I woke up this morning and got myself a beer;
The future’s uncertain, the end is always near.
Clueless USSF Aparatchik of the Week: USSF COO Tom King, who charged $35-50 for the recent USA-South Africa Nike Cup, which drew only 16,000 attendance, and then wondered, “We drew 46,000 plus here for Argentina with exactly the same ticket prices. Maybe the soccer audience here in Washington is sophisticated enough to recognize that (South Africa) is not Argentina.” No shit.
Promotions to increase Miami Fusion attendance
- Half-priced tickets for hairy-chested guys wearing gold chains.
- Bring two boat people, one gets in free!
- Gloria Estefan Gets Naked Night
- Castro Dartboard Day
- Nickle Bag Night
- Complimentary tickets to any past or present MLS player who has been allocated, traded, drafted or dispersed.
Galaxy exec sells soul to the Devil: Sergio Del Prado, LA Galaxy vice president of business operations, resigned his job to become director of sales and marketing for the LA Dodgers, a baseball team. This is roughly akin to a priest resigning to become a porn star. But then it makes some sense from the “birds of a feather flock together” stand point as the former Brooklynites whored themselves back in the late 50’s, screwing over their loyal fans — the ones who supported them even though they were crap most of the century — for the bright lights and big titties of LA. On the other hand, MLB is not as likely to tell the Dodgers they have to fork over their entire starting rotation for Sammy Sosa.
Quote of the Week: “Sure, the league may have plundered the depth of this team like a frat boy at the Tri Delt Christmas formal, but I am confident all those new fans can act as the burro L.A. rides to the semifinal fiesta. At least the ones that are still around after Luis Hernandez misses his 10th game to check on his wife and their kids. Or to see his hairstylist back in Monterrey where he really gets fuller body and better tones. Or because his shoulder hurts.” Garth Lagerwey, Miami keeper, regarding the LA Galaxy, who have gone 2-2-3 since MLS shoved the goal-less, assist-less Boy Wonder down their throats. The LA Galaxy were 5-4-0 before Czar Ivan ‘the Terrible’ Gazidis’s pogrom.
On this date in history: Speaking of incisive MLS signings, on June 21, 1898, Oldfart Matthäus notched his 125th cap for Germany, which actually managed not to lose the match, drawing 2:2 to Yugoslavia. What? Oh … Pardon me, that was 1998.
RFK Stadium more decayed than RFK: You would think following the retirement of RFK Stadium Mismanager Jim Dalrymple, the DC Stadium Authority would get their act together, accept the fact that no baseball team is moving there, and make a great soccer venue a great stadium (or at least a passable one). But no. If anything, things are getting worse. Sure security is finally allowing fans to get excited, but the place is still falling apart, the food has gotten worse, and the place is even dirtier than before. Even the one bright spot, the new scoreboards that are being put in (to replace the animal powered boards borrowed from the Bedrock Ballpark) apparently have been added in an attempt to lure the Montreal Expos to Washington, so they can play for one year in a falling down stadium while taxpayer money builds them a pleasure palace. Despite this, the DC Stadium Authority has floated the idea of buying DC United. The same city government that once gave us the once & future crack whore mayor, Marion Barry, wants to run a soccer team! And despite everything, the dolts cannot figure out how to keep the lights on more often than in Kinshasa. The lighting thing for me was made worse by the fact that I now live in NY: When I want to use my season tickets, I now need to drive 250 miles. To watch half a game. In the dark. (Anthony Calabrese)
Lie of the Week: “We are mindful of our responsibility to our fans, and we’ve looked at ways to reschedule the game. There are no reasonable opportunities to replay the game, in light of the heavy schedule that Kansas City has.” Czar Ivan ‘the Terrible’ Gazidis, either inexcusably unaware that Kansas City bombed out of the Open Cup to a 4th Division side just one week ago, or outright lying through his teeth. Considering his past history, TotW votes for the latter.
- Adama (Ethiopia): An unknown assailant threw a grenade into the hotel occupied by local side Adama City. 5 casualties, 1 fatality.
- Biel (Switzerland): Turkish and Italian supporters brawled. After Swiss police hauled away a Turk, the Turks decided it would be more fun to storm the police station than bash Italian heads. The mob — armed with stones and iron bars — was nearly successful, before being turned away by police reinforcements. 1 arrest, 1 casualty.
- Brcko (Bosnia): Serbs in the disputed, NATO-occupied, border town celebrated Yugoslavia’s Euro 2000 victory over Norway by trashing Muslim cars and businesses. Brcko was not subsequently levelled by American air strikes. 14 arrests.
- Budapest (Romania): Over 100,000 Romanians spontaneously poured into the streets after their national side ousted England from Euro 2000. Police blocked off the British embassy, but the celebrations were otherwise peaceful if overly enthusiastic. 31 casualties.
- Euro 2000 (Amsterdam): The French soccer team is being protected by a French RAID anti-terrorist team after receiving death threats from Algerian terrorists. The Armed Islamic Group (GIA), a notoriously violent and radical group, have killed 29 in France and 10,000 in Algeria over the past 12 years. 3 arrests.
- Euro 2000 (Charleroi): English, German and Turkish riots, and several combinations thereof. Extensive damage, 900 arrests, 56 casualties.
- Kampala (Uganda): National team coach Harrison Okagbue was attacked by fans while attending a club match, a week after the national team crashed out of World Cup qualifiers 4:7 to Guinea.
- Stockholm (Sweden): Ghanaian Nicholas Ackah Nyanzu, on trial at Hammarby, was nearly runover by a car, then stabbed repeatedly, during a racist attack in central Stockholm. Luckily, the wounds turned out not to be serious. 1 casualty.
“They’re all snakes” That’s what yhTotWe said when he was in Bosnia back in 1996, because, really, you couldn’t trust anyone: Not the Serbs, not the Croats, not even our unspoken allies, the Bosnian Muslims. The same attitude is carried over to the football pitch, as demonstrated by Slaven Bilic’s dive in the Croatia-France match at World Cup ’98, or this week by Yugoslavia’s cynical fouling in their decisive group match against Spain at Euro 2000. Yugoslavia somehow contrived to notch an apparent game winner, the short-handed goal coming in the 75th minute through defender Komljenovic, who was lucky not to be sent off for a bad challenge in the 35th minute. Despite a lenient French referee, the Yugoslav tally on the day was 27 fouls, 6 cautions, 1 send-off, 2 pitch invasions andnumerous flares thrown on the pitch (once after each Yugoslav goal). Oh, and the referee was assulted by a fan after the match. Nor was the cheating confined to the pitch itself, as a Yugoslav Football Association official was found to have 150 tickets and 150,000 Belgian francs in his possession, resulting in his arrest, then deportation from Belgium, for blackmarketing.
Hero of the Week: Spanish forward Alfonso. With five minutes of extratime and losing 2:3 to the aforementioned cheating bastards, Spain scored the equalizer through a Mendieta penalty in the 94th minute, then Alfonso got his second goal, the winner, in the 95th, proving there is justice in this world.
If it bleeds, it leads: The occasion of England’s first triumph over Germany since the 1966 World Cup final was also the occasion of a massive riot. From Friday afternoon, through the weekend, English and German hooligans had a go at each other, the police and whatever local property happened to be near at hand. (Apparently including a McDonald’s, a rather severe reaction to not getting any special sauce on one’s shredded horse flesh.)
Any hooliganism is bad, and the English rarely fail to live to down to expectations, but TotW has to wonder why the rampant hooliganism perpetrated by other nationalities receives not even an iota of the attention and opprobriation heaped on the English. Notice the above: “English and German hooligans”? And what did every, single press report regarding the weekend harp on ad nauseum? The English, of course. Nary a word about the Germans. (Lest we forget, it was German hooligans who nearly killed the French cop during World Cup ’98.) Or, for that matter, the continuing ill-behavior by Turks, both from Turkey, and among the massive émigré population laced throughout Europe, including Belgium.
On Monday, after Turkey secured passage to the knockout rounds by defeating Belgium, Belgian Turks displayed their loyalty by — mourning the loss? of course not — celebrating the Turkish victory by trashing Belgian businesses. Of particular interest to those less publicized and reviled hooligans were businesses that were known to be patronized by English supporters. (Swedes and Englishmen who had been drinking peacefully together in a bar, were forced to seek shelter in the bar’s toilet.) “During the whole weekend, we have not really had problems with the English,” said the bar’s owner, surveying the damage.
One has to wonder why this sort of violence, terrible, yet occasional & isolated, is given more weight than the daily rape & slaughter that culls a much larger list of victims across the entirety of South Africa … which, you will not be surprised to learn, is the country Sepp Blatter and his FIFA acolytes have the biggest boner for hosting World Cup 2006.
Bubble-headed bleach blonde comes on at five She can tell you about a plane crash with a gleem in her eye It's interesting when people die Give us dirty laundry (Don Henley, "Dirty Laundry")
We get the same old, tired headlines, such as the AP’s “England’s soccer reputation tarnished again”, or Sporting News‘s “The time for talk is over: Ban the Brits”, while the chronic, egregious behavior of other nations’ hooligans are ignored by the press. I would say “willfully ignored”, but that implies a breadth of knowledge, sense of history, inquisitiveness, and frankly intelligence, that is foreign to what are today in name only “reporters”. Or editors, for that matter, who shoulder much of the blame. (Perhaps the lot should be reading TotW’s Weekly Blotter.) Oh, the urinalists will squawk like turkey’s on the Thanksgiving chopping block that their stories are objective, but that only accounts for the the story itself — if one is generous and assumes the stories are actually truthful (a dangerous assumption given the frequency with which reporters are prone to either making up stories out of thin air or manufacturing their own exclusives). It does not account for the size of the story, the arrangement of the paragraphs within the story, where the story is placed in the medium, the headline it is given, and all the other less obvious factors that affect the fundamental truthfulness of a story the way non-verbal and sub-verbal communication affect the way spoken words are perceived.
Like sheep, the public outcry was duly manipulated, prompting UEFA to actually consider booting England out of Euro 2000! (Think the NBA will boot the LA Lakers out because their fans riotted after LA won the basketball championship? *laugh* Su-u-u-re …) When England duly cooperated by losing 2:3 to Romania, saving UEFA the embarassment of having to back down from such a ridiculous anti-athlete measure, where do you think the following was located in AP’s account of the match? “English fans spent the afternoon in Charleroi’s main square, mingling peacefully with small groups of Romanian fans, drinking beer and dancing in fountains. Thousands of English fans had tickets for the Romania end of the stadium, and although separated by a thin line of security guards, neither set of fans caused trouble.” That’s right: Buried 11 paragraphs into the story.
Turd of the Week