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The Sports Statement

Because you can always use another opinion.

FIFA World Cup 2006: Coolest Mascot Ever?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 4:55 PM

I know I'm really late on this, but I just caught a glimpse of the 2006 FIFA World Cup mascot: GOLEO VI (the name really is in all uppercase letters), the lion, and he's got to be one of the coolest mascots I've ever seen.

From the official FIFA World Cup website: "GOLEO VI's constant companion, Pille the talking football, is always at his side." While 'Pille the talking football' is a little weird, I think GOLEO's badass image makes up for the weird ball. Damn, just look at him!

FIFA's website also says that GOLEO "has his own opinions and point of view." Does that mean he'll be blogging during the World Cup? Who knows.. GOLEO's also the "King of Parties." I'm sure he pulls in all the ladies...what a pimp.

According to Wikipedia, "the Goleo costume was fabricated by Jim Henson's company, at a price of around €250,000." So not only is GOLEO a soccer mascot, but he's also a Muppet! Sweet!

The Madness is Building...

What a wild two days of college hoops...

Last night, J.J.Redick (finally) set the NCAA record for 3-pointers last night. Wow...as much as I hate Duke, the Cameron Crazies, and J.J. Redick himself, the guy does deserve some respect. He's now an NCAA record-holder and will soon become Duke's all-time leading scorer.

What annoys me is that it seems that every single three is made the exact same way: take a screen from some Duke player, run around him, catch the pass, and chuck the ball up. And it always seems to go in. Either that or run the "I'm a crazy Duke player" offense in which you run in circles around the court until the players get too tired to keep up with you. Then catch the pass and, one again, chuck the ball up and hope it goes in.

I've said it time and time again - this type of play will work in college, but it will not work in the NBA. Redick may the premier player in the NCAA right now, but give it two or three years, and Adam Morrison will be the better player.

On another note, the Seton Hall players have completely lost their minds. We all saw them upset N.C. State a few weeks back, then upset Syracuse the week after that. An unranked team beating two ranked teams in two consecutive games isn't that amazing. But who the hell do they think they are beating West Virginia last night? Remember, this the same team that lost by 42 to UConn (not surprising). Seton Hall is currently unranked and, if they manage to make the NCAA tournament, is starting to look like a good sleeper pick.

Valentine's Day just passed yesterday, so you all know March Madness is right around the corner! March 14 is less than a month away! I can't wait baby! (sorry, just had to do the Vitale impression) I'll post my bracket up online so you can use it as a cheat sheet to win your NCAA pool this year (yeah, I'm that confident).

Lights Out for Torino

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 3:54 PM

In a recent SportsNation poll, 47 percent of voters said they didn't watch any Olympics coverage this past weekend. Not even the opening ceremony!
That's what ESPN reported this morning in its Sportsnation section. And honestly, I'm really not that surprised. I know personally, I might have seen two hours of coverage total. And that makes me part of the majority.

And I must say that it makes me laugh that, when asked "Which other country do you most associate with the Winter Olympics?", Sportsnation responded "Canada."

IOC Rejects Softball and Baseball (again)

Thursday, February 09, 2006 8:49 AM

In a bit of upsetting news, the International Olympic Committee once again rejected baseball and softball's bids for reinstatement into the Olympics. The vote went 54-50 to eliminate baseball and a tight 52-52 for softball, with one person abstaining.

First of all, I understand why baseball might have been eliminated from the Olympics, even though my reason is a bit selfish. The United States sucks at baseball, particularly because MLB refuses to take a break for the Olympics like hockey does. And my assumption is that since the U.S. pays sports stars the highest (compared to other athletes' salaries worldwide), the best baseball players, both domestic and international, are in the United States. I know this is a bit general, but overall I think it's a valid conclusion.

Softball, however, thrives in the Olympics. The American women (probably another selfish remark) are great, and their success has really helped softball rejuvenate itself as a serious sport both for young and older girls. Unfortunately, I'm sure the IOC saw softball as too "one-sided", considering the American girls kicked ass in Sydney.

But what pisses me off the most is how close the vote for softball actually was. Like I said earlier, the vote went 52-52. Why an even number of votes? Because some asshole abstained from voting! What a douchebag! So because of the abstain, the sport didn't receive a majority and it remains out of the Olympics for Beijing and, until further notice, all future Olympics as well.

An article a while back in Sports Illustrated showed why some sports like synchronized swimming aren't voted out while more popular sports like softball and baseball are. Synchronized swimming, along with the other swimming events such as freestyle, diving, and water polo, are all listed under the same category - "Aquatics." Removal of synchronized swimming would mean the removal of the other swimming-related events too, and that'll never happen. Yeah, tell me that's not bullshit.

So come 2008, I'll be sitting at home watching rowing, shooting, sailing, and synchronized swimming instead of softball or baseball. How pathetic. Great job IOC.

Duke/UNC

Wednesday, February 08, 2006 8:41 PM

I'm not that upset. Really, I'm not. Sure, Bobby Frasor decided to take the jump shot with 34 seconds left in the game and put UNC down by one instead of taking the three And yeah, I was pissed last night; After Frasor took that shot, I took my cell phone, threw it at the ground, screamed at the TV, and proceeded to (quickly) finish my 40oz of beer.

But really, I'm not that upset. UNC played well the whole game, and they came back from 17 points down to make the game really exciting. I was going nuts at the half, with UNC only down by 5, but I'll admit I actually turned the game off at 52-35 Duke. I figured the 'Heels were losing this one.

But a quick 12-0 run by UNC put the game back into their hands. From then on, the game was back and forth, leading to much anxiety, turmoil, and excessive drinking on my part. And as much as I hate him, I've gotta hand it to J.J. Redick. It seemed that everytime UNC got on a roll, Redick was there to shut it down. And he did it in traditional Redick style - doing his best And1 Mixtape impression by taking ridiculously impossible shots that will never fly in the NBA.

And, once again, as much as I hate J.J. Redick, the highlight of the night goes to the Duke whitey himself: not for a good night of basketball, but for the shocker he showed the crowd after making the three that put UNC away for good (For those not familiar with the "shocker", check out Urban Dictionary). It's good that Redick is there to remind us how immature college guys still are. It was pretty damn funny.

Anyways, at least UNC covered the spread I gave them yesterday, when I said they'd lose by 12 points. But just think - a highly freshman team keeping a game this close against #1 ranked, senior-loaded Duke? It almost makes me shiver when I think about the future. I can't wait.