Category Archives: Soccer

Beating those Sportin’ Summertime Blues

Sometimes I wonder what I’m a gonna do/ But there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.

Actually the whole point of this late July sports catch up — just to let you know that Seedy K hasn’t retired — is that there are cures for sports fans in the heat of summer.

Buuuuut, I love me some Eddie Cochran (And The Who’s “Live at Leeds” version of the tune if that’s your reference point), so I had to throw in some rock & roll, don’t ya know.

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Anyway, as I accelerate ever more swiftly into my dotage with the attendant cognitive life changes attendant, it’s nice to report that I’ve discovered a situation where my memory loss is actually an advantage.

Though I loved Wimbledon, cherish the coverage of the Tour, must admit to having caught a moment or two watching the Coming of Lonzo in Vegas, and have the final round of what I am required by the specter of Old Tom Morris as well as Royal & Ancient British Golf Authority to call The Open (Not British Open), I remain first and foremost a college sports fan. Gimme a pigskin Saturday, or Friday or Thursday or Tuesday; or a hardwood Sunday afternoon from the Carrier Dome or Cameron Indoor, and I’m a happy camper.

Not to mention that such status places me firmly in the majority of sports fans in my neck of the woods, who love the college games.

So, I lingered longer than I should last night as The World Wide Leader replayed one battle on its list of last season’s Top 25 college football tussles. Continue reading Beating those Sportin’ Summertime Blues

Five Provocative Questions for Louisville Cardinal Fans

cardsOkay it’s a glorious time of year.

Bowl games. Conference play begins. NFL playoffs.

And the Holidaze, which means lots of parties, extra time for cookies in the coffee room at work, hanging out at night with pals.

Lots o’ time for sports talk.

And, bottom line, sports fans, even those who love the same team or school, love to argue over this or that.

The Louisville Cardinal faithful are no exception.

So, I got to thinking what could spur U of L fans, or even those who just observe Cardinal sports dispassionately, to some serious back and forth.

So, I came up with these five contemplations, looking to hear what my readers think? Continue reading Five Provocative Questions for Louisville Cardinal Fans

Monday’s Card Quips: A New Bobby P; An Old Face: Cardinal Futbol & More

petrinoStanding in the taco line next to U of L’s then new, recently anointed head coach at  2003’s Football Media Day, I attempted to engage Bobby Petrino, mentioning some imbroglio or another taking place at Auburn, where he’d been OC the season before.

Uneasy, fashioning a crinkly, forced smile, obviously wishing to be left alone, he mumbled, “Yeah, I saw that,” or something to that effect. Which, if subtitled, would translate into “I’d really like to grab a little lunch here without engagement, and head back to my office and watch film by myself.”

Fast forward to this Saturday past, at this season’s beginning of practice meet and greet with scribes and talking heads. Petrino is a different person. After his Belknap Campus abdication for a self-shortcircuited stint in Atlanta with the Falcons, his successful on-field performance and peccadillo engendered meltdown at Arkansas, a season in exile, a season helming the Hilltoppers in Bowling Green, and a Tom Jurich rapprochement rehire at Louisville, Bobby P appears finally at comfort with himself.

Walking to the mic, he waved at a photographer, joked with good nature how quiet the room was, and hurled a gentle barb at one of the assembled writers.

With a welcome smile, he opened by saying  how much “fun it is to be in camp.”

He joked about defensive ace Devonte Fields, who was way out of shape this time a year ago, “We were waiting to see if he was going to throw up again or not.”

When asked how much freedom QB Lamar Jackson would have this season, Petrino smiled a totally different grin than the one a baker’s dozen years ago, this one warmer, confident, with a wink.

“He has the freedom to do exactly what we tell him.” Continue reading Monday’s Card Quips: A New Bobby P; An Old Face: Cardinal Futbol & More

Sports Shots 7/08: Hoops? Of course it’s Mostly Hoops

b-ballYeah, I’m back. Miss me?

You think I’m really going to try and talk European soccer with you, France vs. Portugal for the title, or Tour de France,  or Wimbledon?

Of course not. Though I’ll reiterate, NBC bike race announcers Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen remain my favorite announcing duo in any sport.

What you care about is who’s hot at the Peach Jam? You know, basketball recruiting. Well, I’m not going to talk about that either.

Golden State with Kevin Durant. Of course, the buzz is, how many titles are the Dubs going to win with their New Death Lineup?

And all I’m thinking is, how come you guys never listen? Have you not learned yet that the best conglomeration of players does not necessarily the best team make.

Let me remind you once again, as if I haven’t already ad nauseum every time talk of a super team comes up.

Lesson #1. Los Angeles Lakers, three seasons from 1968-71.

Three players on that team were among the very best in the NBA at the time. In fact, those three players remain among the Top Ten guys who balled in the 20th C.

Wilt Chamberlain.

Jerry West.

Elgin Baylor.

They never won a title. Continue reading Sports Shots 7/08: Hoops? Of course it’s Mostly Hoops

MMPG: Back on the Scene with a Gangsta Lean

allsportsSo, you remember me, right?

Your resident point guard, Seedy K. Well, I’m back after the usual early spring hiatus.

Why the disappearance, you might wonder?

Well, first there was my annual bout of PMMSD (Post March Madness Stress Disorder). Then Jordan Spieth’s meltdown in Augusta, which had me wondering if anything meant anything anymore in the world of sports.

Then eight days in New Orleans for JazzFest, and too much great music and equally delicious eats.

Then the announcement that Dylan, the Stones, McCartney, Neil Young, the half the Who that’s left and whatisname from Pink Floyd will be gigging together in Cali come October for the Mother of All Oldies Shows. They’ll be more than glad to relieve you of the entirety of your IRA as a down payment on tickets, which can be purchased over time at low interest rates.

Then Derby, which is always everywhere in this burg, even when the Julep glasses are inferior, even if one tries to hide out in unusual nooks and crannies of Derbyplace USA. (Though, in honor of the namesake of the winner, I did wear my stylin’ Red Wings sweater to a blissfully laid back post race get together.)

But, the Cavs are on the cusp of dominating the NBA, while the Spurs are showing their age. Little Richie Farmer, who had the governorship by the short and curlies had he any sense and moxie at all, has filed bankruptcy post-prison term, and is getting by with help from his parents. Gulp.

Which is to say, it’s time for my triumphant return. I’m back, with the usually skewed perspective, droppin’ dimes for deuces. Continue reading MMPG: Back on the Scene with a Gangsta Lean

MMQB: Spieth, Story, Steph & The Real Big Story

stephindexThere are some monster stories this springtime.

Jordan Spieth’s meltdown at the 12th.

Steph Curry’s emergence as the best baller in hoops. Along with his Dubs emanation as one of the best pro outfits ever.

Trevor Story’s 25 or so homers for the Rockies in his first handful of games in the Bigs.

There are a couple of other trends, but they’re probably of interest only to me, a child of Motown. Those would be the Pistons making the NBA playoffs. And the Red Wings backing into the post season like Nicklas Lidstrom, covering a short-handed breakaway counterattack at the Joe.

And then there’s the story that really trumps them all, a fascinating bit of sporting history unfolding as never before. But I’ll save that one for last. Otherwise, you might click away for lack of interest.

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It has been argued by many that hitting a baseball off of major league pitching is the most difficult single task in sports.

Maybe so.

But anybody who has ever attempted golf knows it might be equally as hard to to swing at a ball with a golf club — off the tee, in a trap, out of the woods, or on the green — and have it end up where the swinger would for it to. Continue reading MMQB: Spieth, Story, Steph & The Real Big Story

Thursday Throwdown: Football, Fútbol & Eye Candy

sportsnewsThe hits just keep on coming for the State University of New Jersey.

The regime of Athletics AD Julie Hermann, formerly of U of L, can’t seem to move beyond beleaguered.

The latest imbroglio concerns football coach Kyle Flood.

It is reported that Flood sent an email from a personal account to the professor of one of his players, whose academic standing might have been, shall we say, precarious.

You know, it’s not like this doesn’t happen all the time. But the sly schools, the ones with a sense of how to take care of such matters, don’t leave a digital trail.

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Speaking of coaches who want to run with the big boys, I gotta reiterate this question people are asking.

What did Baylor’s Art Briles know about the sordid past and present of Boise State transfer Sam Ukwuacho? And when did he know it? Continue reading Thursday Throwdown: Football, Fútbol & Eye Candy

Louisville Cardinal Soccer Media Day Report

cardsTanned to a George Hamilton Cocoa Butter Open-quality  sheen, and wearing red pants, a black shirt and a red & black tie, engaging U of L soccer coach Ken Lolla met the media today.

Apologizing for his “coaching voice,” hoarse from two a day practice sessions, he initiated the Q & A with praise for the branding of the Cardinal soccer program and the Lynn facility.

“It takes us to a whole new level.”

While he likes the energy and approach of his squad, which is a “wonderful mix” of veterans and newcomers, he stated several times that the team “is far from a finished product.”

He spent most of his time at the mic talking about the team’s spring experience in Madrid, which he called “life changing.” Continue reading Louisville Cardinal Soccer Media Day Report

Summer Hoops, Last Season’s Hoops & Other Stuff . . . OK, Soccer

sportsnewsSo, I was going to spend my July Friday night the way my generation has been doing it for decades. I was  headed to the movies. The Film Noir Series at the Palace, if you must know specifics, to watch breathtaking Rita Hayworth in “Gilda.”

Don’t get me started about that opening shot of her, when rises up from a sofa and flips that glorious mane of hair. Calm down, son.

Anyway, I had a few minutes to kill, so I turned on the USA vs. Canada Pan American Games basketball semifinal just at the beginning of the second half.

Such a scintillating contest it turned out to be, I stayed until the end. (Sorry, Ms. Rita, my next viewing of your flick, which I’ve already seen several times will have to wait.)

Anyhow, the tilt was back and forth. The US was behind until about midway through the 3d, then went up 5, maybe 7. Then the Hosers came back, took a lead by 5, at least. And the Americans fought back.

It was tit for tat. Continue reading Summer Hoops, Last Season’s Hoops & Other Stuff . . . OK, Soccer

Praise the Lloyd: U.S. Women Reign

carliThe visual that remains for me more than others, from Carli Lloyd’s for the ages performance in the USWNT’s W over Japan for the World Cup title, is not from any of her once, twice, thrice hat trick in the game’s first sixteen minutes.

Though those are magnificent visions.

It is the head shot of Lloyd, the look on her face, after she missed what could have been, should have been her fourth goal of the final’s opening half.

Lloyd had a relatively unimpeded, just about point blank header. Which she knocked wide.

The camera caught Lloyd, mouth agape, eyes bright but quizzical, with a look of how did that not net?

So, in the zone was Lloyd, it was as if she couldn’t conceptualize missing such a chance.

Her performance, arguably one of the greatest in sports on such a world stage, was, but for that miss, just as she planned. During training, Lloyd continually visualized tallying four goals in the final. Continue reading Praise the Lloyd: U.S. Women Reign