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July 04, 2014

World Cup semifinals set: Heavyweight Four!; plus Heat free agency, Hurricanes' new helmet & more

1aa1afourthjuly1) It is SATURDAY, JULY 5. Hope you had a happy birthday, America! You look good for 238. My Boston butt on the Big Green Egg came out fabulous, by the way. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Garo's Biggest Fight, U.S. World Cup success poll, Dion Jordan's suspension, Tannehill's rank & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

Heat free agency: We'll have a column on Heat free agency on Sunday and online late today. Despite the agent visits and everything else you hear, Heat remains very confident LeBron James will re-sign to complete the return of Big 3. Main free-agent targets are Trevor Ariza and Pau Gasol or Luol Deng, but Pat Riley is asking significant financial sacrifice from each. First day to sign is Thursday the 10th.

1aa1auhelmet
Hurricanes' new helmet:
It depicts the state of Florida, the peninsula whose outline is as distinctive as any U.S. state, with the 'U' logo where it should be down south.

1aa1abrazilwcFUTBLOG! WORLD CUP: GREAT EIGHT: THE QUARTERFINALS: FUTBLOG! is the official World Cup post of this blog, a continually updated daily dose of the month-long soccer spectacle in Brazil. See earlier posts for earlier results. Today concludes the quarterfinal round. The event might have been called off once the United States was eliminated but, somehow, was not. The four matchups, chronologically:

GERMANY (def. France, 1-0): Europe palpitated as mighty Germany and the

1aa1agermansurging French kicked off the quarters. France enjoyed a redeeming World Cup after a nightmare four years earlier, and had dispatched Nigeria 2-0 to get here, but the run ended. The Germans, who carry the European banner as (arguably) the best non-South American contender, struggled somewhat in getting here past Algeria, 2-1 in overtime, but made an early goal hold up here. I'd chanced an upset. I was wrong. My pick was: France, 2-1.

BRAZIL (def. Colombia, 2-1): The most anticipated of the four games, and not just because



the host
1aa1abrazilcountry would be swooning, but because of volatile, attacking football between the South American rivals. Brazil had yet to thrill its fans with optimum play, and needed luck to get here past Chile, 3-2 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw. Colombia had been as impressive as anyone in the tournament, at 4-0 with an 11-2 goals differential after getting here past Uruguay, 2-0. The favorites prevailed but at great cost, losing star Neymar to an injury. I had sensed an upset. I was wrong. (Again). My pick was: Colombia, 3-2.

ARGENTINA (def. Belgium, 1-0): Cross-continent duel found Argentina and the sublime Lionel



Messi 1aa1aragebtinsa(my picks to win it all) still seeking to find all of their cylinders offensively, after getting here past Switzerland by a modest 1-0 score. Belgium eliminated the United States 2-1 in overtime but put an impressive, constant barrage on American goalie Tim Howard. Argentina still wasn't amazing with the ball but one goal was all it took. My pick was: Argentina, 3-1.

NETHERLANDS (def. Costa Rica, PKs): Costa Rica gave the final eight its one true Cinderella but fell in 1aa1anetherlandspenalty kicks after a scoreless draw, the Dutch looking like geniuses for a daring goalkeeper change just before the PK shootout. Netherlands was stymied by Costa Rica's offside trap but prevailed when all was on the line. My pick was: Netherlands, 2-0. 

World Cup goal scoring entering the semifinals: 60 matches, 159 goals, 2.65 per.

Ensuing schedule: Semifinal Tuesday July 8--Germany vs. Brazil, 4 p.m. Semifinal Wednesday July 9--Argentina vs. Netherlands, 4 p.m. Third-place Saturday July 12--Semifinal losers, 4 p.m. Championship Sunday july 13--Semifinal winners, 3 p.m.

Poll result: U.S. World Cup run (mostly) a success: We asked, and a plurality of 39.6 percent called it a success without question, while 36.5% called it a success but a "modest" one. Not a success but a decent show drew 16.5%, while only 7.4% called it "closer to a failure."

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Greg, Happy Fourth of July to you and to our blog nation. Have fun and stay safe.

Its been a great 4 years with the big 3.

However, I am tired of the band wagon fans and all the Lebron Worship. Hope he leaves.

Jordan is the third defensive end in the rotation. Miami has good depth there with Pro Bowler Cameron Wake, 2013 sack leader Olivier Vernon and backup Derrick Shelby, a group that should be able to perform without Jordan for the first month of the season.

In other words, Jordan's four-game suspension is a mild loss to the Dolphins. That's telling, considering that he was expected to be a franchise building block on defense.

http://espn.go.com/blog/miami-dolphins/post/_/id/8614/ban-casts-doubt-on-jordans-miami-future

Missing the 3rd overall pick of last year's draft for four games this year is only a "mild loss" to the Dolphins.

Not only did that nitwit Ireland draft the wrong position with the 3rd pick last year, it is abundantly clear that SO FAR the player he chose, Dion Jordan, is a BUST!

It is only fitting on this Independence Day to cheer for France versus Germany today.

Unlike our enemies the Germans who killed and tortured tens of thousands of Americans in two World Wars, France is the nation who came to the colonies rescue in the American Revolution and saved us from near certain defeat or stalemate versus England. Just as we returned the favor in defeating the Nazis years later.

There is no Woodrow Wilson subway stop in Berlin. There are no reproductions of the Statue of Liberty along their rivers. There is in Paris.

GO FRANCE! OUR BROTHER IN LIBERTY AND REVOLUTION! DEFEAT THE GERMANS!!

I have never understood the Jews dislike for Reagan and for Republicans. I have asked all my Jewish friends this question and never gotten a satisfactory answer. Responses from our great great grandparents were Bolsheviks, to Tammany Hall took care of us, to my parents always voted Democratic, to heaven knows what. The only Jews that I know that vote Republican are younger than 50 years of age and do so because they have told me over and over that in Democratic administrations they have to pay even more taxes than they already do, which is precisely the reason why I can't understand how a group who is at the highest tax rate in this country supports a party that just wants them to pay more.

The Frogs suck. Go Germany.

Just put it on. The Krauts are beating the Frogs 1-0. Good. Hopefully it will end this way and spare the world another 30 minutes of overtime and another boring shoot out. Go Krauts, Go!

VIVE, what chance do you really think that the Frogs have against the Kaiser? You do understand that the only reason that the French planted those beautiful trees along the Champ D' Elise is so the Germans could march in the shade, right?

He he.

Deutschland Uber Alle!

Happy Fourth to all. Even you and French who have helped America over the past 200 years, it's the last 70 or so that haven't exactly been so good. Cote, what number are you today in the hot dog eating contest? You are in the "professional group" along with that guy Chitwood and the Chink with the cast iron stomach right? I would put the over and under on the number of dogs that you swallow today at 75.

The Master Race vanquishes the French. Different year same result.

Cote, I just saw your mug on ESPN at Coney Island. Wow, Cote, Joey Chestnut is just proposing on TV to some broad. This is your chance to shine Cote. We're all pulling for you here on the blog. All you have to do is eat one more hot dog than that Chitwood guy and watch out for the brother who showed up at 7 spins.

France and the United States are mongrel nations. No wonder each has helped the other out, they are both bonded in scum.

Deutschland is pure.

I wish France had never bailed out the colonies and England had won.

I paint nude portraits of John Adams and Alexander Hamilton eating Pop Tarts and fruit sorbets. My favorite one depicts them strolling nude through colonial Philadelphia feeding each other pineapple sorbet as they enjoy the Fall foliage.

Today is the 75th anniversary of the Iron Horse's famous "I'm the luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl8R_9pCaDE

They don't make them like Lou any more.

LIBERTE, EQUALITE, FRATERNETIE!!!!!

yes, lafayette cane to our aid at the end of the war for independence (they didn't like the british very much), but it wasn't too long before they were hijacking american commercial vessels (along with the british-at least they didn't impress the captured americans into becoming french sailors). and how about the french rolling over for the germans (got that picture of hitler in his open car riding through the arc de triomphe in the brain) and deporting france's jews to death camps under their vichy traitorous regime. the french- no thanks (didn't even include the medieval french burning the Talmud in downtown paris).

Could never root for the French for anything. As for Brazil vs. Colombia. Gotta go for the Colombianas, I mean Colombians.

Over 100,000 French soldiers lost their lives in WW2 battling the fascists. A higher percentage of their male population than the United States.

Yes, the Germans defeated those forces and occupied France for a couple of years...JUST AS THEY DID ALL OVER EUROPE. Or have you armchair "historians" (more like clueless revisionists) never heard of Poland, Norway, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Holland?

Germany defeated all those countries with far less resistance offered---they were even welcomed in some.

Or how about Ireland? Why do we remember so little about their role in AIDING the Nazis by sharing information about British warships?

Oh, that's right. Ireland "likes" us so let's pretend that never happened and let's also pretend the Italians weren't PART of the fascist axis and that plenty of American boys died at the hands of the Italians.

No, it's just this simplistic "surrender monkey" nonsense that sticks with the ignoramuses who in truth know NOTHING about the actual history of the second World War or the genuine bravery of so many thousands in the French Resistance.

Carry your banner of ignorance proudly.

Knows better is correct, Did'nt you guys wacth Hogans Hero's??

That's very true about the Irish during the war. They conspired with the Nazis on plenty of occasions. I suspect we don't hear much about it because there's plenty of Irish Americans who want that history buried. But it happened.

NOT MATTER FRANCE OR AMERICA!! SAME YAPPING DOGS!! SOON CHINA DEFEAT ALL! YOU CHILDREN ALL BE SLAVE FOR CHINA!!!

Knows Better,

the statistics i have read state that although only 1% of france's population, jews constituted 15-20% of the french resistance fighters.

I just finished another masterpiece. In this portrait, John Adams is addressing the Continental Congress stark naked while Alexander Hamilton watches from a corner clad only in leopard-print bikini briefs.

Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are fully dressed but Franklin is ding a handstand and Jefferson is on stilts.

Rumor has it Lebron is forming his own league. He will being be GM, player and coach, just like he was at he Heat.

Knows better, are you kidding me? you certainly don't know better

First, the Austrians are German brothers. That doesn't count.
The Poles caught the surprise force of the blitzkrieg, no one knew about the ultra modern German military build up. The Poles had fairly modern equipment despite being a new nation; but by 1939 it was way outdated by German standards. In any case, the English & French promised to help Poland if attacked and did nothing, Meanwhile, read about the Battle of Westerplatte and how one tiny garrisson for a week. The Poles were attacked by German on knew side, Soviets on the other, who then proceeded to immediately massacre 30,000 Polish and Jewish officers at Katyn. The Poles worked the enigma code, and they had a substantial underground. They were the only conquered country that did not have a collaborative goverment. Then underarmed civilians rose up with promise of Soviet assistance and Anerican supplies, which never came. They fought the Germans for 2 months, alone, eventually succumbing eith 150-200k civilians dad.
The Poles also had one of the most effective divisions in the RAF despite major language barrier, in the Battle Over Britain. They also took Monte Cassino. One of the staunchest US allies ever since 1776, and Roosevelt /Churchill betrayed them at Yalta, behind the backs of the Polish Anerican diplomatd. Yes, they lied to them.

The Poles never stopped resisting. Whoever could escape and regroup went to Iran to fight there , or in Africa or England. They escaped Poland just so they could come back and fight alongside the allies. They could've just stayed there and done nothing. They were already depleted 30k officers thanks to the Soviets.

The Norwegians (small population) fought the Germans tough using ski warfare.

The French, as everyone else here seems to know but you, pretty much invited Hitter in and quickly formed a collaborative government. Yes, they weren't aways such weenies, but in WWII they were. That's not to say there weren't some brave folks in the resistance, but the goverment and military leaders easily capitulated. .

Czechoslovakia was given to Hitler by Chamberlain. Hitler used Putin propaganda tacts saying that ethnic Germans in Bohemia were being mistreated. He demanded Bohemia. Chamberlain. convinced the Czech leader to relent in order to spare war in Europe. As soon as he got back to London, Hitler demanded the rest of Cz. Again, Chamberlain talked the Cz leader into reluctantly relenting to dpare Europe.

And then you talk about tiny Denmark and Holland?

The French were the ones who welcomed Hitler..so what are you talking about?

Of course the Italians were German allies at first, their leadership was fascist. They switched sides and executed Mussolini.

Anti Christ, the interesting thing about Hogan's Heroes is that the 4 main German characters were played by Jewish actors. Klemperer (Klink) was hslf-Jewish. (John Banner) Schultz, Howard Caineborn Cohen (Hochstater (sp)) and Leon Askin born Aschkenasy ( Burkhalter ) were fully Jewish.

Italian and Irish Americans should be ashamed of their fascist heritage and all the brave Allied soldiers that dies because of them.

French collaboration with the Nazis during the second world war was pervasive. The French state dishonored itself with its lack of will to resist and its active and willful assistance to the Nazis in the deportation of Jews to extermination camps.

Britain would have won the Revolutionary War if not for France coming to the Americans aid.

I realize many people absolutely hate to acknowledge this historical fact. Too bad.

FIFA is right now in a bunker trying to figure out a way to hand Brazil the next game without looking too obvious. A Brazilian referee is in surgery to be made to look Japanese. Hydraulics are being intstalled under the pitch to tilt the field up every time Germany has the ball and down when Brazil has it. According to FIFA, Brazil must win.

I've found that those who are quickest to criticize other cultures and/or nations are almost always those who have traveled the least. I'm sure the same is true in Europe and elsewhere.

Understood that many simply don't have the means to see much of the world but when those same people start making broad generalizations about things they have very limited actual knowledge of, they reveal just how painfully clueless they actually are. No different than a culturally isolated and self-absorbed European who thinks all Americans are fat, violent, and stupid.

Before passing judgment on the world, try actually seeing a bit of it.

Hey watch that! I'm an American.

The Frogs and the Argies both suck donkey dicks.

I heard they will put the socker stadum in the sawgrass mils mall for the new team. What are the name they will use and also the color of team? they could be FOrt laderdale if they are their or still Miami for the name. I will have them wear red and orage and yellow colors like the hot sun shine with shiney silver numbers and shoes! you can see this!

Merci, everyone is aware of French assistance in the Revolutionary war as well as contributions by Koszciusko (friend of Jefferson's) and Pulaski (who lost his life) of Poland, von Stueben and many other foreigners. The English were French enemies so it was only natural. However, everyone is also aware of the French in WWII, not talking about the civilians , soldiers and resistance, but the Nazi collaborative govt and military leadership.
We also thank Napolean for selling at a very cheap price, about one-third of what is now the US to support his army conquering Europe.

Ship Shape, after the Croatian and Colombia games, I can't help but agree with you and appreciate the humor.

Hector, if they go to Ft Lauderdale they may as well join with the NASL Strikers, great legacy team of the past. .who fielded then world super stars like George Best, Gordon Banks, Teofilo Cubillas, Jan van Beveren, Gerd Mueller. Beckham and his rich investors want the glamour of the Miami scene. Beckham brings a lot of fame and his group is trying to contribute nice parks and landscape while being understanding to Miamians bitterness over the Marlins stadium deal; making a lot of concessions such as paying twice as much for land lease as the Heat and paying the stadium on their own. Right now Mami-Dade leaders are blowing him off..so he should just have the attitude of going to where he'd be appreciated (which is everywhere else) and blow off Miami.

more to the world than this, I've been everywhere.

I'm fairly certain the new "socker" stadium will not be constructed IN Sawgrass Mills Mall, Hector, lol.

No I see in paper that they will put stadum in sawgrass mile mall! read for your self

FIFA says racism is bad and corruption is good. Got it.

Ship shape, I see you are on top of things in the FIFA/World Cup world. I agree with you. It's too bad, because the World Cup could be a wonderful affair if done fair. Despite it all, Americans are getting addicted to at least rooting for their team.

Clapping my hands rapidly together whilst I jump with glee because today I am Chinese!!

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