Lillian, the bitch is falling down the stairs again! It just doesn’t pay to fall down the stairs these days. Life Alert and witnesses are useless. Aunt Bunny got no help. Sergio Kindle was cut by the Ravens and now a soccer fan has received the super-ban, cousin of the super-injunction.
Francesco Fortucci is persona non grata at every stadium in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Wbat was his impressive trangression? Falling down the stairs during the Edinburgh derby between Hearts and Hibs.
Did he take responsibility for his actions? Hell no.
The Jambos diehard took to Facebook to air his distress.
He said: “Entering a stadium while drunk. Currently banned from all stadia in UK . . . harsh.”
The barber had earlier told pals his alleged ban is indicative of everything that is wrong with the game.
He said: “There’s no denying it’s a sore one, however if I receive a banning order for simply falling then this will tell you everything that is wrong with Scottish football. I’m not the first person to fall down stairs at football and I won’t be the last.”
Mr Fortucci claimed that despite reports he had been helped back to his seat by Hearts ground staff, he had instead been taken straight from Tynecastle to a nearby police station.
He claimed: “Ushered back to my seat? P**h – try ushered down to St Leonard’s.”
You think doing a flip over the gate was good? Wait until we play Kilamrnock. I’m gonna triple lindy off the upper deck. If drunks can’t fall down the stairs at Scottish soccer games, we might as well call it a day. You want to know why Rangers is playing in the Third Division instead of the Premier League. Banning fans from celebrating their teams by diving down a concrete staircase. Float away, you fairy and let’s get pissed!
A fan managed to catch the fall and landing on his cell phone. Zapruder would weep if he were alive to see this video.
Andy Murray rapping over a Ghostface Killah sample? Hell yes. He may not flow like Ghost but he makes way more sense.
All y’all fake motherfuckers up in the joint, huh? Stealin Andy’s light, huh? Watch him, duke, watch him. Tim Henman ain’t got nuthin’ on Scotland. Witness more street knowledge from Murray after the jump.
Murray, Novak Djokovic and the Bryan Brothers Band join forces like Voltron on “Autograph”
No rapping here but you get Will Ferrell, Will Arnett and Murray along with Andy Roddick. Oh the kid from Good Burger too.
It’s been a while since we’ve been to cougar country and since we’ve had a soccer roundup so without further ado, let’s go hunting for MILFs and news from the world of futbol.
The MLS Is Hot Hot Hot, Hot For Beckham
It seems as though there’s nothing the MLS won’t do for Beckham. They’ll let him play when he wants. Travel as he wants. It wouldn’t be a surprise to know that Don Garber and Alexi Lalas are required to suck him off on command.
Reports are surfacing that Beckham has the right to buy the Galaxy after his contract ends in three years. 60 Minutes will report on Sunday that the option was given to him as well as his manager, Simon Fuller. Fuller, in addition to being Goldenballs’ manager, is also the creator of Pop Idol which is the father of American Idol.
Don’t be surprised if Landon Donovan’s wife is part of the option as well. It’s not like he would do anything about it expect bitch, moan and cry while running back to his house with his hands at his sides. “It’s just like Leverkusen!”
Everton Adopts The Kitchen Sink Approach
Hillary Clinton isn’t the only one out there to resort to the kitchen sink approach while on the ropes. Everton is desperately trying to lock down 4th place in the Premiership. Plan X: 7-year old Harry Yates.
Finishing in the top four means Champions League football next season and the additional millions that will come from competing in the competition. Yates is a keeper which has to make current Everton and US keeper Tim Howard nervous.
Drunk Me Up Woman, I’m Going In
It would be nice if today’s athletes had the same drive and dedication to their game as Norwich’s Matty Pattison. Pattison was worried about being late for practice so he hopped into his car and rushed to practice last Sunday morning. The problem was that he was only wearing his underwear, a t-shirt and shoes. It gets better as there was no practice that day. Oh almost forgot, he was also shitfaced from the previous night and was arrested for drunk driving.
Pattison, also known as “Party”, was arrested after being seen driving all over the road by cops. When he was arrested, he was “unsteady on his feet and slurring his words”.
A source at Norwich told the Mirror: “Matty is always out clubbing which is why he has got the nickname ‘Party’. It’s a shame he has a bit of a problem because he is a good player.”
Manager Glenn Roeder should lay off Party. He should be lucky that Party still wanted to show up in his state. Most of today’s athletes would have blown off practice or showed up late. That’s commitment. If Roeder recognized that, he’d probably have a job in the Premiership.
Newsflash: Avram Grant Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing
I would call Chelsea manager Avram Grant a donkey but that would be an insult to donkeys. At least they’re useful. Word seems to be getting out that he’s in over his head. Chelsea is still within sniffing distance of the league and Champions League in spite of his cluelessness.
Add Didier Drogba to the list of people who wonder what the hell Grant is doing. Like the rest of us who always ask “What the fuck are you doing?”, Drogba was asking the same question during Wednesday’s draw with Tottenham.
Sportsmail can reveal that the Chelsea striker approached a leading club official in the tunnel area at White Hart Lane and expressed his frustrations with the decisions that rocked the club’s title aspirations.
Drogba spoke to assistant manager Steve Clarke as the players left the field on Wednesday night and demanded to know ‘what was going on?’
That continued when he walked down the tunnel and he sought a leading club official for an explanation on how the club had ‘thrown away’ maximum points.
Hopefully Drogba will let us know if he finds out the answer to his questions especially the one about Joe Cole’s substitution. Grant’s tactics and substitutions continue to wreck Chelsea’s season. He’s cost the club two cups and now maybe a chance at the title.
Roman Abramovich needs to pull his head out of his ass and make some wholesale changes starting at the top if he wants to realize his goals for Chelsea. He needs to drop the yes men and clear out the dead weight in the changing room starting with Grant and players such as Claudio Pizarro, Andriy Shevchenko and Steve Sidwell among others.
No One Expects The Scottish Taliban
The War on Terror is working out just as well as the War on Drugs. The Taliban have now spread their sphere of influence to Scotland.
Celebrations for Scottish Third Division winners East Fife were ruined when police threatened to arrest a director after champagne bottles were popped on the pitch. The team was warned that it was illegal to have alcohol in glass containers in the stadium. They were told to remove them and the coppers stepped up like the Saudi moral police when the bottles reappeared.
“After the match, another of the guys brought the bottles out and began to celebrate Formula One style. One of the local bobbies took exception to it and said put it away or they would be arrested.
Well good thing they’re on the case. First the champagne comes out and next thing the town burns to the ground. Just wait until the cops make haggis start wearing burkhas because some people think it tastes good.
Well, the hype and the blather of the pundits are fading as the day of reckoning approaches. The prognostications are set in stone. All that remains are the games themselves – the third week March is here, and the tournament that we’ve been waiting for is finally set to begin.
We refer, of course, to the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
That’s right. There are hundreds of other places on the tubes that you can read endless “analysis” of the other tourney which begins this week, but the Deuce doesn’t follow. The Deuce leads. The Deuce leads with strength and honor. And the Deuce Promise is this: we will be the go-to source for smartass, underinformed, American blog analysis of the most important sporting event of the next two months. Because beginning tomorrow morning in Jamaica – with the inaugural match between host West Indies and Pakistan – and continuing through the final on April 28 in Barbados, around a billion inhabitants of this planet will be transfixed by the World Cup. How many people really give a flying fuck whether Davidson can break through to the Sweet Sixteen? A hundred million, at the most? Should we cater to 500 million passionate and well-educated Indians in the world’s most dynamic economy, or a relative handful of half-dumb pasty mortgage brokers in a decaying empire? Shit, man. The Deuce scoffs at the NCAA’s inferior demographic. Covering Oden and Durant instead of Murali and Ponting would be like focusing on NHL preseason during the pennant race. That’s a sucker move. That’s not the Deuce way.
This may be underinformed American blog coverage, but we’re not going to walk you through the Rules of cricket or anything. That’s what Wikipedia is for. Suffice it to say that the Cricket World Cup is the quadrennial championship of international one-day, 50-over cricket. Watch an hour or two of a match and you’ll get at least a skeletal grasp of what’s going on.
The tournament will take place at grounds throughout the West Indies (or “Windies”). As such, there’ll be a lot of drums and brass in the stands, which makes for a cool atmosphere, and almost makes up for the atrocious official song of the World Cup, “The Game of Love and Unity” — performed by none other than Shaggy and a few others. Yes, Shaggy has entered his John Tesh Period.
Action begins on Tuesday, March 13 with 16 teams squaring off in a Group Play round-robin. There are four teams to a Group, and each team will play the other three teams in its group once. The top two teams from each group advance to a “Super 8” round-robin. Each of the Super 8 teams will play each other once, and the top four advance to single-elimination semis, culminating in the final at the end of April. So there’s plenty of time for even the most inbred Tony Stewart fan to figure out the difference between a bouncer and a yorker.
Where to Watch
This is the tricky bit. Sure, you could just follow the results here and on Cricinfo (Cricinfo is the essential cricket portal — imagine espn.com if it didn’t completely blow goats), but the reason we watch sports is to, well, watch sports. Unfortunately, the geniuses at the International Cricket Council have decided that the best way to promote the sport in the US is to make every single game available exclusively on pay-per-view — the better to wring money out of the fanatical South Asian devotees in Silicon Valley. And, in a Seligian move, the PPV is only available on DirectTV and Dish Network. Sorry, NYC desis. So, if you have a dish you can buy the entire tournament for $200; if you don’t have a dish, you can A) shell out $200 to watch the games online at willow.tv, which, while expensive, does provide you with top-quality streaming, match replays on demand, and excellent interactive highlights; B) try and find a reliable stream on Sopcast or another PTP service, or; C) find a bar that’s showing the matches on TV. In NYC, there’s the Aussie expat bar Eight Mile Creek, in addition to what I’m sure are dozens of Indian joints. Here in DC, there’s Solly’s Tavern at 11th and U, which will be showing all of the games – tape delayed starts at 4 PM on weekdays and live on the weekends. Elsewhere? I dunno. I don’t live elsewhere. If you’ve got a hot tip, leave it in the comments.
Overview of the Teams
Like that other tournament on CBS, the World Cup is divided into haves and have-nots. And the have-nots are, for the most part, a lot more like hopeless, doomed 16 seeds than plucky 12 seeds. Essentially, the cricket world consists of the 10 “test nations” – the countries that play the game at its highest level – and the “associates,” who play well enough to get into the World Cup, but generally are staffed with amateurs. The cricket press refers to the associates (plus less competent test nations Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) as “minnows,” but we figure that our readership might better understand the relative strengths of the teams if we divided them into three categories, each represented by a Chicago Bears quarterback.
The Orton Group
These teams will be lucky to win a single match – they stink, but they know they stink, and they’re in the Windies to have fun. And thus, they’re likable. Sort of like Kyle Orton in Miami for the Super Bowl. Plus, many of them are drunk and overweight – just like Orton.
Before we breeze through these most krill-like of minnows, a word about the US Cricket team. Imagine if you put the Spartacists, the Episcopal Church hierarchy, or any other absurdly clique-riven group of self-important, self-interested dipshits in charge of a body charged with growing a minor sport in a country that scarcely recognizes the sport’s existence. That’d be the USA Cricket Association, and that’d be why the US isn’t in the Windies.
Canada has the misfortune of being in Group C, which means that not only does it have to endure slaughter at the hands of test nations New Zealand and England, but it also has to play Kenya, probably the best of the Associate sides. The hosers are unlikely to improve on their o-fer at the 2003 World Cup. Scotland is generally considered to be a more adept team than the Canadians, but I really haven’t the faintest idea if this is true. They’re in Group A with behemoths Australia and South Africa, and can’t even be favored to beat their fellow Associates from the Netherlands, who boast what is almost certainly a better bowling attack. Bermuda may be the worst team in the tourney, but they possess something more valuable than the talent to win: Dwayne “Sluggo” Leverock, a surprisingly effective left-arm spin bowler who weighs about three bills and who will be a hero to all of you after you see him play.
This group is comprised of the five countries that may well win a game, and could even win two and break through to the Super 8s, but are unlikely to do much once there. Not entirely unlike the serviceable, workmanlike, decidedly mediocre Brian Griese. There are three Associates and two test nations in the Griese group. Let’s begin with the Associates, each of whom are definite up-and-comers in the cricket world, sort of like Griese when he was leading Michigan to Big Ten glory. The Netherlands are likely the weakest of this bunch, but they gave South Africa a scare in a warm-up match last week, and all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate is one of the best, if not the best, player hailing from a non-test nation. They’ll have to make do with beating Canada, as even ten Doeschate won’t be able to overcome Australia and South Africa. Ireland have been staking a claim to a spot in the test world, but having lost star Ed Joyce to England (the ICC allows a lot more country-switching than Sepp and the boys at FIFA) will hamper their ability to progress too far in Group D. Still, a victory over Zimbabwe isn’t out of the question, and West Indies looked shockingly vulnerable in warmups last week. Kenya are the big boys of Associate cricket, coming to the Caribbean fresh of a victory in the World League of Cricket (the Associates’ championship). In 2003, they shocked the world by advancing to the semis. The world is ready for them this time, but it’s not impossible that they’ll escape from Group B — Canada is a pushover, and England can lose to anyone on any given day. Legend Steve Tikolo will have to carry a heavy load.
Zimbabwe is a test-playing nation, but hasn’t played a test in some time. Riven by political dissension that saw almost all of its top-flight players quit international cricket — both in protest of the Mugabe regime and in protest of Zimbabwe Cricket’s lackadaisical approach toward paying its employees — the country is left with a relatively inexperienced bunch. They easily could lose all of their games, including to Ireland. It would be a sad commentary on the fall of a team that had so much promise just five or six years ago. Elton Chigumbura is, by all accounts, an excellent young all-rounder, but the inexperience and bad karma surrounding Mugabe’s men is likely to prevent them from accomplishing much at all in the Windies.
Bangladesh have the misfortune of sharing a group with India and Sri Lanka, both of whom mean business, and neither of whom show any sign of losing before the Super 8′s. But Mashrafe Mortaza is a punishing fast bowler, one who can force even the savviest batsman into a fatal error. And the rest of the Bangla attack isn’t that shabby, either. The problem will be scoring runs — and against SL and India, that’s a fatal problem.
All right, that’s it for Part I of the preview. Part II will cover the Grossman Group — the eight nations that, while flawed, all have incredible talent and sex appeal, and who could win it all if they keep it in their pants and just manage to focus. Watch Windies-Pakistan on Tuesday.