Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the only instance in which elijah wood could be useful

There was but one circumstance that would keep Green Street Hooligans Part Trois from a viewing and simultaneous chronicling, to be plastered in columns and rows on PmP's ashy downtown walls. And because Obama isn't near the Hammer he is White Sox fan, lil' ol' modest ol' me, out here just meekly West coastin', couldn't seem to negotiate himself a stream even cable-porn-grainily broadcasting the tie. So, minus the one executive quip above, why a post today not coursed with acidity or vitirol at having missed the bedlam that transpired?

Because anytime an event can birth a picture so obscenely righteous it makes both the Soccernet front page AND, more crucially, the desktop of your current scribe? Call it reactionary or contrarian, but with America's resident Most Excellent Rivalry basically devolving depressingly down to the billionare evil scientist battling the grotesque monster he's created, where neutrally neither's fun to pull for and a Los Angelino has to seriously -- seriously -- begin to question the meaning of life upon noticing he'd actually rather have the Yankees win, the glory below's to red-blooded RIVALRY, my friends.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

the green street ultimatum

It's the gash that keeps on gushing, so it seems. Last Wednesday -- despite all the this one matters only for them and not us placebos given -- managed to hurt, a motherfucker, truthfully. It's Mexico, after all. So deep had the wounds felt, they managed to suffocate an altogether joyous announcement, and perhaps too what would have been a modest sedative. And so, in searching amidst all the rubble and remains and cups of urine thrown, what hath been recouped? Why, the League Cup's 2nd round draw, of all things.

1 West Bromwich Albion v Rotherham United
2 Norwich City v Sunderland
3 Tranmere Rovers v Bolton Wanderers
4 Queens Park Rangers v Accrington Stanley
5 Bristol City v Carlisle United
6 Leyton Orient v Stoke City
7 Port Vale v Sheffield Wednesday
8 Hull City v Southend United
9 Leeds United v Watford
10 Cardiff City v Bristol Rovers
11 Portsmouth v Hereford United
12 Crystal Palace v Manchester City
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Swindon Town
14 Gillingham v Blackburn Rovers
15 Blackpool v Wigan Athletic
16 Southampton v Birmingham City
17 Preston North End v Leicester City
18 Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town
19 West Ham United v Millwall
20 Hartlepool United v Burnley
21 Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough
22 Reading v Barnsley
23 Swansea City v Scunthorpe United
24 Doncaster Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur
25 Peterborough United v Ipswich Town

Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod. The proprietor of this fix deserves a medal or a key to a city or something. The coals here are obviously stoked, enough so for one to expect a chronicling of some sort, if the broadcasting/streaming gods do so oblige. Now damnit, where the hell's Frodo when you need him?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

excerpted ManUscript: A Knight, Stale

Somewhere deep in Old Trafford's vitals. A trio of smart-suited suits wait in an office. A desk sitting near-dormant precedes a chair sitting well-vacant, all preceding a season now sitting all-too tenuous.

The office door opens. The ass to whom the chair's groove belongs enters. Cue: The Tipping Point.

Sralex: Well, boys, Little Carlitos has officially wandered over to Man Shitty. (giggles) Sounds like our summer dealings are all 'bout dealt with. Break out them Bud Light Limes!

Boardroommate #2: But Alex, we've--

S: Alex? Who the hell is Alex? I all of a sudden knelt before the god damn Queen for no reason at all, for shits n' giggles or something?

B2: (sighs)...Sir, we've lost two extremely vital offensive weapons, and still have most of the Ronaldo money left to spend on replacements.

S: What're you talking about, replacements? I already dealt with replacin' those two little ungrateful shits while on the Tyne -- that's what the trip up north was for, or we don't remember that one, fellas?

Boardroommate #1: You came back with Michael Owen.

S: Did you or did you not see the brochure? Did you or did you not see the fifth page? Is he or is he not a Manchester United player in that there picture? Answer all of those, right now, in order.

B1: (sighs)...yes, I did; yes, I did, and yeah, he kinda does. But those alone aren't really enough to take on Michael Owen at this stage, are they?

S: It looks like for free they most definitely were, sunshine. Am I right or am I right, guys? SUH-MURR!

B2: But we don't need free. Like I said, most of the Ronaldo fee is still available to us. Atlético has called numerous times about their fee for Agüero. They're calling us, Alex.

S: ....

B2: ....

S: .......

B2: (exaggerated sigh)....Sir.

S: Look, we still have Wayne and Baby Berbz, so just think of not the new Tevez, but as the new Louie Saha, alright? That should cool your nerves, hun.

B2: Uh, it doesn't really.

B1: Nor mine either.

S: And what about you, Doug Mutie? Got anything to say for yourself while we're standin' here?

Boardroomate #3: ...uhhhh, well...for one, your other two buys were on recommendation from rival Premier League managers.

S: Well, it's not my fault that Brucie got the Black Cats job while I was up north, now is it? Look, I only called him to congratulate him on his new post, see if he wanted to meet up for eighteen and a mo-hee-to since I was up there, natch. Totally harmless. So when he answers, of course he's in Honduras scouting, only he says he's stuck on account of some military high-koo, or something? Didn't understand it then, still really don't. So anyway, we got to talking, and eventually we got around to Bitchiano leaving and he mentioned that he had had a winger at Wigan...winger at Wigan, that flows kinda nice there, don't it? Anyway, he said he had had a player at Wigan that looked like the lovechild of Ronaldo and Nani, but wasn't Portuguese and thus wasn't a whiny diiive turkey. So I obviously had myself a gander, and he looked innoc-yuss enough, so BAM! 16 mil, out the door. Seein' no problem with that, hoss.

B3: ...well...uh...alright whatever, what about the French kid, then? You didn't consult Arsène at all about him?

S: I mean, it's not like he told me, "Hey, Sir Alex, there's this kid on Bordeaux, plays on the flanks, spit buckets o'talent; you should look into him." If anything, he mentioned him in passin'.

B1: But Sir, if you don't mind me saying, they're your com-pe-ti-tion! As in those standing between us and our fourth straight crown?

S: Who, Arsène? Can I have some of what yer high on there, son? Ol' Arse is waaay too busy listening to Melody Nelson on repeat to challenge this year, please. And are you including Sunderland, too? Honestly, gimme them there tweeds yer hittin'? Who thinks Sunderland is contendin' anytime soon?

B1: Well, no, obviously they aren't, but--

S: Look, I've gotta jet now if I wanna make this noon tee time.

B1,B2: Tee time?

S: (heading towards door) With Tiger at Turnberry, gentlemen. Gotta love them Nike connections, right? Heh-ha! What's up, SUMMER!?

B2: But Sir Alex, the Ronaldo money -- the board would really rather see it not collect dust, and not just sit there.

S: (everything but one foot out the door) Sit there? Nah, boys, that money's marinatin'! Go ahead and look at a calendar for me, and then read back to me about how it's 2009. Otherwise known as the year before 2010.

All: 2010???

S: (from elevator) What are ya'll, thick? Throwin' our hat in the LeBron sweepstakes, bitches! WIT-NESS!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

the mouse who shan't be modest

I won't say how many years I'd been provided or what substance I had been nepotistically coaxed into downing, but I can say that I sat intently through the whole happenstance, hoping it to reveal itself to be unfathomably true, too many damn parallels to refute. And yeah, Dorothy putting her hand to the Tin Man's chest whilst a heartbeat closes out Dark Side is a skosh bizarre, but I can point to another time years later where the apophenia was waaay more NO FUCKIN' WAY, DUDE and didn't involve going through the same album's motions thrice.

Heed the scene: twenty, maybe twenty-five heads in one deceptively-rustic living room/den, in a house where no lie, not-a-one of the damn pictures on the wall was level - like the '94 quake hit and my buddy and his folks just said, "...fuck it, crooked's the new straight!" - everyone zoned out on Guru's rhymes from Moment Of Truth eerily syncing up with a discussion between Spongebob and Squidward (not my choice), of which I like to imagine Guru and Premier really did painstakingly work their shit out to a yet-to-be-ruminated episode of a still-being-ruminated cartoon reprised said random night so many years later.

Now, I've watched the Sounders multiple times this year, their game today included (love me that there intranet and its streemin'!), and, thanks to Max Bretos, they're often ingested on mute, an open invite for musical supplementation and thus synchronicity conspiracies abound. Call it OCD, or just my retaining anally, but as they're from Seattle, for me it only makes sense that the strains best dovetailing their play come from there, too. A first year club, competing with the M's and the 'Hawks for local recognition, an underground success despite their genre-bending instrumentation, not cosmopolitan nor even realized quite yet but sowin' them seeds that have themselves a growin' disposition? I'm not apologizing for these forays into hickoried diction, cause if you've heard the rather pertinently titled The Lonesome Crowded West, (think Vancouver & Portland) and then heard it again with the Sounders imbricating, you'd understand why it's not really under my power to curb it. Cue the phenomena:

Freddie Ljungberg's the man with teeth like God's shoeshine
he sparkles, shimmers, shines

Kasey Keller

doin' the cockroach, yeah!
doin' the cockroach, yeah!
oh yeeeeeeeah year, twenty years, forty years, fifty years!
doin' the cockroach, yeah!

Fredy Montero

I'm drowning upside down, my feet afloat like Christ's
...he moves just like Crisco disco

Sébastien Le Toux

...and I am doing the best that I can
all the eunuchs, they were standing in rows, singing
"please stud us out just as fast as you can"

Sigi Schmid

Well, Cowboy Dan's a major player in the cowboy scene
he goes to the reservation, drinks and gets mean...
...and he hops in his pickup, puts the pedal to the floor, and says
"I got mine, but I want more"

Osvaldo Alonso

...I sold my atlas by the freight stairs, I do lines and I crossed roads
I crossed the lines of all the great state roads

Nate Jaqua

on my way to I don't know... this place that I call home
my brain's the cliff, my heart's the bitter buffalo

Drew Carey

...the apostles, they're sitting in swings, saying
"I'd sell off my savior for a set of new rings
and some sandals with the style of straps that cling best to the era"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

je ne sais quoi

I was livid after this play last night. I was offered repose today by this, from Chris Broussard on ESPN.

Mickaël's good friend, soccer player Claude Makélélé, also flew in from Paris.

After the game, they discussed post-structuralism, wore berets, and laughed about how far they've come in their respective sports with gaping deficiencies in rudimentary techniques like dribbling or shooting. Mickaël treated Claude to Disney World today.

Friday, June 5, 2009

swimmin' upstream

"Messi cannot head."
- yours truly, to everyone, all year.

Or so I thought, god damn. There's one replay of it there, the last one where Xavi's brilliant orbital ball, a dradel spun from the heavens, cascades down the shot until it seems as though it's to be lost out of frame and sight, to fall to the earth left incomplete and wanting. But then, a banked figure rises from the depths, caroms the ball aloft again and into the nightmares of ManUligans worldwide.

Why was Messi holding his boot in the subsequent celebrations, you might ask? Look one more time; he torqued his entire damn body to two o'clock to reach the ball, legs included, and couldn't reverse back to noon in time before his spikes reacquainted themselves with soil. Stoned-as-shit Alaskan salmon were watching his feat of nature in HD in some river, only able to look at each other and exclaim, "...fuuuck". He challenged physics, lost, and came up with the Treble instead. He really didn't actually even "head" the ball, no neck or shoulder thrust to be found; he more floated his dome in the one pocket of space to which the ball's course would realign towards the desired and foolproof location, far right corner, like if the nail were to meet the hammer halfway. It's not an uncommon technique, at least not until employed by someone diagnosed with GHD at 11 and -- from the multiple games I've seen him shank point-blank aerial opportunities in alone -- shown to be the most effective with the ball at his feet (which is anything but a slight, since he's better with the ball at his feet than literally everyone else filing their taxes under "professional footballer"). What's Xavi anticipating Leo will do with his masterstroke when he decides its a worthy enterprise, though, that's the real question. A chest-down, a volley; couldn't have been a header, right?

I'm more interested in the end of the season now than when it was actually happening, sadly. Maybe because no matter how hard I try (which isn't very, but still), I just plain do not like the thought of Gareth Barry at City, and probably because I'm duped every morning into thinking Soccernet or whoever else's homepage will have something more interesting than Kaká+Ronaldo-to-Real coverage. Probably even more so because I know the next two months are going to continue to only be about the previous two Ballon d'Ors and second-place team in La Liga, whereby everyone will forget the-soon-to-be Ballon winner, the La Liga and European Champions, and the tropical rapture they've provided us so often since August. It almost seems like Chelsea's trophy was played up in significance, more as atonement for their Norwegian massacre, as though Barca's triumph deserved an asterisk or something dumb like that. I know that the entire year has basically been one long anticipatory suckfest in Barca's honor, most of it before they had done anything (I hate how guilty I really am of this), but in its defense, how often does a side basically go wire-to-wire on top, in both theory and then reality? The Cavs won 66 games this year, LeBron hit his own Shot, angels wept, and yet yesterday I witnessed two different companies scrambling to amend their boy-cried-wolf marketing schemes.

ESPN's magazine had Messi, not Ronaldo, on its cover the issue released before the Rome final. (They'll probably claim they knew something we didn't.) The story is intended for the would-be-could-be-fair-weathers, like the rest of our soccer coverage stateside, and provides the more invested little true insight into anything they didn't already know, besides maybe the mainstream sports media's vacillation concerning how exactly to deal with the budding cult of soccer in America. But there is one quote, one important enough they enlarged and boldfaced it for hors d'œuvre:

"I never think about the play or visualize anything. I do what comes to me at that moment. Instinct. It has always been that way."

Nothing revolutionary, I know. Kind of reads like a stock quote for a great player's explaining his gifts, really. They just come to me, I don't know. Plus, soccer's predicated largely on spontaneity anyway. But with Messi, under all the circumstances, "gifts" has almost never needed the precursor "God-given" more, and so his take on them seems that much more genuine than all the rest. The ESPN cover claims the presumed CL triumph will be the kickoff to the Year Of Messi, but that would be to discount his achievements of this year, and thus Barca's as well. For he who was supposed to stand a Colemanesque four and a half feet, he who turns 22 in three weeks, he who up until his instinct told him differently couldn't head the ball for shite -- well, he listened, he leapt, and he gave 08/09 its punctual image (even more so than Iniesta's strike), featuring the sport's best player at his impeccable best, pushing his own boundaries and team to heights unseen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

you can't pop your collar if it's a guillotine

I've been estranged for the better part of a year now about the fourth CL spot. Supporting Villa's quest to break the English caste system should be right up my alley in theory, however they've yet to entice me into actually walking down the damn thing. I've preferred squinting at and speculating from a distance instead. (This caution could be because there's a closet, located somewhere in the deepest & darkest annals of my affections, that contains just a minute amount of love for Arsenal; that's not a door for today, unfortunately.)

I almost did take that walk, though. Martin was this close to talking me into it. He at the least commanded my heightened attention, as from afar a man resembling a coke-binging sprite on the touchline often will. Every goal Villa scores (or concedes, but emphasis on the former), they are to him each their own unique rapture, though from what it's hard to say, for few are as safe in their posts as O'Neill is in his. Whatever the reason, his elations have now ceased where they should instead be finding most warrant, for his Villans have scored just five in their last eight and are gazing skyward towards fourth after so long staring down from it. The side could actually finish as they did a year prior if they don't find their bearings right quick; a promising vision, but sixth place and trophyless.

Most will be quick to condemn; I just kinda wanna know what the hell happened. The usual suspects are all there in broad daylight, primed for criticism, but when corralled they seem more than a little inaccordant. Everyone seems to wanna point the finger at his team selection in Moscow, as though there couldn't be a worse infraction than disrespecting a trophy and the arduous quest for, but then these same fingers will later direct themselves towards the squad's paucity and how ragged his boys' legs have run. So what should O'Neill have done, exactly? Conceded the UEFA Cup back in July by playing the nobodies then? I look at their beating at Liverpool's hands today, and I see things through more modest and specified lenses.

I see 6'3 Alberto Riera turning 5'9 Nigel Reo-Coker into his bitch on one flank; I see 6'0 Luke Young playing out of position on the opposite; I see a fit Nicky Shorey (not to mention Zat Knight, who could shove the 6'3 Cuellar over onto Riera) languishing on the bench entirely, an all-too-common occurance for the smallest squad in the PL. Warming that same bench I see a 22 year-old Gabby Agbonlahor, saving his energy after the exhausting one-game-in-two-and-a-half-weeks schedule he just labored through; I did not see Emile Heskey do absolutely anything of note before being yanked besides drift out left and clog any drains Ashley Young would normally flow through. I see five-nil from four set pieces and a Pepe Reina masterstroke (of which should be regarded at Delap-like levels and defended accordingly from now on, it's such a weapon), and I see said goalkeeper saving a duo of beyond solid Carew attempts when the score read much more favorably.

But most importantly? I see Martin O'Neill. I see Old Trafford looming in a fortnight's time, coinciding with an improbable and unthinkable hiccup in Man Utd's blessed step, which are either the best or worst circumstances to play there under. The tactical miscues above, I suspect them abberant, and to be eliminated in but a game's time. There's work to be done, yes, but after everything this year, I just don't see Villa collapsing with but a whimper in late March, their story to be forgotten faster than it could have ever been conceived. Not in 08/09--it wouldn't seem right. Don't get complacent, Gunners. It's not over quite yet.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a chronicling, draped in flannel

One of, if not the only, positive parallel between the MLS and the American sporting climate? Expansion, kids. And so, a diary of the Sounders inaugural game.

6:19 pm, pacific time.
God, that guy had great hair. Just don’t see spikes that committedly big at other sporting events. Sounders 1, OKC Thunder 0.

Wonder the last time Qwest had that much energy pumping through it. Probably wasn’t for a Seahawks game. Kickoff.

6:36 Exactly as you’d expect from an expansion team’s first time out; lots and lots of midfield dispossession. The green & blue looks sharp in HD, though.

I bet Sounders left back Zack Scott is seething about missing his Zags play tonight in the NCAA tourney. Good thing he won’t have anything to do besides chase Dane RicharOOOOOOH SHIT A GOAL! EL CABALLITO DE COLOMBIA FREDY MONTERO!!!!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!!! LOS SOUNDERS 1, LOS TOROS ROJOS 0!

6:44 That was absolutely the best thing that could’ve happened for this game. Were they interpreting a caffeinated Latin-American centipede for their celebration, though? Probably gonna wanna work out those triumphal kinks next practice, guys, before the goals dry up.

Is his name really Jhon Kennedy Hurtado?

Brad Evans takes Cepero five-hole, Sounders 2, city of Seattle 1,000, Red Bulls 0, OKC Thunder -3. Weren’t New York the Western Conference Champs last season? Good one all around, playoff system.

6:58 Just because you’re 40 doesn’t mean you get to wear tight yoga pants, Kasey.

Requisite “Jhon Kennedy used his hands” joke here.

It’s really a shame no one on the Sounders looks like he’s in a grunge band. Just seems like such an easy get; hopefully Sigi takes a trip to Argentina sometime in the near future. (edit: 'twas later mentioned that the team in fact took a trip down there; remains to be seen why the roster wasn't adjusted during the proceedings.)

I’d take exception to the Pacific Northwest receiving three football clubs in three years, but I didn’t have my basketball team raped and pillaged out from under me. (Portland has the Blazers, but remember too that Vancouver lost the Grizzlies. Evens out in some way, I think.)

Alliance For Progress be damned, Jhon Kennedy is manhandling a Colombian in Seattle tonight. Juan Pablo, ¿dónde estás?

Halftime. One wonders if NY is this bad, or if Seattle’s adrenaline is simply that pronounced. I’m not, but one might.

I can’t put into words how much I hate that Messi chests the game down in that PES commercial.

Second half. The field has stripper glitter all over it.

Good number crunching, ESPN. 12 touches, 9 moving away from goal for Ángel. My sister’s fiancé Rigo is also a dead ringer for a lovechild between JPA and Shakira. ¡Viva Colombia y sus cejas!

I’ve thoroughly convinced myself the Red Bulls jerseys have a goofy little innocuous zipper like a Patagonia sweater where that patch of red is on their collar.

JP Dellacamera asks the question I’ve been wondering since the second goal; where exactly does Freddie play if this form stays true?

Adam Scott torpedoes through JPA’s ankles like he talked shit on John Stockton’s shorts. Somebody let him know the Zags advanced tonight, stat.

Can I be the first to make the Lebron-Zakuani comparison? If for no other reason than both are first-picks out of Akron (even if Steve’s actually from the Congo)—that’s enough to start, right? No?

Keller is finally afforded a chance to test the elasticity of his comfort pants.

Montero loots Mike Petke of his dignity, gets his brace, gives me my adjourning cue. Sounders 3, NYRB 0, city of Seattle 7,640, Clay Bennett - , justice 1. Hope it helped a little, Seattle; lord knows you deserved the hell out of it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

a guide in trichology, pt. 1 of ?

The second in a dozen pages has fallen off the calendar, and I’d foolishly presumed that tumbling right alongside February would be a London demigod and it’s usual procurement of Champions League football. Much to my dismay, then, was Stoke’s resurrection Sunday at Villa Park, which occurred about halfway through said presumption rounding into literary form. Congratulatory meditations will now have to be put on ice, and instead, I come in reprieve to the afflicted; bearing analysis of Arsenal’s plight through sheer irreverence and balderdash.

Precursor: I suspect I might be preaching to any number of choirs, but “hip hop” (used as an adjective here, and in quotes not out of buttoned-down ignorance or disdain but out of undying respect and for lack of a better or appropriate term) is the adhesive that binds today’s American sporting culture together amidst the countless pratfalls colluding to bring it all crashing down. Everyone’s definition and criterion surely differs, but the impressions left are canyons regardless. The NFL has it in spades; the NHL's almost completely bereft of. The NBA is redefining it on a daily, hourly, oh what the hell, minutely basis, perhaps even more than the actual genre of music itself does. Exhaustively numerous pieces documenting sport and hip hop’s symbiosis can be found elsewhere; what’s necessary here is a simple understanding of the following:

-A person’s hair, & the coordination, assemblage and semiotics of, much as in any sociocultural niche, is of near-peerless influence within hip hop’s cause.

-Arsenal have the finest coiffure collection in England, if not the world, and have this season in particular shown an intensified penchant for experimentation.

-Arsenal also register as the most hip hop football club in England, if not the world.

Those last two are indeed indebted to but not solely dependent on each other, for a well-coiffed club can fail entirely in being hip hop, and vice-a-versa. But it’s the Gunners with which my intrigue is piquing, and so without further ado.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Musical Bilocation: Brooklyn, '89

If ever the massive potential in Arsenal's fountain of afrocentricity floweth over (and I say this because, in case you hadn't already discovered, football sits rather low on hip hop's totem pole), one needn't look further for the undamming culprit than this here man. The Togolese wristbands, the dance with Henry, the antelopic strides, all of it--but really, it's that hair, an ever-shifting testament to the glory of all that is afroed. One could be compelled to start anywhere, from the pipe-cleaner-thin 'rows after the World Cup, to the subsequent hi-top, trapezoidal fro from the back half of last season. Before injury this term, he'd gone for something in-between, but in general he's been but a shell of last year's romping statement of arrival, enough to where I'd suggest something different up there, something raw, unabashed. His hamstring looks set to heal in the next week or so, and not a minute too soon, as another in-league nil-nil might cause the Emirates to implode entirely.

Robin Van Persie

Musical Bilocation: Glasgow, '82 / your local mall, present day.

Up until about December, he looked prepped and primed for his 4th grade yearbook picture, in all its gelatinous and vert-ramped splendor. Then young Robin was stamped a miscreant, and a homewrecker; he countered with a fervently rapturous Fuck You brace at the Bridge, and followed with what’s become the ultimate in new-leaf turning, a fresh 'do (see: Iverson, Allen). And a mohawk—genuine, no faux or fro, buzzed sides and all—to boot. Since the switch, Van Pershie has taken the team lead in goals, scored a sublime penalty in the ever-increasingly-important CL against Roma , skipped from 4th grade up to 10th, and most importantly, has preserved his health amidst copious compatriotic casualties (knock on wood), fooling the public into forgetting we once knew him as Mr. Glass. Seems to be the exception to the rules here, including the resounding lack of hip hop present.

Samir Nasri

Musical Bilocation: Orlando, '98

Oh, dear. Who sanctioned this? This is the most recent of the adjustments, and is triumphantly the worst. My ears are struck deaf to the season opener against West Brom; my eyes blind to the victorious brace against Man U. Frosted tips are the bane of a follicle’s existence, where style goes to wither & die, humbled & embarrassed by the monster it’s created. Stay a Franc, dear son, & don’t let any bubblegum Aryans beguile you, for it’s Zizou’s name they whisper when your feet and ball entwine.

Bacary Sagna

(not so) Musical Bilocation: Cairo, 40ish BC

Will and does channel any, every, and all eccentricity through those blonde beaded curtains, leaving but a studious, award-winning, and frankly kinda boring-in-his-assuredness right back underneath. But any male attempting a grand theft eponym of Bo Derek surely can't be held all that accountable for his club's strife this year, so onward.

Nicklas Bendtner

Musical Bilocation: Hollywood, '87

Oh, sweet Nicklas, how you tangle webs and addle wits with your punctuations of effrontery. You fastened your name synonymous with the berry Vapors; you publicly fashioned yourself hip hop enough to garner guarantee in the Arsenal eleven. But I thought I'd been in their presences enough to know a whigger when I saw one; you've got me flummoxed to a foreign degree. Pink boots are well and dandy if when embracing your feet it's as though they sense the heightened audacity present and perform accordingly. Merely having confidence in oneself isn't enough, either; it's nothing but down-home bullshit if both before and after self-deification your game isn't cashing the checks your mouth's written. And though pronouncing the only superior to a pink boot an allover diamond incrustation screams hip hop, a blonde glamhawk--tested for any duration--screams "I was at Vixen on Sunset in '87, man. I was there."

Kolo Touré

Musical Bilocation: Brooklyn, '89, with Ade

Another in midseason transitions, Kolo arrived with his scalp covered in charred alfalfa sprouts, surely to either promote the organic jheri curl or veil an unsightly head wound, either of which would explain why his temples were shaved concurrently. This was hip hop at it’s most beautifully unkempt, a Jules Winfield guest-spot on a Jungle Brothers demo—only for the Ivorian to lose form, strain his calf, put in a transfer request, brandish and later bury the hatchet with Billy Gallas, and revert to a modest close crop, which I suppose is better than just shaving your head, but still. His form seems as though it's sharpened, though he was suspiciously troubled by Andy Johnson on Saturday, so the jury’s still out here.

Andrei Arshavin

Musical Bilocation: So many

When Arsene told fans he was going down to the store of convenience and asked if they'd like anything, near everyone listening said something to the tune of "central defense & midfield, preferably the experienced kind, no almonds". He instead went to the Russian deli, haggled for & purchased the finest vodka available, and liquored everyone up enough to forget their original requests. What's more, the vodka then decided that Londonians trained in the barbering arts weren't up to snuff and so arranged on his dime to fly his own stylist out. And at the sake of personifying inanimate objects any further, the lad's had only two games, so I haven't an opinion other than hopefully time & growth will be bringing with it more than simply the above exercise in (massively expensive) function. Though from previously premeditated stylings, who's to be sure?

Manuel Almunia

Musical Bilocation: London, 1982 / Various towns in upper central California, i.e. Santa Rosa, present day

Jens Lehmann was (is) hip hop. Jens Lehmann, as you should already know, was once so incensed at being substituted off at the break after allowing three behind him that he right then and there boned out, in full keeper’s kit (circa ‘93, no less), paying for & riding the tram back home. Jens Lehmann did this just a fortnight ago.
(If confused, quickly imagine someone pulling off a teammate’s headband in the NBA with such malice.)

Manuel Almunia has had his hair this way for almost two years. Eccentricity is an evolving trait; often if one chooses to liberate their quirk through the hair on their head (Lehmann didn't) they do so in swift and anonymous intervals (see: Cisse, Djibril; Rodman, Dennis). I’d have trouble believing someone bleached their hair on anything but a whim, but to then decide upon that as your staple, your trichologic calling, unto which you give your good, unsullied name? It’s the reason why Marshall Mathers, damned hard as he tried, could never fully be counted as hip hop, and that that had nothing to do with the color of his skin. Manuel Almunia isn’t hip hop, nor is he trying to be, nor, do I reckon, does he know on what plane we’re even discussing the phrase; the recent photo of him walking his pink-drenched terrier is more than incriminating. But Arsenal calls for something more, more than counterfeit idiosyncrasy, & definitely more than this Billy Idol impostor.

Arsène Wenger

Hark, the pundit's murmurs are in ascent, to levels of which our ears can now fully percieve. My perceptions of their diction go something like this: not only has their favorite French New Waver misplaced his dear plot, he's now searching for it in all the wrong drawers. But I shan't be that quick to carp or condemn; for nary a pundit has led his troops into the flames Thirty-Eight times and emerged unscathed every damn one of them. But maybe, just maybe, the Professor could use a trip down to his local salon, if only to reignite whatever spark may indeed lay dormant. Hell, with the degree in engineering the better hands for the job might actually be his very own. It's bequeathed success for an aforesaid few in his troupe, the catharsis cut; I'm not suggesting anything rash, but it's not as though the Parisian schoolboy look is solving the world's fiscal catastrophe or anything (or even catching whomever stakes claim to fourth this season).

And to think, I'm not even a Gooner.

(Postcursor: Had intentions to add ¡el capitan Cesc!, except he's both out another month and is probably the actual reason why the current Arsenal glow of a different, tamer hue.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

feb 7th, 2009: a live account

as i'm confined to the friendly confines of my apartment due to the circulating virus circulating it's way into my system, i see but no option than to avoid impending tedium and, I believe the term is "liveblog", the Liverpool - Portsmouth game this morning.

9:35 am pacific time – Kickoff. Tony Adams welcomes with another in his vibrant collection of scarves.

940 – 5 minutes in, still can’t get a grip on what formation Rafa’s utilizing. My estimate is the following:
Skrtel and Agger flanking Carragher at the back, Aurelio & Mascherano holding, Dossena and Arbeloa opposite each other on the halfway line out wide, Babel and Benayoun supporting lone striker Ngog. By my calculations, that's a 3-2-2-2-1. At this point he’s playing Fifa 09. This is either my absolute or least favorite formation of all time.

943 – I ask you, how is it that Yossi Benayoun is effective when he’s the live-action Ratatouille, only Jewish? Or maybe that is why. Nevermind.

948 – Liverpool’s eight men attacking are swarming their opponent's half, even without Torres & Gerrard. Who’s scoring out of the eight heavily remains to be seen.

953 – Pompey are going down if they don’t switch managers. Quite and bright clear. No fight here early whatsoever. Also, officially decided I’m for Rafa’s choice in shape today. Gotta possess testes of the highest order to play three at the back on the road, I reckon.

1000 – Mascherano denied brilliantly by David James. The Reds need that, defensive-minded players pushing forward looking to assist in attack. Tony's tied his scarf 'round his neck to keep warm.

1003 – Three thoughts: I’d love to throw alley-oops to Peter Crouch for like a half hour, and with their victory and Chelsea drawing today, Aston Villa is in 3rd, and by Tuesday night will probably be just 8 point shy of Man U, with Chelsea and Arsenal trailing. 'Tis the season for the unlikeliest of runner ups, viz. the Tampa Rays and Arizona Cardinals. Villa for 2nd.
Oh, and third, Glen Johnson's cornrow ends resemble the calamari I had at this place on Washington like a week ago. Just saying.

1008 – Rafa looks a little nervous his experiment hasn’t breached James yet. Like he wet himself, just a little, but it's ok, cause halftime is like fifteen away, we have quality on the pitch, we will go forward as usual, with quality.

1012 – And Howard Webb looks as though amongst English refs he hits the gym most frequently, which is saying barely anything, but whatever. And I only mention this because it then led to shuddering at the sight of Ed Hochuli in premier league shorts. No homo, though.

1020 - Mandatory “Tony kinda looks like he could use one” shot here.
It's nil-nil at halftime, with Torres, Alonso, Riera, and Kuyt on the bench at Benitez’s disposal. Wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to get all four on.

1023 – One day I’m going to sit down and count exactly the amount of commercials FSC has in tow. Can’t be more than 15. You know shit’s getting stale when men are getting pissed at the sight of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s face. Also, the North London derby would have been so much better than ManU - Hammers tomorrow. I'm sure it's not up to the channel, but still.

1029 – More Proactiv.

1033 – One more Proactiv ad for you, in case you dipped your face into a basket of eggrolls in the last 4 minutes.

1037 – Second half begins, Krancjiar on for Hayden Mullins. He’s either on the front line of the grittiest of Slavic infantries from the early 90s or the sequined and sparkled male half of a bronze-medal-winning ice-skating pair. Or the lovechild of Sasha Vujacic and Pau Gasol. No subs for Rafa, sticking to his guns. That shoot blanks.

1045 – One more for you: Skrtel is either Vidic after a six-month meth binge or Willem Defoe as Nosferatu. Or a lovechild of those two. And you can see Angelos Basinas’ dome shining from up here. Greek sweat glands apparently produce an unnaturally bright varnish.
Elsewhere, Kuyt, not Torres, comes on for Ngog. Some kind of record in bet-hedging is set.

1053 – John Champion is of far greater eloquence than I, and thus his description of a Ryan Babel sitter: “There will be no better chance missed up and down the country anywhere this weekend.”

1056 –Wouldn’t be right if Pompey didn’t take the god damn lead right after that. David Nugent from Crouch with shades of offside, an Evertonian sinking Liverpool and Rafa’s experiment. Tony Adams reaction= Snoop’s after acquittal.

1102 – Alonso on for Dossena, who I completely forgot was even on the pitch. Torres still on the bench.
Crouch shits himself and hangs his keeper out to dry, and it’s adjudged a backpass and Liverpool have a free kick from the penalty spot, Aurelio to take.

1104 – Goal! A absolute fucking missile into the right bottom corner past James and Krancjiar. 1-1, twenty minutes remaining, drama to surely ensue.

1110 –Torres to come on, Benitez abandons formation altogether. Kuyt scores but is incorrectly judged to be off. Best part about England: justice will be served.

1112 – Soon as I open my mouth about justice, Hreidarsson, up from left back, scores on a Belhadj free kick. Carragher fails to mark, Pepe Reina channels Mike Piazza and loses the ball off the dirt, and if it seems a bit cruel to be 2-1 Pompey, you need to accustom yourself propmtly to the English Premier League.

1117 – Hey, how's s'more drama for you? Kuyt squeezes it into the near top corner, and it’s even at 2 now, with under ten minutes remaining. This game is now ridiculously paced, and I’m having trouble juggling watching, recounting, and feeling sorry for myself and my illness. Tony Adams releases our shared frustrations on a dugout chair.

1124 – Wouldn’t you fucking know it, Torres heads home and its 3-2 Liverpool. How terribly, terribly cruel for Portsmouth. David James at fault again, but regardless this has been some fight from Liverpool. Did I say something about justice? And where the hell have all these goals come from?

1127 – Pepe claims a last ditch ball into the box, and that’s that. Another masterpiece, I need a nap.