Tag: crossing (page 1 of 55)

Popping Your Soccer Cherry

Ronaldo_unionPhoto: Zimbio- Drew Hallowell, Getty Images

Two years ago I was a virgin. A soccer virgin. Then I went to the Real Madrid-Union match at Lincoln Financial Field and decided to become a full-time fan. I haven’t looked back. 

Reader Mike requested that, with the dawn of the new EPL season, I should write a casual fan’s guide to the league. Which is what I will do. In the Greenwich meantime, here is my post from two years ago, when I wrote about my first time.

I didn’t know what to expect.

It was my first time and all I knew was that most in the world are obsessed with it. The unadulterated passion that evokes far-ranging emotions and actions, the primal instincts it brings to the surface — they’re all present.

It was warm. A little too warm, in fact. Not knowing what I was getting into was the toughest part. Would I be left for the better after having experienced it? Or will it send me into a crazed, pseudo-obsessed frenzy, one whose roots extended well beyond my professional life and deep into my personal existence?

I’ve never really come close to giving it a chance. Sure, all my life, in my 28 years, I’ve danced around it, and I have, on occasion, flirted with it. You can’t help but wonder: if it’s so good for so many people, what am I waiting for?

I plowed ahead.

There would be no turning back now. My heart began to race a little. Flutter, even. Beat beat. Beat beat. It was a nervous excitement that could only be likened to the feeling of giving a keynote speech in front of a room full of admired peers. So much could go right… far more could go wrong.

I kept going.

Breathing heavier and heavier, I felt a bead of sweat drip down my brow. I wondered if I would even last. I was already melting and this certainly was an activity that applauds stamina.

I had read so much about it. Knew the basics, but understood very little. It’s like drinking alcohol for the first time, really. Everyone knows what sort of experience he or she wants to have, but not until you do it a few times — for several years — do you really get the hang of it and come to know what you can and can’t get away with. When you first start drinking, everything seems like fair game: Frangelico and Coke? Sure, why not? Vodka and apple juice? You bet.

Quickly you learn those concoctions lead to a date with the sad side of a toilet seat and everything you thought you knew about becoming a pro, an adult drinker, was incorrect.

That’s sort of how I felt as I was on the precipice of succumbing to my desires. I thought I would be able to make a killer Tom Collins right off the bat, but somewhere deep down inside, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Not tonight.

As I pressed forward and saw the menacing facade of Lincoln Financial Field surrounded by throngs of Hispanic Real Madrid fans wearing clothes and hairdos I did not know, I knew this experience was going to change my sports fandom. For better or worse.

I pushed forward.

Continue reading

41 Comments

These (soon-to-be) NHL Draft Picks Were Eager to Get Drunk and Screw Before Their Big Day

Screen Shot 2012-06-27 at 2.38.27 AM

This post originally ran just over a year ago, when our favorite (NOW MARRIED!) puck bunny conquered roughly half a dozen soon-to-be professional hockey players. Sadly, there was no similar venture this year (that we know of…). So, while the sports world slows for a few days as we celebrate Bill Pullman’s famous Independence Day speech and I stock up on coffee, beer and Haribo Gummy Bears for our Flyers free agency running commentary on Friday, let’s relive the beauty and majesty of Princesss Sass, a tradition unlike any other.

 

Before we delve into the shadowy world of jersey chasing – puck bunnydom, to be specific – let’s rewind to an earlier time.

Back in April, during that series in which the Flyers embarrassed the half-assed hockey team from the western end of the state, we introduced you to (our favorite) partially cloaked Penguins fan: Princesss Sass, as she’s known on the Interrods.

Screen Shot 2012-06-27 at 1.20.32 AM

We first came across Ms. Sass when she posted pictures of some signs she brought to the CONSOL Energy Center to harass the Flyers. We then followed her solo travels to Philadelphia for Game 3 and, as recently as last week, featured her in our special puck slut PSA relating to the announcement of the NHL Draft coming to the City of Brotherly Love in 2014. Sass’ appearance in our PSA was to demonstrate the shooting-fish-in-a-barrel nature of the NHL entry draft, an event that sees scores of young, mostly Canadian, teen-something boys flock into a particular city for, up to that point, the biggest weekend of their lives. The weekend when they become men.

We have to give Sass credit. She’s taken our heavy ribbing in stride (even though I once called her a slore), almost reveling in her role as the stereotypical puck slut from Shittsburgh. But now she’s outdone herself. She has given us an exclusive, meticulously detailed account of her weekend at the NHL Draft – complete with pictures and screenshots – where she warmed up about a sixth of the top 60 picks.

Before last weekend’s event, which was held in Pittsburgh, Sass tweeted a preview of her outfit for the draft’s first night. For her and other puck bunnies (and I do wish to not be graphic here), the thought of bagging an up-and-comer who might one day drink from Lord Stanley’s Cup (or, less ambitiously, bookend Pierre McGuire along an NHL dasher) makes their underoos drippier than a protagonist during the rain scene in a mid-oughts romance flick.*

*Ryan Gosling vociferously objects! “I’m wetter and I look better! And I’m a poet.”

You see, hockey players, unlike athletes from the other three major sports, are fairly accessible. For example, if you were a jersey chaser and wanted to fuck LeBron James, you’d likely have to make it through long lines, VIP ropes, possibly a background check, a publicist, some posse and Mike Miller before you ever got near King. Then there’s a good chance you’d have to be taken for a test spin (perhaps simultaneously) by a few members of his inner-circle – sexual gatekeepers, if I may – to see if you were up to the task. With satisfactory performance, you might – might – have a chance to score with LeBron.

Conversely, if you wanted to bump baby makers with, say, Jeff Carter, all you’d have to do is wear a revealing tube top to La Costa this Friday night.

It’s just… easier to get with hockey players.

At the NHL Draft, it’s easiest: puck bunnies want in early and not-even-old-enough-to-shave athletes want their first (or second or third) groupie. It’s a perfect balance, this delicate ecosystem of fuck. And that’s where we begin our story.

Screen Shot 2012-06-27 at 2.26.40 AM

[Note: We’ve removed players’ names from the story and texts. But among those included are five first-rounders, four second-rounders, two sons of former NHLers, and one (now) Flyer. All are 18, or younger.]

Continue reading

160 Comments

These are Some Reasons Why Adam Aron was Fired

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 1.07.03 PM

I wrote this post back in March, after Adam Aron went on a strange media tour in which he explained why the Sixers were so bad. I detailed the many reasons why I thought he was doing a terrible job as CEO, and as it turns out, I’m a goddamned soothsayer. So, given the news that he’s been fired, I figured, “Hey, why expend any energy when I can just use an old post, change the title and call it a day?” That’s what I’m doing. These are the reasons why I think Aron will now be looking for a distressed cruise line (perhaps this one?) to steer back to a prosperous port.

 

I’ve had enough.

Adam Aron keeps saying that he views fans as unpaid management consultants, thousands of passionate followers that give solicited and unsolicited opinions on each decision made by the newish Sixers ownership group. So, knowing that, consider this post free advice to Aron. Consultant’s fee waived.

Aron went on a mini media tour yesterday, first speaking with John Gonzalez at CSN Philly and then to an in-studio visit with Mike Missanelli at 97.5 The Fanatic, where he took calls from exactly the type of enraged hardos that would wait on hold for an hour to yell at an owner.

For Aron, it took balls. I’ll say that much.

I think it was somewhat overkill– the Sixers are in the midst of a losing season, but they didn’t sacrifice a small child in front of their 12,000 fans. A Rock Center-style sit-down with a charged up Gonzo and an hour and 20-minute-plus in-studio appearance with Missanelli felt like a bit much at this juncture. But, I’ll give Aron credit for taking the lumps, like he always does. He attached his face to the franchise, and he’s not backing down now that the going has gotten tough. Then again, Aron is a millionaire businessman who made a name for himself managing distressed entertainment properties back to health, so tough is a relative word here.

What we’ve seen in the year and a half since Aron, majority owner Joshua Harris and their nasally drones* have taken over the team is a series of alarming and somewhat offensive missteps that make you wonder if they nose know what they’re doing.

*Is it just me or do the Sixers have the second most nasally ownership (hello, Mark Cuban) in the NBA? Can’t they get an Afrin sponsorship or something? Hell, their mascot could even be a big nose that sneezes when the Sixers make a three. 

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 12.41.20 PM

I’ve spent quite a bit of time on these missteps on the site, so I’ll just touch on some of Aron’s accomplishments since taking over the team, with links for further reading:

Mascots. A moose, a dogg and Jerry Sandusky. These were the options Jim Henson’s Creature Shop came back with and that the Sixers, in turn, released to the public. That was more than a year ago, and the Sixers are still without a mascot.

Confetti. Perhaps the most noticeable in-game enhancement has been the confetti that ejaculates itself after each home win. Because the Sixers are a circus act. Or because it worked on a cruise line that Aron oversaw.

PA announcer. The Sixers get a da fuck? rating here. They turned Matt Cord into the website video interview guy (a role filled by interns at most professional sports organizations) and brought back 842-year-old Tom Lamaine to liven things up at the Well. A year later, they canned Lamaine, held an audition SO YOU CAN BE THE NEXT SIXERS PA ANNOUNCER (!!!)… and then went with Cord all over again. Fans are mad about many things, but I think this is the thing that should be investigated for false advertising. First off, who the hell makes a seasoned pro like Cord compete against jacklefucks to win back his old job? Second, DON’T DANGLE A STICK IN FRONT OF JACKLEFUCKS FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT! The jacklefuck don’t like that. Did any of the auditioners ever really have a chance, or was this just some ruse by the Sixers to make it seem like you, the fan, could be part of the product? Because if it was the latter, I’d suggest holding an open audition to be the team’s center. Surely there is someone in Philadelphia who can pull down more than one rebound per game at the NBA level.

Ayla Brown. She’s pretty. Great pipes. Good singer, too. But she’s a former American Idol contestant from Boston whose father, Scott Brown, was (at the time of her hire) a Massachusetts Senator. Never mind that Harris’ company owns the rights to 19 Entertainment and American Idol, one Boston website lays out a great case that the reason Brown got the anthemeist gig with the Sixers was because, at the time, Harris needed support from then-Senator Brown to pave the way for a casino project that one of his companies, Caesars Entertainment, was bidding for in Boston. [Brown is out of office, but it sounds like Caesars is still in the running].

Cannon. The Sixers most productive offseason acquisition has been a giant cannon that shoots hundreds of t-shirts per minute.

image from mobilwi.typepad.com

Even P.T. Barnum is impressed with the absurdity of that list. Confetti, cannons, probably rigged contests? At what point will there be a bunch of near cross-dressers injecting artificial enthusiasm?

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 12.49.56 PM

Ah shit.

Now let’s turn our attention to some select comments made by Aron yesterday, because my BS meter is having a mild freakout.

Continue reading

28 Comments

Your Mini Good Friday Roundup

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 9.37.16 AMScreen grab CSN

Maybe those La Salle kids should have raised money for the team to get to LA.

I’m kidding. That’s mean. Great run for La Salle, they were just outplayed and overmatched by a better, bigger team. Congrats to those guys. Really.

- Meanwhile, in less fluffy prose, F the Flyers. Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds in a shootout? Sure, Claude Giroux ripped off his panty-dropper, The Datsyuk, but then Schenn skated directly into the goalie and Simmonds nearly fell: [Giroux and Simmonds]

Flyers

These are the sorts of Tweets I’m getting, about the Flyers, not the Sixers:

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 9.32.12 AM

Paul Holmgren will, and should, most certainly be fired this summer. 

- Adam Aron is bringing Allen Iverson back again for a one-game money grab. I can’t tell what is more annoying– the Sixers continuous celebration of a yesteryear that few care about (Iverson notwithstanding) or the Flyers putting up another Broad Street Bullies shrine.

- The Braves will be giving away 45,000 foam tomahawks on Monday, according to former CB contributor turned Braves radio guy Kevin McAlpin… wonder what they’ll do with the 25,000 leftovers:

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 9.34.33 AM

Prepare for a nauseating tribute to Chipper Jones before the game.

- The Phillies are your office coworkers

- After the jump, my mini rant on Great Sports Debate. I got a haircut… now I just need to hit the gym and get a tan (I think Julie Dorenbos and Susie Celek are going to help me out there). I look like Mike Nardi when he had mono.

Continue reading

8 Comments

The Dark Side

image from mobilwi.typepad.com
I spoke about this on the Great Sports Debate (airing tonight at 7 on the Comcast Network!), and think it’s worth calling out here, if only because sports are totally miserable right now (Dear God, make the Phillies good this year or make me a bird, so I can fly far, far far away from here). 

In the summer of 2011, when Paul Holmgren, Howie Roseman and Ruben Amaro played their own Game of Thrones Swords, Philly sports were at an all-time high: best team in Major League Baseball, Flyers shaking up the earth, and Eagles getting all dreamy. At the time, I wrote a post imagining what the bright, and dark, sides of the rainbow would look like if all the moves panned out… or backfired.

Most backfired.

You can read the original post here, but this is what I had for the dark side. I swear to you this was all written in 2011:

Over here, there’s no sun. Just rain. The rainbow only exists because of its reflection off the metallic dumpster, strategically positioned in the alley to hide a strung out leprechaun, who’s selling his last muddied coins for a thimble of coke which he will soon sniff out of the unfriendly end of a diseased hooker.

This is the dark side.

In the corner, an extremity-less Michael Vick rolls himself into a bottle of Courvoisier to help ease the pain of his failed second existence. He played only two years of his contract, earning $35 million. Unfortunately, half of it went to taxes, agents, and lawyers. The other half went to his creditors. He played only four games in 2011. An angry Clay Matthews prematurely ended Vick's season when he removed his right leg with a vicious low-blow. Linebackers had no recourse since Roger Goodell fined every hit above the numbers. A year later, a slowed-down Starship 7 ran himself into limb-breaking injury after limb-breaking injury. He played only three games.

In the powerless apartment above, Andy Reid and Howie Roseman watch re-runs of Good Times on a 15-inch television. They spent $35 million on an unfortunately unreformed criminal, who played only seven games in two postseason-less seasons. Juan Castillo has offed himself in the bedroom. 

The Eagles all-in philosophy failed miserably. Their stellar wideouts couldn’t bridge the gap left in the middle by the horrid linebacking core and their offensive line never stood a chance to protect the expensive investment.

Just a few feet below, on an island in the middle of the street, Paul Holmgren is feeding a now incapacitated Ed Snider a glass of high-end malbec through straw- it’s one of the few luxuries he still enjoys. His 30+ year refusal to bet the farm on a goalie proved to be the right philosophy. He’s spent the last 29 months lamenting the trades of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, both of whom not only won Stanley Cups, but also led Canada to a gold medal in the 2014 Olympics. They both matured and are widely considered among the best players in the world, with 5-7 years of production ahead of them. Believe it or not, their outlandish contracts actually proved to be valuable. Their old buddy, James van Riemsdyk, never lived up to his $25.5 million deal. He was traded to Toronto for cap space in 2012. His 2010 playoff performance was an aberration, made all the more misleading since he was the only player on that team skated hard. A fed up Peter Laviolette scratched him five times before Christmas of 2011 and got into a locker room fist fight with Claude Giroux, whose only crime, ironically, was that he enjoyed a glass of his owner’s favorite wine with dinner the night before a game. It turns out Lavs is impossible to get along with, a realization that should have been obvious when he used to bench Rod Brind’Amour. We later learn that the media considers Richards a “coaches captain.” 

A violated hooker wobbles over to the aging Snider and steals the remaining change in his pocket. Sadly, Snider doesn’t even care. She will spend the money more wisely than Holmgren.

This is the dark side.

 

And I didn't even make mention of Hunter Pence later being traded to the Giants, where he would win a World Series.

This is the dark side.

8 Comments

Today in “Ryan Lochte, Douchebag”: Douchebag Ryan Lochte Douchebag Douchebag Douchebag


Your move, North Korea. 

H/T to (@phillygirl1985)

30 Comments

Crossing Streams Podcast (Episode 3): Joe Vallee, Author of “A Snowball’s Chance”

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 6.05.22 PM
Perhaps I should have had the guy who created the pissing urinal game on Crossing Streams.

Next time.

Joe Vallee joined me for the third show. He is the lead author of A Snowball’s Chance, a new book calling out the national media for their mistreatment of Philly fans. It’s an outstanding takedown of the numerous stereotypes that exist, with contributions from many local media folks and sports figures, including Ray Didinger, Mike Missanelli, Howard Eskin, Dan Baker, Michael Barkann, Larry Andersen, Jim Jackson, Scott Franzke and others. The book’s closing remarks were, fittingly, written by Brad Lidge.

We talked about the book and the many incidents it details: throwing snowballs at Santa, batteries at J.D. Drew, Flyers fans booing an anti-cancer PSA, and other occurrences that are on the national media’s checklist for throwing Philly fans under the bus. We also discussed the years of disappointment that goes into being a Philly sports fan and other incidents from fans all over the country that get overlooked.

Joe was a batboy for the 1993 Phillies and shared some stories about being in the dugout with the greatest bunch of throwbacks ever assembled. He also told the story of tracking down Lidge last summer, while Lidge was in the process of moving back to Colorado, and talking with him for an hour about Philly sports fans. And then there are the legal troubles that Joe's site, Philly2Philly.com, has found itself in thanks to overzealous lawyers from Philly.com.

I’d highly recommend you grab a copy A Snowball’s Chance on Amazon. You can find Joe out and about promoting the book, and on Facebook and Twitter (@Philly2Philly).

 

Listen here.

We’re not in iTunes yet, but that link will work on your iPhone. Listen to past episodes of Crossing Streams here.

 

Show notes:

Terry Mulholland’s no-hit, no-run game 

Phillies fans throw batteries at J.D. Drew

Frank Olivo smiles about having snowballs thrown at him, when he was Santa

Flyers fans boo anti-cancer PSA

4 Comments

Phillies Quizzo TOMORROW NIGHT at Chickie’s and Pete’s in Audubon

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 10.16.17 AM
Phillies quizzo. Tomorrow night at Chickie’s and Pete’s in Audubon… not far from King of Prussia! 8:30 p.m. I will be your host. It’s Wednesday– so that means all-you-can-eat Snow Crab legs for just $24.95.

2 Comments
Older posts

© 2014 Crossing Broad

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑