Go Team USA tonight! With Spain and England (sorry tommo, arkwright and brightlybob) eliminated, the USA has a fair shot of getting into the next round. I've loved Le Foot every since I lived in France, and then marveling at the amazing Zinedine Zidane (who will always be my hero, despite what that awful Materazzi did to provoke the head butt). Zidane was perfection in performance, like Bobby Orr to the NHL.
I will not be watching the World Cup Games. I limit myself to one sport and that is NFL football. Usually the Monday and Sunday night games and a third game if the Denver Broncos are on national television. However, there is one correction about NHL perfection. Did you mean to say Gordy Howe? Just kidding. I grew up in the Detroit area and watched him perform many times at the old Olympia. Of course, Bobby Orr changed the way defensemen played the game. He is definitely the best of his era at his position.
I remember Gordy Howe well, but I grew up with the Philadelphia Flyers -- Bobbie Clarke, Bernie Parent, André Lacroix, Joe van Impe, and others. But in the process of falling in love with sports for the first time as a late teen (and when I wanted to become a sports writer), I first listened and when I could watched the games, especially with the Bruins. I had no connection with Boston whatsoever then and had never been anywhere but the Philly suburbs and south Jersey. But the days of Orr, Esposito, Derek Sanderson -- those were the days, my friend!
My sports philosophy was actually built on what the Chicago Blackhawks never did in those days. Despite having arguably the best player in hockey, they never won anything. So when I arrived in New England in 1976 to start college (at a somewhat elderly age of 24), I became an immediate fan of the Patriots. They were awful. I wrote letters to the coach, Chuck Fairbanks, asking him why he did his idiotic things like keeping awful QBs in particular (one even got published in the Boston Globe). But I am not a fair weather fan. I have loved the Pats ever since, so when Drew Bledsoe got injured (this is embarrassing), I was watching at the house of my parish manager with priest etc. and shouted YES!!! I even called myself a prophet after Tom Brady was brought in. The Tuna deserves some credit, though his manner of leaving left a bad taste, and I love BB.
I don't watch hockey as much any more -- there are too many games and I can't get to any of them unlike the olden days.
But World Cup soccer is special. It's 1-1 with Portugal now. I really hope we win this one since I despise Ronaldo (more of an actor than a soccer player in my view...)
Gotta get the sportswriter out of me now and then, so you prompted it! But yes, I am NFL first and foremost.
PS -- But do you remember Derek Sanderson? He too changed the way hockey was played. If you rooted for Boston, you actually wanted penalties, because Sanderson was both so good at penalty killing and scoring while 1 down that it was worth it.
Those really were the days.
Yes, I remember Derek Sanderson and Phil Esposito (though I always link him with the Chicago Blackhawks). When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s I always listened to the Detroit Redwings hockey games on the radio when I did my schoolwork in the evening. In the spring time it was the Detroit Tigers. There was a time I could have recited the names of the starting lineups of the six NHL teams (many years ago). I think BB may be the best coach in the NFL at the present time. He is a lock for the Hall of Fame. However, I love nothing more than to watch the Broncos beat the Patriots and Tom Terrific (even though Brady and I are both Wolverines). I was an avid Detroit Lions fan until I moved to Colorado Springs in 1975 and became a Bronco fan for life.
I absolutely respect your opinion, though Tom Terrific had to become that through really hard work. He was a last round draft choice, 4th string QB, essentially water boy for the team, until BB had the ba^^s after Bledsoe's injury to keep him as QB. There would not have been 3 Super Bowl wins if Drew Bledsoe had remained QB. I give him full credit for grace in view of the situation, but he had never been producing. I think Tom Terrific (your words) is what I want every student of mine to become -- albeit cliché, something better than they can be.
Like BB, Brady is a lock for the Hall of Fame. My memory is hazy on the situation at Michigan, but I thought that Brady was penciled in as the starter and then suffered an injury. Brian Griese then became the starter. I could be wrong. Unfortunately, Coach Shanahan of the Broncos drafted Griese ( I think because of his father, Bob, being a star QB with the Miami Dolphins) and this pretty much doomed the Broncos and Shanahan. Without a doubt, Brady will be one of the best of all time when he hangs it up. The teaming up of Brady and BB have made for an excellent partnership.
In general, I'm not watching. I do catch parts of some games when I'm at my local bar or out to eat. I do however check the scores online noting who has been knocked out already and who still has hope of advancing. I even checked the score of the US-Portugal game on my smartphone.
I guess that means I'm following the World Cup even if I'm not really watching it.
I'm watching, cheering, and feeling last night's heartbreak. Before the game, I would've said, "2 - 2 draw? Sure, I'll take it!" But after watching the USMNT fight back to take the lead late in the match -- after gifting a goal to Portugal at the 5 minute mark -- the draw was disappointing, to say the least. But Ronaldo's Ronaldo, and he showed why he's FIFA's reigning footballer of the year. But, hey, a draw with Germany puts us through -- and I'll take it!
Btw, I've seen every game but one, courtesy of the DVR.
While I'm disappointed that the USMNT's tournament is over, time and again over the past month, they displayed pride, heart and a never-say-die spirit. As commentator extraordinaire Ian Darke observed yesterday late in added time, "If the US are going out, they're going out on their shield." Football fans the world over have expressed respect and admiration for the determination with which they played. Tim Howard was absolutely brilliant in goal, and it was particularly gratifying to see a match played by two talented sides, with no outrageous diving or egregious fouls.
Jurgen Klinsmann has established a strong foundation for the USMNT, with Altidore, Green, Yedlin, Johansson, Diskerud, and Brooks all 24 years of age or younger, and a handful of others no older than 28. And if one's looking for a good omen, 19-year-old Julian Green became the youngest player to score in the World Cup since a 19-year-old Lionel Messi scored his first WC goal for Argentina in 2006. I'm already looking forward to next year's CONCACAF Gold Cup, as well as the 2016 Centennial Copa America, which will, for the first time, include six CONCACAF teams along with all the South American heavyweights. And it was announced in May that the US will host this special Pan-American event. Bring it on!
Amen. He's under contract through the 2018 World Cup, and I believe he took the job in 2011 with 2018 in mind. Who knows if veterans like Landon Donovan would've made a difference, but Klinsmann used the 2014 WC to get some younger guys some high-stakes experience. He took some flack for saying before the tournament that talk of the US winning it was unrealistic -- with four more years of seasoning, it won't be.
I really hope Tim Howard will still be around -- I saw him interviewed live at a ridiculous hour this morning, and his reply was that he feels too emotional right now to make any decisions. But after breaking a WC record even in losing, I think it would be hard for him not to go for it again.
Well, he just signed a contract extension with Everton through 2018, so he'll probably be on the squad for the next WC. But just this morning Howard called into the Dan Patrick Show, and he himself said that he expects Brad Guzan to be the starter in 2018. If that's the case, you can expect Klinsmann to name Guzan the starter sooner rather than later so that he can get as many international starts as possible under his belt. Guzan's six years younger than Howard and was excellent in the qualifiers he did start, including a clean sheet against Mexico in Mexico City. But starter or not, I imagine Howard will be in Russia in 2018.
I believe in loyalty, though mainly top down rather than bottom up since we at the bottom have always been quite loyal (Marriott and Delta, are you listening?). If Klinsmann remains coach, as I sincerely hope, I cannot imagine him replacing Howard, who set an all-time record, with a young kid. You go with the proven until they can't prove themselves anymore. Then it's time to throw in someone new or fresh, as they did on offense the other day (actually it was yesterday but seems longer). But if Tim Howard wants to play, he absolutely must be the goalkeeper.