Hump Day Harangues: Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland, Sayonara Maverick, Luke’s Itinerary

carliThere is a brutal athletic competition that has been taking place in Florence, Italy since the 15th century. It is said to be the most barbaric extant, or, at least, in the Western World.

It’s called calcio storico, and you can read about it here.

Essentially teams of 27 mean motherfuckers from four quadrants of the city, compete for pride only — literally, no money or medals to the winners — in a sand pit, scoring goals by any means necessary. There are apparently no rules. Lots of medics present, performing lots of serious triage.

It is obviously a grizzly endeavor.

But, no more so than last evening’s roughly contested World Cup semi-final, in which the U.S. of A. upset Germany, 2 nil.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen a men’s soccer game with as much pushing and shoving and kicking and tripping, or as many elbows and forearms and knees not so delicately nudged into opponents body parts. The most noteworthy set-to was that first half noggin’ crash on a set piece, drawing blood from both American Morgan Brian and Germany’s Alexandra Popp, the latter of whom came out for the second half with her head bandaged, looking like an on-field advert for Johnson & Johnson.

It was the bloodiest conflict between these two adversaries since Allies vs. Axis in WWII.

It was a fascinating match. And the good gal underdogs in the white shirts prevailed over the world’s top-ranked power.

Thanks to clever coaching, stalwart resolve, and kick-started when a German choked, for the first penalty kick ever missed in international play by either a woman or man from the MotherLand.

Julie Johnston’s first mistake in the whole tourney was a doozy. She pulled that Popp gal down in the box, to save a goal, but give up a penalty kick. But, Celia Sasic went all Terry Howard, missing wide left, and the game remained zed zed.

Until American star Carli Lloyd netted her penalty a few minutes later. Which was followed by a magnificent Lloyd assist for a Kelley O’Hara clincher.

The high scoring Germans were shutout, thanks to shutdown D. There have now been 513 minutes of action, since the U.S. gave up a goal. Hope Solo has been good. But it’s Johnston and her sisters on the backside, who have kicked it up a notch.

Next up: China or England for the title.

* * * * *

So long to the Maverick Rowan Era at U of L.

The heralded bomber, a former Pitt commit who reopened his recruitment, was a big Cardinal target.

Until he wasn’t, or, perhaps, until he advised The Rick he would be taking his talents elsewhere.

Now Pitino is announcing no more additions, no transfers, no jucos nor prepster add-ons to the ’15-’16 roster.

Speaking of no, that’s what value Cardinal season ticket holders are going to get for their moolah next season. The home schedule includes Utah Valley,1 Samford (Not Stanford), Hartford (Not Harvard), Grand Canyon, along with various and sundry other patsies that will have patrons hanging in one of the many Yum! lounges, throwing down shots with their pals.

Louisville does play UK, Michigan State and St. Louis before conference play . . . on the road.

* * * * *

Eschewing travel-themed tuneage by Lynard Skynard and Bob Seger, here’s Rick Nelson to honor Luke Ridnour, sportsdom’s Man on the Move Numero Uno.

The former Oregon Quack entered the NBA in 2003, and has actually played for (in chronological order) Seattle (Now OKC), Milwaukee, Minnesota, Milwaukee again, Charlotte, Toronto and Orlando.

And it was on the Magic’s roster that he began last week.

Then, within 48 hours, he was traded to Memphis, where he didn’t hang on Beale Street, because he was moved to Charlotte, for a second stint, which never materialized, because he was shuffled to Oklahoma City (Formerly Seattle). Which would technically make that a second coming, should he have ever taken the court with Westbrook and Durant.

Which he wasn’t able to do, because, this week, a slow one for him, relatively speaking, he was traded to Toronto. Which franchise, if you’ve been triptiking this, you will recognize as his home, during the ’13-’14 season.

Ridnour has averaged 9.3 ppg and 4.4 apg during his dozen year career.

Which numbers are of little consequence in this game of musical uniforms.

That’s because his contract is for but a year at $2,750,000. And is not guaranteed, if he is waived before July 10.

Ridnour has apparently made no actual moves to secure housing in any of the cities where he hasn’t toiled, staying home outside of Seattle (not Oklahoma City) with his wife and four kids. Smart dude.

For some perspective, Ridnour was the fourteenth pick in the ’03 NBA Draft, one slot ahead of Reece Gaines, who is now an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky. And eighteen spots ahead of Luke Walton, now an assistant for the champion Golden State Warriors. And 13 spots behind one Darko Miličić, infamously and to no future achievement chosen at #2 by Detroit.

Stay tuned, I doubt we’ve heard the last of Mr. Ridnour’s summer itinerary.

— Seedy K

3 thoughts on “Hump Day Harangues: Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland, Sayonara Maverick, Luke’s Itinerary

  1. small point but I believe Deutschland was the Vaterland and not the motherland, although some of their female footballer’s played like mutha’s

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