Okay, let's go through the post-US World Cup checklist:
Jurgen Klinsmann had too many Germans on the roster: No, he didn't. He didn't have enough magicians.
Michael Bradley let the side down because . . . : Better opponents paid him closer heed.
The Group Of Death Was Too Much: Well, if you include Belgium.
They could have gone deeper if . . . : Germany and Belgium didn't exist.
The key to 2018 is: Getting Tim Howard to play four more years and then clone himself.
What does this mean for American soccer . . . : Who the hell knows? You all had a good time, and be happy with that for now. Sometimes the answer to "What does this mean?" is just "We watched an entertaining game and there was beer."
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Johnny Manziel partied Monday night with Justin Bieber, Floyd Mayweather and various other celebrity flotsam, but the Bieber inclusion is the first valid reason to look at him with distrust, disdain and disgust. Being 21 is not an excuse for THAT particular infraction.
I mean, sure there are lots of slack-jawed dullards out there who are equally worthy companions for Manziel, and he has every constitutional right to hang with them no matter what Jimmy Haslam says. But Bieber is the loose cannon in that the first time he is properly liquored up to belt out one of his “songs,” Manziel will have to slug him to make the atonal shrieking stop, and then the cops get involved, and then Manziel is on the tube for six straight days, and . . . well, it just isn’t worth it in the end.
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Hats off to Joe Lacob for allowing the rest of the Warriors’ front office to do its work without overruling them and doing every deal in the rumor mill in a frantic expression of his need for hot trade and free agent action.
Although that could be because he’s been tied to a chair and locked in a closet.
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Billy King, the still general manager of the Brooklyn Nets, says “there’s no reason to sling mud” and wishes Jason Kidd the best, perhaps even unironically. He also says the team will be looking for a coach with experience this time.
Funny, but I’d say Kidd got plenty of experience in the last year. If he had any more experience, he’d be running a small South American nation in a military uniform.
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Kobe Bryant knows his history, which is unusual for many of his generation. Proof:
“On this day 18 yrs ago the hornets told me right after they drafted me that they had no use for me and were going to trade me.” Then he did a couple of annoying hashtag things, but the point was made.
But he’ll still go to his grave knowing he was drafted after Todd Fuller, and no number of rings or money earned will erase that stain.
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Aldon Smith has been cleared of joking about a bomb threat at the Los Angeles International Airport, which means that Roger Goodell will have to use a different kind of reasoning to suspend him. It’ll probably be the standard, “Well, you’re not an owner, so I can punish you.”
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The next time you wonder if you can trust your boss, remember Bob Whitsitt, whose reputation outdid even himself on the tiny matter of who could wear the number 80 with the Seattle Seahawks. From Steve Largent, the original holder, on the plan to have Jerry Rice wear it when he signed with the ‘Hawks:
“The Seahawks at the time had a President of the team (Whitsitt) who had come from the NBA and didn’t really know a lot about football but knew a lot about professional sports and he called me saying that Jerry wanted to wear number 80 but wanted to ask my permission,” Largent said. “And so I mean Jerry Rice is asking to wear my number, I’m not going to say no and so I said, ‘Sure, that’s fine with me.’ He called Jerry Rice and said, ‘Hey, Steve Largent wants you to wear his jersey when you get to Seattle.’ So Jerry said, ‘Well that’s fine, I’ll wear number 80, I thought it was retired but if Steve wants me to wear it, I’ll wear it.’
“So (Whitsitt) did a little double whammy on both Jerry and myself to ensure that Jerry Rice gets number 80 and (Whitsitt) can sell a bunch of number 80 jerseys or something, but it was kind of a scam on both myself and Jerry Rice.”
It should be noted that Largent later went into politics, so he got much better at spotting scams in his second career.
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And finally, Rolando McClain is back, and traded to Dallas, where the lesson he is most likely to learn is that punishment for earlier behavior comes in mysterious ways.