Hockey's Over—Now What Do I Do?



NBA final reminded me of the Tyson-Holyfield fight where a former champ has his head pushed down by a bigger, stronger guy. I was waiting for an ear to get bitten out of the Heat's frustration.

You could get a green scarf.
since you're into sports that no one else cares about, maybe you should start following jai alai.
No vuvuzelas. The team that scores the most wins. Yes, there are ties (in the group stage). No fighting.
There, you're ready.
Thank you for making my first tried into the comments of a hockey post a worthwhile one.
The World Cup is easy to jump on. US plays Ghana today at 3. Ghana has knocked us out if the Cup the last two tournaments! Go to a bar that is showing it!

Quick primer: World Cup is made up of 32 teams, lasts 1 month. Best teams from the various geographic confederations. Qualifying takes 2 years. Europe gets the most spots with 13, followed by Africa and South America with 5. 32 teams are divided into 8 groups, named Group A through Group H. Each group has a round robin. Best two teams from each group after those three games advance to a 16 team single elimination format.

It is in Brazil this year, first time in South America since 1978. Historically, South American teams have done very well when Cup is in South America, likewise for Europe.

Stories this year after most teams have played one game:
Brazil are the favorites, they haven't lost a home competitive match since the 70s!
Netherlands just crushed Spain in a re-match of 2010 World Cup final.
Cinderella little Costa Rica just beat a strong, but aging Uruguayan team.
There has not been a single tie and the most goals per game so far in a World Cup since 1958!

No vuvuzuelas in Brazil, hooray.
If you are starting from scratch, you could do worse than follow Nate Silver's blog, which has daily updates As a bonus, that blog tells you, before each game, what the principle trade items are between the two nations in the contest. Did you know that we import hundreds of millions of dollars in chocolate-related raw materials from Ghana, each year?But there are probably better primers out there as to what to watch for in a soccer game. If you've watched a lot of hockey, you will be surprised how quickly the basic flow of a soccer game will make sense to you. Some key things to remember: offside in hockey is totally different offside in soccer. There is a very limited number of substitutions allowed. Once you are subbed off, you can't sub back on. As for serious fouls, once you go into the penalty box (= "red card") in soccer, you don't come out again for the whole game. If you are playing the ball (not just bumping the other player) almost any amount of physical contact is allowed in soccer. Otherwise, not so much. Pads in soccer are limited to shin guards. Soccer cleats are not as sharp as skate blades, but still hurt if you are raked by them. Oh yeah, and soccer players show a lot more skin than hockey players, which can be good depending on where your particular preferences lie, and whether it is men's or women's soccer. US v Ghana, 3 pm seattle time today!
@6 You make it sound so interesting! This is exactly what I was looking for. I'm intrigued, especially knowing we play a team today that has historically eliminated us. I will have to check it out!
Thanks, Eric from Boulder! More skin = A+++ in my book.
@9: Well then you might want to follow one of the dozens of human-interest side stories that the World Cup journalists are tracking over this past lead-up month: which teams' head coaches have ordered their players to abstain from sexual relations during the tournament?
Megan @9, If you don't care for Baseball, consider Women's Flat Track Roller Derby, a sport similar to hockey in it's speed, explosion, adrenaline, and physicality--a different animal from the fakery of the 60's and 70's, it's a real sport now, with a international championship tournament to decide a champion.

In your neck of the woods, you've got the Nashville Rollergirls---

To get more background on the sport, check out
Hey, cut Chicago some slack: Our murder rate is ridiculous, the mayor is an ass, Lake Michigan is still to cold to swim in, and the rest of our sports teams are crappy. The Blackhawks is all we have!
I'm a big enough dork to call myself a fan of most sports, sans Nascar (and on an ever-increasing basis American Football, though I'll probably always have some sort of an emotional investment there. Nostalgia & shit.) While I may watch less hockey than any other of the major American sports, there's nothing more enjoyable than listening to Mike Emrick call a tightly contested game with lots of back/forth action, and the game on Saturday, OT in particular, was a perfect example of that. Fuck, that was tense and entertaining.
If you're gonna consider delving in to the world of baseball fan-dom, I'd suggest you start drinking first.
Having lived in NYC for 6 years there's nothing I want more than to see the Rags and their fans crying and crying foul. Seriously, Rangers' fans who have fistfights in the stands over nothing? Fans unable to name members of their own team but who inexplicably have custom Rangers t-shirts that malign players on other teams? Fans who'll pay $10 for a Bud Light just to pour it over the head of the opposing teams' fan? They don't deserve to win the Cup. And, though I now live in the land of NASCAR and basketball, I get inordinate amounts of joy knowing that all the jackasses (and jackass bandwagoners) in NYC are busy crying and concocting conspiracy theories. If you're going to root for an NYC team root for the Islanders. For one, they are in the unenviable position of having Garth Snow as their GM and for two, they're not awful people.

As for summer sports: I love me some tennis. Not much blood nor as many missing teeth but some seriously amazing athletes and stunning shots. The Tour de France is also pretty cool, especially if you start to figure out team tactics, the peloton, and all the jerseys - it's not just the yellow jersey for the overall leader. If you want to watch some contact sports then I highly recommend rugby. It's probably best to watch with someone who knows the rules because otherwise scrums, rucks, mauls and lineouts don't seem to make a good deal of sense. It looks like some other sloggers have you covered as far as WC info is concerned.
@12: Are you actually from Chicago?
Our murder rate is only 13th-highest in the country among large (pop>250k) cities in America, our mayor...well yeah, our mayor is an ass, Lake Michigan is still too cold to swim in but people swim in it anyway because we're not wusses, and the Cubs and Sox are (perpetually) crappy but the Bulls and Bears have been showing flashes of brilliance despite injury issues and are actually competitive of late.
World Cup ftw!

Did you see the CIR game?
Hillside bar opens at noon for World Cup.
World Cup is awesome and Formula 1 is in Austria next weekend. That's always a blast to watch. Especially the soap opera that goes along with.
@megan Awesome, you should be excited!

US team primer for you too:
Coach Jurgen Klinnsman: Star goal scorer for Germany that led them to the 1990 World Cup. Started as US Coach after last Cup. He has recruited a handful of promising young German born players (that have American serviceman fathers) to the US team. Some barely speak English! Jones, Johnson, Chandler, Green, and Brooks are the ones that made the team.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard: one of world's best, probably top ten. Been playing in England (best professional league) for a lot of years. Solid all around.

Defense: they are all new since last World Cup aside from veteran Beasley, who may or may not start at left back. Young standout is Fabian Johnson who is a real attacking threat. Lack of playing time together could be a weakness. Defenses need to know what each other will do in various situations, and have to play as a group.

Midfield: we are most solid here. Jones is an enforcer in the middle. Bradley (previous US coach's son!) is arguably our best player right now. Great passer, playmaker, and leader.

Forwards: We technically have one striker, a very strong Jozy Altidore, but Seattle Sounder Clint Dempsey is pretty much a second and given free rein to roam. Altidore has had a tough club year and a scoring drought that just ended with two goals in the last warmup game. Hopefully his confidence is back. Dempsey is a fiery player, shooting from anywhere, and loves to use fancy footwork moves to beat people when he has the ball. But will we find ways to score?!

Enjoy the game!
Deutschland Uber Alles!
Megan, if you ever want to go to a Sounders match I generally always have an extra ticket. Hit me up ;)
I hated watching the Kings during the regular season, but that was one of the toughest paths to the Cup ever. The Kings earned it. I still think Dean Lombardi is the genius in LA, but Darryl Sutter did a good job of juggling the lines.