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June 23, 2014

LeBron's Heat opt-out was expected, is not ominous; plus me amid USA soccer nuts, World Cup-interest poll, Pouncey, Venus Williams naked & more

1) It is TUESDAY, JUNE 24. No radio today. The Dan Le Batard Show is on vacation, so you get a break from me, too. 2) Congrats to Neal Gulkis, new media-relations guy at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Was with Dolphins for many years. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Futbol! World Cup and U.S. draw with Portugal, debut of Sunday Hot Button Top 10, Heat get-a-grip poll result & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

My new column on LeBron's opt-out: Click The Fight Is On for my column on LeBron James' future in the wake of his opting out of his Heat contract today. It's newly online and shipping to Wednesday's inky pulp editions. 

1aa1alebronjLEBRON'S OPT-OUT EXPECTED, NOT AS OMINOUS AS IT SOUNDS: LeBron James' agent informed the Heat this morning that his client will opt out of his Miami contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. This is not a surprise; club president Pat Riley called it "fully expected" in a statement released at about 1:15 p.m. This development therefore should not send Heat fans to a high ledge. As for the haters and overreactors, James had every right to do this and it should not be taken as a sign he's leaving. Yes, it could mean he is serious about testing free agency and possibly leaving for another team. But the opt-out could also be more of a procedural thing, a first step toward restructuring his deal for less money in concert with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to remain together. This is a fight Miami can and should win -- as long as Pat Riley convinces LeBron his supporting cast will be stronger than the one that fell short in 2014.  

FUTBLOG! WATCHING U.S.-PORTUGAL IN THE BELLY OF THE INSANITY: FUTBLOG! is the official World Cup post of this blog, a continually updated daily dose of the month-long soccer spectacle in Brazil. See 1aa1abrazilwcearlier posts for earlier daily results and for group-by-group preview. I watched Sunday evening's 2-2 U.S. draw with Portugal at Mickey Byrnes Irish Pub in downtown 1aa1abyrnesHollywood, in a bar more crowded than anywhere I have been. (Relegated to runnerup: Bourbon Street at the apex of Mardi Gras). The photo at left does not convey the insane population density in the place. Fire codes were surely shattered. Waitresses carrying trays of beer and shots and food could barely navigate through the crush. Check me on Twitter or Vine for several videos from the game/party and for a great sense of the noise and atmosphere. I'd gone at the invitation of my son and some of his friends, not knowing what I was in for. Turns out it was the official watch party of the local chapter of American Outlaws, a U.S. soccer fan group. I mean, I was at ground zero of fanaticism for this team, this game, this sport, this World Cup. The place was a sea of red, white and blue. I and others stood on bench seats for a better view. Beer sprayed in celebration at U.S. goals. Chants erupted throughout the game. Some guys near us recognized me and started serenading my joke chant, "Let's gooooooo States!" (Which I must say was both a cheap thrill and excruciatingly embarrassing at the same time). I'm a lifelong soccer fan and a patriotic guy so this was right in my wheelhouse. I wore a U.S. soccer shirt and U.S. hat I'd bought while covering the 1994 World Cup held here. My voice today is hoarse from all the cheering. There is no wrong way to be a fan. But I must say, if you were watching the game with a couple of buds at your house, you were not getting the full experience. All of us though were denied the ultimate celebration by Portugal's tying goal with 39 seconds left. All of Mickey Byrnes Irish Pub sagged, went numb. Nevertheless, it was inspiring to be there amid the passion, to get a real feel for the grass roots of U.S. soccer fans, and to understand that thousands of watch parties just like this one were going on all over the country.

U.S. scenarios to advance: The U.S. would have clinched a spot in the round of 16 by winning last night but still is in good shape even with the draw. Click on Road to the Sweet 16 for all the scenerios involved. America advances with a win or draw vs. Germany this Thursday. We can also advance with a loss if Portugal-Ghana tie or by winning the goals-differential tiebreaker with the Portugal-Ghana winner. Computer odds for tghe group put Germany's likelihood to advance at 99.7 percent and the U.S. at 75.8%. Ghana is at 19.1% and Portugal 5.4%.

HOW CLOSELY ARE YOU FOLLOWING THE U.S. IN THE WORLD CUP?: This poll result interests me for two reasons. First, this is in no way a soccer blog. For all I know there might be a lot of readers wishing we'd get off this soccer thing and get back to the Dolphins or Heat or something more in their mainstream. Second, soccer in general shows a great divide in interest. Fans tend to be passionately interested, as with the crowd I describe in the top item here, or barely if at all paying attention. Although, the World Cup tends to draw even soccer agnostics into paying at least casual attention. I'm curious where you stand and where our blog readers in general stand on this. Vote and say why.


1aa1acostaricaWorld Cup Day 13 / Today 6-24: Match of Day: C
osta Rica 0, England 0 (Group D): The Brits are the latest big team to be sent packing as -- astonishingly -- Costa Rica's Los Ticos win the group. You wanted a Cinderella, World Cup? You got one.

Uruguay 1, Italy 0 (Group D): Italy the latest big club sent packing, playing with 10 men and yielding a goal in 81st minute. But Uruguayan star Luis Suarez faces possible suspension for biting incident.

Colombia 4, Japan 1 (Group C): Colombian storm into roudn of 16.

Greece 2, Cote d'Ivoire 1 (Group C): Big letdown for Team Cote.

World Cup scoring statistics after today's play: 40 matches, 117 goals, 2.93 per.

1aa1amexfansDay 12 / 6-23: Match of Day: Mexico 3, Croatia 1 (Group A): Credit to Mexico. El Tri needed at least a draw to advance to the round of 16 but left no doubt with a three-goal flurry within 10 minutes. Mexican fans are easy to dislike with their homophobic chants, but I respect that their team was fortunate to even qualify for the World Cup but is now making the most of it. 

Netherlands 2, Chile 0 (Group B): Dutch continue impressive Cup run, win their group.

Spain 3, Australia 0 (Group B): Defending champ  Spain alreday had been eliminated but save a bit of face with this result.

Brazil 4, Cameroon 1 (Group A): OK, Brazil looks like Brazil again.; Croatia vs. Mexico (Group A).

MIKE POUNCEY'S TAILSPIN: The Dolphins center had hip surgery today and is expected to miss at least the first two games of the regular season. The injury is just the latest. Pouncey was a figure in last year's Bullygate mess, embarrassed himself with a related Tweet, and was photographed wearing a hat in support of accused murderer Aaron Hernandez. Above and beyond this injury, I wonder about his decision making. I wonder if he is just coming into the prime of a Pro Bowl-caliber career, or if we have seen his best and can expected a flameout. That may be harsh. Let's find out.

1aa1avenusnakedHEY, LOOK. IT'S VENUS WILLIAMS. AND SHE'S NAKED!: ESPN The Magazine's annual 'Body' issue hits newsstands July 11, and the WorldWide Leader commenced pimping it today by revealing (literally) that tennis star Venus Williams will be among the athletes carefully baring all without actually baring any private parts. Here, in all her artfully displayed splendor, is Venus.

 

1aa1amichmitchHEAT DRAFT PROJECTIONS: ESPN's NBA draft guru Chad Ford has a two-round projection for this week's open meat market and his picks for the Heat are Michigan power forward Mitch McGary, pictured (1st round, 26th overall) and Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson (2nd round, 55th overall). 

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BIG DAY!!!!

the dutch versus chile to win the group and avoid brazil, barring a brazilian collapse versus the camarones! and el tri facing a bigger, taller, stronger squad from croatia. as much as i am for mexico, i see them as a decided underdog with the hope that chicharito enters earler than usual and gets his chances. brazil/mexico has been the best played match thus far and to get a point from the hosts should have meant going through; as stated many times, the goals of dossantos that were not given makes a huge impact should it come to goal differential. vamos a ver

I don't see Mexico as underdogs even though I haven't checked the line should be a good game. I expect Netherlands versus Chile to be one of the best Tournament games to watch. That party looks crazy The American outlaws that would be a sight to see that place is total madness. shadow are you of Mexican heritage?

Side note Travis Landry is getting rave reviews Trent Dilfer has already compared him to A. Boldin.

shadow I think Mexico is favored as they should be they haven't yet allowed a goal. I think you are downplaying their chances because you don't want to jinx them but decided underdogs they aren't.

I believe there is a triangulation collusion among FIFA and officials to ensure proportional geographic representation. One may see this by tracing linear connections between winning nations and seeing the patterns that emerge like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

not if could have him play the next game maybe. that is what I saw any ways and on the first time of the game they had it with about 15 minutes to go when they hen water break. well hope they won the next game it is aganst Germany or Netorlands
98

Clearly, the moons of Venus are partially eclipsed.

Oh my, Cote. You say we have another month of this stuff?!

I hate it when "hen water" breaks.

Time to get a lobotomy. I just checked today's poll question and see that 80 people claim to either be passionate, or actually following this soccer stuff. Only five others besides me apparently rather watch reruns of this year's spelling bee championship, and Sriram Hathwar's riveting spelling of 'stichomythia' to tie Ansun Sujoe, and his accurate spelling of 'feuilleton.' Yikes!

Big Baby,

i will stick with my opinion of "decided underdogs" versus croatia. we'll see if vegas or the shadow has the better assessment of the sides. do you believe that ochoa has another clean sheet in him? i don't. mexico reached their zenith against brazil and as much of a fan of el tri that i am, i see croatia as a bigger and tougher squad than they saw in brazil. remember croatia gave brazil a good game and got jobbed on a shot or two.

If Ochoa plays the way he did against Brazil then sure why not another show stopping game. How does a team reach their zenith in the early stage? Good teams don't peak they get better.

OC

You're missing it. The World Cup has been awesome. The USA v Portugal match, though disappointing in the end, was an incredible match to watch. I have to admit it, I was a soccer hater before this world cup, but now I enjoy it. Two things I like. The action is constant and the games are over in under 2 hours. I can't wait to go see Manchester United play May 17, 2015 when I'm in London next year.

If it has not already done so, soccer will soon replace hockey as the "fourth" major sport in the U.S.

The ratings for this World Cup are through the roof and Americans bought more tickets for it than any country aside from Brazil.

Times change. Tastes change.

As much as I like soccer that isn't happening. It will remain the 5th most popular sport in the US for the forseeable future. Soccer can compete with Lacrosse maybe. I do like that MLS is growing like never before however. 10 players on the US squad play for MLS and the US squad is ranked 13th in the World by FIFA.

I just missed the Netherlands goal to type that too darn.

I think the World Cup has been magnificent. SO many great matches.

If I have any problem at all it's that Brazil probably built too many stadiums in an effort to include the entire country. Many people think of Brazil as a hot and tropical country but they forget just how immense it is. The southern portions of Brazil have generally gorgeous weather this time of year, downright chilly in some spots. That is better for playing conditions than some of the locales such as Manaus (which is ludicrous) and others.

I believe the WC should have been restricted to Sao Paulo, Rio, southern cities like Belo Horizonte and Florianopolis and perhaps just one tropical site such as Brasilia.

Other than that, though, great and compelling Cup!

Time to light up the hash pipe to celebrate the Dutch win!

Big Baby,

holland goal #2 looked like an own goal to these eyes!!!

The only annoying thing about this World Cup is Alexi Lalas.

He just comes across as an arrogant jackass. Guaranteed he grew up a spoiled rich kid.

SOMEBODY GIVE RUUD A RAZOR AND A SHOWER!!!!

the guy has the worst "five o'clock shadow" since nixon debated JFK!!!! he looks like he walked into the studio right off 5th and main (LA's skid row). bob ley and roberto martinez are excellent. roberto martinez won the FA cup with a team that was relegated and thentook everton to fifth place in the premier league- no small feat.

Couldn't agree more about Lalas. Whatever hippie vibe he had gong in the 90's is long gone.

At least ESPN has kept Chris Berman far away from the World Cup. If I had to endure him and Lalas at the same time it might be "brick through the TV" time.

He was wearing Red Shoes during that last call show with Keller, Foudy, Tirico etc last night. Really? C'mon bro.

Lalas looked like he was going to cry after the US tied. Entitled much? Newsflash US is lucky to have 4 points Alexi stop looking like someone ran over your dog.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE JUICES?? I LIKE PINEAPPLE JUICE! AND APPLE JUICE!!

NAME OTHER WONDERFUL JUICES OF THIS COUNTRY AND OTHER LANDS!

BB, lol...agreed.

Lalas just seems as if he desperately wants to come across as one of the World's Foremost Experts on the game and actually looks visibly annoyed when anyone else is speaking or (god forbid) voicing another opinion.

You just get the idea this guy has a grossly inflated ego and is probably unbearably self-important in real life.

I now know why my next door neighbor named his female dachshund, FIFA. The bitch has this tendency to launch herself across the floor and yelp in fake agony the moment you reach down to pet her.

He was an average player in his prime nothing more now he's acting like he was David Beckham.

Big Baby,

on second glance, memphis of holland did get a slight touch on the ball after chile's man got most of the ball which would have gone in even without a touch from the dutch.

about el tri reaching its zenith against brazil: mexico needed a result against the hosts to stay alive in the competition and worked for a tremendous result and a point against brazil. i don't think they can reach the pinnacle they established against the hosts and croatia has a good team with the great player modric. hoping i am way off but a victory will be hard fought one against the guys with the checkered uniforms and checkered crests on their national flag.

The embellishing is annoying at times OC but it's still a good watch right now.

BB, I bet Danny Ainge and Vlade Divac played soccer earlier in their careers.

NBA is flop city too.

93% against 7%. One has to wonder, had Tiger Woods been born some 35 years later, that old man Earl would not have presented him with a soccer ball, as opposed to some cut- down irons.

OC overall people like the World Cup in America. When it's over they go back to knowing nothing about the sport. Both of my children have been playing soccer for years my 7 y/o daughter just got promoted to the 10 and under travel league she's pretty good. The league starts to get competitive now. I have watched a lot of soccer over the last 5-6 years.

I used to watch a lot of Premier League games also. Don't have time like I used to.

Soccer was invented by European ladies to keep them busy while the men did the cooking.

Kazaam?

Mexico just got robbed. Clear handball by Croatia in the box.

No matter shadow can now celebrate.

As I expected Mexico is carrying the play today.

They are going to be a tough out in this Tournament. If it holds no goals allowed in three games.

Nobody answered my question about their favorite juices.

:(

Big Baby,

i am celebrating indeed!!! i will be torn on sunday, but holland has a better chance of going farther. this is so far from the despair of the qualifying rounds when i was really near depression; however as chicharito just stated on ESPN, CONCACAF is a much tougher bunch than people imagined. the picking of this incredible coach from a club team to turn mexico around was an unworldly choice and he is a joy to watch. croatia was terribly sloppy and when #14 came in for el tri the game turned. the luxury of chicharito's abilities off the bench is one that many/most teams don't have (except formemphis for holland, who seems to be a budding star). tomorrow i root for italy, even putting my western hemisphere sympathies aside. viva el tri!!!!!!!!

Big Baby,

it would have been too uch to ask of mexico to get to the round of 16 w/o giving up a goal and only scoring once. croatia's goal was a result of mexico letting up a bit after 3 goals, probably more than they scored in 5 or 6 of the qualifying games.

Bad news for the Fish

Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey underwent hip surgery Monday and is expected to miss at least three months, sources familiar with the injury said, while running back Knowshon Moreno will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery this week and miss four to five weeks, sources said.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11125026/mike-pouncey-miami-dolphins-undergoes-hip-surgery

Pouncey will miss the start of the regular season which means Miami will start the season with all new starters on the OL this year.

Why did Pouncey not take care of this back as early as January?

OC

The article says he sustained the injury in Dolphin OTAs.

Damn! That karma is a bitch.

I do not care for tomato juice.

I seen on tv the world cup pogrom about Brazil and it is very pretty they have mountins with snow and also jungles and pink dolpins in the amzone river!!

TROUBLE AHEAD FOR DOLPHINS!!!

if it is true that mike pouncey will miss three months, besides beginning with ann all new OL it means that a sub will be calling the line signals/assignments that are a big part of a center's role and which translate into additional pressure on #17, who is in his "prove it or move it" year. another shaky season and the tannehill experiment will have been just that.

shadow congrats but they really should be advancing history is on their side that makes 5 or 6 straight trips to the round of 16 I believe for them.

If I was a member of the American Outlaws as seen above I would have a big bird to flip you. Those guys hate Mexico more than Pouncey hates Bullygate.

I can't fairly judge Tannehill when he has been playing behind the most inept OL in the league. You simply cannot run any semblance of an effective offense with a line that bad, and there is no coaching magic or 'game planning' that can hide it for long. Those that think otherwise are deluding themselves and probably believe in the Tooth Fairy as well.

If the unit could even advance to "mediocre" status you could assess the kid a lot more fairly. Until then, nope.

Well, I still believe that Parcells was the worst thing to happen to the Dolphins in their entire existence. Awful coaching and GM hires. Of course Ross certainly has not helped. They never recovered.

In some ways they have regressed with Philpin picking nits while trying to impersonate a head coach. Afraid it is going to be a long frustrating season.

Fins new line - Pouncey will have some growing pains, however Miami could promote Brenner to C for 3 games or bring in former Fin Samson Satele. Not all is lost fellas, quit with the chicken little sh*t, sky ain't falling.
RB Moreno appears to be a free agent mistake by Miami.. I was hoping vet RB LaGarrett Blount (Pitt) was the guy but.....

Soccer....... If I wanted to sit by and watch guys run around trying to score for 90 minutes without succeeding, I would have taken any one of you sorry MF's out to the local strip club..... just say'n

Review

Croatia shouldn't have been in the must win situation as they had deserved a tie or win vs Brazil, thanks to Fred's flop and disallowed goal, they lost. Croatia started today's game in domination. As they couldn't find the net, their play became more desperate in the 2nd half and the spirited Mexicans started exposing the gaps created in defense. Once the first goal was in, Croatia needed two , and thus caved much like UF to Nebraska year's back.

Cameroon was really giving it to Brazil early on. Several chances didn't fall. Then Neymar scores against the run of play with the Cameroon goalie without reason making a dive the wrong way before the shot was initiated. Cameroon's attacking style paid off..1-1. But their defense has been weak and without 3 starters, they gave up #2. The game was still up for grabs, and then we see one of Neymar's trademark running start flying leaps before any contact. This is why I don't like him. Brazil's opening game national hero and flop artist Fred, nets #3 , though he was offside. When do we ever see Brazil on the other side of officiating? Never. Maybe when they play the ither big boys.

Mexico now up 3-0 is actually top of the group for the moment and avoiding the Dutch. But Brazil score, and then Croatia.

Ok, so Mexico got robbed of first place. 2 disallowed goals vs Cameroon (the linesman was removed from the cup since). While Brazil got 2 goals and a win courtesy of the refs.

In fact, Croatia should've entered this game with 4 or 6 points, Brazil with 1 or 2 at most.Mexico wth 4. It's a distorted outcome for this group but exactly what FIFA wanted. You don't need a country of 4 million going anywhere.


What's great about this WC is you see huge fan gatherings in every large city in the US and even at US military bases throughout the world. We've seen fan fest scenes in Richmond, KC, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Orlando, Houston, Pittsburgh, Philly, DC, and the really large one in Chicago. Then there are the bars. Others can't handle the crowds as Cote mentioned and enjo calmer settings in other bars and restaurants.

24.7 milion US viewers, a new record. On ESPN and not in prime time. Doesn't include 490,000 online or a few more million in fan fests or bars.

Lot of distraction for the US. The infamous W. Germany - Austria collusion of 1982, is now drawing a lot of attention. Jurgen has to waste a lot of time answering questions about suggestions that he and Joachim will agree to play for a tie. So now, we're going to go out of our way to open up and possibly blow it. Players are all very down. Only got a few days to see the psychologist, They also have huge travel distances where Geemany has about a 45 minute flight. One extra day to rest & prepare and a cooler climate, Just setting up the scenario here. Seriously, if this game ends 0-0. conspiracy theories will abound. Awful distraction having to eorry about it. Best scenario is US winning by a gosl, because Germany has goal differential over the other two teams. .

well their can be more than two games they are playing? I would see it on Tuesday or wenesday I think if they are play the Germany or Netrolands, ether way I am not sure.

Hockey just doesn't seem popular to me. No one I know ever talks about it. TV ratings are weak. Barely anyone talks about baseball. Like baseball and basketball, not many people watch the final series outside of the participants. Baseball would never happen in the US if it wasn't the pasttime. We're talking major snooze. Yes, they score points, but most are simple jogs across the plate. Nothing beautiful like many of the goals being scored. The blast by Jones or the tieing Portuguese goal, 50 yeard cross nailed to the inch.

Lacrosse? Very underwhelming. Running around with butterfly nets and nothing all that exciting about how you score.

Rugby could be interesting to grow. Full League or Sevens. Sevens much higher scoring.

World volleyball championships about to see the largest attendance ever for a match coming in the national soccer stadium of Warsaw. Not a bad team sport either.

OC, did you punt FIFA from your 4th floor balcony?

Pouncey is a Gator...what do you expect?

2 months before the season even starts and the Phins are already falling apart....typical...ugh

If Pouncey is like most Ireland picks expect him to flame out. Ireland's history is working against him.

LeBron is opting out folks. It only makes sense like I said they had a pretty good run but not great. You were promised more it just didn't happen that's sports.

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Greg saying James will stay with the Heat and take less money!!! Not a more delusional man in sports journalism right now haha!!!!

BB your Lebron posts are want you want not necessarily what will happen. I suspect Lebron wants to stay in Miami but he wants to see what Riley is going to do to add new pieces.

I hear ya,Tom...not really sure what it is Phins fans have to look forward to this season...feels like more of the same to me...basically we will get to watch an unproven QB once again behind a sketchy O-line...this time with a bunch of noobs...Tannehill defenders main gripe was that he didn't have an O-line that could protect him(naturally overlooking the fact that he is sorely lacking in pocket awareness as well)...well we might be seeing a redux...I sure hope I'm wrong but so far I've been getting the same vibes I've gotten for well over a decade and they ain't the good kind...the 7-9,8-8 kind...

Hey David. Welcome to the draft lottery didn't expect to see you so soon come join OC and I we can make room on the couch.

roid the Fish are going to surprise you this year. Look for Hickey to sign another free agent OL, probably a center. And if Hickey and Ross had any balls they would sign Incognito. They can get him cheap and he can play.

No, Jimbo. I didn't get a chance to demonstrate real football to FIFA. Her owner issued her a yellow card for flopping, so she's laying there on her time-out bed gnawing on a little Beckham chew toy.

Signing old friend and currently available S. Satele might be the best option if Brenner looks like he can't step in and play. With a hip injury PUP list might be the best option. Pouncey would be out 6 games minimum but it would allow for a roster spot.

Hope you are right,Tom...I'm just not feeling it...and we know Incognito won't happen,unfortunately...

Johnny Futbol,

writing some real interesting stuff- you deserve the monicker. i too thought croatia should have been better than they showed yesterday- they did play 72' of pretty sloppy futbol, but keeping the game scoreless. however, enter chicharito and mexico took off. although he is not the handsomest man on earth, hector herrera has been playing great and launched a rocket that hit the post/crossbar. the manager deserves to be in the most nteresting man in the world commercials- too bad he is not miked so that we can hear what is going on with him during his gyrations!!

A couple of years ago, ESPN pulled down higher ratings for the 'World Scrabble Championship' than it did for the Stanley Cup PLAYOFFS.

I am not making that up.

Soccer is well on its way to overtaking hockey as the 'number four' sport in the U.S. In fact, it probably already has.

Big Baby,

el tri played another solid game yesterday, but not quite at as high a level as they did against the brazilians. hoping their new zenith/apex/pinnacle comes on sunday versus the dutch. except fpor the year they hosted, they get knocked out of the tournament in the first match after group play-last time(i think)they got jobbed against argentina. i am delighted to have been wrong about yesterday's match.

There is absolutely no surprise in James opting out nor does it mean he is going anywhere. Expect Bosh an Wade to do the same in the coming days. This is all about giving Riley and the Heat the flexibility to improve their overall roster.

shadow you maybe still are skeptical of their ability due to poor qualifying it's understandable. After seeing them play Brazil my opinion of them was very high that was the reason for my confidence. They can win against the Dutch I wouldn't be shocked at all if they pull the upset.

Big Baby- If they put Pouncey on the pup that keeps him out 6 weeks, then the dolphins have to worry about him being suspended foe bully gate. You can bet the team is worried about that. I would think they will not pup him. If they did that he could miss the first 8-10 games depending on the suspension.

Naples can Dan Koppen still play he is out there. I think they would have suspended him already if they were going to that ship may have sailed. PUP would open up a roster spot for a free agent. I don't think anyone wants to see Nate Garner out there like last year maybe Sam Brenner can fill in he has been playing center during OTA's but as you have said that doesn't mean a whole lot.

It's been reported that Shelley Smith could also play center if he had to.

Germany to get Cup #4

Argentina.

Vanuatu.

I'd be delighted to see the idiot Italians eliminated.

6 plus minutes of extra time in Italy game Johnny I am starting to believe in Fifa conspiracies.

I would not underestimate the French team. They play the most creative and intelligent game aside from perhaps Brazil.

Big Baby, I would like to be your friend.

Sure James it's nice to see new people here with good intentions. Post at me anytime.

Big Baby,

if el tri keeps their level of play going, they might have a chance. the dutch are fast, and big and strong, and have their own chicharito coming off the bench with memphis. wesley snjeider appears to have lost something. the mexicans don't have a strong midfielder like nigel de jong, but they have been playing like a team. i am torn between my two favorite sides meeting so early, but i guess i would feel better for the mexicans should they win. after all, the dutch can go to one of the many "coffee houses" in amsterdam and puff or drink their misery away.

shadow they have the feel to me like a team of destiny. That coach has them believing in themselves and their captain has been rejuvenated. They are a great story actually I will pick them to win right now in the upset.

What do you guys think of US chances against Germany? Might not be as slim as the general consensus would lead you to believe...hopefully at least a chance at a tie...

I know that SASSY CAT will win the World Cup!

If it was a knockout game roid I would say the US would have almost no chance to beat Germany they are too strong. Lucky for them it's not an elimination game and both teams will likely be moving on. If the USA does get out of the group it will have been seen as a major accomplishment. Germany won't have it's foot on the gas pedal and neither will the US a fortunate scenario for the Yanks.

Yeah,I think you are right BB...I doubt they would have a shot were it an elimination game...but maybe their current mojo can at least produce a tie and get them to the next round...

If we lose there is still a scenario where we could advance,correct? I haven't had a chance to look in to various scenario's...

En este momento el equipo de Grecia, han derrotado equipo de Costa de Marfil.

Hearty meals in the Elk Room were enjoyed in 1956.

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