Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why Horse Racing Tells me That Germany Will Beat Spain

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

Horse Racing Lesson #1: Recent Form Means Everything

Why it favors Germany: Germany won their last two games, 4-1 and 4-0. Spain won their last two games 1-0 and 1-0 with David Villa scoring both goals. Hmmm, that looks like a pattern, does it not? Germany scores 4 a game, and Spain 1. 1 David Villa goal to be exact. Who on Spain has PROVEN they can beat you if Villa doesn't? No one. Spain may have better passing, a deeper team, and a Euro 2008 and trophy, but zero people find their last two wins more impressive than Germany's.

Horse Racing Lesson #2: The Fewer Changes for a hot Horse/Team, the Better

Why it Favors Germany: This could be a wash, because Mueller is out for Germany as well, but with Spain benching Torres, we don't know how that will disrupt their (delicate) offensive rhythm. What if this throws off David Villa? Who else will score? What if Germany just loads up on Villa and lets the new guy beat them?

Horse racing taught me to take a pass on a horse trying something new for the first time at a high level. For instance, if Rachel Alexandra (a dirt horse) ran on grass against elite company, I would bet against her. If she started running sprints (she prefers longer distances) against elite company, I would bet against her. The only way I'd bet a horse trying something new is if they did so against far lesser competition.

Spain is making a change and it is against elite competition. I'd bet Rachel Alexandra on the grass in an allowance race, but not in the Arlington Million. Sorry, Spain.

You don't change horses midstream, if there is any current.

Horse Racing Lesson #3: History is a Factor, Even if you are Unsure why or how.

I'm in a relative hurry to get this post published before the soccer match starts, so I can't research this as much as I would have liked. But certain trends in horse racing can be hard to ignore. When I first heard about these trends I was very skeptical of them because I couldn't explain them, nor could anyone else. For instance- European horses do disproportionately well in Breeder's Cup grass races, and the Arlington Million. Other than Street Sense, the winner of the Breeder's Cup Juvenile hadn't went on to win the Kentucky Derby in a very, very long time. In the last decade, The Arkansas Derby has produced significantly better horses than the Wood Memorial.

Can I offer some explanations for those trends? Yeah, kinda. But I can't paint the whole picture, and I don't think anyone can. As I've gotten a bit better at horse playing, I have learned that the question is NOT "WHY is that the trend?" the question really is more simply, "WHAT is the trend?" and follow it.

I don't think Native Americans could explain why three-leaved ankle-high plants resulted in an itchy rash after touching it, but they ignored those poison ivy plants, nonetheless.

The World Cup tie-in here is that Germany has the history here. They have won three World Cups and Spain is in their first ever semi-finals. Do I know why that is? No. Can I profit from that phenomenon, without being able to explain it? Yes. Historically, Germany has found a way to win and Spain hasn't. That is objective and is there for us to observe. I don't know exactly what about capsaicin on our papillae makes chili peppers taste hot, but I know they are. That's really all I need to know.

Horse Racing Lesson #4: Don't Be Afraid to Pick Against the Experts

Spain seems to be the slight betting favorite in this match. It's about a half-notch below a "Pick 'em", but Spain is favored, albeit slightly. Alexi Lalas picked Spain over Germany though and he knows a ton more about soccer than I do. Shouldn't I be concerned?

Not really. He cited his rationale for why he thought Spain would win, but he could have picked them for reasons we don't know. Maybe he has a Spanish wife or girlfriend. Maybe he thinks Germany will win, but Spain is the trendier pick to make, and he doesn't want to go against trendy soccer thinking. Maybe he believes Spain will win, and is simply incorrect.

Horse Racing Lesson #5: Avoid the Results That Would Make you Feel the Most Stupid

This sounds stupid, but has been done me a world of good at the track. Here it is in practice. I think Germany will win. They scored 4 goals against an ok England team, 4 goals against a very strong Argentina team, and more impressively, held Argentina to just one (garbage time) goal. They shut down Messi and Tevez, so why can't they shut down only David Villa? If Germany won this game 4-1, wouldn't you think, "Well, yeah. I shoulda seen that coming, both teams were trending in that direction." and you would feel stupid if you took Spain.

Taking Spain, essentially, represents your thinking that Germany will, for some reason, score 3 or 4 goals LESS than usual and Spain will probably score more than they usually have been. Doesn't that seem like a big departure? A lot of trends have to end for that to happen. If you DID assume that, and it didn't happen, wouldn't you feel like kind of a dumbass? Let's go over the 4 possibilities and how I see it.

Your Guess/Actual Winner.......Thoughts afterward

Spain/Spain.....Hot Damn. Spain scored a lot more/Germany scored a lot less than they have been trending, and I predicted that correctly. I know my soccer.

Spain/Germany....Goddamnit. I got talked into Spain. I mean, of course I knew Germany looked unbeatable. I just assumed some trends would do a 180, Germany would randomly suck and Spain would score more goals against Germany than they could muster against Portugal. Any monkey with eyes could tell you that Germany looked to be playing better. I just incorrectly predicted a major trend reversal.

Germany/Spain.... Goddamnit. Can't blame me for that one. Germany's last two games were against solid opponents and they had an 8-1 goal differential. Spain? 2-0 overall goals versus Paraguay and Portugal. I took a stand, bet the on-the-field trends, and ignored a lot of experts and the betting odds. I guess they knew something I didn't afterall. Next time I will have to weight their arguments more.

Germany/Germany...Hot Damn! I told you! I told you! I told you! Germany has too stout of a defense, too creative and multi-faceted of an offense, too much history and no reason to think that train was going to screech to a halt against its will.

What option makes me feel the stupidest? The first one of four, so I have to avoid that in favor of the last one.

We'll see how I do. The game is about to start.

That's how I roll.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Show me the Size of Your A-hole, Miroslav Klose!

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

Miroslav Klose's post-goal celebration could be a cryptic message denote the size of his rectum.

Pay attention particularly at the :59 second mark. It essentially deciphers Klose's code. Here is one of my favorite sketches from Upright Citizen's Brigade:

Upright Citizens Brigade
Bosco's Foot
Futurama New EpisodesIt's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaRussell Simmon Stand-Up Comedy

here is the hand gesture German striker Miroslav Klose makes after he scores:


Oh, by the way, here is Klose coach, Joachim Low picking his nose and eating it.


The comedy sketch above was edited. In the actual episode, after Bosco threatened to put his foot in their a-holes, Moses came out and asked if they like tricks.

Upright Citizens Brigade
Moses' Tricks
Futurama New EpisodesIt's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaRussell Simmon Stand-Up Comedy

That's how I roll.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Great Sports This Weekend

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

1. As the English announcer says, Saturday features a soccer match betwixt, "Argenteener and Jaminee." or Argentina and Germany. That will be a doozy. For Germany. The result will forever send the debate between which God likes more: Sausage or Chimichurri. Today's Brazil/Netherlands game taught me that God prefers marijuana and tulips over thongs and tan accelerator.

2. Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin. You aren't going to drop $60 for it on Pay per view? What's that? You're going to go to Twitter and search, "watch ufc116" and going to find an illegal, free feed on the web? No way, me too. I'm picking Carwin to upset Lesnar due to ring rust. He is a long shot, so a safer bet would be to bet that I learned the phrase "ring rust" about two weeks ago. It's true.

3. I Want Revenge makes his long-awaited debut start since his injury that had him scratch on Derby Day in 2009 as the morning-line favorite (only because Quality Road wasn't entered). He is the 7-5 favorite in Belmont Park's Suburban Handicap (Gr.II) on Saturday where he takes on a 2-1 Regal Ransom, among others.

Here he is kicking hiney in the aforementioned Wood Memorial.

That's how I roll.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Told You Germany was Awesome

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter
England : 2010 World Cup :: Tim Henman : Every Wimbledon. Wussy, yet rabidly embraced by fans which lead to unrealistic expectations, humiliation. Thanks for coming out. I'm done respecting Wayne Rooney's international game until he scores a World Cup goal. Or at least puts a decent shot on goal. I can't even recall a good scoring chance he had. England wasted EVERYONE's time this World Cup.

That being typed, Germany looked outstanding. I'm still sticking by them to win it all, and I'm still standing by Mesut Oezil looking like Peter Lorre.
Germany is still the most poised-looking team in the front third I have watched in this World Cup. They get eerily calm in the zone, stay patient and create great scoring opportunities. Even when the opportunity isn't great, Klose finds a way to push it past the keeper or Podolski just muscles it through. Youthful exuberance, power, finesse, skill, momentum, maturity, skill, they seem to have all the physical tools and their coaching has been unassailable thus far to boot.

England looked more like Lynndie England than England.

That's how I roll.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How do you say, "I'm Wearing My Predictin' Pants" In German?

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

I'm picking Germany to win the World Cup.

They were my longshot pick before Michael Ballack got injured, then I soured on them when I heard Ballack was gone. Like many, I assumed that since Ballack was so good, the team couldn't replace him and would be much worse off without him. Then while watching Germany play against Australia (keeping mind that Australia is pretty terrible) I learned that the German youngsters had won the u16, u18 and u20 world cups. Now that class was in the world cup for the first time- Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil and Marko Marin, et al. and appear ready for the big stage. Being that they're youngsters the pressure isn't on them as much as it may be on Miroslav Klose, and the now-with-expectations Luaks Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who all appear primed and ready to make another deep World Cup run.

I tried to take into account how weak Australia was and how liking Germany after that game was like taking North Carolina in the NCAA tournament because they somehow managed to blowout 16th-seeded Rider, but I couldn't be talked off of Germany. What I impressed me most about Germany compared to the other World Cup favorites I watched was the calm that Germany felt in their opposition's zone. When the other teams would advance the ball deep in the zone, they start to speed up their game and rush things- kinda like a fish tank when you drain out 2/3s of the water and the fish swim faster and more frantically. But Germany was different- they looked just as calm, confident and composed as when they're sharing the ball at midfield. It reminded me of one of the tests psychologists use to evaluate a serial killer. While exposed to footage of a murder, a serial killer will show no elevation in heart rate: a murder scene doesn't faze them. It's just another part of life- you pick up a newspaper, you make a sandwich, tie your shoes, and murder some people. No big deal. I saw some of that in the German squad- dribbling in their zone, passing at midfield, or passing deep in enemy territory- they all looked equally collected and panic-free.

Spain is too wussy for me- they lost to us last summer for God's sake.
Brazil is strong as ever, but they're trying out a new brand of ball that I think is just going to be too much of a challenge for them to win. They will be dangerous as always, though.
Argentina is probably my second choice, but I think they will find a way to screw something up before their time in South Africa is over.
The Netherlands and England will have to show me a LOT if I am going to take them seriously in the world cup.

That's how I roll.