Thursday, March 13, 2014

Five Football Derbies You Must Haunt After You Die!

Bucket list? Forget it. You'll never do all that stuff - who has the time? But don't let dying stop you from taking in these magnificent derbies, showcasing all that's great about the beautiful game.

1. Rangers v Celtic, Scotland. This one is on hiatus for the time being, but once Rangers get back to the top flight, your spectral apparition won't want to miss the intense atmosphere, frenetic pace, and - yes - hatred between the two sets of supporters. Scottish football may not be what it once was, but the Auld Firm is still worth haunting.

2. Red Star v Partizan, Serbia. The sheer mayhem of this derby, with flares and fires burning on the terraces, is not to be missed. You'll be glad you've taken leave of your corporeal being when the ultras start hurling bricks and stones at each other!

3. Manchester United v Liverpool, England. Though separated by 30 miles, this one may not technically be a 'derby,' but any clash between the two most successful clubs in England, and two cities with strong rivalries, is bound to thrill even the most jaded spook, spectre, or waif. 

4. Real Madrid v Barcelona, Spain. The whole world stops for the Clasico. Two giants of world football history, two giants of the modern game. A chance to see Messi and Ronaldo live! Well - they're alive, at least, even if you aren't.

5. River Plate v Boca Juniors, Argentina. For atmosphere, color, and passion, nothing tops the Superclasico. Whether you're drafting under the Bombonera scoreboard or going full-frontal ectoplasmic apparition at the Monumental, you simply won't believe the scenes. Truly a once-after-a-lifetime experience. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

FIFA Awards 2026 World Cup to Me

FIFA Chairman Sepp Blatter announced that I will be hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup. "We are pleased and excited to be going to this new realm," Blatter said. "Following what will surely be exciting and successful tournaments in the in-no-way risky countries of Russia and Qatar, we are eager to see how the beautiful game can enrich the life of one single person in 2026."

A spokesman for me said, "He was very surprised indeed, considering his lack of suitable stadiums or media facilities, not to mention he didn't actually bid for the tournament."

I beat out bids from England, Australia, the United States, Spain, and Argentina.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spurs keeper Gomes: "I just assumed I was the ref"

Spurs goalkeeper Gomes defended his failure to play to the whistle against Manchester United, saying, "I just assumed I was the ref and could award myself a free kick. I saw Nani handle the ball, so, you know, free kick."

Referee Mark Clattenburg did not blow for handball, however, preferring to play advantage, since the goalkeeper had the ball in his hands.

"I did consider playing the advantage," Gomes, said, "but it seemed easier just to drop it near an opponent and walk away."

Harry Redknapp reacted furiously to the controversial decision, saying, "Our record away from home against the top sides is dreadful, so we count on these moments of controversy to take the focus off that. And it worked. This was a meaningless goal, but it's all anyone talked about after the game."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Roy Hodgson: "Shit"

"Shit" said Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson, responding perhaps to his club's recent defeat by League 2 side Huddersfield - wait, it was Northampton - or perhaps to their spineless defeat at Old Trafford, or even perhaps to the fact that he accepted the no-win position as manager of Liverpool Football Club after being left a squad of mediocrity by departed 'legend' Rafa Benitez.

"Shit, I mean, there's little else to say, is there?" Hodgson said.

The Merseyside club have just 5 points from 5 league games, and though they have progressed thus far in the Europa League, they may find themselves missing out entirely on European football if they can't turn around their league form.

"There is a long way to go and we have plenty of time to right the ship," Hodgson said, "But still. Shit."

Jamie Carragher, committed as ever at age 44, believes glory can still be won this season. "No I don't. I never said that," he said.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

adidas Defends Under-Fire Jabulani: "All We Were Trying to do Was Ruin the World Cup"

Pietermartizburg, South Africa - In the wake of the 19th FIFA World Cup, officials from the sport giant adidas rushed to defend its controversial Jabulani football, which some observers and players felt behaved too erratically and stupidly in flight, causing ordinary crosses and free kicks to soar out of play like birds flying to freedom, terrible terrible freedom, after a lifetime in cages.

"The World Cup is a very special event," said adidas Director of Football Antonio Zea. "Lots of people tried to ruin it: Rob Green, Luis Suarez, the Dutch midfielders, Africa itself. We just tried to play our part."

Added Zea, "Football is not just a game, it's life. And in life, sometimes things don't go where you think they should go, even when kicked there by highly skilled professionals. We saw no reason why the World Cup shouldn't reflect this reality."

Zea pointed to an incident in the Final, when the Dutch were trying to return the ball to Spanish captain, goalkeeper, and fit-reporter fucker Iker Casillas. "The Dutch player kicked it lazily, Casillas went to collect it, and it bounced ludicrously high and he was forced to concede a corner, which Robin Van Persie was then forced to pass directly back to Casillas. Nothing like that has ever happened in a World Cup. I'm sorry if this makes me proud."

Critics are already wondering what adidas has in store for Brazil 2014, but Zea was tightlipped. "I can't say too much right now. But the ball will be square."

Monday, July 12, 2010

His World Cup Finished, Nigel De Jong Looks Forward to Hurting People in Real Life

Johannesburg - Combative Netherlands and Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong admitted he found a silver lining amid the gloom of World Cup Final defeat at the hands of Spain: he'll now have plenty of time to scythe, chop, and cleave pedestrians, strangers, and "Anyone who happens by," the 25-year-old said.

"I'm a footballer, first and foremost, and I love my job. But during games, I'm limited to just the eleven opposition players and three substitutes, and maybe the assistant referee, if he's not paying attention. But now, with a few weeks' holiday before I join up with Manchester City, I'll be able to tackle, stamp, kick, or elbow anybody I see. Anywhere."

De Jong's midfield partner, Mark van Bommel, is also relishing the chance to "Get his digs in" before his new season at Bayern Munich. "The problem with footballers is that they're always watching you, waiting for you to run at them at full speed and then try to take away their standing leg with a tendon-crunching lunge. But middle-aged men in the streets, or teenagers, they often don't see you coming."

Though the Oranje have their critics for their strong-armed tactics, van Bommel and De Jong both insisted that they had little choice.

"We knew from previous games that Spain were capable of scoring as many as one goal," van Bommel said. "So we had no intention of just sitting there and letting them score it."

About escaping a red card for his assault on Alonso, De Jong shrugged and said, "Howard Webb knows it was only Xabi Alonso."

Monday, July 5, 2010

US Striker Altidore: Soccer Fun, but "Not For Me"

USA Striker Jozy Altidore, fresh off his country's heartbreaking extra-time defeat by Ghana in the last 16 of the World Cup, admitted that while he found soccer a "fun challenge," it was ultimately not something he felt he would continue to pursue.

"I had a lot of fun trying to play soccer," he said. "It was great of the US team and Federation to invite me to play, all because I tried out for that team in England and made it. Soccer is so challenging and great exercise too, and I had a blast in South Africa, really. But I think it's time to move on to things I have a better chance of being able to do."

US coach Bob Bradley said he understood Altidore's decision. "Jozy is a great kid, the kind who can do anything he puts his mind to. Maybe not soccer, because the ability to control a ball and run with it, shoot and pass, that kind of stuff, is really hard. If he stuck with it I'm sure he would improve, but Jozy's a very curious person. He'll probably want to dabble in other things, reaching a superficial level of competence before moving on again."

Though Jozy said it was "bittersweet" to end his time playing soccer for the US National Team, he said the memories and friends he made in South Africa will last a lifetime.

"During the England game, I was talking to Emile Heskey, and we agreed that even though the stadiums and crowds were great and really exciting, this game is just too hard. After the game we traded shirts and now we chat a lot on AIM."