How? Sports, i was drafted in ’06 out of college via the mlb draft and signed a lucrative contract with incentives due to my draft status, the pay scale is progressive depending on where you were drafted, but i digress, the “woman” who posted has to be a phony or attention whore.
I’m 23 and unless i’m out in a outrageously fancy car or excessive bling women dont give a fuck. I’m a handsome guy, but otherwise i’m only that, but when my top is down in my ride they flock like pigeons. Men who have money are very aware as to who is “real”. It’s the women you meet under circumstances that allow them to see you for you is where you weed out the hoes.
I’ve seen it all and me and my buddies just laugh. It’s like bull durham. Groupies everywhere in some cities we travel. These women know once we roll into town there are perspective millionaires in waiting. I play minor league ball, i will break into the majors one day, and like i mentioned earlier your pay is based on your draft status. Some guys make from 800.00 to 6k a month if they dont have a contract.
To the doubters its ok. I’ve said what i have to say. you’d be surprised who searches craigslist. “rich” people have myspaces, facebooks, etc, so it wouldn’t be a reach to say they go on tmz, craigslist, etc. To the hoes on here we dont want you. You’re a piece of ass and most of us dont even use escorts unless its late late at night, otherwise, the pussy is plentiful. A lot of these women just want to breath the air we breath. We have rockstar status.
(Bill Murray, the Cubs’ new batting coach, gives some advice before yesterday’s Marlins game. Unfortunately, they listened to him. Photos: Tom Cruze, Sun-Times).
I accept the irony of a Marlins sweep of the Cubs the same way 1950s Dodger fans used to say, “I know we can beat the Yankees. Why can’t we beat the Cubs?” Or, as Cub Fan #1, and hopefully the team’s new owner, Bill Murray, said in the Cubs dugout yesterday, “There is no time for being cautiously optimistic …That’s for losers. I don’t buy that. I’m very, very optimistic. This is Game 159? Why would I be cautious now? Look at how I’m dressed. Do I look cautious?”
”I might make him my bench coach,” Piniella told The Sun-Times Chris DeLuca. Me, I hope Murray is the new owner of the Cubs next year. While a Cubs parent company scribe at The Tribune, Rick Morrissey, asks if the Cubs play-offs hopes are going “over a cliff” this morning, I prefer to note the Brewers are a lot closer than the Cubs to that cliff. The Padres, desperate to clinch one of two positions (wild card or division), beat them handily in a 9-6 win that makes sense vs. the Cubs mysterious 10th loss to the Marlins, 6-4. The Brewers loss reduced their elimination number to 2, meaning a Cub win and a Brewers loss today ends the season for Milwaukee.
As to the talk of who will own the Cubs next year, Murray, a minor league owner for years, said, “‘I save, but I don’t save that much …But it’s interesting. I’ve heard from some people, but I’m not that organized.” When grilled by pessimistic Tribune writers who argued that a World Series win would change the Cubs’ character, Murray replied, “That’s like saying you wouldn’t be you if you were asleep … Isn’t that exactly what it’s like? I don’t accept that [theory] because the Cubs already have won five World Series, and they are the Cubs. Would the Cubs be the Cubs if they lost the World Series? That’s sick thinking. You have to watch out for people like that. I should be watching you.”
Can’t wait for someone to take over the reins. No one has more passive aggressive hate for the Cubs than the Tribco, as evidenced by their 25 years of shoddy ownership and today’s Rick Morrissey column:
After the 6-4 loss on Thursday, Piniella rightly pointed out that, in a sense, this is what the Cubs are–no, not a team that gags down the stretch, but a team that has been up and down most of the season.
And that would be a fine analysis if it weren’t for the fact that about a century of bad history is dangling by a thread over the Cubs’ heads.
“We’re playing baseball, we’re not thinking about history,” first baseman Derrek Lee said.
There are those of us who are sure Lee has it backward. The Cubs are playing history, and they’re not thinking about baseball. It’s not easy to face another team and historic ineptitude at the same time.
With three games left in the regular season, the Cubs lead the Brewers by
Why 7-Eleven hasn’t moved to sponsor this last series against the Reds is beyond me: Take a Big Gulp, Cubs fans.
“I don’t think anybody’s panicking,” second baseman Mark DeRosa said. “We trust each other.”
The Westbury Press’ Don Harrison had the pleasure of catching up with former Red Sox outfielder / electroshock patient Jimmy Piersall at a recent Connecticut autograph session. “I think Piersall musta clanged his empty head on Karl Malden’s nose one time too many” muses Baseball Think Factory’s Repoz, an unscientific diagnosis, to be sure.
On and off the field, Piersall often could not control himself, which nearly led to his early exit from baseball and, in 1952, his commitment to a mental hospital. His comeback the following season provided the impetus for his autobiography, Fear Strikes Out, written with the late Al Hirshberg. A biopic with the same title followed in 1957, starring the miscast Anthony Perkins as Piersall and the talented Karl Malden as his overbearing father.
Piersall has disowned the film. “They had a fag playing me,” he wailed. “I didn’t climb no screen. My father wasn’t as tough as they made him out to be.”For this appearance in Westport, a speaking engagement at the Hartford World Series Club the following night and a couple of other stops, Piersall had flown from Chicago to Boston. He and his third wife, Jan, share a home in suburban Wheaton, Ill. and winter in Scottsdale, Ariz.
On this trip, there would be no visit to his native Waterbury, a once-flourishing city of 107,000 in the Naugatuck Valley.
“I was there five years ago. It’s really a crime what they’ve done to that city. It makes me sick,” Piersall said. “I said to the mayor, ‘If I give you a $1,000 bucks, will you fix it up?’ He told me ‘Don’t bother. It’ll only get dirty again.’”
He’ll get what’s coming to him. He’ll do it to the wrong guy and somebody will put him out of hockey. You do that at his level a couple of times, guys in junior won’t do it, but guys at this level will. He’ll get what’s coming to him next time we play him, that’s for sure.
“I’ve got one thought: This (Downie) should not be (allowed) to play in the league again,” Blake told a Toronto radio station.
“One day a player is not going to get up, so something needs to be done about hits of that nature.”
“No respect,” Leafs forward Wade Belak said of Downie’s actions. “I’d never have done something like that in my first year.”
That’s right, you need to be a 10 year-vet to do something like that… so it will be interesting to see if Downie gets more games than Belak did (eight) for his two-handed chop to a guy’s face. (“It was a little severe I think,” Belak said of his suspension then. “I wasn’t expecting to walk away with less than three, but I thought no more than five.”)
Of course you’ll also find plenty of people who believe that any punishment at all is proof that Gary Bettman’s league panders to wussies – and not just in Philadelphia.
I have to agree with Cox that banning hits to the head seems like (sorry!) a no-brainer. Then it becomes like a high-sticking call – intent and incidental contact can’t be argued. Make that unambiguous and all other kinds of hits and legal violence could continue unabated (which I mean to say would be a good thing).
It’s enough to make a hockey fan nostalgic for the summer, when everybody talked about how fresh-scrubbed NHL players seemed compared to Michael Vick, Tim Donaghy and Barry Bonds. Back then Greg Wyshynski nailed it:
Hockey has a bigger image problem than any of the other “big three” in the sense that its headline-grabbing embarrassments happen during the games rather than at a BALCO lab or during the off-season. And unlike David Stern with the Donaghy scandal, Gary Bettman and the NHL have been unable to convince the mainstream media that horrific acts like Bertuzzi’s and [Chris] Simon’s are isolated and not systemic.”
And that’s when Bettman and the NHL can even get “the mainstream media” to take their calls.
It sort of figures. After a stretch in which Mets starters and relievers alike have struggled mightily, Thursday saw New York receive a competent, if not downright gutty 7 innings from Pedro Martinez (two earned runs, 8 hits, 8 K’s), followed by two innings of scoreless relief from the much maligned Aaron Heilman and Pedro Felicano.
Of course, all of this took place on the same night St. Louis’ Joel Piniero limited the Mets to 3 hits over 8 shutout innings, with no NY baserunner advancing past 2nd. This is the same Piniero, by the way, who came into tonight’s contest with an ERA of 6.75 over his past 3 games. How’s it feel, Mets fans, knowing that such a historic collapse came not at the hands of pitchers named Smoltz, Maddux, Webb or Zambrano, but via final week defeats to the likes of Piniero and Matt Chico?
When did Miguel Cairo overdose on Brooks Robinson pills?
Given the recent state of the Mets bullpen, it’s hard to quarrel with Willie Randolph sticking with Pedro through 105 pitches. However, I’m gonna do just that. The entire building was well aware Philly got off to a fast lead against the Braves and the playoffs have essentially already begun. Trailing 3-0 in the fifth with two outs and Shawn Green on first, Randolph chose to let Martinez hit for himself, resulting in a 4-3 put out.
It might seem like the height of lunacy to advocate pulling Pedro when he still had a bit left in the tank, but Green was the last Met to reach base all evening. If ever there was a time to roll the dice and let one of the myriad of available hitters take a shot at Piniero, this was it. Randolph’s ballclub could be eliminated by the end of play Saturday — if there wasn’t a sense of urgency tonight, when would it be appropriate?
Tonight’s celebrity sightings : Will Leitch, begging for a kicking resplendent in a Rick Ankiel away jersey. Ronan Tynan wannabe David O’Leary (no relation to the former Leeds manager), and uh, the really annoying cowbell guy that patrols the Shea mezzanine.
While Jose Reyes’ regression to a target of the Queens boo birds is undoubtedly depressing, I’m surprised the MMS has yet to report on the way Lastings Milledge has been buried somewhere underneath the CitiField construction site.
Though I understand that Orel Hershiser is correct if he’s trying to illustrate the contrast between the gloomy vibe at Shea (an announced attendance of 48,000, but at least 15,000 of those fans were disguised as empty seats) and the rockin’ atmosphere at Citizen Bank Park this week, there’s really no such thing as being “out fanbased”.
Operators of Paul Brown Stadium want permission from the city to kill birds that have been pooping on Bengals fans.
Pigeon droppings have been falling on patrons and into their food and beverages, according to a letter to the city from Eric Brown, managing director of Paul Brown Stadium Ltd., which runs the stadium for Hamilton County, which owns it.
He asked in his letter that stadium employees who are familiar with firearms be allowed to shoot birds a few days prior to an event, adding that company officials believe the shooting to be a œcost-effective way to get this problem under control.
So long as the “stadium employees who are familiar with firearms” include Chris Henry, I’m all for it.
Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) subsidiary Aurora Technology has frozen game accounts of male players who chose to play female in-game characters in its in-house developed MMORPG King of the World, reports 17173. Aurora stipulates that only female gamers can play female characters in the game, and it requires gamers who chose female characters to prove their biological sex with a webcam, according to the report.
If Cathy Lee Crosby were editing CSTB, the following story would afford her an opportunity to write, “payback’s a bitch, motherfucker.” I’m too nice for that kind of thing, however, so I’ll just quote from Pro Football Talk’s latest update on the broadcasting career of Joe Theismann :
ESPN spokesman Mac Nwulu tells us that Joe Theismann is no longer affiliated with the network. Here’s the official statement: “We have reached a settlement with Joe Theismann to end his association with ESPN. We thank Joe for his many years of work for us and wish him well.”
So ends a relationship that extended over more than three decades. And it came about without a party or a press conference or any other proclamation. Instead, ESPN replaced Theismann with Seth Wickersham on the expert picks page of ESPN.com, and apparently presumed that no one would notice.
Page 2′s Jeff Pearlman lavishes considerable praise on SNY’s Gary Cohen, Ron Darling (above) and Keith Hernandez, calling the trio, “major league baseball’s top three-man broadcast team.” Though not without reminding us that Darling’s teeth-cutting as a TV analyst was rough going.
Just watch the old tapes. Throughout the 2005 season, Darling worked for Washington’s Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, for which he called 150 Nationals games with the wooden indecisiveness of Jon-Erik Hexum portraying Phineas Bogg.
Hexum, for those under the age of 50, was the model-slash-actor who perished after mistakenly shooting himself in the head during the filming of CBS’ “Cover Up” (in which he played, appropriately enough, a model-slash-secret agent).
(The AP’s Lynne Sladky captures Cliff Floyd in a less than graceful exit, as the Marlins force him out at second)
(‘Turn it the [expletive] off,” shouted veteran pitcher Steve Trachsel, the latest Cub who will swim with the fishes today.
That’s from last night, as quoted by The Sun-Times’ Chris De Luca, telling his teammates to turn off the Cardinals-Brewers game in the clubhouse. Both the Cubs and Brewers appear undecided on who wants to win the NL Central title. At least they did last night, in that neither team looked like they wanted to close the deal anytime soon as the Cubs lost their 9th of the year ( 7-4) to the last place Marlins and the Brewers lost (7-3) to the Cardinals. Me, I couldn’t turn off the Cards-Brewers game because the only way the Cubs coulda got anything out of last night was the Cards beating Milwaukee and dropping the Brewers elimination number to 3. Traschel gets the ball today to make sure he isn’t hung with the Cubs 10th loss in a row to the Marlins.
The losses put the screws to both Cubs and Brewers, since the Brewers get to spend the rest of the week making up wins against the Padres who have even more on the line than they do. San Diego is in iboth the Western Division race and neck and neck with Philadelphia for the Wild Card.
The Cubs get the slightly easier task of one more game against the jinxed Marlins and then a final run against the Reds. The loss last night means that Piniella is shifting the line-up, playing Zambrano a day early, as reported by the Northwest Herald’s David Brown. The problem: Playoffs or not, “Big Z,” as he likes to call himself in the off-season when demanding raises, is a Big L on opening days of any series, not just play-off or Word Series games.
“The big thing was to let Zambrano pitch on his [normal] day,” Piniella said. “That being the case, it allows him to pitch on his fifth day for the first day of the playoffs. Makes perfect sense.”
Zambrano, after losing on opening day at Cincinnati, said he never wanted to pitch another opener – seemingly because of jitters.
Players get fewer jitters in the playoffs, apparently.
“I think a playoff game is a heck of a lot different than an opening day,” Piniella said. “He’s had a couple of hundred innings under his belt” by now.
Here is how the Cubs rotation stacks up – at the moment: Steve Trachsel goes today, then Zambrano, Rich Hill on Saturday with an extra day of rest and Ted Lilly on Sunday.
“Forget about East Coast Bias, how about Yankees Bias? I should buy one of these and wear it to the Red Sox Victory Parade.”
Indeed, this initiative by MLB.com seems a tad premature. As did the near-drowning of Joe Torre with champagne last night after the Bombers clinched (at least) a playoff berth with a 12-4 victory at Yankee Stadium South aka the Trop. Without taking anything away from what’s been a remarkable turnaround by any standard, has it really been so long between World Championships that a mere Wild Card berth is celebrated with such glee? More to the point, can anyone tell me if coverage of the postgame hi-jinx pre-empted Larry David’s appearance on “Center Stage”? There might be some harsh words exchanged between me and the TiVo when I get home Saturday (and like all of the conversations at CSTB HQ, it will probably be one-way traffic).
While Sam Frank has offered his congratulations on CSTB receiving recognition from The Paper Of Record, I can’t say I wasn’t tempted to register the domain billywagnerbeatentodeathbyangrymob.org late last night. With last night’s 9-6 defeat to the lowly Nats (who’ve managed to take 5 of 6 from the Mets in September), Willie Randolph’s sinking ship has no remaining margin for error. It might require nothing less than running the table over the next 4 days to ensure a postseason spot, never mind the division crown, as Philadelphia’s 5-2 defeat of Atlanta closed the gap to its closest since May.
The old line about Casey’s Mets finding new ways to lose every day doesn’t really apply to this September swoon. These Mets generally have two ways of capitulating — either fall far behind early, or watch any combination of relievers let the game slip away.
For all of Mike Geffner’s protests of there being no leaders in the Mets clubhouse besides Paulie Large Nuts, for all of the WFAN howlers last night who insisted that David Wright “is the only one facing the press”, I’ll submit that Carlos Beltran and Moises Alou have made an admirable effort — both playing hurt, mind you — to rouse the club from its slumber. Neither, however, can pitch. At present, the entire bullpen has to be held accountable for their inability to do much besides pour kerosene on a blaze.
Just how large a lead should the offense be expected to mount? 5-0 wasn’t enough on Wednesday, and for the 2nd week in a row, Mets pitching was abused by the weakest hitting team in the National League — to the tune of 32 runs in 3 nights, no less. And with that recent history hanging over their heads, Wilpon Inc. hands the ball to Pedro Martinez tonight against the drunken most recent World Champs, for what arguably is Pedro’s biggest start since Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS. And much like that ill-fated evening, expecting more than 95-100 pitches out of Martinez might be foolish — isn’t there some way Randolph can start Jim Bunning twice between now and Monday?
What else can be said about a team with this much talent, whose fan base has been reduced to rooting for the Braves during the final week of the season. A club with such an immense payroll, desperate enough to throw a pair of rookie pitchers to the wolves on successive nights (and if you were to say, “anything’s better than Dave Williams”, you’d be right, too)? At what point do we have to admit the piss poor baseball the Mets have played over much of the last two months is no longer an aberration, but is in fact, a real reflection of their quality if not their character?
“if you need to take the edge off, pound a couple of beers. Last time I checked, that was still legal.”
That was Jim Rome’s typically sophisticated take on Michael Vick’s positive marijuana test. On the same episode of “Rome Is Burning”, Fox Sports’ utterly repellent Andrew Siciliano opined, “maybe he wants to try out for the NBA.”
Other than pure vengance, what possible purpose is served by preventing the former Falcon from getting high? He’s not an active member of any NFL and will soon be spending time in an institution where Rome’s beverage of choice won’t be on the menu. As long as Vick is not operating heavy machinery or hosting an ESPN chat show, why should we begrudge him such a simple, victimless pleasure?
At the risk of getting all Mushnickian on your ass, that was a heck of a message for the kids who just got home from school. But if a real social conscience is too much to expect, how about full disclosure? To wit, this moron’s entire vocation is being propped up by beer advertising. How many work hours / lives are lost per year to alcoholism compared to weed?
While Wille Randolph is described in a New York Observer profile as “doing his best work behind the scenes”, the Times-Herald Record’s Mike Geffner is far more impressed with Captain Red Ass’ leadership credentials, claiming “if only the Mets had a roster full of Paul Lo Ducas, instead of being intent on getting rid of the only one they have, maybe then they’d have clinched the division by now and not holding on for dear life.” Hey, if the Mets had an entire team of Paulie Gonuts-types, the available dating pool for Long Island’s straight high school dudes would drop dramatically. (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)
He has, more than anyone on these Mets, pushed himself out in front as a leader on a team that for years now has seemed to lack one, calling out his mates when they desperately needed to be called out, chiding them for everything from laughing on the bench to, the greatest indictment of all, simply not caring enough.
He has only said all the things about the Mets that Willie Randolph, for whatever reason, won’t say but that most of us have already thought and felt.
And last night, during a private chat we had before the Mets lost another game to the Nationals, 10-9, despite a rousing six-run ninth inning that was started by Lo Duca’s leadoff single and ended with his popout to right, he had this blunt, disturbing message: “Hopefully this turns around and we make it to the playoffs. But if we play like this in the playoffs, we’re going to get beat anyway.”
“I’ve been like a broken record,” he said. “I don’t know what to say anymore. I don’t even know if I’m getting through to these guys, but I just want them to know that this is real.”
Last night when there was still a real possibility of a Phillies win reducing the Mets’ margin in the NL East to one game, Gary Cohen wondered aloud if a rookie starter had ever been thrust into a situation quite like the one facing debutante Phillip Humber on Wednesday. It’s a great question, and I really wish I wasn’t thinking of Bobby Sprowl.
Saying “I’m tired of hearing my name in trades” (who isn’t?), Shawn Marion tells the Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro, “I love my fans in Phoenix but I think it’s time for me to move on.”
Marion, the highest paid Suns player, has two years remaining on his maximum-level contract – $16.4 million for this year and a $17.8 million salary if he did not opt out before the 2008-09 season. He said the Suns’ unwillingness to extend his deal is “only a part of why” he wants to leave but would not confirm that he has asked for a three-year, $60 million extension, saying, “The numbers aren’t important.”
here are two known trade suitors in the Utah Jazz (for Andrei Kirilenko, if not others) and the Los Angeles Lakers (for Lamar Odom and a teammate), with Marion showing an interest in the latter because of a friendship with Kobe Bryant.
“Regardless of everything that went on with the extension, I’m tired of hearing my name in trade rumors,” Marion said. “It’s time for me to move on. I felt like they tried to force my hand to Boston with the (Kevin) Garnett stuff.”
I haven’t done anything wrong,” said Marion, a four-time All-Star. “I leave it on the floor night in and night out. Sometimes, it’s just time, and it’s time to go. “It’s been like a nightmare. It hurts me making this phone call. It’s hurting me in my stomach.”
Marion said he has no problem with any of his teammates but did not want to comment on the Suns staffers, saying, “It’s just a bad marriage. I’m not talking about anyone. It’s just time for me to go.”
While the situation has cleared come to a head, if anyone can explain to me how adding AK-47 or Odom while subtracting Marion would make Phoenix a better team, I’d love to be educated.
I realize he’s not making the really big money yet, but you’d think the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum could spring for broadband. The Lakers’ 19 year old center claims no knowledge of Kobe’s infamous parking lot video, telling the Press-Enterprise’s Broadrick Turner, “”Really. I never heard that. It’s not a big deal to me, really. It sounds like a frustrated veteran saying something because things didn’t go right last season. But who wouldn’t want Jason Kidd?”
Chicago Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz, a chief executive so cheap even Donald Sterling and Jeffrey Loria came off like George Steinbrenner by comparison, passed away Tuesday in Evanston, IL after a long battle with cancer.
Under Wirtz’ stewardship, the Blackhawks managed to part ways with Bobby Hull, Jeremy Roenick and Phil Esposito amongst others. Chicago have not lifted the Stanley Cup since 1961, the longest such streak in the NHL.
“My Posse’s On East Olive Way” doesn’t have the same ring to it, but this should be a terrific evening just the same. Especially if the Widow Cobain can’t find the crayons for a proper cease and desist order.
Perhaps it will take Donovan McNabb hanging a 70 spot on the Giants next Sunday in order to be treated like a human being. City Paper’s Ted Hesson attended Sunday’s Lions/Eagles rout, and received a real eye and earful about the state of race relations in Philly (link courtesy Jon Solomon).
“MCNABB, YOU FUCKING NIGGER!” the guy directly behind me yelled, not once, but several times.
I wouldn™t print that word here, except that I hope it can incite the same shock and disgust that I felt when I heard it. I turned around and saw a middle-aged white guy who appeared to be with a group that included a freckle-faced kid. I don™t know how old the kid next to him was, but I wouldn™t have sold him a pack of cigarettes.
McNabb and the Eagles took the field and the abuse continued. “Waaa, I™m black,” a couple guys shouted from overhead. “We want more white players in the NBA,” one of them continued.
Meanwhile, the game was still in the first quarter and McNabb had already marched the team downfield for a couple of touchdowns. He was nearly flawless, but some fans continued to deride him along racial lines. I scanned the crowd in front of me. Nearly all white, with the exception of one or two black guys. Later, we wondered how an African American fan could tolerate listening to that sort of commentary for an entire game.
Fed up with the race-related banter, Sara turned around and shouted at the crowd behind us (it wasn™t just one person), using a regrettable bit of profanity and asking them why they come to games if they™re just going to spew racist remarks. “We™re not racist,” one of the guys said. “[McNabb]™s racist. We™re reacting to comments that he made.”
The fan was talking about the recently aired HBO interview, in which McNabb said that black quarterbacks face pressures that don™t exist for white quarterbacks. When I read about the interview earlier this week, I sided with many sportswriters, thinking that black, white or green, Eagles fans didn™t care about the color of a quarterback if the player performs well. At least in this case, I was dead wrong.
Sara was upset and walked out of our row. Before leaving, however, I turned around and told the fans behind us that I was planning to write an article and include what they had said during the game (at the time I thought I™d send it to the Daily News). I asked if anyone wanted me to take their name for attribution.
“Freedom of speech¦we paid for these seats¦” a few of them had said. But no one wanted to give their name.
His name is Charles Barkley McLovin and he is my new dog. He is a Boston/Beagle. He is not too big because i cant have a big dog while im renting my house. He is very quiet, hasnt even barked since i had him so far. He does of course pee in the house, making me mad. I know it takes time to train a dog, but don’t you wish that a dog can just be born knowing to go to the restroom outside and to eat his food out of the dish?
Greg Oden, via his Yardbarker blog (link swiped from Slam). I think we can safely say that despite being laid up, Greg totally kicks David Wright’s ass at this blogging business.
While grinding an old axe against fellow (former) NME fixture Danny Baker (“possibly the punk rock equivalent of Antonio Salieri”), the Guardian’s Steven Wells has determined who’s at fault for England’s 3-0 defeat to the U.S. in the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup. “It’s you – football-playing, male Guardian reader” accuses Wells.
This insight came while watching a DVD of the first series of Prime Suspect, followed by the Iranian soccer movie Offside. Prime Suspect starts with lady cop Helen Mirren becoming the first ever female head of a Scotland Yard murder squad. The boy cops do not like this. They fear having a lady in charge will interfere with their booze-sodden lifestyle of boxing, blue jokes, chips wi’ everything and sex with prostitutes (charmingly known as “slags”).
FLASHBACK: Regents Park, 2002. A football game. Several of the Guardian-reading players on my Guardian-reading team have stopped playing and are staring at a player in an adjacent game. “Look!” says one, pointing. “A woman!”
Back in 2007 we’ve finished Prime Suspect and are now watching Offside – a movie about Iranian women trying to get inside the stadium to watch Iran’s 2006 World Cup qualifier with Bahrain. This interests my wife greatly. She’s written several papers, based on hundreds of fan interviews, about how women are accepted or excluded from the “carnival” of football fandom.
There’s a scene in Offside where a squaddie on security duty explains to a female fan that women are excluded because of all the swearing and cursing. Earlier on a middle-aged male fan talked ecstatically about football being the only place where he could say whatever he wanted. “That right there,” says the wife, ” is everything I’ve been writing about in a nutshell.”
Back in 2007, it’s now Saturday morning and we’re watching the quarter-final of the women’s World Cup – England v the USA – live from China. England are considered the underdogs, and with good reason. In the USA girls and women play soccer in their millions. Boys and girls play together well into their teens. Even after that, the best female players frequently train against male opponents. Co-ed (mixed male and female) pick-up games take place in parks and playing fields across suburban America. The general skill level of the American female park-footballer is so high (they’ve been playing this game en masse since the 1970s) that any chap who objected to “playing with girls” would immediately be suspected of humourously imitating a fresh-off-the-boat English idiot.
When she was eight, England winger Rachel Yankey called herself Ray and played in an otherwise all-male team. When the FA found out they banned her from playing with the boys. Can anybody explain to me why this was anything other than a totally stupid thing to do? (And how it’s in any way less reactionary than the Iranians not letting women into stadiums?)
In little Britain – as Alyson Rudd revealed in her brilliant park-football biography Astroturf Blonde – we’re stuck in a genteel Victorian time warp that would be comic if it weren’t so wasteful of talent. You want to know why our women’s team is rated 12th in the world, while the Americans are No.1? Why they’ve won it twice and we’ve yet to get past the quarter finals? It’s because of you, park-football-playing male Guardian reader.