BBC Announcer attributes Spain Euro 2012 win to “unbelievable amounts of sex: (video)

It was a weekend of Freudian slips for sports casters. ESPN’s Andy Katz first tried to describe the “bulging discs” in the back of Jared Sullinger with an omission of the letter s. And told us in NSFW language about Sullinger’s sexual arousal.

Then yesterday Alan Shearer was trying to articulate the team’s success in the Euro 2012 Final; right after Spain crushed Italy in the final. Not a surprise with how well these fellows are doing in the female department. (h/t The Big Lead)

UEFA Euro 2012: Spain vs. Italy final preview

After 30 games played and 72 goals scored, just one match remains in the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament.  In a rematch from the group stage, reigning World Cup champion Spain will attempt to defend its Euro crown against an Italian team that appears to be peaking just at the right time.  Can La Furia Roja take home yet another major tournament title?  Or will Mario Balotelli and the Azzurri claim Italy’s second European Championship?  With the title match kicking off Sunday afternoon, here’s what you can expect to see from these European powers. [Read more…]

Euro 2012 knockout stage: Ronaldo chokes, Balotelli shines

After several excellent goals, a few thrilling penalty kick endings and the toppling of another tournament favorite, Euro 2012 is nearing its finale.  With Italy and Spain on their way to the Euro Final, let’s look back at the defining moments of the knockout stage.

England stays true to its ways

After yet another valiant attempt to stave off elimination by hanging on to a tie game, England continued an age-old tradition of cracking under pressure as they fell on penalties to Italy.

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UEFA EURO 2012: Knockout stages preview

Just 12 days removed from the opening match in Poland, Euro 2012 has been as good as advertised and more, with 60 goals scored and not a single 0-0 draw in 24 group stage matches.  Host countries Poland and Ukraine each treated their fans to close and controversial thrillers before narrowly missing the knockout stage, while four teams that won their opening match (including Ukraine) somehow failed to escape the group stage.  As the quarterfinals kick off this afternoon, here are some keys to look for throughout the knockout rounds.

How far can Cristiano Ronaldo carry Portugal?

After wasting two golden opportunities against Denmark, Cristiano Ronaldo came alive against the Dutch in his final group stage match, scoring the equalizer and game-winner to send Portugal through to the quarterfinals.  [Read more…]

Fighting Illini Hoops Crush West Virginia in Scrimmage at Italian Air Base

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It is impressive that the Michigan State Spartans and North Carolina Tar Heels will take on each other in college basketball aboard the deck of an aircraft carrier. But don’t sell the Illinois Fighting Illini and West Virginia Mountaineers short. The two basketball teams visited Aviano Air Base yesterday during their summer Italian tours.

And it resulted in Illinois destroying West Virginia 47-26 in an exhibition scrimmage held in front of approximately 500 military personnel and their families. The 20-minute contest was part of a special opportunity that also saw the Illini and Mountaineers hold a youth clinic for children of the Airmen and had each team participate in a 10-minute scrimmage against the Aviano varsity unit. In those games, Illinois defeated Aviano 26-12, while West Virginia topped Aviano 25-7. The three squads also held a dunk contest for the crowd with Illini junior Joseph Bertrand claiming the victory.

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Need a Basketball Fix? Illini Scrimmage in Assembly Hall

illini-cheerleader

The Illinois Fighting Illini will depart in a few days for an Italian tour that is reminiscent (to me at least) of the film “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Well, probably no identity theft, fraud and homicide, but the scenery and travel destinations are similar.

Before the tour, which includes a scrimmage against West Virginia at a NATO Air Force Base, the Illini welcomed fans (team partisans) waving fans (cooling devices) into their air conditioningless home, for a good ole-fashioned summer scrimmage.

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Illinois Basketball to Scrimmage West Virginia at NATO Air Force Base in Italy

illini logoWest Virginia cheerleaders

It is impressive that the Michigan State Spartans and North Carolina Tar Heels will take on each other in college basketball aboard the deck of an aircraft carrier. But don’t sell the Illinois Fighting Illini and West Virginia Mountaineers short. The two basketball teams will visit Aviano Air Base on Aug. 17 during their upcoming Italian tours.

[Read more…]

Jammie Kirlew, most interesting man in college football part 1

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By Paul M. Banks

“He lives vicariously through himself.” “Parties are thrown honoring his parties.” “He’ll never start a conversation with you about the weather- even in a typhoon.” “He is…the most interesting man in the world.” These are familiar lines from a popular Mexican beer advertising campaign. Indiana Defensive End Jammie Kirlew may be college football’s real life version of this fictional character- or at least the closest thing to it.

When you meet a player with which you can discuss topics such as Italian Renaissance art, the development of international cultures throughout history, enacting social change via grassroots political action, the art of cinema, and much more it’s quite a refreshing experience. Especially if you spend  a lot of time hearing the same 11 phrases each week. raphael_marriage_of_the_virgin

Oh and he’s pretty good at football too. Kirlew was selected first team All-Big Ten by numerous outlets, and rated the eighth-best defensive end in the country by one of them. He was also one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award and winner of the team’s MVP Award. He’s also an Academic All-Big Ten selection and finds himself on track to repeat all these honors and more this year. Heading into this week’s match-up at Northwestern’s Homecoming, Kirlew leads his team in sacks, tackles for losses, yards lost from TFLs, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries. If he played at a program that had any football tradition at all, he’d probably get well deserved All-American consideration.

This season, I had a very intellectual conversation him. I started by asking him about his study abroad trip to Florence, Italy. “You can just see from my face right now, great memories from that trip. I think the most amazing thing was when I took {the class} Florence Renaissance in Italian. I’m a little rusty now, but it was great to be able to communicate with the people and speak the language. Learning about the history of these great monuments, sculptures and paintings. Reading in a book and then going the next day and seeing the real thing in a cathedral was one of the many amazing aspects of the trip,” Kirlew said.

He and his classmates were based in Florence, but visited Venice, Rome and even Barcelona, Spain on the weekends. duomoflorenceI gave my impressions of Florence, bringing up how much I enjoyed the “walkability” of the city. “I really liked that too. It wasn’t all cars driving through everywhere the whole time. You had people walking through, especially at lunch time when all the stores just shut down for about three hours, and people just relax and enjoy their food. They want you to stay as long as you like. You don’t have to pay your check right away, you can relax and enjoy your food, it was nice,” Kirlew stated.

It was thought-provoking and inspiring for Kirlew, who articulated what he learned about the Renaissance and its contributions to the development of our global culture. “The changes in the paintings, the changes in painting styles over time, the detail- that was my biggest thing in learning about other cultures. And that really opens your eyes to see the world in a different light.”