Posts Tagged ‘teams’


As I type this post up, the whole world now knows that Spain have been crowned as World Champions, over the Netherlands, at the 19th edition of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Africa.
The whole world now knows that for a moment there, it really didn’t feel as though this was the very-much hyped final between two possible first-time winners.

Robben, one of the many recipients of a yellow card

As a matter of fact, the game was a race to see who would collect the most yellow-cards, a feat accomplished by the Dutch in the 120-minute game.
And after the whole world had accepted the fact that yet another World Cup would determined by penalty-shootouts, Andres Iniesta, the little Barcelona midfielder, worked his magic thanks to a pass from Cesc Fabregas, and ensured that the Spaniards would lift that glorious cup that evening.
But everyone knows that, and if you don’t, I suggest you read a sum-up right here You know, just in case it comes up in a conversation sometime this week.
And it will.
As many have established by now, no one gets caught up in World Cup fever the way the Lebanese do. All the buzz surrounding Paul the Octopus’ predictions pale in comparison to what’s been going on here.
The streets of Beirut have been decked out in other nations’ flags for around three months now.

One of many flag-sellers on the Lebanese streets

Wild enthusiasts have taken over Facebook and other social networking websites to show unyielding support for their team of choice. Fireworks have been blasted in the sky whenever a team won, or even lost, and celebration parties have gone on all night long. That’s not mentioning the most incredible ability that emerged this year: instantly organizing conveys that trekked most, if not all, the Lebanese roads.
And here’s something else.
The Lebanese are so passionate about football, that they have gone out of their way to create a non-existing rivalry between Brazil and Germany, and even raise their children upon that. In fact, if one of these teams loses, which happened to both this year, fans would rather support the team the entire world considers to be complete opposites, than cheer on the other of the two.
To everyone elsewhere in the world, the final was Netherlands versus Spain, but right here, it was the classic (Really?) Germany versus Brazil, decked in different kits.
Which brings me to my point.
Football is exciting. Rooting for a team and witnessing their triumphs is gratifying. Which is why I can understand this sort of behavior, to a certain extent, of course.
But this over-hyping fad just needs to go away, now, and the English are the greatest testament to its consequences.
I’m no expert on soccer, but last time I checked, Lebanon doesn’t even have its own national team that can compete along with the Brazilians and the Germans.
If we did, would we really stand behind them as we do for the others? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, no. No, because being patriotic is an awfully hard thing to do for us and we’d rather support anyone that doesn’t evoke memories of our own country.
I only wish that we receive some form of gratitude for all the support we pour in to those countries, like facilitating visa procedures, though that is a long shot.
The World Cup is over now, and won’t be back for another four years. During that time, only a quarter of those who tuned in for the “Mondial” will watch club matches, while the greater majority will remain in oblivion. It’s a sad, sad fact, but at least in the meanwhile, we can assume that nothing of what went on this past month has ever happened.


“The Decision” has finally been made: LeBron James is joining D-Wade and CB4 in Miami!

On July 8th at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, LeBron James announced on an ESPN special that he will join his fellow Olympic ’08 teammates Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat. The ESPN special, titled “The Decision”, was a one hour special held in Greenwich, CT where its proceedings will go back to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Akron, Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, and New York.

Miami's super trio

Bosh, Wade & James showing off their Miami Heat jerseys

James and Bosh, both broughtin through sign-and-trade deals with their former clubs, took a 15 million dollar discount by signing $110.1 million over 6 years. Wade took the larger discount and signed a $107.5 million over 6 years as well with clauses that they can return to being free agents in 2014 and have player options for the 2015-2016 season.

LeBron James has switched his jersey number from #23 to #6 in tribute to Michael Jordan, while Chris Bosh switched from #4 to #1. Wade wanted to swap numbers as well but said that “#3 is the magical number “ as they are together and had to take sacrifices financialwise.

The speculation about where LeBron would be going as been endless ever since he said in an interview in November ’08 that he will not sign a contract extension with his hometown team the Cleveland Cavaliers, and will seek his options as a free agent. Many teams have attempted to sign the self-titled “King” by creating enough salary cap space to lure him and another max contract free agent. The New York Knicks, for instance, traded many of their best players for the past two years in order to pave way for “King James” to create his “kingdom” in the Mecca of Basketball.

Other teams that were in the race for LeBron James were the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, and the New Jersey Nets.

The Free Agent class of 2010, is easily the most coveted and star-struck class in the history of the NBA, if not in other sports as well. This summer also came to be known as the Summer of LeBron with all the hype surrounding the new Miami Heat superstar.

Rumors came out the weekend preceding July 1, where Stephen A. Smith of ESPN reported that the trio met up at South Beach to discuss all the possibilities, and stressed on the idea of the three of them playing for Wade’s Miami Heat although it was noted that LeBron initially didn’t like the idea of leaving Cleveland, hence creating a 50-50 chance of this mini Team USA to form.

Later came reports that James wanted Chris Bosh to join him at Cleveland via a sign-and-trade deal where Chris Bosh would sign with his former team, the Toronto Raptors, for max money that cannot be offered by other teams ($125 million over 6 years) and be traded to Cleveland. However, Bosh didn’t like the idea of playing in northeast Ohio, and notified James that he would play for the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, or the New Jersey Nets.

Last Tuesday, reported that James would be resigning with the Cleveland Cavaliers and that Bosh and Wade would team up in Miami and try their best to lure James to join them. Later that day, it also announced that it would be having a one hour special called “The Decision”, where LeBron James would finally announce where he will be playing basketball next.

Wednesday came, and Smith’s report of the trio joining forces in Miami resurfaced as accounted that James seemed to be leaning towards the Heat once again.

Then came the long awaited hour on Thursday that millions of basketball fans, players and organizations have been waiting for.  “I will be taking my talents to South Beach” and will be joining the Miami Heat, announced by James. Reactions came on both ends of the happiness scale, as the people in Miami were going crazy about the idea of having the trio of Bosh, James and Wade in one team while the Clevelanders felt betrayed by their own son, as “The Decision” is now added to their sports hall of shame in addition to others such as “The Fumble”, “The Shot”, and “The Drive”. LeBron said that he was looking for winning championships, as he noted that he could’ve signed for Cleveland for a lot more money or asked for a sign-and-trade deal. He simply wants to play with his Olympic teammates.

A few hours later, Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert posted a letter on his website describing his disappointment with James, without naming him in the letter and referring to his nicknames in quotes. He described James’ behavior as a “cowardly betrayal” and was extremely angry at the way James announced his decision by going on TV, by saying that “this was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his ‘decision’ unlike anything ever ‘witnessed’ in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.” He also personally guaranteed the Cavs’ fans that the organization would never betray them and that they would “win a championship before the self-proclaimed ‘king’ does” in capital letters. Later in the day, Gilbert also said in a phone interview to that James quit on his team during the second round series with Boston (after the Cavaliers were up 2-1), asking the people to see the tapes of Games 2 (where they were beaten by 32 points), 4, 5, and 6.

The trio joined the NBA after being drafted in the NBA Draft ’03, where James, Bosh and Wade were selected first, fourth and fifth respectively. Wade managed to win a championship in ‘06 after being partnered with Shaquille O’Neal while James and Bosh have yet to win the gold trophy.

“The road to history”, James tweeted on Friday, “starts now”.