Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WM 2014--Day Thirteen Recap

Your “Syndicate Hangover” is proudly presented by “Pißwasser Pils”


Day 13: Recap

Spread: 10-30
Straight up: 16-17-7

Hot Girl Standings

Games Played
Costa Rica
3 (finished)
3 (finished)
3 (finished)
Cote d’Ivoire
3 (finished)
South Korea
3 (finished)
Bosnia & H
3 (finished)
3 (finished)
3 (finished)

Good Morning Philly Wop Contingent,

Oh….don’t you even think about whining! Perish the thought. I don’t want to hear it. Your Dagos played a tremendously shitty match, about as bad a match as I’ve seen anyone play. No hustle from Pirlo. Genuinely stupid play from Balotelli. Immobile was even worse. De Sciglio, Verratti, and Bonnucci played like complete garbage. No, I don’t care if the Marchisio sending off was harsh, the Godin goal was soft, and Luis Suarez entered the “Tyson Zone”

Day 13 Recap (2)
I’ve got your money and I won it FAIR AND SQUARE! You deserved to lose last night. You can whine, cry, and throw a puerile “Chielleni-hissy-fit”.

Go ahead and give me a dramatic tantrum. Scream “Mamma Mia!” to the heavens and show me your bite mark. Roll around on the ground like a true “floppin Wop”. Writhe in pain and screech for succor.




Alright. Alright. We’ll dispense with our usual playful banter and get to work analyzing what happened. It wasn’t the greatest night for this half-Wop either. I was prepared to celebrate in the Südstadt with all my beloved “Germana”, but there was to be no party on this particular eve. We’ll begin with….what else? All anyone wants to talk about this morning is Luis Suarez’s “Macgruff Maneuver”

Gaston Ramires attempt to cover up the mark that Chiellini is trying to show referee Marco Rodriguez (Getty)Did he bite Chielleni? You friendly bookie has no choice but to remind you that he is certainly no Luis Suarez fan.

From WM 2014—Group D Preview

We’ve recently discovered that Premiership player of the year (and all around Uruguayan douchebag) Luis Suarez underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week. It’s been a grueling season over at Anfield and the Liverpool man has played through a great deal of pain. The procedure is described as “minimally invasive” with recovery times ranging between two and four weeks.


Love the country, hate the team. My favorite periodical, “The Economist” named Uruguay 2013’s “Country of the Year”…for good reason. This bookie was extolling the virtues of recent political developments in Uruguay as far back as August. Below you’ll find some of my thoughts on Jose Mujica, written during last autumn’s qualifying campaign. If only I didn’t want to repeatedly punch Luis Suarez in the face.


The Talisman—Luis Suarez

He’s a douche. His flagrant handball sent the poor Black Stars home early in 2010. Even if he was adequately penalized, he remained on the pitch to celebrate and made obnoxious remarks afterward. He earned a completely justified suspension for despicable racist remarks made against Patrice Evra. Again, punishment was meted out fairly. It wouldn’t have been so bad if Suarez hadn’t refused to shake Evra’s hand his first game back. What more could you ask for? The “international asshole”. He dives. He whines. He pouts. He’s also the Premiership Player of the Year. Here’s some samples:

In addition to these better-publicized incidents, Suarez has twice been suspended for biting players. He received a seven-match-ban in 2010 when playing for Ajax after biting PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal. Three years later, when playing for Liverpool, he bit the arm of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. That incident earned him a ten-match-ban.

Day 13 Recap (3)He’s taunted David Moises. He’s punched other players in the face. He’s flagrantly cheated again, again, and again.

So then….an "open and shut case"? Not quite. Admittedly, I was hopping mad alongside my Azzuri “half-brothers” when the collision took place.

You’re looking at an actual photo taken with my i-phone that documents the audience reaction to the purported bite. Your friendly bookie was waving and shouting too. Of course Suarez was guilty. He’s ALWAYS GUILTY!!

Not so fast. I’ve reviewed the tape and the contact actually looks incidental. If Suarez intended to bite Chielleni, why is he holding his teeth afterwards? It just looks like a freak-accident. Having given this a great deal of thought, I’m coming around to Uruguayan coach Oscar Tabarez’s position. What the fuck was that Theaterstück from Chielleni all about? Typical poor sportsmanship from the Italians. When not the better team, they flail their arms about and look to influence the officiating. Man up, fratello!

I still can’t stand Suarez and the K.O. Round is never the same without those “Forza Italia” Chants. Whatever happened, you can’t deny that you just got out-played. You had your destiny in your hands and you blew it; blew it big-time. More Italy Analysis to come in the “Goodbyes Section”. It is arrivederci, after all…and I’m afraid it’s deserved.

Goodbyes Section

England—“The Three Lions”
Shirt badge/Association crest 
-3 Games Played
-2 Goals Scored
-29 Hot Girls

Well….we all saw it coming miles away. We knew that St. George wouldn’t go far. I myself was looking forward to adding to my “Shootout Loss” section…and perhaps working in a gag about Roy Hodgson’s hired Sports Psychologist. Twasn’t to be. They exited with a perfectly appropriate whimper last night. Way to remind everyone how monumentally bad English football can be, lads!!

I’m fairly certain we've seen the last of Steven Gerard and Frank Lampard. They can have tea and reminisce about the old days with John Terry and Ashley Cole sometime in the not too distant future. For all the talk of Wayne Rooney dipping significantly, he’ll recover along with ManU under van Gaal next season. Whoever succeeds Hodgson as head coach should send him a nice fruit basket for introducing Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley, and Adam Lallana into the starting formation. Of that trio, Lallana is the only one we’re unlikely to see again. He’s 26 and desperately needs to find a club better than those Southampton Saints.

Sterling and Barkley will nevertheless return. Ditto Sturridge and Welbeck if they can keep their club form up. Wilshere, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, and Chris Smalling also portend a better future. The problem with looking into the English Crystal Ball remains the Premiership. The undisputed “Best League in the World” always has surprises in store for us.

The fact that most of the English lineup is comprised of the players who put together the best season in the Top Flight keeps us all guessing. It may also be one the reasons that England always loses…but we’ll leave that debate for Szymanski and Kuper to sort out. If the distinguished authors can’t break the code than no one can.

It’s important to note that England DID NOT qualify for Euro 2008. They lost in a cracking final group round match against Russia. Euro 2016. We’ll still call it a forgone conclusion this time. They can easily best Switzerland and Slovenia. 

Italy—“The Azzuri”
Shirt badge/Association crest 
-3 Games Played
-2 Goals Scored
-39 Hot Girls

Oh my beloved dark-haired beauties. What am I to do with you? I want nothing more than to take you in my arms and assure you that everything will be all right. So you didn’t get out of the group. No need for tears. Vicey will……wait a second. We’ve been here before. The same thing happened back in 2010. It was only four years ago that your friendly bookie found himself consoling luscious Italian Girls!!

From WM 2010—Day Ten Recap

So many sullen Italian girls in the audience today LL Che peccatto pollastretta! L L All of these lonely, melancholy Italian beauties brushing their lovely dark hair away from their piercing dark eyes so as to place a delicate finger on a dour check and exclaim to the heavens “Trageda!!” I know, I know, my little despairing pricipessa. Fa tanto male, più che puoi immaginarti! Please don’t give up hope my sweet alluring darlings. Andrà tutto per il meglio!

British play-by-play announcer Ian Darke was certainly doing his best to sell us their suffering. I count five times that the camera focused in on a group of despondent Italian stunners and Darke practically pleaded with us:

WM 2010“I say, it doesn’t look as if these lasses are very chirpy this afternoon.”

Gentlemen, our mission is clear! We must come to the rescue of these poor forlorn Italian hotties. We must take them back to our place, light a few well-placed candles, open that bottle of Vercelli Nebbiolo we’ve been saving and put Eros Ramazotti on the stereo. As the light from the candles’ fades, the wine takes its semi-spiritual effect, and Eros launches into “Musica e”, we must tenderly caress these depressed divas and softly whisper in their ear that, yes, the Azzuri will qualify for the round of 16!

And you wonder why I root for Italy to lose!

Anyways, I’d tell the Italian girls not pout…if they were not so goddamn sexy when they do it. I fall for it EVERY FUCKING time. LL Probably something very Freudian and very wrong going on in my head, but what else is new? Strong showing, as always, by the Brazilians today. Bravo Kiwis as well, though I saw far too many shirtless fat dudes. Good luck to all syndicate bettors tomorrow. If the preceding passage sets the mood for a little soft-core porn, have fun with that too!

By the way, I can’t have you guys spreading the word that I speak a little Italian. That’s not cool. Keep it on the D.L. Treat it as the “First and Second Rule of Fight Club”. Trust me. It’s the right thing to do. You may say, “Vicey, but you just put it in writing!”. That doesn’t matter. Only a few hundred people read this blog. I don’t want it to grow. Then I’ll have to pay traffic fees. Likewise, I don’t want random women to know about my linguistic proclivities. That’s another headache. We keep it tight, brothers!! Versprochen!

Massive overhaul time for the Azzuri, who treated us to what was surely the most fucked up postgame press conference in all of football history. Head coach Cesare Prandelli did a commendable job rebuilding the Dastardly Dagos after the debacle that was their 2010 South African Campaign. He took them all the way to the Euro 2012 Championship match via a stunning upset of my Krauts. Moreover, his lineup selection for last night’s game was spot on. It wasn’t his fault that Immobile turned out to be such a bust, that Pirlo didn’t even attempt to run off the ball, that Marchisio and Balotelli opted to play so stupidly, and that De Sciglio, Bonnucci, and Verrati stunk it up so badly.

All of that notwithstanding, Prandelli announced his resignation. When pressed as to why he accepted the resignation of a still well-regarded trainer, FIGC President Giancarlo Abete declared that he very much wanted Prandelli to stay on, but he himself would be resigning. Bam. Bam. The ship is left rudderless. Time for a total housecleaning.
Day 13 Recap (4)

Wow. Where do we go from here? That’s a wrap for Andrea Pirlo, who turns in his cleats after scoring 13 Goals in 112 international caps. Keeper Gianluigi Buffon is even older, but shows no signs of slowing down at the age of 36. He played marvelously last night. The only A+ on the Azzuri pitch. We might see him yet again at Euro 2016. A 38-year-old keeper? Why not? He’s only a keeper, after all.

Thiago Motta, Antonio Cassano, and Andrea Barzagli are likely all finished. We’ve probably seen the last of some of the elders that Prandelli left off this squad too. No more Alessandro Diamanti, Alberto Gilhardino, or Federico Balzaretti. The future of the attack belongs to either Immobile or Balotelli. I utilize “either/or” in this instance, as they clearly can’t play together. Last night evidenced that. Both are ball hogs who try to do too much on their own. There can be only one.

Nothing much doing in the Italian Youth System. There’s Palermo forward Andrea Belotti and Cittadella defender Cristinao Biraghi. That’s about it. It will thus be the new coach’s task to somehow build a team around either Balotelli or Immobile. Veterans Claudio Marchiso, Alberto Aquilani, and Danielle De Rossi will return to captain the midfield. The defense is anyone’s guess, but we can expect it to be fairly green.

Whoever assumes the helm will have two years to build an attack-oriented formation that possibly features only three defenders. No easy task, but two full years is a long enough time to get it accomplished. Good luck with that. We’ll see you in France.

Cote d’Ivoire—“Les Elephants”
Shirt badge/Association crest 
-3 Games Played
-4 Goals Scored
-49 Hot Girls

What a heartbreaker! That wasn’t a penalty. Not by a long shot. There was no contact! Samaras tripped over his own feet! Terrible call by the official. Don’t award a 93rd minute spot kick unless you ABSOLUTELY MUST!! Damn am I in a bad mood. We have our first official travesty.

The write-up was all but complete….and what a wondrous story it was ; ( Lamouchi gave aging Talisman Didier Drogba the start AND the captain’s armband. Kolo and Yaya Toure started a mere hours after learning about the tragic death of their younger brother. Gervinho supplied us with a moment of magic to set up the late equalizer. Cote d’Ivoire were set to go through on a draw. After being harshly placed in the “Group of Death” in 2006 AND 2010, they were FINALLY GOING THROUGH.

And then…..a greasy Mediterranean flopped like a Wop. Fuck me. Somehow I must summon the strength to carry on and discuss the future. Sabri Lamouchi resigned immediately following the result. Not good. Les Elephants need a steady hand to guide them through an obscenely difficult 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying group that features Cameroon and Congo DR.

Let’s assume for the moment that they take care of business and make it through. Look for essentially the same team to contest the Continental Championship in roughly seven-months-time. Drogba, Zokora, Kolo Toure, and even Boubacar Barry aren’t too old for one last hurrah. Then, they’re really done. Whoever assumes the vacant coaching position has but one clear mission: Get this team ready for one last run at Silverware in January. After that, tear it all apart and start again.

Japan—“The Blue Samurai”
Shirt badge/Association crest 
-3 Games Played
-2 Goals Scored
-66 Hot Girls

How very inconvenient Japs. You go crashing out one day AFTER I compose a “J-RPG Rant”. Tsk. Tsk. I felt like I might have had another one in me had you managed to stick around. Oh well. It’s hardly “goodbye” for your friendly bookie as he’ll see all his favorite Samurai back in action when the German Bundesliga resumes in August. I know that I’ve written some variation of this no fewer than 3,248 times, but the Bundesliga is rapidly becoming THE Showcase Platform for Japanese talent. I expect the number of Japanese internationals playing on German pitches to continue to grow almost exponentially.

My favorite Jap remains FSV Mainz’s Shinji Okazaki. He gave us one final moment of brilliance last night amid the Columbian drubbing. Check out his dazzling, diving header for a goal in first half injury time:

Non-Bundesliga-enthusiasts can look forward to watching the Japs defend their fourth Asian Cup title shortly after the New Year. The 2015 Asian Cup begins on January 7th. No major changes to this squad are foreseen.


One day remaining until the “Germany vs. USA” SHOWDOWN!!!

Immortal foes on the football pitch. Inseparable allies for life off of it. American Syndicate fans, you just have no idea how much fun this is going to be…for ALL of us!


Germany’s most sensationalist tabloid took a bit of a breather today. They interviewed Klinsi’s wife, talked to Müller about his preparations, analyzed the Italian loss, and continued to lead with the theft of Schumacher’s Hospital Files. Oh can still see Hope Solo naked again if you want!!
Day 13 Recap (3)

I reiterate that this is going to be such great fun. A German loss would, of course, have serious repercussions:

From WM 2014—Group G Preview:

This brings us to my adopted “country of convenience”. The Yanks are back. Don’t laugh. Many are tipping them to top this group, and with good reason. Even without Landon Donovan, new kid Julian Green posses the speed to carve up defenses. Beleaguered strikers Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore need only to have the ball placed at their feet. They still know how to finish. All it takes is one penetrating through-ball. Should the Fatherland lose to U.S. (a very real possibility) it will be a national embarrassment on par with the burning of the Reichstag. Many Krauts will stumble out of bed with the worst hangover of their life, raise their iron shutters, and wonder why we even bother having a country at all.

Nevertheless, it’s nothing a night of heavy drinking can’t ameliorate. Germans and Americans are soul mates. The Transatlantic-Relationship remains the most important MFN Status in the history of diplomacy. We’re all set to have a great time. We’re ALL gonna get laid. No matter what happens, we’re still BFFs. Merkel and Obama will watch the match together. Hell, they might even fuck afterwards if the mood strikes.

Get ready for the time of your life!

 “Riffs of the Day”—Day Thirteen


Reader: Two World Cups in a row….this isn’t happening. ; (

Vicey: Have a Grappa, 6-M. Italian liquor always eases the pain.

Reader: Did the fact that you lost Shadow compel you to be a “Shadow Scholar”?

Vicey: ……that’s a damn good question. I honestly never thought of it that way…..let me get back to you.


 Once again, three more teams to bite the dust in a short few hours.

Nigeria vs. Argentina


This one is worth a good look, though a draw would see Keshi’s boys through. La Albiceleste still have much to prove. Don’t expect them to lay back and defend. Perhaps they’ll get more comfortable playing in their traditional 4-3-3

THE LINE: Argentina +1 Goal (holding)

Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Iran


Last chance to see Dzeko & Co for at least two years…possibly forever.

THE LINE: B & H +1 (rolling down from +2)

Honduras vs. Switzerland


Zzzzzzzz….we go BLAH. Okay, that’s unfair. Maybe Hitzfeld’s Heroes have something in store for us.

THE LINE: Switzerland +2 Goals (rolling up from +1)

Ecuador vs. France


End your evening with the best team the tournament has shown us thus far. Of course, they benefited from a “Creampuff Schedule”. This will constitute their first real test.

THE LINE: France +2 Goals (holding)