Euro 2012: The Final Countdown

WELLPS, after three weeks of wall-to-wall action, the cream of Europe has risen to the top. Lesser sides such as Ireland, England (obvs.), and most notably the shitty Dutch have been found out, and subsequently sent off on their summer holidays. It takes a different class to survive all the way to the final, and only España and Italia are good enough, papist enough, and downright RAYCESST enough to make the grade.  [Read more…]

The Cockpunch: Rule of Law Edition

In just a few minutes, the American peasantry will learn of the fate of the Dreaded Robomneycare, alternatively known to attorneys and undersexed wonks as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The prognosticating experts of are in a bullish mood this morning, assigning a 73.5 percent probability that Johnny Roberts and the Supremes will rule that the individual mandate portion of O’Bummercare is odious to the memory of our nation’s Founding Slave Owners.

Libtardz all over the land are wringing their soft, effeminate hands over the possible death of the individual mandate at the, uh, hands of a delegitimized, nakedly political court. HOWEVAH, if this provision is struck down but mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions is kept in place, the private health insurance industry will go belly up in a few short years. This is actually the best possible outcome if you want ‘Merica to join the rest of the civilized world and adopt a single-payer national health system but don’t mind cracking a few eggs (euphemism for allowing some sick poors to die) to get there.  [Read more…]

The Cockpunch: Newsroom Edition

The only reason I ordered HBO was to watch The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin’s second take on the world of broadcast news (the first being the too-short-lived and very, very good SportsNight, which aired for three seasons on ABC), so when the reviews came out and they were… uh… let’s just call it “less than glowing with praise,” I was disappointed.

I didn’t need to be.

Sure, the dialog is more like a series of monologues, and some of the characters are a bit overwrought with grief about the death of the teevee newses in this country, but some of that was legit; everyone who ever got a degree in journalism had some of that idealism when they started. And sure, the lead character Will McAvoy, played quite well by our old favorite Jeff Daniels, in the opening scene laments the death of an America that never was, to wit:

Overall, this is a good show. The casting is sublime and well-thought, though I feel Sam Waterston’s part could have been played a bit more effectively by someone else — not unlike how I felt about Robert Guillaume in SportsNight. And while pontificating in the news room or holding an anchor ransom over communications between the control room and the studio is not something that happened, ever, and certainly not with 20 seconds to air, the show delivers on its primary purpose, which is to give a bit of a “what it’s like” to folks who have never been in a newsroom.

I sincerely don’t understand the furor. It’s a television show. It’s there for entertainment, not to be a teevee news making simulator. Christ, just watch it and shut up, or don’t watch it and shut up.

Of course, Dan Rather wrote this better than I ever could have. He’s seen more newsrooms than those bloggers who spent the better part of next week ripping Aaron Sorkin and his new show.

On to the links: [Read more…]

Euro 2012: The Iberian Civil War

Oh hey there, you sexy thangs.

There is something special about the semifinals of major sporting tournaments. Whether it’s the Final Four™ in ‘Merican college basketball, or the unique FA Cup semifinals that once were contested at a neutral venue roughly equidistant from the clubs in question, or the Frozen Four or any conference championship game or series at the professional levels of American sports, the semifinals are where shit starts to get real for the players and fans alike.

Maybe it’s because in many respects, the semifinals are as difficult or more so than the final. At the end of the day, the tournament brackets are arbitrary. You’re just as likely to face the strongest opponent in the semifinal as in the final, because math. Once the penultimate battle is joined, if your side takes the lead you can’t help but begin to think that the fairy tale deity of your choice, in His wisdom, has bestowed grace on you; this year is your year. All of the hard work, emotional rollercoasters, and sacrifice, not only in this season but really since you were just a little nipper will be worth it when your heroes step into the arena to vie for the right to occupy the pinnacle of your sport.

When your snotty classmates made fun of you for plastering your bedroom walls with posters and collecting trading cards and wearing the same replica jersey 300 days in a row, that hurt. But now you can take pleasure knowing that your boy/girlhood team is going to ascend the heights of glory, and it will mean that much more to you than it will to them, wherever they are now (well above you in the social and economic hierarchy, probably).
[Read more…]

The Cockpunch: Civility Edition


Had an interesting morning yesterday, you guys.

As I do, I came down to my local coffee shop to toil over this here daily rundown of links and asshattery. I focused, dived in, and after getting there just after the shop opened, got out a bit prior to 7am. Good, quality, highly-productive Monday morning. Big fan of that stuff.

When I’d arrived, the shop had just opened, and had not switched on their credit card machine yet. So, long story short, they couldn’t ring me up for my coffee. What am I supposed to do, use cash? That’s for drugs and tamales on Federal, not for coffee in Wash Park. PRIORITIES. [Read more…]

Euro 2012: Oh Please God Make It Stop

Same shit, different year.

Your correspondent has held steadfast to his goal of watching (more or less) every minute of the 2012 UEFA European Championships, at the expense of a balanced social life, physical fitness goals, and general mental health. Watching three hours of fútbol per day for the better part of a month is grueling, but becomes less so once England is customarily eliminated in the quarterfinals in a penalty shoot-out, as was the case yesterday against the Eye-talians.

It’s partly because there is less soccer to be watched once we reach the latter stages of the tournament, but mostly because I can watch the remainder of the competition as a mere neutral observer, hoping for entertainment rather than praying to Thor and His Hammer for every unlikely result that would guide England to glorious victory in the final.

Of course, to get to the final you must find a way not to lose in the quarterfinal. The boys from In-ger-lund have been unable to manage  this since Euro ’96 in England, when playing at the old Wembley Stadium they (rather improbably) beat Spain in a penalty shootout before losing to ze eventual winners, ze Germans, on penalties in the semifinals. England has gone out on spot kicks in major tournaments in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, and now 2012.

/kills self [Read more…]

The Cockpunch: Hot Time, Summer In The City Edition

Yep. It’s a thousand degrees outside. Okay, I overstate; it’s only like 750 degrees outside. Sorry I went overboard there, it’s just that I CAN’T FUCKING THINK BECAUSE I CAN’T MOVE BECAUSE EVERY PART OF ME IS STICKING TO EVERY OTHER PART OF ME, AND I’M MISERABLE.

I usually love Denver summers. When I was a kid, it would get hot, sure, usually no higher than 95 or so, with a few days over 100. And then, on most afternoons, we’d get a little rain to cool things off right before sunset. It was wonderful.

This is not that. I really, honestly and truly do not understand how anyone can feed you that “global warming is a myth” nonsense and do so with a straight face. These people are lying to you. You have my permission to slap one of them in the face. After doing so, grab them by the collar, and scream into their face, “STOP IT. STOP TELLING LIES, YOU PIECE OF SHIT.” Then just walk away.

Fun for the whole family. The Links: [Read more…]

The Cockpunch: LeBob Finally Wins Edition


It only took him nine years, and to be put into a big market with two other all stars and the best glue guy (Shane Battier) of the last 20 years, and to get almost every call possible on the way, but… sure, Congratulations, LeBob! You’ve proven that if you want something badly enough, and are willing to go to a team already stacked with talent while shunning the people and place that raised you, both as a human as a basketball player, good things can happen to you.

Imagine my relief. On to the links. [Read more…]

Euro 2012: And Then There Were Eight


It is probably time for you to orient yourself towards St. James’ Gate, Dublin, assume the position, drink of the Blood of Christ Jameson and give thanks to Guinness and His prophet Smithwick (Praise Be Upon Him) that the quarterfinals of the Euro 2012 RAYCESSISM & fútbol pageant are set to begin (2:45 PM Eastern on ESPN).

What’s that you say? Your New Year’s resolution was to stop drinking in the morning, alone at your work desk? NO ONE ADHERES TO NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS, YOU SILLY FUCK. Just make sure you chew some gum to mask the smell of booze in case you’re called upon to do something productive, which is unlikely, because you are a meaningless vestigial organ of a corporate person.

So, the footballing wheat has been separated from the chaff, and only eight nations remain in this glorious competition. In the spirit of fair play, good, clean entertainment, and beautiful Eastern European women, WHO YA GOT? [Read more…]

The Cockpunch: College Football Playoffs, Bitches! Edition

I… forgot what we were talking about.

If you’re any sort of fan of this here Newsmagazine, you know of the editorial staff’s desire for a true playoff in college football. I am particularly in favor of such a move, and I’ve written about it HERE.

Well good news, people: College football playoffs are coming, finally. And they’ve allegedly found a way to keep the crappy bowl games that we’re all so excited to watch. That’s right: The Bowl — played on a Tuesday morning at 6 Eastern in whatever is left of the Astrodome — isn’t going away. Rejoice.

This plan is not without its issues; when it begins (and it may begin this fall! EXCELSIOR!!!) it will only let four teams into the playoff, so the complaint is already being lodged by the left wing librul sports media conspiracy that those of us who complained about the BCS will still be complaining, only now we’ll be whining about the one or two “deserving” teams who are left out in the cold. It’s a fair assessment; I always believed that there should be six conference champs and two wild card teams, and four teams doesn’t exactly make me get a raging Tebowner.

But it is better. It is improvement. Progress. Will it ever progress past four teams? Not sure. I hope it does. But if four teams in a playoff is what we get, that gives us three games of awesome major college football playoffs and teams settling it on the field, hopefully avoiding a shitshow like last year’s National Championship Game. And hey look! Every game still matters!

On to the links. [Read more…]

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