Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Morning S***list

Comcast - I can't comment on the first 55 minutes of the Copa del Rey Final. Why? Because I ordered a new DVR receiver from Comcast before going out of town last Friday and they neglected to inform me that when they send a new receiver, they disable the old one remotely. So, when I got home yesterday, the cable box wasn't working and I did not have a recording for the Final. By the time I was able to talk to a "customer service" representative to sort the issue out, I was only able to pick-up the replay midway through. But hey, they took $5 off my bill, so it's all worthwhile!

ESPN3 - My first impulse when I realized the impact of Comcast's perfidy was to try to watch a replay of the game online, but neither of the links on ESPN3 were working. Helpfully, ESPN3 had a picture of the trophy with white ribbons on one of their broken replay pages, so I had a good idea as to the eventual victor before I started watching.

Me - I was a pouty bitch about not getting to watch the match in proper circumstances. Domestic hilarity ensued.

Cristiano Ronaldo - It's not enough that Barca had to lose a cup final to their arch rivals, but they did so to a Ronaldo goal. Playing Javier Mascherano at center back is probably the right move for Pep Guardiola because Busquets and Pique are too slow a pairing to function, especially against a fast counter-attacking side. The downside is that Mascherano is not a big guy. Thus, losing to a headed goal was not that surprising.

My Intellectual Honesty - I have evolved into a college football/European footie fan for a variety of reasons. One of the major reasons is that these are the two major sports that don't have the absurd American structure of ignoring a large sample size and putting outsized importance on a short playoff at the end of a long season. That said, Barca's season of over 60 matches is going to rise or fall on two games: the Champions League semifinal legs against Real Madrid. Win those and the season is a success (even if Barca are upset in the Champions League Final, although I suppose the manner of the match will matter). A domestic title, two cup finals, and taking two of three from Mourinho's Real would be a great season. Lose the tie and the season, while not a total failure, will come with a bitter aftertaste. The season (or at least the second half of the season) all built towards these four matches against Real. It cannot be an unqualified success if it ends in failure against the arch enemy. I hate this line of thinking because it throws away so much good work, but that's how I feel right now and I doubt that I'm alone.

1 comment:

Nate said...

I can't comment on the entire period of extra time because I forgot to set my DVR to record it. Someone with Comcast needs to figure out that all sports on DVR should automatically tape overtime, and instead of opting in for extra time you would need to opt out. After all, what percentage of the sports fan population tapes a game and is content not to watch extra time?

I had to get the results off the internet, though I should have known earlier. The pizza delivery guy saw the TV screen on a reflection off the painting in our hallway, and immediately said: "You watching Madrid game?" I was terrified he would spoil the result, so I quickly warned him not to, and he smiled and only said "It was a beautiful game" as he walked down the stairs.

But there were clues in there: who else would say "Are you watching the MADRID game" but a MADRID fan? And of course, now I know why he thought the game was beautiful.

Thoughts on the game: Based on the 2nd half, I though Barca would go in for the kill and win it in overtime. After Ozil left I don't think Madrid did much of anything with Adebayor. In the first half, Pepe's header off the crossbar from Ozil's cross was sublime, as was Messi's move past four defenders and his perfect pass to Pedro for a flagged offside goal. This is the joy of watching soccer at this level.

My money is still on Barca in the Champions League, but the absence of Puyol and Abidal is massive. With those two in the back, I don't think Madrid get close to scoring. Without them, they just might get a meeting with Man. United.