Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Notepad scribbles #20100629

Unfortunately, the green and gold suffered such an early exit from the World Cup, I haven't felt much urgency in putting myself through the pain of waking up early.

Another factor which I feel has dampened my enthusiasm has been some dubious calls in the refereeing department. The problem is that at this stage of the tournament, it is do-or-die. In particular, soccer is already a low scoring game that a single goal can be pivotal.

Or particular note was the blatant mistake surrounding Frank Lampard's goal against Germany. Such a horrendous decision has the ability to turn games. I don't disagree that Germany are a classy outfit which deserved a win, but for England to go from a potential 2-2 scoreline meant that the England team had to push up in search of an equaliser which resulted in two lovely counter attacks which ultimately served to turn the match into a humiliating loss for England.
These kind of mistakes are almost unforgivable in such a tournament - and likely robbing players who work so hard to get a chance of glory. Surely, this only highlights the blatant need for soccer to embrace the 21st century and use some real technology!
The linesmen were clearly watching something else when Tevez scored his header against Mexico - great that they were all eyeing Messi with his cheeky chip! I can't comprehend how all the officials missed that.

Instead, I have been playing Winning Eleven to get my fix of the soccer (and help predict the match results!). I've had to put up with some dubious ref'ing there as well! I might have to get an option file with updated stats though!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Purple, yellow, red and green

Although I had Friday off to make a rather feeble attempt at fishing for my dinner, I was intently trying to get some form of access to the NBA Finals. It was sure to a be classic with Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers going head to head in a Game 7. Talk about thrillers and a classic rivalry!
Thankfully, I was getting updates - and I had an inkling that the Lakers won when my friend decided to take the Celtics in our side bet and I didn't hear a peep from him after the third quarter. So I now have a ramen to claim from my side wager!
So the purple and yellow jerseys have done it! Go the Lakers!

World Cup fever has hit and has really taking a strong grip of my natural sleeping patterns. I feel a bit hazy at around 2-6am and usually have loaded up on coffee by the time 4pm rolls around! It's like one big hangover when day merges with night.
Firstly, the green and gold Aussie campaign has been a bit of a disappointment in my (not well informed) opinion. Versus Germany, Australia seemed to have gone in with the mentality that the result was a foregone conclusion and that a loss would be expected. So a loss was what Germany dished out to us in what can only be described as a lesson in clinical finishing. The icing on the cake was a terrible challenge by Cahill resulting in a straight red. Although I don't necessarily believe that it was deserving of a straight red, the question which I had was, "What was Cahill thinking?". Seriously - a tackle from behind in the Aussie's attacking half was ambitious at best. It wasn't like he was saving a goal....
Versus Ghana, the Aussies appeared to fare much better, fielding a side which was definitely strong enough. Good job Holman, but Wiltshire should have had a better finishing touch which would have put the game away. Kewells dismissal was harsh, but I believe that it deserved a penalty. The shot was an absolute bullet and there was almost no way he could have moved out of the way.

On the world stage where everyone expects sportsmanship and professionalism, I found certain participants really lacking. The latest example of course has to be during the game between Brazil and the Ivory Coast and the incredulous reaction to what appeared to be Kaka bracing himself for a bump. Fabiano's "touches" for his second goal were also questionable. A winning mentaility is one thing, but with technology so good how could one expect not to be found out by a simple replay? Unfortunately, reputations can be destroyed as easily with an email going viral, so credibility of the player, the referee and the sport will start to get called into question. Perhaps this was redemption for Rivaldo's rather infamous reaction to a ball hitting his feet for a corner kick in the 2002 WC. At least Hollywood won't be short of budding artists....

Finally, the RICE treatment has somewhat helped and the swelling has now subsided. Still out for a few weeks with no impact sports or anything requiring me to pivot on my leg. So the positive news is that it didn't require draining! *fingers crossed*

Monday, 14 June 2010


Motivated by (a) a fitness challenge at work and (b) my doctor mentioning that I had a gut - made me decide to hit the basketball and soccer courts this week. I must admit, I hadn't taxed my body so much since I was playing two days of basketball, two days of soccer per week when I was on my sabbatical - i.e. 4 years ago. As usual, the memory of playing so much sport was much fresher in my mind than the rest of my body, so I was definitely feeling my muscles ache more than usual.

Following a bout of cold and rainy weather, I (as usual) didn't warm up as much as I should have and felt a tweak in my left knee. Disregarding this, I played on and even followed up with soccer the next night. I felt no more tired than usual after two consecutive nights of sport. That was until I couldn't bend my knee. Hmm, so quick self diagnosis recognised swelling but not signs of bruising so I went to work. It wasn't too bad until later in the day, I felt it was getting even more swollen, which prompted a trip to the doctor. Previous trips to the doctor usually involved me hearing what I wanted to hear - but this time I was paying more attention after I have seen two friends have serious knee injuries and requiring knee reconstruction. Fluid behind the patella appears to be the diagnosis, so I guess I need to see if the anti-inflams help before there is further diagnosis. Great - and I am out for three weeks at least by my reckoning. So much for losing weight!

Perhaps I just need to RICE it for now! At least the World Cup in South Africa is on! Unlike some places *cough*HK*cough*, it's free to air here....