World Football: 50 Most Ludicrous Moments of 2011
As the year winds down, we who live on the world wide web are beginning to see an amazing influx of countdown lists for 2011. Bloggers around the world are trying to make a name for themselves by ranking the top gizmos, vacation spots, TV shows, movies, laundry detergents, coffee tables, desktop fans, etc.
So I figure, heck why don't I join the group of those with far too much time on their hands.
I have here compiled a list of the 50 most ludicrous moments in football this past year from around the world and at all levels. Scouring the web and my own recollections, I decided not to do a ranking of the list by some arbitrary parameters, but rather just go ahead and lay them all out there for us to enjoy.
Some will make you gasp. Others will leave you scratching your head. But all are sure to get a good chuckle.
Please if you see that I missed something, post it below. Let's try and compile the greatest list of 2011 ever seen in the history of the world!
The Year of the Dog
Apparently man's best friend could not get enough of the pitch this year. I was able to find five instances on YouTube alone of a dog running on to the field during the play of a professional game.
By far my favorite is the one above, where this cutie pie makes Messi's zig-zagging runs look like a joke as he fools all 22 players on the field and a few security guards with his swift moves.
You know how they say dogs can understand what a human wants? Well, this is proof as this pooch took the Oles coming from the crowd as a sign that he was the most entertaining thing of the night.
Below are links to the other four titled appropriately:
Cheekiness to the Extreme
A stadium will howl with "ooohs" and "awws" at the sight of a chip down the center on a penalty kick, but even the bravado of Neymar would have a tough time pulling this one off.
UAE's Awana Diab decided the best way to leave his mark on a blowout win against Lebanon was score his penalty facing away from goal and with the back of his heel.
The fans loved it, but the ref was not too keen and awarded him a yellow card.
My surprise was mostly not at how he scored, but the fact that he didn't get his faced popped in afterward for doing it. I have seen players in football hit as hard as can be on the next opportunity to do so after egotistically celebrating a play.
Sadly, he would be involved in a fatal car crash later in the year. But his memory will always live on as the cheekiest player of all time.
Proof Why Every Player Should Strengthen Their Sternocleidomastoid
That's the sound of the ball blasting off Fagiano Okayama defender Ryujiro Ueda's head for a goal from 63 yards out.
I know the goalie was much too far out and that ball is saved 99.9999999999999 percent of the time. But who cares. It was awesome!
Ronaldo may have trophies galore and hundreds of goals, but none of them are world records now, are they?
Keeping Up with the Makhachkalians
With UEFA's financial fair play rules right around the corner, many clubs kept their pockets tight this past summer. But then again, when you live off the grid in Makhachkala there is really no such thing as spending too much.
Banking on the hope that no UEFA officials will ever come to the capital Dagestan in Russia, due to the fact that it is considered the murder capital of the country and has a travel advisory warning from Wikitravel as being "extremely dangerous and (travel there is) strongly discouraged," new owner Suleymon Kerimov spent big including the record signing of Samuel Eto'o.
His salary of €20 million after tax per season makes him the highest payed player in the world nearly doubling the earnings of Messi and Ronaldo.
Hopefully, he doesn't have to worry too much about the crime. He probably has better security than United States President Barack Obama.
A Not so Quiet Riot
When River Plate was relegated for the first time in the clubs 100-plus year history, to say the fans did not take it too well is an understatement.
Immediately after the match, the fans lost it. The poor financial state of the club was topped off by the relegation and led to wide spread rioting throughout Buenos Aries.
Perhaps the pansies down at Occupy Wall Street should take a note from the playbook of our friends from the South. That is how you enact change, not by drum circles and lack of showering.
The World's Most Efficient Referee
No one ever seems to acknowledge the physical fitness required to be a ref. Yes, yes, players are in much better shape than officials, but you still have to be in top-notch condition to officiate a game at the highest level.
Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez, understands that part of conditioning is knowing how to conserve energy, so you can get the most out of a performance. In the second leg of the Mexican Primera apertura final, his fitness was put to the test as much as the players.
Being forced to brandish three straight red cards a seven yellow cards can take quite a bit out of anyone. However, Rodriguez was smart enough to award yellow cards simultaneously, allowing him to conserve his energy for when it was needed most.
Ice that shoulder, good Marco. You deserve it!
There's the Bible, and Then There's "I, Zlatan"
Most people with even a decent amount of humility would never dream of releasing their own autobiography, much less when they are still in the prime of their careers.
Luckily for us, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not most people.
His tell-all book I, Zlatan digs deep into the psyche of his persona and aims to make us all understand why he is the way he is.
It reads almost like the new testament, with himself serving as a second coming, conquering racial divides: "The real challenge was to break up those [expletive] (national) groups. I hated them from day one.”
Moments of recognition of the talents of others: "(Johnathan) Zebina went down immediately, not like that animal of an American (Onyewu), who's big like me."
And of course a Judas figure:
The chat seemed to go well, but then Guardiola started to freeze me out. I would walk into a room; he would leave. He would greet everyone by saying hello, but would ignore me. I had done a lot to adapt—the Barca players were like schoolboys, following the Coach blindly, whereas I was used to asking ‘why?’. I like guys who run red lights, not pedantic and strict rules. I tried to be overly nice, didn’t dare lose my temper.
Word on the street is that the ghost writer for this book has a project in the works for a biogrpahy on Kim Jong Il since he is well versed in how to cover an egotistical maniac.
Trouble in Paradise
Here's a riddle for you: What has two legs, bad acne and the mood swings of a menopausal housewife?
If you guessed Carlos Tevez, then you're right! You're prize? The rest of this slideshow!!!
It seemed like a match made in heaven just six months ago as the Argentinian helped City raise their first trophy in 35 years and finished tied for the golden boot in the EPL. The Sheik thought he may have finally invested his money in the right spot and had a face on which he could pin the hopes of club that was always left playing second fiddle in the Cottonopolis.
But, like a drastic turn in a daytime soap opera, all things fell apart as Tevez felt homesick and missed his family. I get all of that, who would not want to be close to home. And you can't really blame his bombshell wife and beautiful kids for not wanting to leave the plush life they have in sun soaked Argentina for a drab industry town in Northern England.
Thing's came to a boiling point when Tevez refused to go on as a sub against Bayern in a Champions League match. From then on, it seemed a lost cause to try and suture the relationship.
The Argentinian is back in his home land apparently doing fine. Playing golf, hanging out with his kids and doing things with his wife we could only dream of. He looks happy in the picture above, but then again if I was getting paid £198,000 a week to do all those things, I would probably have a grin from ear to ear as well.
And the Winner Is...
When the American founding fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence, they wanted make sure the crown of England recognized the importance of representative government and that the power of voting can be the best barometer for the state of the people.
Little did they know, their message would be best displayed by the people of Bulgaria some 250 years later.
To show how upset the Bulgarian public is with the current state of their football, they voted in a write-in candidate for the country's player of the year—Boyko Borisov.
If you are a fan of football, you have probably never heard the name. However, if you at all study the political landscape of the Balkan region then you are well aware of Mr. Borisov as he is also Bulgaria's Prime Minister.
Don't worry, it's not a crazy as it sounds. The 52-year-old does occasionally lace up the boots and plays as a striker for third division side F.C. Vitosha Bistritsa.
With 44 percent of the vote he easily beat out Vegas favorite Dimitar Berbatov who only had 24 percent. But, like most good politicians who used the award to help his cause, annulling the decision because it was a protest vote.
Now, if only we can get Putin into the Hockey Hall of Fame, we would be set.
I first came across this in Sports Illustrated a few weeks back and was absolutely in awe at the levels teams will go to generate revenue.
I understand all about how sports are a business and to run a successful club, just like any business, you need to be ahead of the game. But I draw the line at changing the way learn players names.
The cashed strapped club of Valencia starting putting their players Twitter account names on the back of their jersey's in an effort to raise more money. Mexican side Jaguares copied the move a few months later.
I am not sure how it actually does make them anymore money if it's not just straight advertising, but who knows with these things. It seems to me that these jerseys are just starting to look more and more like the window of a cheap bodega down a back alley in Tijuana.
All I know is I am glad the owner of these twitter accounts don't play on either of these teams: @thef******pope, @ManPuppyDotCom, or @stoner_stuff.
What's the Role of a No. 85?
For our friends across the pond, you may not have been aware of a very serious issue that occurred in the U.S. this summer. While you lads were worrying about who your team would purchase and who else would leave, us yanks were sweatin' to the idea of having a fall and winter without the NFL.
The polarizing lockout that basically pitted millionaires against billionaires was the talk of the sporting nation. In the end, it was just a bunch of big talk between the two sides and the season got under way with the loss of only two meaningless preseason games.
Most of the players sat back and just took the time off to spend with family and friends. Others tried to organize their own workouts to be prepared for when the season got underway. Chad Ochocinco (he legally changed his name from "Johnson") had other plans.
The New England Patriots receiver spent the offseason without a team, so he went out to go look for one...in soccer. His friendship with Christiano Ronaldo sparked rumors of a pending move to Real Madrid and even the football star (American that is) said he had a trial himself. However, due to the fact that he is sponsored by Reebok and Real Madrid trains with Adidas, he was never able to get on to the pitch.
That didn't stop him from pulling a David Beckham and giving the MLS a shot. That's right. Sporting Kansas was keen on the idea of him a shot (i.e. the publicity). He played in a reserve game for the club and performed...uh...well he didn't get a red card. Unfortunately for the six-time Pro Bowler, he was cut the following day.
Talk About a Bust
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Russian billionaires are well known for spending lavishly and without restraint. Some like to wast their money on yachts, with blue whale foreskin seat coverings. Others buy their 22-year-old daughters $85 million apartments in NYC so they have a place to stay when they visit. But I know of only one who would dish out £50 million for an inept striker.
I don't want to go into too much detail about the musings of Fernando Torres as I am sure all of you like me are sick of it. But I also could not pass up the chance to at least point out one more time the stupidest football transfer in all of history.
The one thing I can say about El Nino is he did say he came here to make history and well he sure is. I doubt there has ever been such an expensive player that has spent so much time on the bench.
I hope you have your thermals Fernando because those dugouts can get mighty cold in the winter.
A Marathon of Ugliness
In 2011, the proverbial Haley's Comet of football happened—an occurrence that is so rare that it defies all logic and captures the hearts and minds of the footballing world.
We had not only two El Clasico matches, the playing out of the fabled rival between Barcelona and Real Madrid, but four! And to make it even more interesting, all the games were played within a span of only 18 days. Both clubs had played themselves into the final of the Copa del Rey and the gods of the game graced us by pitting the two against one another in the two-leg Champions League semifinal.
In the end, Barca took three out of the four (Congratulations to Madrid for winning the least important of the four. You're a bunch of stars), but, sadly, that's not what the game will be remembered for.
The matches were a disgusting display of football and humanity. Players went hard into tackles and dove even harder into the ground. It was simply disgrace after disgrace, especially for two sides that pride themselves on playing the most beautiful form of the game.
Probably, the one thing that angers me more than anything is the way they surround the ref like a bunch of little bratty children whining about not getting ice cream.
Who the heck do they think they are? I think La Liga should give the refs mace and instructions to use freely as needed.
Luckily, things did not carry onto this season...oh never mind. Thanks a lot, Jose Mourinho.
Anyone Want to Play a Card Game?
We have all seen fights in the game, but have you ever seen a referee who knows how to properly handle this thuggery?
Referee Damien Rubino showed a record 36 red cards in match between Claypole and Victoriano Arenas in Argentina's fifth division!
Yeah, I know this is a low division in Argentina and obviously does not resonate to every level of the game, but still, I am impressed that he had the cajones to take care of business.
To be clear that means he red carded both teams starting lineups and another 14 on top of that, a.k.a. he called the game. But rather than just putting a stop to the madness he is penalizing these idiots for their next match as well that both teams had to forfeit for lack of avaiable players.
I hope he used Rodriguez's technique or he may need Tommy John's after the season.
Where to start?
Corruption, racism, sexism—FIFA, or just another day in Silvio Berlusconi's office?
It all started with a supposed fix in last years 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding. I am not sure of the exact details, something with payment being made to certain federations in exchange of votes. If you want specifics, check out fellow FC writer Michael Cummings breakdown here.
It really boiled over when candidate Mohammed bin Hammam of Qatar accused Sepp Blatter of corruption. It turned out that he was the corrupt one and was forced to withdraw. It was like as if Stalin and Hitler argued about who had the better justice system.
(Grant Wahl does a nice little piece on this in this weeks issue of SI.)
All I know is that I still don't understand how the 2022 World Cup will be played in a desert!
Then of course there is the most recent development, good ol' Sepp telling those who have been racially offended to just "get over it."
Always the sensitive one, Sepp hit the trifecta with this nice little response to how he could justify awarding the 2022 World Cup to a country that makes homosexuality illegal: "I would say they [gay fans] should refrain from any sexual activities."
Ahhh FIFA. So glad that the world's most popular game is run by the world's biggest group of idiots. These guys make the George W. Bush administration look like Tibetan monks.
This Guys a Hoot
I'm not some nutzo PETA person, but even I want to spit in this guys eye.
When an owl landed on the pitch of a game between Colombian sides Deportivo Pereira and Atletico Junior, for some reason Deportivo defender Luis Moreno thought the best way to help him off the field was with the his right foot.
I really hope that this dope was just having a lapse of judgement and is not this cruel of a person to kick an injured animal.
To make things even worse the owl was the Athletico's mascot. Fans were understandably livid after this action, crying and calling him a murderer. I think he should have been forced to lay on the ground and let all the fans in stadium have a good whack at him.
Luckily, the bird who only suffered a broken leg, made a full recovery. Let's hope that owls are as wise as they say and remembers this.
Do you think anyone would stop it if the bird pecked away at the eyes of Moreno next time Moreno visits the stadium?
Behind Every Great Man Is an Appeasing Woman
Napoli has come on strong the past few seasons and has been one of the surprise hits of this year's Champions League. Not only are they in the knockout rounds, but they did it by getting past both Manchester City and Villareal.
Little did we all know that the truth to their success is the player's home lives.
Taking a page out of their PM's playbook, the Napoli board brought all of the players' WAG's to the luxuirous Donn’Anna palace and provided them with a feast of bresaola, shrimp, artichoke and butternut squash risotto.
But unbeknownst to the women they were actually brought it for a bit of a lecture and were presented with a list of eight golden rules on how to help their boy toys achieve footballing greatness. Amongst this list was the request to "please avoid useless family tension."
I would let these women beat me with newspaper the moment I walked in the door if it gave me even the slightest chance of seeing them in their birthday suits. But as usual with football players, their psyches are as fragile as the designer shades their women wear.
The old saying goes you don't play for the name on the back of the jersey, but the one on the front. Well the women of the German national team decided to avoid the confusion and just forgo the jersey altogether.
In the weeks leading up to the Women's World Cup this past summer, the ladies of Germany were asked to bear it all (well at least half) for Playboy Germany. And much to our good fortune, these cutie pies accepted.
Never had the women's game had as much positive publicity, since perhaps the last time a jersey was taken off in. With this time being a bit more risque a lot of controversy surrounded these beautiful ladies.
Groups from around the world condemned them as being materialistic and men imposing their will on these young women to keep them subjects in this chauvinistic society.
But for me, these are just gorgeous chicks who have killer bodies and should be proud to show them off. Their whole lives they have been seen by a majority of the public in unflattering and loose-fitting jerseys. They are hot and now everyone will know. Not to mention they also got their highest ratings ever, so I guess it worked.
Take that, women's rights group!
The BEEautiful Game
It is well known that Brazilians' love their football, and, apparently, so do their insects.
In a semi final match for the state championship this past May between Goias and Vila Nova, Goias keeper Pedro Henrique heard some buzzing behind him. Turning around to his astonshiment had him staring a a couple hundred bees that had formed around the upper 90 of the goal posts.
Exterminators were brought in break up the nest, and the game soon got back underway.
However, it seems the bees created a little bit of tension that boiled over in the end of the game to give us one of the biggest brawls of the year. Now this wasn't your normal football fight full of diving fairies kicking each other from a safe distance as not to actually hurt themselves. This was a BRAWL.
Sadly, a fan was killed in the ensuing riot after the game. I am all for tough competition and believe if your gonna fight, just fight and get it over with, but this was out of control.
Madrid Plays Monster Trucks
When Christiano Ronald rose to meet the ball with his head in last seasons Copa del Rey final, giving Jose Mourinho his first trophy with the club and the clubs first in three years, the entire city breathed a collective sigh of relief. Finally, the man they had brought in had overcome his Barca woes and collected some silverware.
A few days later, the club celebrated with the fans as the capital practically shut down for the night as jubilation swept over the supporters. Driving down the main through way a bus carrying the entire squad was met with cheers and there was a collectiveness that can only be had through sports.
Just as the players were starting to let the magnitude of what this trophy set in, Sergio Ramos dropped the dang thing right in front of the bus, where the unaware bus driver proceeded to run it over.
You can't really blame Serge for dropping the cup. You have to understand that as a footballer he is not use to using his hands, let alone it being so long since he had lifted any trophy of this size. It was bound to happen to sooner or later.
A night which was suppose to be a great one for Madrid turn out to be one of the most embarrassing. Boy, I wish I could have seen Guardiola's reaction to this.
Manchester City Creates History
It's tough being a little brother. You are always living in the shadow of your older sibling across the hall. Everything you do is judged in comparison to what he does. It is even more difficult when that older brother has 19 English titles and a couple European Championships to go along with it.
This is kind of the feeling you have if you are a City fan. But as of late Manchester City have come on strong and currently stand alone on the top of the EPL table looking down on older brother Manchester United.
The recent influx of money handsomely donated by the Sheik is kind of as if little brother all of a sudden got a much nicer and higher paying job. His Christmas presents are a little nicer, the car he drives is a little faster and the women he dates are little sexier.
But the one thing that job can't do, is make up for the many years you were living in big brother's shadow. Then again, when you have money anything is possible.
Manchester City, always worried about being perceived as a bandwagoning club, released a "The bluffer's guide to MCFC" to make sure that all new coming fans are armed with the knowledge necessary to argue like they have been a supporter for decades.
From as basic as making sure you know the players ("have a good scan over the club website and check out who the current favourites are and who the club legends are and take notes!"), to the more logistical concerns of where the team plays its home games ("If asked where we play our football, it's the City of Manchester Stadium").
After one read over this article, you will be as informed as anyone in the world...who knows how to access the teams wikipedia page that is.
How Do You Say Disgrace in Serbian?
There is a saying in English that goes "you play until the final whistle." Apparently, that does not translate into Serbian.
With FK Vojvodina trailing Partizan 2-1 in the 83rd of last seasons Serbian cup final, Vojvodina's coach pulled his players off the field in an appeal to some controversial calls.
When a Vojvodina player goes down in the box and the ref does not award the penalty (you can start the video @ 1:26.00), the players rush over the the official to appeal. They felt they deserved the call after a soft one against them earlier set the players and the coach off.
It would have been a soft call, indeed, and it didn't help that he shot the ball, but it was a bit of an overreaction to leave the field in the middle of the game down only one goal.
This is the one thing I can't stand about the game. Sports are about overcoming obstacles. If things don't go your way just play harder and you will prevail. If not, get over it and move on. I hope they ban these morons from the game.
If you follow the NFL at all, you are well aware of the fat mouth on New York Jets coach Rex Ryan's face. The man who is about the same size as a Macy's parade balloon is constantly running his trap to get into the heads of his opponents. But I doubt even he has the creativity to pull off what could only be called the best trash talk ever.
When Sampadoria was relegated to Serie B at the end of last season, it was a solemn day in Genoa. The small town tucked away in the hills of northern Italy was quiet in the realization it was losing the prestige of being a town with two clubs in Italy's top division.
Their crosstown rivals, Genoa CFC, was so respectful of the loss that they even organized and carried out a mock funeral for there fallen adversaries. That's right, the fans of Genoa marched down the streets, church bells ringing and tears pouring as a man dressed in the attire of a Cardinal announced the death of Sampadoria.
Cheer up la Samp fans, at least you got a cooler logo.
The Sultan of Sod
There are some places that are considered holy ground. There is the Mecca in Arabia, St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City and then there's a 2'x2' patch of grass from Ewood Park.
When Wayne Rooney scored the game-tying goal last season against Blackburn to clinch Manchester United's historic 19th league Championship, Blackburn fan Eddie Maxwell decided that he would dig of the piece of sod and auction on eBay to make a little extra pocket change.
Little did he know that that patch of green was going to bring in much more green than he ever expected. The final winning bid was near $1.7 million!
Unfortunately for Mr. Maxwell, the bids were just the jokes of some pranksters and he was only able to scrape out just south of 10 grand for this bad boy. Not bad considering the little money there usually is in this kind of landscaping.
All Things Balotelli
Here's a quick rundown of Mario Balotelli's year: threw a dart at a youth team player, playing with an iPad on the bench during an Italian match, hanging out at prisons, missing spinning back heels on breakaways, making the garden of his Manchester home into a racetrack for quads, a late night sword fight with rolling pins and of course lighting fireworks in his bathroom.
All the idiots out there who condemn his actions need to stop and look at the real problem. What do you expect with you give a 20-year-old this much money and fame?
Following each of these incidents he has gone out and played a great game, giving him his best season ever and finally cementing himself amongst the best strikers in the world.
How nice is must be to be young again.
Vanity at Its Best
Sometimes, confidence is as important as skill so when Wayne Rooney announced he was having a hair transplant you could understand why he was doing it.
The Manchester United forward was weary of his balding scalp. Being only 25 years old, there may have been some worry that he look older than he really is.
But I personally don't see the need for it. If he ever has issues with confidence all he needs to do is look at three things: his trophy case, his wife and his bank account. For me, that would be more than enough to get me through my day.
Is That Bogart I the Background?
Next time you see a player go down on a weak tackle and rile on the ground in "pain" with his arm stretched out like he had just been sideswiped by a dump truck, please remember this video taken in the streets of Casablanca.
Goodbye to a Legend
This summer, the world said goodbye to a footballing great. The legendary Ronaldo laced up his boots one last time for the Samba boys for a farewell friendly against Romania.
The whole game plan was to get the man of the hour one last goal to add to a tally that has made him arguably the best goal scorer in the history of the sport.
When Neymar got the ball on the wing, he played a beautiful little pass to the middle of the box, where an unmarked Ronaldo stood waiting. Less than three yards out it was a story book ending. The new guard honoring the old. A proverbial passing of the torch by means of recognizing the past. The kinds of things only the great story tellers of a generation could tell.
In what seemed to be the easiest goal of his magnificent career, fatso hit the ball right off the face of the Romanian keeper. A few minutes later, he again found himself in space and instead of curling the ball into the far post, fatso put it so high into the upper deck Albert Pujols would have been jealous.
So he didn't get a goal, but he did play his last game the way he played his entire career. After each miss he smiled with a grin that you know could only mean he is having a good time. Perhaps the days of the carefree Brazilian game are gone, Ronaldo may have been the last. But we should always remember him as a great symbol of not only the game, but what sports are meant to be as a whole.
He's No Jordan
When Michael Jordan abruptly retired from basketball at the height of his career to pursue one in baseball, it puzzled many. But what about if a footballer did the same thing?
Over the summer recently retired Manchester United Star Gary Neville was invited to throw the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox game.
It was funny to watch his peruse around the dugouts of the teams taking pictures with Ozzie Guillen and making small talk with some of the stars. Neville had no idea who any of these guys were and probably had a lot of the White Sox asking who this geezer with the funny accent walking around is.
Though nothing is as classic as watching his pitch. Three women were nearly hit as the ball sailed well over the reach of anyone besides the vertical leap of Jordan himself.
Oh well, at least he gave the sport a shot. That's a lot more than most of you arrogant souls across the pond.
MOOOve over Messi
A lot of jokes are made about American soccer, but perhaps the best is the fact that even a cow could play in the MLS. At least that's what it looked like this summer.
In a game between Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago fire, fan Kris Knaup ran on to the pitch in a cow cotume, ran onto a nice lay off pass by the Kansas City winger and finished with a delectable goal which turned out the be the only one on the night.
A piece of trivia for you: It was the first goal scored in Kansas City's new stadium Livestrong Park.
Keep that one in the memory bank and who knows, maybe ten years from now when Wacky Willy and the Cuz ask on the morning radio show who was the first person to score at Livestrong Park, you could win yourself a pair of tickets to a screening of the latest Twilight movie.
What the He**
This video just gets funnier and funnier. I have no idea who the teams that are playing or what the situation is. All I know is that any time you have a fat kid chasing around a ref, followed by that fat kid running for his life as he is tackled to the ground security, you're gonna have a chuckle or two.
By the way, is this the same kid as in this YouTube classic?
No Words to Describe This
I have no words to describe what happened here. Please watch the video and read this article. Hopefully, that will explain why your jaw is dropped like mine.
The King of Pop Is a Cottager?
When Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed unveiled a statue to the Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage it was met with a bit more skepticism than he had anticipated. However, he met his challengers with a quick one-liner: "If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift, they can go to hell."
I guess that pretty much seals the deal on whether or not this thing is staying up. The only connection Jackson is known to have with the stadium or club was when he attended a Fulham match in 1999.
Hey Al Fayed, perhaps your fan base would not be as condescending if you didn't make the thing look like a blown up toy doll, that was shrewdly painted by Michael J. Fox. Make it out of bronze at least, something to give it a bit of nobility.
The Worst Call in the History of Sports
The title of this slide may be the most accurate thing I have ever written. This is literally the worst handball in the history of the game.
After Australia rattled a shot off the post, Equatorial Guinea defender Bruna, controlled the ball with her knee before grabbing it with two hands! That's right. In the middle of the play she picked up the ball, and turned to face the ref and began to walk before something finally registered in her hand. She dropped it faster than a Kardashian can a fiance.
But this is not an attack on Bruna. As stupid as it was, we all make mistakes. But what in the Sam bleepin' bleep was the red doing?!?!?!
America's favorite bald-headed orange man sums it up best on his ESPN show PTI.
This is not the hand of God. This is more like the hand of stupidity.
What happens when the creators of Atari games meets the world champion of Jenga and you ask them to design a jersey? You get the 2011 English goalie kit.
That's right, this mosaic puzzle looking thing is trying to evoke some sort of early crown British nobility, but also throw off the balance of an onrushing forward through an intricate pattern design. And I guess it worked, nine goals allowed in their last 12 matches. Not too bad for a team that has no clue who their defenders in will be next summer in Ukraine/Poland.
I do pity poor Joe Hart, though. You work all your life to get to wear the Three Lions proudly over your chest and now they look more like their out of a creative kids coloring book than the one Gordon Banks wore in 1966.
Henry's Sweet Sweet Homecoming
Arsenal fans had a tough summer. Not only did they lose their two best players, but they were forced to watch a Gunner legend return to their stadium and hand their team a beating.
Maybe the Red Bulls didn't beat Arsenal, but Thierry Henry's team did enough to take their own tournament right out from underneath them.
The annual Emirates Cup hosted each year by Arsenal, invites three teams from around the world for a two match contest. It is mostly a means for Arsenal to get some preseason play in, but also acts as a way for them to flex their muscles for their fans. You can think of it like the way college football teams pay smaller programs to come to their stadium and take a whooping.
However, this summer the Red Bulls played the role of Appalachian State circa 2007, upsetting the hosts and winning the title.
It's ironic how it seems that Henry is the only player capable of lifting a trophy in north London.
Sir Bobby Charlton Dances to Beyonce
Just watch the video.
"I, Caveman No Need to Dress Nice"
The Champions League drawing is a semi formal event. It is the time when the best clubs in the world found out who they will be playing in Europe's premier event. It is something for the fans to watch in anticipation of their clubs opponents, and a place where execs can get dressed up and celebrate collectively the accomplishments they have made.
Carlos Puyol thought different. Apparently, he thought his role as being the representative of the current cup holder, Barcelona, meant doing his best impression of Mario Lopez in Saved By the Bell.
I understand that he is suppose to wear some Nike stuff as they are the sponsor of the club, but I know for a fact they make some very nice pants and dark polos.
Come on man, you are the one with the trophies and millions of dollars. There is no way that the hottie on your left looks more attainable for the doofus you are talking to than yourself.
The Truly Beautiful Game
This past year's Miss Universe pageant was held in Sao Paulo and like every year, the women are often encouraged to partake in events that are custom to the locals, and what screams Brazil more than football?
Besides a very, very happy Cafu, the video features some pretty nifty juggling and some even more interesting dancing.
Could this be the women's game dirty ol' Sepp had in mind?
Why Do the American Footballers Get All the Love in the States?
That seems to be the question the highly successful University of Maryland men's soccer team was asking themselves. After making it to the NCAA tournament 17 years in a row, they had to wonder why when Maryland alum and Under Armor founder Kevin Plank felt the need to give back, he did so to the hapless football team.
They got new jerseys, helmets and are having a state of the art training facility built as well.
Apparently, Plank finally recognized the calls for more evenly disbursed donations and fitted his Terrapin soccer stars with some brand new boots. Unfortunately for the players, he kept the same theme as he did with the football jerseys—as loud and annoying as possible.
Check out the football jerseys here for a side-by-side comparison of douchebaggery.
Justin Beiber Ain't Got Nothin' on Souley
It is not often the U-17 World Cup captures the intrigue of the footballing world. To be honest, this year wasn't any different. Unless you happened to catch an Ivory Coast game.
16-year-old wonder kid Souleymane Coulibaly was an utter sensation as he netted nine goals in only four matches! Not only that, but he did so every conceivable way possible (just check the video).
I know this kind of goes against the grain of the funny, odd and unique events that have featured throughout this slideshow and is perhaps the only one that the subject comes out looking good, but you give me another word that better describes his performance than ludicrous.
It's Raining What?!
No man ever wants to come home and have to explain to his wife why he has lipstick on his collar and smells like perfume. But I think most would prefer that than what Schalke fans had to explain after a victory over Cologne.
Cologne fans didn't take their second consecutive loss to open their Bundesliga campaign too well and thought the best way to express their frustration was by hurling cups of urine and fecal matter at Schalke fans below.
Unfortunately for them, they also happened to hit a few Cologne supporters sprinkled throughout the stands. I guess if your not a Cologne ultra then your as good as the enemy.
I must say I don't see why this is a big deal. U.S. fans have had this stuff thrown at them for decades when we head down to the Azteco.
Why else do you think we all agree the country smells like...well you get the picture.
The Continuing Battle Between Stupidity and Common Sense
Mexico is not a safe place to go right now. The country is currently more or less run by drug lords who are increasingly violent every single day. Murders are a daily occurrence. Kidnapping is an industry. And the government is helpless to stop it.
However, their football has been great. One of the most revered pastimes in the country is undergoing a resurgence. With players all over the world and coming off a U-17 World Cup win, it is one of the few things the people of Mexico can be proud of.
So when this dope from Chivas celebrates a goal by performing a mock execution on one of his teammates, it was right for the club to set upset. I'm not sure what happen to this bozo, but I hope he understands why he is on this list.
If the Shoe Fits
We all get angry at refs. If you have ever played a sport, you have given an official an evil stare and cursed him out in your mind. Some have even gone as far as to curse them out verbally. But only Yoav Ziv kicked a shoe at one.
In a Europa league match between Stoke City and Macabbi Tel Aviv, Ziv did not like the call he got from the line judge. To show his displeasure at getting a flat tire, he proceeded to launch his shoe at the official.
Not surprisingly, he recieved a straight red. It may have been the first time in footballing history where a player did not have his team surround the ref to argue after a sending off.
To Ziv's credit, he did apologize pretty quickly. I am pretty sure he realized his stupidity as soon as he felt the felt the cool night air on his naked foot. What an idiot!
Pitch Invasion of the Year
So far, we have seen kids, dogs and politicians on the pitch. But all of them got there in the conventional and boring fashion of walking on. Not this Czech fanatic.
During halftime of a match between Slavia Praha and Viktoria Plzen a fan/flying billboard parachuted in from the night sky and landed on the field.
Many thought that it was all part of the halftime festivities. I mean we see it all the time here in the states. I challenge you to tell me what's the difference between this guy and a U.S. Navy SEAL.
And Boom Goes the Dynamite
Right now the current top of the line Adidas ball has a staggering cost of $150. Some of the features the ball had include:
A series of triangular panels that are thermally bonded together to ensure a true flight path. Covering each panel of the ball is a grip texture which supports boot to ball contact and enhances ball control. Beneath the outer surface of the ball lies a woven carcass and a new bladder for increased air retention and reduced water uptake.
Nowhere in that description will you read that it is guaranteed not to suddenly burst at the seam and slide helplessly along the pitch in embarrassing fashion. Adidas wouldn't want to be liars, now, would they?
In a recent match between Cologne and Bayern Munich, a swift free kick by a Bayern player caused the ball to do just that. With everyone looking on in wonder, Arjen Robben went over and picked up the defective ball to examine it, They booted the thing into the stands to give a very lucky fan a unique souvenir.
Time to Get Sweaty
Some people are best known for being reserved in their manners, but we all have our kinky side. Luckily for most, it is not our turn in a Chinese food restaurant as seems to be the case with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.
The big man from Buckinghamshire nearly bore it all for a very unlucky group of diners when something compelled him to do his best impression of Flashdance meets Striptease.
Judging by the amount of perspiration beading off his chest hair, it seems pretty steamy in the establishment. Perhaps he was just trying to cool down. Lord knows these images aren't making anyone else hot.
Those Liberal Europeans
When you look at the scoreline of a Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim on October 1, you would assume that no one scored. But that did not take into account a couple in the stands.
What better way to pass the time in a dull goalless draw then to get some pleasure from the person sitting next to you. German newspaper Bild reported that "Within 16 minutes of the opening kick-off, a couple watching from the Bayern section were photographed having sex in the stands."
Apparently, the couple was asked to stop by security and complied. However, by halftime they were back at it and asked to leave. The two obeyed and left without innocent, most reassuringly to finish up elsewhere.
I know that Europeans are known for being a little bit more lenient when it comes to their sexuality, but this may be pushing the boundaries. Then again, that's one way to liven up the game for Americans.
The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men
Let me go ahead and narrate for you what this clown was thinking:
Bonehead (0:09)—Oh, man, I am going to get this goalie. I'm really gonna hurt him and take him out so that my team can win! I will be a legend here.
Bonehead (0:10)—Shoot! I think he sees me, the element of surprise is gone. Plan B, I will beat him face-to-face!
Bonehead: (0:11)—He countered my flying Jackie Chan kick, he may be stronger than I expected. It's OK I will regain my position and do this hand to hand.
Bonehead (0:13)—Maybe this wasn't such a good idea...
Bonehead (0;16)—PLEASE GOD HELP ME!!! ANYONE!!!! SECURITY WHERE ARE YOU?!?!??!
I cannot believe that in the end the keeper got a straight red for this. It may be the most bizarre card I have ever seen.
Nathan Cox/Getty Images
Doing his best Homer Simpson impression, Manchester United keeper David de Gea was caught on camera stealing a Krispy Kream doughnut from a local store. That's right, the mega-rich teen thought it better to just take the thing rather than forking over the £1.19 it cost.
With an income of £70,000 a week it seems unbelievable that he did not just pay. But then again, he was not at his best form during this time and perhaps might have been saving up for a potentially unemployed future.
There You Have It
With 2011 winding down, it has sure been a great year for footballing oddities. I hope you enjoyed these 50 moments that caught my eye and reminded me of the absurd nature of the game and the people who are involved in it.
Like I said in the first slide, please post stories that I missed, or just let me know what you think deserves to be on the list.
Thanks for reading!