Barrister running solo this week but gets a special guest for the second segment mostly because he hates the sound of his own voice.
Liverpool's win over Manchester United is the topic of the day. A boy named Phil gets Barrister all excited, as if he needed any motivation.
Music from The Beastie Boys, Daft Punk and Kanye.
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A new podcast series two years in the making!
Back from his self-imposed, terrible sports-motivated hiatus, Yachtsman joins the Barrister for some hot sound-based takes. Unlikely to write for the site anytime this decade, El Yachtero's willingness to participate was largely based on the fact that he could do it while hungover and drinking. Fair enough.
Linking up at the 11th Street Bar, the home of Liverpool's NY Supporter's Club, Yachtsman and Barrister talk about LFC's opening win versus Stoke fucking City while quickly pulling down cigarettes on a lovely Saturday morning. Good times were had, adult beverages imbibed at outrageously early hours, and a podcast was made.
Music from Ratatat, Pearl Jam and Daft Punk.
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Hey y'all, the word of the day is "TWELVE"
12 straight wins.
Yeah this should have gone up yesterday, but fuck you I was working/trolling fools in the Buffalo News comments for sport. get on my level.
Yesterday was a good day. Fans on both sides will temper the boisterous joy with which some are looking at the USMNT's win in Sarajevo yesterday - it was their B team when the US put up those goals, the first half was all that mattered, it's a friendly so who cares - and I totally accept that.
BUT ALL THAT DOESN'T MATTER. This is goddamn awesome.
Things to consider:
Ok, that's it. If you're not watching this US team these days, I don't know what to say. Get yourself right and ready for Brazil.
- Bosnia-Herzegovina was/is ranked 13th in the world by FIFA, and 9th by the Soccer Power Index. US is ranked 19th by FIFA and the SPI (which seemed ambitious, and suddenly doesn't).
- Bosnia hadn't lost at home since 2010. That string included a scoreless draw to now-ranked 7th Portugal in Euro Qualifiers, a 2-1 Friendly win over now-ranked 9th Brazil, and a 3-1 win over Greece in World Cup Qualifying. Eight wins and three ties over that home undefeated run.
- On the field for the whole game was Edin Džeko, a dude who has 30 goals in 54 appearances for his national team, which plays in the most competitive Continental Football Association on the planet. In his club career, he's scored 152 goals, including 19 for Man City during their title run. He is legit.
- JOZY ALTIDORE MAKES ME WET.
- This streak is only three wins shy of tying Spain's record of 15. Only six national teams, including Spain, have done better.
- Since the last World Cup, the US have beat Italy, Mexico and Bosnia-Herzegovina away, and beat Germany at home. What more do these guys have to prove before they're considered legit?
The impact of a simple tweet:
(the same guy who broke Luis going to LFC in 1st place, and also Coates, fwiw)
Confession: it was a lot easier to just hate Suarez.
Fuck, it was a godsend to see news of him wanting out. I remember last spring, the week after he lashed his teeth into Ivanovich’s bicep
, sitting in my car with Yachtsman on the other line, trying to rationalize every argument and scenario that would make me feel better about the implications of what I had seen.
“This season is lost anyway, I don’t care.”
“Whatever, the FA is garbage. Jermaine Defoe didn’t get suspended for biting a dude! The FA hates Liverpool!”
“He’ll be back, he’ll get better. He has to right?” “I mean, we could sell him.”
It didn't seem possible then that another club would want his baggage – delightful scoring touch aside – for even £20 million. LFC bought him for £26.6, but whatever, he’s worth less now, I reasoned. Sure, he is more prolific now than we dreamed him to be, but we don’t want this, I said.
Oh, spring. The time of year when I have already given up on baseball except on the days when my team's improbable Cy Young candidate is pitching; when the Sabres have, not so improbably, retired for the off-season; when sports are a simple backdrop to thoughts of day drinking in the sun and cutting out of work as often as possible.
For the next three months or so, soccer will really be the only sport I care about, and that's just fine with me. While the Buffalo Bills tempt us into a familiar land of hopes and dreams, I'll be in the corner enjoying a sport that hasn't yet beaten me into submission with annual kicks to the nuts.
/looks at prior Liverpool season results
/kicks self in aforementioned nuts as penance for blatant lie
Of course, paying any attention to this sport flies in the face of certain opinions set forth by certain creepy sports journalists in Tuffalo
, but I think it goes without saying that Mike Harrington is simply out of his element when he tries to talk about anything that doesn't fall within the following categories:
- the availability of Terry Pegula for sarcastic, caustic interviews;
- the quickest way to climb a tree outside an unsuspecting woman's window;
- tying knots;
- the best proportion of Miracle Whip and Fritos to put on a bologna sandwich;
- the fragrance of a minor league baseball locker room;
- buying bulk candy;
- Jerry Sullivan's jock; and
- LOL ROFL Doh! Thanx
So, when it comes to soccer, don't worry about this knuckledragger's opinion. When he hears "The Beautiful Game," his mind instantly shifts to family reunion Twister. He's gross.
On to the #Hot #Sports #Takes!!!
Did that seriously happen?
When I went to bed last night, I still hadn't really grasped it, and today I'm faring no better. Luis Suarez, the Premier League's best goal scorer this season, fucking bit a dude. And to make it worse, this isn't even unusual behavior for him.
He has a history of this. As stupid about my sports as I am, I'm still not capable of processing this; of deciding what it means about the player, about my club, and about what I'm willing to accept as a sports fan.
When Pat Kaleta blows someone into the boards from behind, I can rationalize it because it's within the scope of hockey generally. It doesn't stray that far from the script of the sport. But when a guy bites someone - TWICE - my brain just can't handle it. I want to jump up and down in anger - surely that's what I'd be doing if the situation was reversed and a guy on my team got chomped - but the fan in me won't go there, perhaps unreasonably.
But, put another way - a way that looks for the results end of the sport, rather than the vague concepts of honor and sportsmanship - the fan in me is looking only to reason. Suarez, after all, is a gifted player. He's the biggest reason Liverpool have been competitive this year. He has a captain in Steven Gerrard - the kind of guy who graciously combines great skill and talent with great honor and sportsmanship - who calls him the third best player in the world.
What to value, then? The moral/ethical side of the game, or the results side of the game? Am I being callous if I value goals scored by an apparently bad and deeply troubled person? Am I being naive if I value the character of a man over his ability to achieve the basic purposes of the game itself?
Is he a brilliant player in spite of apparent sociopathic tendencies, or because of them?
After all, he did this terrible, bizarre, despicable thing... and then he scored an amazing equalizer in the dying moments of the match.
He is both terrible and tremendous. He is a mountain of talent and an abyss of apparent soullessness.
Should our response be to praise, to loathe, or to find a combination of the two and search for a deeper understanding of what it is we're seeing when he takes the pitch?
I'm clearly at a loss for how to answer these questions with any sort of certainty, but for the time being some answers are being chosen by others as the club has fined Suarez and announced that he will not be sold this summer, while the rest of the football world calls for his head on a stake.
And, as for Liverpool fans, we are left to debate what this all means for a Club that has valued the kind of honorable football Suarez shirks while also valuing the kind of beautiful football he so often creates.
I'm attempting to remain upbeat by not thinking about our shitty hockey team and shitty local hockey media and how Mike Harrington needs a punch in the gunt and how Jesus Christ what if everything except Lindy was the problem and we're rebuilding with the wrong blueprint and this is all going to turn into a quintessential #becauseitsbuffalo fuckup that my son will have to live with through a lifetime of sport sadness steadily replicating the life I've led to date and the feeling of emptiness in my heart left by a missed field goal and foot in the crease and it'll just be passed on to a kid who doesn't know better and will surely love these teams too because he inexplicably thinks his dad is the tits and makes infallible decisions?
I just can't. Fuck. Dammit. Balls in the mouth.
So instead, I'm revisiting the bloggasuperfranchise that is my Intermittent Footy Roundup. See! It's been a long time! INTERMITTENT!!!! Ha. Words.
And I'm back. Not that The Beautiful Game is much of a comfort to me lately, but hell if I’m going to spend my precious free moments on this chilly Thursday to talk about the garbage pail Buffalo Bills. Fire Chan. Draft a QB or two. Do what you will with Buddy. And give CJ the damn football.
As for that game of so much beauty, that sport of kings, my current joy with soccer only exists by way of emotional detachment since there hasn’t been a ton to cheer about these past few weeks. Yet in the midst of that detachment, much has happened. Liverpool’s form continues to elude them, both Chelsea and QPR have rid themselves of their managers, and a little league called the MLS broke my heart. Twice. I’m finally ready to talk/emotionally vomit/ramble incoherently about it.
ninja, ninja, RAP!
Welp. Hurricane Sandy is upon us, I’m holed up in Central Massachusetts in probably the first of many moments of overprotective parenting, The Scizz is ragestorming at the flippancy of twitter in a time of potential crisis, Yachtsman and Apologist are playing video games like the two brave burnouts they are, Outlander is cursing the fact he had to work and remain in close proximity to certified morons, and The Continental is currently cruising the aisles at her local supermarket in the hopes of bedding some hurricane tail.
Just so we’re all clear about the current state of things.
Don't Worry. I'm Here To Help.
This past week/weekend brought yet another slate of highly entertaining soccer, with MLS playoff implications to be decided, Champions League and Europa action, and a Merseyside Derby that will have my blood boiling for at least another week. Or, at least until I have consumed at least a dozen or so adult sodas in rapid succession.
On top of the events on the pitches of the footballing world, news has come out that NBC Universal has successfully obtained the American television rights for the English Premier League, and their announcement has made it clear that American fans should expect expanding coverage and, more importantly, options to watch all games in real time. While the skeptic in me reigns supreme, especially after the coverage fails during the Summer Olympics, I’m looking forward to what this might look like next year.
And, as Grant Wahl mentioned on Twitter today
, this deal may spell bad things for the NHL’s market share if they don’t fucking get their act together. Interesting stuff, in any event.
On to the steaming hot takes!!
worst 90 minutes I've ever spent on Netflix. Luckily, I was drunk.
Another weekend in the books, another slate of games where my squads shit the bed and give me more reasons to wonder whether the universe delights in pissing all over my face. Perhaps, written in my DNA somewhere, is some sign that I love Golden Showers, and the universe is simply following instructions... it would certainly explain a lot.
As for the other, more American sports you all come here to read up on, someone will be on here later this week to talk Bills, I'm sure, but in the meantime the hot takes will be soccer-centric. Bear with me, I promise many inappropriate moments to make it worth your while.
I watched a few games early in the week, including portions of a couple of Champions League matches that kind of put me to sleep, and a Liverpool Europa match that kind of made me shit in hats, but we'll start with the New York Fucking Red Bulls.
Exhibit A: Getting Smoked Off Your Own Pitch
With only three games left on the schedule, the Red Bulls hosted the Chicago Fire. The Chicago FIRE. As an aside, if you want to pretend the Deeg is somehow unreasonably inappropriate when it comes to our sports takes, don't forget the plethora of absurd and offensive team names scattered across the world, take the stick out of your ass, and laugh with the rest of us. It's fun.
As for the Fire, there are a dozen or so really dumb jokes or puns I could make, but suffice it to say that I think naming a sports team after a local tragedy is tasteless and crass and par for the course for the early days of the MLS. Just as Kansas City abandoned the dishearteningly lame "Wizards," and NY abandoned the Metro Stars and any reference to the state of New Jersey (smart move, that), it's probably time for Chicago to rebrand with something that doesn't tip it's hat to the deaths of hundreds of Chicagoishians. Because, you know, death is not. cool.
Or, you know, they could keep it since they sure brought the fire on Saturday night, right guys? /ducks
The game was saddeningly typical of Red Bulls efforts of late -- patient but uninspired possession play, with the chances few and far between and, more to the point, unsuccessful. Not that the Fire were much better, though they - via Sherjill McDonald's two goals - made the most of their opportunities, even when seeing very little of the ball.