Top 5 Things I’d Fix To Make Soccer “America’s Game”…

So it’s currently Sunday and the Red Sox bullpen just chalked up their seventeenth blown save of the year. More importantly though, it marks the first blown save ever recorded on European soil. I guess the MLB’s making a push towards globalization, and although the reception’s been great, I can’t help feeling that these people don’t really give a shit.

It’s similar to the United States with soccer. We’ll get off our asses and flood a few bars during the World Cup, but when push comes to shove, most of us won’t lose any sleep if the women get stomped out by England this Tuesday. That said, hope is on the horizon…

What makes America so great is that we take things and make them better: We took England and created “New England,” we took the internationally observed thermometric scale and created “Fahrenheit”, and we took fútbol and created “football.”

The only problem with that last one is that football—although objectively better in every conceivable way—is technically just a different sport; however, that’s where I come in…

After considerable thought, here are the five things I’d fix to make soccer great again:

1.) Abolish the Offside Rule: I absolutely hate that practically every scoring opportunity is axed because some dude was a pinworm’s length closer to the opponent’s goal line. Obviously it would change the entire dynamic of the sport but I don’t care if people are cherry-picking; and in fact, that’s what I want. The more chaos the better. Not to mention, you could start seeing some top level man-to-man matchups between premier forwards and “shutdown defenders”—guys whose assignment is literally just to shadow the opponent’s striker.

2.) Grant North Korea an At-Large Bid: Simply put, people love drama. There’s a reason why the Red Sox/Yankees were chosen for the London Series, there’s a reason why the 1994 Women’s Figure Skating Final is still one of the most-watched sporting events in US history, and there’s a reason why a United States/North Korea showdown in the group stage would ignite interest. Ever since the US occupied Japan following WWII, all North Korea’s done is talk shit from across the pond. In other words, we need to shut them up, and what better way to do that than to beat the living shit out of them on an international stage in a sport our country hasn’t played since grade school?

3.) Replace All Referees With Combat Veterans: I think I speak for most Americans when I say flopping is the worst aspect of soccer. You seemingly can’t sneeze within twenty yards of a player without that player dropping to the ground as if they got picked off by a sniper. Soccer enthusiasts often classify it as part of the game, but with all due respect, that part of the game sucks and I’d eradicate it by instating combat veterans as officials. Why? Because shame is a powerful thing and combat veterans are one of the few demographics of people you can’t be a complete pussy around. In other words, it’s incredibly difficult to hit the deck in a fit of theatrical pain when the guy who saw it has also seen boot camp and three tours’ worth of near-death experience.

4.) Allow Goalies to Check Inside the Penalty Area: One thing I’ve learned through my limited viewership of soccer is that keepers are complete lunatics. Regardless of what’s happening in the game, they’re always the most entertaining people to watch during broadcast cutaway shots. That said, they should be allowed to blow up offensive players like in hockey. Think of it like plays at the plate in baseball; if you breach the restricted area, you’re officially on the menu. Corner kicks would be fucking electric.

5.) Get Better at Playing the Sport: This one’s pretty self-explanatory. I understand the US Women’s team is an absolute wagon, but it’s tough for America to fully invest itself until our men’s team can get their heads out of their ass. Like, I understand soccer isn’t incredibly popular here, but we also have the fucking THIRD highest population in the world. Trinidad and Tobago—the glorified tourist destination that prevented us from qualifying two years ago—is the size of Delaware! That country discovered electricity last week for God’s sake! You’re telling me we can’t beat THOSE GUYS!?! Clean it up, dude…

An IDIOT’S Guide To The Democratic Debates…

Shamelessly self-serving disclaimer: I’m not some some pigheaded, gun-hoarding Francis Scott Key apologist; conversely, I’m not some sanctimonious, Twitter-slumming outrage manufacturer. I voted for Obama in 2012 and wrote-in “Ja Rule” two years ago so I could declare the US was under Ja rule. That’s not a joke. Scroll lightly…

Roughly two months ago, I made an executive decision to stop following politics. Given the divisiveness these days, it’s nearly impossible to facilitate a casual dialogue without accusations of bigotry or invitations of violence. It’s reached the point where I now look at anyone with a “Choose Life” bumper sticker or a “Make America Great Again” hat the same way I look at an above average-looking woman with operational standards—with just this emphatic “ehhh this isn’t worth it” sense of dejection.

Long story short, I determined life would be a lot better if I pulled a Captain Marvel during Infinity War and just said “Fuck it, you guys can fight over this for awhile.” Recently, however, I’ve entered the Endgame.

The second Democratic debate aired on Thursday and I folded like a cheap lawn chair. There’s just something captivating about watching a flock of socially detached, mouth breathing gas bags as they scratch and claw for concessionary applause in pursuit of being crowned America’s Next Top Grandstander. Gun to my head, I think it lies in the juxtaposition of it all…

Conceptually speaking, a leaders’ debate is a formal and monumentally influential affair. I mean, this isn’t an after-school PTA meeting where the most significant aftereffect is a patched pothole outside the local Panera Bread—the outcome of these things fundamentally influence the trajectory of the entire country.

Given that fact, you’d think they would consist of a little more civility but nah, it’s just a bunch of scrubs in a glorified Best Western conference center squawking about their working-class upbringing while reiterating how much they “appreciate” [insert relevant minority group].

It is low key funny though. Seemingly every major candidate has their “go-to” issue they can break out at virtually any moment. It’s essentially Washington’s version of a Get Out of Jail Free card with unlimited uses.

Whenever a candidate is pressed on a past, unequivocally damning anti-LGBT interview comment, the course of action is almost instinctive: Just reinforce that your position has “evolved” (fucking world-class spin zone term btw) but in no way, shape, or form has it evolved at a faster rate than the average global temperature in the past twenty years…

For context: Joe Biden has the former Vice Presidency, Elizabeth Warren has knockoff brand socialism and the fact she’s roughly 3% justifiably appalled by the Washington Redskins logo, Kamala Harris has the ability to assert she doesn’t believe Joe Biden’s racist while simultaneously accusing him of being racist, and Bernie Sanders has the 99% and his pledge that, if he wins the presidency, everything will be free.

In other words, everyone’s fucking insane…

I mean, could you imagine having the balls to strut into a sold-out auditorium, stare down the barrel of an NBC live television feed, and definitively claim you can eradicate systemic racism, vanquish over two century’s worth of atmospheric pollution, and convince Cletus from Tuscaloosa to just hand over his Remington 783 in a four-year span?

I struggle committing to yoga on Friday afternoons…

These Little League Parents Deserve The Death Penalty…

Obligatory Side Note: I’m currently listening to Sum 41’s 2001 All Killer No Filler album on Spotify and it’s absolute fire. Carry on…

So it’s Thursday, which means it’s the opening day for the fourth installment of my favorite movie trilogy of all time, Toy Story. Being Branded’s aggressively self-asserted movie guy, I had planned on seeing the film tonight and writing a cutting edge review tomorrow morning; however, work gets in the way sometimes and I’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to get my fix.

Considering that’s the case, I need something to write about so I’m redirecting my focus to a video that surfaced a few days ago showcasing a fight that broke out during a little league game in Denver, Colorado. Spoiler alert: it’s fucking upsetting.

For the record, I don’t pretend to be a beacon of maturity whatsoever. I’m not one of these journalistic fuckboys who prop up their soapbox and narcissistically jack themself off whenever an athlete “disrespects the game” or an airline postpones a flight due to inclement weather. That said, I’m a human and one of the most infuriating things that really sets me off is entitled youth sports parents.

Evidently, reports suggest the fight initiated over a call made by a fucking 13-year-old. A FUCKING 13-year old…

Now, competitiveness is important. I don’t think participation trophies are singlehandedly dismantling the youth of our nation but it’s always been my opinion that you play to win. That said, when that “winning mentality” results in a 15-person melee as hoards of children flee the scene in tears, I’m drawing the line.

I recently rewatched Spotlight—the Best Picture winner based on the Roman Catholic child sex abuse scandal in Boston—and there’s this great scene where members of the Boston Globe interview one of the victims. During the soliloquy about his experience, he essentially asserts that being molested doesn’t just mean you tugged off some decrepit creep behind a Dairy Queen once or twice; it means you’ve been robbed of your faith.

Obviously I’m not insinuating that a parental brawl is even remotely comparable to child molestation, however, it’s similar in the fact that an instance like this can rob you of something much larger. Sports were a gigantic part of my childhood and an incident like this could’ve potentially derailed that entire experience.

As an 8-year-old, why the fuck would you ever want to finish the season after something like this? One one hand, you love the game because you get to see your friends and rip Big League Chew; on the other hand, there’s this lingering prospect of your dad reaming out at a 7th grader and throwing hands with one of your classmate’s uncles.

I used to ump when I was in Middle School as well so I’ve experienced similar situations to a much lesser extent. There used to be this one guy who’d clench his fat hands around the chain link fence behind home plate and request confirmation for every strike/ball I called. After I’d ring up some choke artist on the outside corner, all I’d hear behind me was this asshole condescendingly question, “That a strike, ump?” Like yeah dude, that’s why I said “strike.” I’m here so I can save up for a bike. Fuck off…

I know this may sound harsh, but to this day, I hope that guy gets a crippling venereal disease and dies in a house fire. Understandably that’s not the most sane thing I’ve ever said, but let me ask you this: Does the world really need that guy?

Simply put, it doesn’t. And the world doesn’t need these people either. They’re fucking braindead animals. Take away their voting rights. If you can muster up the capacity to operate like this in a public setting flooded with kids, you’re officially deplorable.

Is Kyrie Irving A Real Fucking Person…?

March 9, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts against the Los Angeles Lakers during the 120-107 victory at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, so it’s hump day and the weather is getting to me. I think condensation may be my least favorite thing in existence. I’m also stuffed up from the surplus of neon pollen that has pooled along the sides of my neighborhood street. When I eventually run for president in 2024, those might be the two platforms I run on—no pollination or condensation without representation. Furthermore, I’ll eradicate safe spaces and enlist Ja Rule as my VP, exclusively so I can claim the United States is under Ja rule…

On a side note though, is Kyrie Irving a real fucking person?

Back in February, I wrote a blog about how I was done with this dude and took some kickback on Twitter. Now, I’m not here to say I was right or a genius or some paragon of virtue capable of surveying the future under the pseudonym of “Joestradamus” but I kind of am. Normally, when I have strong takes like this, I’m right; in this situation, however, I wholeheartedly didn’t know how right I was.

During the regular season, Kyrie was clearly an issue but it wasn’t until the Celtics got their asses handed to them by Giannis and company that shit hit the fan. Everyone in Boston was just kind of like, “He’s a pain, but let’s see what they do in the playoffs.” Well, now we know what they did in the playoffs and, well, it wasn’t great.

Since then, things haven’t been much better…

Over the past week, Kyrie has not only declined his player option, but has also parted ways with his agent. Reports have suggested he’ll sign with Roc Nation, a sports management firm founded by Beyonce’s husband—owner of the extremely successful subscription-based streaming service, TIDAL. Reports also suggest he’ll sign with the Brooklyn Nets because the Brooklyn Nets are a good basketball team.

Now, all that is good and well. Things just didn’t work out. It was one of those classic “It’s not me, it’s you” type of situations. What bugs me is all the extra-curricular bullshit Kyrie pulls.

Before he landed in Boston, all that flat Earth shit should’ve been a red flag, but it’s easy to dismiss absurdity when you’re drilling daggers in the finals; when you’re single-handedly imploding a 5-year rebuilding process, there are just some things your need to clean up.

During a fill-in spot on Colin Cowherd’s show, Doug Gottlieb told some secondhand story about an exchange between Kyrie and Coach Brad Stevens before a film session. You can navigate to the link above if you want, but the general gist of the conversation was as follows:

Coach Stevens: “Morning, Kyrie.”
Normal Kyrie: “What does government mean to you?”
Coach Stevens: [insert your typical “what the fuck kind of question is that?” response] What does it mean to you, Kyrie?
Normal Kyrie: “Control…”

Like, what the fuck man? The only thing that would’ve made that story better would’ve been if Kyrie showed up to the meeting with dyed green hair, white face paint, and a violet suit…

In a nutshell, Kyrie’s that guy who stuffs money in the floorboards of his house because he doesn’t trust banks. Kyrie’s that guy who sabotages the July 4th cookout with a flood of baseless, impressively obscure opinions on Israel. Kyrie’s Netflix “suggested for you” stream includes Loose Change, Ancient Aliens, Ghost Hunters, and Finding Bigfoot. Kyrie’s the guy who thinks he’s the smartest person in the room because he doesn’t accept substantiated facts on face value. He thinks he’s a genius simply because because he’s capable of expressing doubt.

In other words, Kyrie’s an incredible talent but he’s flat out not operating with a full deck of cards. He’s like this forlorn scholar seeking out the meaning of life, but instead of being this forlorn scholar seeking out the meaning of life, he’s just some douchebag who’s good at finishing around the rim.

GOOD NEWS THOUGH: Kyrie, Nike, and Nickelodeon have apparently teamed up to create a Spongebob Squarepants-themed line of sneakers because Squidward rigged the 2016 election.

If You’re Kawhi, Why WOULDN’T You Leave…?

So it’s Tuesday and I have absolutely NOTHING to blog about. The Bruins fell to the Blues last Wednesday night, the Raptors capped off the NBA season a night later, and I’ll have to wait another couple months before the next golf major. We’re officially in the Endgame right now until football picks up steam, but I have a few thoughts on NBA free agency, which has become a spectacle in itself.

Most people hate on this era of “player empowerment” we live in and I have no idea why. When Kevin Durant took his talents to Golden State, every talking head on the planet ripped the move, essentially insinuating Durant’s a huge pussy for joining a team he was one game away from beating a year earlier. For the record, he absolutely was, but I’m not going to sit here and act like it didn’t give the NBA landscape some juice for the next few seasons.

People who say they want parody are liars. They’re the same people who say they want defense in the NFL. Sure, it would be great to see a more level playing field; however, at the same time, powerhouses put asses in seats. Superstars fill the rafters. You need villains in sports and that’s exactly what Durant gave us. Not to mention, he further perpetuated a climate where loyalty is for the birds and the tides in Vegas can shift on a moment’s notice.

As we head into this free agency period, we’ve already seen one of the dominoes fall. LeBron finally managed to yank Anthony Davis’ ass to the Lake Show and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Kyrie or Kemba head there as well. You just never know with this league…

Aside from that though, arguably the biggest name left to show their hand is Kawhi Leonard—the same guy who just dismantled his second career dynasty. With Durant’s age and recent injury, it’s tough to claim there’s anyone else with more leverage heading into the war room than him right now, which is exactly what’s confusing me.

Everyone and their mother keeps asking the same question: Why would Kawhi leave Toronto right now? To which I respond, “Idk man, it’s fucking cold…”

If you’re Kawhi Leonard, why wouldn’t you leave right now? If there was ever a situation where you could leave a city high and dry, it’s this one. Everyone keeps saying he should stay because he’d be a legend in that city. Ummm, I’m pretty sure the guy’s already a legend in Toronto.

I mean, it’s not like the Kyrie situation where he rolled in and singlehandedly imploded a 5-year rebuilding process before heading for the door. The guy showed up for a cup of coffee and spearheaded the franchise’s only championship since 1995. That’s cold-blooded mercenary shit right there.

Also, if he leaves and wins yet another championship as the lead dude for a third team, that’s a TOUGH legacy to dismiss. Kawhi seems like a guy who just wants to play ball, and given the prospect of an achievement like that, I don’t see why he’d stay.

Not to mention, the most probable landing destination is in LA with the Clippers, right where he grew up. The whole “homecoming” aspect is such a trump card. It’s kind of like when someone mentions they don’t drink and you want to give them shit but their reasoning has to do with their father being an alcoholic or something. Just one of those “ahh fuck, whatever” type deals where although you disagree, it’s completely understandable.

So yeah, if he goes, he goes. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. Given the current climate of the league, there’s no telling what his chances will be at either destination but the one thing we can be certain of that we’ll get one of those ridiculous, P Diddy “I’m Coming Home” montages at the Staples Center if the ghost of Donald Sterling can pull some strings…

The Reign of Boston Sports Is Officially Over…

Disclaimer: It probably isn’t, but by the time I’m proven wrong, most will forget this blog…

It’s currently Thursday and we are roughly a full work day removed from the Bruins stinker against St. Louis last night. For those keeping score, the Blues are officially your 2019 Stanley Cup champions.

Now, I’m not a big hockey guy. The extent of my hockey knowledge starts and ends with NHL 12, as well as my .937 save percentage as Plymouth County’s premier street hockey goalie. I used to play under the alias Hoviak Sloviak—“The Soviet Hammer.” They never went glove side because they couldn’t go glove side…

Anyway, the main reason I’m writing this blog is because I haven’t seen it yet; however, I know some dickhead nobody who perpetually gets buried in Metro will ultimately be looking for social media traction. I’m here to beat them to it because I’m a fucking journalist…

So yeah, the reign of Boston sports is officially over…

It was a fun ride while it lasted but the Bruins just coughed one up to a team that was dead last in January, Brady isn’t getting any younger, Belichick traded up to snag a punter at the draft, the Red Sox are battling a .500 record, Kyrie just opted out of his deal, the Revolution have the second worst record in the Eastern conference, and lacrosse isn’t really even a sport.

Not to mention, John Havlicek just died, Danny Ainge recently suffered a minor heart attack, David Ortiz is currently recovering from a failed assasination attempt at Mass General, and Boston’s incredibly congenial, well-intentioned “Straight Pride” parade may not even happen.

When it rains it pours, and as I write this from the driver’s side of my 2014 Ford Fiesta (the “Sex Machine”), it’s actually drizzling out. The road’s are slippery and I won’t be surprised if there’s a 30+ car pileup on the Mass Pike due to slippage and a surplus of still-drunk massholes with less than apt reaction time.

It’s just a sad day to be from Boston, but alas, there’s hope. According to TWO polls released yesterday, Boston’s ravenous moutpiece Elizabeth Warren has passed Bernie Sanders in both state and national Democratic approval ratings. Not to mention, the Sox absolutely HAMMERED the Rangers yesterday 4-3.

So there’s hope for us Boston fans this morning, but it’s fleeting. The reign of Boston sports is officially over, until it’s not and everyone forgets this blog.

In the meantime, feed me clicks…