Monday, June 16, 2008

Soccer and Beihai

So a good friend (or two) of mine has moved to the region - they've landed in Beihai, China, which is only a stone's throw away from Hanoi.  Check out the southern China seaside action here.  

These past few days I've been trying to get to bed early so that I could wake up to watch Tiger and his wounded knee at the U.S. Open.  After 4 rounds, with some amazing shots, he's managed to eek into a playoff tomorrow.  So that basically means an early night and a getting-to-the-office late for me in the next 24hrs.  I'm watching golf on TV.. yeah, I'm officially old.

In addition to the US Open, I've been catching Euro 2008.  There was a great game this morning between the Czech Republic and Turkey.  I caught it late, so I saw the big comeback and a red card on the Turkey keeper with minutes left in injury time - exciting, crazy stuff.  I'm sports deprived enough to start getting into soccer now, but watching soccer here is a whole different experience than in the US, mainly because the skill level high is so uniformly high that the action is relatively interesting.  The top-flight, tournaments - AFC Cup, Euro, UEFA Champions League - are really enjoyable for a soccer newb.

Some English Premier League matches are also world class, but as an outsider, sometimes the EPL is frustrating to watch because the teams sit out top players all the time.  This is due, in part, because the EPL season coincides with the FA Cup tournament and the Champions League tournament.  It's like watching the Lakers sit Kobe for a game against the Timberwolves so he can have energy for the Celtics matchup.  Quite an annoyance as a spectator.  

Finally, speaking of the Lakers-Celtics show, I caught a snippet on ESPN about how Doc River got turned onto the word "unbuntu" while reading about the Rev. Desmond Tutu and that it has become a mantra for the Celtics during these playoffs.  Now all the geeks in the world, like Orangwutang and SaigonNezumi have something in common with the (eventual) 2008 NBA Champs.  Maybe the Lakers should retaliate by yelling "Vista!"

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