Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Quarterfinals

Germany over Argentina:
This was a great game. Argentina scored early and it seemed like they were sitting on their lead and they took out their best offensive players to try to hold the lead. Their goalie also got hurt so that took a sub away. Then Germany tied it in the 80th minute. So they had a backup goalie and no good offensive players. When Germany trailed I really thought the refs were going to make a bad call to get them back in it. But that didn't really happen. Germany kept battling and made an honest comeback, and won it on penalty kicks. The German goalie was awesome on the PKs, he stopped 2 of 4 and even the ones he didn't stop he guessed right about.

Italy over Ukraine:
Please don't come to my house and smash my RISK board, but it turns out Ukraine was weak. Or at least over their head at this stage of the tournament. Italy just killed them.

Portugal over England:
This game actually wasn't that exciting. Nothing much happened. The best part was the crazy English fan in the pub who was making ridiculous faces the whole time. Portugal had two top guys missing due to red cards from the last match against Netherlands; Beckham was subbed out early for England and Wayne Rooney was red carded for stepping on someone's nuts. After that neither team tried much. Penalty kicks are a tough way to decide a winner, so I feel very badly for England, but I don't think they ever played great throughout the whole tournament.

France over Brazil:
Now this was an exciting game, especially at the end. Brazil just never got their offense going. I admit I don't know much about soccer, but I've watched a lot over the past few weeks and Zinedine Zidane is by far the best player in this World Cup. Ronaldinho didn't do shit last night. Zidane is a magician. His free kick right onto the foot of Henry was a thing of beauty. And I told you all before the tournament that France would win this game. You told me this game was going to be like "Rugrats in Paris" when "France never had a chance." You said "Ronaldo and Ronaldinho will be like Chucky and Tommy, and Kaka and Kafu like Phil and Lil." You were wrong. Vive le France.

Now We Know Why Uecker Was Scared

When I first heard that Bob Uecker had a stalker and she was a middle-aged woman, I didn't quite understand what the big deal was. Now I do.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Guarantee He Won't Make the Team

McNamara accepts invitation to play for Orlando's summer league team

The Orlando Magic may not have drafted former Syracuse guard Gerry McNamara in Wednesday's NBA draft, but they offered him the next best thing.
McNamara accepted an invitation Thursday to play for the Magic during its six-team NBA summer league, hosted in Orlando, beginning July 5. The league is a way for teams and scouts from around the NBA to further evaluate undrafted rookies with the intent of eventually signing some to free agent contracts.
"They were consistent in their pursuit," said McNamara's agent, Bill Neff, who received a phone call from Orlando during the draft informing him they could perhaps draft McNamara. "They really like him."
Magic team offices were closed and could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
McNamara has plenty of hurdles to clear if he is to make the Magic, or any NBA team for that matter. Specifically, Orlando has six guards under contract, including DeShawn Stevenson, Carlos Arroyo, Jameer Nelson and Kenyon Dooling. Wednesday night, the Magic drafted another guard with its first-round pick, Duke's J.J. Redick.
However, the only guard on the roster who will play for the Magic in the summer league is Travis Diener.
"A good fit for the summer may be different from a good fit in the fall," Neff said.
Orlando's roster is littered with guards, but McNamara will be showcasing his talents to more than just the Magic.
Neff particularly likes the setup of the Orlando camp because five other NBA teams - the Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat and New Jersey Nets - will field squads. Each team will play five games, beginning on July 10.
McNamara's doctor has cleared him for play, but Neff remains concerned the groin injury which has plagued McNamara could bother him at any time.
"It's hard. No one is waiting for you to get better," Neff said. "If you pass up on the opportunity, they bring in the next guy and you're out."
Neff thinks McNamara's formula for success at the summer league is simple.
"All Gerry has to do is be Gerry," he said. "He has to make open shots and keep his opponent in front of him."

Three Rough Days

SCZA's weeklong nightmare is finally over. And he lived to tell about it, barely.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

What a Day!

Stump the Schwab audition: Got 22 out of 30 on the written test, passing. Went into little room (ESPNZone Skybox) for on camera interview. Dominated the trivia question phase, got at least first 20 right. Then they got harder, split the rest. Played some "Leading Offs" about Indy 500, Masters. Guy said I had a good chance.

Kidney stone: Got home went to the hospital, Kate has a kidney stone. She was in bad shape when I got there. But she stopped puking and felt better. Still in pain but manageable with the drugs.

My sister: Went into labor. More to come.

Awful News

Los Angeles Lakers player Lamar Odom's 6½-month-old son has died.
Jayden Odom died Wednesday night, apparently suffocating while sleeping in his crib.
"Lamar is very distraught," Black said. "Both he and the baby's mother are asking that people respect their privacy at this time."
Jayden was born Dec. 15. Odom has two older children -- a son and a daughter.

The Concierge Knows Fishing

Straight from the horse's mouth:

"It was 5:30 AM, The sea was angry that day like an old man trying to send soup back in a deli. As we chartered a course through the Sound on the little 140 horse power boat, we set up to catch some live bunker as bait. Spotting a school of bunker we netted three. Those oily suckers were slippery as hell. we decided to fish with these three we put the live fish on the hook and cast it out. Within a few seconds, the Captain got a bite so I set down my rod and grab a net to help pull a 36 inch stripped bass into the boat. After only a second of taunting this fish for being so foolish, my line start to pull. The captain and I hurried to rod, he picked it up handed it to me and I started reeling while audibly trash talking the fish. The stripped bass was about 18 pounds and 33 inches. In the afternoon, after fileting the fish on the Captain's wife's brand new patio table, I disected the stomach and found the whole bunker bait fish inside. Hours later I had enough fish to feed larry johnson's kids. I hope to catch another this monday."

Phillies Cave to Pressure

The Phillies have sent Brett Myers on a leave of absence, caving to public pressure. The Phillies actually let him start his next game in Boston, but took such heat for it, and for their comments ("he's our best pitcher") that they had to sit him down.

Courtney Knight, a witness, told The Boston Globe: "It was disgusting. He was dragging her by the hair and slapping her across the face. She was yelling, 'I'm not going to let you do this to me anymore.' "

Knight added: "He had her on the ground. He was trying to get her to go, and she was resisting. She curled up and sat on the ground. He was pulling her, her shirt was up around her neck."

Sounds like Myers has bigger problems than getting out Manny and Ortiz.


At 3pm I'm heading over to the ESPN Zone to try out for Stump the Schwab. Any of you that thought you could have done better than I did last time, should put your money where you mouth is and head over there after work.

Freed's Wedding

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Sun Shines on a Dog's Ass

A-Rod hit a walkoff home run in the 12th inning to give the Yankees a 4-3 win over the Braves. To make it sweeter for him, it wasn't just breaking a tie, the Yankees were trailing 3-2, after a Marcus Giles homer in the top of the 12th. He's still no David Ortiz.

More Like Bizarre

Naked, pregnant, raven-haired Britney Spears on the cover of Harper's Bazaar

Sleeping With the Enemy

Tales from Isaacs' first night in enemy territory are up.

Mrs. Poop Loved This Pooch

The scrappy dog known as Eddie on TV's "Frasier" has died.
The 16-year-old Jack Russell terrier, whose real name was Moose, passed away of old age Thursday at the Los Angeles home of trainer Mathilde Halberg, Halberg told People magazine.
The canine character Eddie drove Kelsey Grammer 's lead character crazy for 10 years on the show.
It wasn't all acting on Moose's part, though. He was naturally "extremely mischievous," Halberg said.
His contribution to the show's and Grammer's success was publicly noted by the actor when he accepted a 1994 Emmy for best actor in a comedy.
"Most important, Moose, this is for you," Grammer added good naturedly.
Moose, who also played the older dog Skip in the 2000 film "My Dog Skip," was retired in recent years.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Freed's Wedding

Freedo and Amber got married this weekend in Colorado. The bride looked stunning in an elegant gown by Reebok, the Earl Boykins collection. The debonair groom wore white, choosing a Kenyon Martin tuxedo for the occassion.

Real wedding pictures expected shortly.

Amber loves Earl Boykins because they see eye to eye

Still Alive

My pre-World Cup selection, France, beat Spain 3-1 to move into the quarterfinals. Spain took an early lead, on a penalty kick but France tied it right up. Most of the game was tied 1-1, until in the 83rd minute France scored on a header set up by a corner kick by my boy Zinedane Zidane. Zidane put a capper on the evening with a brilliant goal in gar-bahge (as they say France) time, the 92nd minute.
In the quarters Les Bleus will face Brazil who advanced with a win over Ghana. Ronaldo scored a sick goal and brilliant passing by Kaka and Kafu led to another by Adriano. Brazil finally hit it's stride after a slow start to the World Cup. Should be a great match.
The World Cup takes two days off before the quarters begin with two games each on Friday and Saturday.

Who Fed Them?

Before Ben Roethlisberger's motorcycle accident he took a trip to his ancestral homeland of Switzerland. While visiting Bern, he picked up the city's most notable export, a Bernese Mountain Dog. He must have a thing for Greek mythology because he named the dog Hercules, joining Ben's Licking Rottweiler, Zeus. Who fed them while he was in the hospital? The dogs must have been shocked when Daddy came home looking like Hasim Rahman.


Ukraine is Not Weak

You think Ukraine is a game? Ukraine was game, beating Switzerland on penalty kicks. Both teams played stout defense, and the game got exciting when each team had a great scoring chance thwarted by the crossbar. Switzerland did not allow a goal in the entire World Cup, until those penalty kicks (which don't count as goals).

In other World Cup action, just seconds away from overtime Italy was awarded a penalty kick against Australia. The call smelled fishy but some soccer experts saying the call was questionable but the blame really should go to a Socceroo defender. He dove in front of the Italian player, in the box. And while there wasn't physical contact it accomplished the same thing, knocking him to the ground and impeding his progress.

As Seen on CNN

A Comcast repairman fell asleep on a customer's couch while waiting on hold with his own company. The guy recorded the cable guy sleeping for over an hour and posted the video on YouTube.

This reminds me of a story when a guy called AOL to cancel his account and the phone operator he spoke refused to let him.

Not Seen On CNN

Andrea Schwartz, accused of operating a high-priced sex-for-hire business out of a million-dollar New York apartment, told two New York tabloid newspapers last week that Time Warner CFO Wayne Pace was her "sugar daddy" and had showered her with gifts and clothes for about three years.
"While there have been no allegations of illegal matters regarding Mr. Pace and this appears to be a personal matter, we are taking appropriate steps to confirm," a company spokesman said.
"Mr. Pace has assured us that there was no misuse of corporate assets or other improprieties with respect to this matter that would affect Time Warner and its shareholders," the spokesman added.
Pace's 2005 annual compensation reaches nearly $7 million, according to the company's latest regulatory filing.
Pace's lawyer Mark Pomerantz told the New York Daily News in its Saturday edition that his client "had no inappropriate relationship with her." Pomerantz could not immediately be reached for comment.

First Dumbledore and Now This?

J.K. Rowling said two characters will die in the last Harry Potter book, and one of them might be Harry.
"I have never been tempted to kill him off before the final because I've always planned seven books, and I want to finish on seven books. I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks, `Well, I'm gonna kill them off because that means there can be no non-author written sequels. So it will end with me, and after I'm dead and gone they won't be able to bring back the character'."
Rowling declined to commit herself about Harry, saying she doesn't want to receive hate mail.
"The last book is not finished. But I'm well into it now. I wrote the final chapter in something like 1990, so I've known exactly how the series is going to end," she said.
"The final chapter is hidden away, although it's now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve. But I have to say two die that I didn't intend to die," she said. "A price has to be paid. We are dealing with pure evil here. They don't target extras do they? They go for the main characters. Well, I do."

That's Embarrassing

Rush Limbaugh was detained for about 3 1/2 hours at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription.
The luggage was examined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after his private plane landed at the airport from the Dominican Republic.Customs officials found in Limbaugh's luggage a prescription bottle labeled as Viagra.
"The problem was that on the bottle itself was not his name, but the name of two Florida doctors," Miller said.
"He said he had the Viagra in his possession for his use and that he did obtain it from his doctors," Miller said.
Sheriff's investigators confiscated the drugs, and Limbaugh was released around 5:30 p.m. without being charged.
A doctor had prescribed the drug, but it was "labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes," Roy Black, Limbaugh's attorney, said in a statement.
We wonder if Limbaugh's former girlfriend, CNN anchor Daryn Kagan will report on this story.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

World Cup Weekend

I saw 3 of the 4 games played over this weekend, which constituted half the matches in the Sweet 16.

Germany 2 Sweden 0: This is the game I didn't see but I know you don't want to have to play Germany in this tournament. The home team I think has always advanced to the knockout round. And with the officiating being so poor, I can't imagine that Germany doesn't get at least a few favorable breaks in every game. I think favorable officiating helped Korea reach the quarters (or even the semis) in 2002.

Argentina 2 Mexico 1: This game was very exciting. Both teams scored very early then spent the rest of the time really getting after it. It was decided in overtime, but they don't use sudden death, they just play 30 extra minutes. Argentina scored in the 10th minute of OT so Mexico was frantically trying to catch up for the last 20 minutes. The Mexicans have an reputation internationally as floppers, but I didn't notice them doing it more than any of the other teams I've seen. The most shocking thing I heard was that Mexican fans don't like that fact that 2 (maybe more) players on the team were not born in Mexico and are naturalized citizens. One is Brazilian born and married a Mexican woman. Ironic.

England 1 Ecuador 0: The announcers spent the whole game trashing David Beckham. Even though he scored the only goal of the game on a free kick by bending it like Beckham. Then he threw up on the field. His free kick was awesome though, right over the wall, snuck in right between the goalie's hands and the post. The announcers' point was that he is diminished as a player right now and the only thing he really contributes is free kicks and corner kicks. Ecuador almost tied the game but Ashley Cole (the black guy married to the hot white pop singer) slid in front of the shot, it ticked off his knee and hit the crossbar. Without that it almost certainly would have been a goal.

Portugal 1 Netherlands 0: This game was nuts. It set a record for most yellow cards and had 4 ejections. There were actually a couple incidents of pushing and shoving between the teams. The referee was constantly blowing his whistle and handing out cards, it was quite crazy. The quality of play was pretty good and there were a lot of good chances by both teams that were thwarted by goalie saves or the post. Definitely the most entertaining game of the World Cup that I've seen so far, even if some did consider it marred by the referee.