Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Champions League Live Blogging: Bayern Munich-Lyon 2nd Leg, 1st Half

0:19 - Müller wastes no time in continuing the suckage from the 1st leg. He whiffs on his first potential touch, then coughs up his second under no pressure.

2:00 - Müller isn't really making this hard. He manages to put an unmarked shot from 10 yards out a foot away from the goal. At least he's consistent.

4:30 - Everytime I hear "Altintop", I think of the online Luxembourgish lessons. Tiptop!

6:40 - Bayern got lucky -- if that corner isn't glanced on by one Lyonnais (great on sandwiches, btw), it's 1-0.

8:20 - Wow. Lahm just stopped a Lyon attack colder than the beer I'm about to open.

12:00 - I've figured out the perfect description of Müller's playstyle -- Elaine dancing. "It's more like a full-body dry heave". It's like watching Jeff Agoos, circa 2002, you know it's going to be bad, but you can't look away.

17:20 - How often do you think Robben's teammates want to punch him at practice? I'm betting the combination of whining and cockiness means it's at least once a week.

19:20 - Wow. This game hasn't been ugly so much as fugly. To quote the legendary Patches O'Hoolihan, "It's like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob."

24:00 - Apparently the players agree and are taking out their frustrations on each other with a series of blatant fouls that deservedly receive yellow. On the bright side for München, the name "Müller" hasn't been uttered for a while. No blown chances!

26:00 - Unglaublich! Müller actually set up a goal! Well, sort of. Olic had to make a good move to lose his guy, but that's uncannily competent work for the Bayern "striker". Of course, he had to blow his own opportunity first, but still. Wow.

30:30 - Lahm's stellar game almost got a lot less stellar. His lack of defense gave an open shot that was juuust wide.

33:00 - Robben didn't have a chance on his shot, but at least it was something. Does Lyon realize they need 3 goals to advance? They look content to play for the 1-0 loss.

37:50 - This game shows why ultra-defensive sides rarely win extended knockout play -- it only takes one bad game and you are far behind your ability to score.

43:00 - Now the teams are swapping offsides. Oy vey.

44:55 - A Lyonner does an excellent job of ignoring a teammate with a great shot to try to nutmeg a shot -- through his defender's closed legs.

Lyon's lack of enthusiam means that the 2nd half will likely go unblogged. Blame the French -- their offense is apparently on strike. Viva Le Greve!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

When Will I Cut Mel Gibson Slack?

I made a Mel Gibson joke* to a friend today, and she wondered when I would cut him some slack. Normally, I give people some time to return to normalcy, but Mel is on double public probation. To get out of it, he has to make a movie that I a) see and b) enjoy. To be honest, it's not looking good for Mel.

* When she asked why I don't see more movies, I said, "I blame Hollywood -- but not for the same reasons Mel does."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Champions League Live Blogging: Bayern Munich-Lyon 1st Leg, 2nd Half

52:00 - Ouch. Müller's master class on incompetence continues. Lahm set him up with an easy shot from 7 yards and he ... whiffed and fell.

54:00 - The ref apparently heard the crowd whining as he just gave a 2nd yellow to a Lyon player for getting the ball without contact. A bold makeup call.

56:00 - Cris's career has ended for the 2nd time tonight. Let's hope the lack of a card again spurs a full recovery.

58:55 - Müller's Calvalcade of Crapitude continues.

60:15 - COMPLETED PASS!!!! It was only 2 yards, and both he and the receiver were unmarked, but that's still completely unexpected.

62:00 - Robben's kind of a whiny little bitch, isn't he?

67:45 - Gomez had a tough choice there -- play a weak header directly at the keeper, or lay it off to an open Müller. He made the right call and went for the header.

68:45 - GOOOOOOOOAAALLLLLL! Robben takes a break from whining to the ref and cracks a shot that glances off Müller's head yet still manages to find the net.

75:00 - Lyon seems content to sit back on their 1-goal deficit. Maybe aggregate scoring is done differently in France.

81:45 - How unafraid of Müller is Lyon? They let him have a free header -- in the penalty box. He did it with authority, though. It was EMPHATICALLY off-target.

86:50 - The announcer has noticed the malaise and shifted his focus to the return leg on Wednesday. Let's hope both teams get their caffeine next time.

88:45 - Müller gives a half-hearted challenge to give the appearance of effort on defense, leading to an open shot that was about 12 inches from tying the game.

90:00 - I have to admit, I like the single announcer. There's no temptation for him to fall into a pointless conversation.

Champions League Live Blogging: Bayern Munich-Lyon 1st Leg, 1st Half

0:00 - I've been at a stadium where they play with the soccer ball tarp at midfield, and it sucks live just as much on TV. I don't know why Europeans are obsessed with this thing.

0:01 - Since Bayern is like the Yankees, Knicks and Cowboys all rolled into one annoying, self-centered package, you can bet every soccer fan in Deutschland is watching the first Champions League semi in Munich in 9 years.

10:10 - I love it when instead of explaining why an obvious corner is instead a goal kick, the director decides to show 3 replays of 2 Bayern guys whining at each other.

12:50 - The match is showing signs of life -- Schweinsteiger misses a goal by a foot or so, though he should've done better.

16:15 - It's cool that Lyon has a 12-year-old keeper. I hope his mom signed the permission slip before the big road trip to Munich.

17:30 - Ribery apparently agrees with Lyon's assessment that he's the only Bayern threat, since he forced a shot instead of setting up a wide-open teammate.

18:45 - Does Bayern have no respect for the Lyon right back, or is switching fields just too 90s?

19:45 - It's a good thing Olic was the hero vs Man U, since he just made a complete hash of a good chance.

21:20 - Ribery has turned into a complete chucker. 4 defenders in front of him at the top of the penalty box? Why not try to blast it through?

23:15 - Good to see a miraculous recovery by the Lyon center back. He apparently healed up from the career-ending injury right after there was no card forthcoming.

28:00 - "It's all here -- fast-kickin', low-scoring, and ties? You better believe it." The match has taken a 5 minute detour into Mexico-Portugal territory.

34:00 - Lahm apparently doesn't have anyone willing to tell him that the beard he stole from the 13-year-old kid is hi-larious.

36:00 -- First, Ribery doesn't hit the open man, AGAIN. Then he stomps the defender's ankle RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REF. Had it happened anywhere else on the field, he might not've gotten called for anything, as he hid it fairly well. But on replay? It's clear he was going for the ankle. Adieu, Le Chucker.

41:00 - On the bright side, Bayern mailing in the previous 10 minutes might allow them to have to legs to survive Le Dipshit's red card.

43:00 - Good Lord, that was a rocket from wayyyy out, but a decent save by Butt. Insert, um, joke here.

45:30 - Müller has been impressive. Whether he's been pressured or not, on the ground or in the air, or even throwing the ball in, he manages to look overmatched. After this game Bayern should rethink their "Fan on the Field" program.

So, the moral of the first half? If you need to intentionally stomp someone, do it either a) out of sight of the ref or b) after scoring a few goals.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Iceland To England: Can We Pay Our Debt With Ash-tercard?

First, Iceland's Icesave loses billions of British pounds through overconfident, underinformed investment shenanigans*, then the Icelanderinos refuse to pay, and now they're shut down all air traffic into Britain. It's really been a pretty sweet year or so for Björk & co.

And the latest British solution to stranded tourists? A reverse Dunkirk -- sending Royal Navy warships to Europe to pick up stranded civilians. No word yet whether the Spanish Armada is up for a rematch.

* I.e., American-style investment banking.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Philly Fans + Jersey Fans = Jackholery

If you read the following paragraph, which two American fanbases would you think are most likely to fill in the blanks?

A FANBASE A man is facing charges after police say he intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl and her father in the stands during a FANBASE B game.

You need groups that are known for obnoxious, immature, borderline insane behavior. My list:

1. Philly Fans
2. New Jersey Fans
3. Raiders Fans (would be #1 if it had been stabbing an 11-year-old girl instead of vomiting)

4. Little league parents

The answer? A New Jersey man intentionally vomited at a Phillies game. You stay classy, Jersey.

What did the cops say?

"It reminds you of the type of behavior you used to hear about at the 700 level in Veterans Stadium [the Eagles venue]," Philadelphia police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore said, according to the Daily News.

Even Philly's own cops think this is typical eagles behavior.  Do you think Ben Franklin vomited on anyone at the signing of the Declaration of Independence? Or did one of the New Jersey reps do it?  I'm beginning to think that the battles of Trenton and Concord may have just been bar brawls that got a bit out of hand.

Simpsons Clip Of The Week - Sacrilicious

FBers go here for Simpsons goodness. And, yes, this is a lame excuse for me being too lazy to blog.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

An Open Letter To My Body Clock

Dear Body Clock,

First, I would like to thank you for your hard work and understanding when dealing with jet lag. I know that a few times a year, you must suddenly adapt to a 7 hour shift in your rhythms. This must be difficult and you have managed admirably. Second, I apologize for the large swings in day length over the last 4 years. You'd gotten used to more subtle changes, and the sudden arrival of 16 hours or more of daylight and then only 9 hours in the winter is another challenge you've risen to, year after year.

However, I feel that 30+ years of school and work is enough time to have grown comfortable with the following schedule:

  • Monday -- Wake up early to go to work.  We agree this sucks, but still.
  • Tuesday -- Wake up early to go to work.
  • Wednesday -- Wake up early to go to work.
  • Thursday -- Wake up early to go to work.
  • Friday -- Wake up early to go to work. After 5 days straight, I can understand occasionally letting this one slide, but please make an effort.
  • Saturday -- This is where we have a problem.  I can sleep late!  This means that there is NO need to pop open my eyes and make me feel I've overslept at SEVEN-FING-THIRTY. 
  • Sunday -- Wake up when I feel like it.  You're far more reliable on this one.

If you can't get a handle on this very reasonable schedule, I will have to go back to the only solution that seems to work -- the medicinal application of large quantities of alcohol.

DVD Review: The Last Legion

It's never good when casting negatively impacts your options when making a flick. For instance:

  • Aishwarya Rai as the leading lady -- sure, she's smokin' hot, exotic (to western eyes), and a decent actress. Unfortunately, since Bollywood is her bread and butter, a smoldering look or two and some hand-holding is as passionate as you get. And if you want her to do an Ursula Andress-style coming-out-of-the-water scene, she's doing it wearing a burlap sack*
  • Colin Firth as the action hero -- he's just too, well, English. I kept expecting him to tell his ass-kicking costar that he's really in love with Jane Eyre**.
  • The wide-eyed kid -- If you're going to try to make me swallow the tripe of hereditary monarchy, at least pick a kid that I don't want to see killed off.

So: Sets worthy of MST3K, lame plot, bad casting. And a story that was weak in spite of 2 screenwriters and 3 story creators. Ouch. Were I not on a booze break, I'd be doing some serious drinking during/after this one. So, for the blurb on the back of the DVD: "Perfect for a night of binge drinking!"

1 star, out of 5. or 10. Go crazy!

* I'm not kidding.
** I couldn't remember the name of the heroine in Pride & Prejudice or Sense & Sensibility or Whining & Wankery.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

30 For 30 Review: The Band That Wouldn't Die

My thoughts:
- Does Barry Levinson listen to the music before he approves it? The ultra-serious piano music is about as out of place as possible. It sounds like something you'd hear in a retrospective about an assassinated president. Which might be the point, but, sheesh, it's called perspective.

- It's interesting how the issue of Modell's equally sleazy move of the team from Cleveland to Baltimore is basically given a "meh" by Levinson, with only a token nod.

- If the fight song is so key to the Baltimore identity, why don't we hear the whole thing?

- I also was annoyed that this wasn't seen as the first of string of similar NFL moves in the 80s and 90s -- instead it's treated as a tragic, isolated incident. Um, no. The NFL shit on a lot of cities. Houston, Cleveland, etc. Notice that I didn't say LA. They never really supported a team and the NFL needs them as a threat to get new stadia built.

Overall? I'd give it 2.5 stars -- boring & far too self-absorbed, though it gets an extra half-star because the president of the band kind of looks my man, Big Dave.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

30 For 30 Review: King's Ransom

A few thoughts after watching the 1st 30 For 30 documentary, King's Ransom, about the trade of Wayne Gretzky to the Kings in 1988:

- Gretzky looks a lot like Corey Garrow

- Peter Berg apparently directed this while preparing for a role as Yasser Arafat. What a hideous beard -- it looks like some sort of facial fungus.

- The hair! Not only is most of the footage from the 80's, but it's Canada! Feathered parts, mullets, they're all on display!

- Both owners involved in the trade are sleazy -- The LA Kings owner defrauded six banks out of $200+ million dollars, and the Edmonton owner went bankrupt last year and had to be literally bailed out by his former coach/GM -- who was LIVID about the trade.

The Oilers got $15 mil for Gretzky, plus some players. The Kings immediately sold an extra 5,000 season tickets. Who got the better deal? Plus, the Oilers owner was reviled throughout Canada. Nice work, sparky.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

2010 NCAA Musings, Final Four Live Blogging -- Part 1

0:00 - As great as free live streaming is, it's pretty fing late. Can't we just skip to tipoff?

00:12 - This Live Blogging brought to you by Lone Star -- the only Texas beer available in Germany and Achtermochtie* whiskey

00:14 - Good to know that this year's Final Four has the shortest total commutes for the 4 teams. I'll sleep better knowing that.

00:16 - How cheap were the MSU unis? "State", seriously? I guess there probably aren't more than 50 teams wearing those, in various trim colors.

00:18 - Does the Brain Bracket include an option for earlier games? This has 2 advantages: overseas fans aren't zombies and US fans can finish watching earlier to focus either on booze or making bad decisions.

00:19 - Aaaaaannnnndddd we made it 19 minutes before the UPS asshat (asshair?) appeared.

00:20 - Clark Kellogg is great and all, but I miss Billy Packer. I have all this extra rage with no one to focus it on.

00:23 - This bland start reminds me of my all-time favorite** TV moment, from the celebrations from the 2000 MSU win. Some drunk jackhole runs up to a TV camera in the midst of rioting and screams, "MICHIGAN STATE RULES!!!!!" and I say, I know that guy! It was a groomsman from Aspaas's*** wedding. Nice work, Matt.

00:27 - Wow. That brick just woke up all the deaf listeners.

00:33 - One area where the NCAA's can't compete with the pros is the complete mastery of hurt facial expressions when fouls are called. Tim Duncan should teach a master class on this.

00:34 - What's the adjustment for a shooter when the announcer says, "he can shoot from there!"? I'm thinking your chances of hitting the shot are about 1/10th the normal rate. Nice jinx, Clark.

00:36 - "His focus, his attention to detail, his practice have all become razor sharp in the tournament." So, Clark, you're saying he was mailing in the regular season? Sounds like he's NBA-ready!

00:37 - #50 for MSU is auditioning for the Oliver Miller-Robert Tractor Traylor Memorial All-Stars! Cue my repertoire of Bill Parcells back-fat jokes!

00:38 - It's cool of Butler to allow a middle-schooler to coach their Final Four game.

00:39 - Not to be racist, but the white guy-to-white guy lob NEVER works. At least, not since 1966.

00:41 - Tater Taunt is making me think that I might prefer cleaning my apartment to watching hoops, after all.

00:42 - Jim Nantz is clearly practicing his I'm-really-interested-in-spite-of-all-evidence face. And he'll need it -- his bread-and-butter is The Masters, and its viewership is, what, 95% dependent on Tiger? I'm betting he's been sending Elin lots of "give it another shot!" texts.

00:44 - Is there a weight limit on wearing #23? And how long until he gets his obligatory Charles Barkley comparison?

00:45 - Butler apparently thinks that if they get the lead on a 3, they win. They've turned into chuckers. Jimmy likes chuckers!

00:47 - How does MSU go almost 6 minutes without a bucket and still lead? Butler's running their Jon Starks**** offense!

00:50 - Nice work, Coke Zero, on picking 2 ACC teams NOT in the Final Four for your commercial. UNC never plays well 2 years in a row.

00:51 - "6-10 freshman from Ohio" -- I didn't need to look to guess it was the white guy. Along with Iowa, Idaho and the Dakotas, Ohio is in the top quintile for whiteness in the US.

00:58 - "Wide of the mark" -- nice inadvertent pun by Nantz. Tubby's pretty much wide of anything he does.

00:59- So, in a real tailgating party for WVU, how long does the Coke Zero guy survive in a suit before he gets his ass kicked? 2 minutes? 3?

01:01 - That, kids, is one sweet Iron Man 2 trailer. Yowza. Must implement my expectations-management program.

01:02 - JFC, THAT is the best inbounds play you can get off of a timeout? WTF? Grant Hill and Christian Laettner's spot atop the last-second shot hill is safe for another year.

01:04 - How many of the attractive females in the front row of the Intel commercial are temps? All of them?

* Wear the fox hat.
** #2 was when a female diver in the '84 Olympics had a wardrobe malfunction coming out of the pool.
*** Harrrrdassss!
**** 1 for 18, Starks!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

"You Are Not Using The Mouth"

Here's a tip: when you've been caught trying to give fake Beyonce tickets to your "favorite Buddha call", don't add insult to injury by telling your wife that "american women are open to bringing another woman in". Good times!

Now, THIS Is How I Pack

I'll ask again, anyone want to be a travel buddy this summer?

Friday, April 02, 2010

A Blu-Ray Feature I'd Pay For

I'd buy a Blu-Ray player TOMORROW if I had to sign a document stating that I was aware of two facts:
1) The commentary didn't represent the views of the company or its execs, just the commentators (if that)
2) Copying movies is illegal, as is showing the for profit.

So, I agree to these conditions, then I NEVER have to read the damn warnings again.

Now, THAT would be worth buying a Blu-Ray player.

What I Love About Opening Day

Red Sox Announce Plans To Return Fenway To Original 1912 Conditions
FBers go here for video. It's time for some Schadenfreude fandom! Two of my most hated fanbases, Spankees and Red Punx, will soon be out in full force. Few things in sports make me happier* than seeing these two teams lose. And since they play on opening day, I'm guaranteed to see one of them lose.

If you're wondering what my other most-hated fandoms are, here you go, with a reminder that I don't hate all the fans, just the asshats. So, Chad, Tobias, Court, et al, don't be too offended:
Eagles Fans
Jets Fans
Dutch fing soccer fans
Bayern Munich Fans
Bandwagon Fans of Any Rich Team -- Real Madrid, Chelsea, Lakers, etc.
80s Celtics fans outside Boston (yes, I do have issues)
Devils Fans
Obsessive fans of college football teams who didn't attend that college
Pretty much everyone

* USA soccer wins and cheerleader cams being two of them