It's time for Agent Orange to let off some steam again...
If you've read any of my previous columns, you know that they are a veritable potpourri of anger and bile, just with a hint of sadness. So nothing says Happy Valentine's Day more than a column listing my greivances against each and every one of the J-League teams on display.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you The Hate Index. In reverse order of hate.
18. Montedio Yamagata - I've tried, but really there is not much rage I can muster for a team that took ten years to get to the big show, has no money, lost their best player and on paper looks about as threatening as the baby kitten on the HANG IN THERE posters. 2007 Yokohama FC laugh at these guys. Honestly, rooting against these guys is like watching The Diary of Anne Frank and hoping the Germans find out where the hidden room is. That's not cool at all.
17. Albirex Niigata - They wear orange and Jun Marques Davidson and Pedro Junior are on their team. If you squint just right, you'd swear that they were Omiya. However, Kisho Yano is a diving sack of warm donkey dung and that makes me hate them just a scosh.
16. Yokohama F Marinos - Maybe I should hate these guys more because Yuji Nakazawa rejected us and they did a little minstrel show / blackface performance in the offseason. However, they always are good for at least four points a season and until that changes, I'm OK with Marinos.
15. Kawasaki Frontale - They seem to be the "boutique team" of the non-Japanese set, now that it's no longer cool to be an Urawa supporter. I think Kengo Nakamura is over-rated and their defense is too soft to win a title, but I do like the style they play and I think they did a great job coming back from adversity at the start of the season. The Japanese fans are truly classy people and Vittor Junior reminds me of Stitch the cartoon alien. No real bile here.
14. Gamba Osaka - See Kawasaki. I swear they are the same team on the field. One thing that bothered me was them "magically" getting the last ACL spot. Seemed a bit too convenient for my liking.
13. JEF United - Let me be the first to say, I'm not buying the Alex Miller hype. He did a nice job turning the team around but let's be honest, he had no pressure at all. Seriously, if they dropped, Josip Kuse was gonna take all the blame for that mess. If he gets this squad to finish mid-table, then sure, give him the National Team job and we can knight him, but it seems to me that people need to tone it down just a notch. And please, no more JEF players on the National Team until Omiya gets one for a reasonable stretch.
12. Kyoto Sanga - Well, they aren't afraid to splash the cash. I just think if you are gonna shell out that much money, you should finish better than fourteenth. This will be year two of the cash splurge so if they don't kick it up a peg, we can start calling them the new Verdy.
11. Kashiwa Reysol - I can't believe they got rid of Alex and kept the overpaid Franca and the overhyped Popo. They also had a decent manager who they cut for his backup? And let me get back to Franca for a moment... watching him walk around for a half while his teammates are busting their collective tushes offends me. He reminds me of Romario in his late stages.
10. Kashima Antlers - I hate them because they are very good. In my opinion, Oswaldo di Oliveira needs to take over the National Team. He's the best manager in Japan. End of story.
9. Sanfrecce Hiroshima - My happiest day at a soccer stadium was the day we beat Sanfrecce. They always won and they always bored in the process. Now they are back riding a wave of good feelings after running roughshod over J2. Boo!
8. Omiya Ardija - Any team with the temerity to start Yosuke Kataoka deserves to be hated. And why bring in a replacement for Yasuhiro Hato when you aren't going to replace Yasuhiro Hato?
7. Jubilo Iwata - I have no love at all for Blue Shizuoka, but those sausage lollipop things they serve at Yamaha stadium are like pork crack. Seriously, they are wonderful!
6. Nagoya Grampus - I used to not hate Grampus. We would win, then they would win and it would go back and forth. Then they dropped the Eight and all bets were off. Now we get our clocks cleaned by them on a regular basis and that makes me upset. Because they aren't that great.
5. Shimizu S-Pulse - Frode Johnsen got you moved up to number five. He scores in the opener and you guys go up a couple of places. And I start rooting for Jubilo.
4. Urawa Reds - I've hated them for so long I'm tired of hating them. I could go on a rant about how I hate their lame, smelly, mouth-breathing cadre of THE BEST FANS IN THE WORLD (tm) and their collection of super-egos and overhyped... hold on a minute...
3. Vissel Kobe - I wish they had Kazu Miura back, because they used to stink then and I enjoyed that. Now they are just mediocre and they seem to beat us regularly. I don't like that. Now that they have Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, the press is even more obnoxious. And they never should have changed their jerseys, either.
2. FC Tokyo - Never has one team with so much done so little and been so proud of that fact. I wish they would make up their minds which team they are copying as well. Are you Liverpool or Barcelona? At least Urawa has the Man U schtick down perfectly. I'm sick of them always winning in Omiya.
They also have one of the ugliest teams I've ever seen. You put Naotake Hanyu, Shingo Akamine and Yohei Kajiyama together and they look like the three bad kids who try to beat Charlie Brown in the raft race at summer camp. And what kind of camp lets nine-year-olds go on a white water rafting race without any supervision? Stupid FC Tokyo letting kids get into danger... that's ridiculous.
1. Oita Trinita - Oita is the single most boring, aesthetically unpleasing, negative soccer team to lace up and play in J1. Good for them that they could win a title, but packing in the defense and employing two thugs from Brazil to clog the middle should be mocked at every possible chance. Just like Joaquin Phoenix and his musical aspirations.
0. Urawa, continued - German coaches and the fact that the League bows to every little whim they have. You don't want to play at Nack 5, tough Sally, you aren't at home. And really, why are Ryota Tsuzuki or Tatsuya Tanaka playing on the National Team? They stunk! Stop crying and shower once in a while.
And learn a new chant too.
Oh yeah... I HATE MARCUS TULIO TANAKA! Don't even get me started on Alex Santos or Naohiro Takahara.
I don't hate you because you look like Man U. I hate Man U because they look like you!
You'll always be number one in The Hate Index.
Finally... something to feel good about.
VIENNA, Va. – For a Virginia doctor, squirrels are a man's best friend, too. Thomas Shepler, a hand surgeon, shot a hawk to death in his backyard when he said the bird was eyeing a young squirrel that he and his wife had helped raise. Shepler, 65, said the hawk had previously killed an adult squirrel near his suburban Washington home in Vienna. When the doctor tried to chase away the bird over the weekend by yelling and throwing a crowbar at it, the hawk didn't leave the area.
So Shepler got a shotgun and killed it.
A police officer heard the shot Saturday and Shepler was arrested. He was charged with discharging a firearm in public and cruelty to animals. Shepler says he cares about animals and is feeling a lot of anxiety and embarrassment over the shooting.
I don't know about you, but I think we should fly Doctor Shepler out from Virginia for the first game and tell him old Frode is a ball hawk. At the very least, we should get him a jersey!
Monday, 16 February 2009
It's time for Agent Orange to let off some steam again...