Friday, September 11, 2009

Sportsweek in Review

Busy week, sports fans. We started with Notre Dame walloping the mighty, mighty Wolfpack of Nevada, who managed to make Jimmy Clausen look like the second coming of, well, the Jimmy Clausen who was last seen spanking Hawaii in the Coconut Bowl last holiday season. This week sees Jimmy lead the Irish to the Big House against the guys with the six-note fight song and little wings on their helmets. ND is a 3-point favorite. I say, MICHAEL FLOYD, and that translates to a 14-point Irish win. You read it here first.

Moving from throwball to kickball, the US men's national team snoozed through an actually fairly important World Cup qualifier against Trinidad 'n' Tobago and managed to pull out a one-goal win for a crucial three points. Seriously, Clint Dempsey? I was worried about Clint the last couple games because his more-hangdog-than-usual expression, coupled with his lassitude on the field, made me fear he was suffering from clinical depression and needed some serious help. Then I realized it's just that he pouts and doesn't bother running when Bob Bradley makes him play midfield, and only puts out what qualifies as "effort" when he's up top. Wow. I thought that kind of crap was limited to recreational leagues, and lord knows I've played with enough people who pull that to wonder how his teammates manage to not kick him in the nuts. Or why Bradley wastes a spot on him at all. I want Stuart Holden, dammit! Boy's young, but he run his ass off no matter what. No matter who starts in the midfield against Honduras, the entire side needs to remember how to possess AND move off the ball, and maybe show just a glimmer of intensity, as if, oh, the World Cup were at stake or something. You! Read! It! Here!

For contrast, have a look at the Slovakia-Northern Ireland game FSC keeps replaying. There's 90 minutes of passion and creativity and full-speed running for you, plus the requisite testicular injury for comic effect. Look out for the Slovaks, especially Vladomir Weiss. Tricksy!

Finally, the England women made it to the final of the UEFA championship for the first time in forever, but got wiped by a German team that hasn't lost a game in this tournament since 1999. England did manage to fight back for two goals and probably wins whatever metallic boot is awaded the most improved team over the past few years. Think the WPS has helped that national side? I do. They'll be an interesting team to watch. Kelly Smith. Sigh.

Go Irish!

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