World Cup the American way–as stylized political statement

2014-World-Cup-Fans-4EVERYTHING, ends up as culture war rhetoric!  Apparently either you love The World Cup or you’re over there in the camp with Ann Coulter.   Fans cheer during the 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match between Ghana and the U.S. at a viewing party in Hermosa BeachGoodness, when will people stop responding to the stupid shit she says? But I digress.

I love how people who aren’t really into sports, wave their smug fingers at people who haven’t gotten into The World Cup. I say The World Cup because it’s not about soccer. They don’t give a shit about the game, many don’t even understand the game, only the hoopla every 4yrs.

But I get it, there are lots of colors, people (chicks) gathering, beer and…(emphasis mine: the game isn’t dominated by those Black guys we hold in such contempt).

anono1

It’s fun but take away the beer, people (chicks) gathering in parks and bars and you’re left with soccer. So unless you play or follow year round, stall the indignation and admit that you’re just there for the party. For some reason chicks love it and there’s beer, you don’t need to say anything else!

The people who love American sports;  football, basketball, baseball, etc., actually love the sport. But our love is more organic (interesting word, given the way a political demarcation has emerged), it’s about the game. Most have played on some level and/or have followed all their life. We know the players, have watched them since high school or college.  We start with what’s between the lines and our interest spreads to the peripheral pageantry. If you show up to watch fine, if the ladies show up even better but we don’t care if you don’t, we’ll be ok. Those waving their fingers at us, start with the pageantry and only find a tactic connection to what’s happening on the field. Once The World Cup is over you won’t watch another soccer game for 4yrs. hot-world-cup-fans-32And to the non-athlete skinny jean, I-don’t-like-sports-but-hey-chicks-have-given-the-ok-so-I-like The World Cup hipster dudes, taking shots at guys who prefer American sports, we know why you’re there, so just stop already please!

So if you love The World Cup, then love it, fuck Ann Coulter. I’m not a fan of soccer, but I love the buzz that’s created when people get excited about sporting events. But please stop with the indignation, stop using it as a political statement as though your love of The World Cup somehow makes you more enlightened.

imagesBut what I find ironic is the notion of using your appreciation of The World Cup to send a political signal about yourself. brazil-world-cup-may-10-2014So if you go there, then  be consistent and not gloss over the corruption that goes along with The World Cup.   I mean displacement of people, elimination of local vendors, building of stadiums that remain empty and leave huge budget deficits, the corruption of FIFA, etc. Instead of trying to shame, frame or isolate those who aren’t into The World Cup, why not advocate for a purer game? whiteElephansImagine yourselves preparing to watch a corruption free World Cup event while sipping a fresh cup of fair trade coffee!

As for the game of soccer: They need to figure out how to get more shots on goal.
But If you need flags then you should have checked out the NBA finals and the beauty of basketball. Plays are being made every couple of seconds. san_antonio_spurs__international_alliance_by_jeth_villar-d7kqcq1I have another post coming that deals with the whining about the number of Non-American (born) players on the Spurs and why NBA fans have trouble embracing them.

Title IX, Howard Univesity and Nightline’s Face-off

abc_faceoff_259_100419_sshThis week is the 42nd Anniversary of Title IX.  So why a picture from, ABC News Nightline “Face-off”? I didn’t see it, only heard excerpts but keep that in mind as you listen to a story about Howard University. I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.

In this video Christina Hoff Sommers talks Title IX with a story about Howard University.

PS: Luke Harris and 200 Black men….yeah right.  The “Black community” only cares about Black boys as a source of their lament. Got plenty of shake your head, pull up your pants indignation but there’s no genuine concern.

Link to: ABC’s Nightline Face-off

Game 5

CC on the mound for game 5 at Yankee stadium.  Can’t wait, I’ll be on pins and needles-man, playoff baseball is so unpredictable.

Everyone has been on ARod and for good reason. Everything that needs to be said has been said so I’ll leave it alone. What I want to see is Cano, Ichiro, Teix and Granderson wake up. Right now Cano, Teix & Granderson should be powering the engine. It’s really Cano time but looks like he doesn’t have the personality.  So the aging Jeter, limping and all, still has to (as Denzel did in Glory) pick up the flag and lead the charge.

Congrats to the SF Giants.  Wednesday was a great day of baseball for me, I’m a die-hard Yankee fan but pull for both the A’s and Giants.  I watched the Giants win, the Yankees walk off and A’s win in the 9th. But how quickly things change-the A’s didn’t come through and now I’m anxiously waiting to see if the Yankees make it.

2012 Olympics

Ok the games are already old news but here’s my take anyway.  As always the Olympics delivered, despite NBC’s coverage and our lack of interest in other countries.

Gabby:  We saw shot after shot of Gabby’s family.

Check this narrative: Father serving in the Army deployed in the Middle East, while his daughter competes in the Olympic games.  A story like this is usually the set up for one of those human-interest segments.  But NBC didn’t do it.  Moreover, I watched them show shot after shot after shot of Gabby’s family and not even a mention of dad the US soldier.   It seems they didn’t want to dispel the convenient and comforting Black father narrative.  In fact many online outlets were responsible for spreading the nonsense.

Then came the nonsensical chatter and criticism about her (Gabby) hair, a conversation started and driven by Black women. Not only was this petty and certainly not the stuff of secure and prideful people but the effect it can have: My wife and I sat watching Gabby compete and neither one of us noticed or focused on her hair.  After the chatter it was all I saw, kept getting in the way and kept having to brush it aside.  I hate that.

Next issue: NBC did a segment w/clips of Gabby performing followed by Bob Costas making a comment about her inspiring young African-American girls. They went to commercial and it was about a monkey competing in gymnastics. They’d used other animals, a penguin I believe and maybe others.  But there were comments on Facebook expressing outrage at NBC’s racist incident.    Well, I don’t naturally equate Blacks to monkeys so it went right over my head.   And seriously, if you do, or more to the point if you’re reacting because you think others do then it’s YOU who has the issue.

Silly ass Fox News (continuing it’s ridiculous narrative with all that masturbatory exceptionalism bullshit and who’s more American) questions her patriotism and pride based on her outfit.

And all the young lady wanted to do was compete.

US Boxing

I was shocked by the state of Men’s US boxing.  We have a long history of Olympic Boxing success but recently, only one medal in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.  The fact that no American male even reached the medal round is astounding.  The countries were: Thailand, the Ukraine, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, China and of course Cuba’s long tradition continues.  I’m looking at the British Gold medal winner and thinking, we can’t find a brother in Detroit or a farm boy from Iowa angry, poor and tough enough to knock this dude out?

Thanks to the women for picking up the legacy.

  • I didn’t like that no US man was in the 400 meter finals, losing the 4×400, an event we’ve dominated since Helsinki.
  • After all the set backs, I really wanted Tyson Gay to medal in the 100 and being edged by Gatlin didn’t seem fair. But he ran well and got a Silver medal in the 4×100.
  • So it was left up to the US women and they stepped up big time. The 4×100 was on my list of events that jumped off the screen. The 4×400 was a complete domination as well.  And I was happy Allison Felix got her Gold medal.
  • The Men’s 5000 meters was pretty amazing, the last 300 was almost a full-out sprint.  And it was cool to see Rupp, who it seems realized that pace was too much for him, run to the front to be with his training buddy one last time-giving him a little love before drifting back.
  • The Kenyan, David Rudisha in the 800M was another event that jumped off the screen
  • Amazing that these women who dropped a baby or 2 return to Olympic level competition.  I just hope people appreciate that even qualifying is a feat in itself.

And of course Usain Bolt.  I must admit (my wife gives me grief for this) but I was rooting for the Jamaicans.  I wanted to witness excellence and greatness so I was hoping Bolt swept Gold in everything.

Can’t wait til Rio 2016.  Minus Bob Costas and his flippantly dweeb comments-just give us Al Michaels.

2012 NBA finals

NBA finals logo

I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed the playoffs as much as I have this year. I didn’t root for any particular team so I was able to sit back and watch.  There were several compelling angles:  Old heads vs young legs. The Spurs winning streak, reaching their peak in a beautiful display of basketball in Game 2, only to lose 4 straight.  The Thunder, figuring it out and raising their level of play, proving they had too much fire power-knocking out 3 champions along the way.   In the East, seeing The Heat, overcoming Bosh’s injury, surviving a standing 8 count to take out the Pacers.  Watching the Celts just grind it out, using their sheer will to force The Heat to a game 7.

I thought it would have been nice to see The Spurs vs Celts, to see Garnett and Duncan, along with other vets in one last show-down.  But sentimentality aside, what we’re getting now is 2 teams with stars in their prime. I can’t wait for this series to start.

Lebron JamesNow if you want to get on Lebron because of the way he faded in last years finals, fair game.  But, unless you live in Cleveland or Ohio, James has simply taken enough flak for the decision. It seems he’s the most scrutinized player ever and people are nitpicking in ridiculous comical ways. In true Skip Bayless fashion, someone even said the reason he played so well in Game 6 is because he didn’t want it to come down to the last few minutes.  Then why not do that every night?  Utterly ridiculous!  This notion of Batman, Robin, etc. is unfair as well. Lebron is suffering from The NBA’s Michael Jordan syndrome.  The NBA has tried desperately to duplicate the Jordan Phenomenon (which is why Wade won his 1st championship from the free throw line, but I digress).   Lebron is more Magic than Michael anyway and besides all that is neither here nor there.  And let’s say The Heat wins but Lebron doesn’t play well OR he plays well but doesn’t hit a last second shot.  The criticism will be, yeah he won a championship but he can’t close.  Sort of like yeah Tiger has those 14 majors, 73 tours wins but what we should focus on is that he’s never come from behind.  Silly. I also hope this doesn’t become a rooting interest for Lebron because there may have been a racial element to the decision and why it continues to have legs. Most of that is less about ‘Bron than it is about those people who feel that way but its neither here nor there.  And besides, The Thunder’s big 3 are Black too.

Durant, Westbrook and Harden are just young studs and it’ll be interesting to see if they’re a little nervous in their 1st trip to the finals.  People have been expecting their youth to hurt them, so far it hasn’t. But then again they were much more talented and younger than the teams they face. That won’t be the case in the finals.

In any event, I’m hoping for something like the 2002 Western conference finals between the Lakers and Sacramento Kings. I don’t want to make a prediction because then I’ll end up rooting for that team and I’d rather sit back as a fan and appreciate it.  I’d be happy for either team.    Maybe I’ll write a comparison of both teams big 3 or position-by-position strength vs weakness.

Until then The Thunder in 5 (couldn’t resist).

NBA’s version of Ground Hog Day

The NBA has tried to duplicate Michael Jordan.  But the  clear out iso and 25 shots a game is not a formula for everyone. Hell even MJ, needed the triangle.  With all the talk about Batman and Robin, who’s going to take the last shot, whose team it is; the Spurs just run their offense.

3 foreign-born players have had a hard time endearing themselves to basketball fans but they are nothing less than bad. The model of consistency.

Can’t wait for the upcoming series with OKC. Should be interesting.