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 . . .


  1. I think we've already established you are not the only "super-nerd" here. But you are the preeminent "soccer nerd."

    I've been watching the matches on and off here at the office, but not closely enough to read tattoo hieroglyphics of fictional languages.

    I have seen a bit of Brazil's last two matches and I must give a tip of the hat. What's frustrating to me about watching soccer is the inexactitude of the game--even World Cup players seem to have a lot of trouble controlling the ball, just like I did back in grade school, and many goals seem almost accidental (totally accidental in some cases, of course).

    But when I watch Brazil I see a fluidity and precision I don't see from anyone else. The shots and passes are crisp and right on the money, and the one-on-one moves are like dance steps.

    So you've won me over, YHD. However, can you explain to us novices why Ronaldo was not offsides on that goal? (I'm not saying he WAS, I've just never understood the rule).

  2. I'm glad you asked: as I understand it, it's all about where you are when the ball is played--at that point, there must be two opponents between you and the goal, but once the ball's been kicked, anything goes.

    Now, I've heard that when Adriano scored the second goal in that game, he was probably offsides . . .

    In all three goals, actually, it seemed that what happened was that Ghana tried to keep their defenders back so they could catch Brazil offsides; Brazil, though, took advantage of the situation and outran the Black Stars when it counted (which is, as far as I know, once the ball has been kicked).

    Glad you've seen the beauty of those Canarinhos, DGL; I should think you'd also appreciate their offense-oriented style . . . a run-and-gun soccer, if that phrase can make sense.

    One last nerdy thing: I've fixed that link to the video, so it should now take you right to Ronaldo's record-setting goal.

  3. A couple of notes on the NBA draft ...

    Pretty much as expected: Aldridge the second overall pick; Tucker, Gibson, and Blalock go in the second round; Stinson and Gardner go undrafted. I still think all of those guys besides Aldridge should have stayed put.

    Plus some alumni news: Lafrentz is divorced from Pierce a second time, traded from Boston to Ismail's TrailBlazers, where he will join Aldridge in a tall but skinny frontcourt.

    The "Bad Keegan Quote of the Day" is the following incomplete sentence praising Dan Patrick for needling David Stern on draft night:

    "Good stuff, and symbolic of ESPN’s evolution from a network that used to be all chummy all the time with athletes, coaches and league executives."

    ESPN is no longer "all chummy" with execs and athletes? Are you kidding, Tom? The draft itself was practically an NBA/ESPN joint production. The mere fact that Patrick and Stern would be exchanging humorous barbs over their mikes in the middle of the draft proves that the network is totally in bed with the league.

    I do concur with Keegan's praise of Jay Bilas, though ...

  4. Re the Draft:

    - Maybe the Italian goon can be the next Darko Milicic. What brand of crack do these NBA execs smoke anyway?

    -Chicago and Portland had very good drafts.

    -What? Thomas Garnder was not selected? LMAO.

  5. Could be the next Darko. Could be the next Dirk or Manu. Who's to say?

    Sorry about los Canarinhos, Yance. The French just have their number for some reason.