Not too long ago, an article appeared on the beloved Pucked in the Head spotlighting a rather odd request made by the Seattle Sounders. Jason, being the man that he is, took it upon himself to broadcast the faux pas to the masses, not because he wanted to embarrass the Sounders and their supporters, but because it was the right thing to do.
Surely this was merely an oversight on the Sounders’ marketing and design teams’ parts, and really, who can blame them? Most of us here in North America speak English and Seattle happens to be located approximately 2469.6 miles from the birthplace of the language. That’s a lot of space in which to lose a comma or two during transport. It happens.
But there’s no excuse for the fabricators of this little gem:
With England set to take on our beloved Canadians in the quarter-finals at the Women’s World Cup, the cast of the “Bend it like Beckham” musical decided to counsel us to “Come on [their] girls.” My favourite part of the whole thing is the exclamation point, suggesting their message isn’t merely a prompting, but rather a full-fledged directive with authority.
They probably would have been better off sending their well wishes via show tune and skipping the whole “writing” thing altogether.
In an age of hyper marketing, intense competition and tightly controlled PR, it’s amazing that truly horrible ideas can still make it past the brainstorming stage. Whether it’s the nightmare of design by committee or just a conflagration of mediocre talents pulling the wool over the eyes of out of touch rich CEOs, we occasionally see awful designs rolled out in an underwhelming explosion of anticlimax. Today, we analyze the most recent Scottish obscenity with the resurrection of Somebody Approved This.
To our regular readers of Somebody Approved This: first, an apology. Not only has it been several months since the last iteration of this column, our return today takes a radical departure from previous posts and does not deal with a jersey. We would like both of you to rest assured that this is a temporary departure, and normal jersey ridicule will resume whenever I get off my lazy ass and pen another entry. This week, in a move one imagines is designed to reduce the incidence of lost children at football matches by ensuring they spend the afternoon clinging to their parents’ legs in terror, Scottish Premiership club Partick Thistle FC unveiled their new dark prince mascot, Kingsley.
Most everyone in the media were calling for the Swiss to upset the Canadian national soccer team at the Women’s World Cup. Kudos, then, to the ladies in red, who gutted out a 1-0 win against two of the most dangerous individual threats in the game.
The game itself was less than stunning, a statement with which my Pucked in the Head compadre Chris Withers will be happy to concur. With a berth in the knockout rounds almost guaranteed, the US played a conservative, defensive game. They were more content to limit Nigeria’s forward movement than to create any of their own. Consequently, keeper Hope Solo had little to do but wave at her adoring fans and glare at the officials.
The Globe and Mail’s Cathal Kelly has been making a lot of friends lately.
The sports columnist for the national rag has raised the hackles of more than a few with his coverage of the Women’s World Cup. He began on June 4th, with a mildly amusing and utterly harmless hit piece on the city of Edmonton in which he suggested that Toronto would have been a more appropriate host with the eyes of the world watching the opening ceremonies. He was half right. Edmonton wasn’t the best choice. Yesterday, Kelly continued to aggravate women’s soccer fans when he panned the entire tournament to date as boring and dreary. Once again, he wasn’t wrong.
On the eve of Vancouver’s second double header of the tournament, we revisit the first. Cameroon spanked Ecuador 6-nil despite the teams sitting just five spots apart in the FIFA world rankings. I suppose that’s what you get when an African country plays far fewer meaningful international friendlies in the months leading up to the Women’s World Cup — Cameroon is far better than its 53rd place ranking would suggest. Check 33rd ranked Nigeria shocking the fifth ranked Swedes with a hard fought 3-3 draw in their first game.
The clear choice for Woman of the Match was Gaelle Enganamouit, who galloped into the box with abandon, scoring from the run of play and the penalty spot with equal ease. She put the ball into the back of the net three times, in fact, in 90 minutes equalling the entire offensive output of Group A’s four teams over the course of four games.
In the second match of the day, Switzerland did everything but score on the defending champion Japanese. Most impressive were their lauded stars, numbers 10 and 11, Ramona Bachmann and Lara Dickenmann. Bachmann made one run in particular that left four Japanese defenders and their behemoth goaltender flailing on the turf — more than one observer compared the play to something Lionel Messi might put together. If she hadn’t slipped on the end line, she would no doubt have danced the ball into the net for the goal of the tournament.
While Canada has struggled to score in Group A, they’ve also managed consecutive clean sheets against China and New Zealand to remain atop their group standings. Thankfully, the Germans, Cameroonians, Norwegians and Nigerians, to name a few squads, have put some impressive highlight reels together.
Most people don’t really like wrinkles. They tend to be a byproduct of growing old and preliminary research has confirmed that aging has been linked to all sorts of health issues. And if they aren’t representative of aging, they likely signify prolonged exposure to water, which, let’s be honest, is the worst part of prolonged exposure to water.
Think about that last grocery receipt you threw out. It was garbage. Trash. Deemed unworthy to keep amongst your possessions, so you chucked it away. I’d wager that before you tossed it in the trash, you crumpled it up, rendering it into a ball of wrinkled rubbish to reinforce its uselessness.
Wrinkled carpets are perilous tripping hazards.
Billions of dollars have been spent on developing wrinkle-reversing creams and wrinkle-resistant clothing, because that’s how much we hate wrinkles.
But I’m here to tell you that wrinkles can be helpful. And when it comes to the Vancouver Whitecaps, an extra crease on their complexion might be just what the doctor ordered. Continue reading Not Enough Wrinkles→
The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup is set to get underway in a few days’ time. For those new to the game, as they say, you can’t tell the players without a program — so here’s the Team Canada roster, including social media info for your tweeting pleasure.
The Stanley Cup final promises to be one of the most entertaining in years. The Chicago Blackhawks are on the verge of their third Stanley Cup win in six years, which would put them as close to unlocking the dynasty achievement badge as we’re likely to see a team get in our lifetimes. Good lord, look at the roster: there are four legitimate Hall of Fame candidates in their top six alone. Across the ice, Steven Stamkos wants to cement legend status by winning his first; it may be surprising scoring machine Tyler Johnson, and not the suddenly clutch goaltender Ben Bishop, who gets him that ring.
Both teams had ten players score in double digits in 2014-15, and both teams had dominant goal differentials (Tampa was second overall at +51, while Chicago’s +40 was fourth). The season series was split at a win apiece, with the Hawks taking an overtime 3-2 decision and the Lightning shutting out Chicago 4-0. Keep in mind that second game took place just after Patrick Kane fractured his clavicle; Bishop likely won’t be earning many more shutouts in this series.
Forwards — advantage Hawks
The Bolts were the top team in scoring this year. Stamkos had 43 goals by himself, while Johnson and Nikita Kucherov each added 29. After the top line, fans outside the Atlantic Division may ask themselves, “Who the hell is that?” — Cedric Paquette and Alex Killorn aren’t exactly household names — but suffice it to say that this is a team with a few mid-grade weapons at its disposal. That said, the bottom six has contributed just one goal out of the past 20 for the Lightning.
The Hawks have Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp to throw over the boards. They’re tired? How about Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards, or playoff performer extraordinaire Andrew Shaw? This team may not have led the league in scoring — they were 16th overall, in fact — but they know how to score when it counts, and they’ve only gotten stronger as a unit as the playoffs have gone on. Witness the complete Game Seven shutdown of the vaunted Anaheim Ducks roster. Check Toews’ insistence upon dominating important games.
#Blackhawks Jonathan Toews:
GM 7 vs Ducks: 2 Goals
2014 Gold Medal: Goal
GM 7 vs Kings: Goal
GM 7 vs Canucks: Goal
2010 Gold Medal: Goal
Duncan Keith was insane in the final two games against the Ducks. He saw nearly 28 minutes of ice in that exhaustingly intense Game Seven, and remember this is a series that saw two looooooooong overtime games early on. Niklas Hjalmarsson wasn’t far behind at 26:45, and in fact the Hawks rely pretty damned heavily upon their big top four. Brent Seabrook and Johnny Oduya were both over 23 minutes.
On the other side, Victor Hedmanand Anton Stralman are the only men getting even close to this kind of ice time. Jason Garrison and Matt Carle hover around the 20-minute mark, but lose their effectiveness should they be asked to up that substantially. These guys are good depth blueliners — look at Garrison’s number five spot when he played in Vancouver — but lack the footspeed and game smarts to deal with Chicago’s wave-upon-wave of finesse-laden attack.
Goaltending — advantage Bolts
Herein lies Tampa Bay’s best chance at a second championship in franchise history. Ben Bishop had far fewer hiccoughs than highlights; Corey Crawford, on the glove hand, too often relies upon that stable of scorers to outshine his bad nights. Good grief, he let in nearly three goals a game against the Ducks. If Stamkos & Co. get in his head, this series — and thus the Cup —could go south in a hurry.
Coaching — advantage Hawks
There are cookie crumbs in Joel Quenneville’s moustache that have been behind an NHL bench longer than Jon Cooper. Sure, the latter presents Jon Cooper’s story, but Coach Q’s duster has kissed two Cups and a Jack Adams award. Quenneville is the winningest coach among active bench bosses — not including playoff totals, he has 653 more NHL wins than Cooper. Look, I’m not saying anything bad against the new guy. It’s just that, well, Q has been there. Coops has read about it. You’ve gotta go with the experience.
Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks in 5.
Conn Smythe: Duncan Keith
Russell and Jason wax poetic on the beautiful game, specifically with respect to the Vancouver Whitecaps upcoming six-week road swing.
• Thanks John
• Whitecaps take a loooooong road trip
• Want to be an MLS referee? Your fraud charge is no problem!
• Whitecaps got jobbed in Colorado
• Even the Rapids thought it was a bad call
• The Whitecaps haven’t inspired much confidence
• July and August will be hectic, to say the least
• Is Pedro back?
• Are Kah and Waston worth the fouls and cards?
• Fix You by Coldplay
• There’s always money in the banana stand