Monday, April 30, 2007

Phil Babb's lesson in physics

Phil Babb will forever be remember at Liverpool, although for reasons that have nothing to do with his quality. In a desperate attempt to stop a breakaway goal against Chelsea, Babb decided to go the extra mile but was ultimately unsuccessful. He slid into the awaiting post with his feet spread open and felt the full force of the abrupt stop where it counts.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Roy Keane ends a career

In 2000 former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane dealt an unforgivable career ending injury to Manchester City’s Alf Inge Haaland. Keane, who now manages Sunderland, recounts the incident from his own autobiography:

Throughout the game I’d been having a private feud with Alfie Haaland. He was winding me up from the beginning of the game . The late tackles I could live with, they were the normal part of football. But the other stuff – pulling my shirt, getting digs in off the ball – really bugged me… Five minutes from time, as we pushed forward in their box, I lunged in desperation at Haaland. I was trying to trip him up rather than kick him. I knew it would probably mean a booking, but fuck it, he’d done his job. He’d done my head in. As I slid in to make the challenge my studs caught the turf . I actually heard my cruciate ligament snap. The pain was instant and agonizing. Haaland stood over me shouting ‘Get up, stop faking it’. His colleague was gesturing to the same effect.

Further on:

Another crap performance. They’re up for it. We’re not….I’d waited almost 180 minutes for Alfie, three years if you looked at it another way. Now he had the ball on the far touchline, Alfie was taking the piss. I’d waited long enough. Fucking hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that you c***. And don’t ever stand over me again sneering about fake injuries.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rivaldo’s disgrace

During the 2002 World Cup when Brazil played Turkey, Rivaldo was responsible for the worst moment of the Cup.

The Hakan Unsal kicked the ball at Rivaldo as he prepared to take a corner. The ball hit him on the knee, Rivaldo collapsed to the ground holding his face as if he had been shot. The Turkish player was red carded. Rivaldo was fined a pitiful 5,000 pounds, he was quoted as having no regrets.


Worst luck ever

How about this for bad luck, the player tucks the ball under the keeper only to have the sopping wet pitch stop the ball right before it crosses the goal line. The would-be scorer runs off in celebaration only to be heartbroken.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Worst moments of football series

Below are a list of links dedicated to some of the worst moments in football whether they be on of off the pitch. You can also check out the greatest goals series and funniest moments series.

Keep checking back as I add new video clips.

Sometimes you just have to look on in awe at some of our fellow humans:

Remembering David Busst's Horrific Injury - 1996, Coventry vs Manchester United

He Tried to Break His Leg - November 2007, Augistin Binya, Benfica vs Celtic

The Clown - September 2007, Celtic vs AC Milan, Dida fakes his own death

The Butcher of Bilbao - September 1983, Andoni Goikoetxea, Bilbao vs Barcelona

Turkish Football Embarressment - August 2007, Sivasspor vs Trabzonspor

Remember This Cynical Foul? - Willie Young, West Ham vs Arsenal, 1980 FA Cup Final

Foot in the face with your clearance? - Gaston Sasso and his criminal act

Ferdinand Blasts Ball at Fans - 2007, Rio Ferdinand kicks ball into stands vs Blackburn

Brawl in Rotterdam - 1956, Feyenoord vs Real Madrid in Rotterdam

A Tackle so Hard, the Players Boot Came Off - 1990, Benjamin Massing, Cameroon vs Argentina, 1990 World Cup

The Best and Worst of Paolo di Canio - 1998, Paolo di Canio, referee push incident

Cantona's Kung Fu Kick - 2005, Eric Cantona, Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

The Ben Thatcher Hatchet Job - 2006 elbow vs Portsmouth

Holland vs Portugal 2006, History for the Wrong Reasons - World Cup 2006 foul fest

Butt of a joke - 2005, Hans-Jorg Butt gets the tables hilariously turned on him against Schalke 04

The dirtiest player in Europe - Marco Materazzi, player needing help

The Graham Souness flag incident - 1996, Galatassary vs Fenerbace Cup Final

Joey Barton's butt - 2006, Joey Barton shows the crowd his rear

Are all Manchester United fans idiots like these? - 2007, Chelsea vs Manchester United FA Cup Final

Roy Keane ends a career - 2000, Roy Keane vs Manchester City, horrible revenge tackle on Alf Inge Haland

Rivaldo's disgrace - 2002, Rivaldo vs Turkey at the World Cup


Thursday, April 12, 2007

A torrent of football

Miss Chelsea’s last minute heroics against Valencia? Manchester United demolishing Roma? Liverpool closeout PSV Eindhoven? Even Bayern Munich give way to AC Milan? Were both games on at the same time and you wish you could see the other? Have no fear, using the internet you can watch you football from any corner of the world for FREE.

In the last few months since my move to another continent I found myself starved of watching any football at all. I went from an 8 channel subscription to nil. I didn’t know what channels showed games or when they were on. Over time, as I gathered information I realized I had to pay a mountain of cash for special channels which showed a really small amount of games. I started to dig around for alternatives and found some good stuff I thought I would share.

Bittorrent has been around for years and I have used its vast peer to peer network to acquire more albums than I can listen to. I never considered downloading torrents with movies since I found their quality to be subpar and plus, who wants to watch a movie on a laptop screen? So I thought that maybe, since I noticed more and more television programs being posted, football programs might be available as well. I was right. If you know this already, don’t bother with this, if you want to see lots of football and can’t, keep reading.

Match of the Day was a staple of my life. Although I had an 8 channel football subscription that brought me more matches than I could possibly watch, I still loved the distillation of the best from all the day’s Premiership games into one very well presented highlight show (minus that arrogant Alan Hansen). It was quite honestly the thing I missed most of all from living in Europe. Week in and week out I became more and more frustrated reading about great games and performances. I even started watching clips on youtube.com which were tiny, awful quality and inevitably included a foreign commentator absolutely screaming non-stop. I craved that subtle, measured English voice and a full screen of video in which I could actually recognize the players.

Then quite by chance one day I was looking for some music on www.isohunt.com and coincidentally matched the album I was searching for to BBC’s Match of the Day. The light bulbs went off and the skies parted. I must have checked that first MOTD download about 293 times. When it was finally done, I sat down and felt the normalcy.

From there, I stared to look more and more and found a wealth of games and highlight shows available for download. I will share what I have found. Before I do so, I want to give a big thank you to all the people out there who upload these matches for others. You are good friends to us all.

So, what do you do if you want to see some games?

Bittorrent is a peer to peer file sharing tool which allows you to share files of any kind across the internet by connecting you with others interested in distributing or downloading the file (called seeding and leeching). Bittorrent works by SHARING. If you grab a file and remove it from your torrent client, your speeds can slow and you can get banned. A rule of thumb is never to remove a torrent before it’s shared to a 1:1 ratio.

So how do you get Bittorrent and how do I download games?

You are going to have to do a bit of work.

1. First, download a torrent client. I highly recommend UTorrent. Download UTorrent here. Its standalone and has a very small footprint.

2. Configure UTorrent and your home network to work with Bittorrent. You MUST take this step, first because your downloads will be slow, second because the trackers out there won’t recognize you are uploading and will ban you. Here is how to configure UTorrent. It’s safe. I have been doing it for years and have never had any issues.

3. Get yourself on the right torrent trackers. Available torrents are all listed in a variety of trackers, you search for what you want and then download the torrent file, which your torrent client will recognize automatically and start the download process. The best torrent trackers I have found are:

a. Demonoid (account required, registration is usually open on Friday’s)
b. Isohunt
c. Mininova
d. Torrentspy

But you want to watch football right? Well, then the place for you is fbtz.com, the Maxxed Football Forums. Here is where all the latest games are posted so you can be taken to the appropriate tracker and download the game. This site is fantastic and is far and away the best football site for torrents. Its broken up into sections such as full matches, shows and programs, highlights, and even classic matches (one of my personal favorites). Sign up, get an account and here you can find the games virtually as soon as they are over.

Now, this is not the most perfect thing ever since it involves time and effort but it does work and I am really enjoying the ability to download a game and watch it when I have time. I just have to stay away from the news so the score line is not spoiled and it’s as good as live. You have to be willing to wait for your game to download but it’s a worthwhile set of compromises to be able to watch the games.

A personal note, I like to collect the classic matches. I just watched Brazil – Portugal, World Cup 1966 the other day. Many classic matches are available at Maxxed Football, but they could use your help. If you have a classic match please learn how to make a torrent and post it. Many would love to take in the history. If you made it this far, you can mail me for a Demonoid invite and I will try and get you one, no promises.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chelsea owner rolls the dice

Of all the different things happening in the football world none has got me as interested as what will happen over at Chelsea with coach Jose Mourinho.

First, let me apologize for the multi-month disappearance. I have moved to yet another continent and have had almost no access to football other than in print. Now that things have settled down and I can actually watch matches again, I can write. I won’t write as often as in the past (go on, make your jokes in the comments), but I will try.

Of all the coaches in the world today none is more compelling. When Chelsea play, I actually listen to the post match interview and I learn from what Mourinho says. Other coaches are the definition of boredom. “We were (fill in the blank) today. The referee should have given us a penalty. As a team we (wasted/took) our chances. I had a chat with the lads and we are (add feeling here). We play again in (some amount of time) and have a chance to (continue/bounce back) from this form.” ZzzZzzz.

Mourinho has a feel for the game which is unique among a very few. Under his watch Chelsea have achieved more than they ever have in their history. With Mourinho as coach they will achieve more. But as we all know a problem has developed at Stamford Bridge as the team’s owner has gone against his coaches wishes and started a high stakes game of poker. Beyond its silliness, why Roman Abramovich has created this problem just makes no sense to. A case of ego-mania? Jealousy? Self destruction? No clue. Senseless, yes.

When I was last at Stamford Bridge the crowd sang a heartfelt 2 word ode to their coach “Jose Mourinho, Jose Mourinho, Jose Mourinho, Jose Mourinho“. This was Romeo at Juliet’s window.

As a billionaire owner of a football club, in my opinion, and likely why I am not a billionaire, you spend whatever it takes. It’s like a sports car. You don’t buy one for practical reasons anymore than you buy a club for profit (unless you name is Glazer). Any when you have a coach of Mourinho’s pedigree you spend the money and give him whatever he needs to make the Chelsea faithful happy because you can.

Should Jose Mourinho leave Chelsea it would be a sad day. I sound like a Blue here, but I am not. I just like seeing a different club take the mantle, it’s good for football. I liked it when Arsenal broke Man U’s title streak, when Valencia won La Liga a few years back, when Deportivo won it in 2000, and when FC Porto beat the odds and took the Champions League in 2004. Seeing Mourinho go to Real Madrid or similar would reinforce the notion similar to the one that the rich just get richer. Chelsea and Roman need Mourinho a lot more than Mourinho needs Chelsea. Keep your coach happy: he wants to stay and I believe him.

Chelsea face Valencia in the 2nd leg of their Champions League clash. Have no fear, Chelsea will win. I guarantee it but whether the love affair will last, I truly have no idea. The best indication is whether John Terry and Frank Lampard sign deals; even then there could be hidden clauses. The only way it will be a guarantee is if Roman and his suited minions (that shook his hand and slapped his back at the weekend when Carvalho scored a winner) realize what a large revolt will take place if they don’t.

Friday, April 06, 2007

David Dunn: don't do this at home

David Dunn had a laughable moment when he was with Birmingham City. Attempting the 'rabona' he fell flat. Cristiano Ronaldo he's not. Next!