Well, it's Monday and things are slow in Purdue-related land. So what better way to fill space than to round up what went on this weekend?
US Done at the World Cup -- As you know, the US got beat in Extra Time by Ghana on Saturday. It's especially painful for a couple of reasons. One, it was one of the most-watched World Cup games ever for the US, which means it was catching on and people were into it. Second, the bracket will never set up this favorably again. You need some luck and a good draw and the US had it. Had they won, they'd be playing Uruguay to move on to the semi-finals. Not the hardest road ever.
Zero goals from the US forwards is pretty inexcusable, though Jozy Altidore is only 20 years old and he'll be back. Landon Donovan is 28 (though it feels like he's 35 given how long he's been around) so it's unknown if he'll play for the US in 2014.
The US isn't nearly among the most talented nations and you needed to look no further than the Germany-England game where the Germans (motherland, ho!) picked apart the Brits, making plays that were so deft they looked like hockey passes. I like their chances against Argentina.
FIFA a Joke -- I'm a fan of the World Cup. I actually do enjoy watching soccer and seeing the most talented players in the world play for their country. Around this world, this is absolutely huge. And yet FIFA, the governing body, is widely regarded as a laughable joke. They refuse to comment on atrocious officiating and will now even go so far as to censor replays at stadiums. Way to be progressive, FIFA.
We're not talking about simple judgment calls -- all referees/umpires miss those and it's part of life. But when you're missing blatant goals and major offsides, it's calling into question the legitimacy of some of these games. It happened to the US a number of times and I think the rest of the world laughed. Now it's happened to England and Mexico. Maybe Argentina or Brazil needs to be rooked similarly for FIFA to take action. What bothers me the most is that for those who were on the cusp of liking this, they might be turned off by how horrible the officiating has been. It's a travesty when, in a sport where the average game has maybe 2 goals, the officials miss one. Ridiculous. Even turns me off of it and I like the sport.
Chris Henry had Brain Damage -- Shockingly, it turns out that Chris Henry smashing his head into things for the bulk of his short life was deleterious effects on his melon. Sometimes when I see stories like this I think, well, what can we do? We know football players often turn into vegetables later in life and yet nothing really has changed. Sure, I guess football helmets are "safer" now but really, how safe are they? And aren't the players bigger and faster? I love the game and it's not going anywhere, but you have to admit this is a literally life-shortening game.
NBA Free Agents -- Screamin' A Smith reported on his show this morning and then on Dan Patrick that LeBron and Bosh are going to Miami to play with Wade. And that LeBron will defer to Wade because it's "Dwayne's team." Does anyone really think LeBron doesn't want to be top banana wherever he winds up? For the record, a year-plus ago Screamin' A reported LeBron was a done deal to the Knicks. So he's an idiot, as we all know. Sure, this could turn out to be true -- but there's no way a "source" told him this was official and if they did, they aren't really a good source.
Other outlets, meanwhile, are saying LeBron and Bosh are a done deal to the Bulls. Oh, and apparently the Nets want in on it, too. (Because I'm sure LeBron would love to play for a horrid team in Newark. Whoohoo!) I've also heard the Clippers are a possible destination. Which probably means they'll all go to New York. Who the hell knows? Surely not the people who are paid to know. Which is awesome. The NBA sucks.
England's Soccer Coach -- ESPN has a headline up that says "England to decide coach's future within two weeks." Like, whether to execute him or not? Man, that sounds dire.
A-Rod/Torre -- For those who don't know or care, Torre wrote a book after he left the Yankees and he was pretty dick-ish about Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod decided not to join the love-fest this weekend in going over to hug Papa Torre, and then caught hell about it. You don't have to like A-Rod, but man, this guy can't win. He gets completely ripped by his manager about things that are supposed to stay in the clubhouse and he can't even steer clear of him without the media making a big deal out of it? I'll admit, the longer I'm away from New York, the more utterly ridiculous I find the media there.
A-Rod, for the record, finally was the one who went over to shake hands and try to diffuse the situation. I wish more guys would say something like, "He's a jerk. He ripped me and I don't like him." What would be so wrong with honesty?