What a World Cup. What a GAME!!!

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final

20 years ago, I was in Thailand, where I witnessed the France ’98 final between France and Brazil.  That moment changed my life, making me a football fan forever.  Now with the 2018 Final all said and done, I’m happy to say that another French Golden Generation is on the cusp of greatness.  I’m totally sad for Croatia who, for the majority of this tournament, played some scintillating football from the start to the final, especially from Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric.  But France, dive aside, did the nasty and made sure they played compact, counter attacking football and capitalized on moments to get them through as 4-2 winners today.  What a game, and what an end to this tournament.  Hell, even Pussy Riot was able to crash the party!  How cool is that?  (which probably means jail time for them….crap)

However, a big thing to note this year was that it was just full of big moments.  From the big boys losing it big time to upstarts trying to make names for themselves, we were treated to highs, lows, and lots and lots of VAR.  And what about those upsets?  Surprises from Japan, Senegal, Russia and Mexico were some of the few of course. Now that it’s all over, I feel totally empty.  I mean, I’m not gonna watch MLB, so what the heck else am I gonna do?  I’m gonna miss talking about this World Cup and all the ferocity that was seen in highlights from every Group match to the Final.  Fox Soccer wasn’t kidding when they mentioned in their coverage of the Final that this event is the “the greatest collective experience we have as human beings.”  If you didn’t see that connection, that desire to win and celebrate in the faces of the fans, you definitely saw it in each and every player on the pitch.

With this, I feel like it’s time to say goodbye to the World Cup.  What a tournament, and what a win for France.  Who would’ve thought that they would do it again twenty years exactly after the triumph of ’98?  That’s football for ya, and from here on out, that a wrap until 2022.

Advertisements

Whirlwind World Cup

tumblr_pazwb8w9Ds1tf8a5ao1_500

Man oh man, it’s been one hell of a World Cup so far.  The Quarter-final between Russia vs. Croatia finished this afternoon and it was a total nail-biter.  Whether you think Russia’s gotten there fair-and-square or with a little help is the vague madness that, to me, helps to illustrate why this year’s tournament has been so wild.  Upset defeats from the big boys like Germany in the group stages, along with Round of 16 exits from Portugal and Argentina, have made this World Cup an emotional roller-coaster (especially since I’m a Germany fan).  However, one great thing that I enjoyed was seeing Messi and Ronaldo, the two best players in the planet, getting trashed by great teams.  No trophy for them, LOLZ!

But this cup isn’t just big on upsets, it’s big on up-and-coming stars.  Uruguay was very impressive throughout this Cup, especially against Ronaldo’s Portugal, but they, unfortunately, lost to France on the Quarter-finals (Cavani, their star striker, was injured).  Speaking of France, HOW ABOUT MBAPPE!!!???  This kid will totally be the next superstar of world football….once he gives up diving.  And while we’re on the subject of diving, we need to certainly talk about Neymar.  Now, to be fair, it’s not like anyone else isn’t doing this.  Maguire for England (a defender dammit), and Ronaldo for Portugal are obvious examples, but Neymar’s rolling is now one of the most iconic memes you’ll find from this tournament.  The agony on his face, the writing and the sheer drive that powers his tumbling are all elements worthy of laughs, especially when he gets booked for it.

However, what ultimately animates this World Cup is the football, and so far, it hasn’t disappointed (much).  Belgium in particular have been impressive against Japan and Brazil.  France isn’t as stylish as in past World Cups but they are totally getting the job done (with Giroud, Griezemann and Mbappe in attack).    However, sides like England have just been smash and grab for me, and it’s kinda boring (their game today versus Sweden was just….I don’t know, all over the place).  Now that we’re in the semis, things should hopefully heat up for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Until then, keep on watching folks!

What the Heck is Going On?

Police investigate a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington in Alexandria

This past month has been insane. Hell, even the start of this week featured Foghorn Leghorn as he testified in front of a Congressional Committee about Lyin’ Trump.  However, I was NOT prepared for Wednesday morning, where someone from my home state came to my current state to shoot up Republican lawmakers as they trained for a charity baseball event against their Democratic counterparts.

I saw the news pour in from the lobby TV before I made my way out of my apartment complex and the first thing I thought was how close this was to my proximity? Was it going to be like what happened to Gabby Giffords?  Was it by the hands of a liberal who went off the rails? Did it really need to come to this?

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that regardless of how you feel about the assailant’s politics or penchant for violence, it’s stunningly clear that in the midst of this Trump Presidency, we are losing ourselves. The Comey testimonies, along with Trump’s reaction to alleged ties with the Russian Government, have now revealed the disturbing possibility that Donny might have obstructed justice like a cheap dictator with aviators.  The fact that an investigation into this obstruction has surfaced is not surprising, but we all need to hope that Mueller doesn’t get the axe either in this case.

It’s harrowing stuff folks.  Really.  However, one’s outrage about these very disturbing allegations (or other issues in general) has to be tempered so that it’s channeled in the right way.  Go talk to your Reps.  Hash it out with your Conservative friends and co-workers.  Point it out to a fellow passenger on the Metro whose face is frowning just as much as yours when you both read the Express.  Get your pals together and run for office.  Do all those things.  Just don’t go out and hurt people.   Just don’t. We don’t need that shit right now.  We’ve got enough of it in front of the TV as is.