Archive for June, 2008

We Need a Stinkin’ Badge

Monday, June 30th, 2008

New Tampa Bay Rowdies logo possibilityA soccer fan from Miami (of all places) has come up with this design for a potential new logo for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the new USL-1 club that will begin play in 2010 with the same name and colors as the legendary NASL team of the 1970s and 1980s.

I quite like it. I don’t know if what the owners are coming up with will be any better or what, but they could do a lot worse. The peaks are the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (officially the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge), a local landmark that (unfortunately) only barely touches Hillsborough County waters and doesn’t connect Tampa to anything. Still, it’s recognizable and makes a good design element. The sun is there, too, and the font is a more modern one than the circus-like traditional font (but it’s still unique and fun).

I’m on record as saying that “1975″ doesn’t really belong in the new club’s logo or anything – the king is dead, long live the king and all that – but that’s a quibble.

I’ll be interested to see what the actual logo/badge looks like. Hopefully we’ll find out soon.

Bad Boys

Monday, June 30th, 2008

It’s time to check in on disciplinary problems in MLS again. Here’s the latest chart showing the most “popular” cautions and reasons for ejections:

CAUTIONS
Offense # Pct.
Reckless Foul 119 33.8%
Tackle From Behind 61 17.3%
Pushing/Holding 48 13.6%
Dissent 38 10.8%
Professional Foul 34 9.7%
Game Disrepute 19 5.4%
Delaying A Restart 14 4.0%
Persistent Infringement 9 2.6%
Deliberate Handball 5 1.4%
Diving/Exaggeration 2 0.6%
Illegal Entry 1 0.3%
Interference GK or Throw-in 1 0.3%
Trickery 1 0.3%
MLS TOTAL 352 100.0%
 
EJECTIONS
Offense # Pct.
Serious Foul Play 10 33.3%
Violent Conduct 8 26.7%
Second Caution 8 26.7%
Abusive Language/Gestures 3 10.0%
Denied Goalscoring Opportunity 1 3.3%
MLS TOTAL 30 100.0%

San Jose’s Daniel Hernandez leads the league in the league-leading “Reckless Foul” category with 4, while there’s a three-way tie for the lead in the “Tackle From Behind” category (Gonzalo Martinez and Santino Quaranta of DC and Sinisa Ubiparipovic of NY). Toronto’s Maurice Edu is Mr. Professional Foul (with 3) and, to no one’s surprise, Chicago’s Cuauhtemoc Blanco leads the league in Dissent yellows with 3.

Kansas City’s Roger Espinoza and San Jose’s James Riley are the only two MLS players to be red carded twice this season.

Baldomero Toledo has handed out the most cards (43), with almost a third (13) for Reckless Foul, and has also sent the most players off (6).

MLS Week 14: By The Numbers

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

BASIC NUMBERS

  Week Avg. Season Avg.
Games 7   100  
Players 193 27.6 2,730 27.3
Goals 16 2.3 271 2.7
Assists 10 1.4 244 2.4
Shots 159 22.7 2,312 23.1
Shots on Goal 72 10.3 996 10.0
Fouls 198 28.3 2,569 25.7
Offsides 39 5.6 532 5.3
Corners 55 7.9 943 9.4
Saves 58 8.3 730 7.3
Cautions 28 4.0 351 3.5
Ejections 0 0.0 30 0.3
Temp   74.4   70.0
PK 2 0.3 20 0.2
PKs Att. 2 0.3 25 0.3
Attendance 123,069 17581 1,632,180 16,322

DISCIPLINE

Cautions
Reckless Foul (6): Corrales (SJ), Deuchar (RSL), Goldthwaite (NY), Gutierrez (CHI), Thorrington (CHI), Tudela (LA)
Tackle From Behind (6): Kljestan (CHV), Marshall (TOR), Ricchetti (DAL), Segares (CHI), Serioux (DAL), Stammler (NY)
Professional Foul (6): Bornstein (CHV),  Denton (SJ), Edu (TOR), Ekpo (CLB), Gray (SJ), Prideaux (CHI)
Dissent (4): Donovan (LA), Guevara (TOR), Kovalenko (RSL), Robert (TOR)
Pushing/Holding (3): Iro (CLB), Saragosa (DAL), Sassano (NY)      
Game Disrepute (3): DeRosario (HOU), Gallardo (DC), Razov (CHV) 

REFEREE WATCH

  Prus Kennedy Salazar Toledo
Game HOU-DAL CLB-COL NE-TOR KC-RSL
Fouls 27 21 34 17
Cautions 4 2 4 2
Ejections 0 0 0 0
Penalties 0 1 0 0
Stoppage 6:11 4:30 4:54 5:00
 
  Chapin Navarro Marrufo  
Game CHI-SJ CHV-NY DC-LA  
Fouls 31 52 16  
Cautions 7 6 3  
Ejections 0 0 0  
Penalties 0 0 1  
Stoppage 8:58 8:59 4:00  

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Friday, June 27th, 2008

The camera can’t do it justice like your eye can, but a wildfire (sparked by lightning) that’s been burning in southwest Phoenix for the last couple of days put a blanket of smoke and ash over parts of downtown Thursday afternoon. It turned the sun into a perfect blood-red disc. A passerby asked me “Does this happen often?” Hell, I don’t know, I just got here.

The sun through the smoke over downtown Phoenix

Irony Meter Pegs

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Irony Meter

Wow. Jay Mariotti thinks Chicago is a better place without Mike North.

Chicago was unavailable for comment because it was too busy laughing hysterically at the idea of Mariotti saying that North’s departure from WSCR-AM could be “the beginning of decency, professionalism and couth in Chicago sports radio.”

Because, God knows, if there’s one guy who embodies decency, professionalism and couth, it’s Jay Mariotti. And if there’s one medium that’s ready to be decent, professional and civil, it’s sports radio.

Women Go Crazy ‘Bout a Sharpie-Dressed Man

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Especially if that man is…you know…that LA Galaxy midfielder.



(Thanks to Goff.)

Hot Stuff, Baby This Evening

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

On the one hand, I’ve long been skeptical of forecasts of doom.

On the other hand, this will be the 11th straight day where the high temperature here in the Valley will be over 110.

And Now, The Hard Part

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Rowdie RalphLast week’s announcement that the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ name and colors would be returning to the American soccer scene touched off quite a bit of nostalgia and plenty of excitement (especially in this space). Of course, there are critics as well (as there always are).

Now that the confetti has all fallen and it’s some 22 months until the first game, let’s get real for a minute. (more…)

Soccer Really IS Everywhere

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Saw this yesterday in the parking lot at the local movie theatre:

QPR fan license plate

R.I.P., Class Clown

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

George CarlinOne of my earliest pop culture memories, from when I first started to become cognizant of the world past my back yard, was listening to my mom’s George Carlin albums (Class Clown and AM & FM were, I believe, the first two I was exposed to). I knew they were a bit naughty, and later I would come to realize the meaning of words like iconoclastic and irreverant, but to a kid of about eight or nine* all I really grasped was that they were funny.

Now Carlin’s dead, at the age of 71. Ignoring for a moment the idea that when the icons of your youth start to die off, you get a serious dose of perspective on your own impending mortality, this is a loss for the genre and the culture. Yes, if you asked anyone under about 35 to list their favorite comedians, he probably wouldn’t be on a lot of lists. And, while he was still performing and still drawing crowds, his most influential days were behind him.

Yet, he’s a giant of comedy. A comedic genius. Mount Rushmore of Comedy stuff. It’s easy to pigeonhole him as just a guy who swore a lot on stage (something that barely fazes us now), but to the end, Carlin asked us to re-examine why we thought the way we did about things and made us laugh during the examination.

He was his own man, and to the kid who became a grownup (and whose sardonic outlook on life was no doubt shaped by those 33 1/3 vinyl discs) he’ll always be an icon.

*Yes, my mom was either a bit progressive or neglectful, depending on your point of view. In 1973, maybe letting your eight-year-old listen to George Carlin wouldn’t get you Parent of the Year, but I seem to have turned out all right, yeah? ;)