CHbLog – Inside Edge

Epic Summer

Sweet Jesus. The Tour de France begins Saturday.

Lance is ready. He’s also twittered it’s his last TdF. But what could be as equally intriguing to see unfold as the rivalry between Contador and Armstrong, is the level of cooperation between Contador and Vinokourov.

BUSY BEE: I don’t remember the World Cup overlapping the Tour de France and being so close to Wimbledon. Chrissakes, I’ve barely recovered from the emotional NBA and Stanley Cup championships. Guess once the next event begins, the past is stale.

Some is worth recapping:

On June 9, the Stanley Cup Championship game was won (read: “ripped from the hearts of Philly fans on home ice”) by the Chicago Blackhawks. Jeremy Roenick and I cried with joy together for the team who last won the Cup 49 years ago.

On June 17, the Lakers beat the Celtics for the NBA Championship. This series drew tears too – from Derek Fisher – while Ron Ron thanked his psychiatrist, bless his heart. That’s a lot of tough emotional and physical work, man.

The World Cup in South Africa has been screaming along since June 11, which brings me to my latest hypothesis: Americans prefer football over soccer because, in a sense, football is a celebration of the powerof Fatman, while soccer is a celebration of the prowessof Fitman. The last thing the American man needs is his woman seeing, in slow-motion replays, Fitman running, Fitman diving for the ball, Fitman taking off his shirt after a game. Sweet Jesus.

SHIRTS-N-SKINS: If you appreciate the male physique and are a fan of Spain, Torres walking off the field shirtless after a 1-0 loss in the opening round made it all better. Just like when Donovan of the US nearly pushed his shorts off after the game when the referee waived the legitimate US goal.

Now i understand the point of cheerleaders. Skin makes it all better.

Why yes, he does fly. Watching replays of goaltenders making saves in soccer, the kind where they fly through the air all Eeeeaglllllle! is spectacular, eh? In basketball, they float up. In soccer, they fly over.

Does anyone else break into O Canada during Portugal’s anthem?

BAD CALL: I’m as frustrated as the next non-European fan (which is to say, a little less than European “football” fan). But there are factors to consider. No referee chooses to look like an idiot on an international stage, should he have a choice. Any human being can have a really, really bad day (Coulibaly looked like he had a cold. Antihistamines, perhaps?) A referee doesn’t have the option to say, “Man – i suck. Someone take over for me.”

Does every referee have the opportunity to gain the critical experience necessary to officiate at the level of the World Cup? He better. A couple seem to have less impressive resumes.

And while waiving a goal can have such significant consequences, both emotional and financial, so can not scoring a goal, or bobbling a save. We quickly forget something significant a player botched (unless he’s the last line of defense). How many chances did Ronaldo get before he got it right – sort of? We stay forever furious at a referee who does the equivalent. Since pay is often brought up in related topics, i’m betting Ronaldo earns more than a referee.

I totally back the whole “FIFA needs to get with the times and utilize goal-line technology to confirm goals.” Duh.

TIMBITS: Wondering what the heck the magic cure-all spray is at the World Cup? Me too. Here’s a pretty good explanation. Soccer trainers work apparent miracles with the stuff. It even heals the emotional scars that caused the player to dive in the first place. The label on that can says, “ER” (ego restorative).

Here’s what i found about players exchanging jerseys with opponents at the conclusion of a match.

It’s a given. Advertising is evil. This shouldn’t surprise us.

The Double-A Central Hockey League has merged with the International Hockey League for the 2010-11 season. The three-time defending IHL champion Fort Wayne Komets oughta stir up some good rivalries with the top dogs of the CHL….

True to my pursuit of things the less competitive “sports” fan might find interesting (it’s called gentle recruiting, folks), check out this amazing custom kite design website. It’s chock full of artistic lovelies, from gorgeous kites to vibrant art. Even nipples….