The Artist Formerly Known as Brave, Brave Sir Robben turned Recife into a dive bar

1. Oranje is the New Black List

Mexico and its manager, Wet Herrera/Mexican Hodor, led the favored Dutch 1-0 through 87 minutes of their Final 16 match on Sunday. Then, in th 88th minute, Wesley Snipes Sneijder of the Oranje got a sweet goal off a set piece. Then, in the 90th minute, one half of the Brave, Brave Sir Robbens had his toe slightly touched in the penalty box by a Mexican defender and went all opening scene of “Saving Private Ryan.”

It was awful.

A penalty kick ensued, to be struck by SuperHandsome Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who converted the goal and immediately signed a deal to appear in a remake of “Air Wolf.”

And here Jan Huntelaar shows off his martial artistry.

And so Mexico is out. The Men in Blazers’ lament.  As you know (are sick of), I’m utterly gobsmacked by this pair (to the point that I now annoyingly drop in British terms to my lingo), but I think my favorite thing is hearing Michael Davies’ saying, “Bob Ley’s Panic Room” so that it sounds like, “Bubbly’s Panic Room.”

Miguel Herrera, or as Roger Bennett said, “Chris Farley’s ghost spirit mating with Pete Rose’s hairdo.”

2. Heat Up Some Leftovers?

Justin Theroux is the answer. The question: What would the disheveled spawn of Mel Gibson and Carson Daly look like?

It’s been a feast on Sunday nights all of 2014 so far. From the end of Walking Dead’s half-season to Rust Cohle and Marty Hart in True Detective to the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the Oscars, to Mad Men and Veep and Silicon Valley to, of course, Game of Thrones. So now that the feast is over, what remains?

Well, there’s a few weeks’ reprieve to allow critics time to sharpen their MacBook keys before the final season of The Newsroom gets underway (and, hey, Sloane Sabbith, nice boyfriend upgrade, by the way). Last night HBO attempted to sate our appetite with “The Leftovers”, an apocalyptic view of the world in which 2% of the Earth’s population suddenly vanishes.

(I’d call this progress, but hey, that’s just me;).

The Leftovers is not to be confused with Leftoverture, an album by Kansas that is not to be confused with its other album, Point of Know Return, which would actually make a better title for this series.

More white walkers–just another Sunday night at HBO.

Anyway, if you like the idea of Jennifer Aniston’s dude in a starring role and Amy Brenneman hanging out with a cult of smokers who don’t believe in shampoo, then this series is for you. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. The most inspired scene may have come when the police chief, Mr. Aniston (Justin Theroux) is watching TV at a bar as a cable news channel lists all the celebs who vanished and one of them was Shaq, which leads me to wonder if Charles Barkley is not a producer. Here’s Alan Sepinwall’s review.


Kershaw: Baseball’s most HoF-ready player under 30…but have you seen him in a single TV ad? (How about, “Kershaw Force?”)

Los Angeles Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw –not to be confused with Kate Capshaw, but why would you? –fans 13 Cardinals as the Los Angelenos defeat the St. Louisenos, 6-0. Kershaw’s last 3 outings:

Record: 3-0

Strikeouts: 36

Innings: 24

Earned Runs: 0

Hits Allowed: 11

Here’s a Not-Sucky profile of Kershaw by Grantland if you have a free half-hour or so.

4. The World’s Most Famous Serena

For the record, Margaret Court, whose last GS came in 1972, has a record-24 GS wins. Steffi Graf? 22. Serena: 17.

The most dominant female tennis player of the past decade? Serena Williams, who won 16 Grand Slams between 2002 and 2013, bowed out at Wimbledon in the 3rd round over the weekend against Alize Cornet, who previously had gone 0-13 versus Top 20 competition in grand slams.

Williams, 32, has now bowed out in the 4th, 2nd and 3rd rounds of grand slams this year –and incidentally, she has never even hit a grand slam in a baseball game! What’s up with that?!?– and next to 2014 on her Wikipedia page you will simply see the word, “Decline.”

Ouch, babe. If Serena does not advance beyond the 4th round at the U.S. Open in Augtember, it would be only the second time since 1998 (the first, 2006) in which she failed to advance beyond the 4th round in all four grand slams.

Between you and me, I don’t think she’s ever going to catch Jack Nicklaus.

5. Chris Rocks

I happen to be white (No!) and I prefer Chris Rock to Kid Rock times, like, a thousand. Here he is last night hosting the BET Awards. I won’t ruin any punch lines for you other than to say that, like that dude Vanessa Williams used to sing about, he saves the best for last.

Where in the World?

Hint: This is not a monument to Jamie Lannister

Friday: Ball’s Pyramid, off the east coast of Australia. The world’s tallest sea stack, which is not to be confused with the world’s tallest Sleestak.


Another Weekend Edition duo of It’s All Happening! curated by Jacob Anstey. Camp is set, and I am ready to go. 

Starting Five 

Alysia Montano

Great form, really.

1. Momma Can Always Run

Five-time national champion and Olympian, Alysia Johnson Montano, is obviously a superb runner. Now, though, we know pregnant or not, Montano can run.

34 months pregnant and Alysia still has her game face on. As a middle distance runner, Montano specializes in the 800 meter run. Her personal best to date (was outdoors) for the 800 is 1:57.34. If you are a fan of track and field, or know the basics, you know breaking the two-minute barrier in the 800 is special.

This past Thursday, Montano competed in the U.S. Track and Field Championships. Her finishing time of 2:32.13 placed her last in her heat. The feat, however, is still magnificent.

Her soon to be daughter or son has already competed in the U.S. Championship. We’ll try to update you in 18 years when they attempt to do it again.

2. Too Much for Us

The joke is on you, suckers!

It’s outrageous! $225,000 for a speaking event at a fundraiser? How dare you abuse that university, Hillary Clinton. But, wait; someone actually agreed to pay that kind of cash for a soon-to-be presidential candidate (just forecasting, folks)?

As a collegiate student myself — and rational human being — I understand the students’ discomfort of such an expenditure. Money certainly does not grow on trees. I am sure UNLV president Elias Benjelloun is a smart fellow, but I must admit that he seems to be directing his anger at the wrong person. The regents who approved of the speaking fee, rather, should be getting lectured.

In short, you can’t give someone money then direct them towards where that money goes. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Many will unleash their individual political lore on the subject. Before you do so, we would like to advise you in remembering the steps of rationality.

3. First to 50

Is this the team Jabari tanked his workout for?

The Milwaukee Brewers are the first Major League team to 50 wins this year. Not all good things have good endings, however. The last team to reach the World Series and be the first to 50 wins was the 2006 Detroit Tigers. They lost to the Cardinals, who finished the season five games above .500, in five games.

We are halfway through the season, meaning there is still a lot of baseball to be played. If you are a betting individual, I’d advise against putting money on the Brewers to reach the World Series.

The lucky team in all of this is the Oakland Athletics. Currently 49-30, they have avoided the dreaded label of being the first to 50.

4. Uber-Valued Part II

It has been a talking point on the Weekend Edition before. That is, Uber — which has been valued at $17 billion — is overvalued and is being pumped up with false ambition. The company, no doubt, has potential and is a cash-creating juggernaut. But it is no where near the value it has been handed. Instead, I believe it is closer to the $6 billion valuation that was pointed out by FiveThirtyEight writer Aswath Damodaran in a recent column he wrote.

Damodaran is somewhat conservative and kind in his valuation of Uber. The data is linked in his column and there is quite a bit. I am not a user of Uber or have much knowledge of the intricacies which is its technology, but I am skeptical if it can hold a strong enough market share to stay extremely profitable for long.

5.  Win or Go Home

Not even FIFA can diminish the beauty in this.


If you have been on Twitter lately, you have been inundated with a mass of individuals that disdain soccer. For whatever reason they may think so, I don’t care. Before this year’s World Cup, my knowledge and interest in soccer was pretty dull. Then, about a week before the group play began, I started reading about the World Cup. Since then, I have been hooked. The beauty. The stories. The heartbreak. I can’t get enough.

I am not an expert on the game, nor will I pretend to act like one. No sport, however, should be ridiculed. You are free to speak as you wish, but don’t be a hypocrite. If you are bored, don’t watch. Problem fixed. Meanwhile, here is how the United States and Germany did ratings-wise for their 12 pm weekday game. I’ll let those numbers speak for itself.

The Round of 16 begins today, headlined by Brazilian forward Neymar. Get a morning run in, or something productive done, then enjoy the day’s festivities.









1. We’re Through (In A Good Way)

As one clever tweep asked, “How many more games does the USA need to lose in order to win the World Cup?”

The USA defeats Portugal and Ghana by losing to Germany, 1-0, the kind of win that Lt. Aldo Raine would be proud of. 

I kind of like that the breakout stars of American soccer this summer are two German-born men (Jurgen Klinsmann and Jermaine Jones) and two Brits (the always cheeky Men in Blazers).

2. Gator Haters

Young, man, there’s a place you can go. If Patric does not land on an NBA roster, he could still become the best-paid bouncer in South Beach.

The University of Florida was the No. 1 ranked team in the nation in each of the final four weeks of the college basketball season last winter. The Gators even advanced to the Final Four, where they lost to eventual national champion UConn. Gator point guard Scottie Wilbekin was named SEC Player of the Year, an honor that in two of the previous four seasons was bestowed on the No. 1 overall pick in the draft; Casey Prather led the SEC in FG %; and Patric Young was universally acclaimed as having the most NFL-ready physique of any big man in college hoops.

Last night, not a single Florida Gator was selected in the NBA draft. 

Now, there’s an excellent chance here that I’m citing data (UF finished 36-3) that is not germane to any one Gator ‘baller’s draft stock. Okay, granted. But it will be nice to learn what Billy Donovan thinks of all this, as well as to see what these three are doing in a year or two.

3. Lastros! Lastros!

When you’re already in last place, what harm can the SI cover curse do to you?

Putting rookie phenom George Springer, from hard hittin’ New Britain (the same home town as a top-flight SI editor) on the cover of SI? Yes. Doing an unorthodox story on how to build a baseball team without putting Brad Pitt on the cover? Yes.

But why use a rare instance when the Lastros are wearing throwback unis, especially when their current unis are so handsome?

By the way, that other Lone Star State team, the Rangers, have lost eight straight and are still ahead of the Lastros.

Oh, and did you enjoy SI senior writer Alan Shipnuck whining on Twitter yesterday that his Michelle Wie story didn’t make the cover? His bosses did not.

4. Hating Soccer: An American Pastime

All of these people are apparently wrong

A troglodyte says what?

Three people over the age of 50 all felt the urge at in the past 48 hours to tell the teeming masses who are enjoying the World Cup that what they are enjoying is not enjoyable.

First, there was Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, who tweeted, “Watched both matches. Interesting, but boring sport.”

This only two tweets after he tweeted, “Love no-hitters” about Lincecum’s feat. I don’t get it, Pete. Nobody got a hit. That sounds really boring.

Then there was Chet Coppock of Chicago’s WLS, a radio voice I greatly admire, who felt the urge to remind us that while the World Cup ratings have been solid, they don’t even begin to approach threatening those of the almighty Chicago Bears. Tweeteth Coppock, “As great as may be it doesn’t come with in a loud foul of the the Bears pull

Finally, there was Ann Coulter, whose I-Hate-Soccer screed was so blatantly cliche and xenophobic (Coulter flat-out wrote “It’s foreign” as a reason that she didn’t like it) that I’d believe it were satire if I didn’t know the source: the Coultergeist.

It’s okay if you don’t enjoy soccer. Not everyone does. I’m not here to convert any of you. I’m just wondering why you feel so threatened by its growing popularity.

5. Tiger, Tigers

Tiger Woods returns to playing actual golf (and shoots a 74 in the opening round of the Quicken Loans Invitational). He is tied for 76th place heading into today’s second round.

The Detroit Tigers return to playing actual baseball and reel off seven straight victories, including sweeps of the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers, both on the road.

Where in the World

Yesterday’s spot: the Kansas City Public Library

Hint? Southern hemisphere

Remote Patrol

Chile vs Brazil

ESPN, Noon (Sat.)

Chile. Relleno.

The World Cup’s dueling dark horses are Belgium and Chile (bad news for the Yanks, I know). La Roja will bring plenty of fans with them to Belo Horizonte to face the favored hosts. These two also met in the Round of 16 in 2010, with Brazil winning 3-0.



Please lose the mustache, Tim. We love you, and we hate to see such horrible follicles happen to such a chill dude.

1. Lincecum Gulch?

AT&T Park has McCovey Cove, but now that Tim “Big Time Timmy Jim” Lincecum has thrown a second career no-hitter, the Giants may want to immortalize him in physical space, too.

A few notes:

–Only 32 pitchers have thrown multiple no-hitters, and most of them taller than Lincecum, who stands five-foot-eleven.

–Only three pitchers own multiple no-hitters and multiple Cy Youngs: Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, and now Lincecum.

–Only two have multiple no-hitters, multiple Cy Youngs and multiple World Series rings: Koufax and Lincecum.

–Lincecum actually had a 6.58 ERA for the month of June before yesterday’s start against the Padres. While he has led the National League in strikeouts three times and has posted sub-3.00 ERAs three times, his ERAs the past three seasons have been 5.18, 4.37 and 4.42. His record in that span is 26-34. He has never won even 19 games in a season.

Is Lincecum even a Hall of Famer? His A-plus personable nature will help him with voters some day.


2. GoPro Goes Public

Woodman, that rare CEO who uses “stoked” all the time.

If you are the recumbent type who passively ingests sports, you may not be all that familiar with GoPro. However, if you’re the type whose life actually emulates a Red Bull commercial –surfing, skiing, BASE-jumping, off-road racing–then you know all about GoPro.

GoPro was originally created for adventure junkies, but the camera’s uses are only limited by our imagination. Or our fears. The easiest way to describe GoPro video to someone whose never seen it? Think of that bullet’s path in the original Matrix film.

Today the fledgling company goes public (GPRO), and while I’m not sure about just how successful it will be, the company’s founder, Nicholas Woodman, is an intriguing dude. On a CNBC interview with Becky Quick this morning, he was asked what trait all successful entrepeneurs have in common. “Monomaniacal focus,” Woodman replied. This recent 60 Minutes profile of him last year (thanks, Ross Blacker) is terrifc.

Woodman also acknowledged that when he was developing his product, he was so intent that he’d use his Camel-Bak pouch as his bathroom so that he wouldn’t have to leave his desk. Woodman is a total San Diego boy, a guy whose first company flopped so he decided to travel the world surfing. And it was on that expedition that he hatched the idea for GoPro.

3. Amy Van Dyken

It’s been sort of buried beneath all of the noise of both the World Cup and the NBA Finals (and LeBron), but Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken, who won four gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, was paralyzed from the waist down in an ATV accident on June 6. Van Dyken, who is married to former NFL punter Tom Rouen, was in the Mogollon Rim area of Arizona, in the town of Show Low, when the accident occurred. She was riding the ATV in a parking lot, launched over a curb, and slid down an embankment.

Van Dyken, 41, will likely never walk again. In her first public appearance, she was disarmingly upbeat and positive. There’s a long road ahead, of course.

4. “I Believe!”

“I Believe That We Will Draw” also works today…

Things the World Cup has introduced a wider audience to: “Men in Blazers” (Not in the face), “Seven Nation Army” (I know, college football fans were already well aware of it), Luis Suarez and the “I Believe” chant. As for the last on the list, it was actually started by Naval Academy plebe Jay Rodriguez back in the late 1990s. Here’ the story, from Yahoo! Sports.

5. Great Day For the Irish

The Dawgs’ QB was Buck Belue, a name that even Dan Jenkins would not have been able to conjure.

Yesterday Notre Dame announced that it will play a home-and-home football series with the “How ’bout them Dawgs!” in 2017 and 2019 (a certain someone said on Twitter within the last year that if there is one school he’d like to see the Irish play in football, that would be Georgia). Even better, Herschel Walker will not be suiting up this time.

Also, our friend Dan Wolken’s alma mater, Vanderbilt, won the College World Series last night, which means that the Irish win the Capital One Cup. What’s in your wallet, Jack Swarbrick? An extra $200,000 in scholarship money this morning.

Where In The World

Take that, Amazon Nook!

On the advice of loyal reader Crash, I’ll reveal WitW on the following day from now on. A clue, though: It’s domestic.



Would Uruguay agree to a FIFA condition that Suarez can only play in the knockout stage if he wears a funnel?

1. An Inconvenient Tooth

Luis Suarez, serial masticator.

This Wright Thompson long-form profile on Suarez is, as all Wright Thompson pieces seem to be, extremely well-written…it’s just disappointing to see the conclusion Thompson draws: that one’s difficult youth, particularly if that person is talented, allows them a free pass for reprehensible behavior as an adult. As Twitter friend-whom-I-don’t-actually-know Trenni Kusnierek tweeted, “I’m just tired of talent being more important than human decency.”

No one from Uruguay, not Suarez and not his manager, actually denied that Suarez had bitten Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder. And Suarez’s teammate, I-don’t-know-his-first-name Ramirez, literally tried to cover it up.

After Chiellini was bitten, the referee did send someone from Uruguay to a corner–but it was not a punishment.


Suarez should be banned by FIFA for at least the remainder of the tournament. From a World Cup perspective, I’m not the least bit interested as to WHY he bites people. I’ll leave that to the child psychologists to worry about for when Suarez is off the pitch.

Marv is probably relieved no one has asked him to call a Uruguay World Cup game.

In sport, and this is why we like them so much, there are no rationalizations. There are rules –which apply to all equally — and there’s a score and that’s really all that matters.

Here now, the “Men in Blazers” chew on Suarez’s bite…

2. Our Favorite Mistake

Another reason I prefer animals to people.

Female pop singers from Sheryl Crow (“My Favorite Mistake”) to Taylor Swift(“Trouble”) have written about bad boys whom they knew they should not have gotten involved with. Last Friday night Bill Maher took it one step further, endeavoring to explain that America’s hope to impose democracy on Iraq is akin to a girl trying to turn a bad boy into someone respectable.

I’m not a big fan of Maher as a comedian –he’s too angry and pissy to be actually funny–but his “New Rules” segment, which is crafted with other writers, is consistently good and occasionally highly profound. This was one of those moments.

For years I used to argue with a friend of mine about Iraq. He’d say that giving a nation democracy was the greatest gift we as a country could give them. I’d remind him that he was never a little brother, and that if there’s one thing little brothers hate, it’s big brothers telling them what to do–even if the big brother’s intentions are good.

Geopolitics does actually resemble inter-personal relationships, and I feel for people who cannot see that. It’s more simple than you think, most of the time.

3. Triumph Triumphs Again

“If you like watching porn in reverse, this sport is for you.”

As Dog on the Street segments go, nothing is consistently funnier than Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Team Coco sent him to Queens to speak with World Cup fans and, well, just cede the next eight minutes of your life to this.

4. Where In The World?

Been there, dune that?

Clue: These are the world’s highest sand dunes (check out the trees below).

5. 23 Jump Street?









Did someone request just THIS MUCH Brian Windhorst on ESPN this month? Bob Ley is sitting down in Rio and saying, “Hey, just one plump guy in a suit at a time on our air!”

Windhorst, 36, grew up in Akron and graduated high school from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, the same school from which LeBron James would later graduate. He began covering James in 2003 for the Akron Beacon Journal and he’s basically been covering The King ever since, no matter where James goes. So you can bet that wherever James winds up next season, Windhorst will be relocating there.

That’s good news for Windhorst. But what, if James leaves Miami, of the existing writer in the city to which LeBron migrates? Will just have, for example, a Milwaukee Bucks beat writer and a LeBron beat writer?

Windhorst is, as my old colleague Jack McCallum would say, “LeBron’s Boswell.” That’s a reference to James Boswell, an 18th-century Brit who is best-known for having been a constant companion to and biographer of English literary figure Samuel Johnson.

Remote Patrol

USA vs Germany 


Klinsmann versus kinsmen

Sure, it’s tomorrow, but the way MH has been going lately, who knows if I will even be up by then? So, you know, do NOT miss this. I’d love it if right before the match Jurgen Klinsmann comes out in a robe and when it starts, doffs the robe and is festooned in lederhosen and traditional German gear. Gotcha!

Deadvlei, Namibia




As Jason Gay of the WSJ tweeted yesterday, “Neymar: 4 goals, 3 haircuts.”

1. Americas’ Cup

Brazil, Mexico and Chile are three of the first four teams to have advanced to the knockout stage after having played all three games.

Argentina, Colombia and Costa Rica are already in.

The USA should be in, but they’re not, but they still may be.

Uruguay and Ecuador are not in, but they may still advance.

A total of nine of the 10 American countries at the World Cup could advance to the knockout round.

Only Honduras is out. But at least it remains the murder capital of the world. You cannot take that away from it. Personally, I feel that more people would cheer for Honduras if they could only pronounce or spell the name of its capital: Tegucigalpa.

2. Why Not Dante?

That’s Dante’s pop, Cecil, just to the left of MJ

You already know I’d take Andrew Wiggins of Canada if I had the first overall pick.

I’d not take Joel Embiid, as much as I love his game, because of the Greg Oden/Yao Ming/Bill Walton. Big men with bad feet are a caution. Big men withe bad backs are a caution. Big men with both? Caution: Rip Tide.

I’d not take Jabari Parker, at all, because I see a little CarMElo Anthony in him. When you’re just done with your freshman year of college and, in the most pivotal time of your life, you arrive at a team workout overweight, as was reported with Cleveland, I’m out. Plus, Cleveland already selected an out of shape teenager with the No. 1 pick overall last year. How many do they need?

Athletic 6-6 guard who grew up abroad, eschewed college, son of a journeyman pro player. Remind you of anybody?

So my second pick, if not Cleveland’s first, might just be six-foot-six Australian guard Dante Exum. Read this story on him by Jeff Goodman. Or this one by Gary Washburn. I did not know that his pops, Cecil Exum, played on THAT North Carolina team.

3. Roger and Rafa

Rafael Nadal has won eight Grand Slam titles while Roger Federer has only won one since late 2009. Rafa is obviously closing the gap on the Swiss Mister. Nadal has 14 Grans Slam titles, Federer 17, which is the most all-time among the men (Pete Sampras also had 14). Federer turns 33 later this summer, while Nadal just turned 28. The good news for Federer is that he has won seven of the last 11 at the All England, while Nadal has only won there twice.

Enjoy. And if there’s one sporting venue you should visit before you kick it, make it Wimbledon. It’s grand. Me, I’ll be over here in the corner enjoying a Pimm’s Cup.

4. Where In The World?

Today, a new feature on “Medium Happy”, thunk up by our crack staff of writers and producers, in which we post a photo of a place and ask you to identify where it is located on planet Earth.

Answer at the bottom of today’s entry.

Clue: A national park whose name translates to “place of spirits.”

5. It Begins, In Earnest

You must be Josh-ing: Only slightly better than Josh Lyman.

So Jay Carney “quit” as White House press secretary and is replaced by future All-Inaptly Named Teamer Josh Earnest, whose first White House briefing did not go so well. That said, it wasn’t the worst first White House briefing ever by a guy named Josh.

You’d think that folks in the West Wing would have just realized who’s perfect for the job and hired that person long ago.

Remote Patrol

Uruguay vs Italy


Luis O.K.

Are you KIDDING me? Luis Suarez and Mario Balotelli on the same pitch? Loser goes home? I”m ALL in (and I’ll take Uruguay).


Answer for No. 4: Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador, Canada.




What more needs to be said?


1. Alright, Varmint: Draw!

I’ll allow the “Men in Blazers” to recap the match here, as ESPN’s Brit-wits do a far more entertaining job than I am capable of. I’ll simply note that perhaps Edvard Munch was a football fan who foresaw the future.


2. Why Wasn’t This the Ad?

I like that the QB is wearing non-contact red. You have to love that attention to detail.

So, Adriana Lima may have a Peruvian capitol as her surname, but she’s Brazilian. And so it was a no-brainer for KIA to cast her in an ad that will run during the World Cup.* And here is that ad.
What I don’t understand is how they did not find a way to use this footage in that ad.

*It is a no-brainer for Adriana Lima to appear in anything.

3. John Oliver Twist and Shout Shout Let It All Out

Not available in any universe

The “Last Week Tonight” host meets Stephen Hawking and asks him if, there are an infinite number of parallel universes, there might be one in which he would be able to date Charlize Theron. “No,” the good doctor replies. “In any of those universes would it be because I turned her down?”

“You realize how much effort it takes to type, don’t you?” Hawking answers.

Oliver’s go-to weapon is self-deprecating humor, and here Hawking plays along beautifully.

4. Messi Win

God it’s so painful when something that’s so close is still so far out of reach…

If you took Argentina to defeat Iran on Saturday, you were giving worse than -800 odds. La Albiceleste were a sure thing heading into the match.

Until they weren’t.

The Argentines appeared sluggish while the Irans (that’s what I call them, the Irans) were content to saturate the box defensively and let Argentina play keep away. And so it went for more than 90 minutes.

Then, in the 92nd minute, Lionel Messi demonstrated again why he is the world’s greatest footballer. I’ve never seen a soccer goal that more closely approximated Michael Jordan beating Craig Ehlo. Simply tremendous.

I’d feel badly for the Irans, but their government bans its women from watching the games on TV back home.

5. The Basin Was Bangin’

GetAttachmentThis was the scene late in the first half of the USA-Portugal match at the Boat Basin Sunday evening. Scenes like this were taking place at pubs and parks all across America, and none of those group watches accounted for the robust 9.6 Nielsen rating (18 million viewers).

Just by ratings alone, and not by all the anecdotal evidence of at least a million or so more viewers, this was the highest-rated World Cup match ever for ESPN.

I have a sneaky suspicion it’s more than just Yankee jingoism. I’ve been watching soccer in NYC bars for nearly 20 years now. The level of interest is exponentially greater and the big difference is the proportion of first-generation immigrants watching as opposed to well-heeled Yanks who look like the types of folks you’d see at a college football game is decreasing.

I’m not trying to convert if you don’t want to be converted. But, as a football fan, it’s refreshing to see so many people coming to appreciate the world’s greatest sports tournament.


Yours truly, Jacob Anstey, back for another IAH! Weekend Edition update. Enjoy. 


Not three or four — “only” two.

1. Potential Breakup Looms

In this day and age of social media and interconnectivity, we follow athletes with aggression. Their decisions may befuddle us (out of fandom or rationality) or enthrall us. Case and point: The Decision.

We are coming up on Lebron’s four-year anniversary of the infamous decision and the trio formation of James, Bosh and Wade. Some expected a dynasty and others wanted misery to fall upon the team in South Beach. What we got was four straight title appearances and two NBA championship rings. And a lot of media conjecture in-between.

With one year remaining on all three players’ respective contracts, each player has the option to opt-out of his final year and enter free agency. The real question is, will anyone do so?

Lebron’s decision this offseason has the potential to inflict a domino effect on the league. If he stays, all remains relatively calm: Bosh and Wade return, take a pay cut, and the Heat sign two middle-of-the-pack NBA players and one NBA veteran (I’m throwing curves blindfolded; the Heat could, if Wade and Bosh take a big enough pay cut, sign a solid NBA player.) Or, if Lebron decides to opt-out and leave, all bets are off. He could return to Cleveland, but this happened. Or he could team up with a healthy Rose in Chicago. One or the other, he’s not leaving the East.

Reminder: The Suns, who finished 9th in the Western Conference standings, could make an argument that they would have been the second best team in the Eastern Conference. Think about that…

The Decision 2.0 will not occur. A big NBA free agency period may, however.

2. The End of an Era

RadioShack store front

One customer too many.

The Staples of technology retailers, RadioShack closed Friday on the NYSE at an all-time low, 92 cents. Or, roughly a 98.84% decrease in stock price since reaching its all-time high in December of 1999, $79.50.

I’m frightened to read their financial statements, but they are treading water — fast. As a kid, RadioShack was the cool place to be. Now, kids under the age of eleven may not even know what RadioShack is. Before RadioShack disappears forever, let’s give “The Shack” its deserved farewell.

It was fun while it lasted.

3. Dr. Dumb

“Come on down…you’ve won a new CAR!”

Granted, this is old news. But, with that said, something about the insensitivity of these television doctor shows irk me.

I’m all for people wanting help to lose weight and make their life more eventful. These doctors – even with their P.h.Ds – still insist on quick cure-all supplements. When it comes to being healthy and fit, there’s only one real solution: exercise.

Dr. Mehmet Oz could simply suggest exercise for the short-term and long-term, instead of creating the illusion that a drink can solve all your problems. I’m no doctor, nor am I pursuing a medical degree. But, I am very well-versed in this subject, and the idea of someone suggesting a cure-all is stupid. That’s for infomercials, not televised shows.

4. Risk Tolerance

Joel Embiid has the potential to be the next Hakeem Olajuwon.

On Thursday, it was announced that the venerable 7-foot center Joel Embiid was to have surgery on his foot, after doctors detected a stress fracture in his navicular bone. After having surgery on Friday, his timetable to return is between 4-6 months.

Jeff Goodman, who covers basketball for ESPN Insider, has written that Embiid has the potential to be Hakeem Olajuwon at his best and Bismack Biyombo at his worst. A variation that cannot become any more polar.

As a friendly reminder, Embiid missed the Big 12 tournament and NCAA tournament because of a back problem. He is, after all, a 7-foot center.

It is undeniable that Embiid will now drop in the draft. To me, it now comes down to a GM’s risk tolerance to draft the Kansas star. History shows that big men that have suffered either a stress fracture or have experienced a navicular foot injury miss time (see below, courtesy of ESPN). The risk of being injury prone is no joke; he has suffered two major injuries in less than a year. I’d be wary of drafting him in the top 10. The NBA is a league of hit and miss players and Embiid could potentially be the latter of the two.

Year(s) Player Games Missed
2014 Joel Embiid ?
2013-14 Brendan Haywood 97
2009-11 Yao Ming 159*
2006 Kurt Thomas 29
2002-03 Eric Montross 82*
2002-03 Jerome James 27
96-97/99-01 Zydrunas Ilgauskas 202
1987-88 Bill Walton 82*
1987 Kevin McHale 14
*- Did Not Play Again After Injury
–ESPN Stats & Information

5.  The Greatness of Futbol

Thomas Muller and Germany look to eliminate Ghana in the group stage.

There’s a ton of good World Cup matches this weekend, and it all begins at 12 pm on ESPN with Argentina versus Iran. The match that follows, however, is a Group G dual that has ramifications for the U.S. team. With a German win today  and a  United States win tomorrow, the U.S. would advance to the Round of 16. Noted, it is much easier said than done.

The Germans humiliated Portugal in their previous match, 4-0. In the 2010 World Cup, the Germans had to fight for  group stage win versus Ghana, coming away with a 1-0 victory. United States fans should root for Germany. I, on the other hand, think Ghana can pull off the upset to stay alive.

The Germans are tough, the Black Stars desperate. Upsets have been the norm in this World Cup.

Watch out.


With it being the summer, I won’t bore you with a redundant Remote Patrol posting. When I think of an adequate substitute, this spot will be filled. Any and all suggestions are welcome. 

Enjoy your Saturday! 




Rooney did finally score a World Cup goal after more than 700 minutes of action, then reenacted the Battle of Britain.

1. Bloody ‘ell, England!

Tuesday, Spain. Wednesday, England. The last time European countries fell this quickly in succession, the Third Reich was in power. If there’s any justice in the world, Wayne Rooney will miss his flight back to the U.K, but just barely.

England, which has the premier professional football league in the world–in fact, that’s what they call it, the Premier League –has not advanced to the World Cup semifinals since 1990. World Cup 2014: A few minutes with Wayne Rooney (and, yes, I know, it’s not his fault).

2. Know How I Know Uruguay?

Capital of Uruguay, quick! Montevideo.

I’m not sure that Luis Suarez is the World Cup’s most polarizing figure, but Sports Illustrated did put him on one of its preview covers and the headline of the story within was something like, “Victory or Villainy.”

Suarez, who sat out Uruguay’s opening match with and upset loss to Costa Rica (!?!) while recovering from keyhole surgery (did you even know we had keyholes?), demonstrated emphatically yesterday why many consider him to be the world’s top footballer of the past year. He scored two magical goals in the 2-1 defeat of England, the first set up by a brilliant assist.

Suarez, demonstrating “The Larry” from Three’s Company

Suarez, 27, scored 30 goals for Liverpool this past season, an average of 0.94 per game, the highest average the Premier League has seen since 1960-61. And not one of the goals were penalty kicks. And while he says a lot of stuff that people hate and is a renowned arm-biter, he may just be the most dangerous player in the tournament. Stay tuned.

3. It’s Raining Mensch

This is Kate Bock. Like Stewart, she has also worked for SI.

Our friend Stewart Mandel, the most (the lone?) measured writer of all things college football, announces that he is leaving Sports Illustrated after 15 years for Fox Sports, joining good friend and fellow good guy Bruce Feldman (“Feldman!”).

Geographically, this makes sense, as Stew-pendous migrated from Brooklyn to Silicon Valley (from hipster to Hooli!) a few years bacck, and Fox’s college football coverage has more of a Pac-12 slant Feldman is based in Manhattan Beach, which means that one or both of them is going to log a lot of miles covering the sport this season (“S-E-C! S-E-C!”).

Stew’s writing is known for being knowledgeable and utterly divorced from bias. Which doesn’t stop readers from accusing him of hating their team. Because, hey, it’s college football.

As for what this means for SI, whose website had no college football editor per se last season but who has since hired an extremely able one, I don’t know. But Andy Staples has a lot more leverage; time to demand an “SI NOW: BBQ” show.

4. Blackskins

In 1979, there were nearly 1,200 Sambo’s. Now just one exists. Even though its founders never meant to give offense.

Was driving along the Garden State Parkway last night, and listened to a radio call-in show from Boston discussing the Redskins controversy. Per usual, the panel did not include a Native American.

Listen, I don’t know if the term should be considered racist or derogatory. What I do know is that I’m not in the position to be making that call. One guest on the show was former Redskins player Pete Cronin, who claimed that the entire issue “boggled his mind” and that in this world today we have far more important issues to deal with. Then he noted that he had to wake up early today for a golf tournament, because that’s presumably one of those far more important issues.

Dig: I taught Native Americans for a year and yes, it’s true, anecdotally, “Redskins” were their favorite team. But not because of the name; rather, because they saw a face on the helmets that resembled them and they identified with it. My litmus test of whether a name is offensive: refer to such a person by that in their presence. If they’re offended, that’s a pretty good clue.

What amused me most: The host, Morgan Something-or-other, was intelligent and rational. But he seemed genuinely on the fence on the issue. However, midway through the program he referred to one of his guests (name escapes me) as “the Face” of a particular Boston TV sports department, and then spent the rest of the show apologizing because he’d felt that he might’ve slighted that affiliate’s other sports personalities.

That was funny. When it’s someone seated next to you, you worry about giving offense. When it’s an entire race of people whom you may not know a single one of, it’s an issue for debate. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that calling someone the face of a sports department (which is actually a compliment to the person at whom it was aimed) is far less offensive than referring to an entire ethnic group of people by the color of their skin.

Also, the term “offensive” is no more absolute than “north” or “west.” It’s always relative to the person taking or not taking offense.

But that’s just me. What do I know? I’m not smart enough to host my own radio show.

5. Breaking News: I’m Old*

Not on the list? Perry Como. (angry, surprised voice: “HEY!”)

Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone lists his Top 25 Songs of 2014 So Far, none of which I recognize. Here’s 5 Seconds of Summer with “She Looks So Perfect.” (I agree with the top commenter, Ali Bassam, below on the YouTube video,

*“Old” may be a synonym for “not cool.”

Remote Patrol

Italy vs Costa Rica


Mario, super.

The Azzurri meet Los Ticos, both of whom won their opening Group D matches, in Recife (“Recife for disaster, that is”). If Costa Rica wins, and that would be an upset, Italy versus Uruguay would be an elimination game. If Italy wins, it advances and Los Ticos would probably need to defeat the Wayne Rooneys. Either way, you have two stylish teams here and Mario Balotelli plays for one of them.




From tapas to bottomas (I’m already sorry)

1. Adios, Espana!

Spain, the last nation standing at World Cup 2010, is the first side eliminated in World Cup 2014. So it goes. La Furia Roja were the victims of a Chile cook-off yesterday, 2-0. While Spain will still play Australia in a Battle of Two of The Better Countries You’ll Ever Visit, it’s over.

Through two matches the Spaniards have scored just once, and that via a dubious penalty kick.

Italy, which won World Cup 2006, also was eliminated in the group stage in their follow-up appearance.

2. Clayton Place

The technicolor shower is perhaps the only thing that could have cooled off Kershaw.

Los Angeles Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw struck out a career-high 15 batters last night.

And he allowed career lows in hits (0) and bases on balls( 0) against the Colorado Rockies, the most potent offensive ball club in the National League.

So that’s a good night.

It was Kershaw’s first career no-hitter, but the 2nd of the season for L.A. (Josh Beckett), which leads all franchises with 21 no-hitters in the game’s history. Zack Greinke, L.A.’s highest-salaried pitcher, you’re next. Also, it was the first time in Major League history that a pitcher struck out 15 while walking none and allowing zero hits because, you know, Rule 28.

Yes, Hanny Ramirez (“that’s Hanley!”) committed an error in the 7th inning that cost Kershaw a perfect game. On the other hand, the next Rockies batter hit a ball down the third base line that compelled Dodger 3rd baseman Miguel Rojas to make an incredible play (nice catch at first, too, by Adrian Gonzalez) to preserve the historic night.

Finally, while Kershaw did sign the richest deal for a pitcher in Major League history back in January –seven years, $215 million– technically he is only earning $6.57 million this season (plus an $18 million signing bonus).

3. Pitch Perfect *  **

Corbin Berntsen of Patrick Stewart? You make the call.

Outstanding match in Porto Alegre between the Oranje and the Socceroos, the latter of whom entered the World Cup with the lowest FIFA ranking (62nd)  of any nation.

After a choppy 20 minutes under azure skies, Arjen “Brave, Brave Sir” Robben basically went all virtuoso drum solo on a half-field fast break to put the Dutch up 1-0. But the ‘roos scored an equalizer just 70 seconds later on an astounding goal by national legend Tim Cahill, 34.

Then, early in the second half, the ‘roos went up 2-1. They did, after all, have home hemisphere advantage. The Dutch tied it this time on a goal by “Just For Men” All-Star Robin Van Persie. A few minutes later, the Aussies blew an easy chance to retake the lead and on the ensuing Dutch counterattack, 21 year-old prodigy Memphis DePay, who’d subbed in just before halftime, drilled the game-winner.

Holland is now 2-0 and along with Chile advances out of its group stage with one match remaining…against one another, in fact.

*The judges would also have accepted “Finding Netherlands”

**Did you really think I wouldn’t be pulling out this headline?

4. Patently Offensive?

Not offensive? Potato skins!

So the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office weighed in on the “Redskins” issue, canceling its trademark on the term because it is “disparaging to Native Americans.”

What does this mean? It means that we have to stomach a lot of Darren Rovell, albeit on the phone, on SportsCenter for a few days. And you have to wonder if expunging a racist nickname is worth all that.

The Patent Office is now seeking to eliminate LeBron James’ patented move, the crab-dribble.

5. Here We Go Again (Again)

Hoping we don’t go back to war in Iraq…but if we do, hoping that better movies come out of it. Should I be buying Halliburton stock?

Iraq, really?

This is shaping up to be the worst trilogy since The NeverEnding Story, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, and The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia. In fact, you don’t even need to change the titles except for subbing in “Fallujah” for “Fantasia.”

And there was Dick Cheney all over the place last night promoting the movie.

When Megyn Kelly of FOX News of all people is telling Cheney “you got it wrong on Iraq”, when Glenn Beck is finally admitting on air “you can’t force democracy on people,” well, we’ve gone down the rabbit hole and deep.

I’ve got a weapon of mass destruction for you: Paranoia.

And there was Anderson Cooper reporting live from Baghdad last night. You have to respect a NYC-based television personality who’ll forsake a summer weekend in the Hamptons dive into a world-class pit of chaos like that.


Kevin Spacey talks Johnny Carson (I don’t know how old this is). There’s a classic vignette he shares at about the 3:30 mark. Like I’ve said, Spacey himself would make an excellent late night host.


Sanchez: Tiara del en Fuego! Amirite?

Miss USA, Nia Sanchez, appears on Letterman to do the Top 10 list. Wisely avoids mentioning whether or not she’s on Tinder.

Remote Patrol

Uruguay vs. England

ESPN 3 p.m.

That was Thenns, this is Ow.

Both sides are coming off a loss, so this is a veritable elimination match. An English defeat would take the piss out of ESPN’s cheeky “Men in Blazers” duo, while a loss for Uruguay would mean you’d have to listen to all your Uruguayan friends bitch and moan for a week. I know. You, too? Luis Suarez plays for Uruguay and also for Liverpool, and he’s kind of like a combo of Mike Tyson and Donald Sterling of soccer. Not a popular bloke.