Tag Archives: football

World Cup 2015 in Review

Whew. Just needed to take a breath. This has been a monumental World Cup. From the start of the tournament, the field was high in anticipation and intensity. I’m talking about soccer here, guys, the FIFA World Cup 2015. But more specifically on this, I’m going to be writing about our girls on the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT). The heroes, the motivators, the gladiators, oh, and, the winners. Congratulations to the United States Women’s National Team on beating Japan in the 2015 World Cup!!

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Madden 15 Review: “Madden is Madden”

Madden 15

Played on PS4

Madden is Madden”

This is a guest post from our good friend, Nerdy Neanderthal, a nerdy fitness dude. Expect more posts from him ranging from workouts to beer discussions to nerd surges! 

Pros

  • It’s more Madden 
  • Defensive mini game 
  • Improved play calling 

Cons:

  • It’s more Madden
  • Near constant updates
  • Pushing the Ultimate Team
  • Microtransactions

Madden 15 hardly reinvents the wheel, but it does it give it some nice new tires and shiny rims. Madden 15 is good, but ultimately it’s mostly the same game as last year; so most people already know if they are getting this game. For those on the fence, the chances to quicker play calling, the addition of a defensive “mini game” and the increase of real world integration, might sway you.

The only thing that matters in the equation of purchasing the newest version of a yearly franchise is: “are the changes good?” For me, the changes to Madden 15 definitively make it worth it. The worst part of Madden used to be slogging through defense until you got on offense. NOT ANY MORE! An almost “minigame” has been added this year. Hit r2 for a speed boost, move the offensive player in certain directions or try to get passed them with square or x. I now look forward to playing defensive.

The changes to the “coach’s suggestions” for plays has been revamped nicely as well. The computer gives you a couple of quick options and adjusts to your play style the more you play. On my franchise, I am an aggressive defensive play-caller and after the first game, the coach’s suggestion was almost always giving me some kind of man blitz, which I loved.

Madden deep down is just the same game every year. This engine was made for Madden 13. The connected franchise has been practically identical for years; player, coach, owner. The Madden ultimate team is a different way to build a team but filled with micro transactions. Most times I sign into the game, I have to download something, not a game breaker but it definitely gets in the way, wish it was done in the background.

Madden is Madden. The additions this year have been good but hardly game changing.

As a person who loves football, video games, and RPG elements, Madden scratches a niche-itch. So if you want to play Madden, the $60 dollar price tag is nothing because there is something for every kind of football video game fan. If you interest isn’t piqued every August as this game gets close, this year is no different.

Nerdy Neanderthal gives the game a: 7/10

Good, not Great

Fantasy Style Draft of All the Players in the League.

World Cup Wrap Up

One year ago, someone asked me who would hoist the World Cup in the Maracana. I said that Germany and Brazil would face off in the final and the Germans would raise the Cup. It was a straightforward question and I provided a clear answer but that was long before the groups were made and so much more has happened since that time. (I, personally, wish I wrong. France is my team and I wanted Ivory Coast to make it very far because Drogba is my favorite player.)

Germany-wins-World-Cup-2014-jpg

That same person of course asked a few other questions including who else would make the semi-finals and what impact it being in Brazil would have for the host nation. I answered Holland and Spain, and that if the tournament was not in Brazil, the hosts would not make it as far. Simply put. But again, a lot has transpired and it’s worth discussing some of the key points. Here are a few to wrap up the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

1. The Germans were the best balance of talent and teamwork throughout the whole tournament. That is why they won. Add a few fortunate events in their favor in the final and everything works out in their favor. You could easily argue that they earned those favorable happenings including some awful misses by the Argentine strikers. 

2. Despite a poor performance, or rather effort, in the final, Messi was the best single player in the tournament. I’m not saying he deserved the Golden Ball, he wasn’t resilient enough in the final to cement the award, but he made the difference in the group stage and the first knockout stage to send Argentina through. I was shocked by how far Argentina made it, although their path was not the most challenging. Robben and James obviously were the clear contenders for that award. Robben, however, reflected a negative behavior of football by diving often, and James already received the Golden Boot, so the choice is not unreasonable.

3. Injuries had a major impact on results. Some teams were far less fortunate than others. I think France would have made the quarters and even semi finals with Ribery. I think the result of the Germany-Brazil match would have been different with Neymar (and Thiago Silva). With a healthy Aguero and Di Maria in the final, Argentina may very well be holding the World Cup. But the best part of the World Cup is that anything can happen and while we feel bad for those players, such is the nature of the game. I do wish Neymar a full recovery.

4. Some outstanding young players helped themselves get noticed on this grand stage. Alexis Sanchez was immediately signed to the Gunners after his explosive performances. Ochoa and Navas showed themselves to be competitive with some of the biggest names in keeping in the world. James, again, raised his stock immeasurably by carrying an average Colombian team into the knockout stages among a very challenging and potentially second group of death.

5. Finally, the former champions who I still see as the best team in the world failed miserably to defend their crown. While I did think Spain would make the semis, I was not surprised to see them exit early. Italy suffered a similar fate after winning in 2006 with an awful performance in South Africa. Every player on Spain has accomplished many great feats in the world of football and it really just seemed as if this World Cup did not mean much to them. We will see how they rebound.

In exciting news, my club team (Arsenal) has revealed some nice new Puma kits while Manchester United has revealed some hideous Nike/Chevrolet kits. I am anxious to see what Adidas has in store for Man U. Congratulations to Pogba, James, Neuer, Messi, and Germany! I hope everyone continues to watch football even though the World Cup is over. Don’t forget… the women’s World Cup will be in Canada next June so if you are planning on attending let us know because we will be there!

Playing football is an amazing way to build a strong lower back, and stay hungry and fit!

So Long, U.S. Men’s National Team

It was fun. It really was! But through poor playing and being outmatched, it’s finally time to go home. We made it out of the Group of Death, which is something to be proud of, but now we turn our tails before we get to Quarterfinals. I honestly didn’t believe we would get this far. We should all be proud of  the team that they progressed to that point. 

The American team is like no other. We are spontaneous, we are either there or we’re not. If we don’t score early, we’re in trouble. We’re either on or we’re off. There’s no medium, there’s no average for us. We play hard or show up late. There’s no half-way for the American team. And yesterday, they simply didn’t show up. For the most part, anyhow.

And for the “most part,” I mean Tim Howard was the absolute exception. What an inspiration. What a hero. This wall of a goalie saved the U.S. from suffering a more embarrassing defeat. He actually set a record. An American set a record in the World Cup! Tim Howard did the most saves in recorded World Cup history in one game. If you’re going to be proud of one player, it should be Tim Howard.

I can’t exactly figure out who I’m rooting for now. France, Germany, and Brazil run through my mind. I want to see some good games. We are excited for Friday, to see some high-quality futbol! I will restate how much I love the World Cup…all the countries together, leaving problems behind, and just playing a great sport. Cheers to all! As always, stay hungry and fit!

BONUS PUPPY PIC

photo (67)

The World CUPDATE!

Cute name, right?

So here we are over a week into the World Cup! Who else has been waiting four years for this moment? We most certainly have and we are also looking forward to the Women’s World Cup in Canada, which we will be attending. Come meet us in Vancouver as that is where we will be setting up base camp and watching games live in person.

Yesterday, four teams were sent home and four were sent to the round of 16. We were happy to see Brazil go through as the host country, but preferred Croatia advanced rather than Mexico. Mexico’s keeper has been one of the absolute stand-out players of the cup thus far. Spain, the defending champions and top team in the world, were sent home after some coaching decisions on older and tired players didn’t work out for the best. David Villa did end his WC career scoring a goal, which was great to see. We look forward to having him in New York. Netherlands asserted themselves once more as a dominant force and potentially the most impressive team thus far. Most people think they will win and it’s hard to argue with that. Chile is the other advancing team, who will face the hometown boys in the next round. That will be a good showdown. 

 worldcup

In terms of teams that have not yet advanced or been eliminated… there are tons! We always pull for underdogs so African and Asian teams are our favorite. If Ghana and Cote d’ivoire make it to the final, we would be thrilled. Also, we are always rooting for the Koreans and Japanese, although both are as good as gone and the Koreans have been playing miserably and even worse have been very boring! The Japanese simply don’t have enough good players to take them through in their group. Furthermore, Hungry has always been a fan of France ever since he saw Zizou and Henry led them to glory over a decade ago. France in the final would give them the opportunity to make up for that horrendous showing in Germany in 2006. Also, of course, part of us wants the US to make it as far as they can. Unfortunately, in the Group of Death, an injured Cristiano Ronaldo and the Germans, who have one of the deepest benches in the history of the World Cup, will not let that happen easily. 

Today, we get to see who advances out of ColumbiaCote d’ivoire, Japan, and Greece in Group C (we think Columbia and Cote d’ivoire will go through, but it could be easily not if Japan or Greece wins and Cote d’ivoire does not). We also get to see who of Group D gets to pass through. Unfortunately, England is at the bottom, which is just painful to see for us. Costa Rica leads Group D with Italy and Uruguay tied behind. Fit thinks Costa Rica and Italy are going to advance as Uruguay haven’t been doing great. But you never know–that’s what we love about the World Cup. It could be anyone’s game. 

Love of the game runs in the family

Love of the game runs in the family

 All in all, we’re just some ex-futbol/soccer players that are willing to put on our boots and play anytime and anywhere. We aren’t reliving the glory days but we recognize how great of an event the World Cup is for the world. Countries come together that usually don’t have diplomatic relationships with the rest of the world and participate as equals. It is a beautiful game and an opportunity for cultures and traditions to be shared. We’re not asking you to watch the event, but try to acknowledge what it means to so many people around the world. Futbol is the most popular sport in the world, factually, and in America it is not even one of the three most popular sports. This doesn’t have to change, and I know that some players and countries give the sport a bad name by flopping and acting so often, but it is a great way for countries that don’t get along to pick each other up and respect one another. We’re all in! As always, stay hungry and fit!

  • Question of the Day: Who are you rooting for? Who do you want to host the World Cup in 2014?!

 

Thanksgiving Feast: Do it Right

Okay, so we’ve been gone for…a week. But we have plenty reason why! My family came in and it was a very excellent, fun, way-too-fast vacation for all of us here in Boulder. But you’re not here to listen to my excuses about family and not being able to post. You’re here to see food. And since we’re just getting back to full-time blogging, I’ll post a nice light array of food.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. When is it not? Don’t answer that, yes I know the turkey could light the house on fire. Family, food, sunset walks, and good tv. WHAT CAN GO WRONG? Don’t answer that. But seriously, everything went well for us and we had an amazing time (kittens included). So, my parents and brother came in for the week and we had a 9-person Thanksgiving. It was beautiful and great and just LOOK AT IT ALL. 

Mum’s homemade cranberry sauce, from stewed cranberries and sugar

Baked yams with shaved almonds on top

Mashed potatoes (of course)

Martinelli’s…Thanksgiving Classic 

TURKEY. We didn’t eat it, but others did 

My beautiful plate…you can see salmon (wild caught) as my meat in addition to a roll, mushrooms, and brussel sprouts (as well as other food covered already)

You will always find amazing salads at Marga’s house 

Plate all clean! Well except for the avocado Kai dropped on the floor

One of the two pies we had. This one was a bakery-made Peach-Raspberry (yum) and Megan made a top-notch pumpkin pie that I wish still existed

So that really covers it for Thanksgiving food…except for the stuffing and gravy and other alcohol served. Everyone had a good stuffed time. How was yours?

You know it…BONUS KITTY PIC 

Happy Birthday, Alana!

So, I failed Saturday because I was feeling lazy and Alana bailed me out, AND yesterday I was feeling sick and she didn’t bail me out. So here’s a few-days overdue post of our plans for Alana’s birthday and how they actually worked out. So basically…

We wake up on Saturday, September 8th and Alana is nearly 22 years old, American age. She’d be 23 in Korea. Now, she says she was born around 10 am Pacific time, so it’s not quite her birthday but that’s fine. So, actually at midnight, the night before, Alana opened her presents/cards from my family back home (thanks Mom, Dad, and Andrew for the check) and her family back home, thanks Kai for making so much and being so generous, and thanks mum and Dad for the jandals, tiger shirt, and being so generous. So, back to Saturday morning.

Marga invited us out for breakfast and we found ourselves at 10 a.m. at Tangerine on Iris and 28th. It was SOO busy so we knew it was a trendy spot with most-likely delicious food. Two minutes into the meal we got a surprise when Ben showed up. Ben and Marga got lattes, Alana got a chai, I drank water, and the food came out really quickly (it is breakfast food, but fancy). Alana got a vegetarian eggs benedict highlighted with pesto. The pesto was powerful and the eggs were cooked to perfection, along with some well seasoned taters. Marga got a prosciutto di parma wrapped egg-based dish, I think. It was really good and Ben eventually stole it because he wasn’t in the mood for his classic Belgian waffle with fruits and nuts on top. I couldn’t decide, because being a new pescatarian isn’t compatible at a breakfast place usually, and I got the flight of the pancakes, which is their sampler of three different pancakes. One was classic buttermilk, one was whole grain with some interesting toppings, and one was sweet with ricotta and blueberries on top. The maple syrup was good and by the end of the meal, after some plate passing, everything was finished off.

We sat around for a while and had some great conversation, about the democratic national convention and our political views. It is Boulder after all, so talking about politics was safe for us. Marga and Ben split the bill because they’re awesome. Ben had to leave to coach his girl’s soccer team and, as we left, Marga being the ridiculously nice and thoughtful person she is, gave Alana a present wrapped in a bag and some pet spot smell remover for our kitten accidents.

So, we got back home, Alana opened the beautiful wine glasses from Marga (thank you!) and we decided to go to the Boulder Farmer’s Market. We didn’t need much so we just got some Persian garlic. We walked there and back since it’s close and it was a beautiful day… it’s finally been getting cooler and I hope it wasn’t just a phase. Afterwards, we took a nap with the kitties and really did little to no work or chores.

5:30 rolls around and we have plans to visit my friend in Englewood (near Denver). The Buffs game ended hours ago and the Broncos didn’t have a game so we thought traffic wouldn’t be that bad. Well, it wasn’t LA or New York, but it took 80 minutes to go 33 miles on all highways. We stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some hard cider and a salad for our get together. We were going to make a salad at home, but our greens weren’t fresh and we weren’t about to serve them to friends.

So we roll into Englewood, interesting little area, and Garrett lets us into the parking garage. Now, Garrett was my co-worker at Hollister during high school. We played against each other in soccer and basketball in high school. I went to a small public school and he went to a smaller private school. We were both really bad schools for sports in general so nobody really won or lost. I haven’t seen him since high school because he went to CU Boulder and never returned because he loved it so much. Their apartment is beautiful and twice the size of ours, but they only have an original x-box and no matter how many emulators you have for retro-gaming, after selling 90% of my systems, our gaming is better.

But I digress. I was feeling very sick by the end of the day, but we still had a great time, meeting new people like Garrett’s better half “Lee.” She has a fun story having two parents in the military/government, I can’t say more because then my life might be in danger. Oh well, we just ate and hung out and caught up and can’t wait to see them again. Thanks everyone for an amazing birthday. Oh, and I got Alana a Star Wars the Old Republic graphic novel, Super Smash Brawl, and a huge zodiac tapestry for the bedroom wall. And that’s about it! OH and thank you Grandpa and Grandma Powell for the super generous card!!! :)