Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Abby Wambach Retires

Abby Wambach has ended her stellar career, playing in her final match for the United States Women's National Soccer Team in a 1-0 loss to China. She finishes with 184 International goals, a record for both women and men. The match was also significant as it was the US Women's first loss on home soil since 2004. It's almost fitting though, as the team gets set for yet another big change. Shannon Boxx, Lauren Holiday and Lori Chalupny also retired. That previous home loss in 2004 was during the 2004 Olympic Gold Medal victory tour, at the end of which saw fellow US Soccer legends Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain & Joy Fawcett retire.

Speaking of Hamm, Foudy and Chastain, they were in attendance. And yes, they will be tearing up Bourbon Street with Wambach & Co:

Even though there were some questions as to whether Wambach would retire or not during the summer, you kind of felt it coming after the team won the Women's World Cup. At the start of this victory tour, it just felt like she was content and ready to move onto something else. Fittingly, Homare Sawa of Japan retired on the same day, sending off two of the best female players together.

Abby's legacy will not just be about all the goals she scored or the gold medals won. Her leadership and ability to rally her team (see: 2011 Women's World Cup match against Brazil) will be up there as well. She's also known for her being as awesome as can be when interacting with fans.

While giving an interview to FOX Sports after the match, "Beautiful Day" by U2 was playing over the stadium loudspeaker, which is a perfect way to describe Wambach's final match and career.

Abby Wambach looks on the Superdome Crowd

Monday, October 19, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens New Trailer

The new trailer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered during the Giants/Eagles Monday Night Football game on ESPN. Of course, its already online and you can watch it as many times as you please. Call Guinness because the world record for nerdgasms will be broken tonight.

There is more dialogue than the previous trailer, our first look at Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and more Han Solo (Harrison Ford)! There is also a version of Leia & Han's theme from the original trilogy. Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) get the most screen time, fitting into the scenery just fine. No Jar Jar Binks type mistakes there.

Still no sign of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), though it might be smart to hold off and keep his story secret. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) seems influenced by Darth Vader, speaking to the burnt mask in once scene, but we'll find out for sure once the movie hits. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is in theaters December 18, 2015. It will probably make a gazillion dollars.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

U2 Rock The Garden With a Cameo From Jimmy Fallon

Time goes by so fast. I remember waiting agonizingly on Ticketmaster for an hour and a half getting my tickets for U2's Innocence and Experience Tour at Madison Square Garden back in December, and was lucky enough to get some pretty great seats. And now the show happened. It was all worth it, with U2 doing what they do best...knocking you off your feet in an arena.

The set list was largely a hits set of some of their biggest singles. I'm a big fan of deep cuts and rare songs being performed, but being in there and taking it all in, I didn't care what songs they played. It all worked so well - the moments of just the band on the main stage playing some of their loud rockers, and then them moments where they used the latest technology like the giant 3-Dimensional screen that the band walked inside of to put on an orgasm for the eyes. The new songs from their latest album Songs of Innocence packed a punch, especially "Iris", written by Bono for his mom who died when he was 14.

Jimmy Fallon was pulled out of the crowd, and he joined the band in a performance of "Desire". He famously dressed as Bono on the Tonight Show and performed it with The Roots, and then before the start of the tour U2 & Fallon dressed up as street performers to perform in the Subway. The Roots were then brought out to lend a hand on "Angel of Harlem". It's not often U2 have a special guest on stage at a concert, as they don't need it. However, it worked in this setting.

The show ended with a sing-along version of "One" that concluded with Bono singing a bit of The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" since Paul McCartney was in the crowd to perfectly cap off yet another strong concert from U2.

Friday, July 17, 2015

2015 Women's World Cup Review

Its been over a week now since the end of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and we've seen the 3-Time Champion USA get a ticker tape parade in New York City down the "Canyon of Heroes" and an ESPY Award for Best Team. The parade was a fun celebration that I was glad to have attended, and a moment I won't forget. I'm also now 3-0 in World Cup predictions, picking Japan over USA in the 2011 Women's World Cup, Germany in the 2014 Men's World Cup (wrongly over Belgium though) and USA over Japan in the 2015 Women's World Cup.

Turf controversy aside, the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada will be regarded as another turning point in the development of Women's Soccer/Football. The expansion to 24 teams came at the perfect time. I'd even argue you could have 32 teams if done correctly - I could name some who can easily compete. Europe has a bunch that would be worthy such as Italy, Iceland, Denmark, Scotland, Belgium, & Finland. The UEFA Euro is being expanded which should help further. Asia has North Korea back from a ban, and Vietnam could possibly grow with competition. Ghana, South Africa & Equatorial Guinea have talent in Africa. Trinidad & Tobago had a solid qualifying for CONCACAF, barely missing out and showing vast improvement. Jamaica have been working hard as well. CONMEBOL/South America is the Confederation that needs the most improvement, though Chile & Argentina could use a boost of appearing in a World Cup.

Cameroon and Colombia surprised by appearing in the knockout stage for the first time and showing they belong. China made it back to the Quarterfinals with a stingy defense, and will look to improve in their attack ahead of 2019. Australia and England both proved they were ready to take the leap and be considered as contenders. Especially England, who finished 3rd as the highest ranking European team, beat Germany for the first time, and captured the hearts of fans both in England and around the world with their determination and fight.

One thing we always remember are some of the outstanding goals of the tournament, such as James Rodriguez' wonder strike for Colombia at the 2014 World Cup. These were my five favorite of the 2015 Women's World Cup:

1. Carli Lloyd, USA vs. Japan. Well, she scored a hat trick. The best though was of course her blast from almost midfield. She juked her opponent, saw the goalie was up off her line, and blasted the sky high shot. Goalie Kaihori just could not get back in time, trying to track the ball and then getting it with the tip of her fingers, but it was too late.

2. Mizuho Sakaguchi, Japan vs. Netherlands. This goal was just a thing of beauty, showcasing why Japan is one of the most technical teams in the world, with multiple players getting involved before Sakaguchi buried it. The dummy by Iwabuchi fooled plenty. It was without a doubt the most creative goal.

3. Lucy Bronze, England vs. Norway. After tying the game, England kept pressing. They got the ball into the box drawing Norwegian defenders, but instead passed back out to a charging Bronze who blasted it up into the corner of the net.

4. Daniela Montoya, Colombia vs. Mexico. Montoya was outside the box but she sensed an opening, even pointing to the spot in front of her. When her teammate passed back to her she geared up, and blasted a ball that just seemed to keep gaining steam as it went to the back of the net.

5. Lisa De Vanna, Australia vs. USA. The US defense was stout all tournament, but Australia were able to break through with a wonderful team goal. Passing through multiple defenders to Michelle Heyman, she then taps the ball to an open De Vanna who expertly nails it right into the corner with her left foot.

The 2019 Women's World Cup will be held in France and will surely continue to build on the success. You can currently follow the NWSL (National Women's Soccer League) for your fix until the Rio 2016 Olympics. Do yourself a favor and watch a Portland Thorns FC home game to see what an energized and raucous crowd looks like.
France 2019 Women's World Cup bid logo. Will not be the final design.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ariana Grande Hates America and Licks Donuts

Thanks to TMZ, terrible person Ariana Grande was caught on video with her boyfriend in a pastry shop saying, "What the fuck is that? I hate Americans. I hate America." So why do you live here? She was also caught licking donuts behind employees backs, and would send the employee back to get more, so she could spit on them with her boyfriend. She was also reportedly rude towards employees, which isn't the first time there have been reports of her being a total bitch to people.

In a PR spin she claimed she is passionate about fighting obesity hence her frustration with America. She also apologized. Sorry, her PR team released a forced apology. It's really a non-apology though, blaming obesity. It is so hilariously random. So I guess that's why she spread her germs all over donuts? She didn't explain licking/spitting on the donuts in her forced statement. I guess the way to combat poor health is by spitting onto random food... Nice to see Grande's "apology" is as tired, recycled and overproduced as her shitty music. If only she could apologize for that.

If she hates America she can easily move to North Korea or Iran.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Carli Lloyd Leads USA Past Japan for 2015 Women's World Cup

USA Are 1st To Win 3 Women's World Cups
The highly anticipated rematch which saw the United States take on Japan at the FIFA Women's World Cup ended differently than the last. While Japan won a nail biter in 2011, Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick in the first 16 minutes of this match - a record. The US had a whole set piece plan in place, with two low driven balls the cause of the first two goals. Japan finally settled down after a rare poor start, and they never gave up, but it wasn't enough. Japan fought back after the score was 4-0 to make it 4-2. They deserve a ton of credit for that, we've seen teams (ahem, Brazil men) just completely collapse after going down big. They composed themselves and made it close again, giving their fans a little hope they could mount what would've been a historic comeback.

However it was not to be, as Tobin Heath quickly buried a 5th goal, showing their determination to not let this slip away. Japan fought back twice in 2011 and won, so the US were ready to respond. USA defeated Japan 5-2 to win their third Women's World Cup title, previously doing it in 1991 and 1999.

Carli Lloyd won the Golden Ball (basically, MVP) of the tournament. Carin Jennings was the last US player to do so, back in 1991. Japan did have a fantastic tournament. Its possible that being in the sunlight may have hurt them (I mean really Vancouver, who designed that?). Regardless, the US were not going to lose this game, and Lloyd would make sure of it. They had an outstanding game plan that shocked Japan. Japan defender Iwashimizu lost Lloyd twice, and was in tears after being subbed out early. She was normally a tough defender, but she was unfortunate to face a determined Lloyd in full Beast Mode. Homare Sawa came on in the 1st half and helped calm things, but it just wasn't enough. In hindsight, she probably should have started.

I don't think Japan will lose too much sleep though, they get to keep the 2011 World Cup Gold Medals, as well as those silvers from London 2012 and the 2015 World Cup.

Both Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone came into the game late to help seal the deal. Rampone was the last active player from the 1999 Women's World Cup championship team. Someone who didn't come onto the field? Sepp Blatter. He wasn't there to present the trophy and medals for fear of being arrested and sent to the US. The match was better off without him though.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final: USA vs Japan, Round Three

The Third Place match and Final Match of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup are set. However, I just have to touch upon England first after that match. The beautiful game turned devastating for them.

England, the Lionesses, had an ending that left most people gutted/devastated. A solid 1-1 match between England and Japan was headed to Extra Time. Then Japan sent the ball into the box and the reliable Laura Bassett went to clear it. Only the ball just hit the crossbar and went down into her own goal, giving Japan the 2-1 lead and win. It was a freak play and an extremely rare way to lose a game, so Bassett should not feel bad at all. However, England shouldn't feel bad. They've grown so much over the past few years, and can rightly be seen as a top contender now alongside Japan, USA, Germany, France, Sweden and Brazil. 

It would have been fun to see England back in a World Cup final for the first time since 1966, and the first time in the Women's World Cup. That country really has no luck in this sport. Don't worry though, the England Women won't need luck at the 2019 Women's World Cup, which will be held in France. They should be a contender to hoist the trophy. I'll be cheering for them to win the third place match against Germany. How about a Bronze Medal for Lucy Bronze and co? 

England frustrated Japan, who struggled when it came to finishing even as they dominated in the passing category which they always do. England were firing off some good shots, and Ayumi Kaihori made an excellent save to prevent a goal from Ellen White. Kaihori doesn't get enough praise from the media. 

So USA and Japan are set to meet again, for the third straight major final, on Sunday July 5th. Japan won the 2011 Women's World Cup final, while the US won the London 2012 Olympic final. This is the first ever rematch in the Women's World Cup. Japan will be looking to join the US & Germany as two-time winners. USA will try to become the first Women's team to win three World Cups, and their first since 1999. Something to watch will be to see how Japan uses Mana Iwabuchi. The super sub is incredibly fast and may have as much talent as Marta. Will she play longer, and can she get behind the outstanding US defense? USA is riding high on confidence right now, and the midfield and attack are starting to click. 

Japan should get a goal, but the US should be too determined in this one. Alex Morgan has just one goal, but that was to be expected as she returns from injury. She is creating space and chances, which can be just as beneficial. Both teams have a variety of players who can score, and both have a solid defense with the edge going to USA. This will also be the final World Cup game for Abby Wambach, as well as 1999 veteran Christie Rampone who probably won't play due to an injury. It will also be the last for Japan's Homare Sawa, in her record 6th World Cup. 

England will take on Germany for Third Place on Saturday. I'm picking them to win this game and go out on a high note. Maybe that's just me feeling bad for them due to losing on a freak own goal. I mean, its an angry Germany coming their way. They do have the ability though, which they showed against Norway and Japan, two previous Women's World Cup winners. I say England get an emotional win to go out on a high note. 

For the first time, Sepp Blatter will not appear at a final. Of course he won't. He's afraid he'll have a "Handshake for Peace" with an FBI Agent who will turn it into a Handcuff for Peace. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Semifinals

Down to the Final Four
The Semifinals are upon us at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. I got three of my four predictions correct (USA, Japan, England) from before the start of the tournament. However, I had France beating Germany. And they certainly should have beaten Germany in that game, but failed to put the ball into the back of the net despite dominating the pace of the game and getting behind the German defense. Now, a look at the two semifinals.

USA vs Germany - June 30, 2015 in Montreal. Germany are ranked #1 in the FIFA rankings, with USA at #2. They haven't met at the World Cup since 2003 when Germany beat USA in the Semifinals. USA defeated Germany in the 1999 Quarterfinals and 1991 Semifinals. The crowd could reach 50,000 in Montreal's Olympic Stadium, with many expected to be US supporters who just have to travel over the border. However, Germany just dealt with a loud French-Canadian Montreal crowd supporting France. 

France were able to get in behind the German defense in the Quarterfinal, and controlled the pace of the game. Germany were struggling to score until getting a Penalty Kick late in the game. Meanwhile, France had a bunch of of great looks at goal they couldn't capitalize on. The US should use their fastest players to get in behind Germany's defense much like France. And bury those chances they'll get because of it. Alex Morgan should get her chances in this game, while Megan Rapinoe should be rested after missing the match against China with a yellow. Its a 50/50 toss up, but I'm sticking with the USWNT getting it done. 

Japan vs. England - July 1, 2015 in Edmonton. Defending champs Japan got a scare from Australia, but prevailed in the end with a late goal. They are completing 83% of their passes, the best in the competition. England defeated the hosts, capitalizing on mistakes by Canada and holding onto their win with a grit and toughness we haven't seen from any England team in a while. Its the first time England have been in a World Cup semifinal since the men in 1990, and the first time the women have made it this far. It's good to see the Lionesses have such a solid run to captivate the attention of those home in England. 

England should put up a fight, but they can't rely on mistakes to score here. Japan are so technical and pass the ball better than anyone, rarely giving the ball away in a bad position. However, England are the last team to beat Japan at the Women's World Cup which they did in the group stage in 2011. Still, I think Japan will be too experienced and too technical for England to win. England will have to try and make the most of any set pieces they get.

And yes, many have noticed how there's a whole WWII Allies vs Axis theme with USA & England taking on Germany & Japan. Its nice that we can peacefully joke about it now with them all being allies. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 Women's World Cup Quarterfinals

We're into the Final 8 teams at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup after an enjoyable Round of 16. There are some interesting storylines to look forward to as well, such as the United States taking on China in the World Cup for the first time since the famous final in 1999.

First, a ranking of the Final 8.

1. Japan. They aren't blowing teams out on the scoreboard, but that is not the kind of team they are. They completely own the field and control the pace of the game by being the best technical team in the world, which can frustrate and wear others down. They also play with a looseness, handling the pressure well. They also have fun personalities. An example: putting a teddy bear on the bench to represent Kozue Ando, who broke her ankle in the first game. One curious thing is they used a different goalkeeper in each group game. Could that hurt the flow in a close game? Just one example of their technical prowess, Sakaguchi's goal against the Netherlands:

2. Germany. The Germans are as good as always, though they also haven't been truly tested until they face France. Their biggest test was against Norway in the group stage, which ended in a draw. However, they are the #1 ranked team in the world for a reason. So many players can get a goal at any given moment, and they won't allow teams to take a big lead.

3. France. Les Blues suffered their shock defeat to Colombia, as well as some frustrations in the match with Louisa Necib throwing a ball at her teammates legs. Aside from that match though, they've been on top of their game. They have a strong technical ability to rival Japan and may be peaking at the right time.

4. USA. It hasn't been pretty, and there are questions about the formation and where players are being placed. After beating Australia they tied Sweden and followed that up with a 1-0 win over Nigeria. However, Nigeria got a red card yet the US couldn't get another goal. Then against Colombia, they couldn't break them down until Colombia got a red card early in the 2nd half. After a missed penalty kick, the US finally scored and then notched a 2nd with another penalty kick. They still have time to find their mojo though. And the defense has been lights out. Hopefully they move to a 4-3-3 formation.

5. England. They're a tough team to pinpoint, as sometimes they look off and sometimes they look in complete control. Their win over Norway showed that, with a mediocre first half. Then they went down and turned it on after, scoring two goals and dominating the rest of the game. They certainly have skill and some composure, now can they play a full game to the best of their ability?

6. Canada. The host nation haven't been scoring many goals, but they have been pretty stout on defense, not giving up many goals either. Still, they'll need to find their scoring boots if they hope to make it all the way to the final. Having the home fans can only take you so far. They have Christine Sinclair, who is perfectly capable of scoring multiple goals in a game which means Canada are never out of a game.

7. Australia. It's tough to put them at 7, as they've been playing lights out since their loss to the US. They shocked Brazil, sending them home before the Quarterfinals for the first time since 1995. If they can break down Japan, they may become the favorite to topple Canada or England to make the final.

8. China. They had some luck on their side, but they have a defense that doesn't allow much to get past it. Their main issue is scoring multiple goals. Having a great defense is fine, but at some point they'll have to score more than one goal to continue their run. It doesn't seem likely it'll come considering they'd have to upset the USA and if they did, Germany or France.

Germany vs. France. #1 takes on #3 in what should be a highly entertaining match with everything on the line. I picked France to beat them before the tournament, and i'll stick with that. This is really a 50-50 toss up though. France will have confidence, as they defeated Germany in their last meeting. The Germans should be in top form though. It will be interesting to just watch this unfold.

USA vs. China. A rematch of the 1999 Women's World Cup final. This won't be played in the Rose Bowl or with Mia Hamm and Sun Wen. The US have struggled to score since the first game, and it might not get any easier when they face a tough Chinese defense, call it the Great Wall. One bonus is they have faced China a bunch of times and should have a good read on them. The US defense has also been great, while China haven't scored many goals recently either. I imagine the US finds their scoring ability and breaks down China in the 2nd half for a win. First, watch that outstanding moment in 1999 when Brandi Chastain buried her penalty kick to give the US their 2nd Women's World Cup.
Japan vs. Australia. These two teams are familiar with each other from playing in the same confederation and offer different styles of play. Australia are tough and physical, while Japan are highly technical. The Matildas are on a hot streak, but Japan have been going about their business like they always do. I think they'll just have that extra bit of firepower to take down the Aussies and control the flow.

England vs. Canada. Another 50-50 toss up here. Both of these teams can be inconsistent at times, so it will be interesting to see if either can take control of momentum and keep it. England really have nothing to lose, with most of the pressure on Canada. I had them meeting in my predictions, and I chose England. Canada did beat them before the tournament, but it was close and i'll stick with England here. They seemed to have found a high level of confidence that could take them to the Semifinals for the first time.

Monday, June 15, 2015

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup: Final Group Stage Matches

The final round of Group Stage matches for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup are here, and plenty of teams still have a chance after some surprising results.

Group B kicks things off today, and this one should be simple. Germany should beat Thailand, Norway should beat Ivory Coast. Based on Goal Differential we'll likely see Germany on top with Norway in second. Thailand is still alive for a 3rd place spot in the knockout round, but their goal differential will likely be too far back.

Group A is the tight, interesting one. Canada plays the Netherlands. Netherlands will want a draw at least to get to 4 points, and Canada will want to head into the knockout round with a win. New Zealand need a win, but have struggled to score and they face the tough "Great Wall of Defense" that is China. We'll likely see Canada top the group and China finish second. Netherlands should get 3rd place, and might have enough goal differential to make it to the knockout round.

Tuesday we'll see Group C. defending champs Japan pretty much have locked up the top seed, as they face the weakest team in the tournament, Ecuador. Switzerland should grab 2nd when they face Cameroon, all they need is a draw. Cameroon have been an exciting team and have a great chance to qualify as a top third place team. A draw would guarantee it, which would be nice for these fan favorites.

Group D is still fairly open. USA sits on top with four points, and face a fading Nigeria team. USA still have plenty to prove, and hopefully we'll see a start from Tobin Heath in the midfield. Australia sits in 2nd with 3 points, while Sweden sits in 3rd with 2 points. If Sweden lose, they're finished. I can see them winning this, but Australia are a tough team and a draw is possible. Either way, both teams should make it through, unless Sweden lose of course. Whoever finishes 2nd in group D is guaranteed to face Brazil. Alex Morgan has been playing sporadically, so if USA can get a comfortable lead here it could allow her some extra rest heading into the knockout round.

Wednesday we have Group E. Costa Rica are the talk of the tournament after pulling draws from both Spain & South Korea. They take on Brazil who locked up 1st place, so they could possibly rest starters like Marta, giving Costa Rica a shot at a draw, or maybe even win. South Korea take on Spain, and both need to win. A draw might eliminate both, unless Costa Rica loses, which helps Spain. South Korea lack Goal Differential and definitely need a win.

Group F had the shocker of the tournament, with Colombia beating Spain 2-0 in one of the biggest upsets in Women's World Cup history. That means France is sitting in 3rd and face Mexico, which won't be an easy one, though they should get a result and advance. England take on Colombia for first place. Either way, both of those teams should advance. The 3rd place team here is likely to face the winner of Group D, which seems like it will be the US.

Aside from Ecuador & Ivory Coast, every team has been competitive so far. with most of them still alive for the knockout round. Only Japan & Brazil had qualified entering into this final round of Group matches.

Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Predictions

World Cup fever has taken over again as the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada begins on June 6th...which means time for predictions! I correctly predicted Japan to win the 2011 Women's World Cup over USA in the final, and for Germany to win in 2014 (though craptastically wrong on the rest of the final four). The pressure is on now. The move up from 16 teams to 24 teams means the return of the top four 3rd place finishers moving onto the Round of 16, which was last seen at the 1994 Men's World Cup. It creates some more excitement surrounding those final group games, as more teams will have something to play for besides spoiler. This will also be the first big sports tournament to cross five different timezones, stretching all across Canada.

Previous hosts/winners:
China 1991: USA. Sweden 1995: Norway. USA 1999: USA.
USA 2003: Germany. China 2007: Germany. Germany 2011: Japan.

Group A: 1. Canada, 2. Netherlands, 3. New Zealand, 4. China. This is probably the toughest group to predict, as depending how things go that any team could finish in any spot. Canada obviously has the home field advantage and are in good form lately, though that also creates added pressure. However, Canada has the most experience and should come out on top. 2nd place is a toss up, but the Netherlands have been climbing for a while and should be an exciting team to watch. China was one of the dominant powers of the 1990s and early 2000s before hitting bottom and failing to qualify in 2011. They've worked their way back up to respectability, but might struggle to score goals against a tough group. New Zealand should have more skill, but China faces stiffer competition in qualifying and should be more battle tested. The match between those two will be one to watch.

Group B: 1. Germany, 2. Norway, 3. Thailand, 4. Ivory Coast. The only question in this group will be who takes 3rd. Germany is the clear favorite to come out on top, and is one of the favorites to win the Cup. Norway have seen better days, but they are clearly better than Thailand and Ivory Coast. This is the first time Thailand has appeared at a Men's or Women's World Cup. The battle for 3rd will take place on June 11th, and I'm leaning towards Thailand for their experience playing top teams like Japan & Australia in qualifying. I don't think either Thailand or Ivory Coast will grab a 3rd place spot in the Round of 16 though.

Group C: 1. Japan, 2. Switzerland, 3. Cameroon, 4. Ecuador. Defending champs Japan are in a group with three newcomers and are favorites. However, Switzerland should be able to hang with them and are clearly the second best team in the group. Ecuador has come a long way and won a road playoff match against Trinidad to get to the World Cup, but Cameroon has the experience of playing in the 2012 Olympics which might give them an edge for 3rd place. Japanese star Homare Sawa will appear in her record 6th World Cup, the first person to do it.

Group D: 1. USA, 2. Sweden, 3. Australia, 4. Nigeria. The Group of Death, featuring three teams in the Top 10 of the FIFA Rankings (USA, Sweden, Australia) and the Champions of Africa (Nigeria). Sweden beat the US in the group stage in 2011, but this time I think the flip will happen with USA topping the group. USA also have a bit of a home field advantage with so many Americans traveling up to Canada. Sweden, a World Cup final contender, should take 2nd place. Australia and Nigeria are both good enough to make it to the knockout round, but only one will get that chance barring an upset over USA or Sweden. I want to pick Nigeria, but Australia has a more well rounded team. Young Nigeria should be a team to watch for 2019.

Group E: 1. Brazil, 2. Spain, 3. South Korea, 4. Costa Rica. Group E is one of the more interesting groups. Brazil will be the favorite, though Spain and South Korea are capable of giving them an upset. Still, Brazil should take first. Spain and South Korea are evenly matched, and both should qualify for the knockout round. That game should be a nail biter, South Korea may be more technically gifted, but Spain should have more scoring chances. I'll take the debuting Spain to finish 2nd. Ji So-yun of South Korea was recently named best player of the year in the English Women's League and will be a player to watch, as will Spain's Vero Boquete. Costa Rica did well in qualifying, but were outmatched by the US in the final, and might have some similar issues with this group. They are a team on the rise though.

Group F: 1. France, 2. England, 3. Colombia, 4. Mexico. France eliminated England on Penalty Kicks in the 2011 Quarterfinals. Now they'll open up their 2015 campaign against each other in one of the games to watch. France, who will host in 2019, are a pick for many to win it all. England have been working hard and could do some damage in the knockout round. Mexico are tough to put a finger on. They did well in the 2011 World Cup, were bad in the 2014 Gold Cup, barely qualifying. Then they had a solid performance in the 2015 Cyprus Cup. Mexico are also searching for their first win at a Women's World Cup. Colombia have gained some experience since 2011, so the fight for 3rd will be interesting.

Third Place Rankings: 1. Australia, 2. South Korea, 3. New Zealand, 4. Colombia, 5. Cameroon, 6. Thailand.

Round of 16: Netherlands over Switzerland. USA over South Korea. Germany over New Zealand. France over Spain. Sweden over Brazil. Japan over Colombia. England over Norway. Canada over Australia. Brazil taking on Sweden is the most enticing matchup I have. Sweden have such a well rounded team that it might be hard for Brazil to get through. Nobody is sure yet if they have the team to support Marta, however they have been finally getting more support from their federation ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Quarterfinals: USA over Netherlands. France over Germany. Japan over Sweden. England over Canada. I was going to pick Canada all the way to the Semifinals, but I'm not yet convinced they can do that if a team shuts down star Christine Sinclair. Do they have someone else to step up in a tough knockout round match? They did beat England in a friendly, but just ask Japan about getting beat before a World Cup (they lost some in 2011 before going on to win the whole thing). France finally beat a top team in a big tournament here in a monster matchup with Germany.

Semifinals: USA over France. Japan over England. While France are on the rise, I think their real chance to win the World Cup will be when they host in 2019. England finally make a semifinal, but their luck should run out against Japan. The turf may also help Japan consider their technical game of many short passes.

3rd Place: France over England. FINAL: USA over Japan. I didn't want to pick a rematch of the 2011 final and 2012 Olympic final. But maybe third time is the charm? Japan won't sneak up on anyone, but they should have an easier road this time around if they win the group. The US have had some struggles, but with a healthy mix of veterans and youngsters, plus being so close to home, it could be a golden opportunity to win their first World Cup since Brandi Chastain buried that penalty kick against China in the Rose Bowl in 1999.

I have to say though, while I was pretty confident in picking Japan in 2011 and very confident picking Germany last year, I'm a little less so this time around. Its a wide open final to me. Any of these teams can win: USA, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, Sweden, Canada, and maybe England or Australia if they're at the top of their game.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sepp Blatter Resigns From FIFA

Sepp Blatter has resigned from FIFA in a surprising move today, a week after winning re-election. Rumors have it that the FBI has mounting evidence on his involvement in the FIFA corruption scandal. It is doubtful he will show up to the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, as Canada would extradite him in a heartbeat. Loretta Lynch has officially defeated Blatter in a Penalty Shootout.

A new election will happen in December, and Luis Figo along with Prince Ali could be favorites to replace him.

The best tweet in response to this came from Megan Rapinoe:
Now we can hopefully have some positive change in FIFA. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is in question and could be taken away. There are already over 1000 migrant workers who have died constructing stadiums for the tiny nation. The 2018 World Cup in Russia might also be in jeopardy.

This comes on the same day as Abby Wambach's birthday. I know she is one happy birthday woman!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

FIFA Officials Being Arrested on Corruption

Currently in Zurich, Switzerland, a number of FIFA officials are being arrested and extradited to the US on corruption charges. Sadly though, Sepp Blatter is not one of those. My only question is what took so long? The arrests happened as FIFA officials were attending a meeting at headquarters. Swiss law enforcement, not in uniform, went to hotel rooms to arrest each of them. It goes to show just how corrupt FIFA is that the neutral Swiss are going out of their way to arrest them and send them to the US.

The charges are money laundering, racketeering, and wire fraud. As everyone know, a bribery scandal recently rocked FIFA, with Qatar paying millions of dollars and giving gifts for votes. Its also likely Russia did the same for the 2018 World Cup. One law enforcement official said, "We’re struck by just how long this went on for and how it touched nearly every part of what FIFA did." This article in the New York Times has loads of details.

It's still highly doubtful that the 2022 World Cup will be moved from Qatar, despite the hundreds of deaths of migrant workers. Recently, workers from Nepal were not allowed to go back to check on family or attend funerals, despite the thousands who tragically died in the Nepal Earthquake. Stay classy, Qatar. The 2022 Cup was also moved to November/December because of the extreme heat during the Summer, even though it will interfere with the club soccer calendar.

It is also highly doubtful that Sepp Blatter won't win re-election as head of FIFA. The election is Friday May 30th. Though one can only hope after this investigation that Blatter will have his day in court.

I would personally love to see the Men in Blazers run FIFA, right from their closet in the crap part of SoHo.

Friday, May 8, 2015

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup: Group Games To Watch

The Simpsons Have Women's World Cup Fever
The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup from Canada is fast approaching with a June 6th start. The Simpsons have caught Women's World Cup fever, and you should too by now! They've upped the number of teams from 16 to 24, which makes for even more soccer/football for us to enjoy. Here are some games that you should be most excited about.

USA vs. Sweden - Clash of the Titans in Group D. The United States and Sweden have both been powers in the Women's game since the 1980s.  Sweden defeated the US in the 2011 Women's World Cup group stage and finished on top, but the US made it to the final. Pia Sundhage, who coached the USWNT from 2007-2012, is now coach of Sweden. She knows the strengths & weaknesses of various players on the US team. This is also a game that should decide who tops the group, though Nigeria & Australia are capable of upsets.

England vs. France - Rivals no matter what, these countries always produce a fun game whether its men or women. In 2011, France defeated England on Penalty Kicks in the Quarterfinals, which is the most English way to lose a big game. These are the top two teams in Group F, and both teams will want to make a statement. England want to be taken seriously, and France want to show they can make it to a final after years of knocking on the door.

Brazil vs. Spain - A team known for being carried by the phenomenal Marta, Brazil seems to come together for the big tournaments. Spain are making their Women's World Cup debut, and might be the most powerful of the debuting teams. Vero Boquete is one to watch in this tournament, with fancy footwork that will wow anyone and rival that of Marta.

Canada vs. China - China aren't what they were in the 1990's and early 2000's, and both the Netherlands and New Zealand might pose a bigger threat in Group A. However, this is the opening match which will feature plenty of rabid Canadian fans, so it'll be interesting to see how Canada handles the pressure on the biggest stage at home. China are young and don't have much experience outside of one remaining veteran from 1999 (Captain Pu Wei) when they lost to the USA in the final.

Japan vs Switzerland - Defending champs Japan were drawn into possibly the easiest group in the World Cup. Switzerland make their debut, but could give Japan a bit of a scare in the opening match. Homare Sawa made the roster for Japan, appearing in her 6th World Cup and passing the likes of Kristine Lilly (5), which is a record for any man or woman. She'll be the only remaining player who appeared in the 1995 Women's World Cup. Lara Dickenmann of Switzerland is one of the best in the world and should give some fits to Japan.

USA vs Australia - This is the opening match for the United States and should set the tone of their play. They'll want a strong showing right out of the gate, but Australia are completely capable of hanging with them. However, Australia will need to be on top of their game to have a chance to pull off the upset. We'll see what formation the US uses, and how they use veteran Abby Wambach. The rotation of Morgan, Press, Leroux, Rodriguez and Wambach in the attack could keep them fresh.

Germany vs. Norway - Germany are ranked #1 in the world right now, and Norway will want to show that they can return to being one of the top teams as they once were. It'll be interesting to see how they handle a powerhouse like Germany. After being knocked out by Japan in the Quarterfinals at home in 2011, Germany will most likely be firing on all cylinders in the Group Stage.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Olsen Twins Open To 'Fuller House'

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen didn't find out about the Netflix Full House reboot, Fuller House, until everyone else did. They've since been asked about the show, and are open to reprising their role of Michelle Tanner, but aren't certain. Mary Kate said they'll talk to the creators, and Ashley said she's going to call Bob Saget and get his perspective.

If they decide not to join the series, the creators could always explain their absence in multiple ways. The best would be to say that Michelle slipped into a coma following repercussions from her head injury when she fell off the horse in the series finale and had memory loss.

So far returning to the series will be Candace Cameron Bure (DJ Tanner), Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler), Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie Tanner) & the ageless John Stamos (Uncle Jesse). The others are all still possible for a return. The premise of the show will revolve around DJ being a recent widow with three boys, calling upon Kimmy and Stephanie to help out. Basically a flip of the original. Hopefully it will be just as gloriously cheesy!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer 2

Nerds and nerd lovers unite! The second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has hit the web and you can watch it below. Being a teaser it still doesn't show much, but does feature some familiar famous breathing and a look at two of the returning characters from the original trilogy. Expectations are already high, and will just keep growing with more reveals like this one.

Han Solo & Chewbacca! Darth Vader's charred mask! You can bet with the next trailer we'll see Luke & Leia, and maybe a first glimpse at some of the new characters we haven't seen yet (like Lupita Nyong'o).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out on December 18, 2015. It stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Lupita Nyong'o, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Contenders

The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup comes at us from Canada in June, and qualified teams have begun preparing for the big tournament through the Algarve Cup and friendlies. It'll be the first World Cup broadcast by FOX in the US, who will be devoting more time on the main broadcast channel than any World Cup (Men's or Women's) previously has. Besides the 16 matches on FOX, every match will also be on FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports 2. Time to break down the Twenty Four teams that will be featured at the Cup.


Japan - The defending World Cup champs are just as technically sound as they were when they won in 2011. The main difference this time is nobody will be caught off guard by them. Everyone knows its hard to repeat a championship, but Japan have the team to pull it off. There is a question if Homare Sawa (Japan's version of Mia Hamm in popularity) will be in Canada. She famously scored the tying goal against the United States in the 2011 Final before winning FIFA World Player of the Year in 2011. The 36-year-old was not taken to the Algarve Cup. A veteran presence could be a boost coming off the bench, which is something they'll have to decide.

United States - USA are looking to capture their first World Cup since the famous 1999 Title won on Brandi Chastain's penalty kick against China in the Rose Bowl. They also won in 1991. Its been an up-and-down year for the squad with losses to Brazil, France, Denmark, & Sweden as well as ties with China, Canada, Brazil & Iceland. However, they finished the Algarve Cup strong by beating France. They were drawn into the Group of Death with Sweden, Australia and Nigeria. Winning the group would be ideal, as the 2nd place team would likely face Brazil in the Round of 16. As long as Alex Morgan stays healthy, this team should be just fine. This will most likely be the final World Cup for Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, and Christie Rampone (the only remaining player from 1999).

Germany - The 2003 & 2007 champs were probably the #1 favorite a few weeks ago, but they just lost their best player and 2014 Player of the Year, Nadine Keßler, to a knee injury that required surgery. As one of the best teams in the world they have the depth to get through injuries, but you never want to lose a star player. They were also beaten by Sweden & France recently, showing they are mortal.

Sweden - They are the best and most consistent country to never win the World Cup, losing the final in 2003 to Germany and finishing 3rd in 2011. They're coached by Pia Sundhage, who coached the US to Olympic Gold Medals in 2008 & 2012, as well as 2nd place at the 2011 Cup.

Brazil - Marta and Co have become more of a team as of late, which could be scary for the rest of the field. However, they still lack the all around aspect that they always have due to not playing together as often as the other top squads. The Brazilian federation have given them much more support in the lead up to this World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympics though, so they could easily mesh well enough to win one of the two tournaments. The lost the 2007 final to Germany and will be looking to get back.

France - France has taken the world by storm as of late with some big wins against top teams, finally beating Germany in October after years of losses. They've risen to an all-time high of 3rd in the FIFA Women's Rankings. They can do everything well on the field. However, they have yet to win a major tournament, though this could be their year.

Dark Horses:

Norway - The 1995 Women's World Cup champs have fallen behind the pack since being eliminated in the Group Stage in 2011. However, they are still a force, and gave the US some tough competition at the Algarve Cup by playing well defensively and countering. They do lack the fitness of the top teams which could hurt them in the knockout round later in games.

England - While its unlikely they can do enough to win it all, they have a good squad that could make a deep run to the Semifinals and possible upset there. They lost in the Quarterfinals in 2011 by typical English fashion - a Penalty Shootout, which they were leading before some botched shots did them in. In friendlies against Germany they went on the attack too much, and against the US they played too much defense, so they'll need a better balance in Canada.

Canada - Their outstanding & controversial Olympic semifinal game against the USA lifted hopes for Canadian soccer glory after they nearly made it to the Olympic Final, losing in the final seconds of overtime. If Christine Sinclair is in top form they will be a tough team to beat on home soil.

Australia - They've reached the Quarterfinals of the past two tournaments, and have the talent to possibly make it one step further. They do have the challenge of being in a group with the US and Sweden. The top four 3rd place teams move onto the Round of 16 though, so that gives them a shot. The bad thing is that also means they'd have to face a group winner right away in the knockout stage.

China - One of the women's soccer powers of the 1990s (along with USA & Norway), they've struggled more in recent years. However they seem to be working their way back. They recently tied Brazil, USA & Japan. They play good defense, but scoring it an issue when they face top opponents due to a young and inexperienced team, which has made wins tough to come by. They can make it out of the group, but draws obviously won't be enough in the knockout round. I'll still keep them here, they may have a small chance to figure it all out enough to pull an upset, though it's unlikely they can make it too far in the knockout round.

New Zealand - They can hang with top teams, but like some others just lack the experience to be able to string together enough wins against them to make it to the final. But they have talent, and if everything fell into place they could cause an upset in the knockout round even if they don't make the final.

Spain - They upset England at the 2013 EURO's and qualified for their first Women's World Cup by finishing ahead of Italy last year. Vero Boquete, who plays for Portland Thorns in the NWSL, will be one of the more exciting players to watch. One thing is for sure, they should have a better finish then the men did in the 2014 World Cup.

Netherlands - The Oranje will also be making their debut at the Women's World Cup as they continue their rise in the women's game. However, 2015 may be too soon for them to make it to the final four, especially in a pretty tough group with Canada, China and New Zealand. Every team in Group A is capable, without a weak link in the bunch.

Good, But Unlikely To Go Far: 

Switzerland, South Korea, Nigeria, Mexico, Colombia

Switzerland and South Korea have a good shot to make it to the knockout round due to their groups giving them an opening to pick up points. South Korea will be contending with Spain for a guaranteed 2nd place spot, but whoever finishes 3rd has a chance to pick up the needed points and goal differential. Nigeria is talented enough to go to the knockout round, but being in the Group of Death their only chance would be to beat Australia. Mexico should finish 3rd in their group behind France & England, but Colombia could pose a challenge. Mexico also struggled in Qualifying, finishing behind Costa Rica in their group and needing overtime to beat Trinidad & Tobago.

Happy To Be There:

Thailand, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Cameroon, Ivory Coast

All of these teams are making their debuts and will just be looking to improve their play by facing the world's best. Thailand is actually appearing in its first ever major FIFA tournament, men or women. They benefited from traditional power North Korea being banned for PED use in 2011. Ecuador defeated Trinidad & Tobago in a playoff that saw both teams fill big stadiums. Costa Rica may be the most talented of the bunch, but still have lots of work to do.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Best of SNL 40

Saturday Night Live celebrated 40 Years with a Sunday Night from New York, of course. Overall it was an enjoyable show, and quite amazing to the crew that pulled it all together in what was probably a pretty crazy week. The show was big on nostalgia with plenty of clips from 1975 to the present.

My one gripe is that there weren't quite enough sketches, yet there were three musical performances. And one of them was Kanye West and his Auto-Tune...yawn. So if you tuned in expecting to see 3 hours full of new versions of your favorite sketches from the 1970's to now, you were kind of out of luck. Here are the best moments:

1. Wayne's World. Possibly the most famous recurring sketch was thankfully brought back to life towards the end of the special to deliver one of their always fun Top 10 lists. The best was when they ran through the list of musical performers. Three of The Beatles, U2, Nirvana, Beyonce & Beck were some named. And of course, Garth mentioned how he thought Beck was a better performer than Beyonce. Cue Kanye West jokes, which he was in on, having "security" hold him down.

2. Weekend Update. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler & Jane Curtin came together for a funny and entertaining version of the SNL staple. It featured some tributes to classic SNL characters portrayed by former stars who have since passed away (such as Emma Stone playing Gilda Radner's "Roseanne Roseannadanna"). Stefon made an appearance, and he and Seth Meyers are parents now! But the highlight goes to Curtin: "I used to be the only pretty blonde reading fake news. Now there's a whole network devoted to that." Then the Fox News logo pops up.

3. Jim Carrey. This was technically before the show, but Carrey asked Matt Lauer & Savannah Guthrie if he could ask them something. His question: "Where are you hiding Brian Williams?" Lauer awkwardly responded, "Oh, look at the time." Carrey followed with, "In his defense, if the helicopter in front of me gets hit, I'm taking the story." Perfect!


4. Celebrity Jeopardy. Will Ferrell & Darrell Hammond did battle again as Alex Trebek & Sean Connery and it was just as good as it always was. Kate McKinnon also did her perfect Justin Bieber impression, and Norm Macdonald brought back Burt Reynolds.

5. Martin Short & Maya Rudolph (as Beyonce). They paid tribute to the musical sketches of SNL, with perfect use of a fan on Maya-Beyonce. It featured Will Ferrell & Ana Gasteyer as their desperately trying to be hip church singers, The Culps. Adam Sandler brought back Operaman and the Blues Brothers showed up.

6. Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon Opening. The dynamic duo did a musical rundown of the most memorable characters in SNL history. Molly Shannon showed up as Mary Katherine Gallagher and then Rachel Dratch appeared as Debbie Downer to bring down the mood just a little bit as only she can. Always remember - Feline Aids is the number one killer of domestic cats.

7. Ellen Cleghorne. Jerry Seinfeld did a segment which we see a lot of on SNL, taking questions from cast members & others sitting in the audience. He called Sarah Palin Tina which provided an amusing skit between the two. But, Larry David and former cast member Cleghorne were the best, with it going something like this:
Cleghorne - "Why aren't there more black women?"
Seinfeld - "On the show?"
Cleghorne - "No just in general. There should be black women popping out of drawers." Jerry agreed that there should be more, and then she asked where they were on his show Seinfeld. Burn!

8. Betty White & Bradley Cooper Kiss. The Californians went way too long, and there were so many other sketches they probably could have done instead. It did however feature a fun performance from original cast member, Laraine Newman. And it also had a long kiss between Betty White and Bradley Cooper, which wasn't just a peck on the lips. That's something you might never see again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kanye West: Douche

Kanye West was at it again at the Grammy Awards, a few years after interrupting his first victim (Taylor Swift). He ran on stage after Beck won for Best Album, only to run back down to his seat. It seemed like a joke at first, by poking fun at himself. Great. Then he goes on E! and starts ranting that it wasn't a joke, saying Beck should give his award to Beyonce and to "respect artistry". Beck responded by saying he thinks Kanye is great and talented. I don't really listen to Beck much, but its nice to see someone so humble & naturally talented win.

Even his wife Kim Kardashian was incredibly uncomfortable during the whole ordeal, forcing a smile. I mean, he made Kim Kardashian uncomfortable on camera. And she did a porn!

Personally, I think Kanye West should heed his own advice to respect artistry and creativity. Its 2015 and he is still overusing Auto-Tune (since he can't sing) 17 years after it was first used by Cher as a gimmick in 1998. Real artistic & original there, Kanye. And what is his obsession with Beyonce? I'm surprised more people don't find it odd, especially Jay Z and Beyonce.

I think Shirley Manson of the band Garbage said it best by writing to him, You are making yourself look like a complete twat. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Patriots Caught Cheating (Again)

As everyone has heard by now, the NFL is investigating the New England Patriots for deflating 11 footballs used by their offense before their AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. Nicknamed "Deflategate" and "Ballghazi" by some, its quite the distraction heading into Super Bowl XLIX, which also features the Seattle Seahawks.

Some have brought up that other teams may have done it before. They haven't been caught though so there is no proof of it, and I really doubt anyone has done it before an AFC or NFC Championship Game like the Patriots did. This also isn't the first time the Patriots have been caught cheating, and we all know Bill Belichick is no stranger to controversy. Should the Patriots really have broken the rules again after Spygate where they got caught illegally taping opponents?

People can bring up how the Patriots dominated the Colts, so it didn't matter. Its not about the result, we all expected them to win. Yet, they still broke the rules, and deflated the balls before the game. One also has to wonder just how many times they've done this before, and did they do it against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round, a game they only won by 4 points? There is almost no way this was the first time the Patriots have tried this.

Bill Belichick lacks the integrity to get any benefit of the doubt. As a coach who once cut a player (Tiquan Underwood) the night before a Super Bowl, this really couldn't have happened to a better candidate.

At the end of the day, it doesn't seem like such a huge deal overall, but then again, why would they deflate them if it didn't make a difference?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 Anniversaries

How has it been 20 Years since 'Toy Story'?
Can you believe we are already halfway through the 2010's? 2015 unbelievably kicks off the second half of this decade, even though many of those Back To The Future II predictions didn't come true (although some did, like big flat screen TV's and video chatting).  There are also some hard to believe anniversaries this year.

2010, 5 Years Since... Lebron James joined the Miami Heat and oddly became a media "villain". Cavs fans burned his jersey, but now that he's made his return to Cleveland, love him again. Funny how sports work. The Chilean miners were freed and one famously kissed his mistress. The double rainbow also became a hit viral video, and now everyone searches for one.

2005, 10 Years Since... YouTube debuted. Before 2005 it was harder to find shareable videos where you can watch people make fools of themselves. You could still find them, though you had to search a bit more depending on which site people used. YouTube made it easy for everyone to use one site. Xbox 360 was launched, and its still going strong today despite the updated generation of video game consoles being released recently. August will see the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history.

2000, 15 Years Since... The last Subway Series. I mean the real Subway Series, during the World Series, not that interleague stuff. The Mets and Yankees squared off in the first Subway(All New York) World Series since the 1950's. Looking back, this was also New York in the final year before 9/11, and America as a whole was a different place in 2000. People also said "The Year..." before 2000. Why did so many people say "The Year 2000" again?

1995: 20 Years Since... Toy Story. That's right, this fall will mark 20 years since Toy Story hit theaters and launched Pixar into the huge studio it is today. Feels like yesterday when it came out and jaws dropped at the sight of the first fully computer animated movie. Clueless also came out, and perfectly encapsulates the style and lingo of the time. It was also the year of the OJ Simpson trial, one of the first times a trial became a television phenomenon thanks to cable news, and people are still obsessed with these today.

1990: 25 Years Since... Home Alone. The Christmas favorite will be a quarter of a century old. I wonder what Buzz's girlfriend looks like now? East & West Germany finally reunited. And now we get Angela Merkel pantsuits. "U Can't Touch This" was released and popularized parachute pants. Thankfully those have not stood the test of time.

1985: 30 Years Since... Live Aid took place on July 13, 1985, simultaneously from London and Philadelphia, becoming one of the biggest TV broadcasts and satellite link-ups ever. Bono sported quite the show stealing mullet when he moved down to the crowd during U2's 14-minute performance of "Bad".  The Breakfast Club and The Goonies came out. It has really been 30 years since the Truffle Shuffle.

1980: 35 Years Since... John Lennon was sadly shot in December 1980, but his timeless music and memory live on today. The Empire Strikes Back took over the world and had people waiting in long lines for tickets, which is a rare thing now thanks to the internet and apps.

1975: 40 Years Since... Saturday Night Live began, launching many careers and providing some late night laughs. Sonny and Cher divorced, which made "I Got You Babe" a bit awkward. Jaws started the summer blockbuster movie craze and scared tons of people from going in the water.

1970: 45 Years Since... The Beatles broke up and released their final album, Let It Be. I'm sure lots of people were sad, but they all went on to have successful solo careers anyway. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin both dies at age 27, which gave rise to the "27 Club" of famous musicians who tragically passed away at the same young age.

1965: 50 Years Since... The Beatles performed at Shea Stadium and the New York World's Fair took place in Queens. The NY World's Fair was not a money maker, but still has become quite a famous event which is still talked about.