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USA Vs. Azerbaijan, What Did We Learn

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U.S. bombards Azerbaijan

But what did we learn?

Honestly, not a lot.

Before we get to that though, let’s start with the positive. After 15 years of trying, America finally earned its Scout’s merit badge for successfully pounding a stubborn Central Asian nation into submission this week, rolling over a lightly armed Azerbaijani squad by a score of 2-0.

We scored! They didn’t!

Yes, all that is true, but this was the first of three “friendly” games intended to prepare the USMNT for next month’s World Cup, meaning that winning actually took a backseat to two things: Objective 1 was to give our starting 11 players — or “best XI” in clever soccer parlance – some precious time to play together against a real opponent, and Objective 2 was to answer a few lingering questions about who will round out the starting squad and/or be the first players off the bench.

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On Objective 1, the game was a bit of a disaster.

For starters, the U.S. team’s most dynamic player and by far its most accomplished white rapper

Clint Dempsey, tweaked a groin during pregame warm-ups and was held out as a precaution.

Speaking as someone who’s been playing this sport since before I stopped shitting in my Huggies, the importance of time together in a game situation cannot be overstated. Knowing where your teammates will be or when and where they will be make a run without needing to look is a fundamental ingredient to success, but is only achieved through time spent playing with one another.

Just look at Spain. One reason they have won the last three major tournaments running — two European championships sandwiched around the 2010 World Cup – and are ranked #1 in the world is because much of the team has been playing with one another at Real Madrid or Barcelona since even before they began playing with themselves.

¡Vámonos muchachos!

Thus, Dempsey missed out on 90 minutes (or perhaps more, depending on the extent of the injury, which Coach Jurgen Klinnsman later called “not serious at all”) that could have been spent gelling with teammates, particularly fellow striker Jozy Altidore and midfielder Michael Bradley.

A second problem was the opponent. Azerbaijan is ranked 85th in the world — just ahead of Uganda and behind the dingleberry hanging off the north end of Ireland — and spent the entire game cowering in a defensive shell.

Mommy, make the bad man stop!

From a quality and stylistic perspective, Azerbaijan was about as useful to the USMNT’s preparation for the World Cup as slathering Preparation H all over is for curing cancer (hint: it’s not… not even ass cancer). The team was drawn into Group G with Germany (#2 in the world), Portugal (#3) and Ghana (#38). All three teams play fast, aggressive soccer that at times may even leave the U.S. (#14) wanting to curl into a turtle, and at the very least will force us stick to a more defensive, counter-attacking style.

Point being, yes, there are good reasons to play an Azerbaijan in the first tune-up – I mean, shit, the B1G Conference has used the same strategy in football for decades to avoid confidence-damaging [and bowl money-jeopardizing] losses early in the season – but it would have been nice to face a little pushback from, say, a Ball State-caliber opponent rather than a Southwestern Bemidji State School For Kids That Don’t Run So Good.

Heyyyyy, thathhh not very niiiiii-th

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By samsarmy posted May 29th, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Instagram Heat Check Of The Day













nsfw

By t bone posted May 29th, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Pussification of America: Dad Arrested for Making His Teenage Son Carry a 23 lb Rock Around As a Punishment

DOUGLASVILLE, GA (CBS46) - A Douglasville father was arrested after making his teenage son carry a 23-pound brick for several miles. According to Todd Garner with Douglasville police, 40-year-old Charlie Mayes said he used the military-style punishment because his son didn’t do his chores or school work. The 4’2″ tall teenager had to carry the large brick several times a day, according to Garner. Mayes was arrested and charged with child cruelty.

 

 

This is exercise equipment discrimination if I’ve ever seen it. You give the kid a 25 lb medicine ball and have him do wall sits in an air conditioned gym and nobody says a fucking word. Hand him an ugly brick and make him walk past the neighbors a couple times and somebody calls child services. Not everybody can afford fancy tools to punish their children. Nobody bats an eye when you’re beating your kid made with a switch made from imported bamboo. Abuse becomes art when you’re using a belt with an ivory buckle and supple leather. But sometimes people just have to improvise and find fuckin rocks and say “Run you little turd. You know what you did.” 

Seriously though, this whole situation is just so overblown. Look how they weighed that fucking rock like it’s a piece of evidence. Probably pulled a kilo of coke off that scale, hit tare, and tossed the brick on there. Like somehow knowing that it’s 22.82 lbs is remotely relevant to the fact that it’s no business of theirs how the guy wants to discipline his kid. Either way it beats the hell out of my family’s preferred method.

 

P.S. Aren’t high school kids’ backpacks like 30 lbs on average nowadays? People should be suing their school districts  for institutionalized cruelty. Cash money settlements like you read about.

By sobol posted May 29th, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Recapping The Houston Texans Cheerleaders Week In Puerto Rico

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Had a blog last week when they landed in Puerto Rice, well you know the deal, if Cheerleaders go on vacation we go on vacation too. We now have the full week of photos, so grab a margarita, sombrero, close your eyes, and have a mini vacation with us in Puerto Rico.

 

Wait, before we start, how about the Texan’s version of Handsome Hank? That’s the life.

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K, ready set go.

 

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By Big Cat posted May 29th, 2014 at 1:40 PM

You Know The “Unbreakable” Skydeck At The Top Of The Sears (Willis) Tower? Yeah Well It Broke, Sooo Whoops?

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(Source) A family visiting from California got the scare of their life on Wednesday during a visit to Chicago’s Willis Tower Skydeck, the 103rd floor tourist attraction atop the city’s tallest building. One of the four glass enclosures jutting out from the side of the building, collectively called The Ledge, cracked and shattered while Alejandro Garibay, his brother and two cousins were on it.

“Crazy feeling and experience,” Garibay wrote in an email to NBC Chicago. Watch the NBC 5 NEWS at NOON to hear Garibay’s experience first-hand. When the tourist experience opened in 2009, engineers said that boxes were composed of three layers of glass each about one half-inch thick. They were built to hold five tons, officials said. But Garibay said that even before his group walked out into one of the boxes at about 9:50 p.m., they and other people were joking with staff about the strength of the boxes.

“They jokingly and confidently responded, ‘It’s unbreakable,’ so we just went on,” said Garibay. While he and his family members were on the Ledge, Garibay said he heard cracking. They stepped off and alerted staffers. “I walked them over so they could see and they were totally shocked and asked us to step away and then proceeded to start calling staff and techs and I don’t know who else. When we pulled our phones to start recording and take pictures they asked us to leave right away,” he said.

 

 

 

Hey guys, anyone ever read the story of Icarus? You know the whole not flying too close to the sun thing? Yeah well that’s what this is. Because there are things human beings should and should not do. Should, stand on the ground where things are safe. Should Not, stand in a glass box protruding from a massive skyscraper hoping that everyone telling you that it is “unbreakable” knows what they’re talking about. Sorry, but if you die or get hurt doing shit like this you deserve it. Skydeck, the new tilt exhibit at the Hancock,

 

 

No fucking thanks. Leave that to the tourists that believe everything they’re told. Hey you know what also was deemed unbreakable? The Titanic, and look how that turned out, death. Stay on the ground in your house like a normal person and you’ll never die, fact.

By Big Cat posted May 29th, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Barstool Rundown May 28th

 

 

 

Concerning my tan lines, I honestly do not know. Last summer I wore a tank top with no sunscreen for Kan Jam tourney and the Beer Di tourney and it’s been like that ever since. Does it worry me a little? Sure. But Brow Show “Big Cat goes to the doctor and gets diagnosed with skin cancer” will be must watch television so we sort of all win here (I definitely lose).

By Big Cat posted May 29th, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Pussification Of America – Norridge Senior Class Denied Diplomas Unless They Apologize Because They Threw Their Caps In The Air At Graduation And It Could Have Hurt Someone

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(Source) An entire class of graduating seniors in a Chicago suburb was denied diplomas after the students ignored warnings not to throw their graduation caps into the air during Tuesday’s commencement ceremony. “It was the perfect ending to the graduation, but unfortunately we didn’t get our diplomas,” graduating senior Andre Taraska said. The Ridgewood High School students in northwest suburban Norridge will not be given their diplomas unless they publicly apologize, officials said. School administrators, who say the students were warned repeatedly beforehand, called their actions disrespectful.

Superintendent Dr. Robert Lupo explained the reasoning behind the decision on his blog. “The gym is decorated; people dress up (some of them); we expect dignified behavior,” Lupo wrote. “Secondly, it is an indoor event. In past ceremonies, people have been hit by flying caps. We’d just as soon not have graduates leaving with cuts and black eyes.” Lupo also addressed the students who didn’t throw their caps, saying they should voice their concerns with the students who didn’t listen.

Parent Mary Sticha supports the students. “It was kind of silly that they would request them not to,” Sticha said. “It wasn’t a way to disrespect anyone, it was just a way to do something together and celebrate the end of the year.” Lupo also said on his blog that “perhaps it is the final lesson they will take away from high school: there are consequences for behaviors in life.”

 

 

 

YEAH! Learn that lesson you guys. Your behavior in life has consequences, like getting cut by a sharp cardboard edge or softly brushed upon by a felt cap. That’s some serious stuff right there and if you don’t learn it now when will you?

 

In all seriousness though, I actually think this Superintendent is trolling us. That’s really the only explanation. I just won’t accept that someone actually thinks throwing a cap at graduation, something that has been done literally thousands upon thousands of times, is dangerous and worthy of punishment. That just can’t be real life. So good one Dr. Robert Lupo, you got us! You zapped us. Now stop pretending that this is serious and give these kid’s their diploma, because right now you embody everything that is wrong with America.

 

 

Also, I don’t know if anyone agrees with me here but the demanding a public apology is by far the worst part of this story. If he had taken away prom or something because the kid’s didn’t listen it would still be absolute bullshit but nothing really new in terms of school administrators. But the fact that he wants these kids to basically come to him on their hands and knees so he can prove how tough and powerful he is one last time is utterly despicable.

By Big Cat posted May 29th, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Game 5 Recap: Still Here

If you were watching something besides Hawks-Kings last night I truly feel sorry for you. Game 5 was as entertaining as sports can be. Incredible pace all night long.  One of those games where you unclench you ass and exhale only on stoppages. The 1st OT had a sequence that went 8 straight minutes without a stoppage and I was literally sweating by the end of it. In a golden era of Blackhawks hockey that game will be as memorable as any.

 

–Coach Q pressed all the right buttons last night. Lines jumbled, D pairs mixed, and it worked. The Saad-Shaw-Kane line was the best line all night and they dominated the under belly of the Kings defense. Splitting up Toews and Kane was the right move. Doughty is playing too well right now to give them a free matchup with our two best players.

 

–Duncan Keith played an iron man 37 minutes last night, but I wouldn’t say he had a good game. A little sloppy in his own end. A couple of brutal turnovers early. Need Norris Trophy performances going forward.

 

–Crawford…yikes. Here is the thing about Crawford, it’s pretty obvious early in the game if he has it or not. Last night, even before the Kings scored it was an adventure in net for him. Angles were off, he was getting lost in his crease, rebound control was awful. With that said, and as shaky as he was, the only truly terrible goal was the Pearson goal. He gave the team a chance to win in OT. He also was bailed out on a few BRUTAL rebounds by his teammates. Crawford has to be better. Can’t win the Stanley Cup unless he improves.

 

–Kris Versteeg needs to be done for the duration of the playoffs after his performance last night. Too many turnovers, too many battles lost, too many bad habits. He’s a completely different player than he was in 2010. So Regin, Nordstrom, Morin, fucking anyone. Just can’t have Versteeg costing you goals like he did last night.

 

–Grantland did a piece last week talking about how the Hawks and Kings are going to dominate the West for the next 5-7 years. They talked about all the young talent, prospects, etc. Somehow Brandon Saad’s name didn’t come up once. He is turning into a star right before our eyes. Big, strong, fast, responsible, and incredible hockey IQ. Sounds like Marian Hossa 2.0. Saad was arguably the best player on the ice last night and with Hossa/Sharp struggling to score his play has been huge.

 

–What more can we say about Patrick Kane? Every time the Hawks are backed into a corner he dials it up. 4 assists last night and I am pretty sure he had the puck on his stick for an hour of real time last night. He was dangerous every shift. The Saad-Shaw-Kane line couldn’t have been better.

 

–In the last blog we talked about the need for the Hawks to make some adjustments on the PK and they did. Best way to have a good PK is to not go into the box to begin with. The Hawks were much more disciplined in that regard. When they were shorthanded the Hawks did a better job of taking away the middle of the ice from Muzzin-Doughty and also occupied the Kings’ players in front.

 

–I think Q has finally found the right line combos (once he benches Versteeg). 29-19-81, 20-65-88 as the top 6 and when you need to shorten the bench Q can roll out a third line of Sharp-Kruger-Smith which was very effective in the 3rd and in OT. Regin in for Versteeg and then Q will have a more balanced and dependable bottom 6.

 

Championship effort last night from the Hawks. The Hawks came out with the jump they needed and dictated the pace all night. Scoring first freed them up. You got the sense that they believed they were going to win. Even after the Pearson goal which would have killed a lot of teams, the Hawks kept coming. I think Crawford rebounds from this performance on Friday and then its back to the Madhouse for Game 7. Beat LA. Hawks in 7. Let’s fucking go.


By theChief posted May 29th, 2014 at 10:30 AM
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