...randomness surrounding Guided by Voices, Robert Pollard, and other great indie rock bands; a quasi objective look at "my" sporting teams; the random horror film; plus other crap as we see fit...all with a Pittsburgh based feel.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

EURO Quarters - The Cleansing

Out with the shit teams.  Portugal ousted the Czechs. Germany got rid of Greece.  Those two clubs had nothing to offer in terms of attractive football, and the Semifinals will be rewarded for it.

France had some potential, but they resorted to wanker status yesterday with some internal issues.  How fragile are these dudes' psyches when they go undefeated in 20 straight games, lose 1 relatively meaningless game to Sweden, and implode internally?!

Portugal v. Spain has definite cracker potential in the 1 Semi.  And Germany will get the winner of Italy / England today.  Both England and Italy have been known to dumb down games before, but in terms of matchups, this game today should provide the most intrigue of all the Quarterfinal fixtures.

Can't believe I'm about to say this:

Mario Balotelli needs to be in the starting XI for my Azzurri.  Even with only 1 goal, he's been very effective.  And I think Di Natale would be better served coming on late as a sub (Di Natale and Cassano have 1 goal each as well).  Heard some talk about Prandelli moving back to that funky 3-5-2 formation, but with Chiellini ruled out...I don't see that happening.  I imagine we'll see Bonucci take over his role in central-defence along with Barzagli.  The only other change from last game could be Balotelli for Di Natale.

Speaking of the clinically insane, thanks to TB for the following hilarious fwd...

The Madness of Mario: Top 10 bonkers Balotelli moments

 More fun at Balotelli's expense:

Finally happy birthday to the great Lionel Messi, who turns 25 today:


Football Jokes ‏@FootballFunnys:

Cristiano Ronaldo: "God sent me to earth to show people how to play football."
Lionel Messi: "I never sent anyone." ‪#Messi25

Friday, June 22, 2012

He wasn't a very good swimmer

I love Friday the 13th Part 2. The EPIXs has been airing the '81 classic lately, and I watch it every chance I get (even at 6:00am before I go to work). It's still my favorite of the franchise...Jason sans goalie mask. Potato sacks > goalie masks, imo.

I believe it's the only one he's shown wearing jeans. Fucking jeans!!!!!! Yep...opening scene when he stalks that whore who killed his mom.  Tidbit - the legs shown in that scene of Jason walking thru the street are actually of a female...the only time (i think) Jason was played by a female.

Jason also proves he can be domesticated. After kill #1 (Adrienne King), he removes the boiling water from the hot burner. Not for further violence...just to be a nice guy, me thinks.

Jason's smaller stature in this film also gives it a more realistic feel. The final 20 or so minutes when we finally see the full bodied Jason are classic.  The 1st person viewpoint thingy was all cool and stuff, and I love feet shots.  But the shots of Jason with sacked face are beauties.  Like when we first see Jason pop up from underneath the covers to stab that one chic.  Or when you see Jason running in the background, thru the window of that sweet shack he built.  Great shots.

Friday 2 also featured one of the creepiest lines ever heard in cinema:

Ginny: "Paul, there's someone in this room" as she scans the dark living room right before Paul gets bum-rushed .  FCKYA!

While the later Friday films started to go more down the horror-com path, as Jason became more and more mega human, Part 2 scared the piss outta me as a little kid.

Piss your pants.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

EURO Quarterfinals Predictions

Serious EURO withdrawals yesterday, with no games for the first time in 12 days.  Looking back at our Group predictions, EC picked 4 out of 8.  50% WINNERS!! Our standards are high around here, and that's a pretty incredible winning %...ask Pittsburgh Pirate fans.

Our updated QUARTERS Predictions, so you may bury your man:

Portos over Czechs.  Portugal, WINNER.  Ronaldo is now on board, the Czechs are cooked.

Germs over Greeks.  Germany, WINNER. Too much class from Germany.

Spain over France.  Spain, Winner.  I really wanted to Frenchy here, but I can't.  Not with that dud they pulled against Sveden.

Italy over England.  Italy, WINNER.  FORZA!!


Germany over Italy.  Germs, WINNER.  It worked last time, so I'll pick against my boys and root for oppo.  If Italy should get past Germany...that would be pretty fckya, and I'll go berzerker.  Yes...I'm looking past England.

Porto over Spain, Portugal, WINNER.  Here it is...those crazy Spaniards and their run ends here.


Germs over Porto.  GERMANY, WINNER.  And then Michael Ballack can play with himself on camera for ESPN.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Modest Mouse - Lonesome Crowded West

 FCKYA!!!! The Pitchforks threw this up on their Pitchfork TV thingy.


Can't wait.

Group Play Finito

England 1 - Ukraine Nil

This game kinda sucked for awhile.  Then England scores, and wifey and I argue about who should be given more credit on the goal.  Of course, it was Stevie G!!!  Gerrard scampers by like 6 dudes down the right side after putting one dude in the mix, sends in a wicked cross that goes thru 8 people, and finally finds Wayne Rooney's goofy doom.  All Rooney did was stick his noggin on it.  Fckya Gerrard!

Ukraine came out with a bunch of youngsters we knew nothing about.  Shevchenko came on as a sub late to a big applause from the home crowd.  The Ukraine coach looked like he was bitching up a storm about a non goal that John Terry cleared.  The ball looked like it was over the line, and Ukraine got screwed by the call.  Still...they needed TWO goals to get thru...a draw woulda done nothing.  Get over it.

Afterwards, of course ESPN had their panties in a bunch about instant replay and how every country in the world outside of the US needs to get with the program like the NFL.  If "goal line technology" means the ball lights up neon red when the ball crosses the line, and we know instantly...I say go with it.  Otherwise, if "goal line technology" means the ref is going under some dumb hood to look at an instant replay while we watch 10 minutes of commercials, I say fuck it.

England not only advances, but they win the Group.  They will lose to Italy on Sunday at 2:30.

Svedes 2 - France Nil

Didn't really watch this game.  By "really" I mean not at all.  Had to utilize the DVR, and we choose the above.  Sounds like France shit the bed.  I think they were pretty much thru, tho.  Ibra scored the goal of the tournament (no...SERIOUSLY this time)...

That's pretty sick.  Too bad Sveden is heading home. France will play Spain on Saturday at 2:30. Before this performance, I woulda said France might beat Spain. Now I'm not so sure. I want to say they lost intentionally to avoid Italy ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

L'Italia s'è Desta!!!

Italia 2 - Ireland Nil

FCKYA!! or Cazzo Sì!! (i think).  The Beloved looked like merda to start the game, almost gifting the opening kick directly to Robbie Keane on a terrible back pass by Pirlo (i think).  Good thing Robbie Keane sucks (fa schifo).  For the first 20 minutes, they looked a little clueless as Prandelli went back to the typical 4-4-2 that we're used to.  Not only a new formation, but 4 (four!) new starters in the line-up, including 3 blue-liners.

But thanks to Antonio Cassano's header off a Pirlo corner, the good guys took the 1-nil lead in the 35th.  Btw: Cassano seriously looks like Val Kilmer...not Top Gun Val Kilmer....but Val Kilmer today...like MacGruber Val Kilmer.

Nervous moments until Mario Balotelli scored the greatest goal ever, and suddenly I was a fan of this jag off...


No idea what that dude is saying.   

Almost better than the goal, was Leonardo Bonucci grabbing Balotelli by the mouth before he said something stupid.  Fucking hilarious!!!  Awesome display of skill from Balotelli.  I'm still not buying a jersey any time soon.

Even more nervous moments after victory with the Spain / Croatia game still up for grabs.  A goal from Croatia woulda knocked out Italy.  Spain held on.  VITTORIA!!!!

The Azzurri play Sunday against the winner of Group D - France or England most likely.  Barzagli was a welcome return to the lineup.  Bad news is Chiellini appears to be out.  That sucks.  But for tonight, we party.  Festeggiare!!

Spain 1 - Croatia Nil

From little I saw from the that game, Croatia had a legit chance to knock off the crazy Spaniards. A winner from Croatia woulda been pretty fucking awesome.  And for some good pals of ours, we were rooting for them to get thru...just not at the sake of Italy.  I think Iker Casillas made some silly saves or something.  And Iniesta is having quite the tourney.

Spain will play the runner up in Group D, and they look ripe for the picking.

hated doing that one :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Orange Crushed, Group of Dicks is settled

thanks to Tirpak!

Portugal 2 - NED 1

Brutally awful performance from Holland, losing every single game.  The worst part, and maybe its biggest reflection on Bert Van Marwijk, is that they look disinterested.  Even after getting their life line heading into the 3rd game, and scoring the first goal from Van der Fart against Portugal, the effort seemed lackluster.

We saw from France in the 2010 World Cup what happens when the inmates run the asylum. It was no secret that BVM and Arjen Robben had some words in their last game. Apparently, the coach wasn't too happy with Robben's defensive play.  So bench his ass!  Robben was lousy, and everyone with eyes noticed. You had no problem benching your son-in-law (Van Bommel, above), so why be afraid to sit your talented winger who gave you NOTHING all tournament?

Robben wasn't the only under performer.  Van Persie, who scores when he wants, stunk.  The entire back line stunk. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who everyone wanted to see play more, was invisible in his only start.

Props to Portugal.  They were the 2nd best team in the Group, and now that Ronaldo got going, could be a very dangerous team.  We kinda rip Christiano Ronaldo around these parts, and make fun of him whenever we can.  I mean..he's kind of a ponce, and looks like a real jag with his legs spread wide open over free kicks.

But the dude is pretty great.  Yesterday, we got a glimpse.  Ronaldo's eyes lit up against the Swiss cheese defence of the NEDs and might have scored 6 goals with a little more luck.  Every other minute, there was a Porto dude behind the NED back line, and most of the times, it was Ronaldo.  He'll annoy us some more, I'm sure.  But yesterday was his day.  Portugal will play those cheeky Czechs in the Quarters on Thursday.

Germs 2 - Danes 1

I didn't see much of this game, other than snippets on ESPN3, as I had the other fixture on the boob tube.  Denmark appeared crazy enough to win this game for awhile.  In the end, Germany was too much, and they are clearly on a path to the finals. SCHWEINSTEIGER. They've got Greece up next on Friday.  Bye bye Greece.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Group A in the books

Greece 1 - Russia Nil

The supposed class of Group A is ousted. Yeah, the Greeks are trying to spoil everyone's fun again, and play a pretty bland and boring style. But how bout some blame to the Ruskies for not putting the ball in the net? After blistering the Czech's boobies in their 1st game with 4 goals, they manage just 1 against Poland and Greece.  Kherzakov had another 17 shots taken, and not a single one on target.

Greek skipper Giorgos Karagounis had the lone goal for Greece, and then got his 2nd yellow in the Group stage after having a conniption fit.  Well...the yellow was given for diving, and then he had the conniption fit.  He'll miss the first round of the knockouts, most likely against Germany.  Eff Greece...there's no way they get past Germany.  So any fears of this being another 2004 will be short lived. They will lose, and everyone will rejoice.

Czechs 1 - Polska - Nil

Jaromir Jagr got the lone goal for the Czechs, and after getting smacked around by Russia, they won their final 2 games to win the group.  Great effort by Poland, as they had a slew of chances early in the game.  But just like Russia, they couldn't bury it.  Having a host team in the knockouts woulda been fun.  Unfortunately, that task will be left up to Ukraine.

For the record, I had Russia and Poland moving on in the Group.  I also had the Netherlands winning Group B, so I'm doing really awesome at this.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

This is not reality, this is just formality

GBV live John Peel session from 1996...


Heard these guys are coming to Pittsburgh, btw.

England Brilliance FCKYA!

I got drunk last night, so this update will suck...even more so than the others.

France 2 - Ukraine Nil

Frenchy was always winning this game.  They were awesome. Ukraine sucked arse.

England 3 - Svedes 2

Match of the tourney so far, and it seems I say that every day.  Roy Hodgson is the smartest man on the planet and should be working for NASA and shit.  He starts Andy Carroll ahead of Ox upfront, and the move pays off with the greatest header the world has ever seen.  Combine this goal with Carroll's beauty in the FA Cup Final...dare I say the big pony-tailed striker is turning a corner?!?  The cross came from another Red, big and fucking hard Steven Gerrard.

Down 2-1 after 2 quick goals from Sweden, Hodgson sends out super sub Theo Walcott to take over matters.  He notches it at 2 with a ball from the top of the box that surely had eyes.  He then blazes past some dude and sends in the cross to Danny Welbeck's back heel that may be the goal of the tournament.

Heard some nonsense about, "did he mean to do that?" (Welbeck that is).  Bullocks.  As Warren Barton said on FSC, if that's an Argentine or Brazilian, everyone's talking about what a magical goal it was.  Welbeck got his foot to it, in the only manner he possibly could.  It was gorgeous.

Now what does England do against Ukraine when Rooney comes back??  No worries, they've got Roy Hodgson to figure it out.  The only time he's been a moron is when he managed Liverpool, figures.


Go Polska!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

We interrupt these EUROS to bring you PISSED JEANS

Went to this show last month when I was "off-line." Wanted to share its awesomeness with y'all...

Pissed Jeans - False Jesii Part 2 from Almost Human on Vimeo.

Pissed Jeans - I've Still Got You (Ice Cream) from Almost Human on Vimeo.

Pissed Jeans - Boring Girls from Almost Human on Vimeo.

Italian Bummer, So Long Irish

Italy 1 - Croatia 1

All was swell.  Cesare Prandelli came out with the same controversial 3-5-2 system deployed against Spain, and it appeared to be working again.  The Azzurri had some quality chances.  Marchisio looked dangerous on a long distance rocket, and had two point blank shots snuffed by the Croatian keeper when he made himself BIG.  The back 3 was matching up nicely against Croatia's 2 monstrous strikers, limiting touches.  Pirlo was masterful again, scoring the first goal off a free kick in the Euros since 2004...

Even Balotelli looked to be having a decent game, and didn't embarrass himself or blow up (really curious as to what De Rossi was yelling at him after the Pirlo goal??)

Then the Italian DNA kicked in, as they tried to sit back and defend the 1-nil lead.  For 135+ minutes in EURO 2012, the new Italian mantra was refreshing and exciting to watch.  Then this.  Kudos to Croatia, who'd made some tactical changes at half that the announcers were gushing about which allowed Luka Modric to operate in more space.  You could almost see it coming, as Croatia was gaining more possession, and creeping closer to goal.

Up to the 71st minute, Giorgio Chiellini had been having a stellar tourney.  For 160 minutes thru 2 games, he'd been marking his dudes, always seeming to clear anything in the danger.  Then he wanders away from Mario Mandzukic for a brief and crazy moment.  Ivan Strinic's cross was pin point, and credit Mandzukic for an awesome touch, gather, and strike.  That dude is a stud.


Italy coulda controlled its own destiny against a piss poor Ireland side.  Now, they must hope for a non-draw in Croatia / Spain, along with a W against Ireland.  I'll be cheering for my pals and the Croatia side against Spain, but if things appear dim...I'll switch my rooting interest real fast.

Spain 13 - Ireland - Nil

Fernando Torres looked like the old Liverpool Fernando Torres, and scored in the opening minutes.  From there on out, the crazy Spaniards were off and running.  David Silva had a goal.  Torres added another.  And Cesc Fabregas came off the bench to blister another into the back of the net.  Thanks for coming Ireland.

Based off the performances from both sides in this game, I really gotta like my Italia's chances to get thru.  If Italy can't get its first win in 6 Euro / World Cup games against this Ireland team, they stink and don't deserve it.  And with Spain / Croatia tied at the top of the Group, Spain really has motivation to go out on top of the group and win this game.  If they do, they can avoid Germany until the Finals.

As mentioned above, I'll be pulling hard for Croatia on Monday.  But if it's getting late, and they're down 1 goal, I'll be switching sides.  With an Italy W, which is suspected, the only way they don't get thru is with a Spain / Croatia draw of 2-2 or more.  A draw of 1-1 would force Italy to win against Ireland by 2+ goals (I think).  A Nil-Nil draw...which this tourney has not seen...and Italy goes thru (I think).

ps: Huge props to the Irish fans.  Down and out, the atmosphere with them in the stands was awesome until the final whistle, and then some.  American sports fans could learn a lesson in this, supporting their club to the bitter end.  Kudos.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

EURO Crackers Galore!

The crackers continue!!  Can't stress how incredible this tournament's been so far.  Always seems like the big national tourneys never live up to the hype.  This one has...so far.

Portugal 3 - Denmark 2

Beauty of an affair filled a with deadly crosses, scintillating free kicks, clinical finishes, and the suddenly dumbfounded Ronaldo.

If there was a "Worst of the Match", it would have to got to Christiano Ronaldo.  Dude looks absolutely woeful, sans meaningless step overs.  Two breakaways against the GK resulted in 2 fish lipped, stunned looks.  He whiffed on another at the top of the 18 where he looked downward to blame a blade of grass.  At one point, the fans in the stands started chanting, "Messi! Messi! Messi!"  Hilarious!

Fortunately for the Portos, the rest of the squad came to play.  Pepe, who I sorta loathe, had a brilliant header off a corner to open scoring.  Pepe kissed the Portuguese crest on his jersey, clearly proud of the country he's been a citizen of for a whole 5 years.  He then played a key role on the Portugal back line as he raised his hand continuously for offsides.  Postiga then put in a lovely flick off a nice little ball from Nani to make it 2-Nil Portugal.

Next it was the Nicholas Bendtner show for Denmark.  He buried one header off a nice set-up from Krohn-Dehli.  I'd never heard of this dude Krohn-Dehli prior to this Euros, but dude looks like a player.  He then slammed home another powerful header of a cross from Jacobsen in the 80th.  This came shortly after Ronaldo's 2nd huge fail in the game...one that coulda cinched 3 points for Portugal.

Then in the 87th minute, substitute Silvestre Valera saves Ronaldo's ass with the game winner.  Valera tried his best to impersonate the Portugal captain by fanning on his first attempt.  He then did a twirly whirly type move, and sent one flying past a diving Andersen for the W.  Had the game ended in a draw, it surely would sent the Portuguese home after the Group stage.  Now they're in the driver's seat to get thru the Group.

Germs 2 - NED 1

Another major disappointment from my Holland side.  Not in just losing to the Germans, who are clearly the better side, but simply the way they went about it for the first 70 minutes.  I know I'm not alone in this criticism, but just WTF is Dutch coach Bert Van Marwijk doing?!  THAT'S NOT TOTAL FOOTBALL!

 BVM clearly has some sorta blind loyalty to skipper Van Bommel, but that dude is basically useless out there.  Yeah, Van Bommel had a nice season with AC Milan.  But he serves zero purpose when you already have defensive MF Nigel De Long stumbling around out there. And for a MF that deployed 2 defensive MFs, there wasn't a whole lotta defense.  SCHWEINSTEIGER basically took a walk in the park against the Netherlands' midfield, picking out German dudes at will.

Even more curious is why nothing changed from the first game against Denmark. Again, Bundesliga leading scorer Huntelaar was left on the bench.  Van Der Fart was also left sitting.  At least BVM made changes at half and brought both players in as subs to start the 2nd. Too late. 

Props to the German team.  They are clearly the class of the Group of Death, and the best team we've seen in the competition.  The Germans are loaded. 

RVP got a nice goal in the 70th-something minute, but shoulda done better on an early ball right in front of the German GK.  That lone goal, however, might be a life line for NED.  Even with zero points thru 2 games, NED is miraculously still alive, due to Porto's 3 points over the Danes...

  • Germany wins the group with a draw against Denmark.  Actually, they could be dicks, play for the draw, and eliminate their rivals Holland.
  • Denmark could win the Group with a win. A draw could screw them by allowing Porto to pass them with a win or draw.  So the Danes will be pulling for NED.
  • Portugal gets thru with a W over Holland, due their W over Denmark.  If both they and Denmark draw, they still get thru.  Lose, then they leave the door open for both Demark, and crazily, Holland.
  • Incredibly, Holland gets thru with a W over Portugal by 2 goals AND a German victory over Denmark.  Judging by the way they're hanging their heads...I can't see that.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pass the Word the Czechs Are Back!

2nd wave of fixtures from Group play.  More crackers from Group A, the "shitty" group, which has scored 12 goals in 4 games.

Czechs 2 - Greeks 1

The Czech Republic scored the fastest 2 goals in Euro history, in like the first 6 minutes or something.  The Greek back line was in shambles early, due to 2 new central defenders. They sucked. Peter Cech botched one off his mitts early in the 2nd half, and made a game of it for the final 40 minutes.  A loss would've eliminated the Czechs from the tourney, but instead, they're in prime position to get the Quarters after their tit peeling from Russia.  Greece, on the other hand...needs some help.

Poland 1 - Russia 1

Another passionate effort form one of the hosts.  And you gotta love the way the Ruskies play the game.  A lot of talent up front, and no wasted time in their attack.  Last time I saw Andrey Arshavin play this well was 4 years ago in this same tournament.  Not sure why that doesn't translate into the Prem. 

Dzagoev got the opening goal off a def free kick from Arshavin, giving him the tourney lead in goals with 3.  Then in the 57th, Poland's skipper, some dude with a really long and hard to pronounce name who they called "Kuba", scored one of the most crackingest goals of the tourney right outside the penalty box. This Kuba guy is pretty intense.  Both teams shared some chances til the end, while both also seemed to run outta gas.

So Group A will be decided Saturday at 2:30 with all 4 teams having a chance to get thru or getting nixed.  Unofficially, from these eyes...
  • Russia gets thru with at least a draw against Greece. They could still get in with a loss (provided it wasn't a huge loss) with goal differential over CR and Greece.
  • Greece must win to get thru, and with that W, would own the tiebreak over Russia.  The way it looks, even with a Czech / Poland draw (giving 3 teams 4 points), Greek would get in over CR due to goal differential.
  • The Czechs get thru with a W, and could get in with a draw provided Russia beats or draws with Greece.
  • Poland must win against the Czechs.  Win, and in. Otherwise, they're done.
I think.