This Is What Can Happen When You Give An Umpire A Microphone

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Your morning roundup for July 18, the day the NFL began castrating "circumcising mosquitoes." Got any photos or stories for us? Tip your editors.


What we watched: Being a broadcaster isn't easy. You're live, with no chance at an edit or a re-write. As sports fans, we all have our indelible calls, our moments that really became our moments thanks, in part, to an accompanying narration. With that in mind, we can't help but wonder if fans in Japan don't have quite the same feeling about the call BBC announcer Guy Mowbray delivered to describe that country's moment of triumph in the Women's World Cup.

It's Monday. We're still trying to get ready for the week, too.


Women's World Cup storyline No. 1: "Until the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown of four months ago, Japan was a country known foremost for its dignity and high achievement. Its trains ran faster, its food tasted better, its athletes trained harder. As it turned out, Japan managed to build an elite women's soccer team despite scant girls' participation nationwide. It did so with hard work - identifying elite players early, then making them practice for 10,000 hours, or more than 21 / 2 hours daily over 10 years. Many fans here didn't know of the Women's World Cup - or of the Japanese women's team's abilities - until days ago, after a quarterfinal upset of Germany. Then Japan embraced its Nadeshiko, as the women's team is known. Its romp to the finals turned into front-page news. The prime minister talked about it. The match against the United States began at 3:45 a.m. local time, but at one Tokyo sports bar, twenty- and thirty-somethings were packed in elbow to elbow, arriving early enough to sing the country's national anthem. ‘The Japanese people,' said Toshihiro Higaki, 26, ‘needed something they can be proud of.'" [ Washington Post]


Women's World Cup storyline No. 2: "Seriously. If the women's sports movement has made any progress, the storyline won't be the "good for the game" stuff. They should have won." See also: "Curious to see how many people rip the U.S. women's soccer team tomorrow for choking. Because that's exactly what this is. Epic gag job." [@StevePoliti, @JeffPassan]

Women's World Cup storyline No. 3: "But the real good news for American women's soccer is cultural. Thanks to the catharsis of the Brazil game and their careening progress through the tournament, the team managed to capture the nation's attention without ever having to be a symbol for anything. Unlike the 1999 team, this year's American women weren't serving as role models for a nation's daughters or nurturing a country through a presidential crisis. They weren't offering a corrective counterexample to the greedy/childish/immoral superstars playing men's sports. They were just more or less kicking ass, as dramatically and unpredictably as possible. Yes, the Obamas watched the game and the TV commentators loved the team's determination and chemistry, but the Americans were charismatic in part because they were at least a little edgy. If I had a daughter who acted like Hope Solo, I'd be terrified, which is exactly why I love Hope Solo." [Slate]

Good: "A new legal team for Lance Armstrong, who is under investigation by a federal grand jury for allegations of organized doping, is going on the offensive against his pursuers, charging in a court filing that the cycling champion has been the victim of 'character assassination' through leaks and pointing the finger at government investigator Jeff Novitzky." [Politico]

There were some runners stranded in this one: "On a night that exhausted everybody playing and probably most of those watching, Dustin Pedroia found the energy to give the Red Sox one of their most memorable victories of this season or any other. His RBI single in the 16th inning was the difference as the Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 1-0. ‘By that time, it's not just physical, it's mentally draining,' manager Terry Francona said. ‘That's probably the one guy you know is going to figure out a way.'" [Boston Globes]


Khloe Kardashian's husband passenger in car crash: "A car carrying Khloe Kardashian's husband, LA Laker star Lamar Odom, was involved in an accident that injured two people in Queens, a rep told The Post yesterday. The victims were a motorcyclist and a 15-year-old pedestrian, according to A spokesman for Kardashian, confirmed that the hoopster was riding in a car-service vehicle Thursday night when the accident occurred. Odom grew up in South Jamaica and had attended a street-ball festival in a local park." [New York Post]

Freestyle Billiards Interlude, Featuring Hoobastank:

Dan Gilbert promisea to write in Comic Sans "regularly": "It's not only a generation we are trying to save from fleeing to the likes of Chicago, NY, San Francisco, Boston or South Beach (God forbid!). It's THE generation that will and is already creating the most amount of wealth in the shortest period of time of any generation since Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal men walked the earth. Don't believe me? Say ‘Groupon.'" [Choose Thinking]


The Associated Press searches for meaning in a meaningless world "BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles finally have a winning streak going, and it couldn't come at a more opportune time." The winning streak is two games; the Orioles are 38-54. Probably it would have been more opportune to have won a couple in the middle of their recently concluded nine-game losing streak? But mostly, who cares when a .413 team strings together two victories? Apparently the AP is suggesting that the Orioles have captured some momentum heading into a series with first-place Boston. If Baltimore sweeps the Red Sox, they'll be 15.5 games behind.

Dwight Howard is "strongly considering" making a lot of money in China: "In an exclusive interview Sunday with the Associated Press, Howard said he would consider playing in China or Europe if the NBA lockout doesn't end. Howard, a five-time All-Star who led Orlando to the NBA finals in 2009, stopped short of saying he's in contract discussions with teams overseas. ‘I'm not at liberty to talk about it,' he said, ‘but there's a huge possibility about me going to China or me going overseas to play basketball.'" [USA Today]


TMZ reports... that Rachel Uchitel... has repaid Tiger Woods's settlement... money: "TMZ has learned ... Rachel Uchitel has given Tiger Woods back most of the settlement money he paid her ... and now Rachel is preparing to sue Gloria Allred, the lawyer who struck the deal, allegedly because Gloria sold her out for money. As TMZ reported, Gloria negotiated a $10 million settlement for Rachel ... just hours before Rachel was going to hold a tell-all news conference about Tiger Woods. The settlement included a confidentiality agreement, which prohibited Rachel from talking about Tiger. We've learned the agreement stated ... if Rachel violated the confidentiality clause ... she would not only have to return the money she received but Tiger could sue her for damages as well." [TMZ]

The Bengals must love the opportunity to have no comment on news like this: "Running back Cedric Benson was released from jail on Sunday following an arrest on an assault charge, the second year in a row he has gotten into trouble in his home state... Travis County sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade said Benson was arrested in downtown Austin on a misdemeanor count of assault with bodily injury with family violence. Benson attorney Sam Bassett said in a statement the arrest followed ‘a conflict' between Benson and a male former roommate." [Daily Mail]


We are all Dave McKenna CXLIX: 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 Snyder's dumbass libel lawsuit gets disqualified after eating tainted beef.

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