The Beautiful Game
When the FA Cup started this season, before the "Proper" rounds of late, there were hundreds of teams competing the preliminary rounds. A long was still to go before the quarterfinals, this weekend's third round proper - the moment where Premier League and League Championship sides enter the fray - was full of what soccer fans: controversy, late goals, upsets and Arsene Wenger walking off the pitch with his arms crossed in hilarious and delicious disappointment.
If you happened to read my rambling post last week
and happened to, impressively, make it to the end of that monstrosity, you would have seen that I made some predictions for the round. And because I'm lazy and still hungover on the #ToiletWine I imbibed during yesterday's CrapTastiCast (expected to drop tomorrow), I suppose that recapping my predictions is as good/bad/pathetic way to talk about how the weekend went.
I... did not do so great.
Jet lag is a crazy bitch.
I've been back in the U.S. for under 48 hours, neither me nor my darling son are yet settled into the time difference yet, he's been crying for 87% of this New Year's Day, I've been beating myself up with the marathon of Being: Liverpool on FSC today with healthy helpings of mimosas and cookies while my lady looks on disapprovingly, the Buffalo Bills have been entertaining us all with a smoke and mirrors show the like we've never seen, and other than my piss-my-pants-in-excitement post cheering the firing of Chan "I refuse to use my suer-talented running back due to unresolved issues with my father and his tendency to call me a dickless failure" Gailey, I haven't contributed to this site in a few weeks which is long for me because I'm, well, obsessive about giving you fresh plates of steaming hot takes as often as possible.
Run-on sentences are my jam when I'm this tired.
I would talk at greater length about those Buffalo Bills but Joe Pinzone asked me to be on his podcast tonight so I wouldn't want to ruin it for the six of you that happen to listen. It goes without saying that, if you were to observe the spectrum of Bills' fan outlooks after Russ Brandon was elevated to President and CEO of Los Billeros, I would be somewhere close to the "dear god please stab me in the dick this team is perpetually shit and nothing is going to change that." Don't worry, sometime in March I'll be overly optimistic about our Bills and will lose my last shreds of credibility for the dozens of people that read this site, I'm sure.
Today, though, it's all about the footy - specifically the English brand of it. Just back from that transatlantic trip to London for the holiday, its unsurprising that I'd confine myself to the English game. After all, one game past the midway point of the Premier League season, things are starting to get pretty interesting, and with the FA Cup's Third Round on tap for this weekend, there's plenty to keep fans of the English game entertained.
And if you're not a fan of the English game, it must be said, you're a fucking moron. This shit is amazing.
After the jump -- Liverpool confound with their frustratingly inconsistent play, Manchester United continues to firm up their foothold on the top of the table while their Sky Blue neighbors flounder, Arsenal bounce back from their 0-2 defeat at home to Swansea, and Harry Redknapp is a blustered ball of frustration and I love it. Oh, and some unfounded FA Cup predictions because why the fuck not?
There's little else in my sports life that is more exciting than Cup football. At least until the Sabres break it through the first round of the playoffs and the Bills are playing in late January again. Until then, this more than suffices.
This morning, in the midst of a terrible Liverpool league season that may very well see them finish in the bottom half of the table, the Reds gave me and the rest of the fan base another miracle. Staring down the barrel of a 0-1 deficit following the boneheaded gaffe of Jaime Carragher, and with 3rd string keeper Brad Jones in net, I can't say I had much hope. Sure, the team showed some fight earlier this week with a comeback win with that same backup keeper and a late header, but surely this would be different. Surely the team wouldn't be able to make it back to another Cup final in a season riddled with so much dysfunction, both on and off the pitch.
But then, in the midst of all of this griping and considering going back to bed with my beloved lady on an early Saturday morning... a gift.