Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Hangover - Love/Hate


- The British announcers for the World Cup have been absolutely fantastic. In addition to their accent giving the games an air of importance, they have a way of perfectly painting a picture and saying direct things without coming across as independent. In one of the games a player completely whiffed on a shot attempt and the announcer declared that it was a “disappointing fresh air effort by the striker.” Awesome. The next time Prince Fielder strikes out, I expect Brian Anderson to call it a “fresh air effort” by the rotund first baseman.

- New Zealand, the 78th ranked team in the world played Italy, the 5th ranked team, to a draw on Saturday. It was an enormous moment for the team known as the Kiwis, and was their second draw of the tournament. However, in the closing minutes of the game, I found myself constantly looking at the score to see if I was missing something. The announcers were crawling all over themselves to talk about what a dramatic upset the game was and comparing to the biggest upsets in World Cup history. Is a tie really an upset? I understand that New Zealand has never won a World Cup match and were not supposed to tie Italy. But calling it an upset just seems incorrect. Maybe this actually belongs in the “hate” section, but oh well, I’m too lazy to do anything about it now.

- And people from New Jersey wonder why everyone makes fun of them? They themselves declare that they are extremely dissatisfied so why would anyone else respect them?

- I tried to find a link online, but haven’t been able to for this insane story. Reading the NY Times on Saturday morning, and on page A14 there is a note about the responses from readers regarding the city’s plan to eliminate the rats in the subway stations. The author was surprised by the love for the rats from the citizens of New York. So I breeze through the letters and come to this one, which likely came from some senile 150-year old lady named Katherine Conant….enjoy.

“I had a pet rat for more than two years. She was one of the sweetest animals I have owned. She would sit with me when I watched TV in an old robe I would later wash. She was cuddly and would lick me when I stroked her, etc. When she was very old and had trouble walking, she would nonetheless drag herself toward me when I entered the room…….”


- That was an amazing choke job by Dustin Johnson at the U.S. Open on Sunday at Pebble Beach. Guy goes into Sunday in the final grouping and promptly puts up an 82 closing round. Ouch. It was hard to watch. I had never heard of the guy and probably will never hear from him again, but I think the problem might have been his dopey hat. How the heck did he expect to win a major golf tournament looking like that?

- Why do news organizations try to stuff square pegs in round holes? Peter King, the veteran Sports Illustrated columnist is covering the World Cup this summer. Why? He has no insight to the sport, no connections to anyone involved with the sport, and has a penchant for spouting off ill-informed opinions on twitter. So why would be be surprised when he tweets an insensitive comment about the African referee who struggled in the USA-Slovenia game? He shouldn’t be anywhere near covering a soccer tournament that he self-admittedly is painfully ill-prepared for. Reading his thoughts on soccer is the equivalent of me turning this blog into coverage of New York’s fashion week and breaking down women’s dresses.

- Along the same lines, Friday afternoon I had some down time and flipped on ESPN’s coverage of the US Open golf. I love the Pebble Beach area on the Monterrey Peninsula, and was looking forward to some relaxing golf action. Instead I get greeted by the blithering idiot that is Chris Berman in the booth. It is a horrible matching of personality and event. While I respect the hell out of him for putting ESPN on the map more than 30 years ago and his style was original in the 1980’s, Berman’s loud and overdone shtick is long past its expiration date and having him cover a golf tournament, where he doesn’t have the knowledge and worse, the personal awareness to know that he doesn’t have the knowledge, is shameful. Just stick to the desk on NFL Countdown and collect those checks that are fatter than your waistline.

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