Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Daily Take: US Women's team in the FIFA World Cup Finals

The U.S. Women's team has been one of the big stories of this World Cup (then again, so has the other final's team Japan).  They were able to put up some great offensive performances in their grouping, but lost to Sweden who has been red hot and at times dominant on the defensive side.  However, things changed once this Cinderella qualified for the the Quarterfinals.

They had to face up against the Brazil team who had kept opponents scoreless over the 3 games in their grouping.  They were able to score, but were down most of the game and it looked bleak for the womens team. Then steps in Abby Wambach, a veteran of U.S. World Cup teams. After 120 minutes had passed and they were in stoppage time (they added time to make up for lost time because of injury), she was able to score on an incredible header.  The goal was the latest goal ever scored in a World Cup match and was able to swing the momentum for the tournament to the U.S.  Even without the circumstances, its an incredible play.  The U.S. was then able to go on to beat France 3-1 and took the lead with another Wambach goal making her the womens U.S. leader in career world cup goals.  Now, they have to face Japan who have knocked off two powerhouses themselves, but at least they have gotten this far.  

Back home, the All-Star break came and went in baseball and the Indians are gearing up for the 2nd half.  They have shuffled around the rotation and moved Fausto back and put Talbot on the DL, replacing him with Jeanmar Gomez.  If the Indians can stay healthy until Choo comes back, they really have a shot at the division and they could use his bat.  A lot of the credit has to go out to manny Acta.  This team has a 57% winning % in games decided by 2 or less runs.  To put it into perspective, if they had that winning % over a whole season they would win 92 games.  The second half should be exciting because the rotation is starting to gel and young hitters (Brantley, Laporta, Santana) are heating up or coming back from injury.  

Ohio State has voluntarily vacated wins from the 2010 season.  This is a very smart move on their part and they seem to be taking the right steps with the NCAA.  Instead of stonewalling the NCAA, they are being open and policing themselves now with enough punishments that the NCAA may not even decide to add on more.  I don't think they should or will get more because many of the supposed "scandals" were just smoke with no fire and they have been very forthright with the NCAA.  In the meantime, ESPN is suing OSU under the freedom of information act stating that they need all the information on this that OSU has.  It just seems like a cheap ploy for a story from a source that has shown bias against OSU.  They covered the whole issue with the cars to death, but virtually ignored it once it came out from the dmv that there was absolutely nothing going on.

Not only that, but ESPN may still be upset because of the Big 10 Network which was caused by them low-balling the conference and the conference starting their own network.  The Big 10 is possibly the most valuable and most watched conference in college sports.  The Pac 10 just signed a 12 year deal worth 3 billion.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Big 10 was worth double that.  

James Harrison officially became insane this week.  To clarify, the guy said some of the dumbest things I have ever heard.  Some of these include using anti-gay slurs against the commissioner and suggesting he is a racist, blaming the Super Bowl loss on the hubris of Roethlisberger ("Ben thinking he is Peyton"), criticizing Brian Cushing for being juiced up, and calling mendenhall fumble prone.  There seems to be quite a bit of hypocrisy (if this isn't hubris what is, and there's a good chance Harrison has juiced up too considering Steeler doctors were caught with HGH).  This just adds him to the growing list of morons in Pittsburgh that includes mendenhall and his Osama based statements that lost him the sponsorship of Champion.  A new addition to this list (Harrison was already a part time member) is Hines Ward who got caught with a DUI...oh, he didn't get caught, he just couldn't spell the alphabet and and refused a breathalizer).  Thank god the Browns don't have these idiots or murderers (Ray Lewis) or just plain criminals (the whole Bengals team a few years ago).

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