Category Archives: What the F%$#!!!

Why the U.S. win against Algeria is the most important moment in American soccer history

I’ve needed to settle down for awhile after that riveting soccer game that saw Landon Donovan score the game winner in stoppage time before writing this post.  I’ve done that, now let me tell why this game (and win) were so important to the popularity of soccer in the U.S.A.

There’s basically three camps in the United States when it comes to soccer.

1.  There’s the “soccer sucks and the only way I’m watching is if I’m being tortured” camp.

2.  The “I’m not a soccer fan, but I watch the World Cup and I’ll go to an MLS game if I get a ticket” group.

3.  The “I have three fantasy league soccer teams with players from the leagues in Brazil, Greece, and Russia” camp.

In the past, the second and third groups have watched the U.S. soccer team with high hopes.  The team has been alleged to be good but in reality have flamed out far below expectations.  Moreover, there have been plenty of opportunities for the U.S. team to get that signature win which makes Americans take notice.  A 1-0 loss to Germany in 2002, A tie to Italy in 2006, and the 2009 Confederation loss to Brazil after leading 2-0.  In each case, the fans were told, the team played well but just was unlucky to win.  We’ll get ’em next time.

Hogwash!

It’s been obvious for years that the only way soccer gets any credibility is to get results and do some damage on Soccer’s biggest stage.  This World Cup gave the U.S. the perfect chance.  No overinflated expectations as in 2006, when the U.S. was ranked 5th in the world, nor any “just happy to be here” sentiments.  Win or failure.  An ideal most Americans, even the non-soccer fans, understand.

Then there’s been the way they played so far.  See, the only way Americans are gonna watch a sport they normally wouldn’t is if there is drama and excitement.   They need riveting theater.  This World Cup has given it to them.

First, they come back against England, yes with the help of an atrocious goal, but they came back nonetheless.

Theater.  They showed some true “American” grit.

Then they suck against Slovenia, but come back late to score two goals and the winner, only to be screwed by “the call.”

Theater.  There was action, drama, and outrage.

Everything led up to the game with Algeria, and the stakes were right where any red blooded American wants them.  Back against the wall.  Win or die.

For 90 minutes they let the drama simmer.  Lost chances?   Check.  More villainy?  Check.  The specter of those “unlucky soccer kids who played well but can’t win” hanging in the air?  Definitely check.  Add to that England’s goal that cemented the “win or die” storyline and you have the perfect set up.

And as the seconds kept ticking away, the tension built and built.  We’re talking “will they find the bomb in the schoolyard in time’ tension.

Then….as “official time” ended and all hope was lost, Tim Howard, goalkeeper, saves the day, keeping the ball out of the net and throwing (throwing?) the ball some 60 yards to a streaking Donovan…..

Hope.

Donovan pass the ball to Altidore…….

Hope.

Altidore gets the ball in to Dempsey who HAS THE SHOT SAVED!

Nooooooooooooooo!

BUT THE GOALIE CAN’T HOLD IT AND…..

long pause to hold breath.

DONOVAN SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!  OH MY GOD!!!!!!!

Bars, offices, schools, my couch, erupted in cheers.  The only people not happy were the Hollywood writers who wished they’d thought of this moment for a script.

Even more important was that millions of Americans saw a soccer game, a 1-0 soccer game, that was the total opposite of the “boring, unwatchable tripe” memo that sports talk hosts had been feeding them for years.

Now they understand what the world has known for years.  Soccer can be pretty darn exciting.

So do all the Americans who cheered Donovan’s late heroics start following the MLS?  Of course not, but some will.  And do all those fans leave, if and when the U.S. loses against Ghana, or Uruguay, or South Korea?  Some, but that really doesn’t matter very much because now U.S. Soccer has produced a split second where all Americans, soccer fans and detractors experienced what the game of soccer could give them.  Drama, excitement, exhilaration.

U.S. soccer now has its moment, and nothing or no one can take that away.

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A thought about the Super Bowl ads and the poor treatment of women

Some people are upset about this ad because of the violence against women.  O.K. I get it.  I wasn’t offended by it, but, well, I suppose some people could be.

But for all those who were offended by the violence of the “Tebow” ad, I have a question.

Shouldn’t you mention this ad too?  Or this one?  Or this one?  I guess those acts of violence against women don’t count.

If you’re gonna be against violence to women in ads, be against ALL violence against women in ads, not just one.  It’s almost if you have an agenda of some sort.

And that’s the problem with agendas, they end up making you look like a hypocrite.

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Filed under General Nonsense, Politics, What the F%$#!!!

Venezuela, a non-expert analysis

I just got back from Venezuela and had to make a few observations about how things are there.

First, I love Venezuela, but it definitely has some problems.  And it all stems from one person.  El Presidente, Hugo Chavez.

When you´re in Venezuela, it´s hard not to hear from, or about Chavez and his talking about the U.S.  In fact, there´s a great YouTube post (looking for the video, but can’t seem to find it) (It’s there now, in Spanish. thanks to Julia)from the OAS where the representative from Panama told the joke.

“When his wife cheats on him, a right wing fascist will beat her up.  A social conservative will plead with her “Why?” The communist will immediately collect all the stones around and start throwing them at the U.S. Embassy.”

In Venezuela, there is more than a little truth about that joke.

Throughout the whole country, there are rolling power outages and water shortages, all because Chavez long ago fired anyone capable of maintaining these infrastructures who was not Chavista.  So what does he do?  Does he try and fix the problems?

No.

Instead he throws rocks at the United States.  Chavez says U.S. planes are spying on him, that Obama is the same as Bush, and that a U.S. attack on Venezuela is coming anytime.

Listening to all this, there’s only one conclusion I can make.

He wishes the United States would invade.  It’s the only way he can get out of this complete fiasco he’s created for himself.

Think about this.  Ten years ago, Venezuela was exporting electricity to other countries.  Now there are shortages.  So much so that Christmas lights were forbidden in many areas.  Additionally, water is being rationed throughout the country.  In Caracas, the water is shut off so they can conserve.

Incredible.

Ask any Venezuelan about this.  They are tired.  Tired of lines 50 people deep waiting for the money machines with no power.  They are tired of shopping in dark malls because  whole cities lose power for hours on end.  They are tired of storing water so that they can use the toilet, or have a drink of water.  One woman said to me that if she had told people that Venezuelans were sitting in the dark”with no light and no water they would never believe us.”

It’s true.  And they know who’s to blame for it.

Oh yeah, elections are coming up this year, which could spell big trouble for Chavez.

If the elections are clean (a huge “if”, I know) there is a good chance that the congress could have a significant number of opposition members elected.  Why?  Opposition parties who have boycotted past elections in protest are instead organizing and winning.  There were several opposition wins last year for governor and mayors of major cities, including Caracas.  Of course, Chavez usurped the election and took away the winner’s powers, the police, etc.  That will be much harder to do if several opposition candidates gain seats in congress this year.

He will certainly try, but it may just backfire.

Many remember that when the first vote to change the Venezuelan Constitution, in order to let Chavez run indefinitely, failed Chavez tried to withhold the voting results until the military stepped in and said it would not support him if he didn’t acknowledge the results.

I can see a similar scenario unfolding again if Chavez, say, dissolves an opposition controlled congress.

His grip on the presidency is weak right now with many of his former supporters now turning against him.  He must tread carefully if he wants to remain president.

Chavez, of course, recognizes none of this.  He still grandstands, acts impulsively (devaluation anyone?), and still believes (and hopes) a U.S. invasion is coming.   It won’t of course.  And why would we?  Chavez is doing a fine job of losing his grip on Venezuela without our help.

So here’s to a hopefully happy, and Chavez free Venezuela in 2010.

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Filed under Politics, Uncategorized, What the F%$#!!!

A thought about the Olympics pick

I found it pretty amazing that no South American country has ever hosted an Olympics and I think it’s about time that they got one.

Congratulations to Rio and Brazil!!!!

And thank goodness ol’ Chavez didn’t get them.  Could you just imagine?

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When racism isn’t

Just saw the transcript of the Gates 911 call and it seems pretty tame.  In fact, I think the thing that struck me most was a concerted lack of labeling Gates and his chauffeur as any type of race.

It won’t matter though as most everyone has already made up their minds about this regardless of what facts may come out.

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Filed under Politics, What the F%$#!!!

Turnabout is fairplay

I need to say this upfront.  I’m generally pro-bike on the roads.  I give them as much space as I can when passing.  Heck, I even have a bike I ride around town now and then.  Bicycles are a great mode of transportation.

What I don’t like, however, are the bicyclists who don’t obey the traffic laws, are belligerant, and basically have no respect for drivers, like me, who go out of their way to be courteous.

The worst is the Critical Mass folks.  Having been caught in one of their protests, I can tell you first hand that they had no respect for me or other drivers.

So this in today’s Daily Camera gave me a smile.  It talks about a “Critical Mass” with cars protest to stop bicycles from hogging the roads.  Part of the flier reads:

“On July 25, in celebration of driver’s rights, many cars will use the Left Hand Canyon Road, drive slowly and many may break down unexpectedly, blocking areas to the cyclists on the return leg of the ‘Sunrise Century,’” the anonymous, one-page note reads. “Many cars and safe drivers all working together can send a message to the Statehouse to restrict cycling on our roads which are our only alternatives during family emergencies, commuting and required duties.”

I love it!  It’s about time that drivers employed the same tactics to bicyclists that they have had to endure for years.  Of course the reaction from bicyclists is hysterical, and predictable:

David Flores, 46, an avid cyclist who lives near Lee Hill and Left Hand Canyon drives, said he and his neighbors found the fliers stuffed in their mailboxes Thursday.

“There is nothing to be gained in trying to line the roads with cars to try and disrupt people on bicycles,” Flores said. “I don’t hope cyclists unite and decide to block U.S. 36 to make a point.”

Flores said the tone of the letter is obviously meant to incite a confrontation during the ride, despite its suggestion that pulling over to “inspect” vehicles for “engine trouble, sounds or other safety issues” is a form of civil disobedience.

“If that happens, there will be either an accident or some kind of confrontation,” Flores said. “There are people who will go out of their way to light the powder keg on both sides.”

Flores is right.  It’s obviously a form of civil disobedience to incite a confrontation.  It’s what Critical Mass bicyclists have been doing for years.  Now that the shoe is on the other foot, however, bicyclists don’t like it.

Well turnabout is fair play and it heartens me to know that there is still a bit of rebellious spirit left in Boulder.

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Well then, I won’t

Sometimes stupidity in others is funny….really funny.  Other times, however, when their misguided actions are sure to cause them personal pain, or difficulty, it becomes a little harder to watch.

Take this story from Fox News

Celebrity hotspot and renowned Japanese restaurant Nobu has written a note to diners at its London restaurants warning them not to eat the bluefin tuna on the menu because it is endangered, the London Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The restaurant, popular with stars like Brad Pitt and Kate Moss, calls the $50 dish on its own menu “environmentally challenged.” It asks patrons to “ask your server for an alternative.”

This misguided attempt to be environmentally friendly is not only a patently superficial gesture, but will probably cause the restaurant to take a huge hit, financially or otherwise.  Whoever does Nobu’s P.R. needs to tell them to rethink this.

Look, the worst thing you can do is sit on the fence about something.  If you really care about the plight of the noble bluefin tuna, then don’t serve the noble bluefin tuna at your restaurant.

If you’re interested in making $50 bucks a plate from selling the tasty, tasty fish, then sell it, without apology.

Fence sitting will only get both sides mad at you.

But hey, maybe they’re going for the “I tell others to be environmental but don’t have to do it myself cause I’m so cool” crowd.  And, Lord knows, there’s plenty of those folks around.

Needless to say, the next time I travel to one of my favorite cities, Nobu will not be on the…um…menu.

via Drudge.

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Answering your own questions

According to Kyle Ringo of the Daily Camera, the Big 12 conference is trying to find ways to save money.  Here’s the first paragraph of the story.  In it there might be the answer they’re looking for.

— Big 12 administrators gathered here Tuesday at the swank Broadmoor Hotel to begin discussions on reining in costs and taking a more frugal approach to doing business in a struggling economy.

I would say that having the meetings somewhere other than The Broadmoor, perhaps the ritziest hotel spa in Colorado this side of Aspen, might do a lot to save some money.

But that’s just me.

Look, I don’t care if they meet there. The place is awesome! And I certainly don’t want to see places like that go by the wayside because of groups being afraid to meet at a nice location.

I am saying that maybe it’s not such a great idea to be talking about cutting spending while staying at a place like the Broadmoor.

Just a thought.

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Better to ask forgiveness than permission

It is a motto in journalism that it’s always better to ask for forgiveness than permission because the only way you can find out what you can get away with is to really see how much you can get away with before you get push back.

You’d be surprised how much you can do without permission.  Likewise, you’d be surprised how limited you are when you always ask for it.

Oops!  I’m sorry I did everything I wanted to do and you couldn’t do anything to stop me.  I promise, PROMISE this will never happen again…until the next time.

That’s what’s so great about asking forgiveness.   You already have accomplished your goals.

It was in this context that I got a huge chuckle as I was listening to President Obama talk about the whole “let’s see how close we can get Air Force One to the Statue of Liberty” incident.

A very serious Obama got out in front of the camera and asked for forgiveness saying that he would “make certain that this wouldn’t happen again.”

Of course it won’t happen again.   They already have all the photos of Air Force One flying over the New York skyline they’ll need for the rest of Obama’s presidency.  You think their going to dump those photos just because they terrorized a bunch of New Yorkers?

No way!

In fact, I bet you see those beautiful photos featured in a fawning, glossy spread by a major media publication before the end of the year.

And if someone complains about the spread?

Oh, so, so sorry.  It definitely won’t happen again.  I promise.

I just hope that they airbrush out all those panicked people running through the streets of N.Y. in the background.

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Filed under Politics, What the F%$#!!!

WOW!!!! Just WOW!!!!

There are a lot of headlines that could have appeared today that I wouldn’t have been shocked seeing.

This isn’t one of those.

After 14 seasons and two Super Bowl wins, Mike Shanahan is out in Denver.

Excuse me while I peel my jaw off the floor.

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