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Durban Sandshark

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  1. If this 2-0 result with Ecuador emerging out on top is a harbinger to come for Qatar's Maroons, then it would well deserved karma for many who very controversially roped in this World Cup to their backyard. Nothing against the Qatari players personally, but this is rapidly becoming a sh!tshow for them with the even more talented Senegal and The Netherlands looming for them in Group A. They're gonna be far worse than South Africa in 2010. Sure Qatar won the most recent Asian Cup in the UAE, but the World Cup obviously in whole another universe and experience altogether. Only thing would have some dignity for them is scoring a goal during group play. And Infantino ranting on the eve of the start with all the hypocrisy reeking all over from Qatar? My God! Even bringing up he was a redhead in his youth (if I got that right) to add to the apparent solidarity with the workers and the LGBTQ+. Man, I got more to say on all this later. Back to the soccer for now. My abridged 2022 FIFA World Cup predictions. A more detailed one will arrive, if not later this short week, definitely by the next one after Thanksgiving/Black Friday. GROUP A: 1. The Netherlands 2. Senegal 3. Ecuador 4. Qatar GROUP B: 1. England 2. USA 3. Wales 4. Iran GROUP C: 1. Argentina 2. Mexico 3. Poland 4. Saudi Arabia GROUP D: 1. France 2. Denmark 3. Australia 4. Tunisia GROUP E: 1. Germany 2. Spain 3. Japan 4. Costa Rica GROUP F: 1. Canada 2. Belgium 3. Croatia 4. Morocco GROUP G: 1. Brazil 2. Switzerland 3. Serbia 4. Cameroon GROUP H: 1. Portugal 2. Uruguay 3. South Korea 4. Ghana ROUND OF 16: Netherlands over USA, Argentina over Denmark, Germany over Belgium, Brazil over Uruguay, England over Senegal, France over Mexico, Canada over Spain, Portugal over Switzerland QUARTERFINALS: Argentina over The Netherlands, Brazil over Germany, England over France, Portugal over Canada SEMIFINALS: Brazil over Argentina and England over Portugal THIRD PLACE: Argentina over Portugal FINAL: Brazil over England SURPRISE TEAMS: Senegal, USA, Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Ecuador, Poland, Serbia
  2. We surely don't believe FIFA would prefer enduring that legal headache from Budweiser over a breach of contract from this, but Budweiser should realize the potential of how conservative Qatar is. The former option is the most likely scenario. Beer is oh so lucrative with a high profit revenue margin. No we shouldn't be stunned by this and what else would a backtrack will occur. Yet Qatar has a rapidly near futuristic skyline with Doha, so we thought of perhaps revising its conservative Islamic culture. Qatar should never won, much less hosting, this World Cup in the first damn place. But this saga certainly reveals once again the culture and political clashing that inevitably happens when sports brings people worldwide from many different cultures. Just ask TV2's Rasmus Tantholdt from Denmark. Sadio Mane is now ruled OUT for Senegal's Lions after surgery with his injury and being placed on Senegal's World Cup: https://www.espn.com/soccer/senegal/story/4805211/senegal-striker-sadio-mane-out-of-world-cup-with-injury
  3. You may have seen the 2022 FIFA World Cup intercontinental match between the Socceroos and Peru at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar months ago. You may have seen the Andrew Redmayne reaction after his penalty save on Alex Valera to send them to World Cup later this year that's now forever iconic to Australian soccer fans and a social media meme for its fifth consecutive World Cup appearance. (Soccer Australia) presents this latest installment of its Socceroos Sideline series taking us back in a behind the scenes/all-access documentary-like look of that unforgettable Peru game: the locker room (or changing room) preparations, the Socceroos' team arrival, the pregame stadium run through, the game itself, the penalty kicks, and the team celebrations. Mostly in front of the mass amount of Peruvian fans. As for the hero Andrew Redmayne penalty save reaction, "a save that means the world to Australia, a save that means the World Cup for Australia", since it's surely been shown so much down there we only see it from more behind his back, so it's shown from a different side. And it comes at a time when Australian soccer needed such a shot in the arm as it undergoes tremendous transition like A-League Men expansion and that league and the Socceroos' and Matildas' moving from FOX Sports Australia to Network 10 Australia and the Paramount+ streaming for non-World Cup games. Boosting national attendance and interest. Only Simon Hill and Andy Harper provide any semblance of narration in this clip and that's the match commentary. Nice to hear INXS' 1984 hit Original Sin playing in the locker room as the equipment team set things up but other Australian hits being played (Men At Work's Down Under) and then Sweet Caroline and Farruko: And yes, Redmayne spent some fun time with The Wiggles as the Grey Wiggle that his daughter Poppy surely will enjoy. Got to perform his Wiggles-like dance with this: Sports18, India's 2022 FIFA World Cup rights holders with JioCinema from Viacom that outbid Sony Six and Star Sports, has a numerous array of promos. This one obviously centers on the Group A teams QATAR, Ecuador, Senegal, and The Netherlands. Their captains, coaches, star/iconic players, and the teams' iconic moments:
  4. Also read that the Black Eyed Peas will be there for the pre-Qatar-Ecuador match opening ceremony. Dua Lupa was asked to performed there too but denied the rumours and called out Qatar for its human rights abuses. Spain's RTVE's FIFA 2022 promo. Of course it's heavy on the 2010 champs Red Fury and its current crop of players in promoting the event with some fleeting footage of the blue blood World Cup nations like Germany, England, defending champs France, Argentina, and Portugal (but it's also got non-qualifier Italy) in action, accompanied by some TVE commentary. If I got it right, TVE's La 1 will show only 19 games, including all of Spain's games, the aforementioned Qatar-Ecuador game, the semifinals, third place game, and the final. SBS announces a new, daily World Cup show called...World Cup Daily, "a nightly ‘one-stop-shop’ delivering Australians the very latest from the tournament at 5:30pm AEDT on SBS and SBS on Demand commencing next Tuesday 22nd November." Every action-packed episode of World Cup Daily, as you would expect with programming like this, will "include up-to-date highlights, previews, expert analysis, exclusive interviews, and superstar guests, plus all the latest news, views, and on-the-ground reactions from each and every FIFA World Cup™ match." World Cup Daily will be hosted by presenter and social creator, Claudio "Claudes" Fabiano, who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise alongside his genuine love and passion for football. Claudio is well-experienced and has worked with several leading domestic and international broadcasters including Optus Sport (The Highlights, The Football Bite, Euro 2020 Warm-up Live, Fan-Bants), Premier League Productions (Premier League Today Live, Welcome to the Weekend Live) and beIN Sports (The Early Kick-Off, beIN Global Exclusives). Other personalities involved in this include "man on the ground" Adamo De Nigris, Kat Sasso (looks at trends and viral storylines from social media at Qatar), Kat Haddad (who offers glimpses of past World Cup rewind memories), Warick "Wazzeh" Beynon hangs out at the Socceroos compound and checks out on them before their games, and Daniel Olanrian (hangs out with Australian fans on what the World Cup means to them) Portugal, once again coming out of the European qualification playoffs, is more than ready for the World Cup and Qatar--and so are the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo, Pepe, and company and their Selecao de Simao's fans to support them for the coveted holy grail for some top-notch soccer in the desert. Like with the rest of 32 nations' fans and teams in Qatar. RTP will be there with major operations of TV, digital, and radio to cover the massive event. As we get prepared for all the action in Qatar and its stadiums, Globo in Brazil unleashes a diversity of its FIFA 2022 World Cup TV promos for its massive coverage to Brazilians--and we will get to many of them. This, because it aired 9 days before the opening match, focuses on the #9-wearing players ("nove") in past World Cups like Ronaldo, Davor Suker, Luis Suarez, Gabriel Batistuta, Robert Lewandowski, Robin Van Persie, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku, Roger Milla, Wayne Rooney, and Richardalson. Ends with its broadcast sponsors Claro, Itau Bank, Magalu, Perdigao, Budweiser, and PixBet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ai3S0tkZ4I Serious talk abounds about how Belgium's Red Devils golden generation, while still very talented and very good with world-class players, are just a bit too old from the four years Russia's 3rd place finish, its best World Cup placement ever, to seriously contend again to aim higher. For Belgium's upcoming VRT 2022 World Cup coverage and promo here, this pokes fun at this with a Red Devils jersey-sporting girl acting as both national coach and motivator, somewhere in Brussels, or Ghent, or Antwerp, or Liege to rally both the multicultural mix of young and the old Belgians across the nation in Flemish--including members of both the Red Devils and their Red Flames sisters like Tessa Wullaert to stand behind the Red Devils with the Flemish chant "Tis aan ons" ("it's up to us"), which VRT's Sporza will use as its World Cup campaign motto. Interspersed with past Belgium World Cup footage. Another fave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxDBp8bdcp0 Teleamazonas in Ecuador presents the glory of winning the World Cup, showcasing Doha, Qatar, and the support for Ecuador's Condors and the hopes for them in only their third World Cup appearance, starting on November 20. Where many of the world's sporting eyes will be on them and hosts Qatar at Al Khor's Al Bayyat Stadium to kick off the whole controversial thing because of the location. Hopes to achieve the same national sporting glory that Jefferson Perez's gold medal winning 20km walk at the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Summer Olympic Games did: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-cMwx73EJU With that, this Teleamazonas' promo for that first World Cup game live on Sunday, November 20 at 10:15am Ecuador time between Ecuador and Qatar, where all eyes will be upon them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znHfTV6LCyE Albania's RTSH illustrates and juxtaposes how soccer, the World Cup, its stars, and plays can bring many different people worldwide together in all walks of life with the sport as it presents its upcoming coverage. In celebration. In playing. In emulating their heroes. In designing new gleaming soccer palaces. Destination Doha as the newest chapter, speaking of new gleaming places https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3y6fnKZzNI Abema, a Japanese live streaming broadcasting service, promotes the fact that it'll will streamcast all 64 games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Japanese soccer fans online, tablets, smartphones, and on streaming TVs. Showcasing all the games, action, stars, and of course, Japan's Blue Samurai as they embark on its journey in Qatar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LodgmY3Fq1E One of our newest promos we got comes from France's version of BeIN Sports, the only place in France where you can watch all 100% of the 64 games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, including 36 exclusive matches and all of France's games. Here in this promos as we look at what could the BeIN Sports cramped cubicles somewhere in Paris with Omar Da Fonseca (?) talking so much to a customer about the nations like France, Germany, Morocco, Portgal, Switzerland, and Spain...but not Italy (boy, Italy can't seem to catch a break) that the person will see but Sonny Anderson and someone else who I can't ID overhearing this both quickly remind him that Brazil (with the former) and the latter with Argentina as he later sings about the nation that both qualified and World Cup-winning nations can be also seen on BeIN Sports too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q7NTVGE_B0
  5. Switzerland's national soccer federation, the SFV or the Schweizerischer Fussballverband, conducted a more creative way of announcing its 2022 Nati World Cup team yesterday by using the names--but minus the numbers--on the back of their red Puma-manufactured jerseys they will wear in Qatar, often times sported by everyday Swiss people from all walks of life and across the nation with multilingual soccer commentary as the backdrop. Head coach and ex-Nati player Murat Yakin appears in the end of this video after this pledging in German facing the camera that he and his team will vow to make their fans the nation proud in Qatar. Clearly, this is the most multicultural Swiss Nati World Cup team ever and the vid reflects this "beautiful and diverse" multiculturalist "country" In order of jersey appearance: Eray Comer, Silvan Widmar, Fabian Schar, Breel Embolo, Noah Okafor, Ardon Jashari, Fabien Frei, Renato Steffen, Christian Fassnacht, Remo Frueler, Ricardo Rodriguez, Nico Elvedi, Jonas Omlin, Gregor Kobel, Haris Seferovic, Denis Zakaria, Fabian Rieder, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Manuel Akanji, Djibril Sow, Yann Sommer, Philipp Kohn, Edimilson Fernandes, Michel Aebischer, and Ruben Vargas. MLS writer Matt Doyle offers some takeaways from the USMNT 2022 World Cup roster, its inclusions and exclusions. Surely, Zack Steffen being left out despite being a Berhalter guy is stunning because he's not even a backup. Matt Turner is the US #1. Paul Arriola was the last player cut with redundancy working against him. Does display a pragmatism at work. This team never had Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Timothy Weah, Brenden Aaronson, Yunus Musah, Tyler Adams, Antonee Robinson, Sergiño Dest, Walker Zimmerman and Matt Turner all together healthy at the same time during CONCACAF qualifying. Not a single game! This is a VERY young team with surely a projection towards co-hosting in 2026 with Canada and Mexico: https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/usmnt-world-cup-roster-key-takeaways-from-gregg-berhalter-s-picks
  6. The USMNT 2022 World Cup 26-player roster just revealed well over three hours ago in NYC! Henry Bushnell tweets that the many of these players were made aware of their roster inclusion actually on Sunday via FaceTime (for the most part). This is out of a USA record 38 players overall. Lots of emotion involved when there will always be, as with any team, some players getting the short end of the stick. Some are actually off to Qatar in a matter of hours. Given Berhalter's consistency and messaging, the vast majority of the players is no surprise whatsoever, have you been paying attention. Mostly was expecting. Tim Ream and Haji Wright are surprising selects as the former hasn't played for the USA in over a year: https://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2022/11/berhalter-names-26-player-usmnt-roster-for-2022-fifa-world-cup https://sports.yahoo.com/usmnt-world-cup-roster-2022-usa-berhalter-221801354.html There were some surprises and stunning omissions, as with any World Cup-bound team: 19-year old Ricardo Pepi, who scored more Team USA goals during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying than anybody else not named Christian Pulisic (3 immense goals), is out. So are Middlesbrough goalie Zack Steffen, a major stunner given his professional relationship with Berhalter at Columbus, striker Jordan Pefok, Brandon Vasquez, Reggie Cannon, John Brooks, Sebastian Lletget, Malik Tillman, and Paul Arriola. Jordan Gregg Berhalter says these omissions are "in some of the cases it's more about what we have [on our roster and their form at their clubs against levels of opposition] than what we don't have". Those who were omitted indeed have compelling cases. Miles Robinson, Sam Vines, Daryl Dike, and Chris Richards surely been on the squad had they not get injured. His goalie pecking order for Qatar is Turner, Horvath, and Johnson https://www.si.com/soccer/2022/11/09/usmnt-world-cup-roster-snubs-berhalter-steffen-brooks-pefok-pepi https://www.espn.com/soccer/united-states-usa/story/4795467/usa-2022-world-cup-roster-led-by-pulisic-mckennie-pepi-steffen-miss-out Meanwhile down under... Yesterday, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold sprung some stunning announcements and omissions for his 26 Qatar-bound players, including that of regular Socceroo and his son-in-law Trent Sainsbury, being out of Qatar. Makes for interesting interactions come Christmas when it's over. To be fair to Arnold, Sainsbury suffered for his "scratchy form" in the Q-League and "noticeably struggled" versus New Zealand two months in a friendly. He also axed stars in his "brutal" selection in favor of youth: Tom Rogic, goalie Mitch Langerak (seemed a cinch to make the roster after returning from international retirement), Adam Taggart, and Tilio are among his other casualties. Qualification hero Andrew Redmayne is there. Arnold says he's willing to take and make risks as a coach, and, to that point, he's called up eyeing exciting "teenage sensation Garang Kuol and Olyroos graduates Cammy Devlin, Keanu Baccus, Riley McGree and Thomas Deng are among 17 players named for their debut World Cup, including Scottish-born fan favourite Jason Cummings" in his hopes for a multicultural team makeup. Prized young Sydney-born player Christian Volpato is pursuing Italy as his national team while Arnold expresses concern over injuries of Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar, and Martin Boyle but hopes they'll be in form. I'm getting the impression Arnold doesn't think the Socceroos will advance out of group play--and likely made some roster mistakes. TBH, I don't get it with Langerak. Feels like a high-profile humiliation to him after being convinced to come out of international retirement to be a part of this, which makes it worse. Why? No sense whatsoever. Not right. Should've been in. Maybe's he not the style or preference for goalie coach John Crawley, who has a major say for the team: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/sainsbury-rogic-taggart-miss-out-as-arnold-unveils-socceroos-world-cup-squad-20221108-p5bwhu.html https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11401079/Whos-whos-Socceroos-Graham-Arnold-drops-Tom-Rogic-Qatar-World-Cup-squad.html https://wwos.nine.com.au/football/fifa-world-cup-socceroos-squad-2022-players/cd22b8d8-4582-4e3d-ba00-4d15beddedc1
  7. UGH!!! Right in league with religious-minded conservatives and fascists here who claim that's a sickness, particularly in men. Nice heads up forthcoming: US Soccer will announce the 2022 USMNT World Cup roster in a 1-hour reveal party that's in-person and invite only in New York City at Brooklyn Steel tomorrow live at 4pm US/Canada/Mexico CT exclusively on ESPN2 and ESPN+, entities that no longer carry the US broadcasting rights to the FIFA World Cup. We can easily see Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, and Weston McKenzie to named to it by head coach Gregg Berhalter: https://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2022/10/us-soccer-federation-to-host-us-mens-national-team-world-cup-roster-reveal-party-on-nov-9-in-nyc https://espnpressroom.com/us/press-releases/2022/11/espn2-and-espn-present-u-s-mens-national-team-roster-for-qatar-2022-on-wednesday-nov-9-at-5-p-m-et/ Couple of discussions and analysis on who will make the Team USA roster and some questions about it: https://www.starsandstripesfc.com/2022/11/8/23444700/ssfc-roundtable-staff-picks-for-players-in-and-out-for-the-usmnt-world-cup-squad We don't know who will fully make Canada's first World Cup team roster in 36 years. It'll be announced after its final friendly versus Japan. The likes of Alphonso Davies, Attiba Hutchinson, Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Milan Borjan, Alistair Johnston, Dane St. Clair, Sam Agubuke, Jonathan Davis, Jonathon Osorio, Stephen Vittorio, Estaquio, Kamala Miller, Junior Hollett, and Charles Andreas Brimm will be in that 26-player roster. And who will be omitted. One Soccer's Josh Deming projects who head coach John Herdman will select and make the best formations and skills in this video. Goalie Maxime Crepeau and defender Scott Kennedy, both due to injury, will not participate in Qatar: UPDATE: CBC says Canada Soccer and John Herdman will announce the roster Sunday: https://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/canada-soccer-to-reveal-world-cup-roster-sunday-1.6643769
  8. Roster time! For 2022! First up Brazil! Announced a couple of hours ago. Neymar of course headlines this--although I really and seriously disagreed with his endorsement of Jair Bolsonaro leading up to the election Brought back 39-year old Dani Alves to the Selecao, the big story on this roster. Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli is also in. But Liverpool's Robert Firmino is the biggest omission; he hasn't played for Brazil since winning the Copa America and did not feature from behind the bench in their subsequent friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia. Fellow Arsenal team-mate Gabriel Magalhaes also misses out. So the Gabriels are not having a great day today. https://theathletic.com/3771891/2022/11/07/brazil-squad-qatar-world-cup-firmino-martinelli/ But their Arsenal teammate Takehiro Tomiyasu gets named to Japan's 2022 World Cup squad when announced on November 1, the first of the 32 teams to do name their squad. Midfielder Genki Haraguchi and forward Yuya Osako, both of whom appeared at the previous World Cup in Russia, left off the list. Hajime Moriyasu has called up a number of players with fewer than 10 senior caps, including Nagoya Grampus winger Yuki Soma, Celtic forward Daizen Maeda and Cercle Brugge forward Ayase Ueda. Meada and Ueda were among 13 players, including overage ones, who played on Japan's men's Tokyo 2020 Olympic team, also coached by Moriyasu: https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h01487/ https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2022/11/01/soccer/international-soccer/japan-2022-world-cup-squad/ https://www.sportingnews.com/au/soccer/news/japan-world-cup-squad-2022-players-national-team-roster-26/jpuxo8qjq8qbsbweqgynuv4u https://www.arsenal.com/news/tomiyasu-named-japans-world-cup-squad
  9. Haven't read the the SRF investigative report in full yet, very interesting though so far, but will as get closer to the World Cup's start, likely well ahead of it--and will get my longstanding thoughts on Qatar very soon at that moment. BeIN Sports MENA presents the Arabic promo for the very first 2022 FIFA World Cup game between hosts Qatar and Ecuador live Sunday, November 20 at 14:00 GMT and 17:00 Saudi Arabia time at Al Bayat Stadium. Set to be aired BeIN Sports' 1 Max, 3 Max, 5 Max, and on its 4K channel with all of its BeIN Sports' 2022 FIFA World Cup coverage sponsors and the countdown to end it. All Arabic channels. As you can see, this promo has all of Doha golden with the World Cup trophy hugely prominent in it: From the Czech Republic's TV Nova comes its own FIFA World Cup 2022 spot mixing anticipations, fan moments, and action scenes with star players' illustrations, World Cup winning glory, and multicolored splashes of paint, some with a Doha skyline background. No narration here because the soccer certainly speaks for itself. Games can be seen on NOVA, NOVA Action, and Voyo: Vietnam's VTV has its own promo that largely uses the official Qatar 2022 TV intro but uses action from the last two World Cups and fan shots. VTV and VTV Go app plans to show all 64 games live involving all 32 teams. Also presents VTV's domestic coverage sponsors:
  10. Back to the 2022 FIFA World Cup promos. Italy and the Azzurri may not be once again be involved in the World Cup (and I'll discuss that soon), but RAI hopes that won't dampen national interest in the event. Although I think it will to a point. RAI is the exclusive Italian home for the 2022 FIFA World Cup (TV, online, and radio) with all 64 games broadcasting from the Italian public broadcaster and presents an animated TV Mondiali Qatar 2022 promo showing soccer as exaggerrated near-superheroes (with a taste of manga style) playing the game inside a nondescript stadium: An extended and fuller version of the above from RAI with showing off Qatar, using the colors of the national flag and sand for the nation and its landscape. Again, with no Italy in it again, RAI narrator focuses on soccer's and the World Cup's appeal, plays, and emotions. It'll be shown exclusively on RAI 1, RAI 2, RAI Sport, RAI Radio 1, RAI Play, RAI Radio 1 Sport, and RAI 4K. Had they qualified, there will be more focus on them: Brand new promo and very nice that hit hours ago from TyC Sports. It's at it again. This time showing where TyC Sports Argentina is on during World Cup time whenever Argentina's soccer team scores, it brings Argentinians together en masse as they gather to spontaneously celebrate and embrace when that does. In schools, at a fire station, at work, a drug store, at apartments, bars, barbershops, plazas, and even in the air. TyC Sports will be there:
  11. Some bad news for defending World Cup champions Les Bleues from France: Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante will both miss this upcoming World Cup edition due to injury. Pogba is still recovering from a left knee injury (torn miniscus) with Juventus in July, and Kante is sidelined with a hamstring injury for four months during play with Chelsea. But big blows, to be sure, but France is still talented and loaded. May not repeat though: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/12735193/paul-pogba-france-midfielder-will-miss-world-cup-after-injury-setback-with-juventus https://www.espn.com/soccer/chelsea-engchelsea/story/4774906/france-chelsea-star-ngolo-kante-to-miss-world-cup-out-for-four-months-with-hamstring-injury One thing I forgot to mention about the FIFA 23 World Cup update mode: it'll arrive on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, but, unfortunately, FIFA 23 Legacy Edition on Switch will not be getting the update. But FIFA Mobile will obtain it a day earlier on November 8. Switch owners will only have the standard edition. I mean, for a game that will be the final one under the FIFA banner, you would assume with both World Cups right around the corner, EA Sports FIFA production team would put out all the stops with everything but the kitchen sink to satisfy the fans' wishes like they experienced back in the early 2010s. But didn't. Maybe those will be updated later as DLC, but I severely doubt it: https://www.ign.com/articles/fifa-23-world-cupt-2022-mode-release-date-switch-version-left-out
  12. Moving away for now from the incoming TV promos and statements appealing for Qatari society to get progressively with the program, we just now got the first serious Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup video game info in what would serve as the last EA Sports FIFA edition in FIFA 23. Before the mutual parting of the ways between EA Sports and FIFA before the latter becomes EA FC next year as it hits November 9. Graphics and matchday experience are great and we'll get a strong idea of what the official Qatar 2022 FIFA television presentation will be like. Comes off...a bit disappointing to me. We, unfortunately, are not going to get the full World Cup qualification journeys in all confederations that we enjoyed back in the 2010 and 2014 editions and had the teams' qualifying kits and then the ones they changed to for the tournament itself. Only 15 nations that didn't qualify like Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Ukraine, and Romania are included with the main 32. Not the full 203-210 member nations excluding Russia. Plus, only TWO stadiums from the 2022 edition instead of the 8 featured in the actual game are used. Even the 2018 World Cup downloadable version had all 12 stadiums from across Russia. You would think by now DLC would cover loads more info than a hard copy ever would. Are FIFA and EA Sports serious? Doubt it. Quite underwhelming, if you ask me. Fearing the women's version would act more like this as far as the Australia-New Zealand qualification mode goes: no full 195-207 nation women's qualification mode there to look forward to there when that comes:
  13. No doubt about that. And there's more promos worldwide forthcoming, especially in Europe, we know. Canada Soccer follows the Socceroos' lead on human rights, workers' rights, and inclusivity in the Qatar 2022 World Cup leadup in only its second ever FIFA World Cup. Good for the Canadians too: https://www.tsn.ca/canada-soccer-addresses-issue-of-workers-rights-inclusivity-in-world-cup-host-qatar-1.1870068
  14. I third this and show my support to the Australians...We are aware that Denmark's and Norway's teams have made their Qatar human rights concerns known. But those aren't always specific issues like Australia's. However, we know unfortunately human rights like LGBTQI+ and migrant workers' won't liberally progress and change in Islamically conservative Qatar overnight; attitudes there must change too but take longer. The USA is back in the World Cup after shamefully 4 years away and FOX Sports is promoting this in a very big way! FOX goes star-studded with America's return to soccer's grandest jewel event with the unusual scheduling that will come along during the US Thanksgiving and Christmas season (for the first time) in November and December by pulling a lot of the stops signifying this. Jon Hamm as Santa Claus, who's so excitedly eager to happily to work and produce on soccer during Thanksgiving and Christmas in "making the holiday season the most wonderful time of the year". Ellie Kemper as Mrs. Claus. Both are from my St. Louis hometown. We see members of the USMNT like most prominently its talisman Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie (among with several other USMNT members) appear like passing the cranberries (?) with the USMNT enjoying a team holiday feast like they're passing the ball on the field, even the former getting his own inflatable Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon along Manhattan, carried by US Soccer-wearing fans and fronted Hamm's Santa that ends the promo. Promoting national soccer federation team crest ugly sweaters, the top soccer stars like Messi, Neymar, Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo, and Christmas-related paraphenellia involving them. Would've been nice to see members of the USWNT make their own cameos in this promo in support of their soccer guys, since their own WC tournament is going to be on FOX next year too down under. Starting November 20 in time for Turkey Day! "The biggest sporting event on the planet during the holidays" certainly, for now, makes mine "a lot better" as a hardcore sports fan! Fun promo! Mariah Carey makes a cameo poking fun at herself about her omnipresent Christmas presence with her song...and Shady??!!! Shady??!!! He makes a cameo too?! I hate his guts! He absolutely doesn't deserve one here! Yeah, he cracks a joke about Cristiano Ronaldo being "old" to be playing while watching him on TV in the kitchen as well as poking fun of himself. But couldn't FOX Sports find someone else more deserving? Speaking of having the 2022 FIFA World Cup played at an unusual time. That same time is held during the Australian summer for the first time this year, which this SBS Australia promo notes, by contrast the previous FOX Sports one. In reflecting the globalism celebration of "speaking football" and of SBS's longstanding multicultural mission that brings Australians from all walks of life together, we see fans proudly sporting their favorite national team jerseys along with many wearing the expected Australia gear watching in whatever platform and usually being outside cheering their teams on. While showing past World Cup moments of various goals, emotions, celebrations, plays, and stars/legends--including those from the Socceroos, back for its 5th consecutive World Cup, and their fans celebrating them. SBS will exclusively have all 64 games live on SBS and SBS 2 live and SBS On-Demand in HD (500 hours in total in multiple languages). 8 matches at 9pm AEST and 20 at 6pm to nearly 10 million Aussies! More sociable times for them, setting the scene for some of the biggest audiences for the network. Les Murray (RIP) gets a cameo calling from the Socceroos' World Cup match in 32 years versus Japan in Germany. Another one and easily my third faves here that I've seen so far comes from France's TF1. France's Les Bleues as we last left them, won it all in Moscow over Croatia. The promo recaptures and reminds us of the powerful mass national pride, passion, suspense, emotions, and celebrations as they succeed in their campaign with the nation donning the tricolors all those four years ago--like being soaked in Paris watching it on a hot Paris summer Sunday. Now France is back, still talented, and seeks to repeat in getting its "third star" in the Qatari desert in Doha. Can they do it? Very possible. TF1 will show 28 games, including all of Les Bleues' games, all the quarterfinals, the semifinals, and final. Big fan TF1's promos with the editing of the editing wipes: One World One Home. That's the campaign for the massively star-studded BeIN Sports 2022 World Cup broadcasting team--The BeIN Squad. Man, is it loaded! Fronted by Brazilian star Kaka, as he walks above and reveals the team from the JW Marriott Hotel roof in Doha and dribbling, we get the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Lothar Mattheus, Ruud Gullit, Emelie Sanderson, David Villa, Gabriel Batistuta, Marcel Desially, John Terry, Chippo, Al-Qatahni, Rafik Saifi, Alessandro Del Piero, Arsene Wegner, Phil Neville, and refs Dean and Ghandouri. Each has their likeness on Doha's ultramodern skyline Looks like its 36 in total with English and Arabic. Just a short 9-second TVR Info promo from Romania informing Romanians in small print that TVR will exclusively cover the 2022 FIFA World Cup later this year:
  15. OK, this does seem to continue on a recent theme that we're seeing with FIFA WWC TV intros in prominently involving kids in them like with how the Olympics usually uses kids in the Opening Ceremony. We've seen this starting with South Africa 2010's with the South African boy calling out Ke Nako ("It's Time") for the advent of the World Cup in the semi-animated intro, and later with Brazil with the animated soccer-loving boy in awe of the soccer spectacle that's the World Cup and how it brings the soccer-mad host nation Brazil together through soccer in the 2014 edition. We did not get that with Russia's four years later. More of a very well-made computer-animated intro with plenty of Russian references. Strange we haven't witness this with the WWC; there it's more about promoting women's soccer Kids serve a purpose here in both the World Cup and the Olympics: they bring and represent the awe, wonder, fun, inspiration, and joy sports bring when it first hits you in the host nation and you start participating and follow them with fervor with the hope of that same inspiration carries on to adulthood as future players and fans. It's interesting that this is the first co-ed kids appearance in a World Cup TV intro ever when repping a known conservative Islamic host nation and of the Middle East--Qatar's women's national soccer program just started over a decade ago and still has major ways to go just in Asia women's soccer as the entire nation undergoes rapid modernization. It'll take at least a generation to see any fruits out of that if they come from the ASPIRE Academy. With that out of the way, don't you think it's time to see some 2022 FIFA World Cup TV promos worldwide as we all get excited during the countdown to November? I certainly thought you would! Let's start with Germany, winners of four World Cups and four stars on its Nationalmannschaft jerseys, and a new broadcasting participant. Formally it would be the joint production of ZDF and Das Erste/ARD with sometimes RTL in recent World Cups. Now it's Deutsche Telekom and its Magenta TV joining ZDF and ARD. Magenta TV will show all 64 World Cup matches live including 16 exclusively broadcast by them and on UHD. Showing all those four moments Germany on the mountaintop with the trophy. If you know anything about Germany and soccer, one of the things soccer does there in broadcasting is deliver massive TV viewerships: 9 of the 20 most-watched television events in Germany were World Cup matches all involving Germany including the 2014 final versus Argentina in Rio De Janeiro topping at #1 for ARD at 34.56 million. Almost all of the rest except for one were Germany's Euro games (lone non-sports one was ZDF's The Black Forest Clinic "Die Schuldfrage" ("The question of guilt") episode dating all the way back from November 17, 1985). That infamous 2014 semifinal against Brazil is second on ZDF, BTW. I do see Michael Ballack being involved as an analyst and Wolff Fuss as play-by-play man. Will notify you on the complete Magenta TV team who will do this later on. Germany sure does look good coming into this competition and wanting to dispell all that huge disappointment in Russia four years earlier after basking in the glory: Another soccer-mad nation in Argentina that also holds a solid chance to win it. TyC Sports presents Argentina's team as they embark on another campaign to nab their third title with Messi, who says this will be his last World Cup rodeo with hopes of equalizing Maradona's status, Angel Di Maria, Julian Alvarez, head coach Lionel Scaloni, Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez, and Franco Armani. Soundtracked by the song "Palpitar", which suggests here that Argentina's national team and the nation shares the same heartbeat. Also appears Schneider Beer will sponsor TyC Sports' World Cup coverage as the official AFA Seleccion beer sponsor: Colombia may have missed out on another World Cup with the Cafeteros. But we know many Colombians will undoubtably be watching this edition of the World Cup. RCN is one of those Colombian TV broadcasters along with usual Olympic Games broadcasting partner Caracol Television. And fans will root and celebrate for whatever of the 32 participating nations either by themselves, at work, as a family, or in a group setting. Dancing and playing with soccer balls. My money is many there will root for the fellow Latin American ones. This is the full 1-minute version for RCN's La Ola: After watching this, this promo quickly became one of my 2022 World Cup faves. ASTRO exclusively holds the rights to all 64 World Cup matches on 4KHDR full coverage and anywhere on ASTRO GO in Malaysia. I really like the way how this upcoming World Cup competition is presented as a quest in an exotic land as a folklore story to tell from a dad to his kids. When you see the soccer stars in the desert looking at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Doha ahead of them with Cristiano Ronaldo in particular looking sweaty and the desert dust right behind them, it's a good metaphor of how treacherous, tiresome, and grueling this "quest" is and with an old-looking classic explorers' map of Qatar. But the intriguing desert soccer battle quest is just only beginning as the story gets interesting...
  16. The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Intercontinental Playoff Draw GROUP A (Hamilton, New Zealand) February 18 Thailand vs. Cameroon February 22 Portugal vs. Cameroon/Thailand winner GROUP B (Auckland, New Zealand) February 18 Senegal vs. Haiti February 22 Chile vs. Senegal/Haiti winner GROUP C February 19 Taiwan/Chinese Taipei vs. Paraguay (Hamilton) Panama vs. Papua New Guinea (Auckland) February 23 (Hamilton) Chinese Taipei/Paraguay winner vs. Panama/Papua New Guinea winner Doesn't shock me at all that both Portugal and Chile got the higher seeds and byes into their respective group finals partially out of their FIFA Rankings and are the strongest teams in it with their recent tournament experiences. Do certainly think both will advance into the proper tournament. But my early prediction of Thailand carrying on their third consecutive WWC participation streak will come to end because they're in the same group with Portugal. The Thailand-Cameroon and Senegal-Haiti games can go either way, but ultimately the byed teams will qualify there. Now with the draw made. my predictions are... GROUP A: Thailand beats Cameroon/Portugal defeats Thailand GROUP B: Senegal beats Haiti/Chile defeats Senegal GROUP C: Paraguay beats Taiwan/Chinese Taipei Panama beats Papua New Guinea Panama beats Paraguay Portugal, Chile, and Panama all will continue playing next summer down under
  17. Another Carl Lewis TV commercial for you to see. He's pitching Rexona body spray in a commercial that was shown outside of North America back in 1996, when he completed his Olympic record gold medal haul in Atlanta. Rexona is known as Degree here in the USA and Canada, and body sprays were popular there then well before those two nations got them (Rexona as brand does exist in Mexico). Judging by the narrator's accent at the end, this was likely shown on British TV: A bit funny. Orange Lionesses (OranjeLeeuwinnen) stars Vivienne Miedema and Merel Van Dongen are under the direction of a Dutch girl named Julie who is filming a commercial for their KNVB Orange Lionnesses Youth Summer Camp that took place for much of this July at the KNVB Campus in Zeist. Just prior to their EURO WOMEN 2022 campaign. To help make it appealing for the target audience, Viv and Merel talk all the fun stuff that will go on there for kids as well as the soccer training and skills they're there for--and training with the OranjeLeeuwinnen. Not to mention Julie trying to improve Viv's and Merel's acting skills multiple times:
  18. Denmark-Finland-Norway-Sweden reveal their joint bid plans with aims to smash ticket sales records. Each of those Nordic nations' capital cities plan to host games in the 2027 FIFA WWC with Stockholm's 50,000-seat Friends Arena serving as the Final venue. Also accompanying Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Oslo will be additional host cities Odense in Denmark, Sweden's Gothenburg, Norway's Trondheim and Tampere in Finland. Tele2 Arena, also in Stockholm, must convert to natural grass as a UEFA stipulation should the Nordic bid successfully wins. The DBU, Denmark's national soccer federation, plans to have Copenhagen host the opening game while the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) stated it will host one group at Ullevaal Stadion and Lerkendal Stadion, in addition to a quarter-final at the former venue in Oslo: https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/63227639 https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2022/10/12/nordic-nations-target-record-womens-euro-2025/
  19. Morocco (already mentioned here but worth repeating, first Arab nation to qualify), Ireland, Zambia, and The Philippines are all making their FIFA Women's World Cup debuts next year. We could see at least one more once the dust settles in New Zealand in February. My bet is on Portugal for what I just mentioned on my last post. Denmark comes back after 16 years away. Colombia, Switzerland, and Costa Rica all return after missing the previous Women's World Cup in France in 2019 thanks in no small part to an expanded 32-team field. Some additional thoughts: So we only have two teams from the British Isles again with England already leading the charge. I hoped we will see the Scottish women back again at this to build upon their disappointing collapse to Argentina in France that cost them a shot into the Round of 16. We could've had three last night with England already qualified had either Scotland/Ireland and Wales both done so. Ireland did, of course. But this was at Scotland's heartbreaking expense, typical of Scottish national sports teams it seems. Wales could've defeated Switzerland in Zurich, but Nati perhaps has better talent and WWC qualifying experience coming out of Switzerland as faves than Wales, who were hoping to duplicate what the men just accomplished several months ago. Game was tied with Wales striking first with Rhiannon Roberts' goal and Wales certainly has some talent. Most notably in Jess Fishlock, certainly a world class talent and well-experienced. You immediately start to wonder at her 35 years now, and having never tasted any major international tournaments and no Team GB representations during the Olympics, she's in serious danger of being one of the greatest women's soccer players never having tasted a WWC, a EURO Women, or an Olympics and whether she'll ever have further chances at those. It would be a shame; she does seem to be transitioning into coaching as a player-coach in the NWSL for example If you want to see the dejected Icelandic reaction to not being able to qualify for even the WWC intercontinental playoffs in New Zealand. Read these links below from Iceland's national public broadcaster RUV that covered the qualification game. Starting with RUV's Twitter links. We could have another potential debutant in Iceland, who certainly deserved to go down under too and was just at EURO 2022 Women in England. Portugal was just too good at home. Iceland was down a player right as it was about to substitute. Head coach Borsteinn Halldorsson (sp?) says "it had an effect in being one less". The Icelandic women were playing well and had the game tied until Áslaugu Mundu Gunnlaugsdóttir's red card at the 52nd minute, resulting in Carole Costa's successful penalty shot and eventually taking a lot of energy out of them. Then, all broke loose with Diana Silva, Tatiana Pinto, and Francisca Nazereth each scored three unanswered goals. But not before Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir equalized for Iceland at 1-1 four minutes later until the extra time collapse: https://www.ruv.is/frett/2022/10/11/tap-i-portugal-og-island-fer-ekki-a-hm Glodis, who scored Iceland's only goal in the game, talks about how "sorry" she is after the disappointing result that sees them failing to qualify. "This is incredibly painful. The dream is gone," she adds including there will many players on the team who will never see another opportunity to reach the World Cup and "it hurts" being denied that joy and experience. It will be a team to watch after this WWC cycles concludes in see who will come in and replace the older players and whether they can be competitive straight away in the face of bigger, more experienced, and tougher European nations: https://www.ruv.is/frett/2022/10/11/glodis-thetta-er-otrulega-sart-draumurinn-er-farinn Iceland's national team captain Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir is dispirited after the match, calling the elimination "the biggest disappointment in her career". She felt her team did had the energy to keep up following the red card and maybe pull a victory "with fresh legs and creating" had they also scored again but was things were "too difficult to fall behind in extra time": https://www.ruv.is/frett/2022/10/11/sara-bjork-mestu-vonbrigdin-a-ferlinum
  20. Back here after a while. Got busy at work. No surprise at all that EURO 2022 Women's champs England, Germany, Norway (The Grasshoppers), 2018 EURO Women champs and 2019 FIFA WWC runnerup The Netherlands, and Italy's Azzurra all qualified to Australia and New Zealand as they're the perennial powerhouses in European international women's soccer on the September 3-6 international soccer window. England's Lionesses' good times just keep rolling as they're certainly expected to advance here. Just yesterday, Switzerland's Nati and Ireland both qualified as UEFA best playoffs winners after defeating Wales (2-1) and Scotland (1-0), respectively. Ireland heads into this for the first time while Switzerland returns after a 4-year absence stemming from losing in a home and home UEFA playoff with the Dutch in 2018. Both got those two direct European spots. With Portugal heading into the FIFA WWC Intercontinental playoffs in Auckland and Hamilton New Zealand as the sole European rep in beating Iceland 4-1 at home as the third best UEFA playoff team, taking advantage of the meaningful inertia and building from getting into England this summer thanks to UEFA kicking out actual EURO 2022 Women playoff winner Russia for invading Ukraine. So all that completely rounds out yesterday not just the European qualification field and the 2023 FIFA WWC direct continental/regional qualification field but also completes the 8-team NZ-based 2023 FIFA WWC Intercontinental playoff field: Portugal (Europe/UEFA) Senegal (Africa/CAF) Chile (South America/CONMEBOL) Thailand (Asia/AFC) Panama (North America/CONCACAF) Paraguay (South America/CONMEBOL) Haiti (North America/CONCACAF) Taiwan/Chinese Taipei (Asia/AFC) Cameroon (Africa/CAF) Papua New Guinea (Oceania/OFC) Out of the 8 teams playing in February, three teams will head directly in as they possess varied degrees in team quality, experience, talent, and pedigree. My very early predictions on who will be the 3 national teams entering to stay there down in Australia and New Zealand because of the draw yet TBA: Portugal, Chile, and Thailand. Portugal because of being from Europe and the tough competition they come from (and will likely acquire the top seed because of that). Chile and Thailand because of their recent WWC experience with Chile's Las Rojas also having the Tokyo 2020 Olympics experience too and some world class talent like goalie Kristina Endler from PSG. Senegal and Panama could both capably shock and upset things from Africa and North America. Cameroon could qualify too with its FIFA WWC 2019 experience in France. But do the Cameroonian Indomitable Lionesses have the overall team depth and talent? Now it's unfortunate time to infamously list those nations who were capable of qualifying but sadly fell short and would've like to have done so while ruing this...and may not want to watch it for that would be too painful. Some would have world class players who would not be admired at the Women's World Cup--and that's a great pity not to see them there. Some teams didn't even participate to play due to COVID striking them. Called the Wish You Were Here While Russia sports some nice talent (like Nadya Bykova, Nadezha Smirnova, Nelli Kirovkova, Alsu Abdullina, Tatiana Scherbak, Marina Federova, Lina Yakupova, and Margarita Chernomyrdina), it's not included here because of the invasion of Ukraine--and all their qualification games involving the Football Union of Russia were swiftly annulled. Just a shame the players are paying the price over something they didn't personally start or create. Don't know how many of them on the roster actually and honestly support the invasion; my guess is many privately don't based on younger Russians, especially in the bigger Russian cities, don't like Putin or support "the special military operation". Wish You Were Here Belgium Scotland Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Venezuela Wales Iceland Austria Tunisia Finland Poland Zimbabwe Jordan Northern Ireland Ukraine Czech Republic Serbia Greece Slovenia Turkey Croatia Bosnia-Herzegovina North Korea Ecuador Equatorial Guinea Hungary Romania Botswana Ivory Coast Mali Fiji Togo Burkina Faso Gabon Indonesia Algeria Hong Kong Ghana Uzbekistan Iraq Singapore Uruguay Albania India Solomon Islands Cook Islands Tonga New Caledonia American Samoa Dominican Republic Myanmar Puerto Rico St. Kitts-Nevis Guyana El Salvador
  21. Our newest installment of the gradually growing CTV Barcelona 1992 coverage collection. CTV invites Canadians to "win with the world" (its main slogan back then 30 years ago) in this promo announcing its (almost entirely live) coverage as the narrator speaks of what admirable athletic qualities Olympic athletes positively offer to the world in competition that brings "world spirit". In this "World Spirit" CTV Barcelona '92 promo, we see Seoul 1988 footage of Portuguese women's marathoner Rosa Mota, Romanian gymnast Daniela Silivas, Soviet rhythmic gymnast Marina Lobach, American heptathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Soviet gymnast Elena Shevchenko--all female Seoul 1988 gold medalists shown here--in keeping with the pro-internationalist theme. No male Olympians or even Canadians granted profiles, interestingly: CTV wraps ups its Barcelona 1992 coverage with its final 7-hour Olympic segment prior to the Closing Ceremony on August 9 that went from 10am-4pm Canada/USA/Mexico CT with a Canadian focus on that day with high hopes of seeing Toronto's national boxing champion Mark Leduc strike gold to carry the golden streak set by Lennox Lewis in Seoul four years ago but would eventually get silver in light welterweight against Hector Vinette, marathon runner Peter Maher (who would eventually not finish his race), and individual show jumping equestrians Jay Hayes with Zucarlos and Jennifer Foster with Zeus (neither would end up advance close to the medal stage, thus complete Canada shutting out altogether of any Barcelona 1992 equestrian medals). Co-hosted in Barcelona at CTV's IBC Olympic studios by Dan Matheson and Rob Faulds, who replaced this segment for Tracy Wilson as she prepared to later cover the Closing Ceremony with CTV National News anchor legend Lloyd Robertson. All to Chris De Burgh's Shine On beginning with the Leduc slo-mo boxing montage: Rod Black, apparently the man in Canadian sports TV broadcasting during the 1990s, acted as the CTV Barcelona 1992 primetime anchor studio host. Matheson hosted apparently the CTV Olympic Daytime segments like here usually with Wilson. Jiggs MacDonald performed the Barcelona Olympic basketball play-by-play, which included the Dream Team matches (and, had they qualified out of Portland, Canada's games surely too--actually supposed to join Yugoslavia to expand the 1992 basketball field to 14 teams if the latter was allowed to play in team sports). Ron Reusch called Olympic baseball games, its Olympic debut as an official sport, in his third Olympics overall at that point for CTV. Faulds did some events, I think. There were others that I mentioned earlier (with others and additional info added subsequently) and will bring back as a reminder.
  22. On October 7, Netflix premieres The Redeem Team documentary on the Team USA Beijing 2008 Olympic star-studded men's basketball team's untold story in their successful campaign to reclaim Olympic gold for the first time in the NBA Olympic players era after its embarrassing and shocking Athens 2004 display. They were a team with "everything to lose and everything to prove" under the guidance of the highly respected Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski as this 98-minute documentary shows. Matter of fact, a few of the players here like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Carlos Boozer were previously involved in that Athens disgrace, so there was a personal stake in this. Plans to show plenty of Kobe Bryant behind the scenes footage, often with LeBron James and Spain's Pau Gasol, a teammate of Kobe's in the NBA at the time, as he was focal point of the team--and an icon to Chinese basketball fans. A lot is made, especially online like on YouTube, on who's the better Team USA Olympic men's basketball team--the 1992 Dream Team or the 2008 Redeem Team. Different eras in terms of where and when the NBA players were into FIBA international basketball and with the players' caliber and talent. Documentary is from the filmmakers behind the highly acclaimed Emmy-winning The Last Dance Michael Jordan-centric multipart docu-series, also a Netflix production (presented outside the USA), and co-produced by Dwayne Wade and LeBron James. This is the first time Netflix and the IOC has ever engaged together in an Olympic documentary. Hopefully this will not serve as the only time the two collaborate as The Redeem Team streams as Netflix Original programming. ICYMI, the following is Netflix's press release announcing it: https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/news/netflix-basketball-documentary-the-redeem-team-is-coming-to-netflix-in-october-2022/ Since we're talking about USA Olympic men's basketball and The Last Dance, I did finally caught a glimpse of the The Last Dance recently. Part one doesn't touch much on Michael Jordan's exploits on the 1984 US Olympic men's basketball team in Los Angeles. That should have a documentary on its own merits as the last great USA men's basketball team in the amateur era as 1984 itself was a gamechanger for basketball and other sports, as noted in the book Glory Days dealt with for example. Los Angeles 1984 comes in roughly for 2 minutes. The Dream Team 8 years later gets of course longer time with around 9 minutes on episode 5 (including Isiah Thomas' controversial omission from it and MJ's unwillingness to be with him from a team harmony standpoint and dislike for Zeke, not to mention Toni Kukoc's unwitting involvement with the Bulls' Dream Team contingent). Focus is of course on his iconic 6x championship-winning Chicago Bulls stint from 1984-1998 and the roller coaster and ultra-competitive with sometimes ruthless ride during that.
  23. What are the odds of two Birminghams, each in different places, manage to host two different multisport events during the same summer in the same year?
  24. Really, FUR Russia? IIHF to Russia and Belarus: Hell no, you two are not coming back next year to resume competing in international ice hockey this upcoming season! Should you stop the war soon, you will be reintegrated to where you were prior to the invasion without any need for promotion back up to the top level: https://www.iihf.com/en/news/39491/championship_updates
  25. Children's fascination and enjoyment with playing games are as old as humanity itself. When you get right down to it, all of the Olympic sports, both summer and winter, are at the core really kids' games. They are "about fantasy, discovery, challenge, and magic moments", be it doing them solo or with another or multiple kids as friends like racing, tagging, jumping rope, leapfroging, or jumping into the water. McDonald's seemed to understand this back in 1984 in what would be, at the time, the most commercialized Olympic Games ever with McDonald's help fund and build the construction of the Olympic swimming pool at the USC campus. And 7-11's then-owners Southland do likewise with the Olympic velodrome. Back in 1984, McDonald's was investing in youth sports like with the still-ongoing and popular McDonald's All-American Basketball Games for high school-age boys and girls national basketball stars (went to one here in my hometown back in 1995), age-level youth swimming meets competitions, and USA National gymnastic programs like the McDonald's Cup. Saying it "makes better kids" through games, this 1984 commercial juxtaposes the link with innocent happenstance and organized childhood games in their neighborhoods with the kids' inner confidence voice and with the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics dream as it capitalized (pun intended) on the latter. Going back four years earlier crossing northward from the border. It was much too bad that Canadian 1980 Summer Olympians were not able to compete in Moscow and fufill their dreams in competing like their winter counterparts did earlier that year in Lake Placid because of the boycott Canada joined in sending a message to the Soviets. Nonetheless, giant Canadian drug store chain Shoppers Drug Mart was sponsoring the Canadian Olympic Committee (then the Canadian Olympic Association) and its teams like its aspiring young Canadian athletes at the time back in 1980 surely in a commercial that aired until the Canadian boycott really took impact since this depicts a Canadian runner running to victory, where it's clearly not a standard Olympic stadium or even a Canadian Olympic trial (you can see trees, a Canadian/American football goalpost, a few houses, trees and shrubbery in the background during the racing scene) after seeing her growing up and learning to run starting as an infant in cross fading scenes. "The best of success" was not going to be there for them in Moscow. Could see Canada having won perhaps 9 medals overall. Who knows? Looks amateurish with the production values now but that's the era back then reflected when it was filmed. COC logo hasn't really changed since: Before he won gold in Tokyo 2020 at the 1500m last year that built one of Norway's best Summer Olympic performances, Norwegian runner Jakob Ingebrigtsen had already landed a sponsorship with Coop Norge that has a rewards system, racing against his brother Filip in 2019 through the X-EXTRA supermarket using Coopay, "the fastest payment in the world", for bragging rights to see who's the fastest in checking out. My second Norwegian Olympic commercial entry in this thread. Don't know who's the guy making the comment on the Ingebrigtsen brothers wearing speedsuits in the supermarket and their sponsorship at the end. Likely a Norwegian comedian: Future Boomers "rose gold" medal winner in Tokyo 2020 and NBA champion Patty Mills, then with the very internationally-minded San Antonio Spurs, shilling for local Spurs' official sponsor Champion AC, a veteran-owned and operated air condition company, and its 3-point protection plan, a nod to his penchant for dropping 3s for the Spurs, on local TV down in South Texas, not just the San Antonio area. Should you listen closely, Mills is dropping Aussie references that Americans may know here: Coca-Cola South Africa presents since 2016 those "gold medal-winning feelings" and thoughts from Aussie hurdler Sally Pearson, South African swimmer Chad Le Clos, South Korean fencer Won Woo Young, Chinese weightlifter Lin Qingfeng, Croatian water polo player Petar Muslim, and Brazilian volleyball player Fabiana Claudino--all have to be Coca-Cola pitchpeople (with London 2012 footage)--interspersed with young multicultural South Africans everywhere enjoying and sharing Coke under Coca-Cola South Africa's #thatsgold Rio 2016 Summer Olympic campaign:
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