Monday, July 20, 2009

We've Moved!!

Don't touch that, touch this. We've permanently moved to....

Please update your URLs, wake the kids, and tell the neighbors.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tweeting is fun for everyone! (almost)

Here in the locker room of the Unprofessional Foul, it can be a place that can best be described as 'scuzzy'. Between NY Kid's sobbing into a towel, Spectator taking overly long showers, and general fighting over the last beer in the cooler, a rumble goes on. Over the past week or so, Autoglass and Bigus Dickus have been fighting over the usefulness/uselessness/relevancy of their respective twitters. The biggest issue is over keeping things private vs. not. We're to the point of offering a class at UFU on this topic. Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching is a person who would have benefited from such classes. Fined for whinging about the ref's call. "Ref in seattle just cheated the dynamo," Ching tweeted. "What a joke. Not even close. Ref is a cheat."

He apologized in two Twitter posts the next morning, blaming "the heat of the moment." Now, he was fined $500 for such a comment. I first thought "wow, that's like a big chunk of his salary. But it's not really. I had to pull out my handy MLS Salary Chart (PDF Warning). He makes $242K this year, or more than what Bigus Dickus will spend on Norwich swag in his lifetime.

The throwdown between Bigus and Autoglass shapes up like a classic east coast/west coast feud: The laid back west coaster who openly tweets about his daily life of being a sad Chelsea fan, and the private rantings of a Norwichian. But reading the arguments over twitter between Bigus and Autoglass, it makes us wonder how a twitter feud between Beckham and Landon would play out:

@PoshBoy: Someone told me that I got dissed by my teammates. wazzup?

@LandonsTime: Ignore those writers, they're selling books.

@PoshBoy: I'm always a great teammate, just ask all my mates.

@LandyCakes: Well, you're a captain and I don't feel right asking.

@PoshBoy: All of my mates loved me.

@LandyCakes: We loved you too. We just needed some dinner, and I forgot my visa.

@PoshBoy: All you need is a bite? Let me ask the missus what I should do.

@LandyCakes: The MLS isn't all bad. We've got Davies and he's a stud.

@PoshBoy: Are you sure?

@LandyCakes: Well, there's me!

@PoshBoy: Yea...gotta run, I need to help Tom and Katie move some meter thing.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Backpasses: This is good fun

Attenzione: There's a big move happening tomorrow. Commenters may have to re-register with WordPress. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly and the downtime will be minimal.

There is absolutely no chance that Mexico-US will be on ESPN. Sorry [Soccer Insider]
Platini: "If Cristiano cost 92m, when I was 23 I would have cost 93m.” [The Spoiler]
If the above video was too clean cut for you, here's seven minutes of Roy Keane [Dirty Tackle]
Ha ha. Screw you, red half [EPL Talk]
League One map for next season. These are always great [Bill Sports Maps]

Ray Stubbs to ESPN(UK). This is a big deal [Guardian]
Some good, young talent is out there, ready to be snapped up [Premiership Talk]
Ljungberg to stay in Seattle [The Beautiful Game]
Zizou to go to Germany to free Ribery. Will likely surrender instead, but get in a few headbutts first [ONTD_FB]
It's confusing, but there was a Champions League draw today [UEFA]

Your TV hopes that Celtic don't make the televised schedule of the Champs League, especially the HD ones [Football Shirt Culture]

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FIFA fails to follow Austria's lead

Kudos to Austria for taking initiative in what will surely be the biggest head-to-head in next year's World Cup, the battle of vuvuzela v. sanity for all the marbles. It's a shame, however, that FIFA won't take such overwhelmingly brilliant action, ignoring all calls for a ban of the tinny, 10-cent trumpets from the tournament.

I feel bad for my remote control, as it's going to be a long summer for my poor, poor mute button.

FIFA's Director of Communications Hans Klaus told reporters the following earlier today: " "That would mean one would have to take away the cow bells from Swiss fans and ban English fans from singing. We approach this in a relaxed manner. I am convinced the vuvuzelas will be a hit at the World Cup. It will be a World Cup with African sound."To be (gasp) fair to FIFA for a minute, he's absolutely right. As frustrating and irritating as the vuvuzela can be, we have no right to march into South Africa and pluck their proud cultural artifact from their hands in order to have a nice, clean, non-threatening tournament, though the temptation is tough to resist.

Still, FIFA got their analogies wrong. It wouldn't be like banning the English from singing, but banning them from getting rip-roariously drunk in a foreign country and destroying everything in sight.

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Come Blow Your Horn, Just Not That One.

I know what you are thinking... Heidi took the picture.

Austria is banning the Vuvuzelas that invaded the Confederations Cup last month. That's rich for a country known for the love of blowing giant horns! But it's not the noise that the Austrians are worried about. One of their reasons is quite frankly bollocks. The other makes perfect sense.

So what's the reason? Apparently the Austrian professional football league says that the famous bee sounding horns "can be used as projectiles. Furthermore, they can incite aggressive behaviour amongst other fans."

No shit...Right, on those grounds I demand that the foam finger also be outlawed as I was poked in the eye once while a small child celebrated a goal against Stockport County and I am sure that could also happen in Austria. Also they will need to ban tea, apart from being housed in a dangerous plastic missile, the t-bags can be thrown at players or security staff. Oh no people. I have seen it. QPR away, that's what they got for selling the beverage cold!

In fact you would have to ban all items from coming in, money is a much more dangerous missile than a light weight plastic trumpet surely? Lets also ban that. Oh that's right, no money? No beer, burgers, pies, or replica kits. can't have that.

Culture? Not mine. I don't want my elders to travel across the country for a visit, thanks!

While Austria are certainly creative with one of their excuses,(it's a pretty shit missile) the second claim has validity. That's 'inciting aggressive behaviour'. The vuvuzela is as irritating as being sat on a bus full of mosquito's while small children sing the hokey pokey with Elmo. These trumpets, horns, plastic demons need to be stopped. The one tone drone that emits from the nasty buggers would turn a saint to sin. Personally if I ever find myself next to someone who is blowing one, I will react with a violence usually reserved for an episode of Friday night Smackdown. If I had my way, I'd make the ban law. Offenders would be locked in a bee filled chamber while I practice heavy metal classics with a Kazoo. See how they like it, bastards.

Well done Austria. Let's hope the rest of the World can follow suit.

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Quick Throw: The Swap is Confirmed.

That hilarious swapsies deal this morning between Inter Milan and Barcelona is actually happening! It's Ibrahimovic to the Nou Camp and Samuel Eto'o to the San Siro. No word yet whether other players are involved.

This summer is insane. Why are so many top-end players changing hands?

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Fox Attack!

View Larger Map
Not pictured: The fox farm behind Tannadice (right)

Dundee FC play at Dens Park, the ground to the left in the above picture [unless a) I've failed at embedding correctly or b) you've gone ahead and messed around with the map]. If, in the future, Google Maps updates to a satellite photo taken in the last month or so, you'll notice something quite different about the pitch condition.

A family (den?, nest?, fleet?) of foxes have taken over the stadium at nights causing a fair bit of damage to the pitch. The foxes apparently enter at night and have dug up the area in front of the goalmouths and urinated all over the pitch, killing the grass in spots.

The club have admitted to a minor defeat in getting rid of the foxes, erecting temporary fencing around the goalmouths, to be removed for matches, until they can get around to removing the invaders--sometime next year. Yes, there are forms to be filled out and people to be contacted. Those people can't get here until Tuesday, and DFC will be totally out of town that day. DFC will then try to reschedule and the process will begin anew, until 2010.

Actually, there has been no mention of exactly when the pest control people will be able to address the problem, but for now the club is looking at starting the season with the temporary fencing in place, and possible prayers to keep the foxes out. In the meantime, new turf has been laid at the stadium to cover the problem dead spots, a move which in no way will be defeated by new fox urine on the pitch.

Intriguingly, this is not the only recent pest infestation in Dens Park, and the foxes may have been attracted to the stadium because of the last one. Dens Park used to be a playground for rabbits, and the lingering scent of the rabbits is thought to have attracted the foxes in the first place. Quote Dens Park Stadium Manager Jim Thompson: "We used to have a rabbit problem, but the foxes seem to have solved that. Maybe we need a bigger predator now to deal with the foxes." As the fine fellow at Sports Rubbish points out, next summer, expect Dens Park to be overrun by lions, and then reanimated velociraptors the season after that.

Somewhat surprisingly, there has been no mention of anything untowards happening at Tannadice, home of Dundee United, across the street from Dens Park. The conspiracy theorist in me would like to think that fans of the Terrors actually introduced the foxes into their rival's home, but that appears to be unfounded. For now, at least.

Also, I avoided any jokes about the name of Dundee's stadium and the type of home foxes make. If you would like, try out your best one liner in the comments.

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He's Baaaaaaaack!

Football management can lead to stress, but Pardew clearly fancies some more of that as SFC start on -10 points.

First of all, Southampton were saved from impending doom. A white knight riding a sterling stallion stormed St Mary's saving the day and now they have a new manager they will hope can take them forward. Alan Pardew was today installed at the south coast club and charged with not only overcoming a 10 point deficit but with getting the Saints promoted from League One.

Pardew has signed a 3 year deal and I can see him being there at least 3 years, with relegation being the only issue that could get in the way of a lengthy stay. The Saints realize they need to re-build and next season will be all about avoiding the drop and finishing in a decent position. Anything more will be a bonus. Liebherr doesn't appear to be in a rush, (unlike Norwich) to bounce back to the Colaship and Pardew will get time. A rarity in football these days. Saints fans are just grateful to be still in the game after a summer of administration. Norwich fans are still pissed and all associated with the club will be expecting to bounce right back up.

Southampton's new owner is clearly excited at the prospect of working with his new manager...

"Alan has a strong track record and impressed us with his vision, commitment and ambition. We look forward to working with him." -Markus Liebherr

So let's have a look at that 'strong track record' shall we?

After 299 appearances as a player for Palace and Charlton, Pardew's first step on the managerial ladder came at Reading. He had been in charge of the reserve team and was promoted to manager in 2000. In his first season, Reading made the play-off final but lost out to Walsall. The following year Reading won the league and were promoted to the Colaship (Division 1 back then).

An impressive campaign in Division 1 and a fourth place finish had many teams keeping an eye on his progress. He moved to West Ham in 2003 after resigning from Reading. In his second season at Upton Park, he gained promotion to the EPL.

In 2006, a four-nil defeat to Bolton saw Pardew sacked. West Ham had been on their worst losing streak for 70 years. Two weeks later he took over at Charlton Athletic. They were relegated from the EPL but didn't expect Pardew to save them, they were planning to bounce back. Two years later and Charlton were no closer to a return. He was canned early last season and Charlton never recovered, staying rooted to the bottom of the league and hurtling towards League One were they will start next season.

Saints have some good young players for Pardew to work with, like Adam Lallana above.

Pardew has a lot of experience at this level and works well with young players, of which Southampton have many. They also have some experienced players and I can see them doing well next year. Pardew's first game in charge of his new side will be at home to Millwall on August 8th.

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Zimbabwe, Aiming to be Africa's Peru

Malaysia booked a friendly against England only to have the FA send a Gillingham side to masquerade as the Three Lions.

Substitute 'Zimbabwe' for 'England' and 'Monomotapa' for 'Gillingham' and that's pretty much what happened to Malaysia.

Although you probably have to also swap out "Three Lions" for something. And to be fair to the analogy, nobody would have been able to tell the difference between the English National team and a third division side but yeah, Zimbabwe tried slip all of Malaysia a mickey.

In the scandalous affair, Monomotapa did not only pose as the National team, but also played their two games using the national team’s colours. Now the Football Association of Malaysia is accusing ZIFA of lacking respect and questionable integrity after it was duped into believing Monomotapa were the Zimbabwe national team.
Lacking respect? No shit. This is the same FA whose chief is open about having her way sexually with national team players.

Incidentally, she—Henrietta Rushwaya—is still the head of the country's FA. And she was totally cool with it saying of the Malaysians, "Let them eat crappy club teams."

That's a little cooler than her actual quote, but not much less bizarre as she tapped Monomotapa for the trip after realizing the two-match tilt "would not be of benefit to the Warriors as they do not have any immediate assignments."

So it's not enough for Rushwaya to screw her own players, and now she feels the need to screw over entire countries. This actually corresponds with ZIFA by-laws that are based on the operating tenet of "Eh, if we're not going to get much out of it, let's dick over the other guys."

Rushwaya added a verbal shoulder shrug in sort of defending both the organization and the club: "Whilst it is not right to use the national colours, we cannot stop anyone from using the kit."

This is actually pretty awesome. You and your 10 best friends are now the Zimbabwe national soccer team.

Anyway, Monomotapa lost the first match 4-0 to the 157th-FIFA-ranked Malaysian squad before salvaging some national club pride in a 1-0 victory.

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Swap Shop. Who Gets The Better Deal?

A Friday morning quickie. Inter Milan and Barcelona are currently discussing a swap deal that will send Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barca and Samuel Eto'o the other way. Personally I think Ibrahimovic is highly over rated and disappears during big games, bagging goals for fun against lesser opponents in the Italian league. But hey, that's just me. So lets have a Friday morning vote. Who is getting the better deal, out of this or Inter Milan?

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