Thursday, June 08, 2006

gearing up for the World Cup

The greatest sporting event in the world is set to begin tomorrow, June 9.

The U.S. team, faced with a tough draw but fielding perhaps its best team ever, will open against the Czech Republic. (ESPN preview)

The issue for the U.S. is that historically they have never fared well in Europe. Here's to a good showing for the American squad.

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My only problem with soccer players is that they can be a little too flamboyant. Too much acting and crying after fouls, and too many pretty boys, such as some of the dudes below.

I figured I would get in the World Cup flow by analyzing some of the more ridiculous hair cuts in recent soccer history, focusing on several prominent players who rock long hair, often to disastrous effect.

Long hair is certainly a gamble for any heterosexual male. For soccer players, nothing looks worse than getting beat by a striker when you're a fullback or whiffing on an easy chance as a scorer, except for when you do it with stupid looking hair. It takes a certain talent to pull off the look without coming off as a pansy - you have to be a badass or suffer the consequences. The sport of soccer has provided many overly confident dudes who have been more than willing to give it a shot.

Here are some of my favorites and commentary:

David Beckham

Ah, Becks. You have to start off with one of the most recognizable sports figures and celebrities in the entire world. Females everywhere worship this man and his various haircuts. As a soccer player, he is vastly overrated, despite his sick left foot on set plays.

With that being said, Beckham is guilty of showcasing some of the most awful looking hair you'll ever see. I've never understood why this guy doesn't leave his bitchy Spice Girl wife when he's in the prime of his life and could hit any one of what must be a billion hotter hotties, but to each his own.

final analysis of the hair: UNCOOL

Francesco Totti

Totti is a badass. One of the best players in the world, Totti easily pulls off the long-haired look. I would love to be this guy. Exhibit A is just below, as Totti seduces the ladies with ease. Normally Italian soccer players are too full of themselves for their own good, but Totti backs everything up with stellar play and goals. Don't mess with Totti.

final analysis of the hair: VERY COOL

Alexi Lalas

I'm torn on this one. A posterboy for U.S. and MLS soccer in the mid-nineties, Lalas was easily found by looking for his freakishly orange and disheveled hair and absurd goatee. Lalas was on the Best Damn Sports Show Period a couple nights ago, and the funny thing is, he looks completely normal and respectable cleanly shaven and with short hair.

In the end, I have to give the guy props for making himself look like a clown and still managing to play decently.

final analysis of the hair: COOL (beard seals it)

Marcelo Balboa

Every time I see Balboa commentating on ESPN2, I cringe. He looked bad enough in 1994 when the U.S. team overachieved in the World Cup, but you would think 10 years later, after retiring, that he would take a clue from his teammate Alexi and get rid of the ridiculous hair. Doesn't he have a daughter that loves him? What about shame? The sport will not be taken seriously in this country until this clown finally gets a haircut.

final analysis of the hair: VERY UNCOOL

Carlos Valderrama

The Clown Prince of Soccer. The 90's sure featured alot of long-locked futbol players. This Ronald-McDonald-on-crack looking dude was always the center of attention thanks to his ridiculous fro masterpiece. Anybody that risks potentially damning their family names for centuries deserves some credit for the gall. Props to this eccentric Colombian.

final analysis of the hair: CIRCUS FREAK SHOW COOL

Jeff Agoos

Fuck you, Jeff Agoos. Another older player retired from the ranks, Agoos came off looking like a Steven Seagal clone, except whereas Seagal could kick a lot of ass when you get down to it, Agoos kicks NO ONE'S ass, especially in the 2002 World Cup during which he almost single-handedly led to the destruction of the U.S. defense. He would let attackers beat him and get past him almost as easily as the joke of a French Army allowed the German Blitzkreig to storm Paris in World War II. I would get so mad at this guy watching him cost my team, and his stupid looking hair did nothing but make me more furious.

final analysis of the hair: OFFENSIVELY UNCOOL

more to come...

7 comments:

cc said...

I got to see Lalas play in the NCAA playoffs while he was at Rutgers (Rutgers vs. SMU). I was a big fan from that day on. Sweetie and I lived in Princeton and decided to drive up for it. Becks moves nations with his do (see Japan), so he's a bit like Katie Couric. You have to show Ronaldo from 2002 World Cup next.

c said...

i know you must have some valderrama on tap. your commentary amused me. i would say, too, that zidane's close-shaved balding head is quite sexy.

rocknrollstar said...

F.J. Awesome post! You had me laughing pretty hard... I totally agree with you regarding Balboa. What the hell is his problem? What's with the Jesus look!?

- Steve

WK said...

I think US will come out to play. The Euros are always lazy...the US don't have great individual talents..they will grind it out and work hard. I have a feeling they'll at least put up something respectable.

F.J. Delgado said...

you called it c, Valderrama coming right up...

cc, I'm trying to find Ronaldo with long hair, let's say he should probably stick with the shaved head.

Steve, glad you liked it, can't wait for the games to start later today.

And WK, I agree with you, I think the U.S. could do some damage if they catch Italy off guard.

Intellectual_Steve said...

Great Post Fern -

Soccer is an anomoly here in the US - the populace is still warming up to it -

The issue right now in my family is the proper nomenclature (my Trinidadian other half keeps correcting me - it's football damnit)

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