The most important football game in the universe that was played this past Saturday (yesterday as I hammer this out on my Adler J-5 typewriter) was played at Wembley Stadium, London before a crowd of 87,189. The universe held its breath. Would defiant little England clomp out onto pitch with poppies on their shirts? Would they then proceed to receive an expected thrashing at the hands of the World Champions??
It was none of that, ofcourse.
The poppy-gate issue was settled by wearing black armbands with poppies on them.
England proceeded to play Spain’s type of game, for the most part. And that tactic could have lead to VERY grievous result but for the fact that Spain played Spain’s type of game as poorly as England played it.
It was NOT the the most important football game in the universe yesterday. And it was won by England, when for a brief shining moment they played more like, well, England….a James Milner free kick into the box of hope for the best. IN this case, Darren Bent connected with free kick and headed it on goal, but it bounced off the left post and back across, and the onrushing Frank Lampard, England’s temporary Captain, headed it home for the game’s only score at the 49th minute.
Lampard as Captain seems more like replacing a weasel bastard like John Terry with a bunny rabbit ((—Insert Watership Down reference here—)). But it worked, for one game at least. Lescott, Parker and Jagielka held the ramparts at the back. Terry will be back at the helm for the Tuesday night’s friendly against Sweden during which at some point Andy Carroll (from the stands, not the pitch) will point to a Swedish player flopping on the pitch and say, “Look at Sven, he’s so drunk he tinks he’s ME!”
Yes, much to look forward to. Especially if England returns to their usual dysfunctional self. Which by the way will have nothing to do with John Terry, and more to do with England being England after all. Spain had an off day…so let’s not get over our skis like Eddie the Eagle.
And no, this was not the most important football game in the universe.
What WAS you ask??
This was the obvious answer to most people. But again, wrong. This was not the most important football game in the universe on Saturday, November 12th 2011. The pundits wanted to make it so albeit with a subtle undercurrent of distaste and reluctance. How would the Penn State team respond to the turmoil of the past week and all that dross. I’m sure the current players had nothing to do with the sudden fall from grace, but all the same, the only thing important about this game was that I wanted Nebraska to win…and the bigger the better…so as to not give a shred or ray of hope to a program and institution that has fallen so far and so fast that hopelessness is all that it deserves for now. In light of the despicable events that occurred and were revealed this past past week, this game was not important, and the circumstances surrounding it call to question the importance of any football game or sporting event.
In case you’ve been hiding out somewhere in northern Niger waiting for the score of the Belarus vs Niger friendly on your transistor radio, former Penn State defensive co-ordinator Jerry Sandusky (who’d suddenly retired in 1999) and long-time Joe Paterno assistant and confidant, was indicated this week by a Pennsylvania Grand Jury on 8 counts of pedophilia that involved the sexual assault of young boys. You can read the entire 23 page Grand Jury indictment here if you can stomach reading that sort of thing. But in one feel swoop, the entire Penn State football program and university from Joe Paterno on down to the President of the University, was brought down to the depths which it evidently deserves.
It was despicable that this was allowed to go on for so long. Made even more despicable the inaction of Joe Paterno, who in the eyes of many was this virtuous and great man. Clearly that was false and an illusion. Joe Paterno, his staff, the AD and the University President suborned and enabled pedophilia at their University. And quite frankly, I didn’t even want to write about this and I don’t. It’s a filth that won’t wash off. Not for a long time. And for the victims of this ugly and duplicitous cadre, it NEVER foes away.
But it must be said that we give FAR too much importance to sports and in many cases FAR too much power to those who lead it. We ofttimes glorify sports for the wrong reasons and give sports an importance that it neither deserves not has the capacity to live up to. We allow those in sports, players and coaches alike a leeway in their behavior that only a rare few can navigate responsibly. We look the other way for the sake of victory. We allow bad behavior and even criminal activity to be overlooked so as not to jeopardize the pursuit of victory.
I’ve always said that sports can be uplifting, that sports can be transcendent. That is what they are meant to be. But sports can only achieve that when people are more important than the sport itself. Victory at all costs is not a cordial invitation to violate the rules of the game or the rules of life. It is meant to be an exhortation to push yourself to and beyond you physical and mental limits on the field of play…to do and be your very best.
And with that thought in mind, I’m going to wash off the filth of this Penn State mess and move on.
For those of you who’ve been laying about in desert reaches norther Niger waiting for that final score of the Belarus/Niger friendly to come crackling over the transistor radio in the middle of the night, let me inform you of 2 things:
- The Belarus/Niger friendly you’ve been waiting on was cancelled. Cancelled because the parties involved couldn’t or didn’t get the time of the game straight. Wtf?? Anyway. So don’t be waiting on the score.
- Kyle Busch got into a bit of argy-bargy with Ron Hornaday in the Camping World truck race at Texas Speedway a week ago last Friday when he deliberately rammed him, at speed, from behind and sent Hornaday’s truck spinning head-on in the wall.
NASCAR, of course, black-flagged Busch and parked him for the rest of the race. Then after the post-race meet and greet in the NASCAR hauler, they parked him for the entire weekend and put him on probation for the rest of the season. And it was a good thing NASCAR took action. If they hadn’t, Ron Hornaday would have taken action himself.
He was all set to stroll over to Kurt Busch’s house to pound his punk ass so hard that Kyle’s grand-children’s grandchildren will grow up goofy ((which they probably will anyway…rofl))
It was a stupid act on Kyle’s part to begin with. Stupid and dangerous. Mars Incorporated, maker of M&M’s said they would not sponsor the #18 Toyota if Kyle Busch was behind the wheel. They made it very clear to Joe Gibbs that Kyle’s behavior is not the sort of thing the wish to sponsor. There was talk that Gibbs would park Busch for the season and replace him with Aric Almirola for Phoenix and Homestead. But as it worked out, Busch will be in the ride today at Phoenix and next Sunday at Homestead sponsored by Interstate Batteries. Joe Gibbs Racing will be tacking on penalties in addition to what NASCAR dished out. My guess, though, is that Kyle Busch will be driving for free for the next two races. He’s lucky to be driving at all.
We’ll see what happens next year. If I were Jack Roush, I would be dialing up Mars Incorporated and cordially inviting them to sponsor Matt Kenseth. It would be a perfect fit.
Yesterday, at Phoenix International Raceway, Danica Patrick put the IRL behind her for good and teed off her new and permanent career in NASCAR. While I would like to say started off with a win, that will have to wait. She did, however, get things started off with a bang.
And not in a good way.
On the first freakin’ lap, she got caught up when Reed Sorenson’s fucktardary caused a 8 car wreck and was tagged into the outside wall. On the first lap. At least she was able to limp in to the pits for repairs. Brian Scott’s day was finished without even completing a lap. Sorenson finally dropped out at lap 34 and finished 35th. Danica was able to keep on with it, and finished the race 4 laps down in 21st place when the checkers flew. Sam Hornish Jr. took the win.
Heading into Homestead next week, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pretty much has the Nationwide Championship locked up. He’ll have to finish 43rd and Sadler would have to win in order for that to change. Stranger things have happened, but…not bloody likely.
Danica will finish top 10 in Miami next Saturday. And all will be well going into the off-season. I’m looking forward to 2012. Danica is here to save the day!!
Baring the unthinkable when these two teams meet again in Dublin on Tuesday, Ireland has qualified for the Euro 2012. After getting cheated out of their World Cup 2010 bid by the fackin’ Frenchies, this is a sweet and fabulous result. The 4 precious road goals give Ireland a nigh insurmountable lead. No wonder Robbie Keane, who scored a brace, is as happy as a little girl.
I would be too, if I had made Robbie Keane the Captain of my Euro 2012 Qualifying Fantasy Football team instead of Zvjezdan Misimović. I had figured that Bosnia vs Portugal would be higher scoring affair. Instead, the lads duked it out for a 0-0 draw in Sarajevo. I won’t make that mistake for Gameday 14. Robbie Keane is the man. Robbie Keane is as happy as a little girl. And to be honest, so am I. Ireland won! Let’s be off to the pub!!!