Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grupo Revelação - Sina (Ao Vivo no Morro)

I have a ton of great memories of South Africa - here's a small one related to music and the international vibe of attending a World Cup. My wife and I were lucky enough to pick up a pair of extra tickets to go to the Argentina vs South Korea game that was held in Soccer City. Our hotel (filled 100% with World Cup fans) arranged for a small bus to get people to the game. Two Brazilians were on our bus and they wasted no time passing a CD to the driver to listen to on the road to the game...

...and that my friends is how I was introduced to Grupo Revelação, and their CD Ao Vivo no Morro. You may not understand a single word of this song but when you hit the chorus at 1:36, you'll wish you could sing along with the rest of the crowd and you just might make up some sounds that fit as best as you can because it is definitely infectious.

Of course, I turned to the Brazilian next to me and asked him what it was we were listening to but he didn't speak English at all. Luckily his friend who was with him did and I made sure to get the name of the group before we parted ways. The band is known for a genre of samba music called pagoda.

Not quite convinced? Here's another. I just love the crowd singing along to each of the chrouses in these songs. Definitely looking forward to 2014.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wasn't such a bad call after all....

Great photo of 2nd England goal that shows it did NOT cross the line. Pretty funny (if you are not a die hard England fan).

Found via Grant Wahl @ Twitter.

Revenge for 1966: Gemany Eliminates England

44 years ago England was awarded a goal in the 1966 World Cup Finals over Germany, the referee erroneously thinking the ball crossed the line. As a result, England went on to win 4-2.

44 years later, England was not awarded a goal in the 2010 World Cup Second Round against Germany despite the fact that the ball clearly crossed the line. It would have made the score 2-2 and allowed for a different second half which saw Germany dismantle England, eliminating them 4-1.

In this case, history doesn't repeat, it avenges.

New York Post: This Sport is Stupid Anyway

Ignorance like this always amazes me.

Update: Although...to be fair, I have yet to read the article so maybe this out of context headline is redeemed in some strange fashion although I have my (serious) doubts. I also have my serious doubts that I will even try to read this article.

Update: For all of the international readers who are stumbling on this post, please know that this is not a majority opinion in the US...the Post is a sensationalist tabloid known for scandalous headlines, and this opinion is definitely not representative of the American public.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

US Team Out of World Cup

"It's one thing to recognize slow starts as a problem, another thing to rectify it."
- Bob Bradley via Grant Wahl's Twitter feed.

Tough and bitter loss to Ghana today 2-1. Finishing was just as much of a problem as slow starts (2 prime examples below). Overall, I think the US team and fans should be proud of our guys. Timmy Howard challenging for that last ditch effort off that corner and follow-up cross is a symbol of what I will remember our 2010 team for.
Our never-say-die attitude, heart, desire and teamwork were a joy to be a part of.

Warm Up with Andrés Cantor

Warm up for the big game this morning with one of the best Andrés Cantor calls ever. He ranks it in his top 5.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Big Picture World Cup

More cool photos of the World Cup over at The Big Picture. Altidore has a serious vertical leap.

Interesting thing about the World Cup

One of the interesting things that I have noticed related to the last two World Cups is the license that this even gives you to wear incredibly patriotic clothes that I would normally never wear. I can think of no other time in my life where I literally donned a US flag and and wrapped it around me as a cape. Not to say that I am not a patriotic person, I just normally don't wear the flag.

Seems that this license for enjoying things that I normally wouldn't enjoy applies to music as well. I have no problem confessing that I am now a big fan of this song from Shakira: Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song. The video is pretty cool as well - lots of World Cup footage from the past and some cool fan scenes.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2010 - When Soccer Became Cool

Neat article in the Boston Herald about a watershed day for soccer in America can be read here.

"Nothing brings Americans together better than outrage, and they are outraged, which in and of itself is progress. There was a time, not so long ago, when nobody cared enough about soccer to get outraged no matter how bad the call was."

Reaction to Landon Donovan's Goal vs Algeria

Found this on The Original Winger today. Totally worth watching - I confess that I was screaming like crazy in my house as well. It's cool to see the momentary frustration when Dempsey's shot must have been blocked, followed immediately by joy. Can't wait until Saturday.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jozy Bang

When we left for South Africa, my wife's parents offered to house and dog sit while we were gone. I made them a small video called The Jozy Handbook so that they would know all of the appropriate commands. Actually, the video was more to just make some jokes and see if I could make people laugh. This is a small clip - not funny really, but cute, where Jozy shows her "Bang" trick.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Murphy Family Fund

On a serious note, a local family from Lafayette who traveled to South Africa for the World Cup experienced a tragedy while at the games. Apparently, a drunk driver hit and killed their daughter (Nicole Murphy) and her brother (Brian Murphy) is in critical condition. A fund has been set up to help the family pay for the costs of medical care and transport in order to get Brian home (upwards of $300K). This article gives you the details about the fund. Please do anything you can to help them out.

Monday, June 21, 2010


When you are on planes for 20+ hours in a 30+ hour travel marathon, you eat whenever you are told (at least I do). Doesn't matter if I am hungry. Put a little tray in front of me in a tiny cramped space and I make for a complacent prisoner.

A New Plan

The airport in Washington DC is much more quiet than the one in Johannesburg - my one vuvuzela just doesn't cut it. We managed to find the one TV outside the secure area as we wait for some baggage here in Dulles.

The photo above is one of the hundreds of signs found around Jozi as you walk or drive the streets, and is the official poster of the World Cup.

Overheard last night at bar in hotel:

"Man, it's gonna suck to have to go back to work...how are we gonna watch all of the games?"

Amen brother. The next World Cup I go to I'm taking a whole month off. Time to start planning a trip to Brazil.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Makarapa Carry On

We just boarded the flight home and my wife is sporting the homemade makarapa that we found in a market. Go Bafana Bafana! Thankfully she hasn't blown one of the vuvuzelas we are bringing back...yet.

Pilanesberg Scenes

A few scenes from Pilanesberg yesterday. Tough to pick which to share so I'll probably upload a few more over time. One of the many highlights of our trip.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pilanesberg National Park

Today was an incredibly long day. We woke up at 6:30 in the morning and headed north to Pilanesberg National Park. I'll post some pictures soon - saw elephants, white rhinos, zebras, baboons, monkeys, wart hogs, impala, springbok, wildebeests and more... The South African countryside is absolutely amazing.

Here is a picture of the view from the porch we had lunch on - those are blue wildebeests. The other photo is of my wife and out tour guide Schalk who is a game ranger in the national park.

Incredible day. Headed home late tomorrow and back in LA on Monday.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Wow. I will remember that game (US vs Slovenia) for a long time. What a roller coaster ride of emotions. Our team showed an incredible amount of heart to come back from a 2-0 deficit. The atmosphere in the stadium was intense - US fans going crazy, ref blowing calls, the boys chipping away at the lead, delay tactics, yellow cards flying, missed opportunities coupled with screams of despair from thousands, vuvuzelas and face painted fans everywhere. My voice is shot and I'm still wondering why that 3rd goal was disallowed.

US vs Slovenia

Awesome US presence at US vs Slovenia game!


Just saw a headline on the bus ride to Ellis Park that read "FICK FUFA"

Can you feel it?

I'm sure this isn't news, but just in case it is...it sure is cold here. Seems to have warmed up a bit as we make our way over to the US vs Slovenia game. We just boarded a bus with about 60 American fans headed over to Ellis Park (site of the famous 1995 Rugby World Cup victory featured in the movie Invictus). Go US!! Don't Tread on Me.

No Frills


That little squat guy jumping on that player is Diego Maradona, one of the greatest players of all time and one of the strangest coaches.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Soccer City Portraits

In the distance...

Pretty sure that is a Korean and Argentina fan exchanging words in front of the big screen. Probably just friendly banter.

Ayoba Jozi!


Ayoba is a phrase in South Africa associated with great surprise, emotion, etc. I guess I might liken it to "Awesome!" and my wife says its English counterpart is "Yee Haw!"

This is a piece of local graffiti that we saw on the way to Soccer City.

Scenes from Soccer City


Official feed from inside Soccer City for Arg vs SK. One guy has a cheat sheet of players.

Morning After

Tough morning for the Bafana fans today. Talk in the local garage was all about how poorly the team played and their long shot chances of advancing. Lots of good luck wished upon the US team this morning. But first we are headed to Soccer City for the Argentina v South Korea game. Our bus just left, about 3.5 hours before kickoff...for what is normally probably a 30 minute drive. Gotta leave early enough to navigate the crowds.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Soccer City

We are headed to Soccer City tomorrow with tickets to Argentina vs. South Korea. Seeing a game in this stadium should be pretty special.

Baby Manners

Not sure why this baby bear is mooning customers...

(Random store front during our drive around Joburg today)


Some of the staples here due to the cold weather and noise. Tough night for the Bafana...cries of despair when those goals went in. Cool to see fans in the cafe we were in stand and sing to the national anthem.

Go Bafana!

Game time in Melrose Arch. Go Bafana Bafana! Thousands of people here...all green and gold.


A fan gets ready...

This Is It Bafana

It's getting close to game time...the vuvuzelas are getting louder in the streets.

Melrose Arch

Crowd of people watching the Spain vs. Switzerland game at Melrose Arch.