Sunday, June 10, 2012

A great day to be a Dane- Not a Phillies Fan

In a great day for the country/city-state of Denmark, the Phillies fell victim to a game that defines their season.

But let's start with the positive.

Denmark could have lost that game 12-1. But now the so-called 'group of death' has gotten so much more interesting.

The football (or soccer as we're trained to inappropriately label the sport in the US) Gods were clearly on the Danish side yesterday. Maybe it's due in part to the weather Gods being so against the establishment of Denmark, but for one day, and one game, the Gods rewarded the vikings.

Two days after receiving my residency, I found myself enthralled by the contest, as well as the possibility of the Danes advancing out of the group of death.

But my hopes for Holland to win the Euro Cup stand strong. They could easily score five goals a game from here on out.

Let me finish my 'soccer' comments with this. What a great way to draw Europe into patriotism, excitement, and sales. While the U.S. has the same format every year (Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals and the ever-so-enticing title of NBA Finals) Europe gets drawn in with the Euro Cup every four years, coupling well with the World Cup , for a football frenzied summer. The idea is great, the results are even better.

But I hope Holland beats Germany on Wednesday, to move on to the quarterfinals. The Dutch have talent.

As for the Phillies...

They were defined as a team last night.

The 2008 World Series champions stand seven games out of first place in the NL East; and six games out of second place, in a lonely dungeon of a mediocre-at-best division.

Here's the case though: last night's loss is the 2012 season in a nutshell for the Phillies.

Without Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, John Mayberry Jr, Placido Polanco and newly relevant Freddy Galvis in the starting lineup, the misfit Phillies lost in extra innings-again-with a pitcher called up on three hours rest-with many able arms remaining in the 'pen.

But that's the Phillies this year.

Mismanaged games, with a misfit group of starters (Jim Thome, Ty Wigginton, Brian Schneider and Mike Fontenot graced the starting lineup-the Lancaster White Sox could form a better staring lineup).

But once again, when runs were needed in the 9th, 10th and 11th, the Phillies, who ran their success on clutch hitting, had nothing to offer.

So now, the bottom dwellers look at a seven-game deficit, with no hope in sight.

We may have seen the defining game of the season for the Phils. But at least we don't have to have a heartbreaking downfall in September. We can brace ourselves now.

In other thoughts-Pacquiao won the fight. The Heat are back in the finals-and I hope to God the Thunder and their group of school-boys can eliminate the tired-of-reading-about-you Miami Heat.

But this is the  sports world we live in. Any team (or player) can win on any given day. Pacquiao is one of the best fighters of all time-and he lost to a nobody (barely making the news.)

Denmark is a nobody, but for 95 minutes last night, they were a somebody.

The Heat are doing their best to earn one of the least accomplished NBA titles in the history of the league and the Los Angeles Kings are extremely close to having one of the best NHL playoff runs in history-but the US sports media won't give them the time they deserve.

Hockey, soccer and boxing will always be buried in the middle of the newspaper while tabloid sports news, such as LeBron James and the Miami Heat, grace the front page.

See you in a few days my US faithful. That is if the government and its ever so apathetic immigration system allows me to leave.