Helpful Advice From Maradona On How To Suck It

So Diego Maradona’s advice to all of his critics on Wednesday, specifically on how they “can suck it, and keep on sucking it,” seems to be sweeping the globe. One profane outburst to unite us all.

Diego Maradona

Argentina’s embattled national coach got his squad into the World Cup on Wednesday, with a 1-0 win over Uruguay. And afterward he had some choice comments for the assembled press, which has been critical of the FIFA co-Player of the Century ever since he took control of the team this past November. FIFA’s disciplinary committee is looking into it, and there may be sanctions.

But Maradona is unapologetic, and is even having some fun with this. Check out the video following the jump, in which he demonstrates to supporters just how he’d like his critics to suck it. Read more…

Honduran Coup Leader Invites Bornstein To Lunch

It’s not every day that the leader of a Central American political coup invites a U.S. soccer player to his (recently acquired) country for a little celebration. But the U.S. National team’s Jonathan Bornstein received that honor on Thursday, after his equalizing goal in stoppage time against Costa Rica propelled Honduras into the final automatic World Cup qualifying berth.

Jonathan Bornstein

It will be Honduras’ first trip to the World Cup in 27 years, and that nation is understandably going nuts, even by Central American soccer standards. Bornstein is now a national hero there; just take a listen to radio call of his goal, YouTubed following the jump. “Goal! Goal! Goal! GOAAAL! Que Noche Senores!” Read more…

Speed Read: McNulty Makes “Offer” To Big Ben

Andrea McNulty, the woman who has sued Ben Roethlisberger for allegedly raping her last year, has had her credibility and motivations called into question many times since her lawsuit was filed in July. But now, in an attempt to make her seem both less crazy and less of a gold digger, she has offered to withdraw the lawsuit.

Ben Roethlisberger Andrea McNulty

Oh, if it were only that simple. As you’ll see, McNulty’s “offer” may seem like a noble pursuit, but it stipulates that Big Ben do the one thing he’ll never, ever do. So, without further ado, here are the three conditions for having the lawsuit dropped:

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Brits & Russians Agree: Soccer Needs More Booze

Beer: It improves appearances, settles racial disputes, soothes what pains us and helps wash down otherwise unpalatable meals. It’s powers are mysterious and great, but can even beer do the seemingly impossible? Can it make Americans like pro soccer? England’s Steven Thompson says yes.

Steven Thompson

The Burnley forward was in Portland as his Premiership team played the (soon to be) MLS Portland Timbers on Sunday at PG&E Park, and struck a blow for soccer detente — even though it cost him dearly. At one point during play Thompson tumbled into the Timbers’ beer garden, which is right next to the field. Finding himself practically in the lap of a drinking patron — and being British — he picked up the man’s mug and took a giant swig.  Then, back into action!

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Speed Read: T.O. Lobbies, Tweets For Mike Vick

When SbB held its first 30-day moratorium poll this past week, I was somewhat disappointed that there could be only one winner. And while the actual choice (who shall not be named) was fine enough, it meant that we were still going to have to talk about what Terrell Owens is doing.

TO and Michael Vick

And that, today, is apparently suggesting that Roger Goodell go spend some time in prison so that he knows what Michael Vick has been through. This in response to the idea floating around that Goodell plans to suspend Vick for four games as a condition for returning to the league. Ray Ratto thinks T.O. might have some ulterior motives, but that he appears to be genuine in his support for Vick. Now, about the suspension…well, I can’t put it nearly as eloquently as T.O. can (via FANHOUSE):

“I don’t think it’s really fair for him to be suspended four more games. That’s almost like kicking a dead horse in the ground.”

Well said, sir.

He’s also using Twitter to try and round up support for Vick, hoping that a groundswell of public sentiment will sway Goodell. I mean, it’s just like that whole thing over in Iran.

Oddly, T.O. has a bit of a point. Vick’s livelihood was taken away while he was in prison, so why would Goodell feel the need to tack on a token suspension that is the same length as one for a first violation of the league’s drug policy? I mean, if he really considered the prison time as separate from the league’s punishment, then you would think the suspension would be harsher, like a year or something. Otherwise, isn’t being out of the league for two years and going bankrupt serving the same purpose? I don’t think Goodell has to give him four games off to prove that the NFL doesn’t approve of dogfighters. I think that’s pretty well understood, considering you get in trouble for wearing your socks wrong in that league.

Michael Vick chased by dog

Don’t be fooled by that 5-0 win by Mexico over the U.S. in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final yesterday at Giants Stadium. The Americans have been playing this entire tournament with a second-tier squad made up mostly of players with little international experience. The Mexicans, meanwhile, put a much better team out on the field, as was shown by their dominance throughout the tournament. And, while it was sad to see the U.S. team fall apart, the way Mexico dismantled our guys in the second half was quite a thing to watch (the game was scoreless at halftime). Get ready for goooooooooooools-a-plenty:

The U.S. was somewhat fortunate to advance this far, struggling to a tie with powerhouse Haiti and needing extra time to beat Panama. So a loss was to be expected, though the magnitude was larger than anyone thought. It’s the worst loss for the U.S. since 1985. Perhaps it was for the best that it was only on in English on the tiny Fox Soccer Channel.

If anything, this was a moral boost for the Mexicans going into the huge showdown on August 12th between the two countries in World Cup qualifying in Mexico City. None of the players the U.S. used yesterday are likely to play in that game, while a couple of Mexico’s players will probably see action. But I can’t imagine that this game is really going to have much impact on the qualifier. The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS’ Filip Bondy seems to think that the credibility the U.S. earned in games against Spain and Brazil is diminished by this result, but anyone who follows the sport closely (ie. everyone in the world besides Americans) knows that the U.S. lineup was a shell of the team that made waves in South Africa.

The NEW YORK TIMES seems to have grasped this, and notes that all of the goodwill Mexico earned yesterday could be lost if they can’t beat the Americans in August. The U.S. is 0-22-1 all-time in Mexico, but a win by the Americans would be devastating to the hosts, who are fourth in the qualifying group (only the top three automatically make the World Cup). The U.S. is currently in second place behind Costa Rica.

Mexico gold cup

• The Ravens were stunned by Derrick Mason’s retirement, so they went out and signed Drew Bennett to replace him. Bennett lasted all of two days before deciding to retire yesterday. You just aren’t meant to have wide receivers, Baltimore.

• Wait, who’s in first place in the NL Central? Oh yeah, it’s the team the Phillies are going to sweep in the first round in October.

Keith Olbermann says that Sparky Anderson and Pete Rose spoke for the first time in 20 years on Saturday in Cooperstown. Rose shows up every year to sign memorabilia on HOF weekend.

Sparky Anderson Pete Rose

• Ladbrokes is offering 100-1 odds that one of Roger Federer’s twin daughters will win Wimbledon by the age of 25. They’re five days old.

Dinara Safina: Really good at winning tournaments nobody cares about.

Lou Holtz took a Notre Dame alumni team over to Japan, where he coached them to a 19-3 win over the Japanese national team. No word on whether or not “Dr. Lou” made an appearance on Japanese television.

• MENTAL FLOSS challenges you to pick which hat 14 Hall of Famers wore to their induction.

Dwyane Wade is tweeting to Lamar Odom, trying to coax him down to Miami. What he doesn’t seem to realize is that a bag of Jolly Ranchers will do the trick.

candy

• A cricket player was struck by lightning in Brooklyn yesterday afternoon during a match. He’s listed in serious condition. The ghost of Gil Hodges has been brought in for questioning.

• Massive rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan met yesterday in, of all places, Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. In other news, the Giants and Jets will play each other this year in Reykjavik.

• French president Nicolas Sarkozy can’t stand the heat. Literally. He collapsed while jogging yesterday in Paris, but he’s going to be just fine. Which means we can run this picture of his wife without any guilt:

Carla Bruni Sarkozy

 

What do you think of a rumored 4-game suspension for Michael Vick?

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Iran Slaps Lifetime Ban On Four Soccer Protesters

Four of the six players on the Iranian National Team who wore green wristbands last Wednesday to show their solidarity with Iranian protesters have been banned from the team for life by the nation’s governing soccer body, according to several reports.

Ali Karimi

(Ali Karimi)

The match, against South Korea in Seoul, ended in a 1-1 draw and ended Iran’s quest to qualify for the World Cup. but a lot more was at stake for six players who wore the wristbands to show support for opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, whom protesters believe had the June 12 election stolen from him in favor of government candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Read more…

Just About The Worst Soccer Shot Ever Seen

Scotland and Norway played to a scoreless draw yesterday in a World Cup qualifying match, a result that was another dagger in the Tartan Army’s dwindling hopes for reaching South Africa in 2010. But what made the result so noteworthy wasn’t what happened what what didn’t happen, specifically one goal that wasn’t scored.

Chris Iwelumo

The culprit was Scotland’s Chris Iwelumo, and the play in question - as described by the GLASGOW DAILY MAIL - might go down as one of the worst misses in soccer history, as he fired wide of a completely open net from two yards away. It was like watching the team at the beginning of Ladybugs, except without the boyish yet doomed charms of a young Jonathan Brandis.

Video after the jump:

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