Archive for the ‘Say What?!’ Category

Power, poise, persistence--Pretzels?!

By Kim DeRaedt

Belgian soccer club K.F.C. Germinal Beerschot isn’t the only team wishing it could re-write its birth certificate.  The famous Shakespearean quote once begged, “What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose.”  A rose?  Really?  Hardly…

“Fart.”  Yes, Fart.  What makes it even worse, it’s the name of a women’s team!  The Norwegian female soccer squad has been around since 1934 but that’s scarcely an excuse.  Never would that name have exuded feminism or projected skill, fight, or an ounce of appeal. 

We can only assume the team name was lost in translation from Finland’s  “F.C. KooTeePee”
The Peruvian club Deportiva Wanka, known as D-Wanka, racked up quite the jersey sales in Britain much to the surprise of a naïve team spokesperson.  “It is very strange. Everyone in Britain seems to think we have a funny name.”  How so?!

Of course, you have to feel bad for these young students who have it rough.

Clever thinking out of Mars, PA—The Mars Area Fighting Planets
It’s a Dallas area all-girls prep school, but still—“fighting?”  The Hockaday Fighting Daises
Michigan’s Watersmeet Nimrods gained fame on an ESPN commercial asking, “Without sports, who would cheer for the Nimrods?”  The name has biblical origins, but somehow it’s still difficult to take pride in saying “I’m a Nimrod.”

A bit of the strangeness even spilled over to the mascots of otherwise “normal” teams…

Southend United’s “Elvis the Eel”

Arsenal’s “Gunnersaurus Rex”

Manchester City’s “Moonchester”

Florida Gators?  C’mon, how original!!

Names tagged:
Nutty names:
The quirky costumed:


SayWhat?! Please speak up!

Posted: January 15, 2011 in Say What?!

Perhaps what the 2010 World Cup will go down in history for...the Vuvuzela!

By Kim DeRaedt

Can’t hear yourself think?  Is your head pounding?  You’re not alone. Not even a jet plane, chain saw, or your neighbor’s dog for that matter can compete with the ruckus at a vibrant soccer match.

Vuvuzela buzz
One of the headline snatchers of the 2010 World Cup, those irksome horns really were as loud as they appeared on TV.  Clocking in at 127 decibels (dB), Vuvuzelas edge a jet plane’s takeoff (124 dB) in the deafening noise column.  Firearms (140dB) and jackhammers (130dB) are the only two common noisemakers that can produce more of an ear-splitting sound than the mighty Vuvuzelas.  


Party animals
Although Vuvuzelas shoulder the most notoriety in sports’ clamor category, soccer is full of commotion-igniting instruments that can get any party started.  Take a look at rival culprits. 

  1. Vuvuzela: 127dB
  2. Air-horn: 123.6dB
  3. Samba drum: 122.2dB
  4. Referee whistle: 121.8dB
  5. Two fans singing: 121.6dB
  6. Gas horn: 121.4dB
  7. Cowbell: 114.9dB
  8. Wooden rattle: 108.2dB
  9. Inflatable fan-sticks: 99.1dB   

Human hullabaloo
Never underestimate man power.  Inonu Stadium, home of the Turkish soccer club Besiktas JK and the Carsi (its supporters), upped the volume during a Champions League match against Liverpool on October 24, 2007.  The fans’ uproar reached 132 dB, the highest logged sound level at a soccer stadium.

Nothing shows love and passion for one’s team and sport like some good quality NOISE!

We have no idea what comes out of their mouths sometimes, but fans around the world sure have a unique way of cheering on their favorite franchises.

By Kim DeRaedt

A whole lotta rubbish!
There are sometimes in life when you need to just smile and nod!
My garden shed,
(My garden shed),
Is bigger than this,
(Is bigger than this),
My garden shed is bigger than this,
It’s got a door, and a window,
My garden shed is bigger this…

You’ll get it, you’ll get foot and mouth!
You’ll get it, you’ll get foot and mouth!
Just like the scum, sitting in the Holte End,
You’ll get foot and mouth!

Niall Quinn’s disco pants are the best,
They go up from his arse to his chest,
They are better than Adam & The Ants,
Niall Quinn’s disco pants…

He’s Big
He’s Red
His Feet Stick out of bed
Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch

For a whole smorgasbord of chants, check out

Vocal Villians
These people speak even more non-sense.  Here’s proof that many delusional still roam the streets.  Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend Irina Shayk concedes ‘I’m not a soccer fan.’
George W. Bush follows suit and speaks for the masses of his generation too.  “When I was young, I did not see a single soccer match. Where I came from, football wasn’t played,” Bush said. “The sport simply did not exist. Therefore there is a whole generation of Americans who are not really football fans.”
Settle down!  Don’t hate, Glenn Beck!  “It doesn’t matter how you try to sell it to us,” Beck said.  “It doesn’t matter how many celebrities you get, it doesn’t matter how many bars open early, it doesn’t matter how many beer commercials they run, we don’t want the World Cup, we don’t like the World Cup, we don’t like soccer, we want nothing to do with it.”

Good news, Beck.  Soccer won’t be banging down your door and begging on your porch any time soon.  We never walk alone.  The soccer community is united.  Don’t tread.

Sometimes soccer players don't use their heads. Results may vary.

By Kim DeRaedt

Your momma named you funny
Danny Invincible (Australia) 
Dean Windass (England)
Norman Conquest (Australia)
Mozart (Brazil)
Doctor Khumalo (South Africa)

It’s not funny until someone gets hurt, then it’s…
“In a particularly rough tackle, a player was knocked unconscious. A first-aid man ran over and began to sprinkle water in his face and fan him with a towel. Slowly the player recovered consciousness and said groggily, ‘How the hell do they expect us to play in all this wind and rain?’”

“A full back with a reputation for being a really hard man on the pitch was sent off during a match. Returning to the changing room, he had a terrible leg. It was covered in cuts and bruises and had a massive gash from the top of the thigh to the knee. He had no idea whose it was.”

“A man arrives at the gates of heaven, where St Peter greets him and says, “Before I can let you enter I must ask you what you have done in your life that was particularly good.”
The man racks his brains for a few minutes and then admits to St Peter that he hasn’t done anything particularly good in his life.
“Well,” says St Peter, “have you done anything particularly brave in your life?”
“Yes, I have,” replies the man proudly.
St Peter asks the man to give an account of his bravery.
So the man explains, “I was refereeing this important match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield. The score was nil-nil and there was only one more minute of play to go in the second half when I awarded a penalty against Liverpool at the Cop end.”
“Yes,” responded St Peter, “I agree that was a real act of bravery. Can you perhaps tell me when this took place?”
“Certainly,” the man replied, “about three minutes ago.”

Lost marbles
“He dribbles a lot and the opposition don’t like it.  You can see it all over their faces.”—Ron Atkinson
“I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted!”—George Best
“I would not be bothered if we lost every game as long as we won the league.”–Mark Viduka 
“If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing.”–Terry Venables 

Found Gems:
The name game: 
Funny bone: 
Head scratchers:

Most of us have a difficult enough time with just one language. Multiply that by 17, and the World Cup is one big tongue twister!

By Kim DeRaedt

With at least 17 languages spoken by the 32 teams at the 2010 World Cup, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” was nothing compared to the tongue twisters and language hurdles that had to be conquered by FIFA, the media, and various staff in South Africa.  Some passed with flying colors.  Others stood out like a giraffe among the vertically-challenged Japanese team.

First is the worst
FIFA takes the cake for the worst World Cup faux pas.  It truly was a like a whole different language when FIFA provided the Slovenian team with Slovak interpretation services for a press conference.   The Independent reported that “the Slovenes have a slight complex about that commonly repeated error and it did not help that Slovakia – who don’t get the same insult – are at the tournament too.”

Who you calling stupid?
“Kaiser Chief is so stupid-Defoe blasts Franz insult”
“HERR DRYER! – German legend Beckenbauer in a new rant against ‘stupid’ England”
The newspapers were quick to jump at German legend Franz Beckenbauer whom essentially said, “Stupidly, the English have slipped up a little.” 

Newsflash:  Too bad “dummerweise” doesn’t mean as its spelling appears.  Anyone competent in German would know that the word translates into “it’s a pity.”  Beckenbauer actually said, “It’s a pity the English flunked a bit by coming second in their group.”  So angry Britons, lower your weapons:  Beckenbauer comes in peace.

Finders Keepers
Want a souvenir from the World Cup?  How about this well-spelled but quite perplexing t-shirt?




F** It
That’s “Fix it”.  Count the asterisks next time for all of you Frenchmen out there.  The New York Times revealed that referees were expanding their vocabularies by learning curse words so that they could send the potty mouths packing during last summer’s competition.  Oh, how we always have our priorities in line!

Lighten up
Geez, Maradona!  It was a simple question.  What did you think he meant?  Get your mind out of the gutter!

Humor aside, obviously there are some serious language issues.  Good thing Socceranto came to the rescue.  The ingenious (?) idea prior to the 2006 World Cup attempted to bring the “one world’s, one game” together under one language.  The fan-inspired dictionary/phrasebook pulls from English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, and Portuguese and crafts words based upon names of legendary players, soccer terminology, and newfound expressions as well.  Ever heard of “maradona” or “rono”?  Check out their Socceranto definitions below.

maradona: n. a goal scored with illegal use of the hand. [Derivation: Diego Maradona who scored for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup by using his hand.]

rono – n. a (non-Brazilian) player of Brazilian flair or skill; an honorary Brazilian.
[Derivation: Names of Brazil stars, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo.]

For anyone looking to become bilingual, trilingual, or whatever your next step may be, you can brush up on all of your Socceranto vocabulary with this free download.

Don’t try this at home
One final note.  The Japanese video game “Boy’s Soccer Team 5” might not be the greatest stocking stuffer this holiday season.  Something tells me that with these non-native translation blunders, FIFA 2011 may be slightly more exciting for gaming enthusiasts. 

Word Worms:
The above information and many more translation boo-boos can be found at:
The New York Times, as always, showcasing the best side of soccer:

Sometimes it seems like we all speak a different language. Other times, we realize soccer players aren't admired for their intellect.

By Kim DeRaedt

Say “soccer” seven times fast
Chinese: 足球
Czech: fotbal
Dutch: voetbal
German: fußball
Greek: ποδόσφαιρο
Italian: calcio
Japanese:  サッカー

Three wise men
“We lost because we didn’t win.”- Ronaldo
“We didn’t underestimate them. They were a lot better than we thought.” – Sir Bobby Robson
“My parents have been there for me, ever since I was about seven.” – David Beckham

Funny Four
The Devil was constantly challenging St Peter to a game of soccer, but St Peter refused, until one day while walking around heaven he discovered that quite a number of international soccer players had entered the ‘pearly gates’.
“I think I’ll arrange to play that soccer game,” said St Peter to the Devil. “We have a great number of international soccer stars in heaven at the moment from which to select a winning team.”
“You’ll lose, you’ll lose!” taunted the Devil. “What makes you so sure we’ll lose?” enquired St Peter. “Because,” laughed the Devil, “we have all the referees down here.”

Is your goalkeeper getting any better?’
Not really. Last Saturday he let in five goals in the first ten minutes. He was so fed up when he failed to stop the fifth that he put his head in his hands – and dropped it!’

At one point during a soccer match, the coach said to one of his young players, “Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?” The little boy nodded in the affirmative. “Do you understand that what matters is how we play together as a team?” The little boy nodded yes.
“So,” the coach continued, “When offside is given, or a foul is not seen, you don’t argue or swear or attack the referee. Do you understand all that?” Again the little boy nodded.
“Good,” said the coach, “Now go over there and explain it to your mother.”

What runs around a soccer field but can’t play?
A fence

Check out for more one-liners, referee jabs, and team punches mostly from the English game.