Thank Heaven For Soccer

Sometimes, there is a scarcity of items on my clipboard pending comment. In times like that, I might need to resort to an analysis of the advantages of the 3-4 defense in the NFL or maybe to some kind of commentary where I use double entendre with regard to the pictures that Brett Favre allegedly sent to Jenn Sterger. It looked as if today might be one of those days – - until an extremely reliable source of bizarre sporting behavior came through with a lead item. Allow me to give thanks once again to the world of international soccer. Hosanna!

A report by the AP says that a staff member for a Peruvian soccer club – - Sport Ancash – - poisoned/drugged the water/Gatorade for the opposing side in an attempt to “level the playing field”. Yeah, I know; I had to read that twice too before I could process the information.

Sport Ancash was playing Hijos de Acosvinchos. With about 5 minutes left in the game, one of the Hijos defensemen simply collapsed in the middle of the field. Play was suspended as team medics attended to him; then play resumed. However, once play resumed, it did not take long for three other Hijos players to collapse on the field also.

Now international soccer is famous for its faked injuries, but there was no reason for Hijos’ players to be faking injury here; the score was 3-0 in favor of Hijos. One of the players who collapsed recalled a drink he took having a “bitter taste”. Players taken to the hospital had traces of “a psychoactive drug with sedative properties” in their bloodstream.

Now, even in the world in international soccer, this is an outrageous situation and so the President of Sport Ancash had to reach outside the limits of soccer to come up with a way to explain the drug findings by the local hospital. So, where did this Sport Ancash official turn for guidance?

    To the world if International Cycling of course…

When Alberto Contador tested high on testosterone and other stuff, he blamed it on a steak that he ate along with its sauce. Sport Ancash claims that the Hijos players ate rotisserie chicken along with energy drinks before the game and that is how they wound up with benzodiazepine in their bloodstreams. Honestly, I could not make that kind of stuff up…

Peru is a neighbor of Chile and the big news out of Chile in the past several months is the rescue of the trapped miners who spent more than two months surviving underground until they could be rescued. Now that the miners are on the surface of the earth and not buried under it, they have achieved a modicum of celebrity status. One of them used to be a professional soccer player who made it to the Chilean national team for a while. The miners’ celebrity status has attracted various offers to them including attendance at important soccer games in Chile where people can express their gratification regarding their safety. All of that is fine…

What seems to me to be a bit of a stretch is that the Chilean miners have been offered an entry slot in the New York City Marathon. These guys just spent more than two months underground; the NYC Marathon will happen on November 7th. If those miners made a list of all the things they wanted to do once they were rescued, that list would have been very long indeed given the time they had to compile the list down there. So, how far down on the list do you think they had to go before they got to the entry:

    Run 26.2 miles without time to train for it.

Here are some of the entries on the list that ought to be close to that one:

    Gargle with razor blades
    Read a book on farm subsidies
    Watch Ishtar
    Drink downstream from the herd.

According to recent reports, Greg Norman is engaged to be married yet again – - this time to a woman identified as a “long-term friend”. Given Norman’s less-than-fully-successful previous marriages and the fall-out from them, I wonder why he wants to try again.

Greg Norman divorced his first wife after several years of really messy litigation and the settlement reportedly cost him $103M. He paid that to Wife #1 so that he could marry Chris Evert. That marriage lasted 18 months and ended in a “secret divorce” finalized in Key West last December. [For those of you keeping score at home, that comes to $5.72M per month Norman paid for that marriage. Wow!] Now, comes news of an impending third marriage to a “long-term friend” to whom Norman gave a 6-carat diamond ring.

I guess the only explanation here is that Greg Norman is a serial honeymooner.

Here is an NBA note that might be interesting to follow for a while. Gordon Hayward (the kid from Butler whose half court shot rimmed out in the NCAA Final Game last April) was the 9th pick in the NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. That pick made its way to the Jazz in a series of exchanges, but the pick originally belonged to the NY Knicks who sent it to Phoenix about 5 years ago because the Knicks just had to have Stephon Marbury join the Knicks so that Marbury could sit at the end of the bench in street clothes and refuse to play for the team.

Even if Hayward does not become an All-Star, this could be another lasting example of NY Knicks’ stupidity.

Finally, having mentioned Greg Norman above, here is a comment from another old-time golfer, Gary Player, on the state of his golf game:

“I hit it so short now I can hear the ball land.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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  • Ed  On October 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Are the miners EACH running 26.2, or is it a relay? might get them nice press and a nice trip if they each are running about 1 kilometer…

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On October 22, 2010 at 9:10 am


    Don’t know any details. Just read that miners had been invited and offered starting spots in the race.

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