This week saw the release of Episodes 3 and 4 of The Last Dance AKA the Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson Episodes. Anytime Dennis is involved, there is bound to be some shenanigans. His episode did not fail to deliver and I loved how the episode ended. While Phil’s episode gave you insight in how Phil managed players and why players loved playing for him.
After a couple years of anticipation, ESPN’s 10 part series on the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls has arrived. It was moved up to April after being originally set to air during the NBA Finals. All I have to say is: thank you. There has been no new sports content in weeks and what better way to end the drought than with the greatest NBA dynasty. Am I biased? Of course. Like Obama, I was also a resident of Chicago during this run. I remember watching MJ’s fadeaways, Pippen’s dunks, Phil whistling from the bench and of course, Rodman’s color changing cups from McDonalds. I had high hopes when this documentary series was announced. Did it deliver?
I’m writing this the day after the game and I still can’t believe Mexico pulled it off. They executed a perfect game plan and stuck to it for all 90 minutes. So how did Mexico pull off the upset and become the first CONCACAF nation to beat Germany at a World Cup? I try to dig a little deeper.
Early in the season, it was Tecatito Corona who was the only one of the Mexicans at Porto getting any playing time. Herrera and Layun were relegated to short substitution appearances. Diego Reyes never got off the bench but things are starting to change. Herrera and Reyes were big factors why Porto won 2-0, let’s dive into how that came to be.
Mexico was well on its way to boring everyone to sleep with their game plan aka get the ball to the wings and try a cross into the box. Then it happened, another late game pk call in their favor. Was it a penalty? I think it was but that call will never be examined in a vacuum. It comes on the heels of major corruption charges against several high ranking CONCACAF officials. It comes right after Mexico had been given a late lifeline against Costa Rica. It happened about 60 minutes after Panama had been given a somewhat harsh red. Each one of those individual calls can be chalked up to subpar referees but all those calls in favor of one team in a shady federation? Let the conspiracy theories begin…
Sure, Mexico might have been given a dubious penalty call for a second straight game but that’s not their fault. And if you really think Guardado should have missed the pk then you must have never experienced being on a bad end of a call. It happened, and Guardado hit another perfect pk. Can’t blame the Mexican captain or his team for playing out the game. Also, you can’t blame Panama for staying on the field and finishing the game. The Univision announcers were calling for them to walk off but that’s just one on a list of terrible things that crew said. Panama would have faced sanctions if they had walked off the field and World Cup Qualifying is not too far off.
Most alarming thing from last night was Mexico’s inability to score w/out the need for a pk. They are now up to 240 minutes without a goal in the run of play. Keep in mind they were up a man for about 90 minutes, basically playing at home and could barely get a shot on goal that would make Penedo move. I know injuries have hampered Piojo’s options up top but his lack of game plan against a 10 man Panama left much to be desired. They are through to the final against Jamaica, a well organized team. Can Piojo figure out a plan to attack ?
Plenty of of writers had their own take on the night’s proceedings.