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  1. #1
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    World Cup and cycling

    I guess I’m pretty lucky-- all four countries I have lived in for at least one year all made it to the World Cup. Two of them are still alive—the other two—well, sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. Costa Rica, where I lived for 10 years as a kid didn’t win a single game, and had a hasty exit from the cup. They were already out of it by the time they played their third game. The USA—well, after two games, they had one loss, one tie (at one to one) and had yet to score a goal. Offence isn’t their strength. However, they still had a shot—if they beat Ghana, and Italy beat the Czech Republic, they would get in. Italy came through for them, but they still had problems scoring… maybe in 4 years.

    The other two countries, Ecuador—which handily won its first two matches, only to fall in the third when it was resting its two top scorers, gets the dubious distinction of playing England in the round of 16. The fourth country, is the country I have been a fan of since I watched my first World Cup in 1970- when I lived in BRASIL (notice—it is spelled with a “S”, not a “Z”). For me there is only one team I really root for in the World Cup, and it is Brasil. If it is eliminated, then I will look for another country to root for—usually another Latin American country—except possibly Argentina—which I love to hate.

    So—what does this have to do with cycling? Well, a friend of mine just came back from Brasil and he brought me a Brasilian cycling jersey. I had mentioned to him that I liked to get a jersey from countries I had ridden in—and he remembered that and brought me the BRASIL shirt. I wore it to work this morning—knowing they were playing this afternoon—and I wore it with pride—I will wear it again on Tuesday when they play Ghana… Today’s game brought back the memories of the Brasilian beautiful game—where they play the ball and score—a work of art. You had to feel sorry for the poor Japanese—although they made the ‘mistake’ of scoring first—that is what the Brasilian squad needed to get it going.

    back to what it has to do with cycling-- it makes for a great conversation piece. I had two cyclists comment on it on my commute home this evening--one was Belgian, and his team didn't make it in, and the other was French--and they ar in real danger of elimination tomorrow. Just goes to show you that cyclists are not all one dimensional

    So—how many of you have countries that are still ‘alive’?

    As they say in Portuguese ‘Ja temos o penta- vamos p’ra o hexa!’

    Train safe

  2. #2
    loves rail-trails bikingbets's Avatar
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    I have cycled in The Netherlands, on an honest-to-goodness omafiets!

    So HUP HOLLAND HUP!!!
    Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
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  3. #3
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    I wonder how many North Americans really care that the world's biggest sporting event is happening right now. Fortunately, I live in very cosmopolitan Vancouver, Canada, where TSN shows all the games on either TSN or Rogers Sportsnet, and they repeat the games so you can see the one you missed (they have two games going on at the same time). I usually just switch back and forth.

    Yesterday I rode my bike down to Commercial Drive (the Italian part of Vancouver) to absorb some atmosphere. I cruised past all the restaurants, bars, and coffee houses till I found one with a big screen and filled with fans. They had chairs all lined up. Most of the fans had Argentine jerseys (it was the Argentina-Netherlands game). Although it ended in a scoreless draw, I was really impressed with the skills of the Argentines, particularly Riquelme, Tevez, and (of course) Lionel Messi, what a phenomenon!

    Today I visited my Italian friend Gino. We watched the Australia-Croatia game before going on a ride (we switched games after Brasil started pulling ahead of Japan). I was glad to see that Ronaldo is finally scoring some goals. He looked pretty unimpressive in earlier games, missing lots of opportunities (even missing the ball with his foot when he had an open net in front of him, for crying out loud!). I was tending to agree with most that Ronaldo should be out and Robinho should be in. But it looks like Brasil is finally starting to show signs of life.

    Anyway, I wonder what the interest level actually is amongst the rest of this group. Do you still consider football (REAL football, not the US or Canadian game) to be a pretty marginal sport, much like cycling used to be (and still seems to be to a large extent)? I think of futbol as sort of a lingua franca amongst sports, much like anyone anywhere will pretty much accept US dollars or speak English. It's unfortunate that Americans don't take soccer as seriously as the rest of the world, but then I imagine the major North American pro sports do everything they can to keep other sports (including cycling) out of the popular limelight, since the pro sports market is considered to be a zero-sum game.

    What I love about footballl (soccer) is that it brings people from different cultures together on a relatively level playing field. I just love that Ghana made it into the Round of 16, even if it was at the expense of the Americans. Even though they're from some poor African country, they were able to scrap hard enough to overcome a bunch of guys living in what amounts to wealthy splendor, compared to their country. And I can sit in a coffee house with people from Argentian, Italy, or Brasil and cheer and groan along with them, and at the end of the game we're smiling and shaking hands. It's gonna get crazy when we approach the finals!

    Your thoughts?

    - L.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Raketmensch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buelito
    So—how many of you have countries that are still ‘alive’?
    I guess I'll count myself. I've never "lived" in the Netherlands, in the sense of having a real home there, but I've traveled there so much on business (and watched so much late-night football while jetlagged) that I definitely think of it as my European home. So I'm pulling for the Oranje. And I'm actually going to be living in Spain for real a couple of years from now, so I'm pulling for them too. Both teams, of course, are historical heartbreakers. But things can change!

    As for Americans' general oblivious relationship with football/soccer, it's a shame, but there it is. It's the same thing with cycling... nobody here knows anything about cycling except Lance and the Tour. Mention Paris-Roubaix, or even mention Greg Lemond, to anybody here, and chances are you'll get a blank stare.

    So that's the bad news. The good news is that the two biggest events in my two favorite sports are going to be happening simultaneously starting in about a week. It's a damn shame I've got a job!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
    I wonder how many North Americans really care that the world's biggest sporting event is happening right now.
    Do American's care? Care? I'm so depressed with the outcome of today's game I can hardly be civil.

    Played NCAA soccer in the dark ages and at a reasonably competitive level for 20 years after that. My son was married this past Friday night instead of Saturday afternoon so the Italy-US game would not interfere! He and the groomsmen, the best man, and several of the women are or were competitive players. The new bride was understanding, which bodes well for a happy marriage.

    There are millions of rabid US fans, as well as rabid ex-pats of other countries watching this WC every minute possible. I was flirting with getting in trouble at work over the games, but now will be able to devote more attention to work, at least until the elimination rounds begin.

    Tyson
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  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    One really good bit to come out of the World Cup is that when a big match is on- I can get out on the bike without any fear of being hit by a car. Only thing is get home before it ends- or don't go near civilisation with the number of enebriated yobs coming out of the pubs.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  7. #7
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
    I wonder how many North Americans really care that the world's biggest sporting event is happening right now.

    - L.
    Not me. I couldn't care less. On the other hand, I also don't care that the NBA finals were just on, nor do I care about professional golf, hockey, auto racing, horse racing, bowling, or bass fishing. I am bored by professional poker and billiards. I don't watch professional boxing, either. Or tennis.

    I don't begrudge anyone who DOES enjoy those things -- more power to you! Have fun, go crazy!

    I get a little excited about (American) football, and baseball championships. That's about it!


    Hey, you asked!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Not me. I couldn't care less. On the other hand, I also don't care that the NBA finals were just on, nor do I care about professional golf, hockey, auto racing, horse racing, bowling, or bass fishing. I am bored by professional poker and billiards. I don't watch professional boxing, either. Or tennis.

    I don't begrudge anyone who DOES enjoy those things -- more power to you! Have fun, go crazy!

    I get a little excited about (American) football, and baseball championships. That's about it!


    Hey, you asked!
    There was a professional domino world championships on TV the other day. Any thoughts, reactions, impressions, desires, or sentiments, DG???
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 06-23-06 at 03:12 AM.

  9. #9
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    I think the problem Americans have with soccer is multi-faceted:

    It wasn't invented here.

    Our professional soccer league isn't world class, or anywhere near it...unlike our baseball, football, hocky and basketball, which is the best there is.

    It's a lousy sport to gamble on.

    Scoring is insanely low by any standard.

    The players are too demonstrative when taken out with a questionable tackle...not masculine enough for our crass attitude.

    We don't share the same name for the sport as the rest of the world.

    Our feet are meaningless in everyday life. We don't even walk anywhere, let alone run and kick balls for fun.


    I'm not saying that these things negate the sport, just my thoughts on why we don't get as excited with the WC as maybe we should. It is a gorgeous sport to watch, even if you hve no idea what's going on!

  10. #10
    Perpetually lost
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie
    There was a professional domino world championships on TV the other day. Any thoughts, reactions, impressions, desires, or sentiments?
    Professional dominos? You've got to be kidding. That has to be as exciting as watching championship poker. Which is only slightly better than watching championship golf. And this is called sports?

    What's happening here? Have we (collectively) become so lazy that even the sports we (collectively) watch are no longer active? "Stay tuned for NBC's Wide World of Channel Surfing featuring the legends of the barcolounger! See Southern California's Big Paulie and his supercharged Toshiba remote speed through 127 channels in 5.7 seconds! Watch San Diegoien Gary "Digital" Gee actually move from his couch and actually turn on his television--MANUALLY!!"

    I think that we (collectively) are in trouble.
    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
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  11. #11
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old99
    Watch San Diegoien Gary "Digital" Gee actually move from his couch and actually turn on his television--MANUALLY!!"

    I think that we (collectively) are in trouble.
    I probably resemble that remark.

    But trouble? Nope -- I cycle. Maybe not the farthest, or the fastest, and certainly not the most fashionest, but I ride. We all ride (those of us on the forum, I mean).
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  12. #12
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
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    They dont get very exited over it here either ,if it isnt rugby ,sorry Rugby, it isnt sport
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

  13. #13
    Senior Member turtleguy54's Avatar
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    Wow--LOL-- I was already to write a whole treatise on the school systems holding our atheletes for their monetary gain when I deleted that and then read the last few posts.

    Digital Gee and Big Paulie, you are invited to my next fish fry.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by old99
    See Southern California's Big Paulie and his supercharged Toshiba remote speed through 127 channels in 5.7 seconds! I think that we (collectively) are in trouble.
    Get with it, Oregon boy! I broke the "127 channels in 5.7 seconds" barrier back in '86.

    Supercharged remotes went out with investing in Enron!!!

    I'm into some serious sh*t with a solar powered, reversable magnetic field, mind controled channel changing unit. It weighs .0017 grams and is implanted behind my left ear. If I wasn't cutting edge, how else could I justify an hour of my time watching dominoes???

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    Perpetually lost
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    But trouble? Nope -- I cycle. Maybe not the farthest, or the fastest, and certainly not the most fashionest, but I ride. We all ride (those of us on the forum, I mean).
    Gary, sorry for the confusion. The collective "we" certainly doesn't include this group. This group is outstanding. You have an incredibly diverse population here from a variety of socio-economic-ethnic-philosophic-academic backgrounds that share a common interest in cycling and the attendant good health--and the quality of life that it brings. No, this group isn't in trouble--far from it.
    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie
    Get with it, Oregon boy! I broke the "127 channels in 5.7 seconds" barrier back in '86.

    Supercharged remotes went out with investing in Enron!!!

    I'm into some serious sh*t with a solar powered, reversable magnetic field, mind controled channel changing unit. It weighs .0017 grams and is implanted behind my left ear. If I wasn't cutting edge, how else could I justify an hour of my time watching dominoes???
    I'm surprised that you're not using the new ocular implants. Tough to get cable, though.
    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
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  17. #17
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raketmensch
    As for Americans' general oblivious relationship with football/soccer, it's a shame, but there it is. It's the same thing with cycling... nobody here knows anything about cycling except Lance and the Tour. Mention Paris-Roubaix, or even mention Greg Lemond, to anybody here, and chances are you'll get a blank stare.
    plenty enough fans of soccer here in the states, and with the huge rise in kids/club/school leagues, it is building a nice following. Who really cares if it ever outstrips any of the other tradtional US spectator sports. The value of anything is usually the inverse of itz couch potato factor. Once it becomes a real cash cow to be exploited here in the US, it will be the same as all the rest.
    What does make WC a bit special is that Costa Rica or Ivory Coast or Croatia can kick our ass (and some other bigger countries as well...)
    Thats special.

    Having been born in one country, citizen of another, spent plenty of time in many of the others, its hard to develop any 'nationalistic' fervor. so I root for the small countries, who play with heart and style. I root for the large countries whose players don't resort to felonious assault from behind their opponents. Brasil and Argentina are mostly hard to fault and not like, they indeed hold 'joga bonito' to the high altar. Lets hope the host team and many of the others aspire to doing the same in the coming matches.

    As for cycling and spectating, its like watching a round of 'flog', and unless you have a real understanding of the 'game' and appreciate the effort and nuiance (strategies, players, course layouts, etc) , cycle road racing spectating is prolly on level with watching bass fishing.
    Given that and that it can't be held in Vegas, I'm pleasantly surprised to get even 2 hours of broadcast a week.
    Now Track Racing is a bird of a different order. Hard not to get really animated when you see a good sprint, points or Madison.

  18. #18
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    The reason I didn't commute this morning was that I didn't sleep last night. I was so upset at the US getting eliminated and want Beasley and Areana both sent to far away lands.

    My son took me to Germany for the US/Czech match and we spent 3 days in Amsterdam. One of them riding bikes along the canals. We also saw Oranje/Serbia while in Amsterdam, and Italia/Ganha in the original Schelke 04 stadium that was built by Hitler for the "36" Olympics.

    It's all on my blog HERE Simply browse down till you get the the Gelsenkirchen and Amsterdam titles.
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  19. #19
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    One of the problems with Football is that it is played by prima-donnas that only care about money. Now if you go back to the great year of UK Football- 1966- you had real players that could give and take a tackle. One of my joys was watching Leeds against Chelsea in the early 70's with Billy Bremner and "Chopper" Harris. You think Americam Football is hard- You should have seen these two play. It was Rambo versus Arnie- but with real venom. Then there is the real hardmans game of Rugby- Similar to American Football in a way but without the Body Armour- and Rules I can understand- This was my Game until I got Flattened by a 280lbs forward that played me instead of the ball. Now if you want an "English" game to bore you to tears- Then it has to be Cricket. Never liked it. There is some idiot chucking a solid Leather ball at you at 100mph- and all you have to protect yourself is a little bit of wood. Too dangerous in my mind- so if you want real sport it has to be something where real skill and fitness takes over.

    Nothing better than going to the Gym on the right night and watching everyone do a hard workout. The skill comes in trying to talk some of those Elitist Gym workers into coming out for a real ride on a real bike to do a real workout.
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  20. #20
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    ...Now if you want an "English" game to bore you to tears- Then it has to be Cricket. Never liked it. There is some idiot chucking a solid Leather ball at you at 100mph- and all you have to protect yourself is a little bit of wood. Too dangerous in my mind- so if you want real sport it has to be something where real skill and fitness takes over.
    Cricket has got to be the most convoluted game ever invented. Here in Vancouver, all the East Indians go to Brockton Oval in their whites, I always see them in the summer when I'm doing laps of Stanley Park. I still don't understand the object of the game, and why it takes three days to play one "test match."

    Cricket is really, really big in Trinidad. I was there a few years ago for some track racing at Easter, and cricket is the BIG sport in the West Indies. Nothing better than to go "liming" at the cricket match. But in spite of the cricket, the Soca Warriors still get a lot of attention at the WC.

    - L.

  21. #21
    jock doc
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    Quote Originally Posted by capejohn
    The reason I didn't commute this morning was that I didn't sleep last night. I was so upset at the US getting eliminated and want Beasley and Areana both sent to far away lands.

    My son took me to Germany for the US/Czech match and we spent 3 days in Amsterdam. One of them riding bikes along the canals. We also saw Oranje/Serbia while in Amsterdam, and Italia/Ganha in the original Schelke 04 stadium that was built by Hitler for the "36" Olympics.

    It's all on my blog HERE Simply browse down till you get the the Gelsenkirchen and Amsterdam titles.
    Welcome home..

    I, too,was totaly "gutted" by the US performance. I'm still recovering and have this dark cloud hanging over me.

    What was Arena doing? He needed to grow some balls and change things up. He was more worthless then those two tossers, Beasley and Donovan.

    Anyway, your trip sounds fantastic. I was in Germany in 1974 for the WC and still remember most of it even today. A couple of things have slipped back into the far recesses of my memory, and that I'm sure is for the best.

    Hey, how about a 50+ ride in the Berkshires? I hope to get out in August. We can post a course and meet up with other BF'ers for a ride and beers.
    Cheers.

    Go GHANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "and chase the frothy bubbles, while the world is full of troubles..."
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  22. #22
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Well, it was a little humbling to get stomped on by Ghana. Even in the replays I couldn't see how the play that lead to the U.S. penalty that gave Ghana the shot on goal was an error.

    It was nice to watch Brazil playing though. Such teamwork. And I could do it at work, the reason was capturing the little graphics tricks that Univision was doing to highlight the information etc. I took screen grabs and discussed them with my supervisor.

  23. #23
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
    Cricket has got to be the most convoluted game ever invented. Here in Vancouver, all the East Indians go to Brockton Oval in their whites, I always see them in the summer when I'm doing laps of Stanley Park.
    Gary doesn't have to worry Cricket-wise in San Diego. When I was working for a company in the medical labs at UCSD, there were a couple of grad students who wouldn't miss their weekly cricket games. But I don't remember where they played. Balboa Park?

  24. #24
    jock doc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas
    Well, it was a little humbling to get stomped on by Ghana. Even in the replays I couldn't see how the play that lead to the U.S. penalty that gave Ghana the shot on goal was an error.

    It was nice to watch Brazil playing though. Such teamwork. And I could do it at work, the reason was capturing the little graphics tricks that Univision was doing to highlight the information etc. I took screen grabs and discussed them with my supervisor.
    Well ART,

    Neither did the REF!

    But that is soccer/football. The guy in the middle sees what he sees and calls what he sees. Some times it goes in your favour and this time it didn't. All in all, the referring has been maddening, with too many yellow and red cards, altering the game and many teams chances.
    Case in point, Michael Essian, Ghana's and Chelsea's central midfielder, will be out for the game with Brazil. His yellow card was truly unnecessary and not deserved.

    So it goes.

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GHANAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "and chase the frothy bubbles, while the world is full of troubles..."
    W.B. Yeats

  25. #25
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    You know Americans are too polite when it comes to gamesmanship. The Ghanan's took close to 10 minutes off the clock with their "near fatal injuries". They were so good at it that a very experienced ref was taken to school on the art of diving, awarding a penalty to Ghana. Or was he? I have no doubt that the US would have been eliminated without the free goal awarded to the Africans. Remember the next cup is in Africa.

    I have no reason to believe the players in any professional sport have the final say in who goes to the championship. All one has to do is look at the Patriots/Raiders playoff game in 2002. When the Pats almost lost the game and the "tuck" rule was brought out of mothballs, to give the ball and the game back to the Kraft famlily. Whew, that was a close one.

    Back to the real football thought. I have to go with Holland, having been a fan of them since the 1974 Cup.

    GEZELLIG
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

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