Showing posts from July, 2014

The Flashback Fridays #1 For 7/25/14: Terror Squad - Lean Black (2004)

The Flashback Fridays return with the group hit from 10 summers ago. It's the "Fat Man's Dance" and served as the beat that really got Scott Storch that legit appeal before his inevitable cocaine fall off.

People can't rationally deny how quality Joe's skill is and how he did well to keep the Terror Squad movement afloat well after Pun's passing. And this was clearly the climax of their run.

Also, one of the few notable things about this video is the fact that a young Kevin Hart made his appearance at the 2:40 mark.

So without further ado, here's Terror Squad with "Lean Back,"in the return of The Flashback Fridays.

More to come at TWD today, stay tuned.

The FIFA World Cup Final's Halftime and Postgame Thread For 7/13/14: Super Mario Golden Gotze Gives Germany A 4th Title (Postgame Version)

FT (aet) Argentina 0-1 Germany (Gotze 113')

Photo from Getty Images
Though injuries and pressure, Germany have deservedly and rightly won a fourth world championship.

It is already a terrific great scene in Berlin, and Mario Gotze scored a world class winner to break the deadlock. It's fitting that Gotze scored, considering that he has been called the "German Messi" for several years now and featured a touch that the glorious Argentine just did not have today.

All match long, Martin Demichelis was outstanding with Ezequiel Garay. Demichelis, much maligned at Manchester City, had a tournament that showed why he was good enough to not only go to City but also be apart of Bayern Munich. But with fatigue setting in, the "bad Demichelis" reared its head at the worst time for the Albiceleste by not monitoring Gotze on that final ball.

Still for Argentina, Demichelis' moment of negligence on Gotze wasn't the moment that cost them. It was the messed chances,…

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Final's Thread #2 For 7/13/14: High on Low

Focus: Whether His Team Wins A 4th World Cup For Germany, Joachim Low Has Proven His Greatness
Photo from Getty Images
Two years ago, Joachim Low faced intense criticism for his German side falling to a less talented Italian side in the Euro 2012 semifinals. That skepticism on whether he was truly the man who could lead this latest golden generation of the German nation, the first as a unified collective, further popped up despite a near flawless World Cup qualifying campaign. Blowing a 4-0 lead at home against Sweden and the long drawn out feud he and Leverkusen forward Stefan Kiessling had added to the immense pressure on the 54-year-old manager.

Low could have easily folded the minute a number of his key talents started to be stricken with injuries. Ilkay Gundogan's long term back issues have ruled him out for a while. Marco Reus suffered a devastating blow knee injury right before the tournament. Mario Gomez couldn't get back to full fitness in time to make the journey. Bot…

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Final's Thread #1 For 7/13/14: A Legacy Already Fulfilled

Focus: How Lionel Messi Already Merits Being Right Next To Maradona And Pele, Even Without A World Cup Title 
Photo from Getty Images
He posted a final message on Facebook, enthralled by what is to come forth. He wasn’t born the last time his nation won a World Cup, barely born the last time they were in a World Cup final.

It’s another step taken on the legacy of a 27-year-old from the town of Rosario, a legacy that has featured a tournament where he has answered all of the questions from any of his rational critics looking for that one incompletion on a glorious resume.

Yes, even before the final that could give him the one trophy missing from his glorious cabinet, Lionel Messi has answered any of the final doubts about his claims to be the greatest footballer in history with his monthly display in the rival nation of Brazil.

“Tomorrow we will play the most important match of our lives with this t-shirt,” Messi wrote on his Facebook page. “My dreams and my dreams are being fulfill…

The 2014 World Cup Semifinal #2 Kickaround, Halftime and Runthrough For 7/9/14: Romero Celebrates Argentine Independence Day By Sending Them Into The Final

FT (aet): Argentina 0-0 Netherlands (Argentina win 4-2 on penalties) 
Photo from Getty Images
The reaction from the two sides towards Maxi Rodriguez's clinching penalty. 
It was that close of a match, that type of a tactical encounter that may not ever be in the highlight of reel like yesterday's semifinal, but was enthralling from a pure cagey perspective. 
Alejandro Sabella has just nicked Louis van Gaal in the "outfoxed department," as it came down to a simple overplay on penalties. 
Ron Vlaar, basting in the glow of a career afternoon, was wrongly chosen as the first penalty taker. It prove to be the first blink in a match where both sides were in an intense two hour starring contest. 
This is how a World Cup semifinal is suppose to look, not the debacle that was "The Beatdown in Belo." Chances are suppose to be few and far in between. Outstanding defending is suppose to be a constant, not an aberration. And managing the formation adjustments and the sub…

The FIFA World Cup Kickaround, Halftime, and Postgame Thread For 7/8/14: The Beatdown in Belo (Final Version)

Well, that question was firmly answered below. 
He didn't, and his teammate didn't. 
Pre-Match Thread 

For the last four years, David Luiz has been mostly an adventure at centerback whenever Thiago Silva was not with him.

Now without the services of his new club teammate at PSG and long time buddy, David Luiz's stability as a central defender will be defined today.

With Dante as his partner, he will need to showcase that he can truly be a force in front of Julio Cesar regardless of who is partnering with him. It said something immensely when Jose Mourinho had to concede that one of his bitter adversaries, Rafa Benitez, was right about the former Chelsea man being elite only as a holding midfielder. The fact that Luiz was played predominantly in front of Gary Cahill and John Terry for the second half of the season speaks to how Mourinho knew that Luiz wasn't stable at the back.

Luiz has been terrific thus far in this tournament, with key tackles and recoveries before hi…

The FIFA World Cup Kickaround, Halftime And Postgame #2 For 7/5/14: Krul Blow For Los Ticos As Backup Tim Sends Orange To Semis

FT (AET): Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica (Netherlands advance on penalties 4-3) 
Survival is the only thing that matters, as the Dutch did just that. Keylor Navas got all the (deserved) attention, but Tim Krul was the goalkeeper who got the final say. 
But despite the rough exit for Costa Rica, it was a valiant close to the greatest World Cup in their country's history. 
Navas and Giancarlo Gonzalez made themselves massive commodities in this tournament (and Navas arguably already made himself one with this season at Levante), while Michael UmaƱa did not at all resemble the player who just wasn't good in MLS. Johnny Acosta did a great job coming in for the suspended Oscar Duarte, and Cristian Gamboa could easily see himself be apart of three World Cups. 
It was terrific all around spirit from Los Ticos that was crafted by manager Jorge Luis Pinto. They went as far as it could go, but that time had to run out at some time. 
Van Gaal's pick of Krul made sense with how Cillessen …

The FIFA World Cup Kickaround, Halftime, and Postgame Thread #1 For 7/5/14: Gonzalo's Golzaooo Sends The Albiceleste Into The Semis

FT: Argentina 1-0 Belgium 
Photo from Getty Images
Four years ago, the Argentina defense was pure shambles at the back under Diego Maradona. But under Alejandro Sabella, their defensive shape has returned to their side and it was exhibited in full detail today. 
It has to be said that Belgian manager Marc Wilmots helped in that aspect, with poor tactics throughout today. Not one time did Jose Basanta get challenged 1-on-1 by Kevin Mirallas, Dries Mertens, Kevin De Bruyne, and whenever Eden Hazard thought about overlapping. Also, starting Divock Origi after Romelu Lukaku got on track against the US also proved to be the wrong move. 
It was a sign of a team who needed that bit more experience to make headway at a major tournament, but questions will be asked if Wilmots now is the man who can make those big choices in a tournament. Hazard should have came off for Mertens, but again it was either the Napoli man or Mirallas being subbed out first instead of the disappointing Chelsea man. 

The FIFA World Cup Kickaround, Halftime, and Postgame Thread For 7/4/14: Centerbacks Back Brazil's Place Into The Semis

FT: Brazil 2-1 Colombia 

It was a team performance led by the centerbacks on both ends of the field to see the host nation progress. 
David Luiz had his strongest game for his nation, while Thiago Silva displayed why he is the best in the world at his position. Silva unfortunately got the stupidest yellow card of the tournament, as he will not be out of the semifinal against Germany. 
But Silva (and Neymar's possible absences) will be analyzed for days to come. Right now, Luis Scolari's team containing James Rodriguez for most of the evening was very good for the evening. Juan Cuadrado couldn't get things going on, and Teo Gutierrez showed once more how big the gap is when he has to replace Radamel Falcao. 
The front four (along with Victor Ibrabo) for Colombia failed to do enough as they struggled throughout to get clear chances on a Brazilian defense that had its best performance this tournament. Helping in that was the great play from Fernandinho, and even an unselfish …

The FIFA World Cup Kickaround Thread For 7/4/14: A Mondragon's Tale

Photo from Getty Images and
Faryd Mondragon has the unique distinction of being the only player in the entire 2014 World Cup who was a squad member in the 1994 installment in the United States.

At the time, Mondragon was a soon to be 23-year-old keeper who saw first hand how his Colombian nation came into the tournament as destined for greatness, picked by some to even be world champions. Of course, it turned out to be the opposite of that, as a 3-1 loss to Romania, followed by the more infamous 2-1 defeat at the hands of the host Yanks proved to be the start of a long painful demise on the global stage for Los Cafeteros.

The shock exit out of World Cup ’94. The tragic death of Andres Escobar. The quick departure out of the group stage of the following World Cup in France. The three consecutive cycles of failing to qualify for the 2002, 2006, and 2010 World Cup.

Mondragon has seen his country endure its pinnacle and a pitfall, its apex and its vortex, its crowing and its col…

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Halftime and Postgame Thread #1 For 7/4/14: Hummels Humbles France (Postgame Wrap)

FT: France 0-1 Germany 
Photo from Getty Images
One experience class centerback over an talented but young one made the difference in Germany advancing to a record 4th semifinal. Whether their trip in the last four this time will come back with a title is another story. 
Nevertheless, despite France controlling most of the second half, it was still the brilliance of both Mats Hummels and Manuel Neuer who preserved the lead for another big win for their nation. 
There will still be concerns in attack for Low. Miro Klose's movement did not cause the French any trouble, while the still lethargic Mesut Ozil was poor. Thomas Muller couldn't get himself into real dangerous spots because of Klose, but still is a constant threat instead of Ozil. 
Didier Deschamps honestly did the best he could on the day, as he had to allow Benzema to have Grizemann and Valbuena on with him for as long as possible. Giroud just could not join him earlier in that half. 
Another survival for Deutschland, …

The 2014 World Cup Halftime and Postgame Thread #2 For 7/1/14: Belgium-USA (Halftime Version)

Halftime: Belgium 0, USA 0 

Simply put, Bedoya and Zusi have to improve. Zusi has struggled mightily with his touches that has either gave away possession or not produce a firm shot at Courtois. Bedoya just hasn't gotten into the game and provided a firm option for Bradley to pass to.

With Johnson for Yeldin taking him down to one sub, Klinsmann may have to ponder what his final sub will be after Beckerman. Does he bring on Davis in a game like this, or tries to implement either Johannsson or even Altidore and allow Dempsey to play behind one of them?

For Belgium, a frustrating first half where the chances were there but also featured a lot of wasted balls from their wide men. Another lethargic first half for Eden Hazard, and he is lucky he has clout since Mertens looks always the first off for Mirallas instead of him. They will also need a bit more from Axel Witsel as well.

Origi will need to comeback here a bit more and produce better decisions in the final ball.

The FIFA World Cup Kickaround, Halftime, and Postgame Thread For 7/1/14: Argentina-Switzerland (Halftime Version)

Halftime: Switzerland 0, Argentina 0

It was a good tactical first half from Hitzfeld, who got the two best moments in the first half. Romero denying Xhaka after Shaqiri's great play, while Drmic (created by fine counter play from Schar and Shaqiri) tamely finished a great chance that went right into Romero's hands. 
Honestly, I can't see neither side making changes as they are playing the formations and players they need thus far. However, for Argentina, they will need Zabaleta to step up his offensive quality, as well as for Higuain to drop in between Behrami/Inler and Schar/Djourou to hold up the ball and allow Messi, Lavezzi, and even Di Maria to crash in. They also will need a bit more from Gago in the final third to be that deep lying playmaker to Messi/Di Maria's directness. 
A captivating second half is in store. 
Pre-Game Thread
Photos from Getty Images and
Fascinating match ups in this one, as Argentina maybe are relieved that they don’t have to go up ag…