Because he died you moron! Last year, Astra Ploiesti midfielder Stefan Vrabioru died on his way to hospital after collapsing during a match at Rapid Bucharest. The Romanian federation (FRF) initially imposed a five-year ban on Rapid’s doctor, Marian Dumitru, for not leaving the ground to assist Vrabioru. Dumitru said at the time that his duty had been to his own team first. Yes, he really said that. This week the FRF lifted Dumitru’s ban, with FRF president Mircea Sandu explaining that a local medical board only warned Dumitru, so Sandu didn’t “see why the FRF should keep the ban in force.”
Talk about bad timing: The Milwaukee Rampage, recently axed most of their veteran players. The replacements? Two draft picks and New England castoff Kris Kelderman. Kelderman’s Rampage deal also included terms with Milwaukee’s indoor team, the Wave. (The Rampage and Wave frequently cooperate to provide players more lucrative terms, which is normally a good thing.) Unfortunately, the Rampage will now have to face the season without coach Boro Sucevic’s biggest signing to date. Kelderman blew out his knee in a Wave game and is gone until next year. Yes, it’s cast on the castoff.
Yeah, baby: The Rampage and the Milwaukee Kickers, their reserve/youth setup, are entering a provisional team in the W-League, starting this year. The women’s 8-game 2000 exhibition schedule will be followed up with full membership in 2001. Mia Hamm doesn’t have a club side, and Milwaukee has always enthusiastically supported her Garrett Game aplastic anemia charity event. (Hamm’s brother died of the disease four years ago.) One can only dream …
Who woulda thunk it: Canada not only won the Gold Cup, by did so by blanking Columbia, 2-0. It’s only fair they win something, since they last won hockey’s Stanley Cup when Gordie Howe was in diapers (or about 1732).
Krispy Kreme in Chapter 11: English police, egged on by clueless sports minister Kate Hoey, have begun interfering in professional matches. “We shall take whatever action is necessary. I would advise clubs that the police can always whether on-field behaviour merits their attention,” said Hoey. And so it comes to pass last that during halftime of a bad-tempered match between Wolves and Nottingham Forest, police entered both dressing rooms to caution the players about their conduct. Good to know the men in blue got off their donut (or kebab, this is Britain afterall) eating butts and got after some real criminals rather than posey-picking scamps like rapists and murderers. You know this is going to rachet up. The next step? Riot police in all their stormtrooper gear beating Dennis Wise senseless. So, exactly what is the purpose of a sports minister? We don’t know either. But obviously sports ministers must be even more bored and underemployed than your average crumb snatching bureaucrat for all the daft initiatives they crap.
Brazilian player charged with attempted murder: Apparently in an incident not involving a late, high, studs up tackle from behind on a opposing forward, Julio Cesar, a player with provincial club Matonense, was charged with attempted murder for shooting a fan after Matonense’s 1-4 loss at Aracatuba. At least Brazilian police are doing their job.
Obilic shot down: Much like their dearly departed leader, Zeljko “Arkan” Raznatovic, Obilic were mowed down by their opposition, 1-2 to Radnicki Nis. Obilic are buried two points behind Partizan, who have a game in hand. TotW’s all-time favorite Arkan quote: The wanted war criminal after missing a shot at an apple on his bride’s roof, a Serb wedding tradition: “Everyone knows I’m not used to shooting apples.”
Oldfart Matthäus Arrival Barometer Date Headline 2/28 “Matthãus preparing to say farewell to Europe” ↑ 2/29 Bayern 4:2 Real Madrid; Go Top CL Group D ↓ 3/1 “Matthãus offers to help under-pressure Ribbeck” ↓ ↑ (coming), ⇆ (undecided), ↓ (staying).
He too is a sexy, sexy man: Not content with commenting on football, 7 Day Sport named Celtic midfielder Stilian Petrov Bulgaria’s sexiest footballer. Apparently this is in response to German pop group Fanatical Two’s ode to Oldfart’s virility. Daily Variety is not confirming rumors that the two hairy-chested he-men are having a spat like Michael Bolton and Fabio.
What planet are you from? “Players who are in the $60,000-$150,000 range, they’re on very dangerous ground. If they’re not starting players, they’re very expensive to be sitting on the bench.” (Nick Sakiewicz, MetroStars GM) Unless they are Tab Ramos, who could be in ICU and still get paid, or Oldfart who could be off playing testimonials in Lower Slobovia and still get paid. Plus get his ass kissed by the Metros.
Speaking of getting paid lots of money to sit on your fat ass: “This week’s U.S. Soccer Federation salary disclosure, brought to you by public tax records: Bob Black, a USSF officer, made $130,297 in 1997, or just about $4,000 less than Arena made in that same time period. However, I know what Arena does; I’ve been around this sport for a number of years, and I can’t figure out what Mr. Black does. Funny thing is, when I ask USSF staffers, they can’t answer me, either.” (Jamie Trecker, ESPN.com) And Bob Black still made less than half of what hank Steinbrecher made. TotW has no idea where Massa Hank is headed to, but considering his fiscal proclivities, we suggest the United Way.
|Rebuttal to Oldfart Matthäus Groupies
I agree that we now have to make the best with what we have. But the cynicism and skepticism that the anti-Lothar faction has shown is COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED given the previous actions of both Lothar and the Metrostars.Why does Lothar demand, off the bat, our blind support as fans after having f*cked us over for a good year now? What is it that leads some of you to believe everything will change once he gets here? That he will be a “Michael Jordan” in the locker room? That he will automatically play with the same effort as he does in Europe?
The LEAST we should demand of Lothar is that he EARN our respect as fans. I can’t for the life of me understand how fellow fans who have gone through 5 years of sheer misery supporting this team cannot adopt, or even understand, this frame of mind.
TotW understands, Charles. It is because they have no pride. They’re the soccer equivalent of crack whores.
Quote of the Week: “I just can’t wait for April 1 to see Chris Albright run past Oldthar like Bill past Hillary on new intern day!” (Anthony, BigSoccer.com)
Service with a smile! Monday night found your humble TotW editor (hereafter known as yhTotWe) where he is found every Monday night: At Uihlein Soccer Park (hereafter known as USP), playing indoor soccer. Or getting ready to. The game wasn’t scheduled to start until 10:30, and yhTotWe had been hard at work on this week’s issue after the steam whistle went off at his code factory. yhTotWe had barely had time to eat all day, consuming none of the life-enriching vegetables and juicy fruits his well-honed, athletic engine is used to. Instead it was nasty, greasy chips and sugar-impregnated candy bars. Not to mention several gallons of Diet Mountain Dew. So, it was with great anticipation of normal food that yhTotWe arrived at USP appx. 8:15. But like the heart-tugging story of the leaukemia stricken kid who died because Lothar didn’t score the promised goal in the MLS Final, it was not to be.
Upon arrival, yhTotWe made a beeline to the snackbar. Fry Cook #1 was on the phone, but yhTotWe waited with uncommon patience for her to finish. She did manage to drag her attention away for some U-8 waif, but returned to her vital gossip. Several minutes passed. Still yhTotWe waited patiently. Eventually Fry Cook #1 mustered up the energy to ask what yhTotWe wanted. “Slice of pizza and a light beer, please,” yhTotWe asked. She didn’t have any. “You have any subs?” yhTotWe asked. Nope. “How about some barbecue?” your increasingly desperate yhTotWe whined over the grumble emanating from his stomach. Nope? “Fries???” Yes. Praise the Lord!
yhTotWe was so famished by that point, he pounded down the fries and beer. Normally beer before a game, especially as out of shape as yhTotWe is after spending all of February away on business, is not as good an idea as beer after the game. Neither is gorging oneself like a newly freed gulag inmate. But your yhTotWe just wanted something, anything, to line his gizzards. But they only felt half-lined. Back, with trepidation, to the snackbar.
“Can I have some more fries, and another light beer, please?” yhTotWe ventured. Fry Cook #1 was still busy burning up the phone line instead of victuals, so Fry Cook #2 was forced to drag himself away from some vital task. Worse yet, he had to … brace yourself … ACTUALLY COOK NEW FRIES! Doubtless, this was yhTotWe’s kiss of death.
These too yhTotWe pounded down, though with ever decreasing speed as the horror slowly dawned on him that perhaps he might have let his stomach overrule his common sense. (A fact later confirmed by a pathetic performance on the field.) Nonetheless! This was none of the fry cooks’ business. They’re not paid to think, they are paid to fry.
After having consumed his feast of plenty, yhTotWe found himself downstairs at field level preparing for his match, where he was approached by two kids wanting change for a dollar. (USP has some video games which are operational with somewhat greater frequency than the change machine.) Jokingly, yhTotWe told the kids to go tell Fry Cook #1 to get up off her ass and give them quarters. yhTotWe had never previously had hostile words with Fry Cook #1, in all his hundreds of other visits to USP. Nor had yhTotWe, to his knowledge, ever had hostile words with any USP employee. So, yhTotWe thought this would be kind of funny. Apparently not.
A few minutes later, Fry Cook #2 stormed down the stairs and proceeded to indignantly tell off yhTotWe. yhTotWe tried to explain it was a joke, but Fry Cook #2 was in in full Protective Male Mode and having none of it. And just to make sure yhTotWe knew who was boss, Fry Cook #2 said if he caught yhTotWe playing with his balls … err, ball … he would take it away. And probably go home crying to mommy. Whoa. Hurt me. (Check this out: USP has a rule against warming up with your ball. No lie!) His territory marked, Fry Cook #2 stalked off.
A few minutes later, after the rest of yhTotWe’s team had arrived and started warming up, Fry Cook #2, bearing a grudge but luckily no automatic weapons, suddenlt swooped in to snatch a ball belonging to a player who had not ever had the temerity to grovel for fries. Worse yet, the player had the ball in his hands at the time. Now, if yhTotWe had the ball in his hands, there would have been physical difficulties. yhTotWe has issues with anyone putting his hands on yhTotWe. Fry Cook #1, a funky redhead, yes. Fry Cook #2, inbred, no.
So, the rest of the night, whenever yhTotWe was able to haul his dead ass into the general vicinity of the ball and take a swipe at it, yhTotWe made sure to bellow at the top of his lungs, so all in the balcony (preoccupied fry cooks included), would be able to hear: “Look! I touched the ball! Don’t take it away!” Etc. Clever, no?
Like yhTotWe said, he has never had problems with anyone before. Well, not at USP — to whose employees of all sorts (Fry Cooks and otherwise) he had always, unfailingly, been the picture of good citizenry, courtesy, and friendliness. USP employees, from the park director on down, are the most sour, negative, even hostile people one could ever hope to meet outside the confines of your government bureaucracy. (yhTotWe to park director: “Hi, Gary!” Gary: Grrr. Whoa! Don’t feed the animals!) One would think USP had simply hired the Department of Motor Vehicles, lock, stock and smoking barrel! Well, you are obviously undermotivated to smoke fries, so smoke this:
USP Fry Cooks
Turd of the Week