Monday, August 1, 2011

7 comments Not Having Marcus Thames To Kick Around Anymore, T.J. Simers Takes Aim at the U.S. Women's Soccer Team

T.J. Simers got an early Christmas gift a few days ago when his least favorite person in the world, Marcus Thames, was released by the Dodgers. Needless to say, Simers hopes Thames ends up begging for scraps of food like the dog he believes Thames to be. Not having an outlet for his unbridled hatred, T.J. Simers takes on the U.S. Women's soccer team. See, he couldn't just say they choked, he had to call them disgraceful and he is upset they got off easy by only being called chokers. Apparently losing the World Cup Final on national television and only having America pay attention to women's soccer in order to rip them for their (really good) performance isn't embarrassing enough. These women need to wear scarlet letters for the shame they have brought our nation according to Simers.

Yes, the U.S. women's team choked and I feel bad for them as much as I can feel bad for a team that didn't perform in a championship game like they needed to. Still, they choked, but they weren't disgraceful.

In all my years watching futbol,

Six weeks. That's how long I am guessing every four years T.J. Simers watches soccer---sorry futbol. He watches the Men's and Women's World Cup for three weeks and then goes to back to searching for baseball players to accost for their defensive inabilities.

I have never seen a side on the pitch gag as much as the U.S. gals.

Talk about just dribbling it away.

"Dribbling it away!" Get it? In soccer, a player dribbles the ball...and the women's team dribbled the game away! What a bunch of pathetic asshole losers! These women should be prevented from reproducing so they can't birth a new generation of choking, disgraceful losers like them. Stop the cycle!

Come on, where does President Obama get off tweeting: "Couldn't be prouder of the women of #USWNT after a hard-fought game"?

What else do you expect from a President who wasn't even born in the United States? He was probably cheering for Japan, because you know, he is anti-American and not born in the United States and all.

He used to live in Hawaii, which is near---you guessed it---Japan! Obama was probably cheering for the Japanese women's team. In fact, I bet he isn't American AND became President only to help Japan take over the United States in regard to the economy and sports.

So Obama's tweet wasn't a congratulations, but a mocking of the U.S. Women's team for losing the match, which enables Step 2 of the Obama Japanese Takeover Initiative to begin. In 2009, Step 1 was the World Baseball Classic which was won by Japan, in 2011 Step 2 was the Women's Soccer World Cup won by Japan, Obama is currently destroying the American economy for Step 3 and in 2013 it will be the Men's Soccer World Cup for the final Step 4. Obama's work is almost done.

I think I just gave Sarah Palin talking points.

This was the mighty Soviet hockey team losing in Lake Placid to a bunch of kids and then fearing the next stop might be Siberia.

No, it wasn't. Maybe the American media wanted you to think this is true, but the Japanese had a good and quick women's team. Give Japan respect for their win and how they played and stop being an ugly American.

How come the president didn't remind the U.S. before its game with Japan they might be spending August in Nebraska if not successful.

Because they won't. I like how America came together during the Men's World Cup because a team of American men didn't underachieve and actually made it past the first round of the World Cup. During the women's World Cup America came together to cheer for them, but these women make the World Cup title game and they are chokers and disgraceful according to T.J. Simers.

Regardless whether this was a men or women's soccer game, it is disgraceful to call either team that participated in the women's soccer final disgraceful. I'm going to be a blanket-statement asshole and say if you didn't watch the women's World Cup Final and enjoy the hell out of it, then you really, really don't like soccer or you don't like sports. It was a great match.

As mismatches go, this was Oregon versus USC.

I'm guessing this is shot at USC and not Oregon. I say this because Oregon beat USC in 2010, 2009, and 2007 when it comes to college football. I think the definition of a bitter, angry sportswriter is one that takes shots at local teams perceived as "failures" while writing about a completely different subject.

The Mavericks against the Lakers.

And again, the same principle applies. Taking vendettas out against other local teams that are "failures" is the sure sign of a bitter sportswriter. Weren't the Lakers working on a three-peat (sue me Pat Riley) of their NBA Title this past year? So I would venture to say the Lakers don't consistently get beaten by many teams since they had won two NBA Titles in a row. I know, I know details. Why pay attention to little details like facts when you are trying to prove a point?

Some of us were undoubtedly expecting a clean sheet from Hope Solo, and I'm sure my fellow futbol fans understand what I'm talking about.

How about you tell that to Hope Solo's teammates? On both goals, U.S. women's soccer players had a hand in the other team scoring. The first time on the disaster in front of the goal where the ball didn't get cleared and the second on the deflection past Solo. Since Simers seems to know so much about futbol (which it annoys me when T.J. Simers calls it that since he is about as Spanish as grits), then he also understands when a goal is scored it isn't always the goalie's fault. I would classify both of the goals scored in regular/extra time as goals that weren't Hope Solo's fault.

The powerhouse U.S. hadn't lost to Japan in 25 games, had a 1-0 lead with nine minutes to play, a 2-1 advantage with three minutes left in overtime and just flat out folded.

Yes, the American women choked. I am not sure there is any way to get around this. They had a lead for most of the game and had opportunities to win it and they didn't. Chokers they may be, disgraceful they are not.

Also, if T.J. Simers had paid attention to the rest of the women's World Cup games, which undoubtedly he did because I know he would NEVER comment on something without full information, he would know the women had played it pretty close a few times during previous matches. So it isn't like the U.S. women steamrolled their way to the Final. So calling them a powerhouse may only be true in respect to their previous record against Japan, which any self-respecting sports fan knows head-to-head record over a long period of time means very little in important matches like a World Cup final.

And the president couldn't be prouder of these losers?

Is this sarcasm? Is Simers making fun of people who call the women's losers and chokers? If so, I don't get he is doing this, so he needs to try harder.

A 1-0 U.S.-Japan soccer game is like watching a baseball game with the Dodgers trailing, 1-0. Everyone understands there's no way to overcome such a deficit.

What an ass. This is Jay Mariotti-esque to take out a previous vendetta on a local team while writing about a completely different topic. I half-expect Simers to bring up Ozzie Guillen and call him the "Blizzard of Oz."

I was so confident when the U.S. went ahead that had I been told Rick Neuheisel was coaching the U.S., I still wouldn't have been concerned.

That's the fourth reference to a "failing" local team. It got old before the first reference was even made. If T.J. Simers was confident with a 1-0 lead then it is clear he doesn't watch many sports. A one-run or one-goal lead is very rarely safe. Especially with Jonathan Broxton on the mound!

(stabs self in the eye with an ice pick)

Credited for their resiliency after beating Brazil, the Americans seemed insistent on establishing their legacy as chokers in allowing Japan back into the game.

Or Japan made the most of the opportunities when given them and deserved to win the game.

Or the United States blew or had bad luck when it came to several early game potential goals.

Or Japan deserved to win because they performed well in penalty kicks...which by the way, I have fallen on the anti-penalty kick side before the U.S. lost. It doesn't feel like the right way to end the match.

No one is talking today about blowing it if the U.S. players are running around the field in celebration after winning on penalty kicks.

Well yes. It seems logical for this to occur. If the event which occurred that caused everyone to call the U.S. players chokers had not occurred then no one would have called the team chokers because they would not have had a reason to. This is a painfully obvious statement.

It is like saying, "No one is talking about the Packers as the next dynasty in the NFL if the Saints had won the Super Bowl again this year."

But instead, somewhere in Japan today a broadcaster is now forever famous for screaming: "Holy Al Michaels."

I am sure a Japanese broadcaster is yelling this...because the entire world revolves around the United States and the only upset a Japanese broadcaster could think about after this game is one where a United States team upset Russia in hockey. Hockey. A Japanese broadcaster. Not only does this joke act as if the world revolves around the United States, it doesn't make a ton of sense.

Just think of the endorsement deals waiting for the U.S., the invites from Leno, Letterman and "The Bachelor" and the little girls about to be born and named Hope.

The girls will still get these invites. I am pretty sure Alex Morgan was still trending on Twitter three days after the match. People who couldn't tell a Wambach from a Wombat are women's soccer fans now.

Imagine that last sentence was written by Woody Paige. See, anyone can write for a newspaper and then do sidework for ESPN. As long as you have the right amount of idiocy in your writing, you too can be famous.

(Now, note the irony of me criticizing Simers for criticizing other LA teams in his article about women's soccer while I criticize other sportswriters in this post about criticizing Simers. Note it and then know I am a hypocrite, which I am fine being)

Just think about all those warm, fuzzy and fictional columns that were going to be written about the advances in women's sports and growth in soccer popularity in the afterglow of a thrilling U.S. win.

Again, this can still happen. It was a really exciting soccer match and I think it helps cement in the public's mind that women's soccer can be a quality sport. A popular sport? Maybe not when the World Cup isn't on, but it can be quality.

In the days leading up to the final game, the U.S. players talked in radio interviews about their never-quit attitude and other attributes that made them a great team.

Assholes! They just turned out to be disgraceful losers. I'm surprised they were even let back in the country after the disgrace they have brought to our country.

"There is something special about this group," Solo was saying after beating Brazil, a sentiment echoed by Abby Wambach.

"That is the perfect example of what this country is all about," she said. "We never gave up."

There was something special about that team. They made the women's World Cup Final and dominated Japan. Unfortunately, they lost. It happens in other sports as well, where one team outplays another team, but still loses the game/match. Shit happens.

I'm guessing someone who plays for Japan was saying the same thing after actually winning the World Cup.

Probably. They won.

There is no way you can feel sorry for this bunch.

Really? I feel bad for them because they outplayed Japan, but made mental errors and didn't perform when they needed to. The fact they choked and didn't put Japan away when they could have doesn't mean I shouldn't feel bad for them.

They talked about preparing themselves for this moment, never dreaming they'd get an opponent who didn't have a chance against them.

Saying Japan didn't have a chance against the United States is purely a matter of opinion. As seen from the result of the match, there was no truth to this statement and no American soccer player on the women's team (that I could find) said Japan didn't stand a chance.

The U.S. hockey team beat the Soviet Union and everyone gushed and then the hockey team went out and finished the job with a win over Finland.

Is this supposed to be a direct parallel or something? Because the 1980 U.S. hockey team was a group of underdogs and won over the Soviet Union, the 2011 Women's World Cup team should have easily beaten the Japanese team? If T.J. Simers is trying to prove a point, he may want to try harder because this example doesn't serve that purpose to me.

No one around here, though, seemed interested in waiting for the U.S. women's soccer team to prove itself more than a shooting star.

A shooting star? The U.S. women's soccer team finished 1st in 1999 and 1991, 3rd in 1995, 2003, 2007, and 2nd in 2011. So they are a shooting star that has been a top team during the women's World Cup for 20 years now. But good try attempting to pretend this isn't true and the women's team will soon be doomed to mediocrity.

Some were suggesting no men's team could do what these women were doing given their unselfish, tough and tireless play for one another.

I couldn't agree more — hard to fathom a U.S. men's team collapsing in such a manner.

It is hard to imagine a U.S. men's team collapsing in a World Cup Final because they would have to first MAKE a World Cup Final. A men's team making the World Cup Final is hard to fathom, so in a way T.J. Simers is correct.

As for hanging tough together, which teams seem to do when they win, anyone watching TV couldn't help but notice Solo leaving her teammates behind in defeat to share her emotions with some folks in the stands.

I watched the entire game and saw Solo leave for a few moments and then she seemed to be with the rest of her team the rest of the time. Perhaps those people were her family and they were comforting her. It doesn't matter. The fact Solo left her team for a few minutes after the game really isn't significant.

If there is anything memorable now about this U.S. women's soccer team, it's how it melted in the glare of the big moment. Their role model, I presume, is Phil Mickelson.

Mickelson has 47 PGA tour wins and has won four majors. A lot of golfers wish they could melt in the glare of a big moment like he does.

They just gave it away, and to make excuses or diminish the magnitude of such a collapse is to treat the U.S. gals like women instead of world-class athletes.

No one is saying the women shouldn't be criticized nor should it be forgotten they choked and let themselves lose the game. The criticism for the loss is fair. What is not fair is to call the loss disgraceful because this term takes it out of the realm of choking in a game and making it seem as if they brought shame on the United States. That's not true. They didn't step up when they needed to nor did they put Japan away early when they seemed to have opportunities.

Regretful? Yes.
Frustrating? Yes.
Worthy of comments they choked? Yes.
Worthy of criticism for blowing a chance to achieve their dream? Yes.
Disgraceful? No.

I would imagine that's how most would want to be viewed in victory, so no reason to offer a free pass in defeat and go all gushy.

So T.J. Simers is just keeping it real and making sure there is equality in sports. Except, you know, he isn't. He's going overboard and making the inability for the women's team to put Japan away as some sort of shameful act, when it is simply getting beat in a World Cup Final in a painful way they are guilty of. Let's stick to talk of choking and failing when they needed to succeed and not call them disgraceful.

If the men's soccer team had done the same thing I would feel bad for them and acknowledge they choked. I wouldn't call them disgraceful.

I say treat the gals like athletes and make sure they understand if they choke again, it's off to Nebraska for the whole lot.

I am treating them like athletes who didn't get the job done. No writer would call the Steelers losing in the Super Bowl disgraceful nor would a writer say the Texas Rangers were disgraceful for losing to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series last year. Why use this reference for the U.S. women's soccer team?


Rich said...

This was the mighty Soviet hockey team losing in Lake Placid to a bunch of kids and then fearing the next stop might be Siberia.

No, not even fucking close.

The Soviets had won every gold medal since the 1964 games. That's four in a row. The women's national team hasn't won the tournament in... um... since that one girl took her shirt off. So ya, not even close.

Also, the reason it was such an upset was because the American team barely had any experience and had 0, I repeat, 0 professional players on it.

The US team also got their asses handed to them a week or so before the game started, then magically beat them in the tournament.

Basically, the Soviet team was the prohibitive favorites for the tournament and the US was gunning to make it out of the round robin stage.

The USWNT, while the favorites going in, were not the four time defending champions, were not playing a team of essentially scrubs and losing in PKs wasn't exactly a "WTF just happened" moment.

Also, and this is important, the miracle at Lake Placid was not the gold medal game.

Oh and the USWNT wasn't playing in front of a home crowd either.

How come the president didn't remind the U.S. before its game with Japan they might be spending August in Nebraska if not successful.

I looked it up, two of the players are from Indiana, this would actually be an improvement for them.

I was so confident when the U.S. went ahead that had I been told Rick Neuheisel was coaching the U.S., I still wouldn't have been concerned.

It's shit like this and PK's writing that epitomizes why the rest of the world hates us. Why exactly would a 1-0 lead be insurmountable? The Japanese team beat the Swedish team that beat the US, so it's not like we were playing scrubs.

The U.S. hockey team beat the Soviet Union and everyone gushed and then the hockey team went out and finished the job with a win over Finland.

There we go, he finally comes to the realization that they were two completely different stages in the tournament.

Here's the kicker though, while the US team won the tournament, they had to come from behind to do so.

Under Simers' logic, the win should be completely discounted because we all know that a one goal lead by Finland over the US in hockey should be insurmountable.

If there is anything memorable now about this U.S. women's soccer team, it's how it melted in the glare of the big moment.

Or how they beat Brazil after fighting back and finished second. I mean, if I could finish second in the world in anything, I'd be damn proud of my accomplishment.

I say treat the gals like athletes and make sure they understand if they choke again, it's off to Nebraska for the whole lot.

If this is the case, then we need to send the US men's baseball team who went to that stupid tournament a while back; LeBron James would need to go too, as would Ryan Howard, A-Rod, etc.

Shit happens. It's unfortunate, but they did something that most of us will never have a chance to do and they played admirably. They didn't win, but coming in second isn't the worst thing in the world.

Martin F. said...

TJ tries to write over the top sarcastic pieces to try and make an "opposite argument" point by being ludicris. Instead he just writes shitty articles that aren't funny and make no salient point.

You should pity us in LA, as we get him and Plaschke on a daily basis. We used to have good writers, but sadly for the Times, no more.

Anonymous said...

I am often frustrated when these shitty writers go on and on about David Eckstein and small ball and that sort of stuff, because I think it is very easy for a casual reader to be misled by the author's views on topics like that.

But in a shitty piece like this I am not frustrated at all, because I think that just about any normal person reading this junk would come to the obvious conclusion that TJ Simers is just being a grumpy dickhead.

And this whole "send them to Nebraska" thing makes it seem like TJ Simers is in favor of dictatorships or tyranny. Because I don't think it would be very democratic to punish athletes for failing to win. It almost sounds like Simers wants them executed for losing. What an asshole.

jacktotherack said...

Skip Bayless might as well have written this column. What a contrarian douchebag. Not to mention the fact that all his comparisons from other sports (USC-Oregon, Mavs-Lakers, Mickleson) aren't funny and barely make any sense. Who allowed this thing to be printed???

ivn said...

I couldn't agree more — hard to fathom a U.S. men's team collapsing in such a manner.

absolutely right TJ. downright unfathomable.

ivn said...

dang, Blogger cut off the link in my comment.

anyway, look up the 2011 Gold Cup Final, in which the U.S. men's team collapsed against Mexico. it also happened about three weeks before the Women's World Cup Final, so TJ has a very short memory. either that or he's one of the many "doesn't follow soccer except for the World Cup" guys.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, that's great. I didn't know about that at all. I knew he only followed soccer when both World Cups came around.