I’m not sure I totally buy it, but I saw a poll the other day which claims that less than seven percent of Americans will follow the World Cup. I wonder how many Americans of Hispanic heritage were asked, but you get the point---Americans care a lot more about soccer moms than they do soccer players.
Cue Jergun Klinsmann---
I have no doubt about Klinsmann’s credentials, as much as I can grasp what the credentials of a good soccer man are. The German won a World Cup as a player and later coached a team into the Final Four (American references dies hard with me). Apparently, he won’t be leading Team USA into the Cup semis after making the claim that the U.S. has no chance at winning the World Cup, in fact, he doesn’t even seem to like our (getting my American dander up) chances to get out of the four team group to start the Cup.
He may be right, but his typical German candor is doing little to help the still fledgling sport in the United States. Soccer, as it’s called here much to the chagrin of the rest of the world, is still a concept whose time hasn’t come in this country. At a time when Team USA could be expanding awareness of the sport and generating excitement towards it—Klinsmann has essentially given any potential fan the go ahead to dismiss it. What’s the point of me supporting if the very man charged to lead the team I’m cheering for believes that it has no chance to win? If part of being the coach of Team USA is selling the game…I’m not buying Jurgen Klinsmann.
I hear that the Chiefs receiver is in the best shape of his life and that’s great. Is it me, or does Dwayne Bowe always seem to be claiming some new awareness in his game or his life about this time of year. This guy just needs to show up and play the way he’s paid. So far Dwyane Bowe has been a star in salary only, instead of leading the league in yards he heads the way in dropped passes. I’m glad he’s in great shape, maybe it signals a change in his focus and work ethic, but I want to see how it equates to performance.
The Royals open a seven game swing through Chicago and Detroit tonight. Winners of four straight and seven of their last nine good things are starting to happen. Kansas City is averaging 4.6 runs in the 13 games since Dale Sveum took over as batting coach, the Royals are 27-4 in games that they score four or more runs. A year ago, they didn’t start gaining traction until they got to 51-51 in late July. From that point on they never played under .500 ball. Have they reached a similar stage over a month earlier this year? The next seven games against division contenders should go a long way in determining that, but I like their chances.
All but done?
I can’t remember a more surprising outcome to a game you were so sure was going to go the other way. San Antonio isn’t just beating the Heat, they’re scorching them. The Spurs don’t turn it over and that helps to neutralized Miami’s run game, the Heat had only 7 points off the fast break last night. When Miami isn’t running they’re trying to play in the half court where they’re simply outclassed by one of the great passing teams in NBA history.
I’m not sure that five titles in 15 years constitutes a dynasty, but the Spurs have clearly been the NBA’s best franchise during that stretch. And while they still have one more game to get, one wonders how the Heat can possibly stop them.