Get your winning wagers down! Online Sports Betting

Saturday, June 19, 2010

England stinks it up, again; U.S. totally robbed

It was mentioned some time ago that if you were looking for a team to support that played the game right, look no further than the U.S.  They continue to prove me right on that one yesterday when they put forth a spirited effort to dig out of a 2-0 hole to draw level with Slovenia in the dying minutes.  They actually scored a third but it was inexplicably called back in one of the worst screw-jobs you'll see in the game.  As a result, and in a historic first, FIFA referee Koman Coulibaly awarded Man of the Match for defensive efforts for the Slovenia squad.  Coulibaly is no stranger to controversy after putting the screws to Tunisia in the 2010 African Nations Cup, and in 2006 to Egypt.  How exactly does this guy get a World Cup assignment?  The early game of the day saw Serbia shock Germany with a 1-0 upset in which the Germans played most of the game a man down after another garbage referee was handing out cards like he would be bonused for doing so, and saw German striker Miroslav Klose sent off on a weak call.  And as for England, they'd do well to watch the U.S. themselves.  They might learn a thing or two about heart and playing with desperation.  England drew Algeria 0-0 and didn't deserve a lick better.  Fabio Capello is going the route of the managers that preceded him and playing the name players, and not putting on the best team.  How else would he continue to play a useless Frank Lampard, who is dragging down the entire team by then changing how Steven Gerrard is deployed?   

The Ultimate Fighter finale goes tonight at 9pm on SportsNet with Kris McCray facing Court McGee in the main event.  I've got McGee to win there.  This piece looks at the rough road that is making it to and staying in the UFC.  Full card here.  Hoping Rich Antonito caves in Jamie Yager's face in the undercard.

If you're wondering, if 1 or more teams are tied after Group Stage of the World Cup, the first tiebreaker is goal difference in group games. Second is most goals scored in group matches.

Goals by the day, who scored it, and how, for the entire World Cup can be found here at the Wall Street Journal.

If I'm being investigated in the shooting of a man, pretty much the last thing I'm going to do is be caught in possession of a gun, and even less likely, tell a cop that it isn't a gun when he looks into my car and spots it.  But not former Indianapolis Colt Marvin Harrison, who did all of the above.

Crazy story passed from GBVH. A gambler wagered $40,000 that New Zealand would not score in their opening World Cup game against Slovakia. He must really have wanted that $800 payoff to drop $40k on that. Of course, the Kiwis scored seconds from the end of the game to make a loser of him.
Good of the NHL to get around to penalize head shots.  It'll now be a five minute major - gasp! - if you crack somebody in the mellon.

Barry Bonds son Nikolai did a hell of a 'roid rage and Roberto Alomar impression on his mother.  Classy.

The more I listen to Dion Phaneuf talk of how he's not going to change a thing about how he operates, and now that he has mixed in a new hairdo, I feel like I'm listening to Bryan McCabe Lite.

Mike Florio looks at six teams most likely to not make it back to the NFL playoffs this coming season.  If this is accurate, there's going to be some serious changes in the AFC East power structure, but not including you, Buffalo.

MLB's independent drug-testing administrator granted 115 exemptions last season to players who proved a medical need to use a banned substance, with all but seven of those going to players for Attention Deficit Disorder.  Uh-huh, a game that moves at a snails pace has that many guys with ADD, nearly doubling the U.S. national average for adults.  That, or the use of ritalin has other desired effects.

Wayne Rooney gets off a regrettable dig at the English fans post-game yesterday."Nice to see your home fans boo you, that's loyal supporters."  He knows better, they fully deserved it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Argentina still lack discipline defending, and took a few unneeded yellow cards which could hurt them later in the tournament if players end up suspended, but man are they fun to watch.  They took apart a solid South Korea side yesterday by a 4-1 score, with Gonzalo Higuain putting home a hat trick in the second half.  Match of the tourney?  France, nice knowing you.  You may still be alive mathematically, but you're done.  Mexico were 2-0 winners over Nigeria

Oh, and this morning, Serbia stunned Germany with a 1-0 win.  Did not see that coming.

Argentina and Brazil were the first to arrive in South Africa, well ahead of their competition, and Germany's Bundesliga used the Jabulani ball for the entire season, familiarizing players with it moreso than the competition who have had it a month or so.

Spanish goalie Iker Cassilas girlfriend, in addition to being hot, is a sideline reporter who is taking some heat for being a distraction for Spain's upset loss to Switzerland. Fortunately for her, she got to grill her boyfriend on live TV for his cock-up.

Golfer Steve Elkington, who could have a hell of a side gig as a comic, told The Jim Rome Show that "Tiger's gonna be in the muff."   Presumably Elk meant at Pebble Beach and the U.S. Open.

Oh, love the people bitching about Germany getting the Adidas developed ball ahead of everyone.  German company, people, and they had to test it somewhere in actual play, and more than a few of you didn't mind the lame "own the podium" tactics Canada employed in the Olympic run-up earlier this year I'm sure, so why wouldn't a German company want a team that sports their gear and traditionally has to have a slight advantage?  You don't think Umbro would do the same for EnglandNike for the U.S.?

Why Cliff Lee will be a New York Yankee next year: he is a long time friend and Arkansas buddy with AJ Burnett, and shares an agent with CC Sabathia.  Oh, and wants a giant deal.  With the Yankees.

Tweets Jim Rome on Albert Haynesworth's hold out: "London Fletcher on Albert Haynesworth: 'Albert made a very selfish decision.' Translation: We hate him. Who does he think he is? Number 4?"

Somebody request hot world cup fans? Paraguay, Denmark and Netherlands, come and get it.

Full disclosure, I had pegged Germany and USA as winners.  Somebody let me know the lines so I can see what sub. 500 looks like.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Business is pickin' up!

So, is Switzerland beating Spain upset enough for you?  Spain totally dominated, and when Spanish defender Carlos Puyol did his best Jose Calderon impression, the Swiss suddenly found themselves leading a game where they were utterly dominated in every aspect, except for time spent dropping men back into their own end.  Word is they called their game plan "Montreal Canadiens 2010".  Weird.  Should Spain end up advancing in second in their group, that would all but ensure a round of 16 date with Brazil, or as I would call it "my bracket final selection gone up in smoke".  If you haven't heard, no team has ever lost its opening World Cup game and gone on to win the trophy.  The late game yesterday saw Uruguay deliver what should amount to the end of South Africa's squad with a 3-0 win, including a killer goal from Diego ForlanChile opened the day with an impressive performance in downing Chile 1-0.

Your Culturally Insensitive World Cup Goal Roundup For June 16.  Not sure about you, but I love these.

Game 7 of the NBA Final goes tonight in L.A.  Has to be more entertaining than the drab game six, no?  Have to like the Lakers to win it.

Best idea I've heard to replace the entirely lame "winner of the all-star game gets World Series home field": have the league that wins more interleague games get home field.  At least those are real competitive games.

Not sure how I missed the ESPN Outside the Lines piece on NBAer Winston Bennett, who claimed to have often slept with three or four women in a single day, sometimes 90+ a month.  Not mentioned: how many kids he sired.

Speaking of offspring, word from porn star Devon James says that her 9-year old son was fathered by Tiger Woods.

It won't be long until an 18-game NFL season happens, reducing the pre-season from four game to two.  Great idea in an era players are working out year-round and have team activities almost the entire off-season.  Tom Brady and Ray Lewis are concerned what the health impact will be to players.  Not sure why Brady would voice an opinion, quarterbacks may as well play in bubble wrap for all the hits they're allowed to take these days.

Speaking of Tom Brady, check him out getting his Justin Bieber on.  Wow.

Off the sporting board for a second to find out that scientists are doing research on the genetic code of one Ozzy Osbourne to determine how it is he has survived so many years of hard living.

Slovenian midfielder Andrej Komac is guaranteeing his team beat the U.S. tomorrow morningU.S. goalie Tim Howard responded by largely laughing it off.  Personally, I hope the U.S. throttle them.  Not sure why any Slovenian player is getting high and mighty after beating Algeria or qualifying through a weak group.  Stay in your lane, minnow.

Get yourself to a TV now, the Argentina and South Korea game is something else.  "Business is picking up!", as good 'ol J.R. would say.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ballistic Backman

Let me make one thing clear on Cristiano Ronaldo: I think the world of his talent and few can match his power, speed, size and ability to score from any angle.  But the diving act blights what should be the best player on the game, which at acknowledge at the moment he is not.  Don't get me wrong, he gets beat up more than any player out there and at times, it doesn't take much to knock a guy down in full flight, but when you're ripped head to toe like he is - and doesn't mind showing the world - you shouldn't go down as readily as he does.  CR7 was mostly invisible yesterday, much like his Portugal team were as they desperately tried to avoid a loss to a far more dynamic Ivory Coast yesterday in a game that ended a scoreless draw.  The negative tactics are becoming a sad theme of the first stage of the World Cup, with North Korea also trying to avoid embarrassment to Brazil and finishing a respectable - on the scoreboard anyways - 2-1 losers to Brazil.  The early game yesterday saw New Zealand pull a shocking equalizer in the dying seconds to draw Slovakia.

Up today, Honduras and Chile were the early game and Chile were 1-0 winners in a mostly good game.  Spain finally get into the action at 10am when they face Switzerland.  I won't curse them by predicting they show their full form as clearly, an unwilling opponent with a questionable ball can conspire to kill a game.  Uruguay faces South Africa in their second group A matchup.

The suspension of the University of Waterloo football team for the entire season is interesting on a variety of levels. One, why is an entire team suspended if only a small segment were caught on the gas?  Two, I don't believe for a second only UW were using roids because I know guys that went to programs at Laurier and Mac over the years that have told me different, including themselves being among the users. Three, if Waterloo was the only school using, you can take away the "performance enhancing" idea, no?

Bud Selig and the powers that be in baseball must just soil themselves when it is interleague play and it starts raining.

Roy Halladay got a reminder last night of what it is like to face a top offence and not the lightweights of the National League. 3 homers given up, tying a career worst. Welcome back to Yankee Stadium, Leroy. The Yanks pounded Philly 8-3 in a World Series rematch.

Thru yesterday's play, there were only 23 goals scored in first 14 World Cup games, the lowest by far of any 32-team World Cup.  At the more ideal end, the last three after 14 games saw 34 goals in 1998, 39 in 2002, and 31 in 2006.  Funny thing is that most soccer fans I've talked to can admit when it has been less than stellar, unlike fans in other sports that take it as an attack on their family when someone suggests their game is shit at the times.  I'm looking at you, Hockey Fan.

But, to make up for things, I present to you porn stars body painted in World Cup colours.  There, feel better?

That not good enough?  Okay, how about a guide to naked WAG's?  For the life of me, I can't figure how Shaun Wright-Phillips, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Peter Crouch pull that kind of talent.

The vuvuzela is on Twitter.  People come up with some funny stuff.  Check this out.

Your Culturally Insensitive World Cup Goal Roundup For June 15th.  Cannot help but laugh.

Former MLBer Wally Backman is now managing in the minor leagues and was recently mic'd up for a game. Well, he was thrown out of a game and unloaded a terrific rant. Definitely have your headphones plugged in if at the office for this.  Warning: THIS.  IS.  AWESOME.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

These unis change...nothing.

Holland made easy work of Denmark with a 2-0 win to open their World Cup run. Very impressed with the play of Eljero Elia off the bench for Holland. Japan were 1-0 winners over Cameroon in what could go down as one of the dullest games in history, and Italy and Paraguay played to a 1-1 draw, a bit of an escape for Italy after a terrible goal given up by Paraguay.  Thought Italian Pepe was fantastic there, though the ghost of Fabio Cannavaro wasn't so impressive.  Somehow I managed to stay off the grid for 5 hours after that one finished without finding out the score before I hit play on the PVR. Not easy staying off Twitter, ESPN et al for that long. Oh, and Memo to Gigi Buffon: nice tights. Grow a pair.

Some like to believe a World Cup doesn't get under way until Brazil gets in on the action, and they'll do that today at 2:30 with an easy win over North Korea. The intriguing match of the day is the 10am showdown between Ivory Coast, and an uncharacteristically under the radar Portugal. The silence around the name of Cristiano Ronaldo in the run up to the tourney has been stunning, frankly. This is a huge game for both as the winner will likely advance, albeit as most likely a second place finisher with a quarter-final date with Spain the "reward".

If I see another player shoot from distance and it goes 15' over the net, I'm finally going to buy this "ball sucks" business. Awful shooting to date, and surely that explains why they're on a record low scoring pace through four days.  That said, the scoring may be low, but the goalkeeping has been largely horrible.

So all this talk of the Toronto Maple Leafs launching new unis and they come out with a whole lot of nothing new.  Yay, they put stripes back on to lose the practice jersey look and the retro shoulder patches.  Yawn.  But Dion Phaneuf is captain, so there is that.

The Philadelphia Phillies have the third worst interleague record in the majors when you add up the previous three years. Not something you'd guess, no?

If you're old enough, you might recall the vuvuzela was a fixture at Toronto Argo games years back. You know, when the Argos drew a crowd.

Why are there so many Serbian flags flying on pizza delivery vehicles?

The U.S. vs. England game Saturday afternoon drew a huge 2.25 million viewers in Canada, and 17 million south of the border, where it topped all of the first four games of the NBA finals.  Not bad for a Saturday afternoon.

If Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans is suspended for his act in a Dallas strip joint this weekend, that would set up an interesting angle to the Titans Week 2 matchup vs. Pittsburgh, wouldn't it? Two QB's under suspension for violations of the Personal Conduct Policy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Germany roll

The best World Cup performance of the opening weekend goes to Germany by a good margin, who ripped apart Australia in a 4-0 win yesterday that could've been far more than that.   The win evened Europe's ledger at the World Cup to a modest 2-2-2 with only Slovenia the other winner, also yesterday.  The other match yesterday saw Serbia a surprising 1-0 loser to the Black Stars of Ghana.  Incidentally, found out yesterday from my parents that I'm at least 1/16th Ghanian.

Tennessee Titans QB Vince Young has been more than happy to tell the world how much he's grown up since the death of Steve McNair.  And what says "grown up" more than popping a strip club goer in the mouth for dropping an upside down "hook 'em Horns" sign on VY?  He's been charged with assault, and with video (see below), hard pressed to figure how he walks.  That is one Horn that got hooked.

The Philadelphia Phillies record over their last 20 games: 6 wins, 14 losses, and they've been outscored 98-48.  Next stop is a World Series rematch in The Bronx, starting with Roy Halladay and CC Sabathia tomorrow night.

Not surprisingly, England goalie Robert Green has been dropped from the starting lineup after the howler he gave up on Saturday against the U.S.

Denmark's striker Niklas Bendtner says that he'll lead the World Cup in scoring.  No, seriously.  He also said he'd lead the English Premier League in scoring this year and we know how that turned out.  Fool.  Somebody should remind him he's Niklas Bendtner.

What do the Cincinnati Red, San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays have in common?  All are in first place, all were at home yesterday, and all drew fewer than 26,000 fans.

After some talk yesterday that the vuvuzela would be banned from World Cup stadia, looks like it won't be happening after all.

Be sure to catch Chicago Black Hawk Patrick Kane's act during the Hawks parade, attended by an estimated 2 million Chicagoans.  Awesome stuff, PK.

The more I watch this video of Patrick Kane at the Chicago Black Hawks victory parade, the more I like him.

View more news videos at:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Full credit to the U.S. for not playing scared against England even after Steven Gerrard opened the scoring in the fourth minute finishing off a beauty set up.  The U.S. pushed forward and while they scored a very lucky goal, were very much deserving of at least a point in this one.  Tim Howard was fantastic in the U.S. goal.

Argentina started like they'd score a half dozen but the goalkeeping of Nigeria's Vincent Enyeama saw to it they wouldn't, a Gabriel Heinze goal aside, and the further the game went, the more it looked like Nigeria would level the score but Argentina ended up 1-0 winners.  Great in attack, but very suspect defending for Argentina.  A better team will make them pay.

The upside for Greece is that they're used to getting bent over, so if Korea do them for a 2-0 win, the destruction Argentina foist upon them will only offer a slightly harsher feeling in the nether regions.  BOHICA, Greece.  The more Greece played yesterday, the more infuriated I was that my Croatian boys - better than those plugs on their worst day - are at home.

Ben Roethlesberger is still talking of how he's changed, but isn't swearing off booze going forward, which is fine.  I've always been in the camp that booze doesn't make you a prick, you being a prick makes you a prick.  Not sure why anybody would be surprised by that though, this is the guy who nearly died while not wearing a motorcycle helmet and nearly becoming a hood ornament and insisted he'll keep riding.  Now, if he were to swear off raping girls, then I'd be impressed but to date, no mention.

Nice knowing you, Chuck Lidell.  The Iceman got iced with five seconds left in the first round by an awesome Rich Franklin right hand.  Not bad for a guy who fought at least half the round with a broken arm after blocking a kick.  Cro Cop won by submission for what was a pretty dull card overall in Vancouver for UFC 115.

World Cup WAGs, because you can never have enough.

Off to catch Serbia and Ghana.  Enjoy!