Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making Friendlies Friendlier

Is it me or are the upcoming USMNT friendlies against Poland (Oct. 9th, 8pm EST, FSC) and Columbia (Oct. 12th, 8pm EST, ESPN2) lacking some of the luster of the World Cup tune-up matches in the spring or the CONCACAF qualifying over the last two years? It’s an odd feeling, a mixture of happiness to be watching your national team back in action with a hint disappointment that the matches mean very little. Perhaps it’s more similar to having a streak of dates with really hot women and then finding yourself on your first date with a “5” in a long time. The bottom line is that these matches are the opening chapters in the story of the next four year world cup qualifying cycle. Most of the players are World Cup veterans, but Jermaine Jones and Brek Shea both have a chance to earn their first caps with the USMNT. Awesome, you’re still not selling me on these matches.

Somehow, in that narrow space that separates our ears, we started thinking of ways to spice up these two matches to try to pull in more support for the USMNT. Friend of “The Scoring Third”, Zane Lamprey, is premiering his new show “Drinking Made Easy” (8:30pm EST, HDNet) tonight and I got to thinking, “why not make the friendlies into a drinking game?” Just to clarify, we don’t encourage excessive alcohol consumption during soccer viewing. Side effects could include: birth defects, inability to operate a motor vehicle, and the potential for extended conversations about Freddy Adu’s career. However, we see this not as a drinking game, but rather a call to arms to support America! (Queue fireworks and cannons). With that we present to you, “The Scoring Third’s Friendlier Friendlies Drinking Game”.

The premise is simple, tune into each of the matches, watch for the key terms or actions listed below. There are three categories, starting with “fouls” which will cost you one sip when they occur. Next, there are a few items that will get you a “Yellow Card”, which means you’ll need to down half of your drink. Lastly, there is a single item that will get you a “Red Card”, which means you’ll need to finish off your entire drink (and then exit the field). The ground rules are set, tune in to the matches and enjoy!

Fouls:
1.  Any mention of Tim Howard having Turret's syndrome
2.  Any footage of the USMNT from the 1994 World Cup (those jerseys should have been banned).
3.  Anytime the Snickers commercial featuring Betty White is shown.
4.  If there is an injury on the field and either the “magic spray” or “magic sponge” are used.
5.  Any reference to Bob Bradley's new contract.
6.  Anytime the camera does a close-up on a fan with a vuvuzela. 
7.  Anytime FSC or ESPN2 plug their upcoming EPL matches.

Yellow Cards:
8.  Bob Bradley cracks a smile, either live or during taped footage.
9.  If either match is announced as a sell-out, but clearly has empty seats.
10. Any mention of "Ghana".

Red Cards:
11. Any sighting of a large, shirtless man who has either the flag of Poland or Columbia painted on his chest. (Bonus Red Card if he has both flags painted on his chest).

You've made it this far, you have to be wondering if we are going to reveal the secret to the shot shown in the picture. Yes, I made this red, white, and blue shot myself during one of our World Cup parties this summer. It is made up of Rose Grenadine, Blue CuraƧao, and Vodka. They have to be poured very slowly to ensure the different liquids don't mix (or you can cheat and use a medicine dropper like I did). And the taste... very patriotic.



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