Digital Headbutt

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Archive for the ‘#1’ Category

College Basketball is Finally Upon Us

Posted by Mike on November 9, 2007

Two of my favorite events have made an official return this week. The first is Man vs. Wild…

…and the other is college basketball.

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Photo courtesy of the greatest photoshop thread in history.

It finally dawned on me when Marco of Storming the Floor (formerly of Just Call Me Juice) asked me to write a team preview for North Carolina. As you are well aware, I never turn down the opportunity to spread the gospel of the Tar Heels, so I accepted the offer to write there, as well as an article before Wednesday’s UNC opener vs. Davidson for the folks at We Rite Goode. After another football season, I will enjoy seeing my alma mater at #1. But even more than that, I will enjoy the ability to make fun of Duke anew. Yes, college basketball is coming, and I can’t wait.

Super Awesome Team Previews: #1 North Carolina

 

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Posted in #1, ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, College Basketball, Dook, EAT IT! EAT IT!, North Carolina, Scheyerface, Tar Heels | 4 Comments »

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

Posted by Mike on September 22, 2007

Today the U.S. Women’s Team begins the knockout stages in a quarterfinal match with England. This game features perhaps the world’s two best strikers, USA’s Abby Wambach and England’s Kelly Smith.

8:04 am, 3rd minute: The Americans are playing a 4-3-3 in this game, that same formation they used against North Korea.

8:06 am, 5th minute: It’s very early in the game, but England seems to be controlling possession so far.

8:10 am, 9th minute: Neither team has had any real chance at goal so far. Is it good defense, or are both teams still adjusting to the game?

8:12 am, 11th minute: USA gets the first real scoring chance, floating a kick into the box, but England’s goalie is there before any of the American strikers can make a move.

8:17 am, 15th minute: 15 minutes have elapsed. England is controlling possession so far, but USA have been the offensive aggressors. The England defense broke up another scoring opportunity for the US off of a throw-in.

8:20 am, 19th minute: Heather O’Reilly gives USA a corner kick, followed by a throw-in. England defended both set pieces very well, quickly dismissing any scoring chances.

8:23 am, 22nd minute: England gets the first real shot on goal…Karen Carney makes a great cross from outside the left corner of the box, and Hope Solo has to step in and make the deflection save. two players, including England’s Jill Scott, are down after the play, but they’ll be fine. Solo is holding her right shoulder, which means she may have re=aggravated her injury from earlier in the tourney.

8:27 am, 27th minute: Carney takes a shot on goal from way outside the box, but Solo makes the save easily. Neither Kelli Smith nor Abby Wambach have been factors in the game yet. England is still controlling the pace.

8:30 am, 29th minute: Oh! on the second straight corner kick, Wambach came, literally, within six inches of kicking the ball into the net, before the foot of an English defender stepped in front of the ball and deflected it away.

8:33 am, 32nd minute: England finally gets a corner kick of their own. Carney kicks it, but the ensuing header bounces harmlessly out of bounds.

8:35 am, 34th minute: Wambach fights her way into the box with the ball, and she draws a corner kick. Once again, the England defense clears it quickly.

8:38 am, 37th minute: An England player fell down like she had been shot. It’s Faye White, and it looks like she’s taken an elbow from Wambach.

8:40 am, 39th minute: It looks like She’ll be okay, but for now England is down 1 player. USA must take advantage.

8:41 am, 40th minute: Well, that was quick. White’s back on the field, and it’s 11-on-11 once again.

8:43 am, 42nd minute: Lopez gets a great ball deep in the England zone, she cross it into the box, and Wambach is right there for the kick-in…but it sails too high.

8:44 am, 43rd minute: Lilly takes a great strike from outside the box, and it takes all of Rachel brown’s extension to make the deflection save. USA can’t do anything with the corner kick, though.

8:46 am, 45th minute: 2 minutes of added time.

8:47 am, 45+ minutes: England gets a corner kick, and Hope Solo has to make a punch save in the middle of the box.

8:49 am, 45 minutes: Halftime hits, and we’re still tied at 0-0. Perhaps a bit of a disappointing start for the US, but England is playing well. We need to get more scoring opportunities in the second half, because the English will likely get more aggressive in the final 45 minutes (or 75 minutes).

9:06 am, 48th minute: USA gets two–make that three–quick corners early in the second half.

GOAL! The third corner is the charm. Wambach gets free in the box, head it at the right edge of the of the goal area, and the header goes in uncontested. USA leads 1-0 off a great goal by Wambach, her 4th of the tournament.

9:09 am, 51st minute: England has had a couple of chances in the second half, but untimely mistakes prevent a good shot on goal.

9:10 am, 52nd minute: Wambach gets taken down in the box, trying to play a deep kick. How is that not a penalty?

9:15 am, 57th minute: GOLAZO! Shannnon Boxx intercepts the ball, shoots a death strike from outside the box on her left foot, and it whizzes right by the outstretched arms of the England keeper. 2-0 USA, as the Americans are now in complete control of this game thanks to Notre Dame’s only offense this season. ZING!

The English team will really to start getting Kelly Smith involved before it’s too late to come back.

9:18 am, 60th minute: GOAL! Rachel Brown makes a huge mistake fielding the ball, it sails over her head, and Kristine Lilly is right to take advantage and make the uncontested goal. USA leads 3-0, and the game has gone from a nail-biter into a laugher in a matter of less than 15 minutes.

9:26 am, 68th minute: England, finally, gets a free kick in this game. Kelly Smith takes it, but Hope Solo makes the deflection, and USA clears it. Considering that they’re down 3-0, England took way too long to set up that scoring chance.

9:29 am, 71st minute: Time is starting to run out for any comeback that the English can put up. They’re still making a good effort, so there’s that for English fans.

9:37 am, 79th minute: Faye White delivers a great strike and England’s best chance at goal in the second half, but Hope Solo is there to make the save.

9:39 am, 81st minute: Wambach very nearly gets a fourth goal aff of another mistake by England’s keeper. Fortunately for Brown, it deflects too high.

9:41 am, 83rd minute: Wow. A 3-0 lead and the USA is still in offensive and defensive control. The English team looks as though they’re powerless to stop it. The so-called “Greatest team you’ve never heard of” is finally starting to play like it.

9:44 am, 87th minute: Abby Wambach comes out of the game, replaced by Natasha Kai. Wambach had a great game today.

9:48 am, 90th minute: Kelly Smith finally gets a nice shot off of the deflection, but 1) it’s a bit high and 2) it’s way, way too late for her to make a real difference. Credit the US defense for shutting her down.

9:52 am, Full Time: And it’s over. USA wins, 3-0. The game was very close in the first half, and for the first 45 minutes it looked like England had a slight advantage. But the Americans absolutely dominated in the second half, taking advantage of every chance they were given. We finally got to see, in the knockout stages, how good team USA can be. They now await Brazil or Australia in the semifinals.

Posted in #1, England, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Live Blog, 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 »

Who’s the REAL Carolina?

Posted by Mike on June 8, 2007

This weekend’s Super Regional is very confusing, because pits Carolina against…Carolina. The NCAA Baseball Tournament is in its final weekend before Omaha and the College World Series, and the Tar Heels are looking to achieve two consecutive CWS appearances for the first time in school history. Standing in their way is the University of South Carolina. This is going to be fun.

Action starts tonight at Boshamer Stadium, where this time I have the cheap seats! (And by cheap seats, I mean “general admission grass hill”.) I’ll provide recaps of the games on Tar Heel Mania. For a preview of the series, go to the ultimate authority, College Baseball Blog.

Best of luck to the Tar Heels. You know we’re to try making fun of the other team’s nickname.

Posted in #1, ACC, Baseball, Carolina, Championship, Digital Headbutt, NCAA Tournament, North Carolina, Shameless Self Promotion, Tar Heel Mania, Tar Heels, UNC, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits, yes this is a slow news day. how can you tell? | 4 Comments »

Play Ball!

Posted by Mike on June 1, 2007

The NCAA Baseball Tournament starts today, and I will be at Boshamer Stadium this weekend to catch all of the action. I made a preview regarding my beloved UNC on Tar Heel Mania, and I’ll be providing recaps of the days action over there, so tune in if you’re interested. The MLB doesn’t get interesting until after the All-Star Break, so this tournament will be a lot of fun. If you’re lucky enough to go the the Myrtle Beach, SC regional, this weekend ought to be heaven on earth.

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For thorough previews of the NCAA Baseball Tournament, see College Baseball Blog and my good friend Extra P.

Posted in #1, ACC, Baseball, Digital Headbutt, NCAA Tournament, Shameless Self Promotion | 3 Comments »

Cologne Tar Heels (er, Centurions) Report: NFL Europa Week 7

Posted by Mike on May 26, 2007

centurio.jpgThe Cologne Tar Heels Centurions were triumphant once again this week, dominating their Friday night game against the Amsterdam Admirals by a score of 30-7. Clologne got it done with the powerful running game, two of the backs (Derrick Ross and A.J. Harris) rushed for over 100 yards, and the team had a total of 232 yards on the ground. When the Centurions needed to go to the air, quarterback Erik Meyer was frighteningly efficient, completing 13 of his 15 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. UNC alum Bobby Blizzard led all players with 65 yards receiving.

The Cologne defense, led by French linebacker Phillipe Gardent, was equally dominant. Amsterdam depends on their passing game, and the Centurions shut it down. Drew Olson only completed 16 of his 38 passes, and the Admirals only got one first down and 47 total yards in the first three quarters. In total Cologne allowed 193 yards, 144 of which were in the fourth quarter, when Cologne already had a 30-0 lead. It took a 35 yard pass from Olson to Harry Williams as time expired to prevent the shutout.

Perhaps the most telling sign of the Centurions’ absolute domination was time of possession. They had the ball for twice as long (39:44) as the Admirals (20:16). Former Tar Heel cornerback Cedrick Holt contributed with one tackle and two pass deflections.

With the win, Cologne improves to 5-2, while Amsterdam now sites at 3-4. With their consistently low attendance, NFL Europa may move the Admirals to a German city (Hannover and Leipzig both want franchises) if they finish with a losing record. Defending champion Frankfurt must beat the Rhein Fire to keep up. Cologne has two more home games, next week against Hamburg and another matchup with Amsterdam, before the regular season finale at Frankfurt, a possible World Bowl XV preview. That will be an exciting game to watch. Too bad I don’t get the NFL Network.

Posted in #1, Carolina, Colonge Centurions, Digital Headbutt, Mel Kiper Has No Idea What's Going On, NFL Europa, Tar Heels | 2 Comments »