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Archive for the ‘GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!’ Category

UEFA Champions League Knockout Stage Storylines

Posted by Mike on March 4, 2008

As we hit the second leg of the UEFA Champions League knockout stage this week, let’s look at a few of the “storylines” on the road to Moscow.

1. The defending champion, AC Milan, is owned by Italian business tycoon/politician/controller of all media/midget Silvio Berlusconi. He cares so much about the knockout stage of the Champions League, he’s going to reanimate the cryogenically frozen body of Paolo Maldini just for the occasion.

So many different and funny ways that you could have made fun of AC Milan. You had Ronaldo…you had Gilardino…you had at least two players whose names had some variation of “ca-ca”…and yet you chose the “Paolo Maldini is old” joke. I am so disappointed.

2. In the history of UEFA Champions League, only two teams not from Western Europe have won. This year, two such teams made it to the knockout stages: Olympiacos FC (Greece) and Fenerbahce (Turkey). To see either of these teams advance and loosen the death grip that Western Europe has on futbol would be fantastic.

In a completely unrelated story, the bettors have Chelsea and Sevilla winning 6-0 and 8-3 on aggregate “based on a hunch.” The G-14 lives!

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Above, members of the “defunct” G-14 football confederation hold an emergency meeting about the growing threat of Slavia Prague.

3. There is only one reason, I repeat, one reason why I know anything about Celtic. And that is because my mom has had a crush on their goalkeeper, Artur Boruc, after seeing him play for Poland in the World Cup.

4. Rumor has it that Rafa Benitez might be leaving Liverpool after a disappointing Premiership season and fallout with the team’s American ownership (and in turn, the ownership’s fallout with fans). The reality is that Rafa already left during the summer, and Bizarro Rafa Benitez has been coaching the Mersysiders this entire season. Haven’t they taught you anything about goatees and evil parallel universes?

One of the tell-tale signs that the goateed Rafa is a fraud: he no longer has the ability to control your television.

 

5. For all the fuss about AC Milan, it is actuallly Inter at the top of the Serie A table right now. Inter has the Champions League’s inly two Colombian players, Ivan Cordoba and Nelson Rivas. They have earned a spot on their roster in part due to their talent, but mostly to help support owner Massimo Moratti’s massive cocaine habit.

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I mean, look at him. If that’s not the most coked-up old Italian man you’ve ever seen in your life, then I’d like to know who is.

6. Barcelona’s primary sponsor is UNICEF. In the true spirit of the UN, the team is going to make a ridiculously frivolous purchase and blame Fulham for their early Champions League exit.

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The scary part: Brain McBride actually looks like a marionette.

7. Lyon plays in Stade Gerland, the stadium where team USA famously ended their dead-last 1998World Cup finish with a loss to Iran. Little known fact: Ahmadinejad has this game on a continuous loop in every TV of the Presidential Palace.

8. Much like the American presidential system, there’s an unwritten rule that says that any player must be at least 35 years of age to be a goalkeeper for Arsenal. Dammit, that’s the second old joke you’ve made today! That’s not funny!

9. Manchester United has the Champions League’s only Chinese player, Dong Fangzhou. Yeah, United likes Dong. They simply can’t get enough Dong. They…wait…you didn’t think I meant…you’re sick, you know that?!?

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Dong.

10. In the event that Chelsea is involved in an aggregate tie, the match will not go to penalty kicks. Instead, Israeli manager Avram Grant will challenge his rival manager to a Krav Maga deathmatch in the middle of the pitch. Or maybe he’ll concede if you just, you know, let him suck your blood.

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Let me get my fang dentures. 

 

11. Germans have actually come a long way culturally since World War II. Just look at who the knockout stage’s only remaining German team, Schalke 04, just signed during the January transfer window:

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Enjoy this week’s second leg of the Round of 16.

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Posted in AC Milan, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Avram Grant, Barcelona, Chelsea, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Manchester United, Roman Abramovich, Schalke 04, Silvio Berlusconi, UEFA Champions League | 4 Comments »

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.

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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 »

Beckham? We Don’t Need No Stinking Beckham

Posted by Mike on October 8, 2007

We bloggers have a memory which rivals that of a goldfish, but you may remember that this past summer, some English guy with bad ankles played in our country for like a month. Well, after he finally was injured for the season in the August 29th SuperLiga final, you probably stopped paying attention to his team, the LA Galaxy. Who could blame you really? After losing their “star” to injury and already not having won in regular season play for nearly two months, there was no reason to believe that they would even sniff the playoffs, right?

Wrong.

After the SuperLiga final, LA lost to bottom feeders Real Salt Lake on September 1st. Since then, the Galaxy have been on a tear, going 5-2-1 (W-L-D) in their last 8 matches including victories in their last four. Their rise has been in part due to Joe Cannon and their suddenly good defense, who have allowed one or zero goals in their five wins (and conversely, 3 goals each in their two losses) during that span. They’ve also distributed their offense very evenly, getting 13 goals from at least 9 different players; Galvin Glinton leads the team with 3 goals within the stretch. Interestingly enough, they also haven’t had trouble drawing crowds without Beckham; attendance to Galaxy matches have averaged 26,645 fans per match, and their last two games have had at least 30,000 spectators (compared to DC United, at the top of the standings and one of the MLS’ best supported teams, who have not drawn an MLS crowd larger then 25,174).

More importantly is that LA, seemingly dead in the water exactly one month ago, now has the chance to grab a playoff spot, assuming that they can win their remaining three games and Kansas City fails to win their remaining two games. And guess who’s ankles are all better just in time for the playoff push? Yep, you guessed it.

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So now this Galaxy team has a problem. Sure, Beckham is a big asset to this team both on the field and in the stands. But the team is already playing extremely well in his absence. So, if you’re LA coach Frank Yallop, do you put Beckham in at risk of team disruption and another injury, hoping that his abilities will help your team get over the top in these last few, key games? Or do you decide not to disrupt team chemistry, leave him on the bench, and hope your hot team comes through to make the playoffs? How Yallop answers this dilemma will likely determine his job security.

Posted in Beckham, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, LA Galaxy, MLS, soccer | 3 Comments »

Women’s World Cup Final Live Blog: Brazil vs. Germany

Posted by Mike on September 30, 2007

Team USA won the undercard today, and now we move on to the final between two teams we’re accustomed to seeing in the men’s final: Brazil and Germany. The Germans are the highest ranked team left in the tournament and the defending champions from 2003. They’ve dominated in almost every game they played, and have not allowed a single goal in this tournament, a WWC record.

Brazil, meanwhile, may have the most talented team in the world. They’re led by Marta, who’s likely the best player in the world. She certainly looked like the best player in the world against the United States:

It will be fun to watch the contrasting styles: The disciplined play of the Germans versus the free-flowing, high octane play of the Brazilians.

8:03, 3rd minute: Early in the game, It appears that Germany is controlling possession. Whenever Brazil tries to get the ball into the offensive zone, Germany has managed to take the ball away.

8:05, 5th minute: The first real opportunities for each team. First, Marta takes a deep shot that’s right on target, but Angerer is there to make the save. Then Garefrekes breaks away and takes a shot on the right side. The keeper is out of position, but the shot is just wide.

8:07, 7th minute: Brazil gets the first free kick of the game. Good defense by Germany, who clear it easily.

8:08, 8th minute: YELLOW CARD, Germany. Garefrekes fouls Cristiane just outside the box. On the ensuing free kick Angerer makes the initial save, but the ball was loose with several Brazilian players in front of goal. But they can’t find goal, and Germany is a bit lucky there.

8:10, 10th minute: Beringer makes a great move to get in position, but she doesn;t take a shot, and her pass is easily cleared.

8:12, 12th minute: Cristiane almost has a breakaway, but Germany manges to delfect it just enough to end the scoring threat.

8:15, 15th minute: Some great passing by the Germans through the gaps of Brazil’s defense, and Birgit Prinz is wide open for a shot in the box. Unfortunately, her kick sails too high. Germany may not get a better opportunity than that.

8:16, 16th minute: Less than a minute later, Brazil tries a deep kick to a streaking Cristiane, but Angerer just manages to get to the ball first and clear it.

8:17, 17th minute: Oooh. I think Prinz was fouled by the Brazilian defenders there. She’s certainly not happy with the no-call.

8:19, 19th minute: Corner kick for Brazil, but again, good defense by Germany on those set pieces.

8:20, 20th minute: We’re nearly midway into the first half, and so far both teams have been playing well at a fast pace.

8:22, 22nd minute: Marta might be hurt,hobbling a bit on the field. Let’s see how it affects the game, both teams’ strategy.

8:24, 24th minute: Daniela fires a great strike past Angereer, but it knocks off the post! Oh, the Brazilians came so close, within inches.

8:25, 25th minute: Garefrekes takes the ball away from a Brazilian defender, and she delivers the cross in the box. Beringer misplays it though, and Brzil has a goal kick.

8:27, 27th minute: Wow. This referee is really making her presence felt by…not making her presence felt. A lot of no-calls in this game.

8:29, 29th minute: It’s worth repeating that Germany’s goalkeeper, Angerer, has not allowed a goal in this entire World Cup. I know that there’s a Jens Lehmann joke in there somewhere.

8:31, 31st minute: This game is over one thirds past us, and while the pace of the game has been exciting, I’m surprised that these two high-powered offenses are still scoreless.

8:38, 38th minute: Neither team has had any real chance in the last five minutes or so. Good defense by the Germans, who have made Marta somewhat of a non-factor.

8:40, 40th minute: Renate Lingor went down hard on that tackle, and she’ll head to the sidelines for a short time. 40minutes in, and still no score. Not that I’m complaining, this has been a well-played game so far.

8:44, 44th minute: Brazil gets a corner kick, and they had three good chances at goal. But Germany blocked every shot before they threatened Angerer in goal.

8:46, 45+ minutes: What a play by Marta. She takes a deep pass surrounded by three defenders, and stil manages to come up with the ball, take a shot, and draw a corner kick.

8:47: Wer’e at halftime, and the game is still tied, 0-0. Both teams have played well so far especially on defense. Neither Birgit Prinz of Germany, nor Matra or Cristiane of Brazil have been given a lot of chances to score. it may be that the first team to score will be the result of the first defense to make a mistake.

9:02, 46th minute: The second half begins, and Germany are the aggressors out of the gate. Brazil makes a near costly mistake on defense, but Germany can’t take advantage.

9:04, 48th minute: Sandra Smisek is injured for Germany, and they’re temporarily down to ten players. They get a nice free kick, but Brazil does just enough to prevent a shot on goal.

9:06, 49th minute: Smisek is back in the game.

9:07, 50th minute: Angerer makes the save, but Daniela runs into her forehead. She was down for a minute or so, but she’s okay.

9:08, 52nd minute: GOAL! What a turnaround and pass by Smisek, and Birgit Prinz is open in the middle of the box. She takes the shot and gets it past Andreia. Germany leads, 1-0.

9:11, 55th minute: Marta gets the pass and makes a break for the goal, but Germany’s defense catches up to her in the box. She wants a foul, but the ref won;t make the call.

9:15, 59th minute: YELLOW CARD, Brazil. Daniela gets the call for a hard tackle.

9:16, 60th minute: Marta tries to get past 3 defenders, but the Germany stays disciplined, and Angerer makes the stop before Marta can do anything with the ball.

9:17, 61st minute: Germany gets a corner kick, but they can’t do anything with ball right in front of goal.

9:19, 63rd minute: PENAL! Marts takes a great pass, but Bresnik is taken down hard in the box. Obvious penalty kick, and Marta will take it.

9:20, 64th minute: SAVE! What a save by Angerer! She anticipated the ball, and Marta doesn’t get it quite as far left as she wanted it. Germany is still in the lead, and that might be the play that decides the championship.

9:23, 67th minute: One thing Marta has done well in this game is drawn scoring opportunities through set pieces. Still, she must be disappointed in not making that penalty kick.

9:24, 68th minute: A free kick, and another great save by Angerer. She’s saved the game for Germany twice in the last five minutes.

9:28, 71st minute: If Brazil is going to figure out how to crack the German defense, they have only 20 minutes left to do it. They’ve certainly had their fair share of opportunities, but Germany’s defense has denied them all.

9:31, 74th minute: Substitution: Martina Mueller is in for Behringer.

9:34, 77th minute: Time is running out on Brazil, who aren’t dictating the pace of the game right now.

9:36, 79th minute: Smisek comes out of the game for Germany, and is replaced by Fatmire Bajramaj.

9:38, 81st minute: In Need of offense, Brazil replaces defender Tania for Pretinha. They now have only 10 minutes to find the net before time expires.

9:42, 86th minute: GOAL! Laudher gives Germany another goal. Barring a miracle, they’re now less than five minutes away from defending their World Cup title.

9:47, 90th minute: Brazil has 4 minutes of extra time, but Germany is likely to melt away the clock until the end.

9:50, Full Time: The referee blows the whistle and the game is over. Germany wins 2-0, and are the the Women’s World Cup Champions once again. The managed to spend the entire tournament without conceding a single goal.

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Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Brazil, Futbol, Germany, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Live Blog, soccer, Women's World Cup | 2 Comments »

Huevonazo of the Week: Tottenham Ball Boy

Posted by Mike on September 24, 2007

Granted, the hit was just above the nether region, and the video has been all around the blogosphere this weekend. But how could I not post this huevonazo from this year’s UEFA Cup. An athlete took an intentional hit from a mischievous ball boy; what’s not to love?

Posted in England, EPL, Funny Videos, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, HUEVONAZO!, Patriotism at its finest, Premier League, Tottenham, UEFA Cup | Leave a Comment »