Monday, 26th August 2019

France Makes Mockery of World Cup

Posted on 22. Jun, 2010 by FSM Staff in General Sports, Soccer

France Makes Mockery of World Cup

The national soccer team of France has officially been eliminated from the 2010 FIFA World Cup after losing to South Africa 2-1. For fans across the globe following the tournament this is no big surprise. The French national team has been imploding since the first game of group play. Perhaps this is a fitting end to the team’s run that really should have ended in the qualifying stages after a controversial victory over Ireland.

The poor play of the French national team is disappointing from a spectator’s point of view but true fans understand the highs and lows that national teams can experience. Ultimately, poor play on the world’s biggest stage can be forgiven. The poor behavior exhibited by the players on the French national team is another matter entirely. Their actions as a collective group are simply unacceptable and will not be soon forgotten by the people of France.

The abridged version of the story starts with an angry Nicolas Anelka cursing out coach Raymond Domenech during halftime of the game against Mexico in which France ended up losing 2-0. It was reported that Anelka made inappropriate comments about Domenech’s family and refused to apologize the next day. The French soccer federation told Anelka to take a hike (back to France) and the rest of the team chose not to practice as a show of support to Anelka while also protesting the federation’s decision to send him home. A more detailed chronicle of events can be found by clicking here.

The FIFA World Cup is a magical event that only comes around every four years. People from all walks of life in places some never even knew existed come out of the woodwork with painted faces and flags waiving. Hope, joy, and national pride beam out of their television sets and fill the air.

For the soccer superstars lucky enough to actually play in the World Cup, the event is exponentially more special. Some players will try for their entire careers to qualify for the tournament and never make it. France won the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and was the runner up in 2006. It seems like they have taken the tournament for granted for the French players to be acting like this.

The World Cup commands respect. A small period of dominance by the French national team is not a pass to disrespect the spirit of the tournament.

The great players from this French national team like Franck Ribery will always have an asterisk by their name indicating that they were present when the self-destruct button was pushed at World Cup 2010. Refusing to practice was a team effort so there is plenty of blame to go around. Some will carry more of the blame than others. Nicolas Anelka for example will always be remembered as public enemy number one as he was the catalyst for the beginning of the end.

John Wooden Tribute

Posted on 05. Jun, 2010 by FSM Staff in Uncategorized

John Wooden Tribute

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden passed away on 6/4/10 and the entire sports world is in mourning. The Wizard of Westwood was 99 years old and he left behind a legacy of greatness on and off the hardwood. Wooden’s outlook on life and the lessons he taught us will not be soon forgotten. There are and will be many articles out there about his great accomplishments which include winning a record 10 NCAA Basketball tournaments. FreeSportsMag would like to deviate slightly so that we can present to you some of John Wooden’s famous inspirational quotes. May his wisdom live on in the hearts and minds of athlete and non-athlete alike…

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

“Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.”

“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.”

“Ability is a poor man’s wealth.”

“I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.”

“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

“What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player.”

No Redemption for Ken Griffey Jr.

Posted on 04. Jun, 2010 by FSM Staff in General Sports, MLB

No Redemption for Ken Griffey Jr.

MLB slugger Ken Griffey Jr. announced his retirement earlier this month. The announcement was somewhat of a shock to baseball fans out there but few can deny that his career was on life support. Perhaps the hardest thing to stomach for true fans of the game is that he did not have a hero’s exit. There was no miraculous walk-off homerun or RBI. Ken Griffey Jr. did not save the day one last time. Instead, his departure was preceded by a stretch of extremely poor play, a benching, and the infamous “Nap-Gate” controversy.

Ken Griffey’s career includes 630 homeruns, 10 Golden Gloves, 13 All-Star selections, 1,836 RBIs, and a unanimous MVP award. He was also involved in the great homerun chase with Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire but eventually fell out of contention (geez I wonder why?). A great, productive career is ending with a whimper and it is painful to watch. The same type of painful that came from watching Michael Jordan’s final game in Washington.

Ken Griffey Jr. spent his best years playing for the Seattle Mariners, the club that drafted him in 1987. After playing for the Cincinnati Reds for nine seasons, Griffey returned to Seattle in 2009. His presence immediately helped changed the negative vibe of the team and for a 39 year-old often injured veteran he was putting up respectable numbers as a designated hitter (batting average of .214 with 19 homers). The Mariners decided they would try their luck one more time and Jr. signed on for the 2010 campaign. The magic wasn’t quite there this time around.

Griffey Jr. was batting a dismal .184 and had yet to hit one over the fence this season. He eventually found his way on to the bench and then in to the clubhouse where he was caught snoozing during an actual Mariners game. It was becoming clear that this was his last season. The Seattle Mariners had enough class to let him finish the year in uniform and Ken Griffey Jr. definitely earned that right. Griffey though said he did not want to become a distraction to his beloved team and made his decision.

When word of Nap-Gate broke, it was an opportunity that Ken Griffey Jr. should have taken advantage of. It should have been a galvanizing incident with the final result being a respectable (not necessarily spectacular) end to the 2010 season and his hall of fame career. Broken and betrayed, Ken Griffey Jr. chose to walk away instead.