That's A Hawaiian Silky


Ali Bouminjel = "Ali, Bomaye!" ???

"Sounds like" for sure, but both have a penchant for punching things as well, perhaps way too much. But even Ali II knows betten than to challenge on a ball outside of the box unless you're sure your're going to get it or are willing to foul the shit out of the advancing striker. He effectively lost the game for the Tunisians. And Fabregas effectively won it for the Spanish.

Lastly, Fernando Torres: worst penalty, worst hair.


What A Co-inky-dink


B&C management was heartbroken at the 4-0 loss the Ukranians took against the Spanish, so it was exciting to see them improve their chances of qualification with a 4-0 drubbing of the Saudis, who showed none of the talent or resolve they displayed against the Tunisians in their previous game. More than anything though, I'm really psyched to see a team wearing yellow go as far as possible.


Calm Down, Youngster


Tranquillo Barnetta --> Top 5 Sweet Names of Tourney. I could ask how the chillest cat at the Cup is at all Swiss, but then again I'd have to do the same for "Trini" Christopher Birchall. Togo had their chances, and a legit claim for a penalty when Mingus Dynasty's boy Adebayor went down, but it wasnät to be for the Togolese, who had their own problems to worry about.


I Can Go To France For Free


Moratorium on Brits who say "Terry HENN-RY." That's just gross.
And I'm guessing Camus would have made that save, unlike Barthez.
The French need dynamic wingers who can get the ball to Henry in dangerous, difficult places. I suggest these guys.


So Much Blight It'll Hurt Your Eyes


Nil-Nil, as they say. Nil by mouth, nil to chat about. Lots of chances, none of them taken. Ill nil.


Ginga Tu Madre


GHOSTWRITE THE WHIP, pt. II -- Brazeeow Edition
B&C's all about confluence & coincidence. So when B&C Brazillian affilliate Gosfais got at me and told me he wanted to get in on this blog thang-thang I couldn't resist, seeing as dude is 97% translucent anyhow. Proud to present, Ghost by Gos:

If the appliance store in Jacarei S.P. were open today -- game day -- the staff would be dressed as the Seleção, as they are every other day this month. If you decided to go to the gay pride parade in São Paulo instead of watch the U.S. out-ball the Italians you would find the boys in top form and blue and yellow speedos atop the international standard issue gay pride parade bus, and if you wanted to compare gingas you'd only need to look behind the bus to the fifty foot fotos of Ronald's both fat and snaggle-toothed feinting left or right in support, in this particular case, of Team Banco Santander, a Spanish club I think. Really you'd be suprised to see just how many different brands of times (teams in the Portuguese soccer vocab that had no problemo absorbing the words that the English saliors gave for what happens when a shute goes past a golquiper) Ronaldinho is playing for down here in between representing all of football to groups such as, say, readers of the New York Times.

But if such larger than life depictions aren't big enough to convince you that the nation of Brazil is effectively equaled by the media representation of its football team, you need only look to the mall-sized sign (provided by Coca-Cola) visible from the highway and announcing that "This mall is rooting for Brazil." And if you reallly need it given to you literally, watch TV for ten minutes until your futebol inspired advertising is interrupted to track the movements of the team bus whose slogan correctly translates to "This bus is monitored by 180 million Brasilian hearts."

But the point is that you know all this because are not on the street on gameday, not in the appliance store which is certainly not open, not at the gay parade that was rescheduled so as not to conflict with the game. You and your heart are in front of the TV, where you saw... what? What is happening here? What is wrong with Ronaldo? What, it's half time? Oh a goal? Ronaldo didn't fuck up? Oh, another one? Who is Fred? Brazil are qualified? Yes, Brazil are qualified. But 180 million hearts depending on eleven may constitute an actual heart attack, the signs of which may be manifesting, literally, as Bussunda, the well-known comedian who played both Ronaldo and Lula attested to by succumbing to one while working the Bob Hope beat in Germany. Or it could be that the plan of the Brasilian coach to hit full stride at the end of the tournament rather than the beginning may be unfolding and that these easy victories are just the first steps of a juggernaut, bitch.

If it matters, the team they played against was Australia. Ugly dark blue uniforms were somehow un-football. Maybe because Australians (like Americans who also look and play bad in their navy) are not football players, but soccer players. They don't say football for the same reason that if you were right now transported into an Australian rules football game you would literally die. So it seems that Aussie soccer players got their muscles and 'tude for the same reason that the fellas grinding trannies on top of the Madonna-blasting platform bus did. They were tired of getting thier asses kicked by toothless goons. And believe me, you would never call one of those kleets-up bastards a Socceroo to thier face. When they take their shits off after the game you cry out, my god, give those men some cattle to slaughter, give them huge knives to wield and an unlit cigar to stick into those jaws! Pelamordedeus!


Please, Stop Punning on Czech-Check


Who knew that losing one extremely tall dude could mean so much? Czech coach Karel Bruckner had underlined Jan Koller as a key to their entire offense, and it certainly seemed so as they were run ragged by Ghana. The Ghanaians didn't deserve the 0-2 loss to the Italians, and certainly proved that here, though such a thorough smacking was unexpected. But who really cares about "kickball" anymore? Here in Germantown, Germany, the real story is xenotropia. Everyone loves the Africans, fetishizes drum beats, headdresses, rhythmic chanting, and Razak Pimpong. Which is fine. Watching the Ghanaian fans celebrate a full hour after the match at the local fan fest was extremely fun -- in fact, it made me enjoy fun again. It's the difference that makes the difference, and that's part of the difference between football and, say, jai-alai. That and those funny sticks.


Italian Heartthrobs Could Not Get Rid Of Me


Americans will be glad to know that it's become a little less easy to hate them, not merely because of Daniele De Rossi's disgusting display, but also because the U.S. finally showed up to play, albeit after they'd already lost 2 men to red cards. They deserved more than a draw, and for the first 25 minutes of the second half, with 9 against 10, were clearly the better team, putting the Italians firmly on the back foot. True to form, the Azzurri were content to sit four defenders back, even with a man advantage and all the space in the world, at least until the last 10 minutes when they finally decided to press. It was a match the U.S. could have (should have?) won, were it not for Brian McBride being caught offsides.

But whatever. I watched the match in a theater rented out by a bunch of young Germans, and to a man (save the half Italian girl I could hear sigh even from across the room) the U.S. earned at least 50 new fans that night.

But the biggest non-surprise was the Italian red card. Okay, so it wasn't Totti sent off, but perceptive minds have been saying for months that certain Italian players, when given the opportunity, will fail spectacularly. Both American cards were stupid -- on the part of both Mastroeni and Pope -- but Pope looked terrible and was at fault for the only Italian goal, so perhaps the U.S. is better off without him.


There is the Perfect Riposte


"...and after all his problems, and his lack of form, and the criticism that's come his way..."

Hate to belabor this point, but people are yapping 'bout it anyway. Whatever people's thoughts are towards "the boy," as Alex Ferguson likes to refer to him (and anyone else under the age of 25), it was a smart and generous move on the part of Luis Felipe Scolari (and certainly Figo, Pauleta, and other senior members of the team) to allow him to take that penalty. I don't think I've seen a player more subject to the whims of his emotions than he so often is. In what's been a tough, tough year, the kid needs all the confidence he can muster (Of course, as some saw, when dude scores goals in successive games, he thinks he's Cantona. Still nope.)

Either way, Deco's shot was still the best thing going in this game.


Jogo de Joao


Joao Ricardo.

This one's for all you 'keepers out there: Albert, you most especially. Wonder if he could get a run out in either one of these sides. Surely the French could field a similarly strong team, no? Hmm, let's "speculate:"

1 CAMUS, Albert, GK
2 LEVI-STRAUSS, Claude - halfback
3 DURKHEIM, Emile - centreback
4 DESCARTES, Rene (captain) - centreback
5 PASCAL, Blaise - halfback
6 VOLTAIRE - midfield
7 ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques - midfield
8 LACAN, Jacques - midfield
9 HENRI-LEVY, Bernard - striker
10 SARTRE, Jean-Paul - midfield
11 FOUCAULT, Michel - striker


DEBORD, Guy - striker
BARTHES, Roland - defender
BAUDRILLARD, Jean - midfield

I think the midfield pairing of contemporaries Voltaire and Rousseau is a strong one (never mind offering the sexiness of having a single-named player in the Brazilian style), and with Sartre in the Riquelme role, Henri-Levy and Foucault should both benefit from the eagle-eyed marksman's ball-distribution. Though, if they should fail to work an understanding, Debord is always at the ready on the bench to come on and really fuck shit up. With Descartes leadership, this team goes far -- the Marcel Desailly of his day.

+Teamgeist = Racist?

Is This the Face of Evil Incarnate?
1nce again, B&C brings you that fire, um, reporting, hitting you what everybody else is scared to say:

Forget the Spanish, the Italians, the Serbs, the Croats, the Greeks, the Argentines, the French, the English before John Barnes, the Dutch until they discovered the secret of ganja brownies (which are "chocolate"), the South Africans before it was cool to do "the Mandela voice," and Oprah.

And pay no mind to all that jive about the ball being TOO round. Think that little Raimundo the 'keeper, playing all day on a dirt pitch in Sao Paulo with a plastic bag filled with more plastic bags for a ball complains about that ish being TOO spherical?

Nah, son. I call bullshit. Smoke & mirrors. A coverup to mask the real Grand Wizard of International Football. And it's not even Paolo Di Canio.

Why is nobody but Blue & Cream asking the question, "Could the real filthy bigot here be adidas' +Teamgeist ball?"

Evidence: Until Bakari Kone's banger, no black player -- despite an overabundance of attempts -- had scored with a long-range shot, what the Brits like to refer to as a "cracker," a/k/a a "Stephen Merritt." Yet, scrawny Czech dudes are rifling in 30-yard bombs with the greatest of ease. I'm just saying. You be the judge. If we're really going to kick racism out of football, let's start by kicking that fucking troglodyte ball to the fucking curb.


(For reals, no joking here: The fact that I was able to link all those countries up there should let you know that something's rotten in the European Union.)


My Oranje Boxcutter Make the World Go 'Round


The real best game of the tournament -- the neutral's choice. Or so says Papa Stijls, whom we trust implicitly. (A belated Happy Father's Day to all baby fathers out there. If you ain't call your pops yesterday, shame on you.) For excitement, it lacked nothing. The kind of game you watch wishing you didn't bite your nails all the time cos you really want to chew on that fat thumbnail that's now floating away down some sewer underneath the Alster.

A good match if you like orange, though the Dutch were always going to be the ones to wear it in this tie. Can't stand that Horseface Killah struck the winner, and from more than 6 yards, no less. Can't believe I hate Van Nistelrooy this much after riding for him for years. A pity the Ivoirians are out of the tournament, the favorites of politically-minded, large-hearted liberals the world over. Check the signifiers: 1) They're African. 2) Their country is torn by civil war. 3) Dope uni's. 4.) Didier Drogba, lalalalala. (Okay, then there's this, but hey, that's for Chelsea) 5.) They're called The Elephants. Plus, they're actually incredible footballers, almost every last one of them. That goal by Bakari Kone? What???

We'll keep them in our hearts & heads, and hope they thrash the Serbs, if only for a little bit of satisfaction.


Say The Baby


Best game of the tournament, not just because I was there. 'Kay, maybe so. That's right: the boy Stijls sold five alien babies -- cash! -- on the black market for his ticket. Suffered through a 5.40am train ride to Gelsenkirchen with already drunk (!) Germans who boarded the train in Bremen, ran the gauntlet of Serbian fans and their semi-Fascist dual-arm thrust salute down the pedestrian concourse, and waited 45 minutes for the Arena auf Schalke to open 3 hours early to pee furiously in order to see Young Lionel Messi, all of 18 yrs. old (Get your Spanish game up). Don't say "precocious" or I'll smack you. It was well worth it all.

Messi, who only played the last 15 minutes, was easily the most exciting player to step on the field. He started running at the Serbs the minute he touched the ball, assisting the 4th goal and scoring the 6th. Mr. Sad Face Juan Roman Riquelme was the best player on the field, but no one will ever associate him with excitement. And I'm sure he'd prefer it that way. Impossible to leave the stadium without this running through your head.

PLEASE: If you love football, or just listen to "mixtapes" all day, you would do well to watch this goal on repeat. Listen to the Latin announcers count off each pass -- 25 in all -- that led to the goal, the 24th being a backheel (!) from Hernan Crespo to Ernesto Cambiasso who scored. It's everything you'd want to teach a child about the game, and -- no joke -- I still get chills after Cambiasso slides to the corner. Even the Serbian fans who'd been in great spirits before this goal, only the second of six, had to give it up. Their team got wifed, big time. The Argentinians had the ball for so long that it was impossible for anybody in the stadium not to notice that the Serbs hadn't a sniff of the ball for almost 2 minutes. And to score after that? It's goals like this that allow everybody to be a pretentious schmuck about football, and hey, that's great.

So suddenly everybody's on the Argentine boat. "New favorites" and all. But B&C's not buying into it just yet. Before we go too far and anoint these guys the football equivalent of the Arrested Development writing team, can we ask the question, "Argentina: Too good?" You know the saying, "Too many cooks make the kitchen smell of cabbage." Just saying. Don't come crying to me when these artistes get bounced for overscoring glorious goals.

UPDATE: Mateja Kezman, still terrible.


Becky Ljungberg, Winning In Perpetuity


Erm, this dude scored.

You really proud of that, Sweden? On the reals? I don't even think Arsenal fans like dude. Whatever. Let's take this opportunity to give props to the man who makes this team at all likeable. Henrik Larsson. Say the name. Or just listen to the Swedish announcers go nuts.

B/T/W, there's no truth to the rumor that Christian Wilhelmsson was found in the locker room post-game, having hanged himself by his own rattail. Swedes love life. I love this website.


Pull My Hair Out


Conference-calling literary assassin TerrorDactile during the match couldn't even help pull this one out for the Trinis (B/T/W, hope no one missed the '06 version of this in EnnWhy on Saturday). But who knew such awesome dancers could resort to such vile chicanery. That's why a player quit rugby, so one ain't have to truck with fools like this.

England still look to be un gran mentiroso at this tournament (besides the Brazilians, of course -- more on that later) as dainty-armed Frank Lampard couldn't score with Gary Neville's dick (oh, wait--I've got that wrong somehow) on this day. Steven Gerrard can do whatever it is he wants though. A few B&C Associates were lucky enough to attend the University of Westminster with Mr. Gerrard, where he studied under the pseudonym of John Ashland.

Little known fact.