Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Arsenal Joga Bonito Wednesday: Kanu Shot
The Sheriff Chelsea Edition

A while back I wrote about one of Kanu's finest hours - his hat trick in the last 15 minutes at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea that brought Arsenal from 0-2 down to 3-2 winners. Well finally someone has thrown up all 3 goals on YouTube, although frustratingly they chose to cover up the great announcing with I Shot The Sheriff (and not even the Marley version either). Anyhow, here it is. Enjoy:


Kanu believe it! He's flattened Chelsea!
He's hit a hatrick! At Stamford Bridge!


I'm off to the pub to watch the Arsenal-Tottenham Carling Cup Semifinal 2nd leg. Henry is being rested, Gilberto is back, but Cesc is not starting - not sure if the kids can do it without him, but we will see. I'm sure he will come on in the last 20 minutes if the result is in doubt.

***Update 2.47 p.m.***

Arsenal 3-3 Tottenham, 5-3 A.E.T.

Arsenal went up on 78 minutes via Adebayor, then Spurs equalized on 85 minutes through Mido header. I figured that was that as it finished 3-3, that Arsenal were through on the away goals rule. But I forgot that the Carling Cup does it differently - they play extra time in the event of any aggregate tie, then apply the away goals rule if it is still tied after extra time. Seems a silly rule to me. Anyhow, Aliadiere and then Rosicky scored in extra time and Arsenal won 5-3. They will meet Chel$ea in the final.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bezerkeley 1, Cal 0, Tedford Frustrated.
But It's Early...

Although Cal's stadium is absolutely beautiful, their football facilities are not so good, especially in relation to other schools, which is hampering their efforts at recruiting. This has been an issue for a long time but has really come to the fore since Coach Tedford made the team so successful so fast. In doing so he has become a constant on or near the top of vacant head coaching position wish lists, both college and NFL. It is not a well kept secret that Tedford's biggest frustration at Cal is the poor facilities, and also that it is commonly accepted wisdom that upgrading the facilities is the key to keeping Tedford at Cal in the short, medium, and long term.


Cal's Memorial Stadium

So to solve the problem Cal is ready to break ground and build a fancy new facility with all the bells & whistles - weight room, locker rooms, team meeting room, etc., etc., not just for football but for a dozen other Cal sports as well. So problem solved you would think.

You would be wrong, for this is Bezerkeley. Treehuggers, NIMBYs, lovers of famed Tightwad Hill, and even the city of Berkeley oppose the plans for various reasons, and lawsuits abound.

So yesterday a judge slapped an injunction on the whole project, which will delay its commencement for 6 months, a year, or maybe forever. The media has focused mostly on the tree-huggers, who are protesting the fact that 140 old growth oak trees will be demolished to make room for the new building by climbing up and living in the trees, even though the University has pledged to plant 3 trees for every one that is removed. They have been there since the Big Game over 6 weeks ago.


This picture will appear in the Knoxville or
Tuscaloosa papers right around never.

Media coverage today will give the idea that the tree-huggers stopped the project and won, but in reality the reason for the injunction was the fact that the Hayward Fault runs directly beneath Memorial Stadium as well as the projected new building, and the injunction was given about concerns about meeting earthquake safety standards.

Tedford is saying all of the right things but at the same time it seems pretty evident that he is frustrated and pissed off about the whole thing.


Offensive guru trying to build a successful
gameplan to defeat the tree-hugging hippies


It will be interesting to see how this all plays out on many levels, from the spectacle and idealism of the various Berkeley protest groups (any time a 90 year old lady climbs up into trees to protest it is interesting to say the least) to the need for modern amenities by the University, as well as how it all will affect said University's ability to keep one of the most coveted coaches in football at their school, and the fear that if they lose said coach they will return to being utterly average.

Expect appeals, more courtroom drama, more activism in the trees, and NFL and college programs to come hard at Tedford and try more than ever to lure him away. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Weekend Review: All Over The Place Edition

Both G. Love shows were outstanding. Many bands are disappointing in concert as compared to their records, but this one is better - high energy show, dude is simply a great performer. The man-crush continues...

Kanu scores but it's not enough: Portsmouth are dumped out of the FA Cup by ManUtd (and a really great & cheeky 2nd goal from blockhead Rooneh).

Kanu scores but it's not enough: Red Stripes 2-3 Sex Pistols. Having only 1 sub definitely hurt us, as well as several of us, myself included, being severely hung over.


"Show me the way, to the next whisky bar..."

Thursday night drinks and then drinking & staying out until 3 a.m. both Friday and Saturday night is no way to prepare to play footy - I am truly amazed that Tony Adams was able to pull it off so well for so many years.


Don't know how the hell you did it, Big Tone,
but I'm sure glad you stopped.

Arsenal-Bolton FA Cup 4th round: rinse and repeat. Except this time it will be Bolton-Arsenal (oop Norf). A truly horrible game to watch, at least the first half. The second half was average. I am glad that the Mad Dog replayed it at 2 p.m., because I realized about 2 a.m. the night prior that there was no way in hell that I was making it up at 7 a.m. to catch it live at 8 at the pub. It was still very difficult to stay awake during the first half even at 2 in the afternoon.

After 30 minutes you had the feeling that the game had 1-nil written all over it; at the end of the half when Henry went for the career highlight reel cheeky backheel that didn't come off- it was cleared off the line (instead of turning and trying to blast into the net with his right foot), which was Arsenal's only real chance to that point, you had the feeling that it was going to be 1-nil for Bolton, Arsenal's bogey side. And shortly after the half 1-nil to Bolton it was. After only beating Bolton in 1 of these teams' last 7 meetings, and losing away to them last year and this year in the Prem, not to mention being dumped out of last year's FA Cup by them as well, I'm thinking at this point that perhaps Bolton:Arsenal is the new Florida football:Georgia football. Soon after Arsenal started asking all the questions as they say, and it finally paid off on 78 minutes in the form of a Kolo Toure diving header at the back post from a Cesc free kick and a Gary Speed deflection. By no means pretty, but it did the trick and saved them from being dumped out of the cup early for the 2nd year in a row, which would be embarrassing for a team that has played in 4 of the last 6 FA Cup finals. As Myles astutely noted, "Bolton scored an Arsenal goal and Arsenal equalised with a jammy Bolton goal."

So the 1-1 draw means a replay in 2 weeks, this time at Bolton's ground, where the Bolton hoodoo over Arsenal is much much more powerful. Hopefully the lads can have a Cerrano from Major League moment in the Reebok Stadium dressing room: "Fuck you Jobu, I do it myself!' The winner gets a home date in 5th round (round of 16) against Blackburn.

They were also showing Sampdoria-Inter and I saw Materrazzi get headbutted again, this time in the face {insert bad joke, clever remark, or witty snark here}.

On another TV was T Woods winning the Buick Open in San Diego. That is 7 wins in a row on the PGA Tour, giving him the 2nd longest streak ever. He also owns the 3rd longest streak ever when he won 6 in a row a few years back. Byron Nelson famously won 11 straight tournaments in 1945, which has always been seen as absolutely untouchable, akin to Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak in baseball. Hell, before Woods came along the 2nd longest streak was 5 in a row by Ben Hogan. Tiger can't possibly win his next 4 to match Lord Byron, can he?

And finally, from the Department Of Truly Epic:
I woke up this morning and read King Kaufman tell about the River Plate supporting tattoo artist who did a back tatt of the Boca Juniors logo for a Boca supporter. Except that he tatted a penis on dude's back instead. No, really. Swindle's all over it too. The next time an overenthusiastic yuppie tells you that UNC-Dook basketball is the most intense rivalry in all of sports, kindly tell him to fuck off and point him in the directions of any one of those links. The dude is suing the tatt artist, which made me think of something interesting: damn near everyone in Argentina is either Boca or River, and to say that they are passionate about it is a bit of an understatement. So dude will obviously be found guilty, which makes me think that the most important part of the case will be the judge who gets assigned to it. A River-fan judge will likely just give him a fine or make dude pay to have the tatt removed or whatever, but if dude draws a Boca fan he might be in big trouble: Boca-fan judge may go all Judge Joe Brown on his ass and make the River guy get a tatt of his own: not of a giant penis, but of a giant Boca logo on his back. And trust me, to the River fan, that would be 1,000 times worse.



Try explaining this tatt on your back
to your longtime buddies in the season
ticket holder section of El Monumental.

The Standing Derby Winner Is Dead. Shit.

Barbaro was euthanized this morning, ending the colt's 8 month struggle to recover from a shattered leg injury sustained in the 2006 Preakness Stakes. Prior to that he was 6 for 6, finishing 1st in every race that he finished and becoming only the 6th undefeated horse in 132 years to win the Kentucky Derby (Smarty Jones 2004, Seattle Slew 1977, Majestic Prince 1969, Morvich 1922, Regret 1915). His 6.5 length margin of victory in The Derby was the largest since 1948 when eventual Triple Crown winner Assault won by 8, and famously Barbaro was the first horse since 1956 to win The Derby on 5 or more weeks rest. So a pretty special horse as Derby winners go, even before his tragic cum heartwarming cum tragic story became worldwide news with a massive mainstream following.

Lots more news will come out today I'm sure, but I think that this may be the first time in history that the standing Derby winner has passed away.

Derby 132: Barbaro's finest moment

The whole thing sucks, especially since he was until the other day doing very well and had battled so much. One good thing that came out of the whole ordeal I suppose is a renewed interest in the health of retired thoroughbreds, as well as the creation of the "Barbaro Fund" to support and expand the Widener Large Animal Hospital that treated Barbaro - so long term there will be more and better support for many more other horses who don't happen to be world famous Derby winners.

He wasn't my favorite horse ever. In fact, I didn't believe in him until after his amazing Derby win. So I wasn't as emotionally invested in him as I have been with some other horses that I believed in before they did great things (Silver Charm & Smarty Jones come to mind). But I remember being very emotional after watching him break down, same as I am anytime I see a horse break down in any race, and like everyone else I was emotionally invested in his recovery. Most sad is that after so many surgeries and so much time passed, it seemed more and more of a given that he was out of the woods and was in fact going to make it. At least his suffering is over.

In retrospect I feel pretty fortunate to have been at the Derby this past year and to have seen Barbaro up close and personal on his biggest day.


Barbaro walking the paddock before Derby 132



Barbaro walks past us on his way from the paddock
to the track before the Derby

My thoughts go out to the Jacksons, who did everything they could to save the horse when they very well could have had him put down soon after this injury. Then they dealt with all the haters who said that they were only trying to save him so that one day he could breed and they could make millions, when in fact they are well-regarded as "good people" in the horse industry and already have millions. What an emotional roller coaster they have been through, and I am sure that they are completely devastated. Ditto for the families of Michael Matz (trainer) and Edgar Prado (jockey).

Last month the Maryland Jockey Club renamed the Sir Barton Stakes after Barbaro, so this spring the first Barbaro Stakes will be contested. I honestly have mixed feelings about this. The race is one of the 5 biggest at Pimlico each year, and wiping Sir Barton's name off the race forever seems a bit disrespectful. Sir Barton was no joke - he was the very first horse to win the Triple Crown (Derby, Preakness, Belmont) in 1919. If they wanted to name a race after Barbaro they could have chosen one of many others that wasn't already named after such an important figure in racing history. With all of their financial problems, and the prospect of Pimlico going bankrupt and being shut down, the move seems to smack a bit of an attempt to capture some of the Barbaro zeitgeist in an effort to get some much needed exposure and thus dollars into the coffers. Again, I don't think there is anything wrong with naming a stakes race after Barbaro - it happens all the time, surely seems appropriate, and is a nice gesture by the authority who controls the track where the his horrible injury occurred - but doing so at Sir Barton's expense seems a little bittersweet to me.

Anyhow, it is certainly a sad day for racing.

RIP Barbaro.


***Update, 10 p.m.***

FYI- If you are new to this story, not particularly interested or knowledgeable about the horse racing aspect of it, or jaded about it because of the media circus that it eventually became which you felt was being jammed down your throat by everyone from Jeremy Schaap to Matt Lauer, these are the two major reasons that Barbaro was a major story before it morphed into the general media circus that it turned into:

1) Before the Derby Barbaro was an impressive 5 for 5 but had alot of "ifs" that horse people were skeptical about, myself included (competition and especially the 5 week layoff - hadn't happened in 50 years and it was assumed that is couldn't be done in modern times). The way he romped in the Derby despite the long layoff, and over a talented field of horses too (it wasn't one of those year's where the crop of horses just wasn't very good), got alot of people fired up that he might in fact finally be the next great "Superhorse" that racing is so desperately awaiting to come along and win the Triple Crown (we are currently in the longest stretch ever without a Triple Crown winner - Affirmed 1978- and this is the first time in history that there is not a living Triple Crown winner) that he really captured alot of people's attention coming out of the Derby (horse racing fans that is). Combine this with the fact that the general sporting public only knows the name of 1 horse on Preakness Day (the Derby winner), and literally all eyes were on him not only to win the Preakness but to do great things in the Belmont. Alot of people believed that he could do what so many have come so close to doing but failed - win a Triple Crown, that alot of people became very emotionally invested in him by the time Preakness Day rolled around, and you probably know the rest of the story from there.

2) The thing that was remarkable about his surgery and comeback is the fact that he is really the first horse to survive to that point - most every horse that has ever had a similar injury was euthanized within 24 hours of said injury, mainly because of ruptured blood vessels in the leg which make it impossible to save the horse because the blood supply to the leg is disrupted. So that was the other thing, that the owners tried to save him and that he went through this surgery and 22 pins and plates in his leg and attempted recovery that no one else had really tried because the horse's leg had no chance to survive. So he was really in uncharted territory, and that is where the public attention was really grabbed and the whole heroic narrative took place in the mass media not just the horse racing world.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Weekend Preview: Capt. D G Love Comin', Capt. D G Love Comin'...

I doubt he'll play a cover of Scarred by Uncle Luke, but you never know - he is a hip hop head, he often blends Can I Kick It? by Tribe into one of his tunes, and he finished last summer's show with a cover of Snoop's Gin & Juice...

Tonight: G. Love & Special Sauce at the Warfield

Tomorrow night: G. Love & Special Sauce at the Warfield


Going to both shows: hell to the yeah

Sunday: Meatloaf at Emirates Stadium a.k.a FA Cup 4th Round: Arsenal-Bolton


We will beat Meat Loaf Big Sam this time.

Sunday: FC Red Stripes v. Sex Pistols

All that and apparently a bunch of rain. Bollocks, that.

Happy Weekend, I hope you have a great one whatever you get into.

The 2007 Kanu Charity Challenge

Last year my New Year's resolution was to take all stairs two at a time to get my legs in better shape for skiing, and not only did it help with that, it became the first New Year's resolution in my life that lasted the entire year. All the rest have found their way to the dustbin by February 1.

This year my New Year's resolution is to donate 1% of my after tax income to charity. I was going to start with the Fugees, but considering that since the Times article ran on Sunday they have received over $50,000 in donations, and Universal Pictures just kicked in another $500,000, I think I am going to start with the International Rescue Committee, an organization that a friend of mine works for that aids refugees to get placed in the U.S. and aids them with the basics of starting a new life here - assistance finding housing, jobs, and other social services. The IRC places many of the refugees in Clarkston, GA. mentioned in the NYT article.

Anyhow, I hereby challenge each and every one of you to match me this year and donate 1% of your paycheck to various charities of your choosing. It can be anything - pick something you are interested in. Like soccer? Throw a little cash towards The Fugees, Soccer In The Streets, or even the (real) Kanu Heart Foundation. Hate soccer? Pick something that you like, and I guarantee that there is a charity related to it that is underfunded and could use your help. Really & truly no amount is too small.

It's not much money at all either; for most of us it is the equivalent of 1 happy hour of drinks with your buddies after work each month. Better yet, find an organization that you like and get involved yourself by volunteering.

To quote Orson Swindle in the days following Hurricane Katrina: "Give, bitches, give!"

Fugee-La

I was so happy to see this story finally come to fruition in the form of a feature article in the New York Times last Sunday by Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer author Warren St. John, since a little birdie told me several months ago that is was in the works.

The article chronicles the heart-warming story of a youth soccer team in Clarkston, GA made up completely of refugee children from around the world, and the extreme challenges and difficulties they face on and off the field. It is made-for Hollywood stuff and definitely worth taking 10 minutes of your day to read.


"We used to be #10, now we permanent as 1"

Please read the story if you get a chance. It was the single most emailed New York Times story last weekend, and I am absolutely certain that this will not be the last that the world hears about this wonderful story. In fact, Variety reported Wednesday that Universal have bought the movie rights to the story and that 1) Warren is going to write a full blown book about it and 2) Universal is going to make a movie out of the story. Beyond the recognition, the best news of course is more funding for the Fugees project to grow and expand. According to the Variety article:

Part of the pic deal calls for Universal to pay $500,000 to build a soccer field for the kids. Part of the money will fund a foundation to benefit the team, and the dealmakers cut their fees so more of the coin would go to the teens.

Wow - so the story dropped in the NY Times on Sunday and this deal was cut 3 days later. The old "Gray Lady" isn't dead just yet, apparently. I'm sure you will see Warren and or Coach Mufleh making the rounds on talk shows in the near future. My hearty congratulations to everyone involved on the well deserved recognition and success.

You can learn more about the Fugees and donate to their worthy cause at their website.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Schadenfreude Special: The Beast Scores a Hat-Trick as Arsenal draw 2-2 with Spurs

If Arsenal:Spurs::Georgia:Georgia Tech, then imagine how much pleasure you would get out of this scenario as a Georgia fan:

UGA plays Tech in football in a game that is the equivalent of the NIT tournament for football. Tech wants to win badly and they play their best team. For UGA the tournament is almost an afterthought, so Right plays only freshmen and sophomores to give them game experience. The game is at Bobby Dodd. Tech races out to a 21-0 lead and they are celebrating like they just won a national title, because they are putting one over on big brother. In the 2nd half the baby Dawgs completely dominate and come all the way back, on the road, against Tech's best team, to earn a 21-21 tie (let's say there is no OT in this competition). This would bring you immense schadenfreude-laced joy. Well that is essentially what happened on Wednesday.

Carling Cup Semifinal 1st leg
Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal.

Highlights & analysis
Wenger, Jol, Fabregas interviews

1-0 Berbatov 12'
2-0 Baptista o.g. 20'
2-1 Baptista 64'
2-2 Baptista 77'

Spurs played their best team. Arsenal played only 3 starters and the kids. Hell 2 of those 3 starters are still kids (Senderos, Cesc). Average age of the Arsenal outfield: 20.

Spurs went up 2-0 after 19 minutes thanks to a good header aided by clusterfuck communication in the Arsenal defense, and a Baptista own goal after a dodgy foul awarded by Graham Poll have Spurs a free kick on the edge of the box. Then at the end of the half Baptista missed from 4 yards out with the goal at his mercy when he miskicked.

The Spurs fans celebrated, yelled, and sang as if they had just won the Champions League, as they were finally putting one over on big brother. So you can imagine my Nelson-ish joy as Arsenal completely and utterly dominated the 2nd half, Baptista scored two goals, and the kids came back against Spurs first team in Spurs stadium to earn a 2-2 draw. The crowd just got quieter and quieter as the 2nd half went on, their lead was erased, and they realized that they were being dominated by teenagers. The traveling Gooners sang "2-nil and you fucked it up!"


HA-HA!

So now Arsenal have 2 away goals in the bank for the return leg next Wednesday. It's hard to see them losing to Spurs at the Emirates but you never know. Chel$ea await in the final that most closely correlates to the NIT tournament in college basketball. It's nice to win but certainly not cared about anywhere near as much as the league, the FA Cup, or the Champions League.

That's 7 goals in 2 matches for Baptista; of course only 6 were for Arsenal, but it still could have been even more- he missed a PK against Liverpool and that super sitter at the end of the first half. Surely dude is ready for a run in the first team, and with Van Persie out with a broken metatarsal he should get into the rotation with Titi & Adebayor sooner rather than later.

Is 19 year old Cesc Fabregas the best player in the premiership? If not, is he clearly the best midfielder? The more I watch him control games the more I believe in such bombast.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Review: So Close To Perfection,
But 2 Out Of 3 Ain't Bad

Man, today was so close to being epic, at least one the all time great days for me on 3 hours sleep. I damn near got that troika after all, but a last minute surprise ending rained on the parade just a bit.

"One-Nil Down, Two-One Up!"
Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United
Rooneh 53
Van Persie 84
Henry 93

Highlights (9:52)
Henry post-match interview


Titi celebrates yet another nail in the "Henry doesn't play big in big games" coffin

I drive out to the Abbey Tavern and the first thing to notice is that after almost 2 weeks of record cold here in SF is it going to be a beautiful warm & sunny day. Sunroof open, life is good. I find a parking spot right in front of the pub, life is better.

After a week's worth of buildup it's time to get it on as Arsenal & ManUtd meet for the 200th time. As predicted this match was a cracker - the first half was one of those Exhibit A matches for people who think that a 0-0 by definition has to be a boring snoozefest. Neville tripped Henry in the box on one of those 50/50 penalty calls where if you are an Arsenal fan you surely think it was a penalty because there was definite contact, but if you are a United supporter you think no way is it a penalty because it was soft and Henry went to ground too easily. Could have gone either way but in this case United escaped. Then at the end of the half Mats made two absolutely world class saves and it was scoreless at the half.

More of the same in the second half - both teams playing well. Then on 53 minutes United scored a beautiful goal set up b a great one touch cross by their overlapping left back Evra, Kolo Toure gets a head on it but unfortunately it goes right into the path of Rooneh who slots it home. Not much to say or complain about- it was a good goal that was well taken by them. United has a good spell after that but then Arsenal began asserting themselves and Van Persie came on for Hleb. 10 minutes to go and it looked like the first loss in the new stadium was to be at the hands of their worst enemy, but then Arsenal created a beautiful goal of their own. Eboue made a good run and put in a great cross towards Henry, who was marked in 6 yard box. Sensing RVP was behind him at the back post he jumped up as if to do a scissor kick and kind of flicked it directly behind him with the bottom of his boot towards the far post. Van Persie met it at the far post and blasted it into the roof of the net. 1-1 with 6 mintes to go: jubilation.

Arsenal were dominant after that as they looked for a winner, and Ferguson tactically decided to play for a draw and the 1 point which would move them from 6 to 7 clear of Chel$ea when he brought on Heinze, a defender, for C Ronaldo, an attacking winger whose pace is always dangerous- certainly moreso than his never-ending stepovers and tendency to fall down (the look on his face when he got booked today was truly hilarious). Referee Bennett calls for 4 minutes of added time, and damned if Arsenal doesn't work a beautiful cross into the box in the last minute that Henry buries into the back of the net, amazingly with his head (he so rarely scored with his head - I think something like 6-8 of his 235 goals for Arsenal have been headers). Jubilation squared.


TH14 headed goals: even rarer than Georgia gear in SF

An amazing turnaround, grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat over your biggest rival while doing the double over them and taking the full 6 points (beating them in both league encounters this year). Not only that, but they won 1-0 at Old Trafford earlier this year without Henry and then they won today without Gilberto, arguably their MVP this season, thanks to Rob Stiles the terrible referee and Robbie Savage the wanker. So Arsenal continue their outstanding record against the big clubs; now they just need to sort out the likes of Sheffield and Boro and they'll be set.


The lads celebrate their amazing victory as the world watches
and Heinze is left to contemplate the cruel irony that he came
on for Ronaldo near the end to ensure that Utd got at least 1 point


The one bit of bad news is that Van Persie, scorer of 6 goals in his last 6 matches, fractured his foot today. Fortunately Adebayor is playing great and Baptisa looks like he is more capable than ever to step up and play striker now.

Stadiums develop their legacy, mystique, and character over time as big wins in big contests occur in them. Today was certainly the first huge win for Arsenal in their new digs, and will hopefully be the character/atmosphere primer upon which many, many layers of varnish will be added in years to come.

Naturally I'm high as a kite as I drive home, and by now it is apparent that it is not only clear & sunny, but damn near 70 degrees: a perfect day to be outside. Which is perfect, since at noon I head over for my soccer match with the Red Stripes. Long story short: we win 1-0, with none other than your boy netting the only goal of the match. Now I'm as high as two kites. Went to a great Cuban cafe and has a great lunch and visit with some friends, then back to Chez Kanu to clean up for the Colts-Pats.

Up 21-3 It seemed like NE was about to go for the deathblow when they made a 1st & 10 around the Colts 18, but a penalty erased the first down, backed them up, they got no points, and the Colts scored on both their final drive of the first half and their first of the 2nd half: game on. It truly was a great football game that had a little of everything - passing TDs, running TDs, a pick six, a receiving TD by a defensive lineman, and not one but two TDs by offensive lineman recovering fumbles. Both Viniateri & the heir to his Patriots throne were perfect, and in the end the Colts did it 38-34, which is pretty impressive considering they were down 21-3 not long before halftime.

A couple of random thoughts:

1) I realized today that I like it better when Reche Caldwell does something great to help the team yet leaves me a bit conflicted that he is a Gator then when he completely fucks up and I am left with only the thought "thanks alot... fucking Gator". He dropped 2 balls that anyone reading this could have caught then seemed to run the wrong patter on the first play of the Pats final drive.

2) I really hate the pass interference rules in the NFL - I think the 15 yard penalty in college is much more fair, but that isn't what got me today. On I think 2nd & 7 from the NE 19, Pats CD Hobbs was flagged for interference and Nantz and Simms allege that it was simply because he was face guarding the receiver and that he didn't turn and look for the ball. I'm pretty sure that what they failed to notice is that this is only a factor when there is contact. In this case Hobbs never touched the receiver, but nevertheless he was penalized (according to the announcers) because he was not facing the ball. This makes no sense - he didn't make contact with the receiver, and it sure as shit wasn't his fault that P Manning underthrew the ball and it hit Hobbs in his turned round ass. I'll never understand why that was pass interference, and instead of 3rd & 7 at the NE 19 its was instead 1st and goal which they scored from, a possible but obviously not certain 4 point play (difference between the TD and a FG). Later in the game there was a much more obvious pass interference on the Colts against a Patriots receiver in the end zone that was not called. In this case there was definitely contact, yet Nantz and Simms said nothing, and the Pats kicked a FG instead of having a 1st and goal from the 1 of their own. For me those two plays were very key and will be overlooked my most of the media covering the game. Now I am not saying that these 2 calls that seemed to favor the Colts absolutely determined the winner, and yes - I know, I know: if my aunt had nuts she's be my uncle. This was one of those games with any number of critical if plays. I am just saying that those two plays make me feel like Jock Ewing: they really stick in my craw.

It would have been so sweet to see the Pats get a chance to avenge the unbelievable ass-kicking they received from the Bears in the Super Bowl 21 years ago, but such is life. Now I have to choose between I QB I don't care for (Grossman the Gator who never lost to UGA) and a QB I really don't care for (Manning the Volunteer who was 4-0 against UGA) . Damn. Time to start scouring over the roster looking for Bulldogs to support...

Damn Gators Everywhere. Perhaps Doug Is Right...

... and the Gators really have become our overlords. I sure have been experiencing that lately, and sadly Steve Irwin is no longer around to fight them off:



We all know about the national championship in men's basketball, them beating us for the 15th time in 17 years in football, and then going on to win the national title in football by completely dominating the #1 team in the land, thereby becoming the first school ever to hold the two "major" mens titles concurrently. Then to add insult embarrassment to injury some total dipshit Republican congressman from GA refuses to vote for a House resolution congratulating the Gators on their football national championship - as much as the inner Gator-hater in all of us thought for a moment that it was cool, in reality it was classless and makes UGA look silly in the eye of neutral fans, especially vis-a-vis those damn Gators.

OK, fine: we are all trying to work through these realities in our own way. I already noted that I have it easy since I live in SF, which is a solid 2,000 miles away from the area where I would run into Gators all the time and/or be reminded of their superiority to us in other ways. Or so I thought...

Before the BCS Champiojnship Game (actually the day of the Dawgs bowl game) I played golf out here with my Dad and a friend of his. As we had only three we were paired up with a single, as is customary. First tee, dude has a Florida Gator golf towel hanging on his golf bag. I ask him about it and sure enough dude is a Gator. I'm thinking - "shit, this is the Bay Area, come on" (he was actually a very nice guy and we all enjoyed his company).

A few days after the Gators won the national title, I was thinking, "OK, I have dealt with this, I'm fine with it, I'm just glad that I won't really have to think about it too much for another 8 months". Then the last two Sundays as I watch my beloved Patriots try to march to another Super Bowl, there's Gators kicking ass all over the place. On MY team.


These jokers succeeding generates 2 very conflicting emotions

Even worse, MY team the last several years has had a shitload of Bulldogs on it, which made watching and rooting for them even better: Richard Seymour, Ben Watson, Patrick Pass, Jermaine Wiggins, even Robert Edwards. Now every good thing that happens for the Pats seems to be via Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney, former Bulldog-destroying Gator stars both. Last week was as bad as it could get - these two had huge huge huge games, while Ben Watson caught nothing (mostly because T Brady was mysteriously throwing at his feet, but I digress). I am extremely pleased that the Pats managed to beat the Chargers, but I was thinking "Shit, man, I can't get away from these damn Gators - they're everywhere."

But today takes the cake. I was hiking up in Marin, and this dude comes walking down the trail towards me wearing a gray T-shirt with GEORGIA in big block letters on it - you know, the old school, timeless plain one at all the book stores in Athens. In Atlanta or even throughout the South, I wouldn't think twice when I saw a dude in such a shirt, but out here in SF it is once in a blue moon that I see anyone in Georgia gear, so I always make a point to chat them up, ask them if they are in fact a Georgia Bulldog (alum), etc.


Always cool to see this so far from Athens. Or is it?

So we get closer to each other and I see the shirt and I'm thinking - "hell yeah! A fellow Dawg" and feeling pretty good. Then this conversation takes place:

Kanu: "Nice shirt man. Are you a Georgia Bulldog?"
Dude: "No, actually a friend gave me this shirt."
Kanu: "That's cool. I'm a Georgia Bulldog so I was digging the shirt"
Dude: "Oh. I went to Florida."
Kanu: "Really? You're a Gator?"
Dude: "Yeah"

I then joked to him that they were our Daddy, and I congratulated him on the national title, we went our respective ways, and that was that. Dude was cool as well, but sweet Jesus, I mean what the fuck? It's tough enough that the Gators are here, there, and everywhere lately, but now dudes I think are Bulldogs turn out to be Gators too? Damn, that is pretty crazy, especially when you factor in that I am no less than 2555 miles from Athens, GA.


Are these fuckers going to start haunting my dreams?

So all of this makes me pretty sure that the Patriots will win tomorrow with Gaffney & Caldwell having huge games, and also that the Bears will beat the Saints behind a for-the-ages heroic performance from former Gator and current Bear QB Rex Grossman.

Will this madness ever end?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
Futbol! Futbol! Football!

What a weekend of football, especially tomorrow. In the EPL you have what on the face of things appears to be every playoff wanting college football fan's dream: #1 v #4 and #2 v #3 (current positions in the table). Today was 2v3 as Liverpool beat Chel$ea 2-0 less than 2 weeks after getting demolished by Arsenal at home twice in 3 days, lending more credence to the emerging theory that this young Arsenal 3.0 team can play with and beat anybody, and as soon as they mature a bit more and become consistent enough not to drop points against the shit teams, look out.

Tomorrow sees Arsenal (#4) host old rivals Manchester United (#1) for the first time at Emirates Stadium in the match that was known simply as "The Title Decider" for several years before Chelsea became Chel$ea. It should be an outstanding match, for 2 reasons. First, after playing both on the weekend and in midweek for at least the last month, both teams have not played since last weekend, so they have each had a week of rest and should be raring to go. Secondly, both teams will both want to win and should play as such, so the match has potential to be a real cracker. Although Arsenal have had 5 disappointing draws already in their new home, they are undefeated at the Emirates and they sure as shit won't want their first loss to be against their biggest rivals. Also, having already beaten the league leaders at 1-0 at Old Trafford earlier this year, Arsenal would love nothing more than to do the double over ManUtd and take 6 points off them this year, especially since it looks like ManU may very well be champions this season. United on the other hand have the luxury of knowing that 2nd place Chel$ea were beaten by Liverpool at Anfield today, so they will surely want to win to extend their lead at the top of the table from 6 to 9 points, because that will put them in a damn good position with only 14 matches remaining in the season.

This Arsenal team is really coming together (hoping to write some thoughts about Arsenal 3.0 this week that have been in my head for a while) and I am really excited for the match tomorrow. I'll be off to the pub at 8 a.m. to check that out.

Then at noon I'll be playing for FC Red Stripes in our inaugural match of the Golden Gate Sport & Social Club Spring league. I forgot to mention that 2 weekends ago we stormed out to a 4-1 lead in our semifinal match and held on for a 4-3 win. Interestingly, #1 seed Boutros Boutros Goalie was upset in their semifinal by the #5 seed Ouch, and in the final we soon realized why. They had a dude who not only resembled Riquelme but played like him as well. We gifted them a 1st half goal, went 0-2 down, scraped one back, and midway through the 2nd half your boy made a great run and found himself on the receiving end of a beautiful cross at the far post, which he promtly volleyed wide with the goal at his mercy. A terrible miss that should have been 2-2. Moments later they made it 3-1 and that was that. So we finished runners up and are hoping to improve on that this year.

Home for a shower after that and then it Colts-Pats. Come to think of it, the NFL today is really & truly every playoff-wanting CFB fan's dream - a final 4 in a real playoff format. I don't think I have ever written on here about my love of the Patriots, but being a born & bred Chowdahead I am a lifelong fan. I ain't no Johnny come lately bandwagon Pats fan either: my childhood was filled with listening on the radio while raking leaves in the front yard since every home game was blacked out, Steve Grogan and his mighty mighty neckbrace, Mosi Tatupu up the middle for 2 yards every time (either positive or negative 2 yards that is) a Rich Camarillo 9 yard punt or two, and hearing very very often from the mouths of older chowds named Smitty, Sully, Donnie, or Maahk: "Fuhkin' Patriots..." or "if the Pats sucked any haahdah they's have to moove Sullivan Stadium to the fuhkin' Cohmbat Zoone..."


Steve Grogan, pre-enormous protective neck collar

Anyhow, the Pats will tomorrow try to maintain the best AFC (or NFC for that matter) Championship record in the history of the NFL, a perfect 5-0 mark. Playing the Colts in the dome will not be easy, but they certainly have the hoodoo over the Colts in the playoffs, and Peyton Manning is our bitch when it matters most: the games where the loser dusts off their golf clubs. I think the Pats have a great shot considering 1) no disrespect to the Colts, who played very well, but the Pats sure as shit shot themselves in the foot with many mistakes and I think 5 turnovers in their regular season loss earlier this year in Foxboro 2) Last week they somehow won a game that they really shouldn't have, since they were dominated for much of the first 3 quarters. And they know it. They know that another effort like last week will not cut it, and I expect them to be sharper and more focused, especially T Brady, who had the worst game I have ever seen him play for the Pats for 3.5 quarters before he remembered that he was Tom Brady and played the last two drives like the modern day Joe Montana that he is 3) they will be confident that they didn't play anywhere near their best and still found a way to beat the #1 seed on the road, so there is no reason that they cannot beat the #3 team on the road 4) the aforementioned hoodoo 5) Belichick- dude is a genius and just knowing he is the coach of your team results in amazing confidence no matter the situation. We Patriots fans basically feel about Belichick exactly how Bill Swerski's Superfans felt about Ditka was coaching Da Bears.

Speaking of the Bears, if the Pats win I would love a date with Chicago, as it would be an opportunity to exact a measure of revenge for one of the darkest days of my childhood, Super Bowl XX, where the Pats turned a 3-0 lead into a 10-46 loss that was a real kick in the nuts for 12 year old Kanu.

So there it is: futbol, futbol, and football. Here's hoping for a troika of wins.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Amusing Visitors

Occasionally I check out the stats for this site to see different things, and I am often interested or amused to see from where visitors are hitting my site. Some are from links on other sites, while many others are from the results of search engine searches - these tend to be amusing and even bizarre. Hadn't done it in a while, but tonight 3 were good so I figured I would share.

From the Department of Bittersweet:
A writer for SI.com linked to my piece way back when on Uncle Ron, and the outrage I felt as his being replaced on the ESPN Saturday night primetime game. I was at least happy to learn from the piece that 1) at least Uncle Ron got a nice fat raise to go with his "demotion" and 2) it is great to hear that Ron has no plans to hang up his microphone anytime soon. Also not surprised to hear him stay classy a la Ron Burgundy and not take an opportunity to badmouth ESPN for what they did.


You stay classy, Ron Franklin

From The Department of Hell Yeah:
If you Google "biography of phil steele", the first thing that comes up ADITLOPS. PS#1, bitch. Sweet. Even better is the prospect that the most recent commenter, the ever-ubiquitous Anonymous, is in fact who they claim to be: a co-worker of none other then Steele himself that is "showing this to Phil at work tomorrow... hilarious!". Niiice. That was back in November and I haven't heard from his legal counsel, so hopefully my life is not in danger.

From The Department of Viva La Revolution!:
If you Google "Republilca Deportiva", the 5th thing listed is this. Muy bueno. Don't think I can get to numero uno on that one, but it was amusing nonetheless. Also, thanks to Swindle & Stranko over at EDSBS for spreading the Gospel by taking my advice and selecting the Women of Univision as the official Ladies of EDSBS a while back.


Viva La Revolution!

Arsenal Joga Bonito Wednesday:
11 Goal Trifecta Link-O-Rama Edition

Shit - been gone for a minute - another new job role at work. Anyhow, while I've been busy actually working full days, Arsenal have gone out and won very impressively in three different competitions, with lots of Joga Bonito on display - I managed to find and link to every Arsenal goal from the last 3 matches- all 11 of them. Enjoy

FA Cup 3rd Round
Usually in the 3rd round of the FA Cup the big premiership clubs are more likely to draw a lower division club like Stoke, Blackpool, etc and cruise into the 4th round (think UGA being put in a pot with all D1 football teams - chances are they are going to draw a team significantly weaker than them like say Central Michigan) rather than another heavyweight, but Arsenal had no such luck: they not only drew Liverpool but Liverpool away. Oh, and midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas, who is very much the straw that stirs the Arsenal drink, did not play. Liverpool did not lose at home in all of 2006, so it was a daunting task to be sure.

Liverpool 1-3 Arsenal
Highlights

What an impressive win for Arsenal, with Tomas Rocisky Harry Potter doing to Liverpool exactly what he did to the US at the World Cup this summer - singlehandedly putting them to the sword with a stunning double. It was a bit of rope-a-dope, with Arsenal allowing Liverpool much of the possession and then hitting them on the break. Rosicky scored a stunning opener, then after he put the Arse 2-0 up the travelling Gooners sang loud enough for me to hear in the pub "Are you Tottenham in disguise?", a pretty sweet double dig at both Liverpool and Arsenal's little sister Spurs.


Harry Potter sinks Liverpool with some black magic;
the Christian Right in America immediately
denounces him as a bad influence on children.

Liverpool scrapped one back thanks to Dirk Kuyt Johnny from Cobra Kai in Karate Kid, but soon after Thierry Henry put the game to bed with a goal that only he could score: he got the ball near midfield, booted it around 2 defenders into open space in the corner, ran 35 yards to get it, beat the defender to it, then attacked the goal, turned another defender and coolly slotted past the keeper. Yes Carracher and Dudek could have done better but it was still a brilliant TH14 goal, after 80 minutes of him doing exactly nothing except for making one 2nd half run in which the Brit announcer hilariously said "Thierry Henry... he's on his bicyclette...".

Knocking the FA Cup holders out of the competition on their own hallowed ground is a great win for this young team to build on for sure.

Arsenal have drawn Bolton at home for the FA Cup 4th round (round of 32).

League Cup Quarterfinal
Just 3 days later and they had to travel back up to Liverpool to play in the League Cup quarterfinal, which I don't have time to explain fully but you can get an understanding of here. Both teams played less than their strongest sides, and amazingly the average age of Arsenal's outfield players was a ridiculous TWENTY. Surely these kids would get stomped away at legendary Anfield at night, right?

Liverpool 3-6 Arsenal
Highlights

All 9 goals:
0-1, Aliadiere
1-1, Fowler
1-2, Baptista
1-3, Song
1-4, Baptista
1-5, Baptista
2-5, Gerrard
3-5, Hyypia
3-6, Baptista

Not so much. The kids were rampant and played Liverpool off the park, with "The Beast" Baptista finally showing signs of his former self by scoring no less than four goals, and struggling young striker Aliadiere playing a blinder, scoring the first and creating a few for Baptista. Baptista recognized Alidiaere's effort by shining his shoes after the 6th goal. Hell they should have scored 7 (Baptista had a penalty saved) and by many accounts they could have easily scored 10.


"The Beast" finally celebrates
his Arsenal coming out party

Even though it was the League Cup, it was an amazing result and Liverpool's worst home loss in almost 100 years. Arsenal have drawn Spurs for the 2 legged semifinal, the winner of which will meet the winner of Chel$ea-Wycome.

Premiership Round 23
Blackburn 0-2 Arsenal

Highlights

Arsenal were up against it after only 12 minutes, thanks to a combination of the ridiculous antics of uber-cunt Robbie Savage and the ineptitude of referee Rob Stiles. The red mist descended on Ewood Park as Arsenal's best player this season, Gilberto, was given a straight red when his retaliation for Savage's hacking deserved no more than a yellow at most.


The red mist descends on Ewood Park: Gilberto is off

As for Savage, I fucking hate that cheating bastard, and I'm not alone. Oh well, I can always fire up YouTube and feel the warm fuzzies watching:

1) Cesc absolutely toying with him and making him look foolish by nutmegging him last month on his way to setting up Arsenal's final goal in thier 6-2 romp over Blackburn at home

2) Robin Van Persie scoring one of the most beautiful goals you'll ever see despite Savage's sly attempt to hack RVP down from behind after being schooled, that RVP stepped out of before scoring from an absurd angle (Highbury, 2006)

3) Robert Pires unintentionally smashing the ball right off Savage's fucking face (0:23 - 0:37), leaving him with a bloody nose

So staring at 80 minutes with 10 men away in the North on a cold and windy day on not the greatest pitch didn't look good for a team based on slick fast passing on a smooth field. Did I mention the torrential rain? No matter - a beautifully executed set piece, Henry to Toure, and then later on an absolutely brilliant Henry & Fabregas collaboration and it was 2-nil to the 10 man Arsenal. The travelling Gooners were now taunting their hosts with song: "10 men! We've only got 10 men, we've only got 10 men, we've only got 10 men..."

Beautiful stuff.

For the first time in over a month the team does not have a midweek match and will get to rest up a bit before the always huge clash on Sunday with Manchester United. United were off midweek too so it should be a great match as both teams will be rested.

This team seems to be coming together and is getting back to the point of being exciting must see TV every time they take the field - more on that soon...

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Random National Championship Game Thoughts

* Sports Illustrated has announced that they will be offering their special commemorative University of Florida National Championship collectible set complete with an annual yearbook, a blue and orange football, and individually numbered, limited edition Florida Gators National Champions Jorts.

* Seriously, congratulations to Florida - they fucking dominated when it mattered most. Extra special congrats to the 4 cool Gators that I know personally; my 2 cousins CBG & BGE, Orson Swindle, and of course the legendary Ranalli.

* It sure looked like Florida did a great job looking at film, studying, and preparing a game plan, and practicing it during their 5 week layoff. Did Ohio State even practice 1 time, or look at 1 game tape of Florida? Sure didn't look like it. Everyone knows that blitzing Leak and pressuring him is the key to stopping the UF offense (everyone except the Georgia defensive coaching staff in 2005 & 2006 that is). Rushing 3 the whole game was a decisively stupid decision. Well done to UF on both sides of the ball.

* You could tell very early that the OSU offense was confused as hell at what is saw from the UF D, and that what was happening as plays developed was not at all what T Smith & Co. were expecting to happen. He looked as confused and frustrated as an American man given the task of translating the Koran. Not from Arabic into English. From Arabic into Mandarin Chinese.

* Ditto for the D. It wasn't just that both teams came out, did their things, and UF came out the victor. It was more than that. UF looked so prepared and tOSU looked so lost and hopeless - again, it looked like they didn't even practice.

* Troy Smith must be verrrrrrry happy that the Heisman Trophy is awarded BEFORE the bowl season. My God the Gators D made him look awful, as did the utterly inept OSU O-Line. Dude is probably the most mobile QB in America and they sacked him 5 times. Imagine if he was an immobile QB in the mold of Craig Krenzel? Dude would have been sacked 20 times. I'm too lazy to look, but I wouldn't be suprised if Troy Smith hadn't been sacked 5 times all year before last night. It was truly painful to watch him try to do anything against the Gator D. It was like watching Paris Hilton take the SAT; the ineptitude was that painful.

* Maybe Boise State would have given Ohio State a good game after all...

* I am not an SEC RULZ every other conference SUXXXX guy, but I think the SEC this year turned out to be the SEC that SEC fans think that it is every year. I mean, damn. Georgia was the 7th best team in the conference.

* I was reminded of the World Cup this summer and how disappointing the US was, but then when it was all said and done there was the thought "maybe we aren't that bad after all", considering they battled Italy to a draw with only 9 men and then Italy went on to become World Champions. I had a similar thought: "maybe UGA isn't that bad after all: we battled the Gators to a 7-14 loss whereby one of their touchdowns was a direct result of us fumbling inside our own 10 yard line. Now they have gone on and won the National Title, so maybe we weren't that terrible. This thought, in addition to the sentiment that most likely finish 11-2 if our stud FG kicker doesn't get a freak injury is myopic but will rattle around in my brain all spring.

* I can't really come up with a good analogy to describe what it feels like to wake up a Bulldog today in a world where The Gators are national champions in both football and men's basketball (the 1st school to ever hold both titles concurrently). At first I envision a Chappelle skit where a white supremacist golf fanatic has to deal with Tiger Woods holding 4 majors at the same time (this happened in 2001), but the hate we have for the Gators and that kind of hate are two pretty distinct things. Maybe Georgia is like a kid in High School whose arch-nemesis, Florida, not only took his little sister's virginity and continues to hit it on the regular, but he won Homecoming King, Prom King, and now after you are awarded as the Salutatorian of your Senior class he outshines you again and is named valedictorian. And your Mom is even hitting on him too. That's a bit over the top, but it might be a better way of explaining how much we are their bitch over the last 17 years (2-15), and now they have their 2nd title, and despite all of the amazing success and accomplishments that Mark Richt has achieved in his 5 years at Georgia, a stud recruit in South Georgia can look at what Meyer has achieved at Florida in only TWO years before he decided which program to commit his talents to.

* Forget all that shit I just blabbered about. The best analogy is Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez in 2003 saying simply "maybe the Yankees are my Daddy". That pretty much sums it up.

* Given all of that, there is still one bit of juvenile snarkiness that I managed to come up with:

"Nice little national championship Gators, your 2nd in 11 years. Give us a call sometime when you manage to make it through an entire football season undefeated."

(Georgia: undefeated twice. 1980 - national champions. 1946 - finished 3rd in the polls I believe)

It's pretty weak, but at this stage it is about all we've got.

And I must say that living in SF, where college football registers as the faintest blip on the radar, I have it much better than the vast majority of the UGA diaspora who live in places where college football is woven so deep into the social fabric that it is the social fabric, and they will have to shut up and deal with Chad in Accounting crowing about the Gators from now until, well, forever.

- "Morning Chad"

- "If you ain't a Gator you're Gator bait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Monday, January 8, 2007

A Bad Day For Brain

It just dawned on my this morning how depressing it will be to watch tonight's National Championship game for Louisville fans, because it dawned on me that the reason Louisville is not undefeated and playing Ohio State tonight is because when Rutgers kicker Ito missed that would-be game winning FG against Louisville in the last seconds, some Louisville DB was kind enough to jump offsides on the play, thereby giving Ito another chance which he promptly made, and giving Louisville their one and only loss (they were ranked #3 at the time and would have jumped Michigan after they loss - the computers loved them and they were undefeated, so the rematch shouting would have been a lot less vociferous). Of course, CB William Gay's gaffe was Bill Buckner-esque in that the game was tied at the time so we can't just say that if these men had not screwed up then their teams definitely would have won. The Red Sox would have gone to the 11th inning and Louisville to OT with Rutgers, where they may or may not have won the game. But as a born & bred Bostonian, I can only assume that Louisville fans look back and just know that they would have won the game had it continued, as irrational as that may be. Either way, my point is that Cards fans will have a serious case of the what-if laments today and tonight.

So anyhow, I was thinking that it would suck as a Louisville fan to sit and watch tonight for 3 hours with that little thought rattling around in the back of your head. And my good friend Brian is not only a Louisville alum but he played football at Louisville, so he would be exhibit A I suppose.

Well if that is not enough, it looks like their coach and savior Bobby Petrino is leaving Louisville to coach the Atlanta Falcons. That is like a square kick in the nuts from a steel-toed boot on the same day you already are feeling melancholy about what might have been.

Damn, sorry Brain.

Monday, January 1, 2007