Saturday, June 24, 2006

World Cup Sweet Sixteen

Well, I have to admit that I'm pretty disappointed with the US showing at this World Cup. Still, there are 16 teams still alive and I'm always looking for a sporting event to follow, especially when the games are being played during my lunch hour. Last week I went to the FatBurger here in College Station with a number of co-workers to catch the epic 0-0 match between Argentina and the Netherlands. One of my advisor's PhD candidates is Argentinean...I'm not so sure that he appreciated my rooting for the Dutch. I've decided that since I've got nothing better to add, I'll pick some winners in the round of 16. If you had asked me to project Group E before the tourney, I would have picked the Yankees and the Czechs though, so take these with a grain of salt.

Saturday's Games:
Germany 3, Sweden 2...The Swedes keep it close for 70 minutes, but the Germans come through at home.
Argentina 4, Mexico 1...And the Mexican goal comes very late to make a domination look like a simple blowout.

Sunday's Games:
England 2, Ecuador 1...I'm still not sold on England, but Ecuador isn't that good and Rooney is just coming up to speed.
Netherlands 1, Portugal 0...Total ethnic homer pick.

Monday's Games:
Australia 1, Italy 0...The Australians have a great coach and the Italians seem to be alternating good performances with bad ones.
Switzerland 1, Ukraine 0...The Swiss didn't allow a first round goal, that trend continues.

Tuesday's Games
Brazil 5, Ghana 0...Ghana without their best player and Brazil looking to make a statement; Ronaldhino finally breaks out.
Spain 3, France 1...I just can't pick the French.

The Elite Eight:
Germany 2, Argentina 1...Germany pulls out an upset on home soil to advance.
Switzerland 2, Australia 0...The Aussies fall short as the Swiss continue their defensive dominance.
Netherlands 3, England 1...GO DUTCH!!!
Brazil 4, Spain 2...The Brazilians march on.

The Semi's
Germany 2, Switzerland 0...The Swiss finally give up a goal.
Brazil 3, Netherlands 1...The Brazilians are too much for a plucky Dutch squad

The Finals
Germany 3, Brazil 2...In penalty kicks no less....

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I'm Back.

Well, when I decided to take a post-football season break, I had no idea that it would last almost six months. Following the Alamo Bowl, I just didn't have a ton of enthusiasm to talk about sports (well, at least not without reverting to massive amounts of profanity). Right around the time that I got over the debacle and regained some perspective, it was crunch time for graduate school applications. These were completed by the end of January, but at that point I just didn't have a lot to talk about. Living in the woods of northern Michigan deprived me of the opportunity to observe Michigan sports first hand. The last thing I wanted this blog to become was a collection of links to other people's original content.

Around the time that the NHL/NBA began to ramp up to the playoffs, I was receiving acceptance letters and making the difficult decision of where to spend the next few years of life. In the end, Texas A&M beat out Georgia Tech and UT-Austin, but there was a catch--my advisor wanted me to start June 1st. While this finally gave me something to do with my life (besides watching massive amounts of sports of course), it also made my last month in Michigan pretty darn hectic.

Now that I've settled in College Station, the Stanley Cup Finals and World Cup have given me a desire to restart this blogging experiment. For the next few months, I will do my best to focus on general sports items and how amazing the Detroit Tigers are. Come Fall, I haven't decided which direction I should take. I would like very much to continue to comment on the weekly state of Michigan football, but I doubt that I will be able to watch them down here. Instead, I'm seriously considering following the Big XII for a year and attempting to put a Michigander perspective on it. Either way, I've already wasted at least $25 on football preview magazines with no terribly insightful content (one notable mag rated Tyler Ecker ahead of Matt Spaeth), but they make great reading material for the bathroom. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can't wait for Fall to arrive and bring the wonderful institution of college football back with it. For the remainder of summer I intend to adopt a one-update-a-week format, with new content being added on the weekends. As for right now, the Oilers are leading the Canes 1-0, so I'm going to devote some more attention to enjoying that. With apologies to the great Red Green, until next time, keep your stick on the ice.