The Spectacle Blog

Re: Thoughts on the World Cup

By on 6.15.06 | 5:11PM

Paul: Just saw your insult to the World Cup. No wonder American popularity in the world is plummeting. I've first got hooked on WC soccer in 1974, when Poland eliminated England at Wembley Stadium in famous tie game to qualify for that year's tournament, in which it finished third, barely losing to Brazil in the semifinals. The only thing Poland enjoyed more during the Communist darkness was having one of its own elected Pope.

Re: U.S. Open Begins

By on 6.15.06 | 4:08PM

Five holes on, my man David Howell is one over. And, as always, the first day exposes something that the prognosticators forgot: The grass. Winged Foot has poa annua greens. Poa is a wild, bumpy grass, which used to be common. It gets bumpier later in the day as it buds, although it can be very fast. Old-time golfers saw a lot of it. Modern, younger golfers seldom play on it. Tiger is having a heck of a time with it, bogeying four out of the first five holes.

Bet The Media Will Ignore This

By on 6.15.06 | 3:39PM

From columnist Tom Harris in the Canada Free Press:

"Scientists have an independent obligation to respect and present the truth as they see it," Al Gore sensibly asserts in his film "An Inconvenient Truth", showing at Cumberland 4 Cinemas in Toronto since Jun 2. With that outlook in mind, what do world climate experts actually think about the science of his movie?

Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising assessment: "Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip: Robert Bidinotto.

Vote on New Mass Today

By on 6.15.06 | 1:50PM

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops votes on the new English Mass today. Hopefully it passes. The current translation is very clumsy and untrue to the original Latin. For example, how does, "And with thy spirit," become, "And also with you."

Some bishops think like Fr. Thomas Reese, the former editor of America, who whines that the changes will cause chaos. It is remarkable, though typical, that liberals are really the most conservative group around. Once they secure they change they like, they're absolutely unwilling to imagine an improvement. Reese and those who oppose changes value continuity over truth.

Fortunately, Cardinal Arinze has already informed the bishops that this faulty reasoning is insufficient justification for rejecting the new translation.

Re: US Open Begins

By on 6.15.06 | 6:54AM

Quin, I've got my eye on England's David Howell, who is about the hottest golfer in the world right now -- he has won twice in the last month, if I'm not mistaken. He is currently ranked #10 in the world.

Some thoughts: Tiger may play a lot less after the death of his father. Maybe not as little as Hogan after the car accident, but no more than, say, 15 times a year, PGA minimum requirements be damned.

Mickelson displayed an awesome amount of confidence last week at Westchester, obviously playing for the practice, as though he were somewhere else, experimenting, not really caring what he scored.

A nightmare TV Sunday: Retief Goosen and Jeff Maggert, the world's two dullest golfers, in the final group.

Mickelson remarked in an interview that the course was set up to play in hot, calm weather, but that, if the wind blew, "This place is going to get unplayable."

If Tiger really wants the title, and I've got to believe he wants it as much or more as he's ever wanted any title, and he has all his powers together, nobody's going to touch him.

Trust Your Leader, The Saucer Will Arrive Soon!

By on 6.14.06 | 5:14PM

Tying in with my column today, another Daily Kos diarist laments being forced to disagree with Maureen Dowd, who was apparently unable to trust the Kossacks more than her own eyes:

Let me just say that I am a big fan of Maureen Dowd, maybe even a groupie. And I was more than a little chuffed to see her sitting at the table next to me when I attended the 'pundit training' workshop she also mentioned in her article. But as I read Dowd's description of YearlyKos, I wondered how two people could be sitting just a few feet away from each other and, yet, be so far apart.

Maureen Dowd's description of 'the mood' being 'like a masquerade' is not mean-spirited or hurtful or in anyway worthy of condemnation. It is just not an accurate description of the 'mood' in the room. The attendees at YearlyKos were not just happy to put names with faces, but were deeply moved to be for the first time standing in a new community built entirely on trust.

U.S. Open Starts

By on 6.14.06 | 5:02PM

I know this will interest at least Lawrence Henry, and I hope others: The U.S. Open in golf starts tomorrow, and promises to be a humdinger. Phil goes for his third major in a row, Tiger returns for the first time since his father's death, Vijay finally has his game back (he won this past week), Davis Love III tries to win a second major at the same place (Winged Foot) where he won his only other major (the PGA in 1997, under the blessing of a rainbow), and young guns like Adam Scott and Trevor Immelman try to finally get on the majors map. One dark horse to watch: Jeff Maggert, the journeyman with a habit of barely qualifying for Ryder Cup teams and then playing well, who has seriously contended in several US Opens and two Masters. He won just the third tourney of his career just a few weeks back (he's been one of those guys who always finishes second), in convincing fashion, and in the aforementioned 1997 PGA at Winged Foot he finished third behind Love and Justin Leonard. He likes the Open, he likes the course, and he's playing well. The TV networks might hate it if he ruins their Tiger vs. Phil storyline, and he probably won't do so.