[SPORTS] The Week In Sports #22: USA’s redemption song.

The first round of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa is almost over. After this Friday, it’s time for the knockout round. There has been a ton of excitement, some close calls and some devastating disappointments.

There was three huge first round upsets: Switzerland over Spain, Serbia over Germany and Mexico over France. Spain rebounded with a win and will most likely make their way to the second round. That same can be said for Germany. Not so much for the French.

All was not well in France’s first World Cup since Zinedine Zidane’s infamous head butt.  The team didn’t want Raymond Domenech as their coach and it showed. They tied a good Uruguay team 0-0 to open the tournament. They never rallied behind their coach and came out flat in a very surprising 2-0 loss to Mexico. Be reminded that this is the 9th ranked team in the world. This is a team which won the 1998 tournament and lost in the final in ’06.

One of their top players, Nicolas Anelka, was then sent home after the Mexico match for criticizing Domenech. That led to the team refusing to practice and their eventual loss to South Africa 2-1 to end their disappointing tournament with only a lone goal and a shocked and embarrassed nation.

Teams that have already advanced:

Group A – Uruguay and Mexico

Group B – Argentina and South Korea

Group C- USA and England

Group D – Germany and Ghana

USA fans went from frustrated sadness to unbridled joy in a matter of moments.

All they needed to do to get to the second round was beat Algeria. If they win, they win group C (for the first time since 1930). If they lose, they are out of it altogether. The Yanks clearly outplayed Algeria and had the far superior squad, but just couldn’t put one away. There was another disallowed goal, a post shot and a number of wide open shots missed. The score was 0-0 and time was running out.

And then…..EUPHORIA.

Just when it looked like it would be another sad first round exit for the US, Landon Donavon scored in stoppage time to give the Yanks a 1-0 win and a ticket to battle Ghana in the second round.

For US fans, the Ghana/USA game will be on Saturday at 2:30 pm EST on ABC. If you don’t watch this game, you should be deported to Canada.

MLB: Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies is an evil wizard.  Well, probably not, but he’s been destroying the egos of batters all over Major League Baseball this season. He’s 13-1 with a 1.15 ERA through only 14 starts. He’ll take on the high powered Red Sox tonight. It will be the third time he’s faced a team in the AL and so far he’s handled being away from the NL (no hit league) quite well. He gave up three runs to Toronto and one against Minnesota. He’ll have to be even better to beat a Red sox team with the best record in the Majors since the beginning of May.

NBA: NBA free agency is just around the corner. How long with big names like LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade stay on the market and where will they end up? A minor league baseball team offered LeBron a spot on their team. The Lake Erie Crushers offered James a $1,600 contract to play for them on the evening of their “Keep LBJ in C-L-E night” on June 30th. They are going to wear Cavalier themed uniforms. Any fan named LeBron gets free tickets. I wonder how many people are named LeBron.

MLL: Defending Champion Toronto finally got a win. The Nationals 11-9 win over Long Island give them a 1-5 record and still very little chance of making the playoffs. The Boston Cannons, Chesapeake Bayhawks and Denver Outlaws are tied at the top of the league table at 4-2. Boston’s Matt Poskay is leading the way with 28 points in six games.

The ODD: Shortly after the Algerian team lost 1-0 to the US, Algerian player Rafik Saifi slapped a female reporter in the face. Apparently, Saifi was angered by an article the Algerian journalist wrote before the World Cup and decided that this was his best chance to slap her around. I was glad to hear that she slapped him back, but this is just another black eye for the World Cup. First there were the ridiculous safety concerns, then France refusing to shake hands after their loss to the host nation and now this. FIFA needs to crack down on some of this behavior.

As a US citizen, I’m very happy to see that in all of this craziness, the American team has shown nothing but grace and good sportsmanship even after having two clearly good goals disallowed. Although, it may have been different if the US didn’t win today….

Zane Lamprey: Our old friend Zane Lamprey posted some great news on his website the other day. The Travel Channel has officially purchased all 52 episodes of his show Three Sheets. They will begin airing on June 28th on Wednesday and Thursday nights. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the interview I did with him:

http://thefatherlife.com/mag/2010/04/28/osburn-on-tap-comedian-tv-host-world-traveler-zane-lamprey/

Earthquake: Apparently there was a 5.5 Earthquake in Ottawa that we felt here today at 1:40 pm. Facebook was blowing up with people claiming that their offices and houses were shaking. Well, I was at my house and I’m almost sad to say that I felt nothing. Did anyone else in the Vermont, New York, Michigan area feel anything?

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