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July 05, 2014

On LeBron's decision; plus Argentina-Germany finals. Which team are you most rooting for to win World Cup? Poll. Vote!

1) It is THURSDAY, JULY 106. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): World Cup quarterfinals, U.S.-success poll result, Heat free agency, Canes new helmet & more. 2Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

HEAT ADD 2. NOW RELAX, FOLKS: LEBRON WILL BE BACK WITH HEAT ... OR WILL HE?: The preceding headline is a 1aa1alebjamessteadfast prediction. You want me to go all Joe Namath? OK. I guarantee it. Click on Relax, Everybody for my recent column on Heat free agency. There is a bunch of noise and misinformation and rumors and tea-leave-reading going on, but when you cut through all the clatter it remains very likely LeBron James will join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in leaving Miami's Big 3 intact, to be augmented by two or three free-agent additions. We should know by today, the day when teams first may sign free agents. Could there be a monumental surprise? Of course. LeBeron couldreturn to Cleveland, the viable option. Or Bosh could sign with Houston. But the odds are far greater Tres Grande, led by leBron, will simply be staying put. Meantime Miami adds power forward Josh McRoberts and small forward Danny Granger in free agency.

1aa1abrazilwcFINAL FOUR. YOU PICK ONE. WHICH OF REMAINING TEAMS WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SEE WIN THE WORLD CUP?: Maybe your team is still in it. Maybe you're rooting against someone more than for anyone. Maybe your allegiance is to your wallet and a bet. Maybe you're a U.S. fan adopting a team to cheer. I mean, these are four football giants in the World Cup semifinals (matchups below). If you're a soccer fan you must like one of these teams more than the others. Yes? Not asking here for you you think will win. Asking for you you most want to win. Vote for your rooting interest and say why.

FUTBLOG! WORLD CUP: FINAL FOUR: THE SEMIFINALS: 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. We are down to the Final Four:

GERMANY (def. Brazil, 7-1): Titans, both, kings of South America and Europe. Brazil was a 3-1 1aa1abrazil
1aa1agermanbetting favorite entering the tournament, gunning for its sixth World Cup title and first since 2002 -- doing so with the home crowd behind it but without injured star Neymar. Germany, with 11-2 odds coming in, is seeking its fourth WC championship but first since ever-distant 1990. That's eight World Cup wins represented in this powerhouse matchup. It isn't that Germany won. But 7-1? A declaration of World Cup intentions for Germany. And a monumental embarrassment for Brazil.

ARGENTINA (def. Netherlands, PKs): Another cross-continent semifinal between football 1aa1aragebtinsa 1aa1anetherlands
giants. Argentina, a 4-1 near-favorite coming in and powered by the great Lionel Messi, motoring after its third World Cup title but first since way back in 1986. Netherlands playing the clear underdog in this final four, at 25-1 odds coming in and never a champion -- though a three-time runnerup. When your Cinderella is the Dutch, your Final Four is mighty. But Argwntina gets by on penalty kicks after a scoreless draw thorugh overtime.

Ensuing schedule: Third-place match--Brazil vs. Netherlands Saturday July 12, 4 p.m. Championship match--Argentina vs. Germany Sunday July 13, 3 p.m.

HOT BUTTON: TOP 10 THINGS SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Hot Button 1aa1ahotbuttonis a new Sunday feature of the blog (this is our third one) because our Sunday notes-column package in the print edition (newspaper) is on summer hiatus, set to return in August. Hot Button means what's on our minds as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead:

1. Heat: Decision Week for Big 3: This Thursday is first day NBA teams may sign free agents. It won't be a televised 'Decision' this time, but expect LeBron to be keeping his talents in South Beach.

2. World Cup: Semifinals set: Brazil vs. Germany and Argentina vs. Netherlands makes for a heavyweight final four on Tuesday and Wednesday. I thought they should have canceled rest of tournament when U.S. was eliminated, but that's just me.

3. Dolphins: DE Jordan suspended: Last year's top draft pick Dion Jordan will miss first four games for using a banned substance, a week after center Mike Pouncey's hip surgery will shelve him even longer. Suddenly, Dolphins are losing the offseason.

4. Marlins: Stanton in Derby: The bad news? Playoff hopes are fading. The good news? At least Giancarlo Stanton will be dropping bombs in the Home Run Derby next Monday as part of All-Star Game festivities. 

5. Wimbledon: Fortnight ends: While Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer formed a marquee men's final, the women's final was a no-name affair partly because Serena Williams bowed out early, ill. Reports now are she may be pregnant. I swear, I thought she was on the pill!

6. Competitive eating: Chestnut: Joey Chestnut inhaled 61 hot dogs to win the annual Nathan's crown yet again. Places on Earth I'd least like to be: Chestnut's bathroom the hour following the event.

7. Panthers: Cats waive Jovanovski: As the hockey club attacked free agency, quietly, the Ed Jovanovski era ended. He was a rookie when Florida reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996 and rejoined in club in 2011. Now, it looks like the end of the skate for Jovo.

8. Cycling: Tour de France: The once-prestigious Tour de France is underway. The winner will be the last cyclist to not test positive for anything.

9. Golf: British Open: It's coming up next week as Tiger Woods continues preparations for his latest majors disappointment.

10. Horse wars: Gulfstream wins: Gulfstream won near total control over horse racing dates from Calder. That would be big news, if tracks still cared about racing and weren't mostly casinos now.

Honorable mention: Former Dolphin Garo Yepremian is fighting adrenal cancer and a brain tumor. (Click here for my column). Best wishes to one of most colorful characters in local sports history.

Click back often because we update and add to  our latest blogposts often...

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Given that I don't want any of these to win it, let's go by which tram has cheated least, foled least, and had no ref decisions help them, and did not PK shootout win

1. Germany
2. Argentina *
3. Netherlands**
4. Brazil ***

*lot of luck in their fames such as vs the Swiss . only one favorable call. Iran, yes Iran, probably beats them with a late PK that wasn't called, before Messi grabbed the winner in stoppage

**Robben dive to beat Mexico; however he should've had a legit PK at 45 min. Also, ridiculous PK's called against them vs Spain & Australia

***Most skilled team, but also the cheatingest and dirtiest of the remaining four. Plus FIFA favoritism enabled them to advance beyond the group stage thanks to 3 pathetic major bad calls in the opener vs Croatia. Mugged Colombia's Rodriguez all game without getting yellows..because 5 or 6 guys were a yellow away from having to miss the next game.

Neymar's foul being investigated, but his blow to a Croatian neck FIDA did not care about. FIFA also overlooked vicious intentional fouls by French players vs Honduras & Nigeria. The little guys don't matter.

Yet you accept their corrupt finalities, much like those in power, which you choose to align with simply cause as you've stated, at 50-something, you're too old to change. Lazy.

Do yourself a favor (if in fact you believe yourself proud to call yourself an American, [scratch that]), and go watch Dinesh D'Souza's America. It will be tough opening up your liberal heart, but pausing to reconsider can still be done during your 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond.

Hope you come around.

Huh? Who are you talking to and what are you talking about?

Lebron is attending the Final.
He also supports Beckham's Miami team, Wondering if he's hoping to assist with the MLS franchise and if that would keep him in Miami.

Argentina is good not lucky. Viva albicelestes!!!!!

This is for all major sports figures.....Lebron,Wade,Bosh and Melo etc ect...Trust and believe im not mad at you guys for getting that bread..for those who don't understand that means money..but in reality you what you guys make in 8 months you have well over 10,000 Families yes Families that's not going to make that their ENTIRE LIVES COMBINED ...so why not take a pay cut and come back to the HEAT ..oh yeah I forgot to mention that I am a big HEAT fan..😃...and for the not so rich sports is a great way too deal with some of your life issues for at least a couple of hours so you don't even think about your situation for that time...it gives the brain a break for a few hrs....and for the rich im not saying you don't understand but I really don't expect you to...lets go Heat,Canes,Fins&Marlins

Didn't mean to use the word YOU like that 😉😉

Argentina is marginally good, and also lucky

-All one goal wins, do dominating performance
-Bosnia, scored an own goal, final 2-1
-Iran had a pure PK not called near the end. If called, likely Argentina doesn't score in stoppage, final 1-0
-Nigeria, final 3-2
-Switzerland hit post from cross range, bounced back off the fwd and went wide..that is luck, final 1-0
-Belgium 1-0

Brazil

-Croatia 3-1, should've been Croatia 2-1 and elimination of Braxil from group play
(no Red for Neymar early, for intentional elbow to neck, Fred's flop..biggest dive for PK ths WC, disallowed Croatian goal for foul on Croatian on Brazil goalie..whom he did not touch
-Mexico, 0-0
-Cameroun 4-1, several Caneroun PK's not called, Brazil's 3rd goal by Fred was way offside
-Chile 1-1, won on pk's. Chile hit crossbar in waning minutes of regulation
-Colombia, 2-1, mauled Rodriguez all game. 6 Brazillians on yellow ,,thus ref didn't issue any but one late to Silva..and Brazil is protesting Fifa to remove it
disallowed goal for Colombia when 1-0, incorrect foul call which led to Luiz free kick goal, as amazing as it was

Netherlands

-Spain : overcame dive by Diego Costa for a PK, dwn 0-1, came back to win big
-Australia, overcame deficit on wrongly called PK for Australia to win by a goal
-Chile, solid 2-0 win
-Mexico 2-1, Robben deserved multi-foul PK in box at 45 min not called, when 0-0, Mexico up 1-0 in the 88th, beauty goal by Sznejder. Then dive by Robben for PK
- Costa Rica, 0-0, win on PKs , controlled play, couldnt break thru, two shots off the post

Germany

not impressive oafter first game
-Portugal 4-0, 2-0 when Portugal at full strength
-Ghana, 2-2, biggest challenge to German defense in the cup
-USA 1-0 mosty eaningless game for them , still had US on their heels
-Algeria 2-1 in OT
-France 1-0, Klose should've had a PK

No significant dives, no favorable officiating

Greg you are right.Lebron is just putting a little pressure on Riley and Arison who did a poor job in the 2013 off season with their weak player upgrades and penny pinching.The Big Three will stay with the Heat and Riley and Arison will be more aggressive in free agent signings and spending.The Heat will win another NBA title in 2016 with their new enhanced roster and if the Spurs suffer massive amounts of injuries next season the Heat could win then.The Garo article was excellent and my hopes and prayers go out to Garo and his great Wife during their tough period.

Finish or go home true soccer fans don't complain about 1-0 games.

Big Baby,

well, it'll be your bunch versus my bunch in the semis. as it was the Holy Sabbath, i got home from the synagogue just in time to watch the 10 PM recap on espn. costa rica was pummeled with shots on their goal, a bunch hit the woodwork, the manager made what everyone is calling a genius move by switching the GK, and the much better team won. argentina played a very, very good team from belgium and via the diminutive but fantastic messi got a goal early on and held on. it looked like belgium woke up near the end of the game but twasn't enough. of course the new star o the block is james of colombia, in a sea of tears after time ran out on his team. the guy that broke neymar's back ought to be banned as much as suarez- it was a hideous act perpetrated on the fabulous neymar. with #3 and neymar out against germany, the brazilians are in deep. the ole shadow says that a real team can win without any one player, even if he is neymar, but losing him and silva (?) will show if this group of brazilians can stay with the krauts, who sport an incredible bench. fred,jo, and the rest of the one-name guys look pretty pedestrian to me and germany looks like a lock for the finals unless brazil butches up and shows they are not a one man team. they've barely scraped by, but your albicelestes are in the semis without one really impressive showing. looking forward to the semis in a big way. order of preference: the dutch, germans, argentines and the hosts.

I used to be Susan.

Shadow agree brazil doesn't look that impressive. Without neymar the Germans should coast to the finals. Quality wins don't mean jack its the world cup and I want Argentina to win one for the first time in a long while.

Brazil will be no pushover at home in a semi-final.

Since the start of the tournament, everyone has been predicting them to lose. Yet, they have won each time.

In all likelihood, they will again on Tuesday---and in the Final.

Judging by the poll it seems they are the fan favorite as well. Sorry Woodcock.

No chance brazil is winning this tournament underdog.. Fans can always blame the neymar injury if it makes them feel better.

The Shadow Knows, if the Colombian should be suspended, then so should Neymar for his intentional power elbow to the neck of a Croatian early in the opener. Though there was no permanent injury, the intent was there. Just because Neymar is Neymar should not exclude equality for all. Similarly, Ceasar could've broken legs on that play. There were also two cases of French players with deliberate dangerous smacks against a Honduran and a Nigerian. Both should've been investigated, but weren't. Nigerians are up in arms now that the Colomban is investigated but the French aren't. FiFA doesn't care about Croatia, Honduras, and Nigeria. For them, those guys are just there for decoration, to have a 'world' field.
At the end of the day, they want two of the powers in the final. More & more ordinary people are geting tired of Brazilian antics, fouls to slow down the opponent (see what happened to James) and constant flops. The once beautiful team of the Pele era and up til about 1986 is now a mix of some talent, fouling and flops.

The ref in the last game was avoiding giving out yellows because I think 5 or 6 Brazilians were on yellows. He finally gave Silva one for doing something stupid and now Brazil is protesting to FIFA to have it withdrawn. If FIFA caves, (which I doubt) that would be massive favoritism scandal. I believe that there should be review committees removing or giving yellows & reds where incorrect/missed..but since there isn't, then they can't do something like this without doing it for others. .

Having said for years, I've known that one way or another (as hosts) they would at least be in the Final. I still think that will be the case. FIFA, as a consequence of the Neymar injury, will now have the refs buy any flop vs Germany. Germans will suffer from the Neymar injury.

Argentina's cheating ways seem to have waned since the Maradona era, however, they occasionally get the calls..like Tevez way offside goal vs Mexico against the run of play in 2010 and no PK given to Iran late in that game which could've resulted in a stunning win for Iran over the Argentines.

I didn't catch 100% of the Dutch -CR game, but have now been reading several reports that C. Rica was robbed of a PK. While it may be to everyone's relief that the obviously better team prevailed and will be more competitve for Argentina, fair should be fair.

As screwed up as this WC has gotten, I would've loved for it to get even more screwed up and have C. Rica win all the rest including the final in PK shootouts. lol.

If FIFA wants to improve the not-so-beautiful game, they have a lot of work to do . I've got a long list. As you can tell, after group play. The games have gotten boring, slow, tactical and fouling. Yes, endings have been dramatic. To really start separating the teams, once and 4 all. get rid of PK shootouts and have true sudden death. Only when teams know they must score on the field to win, will they play offense.

FIFA claims the sudden death experiment was a failure ..that's only because it wasn't applied correctly. There was still PKs after OT ended. They say they want to give a " sporting chance" after one team scores in OT. Why? Well, anyway, then play 20 minutes of OT, followed by sudden death OT.

not really an underdog,

Yes, because the hosts who should've not made in past the group stage but did so thanks to the refs. and the luck of a crossbar, will continue to do so, as predicted.

The Shadow knows, my order of preference is the same as yours in terms of who I want. ..Dutch, Germany, Argentina, Brazil.
In terms of deserving, got to go with Germany-Argentina final.
In ters of what I expect, going with Brazil-Argentina final

JohnnY Futbol,

i haven't seen every play, but did see the horrible injury that colomboia inflicted on neymar, who may/may not have gotten away with one against croatia. neymar looks like he is about 150 lbs and his colombian aggressor looked pretty sturdy. this one will go down with the 1082 mugging of france's GK by the german. anyway, hope we get our wish and the dutch finally win the strange looking WC. i ahven't puffed in 9 years and if trhe dutch win, they'll be lighting up that superior noble weed and maybe enough will get blown across the atlantic and i can get a contact high!!!

The luck of the crossbar? I have heard . It all now. I have an idea. Put the ball in the net instead. Brilliant!

The Shadow Knows,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2014/article-2656644/Neymar-scores-stunning-goal-elbows-Luka-Modric-Brazil-vs-Croatia-World-Cup-2014.html


Still photos of Neymar's elbow against Croatia, which you can see from videos that he planned by first taking a look at the guy. Also included are photos of Fred's flop. And the 'foul' by the Croatian that disallowed the goal to make it 2-2. Ceasar ran into the Croatian defender, who simply jumped for the ball and headed it to a teammate to score.

It's hard to say where this game would've went if the phony PK is not called at 1-1 with 20 minutes left because the strategy is different under different circumstances. Being down 2-1 Croatians pushed and got a deservied goal. Likely at 1-1 and 20 min to go, they would push up and game ends 1-1. Or, we can say based on legit goals Croatia wins 2-1 and then advances when they beat Cameroon. Brazil then is eliminated, though the Croatia-Mexico game might go differently based on the situation.

Whether the Japanese ref was coached by FIFA , or was biased for Brazil, or providing favoritism for the hosts, or just sucks as a ref, we'll never know. But the Japanese crew never officiated again.

Sadly, this officiating in the opening game set the tone for an officiating disaster of a WC. Many refs then became hesitant to make rightful PK calls. Fred was so hounded by the media that I never saw him dive again. Hiwever, hd traaates kept doing so, mostly Neymar , Hulk and Marcelo.

"Gary Lineker tweeted: 'It's a tight call for Brazil's man of the match between Neymar and the Referee"

Lineker was an English goal scoring maniac in the 80's

Big Baby, when a player who blows a close shot against the post or misses an easy chance on a beaten goalie, that can be defined as the defending team getting lucky. We can say that Belgium was lucky that Wondo blew that shot in the waning minutes of regulation for a US win and also lucky that Dempsey blows his chance. Luck is part of the game.

Similarly, the Argentines were lucky the Swiss dude just missed from close range. There was additional luck that when the ball bounced back off of him, it goes wide instead of into the net. If his body is positioned differently skewed to the right, it bounces off of him into the net.

Not saying the Swiss were unlucky, just that the Argentines were lucky. Game would go to PK's.

Similarly again, Brazil was lucky (based in how late it was in the game) that Chile's long range lot missed by inches, ending that game with a Chile win.

And again, we can say Argentina was lucky the ref didn't rule a PK for Iran late in that game.
Though Argentina was the better team and Iran only played on the counter, it's amazing to
think that of all teams, Iran beats Argentina. That's not to say Argentina wouldn't increase the attack being down 0-1 and score, but I believe they were already attacking in full because they didn't even want the embarrassmen of a tie with Iran. Thus Messi scores in stoppage.

http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/should-neymar-have-been-sent-off-for-deliberate-elbow-on-luka-modric-during-brazil-3-croatia-1-video/

Video of said play


"Unlike the goals, this would have taken some serious cojones from any referee – to send off Neymar Junior in the opening game of the Brazilian World Cup? He wouldn’t have made it out of the stadium."

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8T8WhdDddvs

Alan Shearer: "if this is any other player, from any other team, it's a straight red"

In the immortal words of Florida Evans:

"Damn...Damn...DAMN!"

The Shadow Knows,
with regards to Suarez. Yes, a bite is the sign of a lunatic and he's done it before. He deserves susoension and counseling.

Chiellini made a meal of it though to try and get Suarez yellow or red carded so Italy could go a man up. It wasn't a massive bite, and was less injuring than many other 'standard' vicious plays.

Chiellini himself is a hatchet man, almost on the order of Matterazi. ..the guy who Zidane head butted. And Chiellini knows that and is lobbying FIFA to get Suarez' suspension reduced. He only intended to pursue (and as he should) getting the ref to card Suarez. They even kissed and made up. They both understand the intensity of the game. Since Chiellini is violent himself, he doesn't want to come across as a sissy.

http://time.com/2941505/giorgio-chiellini-luis-suarez-world-cup-apology-bite/

The Shadow Knows, with regards to the infamous incident in 1982, it was German goalie Schumacher, then famous and popular, who was the guilty fella. You have it a little mixed up. Otherwise, that was a classic match that had everything in it, including two bicycle goals.Tresor and Fischer. Game ended 1-1 in regulation, France went up 3-1 in OT, Germans came back..3-3. PK's ensued with W. Germany prevailing.

This game and the Italy-Brazil seesaw battle won 3-2 by Italy..in a WC where neither team displayed their horrible flopping skills. ...are all time classics.

"French player Patrick Battiston's controversial collision on a breakaway with German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher, which knocked Battiston unconscious and forced him from the game with two missing teeth, three cracked ribs, and damaged vertebrae (though no foul was given on the play), added to the tension on the field"

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Germany_vs_France_(1982)

I would like to see Chad win the World Cup.

Who cares, FOOTBALL season is right around the corner.

Good teams make their own luck. Ancient Chinese proverb. I can't wait to see argentina win this thing in brazil how sweet that would be.

It would not be a monumental surprise if LeBron leaves. Wade and bosh are no longer players he can win with it could not be more obvious. Its sad when sports writers are complete homers.

They made it to the Finals last year you moron!

Di Maria out for match versus Netherlands. Aguero is supposed to return. Difficult circumstances for albicelestes however I fully expect them to overcome they have been playing very good defense. Johnny let's count how many times Robben dives versus ARG. He looked like a flopper to me versus Costa Rica diving all over the place. ~VAMOS ARGENTINA VAMOS~

Johnny Futbol,

thanx for straightening me out on the german GK who wiped the frenchman. that final was the first i ever watched on american TV- ABC presented it on their great show "the wide world of sports"- the one that had the skier going upside down and where they placed the voice over had the now famous "agony of defeat" (i think before the "agony" line came the "thrill of victory"). that was a terrific game by the italians to win 4-1. i think paolo rossi had a couple of goals and the italians had a punishing defender-i think claudio gentile was his name- who earned the monicker "the butcher of seville". methinks that italy and rossi were just coming off a match-fixing suspension. my friends were living in turin, so they took me by juventus' stadium where i bought a huge juve flag that i subsequently gave away to a real futbol fan that worked for me. my first, and to date, only attendance at a football stadium was in 1978 when in holland i went to see a cruyff less squad of dutch players defeat another assemblage from germany and really give the krauts a pasting. the atmosphere was terrific in ajax's stadium, where they served theses fried pastry "things" which were delicious, especially after quite a few tokes on the hash pipe. the dutch had a tremendous midfielder who was named something like simon kirioka who dominated the play all game long. it was awhile aftern that that i learned that ajax was a "jewish" team. i saw a star of david withan "f" in the middle and thought it was an anti-semitic deal, until my friend johnny told me that it was a pro-jewish symbol, as section "f" in the stadium was where the hard-core ajax fans sat/stood. this was right after cruyff retired following the loss in fascist argentina when liberals (jewish) were "disappearing" (read kidnapped and thrown off planes over the atlantic). please correct any inaccuracies in this post because we all know that here on capt. cote's blogsite we stand for "truth, justice, and the american way".

Johnny Futbol,
I like the way you think and write
Cheers!

Big Baby,

didn't know that di maria was out or that aguero was in jeopardy of not playing. as much as i love the play of messi and also adored dieguito in the 86 WC in mexico, argentina has, as noted in the above post, kidnapped and murdered jewish intellectuals in the junta years, harbored german war criminals like mengele and eichmann (who was discovered in argentina by the mossad), and had some degree of complicity with iran in the 1994 bombing of the jewish community center in buenos aires.

Johnny Futbol,

as today is an off-day, i will take out me officially sanctioned FIFA collection of history of the mundial DVDs which cover every WC from 1930 through 2006. i believe that gary lineker got a goal or two on corners in the 86 match with argentina in the "hand of G-d" game. england's lot in the mundials of late reflect the words of King David regarding the death of Saul- "oh, how the mighty have fallen". beckham in 98 and then in 2002 cost his country dearly, but they still love the guy. after michael owen's fantastic run against the argentines to make it 1-0, ole becks hammered an opponent right next to where an official stood and england put up a fabulous effort for most of the game only to be tied on a brilliant argentine set piece that forced PKs. i was never so drained watching a game as i was when england counter-attacked brilliantly down to 10 men for i think was pretty close to an hour. michael owen or wayne rooney-to me, not even close. michael owen's injuries prevented him from being near the top of english futbolers of late. alan shearer was good but not in michael owen's class. a shame that owen got hurt so early in his career, but that run against argentina in 98 was majestic.

Shadow the mighty English have fallen whether they get up remains a question. Very poor effort in this WC. They are having difficulty recruiting talented players. They are going to have to start getting "creative" in recruiting players or else they will remain a non factor going forward. For all of your blaming of David Beckham he was a once in a lifetime talent for England. Did you see where Deandre Yedlin is headed to an Italian team? Lots of young talent on that US squad they just underachieved a bit I still say Klinnsman didn't get the most out of that bunch maybe next go around. Ochoa maybe on the move as well as other Mexican players.

shadow as I told Woodcock politics don't affect my rooting interests (I can however see why they affect yours). Mexico hasn't exactly been the greatest friend to the US over the years. A largely lawless, corrupt country they are except for the "tourist areas". I was in Cozumel a few years ago and there were men I assume from the government with machine guns guarding the streets. Sad what has become of that country the drug trade and immigration problem has ruined it.

Voted for Brasil. I wouldn't vote for Argentina for anything. Fock em.

I did like Matzalan when I was there not sure if that was before the violent gang activity had affected it or after. Everyone likes Cabo and Puerto Vallarta which is very nice but that isn't the "real" Mexico. I would be afraid to visit Mexico City.

No I didn't see where something called Yedlin is going nor do I give a flying fock if he went to Alpha Centauri, in fact the only thing that I would be interested in is if every single Argentinian left for Alpha Centauri. Let me know if those focking Argies get on a space ship, BB. Now that would be great news.

Hey Cock,

Usually agree with what you say....But I have to draw a line in the sand now buddy..My Mom is Argentine...

So unless you would like me to say something about your mom going to Alpa-Centauri or Sirius B, suggest you can that crap...

And as far as Johnny futbol....There is not one sinlge post where he doesnt call each team in the Final 4 "Lucky" at one point or another...

Got some news for you juanito, You gotta be lucky to get to that point PERIOD....Also all great & good teams HAVE TO GET LUCKY AT SOME POINT...it's called making your own luck buddy...

well I guess after a few more days we won't be talking about soccer for another 4 years..cool beans.

I voted for the Netherlands for the team I would like to see win "La gran final" of the WC since they have been close a couple of times but I really have no dog in this fight but I still would like to see a good game (s)

its funny how everyone is hyperventilating about the possibility/ probability that LeBron will leave the Heat, I say is ZERO, LeBron knows what's he's got down here and Riley is the one that will put it together , all will be revealed in a few more days and the Heat will reload for another run..

and that's that...

Wake me up when football starts....

& even then may wanna stay in hibernation....Canes looking @ a 2-2 start & probably a little better than .500 yer....With Fins looking about the same...Look for Buffalo to even end with a better record than the fish..

FZB,

Don't be too sure about your scenario. Chris Broussard is reporting that the Rockets offered Bosh a max deal of 4 yrs, $96 million. After weekend convo with LeBron and low offer from Heat, Bosh considering offer.

Do you honestly think Bosh will say no to that and willfully take a $7-8M cut from that figure so that LeBron could get his at everyone else's expense?


OC..they all took less money to be here and it got them 4 straight years in the finals with two ships..they will do it again..

everyone has been reporting that LeBron is demanding or wants a max deal..I'm not to sure about that..I'm going out on a limb here and say when the smoke clears LeBron will be starting at 18 mil..Bosh at 16 and D Wade at 14 mil..

as far as all the reports out there?..I don't believe any of them, there are really only like 5 people that are really in the know..LeBron and his agent, Riley and coach Spo and LeBron's wife..that is it..we just have to let it play out.

no worries...

FZ, your 18, 16 & 14 figures are what it would take. Hope you're right for your sake. Personally, I just don't think human nature works so selflessly.

This just in, Josh McRoberts has verbally committed to sign with the Miami Heat. Good move!

Josh Roberts, Haslem, Wade and Norris Cole is looking like a championship contending team now.

I think career wise Bosh would benefit from being a first or second option not a third. That and more cash may make him an ex-Heat player.

LeBron is going back to Cleveland to help them win their first championship. Cote will have to take a Leave Of Absence for stress but if they can somehow convince R. Hibbert to go there they have Wiggins and Irving already. Lebron has his two ships FZB now he's going to try and win one for his hometown. That's how this is playing out sorry peeps.

That ain't happening, BB. The anger between James and Gilbert is still volcanic.

if lebron goes back to cleveland, both lebatard and cote will need to be checked into a mental facility immediately

if Lebron goe's back to Cleveland you can bet that cote will.....
A) Commit suicide
B)get another "Man-Love" for another player
c) Commit suicide


(Let's hope on the latter......)

Maybe OC but time heals all wounds. Amazing they just took that letter off of their team website this week I think. That's bush league. If I am Lebron I would never consider it but it would be a great story maybe one worth considering if it meant bringing that city a championship. He might consider it as unfinished business. If you believe the hype his wife wants it to happen and you know what that could mean.

No, Riley is doing all he can do. This whole things teeters on James' ability to back down from his reported claim about playing only for max money. He is going to have to come to grips with the certainty that if he takes no less than the $22M in Miami, that Bosh will bolt to the Rockets. He would still have a descent situation and team in Miami, but not a Finals shoe-in.

...and now comes word that the Heat just signed Danny Granger to a two-year, $4.2 million deal. Hmm...

Oc, I would'nt be disappointed in Bosh going to Houston(Or anywhere else) as far as I'm Concerned.....

danny granger is horrible.

granger, mcroberts, haslem, cole and wade.

the rest of the NBA is curling up in the fetal position

One of the analysts described Granger as such: Granger is Rashard 2.0. Cant move, no longer a 3, not a good enough rebounder at the 4. Yikes.!

this really smells of desperation. Riley is striking out on the big time free agents and scooping up anyone off the streets to try and show Lebron the roster is better.

Inside info says the next person Riley will sign is FZB.

That's pretty funny.

All one would have to do is play fantasy basketball for the last few years to figure out that Granger is no longer a viable NBA player. Certainly not one that would impress a free agent.

Word on the street is Riley is offering $4200.00 and a Makita drill for FZB to sign..............

I'm ready to sign coach, just show me where to put my X.

the Heat don't have mucho dinero available and they never did to begin with so I don't know why everyone is complaining about, its all about the big three..all signs point to them coming back..and they will.

yeah I said it.

the Cubano Lou Costello???..hhhmmm.

Posted by: FZB | July 07, 2014 at 04:18 PM

FZ, You do know that Spurs almost sweept the eat???
There a team that need upgrade to compete against the west, Heck they almost lost it last year..

oye Anti just relax amigo..the Heatles are just re loading and there is nothing the rest of the NBA can do about it..the pimp-maister (Riley) is just adding complementary pieces to the big three..

Spurs "almost swept the Heat"?

Miami stole home court and was coming back to Miami 1-1...

4 game to one............................
ALMOST A SWEEP...................

OH, FZB! There are fourteen microscopic lobsters on the Philadelphia subway right now.

Advance the hygienic revolution of Bea Arthur!!

I have placed the ham on your toilet tank. The shock of velvet melts November.

citizens,

josh mcroberts? a guy who avgd. 30 min/game last season and avged. below 9 points a games and about 7 rebounds? i don't know how much danny granger has left in the tank, but with the exception of the unworldly kyrie irving, guys from duke don't light it up in the NBA. i am a tarheel fan, but appreciate what duke accomplishes most every season; it is just that none of their guys are NBA stars. tyler hansbrough hasn't lit up the league either, but his stats are comparable to mcroberts. doing semi-decent jobs in the nba are danny green, ty lawson, wayne ellington and raymond felton. i don't think that mcroberts and granger are the kind of players that are gonna make lebron james pick up his bags and head back to miami, which he'll probably do no matter what.

doing really decent job in the NB...

is ty lawson. averages 36 minutes, 18 points and 9 assists per game. upon further review, the rest of the tar heels mentioned are grade C-D, with danny green a passing grade for almost 43% 3 pointers.

shadow,

Perhaps so. McRoberts and Granger do not necessary send fear through the hearts of any opponents. While I would tend to question the Granger signing, I do think McRoberts will help the team. For many, the Spurs just demonstrated how a team featuring the best player on the planet, and 2.5 other good to great ones were no match to a team that plays as if the ball was a hot potato. Good defensively, ball movement, disciplined, and good from the three.

Fun fact to know and tell: Josh McRoberts lead all PF's last year in passes made.

Note to self: Typing on an iPhone does not "necessarily" lend itself to producing grammatically correct posts.

Curious question #7:

Why would a player, whose wife is a budding actress, and goes by the name of La La, pass on LA?

do not fprget the other 2 factor of why they sign Grandger and Josh Roberts. it is like what Tonronto had.

OC Dolphin,

not being a big fan of the NBA, and because ABC puts the heat game on time they can, i had no idea of how well the spurs played the game. their passes were being whipped around the court at incredible velocities, which couldn't be said for their opponents in the finals. as much as i have liked kawhi leonard since he was an aztec and his team got jobbed against eventual champ uconn, to have him wind up as the finals MVP was not something i saw coming. tim duncan and tony parker well into their thirties, and they are still playing at a very high level, making kawhi, boris diaw, and patty mills, and danny green into game-winners. i don't see granger and mcroberts as being game-chamgers for the heat. wade is in physical free-fall (both metaphorically and in reality), chris bosh is worthless when it counts, and they still don't have a very good point guard. norris cole is still a work in progress, and unless the heat can get a ballhandling guard of ability they will not win next year either. lebron james is amazing in many aspects, but one in particular is that he doesn't get hurt (cramps don't count).

Big Baby,

well, the semis begin manana, and i would be shocked if brazil can win against germany minus neymar and silva. we have our respective favorites going on wednesday, and to me it looks like the final will be a border war between the dutch and the deutsche. time to get out the FIFA dvd of the 1986 mundial in which dieguito won the cup for the albiceleste in mexico. having just barely seen pele, i would say that maradonna is the greatest player i have seen; a shame he went downhill after getting his team to the 90 final, beating italy at home in the semis-no easy task.

Shadow Knows,

You got most of the history right. Yes, 1982's final was the first on American. TV. On Wide World of Sports, which showed Pele in the thrill of victory part (1970 WC scene). It was 3-1 Italy over W. Germany. The Italians went on fire once Rossi got hot. It was highly controversial that he was allowed to play.

Italy barely escaped the group. 0-0 vs Poland, 1-1 vs Peru (with the Striker's Cubillas), and Cameroon (1-1). Poland won this tight group with a 5-1 drubbing of Peru. Gorgeous goals in that game. I still remember Lato heading the ball at goal while lying down , in the Cameroon game in an exciting goal mouth scramble where the goalie stopped everything.

Italy went on to defeat Argentina and then Brazil 3-2 in an amazing game, seesaw batte, lot of gorgeous goals. Rossi got all of Italy's I think. The Poles trumped Belgium 3-0 on a hat truck by their superstar Boniek. Given that the Soviets beat Belgium 1-0, Poles only needed a tie vs the Soviets in a hyped up political match (Solidarity banners everywhere) . They got their tie..but Boniek was wrongfully given a yellow costing him a spot in the semi.

W Germany knocked off England and Spain in a boring group, France beat out Austria and N. Ireland, beautiful goal by Alain Giresse.

We already talked about the W, German PK win over France.
Italy had the upper hand vs Poland, playing without suspended Boniek..put them in a worse position than Brazil without Neymar. It was a tight match with few opportunities. Poles hit the post once. Italy scores when Rossi toe pokes in a free kick. As the Poles push, with 10 minutes to go Italy fast breaks and Rossi gets another. 2-0.

Poland beat France 3-2 for 3rd.
Italy beats W. Germany 3-1 ..the scene of the day is Tardelli running amok after scoring.

Steve Ross, worst sports owner ever?

I can't love the Argentina team in 1986. They cheated their way to the 1978 title that they hosted, and they did it again in 1986.

It was 0-0 vs England when Maradona scores with his hand, making him the all time biggest cheat in my book. Flopping is one thing, but this is major stuff. England being down had to push up, giving Maradona the chance at one of the best dribbling goals of all time. 2-0. England got a concession goal.but no one knows how ths game goas without the Hand of God. There have been several nice dribbling goals throughout WC history, but this ine gets attention because it was Maradona. Poland's Lato ran away from the Brazilian defense a few times, scoring once. Saudia Arabian dude practically went entire field vs Belgium in USA 1994.

Back to 1986, semi's...Belgium vs Argentina. Twice in the first half, Belgian guy ..think it was Van den Berg, perfectly times a run and is going one on one with the goalie...BUT, is called offsides. Replays then and now (find them on youtube) show that he was well onside. Argentina scores in the 2nd half.

The Final vs W. Germany was legit and dramatic. Fantastic come from behind by Rummenige and the Germans to tie 2-2 late in the 2nd half. They're still celebrating. when Argentina scores, winning 3-2.

But the title will always be tainted in those games vs England and Belgium.

Lebron has the entire NBA kissing his butt. Each team will grant him 5 wishes.

Just give Lebron the GM/player position... then he cant complain.

Brazil likely beats Germany..maybe on pk's. Scoring is so low at this state, it won't take much to have this end 0-0 or 1-1.

I think the Germans are at a big disadvantage. For one thing, they got no clue on how Brazil will revamp the lineup.

Also, Neymar's injury will haunt Germany. Since the Croatia game fiasco, refs hadn't been buying as many Brazilian dives. A few had been eager to not show home town favoritism, though that sirt of went away in the Colombia game.

Now we're back to square one. Since this was an actual foul on Neymar, not the usual superman leap & grimace...I suspect that refs will be buying it every time a Brazilian flops tomorrow. ..to make up for it.

No one in America cares about soccer.

It says here the Alemanos will have a tough time beating the Brazilians even without two of their best players...

Argentina and Brazil will meet in an epic south American championship final and then bring on our own brand of football...

OC...why would ANYONE want to play with Kobe at this stage of his career ...sorry but Melo will be going back to the big apple with the Zen Master...

America's best athletes DONT play soccer.

Baseball is definitely the most thrilling sport ever.

There's a fragrance that's here today, and they call it — Charlie!

A different fragrance that thinks your way, and they call it – Charlie!

Kinda young, kinda now, Charlie!

Kinda free, kinda wow! Charlie!

The kind of fragrance that's gonna stay, and it's here now — Charlie!

OK

WHAT IS MORE EXCITING?

A) SOCCER

B) CURLING

C) WATCHING PAINT DRY

Pollster,,, Curling has slight edge over Watching paint dry, Soccer dead last. ZZZZZZ

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