Move Over Lloyd Christmas

In that great cinematic work, Dumb and Dumber, Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) asked Mike Starr’s character, “Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?” And he proceeded to serenade him with what, at the time, was the most annoying sound in the world. Here’s the clip:

Well, suffice it to say, that sound plays second fiddle to the drone emanating from those ubiquitous South African “stadium horns”, vuvuzelas. That infernal noise was first heard by a worldwide audience during last year’s Confederations’ Cup. They were annoying then, and they are annoying now at the World Cup.

Opinion varies as to whether these horns are “annoying irritants” or “joyful expressions of African culture”, but at the risk of sounding dismissive of other cultures, they simply are annoying and irritating expressions of joyful African culture.

Whether it’s a South African, German or Mexican (below) providing the wind power, the noise produced is equally irritating. So much so that earplugs have become a hot item in South Africa. One might conclude that the vuvuzela was a clever scheme concocted by ear plug vendors, but I digress…

I took this pic after a México win at Reliant Stadium a couple of years ago, a match which proved to be my first exposure to the glorified funnels. As horrible as the noise is, it can’t take away from the beautiful game, especially at an event like the World Cup.

However, it would be a good if somehow Univision or ESPN found a way to filter out the vuvuzela noise, as the BBC is thinking of doing.

Here are a couple of observations from yesterday and today’s action:

  • The Germans have looked the best out of all the teams that have played so far. So effortless do the Krauts look, so crisp and pinpoint their passes are, are they not? They seem to have mastered the troublesome Jabulani (the official match ball), could it be because most of their squad plays in the Bundesliga, which used the Jabulani as its match ball last season?  Things that make you go hmmm…
  • Speaking of ze Germans…  How ’bout that rousing advertisement for globalization that their squad is?  The German National Team, dubbed Die Mannschaft (insert joke here), boasts a naturalized Brazilian, a son of Turkish immigrants, a guy named Gomez (born in Germany, has a Spanish father), 2 naturalized Poles (seems to be a running gag), another guy whose father is Tunisian.  Ol’ Adolf must be turning over in his grave…
  • What is it with Italy allowing headers from Latin American teams at the World Cup?  In ’02 it was México’s Jared Borghetti and today it was Paraguay’s Antolín Alcaraz who did the honors. Like in ’02 against El Tri Italy tied with Paraguay 1-1.
  • ESPN, I know that you learned from the last World Cup and hired good announcers to man your booth but you are still lagging behind Univision’s varsity, Pablo Ramirez and Jésus “El Profe” Bracamontes.  After Italy equalized today, Ramirez sung in Italian.  That is how you do it ESPN.  When a goal is scored don’t call it like it’s a throw-in, call it “with feelin’” as Jon Bon Jovi crooned.

Finally, on a totally unrelated not, you are very welcome Baylor.

Match Made in Heaven: Ken Starr and BU

Chris Crocker would have risen to great heights back in the late 90s. You might recall Crocker is the dude who made that infamous “Leave Britney Alone!” video.

I personally believe that (thanks Caitlin Upton!) Crocker would have made a similar vid about then President Bill Clinton back in the late 90s.

Who could forget Bubba’s unenviable position, lurid details of his trysts with Monica Lewinsky out there for the world to feast on.

I refuse to believe Slick Willie was any sort of victim, especially given the hell he put Hillary through.  Though if you ask Chris Rock, the whole Lewinsky thing was her fault, she didn’t “save her man from himself”, but I digress.

Ken Starr, the man who doggedly pursued Pres. Clinton like Jason went after the Golden Fleece, is now the President of Baylor University [insert jokes here].

Don’t know how his tenure is going to go, only time will tell, but one thing I do know: The school’s unofficial motto, “Sic ‘em Bears” fits Starr to a tee.

This is how some people saw Ken Starr during the late 90s.

Carl Pelini Gets “Jiggy Wit It” in Oslo

For those of you who don’t know who Carl Pelini is, he is the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. His younger brother, Bo, is the head coach. Yes, this is the dynamic duo who nearly unraveled my Longhorns drive to the national title game with their brilliant defensive game plan and a boy named Suh.

Shortly after the dramatic conclusion of the Big XII championship game, Bo and Carl stormed off the field in disgust over what they perceived was a hose job from the powers-that-be. Click here and here for excellent analysis.

According to this article, the strongest words came from Carl who allegedly said, “You should be ashamed to accept that trophy!” in the direction of the exultant Texas Longhorns who were accepting the Big XII Championship trophy at midfield.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama was in Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. Many feel that POTUS hasn’t done anything to deserve such high praise, and apparently the Pelini brothers reside in this demographic and made the roadie to Scandinavia to express themselves:

I wonder what the Fresh Prince thought of the Pelinis’ act…

Thoughts on the Red River Shootout

Let me preface this post by referring the gentle reader to 2 truly magnificent summaries of the events that transpired last Saturday afternoon in Dallas:

“2009 Oklahoma Sooners Post-Mortem”

“The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Texas 16, Oklahoma 13″

Go check them out, but here are the thoughts of a random UT alum/fan watching the game from the comfort of his home in Houston:

  • Due to a Saturday morning family tradition (grocery shopping), I missed most of the first half.  No worries I taped the game and after watching the first half, I’m kind of glad I didn’t watch it live because I  easily avoided shaving 2 to 3 years off of my life.
  • I know that Texas’ offensive coordinator Greg Davis’ play-calling is well, offensive but seriously speaking is it not obvious that his spontaneous flashes of “brilliance” (running the Wildhorn after repeatedly punching the OU D in the mouth) have the great potential to cost his team a shot at the National title?
  • Before the season is out, will we see Will Muschamp go Buddy Ryan on the strangely Kevin Gilbride-like Greg Davis?
  • Stay classy OU player.  Defensive lineman Jeremy Beal’s bush league attempts to hurt Colt McCoy at the end of the game seem to be what a Bob Stoops-led team is about.
  • Speaking of Stoops, here is a sobering thought:  Bob Stoops has 6 conference titles, Mack Brown only has one.  Hopefully Mack adds to his grand total this season.
  • Earl Thomas, consider yourself “absolved” of what happened last year in Lubbock.  Led the Horns in tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 forced fumble, and if not for a meddling teammate, should have scored recovering the fumble he forced.   How clutch is Texas’ safety Earl Thomas?  Like the guy occupying the bottom half of this pic, he leaves it all on the field [Thomas' photo credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]Fire

Read more of this post

Cougar Town

It has been an observation of mine that there are a lot more University of Houston students/alumni who root for the Texas Longhorns than the other way around.

This has been particularly evident after the resurgence of the UT football program under the tutelage of furniture/snake oil salesman Mack Brown. It has been my policy to look down on the bandwagon jumpin’ crowd, after all they weren’t there for Rout 66 back in the day.

Of course, one is willing to be a bit more forgiving when one catches oneself jumping on a bandwagon. I grew up in H-town and fascinated by the run-and-shoot of the UH teams of the late 80s. I remember Andre Ware winning the Heisman (more on this later) and the heights which the Cougars scaled back then.

UH

St. Gregory, Inventor of the Cougar Paw

Never in my lifetime, did I think that the UH program would jump back into the national spotlight. Especially after being left out of the emerging Big XII superconference due in part to the wishes of a capricious Governor Richards.

Being left out of the Big XII and being relegated to the Siberian exile that is C-USA wasn’t enough. Back in 2001, under Coach Dana Dismal er, Dimel they managed to run the table in reverse (0-10), thus hitting rock bottom.

Fast forward to the year of our Lord 2009, and the Coogs are #12 in the AP poll due in large part to a win over then #5 Oklahoma State in Stoolwater and last Saturday’s dramatic vic over Texas Tech. Here’s the last minute of the Tech game,

The kids on campus are following Jack Buck’s sage advice and going crazy (won’t go into the missing helmets) and the Coogs are getting some national love in the form of:

  • An appearance by Coach Sumlin on the Jim Rome Show of all places.

Even though I bleed burnt orange, I hope the Coogs run the table and make it to a BCS bowl at the end of the year. I’ll be rooting for them then unless they’re playing my beloved Longhorns in said bowl game.

I don’t know why I’m getting behind this team, it’s not a sudden onset of civic pride or anything. Maybe it’s because UH’s success takes me back to a simpler time, when Astroturf and flat tops (wait for it…) reigned supreme.

Not really sure, but what is for sure is that though neither Stifler’s mom or Stacy’s mom live in H-town, it’s beginning to look like College Football sure does. Right, Andre?

Andre Ware

Kindled

Kindled
1: to catch fire
2: to flare up
3: to become animated
4: to become illuminated
5: to get hit so hard by a certain Texas defensive end that you lose your helmet, drop the ball and lose a contact

No need to use it in a sentence when you have a visual:

KindleAP

“Tortillas are best used for tacos” –BJG

This from a good friend of mine in reference to the asinine custom of Texas Tech fans of throwing my native land’s traditional fare onto the field. I guess when your program is tradition-starved you do what you do to generate a certain esprit de corps.

Last Saturday night’s match up between Texas and Texas Tech was hyped up by ABC as a “revenge” game. Revenge against the Red Raiders for crushing the ‘Horns title hopes last season.

Texas did beat Tech 34-24 last Saturday night. However, even if the ‘Horns had blown the Red Raiders out, that still wouldn’t have undone what transpired last year on the High Plains or erased the dull ache that Longhorn Nation feels when recalling those events. I still can’t watch Crabtree’s play without feeling nauseous.

If you want expert analysis of the win, you won’t find it here but you will find it over at Barking Carnival (no one does better than Scipio Tex):

Texas Tech Post Mortem

Just like Earl Thomas and Curtis Brown became part of former Tech receiver Michael Crabtree’s draft reel, now Tech QB Taylor Potts has become a centerpiece in UT defensive end Sergio Kindle’s.

Here’s the video of Mr. Kindle em, kindling Todd Parker, er Taylor Potts,

Pedialyte

Pedialyte

The Elixir of Champions

Well I don’t know about “champions” but it is the libation that one Colt McCoy drank at halftime of the Texas-Texas Tech game last Saturday as he was recovering from the flu. Read about it here.

This from the story,

NCAA rules prohibit McCoy from endorsements, but come January we might see a new face promoting Pedialyte that replaces the bear currently on the label.

I’d take it further and exploit the uncanny resemblance of our beloved quarterback to former “must-have” holiday toy, the Furby. Check it out:

Furby
Seriously, no relation

On a serious note, let’s hope that Colt regains his form from last season before the Mighty Miners from UTEP come to the ATX this Saturday.

Never Forget

“Soon we will have revenge.” –Darth Maul

Not trying to piggyback the last post by quoting another George Lucas creation but the Texas-Texas Tech game is tomorrow and it will serve all Longhorns well to stew on the events that transpired the last time these 2 teams met.

If you want video of it you can watch it in this excellent write-up:

Pirate Sundry

While I can’t bring myself to press play on the vid, I can stew by watching a shot of the one-sided Duel of the Fates:

CrabtreeDarren Carroll/SI

Here’s to a dismantling of the Red Raiders tomorrow night before a national audience on ABC.

Hook ‘em!

México Actually Wins a Penalty Shootout

Mexican fans you know the routine. In an elimination match, you better hope that El Tri wins in the first 90 minutes or if not then manages to put the match away during the 30 minute overtime, why?

Because as all of us know, Mexican fútbolistas are inept at taking penalty kicks. The memories are many and are painful.

There was the ’86 World Cup quarterfinals when ze Germans bested México 4-1 in a penalty shootout. While it’s easy to blame then Mexican goalie, Pablo Larios, let’s keep in mind that his teammates couldn’t beat the German keeper. [Let's not even mention Hugo Sanchez' annulled goal, grrrrrr]

Then there was the ’94 World Cup Round of 16 against Bulgaria. Even though, yes Mexican keeper Jorge Campos (below right) could have better lived up to the hype his ridiculous jersey’s generated, his teammates wilted at the 11-meter dot and couldn’t buy a penalty kick. The Bulgarian keeper was the Germans and my countrymen’s penalty takers were the French.
Jorge Campos

On a lesser scale there was the harrowing loss to the hated Argentines in the 2005 Confederations Cup. In that case, my countrymen made their kicks only to have national team luminary Ricardo Osorio miss a sudden death penalty kick.

My point with all this historical hash is that my countrymen have shown an iniquitous ineptitude to execute penalty kicks and/or block them. What do you expect when your goalies’ height haven’t even come close to 6′? (This is slowly changing)

All that changed last night when my native land’s 11 bested Costa Rica in a penalty shootout in the Gold Cup Semifinal.

The frustrated/jubilant thoughts of a Mexican after the jump…

Read more of this post

Tim Tebow Makes the Girls Cry

bloody-tebow

Well, Mr. All-Everything (above after taking down a brigade of Gurkhas) hasn’t chosen a spouse so that’s not what I’m alluding to with the post’s title.

Rather I’m referring to the aftermath of his effort last night against the Oklahoma Sooners. This is embodied in this award-winning shot:

ou-girl-crying

I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but it seems that cameramen, regardless of network, are told to find a weeping Oklahoma fan after an OU loss.

For example, remember this little fellow?

agony-of-defeat.jpg

This little guy was driven to tears by one Colt McCoy back in ’06.

Congrats to Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators for winning the BCS Championship.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.