On a day on which I was called for offsides several times…
Soccer Takes Over
The vagaries of time zones allowed me to watch/nap through the second half of the USA Soccer team’s rousing World Cup victory on Wednesday. Let it be said that I once played and enjoyed soccer. Let it also be said that I was, as with many other things, not very good at it. But I know and understand the sport well. I am a generic fan of sports, so I appreciate the draw of a worldwide competition. Finally, I will note that I was dead to the world when the USA scored in the 91st minute until an office-mate came screaming into the TV room. Great goal! Great win! Bad nap. USA!
As an aside, I am actually getting pretty tired of the predictions that THIS will indeed be the year that “Americans” finally “get” soccer. I have heard these calls since my own soccer playing days (I was 8). They always coincide with World Cup play. They never pan out. I will not recount the numerous theories about why, but I have great confidence in the US’s ability to find little satisfaction in something so ingrained in the rest of the world. I have great confidence in my own ability to do so as well. I do “get” soccer, I just don’t want to watch it on television (see above – nap – for a reference).
Tennis is Better
In other sports news this week, two complete morons managed to play the longest match in Wimbledon history. The match in question lasted 11 hours 5 minutes, 183 games, and took three days to play. As I followed this monstrosity yesterday, I was able to tune in… during a BATHROOM BREAK.
Note: The bathroom break was for the players, not me. We don’t get bathrooms breaks at work, only naps.
Permitting me another aside, is tennis (particularly Wimbledon) the only sport that doesn’t allow for such things? Halftimes, quarters, discernible ends to a contest; these all provide an appropriate respite. But at Wimbledon, you are pretty much stuck. How does one call for such a break? That’s got to be embarrassing? How is the time limit determined? I’ve known folks who can spend quite a bit of time on this activity.
The guy that lost (Frenchman Nicolas Mahut – not a good week to be French, see World Cup, profanity-laced tirades) actually won more points than the winner, “American” (read USA) John Isner, thereby salvaging a Goreic victory (see Presidential elections, US). It should be noted that, for his trouble, John Isner, a now likely 2nd round loser, will earn about 7,000 British pounds more than Mr. Mahut. I suppose I’d do continuous wind sprints with potty breaks for 11 hours in return for $10,000. Seems reasonable enough. USa.
Did Anyone ASK the Soviets?
It is not my nature to offer too many lengthy opinions on politics or war in this space (though a couple beers and a Sarah Palin sound clip might get you something). However, the revelation of a new Rolling Stone expose’ on General Stanley McChrystal, the now-former US Commander in Afghanistan, and his staff has been interesting drama. Assuming you have followed this story, I’ll make only three observations for you to take in:
- At least on this day, Rolling Stone’s online version follows this world-changing article by one entitled “Lady Gaga Tells All” and the story called “Never-Before-Seen Michael Jackson Photos Up for Auction” is listed as the top story.
- Whilst in Paris, the General and his staff are reported to have gone to a bar called Kitty O’Shea’s where they become, in front of a reporter who is known to be writing a lengthy story about them (and in his words), “completely s#*%faced.”
- This very same war has been fought – and lost – before (see 1980-1987, Soviet Union).
On a Happier Note… Palaver’s Plugs
In today’s version of Palaver’s Plugs, I thought I might offer you something to read… to take your mind off French Soccer, pre-industrial revolution visions of tennis without bathroom breaks, and wars. The book is called The Brothers Karamazov… I’m joking.
Pick up a copy of Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon. While I’m certain the audience is the 30/40 something husband/father, I think women who have to suffer such fools will also enjoy it. I found this book to be endlessly entertaining (aside from finishing the book, when I found it did actually end). If you are a friend of mine, you may get it as a gift, so you can probably hold off.
The Mountain Palaver