Good Luck………Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

30 06 2010

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (center) is the president of Nigeria and has a pretty powerful approach of inspiring his country’s national soccer team. Since Nigeria failed to advance out of their group and since they were one of the heavy favorites out of the African teams in the World Cup, Goodluck has felt it necessary to take matters into his own hands and use his powers as president to lead, encourage, inspire, and demonstrate his love for the beautiful game by……….suspending the entire Nigerian national soccer team from competing in any international competitions for two years due to the embarrassing and horrific performances during World Cup play.

The BBC reported:

Nigeria’s president has suspended his nation’s football team from international competition for two years after a poor showing at the World Cup.

Special presidential adviser Ima Niboro told reporters the decision by Goodluck Jonathan will “enable Nigeria to reorganize its football.”

He said: “This directive became necessary following Nigeria’s poor performance in the ongoing World Cup.”

Uhhhhhhhhh am I missing something? Does this make any sense to anyone? I understand that the country needs to retool its program but not allowing them to compete at the top levels for two-years!?!? I almost find it harder to believe that the president of Nigeria actually has a name like Goodluck Jonathan.

Well, good luck to you Goodluck…………Good luck.


Steven Gerrard is a class act.

30 06 2010

O captain, my captain.  What defines the best footballing captains in the world?  A man who can be in the high-profile position of England’s captain, sitting at the foot of a humiliating defeat, and respond with a statement of this quality.

I am definitely not one to pay compliments to any player on Liverpool, but this Stevie G is one class act.  After the humiliating loss to Germany (even with the goal that should have been allowed) the captain of England was front and center taking the beating like a man.

“Everyone in the dressing room was hurting afterwards, the coaching staff and the players. We’ll go away in the summer and analyze things personally and as a team.

“Who is to blame, the manager or the players? Everyone is to blame. We came into this tournament with big togetherness and it would be very unfair of me to pick out individuals. For me it’s the group. If we’d have won we’d have all got pats on the back so we have to take the responsibility and the grief ourselves.

That’s exactly what I would like to hear my captain say.  “We” this and “we” that. No fingers were pointed, no excuses made, he simply said we should have done better.

I agree that they should have, look at the squad, but it takes a man to say what he said.

But it takes a man’s man, a true leader, a legitimate captain to go on and say this:

“If you look at the game as a whole we’ve been beaten by the better team.  We had good parts of the game where we passed the ball well and got into good areas. At 2-1 if Frank’s goal would have counted it could have been a turning point in the game, but we can’t use that as an excuse. They’ve scored four goals and we only got one, which tells it’s own story. We made too many mistakes as a team. Germany were more organised than us and were clinical.”

England at least has one thing to be proud of and that is their captain.

FIFA World Cup Trophy Stolen!!

29 06 2010

Actually it was just seven replica trophies stolen. The Associated Press released the breaking story today that the FIFA headquarters had in fact been broken into and seven replica world cup trophies had been stolen. There was no sign of break in and officials think that it may have been an inside job.

Gen. Bheki Cele said at a security briefing Tuesday, “We know that there was a burglary at the FIFA offices where they took seven replicas of the World Cup.”

Cele says official FIFA clothing was also taken.

In a related story World Cup referee Koman Coulibaly (the referee that called the phantom foul on the USA vs Slovenia) was seen entering a Hooters restaurant in Paris France were witnesses said he had presented a number trophies to some of France’s larger than life players. When asked what he thought he was doing, Koman simply replied, “I thought France had won. That’s the way I saw it and I call em like I see ’em. I saw them win and saw them conduct themselves with the up most class. Team France are winners.”

Hmmmm interesting.

I still back FIFA

28 06 2010

I know it was a disgrace, but after having countless discussions on Sunday, I am sticking to my guns and backing FIFA.  My initial reasoning was as follows:

“Football is meant for you and I.  If I can’t have one aspect of the rules of the game in my backyard, then the professionals shouldn’t either.  That is how you keep the game right where it should be, with the fans” (Read the rest of the post here).

To restate what Sepp Blatter stated before the World Cup began:

“The universality of the game: one of the main objectives of FIFA is to protect the universality of the game of association football. This means that the game must be played in the same way no matter where you are in the world.”

When I tried to explain this point I was met with stern and compelling opposition.  The point that I was consistently faced with was of substantial merit.  The World Cup changes the fate of nations, the morning pick up game at the park does not.  With this much on the line, FIFA should assure that they do everything in their power to make sure that mistakes of this magnitude do not happen.

I agree my friends, but my point is this.  It is a game of the people and for the people.  If I can’t institute a FIFA ruling in my local league game, then the professionals will not have the same luxury.

Blatter was quoted after this incident:

“No matter which technology is applied, at the end of the day a decision will have to be taken by a human being.”

I am not opposed to using technology, I write for a blog, I have just attached myself to this defense.  It protects the purity and integrity of the game.  It is a part of the game, good, bad, or indifferent, and it is something we all have to adapt to as fans.  I guarantee Germany is happy there is no video replay or goal line technology.

I also am not saying that everything is perfect and we should all just hold hands and sing “We are the World”.  I think something must be done. So where does the advocate of technology and the president of FIFA find common ground?  In the use of goal line referees? Maybe, but something must be done.

All of you who are crying foul now, remember this feeling, and in the next match where a call like this goes your direction know that “the grass is always greener on the other side” especially on the pitch.

Jacob, when you’re right, you are right.

25 06 2010

If you don’t get a little misty from this America, don’t read any further in this blog.

Biggest Win In U.S. Soccer History?

23 06 2010

ESPN has a new poll out asking that same question. With over 37,000 votes recorded an over whelming majority believe that this 1-nil win over Algeria is in fact the biggest win in U.S. mens soccer history. To be honest I really have to agree with this poll. Watching this match with my fellow soccer supporters, drinking beer at 7:00am, standing up and sitting down a thousand times, and knowing what a win would mean for this country was almost unbearable for 90+ min. But when Landon Donovan scored the only goal in the 91st min, all the stress left my body………in the form of a yell that made my throat so raw that it hurts to whisper even as I’m typing this post. This truly is an amazing day for U.S. soccer!!

I don’t really even feel bad for the Algerian team. Based on the way most of the players look I’m sure they are already headed to the nearest rave going on in South Africa. I actually read an article that said 12 players from the Algerian national team had traveled to South Africa with plenty of extra glow sticks, Ecstasy, pacifiers, and back up tight-fitting Algerian jerseys.

All in all well done U.S. Now bring on Ghana………rhea!!!!!

They be Ill’in

22 06 2010

North Korea took a step into the 21st century and decided to broadcast the match against Portugal live for the entire nation to see.  In a country that has state run, sponsored, and monitor television, this move is unprecedented.  The pride that is felt throughout the country is incredible, so much so that the idea of having a “live” broadcast makes worldwide news.

Here’s how crazy the commies are:

  1. Kim and his totalitarian leadership allow only one state-run TV channel, ban shortwave foreign radio broadcasts and restrict outside Internet access to the elite
  2. In the past, only snippets of World Cup games were shown, sometimes weeks later.
  3. In 2002 and 2006, a South Korean broadcaster relayed live video as part of reconciliation efforts with the wartime rival, but North Korea chose to show only tape-delayed parts of matches.
  4. The broadcast was the first North Korean overseas match to air live back home

The national pride in this team swelled so much that they were willing to broadcast this match (through a South Korean signal) live for all to see.

“State TV made no attempt to conceal scenes of the crowd and sponsors’ ads plastered around the stadium.”  Pure craziness!!

Quote from a family member of the North Korean squad, “Watching the game live, I felt like I was in South Africa myself,” and that and seeing the outside world made him feel like Alice chasing the white rabbit.

At least they didn’t go overboard and let John Harkes do the color commentary.  They chose instead to let their own wit and charm take over, example:

“Our defenders didn’t see him unexpectedly coming out from behind,” the state TV commentator said. “They should have more awareness about those coming from behind.”

Amen brother. Sounds like an important life lesson as well.  Maybe he is better than Harkes.

After the pure destruction of the North Korean squad, and them knowing that their nation was watching live in this historical broadcast, I think the line up may be a little thin come Friday, and South Africa may just have increased their Korean population from 0 to 23 if you follow me.