Friday, June 25, 2010

Rick Riley is Not Interesting

So the Reds are looking pretty good and frankly I'm afraid of jinxing it. Rumors of the Tang trade are out there, which is nice. Also I'm too old to stay up for games on the west coast. Who stays up past 10pm? That is crazy, so I'll be back with reviews next week and maybe even a live blog of the Strausberg game on Monday depending on how the Little Big Deal is.

So now on the World Cup, I have been sitting on this for a few weeks, but frankly had to say something. Rick Riley has decided the most popular sporting event on the planet is broken and needs him to fix it was too much. I ignored it for days, but espn kept the link on its website for so long, curiosity got the best of me. After reading it, I remember why I’m not a huge fan of Riley (and by not a huge fan, I would rather read Ben Rothlisberger’s book on how to woo a lady than read Riley). I've decided to break it down FJM style for our loyal reader. So without further ado, my first attempt at humor in quite a while

From Rick Riley’s article Here's how to fix the World Cup.

Again this implies that is it broken and needs fixing. I’m sure that all those people who watched the last few games were thinking, “I’m enjoying this, as are 2 billion other people, but it is broken. Where is some enlightened person to make this right.?”

Here are the top 10 most annoying things about watching the World Cup already:

By the way, you don’t have to watch. It isn’t the law of the land, so if it annoys you turn it off. Kind of like everyone in the world does with the WNBA.

  1. That pesky cerebrum-blowing incessant buzzing sound coming from the TV set. "Babe, something's wrong with the TV," my wife said Saturday. But there wasn't anything wrong. It was the dreaded vuvuzelas, the yard-long plastic horns (voo-voo-zella) that South African fans blow all the time, without rhyme nor reason, when something is happening and when it's not (it's usually not), during timeouts and time ins, during halftime and at the breakfast table and while they're on the bus and while doing their taxes, until you just want to stab two fondue forks deep into your ears and stir.

Turn the sound down on your TV. This is a fairly easy fix and frankly after a few games you don’t really even notice it. I know it is popular to make fun of them, but its been a little overdone. Also why do you have the TV on while you are doing your taxes? Just turn it off or is that too difficult

They never stop. It's like having a desk in the center cubicle at American Bee, Inc. They sound like 80,000 yaks getting sick. They are the leading cause of Tylenol sales in the world today.

We get it. You think they are loud and annoying and for some reason you are incapable of turning down the volume on your TV.

  1. The embarrassing photographer bibs the guys on the bench have to wear during the game. They're very purple and dorky. My God, who knew you could make a World Cup team and be made to look like a geek? Hey, are you on the American national soccer squad or do you throw bags for Northwest Airlines?

This one is funny because people who do manual labor look funny and are beneath me. Yeah throwing bags at the bag counter, what is more demeaning than that.

  1. The Twinkie-fingered gloves goalkeepers wear. No wonder the English goalkeeper allowed that easy shot to give America a 1-1 tie in the Group C opener. You couldn't stop a beach ball with those big goofy things. What, is Hamburger Helper a sponsor? Why must they be so huge? Doesn't Roger Rabbit need them back? And where do the batteries go? How are goalkeepers expected to hang on to the ball with them on? And is it difficult to play goalie while also taking things out of the oven?

Do all his articles have one-thousand questions which say the same thing? Does he just write down every joke he can think of and hope one is funny? Does he have an editor? Why does the fact the gloves are big bother him? Does he have to wear them?

  1. The godforsaken vuvuzelas! Make them stop! One of the charms of soccer is the singing that fans do. There is always loads of singing and chanting because every game is 1-nil, so there's plenty of time for singing and chanting. Soccer fans sing and chant inane hilarious things like, "We are from Norway! We came on a plane! And we are very drunk!" But we don't get to hear the singing and the chanting because of the horrible, hideous, heinous vuvuzelas! My god, they should take them into the mountainous caves region of Pakistan and play them until Osama bin Laden comes running out, screaming, "OK, OK! I give!"

This is funny b/c he already mentioned that he doesn’t like them. I like how he does this because it gives him an opportunity to try another couple hundred jokes that aren’t funny on the same topic. Jay Leno makes a living at this everything.

  1. All the faking. I haven't seen this much bad theater since I saw former "American Idol competitor" Ace Young starring in "Hair" on Broadway. These guys collapse as though they've just caught a javelin in the groin every time an opponent so much as asks them for the time. These guys make Paul Pierce look sincere. Sell it somewhere else, Sven. We live in the U.S., where hockey players pop their eye back into their socket without missing a shift. This will be the new rule when I'm made president of FIFA: If you stay on the ground longer than 30 seconds, you're out of the game; 45, you are taken directly to the nearest hospital; 60, you get a telethon.

Frankly I’m kind of with him on this one. Granted referencing Paul Pierce illustrates that it happens in every sport. I also like how hockey (the national sport of Canada) is used to show the US is much tougher and rarely fakes injuries. Why not use football (and then he could have used a funny joke about the difference between our football and theirs, but I feel one may be coming anyway)

  1. The yellow cards. I love the way the refs come running up to the player as though he has just taken out a chainsaw and sawed somebody's hand off. The ref looks very stern and upset. And then all the ref does is snap his little yellow piece of paper out of his shirt pocket and stick it in the offender's face, as though the little yellow card has some kind of superpower. As if to say, "Ha! you are powerless against my little yellow piece of paper, which shows your less-than-average marks from third grade!" I'd love to see that in the middle of an NBA fight. Can you imagine seeing some ref come running up to Rasheed Wallace after laying out Carmelo Anthony with a roundhouse right and sticking that yellow card right in his face? He'd soon be digesting it through his ear hole.

I would say we need yellow cards instead of technical fouls in basketball. How much more fun would this be? How is a yellow card less effective than a technical foul? I’m guessing that if Rasheed laid out Carmelo Anthony putting a “T” sign with your fingers isn’t going to have much more of an effect. I think he was reaching here… but wait it gets worse.

  1. The ties. In the NFL in the past 10 years, there have been two ties. As of Tuesday morning, in the first 11 games of this World Cup, there have been five ties. You will not see more ties at a J.C. Penney's Father's Day sale. I hate ties. Doesn't anybody want to win in this sport? All these ties are about as exciting as a Jonas Brothers roundtable on sex.

He doesn’t like ties because they bore him. Also he again makes 2 jokes on the same subject, neither of which are very funny. I mean JC Penney’s does have a lot of ties, which is a good observation but not very funny. The Jonas Brothers don’t have sex, which must also be funny.

  1. The World Cup itself. Really? All this running and vuvuzela-ing and pulling off shirts for that trophy? It looks like somebody soldered it together in their basement -- after drinking a handle of Jack Daniel's. It looks like something you'd use to prop open your Tuff Shed door during spring cleaning. It's gold and small and looks like somebody accidentally melted it somewhere along the way. I mean, there IS chocolate in the middle of that thing, right? Maybe I just don't get it.

Finally he makes some sense. Yes you just don’t get it. I’m assuming the "it" he is referring to in the last sentence is sports, writing and comedy, but maybe I only glossed over the paragraph. By the way we get another mention of the vuvuzela. Other than the Stanley Cup, the trophy is secondary to the accomplishment of actually winning the competition. I mean the football on a stand or basketball on a stand are that much better than a soccer ball on a stand?

  1. Stoppage time. Why can't we know how much time is left? Why must it be such a mystery? Whose idea was this? Why do only the refs get to know? Wouldn't it be more exciting if we all knew? You tell me which is more exciting:

You do know b/c they hold up a sign that tells you. Would have been more funny if it was written 10 years ago. I would say this means he hasn’t seen a single game this year, but remember he mentioned the vuvuzelas

A. "Ten seconds left now! Kaka needs to get a shot off here or it's over! Five seconds! Kaka wheeling! Two seconds! There's the shot! And … "

B. "Well, the ref should be calling this game shortly. A minute or two. Maybe more. Actually, I don't know. Nigel, do you know? Kaka seems confused. He's dribbling. Wait. Now he's stopped to examine a small scab, and well, that's it. The ref says it's over. I guess that's it, then."

All we get is B. Somebody needs to put some stoppage to stoppage time.

Actually his analogy is flawed. Say what you will about stoppage time, but it normally leads to the ref letting the attacking team finish out before blowing the whistle. So instead of getting guys kicking the ball from midfield where they have no chance of making it (i.e. kind of like the end of hockey periods), you sometimes get a well run play down the stretch and more excitement (see US goal or Italy finish yesterday)

  1. The vuvuzelas from eardrum-hellas! Don't tell me it's discrimination to want them to stop. Don't tell me it's an essential part of South African culture. If it is, it's an annoying part of their culture. Yes, I know that centuries ago, the vuvuzelas were made from animal horns to call the village elders in for a meeting. And I'll bet you five wildebeests that when the elders finally got to the meeting they said, "Would you STOP already with the blowing? You're making me crazy!" I've been to Africa four times. They do some of the most beautiful singing you can imagine. At the World Cup, I'm hearing no singing. I'm hearing no chanting. I'm hearing 80,000 kazoos on steroids.

No such thing as a dead horse here. These vuvuzelas are not entertaining and he doesn’t enjoy them. Thanks again for mentioning.

But it still sounds better than Ace Young.

And in Bozich style he references a prior bad joke to end the column so as to prove he is witty. So in an article about ways to fix the most popular sporting event in the world, we get a list of 10 (well actually 8 b/c 3 are on there twice) things that bug some guy. So I can’t help him with all of these, but for numbers 1, 4 and 10, just turn the TV down.

1 comment:

Grady said...

I agree, I doubt this guy has watched more than 2 soccer games at the world cup. And the mute button is a great invention for people, not quite sure why no one can use it??

Also, think the "game ends in a tie" complaint is old. It's apart of soccer, and you get points for it. I mean the NCAA football championship never seems to have a undisputed winner. That seems a lot worse than a tie in the group stage of the world cup.