Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008: The Year That Was - October, November, and December

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It's hard to comment on recent events with any real sense of perspective. But the last three months of 2008, for fans of the national team, have been a time a much moaning, handwringing, and self-loathing. And Dale Mitchell-loathing. To wit:

OCTOBER

2008.10.06 - Who will replace thee, JDG?: I don't really know enough about the tactical side of soccer to comment expertly on a lot of what happens on the field (which works out nicely, since most of these comments come during liveblogs when I am somewhere between angry and drunk). But roster speculation is a game I like to play, and I was pretty proud of the fact that I campaigned for Sandro Grande and Will Johnson to get called up, and not 45 days later (only a month after the matches that might still have mattered) they got to pull on the red jersey (or did they wear white in Jamaica? Who cares!)

2008.10.11 - Honduras - Canada live blog: This was a joint effort between me and this blog's occasional contributor. I am one to toot my own horn (this line would get a few raised eyebrows from my perverted friends), and I feel the following paragraph is some of the best writing, and most typical of a Canadian fan, that has appeared on the blog:
It's over. (Ok, so there are two minutes left. Whatever. I turned off the TV, Honduras up 3-1). I'm amazingly unpissed off. Mitchell coached a good game today, given the players at his disposal. Harmse was shockingly unshitty. Canada played hard, and lost on quality of finishing, and lucky bounces that went the other way.

Mitchell should obviously be fired, but on the basis of his previous work, not tonight.
You like? I'm particularly fond of the line "Harmse was shockingly unshitty", although the same was the case a few days later against Mexico.

2008.10.13 - So that's what it looks like to celebrate a win . . . : I got wrapped up in Montreal's Champions League run and tried to shit on TFC as much as I could (sorry guys, old anti-T.O. sports teams habits die hard) so Vancouver's enormously successful USL season kind of flew under my radar.


2008.10.15 - Canada - Mexico live blog: For me, this live blog was the most fun of the entire campaign. Partly it was because all hopes had been dashed. The other part was I found an outlet for my emotions in man-love for Radzinski, who was having one of those rare performances where a Canadian is the best man on the pitch against a world class team.

2008.10.29 - Vancouver Whitecaps: Canada's most Canadian pro team!: This post got a lot of page views, in part because I spammed it at the Voyageurs forum, generating some good discussion. What this blog lacks in readers, we make up in cut-and-pasted spreadsheets!


NOVEMBER

2008.11.11 - Hume hurts head, hospitalized: Iain Hume's career-threatening, and briefly life-threatening, head injury at the hands (elbow) of career thug Chris Morgan was one of the important and scary stories of Canadian players in 2008. And of course I go and trivialize it by writing a headline with stupid cheesy alliteration. And on the 11th day of the 11th month, no less. Word is that he is doing better now.

2008.11.13 - How Mitchell are you? Take the quiz? - Almost as scary as a life-threatening head injury is the fact that Dale Mitchell and I picked near-identical squads for the Jamaica match (I got 13 of his 18 right).

2008.11.18 - Canada - Jamaica: How to watch, Short version (Long version): Canada - Jamaica didn't make the boob tube so I didn't see it. Maybe there is a God, and he is merciful.


Some final numbers on the campaign.


DECEMBER


2008.12.12 - De Rosario to TFC: There were some interesting player moves in December. De Rosario to Toronto FC was one, De Guzman to Toronto FC was not.

2008.12.15 - Canadian 2008 Player of the Year nominees: This post is an illustration of how little I have going on in life. I spent a couple of hours on a Saturdfay afternoon (granted it was probably -30 C out) cobbling together some spreadsheets, analysis, and a shot of Kara Lang stretching for the infatuated boys and girls out there. Here's another one:


2008.12.17 - 2008 youtube match "highlights": Watch at your own risk!

2008.12.18 - Stalteri to Borussia Moenchengladbach: I got this one right, but only because I cribbed the rumour from a post on the Vs forums, and did a little googling auf Deutsch.


I wouldn't be a good Canadian if I didn't take the chance to piss all over other Canadians who have had success. I do it in December (Happy fucking holidays!) to De Ro and De Guzman the younger (the term 'Canadian' has a different meaning for him than for most other people).

2008.12.29 - NT debuts in 2008: 5 players who busted their Canada MNT cherries in 2008. Nothing to write home about in this group, though. How many of you will be telling your kids about watching Adrian Cann for Canada?


Let's hope 2009 is a better year for Canadian soccer.

2 comments:

Duane Rollins said...

Do you think adding a Kara Lang stretching label will bump my page views up?

(Maybe it says something about me that I'd be more excited by the label "Kara Lang holding the damn ball for more than three seconds.")

Objectively, I can look at Lang and realize that's she's a pretty girl, if not a bit suburban, for my tastes. But, when I look at her all I really see is wasted talent and I want to strangle the old Norwegian fool that caused her to think hat she needs to kick the ball somewhere the second she gets it on her foot.

Man, all this soccer blogging is making me cranky.

J said...

I'm just giving the people what they want with respect to Lang. During the Olympics I chose my own favourites in terms of physical appeal on the team, and Kara wasn't among them.

As for her play, you are right. But you could say the same about any number of talented and athletically gifted women on the team that have been improperly utilized and tactically stunted by our "Norwegian fool".

On the other hand, I think a player like Sinclair actually benefits from Pellerud's, um, "direct" style of football.

All this from watching 5 or 6 womens' games over the last 2 years.