Sunday, June 27, 2010

If You're Crying In Your Beer You're Gonna Drown

Back in the Gretzky era of the Rangers, I took a kind of sick delight in reading the NY Post following NY losses. The combination of the "we are destined to win" mentality with the team's failures, plus the Post's trademark restraint, made for hilarious reading. The arrogance of Larry Brooks (not a bad writer, but insufferable) and the incoherence of Jay Greenberg (a bad, bad, bad writer) added to the fun.

It's with a similar grim glee that I anticipate the covers of tomorrow's English tabloids. The extremism with which they've greeted every England UK win, loss, or tie (or even group drawing) means great times for anyone who likes a journalistic trainwreck. The disallowed Lampard goal will double the fun, with a bunch of people already suggesting that the screwup turned the match (though anyone who thinks allowing the goal would have spurred England to hold level with the Germans for 90 minutes has been huffing paint). Earlier a Sun article -- now either gone or just moved off the front page -- made great mention of the fact that the ref in question was South American. Because English refs don't miss things.

Really, to anyone watching this tournament with clear eyes, it was obvious that this was about as far as England could go. They were better than the USA team, but not a match for your Brazils, your Portugals, your Spains, your Germanys. Weak in goal, weak on defense, slow. Simon Kuper (who had a good article on the team a few days ago) tackled this in "Soccernomics" -- specifically that England aren't really among the elites, and are kind of punching above their weight in world soccer.

Kuper's writing is far removed from the world of the Mirror and their ilk, though, so I imagine we'll see plenty of Fabio's failure/cheating ref/dirty hun talk in the days ahead.

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I'm back in Colorado for a week now, and anyone who suggests I don't deserve this vacation will get some hard looks. Weather is grand, beer is cold, and got to watch England-Germany at Sobo 151 with the mighty Brian Ed today. This is a good place.

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#26 -- "Bad Monkeys" by Matt Ruff

I got this right after reading "Sewer, Gas, and Electric" last year, but held off because I anticipated surefire disappointment after reading "SGE." Delayed pleasures and all that, but my prediction was extremely wrong: this is better. It's a tightly-wound trip through paranoia and delusion, often shocking. I think I'm too jaded to be caught off guard by twists but this got me several times. It's got some of the humor of the previous book, but it's more a dry black humor rather than the previous laff riot. It's fantastic and if I go back to Atlanta without buying all his other books, it'll be quite an achievement on my part.

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