Bikini-Clad Russian Soccer Players Declare That The "Time Of Female Football Has Come," Are Correct

Your morning roundup for July 2, the day a few Marines face time in the brig because they married solely for money.

Bikini-Clad Russian Soccer Players Declare That The "Time Of Female Football Has Come," Are Correct

What we watched: Copa America kicked off last night when Bolivia faced host nation Argentina. It'd have been a shocking upset if Lionel Messi et al lost. Here are some random thoughts from during last night's telecast:

It'd be nicer to have remembered more high-school Spanish, but it doesn't take fluency to know the announcer has pasión for Budweiser, the Rey de Cervezas. South American football's entertaining, but it just feels different than European (and MLS) games. They're good though. (Check out the run-up to an Ecuador goal against the Philadelphia Union last summer). Maybe they're just more street.

Argentina looks good, but with Diego Milito (bench), Carlos Tevez, Esteban Cambiasso and Messi, shouldn't they better? (And that goes beyond just tonight.)

Side note during a few unexciting minutes: Did they find the "Escaped baboon loping around Jackson (N.J.) near Great Adventure"? Speaking of Great Adventure, that place is fun, but you always think of the Haunted Castle fire when it's mentioned, don't you? Of course you do.

Yo, Messi's hair is shorter, and he's wearing some fly blue and yellow cleats which he had to change 11 minutes in. Tevez almost scored off a sweet pass from Messi in the 31st minute. They'll score soon. Messi to Cambiasso, threatening miss in the 33rd. Yellow card on Bolivia's Walter Flores. A few minutes later, No. 16 kind of headbutts Messi who — per the replay — got shovey with him first.

Bolivia's playing street ball, but Argentina's in total control, and then Tevez goes and gets a yellow — handball? — in the 38th minute. Bolivia threatens, but not really. Then Bolivia's Luis Alberto Gutiérrez went ahead and go yellowed, too. Nothing much more happens in the first half except the threat of more chippiness.

Argentina's Ángel Fabián Di María replaces Cambiasso at the half. A couple minutes in, defender Javier Zanetti allows for a Bolivia corner. Edivaldo Rojas scores on a sweet-ass back heel that most certainly should've been saved around the goal line in the 48th ("Criminal defending by Banega on the post.")

Trailing, Argentina's getting as feisty as their underdog foes were in the first half: Lavezzi gets a yellow in the 55th because of the sort of roughhousing that leaves foes on the grass. Robles, the foe, looks Taylor Hicksian as he ambles away. A couple seconds later, Lavezzi blew a 65-yard run with a worthless attempt on net. Or was it a cross. Hard to tell, it was so poor.

After an opponent comes close to tying the match, the Bolivian keeper Carlos Arias does the sign of the cross. Argentina looks like it's in trouble.

Argentina keeper Sergio Romero then makes a stellar breakaway glove save in the 66th. They're still the team to beat. In no small part because Lavezzi got subbed out. Mascherano barely misses with a rocket. Substitute striker Kun Agüero then levels the match with a full volley off a teammate's chest trap in the 76th. Great, great strike. Tie ballgame.

And that's how it'd stay. Major upset averted. Bolivia probably expected worse, and Argentina definitely expected better. Same as it ever was. (Brian Hickey)

Bikini-Clad Russian Soccer Players Declare That The "Time Of Female Football Has Come," Are Correct

What we're watching: Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova are currently doing battle in Wimbledon's ladies finals [Wimbledon]. If you're so inclined, play Slate's match-the-player-to-the-grunt game during TV timeouts. Kvitova took the first set 6-3 and just broke Sharapova's serve for a 1-0 second-set lead.

Elsewhere

Even Fernando has jumped ship: Fernando Valenzuela donned an Angels jacket and threw the first pitch to his former Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia. This, before the team the latter manages played — and got shutout by — the team they both used to play for. Follow? [L.A. Angels]

Punishment on the cheap: The University of Notre Dame's fine for contributing to football videographer Declan Sullivan's death was, as part of a "settlement deal," dropped to $42K. "In exchange for the smaller fine, the university is required to launch a national education campaign on the safe use of scissor lifts. [WGN Radio]

"Time of female football has come!": Russian women's premier-league side FC Rossiyanka has taken to dressing its players in bikinis. Svetlana Zhuravleva explains why: "The aim of this project is to attract attention to women football and to increase the popularity of it among male population of our country. We need to break the stereotype of women football as a non-spectacular kind of sport. ... Together we achieve the desired because Russian women football is bound to succeed!" [FC Rossiyanka]

T.O.'s baby mama drama: A Fulton County Superior Court judge set a July 26 hearing to consider Melanie Paige Smith's request that Owens be held in contempt of court. It's an owed child-support type of thing. Smith's Atlanta lawyer Randall Kessler said in court papers that Owens has refused to pay his full $5,000 monthly payment. [AP, via AJC]

Mutton-bustin' interlude:

A-Rod compliments a good friend: "They have the world's greatest player playing shortstop over there, and the most exciting," high-stakes poker enthusiast Rodriguez said, referring to electrifying New York Mets leadoff hitter Jose Reyes. "I turn on the TV every time I get a chance to watch him." He said this at a time when the teams are facing one another in the Subway Series. Which was nice. Game Two's on Fox this afternoon, depending upon where you live. [ESPN]

The short answer, of course, is no, no they're not: The Orioles went ahead and got one-hit by the Braves's Jair Jurrgens. This, on a day that a Baltimore columnist named Peter Schmuck went ahead and asked "Are the Orioles better off than they were a year ago?" [Baltimore Sun]

Bikini-Clad Russian Soccer Players Declare That The "Time Of Female Football Has Come," Are Correct

If dugout walls could talk: Per a "Fox! Sports! Exclusive!" Brian Wilson lost his shit after blowing a save in a game the Giants would end up winning anyway. To wit:

Wilson flung a Gatorade cooler in the Giants' dugout, which would have been a sufficient display for most mortals. Not Wilson. He procured a bat, gave himself a running start, and tomahawked the cooler as it sat on the ground. Then he smacked the wall with the bat for good measure.

He tossed the bat aside, stomped around for a few more moments, picked up the bat again, thought better of it, and dropped it with disdain.

Then came the most potentially perilous moment of the tantrum: He punched another object – apparently a tray of bubble gum or sunflower seeds – with his prized (right) pitching hand.

Asked afterward about his hand, Wilson replied, "My hand's fine. Ask the wall."

We are all Dave McKenna CXLIII: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting every day until wee wittle Danny admits what he did to Redskins fans's hearts is no better than a bunch of flash-mobbing kids cold lootin' a Sears store.

Sex toys, silent killers: Ten Greens Bundestag members recently submitted an inquiry to the government, titled, Sexual health as a consumer protection issue. "Many dildos, and other sex toys like vibrators and anal plugs, contain high levels of phthalates, other carcinogenic substances and toxic materials." [The Local] (H/T Tomuban)