a Duran Duran reference, it still holds up.

So little brother Andy was a baby for the rest of Season 3 and all of Season 4. Miraculously, Andy grew several years in that off-season. (In an unrelated coincidence, in 1986, I, too, grew seven inches, effectively ending my baseball career.) Bonsall appeared in Season 5, sending Fonzie water-skiing.

Nick appeared in Season 4. It's worth noting that the series only went 7 seasons, bowing out with good ratings before too much recycling and embarrassment. Cosby went 8, Cheers went 11, even Night Court went 9.

Igor said...

And here's a shot of one of the 1980's Milf of the Decade finalists. Teejay was always partial to Ma'am from Webster, but I'm an Elyse Keaton guy.

Geoff said...

You could put that hair on Byron Dorgan and I'd get a little fired up.

Dan said...

Nick. Good people that guy...a very talented artist to boot.
I often give my wife the old - "hey....VALERIE!" in Nick fashion

Dave said...

igor, did you remember all that or use google?

all i can remember from that show is tom hanks drinking vanilla extract, michael j. fox on speed, and the dad saying, "there's a kangaroo in my living room."

and mallory, obviously. the rest of you freudian perverts were chekcing out the mom? weird.

Dan said...

Courteney Cox had a stint there at Family Ties also.
What would we do baby, without us?

Dan said...

sha la la la

Geoff said...

Alex being hooked on amphetamines for studying purposes was a winner, as was the "very special" episode where Alex's friend died and he spends the whole show speaking to a therapist.

Geoff said...

I believe Johnny Mathis sung the theme song.

zman said...

I believe he installed a lawn sprinkler system while hopped up on speed.

zman said...

I mean Alex P. Keaton, not Johnny Mathis. Or Terrance Mathis.

TR said...

The kangaroo episode, Tracy Scoggins, run and Tina Yothers as a valley girl were all great. But we're ignoring the greatness that was the Skippy Handleman era. He was Urkel before Urkel was Urkel and before Dwayne Wayne was Urkel (and before that weird dude from W&M who everybody called Urkel was Urkel).

I'll never forget the episode where Alex was rushing a fraternity that surprisingly decided to let Skippy in as well. The brothers told Alex they let one person in as a joke every year and then haze them out. Alex took a stand for Skippy and quit. Good for you, Alex. And good for America for learning that lesson.

Dan said...

those frat guys...they're all so fratty.
how 'bout arnold from brady bunch? he was kind of urkle'ish....that's way old school

zman said...

You know what's old school? Sam the butcher bringin' Alice the meat.

TJ said...

Or fred flintstone drivin' round with bald feet.

Dan said...

nice rhym'n teej...
yeah z - alice played all sweet & innocent, but i bet she was a tomcat in the sack.

zman said...

Maybe I'm weird but it never occurred to me to think about Alice in a romantic way.

Igor said...

I thought it was Oliver on the Brady Bunch. And Irwin "Skippy" Handleman was tops. Dave is sort of our Skippy here. Weird misfit, lives at the blog nextdoor, hot for Mallory.

And yes, Rob, we already know you see yourself as an Alex P.

Dan said...

Oliver! Correct you are old chap, my mistake.
I must have been thinking of Oliver from Fast Times....
"Hope you had a hell of a piss Arnold!"

Shlara said...

AWL from me for the Alice/Sam comment.

And I'm having a crappy day.

So, thanks Z Man!

zman said...

Glad to be of service. To clarify, I changed my name to "zman" as an homage of sorts to Adrian Zmed. So it's pronounced as one syllable.

Dave said...

i'm fourteen years old and hot for mallory . . .

you're fourteen years old and hot for her future lesbian mom.

who's the weird misfit?

didn't oliver make them the millionth visitor or something?

Mark said...

I'm a little bummed that some of our commenters seem to have missed out on Beasties reference. I'm not bummed to be off pain meds though.

Road to recovery...looking good.

Igor said...

Neither Dave nor Rob nor I missed the reference. That album came out when we were living in shambles at age 19, and we etched it in our ears and brains by playing it ad nauseum for the better part of the year.

Very big argument we had about the ethnicity of the sampled lady singer in "Shadrach." I believe, for all my adamant arguing, I was wrong. Unsurprisingly.

zman said...

Glad you're off the meds so you won't wind up sleepin on the streets in a cardboard box.

zman said...

I'm a sucker for sample science. Who's the singer?

TR said...

Paul's Boutique was/is brilliant. No idea why it didn't get as much acclaim as Licensed to Ill. Maybe it was too true to hip-hop and not "white" enough for middle America. By "white" I mean a meat-head white-boy party anthem like Fight For Your Right.

And I'm partial to Egg Man over Shadrach, although both are sick.

Dave said...

those rhymes are so engraved in my head i thought it was just a matter of course when you guys were quoting them. i don't even think of them as references. i wish i could remember one thing i studied from sophomore year . . . my mind is kinda flowing like an oil projector/ had to get up and get the Jimmy protector.

Mark said...

Better off drinkin' than smokin' rocks.

I didn't think you missed it, Ig. Shlara and Dan seemed to have it skirt past them though.

TR said...

And if we're going to bring up random Beasties references from our W&M days, how about this one:

Zman, Garrett P and I stuffed in the backseat of Kyle Williams' car, with Shem riding shotgun, all of us drinking while driving to a rave in Virginia Beach in 1992. We were chugging beers, while Kyle and Shem were sucking down a pint of rum while driving 75 on I-64. Intelligent move by all parties.

Surprisingly, we were as successful scoring ladies as we were scoring narcotics (not at all). But we did get to hear the techno-remix of the Sesame Street theme while we were there. So we have that going for us. Zman and I at a rave. In 1992. So ridiculous it's comical.

zman said...

Point of order. The "car" was a white Plymouth Laser. RS, not turbo. Natch. There was nary enough space for TR's massive thighs and Garrett's lanky limbs in the back seat, so as the smallest guy in the crew I rode in the effing hatchback. Terrible road trip.

TJ said...

Johnny Ryall.

Who hasn't gone to sleep by falling down on their face?

zman said...

And I've read a slim treatise about why Paul's Boutique didn't catch on too well at the time. TR is correct that your typical rap/metal meathead didn't appreciate the move away from License to Ill. Black folks apparently viewed the album as a ripoff of 3 Feet High and Rising, which also has an insane number of random samples. They also apparently viewed the Beastie Boys with distrust/disdain. So the two big hiphop demographics - License to Ill meatheads and black people - wanted nothing to do with Paul's Boutique. Hence its initial commercial failure.

Dan said...

yes - definitely missed the reference. guilty.

Dave said...

and thus "paul's boutique" is popular with the one demographic that doesn't account for much of anything: W&M nerds and future fans of gheorghe. it's a wonder they had a career after that album.

Mark said...

Spin did a cool oral history of the Beastie Boys about 8 years ago that covered a lot of the reasons why Paul's Boutique wasn't initially successful. That's where I found out that Egg Man sprang from their time staying at a hotel in LA where they would egg club goers and randoms walking the LA streets.

In my opinion, Boutique was also a little too intricate for most most hip hop fans at that time. That, combined with the black fan's views on the Beastie's as just bunch of punk white kids trading on the success of rap didn't allow it any Boutique any shot at success.

Mark said...

I know TJ thinks I hate LeBron but I'm actually a harsh critic of his because of all the talent he possesses and all the potential his career has. In fact, I remember exactly where I was when he made his NBA debut (my apartment in Tampa) and where I was when he throttled the Pistons with his 48 special (my last night in my house as a single man before moving in with Erika). Shit, I even remember where I was when LeBron hit his Game 2 game winner against the Magic in last year's Eastern Conference Finals (drinking with Vitas at his house). And I'm positive I'll remember where I was tonight on what looks to be the defining moment of the defining player of this NBA era.

If you can't tell, I'm unbelievably jacked for Game 6.

TJ said...

I fully expect 40+, 10+ and 10+ from him tonight, but it still doesn't excuse his Game 5 no show.

And not for nothing, but the faux King is 0-3 in elimination games.

Mark said...

Good point about LBJ in elimination games, TJ. Further support for my iffy feeling about his clutchness, or lack thereof.

And Mo Williams seems too jacked/intent on proving his worth early on.

Mark said...

Cleveland's using baseline back cuts to relieve ball pressure very effectively so far.

And KG's been killing Jamison these last couple games.

TJ said...

What do you think KG was telling pudgy Davis right there?

TJ said...

Listen, when it's 2010 and Ray Allen is finishing like THAT on the break, it might not be your night.

Mark said...

In what universe is Mo Williams blocking that shot?

And I'll say it again, Rajon Rondi should just change his name to Rondo.

Mark said...

TJ-- put up a new post at halftime. I'm tired of scrolling down.

TJ said...

I'd love to but I'm on a blackberry and it's impossible to do. Can't your magic iPhone hook us?

Mark said...

My feelings on Ray Allen have changed more dramatically over the last 4 years than any NBA star in my lifetime.

And when did Tony Allen get good? I didn't even like him at Ok St.

Jerry said...

Sports Guy actually got the chant thing to work. This feels like some kind of tipping point for him.

TJ said...

I didn't think it was possible, but Rasheed even manages to take charges lethargically.

Mark said...

Mo Williams, way to suck dicknose.

Rob's tweeting at me. G:TB is humming on multiple platforms.

Mark said...

I hate what passes for a charge these days. You used to have to earn them.

/grumpy old man

Jerry said...

Nice red K-Mart Nets jersey under the basket.

Varejao makes a HUGE difference. HUGE.

Mark said...

Are the Celtics the least tattooed team in the NBA? I say yes.

Mark said...

Just a thought: How about stopping the ball?

Jerry said...

Could be. Maybe OKC?

zman said...

I like to take jabs at DC for being a third-tier city. Its infrastructure is pathetically fragile, its sports fans are terrible, its denizens are inordinately boastful and conformist, and the region’s brand of southern-fried WASPiness is tiresome. However, DC is vastly superior to NY in at least one regard: the President can travel around the city without shutting the whole fucking thing down.
Obama was in town today, staying at the St. Regis on west 55th. The NYPD shut down 55th so he could get to the FDR without having to go around the block (he went the wrong way down 55th halfway across the island of Manhattan). In so doing, the island was cut in half. Pedestrians couldn’t even cross 55th. I work south of 55th and I live on 56th, so I wound up 50 feet from my back door but unable to cross the street until Obama drove by.
I waited with a preposterous olio of people. A white girl with dreadlocks and a bone in her nose next to an older Asian guy with a squash racquet next to two fat tourists with fanny packs and cameras ready to snap a photo of the Prez. I waited for at least 15 minutes and I had a good dump brewing so it wasn’t pleasant.
Then, just as Obama’s flotilla of cars drifted by, the Latino midget in front of me started hopping up and down and shaking his fist and he repeatedly screamed “AAAH DA-YA DA-YA! AAAH DA-YA DA-YA!”
I turned to the zwoman and asked “What’s this fucking midget saying?” and she looked at me the way you look at your beloved but elderly dog who accidentally shat on the rug and replied “End don’t ask don’t tell.” Then the midget looked at me for a second and returned to his jumping, fist-pumping, and screaming.
I love New York?

Mark said...

Jackson wants LBJ on the block. One problem: He has zero post game.

zman said...

I have some ghetto filler to use at the half.

Mark said...

Hey Z!

Mark said...

And Z, please post the filler. So we can, get back in to our game!

zman said...

Until they traded Oakley for Camby, the Knicks were the only inkless team in the league.

zman said...

New filler is in place.

TJ said...

You're forgetting Charlie Ward's Star of David tattoo.

Mark said...

And Hubert Davis' portrait of Bill Guthridge.

zman said...

Tony Parker to the Knicks? That will end poorly. The Knickerbockers' track record with Frenchmen is, well, checkered to say the least.

Mark said...

It probably would but Parker would average near 30 in D'Antoni system.

Mark said...

Jamison gets dunked on by Tony Allen. This series can't get much worse for him.