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.

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Texas Longhorns Got Hosed

Not by the voters or some of ENIAC’s descendants who comprise the BCS, but by their own conference, the Big XII.

How does the conference allow a tiebreaker to fall solely on the BCS with nary an objective thought to the FACT that my Horns beat Oklahoma by 10 points on a neutral field?!?

What really chaps the ol’ hide is that the Longhorns will be at home next Saturday watching the conference title game between North champ Missouri and South “champ” Oklahoma.

Two teams who, oh by the way, the Horns beat this season by a combined score of 101-67.

Un-freakin’-believable, what a conference!

In the words of the Sage of Stillwater (below on the right),

MAKES ME WANNA PUKE!

Oklahoma St Oklahoma Football

AP Photo/Brody Schmidt

“You’re right Mike, that is a mother… of children”

Texas beats Nebraska, again

When I was a student at THE University of Texas, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were a perennial college football powerhouse. When the Big XII conference formed prior to the 1996 season, us Longhorn fans dreaded the yearly drubbings the Huskers were going to lay on our school’s team.

Well as it happened, UT faced the Huskers in the inaugural Big XII championship and well the ‘Horns triumphed though they were huge underdogs. Since then, the ‘Horns have gone 7-1 (including Saturday’s win) against the Huskers and as it stands now, Texas is the better program.

Saturday’s win over the Huskers, I think, masks the deficiencies of this Texas team. Well I should say deficiency: the frightful playcalling of offensive (that it is) coordinator Greg Davis.

For 3 quarters the UT offense looked inept against a bad Nebraska defense. QB Colt McCoy took his usual pounding and had to come out of for one play. That one play changed the game around for the ‘Horns as dual-threat freshman QB John Chiles came in and though he didn’t carry the ball, the threat of him doing so, freed up struggling running back Jamaal Charles (below) to pick up 25 yards on the play.
jc.jpgAMERICAN-STATESMAN

The game turned on that one play. How? Well after that play, the aforementioned Charles torched the porous Husker run defense on touchdown runs of 25, 86, and 40 yards. (For in-depth analysis click here and here.)

Though Nebraska’s run defense is pretty bad this is the kind of performance us UT fans envisioned for Charles after his spectacular 80-yd touchdown against the Sooners his freshman year.

I would say that Jamaal teased us all with the speed (he’s got Olympic sprinter speed) he showed on that one play, and has a done a better job of building a career on one play than any other ‘Horn in recent memory (well anyone not named Beau Trahan, remember that fake field goal?).