Sunday, May 19, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
|photo by Mzelle Biscotte||via PhotoRee|
We don't know if you had the opportunity to watch yesterday's King's Cup Final, but we did. And after witnessing that "spectacle," we have two thoughts: 1) it's fitting that the final was moved to Friday night due to a conflict with tonight's Eurovision Final: last night was a great warmup for anyone who enjoys seeing lots of gel, makeup and handbags on display; and 2) what a complete embarrassment that game was for Spanish football.
In some ways, the whole fiasco was a fitting farewell to Jose Mourinho's time at Real Madrid. While holding seemingly endless promise at times, the end to Jose's reign was predictably chaotic -- fist fights, red cards, fake injuries and more. The chickens are coming home to roost, and Jose is leaving Stage Left. You reap what you sow, some might say.
But the game was also a stinging indictment of the modern Spanish game. Full of artistry and world class players, Spanish football is slowly being killed by drama queens and sheer fakery. The amount of facial "injuries" sustained by players who were not touched is at an all-time high. The amount of rolls an "injured" player attempts to complete on the ground after being fouled -- all in an effort to con the referee -- is at its peak. And the amount of time wasting -- stretchers being brought on to the pitch, only to see an "injured" player experience the type of miracle usually reserved for those at Lourdes -- is greater than in any other league in the world. In short, modern Spanish football is an embarassment, and is now at the risk of turning itself into a parody of the true sport, a la the World Wresting Federation.
But farlieonfootie, you say: Spanish football is the best in the world: home of Xavi, Iniesta, Ronaldo, Falcao and more. It contains Barcelona, until this year the paragon of the modern game. It includes Real Madrid, Europe's most decorated team. And its national team has won both the last World Cup and the most recent European Championship. Yeah, we know all that.
Friday, May 17, 2013
|photo by John Edwards 2008||via PhotoRee|
Caution: This article by Correspondent Ed was written under the influence of an adult beverage. Or two:
It's pathetically easy to be a fan of Manchester United. At least it used to be. David Moyes is a great coach, but will he have Fergie's touch? Unlikely, because like him or hate him, Fergie was one of the top coaches of all time. That's a tough bar to meet. Look for United to remain in the top four due to their budget; but don't expect too many top finishes. It's definitely going to heat up in Manchester when Pellegrini shows up at City....
I've never hated Arsenal as much as I have this year. Their perpetually annoying manager aimed for a top four spot, and despite embarassing themselves in the Champions League and playing pretty poorly most of the season, it looks pretty certain that they are going to make it. This is a team with a poor goalkeeper, worse defenders, and some retread forwards and midfielders. Great coaching? I guess. But anyone that has no answer to Olympiakos in the Champions League Group stage ought to be ashamed of themselves. And guess what -- next year in the Champions League someone else is going to embarrass these guys. Arsenal is flush with cash yet all they hope for is mediocrity. This is pathetic and sad, and underserving of a Champions League position.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
(5.30% ABV) Poured on draft during a recent trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia -- a beach so nice they named it twice.... The beer was poured at the bar at the Hilton Hotel on the beach, which was hopping for a recent weekday night.
Alter Ego appeared a thick orange color with zero head.
Our initial thought was that the beer gave off a banana smell -- we're not certain, but we're thinking slightly off-style for a saison.... But we also found pears and apples on the nose.
Alter Ego had a medium mouthfeel -- not too viscous -- and was well carbonated. Zesty, in fact, with a lot going on in the taste department -- citrus and spice predominating. It was sweeter than many saisons we've drunk, but still -- we liked it: B
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I forgive people. It's what I do. It's how I was raised. And it explains in part why I find it so difficult to understand all the venom that's been spewed in the direction of Wayne Rooney lately by so many Manchester United fans.
I get the feeling of guttural disappointment. I get it. But just as two wrongs don't make a right, meeting Rooney's transfer request with vile name calling and ill wishes upon the player and his family doesn't feel to me like the right reaction to the striker's current situation. And to read Twitter lately is to understand how out of control that situation has become.
This is not a piece to defend Rooney in any way. Regular raiders of this blog may remember our severe disappointment at the Englishman's first request to leave United. For many of us, it's when the bloom first came off the rose in our relationship with Wazza. While we never engaged in the "Roo-nay" "Roo-nay" idol worship that greeted his every appearance on the pitch three years ago, we understood his talismanic relationship with the fans. We understood the appreciation for his tremendous work rate, his willingness to run down every ball, and to hustle back and forth to the ends of the pitch.
And despite forgiving Rooney for his first request -- we blame his advisor, Paul Stretford, more than the player for putting the Englishman in a virtually untenable position -- we gradually overcame our disappointment. The goals and the drive certainly helped. Gradually, the disappointment seemed just to seep into the background, a part of Rooney's history to be sure, but no longer a defining part of his history. No, we'd rather remember THAT goal against City, and the season of 30+ goals in which he appeared to develop a telepathic relationship with Antonio Valencia, a partnership that applied salve to the still fresh wound created by the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.
And just as we put the issue behind us, so did Rooney. He went about and did his work. He let his feet do the talking on the pitch. He scored goals -- lots of them. Maybe not so many as in years past, but no one can question his work rate or desire to win, or his impact on our team.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
|photo by Ingy The Wingy||via PhotoRee|
In which Scott perfectly captures our feelings -- for perhaps the first time all year:
Serving as a referee on Saturdays for teenagers in a Recreational League, Ricardo Portillo’s passion for the beautiful game was obvious. That his life was tragically snuffed out with one petulant punch by a rebuked goalkeeper renders equal parts of anger and sadness. Our thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with Portillo’s family as they attempt to make sense of the senseless. And our ire is cast at any and all players and parents who fail to respect the integrity of the rules of the game and proper comportment.
I was not a witness to this incredulous event nor do I know the protagonists on a personal level. Still, that has never stopped me from stating facts (OK, opinions) on the subject at hand. First, I agree with the illustrious president of Fort Lauderdale Select FC, Mark McCormick, who have opined that “this probably was not the first incident for this kid. I'd bet my last dollar that he grew up in a culture where referee abuse was considered a sport to itself. He likely had a parent who spent their games yelling at referees from his earliest ages in the sport or coaches who did the same. It's rare that a kid suddenly turns violent with a referee. It's usually the last straw in a long progression of failed parental or coaching leadership.” Second, what are YOU going to do about it the next time you witness such fomentation? Will you say something? Will you keep your child on the team just because they win?
Friday, May 10, 2013
|photo by scragz||via PhotoRee|
At least Correspondent Scott has never claimed to be unbiased. Here are this Liverpool fan's thoughts on Sir Alex' departure, and the appointment of David Moyes as his successor at Manchester United:
Darth Ferguson’s Evil MU Empire is coming to an end. I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I can’t imagine another manager having the same success he has had over the past 26 years, so his departure should bode well for Liverpool and all the other Premier League teams. On the other hand, after two 2-1 losses (fraught with burglary and buggery) to his Evil Empire this season, it is excruciating never to have another shot at putting the red-faced Scot in his place. I feel like Lucy not only moved the football for the umpteenth time, but then up and walked home with it leaving me alone to stew in my zig-zaggy shirt. Curse you, Darth Ferguson!
Even more curses upon the appointment of David Moyes to succeed the Dark Lord. Despite the requisite Liverpudlian rivalry, I respect, admire and, yes, even like the Evertonian Scot who has consistently punched above his budget for a decade-plus in the Premier League. Yet, sadly, it is inevitable that, like young Anakin, Moyes will be seduced by the Dark Side and I will have the happy literary license of consonant alliteration when I forevermore (until he is replaced) refer to him as Darth David.
This is farlieonfootie for May 10.