Saturday, June 21, 2008

Random thoughts

  • Apparently some people think that Guitar Hero III is better than Rock Band because you're always playing notes on the guitar in GH, whereas in Rock Band, sometimes you don't play (because it's like you're in a REAL BAND where OTHER PEOPLE GET SOLOS TOO). Funny, most people think that the extra notes on the GH III charts are a problem, not a bonus ... anyway, this is going to make Guitar Hero: Just Like Rock Band take off like a shot. Well, at least among the less intelligent crowd ...

  • Great slide in the Reds-Yankees game last night: the guy slid on one leg, keeping the other off the ground until he passed the catcher, then tapped the plate, beating the tag. Catcher thought otherwise. Catcher was wrong.

  • Also, a great catch by Brian Giles to end the Tigers-Padres game last night, although it reinforces my position that all baseball stadiums need something like the protective netting around hockey rinks ... he flipped over the little wall around Petco and landed in a handicapped-seating area. Okay, maybe netting wouldn't have helped him that much, but make the walls higher, not just so players don't go flying into the seats, but so jackass fans can't reach into the field of play and interfere with balls in play. (When it helps the home team, it's just dumb. When it hurts the home team, it should be grounds for banishment for life.)

  • You probably don't like soccer much, or don't watch it much, or don't watch other than the World Cup and occasional MLS games, but Euro 2008 is on now, and if you didn't see yesterday's quarterfinal match between Turkey and Croatia, well ...

    They played 90 minutes with no goals. In this tournament, in elimination matches, that means two 15-minute halves of extra time (not sudden death - they play the full 30 minutes), and then PKs if it's still tied.

    For the first 28 minutes, nothing much happened: a couple of good opportunities, a couple of good saves. But then a Croatian ball passed through the box and was moving toward the corner, just along the goal line ... not having seen the previous match in Euro 2008 when this happened, the Turkish keeper chased it down, but a Croatian beat him to it, flicking it into the box where it was headed behind the keeper frantically dashing back to the goal. 1-0 Croatia, and with just a minute left plus injury time, Turkey looked defeated.

    Turkey pressed forward frantically, but Croatia blunted their attack and played a long ball ahead. With Turkish defenders ahead, the attack was offside ... the Turkish keeper, who'd come way out of his goal, quickly launched a free kick. It landed short of the box, was flicked on to another Turk, who blasted a shot off a Croatian defender ... and in! Two minutes into injury time, it's 1-1. A minute later, it's time for PKs.

    Rule #1: don't miss the net. Make the keeper save it. So Croatia ... misses the net. Not once, but twice in their first three kicks. Turkey did not miss; when Croatia's fourth kick was saved by Rustu, Turkey advanced.

    Sure, maybe there wasn't so much action in the first 90, but the end of that match is one thing that makes soccer such a special game.

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