Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Weekend's Odds and Ends


Calcio - Futbol - Soccer

This Sunday morning, as has become our new family habit, Mike and I get up early to watch some of the best European Calcio / Futbol games on GOL TV.

The World Cup, a.k.a., "The Holy Grail"

Contested every four years, the next World Cup Tournament will be held in 2010.

The Four Stars signify Italia's
1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 World Cup Championships

We were cruising in the Mediterranean Sea in 2006 when Italia won the World Cup and arrived on the Italian mainland about two days after their intoxicating 5-3 victory over France.  They were still reveling in this national unifying moment long after the last penalty shootout kick. 

Playing for the Azzurri in 2006

Luca Toni is currently a striker for FC Bayern Munich of the German Bundesliga.  He is pictured here proudly wearing the traditional Italian National Team blue uniform before for the 2006 World Cup Tournament, note only three stars on the Italian crest.

Today we watched a game featuring Luca Toni in a Bundesliga game.  He was hilarious to say the least.  In a sport known for players constantly facing near death experiences on the pitch and then miraculously springing back to life, his performance today was worth of an Oscar for 2008 Best Actor in a Leading Role.

He went down every time an opposing player got within three feet of him, begging the referee for a penalty card or at least some sympathy!  He got neither with both the referees and the TV announcers both mocking Luca as the game wore on and his antics went unappreciated.

What can you expect from a player who first earned the Italian national spotlight as a high scoring player for the Palermo team for goodness sakes!

The NFL's Final Regular Season Weekend

QB Drew Brees and the
New Orleans Saints finish at 8-8

The Saints played in the 10:00 a.m. game today at home against the Carolina Panthers so a group of us met at the home of Saint's LB Scott Fujita's aunt and uncle, Mary and Cliff's home to watch the game with Scott's parents, Rod and Helen, and Chris and Katie Nielsen.

It wound up being a 4th quarter barn burner as the Saints rallied from a 30-10 deficit after three periods to take a 31-30 lead with about 3 minutes left in the game.  Unfortunately, the Panthers kicked the game winning field goal with one second left in the game.  The final score was Carolina 33 - New Orleans 31.  The Panthers finish the regular season at 12-4 and earned the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs and a bye in the first round.

Of interest was Saint's QB, Drew Brees, finishing the season with over 5,000 yards passing, only the second time this has happened in NFL history.  Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino passed for 5,084 yards in 1984.  Brees fell 16 yards short of breaking his record.

The College Football Bowl Season

As many people in America do this time of year, I have joined a college football pool to maintain interest in the 34 college bowl games that stretch from the Eagle Bank Bowl (Wake Forest 29 - Navy 19) on December 20, 2008 to the BCS National Championship Game (Florida 12-1 vs. Oklahoma 12-1 in Miami) on January 8, 2009.

This pool is simple, just pick the winner of each bowl game, no point spread to worry about, just pick out a winner.  As I write this blog post, 11 bowl games have been played.  My record you ask?  I am a ridiculously poor 1-10???  A baboon at the Los Angeles Zoo could have picked better than this!

The Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Loisiana
 Tonight's Game at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

If you click on their website you can access a short video message about the game that touts its classic Southeast Conference vs. Big 12 Conference roots just like advertised in their website header above.  This figures to make for a very interesting game between teams from arguably the two best conferences in college football this year.

Small problem... the two teams playing tonight are 7-5 Louisiana Tech from the Western Athletic Conference and 6-6 Northern illinois from the Mid-American Conference.  So much for truth in advertising!

In case you are wondering, I picked Northern Illinois.  If you can still get a bet down on Louisiana Tech, you might want to bet the farm! 

Dinner at The Claim Jumper Restaurant
in Thousand Oaks

With Laurie, Vanessa and Mike

They are known for their rather large portions.

Do you ever feel that life might be passing you by?

Or, perhaps, I am seen here proving Einstein's "Theory of Relativity."

1 comment:

Soccer Uniform said...

Same here, me with my brother used to watch sports channel at first on weekends... and Soccer too is my favourite sports... Luca Toni is wearing wonderful soccer gear.. I loved her sports uniform..