Wednesday, June 14, 2006

You Know 'Em - I Hope You Love 'Em

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae.

World Cup takes center stage in this week's edition of The Hazies. For those of you who haven't been here before - The Monday (or so) Hazies take a look back at some of the more notable performances from the past week. The winners are awarded a Hazie and have the title of "Hazel's Hero" bestowed upon them. While Hazel hasn't officially OK'd the nominees - we'd like to think she give her trademark smile and the thumbs up.


This year's tournament has started off with a bang - the defensive style of crap the Greeks brought to Portugal in 2004 is now a distant memory, replaced by the slashing runs of Robben, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rosicky, Nedved, my man Figo and a host of others at the World Cup.

Tomas Rosicky of the Czech Republic scored two goals, including a highlight reel blast from about 30 yards out, in a thrashing of the United States. Time and time again Rosicky beat the U.S. defenders, and looked like a man playing with boys. The Czechs have been predicting big things for him at this tournament - he served notice to the world that he is a player.

Australia's Tim Cahill also scored two goals against Japan, including a howitzer through a crowd of defenders from about 20 yards out. What makes his performance all the more impressive was that he did it as a sub (he went into the tournament hurt) and he hit both late in the game within a couple of minutes.

Costa Rica's Paulo Wanchope started off the tournament with two goals against the host Germans; quite a feat to do it in the opening game, in a hostile environment. Wanchope's game against Germany is definitely the highlight for Costa Rica.

Mexico's Omar Bravo and Germany's Miroslav Klose each hit for two goals in their opening games.

Holland's Arjen Robben was outstanding in his game as he took it to Serbia and Montenegro last week. Robben, who scored a goal and created a few more chances for himself, controlled the game and made a very good Serbian defence look ordinary - he absolutely shredded them.

Trinidad and Tobago's goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, who wasn't expected to see much action, turned in a memorable performance - stifling the Swedes a few times late in the game to preserve a 0 - 0 tie.

Portugal's Luis Figo proved to doubters that he is ready for the tournament. Thought by some to be past his prime, Portugal's attack flowed through the old man on Sunday and he controlled the flow of the game. He set up Pauleta's goal and created a number of other chances with slashing runs into the middle of the field. The man is on a mission to lift the out world.

The tournament has also had its share of great goals - top 5 goals (not already referred to tonight)...I think Hazel would have no problem counting these down.

5) Brazil's Kaka scored a great one today against Croatia.

4) Italy's Andrea Pirlo curled in a seeing eye free kick from about 25 yards against Ghana.

3) Australia's John Aloisi made a great individual run, splitting the Japanese defence to seal the victory.

2) South Korea's Jung-Hwan Ahn hit a great one today from about 2o yards out to bring his team back over Togo.

1) Germany's Torsten Frings shocked the Costa Rican's with a strike from 30+ yards out. The best goal of the tournament so far.

"The Beautiful Game" indeed it is! Speaking of which - I'm lovin' the new line of ADDIDAS commercials with the kids picking soccer teams. The World Cup always has the best commercials.

The last World Cup Hazie goes to the Commissioner of the Hazelspeeps' Fantasy Baseball Pool "Drisc", who after the Americans' loss to the Czech Republic felt compelled to wade in on the World Cup

" All the hype about USA in the World Cup and they get slammed 3-0, I
mean nill.
All those wasted hours of kids playing youth soccer. Put on the pads and play real football!"

Here is who doesn't get a Hazie - Hazel's former colleague Mike Toth of Rogers Sportsnet. I normally like Mike, but I swear I want to punch him when I hear him mispronounce Ronaldinho. Toth keeps pronouncing it "Ronal-deeno". Come on now, for the love of Hazel, how could you mispronounce the most well known athlete in the entire world? Everyone knows its "Ronal-deenyo" - ADD THE DAMN "Y" MIKE. Speaking of Mike, his co-host Martine Gaillard is just as bad - you'd think these two would watch the game for a few minutes and hear how names are pronounced. Jeebers...I bet Hazel isn't butchering world cup names - she is doing world cup games on NESN...isn't she? Hazel? (if you are checking in).

My World Cup Predictions for today's games

Spain 2 - 1 Ukraine - the Spaniards will look to duplicate their first round success in Korea, where they won all three games. Spain has too much talent, more than enough to overcome Shevchenko.

Tunisia 3 - 1 Saudi Arabia - Tunisia can play and the Saudi's can't, not at this level anyways.

Germany 2 - 1 Poland - Germans play tight knowing that a win guarantees them passage to round of 16. Poland's game against Ecuador was telling.

I have been so wrapped up in the World Cup that I've had half an eye on MLB and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I saw enough to know that Hank Blalock's woeful performance yesterday against the White Sox, failing to get a single hit, blew my pro-line ticket out of the water. But a quick run down:

New York Mets Carlos Beltran and Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins were awarded the Player of the Week.

David "Big Papi" Ortiz gets a Hazie for another 9th inning HR on Sunday to win the game for the Sox.

There were a number of other great performances - but like I said, the World Cup. Now for those of you watching the tight race in the Hazelspeeps Fantasy Baseball Pool - this past week was not without controversy. Our resident Steinbrenner - Hubie - has been charged by Sparky with adding and dropping multiple players everyday in order to take them off the waiver wire for 2-3 days...thus impacting the rest of the league's ability to acquire players. Hubie vehemently denies the charge...stay tuned to see how this plays out. If we can't resolve this to everyone's satisfaction - we may just ask Hazel herself to intervene!

Standings for the week ending June 11.

73.5 - The Bronx Zoo (owned by Sparky - who has pledged to stay the course with his team)
68.0 - Tina's Team (owned by Tina - who is hanging in there with the big boys)
66.5 - Waiver Man (owned by our man Hubie - who hasn't met a player he didn't want to waive or acquire)
65.5 - Shuggysux (owned by Shuggy - who we still haven't heard from)
53.5 - Hazel Mae's Hackers (owned by me - I wanna draft Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Hazel Mae!)
52.5 - Naughty Girls (owned by Renee - who has been working hard the group in search of trades)
45.0 - Banana Peels (owned by the Golden Banana - who hasn't been slipping down the standings)
44.0 - Fighting Bobcats (owned by Commish Drisc - who is lashing out at USA Soccer)
44.0 - GB Steam Boys (owned by George - who is still working every damn night)
37.5 - Leprachauns ( owned by Irish - who we haven't heard from in a while)

There you have it. What you should know:
  • Hubie's cup of coffee has run dry - he isn't in first anymore,
  • Tina's Team is for real, and
  • I am still ahead of Renee - who still hasn't put in her request for our bet.
Have a great one peeps!

Network all you can today. The more people you can talk to about a project, the better equipped you will be to do it properly. You will make some new friends if you take a short trip or attend a tradeshow or conference. 2 stars

Hazel I hope things are groovy in your world.

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - for the Brazilians who won a tough game against the Croats yesterday...keeping in mind its World Cup and its all about Portugal this month.

Fado Xuxu - Amalia Rodrigues

Peesth Out...Buh Bye!


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