Monday, June 30, 2014

World Cup 2014 Round of 3

Me tink de Argies & de Nort Africans win ear.

update:  These may seem like mismatches on the papers, but it's not out of the question that someone gets clipped.

France over Nigeria - the North Africans French are seemingly motivated and are looking more attractive (rimshot) without the perpetually pissed off Ribery.  The Nigerians slid by on some farcical refereeing decisions in their match with Bosnia.  Will they improve, to continue the ride at the expense of another size that sparkled in the group stage, only to fizzle out in the knockout stage?  If the French get caught running around with the Nigerians, they will find themselves in some shit.

Bah, anything they produce today will be because France has let them, either by bungling or indifference.  Those crazy-ass West Africans don't like for their women to lubed up when they stick it in.  Bokolis can see them getting a taste of their own medicine today.

Argentina over Algeria - Those Algerians certainly have spirit.  But, nothing that they saw in the group stage has prepared them for Argentina and Messi.  This is another instance where we will find out whether Argentina are serious about winning the show.

update update:  It should say Germany over Algeria - Y'all know what Bokolis meant.  Just substitute 10 German bombers for Messi & co.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 World Cup Round of 16…Day 2

Well, Chile didn't wind up winning the PKs like I wanted them to do, but that game wen't pretty much as I expected it to.

I can say the same for Colombia, as Uruguay looked impotent without Suarez (were you expecting Bokoils to say they had no bite) and Colombia eased out to a 2-0 victory.  The eyes of everyone that wants to see Brazil go down now turns to them.

Netherlands over Mexico - Mexico are that side that will almost always play up to the level of its opponent; it's the pride.  They were brave in the Brazil match and were motivated by all the shit Croatia talked before that match.  Don't they know that you never wind up a Mexican like that?  Once insulted, with the spirit and pride worked up, they will fight you to the death…ask Greg Haugen.

I presume the Netherlands are keeping quiet.  I also presume they will have too much firepower.  After two matches played with an attack of pride, the Mexicans will eventually succumb.

Costa Rica over Greece - this is as close to anybody's match as we'll have in this round.  It was said that only Greece could score only two goals in the group stage and still advance, but I was there in 1994 to see Italy do the same.  Granted, Italy did better than a defensive howler and a dubious Samaras penalty for its two.

Costa Rica, on the other hand, defeated Uruguay, albeit without Suarez and Italy.  They are not quite the darlings that Colombia are, but those are two significant scalps.  They've got Joel Campbell, who played his club ball in Greece this year and has stated that he will school his side on how the Greeks play- what…there is no game film- and how to break them down.  Huh?!?  What Greeks?  It's not like Olympiakos has any Greeks in the side.  He should be more concerned about not getting dragged into a patented Greece mudfight.

Regardless, while Greece's 3-0 thumping from Colombia doesn't look as bad, if the best they could manage was to just about defeat a uncharacteristically cautious Ivory Coast, they should not overcome any Costa Rican flair.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

2014 World Cup…round of 16 Day 1

For Saturday's matches.  Consistent with prior editions, the team I want to win is bolded.

Brazil over Chile - Bokolis is in one of those pools.  Since my ultimate rooting interest is anybody but Brazil, I thought about bouncing Brazil with Chile (on PKs)- I was the only one in the pool who eliminated Spain in the group stage- in the round of 16, but didn't want to blow open the bracket.  I think the Colombians are going to take care of that for us.  Brazil are going to let us know in this match whether they are going to win the tournament.

Colombia over Uruguay - You saw how Uruguay played without Suarez against Costa Rica.  Bokolis will watch to see if Colombia are serious about knocking off Brazil.

What do we know…about the 2014 World Cup

Colombia is quite good.  France is motivated.  The Germans are the Germans.  Everybody now thinks Brazil is going to get clipped.  The Argentines should have finally reconciled that their strategy should be to work in Messi's engine room.

We don't know anything about the Dutch, because they've looked stunning in the group stage before, only to crash out in the knockout phase

Chile and Costa Rica have looked spectacular, but will now find out how good they really are.  So will the US, for that matter.

Nigeria and Greece probably don't deserve to be here.  Uruguay surely doesn't deserve to be here.

Nobody said it, but FIFA fucked up with their 9-match + 4-month ban on Handball Suarez.  First, regardless of how the media portrays him as some kind of Lecter, this wasn't a hot-blooded act.  He did that hoping to draw the eyes at the expected reaction, which was a Chiellini elbow to get him off.  At worst, he was hoping to throw the Italians off their game, because his team was not smart enough to figure out that they needed to run at them like the Colombians have been doing.  Her certainly succeeded at throwing them off, as they scored a minute later when a corner kick smashed off Godin's back, not his "magic forehead," as was described by Ian Darke.  Further, this suspension bans him for 9 games from country, but at least 11 for club.  While Bokolis is trying to reconcile my Liverpool bias here- I'm more upset that, instead of getting 100 million Euro, we now can't even sell him- he didn't do it playing for club.  It should have been an 18-month ban from international, with reinstatement conditioned on pulling those bunny-teeth he has.

Ian Darke doesn't know WTF he is talking about.  As with Tommy Smyth, ESPN is banking that people are so busy listening to the accent that they don't hear anything they say.  That's why they have that Brit bird with the bug-eyes.

ESPN has stepped up its game, especially in the non-match coverage.  When the hell did Julie Foudy turn into a fox, btw?  Good for you, Jules…already one of the coolest people around.

Bokolis walked out of work- bartered with the boss to cover at an undesirable meeting- to watch the USA-Germany match amongst the riffraff.  I was shocked at how many birds were at the bar watching the game; a few of them even wanted cock.  Most of them didn't know shit about soccer and were there chiefly to peacock that they could get the time off.

However, I also had Lozo-ian GSF in my midst, one of those broads that screams about everything and curses out the players for not acting in her warped ideal.  Bokolis seriously considered smashing a beer bottle over her head.  It was a quite rational reasoning; I was considering who else (and how many) I was going to have to hit in the wake (I wasn't going to run out).  Once I got to three, I figured that I didn't want to be on the news.  It wasn't so bad, as she lost steam as the game wore on.

Oh, about that game- the US was playing at about 85%, while Germany was struggling to keep it above stalling speed.  The biscotto scenario didn't pay out but, despite the broadcasters trying to sell you that it was played on the up and up, Germany carried the US in that match.

Predictions?  Shit, this is taking too long.  I have to get to the beach.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Amongst all unimportant subjects, football is by far the most important

Much like I lose (even more) respect (than I've already lost) for  a manchester united supporter the further past 1998 that he/she/it started supporting them, I hold contempt for all the janey-come-lately US football fans.  If they tell me something like 2004, Bokolis will end the conversation.  I hold as much contempt for them as I do for all the beaneaters and cow-towners that have infested the Apple.

Call Bokolis a soccer snob, if you will.  But, one of the major benefits of having been a fan of the football when it was a cultist thing in this country- as opposed to now, when it is on the fringe of greater consciousness- is that I almost never had to deal with the over-the-top presentation that is epidemic in the major US sports.

Of course, now that the media conglomerates can sell it, they have started to hit us over the head with the coverage style that has ruined the sports more familiar to Americans.  Where it particularly bothers Bokolis is where the fuss was made over Jurgen Klinsmann stating that the USA cannot win the World Cup.

While, most of the time, the important things have me wrapped up, when I have time for the unimportant, I immediately turn to football.  Still, I figure lacing into the media for complaining about it is a waste of energy.  So, Bokolis will explain it thus:  When Klinsmann says the USA cannot win, it is not said as a coaching tool to his team; he is coaching the media and he is coaching the public because, in all your entitlement, y'all won't shutthefuck up so the team can breathe.

Klinsmann also knows that, if you can get out of a group of death, you've got at least a puncher's chance of doing damage in the knockout stage.

As far as predictions go, Bokolis will see about dropping group previews.  However, aside from the orgy of football it presents, I'm not all that interested in the group stage.  Knockout predictions are more certain to appear.

I will be rooting for anyone but Brazil to win the show.

Bokolis- my display above notwithstanding- used to think the Argentines were arrogant about football, as they are with many things, but they are insecure compared to Brazilians.  Brazilians take the I'm Brazilian; get out of the way to another level.  Where the Argentines will look to cut you down- equal parts petulance and the need for reassurance- if you show that you can better them, the Brazilians don't give a fuck if you get the best of them.  Their mindset remains, at the end of the day, we're still Brazilian, but you're not bad, so we'll let you play on our pitch.

At some point during the latter part of the '90s, Bokolis stopped wearing my soccer jerseys as casual wear because all it did was bring attention from guys.  Unlike most of y'all, I typically go to bars to get away from people.  Dudes would see the jerseys and think it was time for sports talk.  It's always a rabid muthafucka, too...and there ain't no 
muthafuckas rabid about football like Brazilians.

One time, I walked into a bar after the fun job wearing my (Centennial) Flamengo shirt.  By that time, of course, it had turned into a loud-music place.  Some dude sees the shirt and thinks it's time for Mike and the Mad Dog, introducing himself as Brazilian and, after I tried shoo-ing him away, "not gay."  Bokolis isn't worried about those things and I tell him so; I wasn't going to talk football in a noisy bar.

Though he might have made a good wingman, sometimes you have to be a dick.  Bokolis' comeuppance may have come when, a few months later, I tried kicking it to a Brazilian bird and she told me, out of the blue, I don't like {redacted}; I like soccer, which she pronounced like suck-her.

I didn't feel like talking about soccer that night, either.