Luke Modric to Chelsea; Carl Edwards to Joe Gibbs Racing; Your 1st place Milwaukee Brewers
There are some poetic, half-poetic, and quasi-poetic utopisms to choose from, I hardly know where to begin. Here on the day before the Brickyard 400. Here on the day after Bob Bradley is boosted from the US Men’s Soccer Team and replaced by Jürgen Klinsmann before us pundits have barely a fighting chance to digest the transition and speculate on who might be the best replacement. At least Roman Abromovich gave us some time to ramp up the speculation mills to tornadic levels. XXX gave us LESS than 24 hours…hardly time to form a coherent sentence, let alone unveil and set in motion a descending series of thoughts. Jürgen Klinsmann it is, then. The man they wanted all along, but were unwilling to relent to, until now.
Next up in the sights of speculation is Fabio Capello. It’s only a matter of time, and the sooner the better. Let’s start tilting at the the rumour mill right now. I’m tossing Bob Bradley’s name into the ring for England. It’s not bloody likely, but it WOULD be an intriguing mix given the talents ((and their propensity to waste them)) of the English lads. Bob Bradley and the Three Lions….well, that would be interesting to say the least. Bob Bradley, when he speaks, DOES speak English. And he doesn’t suffer fools much. And he might get the lads to play as a team, and no doubt he would dump some the wankers who can’t or won’t. So there we go….off to the race. England at least has the mercy of giving us all a head start on the inevitable.
Meanwhile, Paris St. Germaine is hell bent on becoming the Manchester City of Ligue 1. The Frenchies, or rather the sheiks that own PSG, are spending, well….like sheiks! Chelsea had been pursuing Palermo’s young talent Javier Pastore with the idea that if Daniel Levy at Tottenham continues to become even MORE stubborn than he has been, they could get Pastore as their mid-fielder of the present and future. But PSG dropped a whopping £43 million (that’s $70,520,000 for those of you keeping score in sunny south suburban Daleyville, Wisconsin USA) for the transfer fee. It’s a crazy fee for someone that young, but then again, money shines more brightly when it’s wasted ((—insert your own Fernando Torres reference or joke here—)). This not to say Pastore is not worth significant coin. He is, but not 43 million quid. Heck….you could probably buy both Gareth Bale AND Jack Wilshire for that. No…scratch that. Levy ain’t partin’ with Gareth Bale, that’s for sure. Luka Modric, well…I’m sticking with my prediction of 32-35 million quid on that. Modric wants to leave. He wants to go to Chelsea. There is no sense stubbornly keeping him around. Daniel Levy is behaving like that idiot Mike Brown who owns the Cincinnati Bengals and is stubbornly insisting on keeping Carson Palmer instead of trading him….both of these goofs have assets that don’t want to be there, so why not get something of value in return.
As for your 1st place Milwaukee Brewers…they are in 1st place and will remain there until the end of the season. As for Carl Edwards, who is also in first place, I’m not going shell out any of my mother-in-law’s money on him being there at the end of the season. The only certainty with The Carl, is that he will remain with Roush Racing until the end of the season. After that, all bets are at your own risk.
The only thing you can bet on is that we will have more psuedo-utopisms to unveil after these commercial messages.
Matt Kenseth wins Brickyard 400; Jürgen Klinsmann wins World Cup 2014; Your last place Minnesota Vike-Queens
Speculation is, of course, the most compelling aspect of sports fandom….more compelling at times, than the sporting event itself. This is one of the constant ironies of sport. What drives interest in sports of-times has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual game itself. The driving force, of-course, is gambling. That, as opposed to sportswriting, is the ultimate and purest form of speculation. There are quite a few people who do not care one bit about the games themselves, but care very much about the markers they’ve placed upon them. The best at gambling, can’t really afford to care, for as soon as they do, down the losing spiral they go.
It’s a lesson that can be learned for FREE however on ESPN’s Streak For The Cash. Yesterday, I pick a match where I have a rooting interest…The FA Cup qualifying match between Crawley Town and AFC Wimbledon. Both team were recently promoted from Conference National to League 2. Crawley Town got automatic promotion by topping the Conference National table while AFC Wimbledon gained promotion by beating the hell out of Fleetwood Town 8-1 on aggregate in a home and home playoff. It’s the first time in FA Cup history that two newly promoted teams from the same league will face each other in FA qualifier. But the rooting interest for me is AFC Wimbledon itself. They’ve been the classic underdog, a real feel-good story of a team that only starting playing football in 2002. AFC Wimbledon was formed when the original Wimbledon football club, a club with a long and storied history, was stolen from Wimbledon by the newly built city of Milton Keynes, NW of London. The former Wimbledon FC became the Milton Keynes Dons, who ply their trade in League 1. AFC Wimbledon started their first season in the Combined Counties League which is 5 levels down the soccer pyramid from where they are now. So their rise has been quite remarkable, and since their original local club was stolen by a city that I helped to build (in the sense that I worked for the Milton Keynes Development Corporation on an internship while I was in college), I’ve taken a rooting interest in AFC Wimbledon and want them to do well. But I set that aside for the FA qualifying match. I chose Crawley Town to win rather than selecting AFC Wimbledon to win. Quite frankly, it could have gone either way since both teams are good, and they WILL remain up in League 2. Crawley Town, I felt, needed the FA Cup win more…and I got that sense from the news on both team’s websites ahead of the match. I therefor predicted a close match that Wimbledon would lose. The final score was Crawley Town 3 AFC Wimbledon 2. And I joined the other 21.6% of SFTC players who got it right.If Paddy Power would accept bets from the United States, I would have been on the piss this whole weekend. Wait….WHAT??
I would have been on the piss for FREE this whole weekend. Onward.
Kenseth, Klinsmann, and the Vike-Queens are all similar emotional plays. In all likelihood, Matt Kenseth will finish tomorrow’s Brickyard 400 somewhere in the top 10 but not in 1st. If Klinsmann leads our USMST to World Cup Victory in Brazil in 2014, I will eat Diego Maradona’s beard, moustache and eyebrows (or the phenomenological equivalent thereof). As for your last-place Minnesota Vike-Queens, well….that’s a more realistic bet….but still not without its emotional overtones at least for me. I would always bet them to lose just as I would bet Kenseth and the USA to win in a perfect emotional world.
The Vike-Queens have signed Donovan McNabb to lead them to last place next season. And I real feel a bit sorry for McNabb. Besides the fact that he is now the QB for the Minnesota Vike-Queens…the expectation to actually win something other than 5,6,7 games next season is heaped upon him in the wake of his unceremonious departures from Philadelphia and Washington. He will have more questions about his actual ability dogging him all season. He will NOT carry the Vike-Queens on his back to the Super Bowl or even an 8-8 finish. No one will leave him alone to do what he could do best….mentor young Christian Ponder and groom him to face future disappointment at the hands of the Green Bay Packers with style, grace, and dignity.
Torres tap-in tops Villans; Arsenal almost perfects the Ballerina Defense; Your NASCAR Nationwide Rookie of the Year 2011, Danica Patrick.
A cynical imaginary friend of mine commented the other day that Danica Patrick will win the Indy 500 before Fernando Torres scores a goal for Chelsea. It seemed almost plausible for a brief moment of dark humour, but really, I said, aren’t you just piling on unnecessarily like all the rest. It’s not his fault that Abromovich brought him in as an expensive band-aid to solve a problem Torres could never, even in the best of form, solve. Torres scored at the 57 minute mark in today’s Asia Cup Final against Aston Villa. So Torres is off the schneid this pre-season and hopeful that will shut the cynical up for a bit while AVB re-tools a team badly in need of it. Chelsea, as I said quite a bit last season is old and slow…a lot of the time last season they played like slugs. The miracle of it all is that despite all that they finished in 2nd place.
Across town, the Gooner Ballet Company was in full swing. Arsenal lost their pre-season friendly in the Emirates Cup to Boca Juniors, 2-2. I say lost, because the Gooner ballerinas had a 2-0 lead and let the choreography get away from them. Neither Squillaci or Djourou could properly execute the grand plié to grand jeté from the 2nd & 4th position respectively…in fact, they both performed an abjectly miserable pas de chat, instead. Wegner said his lads danced at a good pace for 60 minutes. But unfortunately for Arsenal, the ballet lasted 90 minutes. Wenger can bemoan the departure of Fabregas and beseech the arrival of Gervinho all he wants, but until he gets a few goons ((pun not intended, but we’ll just have to deal with it)) on the back line, it won’t always be the Wegnerian finish when the fat lady sings ((to mix metaphors AND puns)). I will just shut up now and wait for the dust to settle and the pretty ballet slippers to be set aside. And you all will dash to off to read Andrey Arshavin’s blog at ONCE!
Dale Earnhardt Jr is not sure what Danica Patrick will do next season, but I’m quite sure that Junior’s sister could make sure that they are quite sure within the next 10 minutes or so give or take a few weeks. My wishful thinking on this is that Danica comes over to NASCAR fulltime for JR Motorsports. I want her to run the Indy 500….I think Andretti Autosports owes her the courtesy of a ride. But I think the sooner she’s over in NASCAR fulltime, the better it will be for everyone involved . Her next race will be the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve August 20th in Montreal. I wish she would just stay in the #7 car for the rest of the season. But she’ll race Richmond in Sept. Kansas in Oct. And then the final 3 in November, at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. But let’s not let the tedious facts get in the way, the truth of it is is that Danica Patrick will save NASCAR. So what are we waiting for?
Dave Ragan won the pole for the Brickyard 400. He will not win the Brickyard 400. I he does, I will walk on my hands wearing a kilt down Main Street in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin at 3:56 in the afternoon starting at the Main Street Pub & Grill, I will take a left on Second Street and walk on my hands wearing a kilt up the stairs into the Grumpy Troll and have a fine beverage in my custom designed Mug Club mug. I will continue on down Front Street walking on my hands while wearing a kilt to the Firehouse Bar & Grill and there I will set my Irish-Bohemian ass down on my customary barstool with a pint of my usual DAB and pretend this all never happened. You can see why I’d rather have Brad Kesolowski win….alls I’d have to do then is pour out my DA, fill my pint with ice and pour in a bottle of Miller Lite…and if Harvick wins, it’s Budweiser, no ice. I’m rooting for Kenseth, of course, who qualified 9th. If he can’t win it, then I’d love to see Montoya, who tees off 7th, finally get that elusive oval win.
As for the World Cup 2014, they had a bunch of football celebrities pull slips of paper with names of county on them out of jars. And since it was in Brazil, Charleze Theron did not get to participate. But the always lovely Fernanda Lima was on display to lead the proceedings. And since this is a preview show, and not the actual show, I’ll will simply say that yes, there are Groups of Death in the Qualifying Rounds. And YES, The fackin’ Frenchies are in the Europe Qualifying Group of Death. Group I contains France, Spain, Belarus, Georgia and Finland. As we’ve seen from Euro 2012 so far, Belarus is no slouch, and neither is Georgia. Yuri Zhevnov of Belarus has been the best goalie in Euro 2012 so far and has been anchoring my Euro 2012 Fantasy Football Team. And his team-mate, the aforementioned Igor Shitov has been a stalwart on my back line. I’ve also had Georgia’s goalie Nukri Rhevishvili was solid for me on Matchday 5 when Belarus was not on the schedule. So I laugh at you you fackin’ cheatin’ Frenchies. Ha ha ha.
Well that’s all we have for today. We’ll see if any of my Brickyard 400 predictions are correct. But if anyone sees me walking on my hands wearing a kilt, up the stairs to the Grumpy Troll, well…what can we do when the facts, for once, get in the way of the truth. Stop walking on yer hands wearing a kilt, of course. And get in front of a cold beer. Which is what I will do right now, and so should you. Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Etta James: