Archive for March, 2009
“We met through a friend. The moment I saw him, he smiled and I was like, That is the most beautiful, charismatic smile I’ve ever seen! We sat and talked for three hours. I had to go home for Christmas, but I didn’t want to leave. You know that feeling of, like, you can’t get enough? From the first day we met, we’ve never spent one day without speaking to each other.”
Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of a dark day in the history of the city of Baltimore, Maryland (a town I think is underrated, actually – I have quite liked it when I’ve traveled there). It was the day the Colts snuck out of town under cover of night and snow and relocated to Indianapolis. The Colts meant so much to Charm City, and its denizens still speak longingly of the days of Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, that I wouldn’t have expected to see this headline in the Baltimore Sun:
I understand, intellectually – getting rid of Bob Irsay and (eventually) getting two new stadiums and a Super Bowl title means Balmer didn’t turn into a vast wasteland after the Colts left. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a jewel and a point of pride for the city, and the Ravens play in a flashy facility complete with a Johnny U. statue in front. I just didn’t think I’d ever hear anybody in Baltimore verbalize it. I didn’t think rational was possible.
(By the way – by 2015, the Colts will have called Indianapolis home for as long as they did Baltimore, and no one under the age of about 35 will have any useful recollection of the Baltimore Colts. It’ll be 2027 before the Ravens will have been around as long as the Baltimore Colts.)
If you remember that day with sorrow (I just shook my head at the time, while many others shook their fists), you have my condolences. It never should have happened – even if it did turn out for the best.
But there’s a lot of that in the world.
I didn’t (but only because there were only about 25 minutes left and there wasn’t anything else on), and I’m glad. But if you did, here are highlights of the USA’s comeback from 2-0 down to tie El Salvador 2-2 in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday night (thanks to The Offside Rules for this version):
- Tim Howard: don’t get suspended again.
- Frankie Hejduk: way to go, Dude.
- Not a good night for Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey or Heath Pearce, either. Brian Ching would (nearly) have redeemed himself had that bicycle gone, but here’s hoping we see some different people up front Wednesday against Trinidad & Tobago (7:57pm ET, ESPN2).
- Yes, it was El Salvador. Yes, the US did not play well at all the first 70 minutes. It happens. I don’t know why. Brazil drew at Peru in the third game of their last qualifying campaign in 2005. Don’t lose your freaking minds about it. After two rounds, the US is unbeaten, top of the hex and (very likely) only 14 points away from qualifying with four home games still to play. So if you’re still ranting and raving and wanting Bob Bradley fired, just please, STFU.
- Oh, by the way, El Salvador? See you in September in Salt Lake City. I don’t think the delay tactics are going to be forgotten. Hope your calves feel better.
The Los Angeles Sol won the inaugural match in the history of Women’s Professional Soccer yesterday, beating the Washington Freedom, 2-0 in Carson, California. I didn’t get to watch the game until this morning, so here are a few belated thoughts:
- It was just an okay game. In fact, most things about it were just okay. Just okay game, just okay crowd, just okay broadcast. Just okay.
- The announced crowd of 14,832 was nearly 20,000 shy of that for the first game in WUSA history back in 2001, but that game had much more hype and Mia Hamm on the field as a player instead of just a pregame ornament.
- Did Hope Solo Twitter that there was no doubt in her mind that she’d have made the save on the first LA goal? I honestly don’t know.
- Who would have thought that with the star power of Marta and Abby Wambach on the field, it would be Allison Falk and Camile Abily who would score the goals? (Abily’s was sweet, and was set up by Marta, but no way should Abily have been left free.) Marta and Wambach were terrible at finishing.
- My man Mark Rogondino did fine on play-by-play. Jen Hildreth, his partner, has potential, if they can break her of the habits of saying “offsides” and using the Brandi Chastain crutch “absolutely” as much.
- And if you hadn’t heard, WPS is economizing, looking to avoid losing the scads of money its predecessor did. One way to do that – don’t use the expensive electronic substitution board!
With the loss, the Ironmen were eliminated from contention for the title (the XSL has no playoffs), so it’s a two-horse race in a four-team league between Detroit and Milwaukee. The Ignition can clinch it if the Wave loses at home to New Jersey on Sunday afternoon.
If you like soccer jerseys and want to support a college program, my man Seth Asbury reports that Trinity U. is having an online auction Saturday evening that includes shirts signed by Kaka, David Beckham, Leonel Messi and Wayne Rooney, among others. Check it out here and happy bidding!
EDIT: If you participated, thank you. I’m told the auction raised more than $15,000 for TU’s program.
My man Dan Loney and I are proud to announce the launch of our new podcast, Four at the Back with Dan and Kenn. You can download the first episode here. We hope to do it weekly (not weakly), but we’ll see.
If you’re one of those people who knows how to make something like this available on iTunes, please let me know. I’m not good with all that technical stuff.
Oh, Paula. What are we going to do here? Did moving from Tuesday to Wednesday add one more day to your weekend, is that what it was?
Last night’s American Idol saw Paula Abdul break out the crayons while drawing a word picture we really wanted to see 20 years ago, Simon Cowell be remarkably nice (for a time), Randy Jackson be incoherent and Kara DioGuardi fail math. Comments on the performances of the top 10 after the jump. Not quite as snarky this week. I must be losing my edge.
If you dug Valerie Bertinelli when you were a teenager (didn’t we all?) and you admire women in their forties (again…), you’ll enjoy Barbara Cooper all grown up and slimmed down in this week’s Screw Up Your Life* People Magazine.
I’m not saying buy it. But if someone you know buys it or you’re in line at the supermarket or waiting to get your hair cut, all’s fair.
*Hey, if we’re going to go back to the 70s, let’s go all the way back, you remember that one, right?