More Money For Sports In Brazil And Chicago, More Problems

world-cup-brazil-james rodriguez

Thing about television is that it only shows you the unpleasant and the uncomfortable when it makes for better theater. Rarely is such the case in viewing sports. Besides the actual game action, a national broadcast is going to feed you shots of local peculiarities and regional foodstuffs during timeouts.

Going in and out of commercials you get the blimp views of the stadia amid a lit up downtown at night, stock footage of hustle and bustle during the daytime, and shots of some unique piece of architecture soundtracked by a song from and/or about whatever city the game is in. Oh, hey, look at the city-native-but-now-probably-expatriate celebrity in the stands totally trying to go unnoticed in that black baseball cap. (8,974 screenshots get tweeted.)

And Drake. There’s always Drake.

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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…]

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…]

Where Will David Beckham Play Next Season? France? England?

The Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer are embattled in a playoff race. These games could be the end of David Beckham’s tenure in the United States. Beckham is certainly in the twilight of his career, but he’s still an effective player, and best in the world at set pieces..

The Galaxy take on Real Salt Lake in the conference final as the cloud of Beckham’s questionable future with the club hangs over the team. He still has the ability to play an elite level by garnering fifteen assists in twenty-six regular season contests. His two assists thus far in the postseason have also come at crucial times.

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World Cup Night as Fire host MLS Champs

chicago fire

As the World Cup comes to a close, the Fire will celebrate the 19th edition of the World’s largest sporting event, when they host reigning MLS Cup Champions Real Salt Lake on “World Cup Night” at TOYOTA PARK on Thursday, July 8 at 8:30 PM CT (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes).

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World Cup Quarterfinals Preview

2010 world cup

With only 8 teams left in the World Cup, it is only fitting that I give you a few random lists of top 8’s.

Eight Reasons to keep watching the World Cup post-USA:

  1. From here on out there are no longer any lopsided match-ups. Any team is capable of winning it all at this point. Make sure to call off of work for Germany vs. Argentina on July 3 at 10 a.m. (ET). This game is going to be the match of the tournament thus far. It’s a shame this isn’t the final. Then again, that would mean Argentina’s manager Diego Maradona would be that much closer to streaking…..
  2. No longer are the games at 7:30 a.m. There are two more 10 a.m. games, while the rest are at 1:30 p.m. It’s no longer possible to use the excuse of sleeping through a game. If 10 a.m. is too early, then you have serious issues.
  3. With only one African team left in the World Cup, Ghana, the vuvuzelas have quieted down a bit. They are still able to be heard, but aren’t as annoying. Just when I was starting to like them…..Just kidding.
  4. There won’t be any instant replay, at least for the rest of this year’s World Cup, but the refs can only get better. FIFA has apologized to Mexico and England, which are baby steps considering how they handled the U.S.-Slovenia game.
  5. No more ties. This is probably my favorite reason, because it just isn’t right to end any game in a tie. There has to be a winner and a loser. Granted, I don’t like how penalty kicks can decide the outcome of a game either, but beggars can’t be choosers. Can someone explain what is wrong with just playing extra time until a team scores?
  6. Jim Rome, the soccer scrooge, is talking about soccer. He admits he doesn’t necessarily like it, but just the fact that he’s talking about it is revolutionary. If he can watch it, anyone can.
  7. Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Netherlands and Germany. What do they all have in common? They all love to score goals, and lots of them. The goalies will be busy going forward.
  8. Whether it’s a controversial call, a flopping player or a close game, there will be plenty more drama from here on out.

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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World Cup Group H Preview: Should Spain be the favorite to win it all?

spain

Group H is the group of similarities. For starters, three of the four teams (Spain, Honduras and Chile) are Spanish-speaking countries. This means that both teams will be able to comprehend “yo mama” jokes, which may lead to more Zinedine Zidane-like headbutts.

Another similarity is the fact that some of the most accomplished coaches are in this group. Spain is coached by Vicente del Bosque, who has won two Champions League titles, two La Liga titles and one Intercontinental Cup. Switzerland’s coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, also has two Champions League titles along with two Intercontinental Cups and seven Bundesliga championships. Chile’s coach, Marcelo Bielsa, won the Olympic Gold in 2004 and is the only coach in this group with World Cup experience.

by Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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World Cup Group F Preview: Can Italy defend their title?

italy soccer

For those who want to see fast-paced, high-flying action, look elsewhere, because Group F is made up of grind-it-out teams. Italy, the defending World Cup champs, have always been known for their defense and counter-attacking. Paraguay only scored 11 goals in their past 11 World Cup games. Slovakia is a team who looks to get an early lead and sit on it. That leaves us with New Zealand, who’s only other World Cup appearance was in 1982, where they only scored two goals.

Some are thinking, “great, as if soccer wasn’t boring enough, we have to watch a group that doesn’t even score goals.” Not so fast (literally for this group). Though it won’t be high-scoring, there may be more drama in this group than all the other groups combined.

by Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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World Cup Group D Preview: Same old, same old from the Germans?

germany soccer

Germany

Overview: Germany is to soccer as Michigan State is to college basketball. They are the kings of consistency. It seems like every World Cup there are question marks with Germany, but they do nothing but prove people wrong. They made it to the final in the ’02 World Cup and lost to eventual champions, Italy, in ’06. More recently, they finished runner-up to Spain at Euro 2008. Germany has won four out of five friendlies, their only loss to a strong Argentina squad.

By Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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Chicago Fire Hosting Viewing Party For U.S. World Cup Game

TEAM-USA-WORLD-CUP

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that the club will host a viewing party at the popular River North bar, Bull & Bear when the United States kick off their World Cup play against England on Saturday, June 12 at 1:30 PM CT.

Chicago Fire players Andrew Dykstra and Kwame Watson-Siriboe will attend the event in support of the United States’ World Cup effort.

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World Cup Group B Preview

diego maradona

If I could pick between: seeing the Chicago Cubs win the World Series before I die or never seeing Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona naked, I would choose the latter. I think I would rather go to a Justin Bieber concert by myself than see that.

Earlier this month, Maradona claimed that he would go streaking through the streets of Buenos Aries if Argentina won the World Cup. Either the man is a free spirit or he is THAT convinced Argentina won’t win.

by Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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