I’m not going to get cute.
The U.S. national soccer team beat Spain 2-0 today in the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.
Spain came into the game with a 15-game winning streak, a world record, and a 35-game unbeaten streak.
Goals from 19-year-old Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey, 26, shook the undisputed No.1 team in the world to its core.
Spain has arguably the most talented midfield in the world. David Villa and Fernando Torres are the two most sought after strikers in the world. The Catalan defensive duo of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique are supposedly unshakeable.
But it happened. Spain pressed and unleashed shot after shot, but Tim Howard, the U.S. goalkeeper, kept each of them out. The U.S. defenders, led by Oguchi Onyewu and captain Carlos Bocanegra, put in a valiant effort.
It’s the biggest soccer upset in years.
The U.S. faces the winner of Brazil-South Africa on Sunday.
At least that’s what I’ve heard from my parents since I was a kid. And generally, I’ve always thought the majority of my generation has been too distracted with television and technology to care.
But maybe it’s not just us. Another intern and I spent half of today getting video of random Oklahomans’ memories of the moon landing in 1969 for its 40th anniversary. America landing on the moon before the rest of the world – a giant leap for mankind, right?
I sure thought so. But the responses I got proved otherwise.
“No, I don’t really have much of a memory. I knew it happened, but…”
“I was too busy worrying about boys to watch it back then.”
“I remember when Kennedy was shot but didn’t pay much attention to the moon.”
“I drank a lot back then.”
Is our generation that different? Are some people just the type to not care about the news while others do? I’m starting to think so. The idea of my generation’s preoccupation with social media and celebrity have always bothered me, but I’m starting to think we didn’t do it all to ourselves.
What major events do you remember if not landing on the moon?
Perhaps people have always been the same. After all, we are all just human. But if the U.S. ever lands on Mars, I bet most people are going to remember the date.
Or at least the date Jon and Kate file for divorce.
If you are still recovering from the infinitely fun of the second annual Norman Music Festival then make sure to check out this new video from headliner Man Man. It stars SNL alum and “Christmas on Mars” star Fred Armisen and Michael Cera’s girlfriend Charlyne Yi. One of them is werewolf. Check it out below.
A lot is said about Iran and the recent controversy about the country’s elections.
Pictures of security officers and protesters fly across our screens day and night. Though it’s a world away, a small understanding of the experience is at our fingertips thanks to the Internet and the instant news cycle.
Several public figures opposed to the current regime have reportedly been detained.
That might be the fate of six Iranian soccer players.
The government took issue with the players wearing green wristbands during a World Cup qualifying match against South Korea on June 17 in Seoul. The captain, Mehdi Mahdavikia, also wore a green captain’s armband.
Green is the color protesters adopted in response to their belief that the government interfered with the election, particularly skewing the results to make sure Mir Hossein Mousavi did not win.
Ali Karimi, Hosein Ka’abi, Vahid Hashemian and Mahdavikia were banned, while none of the team members were given back their passports after returning to Tehran.
Without their passports, the Iranian government can effectively hinder the players from working or traveling should they leave the country.
As of the now, the players have not been detained, but lacking a passport makes it basically impossible to travel and provides a way to enforce the ban on Hashemian and Mahdavikia, both of whom make their living playing for top-flight clubs in Germany.
FIFA, the sport’s ruling body, discourages political expression on the pitch and encourages national federations to impose punishments. The Spanish federation fined French-Malian striker Freddy Kanoute of Sevilla €3,000 in January for revealing a black shirt with the word “Palestine” printed in multiple languages after scoring a goal against Deportivo La Coruña in a Spanish league match..
However, FIFA also has taken action against governments interfering with the sport. Iran was banned from official competition for a little less than a month in 2006 for excessive government interference in the running of the Iranian soccer federation. A similar ban could be imposed should FIFA find the government’s interference in violation of FIFA’s statutes.
Iran played in the 2006 World Cup but failed to qualify in 2010 after finishing fourth in its
World Cup qualifying group.
Spektor’s “Far” is by far mushier than her previous works, but when an album can be described as “poppy” then I’m all for it. Listen to her mean stutter on “Dance Anthem of the ’80s.” Give it a listen below.
The world has been taken over by zombies so many times that it isn’t funny… or is it? Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin fighting zombies has some if not a lot of giggle potential. Judge for yourself.
Photos from Tim Burton’s upcoming “Alice in Wonderland” film have surfaced. Johnny Depp is taking on the role of the Mad Hatter, who looks like a subdued Carrot Top. Anne Hathaway is playing the White Queen and Helena Bonham-Carter, Burton’s worldly love interest, is the Red Queen.
I’m hoping for something a step above Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which was the equivalent to a dozen dental cavities. USA Today gives you the chance to explore more photos of the film here. Check it out.
Where am I going to be July 14? Waiting in line to watch the sixth installment of the Harry Potter movies! After pushing the movie’s theatrical release date back to almost a year, I am definitely needing my Harry Potter fix, especially since everyone has gone into a Twilight frenzy (something I completely do not understand. Oh, I can’t go outside…why? Because I sparkle!). While pirates may have beat out the ninjas, I refuse to accept that the Twilight vampires will dominate over the Harry Potter wizards.
Hurry! Tickets are on sale now and if you want to go to someplace like the Warren, you have got to get your tickets now!
If you want to see the Flaming Lips this summer you’re going to need a plane ticket or some really good walking shoes. Nonetheless, it’s going to be worth your time and money. Coldplay is joining the Lips on few dates and Stardeath and White Dwarfs will be performing opening duties for the tour’s entirety. Also, pitchforkmedia.com reports that buying your ticket online for some shows will get you a digital EP featuring three songs from the upcoming Lips’ album “Embryonic” and a few B-sides. After the show, digital bootlegs of the show will be available too.
Aug. 15 San Diego, California @ Del Mar Race Track
Aug. 21 Redmond, Washington @ Marymoor Amphitheatre
Aug. 23 Morrison, Colorado @ Red Rocks Ampitheatre
Sep. 4 Barcelona, Spain @ Estadi Olimpic w/ Coldplay
Sep. 6 Stadbally, Ireland @ Electric Picnic
Sep. 7 Paris, France @ Parc des Princes w/ Coldplay
Sep. 9 Nijmegan, Holland Goffertpark w/ Coldplay
Sep. 13 Monticello, New York All Tomorrow’s Parties
For everyone sticking close to home, make sure to check out the Lips side project Steve-N-Steven. Steve Burns (of Blue’s Clues fame) and Lips’ multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd have but together some ridiculous storybook songs. Give them a listen.
It was only a little more than three years ago I was in the crowd at the State Fair Arena.
I was painted gold, head to toes. My friends were appropriately adorned in the same way.
It was the 2006 Class 2A Boys Oklahoma High School Basketball Championship game, and Blake Griffin was putting on a show.
Our school, Oklahoma Christian School, beat Washington 57-40 to win its third-straight state championship and fourth in five years. Blake would lead the team to its fourth-straight in 2007, but I was gone.
I graduated that May, a year before Blake and a year after his brother, Taylor.
Since then, my exposure to Blake has been limited to games on TV and a couple run-ins in various situations (outside the 2008 Bedlam women’s soccer game at OU being the most recent).
I never really understood he was famous. OCS is a small school where everybody pretty much knows everybody.
To me, it was still Blake, the kid I knew in high school who asked me how the soccer team was doing and with whom I shared a number (I wore 15 in soccer, he wore 15 in basketball).
Even as Blake destroyed teams in college and won the 2009 John Wooden Award, given annually to the nation’s best player, it never really registered.
Now it has.
Blake, I’ll give you a high five next time I see you.
That is, if you’re not too famous for me.