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Germany vs Argentina in World Cup Final

SOCCER

On Tuesday we had a shooting frenzy when Germany destroyed Brazil 7-1 but in the next semi-final match on Wednesday with Argentina vs the Netherlands, it was relatively boring for 120 minutes of regulation play. The shootout decided the fate of both teams with Argentina scoring 4, Netherlands 2 and Argentina moving on to the final on Sunday vs Germany.

Sergio RomeroArgentina’s goalkeeper Sergio Romero gets credit for some great saves in the shootout but in a humble interview after the game he stated,

“It’s luck, that’s the truth. You can dive (the right way) and not make it, like happened to their goalkeeper,” Romero said. “I had confidence, thank God things turned out well.”

Germany vs Argentina in World Cup Final 3:00 pm Est Sunday

Brazil vs Netherlands in World Cup Consolation Round 4:00 pm Est Saturday

 

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Germany Demolishes Brazil In World Cup Semis

SOCCER

Germany World CupGermany demolished Germany in the World Cup Semi’s on Tuesday. It was an embarrassing defeat for the host country Brazil.  After an early score in the first 11 minutes, Germany then went on to score four goals in six minutes in just the first half adding in a couple more in the second for the biggest win in the semi’s in World Cup history.  When the match was almost over, the Brazil fans were so upset they started cheering for the German team’s immaculate passes. Brazil can’t just call it a day as they have to rally for another match on Saturday July 12th against the loser of the Netherlands/Argentina game to try and salvage a 3rd place finish. Germany 7, Brazil 1.

 

Wednesday’s semi final features Netherlands vs Argentina, 4:00 pm est. on ESPN.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: NCAA PAYS FOR FOOD, JETS COURTING CHRIS JOHNSON, DONALD TRUMP MAY BUY BILLS

COLLEGE SPORTS

A major ruling was passed Tuesday which could provide an interesting precedent.  The NCAA ruled that colleges can and should provide unlimited meals and snacks to all of their athletes.  Prior to this, there were limits on spending.  However, recently, UCONN star guard Shabazz Napier complained that during the Final Four he went to bed starving sometimes because he couldn’t afford food.  The feeling is that these athletes have no time to hold jobs, so their food should at least be supplemented.

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, the hottest free agent right now is former Tennessee Titans star running-back Chris Johnson.  Sure, Johnson’s performance has been lackluster over the past 2 seasons, and the Titans were fed up with his attitude and work ethic.  He is still an amazing athlete, however, and other teams could definitely use his services.  The first team to come running was the New York Jets.  They have a big hole at running back, and having a great athlete like Johnson in the backfield could open up their passing game.  Plus, they brought in Michael Vick to serve as a safety blanket for second-year quarterback Geno Smith.  Johnson will likely visit a few teams, but the Jets are the front-runner right now.

And finally in the NFL, the once-storied franchise Buffalo Bills have been subpar the past 15 years.  So much so that they are in jeopardy of losing their team to Canada.  They have even been testing this out the past few seasons playing games in Toronto.  But now, one man is stepping to the plate to save the day.  It appears that Donald Trump is seriously considering buying the Bills and keeping them in Buffalo.  The franchise could use a makeover, and perhaps he is the guy who can do it.  Similar to how Mark Cuban reinvigorated the Dallas Mavericks.

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS: HURRICANE GUSTAV

All eyes this weekend are on the threat of Hurricane Gustav hitting Louisiana…again. In the sporting world, LSU will play Appalachian State at 10:00 am Saturday (the earliest start time for a football game in modern day football history at LSU).

Sports aside, let’s all hope everyone stays safe.

In other, lighter news, check out today’s Washington Post for a mention of female fans and football.


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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS: OLYMPICS OVER!

Well, the Olympics are over and I can now start going to bed at a reasonably sane hour. It was worth it though! People genuinely seemed to care more during these Olympics. There were more “did you see that last night” conversations in offices. It was primarily the heroes and underdog stories that put the Olympics on everyone’s radars.

First off, there was, of course, Michael Phelps who eclipsed Mark Spitz’s record by winning EIGHT GOLD MEDALS. Then, there was the USA Men’s Gymnastic Team, who won the bronze medal with their ‘back-ups’ essentially. Sasha Artemov, a kid who was told just 3 days before the Olympics that he was going to compete, had the chance to seal the bronze on the pommel horse. While he was notorious for making nervous mistakes, he absolutely nailed his routine and USA captured the bronze. USA’s Nastia Liukin won the all-around gold medal for women’s gymnastics. And, of course, there’s Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. He broke world records in both the 100m relay and 200m relay, surpassing the times of the former unforgettable record holder, USA’s Michael Johnson. Essentially… AMAZING things happened, and people wanted more and more.

On Sunday, the USA Redeem Team had a shot to solidify their name with a Gold medal game against Spain. The medal didn’t come easy, however, with Pau Gasol and Spain giving it everything they had. But in the end, the US prevailed 118-107 behind Kobe Bryant and a spectacular game from Dwayne Wade (27 points). The US Women’s Team, however, easily coasted to their 4th gold medal.

NFL

And, of course, more on the Brett Favre saga. He has been adjusting relatively well to New York, however, when the Jets signed Favre, they had to cut their long-time veteran quarterback, Chad Pennington. Now, Pennington gets a shot in Miami, and it would be interesting to see him thrive, and possibly even BEAT Favre and his old team when the Jets and Dolphins meet on their opening day, Sunday September 7th.

Very sad news for the Giants. In Saturday’s preseason game against the Jets, the Giants’ Pro Bowl defensive end, Osi Umenyiora tore his lateral meniscus in his left knee and is now out for the season. This is very bad news for the Giants as their other Pro Bowl defensive end, Michael Strahan recently retired. There is buzz however on trying to get Strahan to come back for another season…stay tuned!

WATERCOOLER DISCUSSION: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE EVENT/EVENTS OF THE 2008 OLYMPICS?

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Watercooler Chat: Already only 5

After week 3, there are only 5 remaining unbeaten teams in the league. Let’s examine them all, and then I’d like to hear your opinion on who you think has the best chance of actually finishing the season… 16-0. I know, very tough to accomplish, but its fun to wonder.

brady-and-bundchen.jpg1) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: This team has no holes. A great defense, and possibly one of the most balanced offenses we’ve seen in years. On every play, you have absolutely no idea what they are going to do. Trust me, I know this, I own Laurence Maroney on my fantasy team. And even though he is their featured back, and even though he’s the one that marched them down the field, and even though it would only be fair to all of his fantasy owners to give him the ball at the goal line and let him run it in for the touchdown, I know they won’t. Why? Becauase you never know what the Patriots are gonna do. They might hand it off to back-up running back, Sammy Morris. Or back-up to the back-up running back, Kevin Faulk. Or maybe they’ll hand it off to Defensive Back Junior Seau, and let him pick up the TD. Or maybe Bill Bellicek himself will take the handoff from Tom Brady, and jump over the middle for the score. They’re so unpredicatable, making it very difficult for any defense to prepare for them. On Yahoo Sports, Laurence Maroney mentioned, that “he’s not worried about all the other backs. He’s sure he will get a plenty of touchdowns and still become, as promised, an offensive force”. This led me to believe that Laurence Maroney writes for Yahoo Sports.

peyton-manning.jpg2) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Their defense looks pretty strong, and their offense, well, you know their offense. Peyton Manning no longer has anything to prove, which is seemingly resulting in a more laid back style of play. This is always good for a team aspiring to go 16-0. They’re not demolishing opponents like the Patriots, but they do whatever it takes to win the game. Also, isn’t it time for Nike, Reebok, or Gatorade to produce a series of commercials featuring Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. It would be like those Michael Jordan/Larry Bird ads from the 90s where they called their shots (Remember — “off the building, through the senior-care center, off the backboard, etc…”) Maybe Brady and Manning could battle in pithy competitive contests, like playing chutes and ladders or SORRY!, all leading up to their week 9 showdown. C’mon, this is a great idea. I’m positive about this.roethslisberger.jpg3) PITTSBURGH STEELERS: They clobbered the Browns in Week 1, struggled a bit on offense in Week 2, then manhandled the 49ers this week. Their defense is stellar, and their offense knows how to comfortably move the ball down the field and the eat the clock; a key component to winning games. Their running back, Willie Parker, went undrafted and STILL plays with something to prove — EVEN THOUGH HE ALREADY LED THEM TO A SUPER BOWL VICTORY!! When you have a guy like that on your team, your chances of 16-0 significantly improve. However, Roethlisberger is injury prone, and when your back-up QB is Charlie Batch, your chances of 16-0 significantly decrease.4) DALLAS COWBOYS: Their offense is seriously putting up some points, and they even dissected that wall of a Bears defense last night on NBC. Their defense is certainly beatable, as their secondary (meaning the guys who stop receivers from catching the ball) is abysmal. However, as the Colts teams of the first part of this decade proved — you can give up a lot points, just make sure you score a lot more. These guys are now definitely the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Then again, Joey Harrington threw for over 300 yards this week, so you neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever know. And, my fantasy team would have won this week if we had only, only played the Cowboys D not the 49ers defense….so very sad for us.5) GREEN BAY PACKERS: The underdog of the bunch. Most people were sticking a fork in the Packers, awaiting the inevitable and long overdue Brett Favre retirement. But these guys have become fighters. It’s like they want to prove everyone wrong. They have Willie Parker-itis. All the sudden, the franchise you love to hate (due to their NFC dominance in the late 90s) has become the team… well… the team, um… you kinda wanna see win. Everybody senses this is Favre’s last year, and there is a kind of feeling in the air that you REALLY want to see him go out on top. Like Super Bowl really. Like 16-0 really. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, they hate McNabb if he loses; they want him off the field. They couldn’t care less that he brought them to 3 consecutive NFC title games and a Super Bowl. He’s gotta go, no allegiences in Philly. And the sad truth is even though he helped score over 50 points this week against Detroit, this only buys 6 days of ‘no-booing’. And what if he set a precedent? What if he has to score over 50 points every week to be even mildly appreciated in Philly. This would be extremely frustrating. Can you imagine those same expectations at your job? Man…Watercooler Discussion: Who has the best chance of actually going 16-0. Also, take note, the 5 currently undefeated teams are also 5 of the NFL’s biggest and most historic franchises. I can’t put my finger on it now, but trust me, this is interesting in some way… right?

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Watercooler Chat: First Sunday in Football

Sundays between football seasons are… what is that word… oh yeah,’productive’. We do stuff. We get things done. Even small tasks like going to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy a better, more vibrant garbage can for the bathroom. But once Sundays become consumed by the NFL, we do nothing. Or at least convince ourselves that we don’t ‘have to’ do anything because “Sunday = Football, and that’s that.” It’s forced, acceptable laziness recognized by our entire nation; a bulletproof excuse for all things you don’t feel like doing. And with that being said — here are the Top 5 Notable Events from Sunday’s Games that kept people from getting out of the house (in descending order):

200707301719623795394-p2-80×80.jpg5) Two Words: Randy Moss. He was like the Randy Moss of old. The ‘I’m-going-to-gain-183-receiving-yards-and-one-TD-if-I-feel-like-it’ Randy Moss all-star that we remember. And, coincidentally, those were his exact stats! And, can we talk about Moss’ quarterback, Tom Brady? Wow, these Guys looked poised for the Super Bowl. (New England Patriots dominated the New York Jets 38-14)

4) In a surprise, it looks like Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson is going to be an absolute force in the NFL, finishing with 163 all purpose yards and 1 TD — IN HIS FIRST NFL GAME! However, the real shock was that the Falcons were able to score 3 points!!! This is amazing considering they played the entire game without a quarterback — something that has never been done in NFL history. Kudos to the Falcons. (Minnesota Vikings 24, Atlanta Falcons 3)

3) The Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins gave us a nail-biter of a game. An action-packed, lead-changing contest that even went into overtime!!!! I have never been this excited watching a game between two teams that will come absolutely nowhere near making the playoffs. (Redskins 16, Dolphins 13)

2) The Pittsburgh Steelers looked like a Super Bowl contender again, as they beat one of Ohio’s best High-School football teams (we’re talking of course of the disastrous Cleveland Browns) 34-7. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 4 Touchdowns in this remarkable victory. (Pittsburgh Steelers trounced Cleveland Browns 34-7)

1) Green Bay won their first season opener since… well, since the last time they won their first season opener. Trust me, people — it’s been awhile. For the last 4 seasons, FOX has featured the Green Bay Packers as their opening game, and I never understood why. And they always advertise it the same way: “Can the mighty Brett Favre lead the Packers to the Super Bowl one last time?! Then we watch the Packers go 1-4 over their first 5 games while the announcers redundantly talk about Favre’s possible retirement (Note: this has happened the last 4 seasons). But yesterday, they won. Not convincingly, but they won. So now we know two things for sure: (1) the results of the Packers next 4 games, and (2) what the announcers will talk about. (Green Bay Packers 16, Philadelphia Eagles 13)

And I eagerly await more football tonight because “Monday = Football, and that’s that.” I also look forward to the closing weeks of the season when “Thursday = Football, and that’s that”, and “Saturday = Football and that’s that.” The NFL makes life a lot less stressful… don’t ya think.

Watercooler Discussion: Who looks better after week 1, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots or Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts?

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Watercooler Chat: It’s all about Fantasy Football

Of course there is other very exciting sports news filling the airwaves right now (Pedro Martinez season debut with the Mets and striking out his 3002 batter (only the 15th player to do so and certainly a boost to the Mets as they eye the post season) for example, but for me it’s all about fantasy football right now.

For those that are unfamiliar with fantasy football, the beauty of the game is that you pretend you are an NFL coach and you draft your own team of players (from all 32 teams in the League). The draft takes place before the start of the season (which is Thursday, September 6th this year).

My draft is Tuesday, September 4th. Our League will gather in a conference room in New York where the winning team from last year (unfortunately not us) will provide pizza and drinks and we’ll spend the better part of 3 hours drafting what each of us thinks will be the winning combination of players. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, 15 million Americans play fantasy sports and 90 percent play fantasy football. Most of these players will have spent the last few months sifting through magazines, newspapers and sports web sites attempting to have a leg up on who might be the “sleeper” of the season. Of course this is a great strategy, but just to play devils’ advocate, the best year our team ever had, we went into the draft completely unprepared. With the first pick of the draft we spent over half of our money on a superstar running back and then picked up our remaining team with whatever money we had left. We won the League that year. I’d love to say we played brilliantly, but in all honesty, we simply got lucky, didn’t have any significant injuries and had great matchups. So with that said, maybe we’ll wing it again this year and see what happens. In any case, we are guaranteed to be brilliant for at least a few days (until Thursday night at least when the NFL season officially begins).

And speaking of Thursday night, the New Orleans Saints vs. last years’ Super Bowl champs, the Indianapolis Colts. What a way to start the season….stay tuned for our preview and how to talk the talk Thursday night.

Watercooler Discussion: If you play fantasy football or would like to, whom would you draft with your first pick?

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Watercooler Chat: Street Sense wins Travers and the Falcons on MNF

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Saratoga Springs, NY is one of the all-time best places to watch horse racing. The month of August is dedicated to Thoroughbred horse racing in Saratoga. Swarms of fans descend on this quant, beautiful town that lives and breathes horses. The most famous race during this month is the Travers Stakes, which was run this past Saturday and attracted 38,909 people. Street Sense, winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby, took the prize by only half a length. Street Sense barely edged out Grasshopper who was racing in his first stakes (the highest level of racing) competition. Look for Street Sense to try and win the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Monmouth Park October 27th. If he wins the Classic, there should be no doubt he will crowned horse of the year.

Watercooler Discussion: Where’s your favorite place to watch a thoroughbred horse race?

star691-michael-vick.jpgI wanted to avoid mentioning Michael Vick this week, but unfortunately that’s not possible. Vick is expected to formally plead guilty Monday (on the same day that his Falcons will play the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football). With pre-season games not getting the attention of the regular season (for obvious reasons), you can bet that MNF will have high ratings this week. People will tune in for the Vick banter and more importantly for observing whether the Falcons’ new quarterback, Joey Harrington, will lead the team to a few wins.

Watercooler Discussion: How many games will the Falcons win this year? Will we ever stop talking about the Falcons and Vick in the same sentence?

On a happier note, congrats to Georgia for winning the Little League World Series Championship over Japan. These boys could be the future of Major League Baseball. And, what touched me was that before the game, the Japanese coach gave the team a listing of players’ names and addresses in case the boys wanted stay in touch. Now that’s sportsmanship!

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Watercooler Chat: Michael Vick Guilty

star691-michael-vick.jpg

As if this is any real surprise, Michael Vick agreed to plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that Michael Vick who was a star quarterback (known for his amazing running and passing abilities) for the Atlanta Falcons was accused of participating in illegal dogfighting and, from what has come out so far in this case, of extreme cruelty to the dogs (drowning, electrocuting, strangling etc).

Vick’s plea hearing will take place Monday Aug. 27th where we’ll find out what kind of punishment he’ll receive. It could be up to 3 years in prison and a hefty fine.

The big question on many football fans minds right now is will he return to the game after his prison term. I can’t imagine how the football world and particularly the fans will allow him back, but there are those who feel adamant that he’ll be back. As reported by the US Presswire, one NFL Manager said the following:

“If he goes to prison, time will pass,” said the general manager, who spoke before news of a potential Vick plea agreement and asked not to be identified, claiming the NFL has asked current team officials not to publicly comment on the Vick case. “Months or years will pass, if he does go to jail. If he went to jail, and then left prison down the road, he’d still be relatively young, and there’d be a line of 15 to 20 teams waiting to sign him. Trust me on that. Teams are going to say, ‘F— PETA. F— the bad pub. This guy is one of the most talented players of the last 10 years. I’ll take my chances.’

“Teams may say one thing publicly. But if he gets out of jail, we’ll all be looking at Vick hard. We’re all whores in football. You know the saying. We’d sign an ax murderer if he has ability. He’ll be back. He won’t be back in Atlanta probably but he’ll be back in professional football. You can count on it.”

Watercooler Discussion: If Vick reforms after his prison term (and still has the ability to play) should he be allowed back in the League?

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