Sunday, July 15, 2018

Okay I'm a little freaked out

Hi to anyone who reads this.  This is Rose and I'm Dave's stepdaughter.  I came home this morning from seeing my sister for a week and the house was just empty.  I mean my cat Ruby is here and the dogs too but my Gramma and Grampa and my Mom and Dave and the kids are all not here.

There was a note on Dave's computer saying to make this blog?  I don't think it's Dave's handwriting though.  I don't know what's going on and I'm kind of scared.  The blog window was open and his email was too but the only emails in it were the ones Dave wrote and so I posted them here.  When people made comments I just added them at the end of what Dave wrote.  It looks like he sent them all to his Infinity group?  I guess that's cool they're into soccer and all.

Anyway I'm a little freaked out and if you hear from Dave or my Mom or anyone can you let them know I'm at my dad's?  I don't want to be alone in this house.  I'm going to tell the neighbor about Ruby and the dogs too so they'll be okay.

EDIT: I read the emails as I was posting them and now I'm really freaked out.  No one is answering their phones either.  I don't think I like soccer anymore.  I'm going to take my cat with me too.

First Day of the 2018 Cup

Hey all - did anyone see it?  I just caught the highlights (gave my last final yesterday).  Russia is the lowest-ranked team in FIFA right now - 1 draw and 5 losses in the pre-Cup run-off - but they beat the Saudis 5 to nothing.

It seems like at least one of those goals - maybe two - was really the goalie's fault.  I'm not accusing them of throwing the game, just having a sucky goalie.

The game I'm REALLY excited for is tomorrow, 11am my time, between Spain and Portugal.  I mean, three hours before that is the game between Morocco and Iran - Iran is super-strong and there've been accusations of witchcraft (!!) against Morocco so that's weird, but Spain and Portugal have some awesome teams.

Too soon to tell yet who I think will take it - Germany and Brazil are always contenders (Brazil isn't looking like they did 20 years ago, but they're still fun to watch) - and we'll see what happens between the Iberians tomorrow.

Exciting!  Does anyone else care about World Cup?


Mark said: I don't, but I'm ok with people that are.

Rob said: Ya I’m down for some world cup. If I had any friends or time I might go to a bar and watch a game.

Mark said: See, I don't feel threatened because you guys are into that. It's cool.

Mark said: Ed said he was curious about the world cup. You guys should take him to one of those bars.

Steve said: We are your friends Rob.

Steve said: Except Ed... he told me he hates everything you represent.

Mark said: No. Ed said he just hates the way Rob is all like "I'm Rob, la la la..."

Direct quote.

Steve said: I do love the World Cup. But really I just like to watch soccer.  I don't follow which teams are good or not... and don't have time to keep up with all of the games... but it's fun to watch.

Second day of the Cup

We're appreciative that you're an ally, Mark.

So the Spain-Portugal match looked really exciting.  As far as I could tell someone named 'Nacho' scored one of the Spanish goals, which was cool.  Nachos are Tex-Mex though so probably an anomoly.  The game tied three-to-three at the end (they don't go into over time or anything, in this part of the Cup).  Lots of good goaltending which is what I care about the most.

But the Iran-Morocco game was more interesting, and I'm sorry I missed that one even more: Iran won, one to nothing, because of a Morrocan own-goal.   I had to go to a conference at Rose's school today - end of her junior year and plans for her as a senior (!) - so I missed the games.  Ah, well.  Her teacher showed me a cool clip though.  I wish I could find it - all sorts of fans dressed up, and a bunch of people in what looked like the Moroccan section in gaudy red robes.  Seriously - it was like they had their heads down in a prayer of some sort during the match.  It was a bit eerie, now that I write it, but maybe I was misinterpreting something that went by quickly in a crappy youtube thing from Russia.

I'm trying to find a good video - if you go here:

You can at least see the highlights and goals and stuff.  

Let's see - the next game I'm looking forward to is Nigeria vs Croatia - not because it will be a good game, but because the Nigerian team is always fun to watch.  Not the best, but there's a joy in the game that the Germans (for instance) don't seem to have as much of.  Germany vs Mexico on Sunday should also be tight - lots of talent there.  My money's on Germany but one never knows.


World Cup Day Three

Y'all know I'm'a do one of these each day this month, right?  Any day there are games, anyway.

France beat Australia 2-1 - no real surprise there.  

Here's a highlight video from France-Australia:

I mean, yeah, it's some good soccer.  But look at 0:08 - in the middle-ish of the screen, the person wearing pink in an oval of yellow.  I saw that on TV from a different angle - I swear right next to pink-shirt was someone in a long black robe, waving their arms around and... invoking, is the word I think we need here.  I've been looking for a better clip but I gotta get grades in too - and maybe I'm just imagining things.

Iceland tied Argentina 1-1, yay Iceland!  It's their first cup!  I suspect Argentina was as surprised as anyone there - Messi tried but just couldn't get another goal.

And Denmark beat Peru 1-0.  Mmmm, Peru looked okay, Denmark looked okay - see what happens.

As I write this the Croatia-Nigeria game has just started its second half; 1-0 in favor of Croatia so far.  From what I've seen the game's been kind of boring.

I haven't seen anything else as egregious as the bad plays by the Saudi goaltender in the first game, and so far the scrappy underdogs have been the most exciting to watch (Iceland!)  Shaping up to be a decent Cup so far but not the best I've seen.


Almost done with the first set of pre-lim matches

Croatia beat Nigeria, 2-0.  Not too surprising, but I expected Nigeria to do better.  There was a cloud of bats that swooped around the field and distracted the goalie during one of the penalties - and another penalty he just jumped the wrong way.  It happens.

Serbia beat Costa Rica 1-0, and Denmark beat Peru 1-0, and so far it seems like the whites are beating the browns, if you see what I mean.  Fucking European crackers.

Lots of goals scored on penalty kicks.  Some pretty aggressive play out there!

Brazil tied Switzerland 1-1 and while I don't think Brazil's gonna take it this time, they're always just a joy to watch.  They oddsmakers give them the best chance of winning, but I suspect it'll be one of the Ibereans.  Germany, France, and Argentina are looking okay, but Argentina tied and Germany lost, so maybe not.

Wish they'd shown more of the fans on the clips I was able to see - Brazil fans are notorious for partying HARD.

Mexico beat Germany 1-0 in the biggest surprise so far - and it almost looked like the German defender lost his mind for a second and kicked it in his own goal!  I'm certain that's not true, though.  Good goaltending on Germany's part for sure, but their offense just wasn't looking good today, and Mexico crushed it.

Well there's six more matches in Matchday 1.  There's 8 groups of four teams each, so 3 matchdays so that each team can play the three others in their group.  3 points for a win, 1 for a tie, 0 for a loss.  Top 16 advance to quarterfinals.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow!  Sweden v S. Korea, Belgium v Panama, Tunisia v. England.  England's the best of the lot, on paper, but we'll see how they look on the field.


Matchday 1 group F/G

No real surprises from the results.  Some strange ref behavior though.

England over Tunisia 2-1.  Tunisia scored on a penalty when an English player shoved a Tunisian player right over.  What was not caught was the English player who got stabbed; forwards are notoriously drama-queens and it just looked like he stumbled and then fell over.  The red shirt hid the blood but you could see the Tunisian's curved blade in the replay.  Kane scored both of England's goals - one on a rebound and one on a header - and it seemed like he'd be a better choice for a stabbing.

Belgium over Panama 3-0.  As foretold by prophecy: Belgium's ranked in the top 5, and Panama.... not so much.

Sweden over South Korea 1-0.  The goal was scored on a penalty kick - and it was a weird one.  Maybe there was a slide-tackle and maybe not (the Swedes sure thought so) so after several minutes (you could see the neck flaps on the ref during this time) a video review was called, and the penalty kick awarded.  Shame, really, because South Korea looked like the stronger team for most of the match.  Although really it's kind of moot, because these two teams are in the same group as Mexico and Germany, so Sweden and S. Korea are really kind of fighting for third.

I'm tracking down what was going on with the ref in that match - I'll post later if I learn more.


Rob said: I have to say, I'm quite enjoying this reporting.

End of Matchday one and the start of Matchday two

Thanks Rob!

So we're done with the first round of group matches and into the third.  It's been a weird Cup so far - we've seen four own-goals so far; the most own-goals ever scored in a Cup was six, in 1998.  We'll see what happens!

Plus, Russia.  Oh, geez, Russia...

But first let's finish the Groupday 1 matches.  Japan over Columbia 2-1, with the first red card of the Cup to Columbia (in, like, the third minute).  That meant Columbia's down a man (and will be down a player in their next game too), and Japan played SUPER aggressively.  Columbia's always fun to watch but Japan got it done.  Bit of an upset there but good on you, Japan!

Then Senegal over Poland, 2-1.  Poland looked better on paper, but messed around with the FIFA ranking system to get into the cup.  Senegal's team is 'The Lions of Hospitality' and they actually looked pretty good - but one of their goals was an own-goal off a Polish defender, and the other was because a player had come in to sub from an injury, so the keeper (who was distracted by bright lights and a terrible guttural sound from the stands) didn't see him, and the sub scored on an open goal.  Senegal's pretty hyped but I don't think they'll go too far this tournament, since they're in a group with Columbia and Japan.  Mad props to the Senegalese goalkeeper, though - some of the best keeping I've seen in a while.

And then the first of the second match day with Russia against Egypt.  Russia won 3-1, and one of Russia's goals was the fourth own-goal of the Cup.  It looked suspicious, to tell the truth.  Egypt's superstar Salah looked - fine, not the best but not the worst.  I saw the dead start to rise and enter the stadium, but they weren't needed to secure the win for the home team, this time.  It was only a few of the dead, anyway - some sloppy necromancy there.  As a team Egypt was way too tricky - you know when you run over the ball and pass it behind you?  Yeah.  That's some amateur middle-school shit right there.  Egypt's keeper was having an off day too - maybe he was fazed by the presence of the Russian undead.

Russia, to remind you, was the lowest-ranked FIFA team going into the Cup (you get in when you host).  So far I've seen more of Russia's wins because of opponent errors than any stellar Russian play - but they've been up against Saudi Arabia and Egypt, not exactly powerhouses.  We'll look closely at their match against Uruguay on June 25th for shenanigans.

Here's my top-five picks from what I've seen so far:  Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Belgium, Brazil.

Belgium's only in there because of the waffles, though.

It's been a weird first-day set of matches - not 'Wow Exciting!' weird, but 'hunh.  Didn't expect that.' weird.

Okay!  One of three groupdays down - and the second one started!


Steve said: I don't know... I am enjoying the hell out of this commentary.. but I'm starting to doubt the accuracy and the commitment to "fair and balanced" reporting... I've rewatched the England v. Tunisia game three times through and never once saw that curved blade.  There's six hours of my life I'll never get back...