Archive for the ‘What?Never!’ Category

"Officer, I swear I didn't tweet it!"

By Kim DeRaedt

It’s like taking candy from a baby.  In other words, it sure is difficult to feel sorry for these players who were slapped with fines after utterly foolish comments and behaviors.

Players violated club/league policy etc. received/paid fine but not in way would’ve thought

Po-Po poooolice!
Simply stated:  What were these guys thinking?
Not only are blowout games boring for the fans, but Burnley midfielder Kevin McDonald shows us that players feel the same way too.  McDonald was subbed out at halftime with his team up 5-0 over Manchester City.  We friends and family in town, he did what any Englishman would want to do:  He hit up the bar five minutes away
to watch his own game.
Players in Brazil know all too much about fines and not exactly millionaires, most try to avoid them.  So when Botafogo midfielder Somalia realized he was going to be late to training and fined, he made up a story about his own kidnapping and relayed to Rio de Janeiro police that he had been held captive for two hours.  However, video camera footage and self-contradicting statements revealed his fib.  Poor guy!  No wonder he lied.  Botafogo players are typically docked 40% of their pay for tardiness.  On top of that, Somalia now faced legal woes for falsely reporting a crime.  (They say you can now hear his alarm clock 2 miles away!  Just kidding.) 

A tweet is worth a thousand troubles
“And they call him one of the best referees.  That’s a joke.” (Plus, he posted a link of a doctored picture of the referee, Howard Webb.) 
Guilty party:  Ryan Babel, Liverpool 
Fine:  $16,000
“Apologize to all of you.  I showed up late.  Made a big mistake.  I’m very very sorry.”
Guilty party:  Jozy Altidore, Hull City
Unsympathetic manager:  Phil Brown, who thought Altidore’s tardiness to the team’s match against Portsmouth was “information that stays in house.  The reason he wasn’t on the bench was our business.”

“Naz so free dumb”
(Get it?^)
Perhaps Sparta Prague midfielder Pavel Horvath should read up on both history and cultural quirks if he wants to avoid another faux pas and $9,000 fine in the Czech Republic.  Horvath was hit was the punishment after he twice saluted fans with his right arm outstretched seconds before the conclusion of the team’s match against Viktoria Zizkov.  A disciplinary committee deemed Horvath was “giving Nazi salutes.”
DC United President Kevin Payne was docked $5,000 for speaking his mind, or maybe for telling the cold honest truth, to The Washington Post.  Payne said, “We don’t want to play like Colorado or New England, which most of the season sat with eight or nine guys behind the ball. How many people go to watch Colorado or New England play? That’s a problem for our league. We can’t play like we’re a team desperately trying to remain in 14th place in the Premiership. Our market isn’t there yet. They want to see something that is entertaining, and DC United has always had a way of playing. Given a choice, we would rather attack than cynically defend.”
The crime:  Clearly, Payne’s comments were “detrimental to the public image of the League.”

“But officer…” nothing.  Soccer’s “green” ticket makes a red card seem pleasant. 
Advice:  Keep the infractions on the field!  Refs aren’t so bad after all.


What?Never! Ultimate (Re)defined

Posted: January 10, 2011 in What?Never!

Nobody ever questioned these fans' passion. Go ahead, express yourself!

By Kim DeRaedt

Sure “ultimate”, by definition suggests easily understood synonyms such “best”, “greatest”, and “supreme”.  Still, some soccer supporters redefine the term, reach higher, go further, and set themselves in a class of their own. 

World Cup warrior
FIFA’s greatest event comes only every four years and Thulani Ngcobo wasn’t about to make light of the opportunity.  When the obsessed Bafana Bafana fan won MNT mobile’s “Last Fan Standing” contest, he embarked on a 17,000 mile record-setting journey.  Ngcobo attended 38 matches and 31 complete games, sometimes travelling as much as 2,000 miles for four games in a 48-hour period.  Vitamin jabs helped the sleep-deprived 29-year-old to shatter the previous Guinness record of 20 matches, but the taxing trek couldn’t crush his passion.  Still, he advises this stunt should not be attempted by nonchalant novices. 

“I’m looking forward for a passionate fan to challenge me, but he must know that this is not easy,” Ngcobo said.  “It’s very tough.  After this, I’ll really, really miss the World Cup.”

This ultimate supporter is now in search of a sponsor for the 2012 African Nations Cup or 2014 World Cup.  It’s safe to say the 2010 voyage gave him a taste that has left him hungry for more.  Soccer, like sugar, is addicting!

Francisco Marcos—Builder
Ever heard of Francisco Marcos?  How about Werner Fricker?  Well then, chances are you aren’t aware that Francisco Marcos won US Soccer’s Werner Fricker Builder Award in 2007, the foundation’s greatest recognition presented to a person whom has worked untiringly to extend the enthusiasm of soccer without concern for individual recognition or promotion.  Francisco Marcos, in a layman’s term, is a builder.  If soccer bodies, public relations initiatives, and expansion achievements were pieces of art autographed by their author, “FM” would be inked in the corner of a whole gallery of masterpieces in Soccer’s Museum of Art.  What exactly did Mr. Marcos build you may ask?  This is a blog, not an encyclopedia.  Take a look for yourself but know that he is the founding father of varied works including the American International Sports Exchange, the Southwest Indoor Soccer League, and the W-League. 

Pelada:  NOT showing in a theater near you
Two years, 19 countries, and 400 hours of video later and out comes “Pelada”, a 90-minute soccer movie packing a serious punch.  “Pelada”, meaning “naked” in Portuguese, strips the game down to its roots and documents pickup soccer as the world wonder that it is.  The film didn’t top the box office charts, but only because it never had the chance!  Read the story and watch the trailer.

Seeing is believing
Dispelling the myth that pictures are only worth 1,000 words…


By Kim DeRaedt

It happens to the “Best” of them
George Best says the darndest things
“I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars – the rest I just squandered.”
“In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol and it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.”
“I’ve stopped drinking, but only while I sleep.”

“Referee, are you…drunk?”
Belorussian referee Sergei Shmolik’s “back pain” took him out of the game, but something tells me a chiropractor wouldn’t be able to solve his problems. 

Actions speak louder than words
Sometimes, no explanation is necessary.  “I Know What You Did Last…Night.”

Glory, Glory “Miller Lite-ed”

Please drink responsibly!

David Beckham is afraid of one of these characters. It's not Cookie Monster or Count von Count. It's Big Bird, and many soccer stars are not fans of airborne objects.

By Kim DeRaedt

Most people have phobias, or at least a fear or two.  We are afraid of spiders, dying, deep water, or dark alleys.  Some of soccer’s biggest and brightest stars, however, have some of the deepest and darkest phobias that severely inhibit their career or severely dampen their macho image at the very least.

No-Fly Zone
SV Hamburg striker Paolo Guerrero must’ve felt like he was half a world away from his teammates when he was forced to miss games due to injury and indeed he was.  The Peruvian international phenom returned home to recuperate from knee surgery, but it was extreme aviatophobia that prevented him from returning to play.  Guerrero attempted four times in January alone to board a flight back to Germany.  Each time he experienced severe bowel movements, otherwise known as gastritis.  Neither family nor tranquilizers were able to help Guerrero fasten his seat belt and prepare for takeoff.  Instead, he finds himself in therapy as SV Hamburg’s record continues to fall.  Some correlation predicted.

Misery Loves Company
Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp knows every bit of Guerrero’s pain.  During his stint at Arsenal, Bergkamp earned himself the notorious nickname, the “Non-Flying Dutchman”.  His phobia stemmed from an incident with the Dutch national team when a journalist’s ill-regarded joke that he was carrying a bomb caused the flight to be cancelled.  Bergkamp pledged that he would never fly again because the overwhelming anxiety would considerably weaken his performance.  He travelled to all European games accessible by car and train, but some of those journeys became so prolonged and taxing that he eventually stopped going altogether.  Luckily for Bergkamp, England is a small enough country whereby he could easily manage his ground-level trips, thus he experienced great success with Arsenal within the team’s homeland borders.

Kooky Kousin
The concept is the same; it flies in the sky and David Beckham doesn’t like it!  Ornithophobia, the fear of birds, won’t inhibit Beckham’s game in the foreseeable future.  Coupled with ataxophobia, the fear of a disorder, however, it makes Beckham one strange superstar.  His hatred of everything not neat or orderly is a phobia more commonly termed “OCD”.  Does this explain his pinpoint free kicks, which result from endless hours of obsessive practice?

Cootie Catcher
Geez, they’re your opponents.  Nobody ever said you had to marry them; you just have to play them.  Even so, this concept proved too overwhelming for Bebel, a French amateur team composed of mainly Muslims, when they were scheduled to play Paris Foot Gay (PFG).  Bebel refused, claiming that it was “against their principles.”  PFG’s ensuing complaint is still being reviewed by French soccer authorities. 

Forget a stadium full of 40,000 fans with a country’s soccer hopes on the line, Beckham is afraid of some less than formidable “wingers” and other international sensations are scared to leave their nests.  Bravery is not a prerequisite for this profession!

No Kidding!
The facts behind the phobias:,,5216622,00.html
Bizarre Beckham keeps company:…/10-most-interesting-facts-of-celebrity- phobias.html 

By Kim DeRaedt

Lobo on the loose:  A catfight always strikes a particular interest with Americans.  University of New Mexico junior Elizabeth Lambert, however, took the WPS’s “See Extraordinary” campaign to a whole new level when the wolf strayed from the pack and unleashed her fury against BYU.  These highlights, which have been seen on every major news and sports network, need no introduction. 

Careful what you wish for:  Soccer has long been criticized for being a low-scoring and therefore dull affair.  When a fan goes to a game, there is one thing he wants to see above all else:  his team score.  Supporters of the Madagascan side Stade Olympique de L’Emyrne (SOE), however, got a little more than they bargained for when their wish came true.  In a protest to a referee decision in the team’s previous match, SOE took matters into its own hands and showed its disapproval by scoring on itself…149 times just to make sure it got the point across!  The October 31, 2002, match is recognized by The Guinness Book of Records as the sport’s highest scoreline.  Mind you, this was no Sunday rec league.  It was first-division soccer, and with the victory, SOE’s opponents AS Adema clinched the league championship.  Talk about a cakewalk!   

Lone ranger:  It has long been said that goalkeepers are a different breed.  Let’s face it.  Sometimes it can get downright boring standing by one’s lonesome self in between the pipes.  Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita, let’s just say, spices things up both from inside his 18-yard cage and out.  Appropriately nicknamed “El Loco”, Higuita invented the scorpion kick and plays forward in his spare time.  Take a look! 

Sure beats peanuts and Crack Jack.  I don’t care if I never get back!

Nobody every said soccer would be pretty. Most just feel that it's worth it!

By Kim DeRaedt

Senseless Superstitions
Argentinean coach Carlos Bilardo insisted that each of his players file past a bride and shake her hand on her wedding day during the 1986 World Cup.  Apparently brides bring good luck, and who can deny this statement when Argentina defeated the mighty Brazilians the next day?

Crossing the line:  David Beckham is hardly superstitious, and the secret behind his brilliant free-kicks is not to be envied.  The superstar battles with severe bouts of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Sometimes there’s no room for two players to have the same superstition.  Many players insist on being the last to take the field, but when France’s William Gallas and Arsenal’s Kolo Toure met up, Toure was not about to back down, so much so, that he missed the start of the second half of a championship match waiting for Gallas to head out before him.

That’s no theatrics
Goran Tunjic, 32, was playing for the fifth-tier Croatian team Mladost FC when he fell to the pitch in the 35th minute.  The referee showed him a yellow card for diving; however, Tunjic had just died from a heart attack.

Goooaalll!!!  Ouuucchhh!!!
Arsenal hero Cesc Fabregas recorded his team’s only goal in a 1-1 draw with Sunderland.  The goal came when Anton Ferdinand attempted to clear the ball while standing 35 yards from his goal.  Ferdinand’s effort ricocheted off Febregas’ cleats, looped over goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, and fell into the back of the net.  Febregas would have little time to celebrate as he hobbled off the field minutes later having suffered a hamstring injury from the force of Ferdinand’s blast. Find out more!