Do you know who Ronaldinho is?

It’s a shame that soccer gets absolutely no respect in the U.S. because we’d be seeing Ronaldinho’s highlights on Sportscenter more than once every 4 years. Look at this video of his highlights and it shows how amazing the game of soccer can be and firmly establishes Ronalinho as the Dwayne Wade of soccer, except of course that he’s 100x more well known around the world. There are some who would argue he’s the best soccer player in history.

Put aside any prejudices you might have about soccer and you’ll see an athlete at the top of his game. Just by sheer skill, he makes his opponents look foolish. And that might be the mark of a truly great player.

(You might want to turn off the volume as the video is accompanied by a terrible Creed song.)

[You Tube]: Ronaldinho’s top 50 goals
[You Tube]: Amazing video of Ronaldinho showing off his skills


16-year-old girl banned from World Cup matches

That’s some quality Photoshop work

Yesterday, we told you about the 12-year-old Boston fan who called Terry Francona a dumbass. Well, in England, they raise the bar with their soccer hooligans. A 16-year-old girl was banned from attending any soccer matches and must report to the local police station once a week.

The ban stemmed from an incident in January where 18 other people were arrested when violence broke out after the hooligans began the obligatory soccer racist chanting.

[Life Style Extra]: 16-year old female footy fan in court


Odds and Ends for Tues May 30: Ronaldo turns down $120M

The World Cup is almost here and that means more soccer stories are coming across the wire. Today, Ronaldo, one of the most recognizable soccer players in the world, turned down MLS’ New York Red Bulls offer of $120M over 10 years. Ronaldo said he’d like to play in the MLS but later in his career.

The offer would have made him the highest paid MLS athlete by more than $11M a year. MLS is desperate to attract a high profile international soccer star to boost interest. Much like the Argonauts signing Rocket Ismail, which worked wonders for the CFL.

In other news…

[]: Does “cornhole” mean something entirely different in Cincinnati?

[NY Post]: Stephon Marbury wants to die a loser

[Seattle Times]: The top 20 stupidest things done by college athletes

[Inside Bay Area]: Who sabotaged Dave Flemming’s Barry Bonds 715 call?

[Yahoo]: Ukraine soccer team will get sex if they win, whether they like it or not


Being a soccer fan finally pays off

More useful than a FOP
window sticker

Sometimes rooting for the right team is a matter of life and death. (Or as we keep telling Raiders fans a matter of being employed or not.) A British guy named Tony Restall working in Yemen was ambushed by Arab fundamentalists and most likely would have been taken hostage if not for his choice of futbol team, the Portsmouth FC.

The would be kidnappers spotted a Portsmouth FC sticker on his car with their crescent and start logo and thought he was a practicing Muslim.

The tribesmen descended upon me like a pack of wolves. They had bloodshot eyes and I was terrified they would kill me.

But they spotted my Portsmouth FC sticker and the mood changed. They thought I was Muslim as the star and moon are Muslim symbols. I was able to convince them that, although I was Western, I was helping Muslims in the area.

How lucky is he that his team isn’t Parma A.C.

[The Sun UK]: Great save by Pompey


Northwestern Womens Soccer team apologizes for hazing incident

In a statement released to the Northwestern community, the womens soccer team issued an apology for the hazing incident that brought them unwanted national attention.

To the members of the Northwestern community,

We, the Northwestern women’s soccer team, apologize for the negative attention, press, and controversy our alleged hazing incident has caused the University. We never foresaw that what began as a well-intentioned night of team unity and celebration would have such severe consequences, and we are embarrassed that our actions have become the source of such harsh criticism.

We fully accept responsibility for our behavior and understand the magnitude and severity of the current situation. As Northwestern varsity student-athletes, we take extreme pride in representing this school, and this incident does not reflect the values, integrity and qualities we seek to embody.

We hope this incident has not resulted in a breach of trust. From here, we will move in a positive direction toward reestablishing our relationship with the Northwestern community. Let this be a learning experience not only for the women’s soccer team, but for all Northwestern groups, organizations and teams who wish to uphold the honor and prestige of this university.

In addition, we extend our apologies to teammate Kelly Sitkowski, who had absolutely no role in the incident and was not present that evening.

– Members of the 2005-06 Northwestern University women’s soccer team

This is your standard apology statement but at least they didn’t pull the old “we apologize to anyone who might have been offended” non-apology most athletes issue.

It’s always amusing when you have to assure people that light bondage and girl on girl action doesn’t embody your values and qualities. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But the best part of the statement is the apology to the teammate that wasn’t there and still had to answer questions from her friends and family all the time. This is like Duke lacrosse apologizing to Devon Sherwood for being black.

[Daily Northwestern]: Women’s Soccer Team Releases Apology For Negative Attention


Germany welcomes World Cup fans… except some of the darker ones

“Gesicht zeigen”, the German anti-tourism anti-racism organization is warning black soccer fans to stay away from parts of the eastern German state of Brandenburg. The head of the organizational, Uwe-Karsten Heye, warned of potential racially motivated attacks.

There are small and medium-sized towns in Brandenburg and other places where I would recommend that nobody with a different skin color go.

They would possibly not leave there alive.

The Brandenburg tourism page boasts of the idyllic countryside, lakes, castles, and gardens, but no mention of not leaving there alive if you’re of a different skin tone. Oh, those clever marketing people!

[Reuters]: Black soccer fans told to avoid parts of Germany


More on the Northwestern Womens Soccer hazing

God bless the internet. runs a bunch of pictures of a hazing incident involving the womens soccer team at Northwestern and that’s how school administrators and parents find out about it. School officials have confirmed that the pics were indeed of the womens soccer team but could not ascertain when the hazing took place but thinks they are from last August because that’s what the website reported.

Northwestern AD Mark Murphy has suspended the team indefinitely and are looking to see if the allegations of hazing are true. Hmmm… if those pics aren’t of a hazing, we’d like to know what team activity involves being stripped to your underwear and having your hands tied behind your back. (Besides the Abu Ghraib softball league that is.)

Let us remind you that the investigation into the Duke lacrosse scandal by school officials came as a result of an overheard conversation. Do school administrators have any idea whats happening on their campuses? I’m sure they are shocked, shocked! to find that underage drinking occurs on their watch.

Finally, a note on the media. First, since they won’t ever paint outside the lines, we have to rely on good ole internet blogs to post actual photo goodness of the event. Second, the Chicago Tribune said, “ seeks to expose abuse of athletes.” Hah! We love badjocks… but precisely because their whole bread and butter is showing us what some stupid athlete has done today. The Chicago Trib seems to be under the impression that Badjocks is some sort of sports version of Amnesty International.

[Chicago Tribune]: NU probes alleged hazing
[Chicago Sun Times]: ‘Wild’ Cats? Soccer team benched
[Daily Northwestern]: NU team accused of hazing


More gay soccer hazing… this time the womens team

Somehow, soccer players either are the biggest hazers in college sports or they are the ones most likely to post their photos in a public forum. Bad Jocks once again has found more hazing photos, this time from the Northwestern University Women’s soccer team.

The freshman [were] not only blindfolded but with their hands tied behind their backs with athletic tape. On top of that, the girls are seen doing calisthenics and what appears to be forced drinking, performing skits that appear to require simulated sex acts, and then the losing skit team being forced to perform lap dances.

And then Bad Jocks decides to go the serious route and do some sort of dissertation on hazing in college sports. Hmmm… let us save you the time and PhD mumbo jumbo and break it down for you. A lot of organizations haze their incoming members. Most of it is humiliating, as is the requirement of hazing. However, sometimes, it’s really gay. And when it’s really gay is when people stand up and take notice. And because this is the womens team and not the mens team, more guys will take notice. Guys in underwear and tied together? Man, we’re horrified. Girls in underwear and kissing each other. Man, we’re … sweet. Hey look, we don’t make up the rules.

[Bad Jocks]: Photos from Northwestern Womens Soccer team hazing

General Sports

Odds and Ends for Wed Apr 26 2006: Soccer is very gay

Is it just us or are a disproportionate amount of soccer stories tinged with homoeroticism? NTTAWWT… In Brazil, a coach was suspended for 60 days for saying that a referee was flirting with him.

He was flirting with me. He blew his whistle and looked at me with every decision he made….Maybe it was because of my pink shirt.”

Probably not the best idea to imply that a ref is gay. Blind is ok. Gay is not.

In other news…

[Denver Post]: Kenyon Martin suspended for sitting out the 2nd half of Monday’s game without injury.

[TrojanWire]: Matt Leinart is already setting himself up to be the 2009 Madden cover jinx.

[The Hater Nation]: Why Kobe chose new jersey number

[CBS Sportsline]: Shocking! Man behind Reggie Bush house scandal has shady past.

[SI]: Well, there goes’s credibility — Jenn Sterger (you know the FSU ho-or… er… cowgirl) has a column.

[Columbus Dispatch]: This is what happens when you don’t supply strippers to lacrosse teams — they start sticking fingers up players’ rectums. Damn near killed him.

Real Odd of the Day: 9-5 that Lynn Swann is elected governor of Pennsylvania


Anti-Racism rules in effect for World Cup

FIFA: Racism is bad

Only in soccer (and the Ku Klux Klan softball league) do you have to remind players and fans that racism is bad. From fans making monkey noises and throwing bananas to yelling monkey at other players, soccer has the market cornered on blatant racism in professional sports. (Well, maybe Canadian hockey has a small market share.) It’s gotten so bad that FIFA has created new anti-racism rules. FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that the rules are in effect next season and will also apply to the World Cup.

At the first sign (of racism) there will be a deduction of three points, then we are finished with the problems of discrimination.

We think he meant discrimination in soccer. If only it were that easy to deduct points in real life. Fans and officials can also be given fines for “any act or expression of a discriminatory and/or contemptuous nature.”

Interestingly enough, Blatter said it was not FIFA’s place to tackle the problems of prostitution — there are expected to be 60,000 prostitutes imported into Germany for the Finals. Minorities: protect; Women: who cares. Got it, FIFA.

We in FIFA, we are not responsible for the morality and the ethics of the whole population of the world. We should go against gambling. We should go against drugs. We should go against religion. We should go against weapons, and so on. This is not our duty, our duty is football.

[Sign On San Diego]: Blatter says anti-racism rules will apply at World Cup

[IPS news]: World Cup – a Magnet for Forced Prostitution?