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Posts Tagged ‘football’

So, for those who care… Premier League predictions?

Top three: I’m expecting a strong showing on both sides of Manchester, and Chelsea giving them a run for their money.

Just below: North London and Merseyside probably occupying fourth through seventh; anyone’s guess which takes fourth, but if Spurs do hold onto Gareth Bale I think I’d favour them for it. Hopefully.

Down at the unfashionable¬†end, I expect Hull’s stay in the top flight to be a short one. Crystal Palace will probably also do the yo-yo.

Cardiff (the Bluebirds in red) will probably punch above their weight for part of the season and might just survive; West Brom and Villa will probably provide them with hope as the relegation dogfight begins in earnest mid-February.

Over to you, readers: where am I going completely wrong?

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First of all, credit where credit is due: England were outclassed by Germany, and no amount of finger-pointing over Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal will change that. The more deserving side won the day.

Now, having gotten that off my chest:

Would somebody please tell me how exactly this wasn’t a goal? The refereeing at this World Cup has been shockingly inadequate, and FIFA’s continued resistance to introducing goal-line technology or at least goalside assistant referees is little more than idiocy. Too many legitimate goals have been disallowed, too many offside goals allowed to stand.

Having said that, I don’t think that this goal would have changed much. Chances are, England would have lost 4-2 instead of 4-1 had the goal been allowed, and (again) deservedly so.

One could argue that going into half-time having pulled level instead of trailing, the England team might have had better morale for the second half, but… the defense was torn apart for the third and fourth Germany goals, and in almost exactly the same way as for their first.

When a team makes a defensive blunder… well, it happens, you get over it. When the team makes essentially the same defensive blunder three times, perhaps some questions need to be asked, both of the players and the coach. England looked dangerous at times going forward (despite only scoring 3 goals in 4 games), but were a disaster at the back.

Part of the problem, I believe, is that the team was largely constructed around one individual – Wayne Rooney. Any time you build the team around one guy, you’re screwed if that one guy can’t produce the goods. Rooney was underwhelming at best in this World Cup.

Maybe if Robert Green hadn’t let in that goal against the Americans, maybe if Rooney had converted those chances against Algeria, maybe if Lampard’s goal had been properly awarded… maybe, maybe, maybe.

If you can’t perform well enough to overcome maybes, you don’t deserve to be there.

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No, not the Super Bowl. Props to the Steelers for what sounds like an epic victory, but I didn’t even know they were in it until a few days ago, because American “football” just doesn’t do it for me.

However, I have been eagerly awaiting the news out of Punxsutawney.

So, bring on Phil!

Yep, that’s a shadow. Six more weeks of winter.

Fucking groundhog.

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This has showed up on a few of my friends’ LiveJournals this morning, and I found I had something to say about it.

Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you’re in a heterosexual marriage, and you don’t want it “protected” by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

I have a fairly sizable problem with the view that gay marriage is in any way wrong; as I understand it, most of the objections to this appear to have their basis in Scripture.

However:

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that gay marriage is in any way wrong. There are some references to sexual activity between men as being ‘unclean’ (a more correct translation than ‘abomination’), primarily Leviticus 21:13 and several of the writings of Paul, but none of them touch on marriage at all.

And I think it’s painfully obvious that denying gay people the right to marry will not in any way dissuade them from any sexual activity.

I’m not going to go too deep into the exact wording of the passage in Leviticus, but I think most people will realize on an objective reading that “do not lie with a man as you would with a woman” makes sense only in that it refers to a physical impossibility.

Moreover:

Anyone who objects to ANYTHING based on Leviticus really needs to re-read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus preached unconditional acceptance of the persecuted that day, and explicitly repudiated the blind following of the letter of the law without regard for its spirit.

So what then was the spirit of such a law? As with the proscription against eating shellfish, and many of the 613 pronouncements in Leviticus (come on, just TRY to follow each and every one of them yourselves before you open your mouths) I believe that much of it had to do with health. In the Judaea of two and a half millennia ago, shellfish didn’t stay fresh very long. And people didn’t have access to the same hygienic luxuries we have now. Small wonder then that many things were prohibited – some of these pronouncements were predominantly in the nature of a preemptive universal health care plan.

The very next line of Leviticus proclaims the death penalty for heterosexual adultery. This too makes sense within the health care context – the more people slept around, the more likely it would be that diseases could be passed among the people (who didn’t have access to a Walgreens for antibiotics).

How about that? Universal health care plan. In the Bible. Almost makes you want to vote for that guy who’s not actually a Muslim despite what his opponents want you to believe.

In closing, then, a message to anyone pushing for a ban on gay marriage based on Scripture: I welcome you to step forward if you’ve ever had an affair, eaten shrimp, or played football on the wrong day of the week, and I will be only too happy to stone you to death personally.

Have a nice day.

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