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  1. #31
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Finally the Yankees put away those pesky Orioles!
    Gee, they were a pest for the entire season!
    After the frustration of yesterday's long game and missed opportunities (I'm still sleepy from having recorded it on DVR due to the VP debate, then having watched the entire thing until 3 AM), all appeared rosy again in the top of the 8th, then Sabathia who appeared very tired, started to falter. I saw the entire thing about to go down the drains... but then, after a bad mistake that resulted in a run for Baltimore and loaded bases, CC recovered, got out of the pickle, pitched gorgeously in 9th inning, and got the job done. First pitcher to pitch a complete post-season game for the Yankees since 2000!
    Raul Ibañez was the hero in game 3, and CC Sabathia in game 5.
    Finally!!! This amounts to a 23-game tie-breaker... These two teams were basically tied for the entire season, and with this victory in the 23rd game, the Yankees won 12 of them, versus 11 for the Orioles, and the Yankees' advantage overall counting season and post-season has amounted to a grand total of 4 runs!!! Two of these, today (Yankees 3-1 Orioles)! This is the longest tie I've ever seen.
    Go Yankees!
    (For the Europeans who may not know this, with this victory the Yankees advance to what amounts to the semifinals of our major league baseball competition - starting tomorrow against the Detroit Tigers).
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); October 13th, 2012 at 12:40 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. #32
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    In the Lance Armstrong report Usada notes that "just one of the 21 riders who made the podium in Paris in the seven Tours that Armstrong won has not been implicated in a doping scandal. That was Fernando Escartin - a Spanish rider who came third in 1999. He might be feeling a little hard done by right now but Christian Prudhomme is only voicing what everybody else is thinking... The entire Armstrong era should be wiped from the record books."

    Very sad but with the likes of Aussie Cadel Evans & now Bradley Wiggins showing that you can win the Tour without drugs, may be there's hope for the future of the race.
    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  3. #33
    Schigolch
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    Just for the sake of curiosity: how do you know they are not using 'drugs'?

  4. #34
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    Just for the sake of curiosity: how do you know they are not using 'drugs'?
    I don't. So far there hasn't been a whiff of suspicion against either Evans or Wiggins so I just hope they are 'clean'.
    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  5. #35
    Schigolch
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    Dedicated to Felix Baumgartner.

  6. #36
    Opera Lively's Journalist Involved Member Elektra's Avatar
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  7. #37
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Anybody watching the Confederations Cup? Very good first match yesterday between Brazil and Japan with the hosts looking very good (although with porous defense - they won 3-0 but had some bad scares), followed by a thrilling Italy vs. Mexico (hard fought game with Italy struggling to win 2-1 even though it should have been 3-1 given the blatant PK they were not granted in first half) - and now, a boring Spain vs. Uruguay with the South Americans looking very disappointing (they were very good in the last World Cup and the last Copa America, and this team looks like a shadow of its recent past). Spain 2-1, could have been more.

    Spain is well positioned to win this, since they should cruise through the group phase (Uruguay was supposed to be their toughest competition but are pathetic; Nigeria and Tahiti should be just like training sessions for them) so they'll arrive to the semis rested and cool, while Brazil and Italy will have faced a lot more wear and tear in a much more difficult group.

    One thing I didn't like about Spain: the disgraceful diving and overdramatization of any small contact. They are such a great team, they don't need to resort to these lowly tactics; why do they do it?
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 16th, 2013 at 11:58 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  8. #38
    Schigolch
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    Brazil vs. Japan was rather boring. Italy is changing its approach to the game, playing more in line with the Bearzot's teams from 1978 and 1982, than the sides from the 1990s and 2000s. They are very dependent on Andrea Pirlo, but the young Marco Berratti (playing now the European U21 championship with Italy) is poised to be his replacement very soon. I like this Italy.

    Spain gives yesterday a football lesson in the first half. The only issue, as it's often the case, was the lack of clinical finishing. I was predicting during the second half that Uruguay would score a late goal, as it happened. But the result could easily have been 4-1 or 5-1. About 'diving' I do think this is an aspect 'overdramatized' by the Anglo-Saxon press. You know, all this stuff about "Latin" players cheating and the like, the way they have been making Luis Suárez's life miserable at Liverpool. There are six referees on the pitch, if they see someone is cheating, show him a yellow card, and end of the story.

  9. #39
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    For me, Brazil vs. Japan was rather exciting since I did have a rooting interest. There were numerous instances of dangerous attacks and saves and near misses - some of them due to errors and goofs unlike Spain's precision, but that's exciting as well. I believe that unlike Spain whose players are used to playing together for years since the youth academies and then in Barça and Real, the Brazilians are better than they seemed at first during the first few tries Scolari had with the team, given that they had barely any time to practice together as a team (which is one thing Scolari said in an interview - that people had to be patient because after more training sessions to get the players to be more harmonious with each other, the team should improve). As soon as they had some time to be together and learn what the coach wanted from them, they beat France 3-0 and Japan 3-0. I think that this team will be a real contender for the Cup next year. Some of what Neymar, Nilmar, Oscar, Hulk, Fred, and Jo did was rather impressive - they are fast and have many skills. Of course, the defense is not as good (one misses someone like Lucio setting the pace with all his experience) so we'll see - this team is likely to score a lot but to concede a lot of goals as well in the World Cup. Julio Cesar was rather shaky.

    Yes, Pradelli is coming up with an attacking Italy unlike their usually defensive style and I like it. Yes, Pirlo is a genius with the way he distributes the game. He is 34, though, so, one wonders how competitive he will be in 2014. On the other hand, his style doesn't require a lot of stamina since he has always been a more static, cerebral player, so maybe he will continue to conduct the orchestra rather well in the World Cup. They had a rather inefficient player in their attack yesterday, I forgot his name, playing for El Shaarawy (was he injured or something?) so once we get the latter playing with Balotelli, their offensive power will increase. Italy is definitely a contender again.

    About Spain's diving, I don't think it is a question of blaming Latin players. After all, both teams were Latin; all 22 players belonged to the same heritage and I didn't see the Uruguayans doing the same. At one point the hand of an Uruguayan player barely touched the face of the Spaniard and the latter fell to the ground holding his face with both hands implying that he had been elbowed and rolled back and forth on the pitch. The unanimous comment of all four ESPN commentators which yes, had two Americans, but also one Brazilian and one Spanish former players (and current team managers), was "Oh my God, Spain doesn't need this." Spain is the superior team in all aspects, and remains the best team in the world with their uncanny possession of the ball; in my opinion they should behave like the royalty that they are and refrain from unsportsmanlike conduct which they don't need. They can beat a team like Uruguay very easily without having to resort to rolling on the ground every time they are touched.

    My son (who is a rather good amateur soccer player himself) was saying "one would think that there are snipers in the stadium taking down the Spaniards every time there is small contact; they behave like they've been shot!" The public in the stadium was overwhelmingly made of Latins, and you probably heard the boos and how displeased the public was with their behavior.

    As you know, I love soccer, but yes, this is an obstacle to the popularity of soccer in the United States, because our public gets rather outraged with this kind of behavior. We're used to athletes toughening it up and fighting on even when they're injured. Our athletes tend to *minimize* their injuries which is considered to be the proper manly behavior so when incidental contact (and sometimes no contact at all as it was also shown in slow motion) results in a player simulating injury and rolling on the ground as if he was shot, is considered to be lowly and disgraceful. Yes, I'm aware that the laws of the game recommend a yellow card in these circumstances, but the sad reality is that refs are usually over-tolerant with this kind of thing which definitely tarnishes the image of the sport (at least like you said in the Anglo-saxon lands) - and that Japanese ref was notoriously tolerant; he had numerous opportunities to show the yellow card and didn't.

    As a matter of fact, FIFA is now (rather belatedly in my opinion) considering the implementation of a board that will review videotapes after the game (so not to stop the flow of the game, since FIFA has been strongly opposed to these reviews during games) and will punish players with fines and game bans if the board decides that they were diving and over-dramatizing injuries.

    So, if even the maximum authority for the sport sees this as a problem, I don't think my observation can be dismissed as a cultural Anglo-saxon attitude about the sport: the problem is real.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  10. #40
    Schigolch
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    Believe me, if after the football's exhibition that Spain gave in the first half, people is complaining about diving... That's incredible to me. Enjoy the incredible football, come on. The equivalent to watch a wonderful Opera performance, and at the end complaint about the wardrobe.

    Then, if the referee thinks someone is feigning a fall, or exaggerating a contact, book the guy, and move ahead. I'm sick and tired of this holier-than-thou attitude of the Anglo-Saxon press.... And it's not about Spaniards, it's about Latins, just ask Luis Suárez (from Uruguay, of all places) what he thinks about it. One of the best strikers in the world, and he is desperate to leave Liverpool and England.

    Sure, I'm very used to see the NBA game, and how no one there feigns a flop. That has never happened. No American athlete has ever flopped.

    All this stuff is based on cultural Anglo-saxon attitudes. The fact that FIFA is paying some attention to it, is just a consequence of the power the Anglo-saxon sport press still have.

  11. #41
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    Believe me, if after the football's exhibition that Spain gave in the first half, people is complaining about diving... That's incredible to me. Enjoy the incredible football, come on. The equivalent to watch a wonderful Opera performance, and at the end complaint about the wardrobe.

    Then, if the referee thinks someone is feigning a fall, or exaggerating a contact, book the guy, and move ahead. I'm sick and tired of this holier-than-thou attitude of the Anglo-Saxon press.... And it's not about Spaniards, it's about Latins, just ask Luis Suárez (from Uruguay, of all places) what he thinks about it. One of the best strikers in the world, and he is desperate to leave Liverpool and England.

    Sure, I'm very used to see the NBA game, and how no one there feigns a flop. That has never happened. No American athlete has ever flopped.

    All this stuff is based on cultural Anglo-saxon attitudes. The fact that FIFA is paying some attention to it, is just a consequence of the power the Anglo-saxon sport press still have.
    I didn't say that no American athlete has ever flopped. I said we the American public get pretty disgusted with this kind of behavior here, which is one of the reasons why I don't follow the NBA (you see a lot less of this in college basketball which I do follow). You know, in American football and ice hockey, if a player is caught with a habit of flopping, he will rapidly fall in disgrace. In American football players continue to play with broken bones and tend to deny the injury and say they're just fine, even to their coaches and medical personnel. They get huge hits, shook it off, stand up and keep playing.

    Yes, it is a cultural difference, but one that is actually a desirable one to have, in my opinion. Why should the public support fakers and cheaters? I'd rather recommend that the Latin cultures acquire some of our distaste for flopping; it would make of the game a better one.

    I generally think that any effort to change the game of football (soccer) is misguided; one doesn't fix what is not broken and there is a reason for the game to be so popular worldwide: it's because it's a gorgeous sport. But in this particular point I do think an energetic fix is in order.

    There is an ad on TV right now that illustrates the issue. The medic for an ice hockey team is tending to his tools with the back to the door. A player approaches and tells him "I think I have a splinter." The medic gets a small pincer and turns to the player, who then shows him his arm, where a huge hockey stick has perforated his whole arm and is sticking out of it. The medic then drops the pincer and gets huge pliers like those used in construction and the player says "hurry up, I need to get back on the ice!"

    Well, in my book that's a much better sportsmanlike conduct than pretending to have been shot when the opponent's body gets within 2 inches of one of your body parts and doesn't even touch it. This is sick and disgusting.

    So, does it happen in our sports? It does. The difference is that we're a lot less tolerant of it, and I think we are right about it.

    As for Spain teaching a footballing lesson and people then complaining about what you call a minor issue, diving, I made the point twice in my posts above that exactly *because* Spain was teaching a footballing lesson, the behavior gets to be even more outrageous, since they definitely did not need it. It may even be a bit more understandable (although for us, still disgusting) if an inferior, dominated team is trying all sorts of resources to get an edge and hold a tie, by diving, stalling the game, running down the clock, etc. One might think, OK, they're so overpowered that they are trying all they can to survive. But Spain??? With all those skills and overwhelming superiority? Why did they need to dive and exaggerate/fake injury after minor contact (or no contact at all as the TV showed in some occasions), over and over, many times during yesterday's game? Just keep playing for Pete's sake; they play well enough to completely crush the adversary without the need for unsportsmanlike conduct. So, it feels even more blatant when Spain does it.

    After all, Spain is a classy team in terms of skills, so some classy behavior to come together with the skills would make them even more admirable. They'd then be able to say, "you know, the opponents try everything to beat us; they flop, they hit us hard; we on the other hand just play well the game and thoroughly beat them, because we are better." The royalty shouldn't be behaving like the riffraff.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 17th, 2013 at 03:18 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  12. #42
    Schigolch
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    Nah, this has nothing to do with the reality. Football rules are very clear, if you simulate or exaggerate a contact, the referee will warn you, or if it's has been a specially blatant simulation, you will be booked. I have seen people being given a second yellow and ejected for simulating (or not simulating, rather the referee was wrong) a penalty. Flops, simulating, feigning injuries... are already taken care of in the rules, no need to invent anything.

    And that's that. There are six referees on the field, and it's up to them to apply the rules. Of course, there can be good and bad officiating, at this respect, as well as at whistling offsides, but that's just football, and not this disgusting sanctimony.

    And after such a beautiful game, especially in the first half, to comment about a couple of plays it's a little bit mean, you know. Of course, in the US the game of football is not well understood in general, but this is not the case in Uruguay, where football is a religion. Let's look at what the Uruguay press have to say:

    "El PAIS" - Spain gave a class of football, crushing Uruguay.

    "EL OBSERVADOR" - The result was the best, Spain just dominated Uruguay.

    "U NOTICIAS" - Spain was incredible, with an amazing possesion play.

    "REPUBLICA" - Spain won by one, but it should have been more goals for the European and world champions.


    This is the key, not if this player or the other exaggerated a contact... because there were contacts. It was the job of the referee to discern if the reaction to that contact was or not genuine.

    But speaking about this after such a game...
    Last edited by Schigolch; June 17th, 2013 at 05:49 PM.

  13. #43
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    That the Uruguayan press didn't make a point of it only confirms my point, that the Latins are too jaded about this kind of thing; they think it's a natural part of the game, and they don't care. ESPN did make a point of it, again underlying the cultural difference. You are also demonstrating the cultural difference since you think it's not a big deal given that Spain played so well and it's mean of me to even bring it up, and I'm saying it is a big deal especially because Spain played so well. So we have an irreconcilable difference of approach, on this, and we won't solve it by quoting press headlines.

    And if the six referees and the laws of the game were enough to curb this flopping (they should be, but they aren't) then FIFA wouldn't have to study the implementation of a board to fine and ban players after the game. Obviously this is because they think that enforcement during the game has not been ideal nor sufficient, thus the need for more action after the game.

    Over here, we all got the part about the footballing lesson and Spain's skills. It's the diving that we didn't like. I even made a point of saying, in my initial post about this: "the *only* thing I didn't like"...

    You can put forward as many arguments as you want; it won't change my dislike for fakers and cheaters.

    Sorry but Spain is a team made of:

    1. The best players in the world, who play the best football, with the best tactics and strategies (I don't doubt this part at all), which is admirable.
    2. Divers, which is disgraceful.

    And this is not a sign that I have any specific beef against Spain (I did root for them in the last WC final). A team I love and root for and I share citizenship with, Italy, has been historically notorious for diving, including in some pretty decisive World Cup games in the past, and as much as I love Italy, I always lamented this part of the Azzurra's behavior. Thankfully, against Mexico they didn't engage repeatedly in this kind of behavior like Spain did against Uruguay. Prandelli does seem to come up with a new Italy, and I'm very happy about it.

    Another team I love, Brazil, has had some horrible incidents of diving and/or simulation, like the disgraceful episode of Rivaldo faking a hit to his face when he was hit in his thigh against Turkey in the WC 2002, causing a red card to be wrongly shown to the Turkish player. Rivaldo was fined more than 11,000 Swiss Francs by FIFA after a video review of the incident.

    There was another infamous episode by Chile when Roberto Rojas faked being hit by a firework in a game against Brazil and went to the extreme of cutting on his own forehead with a razor blade that he had hidden in his uniform for the occasion, in an attempt to get the game nullified. He collected a lifetime ban for this behavior.

    Again, FIFA obviously does worry about this and doesn't think the refereeing solution you propose is enough, otherwise they wouldn't be implementing fines and bans after the facts. So, sorry, but reality *is* on my side.

    So I'll always be against it, even when done by teams I love.

    Since I'm not likely to change my views on this (and neither are you), at this point we may just agree to disagree.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 17th, 2013 at 08:34 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  14. #44
    Schigolch
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    There's no problem in disagreeing. I personally don't like flopping or simulating, either, it's just that I think this is perfectly covered, already, in the laws of the game, and that is up to the referees to take the appropriate decisions. Of course, as referees are not perfect, sometimes they will get it wrong. No big deal. And I profoundly dislike what it's for me a rather pompous and sanctimonius attitude that is found too often in the Anglo-Saxon press (and Anglo-Saxon audiences, too, to be sure).

    You know, I'm a big, big time Real Madrid's fan. My own great-grandfather was among the founders of the club, my grandfather was one of the oldest and longest living associates by the time of his death, and I have been rooting for the club since before I started to talk.

    A couple of years ago, there was also a big discussion related to the games between Barcelona and Real Madrid, which some supporters of Real, and part of Madrid's press claiming that Barcelona players were "cheating", "diving", "flopping",.., and the like. The simple truth was that they were just playing better, and trashing us, and we were looking for cheap excuses. I never bought into it. Yes, players lke Alves or Busquets did a little bit of diving, and so what?. Again, this was for the referee to take care of. To play better football, was the recipe necessary for Real Madrid to win those games. When we started to do that, one year later, we also started to win, and there was no more controversy about 'diving'....

    In any case, both the Spanish Football Federation and Football Club Barcelona are winners of the FIFA Fair Play Award...

  15. #45
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    In any case, both the Spanish Football Federation and Football Club Barcelona are winners of the FIFA Fair Play Award...
    Hey, even more disgraceful. Then, they should lead by example. When even the winners of the Fair Play Award engage in diving, then we know there is a problem. What are the non-winners doing, then?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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