Friday, April 20, 2007

The New Messi(ah)

Lionel Messi is quickly becoming one of the top soccer players in the world. At only 19 years of age he dazzles with the ball and after this weeks super goal he has been getting some really high praises from the soccer world. Being compared to the likes of Maradona isn't an easy feat, but Messi has the ability to become the best player in the world. Playing alongside the current best in the world* (Ronaldinho) doesn't hurt either.

Messi is the youngest player to ever score for FC Barcelona and the youngest player ever to play for Argentina in a World Cup. He didn't get much playing time in last years World Cup, but when he did he made the most of it.

If you haven't seen the video everyone is raving about then click here. That boy got skills!

Here is a detailed picture showing Messi's goal alongside Maradona's goal:

My top 10 soccer/football players in the world (right now):

1. C. Ronaldo
1A. Ronaldhino
3. Kaká
4. Messi
5. Henry
6. Drogba
7. Riquelme
8. Totti
9. Raul
10. Van Nistelrooy

* I think C. Ronaldo has become the best in the world but Ronaldinho is 1A.

The Greatest Goal Ever? (Telegraph UK)

Mid-Morning Roundup

Chicks + Sports Blogging = Sports by Brooks. Read a good interview here. (The Big Picture)

A-Rod finally doing what he should have been doing all along (winning games). (SI)

Jen Sterger and Kurt Vonnegut both don't know sports, but have worked with Sports Illustrated. (Sports by Brooks)

Here's something new, College Football players actually being kicked off the team for doing something wrong. (EDSBS)

Pacman is really sorry, so sorry that he's taking out a full page ad to let people know. (ESPN)

Oden ready to get his game on. Conley and Cook not so much. (The Big Lead)

Do you like Italian? The Offside WAG of the week is a winner in my book. (The Offside)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wine, Champagne and Victoria Silvstedt - The Perfect Vacation

I'm back like a migraine headache ready to irritate the hell out of you. I had the best vacation any American could hope for. I'm convinced that every person in France has at least half of the year off and the other half they pretend to work. I didn't have to travel all over the place and see a bunch of crap I don't really care about this time and it made for a much better experience. I got to relax outside in the sun and eat and drink like a fat guy at a buffet.

I couple of things that really stood out this time around in France were:

1. Television in Europe is much better than here in the States.

There aren't as many commercials and there's nudity! Although I didn't notice as many naked chicks this time around I did get to see Victoria Silvstedt do a much better job than Vanna White on the French version of Wheel of Fortune. You actually watch the show when there's someone that hot.

2. Watching the Champions League in prime time is better than the Super Bowl.

Obviously it's much bigger in Europe and seeing it at 8:00 at night is much better then watching it at 11:00 in the morning online here in the States (or recorded on my DVR). Everybody is off work and the atmosphere is kind of like the Super Bowl only better (maybe it was the champagne or the 2 bottles of wine). I got to watch most of the matches with my wife's cousins, who play at the amateur level and know how to keep the wine flowing. The first leg of the Bayern Munich-AC Milan match-up was some of the best soccer I have ever seen. That was one of the best things I have seen in sports in a long time.

Highlight: My boys (Manchester United) humiliating AC Roma (7-1) in a Quarter Final match. C. Ronaldo is untouchable right now.

3. Wine and lots of time off are the secrets to a longer life

My wife's parents threw a party for us while we were there and I got to meet more of my wife's older relatives. Once again the wine and champagne were flowing and I ended up having a conversation with an 93 year old lady (in French). She was completely coherent and was willing to let me in on her secret for living so long and looking at least 20 years younger than she was. She told me that she eats well all of the time and drinks one glass of wine with lunch and dinner. She also stays away from "stress". When she use to work she had 10 weeks off a year and enjoyed visiting some of her family in the States on vacation.

It was one of those nights that made me realize that I needed to make a change in my life. I haven't yet, but at least I'm more aware of it now. My wife is still in France with my kids and it will give me some more time to plan what we are going to do. Whether that means moving to France or finding another place to move to, I need to go somewhere that I'm not as stressed out so often.

Additional Notes:

Youth Soccer is for fun and not made to be a competitive thing. Kids don't compete in competitive soccer until they are 11 in most of France. I think it's a much better idea, not because of the kids but the parents. Parents tend to want to push their kids to be the best and in doing so burn them out early.

The French Rugby Team wear pink jerseys, but kick ass during the game.

There is more yogurt in a French super market then dudes in a strip club.

All in all I had a really good time on vacation and can't wait till I retire and move to France so I can eat and drink and not be stressed out.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Not All Sports Channels Were Created Equal

I haven't really been posting for the last few days because I'm getting geared up for 2 weeks of European sports viewing action. Today marks my 1 week countdown to European vacation. Not the kind of European vacation that you might be thinking. There will be no Amsterdam or late night raves out at the Disco-tech. I won't be sleeping at a Hostel or meeting promiscuous Swedish twins that get naked at the drop of a hat. It won't be quite that good! It will however be a vacation in which I won't be bothered by my employer. Which for those of us that work way too much and get paid way too little is a godsend. I will be completely detached from the world (internet) for two weeks.

Once every other year my family and I make our pilgrimage to my wife's place of origin in the North of France. For two weeks I get to eat and drink as much bread, wine and cheese as I want. It has become a time for me to fully relax and give my mind a rest. The good thing about being American and going to Normandy (where my wife is from) is they love us there. The whole D-Day thing really gave us a good name. I guess if I were getting my ass annihilated and some people came and saved me, I'd be pretty stoked too.

Anyway, I usually feel like I'm the King of the castle when I'm there. My wife's family usually cater to me because I'm an American who only gets 2 weeks of vacation instead of the 6 weeks they get. Which means that I can wake up whenever I want and don't have to worry about my kids bothering me about breakfast. Another good thing is that when your French isn't that great, like mine, you can pretend like you don't know whats going on. I understand about 98% of what her family says and the other 2% I usually just say I get, but the speaking part is what saves me. I also watch as much television as I want and don't have to hear about it from my wife because of this. When they're talking about family things I slip away and start watching French TV. For those that don't know, European television is basically Cinemax-lite. The reason I say that is because it's like watching soft-core porn. There are always shows with naked women on, even at 9:00 in the morning.

When I'm done getting my daily fix of non-edited euro-sex action I change the channel to Canal+ Sports. This is France's version of ESPN. If you don't like Soccer or Formula 1 then you might as well change the station back to Debbie Does Paris or whatever sex-athon show that's on. You might occasional get a glimpse of some NFL or NBA highlights, but don't count on it. They pretty much get the same amount of air play as ESPN gives to soccer (little to none). Don't even think about Baseball highlights. The best thing about their sports stations are the sportscasters. They make me laugh. It always seems like one guy is always yelling during the highlights. I think they want us to believe that we're really at the stadiums with the fans or something. If it weren't for the UEFA Cup coming up while I'm there, I would really be in trouble. This year I will be in France for both legs of the Quarterfinals. I intend on going to a local pub with my wife's cousins to watch the matches and drink a few too many.

I hope to rest up while I'm there and come back to life in the States with a renewed attitude. One that will hopefully allow me to start blogging a lot more and focus more of my time on things I want to do rather than the things I have to do. I will be posting sporadically throughout the next week and will be on hiatus until April 16th after that. Au revoir!

Mid-Morning Roundup

Greg Oden deserves to party with hot white girls after last night's last minute swat. (The Big Lead)

Tubby Smith is going where? Minnesota is an upgrade? (Rumors and Rants)

Koby is still on a tear and apparently wants the ball. (Signal to Noise)

Joey Porter gets thrown like a little girl. (Sports by Brooks)

Nothing like the WAG of the WEEK to really research European culture. (The Offside)

Beer or Birth Control? You might want to splurge on protection. (AP)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mid-Morning Roundup

David Carr gets shafted by the man, better known as the Texans head office. (Signal to Noise)

Suzy Kolber vs. Rachel Nichols. Who you got? (The Big Picture)

Tom Brady isn't batting 1000 anymore. (The Big Lead)

Falling asleep at a stop light when you have been drinking is never a good thing. (Deadspin)

If you have seen the movie '300' then you might want to enter this contest. (Bodog)

Is Kobe trying to pedal some 'Nike' to Durant? (LA Times)

A-Rod getting ready for the opt-out portion of his contract and maybe a new friend to have sleep-overs with. (NY Times)

Raiders sign the other Booty to play QB. I'm sure they will be looking at Jeff George again later this month.

Carmen Electra might be a lesbian? I wish it was with someone hotter, maybe like Sienna Miller. (Starpulse)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Late-Morning Roundup

Hey, if Jeff Garcia wants to parade around like he's straight I can respect that, but don't steal a playmate from Hef. (The Hater Nation)

All the other GM's want to be like Mike. (Signal to Noise)

North Carolina just love their basketball team. (Awful Announcing)

"Little Ronaldo" celebrates his birthday today. (The Offside)

George Foreman becomes a judge. It's not an eating contest, is it? (AP)

Scarlett Johansson likes the elderly. What the hell is she thinking? (People)