Somebody Get The Queen A Lime!

That and a good bottle of Scotch to get over her well-compensated subjects’ shoddy performance at the World Cup.

Speaking of which, the Argentina v. Germany showdown looms large this Saturday. The verbal broadsides being taken by players on both sides (not to mention Maradona) guarantee that the contest will be an epic grudge match. Can’t wait.

Finally, Vlad Guerrero busted up his former team last night to the tune of 4-for-4 with a Grand Slam and a solo shot. You think the fact that they didn’t want to resign him last off season might have motivated the man?

In case you’re wondering about the post’s title, this should help.

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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.

Today in Houston…

The Mexican National Soccer Team (FIFA ranking: 17), will square off against Angola’s team (FIFA ranking:85) at Reliant Stadium. It’s a friendly match which means that

  • It doesn’t count for anything except extracting my countrymen’s hard earned lawn-mowing money
  • No Barkleyesque elbows will be flung in the direction of Angolan athletes.

Because it is my beloved Tri that is playing, expect to see this in the stands,


[Photo credit: Me. Took it during a México v. Belize match at Reliant Stadium]

The festivities will em, kick off later today.  No news if the wonderful folks at the so-called Minuteman Project will stage a whinefest.

That’s today in H-town, yesterday there was a protest led by none other than “local activist”, one might say “community organizer”, Quanell X.

As one might have guessed the protest had to do with racism, perceived or otherwise. Recently, a Bellaire officer, Jeffrey Cotton was acquitted of aggravated assault on Robbie Tolan, a Bellaire youth. Sgt. Cotton shot Tolan while the latter was in his front yard. By all accounts it was a misunderstanding, since Cotton believed that Tolan had stolen a car (the officer punched in the wrong tag number).

A confrontation ensued with the boy’s mother and the officer believed Tolan was reaching for a weapon and opened fire, wounding the young man. Personally, I believe the situation could have been avoided if Tolan had simply followed orders and waited for the misunderstanding to get cleared up.

Maybe it’s just me but if a cop tells me to do something, I’m going to do it and not put up any resistance. Remember folks, there are more of them than there are of you and they carry radios (not to mention guns). Besides, if you’re free of wrongdoing then that will come out in the wash, why aggravate the situation?

Quanell the Tenth decided to stick his nose in all this because Tolan is black and Cotton is white. At the protest, Mr. Tenth said,

This cop is a criminal, this cop should be in jail. If you shoot one more black man in Bellaire in cold blood, then your damn city will go up in flames.

I find his tone very interesting. Yes, it is possible that Cotton’s demeanor was influenced by the fact that Tolan is a young black man. Young black men and the police don’t seem to get along very well. I don’t find it outside the realm of possibility that the officer might not have been so trigger-happy if Tolan was white.

That said, Quanell the Tenth just made it more difficult for young black men in Bellaire. His passionate and extremely careless threat just paints a very negative image of blacks in the minds of Bellaire residents. In their minds, he’s painting an image (if not reinforcing) of black men as being violent, hot-tempered and not too hesitant to making threats. That’s a disservice to the very people he claims to represent.

To me, it’s very similar to when Muslims get their knickers in a twist when anyone suggests that some professing Muslims have violent tendencies.

As I’ve said before,

If someone says that you have a tendency to get out of control, and you don’t like it, then probably it’d be better if you didn’t get out control with your reaction…

The Spirit of Phil Hartman Lives on at Florida Tea Party

Yesterday was “Tax Day”, the day in which millions of people scramble like decapitated fowl to get their tax forms to their nearest post office.

Not coincidentally, various “Tea Party” groups chose “Tax Day” to express their discontent with our Federal government. I’ll leave the haranguing over the demographics to others.

While perusing through a gallery of shots taken at various nationwide demonstrations, here’s one of them:


[Photo Credit: Joe Cavaretta / AP]

Some may look at this and see an old man (possibly ex-military) telling some young punk that his slipper-wearing generation would have lost WWII, others might see this as an example of the uncivilized confrontations endemic to this kind of event.

Me? This pic took me back to the days when SNL was a must-see event. Remember the skit in which Frank Sinatra (Phil Hartman) slapped down an irreverent Billy Idol (Sting) with the epic line,

I’ve got chunks of guys like you in my stool!

Here’s the vid, the exchange begins at the 5:27 mark. Even a pro like Phil almost loses it after dropping the line.

John Redcorn Soothes Mother Earth

I remember it like it was yesterday, sitting in a dorm room watching the series premiere of “King of the Hill” and Joseph Gribble’s first appearance. The punchline of course was his appearance, nothing like perceived father Dale but closely resembling that of his mom’s “friend”, John Redcorn.

At that point I don’t think I had laughed harder at anything I had watched on television. Chris Rock’s “Bigger and Blacker” topped it a couple years later.

At any rate, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently said that God was “Bolivarian” (As in Simon Bolivar not Bolivia but who’s counting?)

Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales, recently attended the aftershock-tinged inauguration of Chile’s new President.

Here’s a shot from the ceremony (photo credit: Claudio Santana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images),

As seen in the pic, Evo Morales (left) appears to be manipulating the aftershocks.

God may not be “Bolivarian” but the luminaries in attendance should thank Him that Evo seemingly has things under control.

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…

Where The Wild Things Are

Apparently, in the middle of South African Roads:

Lioness

The photo came from the following story, Roadkill: Tourists left stunned as lioness attacks buffalo – right in the middle of a traffic jam

I admit it, this post is but an excuse to link to another Christian Lander masterpiece,

#127 Where the Wild Things Are