July 18, 2011

The Eternal Season - Monday July 18th

Hello Again Friends - Monday has struck again!

And with it comes the potential for a week long heat wave of 90+ temps here in the Big Apple.  But that seems to be the case over most of the country this week!  A good time to stay indoors and watch some sports.

Which we did over the weekend here at TES, and boy were we let down yesterday.

By now, you have seen the highlights of the World Cup final.  A game in which we should have had a 2-nil or 3-nil lead after the first 15 minutes.  But we missed on some close shots, and shot when at times we should have passed, and didn't get those goals.  Still, we had the lead in the 69th minute when Alex Morgan got behind the defense and ripped the ball into the back of the net.  Only 20 minutes to kill, and it seemed we would do it, but then, a disaster of execution by our defense, right in front of the net, and the game was tied with 10 minutes left.  We had some more chances to win it there, but were unable to get the shots on goal.

Overtime then, the two period, no golden goal 30 minutes that mostly just taxes the players.  The first period was moving along when there she was again, Abby, planting herself on the goal line to rip a header and give the USA a 2-1 lead at the 104.00 mark.  The game went on.  With about 3 minutes left Japan was awarded a corner kick from the far side - none of their earlier set pieces had been much of a threat, but this time, the header deflected off a US player and past Solo's hand, and we had another tie.  We had one great scoring chance with about a minute left - but our striker was taken down with a red card tackle just outside the box.  Instead of blasting the ball on the free kick, we tried a pass to the far post - which, if it had connected, would have been the game winner.  But it missed, and we went to penalty kicks.

Considering the iconic way the we won the 1999 Cup, and how we went 5-0 in the penalty kicks against Brazil, this seemed a foregone conclusion.  Nope, our opening kick was weak, low, and blocked.  Then the next two were over or outside the net.  Abby finally made her's, but we then needed Hope to stop a 2nd one, and she couldn't, and that was it.  A shocking, soul crushing way to lose  the biggest soccer game of the year.

Congrats do go to Japan, who found a way to come back from two late deficits,  who won the Cup by beating teams they were supposed to have no shot against.  A very bright spot for a country still dealing with the fallout from the earthquake and tsunami. 

The US women must now refocus on London 2012, though I have little doubt that they will be able to do it.  This hasn't been a year up to our standards anyway - perhaps the way this Cup ended will get their attention, and we'll be back to our winning ways. 

Proving that men can do things just as badly as women, the Brazil men missed (not blocked) their first three shootout kicks in the Copa America quarterfinal loss to - Paraguay.  This, the day after Argentina was knocked out by Uruguay via, you guessed it, shootout.  All across the world, little boys and girls are not working on their footwork or passing today.  Put the ball on the dot and drive it home.

So while soccer players rue missed chances, the football players are now hitting the weights.  The parties are staying right here in New York to discuss the final (minor) issues to wrap up a new 10 year CBA.  It's looking like we could still be holding to the Wednesday/Thursday voting period, which would get the lockout lifted by the weekend.  We can have our football and watch it too.

In golf, three cheers for Darren Clarke, age 42, of Northern Ireland, who stopped the run of college aged guys getting all the headlines with his 3 shot win in the Open.  An event that he had entered 20 times before this, his first major victory.  Phil had a great shot on his front 9, even getting a share of the lead, but then collapsed on the back.  Dustin Johnson was once again there in the final group, but he also faltered down the stretch.  It all goes to prove in a Tiger-less world, anyone can win, and we'll probably have someone we are not thinking of capture the PGA.

Well the Dodgers dropped the final two games against the DBacks, to bring their little 5 game run to an end.  Back to Cali tonight to open up a series at the Giants, as all Dodger fans hold their breath at the prospect of the team going into fire-sale mode. More proof of the pitchers getting ultimate payback for the steroid era - the Red Sox beat the Rays 1-zip - in 16 innings.

We are 116 days out from the start of Iowa Basketball, but it still finds ways to make news.  I am still not certain if the Hubbard leaving was about something he did or not.  Regardless, at this late date, it hurts, but we are still going to be better in 2011.

Ok friends, hope you are able to stay cool out there, and get through the back half of this Monday.  Have a good day!
Where To Find Live Sports On TV:

MLB Games - Regular Season:

Soccer aka Football:



The love of sports is shared across the generations, and there are few things as fun as debating the merits of certain players, strategies, and team histories with other, opposing sports nuts. If you are an all around sports fan, feel free to join the ride, and please comment/vent whenever you feel you need to.


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