Ok let me get this out of the way for all the soccer haters that do not want to deal with the injustice that took place Friday in South Africa. Here it goes, the US team came out flat and were bad for most of the first half and dug themselves a 2-nil hole. Ok haters you happy now?! Next item of business they then dominated Slovenia scoring THREE unanswered goals to get the 3pts. However, it really didn't work that way instead they were awarded just two of the goals and settled for a 2-2 tie.
Why? Well referee Koman Couilibaly, who probably has a Swiss Bank account, waved off the third American goal, which was scored by Maurice Edu. What for you may ask? No one knows because apparently David Stern runs FIFA too. They refused comment about the play. Speculation is offside was called on Michael Bradley or Edu was called for a foul on the shot. Replay shows neither and actually showed FIVE Slovenia defenders putting WWE moves on the US attackers. I know it is part of the game especially in international competition. However, this is not some regular season ACC game that Karl Hess ruined. This is an event that happens every 4 years. So if team USA does not get into the next round this could be there 1972 Olympic Basketball moment.
Ok, controversy aside this game was a helluva lot more entertaining than the U-S Open and Game 7 of the NBA Finals. I could care less what the TV ratings say both were so poorly played throughout it made the "LOST" Finale look good. I guess we can blame the golf on the USGA because that is what the golfers usually do. (Also, let's get this out of the way, Tiger Woods was a better golf when he was sleeping around) However, the NBA is another story, face it if the two teams playing were not named Celtics/Lakers the game would have been universally ripped as one of the biggest letdowns of all-time. It was BAD basketball on the Biggest Stage. Save me your Defense defense! How ugly was it? It made me yearn for the great Detroit and San Antonio finals of 2005. Even Jeff Van Gundy said it was bad offense and he would know because he made a living coaching bad offense.
Ok back to the World Cup..Off the pitch things have been entertaining too. The disappointment of the highly touted England Team and of course the French Surrendering...again! However, they did go back to work on Monday and good idea since they can still actually advance to the round of 16. France plays South Africa on Tuesday and must win and needs help. If Mexico and Uruguay draw the other Group A match, France will be eliminated. Could you imagine if Team USA pulled this crap?! The headlines would scream, "Ugly American's" all across the world and for our friends in England, really? This is what you guys were all drunk over? A draw with the little Old United States and Algeria? One Goal in two games? I mean if it was not for BP this group would be the most hated guys from England since the Red Coats.
Some of the all-time greats in franchise history convened at Redskins Park Thursday and somehow Vinny Cerrato snuck in. I mean who the hell is in charge of security? This is the biggest gate crashing scandal in DC since the Salahi's got into the White House dinner. WTF is Vinny doing anywhere near the park? Did he and Danny have a racquet ball game later in the day? Were Trung Candidate, Brandon Lloyd, and Adam Archuelleta also invited? I mean Cerrato is so unpopular among Redskin fans Albert Haynesworth could beat him in a popularity contest. Of course Vinny was the guy that armed Fat Albert with the big contract. So it was amusing to read his thoughts on the Fat Albert Saga.
Washington Post Redskins Reporter Jason Reid got some good stuff from Vinny on the man he overpaid.
"When he signed, he said he wanted to prove everybody wrong," said Cerrato, the team's executive vice president of football operations during the 2008-09 seasons. "He said he wanted to show everybody that it's not about the money. He said he wanted to be the best that ever played. He said he wanted to be like Reggie White. He said Reggie White was his hero, so live up to what you said. Don't have it change just because a coach changed."
Albert probably also told Vinny he didn't like strip clubs. There is more from Vinny on Fat Albert.
"To me, he signed with the Washington Redskins and not the 4-3 defense when he signed that contract," Cerrato said. "He's got to be concerned about team, you know? There's no 'I' in team. He needs to quit thinking about himself and worry about the team and how he can help these guys, you know?"
I like what he said even with the cheesy no "I" in team reference. However, the quote is meaningless because again Vinny has ZERO credibility not only with Redskins Fans, but in the NFL.
"The first thing it means is that the change in the administration from Cerrato to Bruce Allen is a good thing for the Washington Redskins, because Vinny didn't like us around," said legendary Hog George Starke. "He didn't like former Redskins. He wasn't part of this family. And as a result of that, the Redskins never went anywhere. You know, [most] of these guys out there on that field have never been in the playoffs. On this side, you've got guys here with four rings.
"And so Bruce, when he came in, the first thing he did was he called Brig Owens up, he called me up, he said the Redskins will never be successful as an organization unless we all come together. He's absolutely right. He says 'I want everybody to come out, I want you to come out all the time, I want you to be part of the deal, otherwise this team won't be successful.'
"And that's absolutely right. And that's what he did, so that's why we're here.....Whereas the Vinny guy was the exact opposite. He wanted to do it himself and he didn't know how to do it....
You know Starke is not the only former Redskin to feel this way, which begs the question, WTF was Vinny doing there? It has been a well run off-season for the Redskins with the hire of Mike Shanahan, trade for Donovan McNabb, and drafting of Trent Williams. So I will give the Skins a pass on the security breach and assume there was a racquet ball game to played.
The 2010 World Cup is off and running and the USA fans are fired up over the team's 1-1 win tie with England and why not. The English were supposed to beat down the United States and early on it looked like that would be the case. However, much like a big matchup between the two countries in 1776 one man changed the outcome. United States Goalkeeper Tim Howard made incredible save after save keeping the U-S in the match and Clint Dempsey did something more players need to do when given space, shoot the DAMN BALL! Sure England's Goalie Robert Green bobbled it or was it the juicedAdidas ball that bounced funny, who cares Goal Team USA. However, the goal would have been a side bar had Howard not played so heroically (bruised ribs and all) to keep his team in the game. Meanwhile, his English counterpart Green has already begun the process of defecting to the United States after the World Cup.
For all the soccer haters and there are plenty in this country just shut up and turn on NFL network and watch guys run around in shorts and helmets at OTA's. Leave the soccer and World Cup fans alone to bask in their every 4 year glory. I understand you are tired of all the talk that soccer will take over this country someday as a spectator sport. No it won't, but it has been the kicking the competitions ass as a youth sport for years. We know all the pitfalls for it in this country, lack of scoring, not our game, lack of scoring, even our best players are overseas playing not in the MLS (not a real estate code/name for US pro soccer league), and of course the lack of scoring. Maybe if goals were worth 7 points casual fans would get more excited about it? Better yet who cares! Just enjoy it if you do and ignore if you don't. Did I mention the lack of scoring?
Final thought on the REAL story of the 2010 World Cup.....the noise! Yes that constant bee buzzing sound or is cicada's coming out to mate? It is actually called a vuvuzela, which is a plastic trumpet that has become the unofficial sound track of the World Cup. Despite the whining about the noise, World Cup organizers are refusing to ban them from matches. This decision comes despite mounting pressure from players, broadcasters and even some fans who wanted it to stop. Here is the thing everyone needs to remember. This is South Africa's World Cup and the vuvuzela, named after the Zulu word for "noise," is considered a symbol of South African heritage, its sound a show of support for the country's team, Bafana Bafana. So in other words get over it or use your mute button or do what I do drink a lot of beer and take three Advil.
You gotta hand it to the Gore's they know how to celebrate a wedding anniversary. I mean Divorce has now replaced the Ruby as the 40th anniversary gift (Ok before my guy friends say how would he know Ruby is for your 40th? I looked it up on line you know the thing Al Gore invented). Al and Tipper (what kind of name is Tipper? Was she a Bad Tipper? It is actually a nickname) could become trendsetters for the new 40th anniversary gift....FREEDOM! The odd thing is all the reports over the year's claimed the couple was living a "Fairy Tale" Marriage and yet here it ends. Meanwhile...yes I'm going there... Bill and Hillary Clinton are still "together." That's right the guy who got the Lewinsky in the Oral excuse me Oval Office is still with his wife, but his former Vice President the guy who appeared to be the one with the morals is splitting with the love of his life.
Once again we should be reminded the moral to this story is no different than the Tiger Woods Story or "Wide Stance" Larry Craig Story. Just because someone is portrayed one way publicly does not necessarily make it reality. The oddest thing about this Gore split up is the way they are portraying Tipper as the fun one of the couple. Wait a minute! This is the same woman that wanted to censor all of my favorite "Hair Bands" back in the 80s. You call that fun? Which really speaks to how Big a Bore Al Gore must be. Divorce is sad, but let's assume the Gore's know what is best for the Gore's and not lose too much sleep over this thing. I mean its not like they have a baby at home and are living paycheck to paycheck. They just bought a damn mansion down the street from Oprah for goodness sakes!
I am rarely surprised by the media and yes I'm sometimes one of them, but I am surprised this story has so many struggling for words. I mean why is this separation so tragic? Gore is no longer in office and to this point no sorrid tales of a third party or worse someone in the Tea Party (Tea Bagger...really great nickname). The only way this becomes a tragic story is if we find out Al is living a double life like Tiger Woods or God forbid Tipper is on the now infamous Tiger list of conquests (not that big of stretch if you have seen the Perkins waitress Tiger took home on a few occassions). I just hope this is not some John Edwards kind of story, where it turnes out a former Gore aide is going to release a book and has possession of some sex tape or a love child OR worse Tipper in a sex tape with a former lead singer of a hair band. I just don't think the American public could handle it.
A simple no would probably do or maybe hell no or in the words of the immortal Chad Ochocinco, "CHILD PLEASE!" I know the Cleveland spin...Danny Ferry is the GM and played for Coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke and Lebron James really likes and respects him from their time together on Team USA. Ask yourself this why would Mike Krzyzewski leave Duke for a Cleveland? The court in Cleveland will never be named after Coach K like the one his team plays on in Durham. I know the $$$ would be great, but no greater than the money he turned down in LA to coach the Lakers. Lakers or Cavaliers??? Which team do you think anyone outside of Cleveland would pick? The window has shut, Coach K is not leaving Duke where he has a great chance to repeat as National Champions this upcoming season.
Here is the other thing about the NBA that any coach needs to consider even Hall of Famers from the College level; no pro sports league devalues the coach more. It is the ultimate player's league always has been and always will be. Coaches are the easiest piece to replace unless you name is Phil Jackson, Pat Riley (when he comes back), Larry Brown, Greg Popovich, Jerry Sloan, and perhaps Doc Rivers at least in Boston. Mike Brown's team won .663 of their games highest winning percentage all-time in Cavaliers history and five straight playoff appearances, but no title and the hometown hero appears ready to runaway from home. Brown's biggest mistake was apparently allowing players relatives near the locker room. He should have run a better defense to keep Gloria James (Lebron's mother) away from teammate Delonte West (allegedly of course).
Back to Coach K and why he will not and should not bother with the NBA. He coaches Team USA already the best of the best. These guys understand the urgency and importance of international play, therefore, he gets maxim effort. You do not get that on a nightly basis in the NBA with a less talented roster and playing 82 regular season games. Duke is not going on probation anytime soon like..I don't know say Kentucky (just throwing a name out there). So there is nothing to run away from and he gets paid well by Duke and Nike. Plus he writes books, does commercials, a national radio show, and could have any speaking engagement he wanted. So please enough about the money, no one is holding a benefit for Coach K in the near or distant future. His bank account will be ok even if he never takes a professional job.
One other thing if Coach K really wanted an NBA gig he could wait out Phil for the Lakers gig or how about the hometown Chicago Bulls they have a vacancy and good roster and most importantly enough cap space to get Lebron to move. No offense Cleveland (but here it comes), Chicago and LA have more to offer free agent coaches than the City that Rocks. So who should Cleveland try to hire?? Phil Jackson (no way), Jeff Van Gundy, Avery Johnson, John Calipari, or Tom Izzo. How about someone out of the box so to speak, like Lebron's mom Gloria James! I mean she was the only one this season to stop the league MVP this season (allegedly of course).
The Bullets Wizards finally had some good luck after decades of failed lottery attempts and YES the Kwame Year! Raise your hand if you thought this was going to be another pathetic night for the DC hoops franchise. I was among those expecting this to be the icing on the cake of the Pollin legacy of shattered dreams (You know we had a real good year in 1978). Instead it was beautiful ending to an ownership group that loved the team like family and represented the city with class. Sure the franchise did not win enough over the years, but no owner brought more to the city than Abe Pollin. Sure this lottery win is not the second title he had hoped for before his death, but maybe it will be a building block for one down the road. (By the way many fans think the lottery is fixed. I do not subscribe to that conspirarcy theory, however, I'm just sayin', the Wizards sent a heck of a lot of people to the Secaucus studio; Irene Pollin, Ted Leonsis, and Ernie Grunfeld. They certainly went with purpose. One last thing thank you David Stern!)
It was also a fantastic beginning for the most beloved DC Sports owner Ted Leonsis, who has been really good at these lotteries with an NHL and NBA lottery win on his resume (I'm hoping to get this weekends Mega Millions numbers from him). Hopefully John Wall can do for the Wizards what Alex Ovechkin has done for the Capitals (No not flame out early in the playoffs!). Wall is the goods an electrifying player that can make everyone around him better. The league has set up the rules for point guards to dominate with no hand checking or touching of any kind. Rajon Rondo is doing a nice job exploiting that for the Celtics in this post season. If you don't have Kobe or Lebron you need a kick ass break you down point guard. That is what Wall brings. Oh can he play with Gilbert Arenas? Is that really a question I keep hearing and reading? IF Gilbert is even a Wizard when the season starts the question should be can he play with Wall.
Another thing about John Wall and this will be foreign to Wizards fans, he plays DEFENSE! No joke your point guard is allowed to do that in the NBA. For all the Evan Turner lovers out there I think UNC's Ed Davis (son of former Wizard Terry Davis) summed it up best to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, "I'm telling you: You can get another Evan Turner, another Wesley Johnson, another Al-Farouq Aminu," Davis said of the various top-five candidates. "But John Wall is the only one in this draft who can do the things he can do, ALL the stuff that he can do." Plus don't get me started on Big 10 basketball and how AVERAGE it has been recently and Turner is not Deron Williams by the way. Another thing, Wall played for John Calipari for just one year and so did Derek Rose and Tyreke Evans both have won the last two Rookie of the Year awards in the NBA. Wall is a true franchise player, which the Wizards have so desperately needed and now they have to work on finding the right pieces to put around him.
Notes: Does anyone else feel sorry for the City of Cleveland? I do...talk about heartbreak city, they could lose their franchise player (Lebron) because of an "alleged" affair his mom (Gloria) had with teammate Delonte West. I know her lawyer is trying to pour cold water on this so to speak something Delonte should have done to himself. This alleged incident could go down as one of the City's worst sports moments especially if the King runs away from home via free agency. You already had the drive that crushed the city (Elway), the fumble (Byner), the shot (MJ over Ehlo), the move (Browns bolting for B-more), and the 1997 Game 7 World Series lose to the Marlins (no nickname sorry). Now you have The Affair and ironically teams all year were worried about stopping Lebron in the post season and all it took was momma! On the bright side for Lebron at least your mom didn't sleep with Tiger.
Well it turns out Tiger Woods only has an "inflamed facet joint" that is causing his neck pain. Now none of the doctor's will say it but I will, Tiger's neck injury is probably do him constantly looking over his shoulder to see if he is about to be served divorce papers. Or perhaps it is from a lack of sex? Could you imagine how much funnier this story would be if Tiger had a wrist injury? Or blisters on his palm? I still can not believe Nike is not selling "Tiger Woods Blue Balls." Everyone would be playing with those things, except Elin of course.
Things have been tough for Tiger lately (all-time understatement by me), first his neck, then his swing coach quit, and now TMZ says his wife is lawyering up for the big divorce. My neck would hurt like hell if I was about to lose half of my fortune. To me the most amazing part of this Tiger meltdown since Thanksgiving is Elin still has not officially filed for divorce. I mean this woman must not ever surf the net, watch TV, read newspapers (well no one does anymore), listen to the radio, or talk to her neighbors (Tiger allegedly got to know one of them well she was part of the 121 he shot).
I could sit go on and on about how traumatic this must be for the kids, but that stuff is not funny. Sure he is technically still the world's Number #1 but he sure does not play like it anymore. (Could the "Buddha Bracelet" be to blame? Just sayin' ) No one must feel worse about what's happened than PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem. I mean this guy had the world in the palm of his hand as long as Tiger didn't retire, suffer a career ending injury, or as we come to find out screw everything in site. If Tiger does not come out of the funk the PGA Tour will certainly slide back to the sucky TV ratings they used to get when just old white men fell asleep watching it on the weekends. Finchem might want to start thinking about another sports league maybe he could see if Roger Goodell needs any help with the NFL's confusing drug policy.
It's not just Finchem that needs Tiger to be Tiger. The entire world of golf needs him. So he needs to man up and tell Elin to either serve the papers or get over it and be a good wife (for the record I do not believe this). If she says go f#$X yourself well, which she will, at least he will no longer be snapping his sore neck around wondering where and when the papers are coming. Then Tiger should treat himself to a dinner and dessert like he used too at the local Perkins in Orlando because clearly he is not capable of playing Championship golf with blue balls.
Veteran sports broadcaster with more than 15 years of experience as a talk show host, reporter, and anchor.
Among the biggest events I have covered, are the NFL, NBA, and NHL Playoffs, NCAA Final Fours, College Football Title Games, and the Daytona 500. At the start of my sports radio career, I was fortunate enough to cover Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive game streak in September of 1995.