Monday, June 29, 2009

U-S-A! U-S-A! C-H-O-K-E-D! and more Case of the Mondays

More Riverside Rants in the middle of a Wimbledon that might have a couple Andys in the semis and Williamses in the final...
  • Boy, there is just nothing better than a bunch of loud, drunk Americans being wheeled into one bar on a bandwagon to watch the rarest of rarities: a relevant USA soccer game, huh?
  • There were a surprising amount of Brazil soccer fans there, too, which made things fun. Particularly when the American team went up 2-0, the bar went bazooka-bonkers twice, and the poor Brasilian hooligans looked like they were contemplating how to go into hiding for the next 28 years. I loved the part where our table started up the "U-S-A! U-S-A!" chant on both occasions.
  • Of course, just like any low-budget horror movie, it ended badly. When Brazil scored the game-winner with 10 minutes to go, the table of yellow-and-green-clad patrons started mocking us with their own version of the U-S-A chant. I won't reprint what qualifier they added; this is a family sports-and-hot-chicks blog.
  • The funny thing is, I seem to recall reading a story about how much the rest of the world hates that U-S-A! chant. Like it's beyond obnoxious to any foreigner. I think I read that during the Olympics, maybe.
  • I guess I can appreciate that, in all honesty. The chant is plain, it's simple, and it basically boasts, "we're better than you" in a sing-songy fashion. I suppose the foreign-language chants hold less personal entitlement to them, so whatever.
  • But it was all in good fun, and no bad blood lingered between the two fan groups on the way out or anything. Besides, our group forgot about the not-so-devastating result halfway on our commute from Brats to the Terrace; we wouldn't have wanted our Brazilian amigos to stay depressed until the 2036 World Cup.

  • And now, our Riverside Rant of the Week. Enjoy.
  • Three big-time trades went down in the Association right before the Draft. Well, big-time if you're a fan of the Cavs, Magic or Spurs. Not so much if you're sticking with the Suns, Nets and Bucks.
  • Hmmm...three playoff teams make moves to get better, while three non-playoff teams give away top players for basically nothing. Anybody still wonder why the same 16 franchises make the postseason each year?
  • The East champs, Orlando, picked up Vince Carter, which kind of was all right, since they couldn't hang on to Rafer Alston and the Nets do receive Courtney Lee in return. But I don't know what New Jersey intends to do with Alston - who just "point"ed the Magic to the NBA Finals - seeing as Devin Harris isn't about to give up time.
  • Then the stupid Bucks-Spurs deal, which involved five players - four of them completely irrelevant. Rip Jefferson is now in San Antonio, in exchange for bag of balls.
  • Not the actual basketballs; just the bag. An empty bag.
  • Bruce Bowen will get bought out, Kurt Thomas is now useless and Amir Johnson is terrible. The Milwaukee Bucks: ready to rise? More like ready to slap that snooze button and get another 45 minutes of sleep.
  • "The Bucks' incentive to make the trade is largely financial," according to the AP story. A true statement, if you leave out the 'largely' part. Milwaukee GM John Hammond said this gives the Bucks "much-needed options in the short- and long-term."
  • What short-term? Somehow, giving away a 20-point scorer and deadly shooter for whom you just traded the farm 18 months ago is good in the short term? Replacing him with a 36-year-old center and an overpaid, fourth-string forward helps your team in the short term?
  • John, John...just call it what it is in your pretty little statement. "Our franchise is hemorraging money and selling out fans, so we're just going to put more money in our already-fat pockets. Thank you, and go to hell."
  • And then, that Shaq trade. You might say, 'the Cavs shouldn't start printing up a banner just yet; the Diesel is running out of gas at age 39.' This may be. But they got him basically for free.
  • The Cavs sent Ben Wallace (probably retiring) and Sasha Pavlovic (probably getting bought out and returning to the Cavs) to the Suns. Wait, scratch that sentence. Neither of them are going to Phoenix. So why'd they do it?
  • "For the Suns, the O'Neal trade is a straight salary dump." Ah, I see. A team that won 60 games LAST YEAR made a blockbuster deal that made zero basketball sense to it. The economy didn't crumble THAT fast, fellas.
  • Here's the actual rant: I understand there are reasons behind cutting salary. Heck, the Nuggets made a straight salary dump with Camby and ended up with the greatest season in franchise history. But they were already a good team, and LA was trying to add pieces. That deal made some sense to both sides.
  • Now we're seeing these teams basically GIVE UP. And why? Because the owners wanna slash expenses in a bad economy?
  • That's the part, good readers, that makes me the sickest. The next owner who makes any sort of B.S. statement about tightening his belts should take a gander at the unemployment lines in their city. Or read the disturbing headline that 19.7% of May 2009 college grads are now employed within a month of commencement, compared with 51% in May 2007. Or do any other sort of actual research involving impoverished families who can barely afford the day.
  • Then tell us, your paying customers, about tightening your belts.
  • It's this simple, you 120 owners: you're filthy rich. And you own a sports team. If you don't care about winning and care about making money, sell your team. There's got to be a few more Mark Cubans out there that will spend, spend, spend to win.
  • Because that's what makes sports go around: 30 teams in each sport that are extremely competitive, not 8 haves and 22 have-nots. Enough of these excuses.
  • One more thing: if you type the words "salary dump" into Google Search, followed by the word "NFL", "NHL" or "MLB", you get somewhere in the range of 25,000 maybe 30,000 results. If you type in "salary dump NBA"? 40 grand.
  • David Stern, you have a call from a dirty, disgusting little secret on line one.

  • As my cohort in crime Andrew Petersen found today on Twitter, Chase Daniel was pleased to announce that Missouri was "one of two schools to produce a first-round pick in the NFL, NBA and MLB drafts this spring."
  • Why, that's nice, Chase. Showing support for your alma mater like that.
  • Should I even mention that both North Carolina AND Southern California are in the group with Missouri? Or would that force us to learn whether or not Chase can count past two?
  • Ah, screw it. Mizzou-rah.

  • Wimbledon picks, or "Wimby" if you're a ruh-tard headline writer at ESPN: Andy Roddick gets past Lleyton Hewitt in a solid five-setter, Andy Murray eases past JC Ferrero in three, Novak Djokovic knocks off Tommy Haas in four, and Roger Federer squeezes past Ivo Karlovic in a surprisingly entertaining four sets.
  • On the women's side? I think I mentioned a couple Williamses who might have a bit of success. Dinara Safina might be the worst No. 1 of all time, and Elena Dementieva is the eternal "play to my seed and just go home" player.

  • Go see the Hangover. Then see it again. But if you pass up Transformers 2 to see Hangover a second time, at least sneak into the sequel for the first 10 minutes.
  • Two words: Megan Fox. Two more words: her legs. And that's all I have to say about that.
Have a good one.


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