Kissing your sister - Ties and other soccer oddities

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Every four years I jump on the good 'ol USofA bandwagon and dip my toe in the world of soccer.   It is not hard for me to get caught up in a big event.  I enjoy rooting for Team USA and I feel genuine excitement before and during the games.  I appreciate the athletes, their skills and I'm amazed at many of the plays throughout the World Cup.  This feeling however, never translates to any kind of prolonged interest in the sport.  Why?

I played the sport up to high school, even for a nanosecond with current Team USA member Kyle Beckerman (name drop, I had to).  I was never very good, mostly roaming the mid-field looking to get the play turned in the right direction.  I was barely above average speed, had a good leg and stumbled through a few key moves I tried to "master." Maybe deep in my subconscious is a forgotten soccer event so terrible that only the worlds leading psychiatrist could help me reconcile.  Maybe I'm just blocked from embracing soccer as a whole.

Setting any brain damage aside for the moment, I wanted to consider that maybe there is something else keeping me on the outside looking in.  Every sport has something you just can't stand.  Pitchers having to hit in the year 2014, the tuck rule, with all due respect to T.J. Oshie, any kind of shootout and of course, last but not least, ties.

Ties: A tie is terrible.  To me it is the worst outcome for a sporing event.  There is no sense of loss, no victory dance, no strong emotional pull one way or another, no real closure to an event.  You can lean towards happiness or sadness but logically speaking it could have gone worse, it could have gone better, a perfect nonsensical limbo.

It is the tie, and my very possible irrational hate for it, that brought me to think of soccer oddities that I just can't come around on.

Fake Injuries (Diving): Not isolated to soccer, faking injuries to get a call, disrupt play or otherwise gain an advantage drive fans and the affected team crazy.  I know a simple YouTube search will pull evidence of this egregious behavior from every major sport, but in soccer this seems to be embraced.  For every time a Giants player took a knee against Rams there are 100 soccer players getting knocked down by the wind and milking it.  There appears to be no wiliness by the fans or the sport to rid themselves of players looking to win an Oscar for Best Phantom Injury.

Stoppage Time: Are you kidding me? An amount of time known only by the refs until about a minute left in each half is added to the actual playing time of the match.  And even if you know the approximate amount of minutes added to a match an official can add more stoppage time, in stoppage time.  This is harder to explain than the double switch in baseball and orders of magnitude more cryptic than an umpires strike zone.  Where is the accountability?  The oversight?  The ability to track what could be the most crucial minutes, no, seconds of a game. The sidelines and the fans are left trust that referees are acting in the spirit of the rule.

Sync the clock to an officials stopwatch and hit the stop and start button for all time lost.  Let everyone in the stadium and on TV know what is considered dead time, then stop the game at 90 minutes like a normal, sensible and rational human being.  Unless of course it is a tie, then keep playing!

FIFA: No one has explained FIFA's corruptness better than John Oliver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlJEt2KU33I.

I don't know that ties, diving, mystical stoppage times and FIFA are really keeping me from adding soccer to my weekly viewing list, but they definitely don't help the cause.

Feel free to use the comment section to completely rip apart this gut reaction of a blog post and let me know how terribly wrong (or right?) I really am.

Who to follow? A Twitter List

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Top my list.  It shouldn’t be hard.  Just read it, scoff at it, wonder what the hell I was thinking, then tell me why I’m crazy.  That is the process for analyzing any top fill-in-the-blank list you have ever looked at, right?

Adam over at Ball Hogs Radio asked for my input for the Ball Hog’s annual Top-20 Twitter DMV Sports Twitter Follows blog.  Check out the current and past lists.

I never know where or how to start, rank, or massage these kinds of lists, so I took the easy way out.  I brought up the full list of the people I follow on twitter and in one pass copied any names that jumped out at me.  The final tally, 18.  I thought about filling out the last 2, but this is Adam’s top 20, so I left the hard work up to him.

You might look at this list and think “Kevin, what the hell are you thinking? Where the hell is ___.”  I admit there are a lot of great local blogs and sports personalities I left out.  Not because I don’t like them, I just don’t necessarily put them at the top of my mind when on twitter.  

Plenty of blogs out there kick ass, as blogs.  If most of what I see on a feed are simply coss-post links to a blog entry my eyes usually move on pretty quickly.  I also skip over accounts that are mostly play-by-play oriented about a game or event.  Usually I am watching the event myself and don’t need someone to tell me what I just witnessed with my own eyes.  I do recognize that many people can’t watch events live and rely on play-by-play to keep up with their favorite team, just not me.

Without further adieu and no particular order here are the 20 18 twitter accounts I sent on to Adam and a little note about why I follow each.  Also take a look at who made the cut here: Top-20 DMV Sports Twitter Follows.

@SWhynoWhen I want to know what is going on with the Caps this is usually the first and last twitter account I need to look at.
@MayHockeyCSNThe best team dedicated analyst in the DMV.
@CindyBorenWit, humor and insight to everything DC.
@MikePradaSBNWhen I watch Wizards games (don't laugh) I lean more from MikePradaSBN than anyone else.
@czabeNo BS and not afraid to put his opinion, no matter how harsh, out to the world.
@JacksonSportsSmart, rational and realistic views of local teams, focusing most on the Redskins. When I'm yelling at the radio/TV because I can't belive what just happened @JachsonSports is uaually re-affirming my opinion.
@michaeljenkBest anchor on CSN and relevant tweets that will make you laugh.
@BramWeinsteinHe may have moved on to the big time at ESPN, but Bram still weighs in on plenty of DMV area stories. Although I'd love for him to put the Peyton to DC rumors to rest.
@arielhelwaniOK, not necessarily DMV related but if you are a MMA fan you need to follow Ariel Helwani. Best MMA reporter in the business.
@MrIrrelevantDCMight be the most dedicated DMV sport fan, ever.
@federalbaseballIf you follow the Nationals, you follow FederalBaseball
@cnichols14Follow for the pictures, stay for content.
@ESHJjaksClaytonNot for children Baltimore Orioles fanatic
@MarkZuckermanA most follow for keeping up with day-to-day Nationals transactions and news.
@BMoreBirdsNestCovering all the essential teams for Baltimore: Orioles, Terps, Ravens
@tahjholdenStill following and commenting on the Terps. Plus drunk one night in Atlantic City we renamed one of Trump's casinos the Taj Ma-Holden. It makes me laugh, OK!
@FakeKvinAndrsonWhen I'm going crazy watching the Terps and seconding guess if I what I'm about to tweet crosses the line, FakeKvinAndrson has usually already taken care of expressing my feelings.
@D1scourseI know, I know, a lot of play-by-play but plenty of analysis and comments on the DMV collegiate scene to make the follow worth while.

Indefinite Pause

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As our personal and professional lives have grown, carving out time to come together on a regular basis has become more of a chore than a care free event.  We still have fun getting together and still enjoy ranting and raving about DC sports, but “real life” has a way of making preparation and travel time scarce.

Since starting in January of 2009 we have posted 138 episodes of The DC Sports Guys.  What began with a couple mics and a record button became a show with computers, soundboards, and HD video. We even setup a live broadcast from Griffin’s Grill during the 2010 NFL season.  All great experiences and I’m proud of everything we accomplished.

This is not the end, well, that is what I’m telling myself anyway.  We need to re-think how we do things.  Maybe we create audio only podcasts from different locations or maybe we try our hands at blogging instead of talking.  There are many avenues we can take, but while we think of what those are “The Show” as we like to call it, will be on pause.

You can still find us on Twitter (@dcsportsguys) and still send comments to the mailbag (mailbag@dcsportsguys.com).  The site will remain up and heck, we may even post a blog.

Thanks to everyone who watched, listened, emailed and commented on our content.  Hopefully we will find a way to come back soon.

Episode #138 1/3 - Redskins

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Episode #138 2/3 - Capitals

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Episode #138 3/3 - Penn State, Terps, A Championship Wish

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Big J and Kevin discuss Sandusky, The Terps downhill season and Jeremy let's everyone know what he would give up for a championship.

LIVE D.C. Sports Guys Monday November 7 at 9pm

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Go to http://www.dcsportsguys.com/p/live-video.html to watch The D.C. Sports Guys live Monday November 7 at 9pm.

Before the show you can send an email to mailbag@dcsportsguys.com or leave a message on the D.C. Sports Guys Rant & Rave line, (202) 642-2591, with any questions, comments or topics you would like the guys to discuss.