The Referee is a Wanker

A soccer team from Essex named Stambridge United (clearly not English Premiere League) have their new unis banned because they have “The Referee is a Wanker” on them. They actually played a few games with those shirts before the league decided they were too offensive. As you know, you can practically put anything on a soccer uniform if you pay enough money. Usually it’s Vodafone or Nokia or whatever but this team was sponsored by an author who wrote a book called “The Referee is a Wanker” about football chants.

We’re sad that this didn’t go through. It was only a matter of time before corporate greed made its way into American sports (remember the whole Spiderman on the basepads brouhaha?) and we could have anything we wanted on football uniforms. “The referee is a wanker”? Imagine if Jeremy Shockey bought the rights to his own uniform and put “Bill Parcells is a homo”.

Or the millions they’d make from fans of rival teams buying the rights or paying money just to retain the rights. (Yankees vs Red Sox anyone?) Sure it wouldn’t be worth it to any of the big leagues but this is a minor league promotion waiting to happen.

[Sun UK]: Footie team ‘W*nker’ strip ban

Oakland Raiders

Odds and Ends: Jerry Porter is the worst teammate in the world

Class act

On a day when a backup punter stabs a starting punter in the leg, Jerry Porter still manages to get the worst teammate award. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Porter was pumping his fists and laughing while Aaron Brooks got sacked for the 7th time in the loss to the Chargers.

I haven’t heard anybody in our organization say anything about that, any teammate or anything,” Shell said. “If that did happen that’s a big disappointment from my standpoint. That would be disappointing, and that’s something, if he did that, something he has to deal with, with his teammates as well as other people.

Porter was deactivated for Monday’s game because he’s clashed with Art Shell all preseason. Porter just signed a five year deal last season that gave have $10M in guaranteed money. Nice way to pay the Raiders back, Jerry.

[AP]: Royals pitcher, catcher fight in dugout

[ESPN]: Keep Branch on your fantasy bench folks, he’s not expected to play this weekend

[Fox Sports]: Since the World Cup, US Soccer has dropped from #5 to #29

[TSN]: Bob Clarke doesn’t give a shit if nobody likes him

[Jeff Little]: People stealing paychecks in the NBA


We need more things to bet on

Talk about pressuring your kids. A man in England placed 100 pounds at 100/1 that his son would play for the English football team by the time he was 30. Well, that son got to play Wednesday in the second half of a game between England and Greece. That man is now 10,000 pounds richer.

Another man put 20 pounds at 5000/1 that his grandson would become the captain of the England team. For those mathematically challeged, he stands to collect 100,000 pounds if it comes to pass.

As far as we know, there is no such wagering in the United States. And even if there were, what is the point? Making it to the professional level is already like winning the lottery. What’s an extra $10,000 or $100,000 when phenoms are signing $50M contracts out of college?

Instead, we think there are much better things to wager on. For example, how much of a sure thing was it that Kate Hudson would dump her husband (over the hill rockstar Chris Robinson) for Owen Wilson (the hour long buttlicker) after You, Me and Dupree? That could’ve been easy money. If there’s one thing that England has over us, it’s the ability to make basically any bet you want.

Here are some other sure things we’d bet on:

  • Paris Hilton diagnosed with an STD
  • Britney Spears ends up a fat disgusting pig with 5 kids. (almost there…)
  • The Smoking Gun finds a copy of Tiger Woods’ deal with the devil
  • Barry Bonds is proven to have knowingly used steroids
  • A Trailblazer and a Bengal get together to knock over a liquor store
  • and finally… Jessica Biel’s ass will cause a traffic accident

[Yahoo]: Man bets that son would play for English soccer team


Odds and Ends: The Head-Butt Song

Apparently a song making fun of Zidane’s headbutt called Coup De Boule is at the top of the French music charts. The song has sold 60,000 copies and 110,000 ring tones. Of course, it is also wildly popular in Japan, where weird pop phenomena go to die. And with this, we are done with Zidane coverage for eternity.

In other news…

[Sportsline]: NBA changes playoff seeding format

[Chicago Sports]: NCAA looks into more bans in S.C. for confederate flag

[Reuters]: Gatlin’s masseur denies sabotage

[SI]: Embarassing moments in baseball history

[eBay]: Bidding for Barry Bonds #715 ball at $137,500


The Incredible Cristiano Ronaldo Action Figure

It seems an English company is still upset at Cristiano Ronaldo for (indirectly) getting Wayne Rooney sent off in the World Cup match between Portugal and England. Check out this ad for a new action figure with “Unique Uppity-Downy” action. The ad references the wink that Ronaldo gave to the Portugese bench after Rooney was sent off.

To be fair though, couldn’t they have made this action figure for almost any of the soccers players in the World Cup?


The ultimate burial ground

How much for the
mascot headstone?

A soccer team in Germany, Hamburg SV, is opening a graveyard near the stadium for…um… die hard fans. The cemetary will only have 500 plots so there’s going to be some (dammit, these puns are unintentional!) stiff competition. Fans can buy a plot for ashes in an urn for $3,150, a single grave goes for $10,000 and a two person plot for $16,000.

This might be the greatest idea for dead people since resurrection. Imagine cementaries devoted to Eagles fans or Indians fans or Cubs fans. Not only would they make tons of money, they’d be the most haunted places on earth until the teams deliver a championship. Nothing puts pressure on team management to win more than a bunch of poltergeist hanging around the team offices. Someone needs to make this happen.

[Reuters]: German soccer team plans cemetery for die-hard fans

All Other Sports

Odds and Ends (07.18.2006): They are all witnesses

We’re pretty sure this isn’t what Nike had in mind for the “We are all witnesses” campaign but in trying to get the records for their student ID card activity, DA Mike Nifong has said that every member of the Duke lacrosse team is a potential witness and he wants to confirm their whereabouts after the alleged rape incident. This story isn’t going anywhere soon as the case isn’t expected to come to trial until next Spring.

In other news…

[NY Daily News]: The Mets and David Wright apologize for the commercial promoting the “Salvation Miracles Revival Crusade”.

[SI]: Bruce Arena signs on to coach the Red Bulls

[NY Post]: So much for Jai Lewis’ career in the NFL

[Sportsline]: Russell Crowe decides he wants to coach the rugby team he owns

[The Golf Blog]: What happened to David Duval?

[USA Today]: T.O. tells HBO he’s misunderstood; wonders ‘Why me?’

Cleveland Indians

July 17 in Sports History: Joltin’ Joe’s streak ends

In 1941: Pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby, Sr. of the Cleveland Indians combine to halt one of the greatest feats in sports history: Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. In front of 60,000 fans in Cleveland, third baseman Ken Keltner made two great plays to keep the Yankee Clipper off the score sheet. He would start a more modest hitting streak of 17 games the next day, thus hitting safely in 73 of 74 games. DiMaggio hit .409 during the streak, and went on to win the MVP and the World Series for the Yankees. His record has barely been approached, with Pete Rose reaching 44 games in 1978 and Paul Molitor getting to 39 in 1987.

In 1994 In the first-ever championship game to be decided on penalty kicks, Brazil defeated Italy to win the World Cup in front of 94,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. The 0-0 tie capped an otherwise very successful World Cup on American soil. While many believed that the supposedly soccer-ignorant Americans could not hold a tournament of this magnitude, it was the most-attended World Cup ever. Down 3-2 in penalties, Italian superstar Roberto Baggio’s attempt sailed over the crossbar, giving the Brazilians their fourth World Cup.


July 14 in Sports History: The El Salvador – Honduras Soccer War

In 1969: We’ve all heard of soccer riots. But a soccer war? Border tensions were escalating between Honduras and El Salvador for years, and a series of World Cup qualifying matches between the two countries spilled over into violence. Visiting fans were attacked and brutalized in each country. In the second game in El Salvador on June 27, Hondurans were attacked, their flag burned, and a girl committed suicide on the field. While the Soccer War was not directly related to soccer and more about the economic disparity between the two countries, the actions during the game in San Salvador caused the two governments to break off diplomatic relations, thus leading to combat. It was believed that over 6,000 people died in the Soccer War, which lasted only four days.


Zidane headbutt video

The World Cup Final was mostly a boring contest after the first half until Zinedine Zidane blew his top and headbutted Materazzi in the chest after the two exchanged some words. Zidane ruined his spectacular World Cup showing and perhaps career by getting sent off for a ridiculously stupid play.

Here’s the video of Zidane’s headbut. The best part is the french announcer yelling “why?…. why… WHY?”

We are anxiously awaiting Zidane’s explanation. What could Materazzi possibly have said to cause Zidane to go bonkers? Did he talk about his mother? Did he call him a homo? Did he say “Jerry Lewis sucks!”? Inquiring minds wants to know.