It all came down to this on a rainy night in Cardiff. The roof of Millennium Stadium ((how aptly named)) was closed to the pouring rain. But as it was, the fate of Engla…..ERRRRR…GREAT BRITAIN was naught sealed off from it’s essential element. The game that could have put Britain through to the semi-finals came down to penalty kicks after what was for the most part, 120 minutes of pigeon-livered football. Penalty kicks to win it. They should have opened the roof and let the pouring rain come crashing through.
It was a penalty kick, ironically, that gave England it’s only goal. Aaron Ramsey (not noted for penalty kicks) smacked that in at the 36 minute mark to level the match. He had another opportunity 4 minutes later to take the lead on another penalty kick, but he missed. And for the next 80 minutes nothing much remarkable occurred other than the rousing ovation of Welsh pride both old man Craig Bellamy and old man Ryan Giggs received with they were substituted for each other at the 85 minute mark.
When it came down to pens, Ramsey opened Britain’s account and all of Wales and England ((not sure about N. Ireland or Scotland)) breathed a sigh of relief. The Koreans each answered in kind….Butland never came close to stopping anything….and Ramsey was followed by Tom Cleverly, Craig Dawson, and Old Man Giggs. It was boom boom boom, but the Koreans, as I said, had no fear ((and as an aside, The Korean team was told that if they won the Gold, they would be able to skip 2 years of their compulsory military service….hell yeh…I’d KILL to get out of that (or go to Quebec =P ))). So now it’s tied 4-4, and up the plate steps The Mighty Danny Sturridge.
All Studge needed to do was calmly and authoritatively slot it home. Nothing fancy was needed, just confidence and belief. All needed to do was step up there like his former teammate Didier Drogba did at Munich this spring and put the fuckin’ ball in the net like it just another day in the park. But it’s Daniel Sturridge we’re talking about here. Chelsea striker who started last season as one of the hottest strikers in the Prem, a player many teams had their eyes on. Don’t get me wrong. Studge has a ton of talent and ability. But as last season wore on his selfishness and egotistical play became more and more evidently. Within his chest beats not the heart of true champion, but the heart of a lad who wants to be the centre of attention.
So instead of just stepping up and shooting the kick with the unremarkable assuredness his four previous teammates had done, Studge had to showboat and standout. He did a stutter step as he addressed the ball. The Korean goalie didn’t buy it and blocked his shot with ease, And after Sturridge stood there for a moment with the stunned expression on his face that only those who believe they are inherently privileged can muster, Sung-Yong Ki kicked his team into the semi-finals and meeting with Brazil next Tuesday at Old Trafford.
Brazil, yes. Quite. So much for that military service reprieve. Winning the Bronze will not pass muster in Soeul.
As for Britain, I have a question. Did this end up any differently than we thought it would?
I’ll let the Japanese answer that: “Yappari…”
Japan, by the way is my odds on fave to win Gold….Brazil to take Silver…Mexico to take Bronze. As for the Pennsylvania 400, the 2nd of the 2 annual Borsht Belt Classics will begin its descent to madness with Juan Pablo Montoya leading the way as soon as the rain lifts its foot of the gas. There is no roof at Pocono.
While we’re waiting for the start, I have one question for America. Who is NASCAR’s Danny Sturridge? Discuss.
It was thought at the start of the Olympics that Hope Powell’s women’s team would have Britain best shot at a medal. Hope Powell is a great coach, better by a ton than Stuart Pearce. And as it turned out, the English women were punching above their weight as well. But with considerably more wit.
Then again, their trip to the medal round would have to go through Canada. And that was a tougher roadblock than they could have imagined. After all, Canada had played with grit and determination in the Women’s World Cup, but were outclassed as a team in that competition, despite having one of the best players in the world, Christine Sinclair leading the charge. But on this day, they looked like a total team.
In the Olympics the Canadian team has galvanized themselves into a powerhouse. And they clearly outplayed England to move on to face the USA on Monday. ((And that would be moments ago as I tap out this telegram—The USA/Canada game has just gone final—and tomorrow when I continue this, I will have something to say about that when I type up my thoughts.
Holy fock!! What did I just watch?? “My word”, as certain former Chelsea FC assistant coach would say. This was an absolute thrilling knockdown dragout no holds barred slugfest. If there were ropes, Abby Wambach and Melissa Tancredi would have come in off the top of them. Chris Sinclair and Megan Rapinoe would be smacking each other with folding chairs. This was one focking hell of good football match. It was match that would have left most of the men’s teams flopping about on the pitch crying for their mommies.
Chris Sinclair was
the dreamiest absolutely magnificent. She scored a hat trick and every time the USA leveled, she got Canada back on top. I wish she played for the USA. She put Canada on her back carried them farther than anyone would have thought possible. Chris Sinclair was able to raise the Canadian team up to her level and if they can continue playing at that level, they will be formidable opponents for years to come.
Just because it game was played with a plentiful lack of wit, does not mean that it was played with a COMPLETE lack of wit. Canadian coach John Herdman started the mind games rolling with a pre-match rant about America’s physical and possibly illegal play. And during the match, Abby Wambach counted of the seconds, loudly, for the refs benefit, each time Canadian goalie Erin McLeod held the ball before. This resulted in a the free kick for USA in the area, and that immediately resulted in a handball penalty against Canada. And brevity being the soul of wit, Abby Wambach stepped up and stuffed it home past Erin McLeod to draw us level at 3-3.
The game went to extra time, and Canada started to stutter and run on fumes….even Chris Sinclair could not lift them. USA dominated possession but couldn’t finish the job until the 3rd minute of injury time (that would be 120+3 for those keeping score at Tony’s in Blanchardville) when Alex Morgan ended her surprising scoring drought with a wondrous shot as time ran out.
Wow! That’s all I can still say a day later. I’m exhausted just thinking about that game. So I won’t exhaust you lot by writing about it any further. We won. And we’re on to wreak vengeance upon the Japanese. Discuss.
After Jimmie Johnson and His Damned Ability, and Matt Kenseth and His Damned Consistency went all Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead on each other on the restart following the Kurt Busch’s wreck in turn 2 on lap 87, the aforementioned Mr. Jeffery Michael Gordon survived the resulting mayhem and had the lead when the race was called shortly thereafter on account of violent thunderstorms that killed NASCAR fan Brian Zimmerman just outside the track in the grandstand area parking lot. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of victim who were struck by lighting at the track just after the race was called. Yours should be too.
A plentiful lack of wit on Jimmie Johnson’s part…getting loose as Matt was poised to easily pass for the lead. But I suppose in hindsight, everyone was watching the radar, including Brad Kesolowski from his cell phone thinking, “DAMN, I’ve got no chance….but…” ((Bad Brad finished 4th, btw)). I’m sure everyone figured that the caution would be thrown soon and that that would be the final curtain. I’m sure the pundits were talking that up on the broadcast. But since I was watching this at THE FIREHOUSE, some non-NASCAR fan patrons who are not even regulars simply HAD to play the jukebox, so instead of snappy commentary from Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree, we had some Adele meets Five Finger Death Punch medley to endure along with a plentiful lack of you know what. At least there was CRASH CRASH CRASH!!! Which meant 2 for 1 Crown Royal for me. So…I soldiered on through.
On the Jim Rome Show today, Van Smack was raving on about the American Judo Dude ((or judoka for those who wish to be excruciatingly correct)) who got boosted from the Olympics for testing positive for Hippie Lettuce. I don’t know about you, but when I think of performance enhancing droogs, I’m not thinking about rolling some doobs. Or in his case, tucking into a few Magic Brownies. Now, he didn’t chuff these DURING the games…it was several weeks before the games. And he alleges that he DIDN’T KNOW they were Magic Brownies when he partook ((save that thought)).
Anyway, Rome was quite skeptical. And he has a point that athletes SHOULD know what they’re putting in their body at all times. Their body is their livelihood. It’s their temple. Any athlete that says that they didn’t; know is either lying or a poor athlete. I agree with Rome up to point. But….hold this thought as well.
Today it was announced what droog The Dinger got suspended from NASCAR for. It was Adderal. A prescription drug for Attention-Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder. Dinger does not suffer from that and had no prescription. So how did this bright yo0ung athlete get this in his system? Well, as he stated, he was feeling tired after/during a night out in Louisville, Kentucky before the Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway. So a friend of friend gave him a pill and told him it was a “workout supplement” and would give him a boost. So…he popped it in his piehole, just like Nick Delpopolo popped those brownies in his piehole.
Nick’s THRILLING 7TH PLACE FINISH has been expunged. And The Dinger is suspended from NASCAR and has been dropped from his ride at Penske.
Rome’s rant is quite correct when he says that athlete’s should know what they’re putting in their bodies.The problem with that phenomenological equation is that they’re ATHLETES. And I’m sorry to say that most of them live up to the Dumb Jock® meme. Most of that lot are not the bringhtest bulbs on the porch. Clearly they don’t think it through…The Dinger surely didn’t. Instead of taking that pill, he’d have been better served by burning a heater and swilling a cup of coffee ((or popping one of those 5hour Energy Drinks Jim Rome keep raving about)).
Or just stick with the beer. MY performance enhancing drug of choice. See how well it works??