Monday, June 25, 2007

What I Missed While in New England [J. Mark English]

What a difference a few days make I guess. The Mets must have used last Thursday to load up on something, because they swept the A's. The Yankees on the other hand have gotten back on board the sinking ship. Way to lose five out of six against the mighty Rockies and Giants.
The United States soccer team can be proud of itself for winning a fourth CONCACAF Gold Cup. This from the New York Times:

The United States retained the CONCACAF Gold Cup in stunning fashion Sunday, by rallying from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Mexico, 2-1, in a pulsating match at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Landon Donovan’s penalty in the 61st minute canceled out Andres Guardado’s first-half goal, before a murderous volley by Benny Feilhaber in the 72nd minute gave the Americans regional bragging rights for the fourth time, and the financial boost of a place at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Widespread bilingual television coverage and large crowds nationwide demonstrated that the Gold Cup is gaining both in recognition and prestige from its modest 1991 origins. The standard of play among of the region’s 12 participants was higher than observers predicted, particularly by Guadeloupe, which lost in the semifinals. And viewers and fans were accordingly rewarded with an exciting and technically proficient championship game that raised the bar for future tournaments.

Yawn... Wake me up when they actually win a meaning cup. Like oh say, the World Cup. Until then, this is all just meaningless hype for a team that can't compete against the worlds elite teams.
Speaking of sports where the good old U.S. of A. has been lacking... The America Cup is still taking place Valencia, Spain. Nils Erickson of the St. Johns Tradewinds News provides some history about the famed Cup and its regatta:

The Cup is not named after the country, but rather a boat. In 1851 the American yacht “America” was the first winner. The name of every winning yacht is inscribed on the Cup, but it will always remain the America’s Cup. The fact we had the longest winning streak in sports is now a historical footnote.

How will the U.S. team do?

They’re done.

Embarrassingly so. After spending $250 million, billionaire Larry Ellison’s team didn’t survive the “playoffs.” If you do the math, that means he spent about $10 million per race. Or $6 million per hour. Or $100,000 per minute. Or $1,700 per second.

Someone once noted that competing in the Cup is like standing in the shower tearing up $100 bills while the world watches. In Ellison’s case he couldn’t tear up money fast enough by himself.

I guess that’s why he needed a team to do it.

Unlike most sports, the Cup winner does not compete in the “regular season.” The defending Swiss team Alinghi has not been seen racing on either of its new boats.

Cup challenger Emirates Team New Zealand on the other hand survived the “regular season” and the “playoffs.” The term “battle hardened” has been so overused here by the media as an indicator of Team New Zealand’s strength you would think it was a new type of keel.

The finals are a best-of-nine series between the two teams from June 23 to July 7 – if it takes that long.

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. But you get a really pretty silver cup. With that said, the winner is entitled to host the next Cup.

And there is good money in that.

In Valencia, the number of hotels has increased five-fold, the airport is new and they built a huge new port. All of which will pay off over the next several decades.
Some other news I missed out on... Pro wrestler, Chris Benoit, was found dead alongside the bodies of his wife and son: World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has confirmed in a statement that the bodies of Benoit, his wife Nancy and son Daniel were discovered in their Atlanta home overnight.

Yikes...thats kinda creepy. Thats all I have for now. I still have some more catching up to do...

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