Your Monday Morning Roundup

Alex_morgan
Good morning, beautiful minions. It's going to be about 7,000 degrees today and there is a 0% chance I leave the air-conditioning. 

Sadly, the long-awaited Women's World Cup is over. From a competition standpoint, that was one of the more entertaining games – er, matches – you will ever see: late regulation comeback, late overtime comeback, shootout win by the lesser team. Had the US held onto to its original one-goal lead, Alex Morgan was poised to become our next hot female athlete. Instead, three weeks from now, no one will know who she is… But that's not entirely her fault. She scored a goal and setup Abby Wambach for more spectacular head. It just so happens the team imploded in the shootout. Like Jonathan Broxton imploded, making this Nike "pressure" commercial, which was played just after the tilt ended, a bit ill-timed. Hey, at least the game broke a Twitter record for most Tweets per second- over 7,000.

All of this soccer got me thinking (not unlike every other person in America): Can I become a soccer fan?

I hear the futbol purists pouting at that statement. 

I found myself actually enjoying the intricacies of the game, beyond just the spectacle of it all, yesterday. The uninterrupted flow of play for 45 minutes is a dream, it's the antithesis of watching an NBA game that is marred by commercials during key moments. The sport looks good in HD. And the fact that few goals are scored make each exciting.

This happens every few years, though. Last year, after watching four weeks of incredible pitch action, I tried so, so hard to become a Union fan. I made it about three minutes into a match before calling it quits. The talent gap between FIFA and the MLS is enormous and proved too wide to bridge- think trying to go from watching the Eagles to Villanova football. Not happening. Even my uneducated eye could see the vast inferiority of most of the players.

But this year could be different.

The women's game sets the bar significantly lower in terms of speed and skill, perhaps making the transition to MLS possible. So I'll try. I'll go to the Union-Real Madrid match this Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. I'll watch the game against Colorado the following Friday. I'll try. 

The Union are in first place, the stadium is beautiful, its fans drink a lot, and they have a Chooch. Maybe we're missing out. Who's on board?

 

Couple of quick notes:

– Quizzo was a success at Drinker's on Thursday. They hold a new one every week. You can see the full schedule here. Don't forget: $1 hot dogs during all Phillies games and $1 Rolling Rock ponies all-day, every day.

Placido Polanco will be signing autographs at the BC Sports in Exton Square Mall this Saturday from 10:30-12. You can get tickets here. Just watch his back.

– With the dog days of summer approaching, demand for Phillies tickets on the secondary market is significantly less. What does that mean for you? Better seats available at better prices. Support us and get your tickets from Crossing Broad Tickets.

 

The roundup:

– Budweiser is fucking with your beer. They trademarked "215" in an effort to takeover the local microbrew market.

– A man in a wedding dress ran onto the field in Atlanta. Jayson Werth looked on.

– Oh hey, speaking of Jayson Werth… he was 0-for-5 yesterday and is batting well below .200 since the beginning of June. He's on pace for a historically bad season.

– Bill Lyon, legend, writes about the raw deal new Sixers owner Joshua Harris may have gotten.

– The Flyers aren't bullies anymore.

– Planking it out. Owling is in. Win.

– Tiger's ex-wife is dating another guy who used to bang Rachel Uchitel.

– The Big Lead has Alex Morgan covered top-to-bottom, like chocolate syrup. 

– The Phillies could have interest in Carlos Beltran.

Placido Polanco probably won't be ready by Wednesday and Roy Oswalt rejoins team after back injection.

On Google+? So am I. Add me. And once Google allows it, we'll have a Crossing Broad page, too.

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29 Responses

  1. I don’t mind admitting I rooted for Japan in the Women’s World Cup final yesterday. After all the horrors that country suffered through back in March, that win certainly went a long way in helping Nippon heal emotionally.
    Meanwhile, it’s really great to see our old pal Jayson Werth struggling big time with the gNats. Warms the very cockles of my heart. As for those Carlos Beltran rumors…hmm! Interesting! However, I’d like another arm in the bullpen first. Regarding the so-called beer controversy, who cares?

  2. You’re certainly correct about the gap in talent between FIFA and the MLS, and the great teams to watch (Barcelona, Man U, other EPL teams) are extremely difficult to keep up with and follow given they are never on TV. That said, soccer is great and I think watching Madrid vs. Union live will be a blast and keep you on board. Soccer is the best live sport to attend, and nothing comes close.
    Also, please force all Communists (above^) to stop reading your page.

  3. There was a whole lot less diving during the women’s games I saw (yeah, I jumped on the bandwagon and saw only vs. Brazil and vs. Japan) compared to men’s World Cup games I watched last year. The men managed to make a mockery of the “soccer is great because it’s 45+ minutes of continuous action” concept that soccer purists always use as a positive for how great their sport is, while I think I only saw one of the players in the Brazil match do the patented “stretcher off the field, sprinting 30 seconds later” move.
    Of course, I’ll still cringe when the TV ratings come in for yesterday’s final, and idiots in the media ask, “DOES THIS MEAN SOCCER HAS FINALLY CAUGHT ON IN THE UNITED STATES?!” No, no it hasn’t. We just like watching our players win stuff and wave the flag while they’re doing it.

  4. Sorry, Kyle, can’t join you on the soccer bandwagon. Everyone has a right to like whatever sport they want, but it’s a little too emotionally dramatic for me. Every goal they react like a child’s been born or something! LOL!

  5. Noted the same thing on the Nike commercial. They had to be pissed since you only take a chance waiting to air that commercial if you are SURE the US will win. At least 1 million American TV’s were already turned off when they showed that since we don’t watch opponents get their trophies. I sure as hell didn’t stay up for the Blackhawks getting the cup!~

  6. Does this mean my chances with alex increase since she is only second in the world now? I do hope so…

  7. Well, this happens every time the World Cup rolls around, whether men’s or women’s. It’s fun to watch, but that’s about it.
    Let me put this into perspective though. Does any other sport that has a championship every 4 years have a game end in a SHOOTOUT? How can you take this sport seriously when you play for all that time and it ends with a shootout? That’s what I want to know. That was the most anticlimactic ending ever, especially when you consider that the goal has to guess which way to jump.
    Oh, and all the fake injuries are just sickening. I’m pretty sure in the Sweden-France game, two girls’ legs got tangled and the one was grabbing her face. Then they got up and trotted away Really? It’s just sad.

  8. “It’s going to be about 7,000 degrees today and there is a 0% chance I leave the air-conditioning.”
    You going to help the govener of Okelahoma and Texas and pray for rain for them? Maybe they should do an indian rain dance. Hahahahahahah

  9. “Can I become a soccer fan?”
    There you go again, Boy-le. Making it all about you, yourself and you again.
    Man, you really are smitten with yourself. I bet you even take pleasure in the smell of your own excrament.
    Hahahahahah

  10. Hope Solo or Alex Morgan? I’d say Morgan is hotter, but I’d want Solo for the sole fact that she looks like she would hate fuck the man out of you. That would be just glorious.
    But really, either one. Plus, Morgan’s only 22. Yay for gravity not having an effect yet!
    Every World Cup (men or women- I think women’s translates as well as men’s because there is not as much of a level-of-play dropoff as opposed to other sports, WNBA, tennis, etc.) gets me on the soccer bandwagon more and more. It truly is a great game (hard to believe the rest of the world knew something we didn’t, isn’t it?!), and can be very exciting.
    There does have to be a better, more compelling way to end it than the penalty kicks. Just not fair.

  11. ^ Morgan by far.
    Anyway, you’d probably be more interested in MLS than any of the international leagues. I’m quick to agree with you about the dropoff in talent, but, even according to players that come over, MLS is a lot different than European soccer. It’s quicker, and they’re aren’t as many stupid lobbed passes that result in nothing, or back passes to the defense during a scoring chance.
    Speaking of going to the game against Real Madrid, the Union played incredibly well against Manchester United last year; it was just a great game to watch.
    I moved to North Carolina, but have Fox Soccer Channel, who rarely will show a Union game. So, in all honesty, I’d rather watch a Union game over an Arsenal game, and not just because I rarely get to see them.

  12. I hope you do, because it would be nice to get some recognition from the local media about how awesome the 1st place Union is. Plus some genuine excitement from you instead of this “DOOP, I guess…” shit would also be great. You need to go to a game at PPL with the Sons of Ben and experience true Union soccer.

  13. soccer is settled with penalty kicks for many reasons that you cannot compare to other sports.
    1. the game plays for 2 hours with almost no stop before it goes to PKs
    2. everyone wants to say that “oh its just a skills competition thats not fair!” well potentially playing for 3 days in a sport where scoring doesn’t always happen is just an endurance competition, and that isn’t “fair” either.
    3. If WIlson Valdez had to pitched the 23rd inning of a game 7 would that be OK? extending the game until someone scores doesn’t prove who the better team is either.
    4. As much as YOU don’t want to admit it, the ratings probably went through the roof during free kicks yesterday, and i can promise you that as long as the numbers grow like that, no one will want to change it. I’ll bet none of you caught the end of that Red Sox game last night. Hell, half the stadium didn’t watch that late either.
    5. Soccer is all about having a keeper and goal scorers, not forwards, goal scorers. So it isn’t like a hockey shootout where you are stuck relying on Mike Richards who is more of a defensive forward and therefore making the shootout unfair. Having goal scorers that finish the ball almost every time it’s on their foot (Wambach) than the other team is crucial to the flow of play AND penalty kicks, so at least they are similar competitions.
    penalty kicks shrink the game, not change it like others. They are very exciting. Luckily, soccer will not gain any more fans in this country and i can continue to easily get tickets and not have to explain offsides to people for the 39402 time.

  14. @matt
    So what about hockey? They have shootouts in the regular season and actually finish the game in the playoffs. Clearly, this makes sense. Have your gimmick in the regular season to protect your players, but then actually have some kind of resolution in the playoffs.
    Come to think about it, the shootout in hockey is far more fair as well. The shear luck of guessing which way to jump in soccer is a joke.

  15. @nick
    Did you read all the way through? In hockey the sports forwards or goal scoters are two way players more than soccer and so the competition takes away from players who play that type of game such as mike Richards or other defensive-minded forwards..also hockey is only 1 hour with 20 people playing in 30 second shifts as opposed to 90 mins (120 after OT) and only 3 substitutions! Even if a hockey game goes 4 OTs the highest ice time for a player is nowhere near as much as a soccer player for 2 hours (the highest hockey ice time record EVER in a game is only 63 minutes)

  16. Matt- fair points, but there’s a reason why people don’t log 60 minutes a game in hockey: it’s the most physically taxing sport there is. trying to start from a stop on skates is twice as hard as running. i know the “but you glide half the time” argument is there, but that’s really not the case at all. i can speak from experience on this, play 60 hard seconds in hockey and you’re spent. it’s just a different animal. that’s not to take anything away from soccer or basketball, but it’s comparing apples and oranges. stopping and starting when running is way easier than it is on skates. just don’t want the conversation to go that way.

  17. That is for certain, hockey is a much more physically taxing sport..but tell that to the guy who has to sit and watch people run for 2 hours and then maybe 4 more, at some point it just needs to end and soccer is the only sport where the game’s rules allow for a shoot out to be acceptable..so really comparing a hockey shootout to soccer’s is where the apples and oranges argument is, that’s all I meant

  18. @Matt
    I did in fact read your whole post. I don’t know what’s fair though about having a goalie guess which is the right way to jump, which is just asinine.
    Maybe there is just an inherent problem with soccer then. Ending on a shootout is the most unsatisfying ending possible for a game where it is so hard to score.
    Let’s also think about another problem with soccer. Things always come down to money and I’d say that soccer is infinitely harder to monetize compared to a sport like baseball, which has natural breaks where you can put commercials. Other than the fact that soccer is boring in general (not trying to slam it, just call it as it is – half the time you just see these people kicking a ball around and scoring is so infrequent), I can only imagine networks are apprehensive at having to air sports where you can’t easily put in commercials.

  19. They advertise on the walls alongside the field just as in hockey and companies sponsor teams on the uniforms across the chest (like the extremely wretched BIMBO across the Union jersey)..and if soccer had natural breaks and BIMBO just simply bought ad time no one would reference them in this city nearly as much as they do

  20. and since you referenced baseball, the WWC final yesterday pulled an 8.6 rating, which is right in line with the numbers from the World Series. The difference? the soccer game was on CABLE TV! that’s a big deal. Sure, part of that could be contributed to the fact that they have USA on their jersey. However, the 8.6 SHATTERS numbers from the World Baseball Classic and they at least have the luxury of using household names that people have actually heard of before playing a sport they could see every day AND THEY STILL COULDN’T match.

  21. You want to compare apples to apples, yet you try to compare the WBC to the World Cup. The WBC is a joke. You have to use the World Series as your analog to the WC. Just as the WC has the best players and teams, so does the WS. That’s just the way it is.

  22. I did compare to the WS and the numbers were the same but I was saying that it stands to logic that they are only similar because it’s a national team and not the local teams like the MLS..and in soccer the club teams such as Man United and Barcelona are actually better than the national teams so it isn’t the “best players and best teams”

  23. I made it about three minutes into a match before calling it quits. The talent gap between FIFA and the MLS is enormous and proved too wide to bridge- think trying to go from watching the Eagles to Villanova football. Not happening. Even my uneducated eye could see the vast inferiority of most of the players.

  24. Vick’s deal with MusclePharm would be for two years guaranteed, with an option for a third year and would include substantial bonuses based on Vick reaching the Pro Bowl, and the Eagles reaching the playoffs and also the Super Bowl.

  25. the third year is picked up. Vick would also receive $100,000 in MusclePharm stock per year and the first two years would include $200,000 in base compensation, and $250,000 in the third year

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