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Archive for the ‘Skit Ocksa!’ Category

US Soccer Federation Determined to Make Fans Ignore The National Team

Posted by Mike on February 4, 2008

UPDATE: It appears that FIFA is behind the scheduling of US national team friendlies, and not the USSF. That makes much more sense. Thanks to commenter Michael H for pointing this out.

adu_bradley.jpg

This Wednesday, The U.S National Soccer Team has a big friendly match against heated rival Mexico. The game will feature many of America’s best young stars, including Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley (pictured above w/ Adu), who now holds the record for most goals in a season (16) by an American-born player in a top-flight European league. In addition, some of our top European players (including Dempsey, Bocanegra, Tim Howard, and Heath Pearce) will be on the roster. Many American soccer fans, myself included, are looking forward to watching this exciting match.

There’s just one problem. The US Soccer Federation FIFA, in its infinite wisdom, has scheduled the match at exactly the same time as one of the most important college basketball games of the year: Duke vs. North Carolina, Wednesday, February 6th at 9 pm. Most casual soccer fans and/or die hard college basketball fans will choose watching Duke-Carolina over this friendly. As a UNC grad, I fall into the latter category. Even diehard US soccer fans will have to decide whether or not to watch a game which, while exciting, is just a friendly.

I understand that the game needs to be in the middle of the week, but must it be the same day and same time slot as on of the most important games of another American sport?

My problem with the USSF FIFA is that this is not this first time they have questionably scheduled exciting U.S. friendlies. The major September friendly against Brazil directly conflicted with the opening week of the NFL season. The last friendly against Mexico was last February, on a Wednesday…at the exact same time slot as UNC-Duke.

If the USSF FIFA wants these games to be more relevant, the organization needs to go out of their way not to conflict with major dates in other major sports. Let’s assume, for example, that the game can only be on a weeknight due to the seasons in Mexico and Europe. If the USSF had scheduled the game at a 7:00 EST time slot for Wednesday, they would only have to compete with Texas vs. Oklahoma. While that is a major Big 12 matchup, it doesn’t command the same national attention drawn to UNC-Duke game. If they has chosen to play the game at 9:00 EST on February 19th, the biggest competing game would be Bradley vs. Drake. A major international friendly would command the attention of many more casual fans at either of these times.

There cannot be any doubt that the U.S. National Team is a rising power in the world stage. However, it is the responsibility of the US Soccer Federation FIFA to help promote national team matches not act in a vacuum. In order to make these competitive friendlies more accessible to casual American fans, the USSF FIFA cannot hurt themselves U.S. soccer by ignoring the rest of the American sport environment.

Posted in GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Mexico, Skit Ocksa!, soccer, Things that are more fun in foreign dialects, U.S. National Team, USA! USA! | 8 Comments »

Mom, You Can Call Off The Bots Now

Posted by Mike on November 1, 2007

Digital Headbutt began to delve into the sports blog universe one year ago this week. Its beginnings were humble, and I was not even fully aware of the vast sports blogosphere around me until this space had been around for three months. 207 posts and 110,000+ hits later, I may very well have created a monster. The kind of monster who ventures into the realm of the unknown, for varying lengths of time, and brings back stuff like this.


Of all the posts on Digital Headbutt, these three were statistically your favorites:

Benny Feilhaber’s Gold Cup Winning Goal

The Survive-Off

(Which reminds me: Day 3 of the Survive-Off is coming…)

The Lou Holtz Pep Talk Drinking Game

I would like to thank all of the sports blogosphere, and all of the great people, too many to mention in this space, whom I would not have collaborated with, spoken to, or met without Digital Headbutt and Tar Heel Mania. You have made this worthwhile. Because dammit, they won’t let me put AdSense on this thing!

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Am I going to hell for this?, Cruelty to mascots, Cult of Personality, Digital Headbutt, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Great Moments in Stupidity, HUEVONAZO!, Mel Kiper Has No Idea What's Going On, Mud Butt, Secret Identities, Shameless Self Promotion, Skit Ocksa!, Stuff That Involves Things, Things that are more fun in foreign dialects, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits, what is this hyperbole of which you speak?, Wojo, yes this is a slow news day. how can you tell?, Your hubris is burning from the nosebleed section | Leave a Comment »

Huevonazo of the Week: Playground Antics

Posted by Mike on October 1, 2007

Watching this huevonazo (and subsequent fall), delivered by gravity and a jungle gym, is painful enough. What makes this video, however…is the editing.

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Am I going to hell for this?, Great Moments in Stupidity, HUEVONAZO!, Skit Ocksa!, This is why the Internet was invented, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits | Leave a Comment »

USA vs. Norway Live Blog: 2007 Women’s World Cup Third Place Game

Posted by Mike on September 30, 2007

Today team USA plays for 3rd place against Norway after a disappointing loss to Brazil. Brianna Scurry is back in goal for the USA.

5:05, 4th minute: USA seems to be dictating the pace early. They’re the only team to have gotten scoring chances so far, and Norway has yet to truly play in their offensive zone.

5:07, 6th minute: Brianna Scurry gets her first action of the game, and she makes an easy save.

5:08, 7th minute: The American s very nearly on the possession from the corner kick. Kristine Lilly runs to the left side of the box, and she puts her pass directly in front of goal. But two Norwegian defenders are there, and the U.S. can;t do anything with it.

5:11, 10th minute: Ten minutes into the game, Norway has apparently dominated possession (67%/33%). It certainly hasn’t felt like kept the ball that long.

5:14, 13th minute: Greg Ryan apparently stands by his decision to put Scurry in for Solo against Brazil on Thursday. I still disagree vehemently, but you have to give him credit for sticking to his guns. Even if its to his own detriment.

5:16, 15th minute: USA gets another scoring chance, this time from the throw in. But They can’t their headers down to goal level, and eventually Norway clears.

5:18, 17th minute: Oh! The Americans get their best chance yet. Abby Wambach gets taken down in the box (but the ref gives no call), and off the cross, Kristine Lilly was six inches away from getting her foot on the ball and getting a goal. Nordby makes the save.

5:21, 20th minute: We’re 20 minutes into the game, and Brianna Surry has yet to be challenged.

Heather O’Relliy gets a decent shot on the right side, but it’s from a bad angle, and Nordby is there for the easy save.

5:27, 26th minute: The Americans get another chance. Kristine Lilly gets deep into the box, but she has to give it up, and Wambach’s cross is a bit off. On the ensuing corner kick, Wambach’s header goes wide. Believe it or not, that’s more significant touches that she’s had in that one minute than in the entire semifinal against Brazil.

5:31, 30th minute: GOAL! A great corner kick deflected to the top of the box, a perfect shot by Chalupny back into the box, and Wambach deflects the ball away from Nordby and into the net. USA leads, 1-0.

5:33, 32nd minute: Goal or no goal, team USA is playing very well in this game compared to the semifinal. Brazil may just be that good, but we’ll find out about that later today.

5:36, 35th minute: Whitehill takes the free kick, but it sails over everything. 35 minutes into the game, and time of possession is even.

5:37, 36th minute: Kristine Lilly finally gets the chance to take a shot on goal, but Nordby is there to make the save.

5:38, 38th minute: Wow. Suddenly America is on the attack, taking three shots in three minute that come very close to getting in. Kristine Lilly has been particularly aggressive.

5:41, 40th minute: Scurry gets her first real challenge, having to go up against a Norwegian forward to the ball. She punches and clears the ball in mid-air. Certainly, she hasn’t been challenged as much as she was against Brazil.

5:43, 42nd minute: Norway puts a ball into the back of the net, but the officials call them offside; replay clearly shows that was the right call. Still 1-0 USA.

5:46, 45th minute: If Norway wants to prevent this game from getting out of hand, they need to shut down the left side of the attack. That’s where almost all of USA’s good scoring chances are coming from.

5:47, 45+ minutes: We’ve reached halftime, and USA leads 1-0 after the first half. Unlike against Brazil, the Americans are dictating the pace of the game with a much more attacking style against an, honestly, less speedy opponent. If they keep attacking in the second half, USA should be able to put this game away.

6:07, 48th minute: GOAL! USA scores to start the second half, as Abby Wambach gets another goal After Whitehill’s shot hits the post. That’s 6 for her in this tournament. The Americans lead 2-0 and are in full command of this game.

6:09, 51st minute: The referee gets tackled by a Norwegian player. Good thing she has a sense of humor.

6:10, 52nd minute: I remember hearing someone say that a 2-0 lead was the most dangerous lead for a soccer team, because it’s a big enough lead for them to feel like they can rest on their laurels, yet close enough that the opposing team can come back fairly quickly. Of course that assumes the the opponent can make plays, and so far the Norwegians have not.

6:13, 56th minute: Chalupny attacks and crosses the ball into the zone, but no one is there to receive it.

6:14, 57th minute: GOAL! This time it’s Chalupny, go gets the goal off of the Wambach cross and the Aly Wagner deflection. USA leads 3-0.

6:16, 59th minute: Tarpley comes in for Wagner. Great NOW Ryan makes an aggressive substitution.

6:17, 59th minute: GOAL! Tarpley makes an immediate impact, directly attacking Nordby at goal. After the initial save, O’Reilly puts it in the back of the net. USA now leads 4-0, and they’ve been playing insanely good soccer for the last 30 minutes.

6:19, 61st minute: Uh-oh, some bad defense by Marian Dalmy, and Huse nearly scores. USA forces a corner kick.

6:20, 62nd minute: GOAL! Norway fires a deep pass from near midfield, and Gulbransen’s header at the top of the box sails over Scurry’s head and into the net. Nothing any goalie could do about that. USA now leads 4-1, but they’re still stand little chance of coming back.

6:25, 68th minute: The crowd in Shanghai has begun to cheer for Norway. Only now, when down big, have we begun to see some aggressive play from the Scandinavians.

6:30, 73rd minute: An interesting fact; USA has outshot Norway 20-5, or a ration of 4-1. Interestingly enough, that’s exactly the score right now.

6:31, 74th minute: Another interesting fact: Chinese women’s soccer fans really like “the wave”.

6:34, 77th minute: Team USA has dominated this game, but right now, I’m thinking: Where that hell was this kind of play against Brazil?

6:38, 81st minute: The Americans get a sneaky pass onsode, and Wambach is wide open down the field. Only a slide save way outside the box by Nordby stops goal #5.

6:40, 83rd minute: Apparently, USA’s team psychologist didn’t join the team in China; instead, she decided to stay in the states and correspond with players online. The team probably could have used her presence after coach Ryan’s goalkeeping decision ahead of the semifinal.

6:44, 88th minute: Natasha Kai is about to come into the game. Out of the game for team USA is Kristine Lilliy, who will walk off the field in the World Cup for the final time.

6:47, 90th minute: Kai is only the second Hawaiian to play for the U.S. National soccer team, men’s or women’s. The first is Brain Ching, which makes Univision’s Pablo Ramirez wonder of Kai is Hawaiian for the sound the ball makes when it hits the post. CHING!

6:50, 90+ minutes: Aaaaaand we’ve lost the ESPN feed, and we now hear the international commentators. That’s pretty much a microcosm of this tournament for the U.S.; performing well for most of the tournament before things go horribly wrong at the end.

6:52, Full Time: And it’s over. USA wins 4-1, earning third place, Making the Norwegians look bad, and ending their World Cup on a high note. Next is Germany-Brazil in the final. I’ll be live blogging that as well, so stick around.

Posted in Live Blog, Norway, Skit Ocksa!, soccer, USA! USA!, Women's World Cup | Leave a Comment »

USA vs. Sweden Live Blog: 2007 Women’s World Cup

Posted by Mike on September 14, 2007

For the first time ever, all four teams in a group drew in their first game. North Korea played valiantly against the Americans in a 1-1 tie. Both of these teams, two of the top 3 teams in the world, need a win today.

5:02, 2nd minute: The U.S. has already given away three corner kicks in two minutes. Sweden is really pressing the ball early, and we haven’t been able to clear the ball yet.

5:04, 4th minute: four minutes, four corner kicks for Sweden. Hope Solo has handled the pressure well, but team USA needs to regain control of this game.

5:06, 6th minute: Who’s playing “Jingle Bells” on their trumpet in the middle of the game?

5:07, 7th minute: The Americans get their first chance, but Carli Lloyd can’t quite get to the ball in the box. in sliding for the ball, she seemed to undercut the Swedish goalkeeper, and he’s clearly hurting. They’re going to keep her in the game, as Sweden in down to their second option at goalie to begin with.

5:11, 11th minute: Abby Wambach gets the first shot on goal for the U.S., but Lindahl makes the save easily.

Wait a minute…holy cow, a clear sun in China! It’s apparently rainy season around Chengdu, so sun this time of year is an anomaly.

5:14, 14th minute: The USA get their first set piece of the game, a free kick. Not a very good kick though, as the keeper stops it without problems.

5:16, 16th minute: The Americans get another shot, this time on the breakaway. Lindahl reaches out for the save, but she manages to “save it” by sitting on the ball.

5:20, 20th minute: Whitehill kick the deep free kick, and she very nearly gets the goal as Lindahl misplays it. She has to make quite a leap to make the save and force the corner kick.

5:22, 23rd minute: USA get a couple more set pieces in the the Swedish zone, but they didn’t really a threaten the goal with their shots. The Americans have definitely played better in the last ten minutes, but Sweden still seems to have an upper hand.

5:26, 26th minute: The Swedish back line is handling the ball well. Team USA hasn’t played the ball well, but it’s still tied and we’re gaining momentum.

5:27, 27th minute: Team USA very…nearly…tackled a Swedish player in the penalty box to force a penalty kick. That’s about the worst thing that could happen right now.

5:31, 31st minute: Half an hour gone in this game…Sweden has held the ball for too long.

5:33, 33rd minute: What a mistake by Lindahl! She completely misplays the free kick, it sails over her head, and Lori Chalupny is wide open. But a Swedish defender is forced to make a tackle, and team USA gets a fortunate penalty kick.

5:34, 34th minute: GOAL! Abby Wambach takes the penalty kick, and she fakes out the keeper and scores easily. USA leads, 1-0 and has all the momentum now, thanks to a huge Swedish mistake.

5:36, 36th minute: Wait a minute, Julie Foudy…there are blogs dedicated to women’s soccer?

5:38, 38th minute: Team USA has gotten a couple of chancesin the box since the first goal, but either good defense or bad passing has ended any threats.

5:41, 41st minute: Wamabach manges to fake out a couple of defenders just outside the box, before making a cross pass to an open Carli Lloyd. The ball is deflected, and Lloyd’s shot is too high. Still, since the goal team USA is dominating possession as Sweden did in the first ten minutes or so.

5:46, 45+ minutes: It’s halftime, and USA leads 1-0. The Americans got their act together in the final 15 minutes after Sweden dictated the pace of the first 30. Then Lindahl, the goalkeeper, made a huge mistake on a free kick, at it led to Wambach’s PK goal. A win is very much in the USA’s reach, but they’ll need to stay aggressive on offense and keep the ball out of Swedish possession.

6:01 am, 46th minute: The second half begins, as team USa has made one substitution. Shannon Boxx is in for Carli Lloyd.

Nothing against today’s head referee, but he kind of looks like a fish.

6:04, 48th minute: Team USA isn’t handling the ball well to start the second half. Fortunately, neither is Sweden.

6:05, 49th minute: OH! Kristine Lilly had a very good look in the box, off a great pass. But she can;t quite get the shot across her body and low enough for goal.

6:08, 52nd minute: The Americans haven’t quite fixed their defensive issues; Sweden keeps getting set pieces in the offensive zone.

6:12, 56th minute: Sweden gets yet another free kick. This time USA’s wall blocks it, but Sweden gets a corner.

6:13, 57th minute: Complete chaos in front of goal on the corner kick, but Solo makes the nice save.

6:14, 58th minute: GOAL! What a score by Wamabach! She takes the ball in the box, and after bringing the ball down, she delivers a monster strike with her left foot to the top corner of the net. Lindahl stood no chance. Team USA now leads 2-0, and Sweden might be going into panic mode soon.

6:18, 62nd minute: USA is called for what I think is the first offside penalty of the game. What I want to know is, how can you get offside during a corner kick?

6:20, 64th minute: Sweden makes a substitution. Nilla Fischer is in. I have no idea who Nilla Fischer is.

6:22, 66th minute: Heather O’Reilly comes into the game, which I understand and don’t understand at the same time. While we could use some fresh legs, O’Reilly is a clearly offensive player when we don’t need offense right now. I guess coach Ryan wants to stay aggressive.

6:29, 73rd minute: Team USA has remained in control of the game, and after the second goal Sweden has yet to put a shot on goal.

6:31, 75th minute: Kristine Lilly very nearly scores another goal for the U.S. after a another long free kick for Whitehill. Only a slide in by Lindahl prevents the game from getting really out of hand.

6:33, 77th minute: Free kick for Sweden. Hope Solo is caught out of position, but the Swedish offense can’t take advantage. Solo is clearly favoring her right shoulder now.

6:35, 79th minute: Ostberg takes a curving shot from outside the box, and Solo needs to make a great save. On the ensuing corner kick, Hanna Ljungberg gets a very good look at goal, but she misses wide.

6:39, 83rd minute: the USA defense falls asleep at the wheel and Sweden almost gets a breakaway chance. Fortunately, the defense wakes up and prevents a shot. Sweden gets another corner kick, and again Ljungberg misses a great opportunity. It’s not looking good for the Valkyries, who have yet to score a goal in this tournament.

6:49, Full Time: And it’s over. Team USA wins, 2-0 over Sweden. Abby Wambach had a huge game, and Team USA got it together in the last 30 minutes, almost completely dictating pace in the end. An impressive win for the Americans, and now the #3 ranked Swedes must beat North Korea–badly–and hope that Nigeria doesn’t emerge with an upset.

Posted in #1, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Live Blog, Skit Ocksa!, soccer, Sweden, USA! USA!, Women's World Cup | 2 Comments »

Huevonazo of the Week: Robin van Persie

Posted by Mike on August 29, 2007

It hurts bad enough when some guy comes up behind you and kicks between your legs as hard as he can. It’s even worse when he plays for your most hated rival.

Here we see Arsenal striker Robin van Persie take a really good huevonazo from a former Tottenham defender, who I’m fairly certain is Swede Erik Edman.

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Funny Videos, Futbol, HUEVONAZO!, nutshots, Skit Ocksa!, soccer | Leave a Comment »

 
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