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July 08, 2011

"U-S-A! U-S-A!": Americans beat Brazil on PKs in Women's World Cup; plus D-Wade plays Europe card, LeBron's decision 1 year later (with poll), O.J. 'n Casey, ranking 3,000-hit men & more

[Twitter.com/gregcote Because it's free, and the process of clicking this link and then the 'follow' button will help you lead a healthier lifestyle by burning nearly half a calorie].

USA BEATS BRAZIL IN WORLD CUP QUARTERFINALS: Do you believe in miracles? USA beats Brazil 5-3 in penalty kicks after tying match in final minute of overtime -- the latest goal scored in men's or women's World Cup history. ..... USA ties it miraculously 2-2 in final minute of overtime on Abby Wambach header. Justice is served. ..... Brazil ties it 1-1 controversially, on penalty kick call on foul in the box against Marta. Hope Solo stops penalty kick but it is rule she moved, so kick is retaken and made. Awful call in that situation. So now USA is tied and a player down. ..... Americans lead 1-0 at the half after an own-goal against Brazil in the 2nd minute. Anxious lead, though. Very. Brazil has dominated possession of the ball and has the better chances on goal. U.S. will have to be better in the second half. It is with unabashed jingoism and patriotism that I hope the Americans kick some Brazilian a-- in Germany. Looks to be an even game. The winner will face France in the semis and should be considered the favorite to win it all, after the upset elimination of two-time defending champion and host nation Germany. 

DWYANE WADE PLAYS THE EUROPE CARD: This NBA lockout is going to get ugly and will be protracted, and the players association is using Europe as leverage. Already, the Nets' Deron Williams has an agreement with a Turkish team to play there if the lockout eats into next season. Now, today, the Heat's Dwyane Wade told The Associated Press in Chicago, "If there's an opportunity there, I'd consider it." Oy! At this point, I'd consider Wade's mildest-of-threats to be a bunch of Instan-bull, just early NBAPA-sanctioned posturing. But this is smart strategy by the players. We'll see where it leads.

LEBRON: ONE YEAR LATER: It was one year ago tonight, in that infamous "The Decision" show on ESPN, 1aa1lebronjames when Jim Gray ran out of stall questions about the weather, finally asked the only question worth asking, and heard LeBron James say he was taking his talents to South Beach. What followed was an eruption of cartoonish outrage in Cleveland, negative backlash across much of the rest of the basketball nation, and ultimately a successful season for both James and the Heat. But successful enough? The Heat lost in the NBA Finals to Dallas, and James' statistical dropoff in the Finals -- especially in the fourth quarters -- ended his year on a sour note. To his critics it was an indication James lacks the heart or fortitude of a champion. To me it was nothing of the sort, but was a performance that increased the onus on him to get that elusive first ring. The question: One year later, how thrilled should Miami be to have LeBron James?       

1aa1happycouple WEDDING OF THE CENTURY!: You can imagine how thrilled I am to bring you this blog exclusive and announce the planned wedding of accused/acquitted double-murderer O.J. Simpson and accused/acquitted child-murderer Casey Anthony. I hear they plan to marry in Dismember I mean December. God bless Photoshop, and God bless the United States of America.

RANKING THE 3,000-HIT CLUB MEMBERS: With Derek Jeter the newest member of the 28-man 3,000-hit club, we rank them first to last based on overall careers: 1. Hank Aaron, 2. Willie Mays, 3. Stan Musial, 4. Ty Cobb, 5. Honus Wagner, 6. Carl Yastrzemski, 7. Pete Rose, 8. Tris Speaker, 9. Roberto Clemente, 10. Al Kaline, 11. Wade Boggs, 12. Tony Gwynn, 13. Rod Carew, 14. George Brett, 15. Cal Ripken Jr., 16. Paul Waner, 17. Lou Brock, 18. Derek Jeter, 19. Nap Lajoie, 20. Eddie Collins, 21. Eddie Murray, 22. Robin Yount, 23. Dave Winfield, 24. Cap Anson, 25. Craig Biggio, 26. Rafael Palmeiro, 27. Paul Molitor, 28. Rickey Henderson.      

LEAN CROP FOR MARLINS FARM SYSTEM: The Marlins' once acclaimed farm system isn't what it used to be, a troubling sign. The latest indication: Baseball America today published its Midseason Top 50 Prospects list -- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is No. 1 -- and zero Marlins prospects made the list. None. Nada. Not a No. 48. Nobody. Not good.

FOUL BALLS HAVE GOTTEN OUT OF HAND: Last night a 39-year-old Rangers fan died after he reached 1aa1foul for a ball tossed to him by outfielder Josh Hamilton and tumbled 20 feet onto concrete. (Story here). I have only sympathy for this man and his family and of course no blame should be placed on Hamilton. But the tragedy invites me to rant about the increasing devaluation of foul balls and the insanity over fans' fascination with them. I can see the excitement over special, milestone balls such as maybe catching somebody's 500th home run. Ka-ching and all that. What I can't understand is some fan hauling his beer gut over three aisles of seats, lunging past a Cub Scout and elbowing a pregnant woman to retrieve a ball off the bat of Mort Utilityman. The ball is worth about eight bucks. If you forge Mort's signature, maybe $8.25. What I also can't understand is why teams' players and stadium attendants now give away balls as souvenirs, further devaluing the aura of the foul ball. At least catching a foul is a cheap thrill. Being handed a ball by a ponyailed ballgirl along the third-base line would qualify as charity, an embarrassment unless perhaps you are 8 years old or younger. The giveaways have turned the foul ball into a piece of crap not worth fighting for, let alone dying for.

Click back. Will be adding more stuff to this latest blogpost today and throughout the weekend...

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Greg,

I feel your pain. We are all in the same boat searching for worthwhile sports topics to write about, but LeBron's one year anniversary of his decision!? Really?

Perhaps we should revisit other topics that failed to make it, earlier, when so much talk about the Dolphins was dominating conversations during this time of the year. Let's see...wasn't there something about:

Which Dolphins lineman holds the record for eating steaks in one sitting at Shula's? Or... Has Henne been photographed recently at any party showing off his newly reduced breasts?

You know, Greg. Really captivating football stuff.

mike1 and OB4untilafewyearsago - no idea what you guys are looking at, that goalie looks like a tranny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI2TRIVA7Tc

If you guys only knew how wild this world league volleyball is. Pandemonium in host Poland today. They appeared to be out of it yesterday, but then Italy loses to Bulgaria in 3 sets...giving Poland a chance ....and..... they did so in dramatic fashion..with a 5th set 15-13 win after being down 1-0.

this paints the picture..
"It was nail biting stuff in a deafening atmosphere "

"Gdansk, Poland, July 8, 2011 – Hosts Poland pulled off an amazing last-gasp (18-25, 25-22, 25-20, 24-26, 15-13) win over group leaders Argentina"

"Thanks to Bulgaria’s surprise straight sets win over Italy earlier in the day, Poland needed to beat the previously unbeaten Argentina by 3-0 or 3-1 and in the end proved too quick, efficient and pumped up for an Argentine side who had been on a roll of 11 wins in 14 games and who tried everything possible to overcome Poland’s feverish fans.

It was nail biting stuff in a deafening atmosphere but the nerves of Poland, especially the likes of Bartosz Kurek, who carried his side to victory with 29 points (next best scorer was Grzegorz Kosok with 11), held firm."


more stunning stuff from the soccer world ..

Under-17 World Cu semi's.. great battle won by Mexico 3-2 over Germany.

Check out Mexico's game winning bicycle kick goal. Fantastic stuff. ..by a player who just had his head bashed in and was wearing a head bandage. You can see head-head collision here as well.

all 5 goals here..they're all great.. but the
bicycle is Pele-ish. Even the soccer haters wil have to concede how awesome this was. . a game winning bicyucle goal near the end of regulation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFMBvLkm0uQ

Uncle.

Kaz, since you brought up the subject..what you think? This was on cnn (tv) the other day.

http://www.millionface.com/l/and-the-winner-of-thailands-miss-transvestite-contest-is/

my balls are foul, saggy too.

you know OC, this is the "irrelevant LeBron media man love crush" sports blog. Greg needs to quit meat gazing in the NBA lock rooms.

Jimbo - if the Dolphins had the best player in all of football the sports media down here would probably be talking about him too.

Repent of your Sins and Turn to Me and Avoid Eternal Damnation in Hell !

mike 1, this sad blog must be your whole life when you aren't watching polski volleyball or soccer (I even laughed when I typed that).
cotes pathetic blog has hit a new low this summer...

mike1,

the hosts are out, england gone, and a victory over brazil and the USA will have another sports bra moment; it couldn't have worked out any better for the gringas.

COMPLETE DISAGREEMENT:

tossing a ball into the stands twenty feet above the playing field is outside the standards of the conduct of "the reasonable person". josh hamilton bears culpability in the death of the fan. sine quo non- without the throw into the upper deck the guy still is walking nand breathing. in days of yore no souvenirs were given to the fans, even handing the ball to a fan on the field level. trying to win the customers back by being "fan friendly" has taken a life. bad judgment by all involved but it started with the throw into the upper deck.

Mike Hunt,

Perhaps. But I'm enjoying all this sports immensely in an otherwise void of sport suntil football stats. It's a plus to not get stuck in only the tradional US sports mentality.

There's oustanding, exciting, stuff
going on with plenty of crowd atmosphere. Europa League and Champuions league has begun; and when Copa America ends..we'll have Under-20 World Cup. Brazil and Paraguay played an awesome game in Copa America yesterday. Today, we go tthe Under-17 Final between Mexico and Uruguay. off the heels of the stunning Mexico 3-2 last minute semi-final win, bicycle kick goal by a head bandaged player.

Today we got the FIVB World League Final between Russia and Brazil. In the semi's yesterday, Brazil and Argentina went to 40 points in set 2...winning 40-38. Obviously, whoever won that set was going to take the match.

For me, this is one of the best sports summers ever. I'll be fully ready for footbaall season.

wow, the US women just got ripped off incredibly. This has to go down as one of the worst series of calls in world cup history..men or women..

first, the ref calls a penalty kick against the US ..AND a red card..completely undeserved.

Then, Hope Solo SAVES the penalty shot. But the ref claims she moved before the kick is taking. So it was retaken and Brazil made the 2nd attempt. now tied 1-1, playing down a player.

The ref doesn't know the basic rule of the game..the goalie is allowed to move along the line. Even so, it was minimal and never is called. The rule was changed a decade ago..the goalie can move along the line.


Finished up 18 and was having a burger and a beer in the clubhouse when the lady headed in the ball in the injury time of overtime - exciting stuff, although they may have been helped in PKs by a makeup call on goalie movement - the first shot is exactly as mike1 described above except the Brazilians got screwed.

How many Women's sports do you see in a sold out 40-50K stadium, in a country who is not even playing in the game?

The rule was changed a few years ago to allow goalie movement along the line. They can't move forward. I didn't get to finish watching the game at home, so I got text reports from a friend and now saw the Sports Center highlights.

The call was not on Solo's movement, it was for a US player encroaching (barely) into the box as the PK was taken. That is a legitimate acall for a re-take. Stupid ref should've explained something to the players.she said nothing. Very reminiscent of the how the US got screwed in the World Cup last year (for which the referee was removed from the Cup).

The mostly German fans turned from being

The referee was awful today.
US should've had an ejection earlier on a handball (should be a 2nd yellow card)..when US was up 1-0

Then the series of controversy..
1. where was the foul, it was an even 50-50 challenge
2. Should not have been a PK
3. Should definitely not have been a red card
4. then the forced re-take

5. Then I didn't see the rest..so have to defer to Kazaam

here are the last minute video highlights:

http://aol.sportingnews.com/soccer/story/2011-07-10/wambach-solo-help-deliver-improbable-us-victory-in-womens-world-cup?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk3%7C218523


http://www.cbssports.com/general/story/15310665/us-women-rise-to-occasion-on-stage-set-by-refs-awful-day


This was one of the most exciting sports days (for me anyway) on a given day:

In addition to the Women's World Cup US win,

3rd place Under-17 World Cup..Germany trailed Brazil 3-1 at half time..comes back to win 4-3 to take 3rd place.

The Final is coming up shortly between hosts Mexico-Uruguay and what will probably be a sold out stadium for Under-17's.

MLS -- in a packed, noisy Portland stadium..
0-0 at HT. Portland leads 1-0, then it's 1-1, then 2-1, then 2-2..then finally Seattle wins 3-2. ..with a large group of fans coming down from Seattle cheering their heads off

Colombia over Bolivia 2-0 in Copa America to win the Group (that also has hosts Argentina)


They had the two stars being interviewed on ESPN, the lady who scored the final goal was scissoring the goalie with her eyes the whole time.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/176607/dyke-fight

almost forget..since it was earlier today..

hosts Poland over Argentina 3 sets to 0 to take 3rd place in World League, biggest finish for them since coming back from behind 2 sets to 0 to beat the Soviets for Gold in 1976 Olympics..shows live on US Olympic coverage. Sending the country into a frenzy.


Russia takes the championship over Brazil in a see saw.. winning in the tiebraker

To somber things up a little ..

US Virgin Islands advanced in 2014 World Cup qualifying over British Virgin Islands.

oh..another bad call was Brazil's goal in OT


ESPN just showed it, Brazilian was clearly offside on that goal

what a mess of a game ..good thing US won it and we can move on

The alleged makeup call on the Brazilian goalie was totally spot-on. While Solo was NOT off her line when she stopped the first penalty kick during regulation, the Brazilian goalie was clearly 2 yards in front of hers before the ball was struck on the first pk. If you watched, the Brazilian goalie repeated the same maneuver even after being called for it throughout the rest of the ok's, but to no avail. Horrible call on the 50-50 that led to the initial pk; shouldn't have even had a pk there, much less go a man down. Just awful. Still, gotta love the comeback. That terrible call made the win that much sweeter.

Soccer sucks

You can see the Brazilian 2nd goal was offside here.. scroll down to the last picture, freeze frame. The player with the ball played it forward to the player who is offside, before she crossed it.

http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/blog/dirty-tackle/post/U-S-overcomes-controversial-ref-decisions-to-be?urn=sow-wp3177

From the Herald...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/07/11/2308638/if-us-cant-love-soccer-after-this.html


By the way, there are good numbers that do love it.. as you can see at every Seattle and Portland game (as well as Vancouver & Toronto). It's like watching a game in England.

ending a thriling Sunday ..

Mexico won the World Cup U-17 championship 2-0 over Uruguay .. how often do you see 110,000 attend a youth sport?


Just prior to that, Germany came back from 3-1 down at HT to win 4-3 over Brazil.


With World Volleyball done, and Word Cup U-17 done..all we have left now to stay occupied til Football season:

Women's World Cup
Copa America
Europa Cup qualifiers
Champions League Qualifiers
Euro 2012 Qualifiers
Irish Football playoffs
ocasional continued World Cup 2014 qualifiers


Hey..here's a baseball comment (back from the day I used to love the game)

I certainly think the ranking of Stan Musial as #3 and Carl Yastzemski as #6 were appropriate.

I only witnessed Musial and early Yaz in highlight films and from books, but that Yaz sure could play the green monster.

Yaz would barehand in the outfield off the wall, in order to reduce time and sometimes get the runner out at 2nd. He literally climbed the wall once to make a catch. The guy is the last Triple Crown winner in 1967...44 yr old record.

He never had contract issues.He simply loved the game. He'd spend every offseason working on his batting on his own initiative looking for ways to perfect his stance and swing speed.

Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Honus Wagner, Tris Speaker, Roberto Clemente (died on a hunger food mission). ..all great guys.

Not so much respected..Ty Cobb and Pete Rose.

USA! USA! USA!

It's fortunate that none of the breathless reports on the epic World Cup clash mentioned that the first half was pretty awful- due to Brazil's relentless pressing and our problems keeping possession in midfield.

Oddly, we played much better with only ten gals (men? ladies? women?) as the Brazilians ran out of steam.

Mike1,

WOW best finish to a soccer game I have ever seen - Even after the usual FIFA ref B.S. !!

KAZ,

I hav fugured out that you are truly just a "hater".....You wish anybody would scissor you with there eyes !!
I would like to see you run around for 2 hrs and still look as "hot" as Hope Solo looks.....
BTW wat did you shoot a 115 !!! (and after your round in the Miami heat & humidity somebody should have taken a picture of you and asked if you looked good!!!)

Greg,

LeBron REALLY ??!@#$ is that all you got ?? Must have been to hung-over to think up anything original!!

Guess it's just a matter of taste, trannies with the build of a linebacker aren't my thing. She's a good goalie though. Anna Kournikova is about the only female athlete whose hotness lives up to her reputation.

Kazaam,

One problem with Kournikova is that she looks painfully stupid- yes, it does matter!

What about Alex Morgan- a substitute forward on our heroic Women's World Cup team? YUM!

http://shinguardian.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/alex-morgan.jpg

Kournikova isn't good though. Remember come of the Curlers at the Olympics? they were pretty good...a German one, especially, as I recall.

Also, remember the soccer players are not decked out ..so you're not seeing them in a make up, photo touch up versions. There is a radically different look when anyone goes from fully made up to their natural state.

mike1,

didn't see the usa/brazil match, but the same pattern developed at the 2010 olympics-brazil dominated the match but wore down in the extra time. giving up an own goal is like giving up a safety in football- generally the team that does same loses. as stated, it set up pretty well with brazil earlier than later and methinks that the rest of the field isn't the equal of our "men/ladies/women"

Shadow, the US was so ripped off in that game, that the "neutral" local fans were whistling the entire time since ther PK incident. They had initially been cheering for Brazil and then turned to cheering for the US after Hope Solo's PK save was retaken.

The US did get the first favorable call as they should've had a player ejected earlier.

It was fortunate the US pulled it out which contributed to this game's worldwide attention.

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