The World Cup is coming, so this might be a bit futbol-centric for a while. If you need to go somewhere else for your bilious analysis of world events and general disdain for life on this planet, we understand. And as a gift for your forbearance, this numbers-heavy quarterback analysis from Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com.
Steve Young is the fourth-best quarterback ever by this ranking system, Joe Montana sixth, John Brodie 17th and Y.A. Tittle is 25th, all before the first Raiders on the list, Daryle Lamonica (27th), Rich Gannon (43rd), Daunte Culpepper (45th), Matt Schaub (46th), Carson Palmer (50th), George Blanda (63rd), Kenny Stabler (66th), Tom Flores (97th) and Jeff George (100th). No Jim Plunkett at all.
Oh, and Jim Harbaugh was 134th, behind Stan Humphries and ahead of Hall of Famer Dutch Clark.
Raider fans are directed to the web site for their enraged responses. I'm just a dancing monkey who types things, so leave me the hell out of it.
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And if you were looking for a reason to see the good in Bud Selig, Gary Bettman or Adam Silver, consider this: None of them are FIFA head Sepp Blatter, or ever will be.
Blatter, the 78-year-old who has supervised this rolling corruption circus for 16 years, is facing a full-on revolt two days before the start of the biggest thing FIFA does, all from Europeans who think he has turned the entire organization into a graft-sucking, game-fixing mockery of international justice and total septic tank with a ball.
And why? Because he announced last month he planned to defy his own edict and run for another five-year-term, and did so while calling the people who have criticized him for Qatar’s bid for the 2022 Cup “racists.” If you’re not sure what Qatar’s bid is, we’ll summarize: voters were basically given bribes to approve a soccer tournament to be played on the surface of the sun, and which has seen the deaths of hundreds of workers through systematic maltreatment.
But never mind all that; let’s get down to Netherlands FA head Michael Van Praag, who said flat out, “People don’t take you seriously any more.”
And Blatter’s response, given Wednesday, was proof: “Football is not just a game, it is a multi-billion dollar business. I don't know if that is good or not. It creates controversial situations and then some difficulties. In this changing world, little is beyond the reach of politics and economics.” And bribery, don’t forget bribery.
And, because you don’t get enough laughs in your day, he also said football is enjoyed “from north to west to east and south” and added, “We shall wonder if one day our game is played on other planets. Then one day we won't have the World Cup, we will have interplanetary contests.”
Europe wins the Internet today.
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Unless it U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who iterated his claim that the U.S. cannot win the World Cup. “You have to be realistic. Every year we are getting stronger,” he said. “We don't look at ourselves as underdogs. We are not. We are going to take the game to Ghana and they will take it to us and it will be an exciting game and then we go from there. For us now talking about winning a World Cup, it is just not realistic. If it is American or not, you can correct me.”
Cue Michael Wilbon and the INS.
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And now, prop bets, or better yet, novelty props. We don’t have to explain them, we just have to list them, so bet as though your kids were never born:
Will a Player Fail a Drug Test During the World Cup (Yes: 6/1)?
Will Luis Suarez outscore England (7/2)?
Will any keeper perform a scorpion kick (66/1)?
Any player to receive two yellow cards, no red card in a match (100/1)?
[SOCCERLY: Klinsmann Keeps Expectations Low]
Will Ireland compete as the 33rd team (Yes: 400/1), and no, I have no idea.
Will Mario Balotelli of Italy display a slogan on his undershirt (Yes: 11/4)?
Will Lionel Messi go scoreless (No goals: 12/1)?
Will Cristiano Ronaldo go scoreless (No goals: 9/2)?
Will Neymar go scoreless (No goals: 5/1)?
And your own favorite, Who will referee the final (leaders include Portugal’s Pedro Proenca at 6/1, Italy’s Nicola Rizzoli at 13/2 and Spain’s Carlos Velasco Carballo at 9/1, with American Mark Geiger at 100/1 and Joey Crawford off the board)?
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If you’re running out of time to fill out your World Cup bracket what with Brazil-Croatia looming Thursday, perhaps the wonk patrol at the Wall Street Journal can help with their World Cup of Everything. Probably not, but it’s too close top the actual event for you to still be working on mundane tasks like the things your boss wants you to do.
A quick help for you patriots out there: The U.S. kicks booty in population, number of airports, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and airports with Starbucks and McDonald’s in them, GDP, cars, CO2 emissions, BMI, sugar consumption and obesity –- and of this without Landon Donovan.
In other words, bet Brazil if you like favorites, Belgium if you like to take risks.
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And finally, sex, and whether the U.S. will be at a disadvantage because of Klinsmann’s laissez-faire attitude toward players engaging in their third favorite hobby (after video games and thinking about sex). It is not known what Portugal’s policy is, although as the only nation other than Brazil that speaks the mother tongue, that policy might be honored more in the breach. Ghana’s policy is none at all, and Germany’s ambiguous, though wives and girlfriends are staying at a separate hotel.
Nobody is giving up more, though, than Italian porn midfielder Rocco Siffredi, who took a vow of chastity this week, to show his support for the national team according to a video posted on his Facebook fan page that featured two young women sprawled on the bed behind him.
“Guys,” he said, “I've had thousands of orgasms but there is one I will never forget. The one I had together with all of you. Do you remember when we won the World Cup in 2006? So for that collective orgasm (to happen again) I am prepared to go without my orgasms. For the entire time our national squad is in Brazil I won't have sex. It will be my chastity vote for the victory of Italy . . . and to the 22 players who are in Brazil, I ask only one thing, let me at least enjoy you.”
And yes, that deafening roar you hear is an entire nation forfeiting dinner at once.