Re: A Thread Has Risen

1

This is the most exciting lull three and a half hours before the matches start that I think I've ever experienced.

Oh, wait, no. Second, maybe third.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 6:26 AM
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But your country's big day isn't until tomorrow.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 6:30 AM
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Ogged contains multitudes of countries.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 6:55 AM
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But Bosnia and Herzegovina played yesterday. (And there was some other country on the field as well, as I understand.)


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:40 AM
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I hope Steve from San Jose leads Iran into the Round of 16.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:42 AM
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5: viva la steve


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:03 AM
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I cannot believe we're seeing a red card this early.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:40 AM
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Wait, you can't headbutt a guy who's sitting on the ground? This sport is so weird.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:40 AM
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Oh Pepe, don't ever stop being Pepe.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:50 AM
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Oh Pepe, don't ever stop being Pepe.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:50 AM
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So I am gathering "guy who gets red cards for ridiculous reasons" is Pepe's thing?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:51 AM
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He even has an acolyte in that guy from Uruguay who looks just like him and got a red card in the 94th minute on Saturday.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:55 AM
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Oh yeah. And he also does stuff like this.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:56 AM
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So,the Iberian peninsula sucks at soccer. Amirite or amirite?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 10:12 AM
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Saw a guy rolling around on the turf, thought "meh", but then saw that he went down with nobody around him and thought "oh no! He must be really hurt!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 10:25 AM
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Did Germany just get away with a pretty big no-call?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 10:37 AM
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That went really, really badly for Portugal. Kind of sad to be at the big public viewing here in Lisbon. :-/


Posted by: Trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 11:05 AM
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Seen just now on Twitter: "This Iran team is glued together by the joint will of the nation and diaspora and lots of hair gel."


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 11:45 AM
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Oh and 16: I think it's safe to say Ronaldo thinks so.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 11:51 AM
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Why do my people have such a love of product? We have low-maintenance hair, and yet.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 11:52 AM
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How do you measure the hair maintenance needs of a whole people?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 11:56 AM
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There's an Iranian Hair Standard, kept in a glass case in Shiraz.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 11:58 AM
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Then the hair is soaked in wine, not hair gel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 12:03 PM
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Stain your prayer rug with winehair gel.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 12:21 PM
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And I love that one of the Iranian players is nicknamed "Gucci".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 12:23 PM
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The guardian liveblog for this game is pretty awesome. It's mostly about Coors Light, but it's pretty awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 12:43 PM
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Here.

8.45pm BST
45 min: I'll drink ten pints of Coors Light if someone from either side does something interesting in the next minute.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 12:46 PM
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"Gucci" is short for "Ghoochannejhad". He's from the Netherlands. Also, the Iranian team captain is an Armenian Christian. The announcers have probably mentioned all this already.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 12:47 PM
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Did they also mention that one of the assistant coaches is American?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 1:01 PM
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Martina Navratilova on twitter earlier: I find it funny that when women play football they just put their hair in a ponytail. The men on the other hand- hair products galore.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 1:24 PM
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Someone needs to come up with a hair gel product that
1) protects the head from concussions
2) makes the ball project faster off the head
3) looks great.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 1:42 PM
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Well, that was exciting (note: I didn't watch it).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 2:46 PM
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DEUCE!!!!!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:01 PM
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Damn. Was in the other room. Nothing ever happens in the first minute of a soccer game.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:02 PM
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Well that is comin out strong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:02 PM
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Someone tell the announcer that referring to the Ghanains as "the Africans" is dispreferred.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:09 PM
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"You can't measure intangibles, and that's where Michael Bradley is on top for this team in every category."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:15 PM
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Goddammit. Poor Jozy.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:22 PM
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Good thing they got that early goal because they're not doing shut since then. And now Altidore just blew a tire.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:23 PM
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Oh man. Altidore seems quite done for the tournament.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:24 PM
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Bring in Landon! Oh wait.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:24 PM
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Fucking balls. God damn it


Posted by: Turgid JacobiAn | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:28 PM
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So kicking a guy in the face and breaking his nose is not a penalty, then?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:35 PM
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Wtf was the judo kick?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:35 PM
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that was dirty


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:39 PM
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I don't understand conservatism in sports. This is a made-up game that's a little over a hundred years old; you're not exactly desecrating the graves of someone's ancestors if you add instant replay and two more referees. The NFL is really good about changing the rules when they're clearly broken. Even the NBA has three refs for a much smaller field of play.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:40 PM
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46: there's really no way to institute instant replay without destroying the game; possession's entirely too fluid for it to work. I mean, on the Dempsey kick to the face it's not unreasonable, in real time, to not even think a foul was committed.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:55 PM
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I don't understand 47. If possession is fluid, doesn't that support instant replay?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:58 PM
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You can totally see my buddy dressed up as Elvis right now on the Guardian liveblog.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:59 PM
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I don't think that's entirely true. Fouls inside the box could be challengeable, for example, which would partly address one of the real problems in the game, which is the effect one bad call can have on the outcome.

And they should have more refs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:01 PM
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48: This comment explains the issue better than I can.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:03 PM
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Having more refs wouldn't be a bad idea... The only real issue us that it's hard enough to get good refs as it is. (Making them professional would be a good start.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:07 PM
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Two hamstring injuries? When do we start questioning Klinsman's fitness program?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:12 PM
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bradleys touch is awful today


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:12 PM
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I was just about to do that!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:12 PM
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53,55: I do wonder


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:13 PM
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The whole goddamn game is being played in the us end.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:13 PM
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yep


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:16 PM
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One of those fucker Ghana fans snuck a vuvuzela into the stadium.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:18 PM
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It would be really nice if the US could string more than three passes together. Or would even try.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:19 PM
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on back heels for sure


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:20 PM
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Howard is having to do too much in too wide an area.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:20 PM
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man


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:21 PM
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ian darke just made a LOTR reference?


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:23 PM
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It's almost as if soccer is not one of the major sports in the US.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:24 PM
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It's hard to say a goal at 40 seconds is against the run of play but that's apparently the case.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:25 PM
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hush, you. I think we could do a lot better than we are.


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:26 PM
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I was just thinking there must be a hundred tall dudes who aren't quite skilled enough for the NBA, but would be awesome soccer goalies. And, of course, there are a whole lot of track runners who could have been awesome, if they'd ever played.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:26 PM
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I think ghana is playing up from their level and we are playing down


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:27 PM
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THIS GAME IS SO BORING I HAVE TIME TO POST ON ECLECTIC WEB MAGAZINES.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GHANA GOALIE | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:30 PM
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68: Jesus Christ no. The focus on raw athletic talent is everything that's wrong with soccer in this country.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:31 PM
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Vuvuzela!

As boring as this game might be, it's infinitely more entertaining than the Kansas City/Detroit game. Baseball really is unfathomly boring.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:33 PM
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I'll bet present day Bo Jackson would be the best American soccer player ever.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:33 PM
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nice couple of subs to be able make, ghana


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:34 PM
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That's why I limited it to goalies, man.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:34 PM
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Holy shit is that another defender grabbing his hamstring?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:36 PM
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At this rate, Portugal is going to have US for a snack.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:37 PM
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midfielder but yes


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:37 PM
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77 maybe, if there ae any of then left, too


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:37 PM
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And that's considering how Portugal did today.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:38 PM
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Ghana's gonna take dive in the box real soon.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:39 PM
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75: yeah but keeper is traditionally the US's strongest position.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:39 PM
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jermain jones in beast mode today


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:39 PM
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71: Yes, I was thinking more of poor first touches and inability to get the ball to someone's feet when under pressure.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:42 PM
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Hell of a play.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:43 PM
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well


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:43 PM
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The Univision guys keep calling jones JJJ.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:44 PM
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jj got robbed


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:44 PM
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Well that was unsurprising.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:44 PM
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90

Ouch.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:44 PM
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That was inevitable


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:44 PM
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It would've been too easy otherwise.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:44 PM
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That was beautiful, though.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:44 PM
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Well that seemed pretty inevitable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:45 PM
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fuck


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:45 PM
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Well that pwning was inevitable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:45 PM
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inevitable

comity


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:46 PM
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hmm. still not over.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:47 PM
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CORNERS!!!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:47 PM
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Holy shit.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:48 PM
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Well that seemed more evitable.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:48 PM
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Oh shit!!!!!!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:48 PM
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The US is well known for its set pieces of course.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:48 PM
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That was not inevitable.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:49 PM
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They're too tired to properly celebrate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:49 PM
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please god please god


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:49 PM
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And Ghana takes possession again. I hate this end of the field.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:49 PM
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But when it's interesting, it's really interesting.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:49 PM
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I went to the Indian buffet for lunch because they show World Cup and I am JUST THAT DEVOTED TO SOCCER. It was Iran v. Nigeria and nothing happened because it's soccer.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:49 PM
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I went to the Indian buffet for lunch because they show World Cup and I am JUST THAT DEVOTED TO SOCCER. It was Iran v. Nigeria and nothing happened because it's soccer.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:50 PM
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"You just have to tip your cat"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:50 PM
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I blame Brazil for rushing construction and making a field tilted 20 degrees towards the US goal.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:50 PM
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I am so out of my head about soccer I say everything twice.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:50 PM
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I had my interview today and Germany was on when we went out to lunch but I managed to not watch.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:52 PM
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Phew


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:56 PM
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116

That was easy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:57 PM
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117

Well we're going to have to play better than that against Portugal.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:58 PM
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Well, wow. Go figure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:59 PM
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fucking a


Posted by: tj | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:59 PM
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120

I feel a little bad for the Africans.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:59 PM
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117. Aye


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:00 PM
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122

Go here for the two minutes it'll be up.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:00 PM
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123

That game was like Pennsylvania, nice parts on either end and shit in the middle.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:04 PM
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Screenshot.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:06 PM
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125

The revision history reveals all.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:12 PM
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126

Baseball really is unfathomly boring.

Baseball and soccer were the two sports I played growing up--and enjoyed playing both--but neither one appeals to me at all as a spectator sport.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:18 PM
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Now give each soccer player a bat, and Apo would be all over that. And trampolines. Don't forget the trampolines.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:19 PM
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123: Wafer was pretty clutch in there, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:22 PM
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I was thinking more of poor first touches and inability to get the ball to someone's feet when under pressure.

Was watching the the highlights of the quarter final match against Germany in 2002, and it makes this kind of thing even more depressing. That team probably had better technical skills overall, while relying on fewer foreign-raised players. Despite all of Klinsmann's talk about transforming how we play, we're in a vanilla 4-4-2 and creating very little through central midfield. Same as it ever was.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:23 PM
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I hadn't expected Apo to be such a kosho fan.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:24 PM
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Does this mean we get to go to the Sweet Sixteen?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:25 PM
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The central midfield was unusually ineffectual today, we're more technically sound, but everyone else is more so, and Ghana is unusually physically better than many other teams.

And we weren't in a standard 4-4-2 by some distance.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:29 PM
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130 NEEDS MOAR BATS


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:30 PM
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134

Nice to see the USA win, just for the trolling the world factor. Maybe I can find some Ghanian website and do some taunts. "I bless the pain down in Africa."

The "most important match in four years won by the team that clearly deserved to lose" factor isn't really selling me on soccer, but whatever, USA WHOOO #1.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:32 PM
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"We haven't ruined your country with a totally unfair outcome this badly since the slave trade."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:35 PM
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132: On the technical quality, I'll take your word for it, as I don't watch them regularly. On the formation, Bradley has a pretty free role in possession, but what else is non-standard about it?


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:35 PM
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136: Bradley had an atrocious game. He was misplacing passes even when he wasn't under pressure; usually he's very calm and has much better touch on his passing.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:43 PM
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I can't believe the US won.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:50 PM
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I mean, I'm happy, but kind of shocked.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:51 PM
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134, 135: But I would not say the outcome was "unfair". The US was generally dangerous the few times they did get in deep and for all the possession Ghana's final attempts were pretty wayward (their goal was beautiful, though); Howard had to work hard but did not absolutely stand on his head. Finishing is a skill like any other.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:54 PM
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Yeah I mean they were pretty good on defense (against a team mostly as shitty as they were, but anyhow) seemed like. And it's not like the goals weren't earned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:55 PM
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I actually thought Beasley stunk it up the worse. Seemed to just be running around out there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:56 PM
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140.last: that's actually a matter of much discussion in the soccer analytic community right now. The current thinking is that it isn't; the skill is in getting shots from the right positions. And for all of Ghana's possession, they took a bunch of shots from locations that the US should have been perfectly happy with.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 6:18 PM
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I'll take back the formation comment until I can watch it again. The opta stats do show much more a conventional formation than I was "feeling."

I think the biggest part of that is how compressed we were in our own half.

Now I have a sad.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 6:22 PM
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the skill is in getting shots from the right positions.
I've seen the processed data, but not the raw data. I reaaaaally don't think we're getting the story from the processed data.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 6:26 PM
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the skill is in getting shots from the right positions

Fair enough. But I would put that into the general bucket of "finishing." And yes, Ghana hit a lot of long-distance prayers that became more prayer-like as the game went on and legs tired.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 6:28 PM
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Boy, it sure was obvious how much shittier the US and Ghana are than Germany and Portugal. So many more pointlessly bad shots.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 6:33 PM
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the skill is in getting shots from the right positions

OK, so did the US suck in the game or not? All the in-game commentary said yes, is now the position that no it didn't because even though it looked like we did in fact we were relentlessly pushing team Ghana into taking shots from bad positions?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:06 PM
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Why can't it be the case that Ghana also sucked and was unable to deal with a relatively ably managed conservative defense? I like that story. That story makes me proud.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:16 PM
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The US defense was really pretty good. But did you notice how Ghana had the ball and was attacking the whole time? That's because the US was just horrendous at keeping the ball. Contrast.

Of course, possession alone doesn't get you points, and that style of play requires players who are way better than the Americans, and is susceptible to counterattack.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:29 PM
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144: Yeah, out of possession almost all teams look like a 4-4-2, since two banks of four is a pretty solid defense. The US had so little possession that it's hard to tell what the formation really was.

145: what raw data do you mean? StatsBomb has raw shot charts. Is there something else you want to see?

148: the US wasn't great. In possession they were atrocious, misplacing passes and dribbling into bad positions. Out of possession they were marginally better; they didn't do a great job of covering the flanks. But the central defenders did a pretty good job of maintaining their positions, and they were helped a *lot* by the fact that Ghana didn't get much interplay going and got impatient (hence all the shots from distance). Against a more patient and organized side (like, say, Germany), the US would have been shredded.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:32 PM
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144: Yeah, out of possession almost all teams look like a 4-4-2, since two banks of four is a pretty solid defense. The US had so little possession that it's hard to tell what the formation really was.

145: what raw data do you mean? StatsBomb has raw shot charts. Is there something else you want to see?

148: the US wasn't great. In possession they were atrocious, misplacing passes and dribbling into bad positions. Out of possession they were marginally better; they didn't do a great job of covering the flanks. But the central defenders did a pretty good job of maintaining their positions, and they were helped a *lot* by the fact that Ghana didn't get much interplay going and got impatient (hence all the shots from distance). Against a more patient and organized side (like, say, Germany), the US would have been shredded.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:32 PM
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So, terrible offense that managed to score two pretty lucky goals, adequate defense sufficient to beat a poorly-coached, impatient team that was also unlucky?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:36 PM
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USA!!!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:37 PM
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two pretty lucky goals

The goals were solid. Nice pass leading to some very nice dribbling and a good shot for the first one, and a well-executed set-piece for the second. Those are legit goals.

adequate defense sufficient to beat a poorly-coached, impatient team

This is correct. Like Josh says, it's hard to imagine that Germany won't murder them.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:40 PM
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Historically speaking, it's hard to imagine anyone Germany won't murder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:41 PM
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Reasonably stout if I creative defense and occasional solid set piece goals has pretty much been the USMNT way, right? Ghana never expected that from Klinsmann!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:42 PM
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The Swiss.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:43 PM
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"uncreative", not I creative. I not so creative.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:43 PM
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Never murder the bag man, mama always told me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:44 PM
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153: the goals weren't lucky. The first one was just individual skill rather than teamwork, and the second one was from a traditional strength of the team. (Set pieces are the part of the game where pure athleticism is the most valuable, and the US has always relied on strength and height.)

And it's not *that* surprising that Ghana had a hard time scoring. It's something that even the best teams that've been playing together constantly struggle to do, and the national sides get very little practice time. (This is also why the video in 150 is such an unfair comparison: most of the guys in it have been playing together for years if not decades.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:45 PM
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It's something that even the best teams that've been playing together constantly struggle to do, and the national sides get very little practice time. (This is also why the video in 150 is such an unfair comparison: most of the guys in it have been playing together for years if not decades.)


Wait, so you're saying I should follow the Premier League or whatever to watch real teams who know how to play together play?? This is like Olympic basketball or hockey vs the NBA or NHL, a slightly bullshit nationalistic version of the real sport?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:50 PM
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Don't watch. Please. It's beneath you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:52 PM
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161: okay, but good lord there were a lot of passes that sailed disconsolately off in the direction of no one in that game today.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:53 PM
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162: but like Olympic hockey everybody kinda cares more, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:57 PM
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162: yeah basically. OTOH a number of the better teams have a bunch of players from the same club (Germany, e.g., started 7 Bayern Munich players today) so it's not quite that bad. But the best of the Champions League is better than the best of the World Cup.

161: sure, it wasn't a great game. OTOH part of the reason it seemed so bad is that the other games have been so good (except for Iran-Nigeria); in 2010 or 2006 this would have been par for the course.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:59 PM
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It is all intense and fun for sure. But, a big problem with the World Cup for me, aside from not really understanding the sport, is that I find regional hatred way more fun than national hatred. What did Ghana or Portugal ever do to me? Germany is super hateable of course but hating on them feels pretty intense, hard to avoid going all "nice goal how did your Nazi grandma feel climbing over the rubble of the Gestapo headquarters when we bombed it to shit."

The Olympics is all about world peace and athleticism and high ideals, this feels like it calls for more ordinary sports world hating. I dunno, I'm rambling here.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:04 PM
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When has that ever stopped you?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:05 PM
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Champions League seems pretty sweet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:05 PM
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Rooting for Germany feels kinda weird, even though I am doing it for obviously laudable reasons.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:06 PM
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And Özil is pretty darn likable. (don't disabuse me of this notion, Josh)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:07 PM
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there are a whole lot of track runners who could have been awesome, if they'd ever played

No, the whole point of track is that vaguely athletic people with no hand/foot-eye coordination can play a sport.

I had to choose between watching Germany/Portugal and US/Ghana, and clearly I made the right choice. That "head butt" was kind of unbelievable. It was a little sad at how less exciting the game was after Pepe got sent off. I can't believe the amount of bitching from Portugal though. As my friend said, "what was their game plan, play like shit and whine about it?"* From reading fan comments, you'd think Portugal had been up 3-1 most of the game and the Germans squeaked out a victory at the last minute through dirty refereeing.

*Other possibility: to strengthen Intra-Iberian relations, Portugal agreed to play in a way that in retrospect makes Spain's loss seem less embarrassing?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:09 PM
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171: dude Özil plays for Arsenal. I love him.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:10 PM
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With Klinsmann as coach rooting for this US team is like rooting for our missiles against the Soviets.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:11 PM
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"That "head butt" was kind of unbelievable

As noted, Pepe has a distinguished career as a an pantomime villain.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:22 PM
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175 fixed link


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:24 PM
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the whole point of track is that vaguely athletic people with no hand/foot-eye coordination can play a sport

Are you American? Here, a lot of the collegiate male sprinters/jumpers also play football. They're just fabulous all-around athletes. Which brings me back to:
The focus on raw athletic talent is everything that's wrong with soccer in this country.

I don't think we should choose the most athletic players from the current pool of players. I meant that if soccer were a major sport here--imagine the kids on the South Side are playing soccer, instead of basketball--the US would be fanfuckingtastic. This is both trivially true: bigger pool of players, better team, but also fun to think about: imagine someone with Derrick Rose or Alan Iverson's quickness, leaping ability, and coordination playing soccer. Did I just describe the Ghanain team? I'm a big racist, aren't I? Go Germany!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:40 PM
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There is no reason not to love Oezil. He was a stand-out star on the 2010 German team, which was one of the reasons he got signed to Arsenal for a massive fee (where his record has been a little so-so), but it's also really lovely to have a Turkish-German star. That's the sort of national symbol that helps to normalize the on-the-ground fact of immigration patterns.*

*Good lord, does this not begin to describe the complexities of the Turkish-German relationship, or the absolutely shitty condition of the 2nd generation Turks who are bound by German immigration-law to be perpetual outsiders.**

**Also Oezil is handsome, if you have a taste for men who when exerted look a bit like 19th-century tubercular patients--as some do! It's an especially good look when combined with extraordinary passing and dribbling skills, goal set-ups, and scores.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:58 PM
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177: give me a good first touch and tactical know-how over quickness and leaping ability any day. Sure, once you've got those things the quicker and better-coordinated you are the better you'll play, but there's a reason Pirlo's still running games at 35 and it's not 'cause he's an amazing physical specimen. The big problem in US youth development is that the focus is on full-field, 11-a-side games played competitively at way too young an age. Keep that up and it doesn't matter how large the pool you're drawing from is, you'll still get your ass handed to you by the Germans, the Dutch, and the Spaniards.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:00 PM
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good first touch

I haven't watched much soccer in years, and never played, and am no expert, but there's always been a noticeable difference between most US players and players on the top European teams in terms of ability to simply bring in a pass and control the ball. And it makes a huge difference in the amount of decent chances a team gets to build an attack.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:17 PM
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Yeah, touch is the ultimate foundation of everything in soccer. That's what makes Messi so incredible; his control is just unreal. If you watch his goal from yesterday, what makes it is the last touch he takes before the shot. Most other players would shoot at that point, or try to take one more touch and end up giving the ball away, but since his control is so good he can go that extra little bit of distance to get the right angle on goal.

And that's why American youth development has historically been such a problem: when you play full-sided games, you just don't get to touch the ball that often. Other countries build their youth programs with the intention of getting players as many touches on the ball as possible.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:33 PM
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It is all intense and fun for sure. But, a big problem with the World Cup for me, aside from not really understanding the sport, is that I find regional hatred way more fun than national hatred. What did Ghana or Portugal ever do to me?

Ghana knocked the US out of the last two World Cups. Bad example.

And Portugal, did you even read all those papal bulls back in the fifteenth century? Arrogant pricks.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:45 PM
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Maybe Portugal will take it's revenge for 2002. Also a game with an early goal by the US.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 10:04 PM
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its


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 10:04 PM
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re: 181

One thing that's noticeable in English football, is that a lot of young players have much better touch and control than they did a few years ago. There has always been the odd player [attacking midfielders, classy number 10s, etc] who's had it, but coaching, I think, has gotten much better.

In the game with Italy, even though England lost, lots of the one-touch passing, and ball control [Sturridge's goal on the half-volley, etc] was more in line with what I'd think of as usual 'continental' or South American practice, than with traditional English playing style.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 4:29 AM
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touch is the ultimate foundation of everything in soccer

Let me guess, you think youth coaching would be really rewarding.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:42 AM
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Youth soccer is the bane of my existence. I guess that is a sign of how comfortable my life is, but I'm still annoyed with it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:45 AM
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Well, the countries that have a track record of producing talented players tend to have quite a lot of youth coaching,* or are countries where poor kids spend every waking moment playing football.

* Germany has 5,00 UEFA 'A' licensed coaches, Spain has 13,000. The UK has .. 1000.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:47 AM
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where poor kids spend every waking moment playing football

This is my dream for America. At least for the short kids.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:50 AM
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America will never have a great youth soccer program until we change the AYSO mantra from "everyone plays" to "weak children die."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:02 AM
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That starts at age 10 here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:12 AM
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We walked past the local peewee soccer or whatever it is and they seemed to be doing 2-on-2 drills, so presumably inner Boston burbs will be soccer powerhouses any decade now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:15 AM
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190: Nah. That's the usual British approach - throw 22 assorted kids onto a full-size pitch and wait for natural selection to take its course. Oddly enough we get a lot of precociously tall guys with sharp elbows, and scrawny hard-running fullbacks, and nobody who can trap a ball because this is a useless skill in context. After all, if by some mischance you were to start running with the ball or something, tall sharp-elbow guy or scrawny hard-running psycho is going to knifecrime you in a flash. Best hoof it at your tall guy.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:26 AM
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179 is interesting because that's basically British football in a nutshell. The people you see on the pitch are the ones who were selected for getting a kick at all, ever when they were 11.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:28 AM
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I don't know if 11-year-olds play on a full field here, but eight- and nine-year-olds play a smaller field with smaller goals and no goalie and water breaks every 15 minutes regardless of how warm it it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:32 AM
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water breaks every 15 minutes regardless of how warm

Dammit, there's our problem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:33 AM
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re: 193

Yeah. Scotland used to have a tradition of producing a third genus.* The small sneaky type. Sometimes a bit fat, sometimes alcoholic. The kind that survives those kinds of childhood games just by being a really cheeky bastard. I don't think those emerge as much anymore.


* Jinky Johnstone** , Jim Baxter, Denis Law, etc.

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Johnstone#Later_life


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:44 AM
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186: I was wondering how long it'd take you.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:47 AM
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194: yeah, the American game (unsurprisingly) resembles the British game quite a lot. Same emphasis on athleticism, strength, and hearts/desire, same basic mistrust of technical skill and tactical knowledge, and the same moralistic attitude towards diving/gamesmanship.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:28 AM
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the same moralistic attitude towards diving/gamesmanship

And I desperately hope that never changes.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:32 AM
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Speaking locally, there are way more Italians (as in having at least one parent raised in Italy) out there playing kiddie soccer than any other nationality.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:33 AM
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201: Huh. It's definitely the Mexicans and Central Americans here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:38 AM
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I'm sure it is. I haven't been there for ten years and wasn't involved in anything kid-related while there, but the number of moving was pretty obviously large. Pittsburgh actually has more immigrants from Asian than all of Latin American. And Pittsburgh doesn't have many immigrants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:42 AM
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"number of people moving"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:42 AM
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Belgium seems kinda tiki-takish


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:15 AM
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Belgium seems kinda tiki-takish

So, no waffling?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 10:43 AM
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Brazil-Mexico being very entertaining even though 0-0 in extra time. Some excellent saves.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:50 PM
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Mexico!!!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:52 PM
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Ends 0-0. Mexican keeper did the stand on your head thing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:53 PM
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CONCACAF!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:54 PM
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I'm not sure if I should be rooting for Mexico because CONCACAF or against them because rivals.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:57 PM
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211 - show some solidarity with the blog founder.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:59 PM
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Fucking wankers were wandering around downtown mpls last night chanting "USA! USA!" in a particularly idiotic and performative manner. I blame soccer.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:04 PM
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I thought USA-Ghana was very exciting. Ghana were better but the US weren't bad at all.

The US weakness is defense, not offense. I've read numerous times that the US is always one of the fittest teams, but they seem the least fit this time, the players were completely spent the last 15-20 minutes.

Ghana seems like the strongest African team this time round too, and could still lose all their games. Such a shame.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:25 PM
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There were stretches of the game that was all Ghana, but the result isn't that unfair, they couldn't create that many really good chances and didn't convert chances into goals.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:36 PM
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That poor Russian goalkeeper.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 4:29 PM
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Now sympathy for the Korean goalkeeper.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 4:31 PM
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At this point, CONCACAF is 3-1-1. Concentrating only on interconfederation play, that's 2 points per game. 1.9 for CONMEBOL and 1.4 for UEFA(out games only).

Probably won't last, but nice for a day!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:28 PM
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A nice NYTimes interactive on US vs. Ghana showing shot locations.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:34 AM
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Australia?!

They musta gotten Belgium drunk before the game.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 10:15 AM
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Right, Belgium. Good one, Sifu.

Shit, I just started WWI, didn't I?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 10:15 AM
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This world cup seems to be much more exciting than the last one.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 10:19 AM
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I sure jinxed that one. Sorry, Australia. Don't boot me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 10:27 AM
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221.2: That's right. Blame him.


Posted by: Opinionated Gavrilo Princip | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 10:33 AM
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8 shots on target out of 21 seems like a pretty damn low percentage. How do they judge what are shots vs. crappy passes?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 10:53 AM
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If Australia had gotten the tie it would have helped Spain's chances a fairbit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 11:10 AM
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225:Not sure, but a good hard close miss over the bar or just to the side is often a "better" attempt than some middling thing which does not trouble the keeper--so not wild on that stat in general.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 11:12 AM
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255, 257: they have humans coding it, so: subjectively, but usually isn't THAT hard to tell.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 11:27 AM
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The end of an era...


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 12:45 PM
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Ouch, indeed.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 12:46 PM
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They just looked defeated. When Iniesta can't handle a simple pass in the midfield, the writing is on the wall.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 12:50 PM
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This is not good for my bracket.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 1:57 PM
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...oops mine, either. Your picked champion being one of the first two out is bad, right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 2:03 PM
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Wow, that Ivory Coast goal was some really beautifully deceptive footwork.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 10:36 AM
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Does that "am I falling over or am I about to score a goal?" style have a name? That's awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 10:40 AM
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Drunken Master


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 10:43 AM
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It was totally drunken style!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 10:44 AM
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A friend put a couple of Euros on Chile to take Spain 2-0 at 35/1. Should have put €200.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 11:35 AM
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235: oh Gervinho. (Yes, the Ivoirian soccer player has a Brazilian nickname.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 11:49 AM
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Uruguay, the best country in the world at intentional handballs.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 12:11 PM
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Wow, Uruguay should be down to 10 men in two different ways by now. The first yellow should have been a red, and that should have been a second yellow.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 12:30 PM
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Jesus Christ don't let the guy who just took a knee to the head come right back on.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 1:22 PM
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Yeah that one was pretty clearly an actual concussion. He did boxer's pose and everything!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 1:28 PM
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Fencer's pose? Whatever it's called.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 1:29 PM
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The calls really are striking in this game. I thought my husband was being a bit of a paranoid when discussing how ref calls always seem to go against England but this game has me agreeing more than not. (Though the English are definitely unintentionally injuring more of the Uruguayans.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 1:30 PM
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The calls really are striking in this game. I thought my husband was being a bit of a paranoid when discussing how ref calls always seem to go against England but this game has me agreeing more than not. (Though the English are definitely unintentionally injuring more of the Uruguayans.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 1:30 PM
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Oops.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 1:30 PM
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Ian Darke mocking the guy for timewasting (before he saw the replay) was also really fucking distasteful.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 1:34 PM
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Man, first the loss of the Raj, now this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 1:55 PM
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I was going to comment on Suarez and his oversized mouth before I learned that he had been banned for biting.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 3:49 PM
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250: not once but twice!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 4:00 PM
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Japan was inexcusably timid for the final 25' or so.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:17 PM
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Perhaps bob can provide some insight.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:02 PM
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CONCACAF!!!!!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 9:45 AM
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The guy who's taking the free kicks for Italy looks like the Hound.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 9:49 AM
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And of course a Costa Rica win mathematically eliminates England so it's bound to happen.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 9:50 AM
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256: your lips to God's ears.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 9:52 AM
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From the Groan at half time: "Time for England players to make a decision on that always-tricky moral dilemma: to sneak some hotel towels and toiletries into your case before check-out or not." (won't link it's a live feed. I'm not really paying attention because there's a cricket international on.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 10:00 AM
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Almost there. Come on, CRC. Score one more.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 10:46 AM
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Wow the Italians even flop on defense.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 10:48 AM
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God what a relief! At last the papers and news channels will start talking about something else.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 10:56 AM
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Man, first my comment "Man, first the loss of the Raj, now this", now this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 11:15 AM
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I don't usually expect to miss two goals when I look away from the game for like a minute.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 12:21 PM
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Sad cheeses.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 12:25 PM
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My predictions for the WC are not holding up so well. I expected Holland to underachieve majorly but instead it was Spain. I expected Italy and England to edge out Uruguay and CR not to be in contention. I guess this serves me right for being so Eurocentric. I'm hoping Italy beats Uruguay for second place. I'm also a little excited that the plucky N. American underdogs are dominating the group. They could easily get 9 points. And honestly, even though I was hoping for Italy to win, The Ticos clearly were the better team. Sigh.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:24 PM
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I'm really hoping for 9 for CRC.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:51 PM
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COME ON, Germany. Please beat Ghana.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 1:39 PM
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Racist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 1:48 PM
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The 2nd half has been much more interesting.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 1:50 PM
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269: yes, as in the apocryphal curse.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 1:51 PM
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Holy shit, that game.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 1:55 PM
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Fuckstockings.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 1:56 PM
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Fuck fuck fuck.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 1:56 PM
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Although you have to admit it's attractive for the US to have a chance to eliminate Germany.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 2:06 PM
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274: More attractive--BY FAR--would be for Ghana to have no chance whatsoever to eliminate us.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 2:07 PM
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I was hoping Ghana would win. As for the US implications, sometimes things gotta play hard.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 2:08 PM
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Huh. I guess she has a history problems that I was not aware of.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 2:10 PM
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This is certainly going to make US V Portugal more interesting. Personally I'm pulling for Portugal to win but Ronaldo to have some sort of disastrous injury right at the end so Ghana can just roll right over them and out of the group.

Also let's face it if Ghana had knocked the US out of contention by 2-1, only against a different team this time, that would have been hilarious. "Oh, you thought we weren't go to do that a third time? Surprise!"


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 2:15 PM
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538 has our chances going down from 69% to 64%. But presumably our odds of topping the group and getting to play H2 went up. (I can't see those odds from the phone.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 2:29 PM
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278.1 booh!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 2:56 PM
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Hey - even if you are from the United States I think you have to admit that Ghana is more fun to watch.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 3:27 PM
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Double booh.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 3:40 PM
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I'm not even sure what I think about that match, except to be sad to have missed what was apparently a great second half. I hear Özil made some good setups, but they didn't come to anything?


Posted by: X.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 3:50 PM
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Best match so far?


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 3:57 PM
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Mexico brazil probably


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 3:59 PM
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Okay fine, who am I kidding (Ger Gha) was an exciting match.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 4:04 PM
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NED-ESP


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 4:38 PM
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287: that was certainly entertaining, but not really a good match.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 4:48 PM
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It's a matter of what yardstick you're using.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PQ6335puOc


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 5:19 PM
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Note to future self: no, you don't want to fly Lufthansa. Tiny seat, giant Russian guy using my armrest and covering up the light and volume controls.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 5:24 PM
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And no air conditioning control.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 5:25 PM
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I've noticed that on newer planes that the the twisty vent-control is no longer there. Do not like.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 5:29 PM
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It must be horrible to have to worry about new planes. Fortunately, on the routes I fly, you can get a DC-9 unless you fly Southwest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 5:33 PM
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It's always on? Or it's gone?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 5:40 PM
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They actually use it to vent the bathrooms now and it is always on.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 5:43 PM
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Yeah, the air just flows from the overhead. It can be chilly.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 5:47 PM
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295 was just kidding. I haven't flown on many new planes of late.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:16 PM
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288: Yes, it was.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:24 PM
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298: I don't know. I'm just never that into games where the only thing saving one side is a goalkeeper standing on his head.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:27 PM
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299: Ochoa just did *so much* compared to the rest of the team


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:29 PM
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I don't think he featured in the Netherlands-Spain match, though.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:35 PM
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Oops! Sorry, was thinking 298 was to 285.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:39 PM
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I'm in a cell phone waiting lot and my phone is insufficiently entertaining.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:40 PM
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299: On the plus side, that is the one thing you can really say didn't happen in the Spain-Holland match. As little as the rest of the Spanish side did, the goal keeper did even less.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:46 PM
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303: Try this.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:55 PM
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Ha, that's perfect. Thanks. But where are my parents?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:00 PM
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304: yes, it is a good thing the keeper was already sainted. Or else he'd be going straight to hell.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:16 PM
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Paaaaaaaaaaaarents. Where aaaaaaaaare you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:19 PM
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||
So we're heading out at 3 and the party is still going strong. Based on this n of 1, I'd say the portuguese party hard at weddings.
|>


Posted by: X.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:23 PM
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Hey the waiting lot has air conditioned bathrooms. Aahh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:32 PM
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Parents. Can they never get their luggage or what.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:36 PM
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Finally! Thanks for your rapt attention, all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:37 PM
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You're welcome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:38 PM
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312: I was rapping, not rapt.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:57 PM
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Except for the whole "losing" thing I think the US are looking a lot better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:52 PM
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My "live" feed is a minute or two behind the feeds in the bars around here. Or else large crowds of people are watching some other event that's leading to occasional cheering.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:16 PM
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Yes, after they conceded an early goal to the US Portugal Ghana the US really went back on the offensive and have dominated play. Ghana The US hasn't managed to score a goal against the US Portugal yet, but if this keeps up it's hard to see how they don't.

I'm still pulling for a Portugal win, though. I'm sure Ronaldo really, really wants one after that humiliating loss to Zorro Germany.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:17 PM
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316: I think I'm a little bit behind but I can't figure put what the yelling guy is reacting to so I'm not sure how much.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:19 PM
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I should tell the people chanting "USA" about spoiler warnings.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:22 PM
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My son: "No, don't shoot!"


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:22 PM
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Go[...]ol!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:23 PM
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For the record, I posted 319 before my feed even got to the corner.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:24 PM
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Airplane wifi is not very good. :'-(


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:33 PM
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Gut ball!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:42 PM
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Gut ball!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:42 PM
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Well that might have been the wrong time for the stream to die


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:42 PM
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320: me


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:42 PM
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I took advantage of the delay to see if I could get Univision over the air now that I've moved the tv to a somewhat worse location, but also got a better antenna. It doesn't look like it, but I cut my testing short when I heard more cheering.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:46 PM
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Oh my. And it was all so well set up to rest the wounded against Germany.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:55 PM
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Oh my. Twenty seconds short.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:55 PM
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Wow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:55 PM
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Ugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:00 PM
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The bars weren't cheering for that one. I guess there isn't a huge Portuguese population here.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:00 PM
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I guess the most likely scenario now is that Ghana knocks the US out of the World Cup.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:01 PM
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Oh for fucks sake.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:02 PM
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If they could do it by beating Portugal 2-1 the irony would be magnificent.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:11 PM
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I may be wrong, but I believe if Ghana beats Portugal by one goal and Germany beats US by the same score it goes to a drawing of lots.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:11 PM
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No, never mind, US beat Ghana head to head.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:12 PM
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This is certainly the outcomes that maximizes ongoing interest in the US.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:12 PM
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A 2-2 draw is actually a much better outcome for the US than a 1-1 draw, right? So despite the heartbreak we're in a pretty good position.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:27 PM
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Another really entertaining game.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:28 PM
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538 gives 76% odds of the US making it through. Also apparently betting the US to win or draw in this game would have been fairly lucrative.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:31 PM
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341: sure was
342: they already updated?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:32 PM
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343: just did, yeah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:33 PM
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Indeed.
Well, I don't really feel better.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:36 PM
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This is the small update, they'll update further tomorrow and the US's chances may go up again slightly. I'm kind of surprised that 538 has Portugal still having more than 5% chance of making up the 5 goal deficit against the US.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 6:00 PM
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Germany could even more easily do to US what they did to Portugal. Hence the chance. Hopefully Portugal and Ghana will tie.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 6:04 PM
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They only have Portugal winning 40% of the time against Ghana. So I think that means they think the odds of Germany beating the US by 4 or more is around 1/8.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 6:20 PM
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348: Or Portugal beating Ghana by enough more -- just by they win/US lose you get down to +3. So it is 3 (since almost surely more total goals) or a margin of 3 & 2 etc.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 6:38 PM
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I was not clear -- need 3 "extra" goal margin in total between the two games.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 6:39 PM
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I just noticed that Em/ly Os/ter is a contributer at 538. She would not know who I am, but I have a long history of being two degrees removed from her and hearing lots of stories about her, and then she's recently moved into the public eye more with the freakonomics of pregnancy type peddling, and I've been...not impressed. It's shed a bit of light on the past 15 years of second hand stories.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 6:41 PM
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There's been a couple of things over the years I could have a made a killing betting against, but the whole idea of betting makes me nervous.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:10 PM
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The whole tournament has been great, but group G in particular. American soccer fans seem obsessed with growing the sport, so they should be happy.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:11 PM
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Croatia-Mexico seems like it might be gettin' kinda ugly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 1:41 PM
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351: Spill! My cousin the famous mathematician linked positively to her book on pregnancy, but I don't know anything else about her.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 1:46 PM
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354: any game with both Mario Mandzukic and Rafa Marquez in it was always going to tend that way.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 1:47 PM
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355: Andrew Gelman thinks her dissertation is wrong.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 2:24 PM
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#CONCACAFED!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 2:31 PM
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You can say that again!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 2:36 PM
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And again.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 2:42 PM
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Odds are looking pretty decent that the rest of the world will get more teams through to the knockout (6) than either Europe (5) or South America (5).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 3:25 PM
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Not that I'm any big fan of Italy, but what was that bullshit red card?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:21 AM
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362: Studs up, into the opponent's shin. That's a totally reasonable red card.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:23 AM
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The Italian guys who make me lunch had the game on. I asked them why they didn't take the day off and they said the team wasn't good enough for that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:26 AM
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363: huh, I totally missed that. Off to find a replay!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:28 AM
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I can't decide who to root against in this game. I wish they could both lose.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:29 AM
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Oh hey, look at that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:31 AM
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WTF?!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:39 AM
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Holy shit did he just bite someone again?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:39 AM
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So running your spikes down somebody's leg, that's not one of those rules you can break and still be morally sound?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:39 AM
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If he were a toddler he wouldn't be allowed in a daycare.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:40 AM
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370: Exactly.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:40 AM
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Suarez better be suspended for the rest of the tournament.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:41 AM
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Shit. I was in a room full of Italians twenty minutes ago, but got bored and left. Now I want to know how they're reacting.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:41 AM
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I did appreciate his rolling around on the ground. "OH GOD! I WAS FOULED RIGHT IN THE TEETH!"


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:41 AM
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I couldn't tell but he may have gotten hit in retaliation.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:46 AM
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374: How many nationalities can you bore out of a room?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:47 AM
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It does look like he got a knock in the head as the other guy went down. The bite itself is hilarious looking though: what exactly was he pretending to try to do?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:49 AM
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So one of the Italian scrubs is going to punch Suarez here, right? He'd be a hero.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:55 AM
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I feel like Suarez may have Pica.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:56 AM
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That or he's a vampire.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:58 AM
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Yeah, or there may be something deeply wrong with him.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 10:58 AM
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It would rule if the outcome of this is Uruguay going through but without Suarez.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 11:01 AM
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In fairness, though, there's no way Suarez was going to let himself get overshadowed by Balotelli's Ong Bak style tackle.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 11:01 AM
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On the other hand those teeth are made for biting. It'd almost be a shame to be given such teeth and not use them to bit people.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 11:03 AM
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383. I imagine it means just that.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 11:03 AM
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The thing about basketball flopping is that usually, even with a slo-mo replay, I'm willing to grant some benefit of the doubt to the flopper. I mean, it really doesn't take much of a hit to knock someone off-balance, so hey, maybe he really did get knocked over.

But the soccer floppers are so blatant. That shit would totally be a penalty in any well-run sport.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 11:09 AM
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I'm legitimately surprised the ref didn't call anything. I can't tell for certain, but this looks a lot like a bite.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 11:12 AM
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