Musical fire courtesy of OK Go and RJD2.
Download here or here, stream below, itunes link below, and RSS feed here. Respect.
|Dear God Why Us Sports
Kicking off a second season of this soccer-themed podcast, after a baffling hiatus during a massive soccer tournament this summer, The Barrister is joined by The Defenseman to talk Liverpool, the Premier League, vicious dictators, the Bills (barely acceptable tangential takes), and exclusive information about Liverpool's recent signings. Little known fact: The Defenseman has an uncanny ability to research the back stories of European footballers.
Musical fire courtesy of OK Go and RJD2.
Download here or here, stream below, itunes link below, and RSS feed here. Respect.
Obviously this monstrosity - and I mean that in a good way, I promise, this is great! - couldn't get edited and uploaded in time, so obviously that meant it going live after the match yesterday, but them's are the breaks with amateur, poorly crafted, digitally recorded, oral sports takes.
Barrister and Phil (@Mechaphil) linked up again to re-hash the joy of winning at Old Trafford and look forward to Liverpool's trip to Cardiff. In the middle of it, we talk about Julian Green committing to the U.S. Men's National Team, FIFA corruption, and the glory of American deliberate indifference.
Bonus clip at the end of this massively long episode as we welcome the hottest of takes from Rochester's biggest (only?) Cardiff City supporter, recorded before the game, at halftime, and immediately after Cardiff's 6-3 loss to the Mighty Redmen. /farts
Download here or here. Stream below. Subscribe via the RSS feed here, or iTunes button embedded below. You want options? There are your fucking options.
As always, all of the DGWU podcasts are available at deargodwhyussports.libsyn.com. Cheers.
It was a fun weekend (for some) of EPL action this past weekend, and since the Bills are in the hunt for draft position despite their stupid ability to win down in the Panhandle, and since the Sabres are just terribly, terribly shitty and should all die in a fire, I'll be shifting gears to soccer, my love of the EPL and, in particular, the Liverpool Football Club. If you don't like soccer, I get it, but this season is bonkers so it's a good time to try to jump in.
Consistent with my tunnel vision for foot, I digitally gathered together some producers of hot fire takes to talk about the EPL. Since we all ramble, and since there was a lot to get through, it's a two part episode this week. This all was an enormous amount of fun. I did barely any editing, so apologies in advance for rambling, WNY/Roch-style pregnant pauses, random static, and foul language.*
As with all of our podcasts, you can subscribe via iTunes (handy button below), or via the RSS link here.
The Casted Foot - Episode 4, Part 1: Reveling in Some Red
In Part 1, my good buddy Phil and I talk almost exclusively Liverpool. We're both Reds supporters and after Sunday's 5-0 win at White Hart Lane, there was a lot to enjoy. Part 1 includes music from Chiddy Bang, Queens of the Stone Age, and Calvin Harris. Yes, that Calvin Harris, lay off. You can download here or here, or stream below.
The Casted Foot - Episode 4, Part 2: About as Well as to be Expected
In Part 2, Phil is back again and we're joined by The Outlander, the Deeg's resident Citizen, and Peter Berkes, who supports Tottenham and couldn't bring himself to watch the entire game on Sunday. We talk more generally about the EPL, listen to Peter as he bemoans his squad and Outlander as he predicts an away victory for Manchester City, and Phil and I continue to dry hump LFC. Part 2 includes music by A Tribe Called Quest, Pusha T, and Frightened Rabbit. You can download here or here, or stream below.
*Apology revoked for foul language
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.
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.
With the Deeg fully ensconced in the game of American Throw, Catch & Run Ball, and with fatherly duties perhaps keeping me away from my obviously more important duties here at the Deeg, it would be easy to coast a little bit with my contributions. Yet, if last Saturday night's "live" blog and the subsequent opportunities to watch a little more soccer than usual while on a slice of paternity leave, it's that I fucking love this sport. Sure, the NFL is tons of capitalist fun, but good Christ - there is little in the world that compares to watching the uninterrupted action of a game of soccer played at the highest levels of the sport.
So, for those of you who share that love or who like what I write enough to suffer through posts about one of your least favorite sports, I'll be trying to re-settle into a niche here at the Deeg while everyone else is talking about CJ "Blue Jesus" Spiller and the Bills' two lines of monster football players who remind us all (a little bit too much, probably) of what went down in Orchard Park about 20 years ago. (Not that this will keep me from chiming in on the Bills, since it is game day...)
The format for these forays into footy, if you give a shit, will be a breakdown of the handful of games that I got a chance to watch or follow closely over the course of the last week, followed by a sprinkle of quick thoughts about the squads that matter to me, whether it be Liverpool, the Red Bulls, (mostly because I love Michael Bradley) Roma or the US Senior National Teams. With the kiddo and my waning attention span, your guess is as good as mine as to how long I keep at this with any frequency. Finger crossing, as with all things, is encouraged.
Click "Read More" to, you guessed it! -- READ MORE.
If you’re a sports fan, weekends can be a magical/utterly depressing time as you get to enjoy/loathe your teams without the burdens of work (presumably), only to have Monday come around with your outlook on the week unreasonably shaped by how things played out. When the Bills beat the Pats last September, work was great, if very hungover, on Monday morning. Anything seemed possible. On the other hand, when the Sabres drop a back-to-back against the Leafs over a weekend (I’m sure it’s happened at some point, probably several times), Monday feels like garbage. Everything is lost.
Living in New York City helps with this a bit, since I can blend in with the plebeian masses and keep my more hideous sports allegiances hidden for a few days if need be. But, pathetic, emotionally-wrecked mess of a human that I am, I tend to wallow a little.
This weekend was a mixed bag, with the Mets winning a pair, the Bills looking like a hot turd sandwich with a side of miscommunicated routes, and both Liverpool and the Red Bulls leaving two points on the pitch with depressing draws. All of which is to say that I’ve certainly felt worse on a Monday, but, as you'll see after the jump, I still don’t feel at all close to good.
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.
I'm fucking bitter. Right from the outset, dear readers, please understand that there is a LOT pissing me off these days. For the life of me, though, I can't stomach a full post where I take on one, cohesive topic of my rage. I'm exhausted from vacation (go figure), I'm already exhausted from work, and I'm exhausted by the dozen or so little corners of my sports world that make me want to find Jerry Sullivan's NYC doppleganger and strangle him to a long, slow death.
I am not in a good place, in other words.
For an unusually contemplative guy, the holidays tend to give me even more time to sit and ponder certain points of interest in my life. With so much time spent caring too much about sport, while finding a scarcity of ways to explain such to my loved ones who could basically give a shit, it's been a weird week or so of sport consumption for the Barrister. Snippets here and there. Highlights on the phone or iPad. Subtle or not-so-subtle twitter check-ins on my lap during a delicious meal. Uneasy looks from the Missus as she no doubt wonders why she was so thoroughly duped into marrying me.
(Ed. note #1 from the Scizz: Leave your theories in the comments!)
If my family didn't think I was utterly pathetic before, they sure do now. (which is why they think I'm working on real jobby job stuff right now, rather than typing up a frivolous blog post...)
"I guess we have ourselves a reckoning." - Bills vs. Steelers Preview, Week 14
"I got a nose for white supremacy, and he smells like bleach." Monday Night Football is back, folks.
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