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Showing posts from June, 2019

Women's World Cup 2019: Beware the VAR

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The quarterfinals of the 2019 are set and while the play has been mostly spectacular, the overuse of VAR looms like a dark cloud over the tournament. In implementing the use of VAR (video assistant referee), the game of soccer was to benefit and aid on-field referees in making correct calls.
This system has had its moments in the 2019 Women's World Cup, but it's also been a hindrance, sometimes to infuriating levels.
Rarely have I seen so many games with stoppage time of seven, eight, nine, and even ten minutes. Games in this World Cup have been delayed due to VAR too many times, ruining the flow of the game and, in some cases, a team's chances of advancing.
France and Nigeria both ended up advanced, but a late use of replay resulted in a goal for France and the Nigerians having to sweat out play of other teams before advancing.
Scotland vs Argentina and Cameroon vs England also had their fair share of VAR moments, with calls in these games affecting the final result.
Goa…

Best summer film of 1999: Showdown between American Pie and South Park

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The month-long journey in deciding the best summer film of 1999 is coming to end with a match between South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut and American Pie. Summer at the box office in 1999 certainly had its moments.
It started with the first new Star Wars movie in ages, something we are now accustomed to receiving almost every year. And, in the summer of 1999, it ended with a kid seeing dead people with the box office smash The Sixth Sense.
Both are no longer in this tournament. The Phantom Menace dropped out long ago while The Sixth Sense lost a close one in the final four, falling to American Pie by a single vote.
That's right. The horny kids from East Great Falls High have traveled all the way to the finals of this film tournament. It looks like Ostreicher (Chris Klein) finally got his wish of being known more than "just a kick ass lacrosse player".
This plucky film that could will be taking on South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut, which defeated Election in t…

Women's World Cup 2019: Onto the knockout stage for top-ranked teams

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Group play is over and now it's time to start getting down to the nitty-gritty of the 2019 Women's World Cup. The first two weeks of the 2019 Women's World Cup had a little bit of everything. There was a record-setting performance by the United States team in their first match, setting the tone for a team that didn't allow a goal in their first three matches.
There was the use of VAR, deciding games in stoppage time by reversing goal-saving plays. One of those games involved the team from Scotland, who was 20-minutes away from advancing before watching a three-goal lead evaporate.
And there were teams sneaking in by the skin of their teeth (with a little help along the way).
In the end, most of the teams who were supposed to advance, did.
All told, 14 of the world's 16 top-ranked teams will be present in the knockout stage. Nigeria (38th) and Cameroon (46th) are the two teams who needed a little bit of magic (and help) to advance. Both were the last two of the thi…

FIFA World Cup 2019: USWNT notches victory, qualifies for knockout stage

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The United States Women's National Team took care of business on Sunday, defeating Chile and joining eight other nations in qualifying for the knockout stage of the 2019 World Cup. The final tally of goals on Sunday against Chile for the USWNT was not quite the outburst displayed against Thailand, but it wasn't for a lack of trying.
Three first-half goals -- two by Carli Lloyd -- were more than enough for the USWNT to defeat Chile 3-0, guaranteeing the Americans a spot in the knockout stage of the 2019 World Cup.
If it weren't for Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler, the final score might have been a lot worse.
Endler made several spectacular saves against the Americans attack, turning back forward Christen Press alone at least three times. Overall, Endler showed why she is a world class keeper, making six saves as the Americans had 26 shots (9 on goal). Best women's goalkeeper in the world? 👀

Christiane Endler put on an absolute SHOW for Chile to prevent a much bigge…

World Cup 2019: A baker's dozen for the USWNT

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photo: commons.wikimedia.org The United States women's national team turned in a record-setting performance in their 2019 World Cup opener, announcing to all the title still goes through them. Four years ago, the USWNT started off the World Cup by struggling to beat Australia 3-1. The result still earned points -- and the Americans went on to win the 2015 cup -- but there was doubt seeded to just how prepared the team was to vie for the cup.
There should be no such questions after their first game in 2019.
Working cohesively, with a free-wheeling and precise attack, the offense practically lived in Thailand's defensive third, tallying 39 shots (21 on goal) in a 13-0 blistering victory on Tuesday.
Alex Morgan delivered a World Cup record-tying five goals as the United States scored early and did not let up until the final whistle. Morgan's tally tied her with fellow American Michelle Akers, who scored five goals against Chinese Taipei back in 1991.
Starting midfielders Rose…

Best of the summer films from 1999: The final 8

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photo: freestockphotos.biz
The tournament for best summer film of 1999 rolls on as we are down to the final eight films, including one wildcard from the month of April. Two number-one seeds have been voted out, as have all four of the films seeded second. Star power and big budget movies have fallen by the wayside with indie movies, plucky upstarts, and animated films taking their place.
Truly only one of the films, Runaway Bride, can be considered both a big budget and star-driven film. This movie, the top moneymaker from July of 1999, featured the reuniting of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, stars of 1987's Pretty Woman. The pairing again turned into box office gold, collecting over 152 million dollars at the domestic box office.
Among the other films still vying for the esteemed honor of being named "best film from the summer of 1999" (as bestowed upon by you, the reader), we have South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut, American Pie, and The Sixth Sense.

This South P…

Women's soccer world cup: USA vs the field

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photo:commons.wikimedia.org
The 2019 FIFA women's World Cup is underway, with the United States set to open group play on June 11 against Thailand. Back in 2015, the United States women's national soccer team had one of the greatest defense-minded World Cups of all time. A defensive backline of Becky Sauerbrunn, Ali Krieger, Meghan Klingenberg, and Julie Johnston (now Julie Ertz), plus keeper Hope Solo, locked down opponents in a breathtaking manner. After allowing one goal to Australia in the cup opener, the United States women didn't cede another goal until the final, a whopping 539 minutes between goals, a 5-2 victory over Japan.
Don't count on that type of production again.
That is not to say the Americans don't have the talent. Sauerbrunn still locks down the center back position, but the rest of the line has been in flux over the past year with mixed results. Ertz has moved to the midfield and Klingenberg, despite playing every single minute in the last World…

Out of nowhere, the Blair Witch beckoned in 1999

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Found footage films announced their arrival in 1999 with The Blair Witch Project scaring up nearly 250 million dollars at the worldwide box office. Plus, we are down to the final 16 in the favorite summer films of '99 tournament. It was late April or very early early May. 1999. Alone in my dorm room playing a video game -- possibly NCAA basketball on the original PlayStation™ -- excitement filled the halls beyond, drawing a little attention my way. The semester was winding down, many of us prepping to leave our new friends behind as we returned to our hometowns for the summer.
A wave of energy, in the form of my roommate, burst into our room. Before I could even acknowledge his arrival, he blurted out, "Dude, you're not going to believe this."
Thus my introduction to The Blair Witch Project was born.


My roommate had just returned from a friend's room on the same floor, reeling from having watched (if memory serves correct) a version of the film that had leaked o…