Wednesday, June 28, 2006

O Fenômeno!

Ronaldo, O Fenômeno to some fans, yesterday set a World Cup record for goals scored, with his 15th.

This picture doesn' quite do the beautiful goal justice, but it does show the keeper, Ghana's Richard Kingson, as he falls to the ground trying to keep up with Ronaldo's grace. Video highlights here.


On another World Cup note, France ousted Spain in a great game yesterday . . . which means no more Fernando Torres. Has anyone besides me noticed his tattoo? Or I am the only super-nerd around here?

A bit hard to see in this photo, but it's his name, written in one of Tolkien's alphabets . . .

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wayne, Wade Win Title!

Thanks largely to the bench-warming skills of Wayne Simien, the Miami Heat won the title last night in Dallas.

Congrats to Scott for picking this one almost to the game.

I on the other hand seem to be radioactive this year. Every team I've picked and/or cheered for has gone down in flames--Kansas, Wichita St., UCLA, 'da Bulls, San Antonio, Detroit, and now Dallas. It's a good thing I'm not a betting man.

What happened to the Dallas team that nailed every big shot against the Spurs? They might have gotten screwed by the refs in Game 5 (see photo, left), but they simply choked away games 3, 4, and 6 with missed jump shots and free throws.

D-Wade wasn't too shabby, either. I would say he'll need to become a tougher defender before those Jordan comparisons are apt. Also, he's just too damn NICE to be the next Jordan.

I do have to acknowledge that it was a great playoffs despite the outcome. The only thing that marred it was the poor performance of the Mavs and Pistons in their respective Game 6's versus Miami. Those series both should have gone seven.

And not only did my favorite teams go down, it was my two LEAST favorite teams in college and pro basketball--Florida and Miami--who won it all this year. What have I got against the state of Florida? I think it all started with this.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Not the best game ever (a theme with Brazil this Cup), but a win. The first goal, scored by Adriano on an assist from Ronaldo, was rather pretty.

As for Fred's goal, the shot the rebound of which he hit in came from my new favorite kid, that Robinho; just fun to watch.

Less pretty than expected, but those Canarinhos (little canaries) remain the team Yancies support.

Highlights here.

And oh, by the way: Dwyane Wade is just incredible. What a finish last night. Have to feel bad for Howard on that timeout, but really that 4th quarter and overtime were all Wade. . . .

Friday, June 16, 2006

Amazing Albiceleste

Wow. Argentina beat Serbia-Montenegro today 6-0. Perhaps more impressive was the second goal scored by the Albiceleste (named for the white and blue of their jerseys): In the 31st minute, after a great pass into the box, Crespo hit it off his heel to Cambiasso for the score; beautiful. Highlights here.

A proud Diego Maradona looks on.

Brazil may still be everyone's favorite (and mine), but today Argentina looked like the team to beat.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kaka, Kaka

Well, never mind about the US--Brazil is just fun to watch. Now maybe today's match wasn't the best (only one goal, by Kaká, pictured), and maybe Ronaldo (tied with Pele for number of goals scored in World Cup history, at 12--and only 3 from the all-time record (currently held by Gerd Muller of Germany)) was a bit flat-footed, but that team is fun to watch.

In particular: Ronaldinho is of course terrific, but I was impressed today with the young (22 yrs old) man who replaced Ronaldo late in the game, Robinho. That kid is damn fast, and Oh My what footwork. . . .

Highlights here. Brazil next plays Australia on Sunday the 18th at 18:00 Central European Time (I believe that's 12pm Eastern, 11am Central). You should watch.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I got to watch part of this match on my lunch break and followed along online for the rest. Our Midfielders, particulary Damarcus Beasley, looked pretty bad at times. He turned the ball over a ton. One of the goals by Rosicky was, well, sick. It was a fantastic move and angle that he took. Few goalies could've handled it, maybe Oliver Kahn. Our strikers let us down. Reyna had a shot that hit the post by just an inch or two. It was unfortunate since it was early in the match and really let CZE take the momentum. From what I understand, the Czech team is pretty old. They were ranked #2 in the world, so we weren't favored, but it would've been nice to catch them a little later when they might've worn down a bit. Next up is Italy on Saturday which won't be easy either. We really need to tie them at least and then Clean up against Ghana to give us a real shot at advancing.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Did anyone see the Trinidad & Tobago v. Sweden match? My goodness. Trinidad's keeper, Shaka Hislop, allowed no goals, despite Sweden's overwhelming 18 shots on goal. And keep in mind two things: Trinidad & Tobago had never played in a World Cup match before, and Hislop was a last-minute substitution. Incredible.
Oh, and now I just read that he's also the oldest player in this year's Cup, at 37 years and 108 days. Incredible.

I can't get any video highlights (FIFA has some complex coding), but you can see highlights here.
In any case, this picture really says it all:

As for Ismail's question (and I agree w/DGL--unassailable logic on Ghana), I don't see how the US can get past Italy and the Czechs. I believe it's Ghana's first World Cup, so that one looks winnable, but Italy? I would be quite surprised, actually, if the US beats anyone other than Ghana.

To be honest, I can't seem to focus on the NBA since the Cup is on; and, for better or worse, the games are on live in the morning, so I may not make it to the Lyon this year . . .

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup

Any World Cup picks? Yancy, are you wearing the Brazil jersey from the last time around? Plans to visit the Red Lyon?

I think the US advances out of group play. Ghana is better than Ivory Coast, based soley on the fact that Kari went to Ghana and not Ivory Coast. That is as bold as I am prepared to get today. Maybe more later. thoughts on game one of the Finals?

Thursday, June 01, 2006


The Big 12 as a whole seems to be in a state of (hopefully temporary) decline, as every team besides the Jayhawks and Aggies have very questionable prospects for next season.

The Texas Longhorns figured to remain in the national mix, even given the expected departure of LaMarcus Aldridge. But in recent weeks P.J. Tucker has hired an agent (even though many project he won't even go in the first round) and Daniel Gibson has also made himself available for the draft. Plus, reserve forward Mike Williams is transferring even though he would have been a starter next year. (Rick Barnes doesn't seem to inspire much loyalty).

However, a recent article in CNNSI gives Texas fans (and Kansas fans, I think) reason to take heart.

First, Texas has the third-ranked recruiting class in the nation, including #2, forward Kevin Durant and #19, guard Damion James, who just backed out of his original commitment to Oklahoma, plus four other blue-chippers. Second, apparently the new personnel has inspired Barnes to install a run-and-gun offensive system a la the Phoenix Suns--probably the most exciting team in the NBA. This would be a refreshing change from the primitive, brutish offense previously employed by Barnes (and soon to be employed in Manhattan, KS).

With Kansas already playing an uptempo game befitting the talents of Rush, Wright, etc., and a similarly talented group of young Longhorns who are ready to run teams out of the gym, we could be looking at some epic games between these two programs as UT's players develop, much like in the T.J. Ford heyday a few years back.

Remember, also, that new Mizzou coach Mike Anderson plays an up-tempo full-court press game in the Nolan Richardson mode. So despite Bob Huggins' unwelcome entrance into our league, we could be looking at some very entertaining matchups over the next few years.

P.S. I'm ready to eat my words regarding the Miami Heat and the Detroit Pistons, but I won't actually eat them until the clock reads 0:00 and the Heat have won that fourth game. I heard on the radio this morning that the Pistons have now faced 13 elimination games since 2003 and have won 11 of them! They just don't seem to play their best until they're looking down the barrel of a gun.

Meanwhile, check out these D-Wade acrobatics from Game 4:

He actually MADE this shot! And one!