The Broad Street Bullies live! … in the Philippines

by James McCarthy- July 8, 2018

A homeowner in California was getting ready to dip into his hot tub, margarita in tow, on June 29 when a brown bear decided to cut in line. Mark Hough is the homeowner and watched as the bear helped himself to the warm water and the frosty beverage by knocking over the glass and lapping it up. It’s hot this time of year in California, don’t you know. I don’t blame the bear one bit.

Anyway, on to other things you don’t normally see every day:

How ’bout those ballers, huh?

It was supposed to be a simple qualifier for the Basketball World Cup between Australia and the Philippines on July 2. Nothing to see here. Until the third quarter.

The fun began with about four minutes to go in the penultimate stanza. A foul was committed but what people saw was Australia’s Chris Goulding get elbowed and then everyone in a Philippines uniform gunning for him, even those on the bench. There was a superman punch and the proverbial formaldehyde hit the fan.

That’s him – Brazil’s Neymar in his most recognizable position: on the ground, trying to look hurt. photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Several people then ganged up on one Australian player, Daniel Kickert, and after that, some went after another Australian, Nathan Sobey. Thon Maker, who you may recognize from the Milwaukee Bucks, stepped in and tried to protect Sobey with flying kicks to whoever came close to attacking him.

All in all, it was your standard basketball boondoggle with nine Filipino players and four Australians being ejected. The Philippines felt they weren’t going to continue so two of their remaining three players deliberately fouled out to end the game and give Australia the win.

Both teams have since apologized for their misconduct and for bringing the game of basketball into disrepute but judging from my angle, this is all on the Philippines. It was a hard foul, yes, but did it really warrant everyone coming off the bench and trying to maim whoever they could in a yellow Australian jersey? Terrible overreaction and I hope whoever hands down the ruling from FIBA nails the Philippines.

Just shut up and play

Nick Kyrgios is all sorts of annoying, tennis’ version of Sean Avery, if you ask me. Sure, John McEnroe was a bit of a knob but at least he was entertaining. Kyrgios is just a knob.

Anyway, the wannabe ‘enfant terrible’ questioned a foot fault call in his second round men’s singles match against against Robin Haase of the Netherlands on July 5. Kyrgios was truly and genuinely puzzled as to why one of the linespeople called him for a foot fault after he hit the ball and wanted to know why from chair umpire James Keothavong.

Keothavong had perhaps the best response ever:

“He can’t call it before you hit it.”

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Kyrgios realized how stupid he sounded once Keothavong put him in his place and smirked like an idiot. It was one of those classic cases where it sounded a lot better in his head than it did coming out of his mouth.

Dive!!! Dive!!!

You knew I wouldn’t let the FIFA World Cup go without making sure I got some cracks in about soccer players diving, the second official byproduct of the event next to alcohol consumption.

And this year’s winner is … Neymar! Oh yes, this piece of work spent close to a quarter of an hour rolling around and looking like an idiot in front of a global audience. His finest performance came against Mexico in the round of 16 when he managed to convince everyone outside of Brazil that he really is a joke.

Yes, he got his foot stepped on while a Mexican player was retrieving the ball but was all that garbage afterwards really necessary? A Swiss television channel has actually done the calculation and Neymar has spent a total of 14 minutes on the ground pretending he’s hurt. It’s gotten so bad that #NeymarRolling trended on Twitter and KFC in South Africa made a commercial mocking him. A Swiss youth soccer coach had his kids practising the Neymar roll in practice earlier this month.

All of you soccer fans can say what you want and take your shots at me but at least I won’t fall down and roll like some professional soccer players out there.

And finally …

Good Idea: Wishing former teammates well when they move on.

Bad Idea: Telling reporters you don’t blame fans when they burn jerseys of your former teammate that moved on.

So we’ve seen it before – fans burning jerseys of star players when they sign with another team. Can’t remember ever seeing it in hockey but it happened with John Tavares leaving the New York Islanders and signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs (sucker). Sure enough, videos popped up all over of people burning their Tavares jerseys after the ultimate betrayal. I don’t look it as a betrayal. It’s more of a fool’s errand because he’s going to Toronto.

Anyway, Arthur Staple, who writes for The Athletic, was in contact with some Islanders players and told them of how Tavares’ jerseys were becoming scorched. One actually replied and reportedly told Staple “Don’t blame them.”

Don’t blame them. Naturally, said player would never have the balls to actually say who they were because muh privacy but if you’re going to say those sorts of things, own them. I do every week and I really don’t care what people have to say. Burn my column if you must but you at least read it or buy it beforehand.

Until next time, folks …

Leave a Comment: