Saturday, June 7, 2008

Euro Trash Day 1: "Frei, Big Phil and Foudy"

"Welcome to the EUROPE Cup, Pepe." So sayeth ESPN's studio anchor after Portugal won 2-0 over Turkey. So, let me also say: "Welcome to the EUROPE Cup, fair reader." This here would be the first part of our hopefully regular series of recaps throughout the tournament. Hey babe, after the jump take a walk on the wild side.

Let's start with the most important topic: how terrible is ESPN's coverage?

Please get Julie Foudy and that other douche off my television. Tommy Smyth and Andy Gray can stay: After the debacle that was da WWL's coverage of the 2006 World Cup, all eyes and ears were turned to see how badly they would fuck up Euro 2008.

Let's start with the good. I have to admit that Andy Gray was excellent and he is a real smart hire, and Tommy Smyth might be a bit monotonous sometimes but the guy has charm and, more importantly, an accent (can we make a rule that the thicker your accent, the more authentic you are as a football commentator?).

Now, the bad. First, there were many times where broadcasting from Bristol really hampered the commentators -- the director would show a replay, something exciting was happening in the game (you could tell because the crowd was cheering), and the poor commentators were left like me at home, thinking, "they should switch back to the game right fucking now, okthanks." If the commentators were actually at the game, well, then they could just look up from the monitors themselves! So cheap. Second, someone take Julie Foudy out back and shoot her. I mean it. She knows nothing, talks over everyone else, and isn't funny or insightful. I would say maybe she will get better as the tournament goes along, but my willingness to give her the benefit of the doubt is already used up in its entirety. Third, please please PLEASE tell Julie Foudy and that other douche how to pronounce PETR Cech. The same thing happened at the World Cup and they've had two years to get it right. I mean, isn't that why ESPN has interns???

That out of the way, let's turn to the opening matches...

Czech Republic 1, Alex Frei's Knee Ligament 0: Unlike co-host nation Austria, who are really really bad, Switzerland had high hopes of making a splash at Euro 2008. Those hopes pretty much died in a crumpled heap when captain Alex Frei went out with an injured knee ligament. Frei is definitely out for the rest of the tournament, and maybe longer (sorry Borussia Dortmund). The rest of the game was a typically tight affair for the group stage, and frankly Switzerland deserved at least a draw. Instead, it was Vaclav Sverkos who snuck past the defenders (*cough*Senderos*cough*) in the 70th minute for the decesive goal. Switzerland was especially aggrieved when an obvious handball in the penalty area was ignored. Otherwise, Cech made a few nice saves, and now the host country finds itself in real dire straits -- with no sultan of swing waiting in the wings.

Cristiano Ronaldo's short shorts 2, Turkey 0: You could tell that Cristiano Ronaldo meant business because his hair had even more pomade than usual. Yes, all eyes on the Ronaldo who doesn't try to pick up tranny hookers, and it only took 3 minutes of play for him to draw an aggressive foul by a Turkish defender. Turkey didn't really look that terrible, and maybe with a little bit of luck might've pulled out a draw or even an upset. Instead, Portugal played with poise and, in the process, scored twice and hit the woodwork three times. One of the near misses was an absolutely brilliant Ronaldo free kick that was met with a fingertip save. Given the movement on the free kick, Jens Lehmann might have a point about the balls being extra lively (settle down Daulerio and BBDrew). So, it was a night where Deco looked pretty out of sorts, Ronaldo's mind was busy thinking about earning 300,000 euros per week (after tax!) in Madrid, and Portugal still won convincingly. Turkey might be a darkhorse if they can win against Switzerland and Czech Republic, but they have work to do.

Other News:
- Scolari to Chelsea kind of makes sense to me when you consider that he's already coaching Chelsea's back four minus Weepy John Terry, and possibly Deco soon as well. I do hope that Scolari moves to the EPL -- his antics on the sidelines are high comedy.
- Michael Platini is a communist.
- Drama in Portugal as Quaresma struggles.
- Ibrahimovich may not be able to go a full 90 minutes.
- Daniel Alves lands at Barcelona (et tu Et'to y Henry?).
- And finally... it's your NSFW Euro 2008 WAGS slideshow. (Courtesy of the Sun, but of course!) link fixed -- boobies ahoy!.

I'll be sweating my balls off (easy) at Giants Stadium tomorrow along with a few fellow UF compatriots, but relax you will surely be in very good hands tomorrow.



Precious Roy said...

In all fairness to Senderos, it wasn't his fault, but a nice play by the Czech player to beat the trap.

Oh who am I kidding, I have no interest in being fair to Philippe.

Chad said...

your link to the WAGS stuff doesn't work...epic fail

Ian said...

Chad -

try that. Its faaaaantastic.