There will be a 2020 Champions League champion. See book for predictions!
The 2019/20 European league continues! Bundesliga teams have been playing in empty stadiums. It's as though top-pranked players are in a pick up game. It's a historical moment in sports.
There will be a 2020 Champions League champion. See book for predictions!
American soccer will be "there" when the men win the World Cup.
All right. My inner Tim Gunn is screaming out. I’m the hetero Tim Gunn, proud one at that. I can’t help it; my mom’s from LA, she drug me around malls as a kid; fashion’s in me. Which brings me to Air Jordans. The “coveted” Air Jordans. Let’s not get carried away. Essentially, early Air Jordans are like early Metallica; anything before 1993 is pretty damn good, bordering on genius…anything after 1993 is an all-out tragedy.
Air Jordan I and Air Jordan II aren’t bad, in fact, pretty innovative for their time. Air Jordan III—designed by Tinker Hatfield—might just be the coolest shoes ever created, bar none. Game over. The Air Jordan IV is pretty good as well. After that, there are a couple Jordans that are kind of okay…but, and please listen closely, for the most part, the majority of Jordan shoes are hideous. They’re downright awful. Just terrible. Atrocious. Embarrassing to humanity. How did this design come to life? Who thought any of these shoes would be appropriate for a basketball court? I doubt they’d even work on a sci-fi movie set. It’s a Project Runway disaster. It’s like they’re part of the Derelicte campaign from a devious Mugatu. How did anyone ever convince Jordan, “Hey, these are cool,” how? Just so you know, go to ‘the chronological history of Jordan shoes at Footlocker.’ Google that and scroll through. By the time you get to 1993 you might scratch your head a little bit…by the time you hit the late 1990s you’ll be full-on depressed…by 2001 you’ll be tempted to construct a handwritten fifteen-page letter to the designer—Wilson Smith III—assuming the theme of, “What in the hell were you thinking?” Wilson Smith III, by the way, somehow outdid Tinker Hatfield (who dropped the ball plenty) for ‘The worst shoe on earth award.’ Or another award entitled, ‘It looks like something the Terminator would throw in the trash.’ Here’s what happened with this one. Someone had to approve this atrocity. People were like, “Woh! You crushed it bra! This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” High-fives were exchanged and everyone was just plain wrong. Or, there’s this scenario: Like in Boomerang, there was a moment when Marcus gives the loony carte blanche...and then a short time later we get the Air Jordan 2001 edition. Though, in Wilson Smith III’s defense, he slightly made improvements in 2002; I’m really making a reach here, but in the name of fairness it should be pointed out. By 2016, Tinker and Mark Smith made up for lost time with a pretty cool shoe. Another release in 2016 by Tate Kuerbis wasn’t bad either. But let’s face it, the majority of Jordan shoes are garbage. Outright garbage. It’s just failure after failure of bad on top of bad. I mean really bad. So bad that I wrote this. I actually put energy into writing this. Who does this? I mean, really, who does this? Who writes a review for shoes at four in the morning? Crazy people or people with a really good point. That’s who. Regardless, I’m a little frustrated with myself for taking it to this extent, but let me tell ya: I felt like something had to be done. If I can stop one person from supporting one of these terrible ideas, I’ve done my job. I mean, these bad shoes drove me to write a review for a brand that could care less if I’m writing such a review but I just felt like I needed to help save the world from possibly wearing any number of these bad idea shoes. (Especially the 2001 edition, wow!) So bad. God, they’re awful. But remember, the Jordan III is one of the best designs you can find anywhere. As for pretty much everything after that, I have no idea what happened.
Here’s where the 2016 History Channel investigative show on D.B. Cooper failed. Hold on, we’ll get to that in a second. First, the prime suspect in this thrilling hunt was Robert “Bob” Rackstraw, a disgruntled former military man, who was discharged after lying about his school experience. According to two optimistic investigators, Rackstraw—a guilty looking guy of any assortment of crimes we could throw his way—felt the need to get even with ‘the man’ (i.e., the government at large) by using his previous military skill—which was advanced with a myriad of training (which included jumping out of planes)—to pull off a very intricate and daring heist. On top of this, he was allegedly linked to a suspected mastermind, a loose cannon named Briggs, some coke dealer that displayed erratic and vociferous behavior (makes total sense). Whether Rackstraw—who looks guilty of somethin’—did it or not, the D.B. Cooper case turned out to be one of the biggest investigations in FBI history, which, to this day, is still unsolved.
The two dedicated investigators, guys that spent 4-5 years of their lives and thousands of dollars, relay their findings—some 93 bits of evidence—to a former FBI Assistant Director and crime journalist. To refresh your memory, D.B. Cooper used a “bomb” in his briefcase to subtly hijack, or skyjack, a plane in the Seattle/Portland area in 1971 for some $200,000. The TV show in question dwindled down to a camera crew harassing an elderly Rackstraw about his alleged involvement in one of the biggest crimes in US history on some sort of boating property. Rackstraw’s response, btw, which was calm and collected with a touch of agitation, basically came across as, “Man, I been through all this before; I ain’t sayin’ shit.” Then, he just kind of drove off. Be that as it may, this investigation, in turn, has led me to write about the absurd failure of the show’s final conclusion. However, I should point out, the show was well-intentioned and very well done. (Riveting, as a matter of fact; I’ve watched it twice; should it air again, count me in.)
In summary, after encapsulating this poor sap Rackstraw with accusations and theories (pointed at his entire misgiven and suspicious life) that seem more and more convincing as the hour reaches 3 am, lo and behold, a co-pilot and stewardess from the night of the hijacking by D.B. Cooper are interviewed and the stewardess—a nice, blonde, soft-spoken, woman named Tina—is shown a few pictures. Tina was the stewardess that was up close and personal with D.B. Cooper, acting as liaison throughout the historic affair. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. Yet Tina—calm, polite, professional and believable—doesn’t think Rackstraw looks familiar. C’mon Tina! Say it’s him, just say it’s him! You’re such a nice lady. Sorry for yelling at you like three seconds ago…She didn’t give us what we wanted: A lifetime sentence for a man who looks like he was born on the guilty side of town. Everybody was like “Goddam it.” C’mon Tina. She was very nice and soft-spoken. Three hours of this and she essentially says, “No, I don’t think so,” and that’s kind of how the show ends. Yeah, I know, right? Give me a f’ing break.
I got a crazy idea: How about, for the sake of argument, someone ask Tina who she thinks it is? No one was like, “All right, you’ve seen a lot of guys over the years, who do you think it is?” I, for one, immediately reverted to another suspect I’d seen years back, a very compelling one at that, on a different show, a male flight attendant that—allegedly—had ill-will toward the airline industry (who doesn’t, right?). Why didn’t they ask Tina about him, or someone else? Instead, they just sort of, quit. Whereas, she’s seen a lot of crazy suspects over the years, with this show and that show, news reports, and so on. No one thinks: Hey, let’s ask Tina who she thinks it might be? No, not at all. They’re like, hey, let’s just throw one guy at her and leave at that…which is what they did. Unbelievable.
Furthermore, their questions, or lack thereof, were terrible quite frankly. They basically asked Tina how she felt during the ordeal. Wow, who cares? We’re supposed to be concerned about Tina’s feelings? Ugh, I don’t think so. They had a prime witness and they asked nothing about: Did he have an athletic build, heavy, skinny, tall, short, medium? Were his wrists thick or thin, were there any tattoos or marks on his hands? Did he sit pigeon-toed like Robert De Niro, for instance? No. They just show one picture, a portion of a video, she says no, case closed. Riiight. Good work former FBI Assistant Director Fuentes and crime journalist I forget your name guy.
Just as the show disappointed, we’re going to follow suit. That’s it, no D.B. Cooper. You can go now. Go on, get.
Four words: Play games without fans.
As everyone buckles down during the corona shutdown there would be few things as inspirational as teams competing in UEFA Euro 2020 in empty stadiums. If the players, coaches, staff and referees are cleared for corona, why not? The passion would be different than ever before, historic at that. Fans would see just players competing. Celebrations would not be in silence as homes across the world would be exploding with excitement.
Millions of people around the world, sitting inside, waiting for corona to end, need an outlet. UEFA, NBA, MLS, NFL and others are certainly considering this option. We’ll see.
Support doctors, nurses, grocery store workers and other essential employees out there. Tune into CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NPR and others for updates. Stay in and stay healthy.
Own a piece of history with The Euro 2020 and hear all about Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Antoine Griezmann, Timo Werner, Toni Kroos, Harry Kane, Virgil van Dijk, Eden Hazard, Isco, Rodrigo, Jorginho, your favorite teams, the underdogs (such as Finland!), the coaches, strategies, past star players – such as Zidane, Gullit, Platini – and more.
UEFA Euro 2020 is about 3 months away. This is your complete book for UEFA Euro 2020. This is the most elite tournament in all of Europe and some say the world. It only happens once every four years.
The Euro 2020 (Barnes & Nobles Link)
8 Kobe 24
Unfortunately nine people died in the January 26, 2020 helicopter crash that included Kobe Bryant, one of the best basketball players to ever take the court. Kobe is, in my opinion, one of the two best to ever play. That would be Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Future players cannot get better than them. Let’s forget defense for now, whereby both players excelled. However, when it comes to great technical shooting from anywhere on the court, dribbling, along with a good eye for passing, this is where I feel Jordan and Kobe stand alone as the two greatest players. Add to this, championships, leadership, work ethic, a desire to be great, ability, and a will to win, the latter of which cannot be taught.
They set the standard. Kobe, like Michael Jordan, set the highest bar. He reached a level whereby no one can get better than him; one can only hope to be as good. Kobe’s well-deserved legacy will live on forever.
From NPR, the following are the nine people that unfortunately died in the January 26, 2020 helicopter crash:
“Kobe Bryant, 41
Gianna Bryant, 13
John Altobelli, 56, Orange Coast College head baseball coach
Kerri Altobelli, John's wife
Alyssa Altobelli, John and Kerri's daughter, who was Gianna's basketball teammate
Payton Chester, Sarah's daughter and another basketball teammate
Christina Mauser, girls basketball coach at Mamba Sports Academy
Ara Zobayan, pilot”*
* BILL CHAPPELL, “What We Know: The Helicopter Crash That Killed Kobe Bryant And 8 Others,” NPR, published January 27, 2020, accessed February 1, 2020, https://www.npr.org/2020/01/27/800100632/what-we-know-the-helicopter-crash-that-killed-kobe-bryant-and-8-others
For over a hundred years, the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, and Bundesliga have been the leaders in world club soccer, along with many other quality leagues from the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Switzerland, and Denmark. The European leagues have historically featured the world’s best, going all the way back to George Best, Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, Bryan Robson, Diego Maradona, and into the modern era with a host of talent, including Roberto Baggio, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar. All of these leagues, teams, and players are featured in this book.
How good is Liverpool this year? Too good. So far, no losses in EPL play. See European Soccer Leagues 2019/2020 for more about the amazing Liverpool.
(NS) refers to "Non-Soccer" related blog entries, stories and essays.
ALL WRITTEN WORK COPYRIGHT SHANE STAY 2014-2020