It's been real, folks: We're second in Group G. This game had it all—we went behind, we went ahead, then we tied. Disappointment, excitement, and finally, a shrug. All in all, I think you have to salute the US players for an overall strong performance. We haven't definitively secured our place in the knockout stage yet, but on this evidence, we'll get there. Highlights here.
Next game is against heavyweights Germany on Thursday, June 26 at 9 a.m.. Until next time: Hate FIFA, love the game.
Read/watch the rest here. Sixty-one percent of Brazilians believe the World Cup is "bad for Brazil," according to a Pew survey this month.
If you look behind me, you see Maracanã Stadium. That is arguably the most famous soccer stadium on the planet. And last night it was hosting its first World Cup game in 64 years. And in protest of everything that FIFA and the World Cup are bringing to Brazil, a demonstration of about 500 people marched down the street to my left on Maracanã Avenue. The goal was to get as close to the exclusion zone around the stadium, a several-block radius that prevents people without tickets from even walking the streets of Brazil.
Now, I ran ahead with my cameraman, Zach Zill, about two blocks ahead to be able to capture what would happen when the protesters met with police. And about a block and a half in front of the protesters, I saw a series of riot police come out of these wagons, and they were dressed in full regalia—gas mask, shields, all the rest of it. And they started beating their shields in rhythmic fashion. About 200 tourists were sitting at an outdoor cafe, and they started to chant for the police, a soccer chant. They started to say, "Oé, oé, oé, policía." And then the police fired tear gas about a block and a half towards the protesters, yet they got their trajectory wrong, and the tear gas landed just about a hundred yards in front of them, and then a headwind blew the tear gas onto the tourists, sending 200 tourists scattering, who were cheering for the police just moments ago, scattering in utter panic. The tear gas blew on me, as well.
And at that point, the police got their trajectory correctly. They fired, by my count, two more canisters of tear gas, concussion grenades, as well, which then served to disperse the 500-person protest and later was the incident that the AP reported of an officer actually firing live ammunition. That I did not see, but frankly, I wasn’t seeing a great deal at that point anyway.
How could we not live-slog this? Favorites Brazil, the host nation, against the American team's eternal rival to the south, Mexico:
11 minutes: Brazil seems to be enjoying more of the possession so far... Oscar hits a cross in from the left with the outside of his boot, but Brazilian striker Fred can only tap it into the side-netting. 0-0.
17 mins: Intensely physical match, so far. It's never as enjoyable when the play is broken up by a foul every few minutes. Plus, we'll see less flair from the players. Neymar tries a pull back (my favorite move!) but a Mexican defender catches his foot. How the ref hasn't given a single yellow card yet is beyond me.
21 mins: Dani Alves is a stalwart on the right wing, isn't he? He's 31 years old but doesn't look a tiny bit slower than teammates five or ten years his junior.
24 mins: Mexico fire a shot in and it looks like it's going to hit the crossbar, but Julio Caesar acrobatically gets a hand up and tips it over anyway. And here come Mexico again...
26 mins: End-to-end stuff here. Brazil break and Dani Alves whips in a cross from the right side and their star Neymar heads it into the left corner. But Mexico's keeper produces a top-class save and palms it wide.
30 mins: The stands in Fortaleza are a sea of yellow (Brazil fans) interspersed with pockets of bright red (Mexico). But so far, Brazil don't look like they're firing on all cylinders. Unlike, say, Holland or Germany, they're not bossing the field.
32 mins: Neymar makes a lung-bursting run towards the box but is closed down by four (count 'em!) Mexican players. That's why he's a star player... but the ball bounces off someone's shin and sails harmlessly into the Mexican keeper's arms.
25 minutes: Hey folks! Sorry I'm late! Was over at City Hall finishing a story (the mayor does not time his announcements around World Cup games, sadly). Then I ran down to Fado's to catch the game, but lo and behold, they're at capacity and wouldn't let me in! So I'm at the Owl and Thistle instead.
So: it's 1-0 and I hear we scored in the first minute! But, I just heard a shout that we'd be further ahead if Landon Donovan was on the field, which is true, I'm sure.
27 minutes: Here's the goal—the fifth fastest in World Cup history, scored by the Seattle Sounders' own Clint Dempsey:
30 minutes: Lots of "oooohs" from the Owl and Thistle crowd as a Ghana player elbows an American defender in the face. He is reprimanded with a yellow card.
32 mins: OUCH!!! Dempsey takes a kick to the face as he lunges for a header. He's on the ground with a bloody nose, getting treated. That is a really high kick. No card from the referee?
Well, that's it. The NHL season has ended and the Kings have won the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years. Friday's game was an intense, perfect example of why I love hockey, especially playoff hockey.
The Kings were up 3-1 in the seven game series, and the Rangers come out strong, scoring first and skating with a lot of speed. The momentum shifted, though, after a BULLSHIT tripping call that put the Kings on the power play, allowing them to tie the game 2-2. The game went into double sudden death overtime. If the Kings scored, it was all over. If the Rangers scored, they survived another day. There were so many heart-stopping shots that hit the goalpost and the Rangers got a couple of really intense power plays that were skillfully killed off by the Kings. I'm not even really emotionally invested in either of these teams but I was still yelling at the screen and jumping around the room!
Here's how it all ended:
Yeah, I wanted the Rangers to take it, but at least it wasn't Chicago, right?
Anyway, now what am I supposed to do? I face this problem every summer. I'm sure every sports fan has this problem. Once the thing that sucked up a fairly decent amount of your time goes away, what do you do with that extra time? I know the World Cup is happening, but I don't really know anything about soccer, and the NBA's season is over, too, so it's too late to jump on that bandwagon.
That said, the Mariners, I'm told, are doing really well this season despite dealing with a lot of injuries. Maybe I will be a fair-weather baseball fan! Or, does anyone want to give me a World Cup primer? Are there vuvuzelas this year? I hate vuvuzelas.
This is not the past but the future for all societies...
'the two faces of Brazil' #worldcup RT @RealGomezRM Las dos caras de Brasil. pic.twitter.com/bbWuVRLIoL ht @roqchams
— Knox (@knox_o) June 13, 2014
The BRICS of this world will never escape the middle-income trap, and this might be good news for our environment (if everyone lived like US Americans, we would need 4 earths, but if we all lived like Indians, the one we have now is more than enough). And in the G7s of this world, the rich are reclaiming the wealth that for a moment in the 20th century was, after the shock two great wars, transferred to and greatly expanded the middle classes. This is indeed what Thomas Piketty's bestselling book Capital in the 21st Century is all about. Eventually BRICS and G7s will be indistinguishable. The biggest question of our times is how to develop our societies without economic growth. The solution will not be found in reality but in mental conceptions.
UPDATE: BuzzFeed claims that the image of the Brazilian football fans and the woman in the dumpster was not taken at the 2014 World Cup but from another international football event that happened in Brazil last year. This claim, however, makes no dent on the point of my post.
The Oneida Nation issued a press release today that reads, in part:
At halftime of tonight’s Game 3 of the NBA Championship, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation will air in seven major T.V. markets a 60-second version of the National Congress of American Indians’ Proud To Be ad, which celebrates Native American culture and opposes the racist name of Washington, D.C.’s NFL team.
Here's a two-minute version of the ad:
This is part of a greater marketing campaign centered around the website ChangetheMascot.org. How much longer is this football team going to cling to their outdated, racist branding? Can their brand identity really be worth all this trouble?
How often are you supposed to water these things anyway?
We can explain much of what we see in this profoundly problematic video, "Dr. Dre presents 'The Game Before The Game,'" as the globalization of black American culture...
Only two teams remain. Last night the LA Kings just barely eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime during game seven of the Western Conference finals. It was an amazing, penalty-filled game and since the Kings spent the whole night playing catch-up to Chicago's lead, I felt like the dumb Blackhawks were going to win it. But nope! Surprise! Alec Martinez hit one into the net about five minutes into overtime and Patrick Kane's summer vacation started early (ha ha).
In the last Stanley Cup Slog poll 43% of you hockey fans predicted the Blackhawks were going to win the Cup and almost 30% of you thought the Canadiens would get it. But you were all wrong! BOTH teams are out! So now who's it gonna be? The Kings or the Rangers? I say the Rangers will do it in six games. That's my prediction. What's yours?
Side note: Does anyone else wish that, instead of shaking hands at the end of the series, the players rubbed their playoff beards together? No? Just me? Okay.
Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer won a frenetic bidding war for ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, with his $2-billion offer setting a record price for an NBA team, The Times has learned.
Grant Brissey Slogged about this possibility a couple days ago. I think Ballmer just wants to buy the Clippers because people are guaranteed to like him more than the last owner. Who says you can't buy love?
More from the Times:
The tentative deal still must receive the blessing of [Shelly Sterling's] husband, Donald Sterling, who has waxed and waned on the question of whether he would allow his wife to sell the team he has controlled for more than three decades.
The deal also needs the eventual approval of 29 other NBA owners, but is expected to clear that hurdle as long as Ballmer reaffirms his pledge to keep the team in Los Angeles and not move it to Seattle, where he lives.
No Seattle Clippers for you.
And that's maybe or maybe not a good thing for Seattle NBA fans. Shelly, who says she is just business partners with good ole' boy and estranged husband Donald, co-owns the team through a trust. The starting price, speculates ESPN's Bill Simmons:
Hearing the basement for a Clippers offer now starts at 1.8 billion. There is no way they go for less than 2b if it becomes an auction.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 26, 2014
With a net worth valued at more than $20 billion, Ballmer could definitely afford the team, but the chances of the Clippers coming to Seattle are slim. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reports Shelly's said she'll not sell to someone planning to move the team, and Ballmer himself has said he wouldn't move the team if he bought it.
Confirmed Shelly Sterling mtg with Steve Ballmer today (@TMZ reported).... told she'd never sell to someone who'd move the team tho
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 25, 2014
"If Ballmer heads for Los Angeles as a Clippers owner, it effectively ends any NBA role he’d play here and deals a serious blow to [Chris] Hansen’s plan," writes Geoff Baker at Seattletimes.com. And it makes sense. Ballmer's money has been part of Hansen's plan for a while now, and sans the ducats, Hansen would likely have to go partner shopping again. This all raises two questions: 1) Is Ballmer bluffing and ultimately planning to bring the team north, and 2) How many professional basketball teams does California need?
Fun fact: Other potential suitors include Oprah Winfrey, Patrick Soon-Shiong, Floyd Mayweather, Magic Johnson and David Geffen.
Stranger: Where are you now?
We're at home. We're just actually about to go to the laundromat and do some laundry, because our washing machine is broken. It's really exciting stuff.
Did your washing machine meet the same fate as the keyboard (piano) in your music video?
We have a series of home appliance destruction videos we're gonna put out this year.
Have you guys been on tour recently?
We actually haven't…we've done a few one-off things. We went up to Everett last weekend for the Fisherman's Village Festival.
How was that?
Amazing, actually. I don't know if I'm getting crotchety, or what, but I'm loving these small festivals that have great lower-to-mid-level bands, as opposed to the big headliners. I feel like the music's better, and people who are there are there to see the music. It's just cooler stuff, better vibes.
Have you ever been to the Gorge before?
I've been to Sasquatch! three times as a fan.
Are you all Portland natives?
Two of us are from Portland—born and bred—and another of us, Lizzy [Ellison], went to high school here, but was born in the Midwest. Patti [King]'s from the Midwest, and Matt [Rafferty]'s from Olympia.
The NHL playoffs are now in round three of four and, admittedly, I haven't been following them as closely as usual because, well, the Nashville Predators didn't make the playoffs this year* and I'm not sure my heart can take another Chicago victory (I hate you, Kane; I hate you, "Chelsea Dagger").
But regardless of who's playing, playoff hockey is some of the most exciting hockey to watch. And here's where were at: Last night the Blackhawks beat the L.A. Kings and on Saturday New York took the series lead by scoring SEVEN goals on Montreal. SEVEN. Poor Canadiens. But perhaps that was New York's goal quota for the series? Maybe the Habs will shut 'em out every time now!
I'm just glad the Canadiens or the Rangers will get to the finals because neither of them have been since the ’90s. I like underdogs. So I'm rooting for whoever wins that series to go and kick either L.A.'s or Chicago's ass. (Preferably L.A. because go away Chicago.)
Who do you think will win the Cup? I'm predicting the Habs. I don't know why. That's what I want to see happen. I like P. K. Subban.
* But now the Preds have some fresh coaching blood (welcome to town, Peter Laviolette!), so perhaps that's what they need to get back on track next season. I am hopeful!
But he didn't kiss a dude—he just shot one or two (allegedly, allegedly)—so there's nothing to explain to your kids.
Last night, Donald Sterling on Magic Johnson: He fucked every girl in America, he has AIDS, he is not a role model, he has not helped the black community in the way rich Jews like him, Sterling, help the Jewish community...
The overrepresentation of the (few) Bill Gates of the world functions to justify the individual ownership of vast amounts of money: They deserve all of those millions or billions because they had the brains and will to strike it rich and others did not. Indeed, Thomas Piketty makes the point in his popular book Capital in the 21st Century that the famous Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America is "systematically biased to overrepresent entrepreneurs and underrepresent heirs and heiresses." In another part of the book, which concerns university endowments, Piketty offers evidence that a massive amount of money only needs itself to grow (easily at 8% a year—as the economy grows at only 1% to 2%). This is the nightmare that only progressive taxes can wake us up from.
As he was trying to apologize on CNN last night, Donald Sterling veered away from contrition and began talking to Anderson Cooper about Magic Johnson:
"Big, Magic Johnson, what has he done?" Sterling asked Cooper. "He's got AIDS."
Cooper clarified that Johnson was diagnosed with HIV, not AIDS. Sterling went on, "What kind of a guy has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. What does he do for the black people?"
While Magic Johnson doesn't need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack... The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.
As for Johnson himself:
I'd rather be talking about these great NBA Playoffs than Donald Sterling's interview.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 13, 2014
Can't believe this hasn't been on Slog yet.
Yeah, this may seem like a fratboy stunt, but have you run a 5-minute mile while not drinking beer? Thought not. James Nielsen bust out a 4:57 mile while chugging a can of the stuff before completing each of four laps of the track. Granted, it was Budweiser, but still… It’s a remarkable feat. (I didn't know this before I saw this digg.com post, but Beer Mile is a real thing and Nielsen just broke the record for it.) My best mile time is… yes, 4:57, stone-cold sober, in high school, so a toast to Nielsen—preferably with something higher quality than Bud.
Huffington Post says that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has announced that Donald Sterling has been fined 2.5 million dollars and banned from the NBA.
“Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,” Silver said during a press conference in New York on Tuesday afternoon. “Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility. He may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions.”
Silver also said he would try to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has wrapped a news conference in which he announced the NBA's punishment of Donald Sterling for controversial comments Sterling allegedly made about blacks. The Clippers owner was banned for life and fined $2.5 million. Silver also said he would urge NBA owners and the board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team. "I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA," Silver said.
Sterling bought the LA Clippers in 1981 and Forbes says it would be a mistake to force him to sell now:
Sterling bought the Clippers for $12.5 million in 1981. In January we valued the team at $575 million, 13th in the 30 team league. But that valuation in tenuous given the response of the market to Sterling’s comments. The longer Sterling holds onto the team the more the market will punish Sterling. Sponsors are fleeing the Clippers.... Longer term, when the contracts of the current players end few, if any, good players will want to be part of the Clippers. It would become harder for the Clippers to sell tickets and their television audience will fall. The team’s revenue and value would plummet. A severe fine for Sterling? Absolutely. But a harsher penalty than pushing him to sell the Clippers would be letting him hang on so market forces crush the value of the team.
It turns out that Sterling isn't just a racist, a slumlord, a lousy husband, and a terrible boyfriend. He's also a registered Republican.
Spring has sprung and a few photographer friends and I are wondering if anyone here in Slogland has a favorite demolition derby in the mighty Northwest? Suggestions for Washington, Oregon, Montana, and/or Vancouver B.C.?
The Slamfest Demo Derby, produced by Evergreen Speedway/High Road Promotions this past weekend, at the Washington State Spring Fair was pretty spectacular (and please enjoy these photos by Jake Clifford because someone else [starring me!] was so excited to go to Puyallup that she forgot the battery for her camera.) Also don't forget to check out the Washington State Fair's website for all sorts of smaller events before the big 2014 Washington State Fair in September. More photos of Slamfest after the jump!
The Mariners are leading the league! This very moment—right here, right now—may end up being the highlight of the season for this young team, but cautious optimism says maaaaybe not... Don't stop believing! Go, go, expensive Robinson Cano! If we beat the Angels tonight at Safeco Field, that's how a great start to a season continues to be great. It's a beautiful day for baseball (that is, it might not rain the whole game). You can't hit the ball if you don't swing the bat. Etc.!
My friend Ben has gone to the M's home opener every year for the past 14 years. He says:
Today is a special day in any Seattle sports fan's life. Opening day. The first home game. A day of hope and possibilities. A day to drink deeply of life and of beer. A day to see the new Mariners—a Dominican man making 240 million dollars and a rookie making only $600,000. A new manager and new versions of ballpark food [like wings made with Ballard's excellent Bonache hot sauce! Georgetown Brewing Company cask-conditioned beer! Taylor Farms shellfish! Hot Cakes desserts!—B.J.C.]. Today is 14 years in a row of opening days with my friend Devon, a streak I hope to continue until we're dead. Friends and family all converge on Safeco Field to watch, kind of, baseball. We aren't in last place yet, there are no major injuries—there is hope. I am excited to smell the garlic fries, see old friends, and groan when the crowd cheers for the hat-trick game on the jumbo tron. Go M's! Happy opening day!
Chris Hansen, the billionaire investor whose attempt to bring the Sacremento Kings to Seattle was rejected last year by the NBA, tells the Seattle Times:
““Does anybody really think that Seattle is not going to have an NBA team at some point in the future?” Hansen said. “I think everybody can get really impatient when things don’t happen on their own agenda.
"It’s inevitable Seattle will have a basketball team. It’s just a question of when. Our job is to get the arena through the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) process and done and evaluate opportunities as they come up. The next time an opportunity comes our way, we’re going to be in a lot better position.”
Hansen expects the EIS, which is considered the last major hurdle for the $490 million proposed arena, will be completed this summer.
And! In other Seattle sportsball news, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is still calling out bullshit wherever he sees it like a badass, questioning in Sports Illustrated why a black player who grew up in the same area of Los Angeles that he did was
expelled released from his contract with an NFL team for alleged gang ties—while a white player caught on video making explicit racist threats wasn't even suspended:
I look at those words—gang ties—and I think about all the players I’ve met in the NFL and all of us who come from inner-city neighborhoods like mine in Los Angeles, and I wonder how many of us could honestly say we’re not friends with guys doing the wrong things.
Sherman is a huge credit to the Seahawks, the NFL, and human beings.
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