this is where i enter text


the view

and this is the view

this is all i've got.

these words and these thoughts.

but in my world, it is all you have too.  your thoughts, your words.  can you turn a phrase, tell a tale spin a yarn? pick a word split a verb change your tense?  punctuate abbreviate bloviate? (the sounds and inhuman grunts you make in response are informative.)

and here i am on my low horse trying to make sense of how or why i push everyone away through opinions crisply stated and arguments passionately made.  inaccurately because i don't know my ass from your mouth.  i mean... i don't know shit about shoot i forgot the point of this potty talk.

this is the way we roll we roll and this is the way we dig our own graves.  breath by breath step by step.  what else must i convey aside form the simple fact that it is hard to make sense of the rest?  the beauty you see may be like maggots to some. the drinks you drink are death not fun to some.  the some arenot some but all to some.  the all are not all but none to some.

how wide is your vision? how deep are your dreams? how small are our lives and is there anything left to hope for.

i write and type i read and i skim.  i work and i work to understand this ridiculous spinning madness i sleep on, walk on, jump off of and land on again despite my best efforts to break free and fly past the oxygen farther and further from the myth of the sun melting my wings and closer and closer to the reality that that is all too calm a description of what a sun would do.  wwjd ain't got shit on wwsd.

but then i go again, making object like people and reverse that to make it more common.  flip it to make it more remarkable.  like a remark one would make.  or,,, here i am remarking on remarking on remarkability.

sic sic sic. i read it. i read it again.  i left it in.  i got no editor, i'm just some non-punk non-kid sitting at his parents' table during a holiday wondering what the hell this all means and why the times i feel most alive are when i'm spitting someone's words back at them all twisted.  or when i'm parroting back a song written by not-me.  or when or when... what is this but a rush of nothing? where is the satisfaction? what is there out in the world that surpasses this measly nothing i am?

we are all nothing-- i'm nothing special in my nothingness.

if this breath is the same as the last then you're already dead.

ozymandias tells me i can build nothing which lasts and all is illusion of permanence.
the illusion of permanence is an illusion of permanence.

i must find a way out of this corner. i lash out and snap out and behave in startling ways sometimes even to myself.  i'm finding disappointment inside and little else of note (though there is definitely some vital bits int he parts left out! like... the kit!).

i'm seven sides of wasted talent with your babyback ribs.
i wish i could roll myself up and smoke me just to see.

i'm done here. the air will never clear.

this is how it comes out. brambled tangled wanting. riffing raffing signing.  standing sitting walking. jumping jumping jumping and hitting my head.  wondering how i'll ever be dead.  but what else instead? the words are all that sing, and i imagine you reading which makes my mind hum and my feet beat the beat.  the notion that there is another any other out there who can help me with what's in here... is tooo much to bear since i've not met that many.  but then again, what do i help with? what am i good for?

i breath.  i supply the plants.  i'll supply the worms when i die.  i'll push the daisies while i lie.


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and now so i publish another piece of shit

Or is this even published if i put it up on a blog that no one reads in the uncharted backwaters of the galaxy?

If i waste all of the work I've put in and the readings and the writings to put these words on the internet for no profit, will you buy me some food tomorrow? Share some wine?

What if I had no talent? What if all I could do was grunt?
Would you be more likely to share or less?

Which is the best or the worst or the way we were or the way we should be?
The way we would be? Is that better? Would based on what? Could based on how?
The best? The worst? We don't even know these words any more.  They are simply chatty talk to be a way of 1 or 0, black or white, fight fight fight.  We gotta know where you stand, otherwise how will we tell where you'll fall when we split open your head and take out it all?

That is, the stands that you take... are they worth your life?
The life that you breathe as your own... is it worth your stands?
But what if instead of taking stands you sit? What if instead of picking sides you know that the divine or ineffable or merely the sense of order or even the sense of entropy that pervades the universe... what if you know that the sense that is there taken is one of non-judgement?  What if rather than the hottest places in hell being reserved for the fencesitters that the hottest place in hell is reserved for every single time you took a stand on anything?

Who the hell said there was a hell?
Who the hell said there wasn't?
What the hell is a hell anyhell?
Just a metaphor? Just a myth?
Then why does it still chill me, despite being brought up without religion?  Why does it still gnaw at me like an unfed pup? The same reason it disappears from me when I look it head-on as I cannot contain the concept.  Or the way that it runs from my side when there are so many other things to mull over.

This is me.  I'm just a guy typing at you.  Or... typing at myself in the future.  Or... typing at us in the future.  Or just typing at the future because I can't reach the past no matter my wingspan or howmany stools I stand upon to reach the cookie jar.

I shout I shout but there's too much to let it all out.  I reach the bottom and still there is more. Unlike Pandora's box which mercifully had a floor.  These words tumble and tumble until the ventilator blues suck them in, clean them up, and spit them out.  But still mine again mine again hit the ore again or again walk away.  Dig into the earth and see what there is.  Fly into the sky and see what there isn't.  Deep into your mind and relax the nothing.

Across the nothing for no one, a wasted effort a shrug.

Naw, this ain't a breakup post... unless I'm breaking up with trying.  Or not-trying.  I can('t) hardly tell the difference anymore. Or is it just that I'm half-trying at everything these days?  Is the future a real thing that I need to concern myself with or is this just some infinite present?  Is the life something I have and is mine or will it just be degifted and was just on loan?  What the heck is a life anyway but a way of describing breathing?

How is your breath today?

Have you been caring for your breath? Deepening, broadening? Understanding the filling? Grasping the emptiness?  Is this just a mental exercise or a physical?  Why do I keep giving false choices?  Why is there a need to speak in questions?  Is there a way to express doubt without a mark that asks?

My breaths might well be pointless, but is that any different from yours? Or the rest of ours?  Or the best of ours?  When we add up the long sum of humans, will breath be anything other than the most important thing we did?

Are we just alchemists turning stars to poop?
Are we just magician's assistants flooding all that surrounds us with ephemera?

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this is what.

This is what, the moment where the clock ticks and i write something profound?
This is what, the breath in which the heart beats until I grasp what surrounds?

This is what, the thought that saves mankind, the action that acts a salve?
This is what, the nothing that begets nothing that begets nothing at all?

This is that, the thing that I excrete on the page and leave for another.
This is that, the shit that I smear on the walls.

when i breathe i breathe all breaths (and so to do you)
when i sleep i sleep all sleeps (and i hope you do too)

when the sun warms the earth, it is all suns.
when the moon lights the night, it is all moons.

there is no place but this. can you make it a happy place?
there is no happy but what you feel. can you make it worth feeling?

how we walk through this time, is how we've walked through all others.
how we wonder and grasp, is how they've all wondered and grasped.

the whole world a single flower, can you show me the way?
the single flower a whole ideal, can you show my the why?

this language is twisting, running and listing to port.
this tongue is now kissing, so profligate a a gift.

the lines are now splitting, scampering this way and that.
the meaning is shimmering, giving us just enough light.

the light is now fading, off to the right.
the dawn is now breaking, on to the left.

with this weight we wander, not knowing our selfs.
with another thought we ponder, no result to lift.

another another another line another.
bother don't bother don't bother my brother.

this word this world this wandering world.
his word her word like there is an other.

all of us y'all of us pall of us here,
tall of us short of us all of us near

the end we all work at not knowing the goal
just as the the doe knows not the foal

yet tends to bend the world to make
the soul that follows us in our wake.

yet again yet again
die again try again

rye again gin again
sin again sin again.

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The Meaninglessness Is Accelerating

The pictures of pets dressed as humans.
The musings and rantings online and off.

The actions we celebrate and mourn and pretend to not know happen an infinite number of times over the course of humanity and that we're not important enough to feel shitty about it.  None of us are.

Nor are any of us not.  It isn't that we aren't important enough to feel one way or the other, it is that we're using spoons to describe laughter in terms of biochemistry.

The thing is that our feelings are nothing.  My statement that our feelings are nothing is itself nothing.  And yet this is all we have, this nothing.  And we have an awful lot of it.  It is more of us than we are of ourselves.  Just like those microbes.  Just like that soul and spirit and mind and all that we can't get pin down.

Some say emergent phenomenon.  This is another phrase for elaborate nothingness.

The diamond is not more than the leaf.  They are both more space than they are solid.

It is the structure that is the existence.  It is the pattern that makes the repetitions of the pattern itself possible.

And yet this is all there is.  This is more than there needed to be.  This is all we asked for and more because we never asked for it an never could.  Before it was, we weren't.  Before we were, it wasn't.  Unless there is some other awareness out in existence.  Ohbut wait there are many other awarenesses even on this planet.  There are animals and plants and... who is to know that a rock lacks awareness?  It seems to us to lack agency... but so too does water and water seems to act.

Seems seems seems.  This all seems like so much and yet it is so little.  It is elementary.  Children think this way because this is the way of the world.  The curiouser and curiouser you get, the more and more there is to explore.  The more and more you don't know.  The more you try to grasp the whole, the more you are burdened by the minutiae.  You are sure you don't understand toothpaste, let alone the components.  And if there is toothpaste, how many things that I don't even know exist do I lack the capability to explain?

What sort of things are the sort of things that I can't know?  There must be truths which surpass my current imagination that in mere years will seem like commonplace knowledge.  My failure is the success of humanity.  The failure of humanity is non-existent as humanity is not a monolith.

Except that it is.  It is a monolith which does not self-recognize.  We lack the awareness of what we are because if we ask all humans what all humans are, they will all give different answers.  Even the ones who pledge to have an identical reading of the world through religion or science will not give identical answers. To expect that there is some full-scale meaning or purpose or the like is too much.  But there is no meaning or purpose to lava.  That makes it no less monolithic.  Nor the seas.  Nor the next hantavirusebolachickenofheseafluenza.

That there is no purpose to us does not mean that we will not have some obvious to an outside observer path of least resistance which we will inevitably follow if given a long enough time to hang ourselves.  I mean uplift ourselves.  I mean our whole.  I mean... I do not "mean" well.

I mean, I mean well, but I do not do direct meaning well.  I write to understand, to explore, to challenge.  Not to tell, convince, believe.  I exist to write.  I write to exist.

This is a lot like food.
The above, I am told, could for many people be better understood if I use a different form:

Examining the relationship between writing and existence for me is as instructive as examining the relationship between eating and existence for humans.

Think of all the food you've eaten over your life and all of the food you'll eat in the future.  How do you feel now?
Think of all the steps you've ever taken in your life and all of the steps you'll ever take in the future.  How do you feel now?
Think of the breaths.  How do you feel?
Think of the thoughts.  How do you feel? Think of all the thoughts of all of the people you've ever known.  Think of all of the thoughts that all of the people you know know.  Of the people they've known.  Of all of your ancestors.  Of all of theirs.  Of all humans.  Of the thoughts all humans have thought others were having.  Of all the thoughts that overlapped.

This number is not infinite.
How do you feel?

Remember, the world is spinning, tilting, circling around something which is tilting, spinning, circling, swirling, circling around something spinning, careening, tilting, wobbling, circling around near something else that is rotating, expanding, cooling, ...

If I think of a baseball and then think of a moon orbiting a planet, how many thoughts have a thunk?
If I put it into words is that another discrete thought? If I think it in one language and then another are those separate thoughts?  If I think it is more than one language at once?  If I think it in a symbol and a picture?  What of a framed picture of a baseball orbiting a moon orbiting a planet with rocky rings of debris?

How much is that doggy in the black hole?
Is it even a dog? Has anything actually entered the black hole?
Is there an inside and an out?

What is it we're trying to figure out, as a humanity?  If we can identify meaninglessness... what does that mean?  Is either meaning or meaningless unavoidable?

I "meaning" itself again lacking in meaning?

If meaning can neither have meaning nor lack meaning, what is meaning?

We attribute meaning to so many things.  What has intrinsic meaning?  Is there intrinsic meaning?
I'm sure there's more attempt to express meaning, but then there is likely more failure and thus more meaningless as well.  If there is more meaningless is there less meaning?

If there are more meanings rather than one, doesn't that diminish all meanings?

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Run the Jewels 2

No edits, no takes. So the idea here is that I'll just do a first-through read of Run the Jewels 2.  And attached to it, I'll publish my many-times-listened review of Run the Jewels which I never managed to release, but... was planning to release when RtJ2 was out.  And I was on schedule to do that.  But... then these fat motherfuckers put RtJ2 in my inbox (and released it in general) a bit early.  

That is, fuck it.

To set the scene, I learned of the release this morning in an email from "Jaime and Mike".  Which I thought was cool.  That Jaime can't fucking spell his name right is a different problem.  I have a Jamie as a brother.  You in the wrong, bro.  Er... not-bro.  No, no... not that you ain't my bro... I mean... No... Mike... I'm just a little guy.   We can use words, man.

My point is that I've been all-in on el producto since fantastic damage.  I caught up on his stuff before that right quick and all, but fantastic damage blew my rap face off.  I learned a lot and expected a lot more from emcees and producers and everyone else after that record (And a decent amount of def jux for that matter... take no prisoners.).

As for Mr. Mike aka Mr. Killer.... he showed up on The Whole World.  I kept up with him on an doff from then... but not close-like.  Great voice, stright aggression.

I have just enough time before I need to leave that I can type and listen.

Here we go.

Track 1.

"I'm gonna bang this bitch the fuck out"

Okay... I'll go turn it up.

We're opening Mike-heavy... with a threatening whisper... a beat... with some mess, but definitely some low-end stank and some high end spirally madness...

Let's just say... we're no less threatening than last year.

And now el... with just those... pivots that lie and sleep with the beat without a moment of seduction... That's the same beat that Mike was on.

Not the same beat though.  They bring out different spaces and images...

Track 2.

This is more challenging territory.

That last album was like "FUCK YOU."

This album is like "You want us to prove it?  We can rap to anything.   Jamie can produce a killer track out of fucking lunacy.  And Mike can anchor it without shanking it."

El is still showing growth as an alphabet acrobat.  more fluid when he wants to be.  More variety in his vowels.

Killer is getting more proficient at extending his menace straight out through a double-time consonant onslaught.

Track 3.

oh.  The Drop.

This is the newbanger.  This'll make the kids throw furniture.

Ohlord.  the bang-bragger is a favorite of mine.  And el can do a line for when the beat disapears with the best of them. Mike is one of the best of them.

Track 4.

A quick-temp... hot-takes and phrases... the notes say this is with de la Rocha... does that mean they're gonna do him like they did Big Boi last year?  Is Zack gonna be the walking corpse?

This is another fucking "I'll show you what we can rap and/or make a fucking dope track out of"... Now Killer is slaying this fucking track... the second time through though?  With that jackhammer timing?  and finished by el with a punch?  I'm all Clay Davis on this Shiiiiiiiiiiit.

Zack is up... he battin' cleanup... I'm not familiar enough with his voice (at least not since Bombtrack and that incredible timeless album from RATM) to follow that well... but he does the sonics well enough... only further listens will tell the tale.

Trakc 5.

And now we're listening to a track that asks for storytell... This is the first track that sounds like it would have been at home on RtJ1.

While the transitions are far from jarring on this record, they are nowhere near as smooth at RtJ1... but that's not a shock nor a rip... most of the Beatles catalog pales in comparison w/r/t smooth transitions to that one half of Abbey Road...

Track 6.

I get the feeling we're gonna get into some dark territory here.
No joke... el-p leads off.  And accelerates as the madness deepens.
Oh... and the chorus from Killer?  It makes his name seem tame.

The thing with these two... is that their voices are so contrasting and complimentary...
They come from such identically different worlds.  Such crossover.  Such meandering route-determining sameness in their difference.

Ohhhhhshit mike... with the who the fuck double time stuttertalk... I bet when I go back he's challenging the shit out of someone here.

"Everybody doin' it"

Track 7.

An off-beat-finishing beat... oh with a second piece... a developing-by-verse beat... Mike getting in on the boys in blue with all due respect again.

Fucking... cops man... one abuse rightly paints doubly or triply against any man with the law on his side.  You have to be so right that you are beyond reproach by even those who disagree with your existence let alone title... can you live up to that?

Now el is getting just as thick and multi-leveled as Killer.  The thing about both of them is that they, through whatever process, have become individuals with such complex lenses that their narratives are not linear.  Nor, would I argue, that a linear narrative is even a worthy goal.  But their aggressive layering of thoughts upon thoughts reaching out to thoughts upon thoughts of their partner's totally ... parallel but non-identical experience of America?


Track 8.

Fuck.  Mike.  Leave me alone.  I don't want you to punch me in the shit again.

This is that all-out-assault track.   I dare you to find a duo of emcees who obliterate the aural landscape like these two in unison.  Just... What the fuck the jewels the fuck?  Take it.  Leave me alone.

And please give me some free audio.
I'll prolly buy a show ticket.

Just... put that finger gun down.

Run the Jewels was like the joyous robbery in which both parties are happy to have been there.
Run the Jewels Two is like when those fat jolly motherfuckers turn out to be Olympic sprinters.

Track 9.

Ohno... they gettin dirty again... this is always where they, while they're well within that range of things you know about if you've had sufficient NYC and ultimate and drug experiences, go a step or two past me.

But... that happens in every sports locker room I've been in.

But... that's because there is a verbal world and a thought world.

But... that's what artist reach past.  Or through.  Or with.  Or... is this relevant anymore?  the point is... you talk type write ramble on what you do what you do.

I want these songs on these records.  But that doesn't mean I'm the man to write about them.

And this track ain't shy.

Track 10.

Enter contemplative... this is a side both Jaime and Mike have and have used to worthy effect.  this has a little funk to it also... staying in the background with a vibe to move to.

And Mike starts Jaime's verse... There has not been much of that baton-passing in this album.. this el verse is one of those that just echoes already in my head.  This is... this is the is, man.  This is reaching...

I'll wager there are some Mike verses in there I've missed that reach out like this... he's never shied from it.

There is a space we reach into in others when we art.

Track 11.

And el opens the closer.  With challenging counter-attacks to his own counter-arguments.

Mike steps in to clarify.  We're on a drippy trippy haze.  But we're not ungrounded.

There is danger and menace in both of these men.  That is what we love about them.

That is what rigns true.  Their visions of something greater than themselves.

Their visions of something greater and more cynical than the USA.

Their love of what they have and yet... acknowledgement of what can't be...

Their fearful march toward the future they wish for rather than the dangerous world they ream of in their heads.

This is a distrustful rush of angel dust.  Speak these sounds and build this rush to dangerous.

Rip this scene and torch this house, the roar itself issues from this mouse.


This album is very very good on first listen.  It is challenging.  It is forcefully identifiably of both el&Killer.  I'll wager it comes in a half-note below RtJ1 *Solely because I knew what I was getting*.  That is, this observer is biased.  That shit last year was a revelation.  This is a second book of a promising author.  To mix metaphors.  Which is something I like.

That is... There is no way this was going to be RtJ0.  This is RtJ2.  It will be a staple of my audio world for the foreseeable future.  I'll look to unpack it, ride it, and move on from it.

But I'm not there yet.  This is another dope free record from Jaime and Mike.  Go download and then buy a ticket to a show.  Then we'll all be even and happy.

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Run the Jewels

I didn't edit at this before I posted it. I typed it last year... and never got around to putting it out. I hope it holds up.

Is your slackin'ass looking for a Christmas Gift at the last possible moment?  All hard up and the like waiting on something to occur to you since you don't think about the folks you know aside from at the last minute, just as a birthday or a holiday or a wedding or some anniversary of something sweeps through and makes you reconsider your life in full view of theirs?  A place, a time where you can go back and know all that you need to know about some other poor soul wandering through the world?  Or at least enough to buy some simple damn gift that, even if it falls short of perfection, it still mages to capture something of the person, or the moment or the place?  Let alone the time.  The time the time.

That Christmas Time of Year.
That Christmas time is near.
That "Christmas Fucking Miracle" is here.

"Oh no, what the fuck have we here?"
"Its alive and its hungry as fuck."

Well, sir, what the fuck we have here is Run the Jewels. What is "Run the Jewels"? It is the hardest thing you've heard in years.  And it doesn't just rip your flesh like weasels, it does so via wholly non-similar pathways.

Pathways.  Pathways.
Pastways.  This is the rappity-rap you've been missing.  You've been seeking. You've been hoping might not find you safe in your home so that you and your ugly sweater contest can comfortably finish last in the land of life, liberty and the pursuit of imperfection.

They know it themselves.  Mike tells us.  Jaime tells us.  Just listen.  To the words:  "Run the Jewels, Jewels, Jewels."

While the beat(s) drop(s) to explode(s) like megaton bombs.

They push the envelope, rip it to shreds, douse it in 151, light it on fire and eat it so you'll never be able to bite the style.

This is challenging music.
They are challenging music.
They challenge you. They challenge each other.

They challenge the challenge to push you to the brink and forget the rest.  "We the villains."

One of the fuckers drops the mic, walking off the beat like they know that the look on your face yelps  "HOLY SHIT. THAT GUY DROPPED THE MIC." or
"That boy good." or
"Yessir."  or

Then the other (not-)fat bastard picks it up, keeps the pace, continues the race and spits in your face.

El-p treats the motherfuckin' beats with the same ste-removed disdain.  (Yes, the beats will fuck your mother. And any other "rapper" [Where is Lil' Wayne's attempt to murk Run the Jewels on their own beats?] ill-equipped to deal with the illest hyper-realness.)  I want to put a line here, make an analogy so you'll understand, but Mike already killed that mess:  "Producer gave me a beat, said 'it's the beat of the year' / I said 'El-p didn't do it so get the fuck outta here."

It starts with "36" Chain" -> "DDFH".

For appetizers, you're hit with the first couple of tracks to tntroduce you to the style-at-ear and whet that hip-hop monster appetite you've been hiding from your friends.  "Oh, okay" you think "This sounds pretty dope."

Then Big Boi, all unawares, is invited to lay a verse over this sick twisted techfunk.  He sounded like to midgets in the trunk when he drops a solid verse over some future-alien-invasion beat.  Displays all characteristics of an emcee you should never incite on a whim because that ATLien will leave you bleeding from your face.

Then they #RuntheJewels on that little bitch.
Their verses beat his ass, leave him for dead and steal his pretty-boy custom socks too.

Then the beats afterward kicked that beat's ass.  It all starts with the ascending quick intro hit of "36" Chain".  Wait... didn't we hear the exact counter to that when we started "Banana Clipper"? Yup.  That beat descended on you from a higher pitch to take you to the depths of the dungeon.  This one?  We lift you up only to smash your face on the elevator trip to the glass ceiling.

Then they dropped BIG BEASTIER verses on Bigger Badder beats.

That's a strong verse from a half of OUTKAST that just got laid flat and outlined in chalk.
This is the exact opposite of Andre 3MF000 w/ T.I..

Then, the fat black motherfucker and the angry sci-fi whiteboy were sitting around thinksmoking about "What other rap duos can we rob and steal from?"

Yup: Fuck Those Niggas in Paris.

Watch the Throne?
Watch this, bitch.

Eiffel Tower Motherfucker?
Grassy Knoll Motherfucker.


We got sneers and jeers and not thuggish king or kingish thug or mainstream pusher hiphop.  Not even Trap-set Pusha-T chrak-hop.  Just reallife ripp'emup for the check and the glory.  Not one set of analogies, metaphors and talking points.  We're all over the map. " We got the whole map on lock".

(This is my job this is what I do.
We're not ball-playin' owner types, we're takin' drugs to find out what the world's like types.)

"I never did that and I never did you
But it come in a pack baby, I'm a do two"

Oh you want to know how this could translate to the next generation? "Run the Jewels is not for your children".  That said, it might be for our children.  It might be for the next generations' children.  It might be for the children who grew up destroying beats, destroying friends over beats, wondering how that fantastical unicorn of the powerful group ever got started in this singular world of find-YOUR-voice hip-hop.  Well, what about finding who pushes you to find your bestest voice?  Who stretches your mind to the point of breaking the bank for the future shit.

That's right, the group that accepts you only because they can't beat you.
Your boys who know you've proven yourself because they tired to pull your innards out and hold them infront of your face while your heart beating rampantly to get blood to your severed head hastens your passing.

Not only that, but who'll kill your bitch-ass live, in-concert every night you're on tour?  Only the strongest.  Only he maddest.  Only he biggest killers.

And who has a bigger stage presence in all of hip-hop  muhfuckin Killer Mike?
He makes El look so small and white.

And El steps to the plate and spit some sick shit.  Some slick shit, some outta control shit.  His beats are his property, Mike.  El don't give a fuck what you spit, but he'll make the beat fit himself and we'll see where that leaves you.  You think you know paranoia?  Feel this quicksand shift.

Think about the paranoia of the world collapsing upon itself.  All into blackness in years or moments of more.  I laced our blunts motherfucker, whatchu wanna say now?  Get comfortable with expression of depression, 'cause this is a long ride down.  We're all living forever now.  How much pain can you handle?

Oh, fuck you, El.  I'm Killer Mike.  I'll eat it up, chop it up, bring the pain from above.  I'll drop these lyrics with no compunction, this junction is me driving through like I ain't got a clue.

We're so different.  We're the same.
We see the same from different angles,
What the fuck do you have, leaders?
Listeners? Congress? USA? Other countries?

This is our craft, we'll kill you with it.  We'll hang our hats on it.  This is what we know.  What do you know? What do you do?  Where is your excellence?

So what?
I want to see this double-album.

"Run the Throne,
Watch the Jewels."

For Christmas 2014?
Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey are Black Stars.

Summer 2015?

Bring the Duos Back.

Clipse did it right.
Is there no one else?

Run the Jewels lights the way.  What else does rap have to say?  Rap is the people.  "If the people are smoked out, hip-hop is gonna be smoked out."  (I see you, the Roots.)

What are the people, Hip-Hop?
Tell me WeezyFBaby.
Tell me GiftofGab.
Tell me SnoopLion.
Tell me Kendrick.
Tell me Eminem.
Tell me Redman.
Tell me Kanye.
Tell me Wale.
Tell me Jay.

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World Cup Volume 12

Tue Jul 1

An Irregular Series USA v BEL

A Broken Nose is an American Injury.
Stick your face where it don't belong.

Cut your face to spite

GAME ON!!!!!!!!

I am still not impressed with DaMarcus Beasley.

12 minutes in and not too much pressing from one side or the other.

Every Single Time BadTouch Bradley misplays the ball going forward, remember that in those moments he's supposed to be Clint Dempsey playing to Jozy Altidore.
Every Single Time Bradley makes a play or closes a space on defense, remember that he's supposed to be one level back.

USA is playing without Plan A(ltidore) and have done very well considering.  Which other team in the 16 is playing without Plan A?  Most of them non-A-plan-having Mofos went home after the 32.

Yikes on that BEL break at about 22min.  This is why we need Howard as GK.

Of course Beasley gets back to make that goal line save.

Mr. Dark:  You say that USA has been second-best in the first half as if there is no second half.  Or as if all 0-0 games are not all 0-0.

BEL #5 still scares me.

Eden Hazard is really good but consistently short of transcendent in any&every way.

Two paths here:
BEL gets the goal on USA's stout defense.
USA hits the break on the tied from-attacking BEL team.


At least I hope.

58 min gone.

Despite their possession, BEL's best shot was just then on the touchline playback.

60 min gone.

This USA team is not nearly as wide-open as they were in the group stage.

Bradley is playing much deeper now, no?

66min gone.

Like this Wondolowski Sub.  This is the time, now is the moment, Wondo has done the work, time to see if Fortune favors him.

I like the way we've moved Dempsey and Bradley back to take some breth while Wondo gets to be aggressive in the front.

More possible combinations if Extra Time happens as well.

Yes, we still demand a top-shelf GK for USA success.  There is no other way.  76min gone.

Nice defense, Morales.

The USA roster is deep and versatile, though not every individual USA sub is versatile.

It looks like due to a possible Omar Gonzalez injury that USA will truly have to suffer.

HAZARD.  yay.

Silver Surfer Bradley is so so so much better in defense.  He turns into Badtouch Bradley in attack.

USA has changed tactics.  I like this versatility.  Yedlin is doing everything he needs to do.  Pure Adrenochrome?

Fantastic, Besler,..

Wait... USA has never been in a shootout in the World Cup? I mean... I'm not surprised, exactly, but still...

Beasley is attentive and exerts energy... he is a strong defender... but I just don't ever feel comfortable... is it just me?

Wondolowski... if you ever played HS US soccer... you know exactly that guy.

92 min gone.


fuuuuukin Lukaku.

Don't do it Lukaku... ohno.. De Bruyne.

BEl 1, USA 0, 92 min gone.

Now... we shall see who USA brings in... at least this is not late in the second OT...

Fuuuuuuuuking Lukaku.

BEL 2, USA 0. 105min gone.

It would take a miracle.

Julian Green scores or "comes up trumps" according to the announcer.  BEL 2, USA 1, 107min gone.

OH JJones! Unlucky! Nearly there, Sir!

Interesting USA Free Kick here... 112min gone.

Excellent design with a lack of finish for USA.

Excellent Excellent playcall from Klinsman!!!

And yet, that is not enough for USA to win.

This was a fantastic team, with a coherent style and gameplan and counterattack.

I am sorry to see USA bow out, but the thing is that I'm sure USA Soccer is on the rise.


Here's the thing, Soccer.  I love you.  We love you.  But in a part-time sense.  That is, we Americans can also watch other sports.  The NBA.  The NFL.  WE like excellence, and those two leagues are the most in graceful athleticism and powerful athleticism that we will find on the planet.

So, we watch them.
And, for those of whom among us love gambling? We watch baseball.  If we crave speed action, we have the NHL.  And we have MMA And we ahve and we have and we have...

We love sports here in America, and soccer is worthy.

But it will never be more worthy than Basketball, Football and the like.  At most, it can be tied.

And that is a hell of a thing.
We are THE sporting nation on the earth.

But the soccer season is too long.

I watch UEFA Champions League every year.  I work for MLU.  I watch as much as possible of the NBA season every year.  So too the NFL.  How am I going to watch BPL? La Liga? &c?

That's about it.  Plus the World Cup, every four years, and some pieces of Olympics.

It isn't that we wouldn't want to watch more of you, soccer, it is that we don't want to watch less of our other significant others.

I hope this doesn't mean you'll want to have that "friends" conversation.  I don't want to give up what we have, I just want to have my cake and eat it too because "Cake or Death" is too damn French.

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World Cup Volume 11

Sun Jun 29 - Tue Jul 1

An Irregular Series
URU v COL. I'm shocked at how many soccer players keep their thumbs on their chests when crossing their arms in these intros.  Who the hell does that?

COL dispatched URU over the whole of the game without too much trouble.  Not particularly interesting, but this is a better piece on the win from a more informed COL perspective.

Been excited for this match for a while.

In the early going, MEX is having the best of it, making more threatening runs and generating actual shots on goal while NED needs to take an early sub for De Jong and has been unable to generate fulfilling attacks.  Also, the NED GK is looking like crap getting caught out of the goal at all the wrong times, missing clears and generally looking... uh... nearly unqualified.

However, Robben is still so damn dangerous.  He's built up a couple of one-man forays into the attacking area.

I'm a fan of Dutch Football.  Have been for a long time as they purport to have a philosophical bent in their tactics and a sense that this is what they do.  Their players are consistently compelling and often brilliant.

NED is holding in attack, up until a FIFA mandated cooling break which is leading to an unexpected commercial break in a World Cup game.

MEX messes up in the backfield... and NED fails to capitalize despite it being RVP and Robben!  Needed a better result there, even though the announcers seem to think it should have been a PK (as does Robben).

Lotta empty seats on the sunny side of the stadium .
Yes, after halftime, the announcers seem to have noticed the empty seats in the sun... and then MEX scores on a wonderful strike from just outside of hte box, although the GK should have gotten a piece of it and he failed.  I understand that he was screened and it was a wonderful shot... but this GK has been ripe for the picking all day.

MEX 1, NED 0. 48 min gone.

Interesting game afoot!

Heckuva strike, Dos Santos.  Very creative use of space also.

Holy Ochoa with that save!!

Is this gonna turn into the NHL w/ MEX riding the hot GK???

I have not been impressed with Sneijder in this tourney.  I've always liked him, but he seems so complacent thus far through 3.5 games or so.

And Huntelaar enters the game for NED!  The secret weapon forces RVP to the bench!

Is RVP suffering from the heat?  He is no Michael Bradley, willing to suffer the most.

Coach Herrera getting warned on the sideline about something.  He reminds me of NY Rumble Head Coach Anthony Nunez for some reason.  Despite Nunez's far more stoic demeanor.

8 minutes to play... does NED have a chance?  a trick up their collectively Oranje sleeve?  CAn MEX hold on to this  win?  It would be a surprising but not shocking to see MEX win this.  They are a very strong side, and were it not NED (or USA), I'd be cheering for them.

And as soon as I type a while on Sneijder, he rockets the shit out of a bouncing ball to tie the game!  That's the type of strike that I loved practicing and prayed that I would get to blast in a game, but my skill wa snot high enough.  Only in the back yard and in practice...

MEX 1, NED 1.  88min gone!

Ad ROBBEN GOES ***RIGHT*** TO DRAW A PENALTY!  91 min gone!!!!!

If there is a keeper who can save a non-shootout PK... Ochoa... might be the guy...

And another yellow on this interaction for MEX.

HUNTELAAR to take it...

Huntelaar makes it!  Buries it into the sidenetting, and jump-kicks the flag like a Double Dragon character!  Holy Holy Holy hell!

MEX 1, NED 2, 92 min gone!!!

And NED wins!

Survive and advance, as THE Jimmy Valvano would say.  No matter how many strikers needed, no matter how many minutes.  No matter.  You win, you win.
Watching this CRC v GRE game has been an experience in the wholly boring yet engulfing world of the World Cup.  It has been a couple of opportunistic goals in a morass of poorly connected play.  GRE started just lobbing balls into the box as soon as CRC lost their 11th and went down to 10.  CRC tried valiantly to defender, and succeeded in preventing GRE from converting on any of their near-chances.

That CRC lost a player was depressing to watch happen.  Their attack has been enjoyable to watch the whole of the game.  And GRE, like they have been this whole time, were incompetent on attack in the run of play as well as on set pieces.

Now to PKs without the GRE coach!  Who seems to have been sent off in the interregnum between the end of extra time and the start of PKs.  Wild and wooly stuff.

CRC Borges:  Top of the goal, dead center.  CRC 1, GRE 0.
GRE Mitroglu:  Little stutter, finishes in side netting to the left.  CRC 1, GRE 1.
 (This is already brtter than BRA v CHI)
CRC Brian Ruiz:   High slightly off-center to the right.  CRC 2, GRE 0.
GRE #16:  Buries it in the side right.  CRC 2, GRE 2.
CRC #3:  Slight lift to the left side, that midrange height that can get over the GK.  CRC 3, GRE 2.
GRE #20:  Same as CRC above, but opposite side.  CRC 3, GRE 3.
CRC Campbell:  Cheeky finish.  Slow roller finish after GK commits.  CRC 4, GRE 3.
GRE Gekas:  SAVE BY NAVAS!!!  To the left, and the GK gets it with his trailing hand!
CRC #4:  Buries it top left!

CRC advances on one save!

Happy to see CRC advance over GRE.  GRE is not at all pleasing to watch.  CRC can be... however, when they play against NED, it will likely be unbalanced.

Good attacking w/o dominance from either side.

NGA now scores on offsides goal (Called back).
FRA now misses an open offsides chance.

Pogba sould have scored on that beautiful cross (which would not have happened has Pogba not made a lovely traipse upfiled to accelerate past most of the NGA line.

This has been a fun end-to-end game in the first 23 min.

Nice save on the almost-bicycle kick from the FRA GK.

Still into extra time in the first half, neither team has been able to build through the center of the field when attacking.  It has been all wings and crosses, with maybe one exception when Pogba got off on a break for a moment.  Which *still* ended with a cross before a shot.  This width and then in is strong, but they are failing to spread the defense out enough to create some gaps int eh center.

And *THAT* is why you are not allowed to challenge with your studs up.  The FRA dude was really walking the line.  Clearly unintentional, but that does nothing to protect the players.  Nor does it bring the NGA player back in.

NGA is not attackng in numbers, but they are still generating some chances eitehr dead on or via crosses.  FRA... we'll see yet.

NGA has had a handful of near-crushing goals scored on them.  That they have NOT is an indicator that they might well be the winner.  If NGA can get one in, FRA may have already had too many good chances by the 78th minute to generate any more.


FRA 1, NGA 0.  79 minutes gone!

The GK needed to come out and actually clear it!

Now, the reverse is the mentality.. FRA has been pressing and has converted!  now NGA needs to prove themselves in the final 20min!

And the game is over.  FRA scores their second on a NGA owngoal.

C'mon ALG Head Wound Harry!  You gotta cross that ball in front of the goal mouth!  You're shooting at a target which doesn't exist!

The thing about the GER side is that they know that, despite their aesthetically pleasing style of play,  no one likes them.  And they feed off of that.  They are the Contras.  The opposition.  The Big Boss.

That ALG is pressing well is troubling for Zee Germans.  That they just scored and offsides goal is likely to prove either a warning shot which wakes GER or a harbinger of ALG's brilliance.

Another dangerous ALG attack!  This ends in a shot which should have been a far-post-cross.

ALG is no joke.  I haven't been able to look away from the game enough to type.  So tense.  GER is on the ropes, simultaneously with ALG.  I have no idea at all what will happen.  It is like both teams are constantly under siege yet not truly able to threaten the other.  AH!  SO SOCCER!

Dude, it is a FREE kick.  Y'ain't s'pos'ta fall down.

The ALG GK has been above competent.

And what the fucking goal is that for Churrle??? he was blindly kicking to a blindspot on the goalface!  So good at soccer are all these players.

This is possibly the most interesting early result.  Now ALG has to press which, while they are not against it, it is still not their best facet.

This ALG attacker laying on the ground is the worst part of the game so far.

Unless, of course, his brain has melted under duress.

"The lead tenuous and far from impressive." is what the announcer says just before GER buries the clincher in the 2nd OT.

This ALG squad is just out of gas.  They are very very dangerous.  GER was a terrible matchup for them.

OH!!! And *Now* ALG scores.  Great far-post run.  Still no chance.  Riiight?  But they're in the box again!  Nope!

There is the whistle.

GER advances.

Again, ALG is a fantastic squad this go-round.

FRA v GER should be... free of crazy historical associa... wait... no it isn't.  i'm excited!
And finally Shaqiri generates a beautiful opportunity, the first of the game, on the whole.

This is shaping up to be the most conservative of the knockout games thus far.

now ARG generates a great crossing opportunity off of a cross.

30 min in and there have been two legit chances.  This seems destined for PKs.  OR just a Messi goal, of course.

This Drmic non-goal on the breakaway could spell the end for SUI.

Scoreless at half.

ARG is laying siege to the SUI right now out of half.  This is the moment that they believe they will score, yeah?

And yet, here we are in the second extra time with ARG still not-scoring and SUI still not-scoring.  It seems like Messi is always covered by three and that Shaquiri (the only SUI able to create on his own) is... well... the only SUI able to create on his own.

111 minutes gone, 0-0.

Di Maria is SO FAST.  (No Gareth Bale... but still)


118 minutes gone!

Oh my, #15 SUI... that is not good at all for you... that could've... anything could have happened there.  And the only thing that did happen was you missing.  Once by a post's distance and once by a rebound's caprice.

How is the SUI GK so slow after coming out?  He's been standing around for 120+ minutes.

SUI should've been playing like this whole time!

SUI free kick just outside of the box due to Shaquiri!
 And a header by the wall kills the free kick. Whoah.

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World Cup, Volume 10

Sat Jun 21

An Irregular Series
The early on btw CHI and BRA has been an up and down affair.  Physical, demanding, difficult on the ref.  And now the news (to me) that every time CHI advances to the knockout stage in the World Cup, they get eliminated by BRA.

And BRA has scored first off of a corner!

BRA 1, CHI 0. 18 min gone.

CHI will still be attacking, but now possibly even more furiously.  (Why is it curiouser and curiouser but not furiouser and furiouser?  Just because of Alice in Wonderland?)

Not only are the knockout rounds generally better because of the skill level of every team, but these two teams specifically are very technically proficient individually and well organized at the team level.  This is a good fun attacking game to enjoy.

The crowd is awesomely pro-BRA.  Unsurprising, yet still impressive.  It gives a real sense of home field advantage and is spurring the BRA players on.

That Neymar is just so so fast when he wants to be.

I am not enjoying this Neymar diving experience.  I am enjoying the rest of his game.

The BRA side looks unhurried yet fast.  Elongated speed even.  CHI looks more frantic and choppy.  Either team can put it together to mount an attack at any moment, make no mistake about that.  The predominant characteristics of their offenses beyond "very skilled" vary, however.


(The CHI fans are all cordoned off from the rest of the fans.  That has to be an intimidating experience.  They show no signs of being unenthused, however.)

1-1 32 min gone.

Madness in the attacking box for BRA as CHI cannot clear... and now a near-break for CHI... but not to be.

Neymar is so good guys.  He's got hops taboot.

WOAH!!  If CHI keeps pressing the backfield like this, BRA might well give then un regalo soon enough.  Almost like BRA can't believe CHI is pressing like that.

Hulk score by accident off of knee.
Hulk carded rather than scoring.

That CHI feller up high is quite excited.  That's like... NFL Defensive Back excitement.  CHI is getting into attack attack attack mode and realizing tha BRA is nothing too too special.  No reason for them not to press everyone and make them PROVE their abilities.  Yet again to make a frisbee analogy, it is like pressuring the openside throws of great throwers.  You're not looking for the handblock (though you'll take one) but rather you've making them execute at the highest level over and over again rather than letting them relax and complete passes.

That CHI attacking sequence was glorious.  That the BRA GK saved it?  great positioning and GK-level reaction speed.  You can't ask for more.

CHI generates another short field to attack by pressing the backs of BRA.

SANCHEZ got skills on display, yo.

Even this disjointed second half of play (as of 71min) has been enjoyable.

Jo probably shoulda scored on that perfect cross from HULK.

This CHI coach misordered his polo with little boy sized sleeves.

Excellent Hulk effort.  he looks fresh.  That hamstring injury from early in the tourney seems to have done him well.  Rest?

Hulk is still creating in this extra time.  And Neymar is still jumping way up over folks.

This could be a incredibly meaningful foul on Dani Alves now.  I assume it is for his silver hair.

Happy that Willian is coming on now in the extra extra time for BRA.  I think he's not getting enough time on this BRA squad in large part b/c I feel OScar is overrated.

And CHi could have won it there if not for that pesky crossbar!  Now BRA with a counter and corner.

Fucking PKs.


David Luiz buries it.  BRA 1, CHI 0.
#9 for CHI drives it into the GK.  BRA 1, CHI 0.
Willian for BRA misses wide.  BRA 1, CHI 0.

(on the town the beast is loose)

Alexis Sanchez gets stoned bt the GK.  BRA 1, CHI 0.!!!!!
#6 for BRA puts it through the GK hands.  BRA 2, CHI 0.
CHI #20 BURIES it.  BRA 2, CHI 1.
HULK gets blocked despite crushing!  BRA 2, CHI 1.!!!!!


CHI #21 sends it home with just enough rise.  BRA 2, CHI 2. !
Now, the Neymar strikes...
Neymar of course uses his theatricality to send it home.  SO GOOD.  BRA 3, CHI 2.
Jara for CHI... bones it off of the post. Such pain.  Such remorse.

Unreal that penalties end 3-2.

This might be the kick in the ass that BRA needs to show their next level... If they have it at least.  I'm not sure that they do.  The rest of the draw should be so so so happy that CHI was matched up against BRA.  Had they not been, they would have eliminated some other country.

 This Is The World Cup.

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World Cup, Volume 9.

Thu, Jun 26

GER while not looking comfortable are still generating chances
And USA is not possessing well.

Now i'm in a bar with a ton of uneducated soccer fans... yelling and getting upset about all of the wrong things...
Happy they aren't in the stadium...

The field condition are clearly suboptimal.  Will likely be a low skipping power shot that makes the difference.

Jurgen looks dumb in his hat.  It is just rain and yer hair ain't that wonderful to begin with.

USA gets a legit shot from Zusi....  coulda been a cross... but that was a whistler of a shot.

Theroblem is that this GER attack is like a deathmarch. It is only a matter of how many miles are traveled before something terrible happens.

Bad touch Bradley has returned.

Beasley makes a great run... his best play of the tourney if you ask me.

I like these dark GER jerseys.

Aaand the GHA own goal! POR 1 GHA 0.

The slick turf is playing games with players on GER and USA. JJones was the most recent victim.

The folks who yell "terrible call" after an obviously correct call are the worst fans in the world.

Badtouch Bradley.

Half at 0's.
Half at POR 1, GHA 0.

USA seems intent on pushing forward and hoping either for brilliance or a bad bounce.  It could well happen, but GER is developing attacks and maintaining dangerous possession for longer periods.

The funny thing is that USA does not at all seem outclassed, just... not wholly coherent.

I do not like the practice of players pulling their socks up over their knees. That is ridiculous-looking.

Enter the Klose.

Great work tracking back, Gonzalez!

And, thanks in part to the insurance provided by one Christiano Ronaldo,  USA advances with GER to the knockout stage!
There were other games later that day, but I did not watch them coherently.  Too much work and too much fresh Loose Cannon IPA at the bar.

Now, I am already mentally preparing for the BRA v CHI game.  This should be a blast to watch.  However, the Suarez-less URU taking on COL later today will not likely be a great game unless URU takes the advantage and scores first by hook or by crook.

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World Cup Volume 8

Mon Jun 23 - Thu Jun 26

An Irregular Series
NED v CHI for first and ESP v AUS for not-last.

CHI seems to have the best of it thus far, pushing forward with consistency.  Not fully into the attack, but consistently past the half.

Not sure which of these teams is going to go ore all-out in order to win... or if either will.  The permutations of the finishes are too much to consider for a mind like mine.  Who they'll play and all of that.  I'm more interested in that they play and how they play than who they play.

Now NED get a cross into the box... into 5 CHI defenders.

AUS is tackling hard.  ESP seems to have most of the control of it however.  I definitely dislike the black&neon ESP jerseys.  Not only the color, but that lonely star seems  little too big.

NED seems to be packing it in a bit... not sure that their counter will be strong enough without RVP to make use of the space, but it will be interesting to see how it all works out.

That CHI corner was the first on-the-ground not-short corner I've seen thus far.  They did a great job of pulling all the defenders almost into the mouth of the goal before pulling the trigger.

And ESP probably should have finished that shot in the goal from about 8-9yds out!  This could be two games of frustration.

What a well developed attack with a very stylish back-foot finish for ESP.  David Villa will always have a sense of style.

And NED seems to be generating some chances going forward with their counter... but they have not converted yet on either Robben's ability to put the ball back across (AFTER GOING LEFT) or the longer shots that others getting forward have decided to take.
Did ESP just try to counterattack?  What the hell is this world coming to?

CHI's weird non-V-neck on their jerseys is killing me.  It gets more aggravating the more I see it.

Now ESP gets a second with a brilliant assist to a run and finish from Torres.  While it is all over for both of these sides, at least this generation of ESP did not go wholly quietly.  They have certainly left their mark on the future.

Nice corner play design there from NED to get the goal on the cross to a full-on header that the GK had no shot at whatsoever.  Changing the angle like that off of the corner is effective if you can pull it off quickly.  In this case, they did and the CHI defense seemed to be channeling USA in the last 3 seconds of the game yesterday.  They simply were watching the ball rather than marking their players.

That corner hit the NED defender in the arm while he was bear hugging the CHI near-post threat.  Odd.  That seems like it should be a PK.

These fans in the NED v CHI game know that the POR v USA goal happened yesterday, right?  Also, they're at the World Cup.  Where is it that they are trying to get to exactly?

Sometimes Robben plays with time as well as space so well.  He held and faked the hold and knew his teammate was coming, following hard... and #21 finished off the pass from Robben with a difficult one-timer to the back of the net.  What a Cup Robben's having so far.  And yes, he did, of course, go left on this one too.
Looks like I'll be watching just one game this time around.  MEX v CRO.  While I'd love to watch BRA v CMR as well, the place I'm at at the moment has only one TV and that game doesn't really matter.  While it could be entertaining, this bar has Stone Enjoy By IPA 7.4.14.

The CRO side is of an attacking mindset , as is MEX.  NO matter what the potential results are, both teams seem to prefer moving forward, even though CRO has started off a little defensively, they are the team with the first corner.

MEX, however, has created the best yet opportunity off of a free kick near midfield on a very creative and well-scripted run.  While it did not come to fruition, it was worthy.

CRO has looked stronger on attack in general, but MEX is pressing effectively and with pace.  Now a wicked shot bounces off of the top corner of the goal 15 min in.  Best shot yet.  Incredible that it didn't meet the back of the net.

Apparently, CMR has tied BRA, and the Mexican bartender has decided to switch over to that game... which makes no sense at all to me.  Neither from a pure soccer sense nor from a Mexican-roots sense.  Now he's walked away.

This is the worst.

I mean, I love the soccer, but this is not good TV game management.  Maybe he's really an American football fan masquerading as a soccer fan. Like... the whole beauty and glory of soccer is watching the whole damn game.

Back to MEX v CRO.

Now CRO gets away with a handball on a corner... into a counter... and now a coldblooded takedown on the break from a trailing MEX defender gives CRO a free kick about 25 yads out.  To no result.

AAAAAAAnd that's the second blatant handball by CRO near the goal.  Yeah, there's some extra-curriculars going on now btw the two teams b/c that's just cheating, bruh.

I really enjoy how the refs in soccer write down the names of the carded on the yellow and red cards.  Like a permanent strangely colored record.  one day these cards will be unearthed by a human society with no notion of soccer... hilarity ensues.

MEX has been controlling this second half, for the most part.  Possessing and attacking while CRO seems unable to do either.

And MEX scores on a corner! Marquez scores on a contested corner through the GK's hands!  If you watch the replay, note his arm-motion leading to the jump.  Both arms together in front of chest, then swing back low behind hips, then both arms swing up above your head.  Textbook jumping technique.  Hat tip to my high school volleyball coach!

MEX 1, CRO 0.

And now a second MEX goal!!!  El Tri! what a top-shelf finish from distance!  The middle of the box to the back of the net after a nicely developed run from Chicharito!  He, like Robben earlier today, mastered time as well as space in that run.  Feint, hold, read the field, change the angle... pass... GOAL!

MEX 2, CRO 0. 75min gone.

And now Chicharito scores again on a double header!

MEX 3, CRO 0!!  82min gone!

CRO is still fighting and scoring a goal here from a very difficult angle off of some nice development near the penalty box.

MEX 3, CRO 1.  87min gone.


Boy this ITA v URU game is wild.  I do not enjoy the ITA centerback.  I want him to just go away.  Don't go away mad, just go away.

Then this red card!  After Balotelli's yellow!

Now a header of a goal for URU!  ITA is, as always, prepared to play w/ 10, but still... stop being so ready to play with 10!

Did Suarez bite that dude???
Thus far, JPN has had the best of COL in the early going, but their penalty area play has been sorely lacking.  Now, JPN makes a  bad tackle in the box on a COL break and they surrender a corner!!

COL finishes, of course, and now JPN must press for the remainder of the game.  I wonder what sort of interest COL will show in attacking bersus hust sitting back and countering when JPN over-commits.

GRE v CIV is still knotted at 0-0.

These JPN jerseys might be the best of the tourney.    I like the GRE jerseys too ... but I'm a sucker for collars.  However, they're a pretty basic and classic design.  The thing with the JPN jerseys is that there is something wholly different an innovative about them even though they are almost just a basic old-school adidas set... but with the perfect pitch of blue matched to an ideal hue of hot pink.  Somehow they are dignified and exciting all at once.

And GRE misses on a breakaway distance look by hitting the top corner of the goal while JPN misses on a 24-5 yds free kick juuuust wide and low.  Ah!  SO MUCH SOCCER.

Now GRE kicks it straight at the keeper with some heat.  JPN still seems largely in control of the game even though COL is showing no lack of confidence.

Not sure that the decision to start Drogba was the right move... he's the sort of fella that at this point in his career may be better against he tired opponent rather than the fresh.  He is older,r, but still as big and strong and dangerous.  It is the constant press of 90 minutes that wears his legs down a bit.  That was a solid bicycle try from JPN.

uh-oh a turnover in the rear for JPN... but no danger.  And now Drogba is yellow-carded for an aggressive challenge.  Not necessarily bad, but... gotta let everyone know where the line is.

I do, however also like the front of the COL jerseys.  The diagonal lines are something that seem new to me.  If I've sen it before, I don't remember it.

And GRE SCORES!!!!  A turnover in the CIV backfield leads to a killshot from the striker!  There was a way to miss that shot, but he would have had to work harder to find it.

Yep, these JPN jerseys are better every time I get a good look at them.

This JPN fan with his head painted red and poking through a JPN flag on which is written "Never give up" is crazy creative and rather intimidating.

JPN GOAL!   Just like that damn POR goal, this was the last strike of the period.  Incredible finish with the head on that cross.  The ability to finish while running the other way is so so hard to come by.

COL scores just outta half to go up 2-1!! On a nice shot that was helped a bit by glancing off of the bottom of a sliding JPN player's leg!  WOAH!!! I got that WCup Fever and I got it baaaaad.

One of my favorite subplots of this WCup is listening to clueless American "fans" (who I do not begrudge their burgeoning fandom) have the arguments I had with my soccer teammates in like 6th grade.  Sneaky-hilarious to hear folks who are rabidly intelligent about other sports be so unerringly dumb about this one.

Which is why I don't say shit about shit when I watch hockey.

But then again... we Americans are a confident bunch if nothing else.  I also love how the WCup brings out the whole of national character for each country writ large (er... small?) on the great green field.

That JPN Okazaki (he of the header) got his face fucked up by that COL defender.   He's gonna be suffering from Dempsey-nose in a few days, methinks.

And now a card for the COL defender who took out a player for JPN on a pseudo-break.

Another GRE shot off the crossbar!

(The number of folks I've seen in bars over the last few weeks who are not drinking has been bizarre.  Like... Why are you sitting at the bar? There is a restaurant area here too.

Also, "Are you still working on that?" is one of my least favorite things for a server/waitress/waiter/barkeep to say... and they all fucking say it.)

And CIV score to tie with GRE at 1!!!

And a brilliant goal from a well-weighted through pass by COL.  The receiver had enough space to use a nice first-touch change of direction to get a shot off to the far post.  JPN is pretty much done now.  (As I type this JPN produces a just-wide chance.)

COL adds another in the 89th minute.  Just as CRE is prepping a free kick from about 25 yds out... which amounts to a CIV counter which is snuffed out.   Does GRE have enough Off to create a chance in stoppage time??

Well, YES!  A PK!!! in Stoppage time!!

Have there been any missed PKs yet?

This CIV GK believes... but it is not to be!!!   The GRE Pirate Ship has set sail for the elimination rounds!!!!!!!


I did NOT see that coming!!!

3 min gone and Messi has already scored on a rebounded shot off of the post...

And now NGA counters with a great individual goal following a smooth pass to put him in space.  He made it all the way to the far post!

4 min gone!  Reset to a tie!

NGA's crosses and longer passes always stand out to me as more direct than others.  Lower trajectory in general.

And now BIH scores against IRN.  Nice shot from a bit of distance which bounces off of the post and in.  Low, hard.  A skipping, skidding shot that gets there in a hurry and is hard to predict.  A loss would put IRN out.

But IRN nearly equalizes with a shot off of the bottom of the crossbar!

And now a nice long strike from NGA flies over the crossbar.

Now NGA a free kick just outside of the box b/c the ARG defender arm-tackled him by the thigh.  Sub coming on for ARG has a LOT of weirdly spaced tattoos.

If you keep giving Messi these free kicks, he is going to bury... oh.  He buried that one.  Second goal for Messi today.

ARG 2 NGA 1.
Ended up away from those games and staring at the back of my eyelids.  There was a lot of biking yesterday.

Now that i'm watching this ECU v FRA game, both teams are attacking, with FRA looking slightly more coordinated.  And I missed the SUI goal because Watch ESPN kinda sucks.  But I did catch the second SUI goal, which was a situations where one defender got stuck attempting to defend two in space... that's an impossible task.

Never been able to watch watch ESPN without seriously glitchy streaming video.

Looks like it'll be SUI and FRA going on, eh?

HON just doesn't seem up to the task of the World Cup this year.

I'm pretty sure this ECU dude with a mesh condom on his bloodied head is not actually prevented from getting blood all over everyone.  I don't really understand what is happening here.

Caught the second SUI goal, but the first was obscured due to watchespn.  Now that I've seen the replays, the first goal was quite impressive.  Opposite post, upper 90.  Boom.
Now the first goal-scoring opportunity coming out of half is not finished by the FRA player with the fake-ass Zach Morris haircut.

Now a red card for the ECU captain for an unlucky play.  Definitely cardable by the rules, but the actual experience of it was definitely not malicious.  No way things work well for ECU now, right?  10 v 11 for 40+ minutes?  That's an ITA special, not an ECU special.

And just as HON generates a quality opportunity (Which gets saved by a defender filling in for the GK-- the SUI defense is strong) ECU gets a solid look at a 3 v 3 break and fails to get a truly solid shot as the pass forced the ECU player to come back to the ball rather than keep his momentum forward.

I love when players in both football and futbol "shrug off tackles".  Just like when in ultimate a player shrugs off a marking foul or an unwarranted bid.  Absolutely love it.

Often, when I look at the HON jerseys I imagine it is some bizarre alternate Harvard jersey in Yale colors.

That SUI dude on the free kick was calling for something specific from his teammates which he responded to not getting by passing the ball directly to HON.

HON is showing fight.  I like that.

The ECU jerseys are the only ones I like with the fake v-neck.  It is more subdues than the others.  Also a nice use of two-color vertical flank striping.  A lot of the teams out here don't realize that the socks truly make the jerseys.  ECU is not one of them.

The guy with the mesh condom on his head just headed the ball.  That can't be right.

And now a HON player carded for... something.  Mouthing off?

Now SUI scores their third and Shaqira his third.  Off of an very nice assist from Drmic.

Just caught a shot of a muffin-topped sub on the SUI sideline... those jerseys are not made for you, sir.

ECU has proven particularly proficient in the art of slide-tackling FRA shots.

SUI and FRA advance.

The knockout rounds are looking incredibly compelling.  Good teams, different styles of play in the matchups (styles make the fights!) and everything I could've hoped for.

Now we just need USA USA USA to advance... but that's tomorrow.
Well, now it is today. But still, no more on that.

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World Cup Volume 7

Sat Jun 21-Sun Jun 22

An Irregular Series


First look I've gotten at the Russians.  They look hard-working and fit.  Not sure that BEL will give them much of a chance with the ball over the game, as up to this point at the beginning of the game, BEL has dominated possession and while RUS has gotten one counterattack, they flubbed it horribly.

BEL seems content to rely on their long, largely veritical passing game.  Not vertical only going forward, but vertical going in both directions.  Counter this to the persistent swing 'round hte back that many teams do in the defensive half.

nice shot leading to a RUS corner... which nearly turns into a valid BEL counter... isntead, the ball goes OB on the RUS tackle.

WEll-developed BEL attack foiled at about  8 yards out by a solid mark iinterrupting the pass to Lukaku.

What a great last name "Lukaku" is.

Some nice combinmation play down the right side for RUS now leads to a RUS corner.  This has the feeling of a game which will see its first goal come on a messy corner or cross of some kind and then the tenor will change.  If BEL scores first, it might well be over.  if RU scores first, it might well make it more interesting.

OH!  and a perfect RU cross hits the forward in the head and doesn't get on goal!  That coulda been exactly the play!
The second half has seen RUS using more aggressive overlapping runs on both sides and generating a few good looks at the goal, but no results.  The BEL side has been using energy, but it is unclear what the purpose has been.  Certainly both these teams will be happy to take the point and walk, but it doesn't seem that either is attempting to simply tamp down the opponent witout attacking.

Now!  Ahandball just outside the RUS penalty box!  BEL will get a free kick!

I've come to terms with the RUS jersey... but am reasonably certain that they just look way better up close than at distance.

NICE SHOT ON THE FREE KICK... But no!  The post!

And BEL attacks again only to be a step or two off!

BEL seem committed to attack for this stretch of game.  Not sure that it wil yield any goal, but it is high-pressure attacking right now with about 6 minites left.

Now Hazard is getting a shot off, which results in a BEL corner.  Now BEL offsides might end the attacking for a while with RUS in control of the ball.

And Origi... to HAZARD... BACK TO ORIGI FOR THE GOAL!!!  87minutes gone!!

Soccer, everybody!  Soccer!
ALG is playing really very hard against KOR.  Attacking hard when KOR has the ball, and going forward without rushing when they possess it.
Woah.  I was  obviously up late last night.  I woke back up this afternoon still in the first half and it was ALG 3, KOR 0.

Didn't even realize what was happening there.

Caught the majority of the second half, and KOR showed a lot of grit and skill., but ALG plus their insurance goal proved to be too much.

On to USA v POR.
Off to USA v POR.
So that USA game was crazy crazy crazy.  It was awesome, andd it was terrible adn it was awesome all over again.  until it was awful all over again. IT was a ton of this that the other and then more of all.

USA looked to control the field for most of the encounter, but did not prevent from one-legged Ronaldo from being a force.

While there are a thousand things so say negatively about that last goal, there isn't much that truly matters.  That's soccer, eh?

On to 4 days of 2 games at a time twice per day.
I think I'll make it until the break on Friday. I think.

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World Cup Volume 6

Fri Jun 20 to Sat Jun 21 (morning)

An Irregular Series

And Benzema scores just after the clock runs out!  After missing a PK?  French Firepower.
Of course HON scores on a quick break long strike.  Nice backspin on that one.

And ECU scores the revenge goal!


Now we're at the point whre both teams are still attacking into the 40th minute in the frst half.  This is a sign of optimism.

And exactly what seems to be the general overall theme in world soccer at this year's World Cup.

Perhaps this only means that the elimination rounds will be more cynical, but then again, if everyone actually feels like they can win, then there will imply be more scoring.

Compare this with soccer in which there is one clearly dominant team and a handful of also-rans.

I appreciate the simplicity of the HON jerseys, but the ECU jerseys are a l(i/o)vely color combination.  how could you not love those?

And ECU ahead on a finish of a cross!  ECU 2, HON 1.
Today, Saturday, any WorlCupping will likely be done on the radio or via some other audio source.   The thing is that, once again, I will be watching the MLU.  This is not a bad thing, per se, but that I enjoy both World Cup Soccer and Major League Ultimate is not wholly surprising, one would imagine.  Both are full-size field sports.  Soccer even larger than football and frisbee.  Each are predicated on the ability of players to quickly and aggressively move into space from a previously defended place.  New angle and innovative notions are the calls of the day.  They reward both quick creative and slow deliberate players and styles.  The field can be a wide open space or it can be constricted either by style or by skill.

I imagine this is true for other sports too.  Yes certainly for basketball, but in a ver small tight contained space that has very little to do with the wide open spaces that are out there.  The space of a basketball court requires you to create space with excellence to come up with something out of nothing.  Coaches in basketball constantly talk of spaacing and court balance because there is so little real estate for the five giant men at peak physical condition.  In soccer and MLU play, there is so much space that it is a matter of how you choose to use it or whether you choose to use all of it or not.  There are advantages to each.  By using a small amount of space with all of your players ready to provide some sort of assistance immediately, you both give yourself more option and give the defense more options.  If you space out and place players all over the field, the defense is forced to choose one thing or the other as opposed to being able to disguise it or ad hoc it.

So too in Soccer.  If you press your forward up, there will be space for a counter.  If you don't press anyone up, there will be difficulty scoring  unless you have a godlike player a la Ronaldo, Messi, Luis Suarez, Drogba, or a demigod or imp of some kind like Robben, RVP, WRooney, or most of Germany.

There is another style of play as well.  The "CONCACAFFY" as the Men in Blazers put it.  This is an attacking style.  A relentless team spirit that relies on everyone just going all out until they pass out.  A surprising number of the them don't pass out.  This is the limit of soccer.  This is where the US must head.

By the way, we need a fun name for this team.  There are teams called all kinds of fun things.  Super Eagles? Black Stars? Azzuri? El Tri? The Seleção? What the heck are we?  USMNT?  Maybe we need to make sure that we have a cheer that takes advantage of the varius rhythms one can say those letters in.

Anyway, that's the last one I'll put up today, methinks.  Maybe I'll get some words down here and there in between travel and MLU, but it'll probably be very little World Cup until Sunday.  Which should be quite the fun day of spectating and fandom.

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World Cup, Volume 5.

Mon Jun 16-Fri Jun 20

An Irregular Series
Ronaldo bends the defense around him. He then manipulates it do give him something he wants.

Khedira returned the gift of the goalkeeper unopened.  How rude not to finish that.

Right now POR seems to have the upper hand in attacking while GER is generating some chances, they are mostly on errors... And now a card in the box for a takedown!  GER will have the PK chance!

GER 1, POR 0.  11:50 gone.

And a deserved goal from GER on a corner they earned on a break a moment earlier.  This is gonna be tough sledding for POR who has been in-fighting (of course led in part by the always churlish supremely gifted Ronaldo.

GER 2, POR 0.  34:26 gone.

POR seems continually unable to make the crucial pass despite creating dangerous offensive situations near the goal.  Eder looks a little pphysically overmatched, but that was a nice job getting his head on that cross.

WOAH!  RED!  Yeah, you can't headbutt a guy when he's down, either faking or for real.

This could get ugly.

I do not at all like these GER jerseys.  Sometimes they're okay, but not this version.

Another goal.  GER 3, POR 0.  First half stoppage time.

Fell asleep there.  I missed a goal.  It was not for POR.

Happy that Michael Ballack is back as a commentator/analyst.  I enjoy his observations and unique phrasing.
I have no idea at all what to expect from the Iran v Nigeria (IRN v NGA) game.  No clue.

This IRN GK is really not inspiring any confidence in this spectator.

IRN generates a great chance, but the NGA GK is doing exactly that.  Nice Save.  Neither team really seems coherent yet.  Maybe nerves, maybe lack of skill... not sure.

IRN jerseys are alright.  I think the cheetah needs to be a little bit bolder.  Just a little bit.  Also, the bands around the sleeves seem inappropriately inelastic.  We're not all Lebron or Ronaldo.

Scoreless into half.
Scoreless at the end.

Neither team worked well together on the attack, but were sufficient on defense.  Meh.  I've seen better.  And worse.  This was a middling game.

Up next?  USA v GHA!
And no we get to watch the USMNT play in the World Cup!

I expect a very quick pace and much pressing from both teams.  I expect that we will see the unveiling of a relentlessly attacking US style.  Clearly we're aware that GHA has frequently gotten the USA goat.  So to speak.

BANGARANG!!  Dempsey!

USA 1, GHA 0 1:11 into the game!

Yes, they are attacking... will they continue to do so???

I hope yes.

I am undecided about the GHA jerseys.  Not sure why the band of color and pattern doesn't go all the way around the shorts.  I like the band on the socks though.  And the low, wide second-color collar.

GHA is looking very solid attacking when they get a little bit of space.  I see the danger now.  There will be a slicing ball to a fast striker or a mid-range cross to a runner.

Huh.  Altidore, I barely knew ya.

Who's Better Who's Next?

Do we see.. Yes.  Johannson.

I have no complaints.

Let's hope/bet we get more Mix Diskerud too.

Loss of Size though.  Altidore can possess under duress sometimes.

24:00 in.

Yeah, you're right announcer, that was a rough one.  But shit happens.  Beasly needed to hustle back a bit quicker.

The USA is like a 4-3-2-1 or sometimes a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-1-2-2 with Michael Bradley doing all of the extra tunning to change the shape so regularly.

GHA is getting more frequent shots.  TIm Howard is good, yeah.

I assume someone else has made the Michal Bradley as the Silver Surfer jokes already?  I find him strangely calming.

That's soccer, folks:  Sometimes you get kicked in the face.  Prolly just a broken nose or at least bloodied.  Are We gonna see #MASKEDEMPSEY?

34:43 gone.

Beasley, quittit.  Do better.

Oh.  I hope that "Hamstring in the heat" doesn't become the story of the USA.  Not a fun one.

That's Beasley not getting back again.

1-0 at half.

This is a very PRO USA crowd.

The GHA team gets the inevitable goal as USA has been looking tired.  Damn.  Don't know what they did wrong... not enough salt?  Put some Pickle Juice on that, son.

That was a fantastic goal by GHA!

And that was Brooks following for USA!!

This is why you always attack.

Get up duuuude, you got more minutes to play yet.

GHA is gonna press now.

2-1 final.  USA comes out atop!
The next day!

Now ALG is ahead of BEL!  1-0 on penatly at half.
That is an incredible goal from BEL's Fellaini.
71min in. 1-1 BEL v ALG.

The Red Devils are starting to push more consistently, but still are not showing full coherence as a squad.  Fellaini really seems to be adding to the complexity of the attack and #17 is pushing forward rather aggressively.  Here comes another BEL corner.  Too deep to head well.

This is the sort of experience I was expecting in this game.  A sort of slog-it-out defensive affair... but I was expecting BEL to be up 1-0 or 2-0.  That ALG penalty reallt amde a difference.  If they escape with a point it would be the sort of thing that could change the whole of the cup by way of a seemingly innocuous tie.

And BEL with another goal on a truly beautiful pass enabled by a strongly angled run in the center... and finished by Mertens.  That was awesome.!  BEL 2 , ALG 1.

Don't think that ALG has it in them to get another score here.  This whole game has been their inability to truly maintain and create on offense.  The other part of this game has been the ALG ability to play strong, coherent defense.  Individually passable, but no coherence.  BEL now, with 82 min gone, can maintain possessions rather easily against what ALG has shown thus far as a pressing offense.

And Fallaini is still creating opportunities.

BEL Wins.
Now we get to watch BRA and MEX.  The first half has been a flood of defense.  While BRA has created some very solid scoring chances, MEX has proven up to defending the BRA attack for the majority of the game.  While they have been able to push forward against BRA intermittently, they have been unable to do so for any sustained stretches of pressure, both mental and physical.

Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo are still the players who are near-impossible to take your eyes off of.  Fellaini, Bradley, Robben, RVP, Pirlo, are on the second level in this list, for varying reasons, as is Alexis Sanchez.

0-0 a bit after half.  The ref here is on the verge of losing too much authority.  The thing is that there has been a lot of (legal, allowable) contact in this game.  Think there is some truth to the notion that there could have been a few cards earlier, but I'm not sure that the game would have been improved in any way shape or form.  Restraint in World Cup refereeing is a virtue.  Long-term effects can be ruinous.

Unclear who will come away from this game with benefit at this point, but MEX wants this one pretty badly and are working very hard to not allow BRA to move confidently up the field. BRA players are not showing frustration at this point, but they are already looking more aggressively forward than they had in the first half.  This is to be expected.  If they are to win the World Cup, then they must beat teams like MEX.  But right now?  MEX is readying the counter.

What the matter at hand will grow to be is whether the BRA last line of defenders will hold up during this.  The key being that MEX has shown little to no ability to hold the ball under pressure in the front third or so of the field.  There possession in the rest of the field has been solid.

Neymar is stronger than you or the defenders on him think.  He is constantly using good-technique hand-fighting to redirect defenders and keep them off of his body.  His slender frame and near-weightless aerodynamic design (+headspoiler) combine to guarantee that he doesn't want to be rerouted as he slides between defenders.  Instead, he accelerates, pushes off and glides.  Else, all could be disastrous for him.

Some of these long range shots from MEX are verging toward danger.

The way that MEX played was based on aggression in their defensive side paired with a cautious look forward on the offensive side.  The reason the looks forward were cautious had a ton to do with the outside midfielders being unable to receive the ball while moving.  The counter would start, but then as soon as the ball was played wide to an attacking mid, the ball would be mishandled and everything would have to slow up, allowing BRA to catch up just enough.  That MEX was consistently firing off 20-25yd shots while attacking was likely their best option, knowing that they had proven unable to string together enough passes to mount a valid attack.


Man, sometimes I forget how many suits there are in DC.  Here I am out at a random bar watching the World Cup and there are not one but two company meetings or parties going on.  Split to either side of the bar, there are toasts and folks talking about what they've accomplished, all looking very relatedly dressed in each group.  That is, there is a self-similar style within each office group.  The one looks like it should be a law firm of some kind, the other seems to be a technology firm or a foreign group of some kind.  I don't know how better to describe that, but that is indeed the way it seems.


Wish I could continue watching the Cup... I'm gonna go play some league ultimate instead.  Maybe eventually I'll see Russia??
We won the league game, I think.
Don't you see?  Robben is going left!!  That was a nice play-through of the foul by Robben as that guy kicked at him.

NED is pressing AUS, but up until this point, there was no real attack.

AND CAHILL!  Volleys are so damn dangerous!  What a strike.

NED 1 AUD 1.  21:00 gone.

The classic NED defense against players turning into the box:

 "Oh, I shall mark that guy?"
   (Then raise hands in depression communicated to teammates as goal goes in.)

Seems like AUS is working very deep in their own side on purpose, in an attempt to force NED to work harder.  And NED is knowingly taking the bait.  A lot of Robben and Sneijder pressing and switching.  Shaping up for the sort of ugly game which RVP is built for.  At some point he'll sneak open for a 1 v 4 goal, right?

Nice first half from NED v AUS.  AUS seems stronger on the whole, but that is their ability to possess deep in their own territory.  NED seems more adept at pushing forward when they have the ball, though this seems mainly a function of getting the ball deep in AUS territory rather than the result of developing an attack over it the length of the field.

That is some truly bad luck for NED.  Now the AUS PK.

Buries it.

AUS 2 NED 1 53 min gone.

And Van Persie responds!  Just like that!  The counter counter-counter goal!
Terrible play by the fullback-- you gotta keep a line with your central defenders or that kind of goal happens.

Now NED is turning the ball over deep in their own territory.  A near-goal from AUS... now NED #21 with the wonderful strike from distance.  NED 3 AUS 2.  68 gone.

Cahill subs out for AUS... Now NED generating multiple chances just after the other goal.

NED does look dominant, eh?
And the way that soccer players walk out, both teams at once... this i love.  This is a chance for the fans to just scream for everyone at once.  Not sure what I think about the kids walking too.  As long as they like it?

ESP v CHI...

There is a chance that ESP lost the Cup with those shiny white warmup jackets.

Sure, announcer-guy Ian Darke... it was a free header for CHI, but that ball a sheer tonne of spin on it.  No way to clearly direct it.

CHI is attacking consistently.  This could be a GREAT game.  Contrast btw contain to attack (ESP) and attack to contain (CHI).

Awesome pro-Chile crowd here today.  I like ESP under duress.  More fun to watch.  This might be more like beseiged all evening.  Or day.  Or whatever.

Hey other announcer guy:  Everybody can look distressingly slow against Alexis Sanchez.

This is gonna be a good well-paced game.

CHI scores on a STRONG finish from VARGAS #11.  Beating keeper and defender who were both sure.  Now ESP will be stretched out in attack all game.  They are technically capable... but mentally?  Physically?  We shall see.

ESP #11 is fixin' for a fight or a card if he continues at this rate.

"Chile are working manically hard."
Fo sho sho, Mr. Announcer.

Yes, Mr. Announcer, that was in fact perfect refereeing.  Attempting to use advantage to let CHI play through and waiting... until it was clear there was no advantage.

Nice rip onto goal on the direct kick,  followed by the outside of the foot to catch the GK wrongfooted after a difficult direct kick.

The rebound.  Follow the ball liekyou follow a disc on a huck.


44 min gone.
And CRO scores first on CMR!

11 min gone.

And CRO would not stop scoring on CMR.
Now COL opens up a 2-0 lead over CIV!  COL had just scored and survived a siege on the part of CIV, who shows no sign of doubt now that Drogba has returned, no matter the score.

COL seems an odd mix of quick tempo passing and effectively disorganized play.

Most dangerous lead in the game emphasized by Gervinho.  COL 2, CIV 1.  73 min gone.

Andbutso it ends.
Wow Wayne Rooney.  That was almost a pass-through-the-generations set piece goal.  Now just another of your not-goals.

10:33 gone in ENG v URU.

I wanted that URU goal to go in.  I'm just a spectator here, a USA fan.  A feller who played soccer for a long time as a kid.  I wasn't very good.  But I still like watching it.  I see what they're doing... I know how it works.  And when I see a shot like that?  I can't help but hope it goes in no matter which team has shot the ball (non-USA-opponent, of course).

I'm waiting for USA to make a run in this World Cup.  THAT is the only thing which will spark a USA revolution in soccer.  A run on the grand stage in a World Cup which everyone is watching.  They are on their way...

Sterling is strong.

Suarez is so Suarez.  Nice header on a nice cross.  Terrible defense though... neither the defender nor the keeper applied any real pressure there and certainly they did not apply team-level pressure.

This is gonnabe a rough ride indeed.

Though Sturridge is strong too.

Out of half, still URU 1, ENG 0.  Rooney keeps adding to his not-goal total.

Sturridge down the right... to #2 who gives a fantastic cross and Rooney provides a perfect finish!  He's finaly got a World Cup not-not-goal!  URU 1-1 ENG 75 min gone!

Oh Luis Suarez.  Oh wow.

Nevermind, WRooney.

Predictably defensive, but both teams are creative in the other team's half.  Balotelli is being Balotelli and CRC, while they are taking long shots, are also passing quickly in combination.  The key to this will be which team gets just a tough more space on one of these counters or developed attacks.  It looks like both teams are competent shots and there should be a goal or two before all it told.

Wow.  that's a not-a-good no-call.  That Costa Rican got trucked.

I like the collars on the ITA jerseys.

That's an incredible cross with a perfect header off the crossbar into the goal.

CRC 1 - ITA 0.  45min gone, 2min stoppage time to go.

Those dang substitutes gettin into it in the tunnel.
Pretty certain that ITA is more likely to generate a scoring chance when CRC has the ball than when ITA has the ball.

Nice save 20 yards outta the box, Buffon!

I do not like the CRC jerseys.

The closeup of the neck area of the ITA jerseys make me like them even more.

And CRC qualifies for the elimination round!  ENG out!
ITA v URU is gonna be a BEAST.
That header from FRA seems like it should have been saved by the SUI GK.  Maybe I'm too used to MEX and USA GKs saving e'rything.

AND NOW ANOTHER QUICK GOAL!  FRA has immediately erected the most dangerous lead in the game!  FRA 2, SUI 0.  18 min gone!

Every crest with a single star is made to feel lonely by the BRA shirts.

An incredible break, cross counter from FRA!!!  FRA 3 SUI 0! 40min gone.

Ton of space for all involved.  Counter Counter Counter.

That SUI defender on the third goal needed to "do his work early".  He did not.

Pretty sure that SUI is going to lose to FRA.

This second half could be great (but I'll be watching in the background).

 (Oh and That goal by Benzema?  Incredible service.  Now 4-0 FRA over SUI.
 Border non-war, sirs.  That was the editing time.
 And just now at 72 min gone, FRA has scored again.  5-0 over SUI)

See you seeing me next time 'round the bend.

more text?


"He's just this guy, you know?"