Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Dahlgren Boys Reunion at the Cottage!

Greetings from The Cottage, where Gooner71 and 0% Angel (aka Eric the Half a Bee) are visiting for the weekend. We'll be taking in the Chautauqua County Fair, Evangola Beach and the great British prog band Yes at Art Park. Wish you all were here!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The DNC - Day 3

It's been a fascinating week at the DNC so far. Last night, we had some moving moments featuring mothers of police murder victims, as well as former President Bill Clinton trying to humanize HRC and bringing down the house doing so.

I spent some time with this very substantive discussion on the future trajectory of this campaign season from Democracy Now this morning. Of course, I agree more with former New York Times writer Chris Hedges, but both he and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, a Sanders supporter, make some solid points.

I hope that you'll join me tonight as President Obama lends his support to the Clinton/Kaine cause.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The DNC - Day 2

Well, it was a rollicking first day at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love has been witness to some booing in the past - and so it was for many of the Day 1 speakers. Even the opening prayer got some raspberries!

Day 2 sees another night of heavy hitters, including cultural figures such as Lena Dunham and former President Bill Clinton.

Join me as usual for some lively banter, won't you?

Monday, July 25, 2016

The DNC - Day 1

Hi folks - I enjoyed chatting with a lot of you during the Trump Show in Cleveland last week. The Democrats are up this week from Philly. There will be quite a contrast. The RNC started last week with Charles in Charge, the beardy fellow from Duck Dynasty and a Slovenian supermodel in primetime. Tonight we've got Bernie Sanders and the First Lady kicking things off with a call for party unity. That's going to be necessary given the recent Wikileaks data dump, showing the rigged primary campaign process.

In any case, it's going to be lively this week - I hope that you'll drop by for a cocktail and a chat.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chuck Klosterman on WTF with Marc Maron!

I just got finished listening to a fascinating hour plus discussion with Marc Maron and one of my favorite culture writers Chuck Klosterman. Chuck's most recent book, I Wear the Black Hat, explored the villain character in popular culture, including a hilarious chapter about The Eagles as the most hated band in rock and roll. Check out Chuck's conversation with Marc on the WTF pod by downloading from iTunes or wherever you download your podcasts.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The RNC's Final Night

Tonight, Americans will see an avowed neo-fascist candidate accept the nomination of a major political party for the first time in US history. Trump's buffoonish character often obscures this; however, no one should have any illusions about this sad and frightening reality for our country.

The Donald should be up around 10 pm when the networks join in for primetime coverage; that is, unless they cock up the schedule, as they've already done twice this week. Join me for all the GOP shenanigans tonight here on the LOB.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

BIG SAM'S THE MAN.... to lead the Three Lions!

So the FA have come to decision to go English! I am all for that but not sure Sam is the right man. I hope he's not confused on the job as he is in this picture. Of course, they haven't gotten it right since 1966 so maybe we will be all wrong. I hope he makes England play the English way and not the way other countries do... we're not that good at it

Thoughts Boys?


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The RNC - Day 2

Well, that first night of the Republican National Convention was certainly a lot more fun than France 2016 was, eh? Where else are you going to see Charles in Charge, the beardy fellow from "Duck Dynasty" and a Slovenian supermodel plagiarizing the First Lady? What's next - Ted Nugent taking a dump onstage?

I'll be looking for more of the same good times tonight, as the Repubs run out the "Make America Work Again." On the prime-time schedule tonight will be:

* The president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship
* LPGA star Natalie Gulbis
* Daytime soap actress Kimberlin Brown
and Ben Carson.

Join me for all the shenanigans from about 8pm onward.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The RNC - Day 1

As you all know, my second favorite sport to follow is US politics. I took a week or so off from the blog after that disappointing finish to France 2016 but I'm back and feeling refreshed after that break.

So, starting tonight, I'll be blogging the primetime coverage of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It's the Trump Show this week, so you know that it's going to be lively. Regardless of your political views, I hope you'll join me here for a drink and a natter this week. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Improving World Football - A Modest Proposal

Let's be honest - France 2016 has been a wretched tournament, the worst since the Italia '90 World Cup, which had a similar goal/game ratio and spirit of caution. This has been coming for some time, as the stakes in top-level football have gotten only higher. Most top sides (at International and club level) have at this point sacrificed a second striker (or all strikers) in favor of a second (or third) defensive midfielder. Something must be done in order to rescue the game. Just as Italia '90 made clear the need for rules changes, so too has France 2016. 

I'm proposing that football adopt some of the rules that basketball and hockey have used successfully over the years to avoid similarly conservative match play. Specifically:

1. Prohibiting passing the ball back over the half-way line after the team in possession has advanced beyond the half-way line. Similar to the "icing" rule in hockey, this would award a free kick if an attacking side decides to pass it back from an advanced position to a midfielder or the goalkeeper beyond the half-way line.

2. The team in possession would have a minute to put the ball in the penalty box and create a goalscoring opportunity from the point that it won back possession or a goal kick was taken. Similar to the "shot clock" employed in basketball, this would award a free kick if a side merely knocked the ball around aimlessly in midfield without attempting to create anything worth watching.
I know that these proposals will be controversial, as any rules changes are. However, just as we learned to accept the rule that goalkeepers couldn't pick up a ball passed back to them, we would learn to appreciate these rules changes. Something must be done.

Your thoughts, gentlemen?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Congratulations, Red Dragon!

Congratulations, Red Dragon! This was a funny old tournament, with a team who only finished third in a weak group ending up as champions. UEFA also took their sweet time in announcing their tournament awards, waiting until Monday evening CET to report that Antoine Griezmann was their France 2016 MVP. It was a squeaker between two members of the Nocito clan, but in the end the youngster won out over the old boy Chelskilad - by one point!

Since no one chose Portugal as the winning team or Rui Patricio as the Golden Glove winner, the points stayed exactly the same, with only Chelskilad picking up the eight points for MVP.

So here are the final standings:

1. The Red Dragon - 61 points
2. Chelskilad - 60 pts
3. West Ham Rising - 59 pts
-  What's Up Wheaton Simon - 59 pts
5. Man Utd Rules - 56 pts
6. Gooner71 - 52 pts
7. Red Devil 1FCK - 50 pts
8. Blue Devil - 48 pts
-  The Saint - 48 pts
-  United We Stand - 48 pts
11. Someone Said - 42 pts
-  Yellows - 42 pts

Sunday, July 10, 2016

France 2016 Final - France v. Portugal Live!

Afternoon, chaps! The big day of the France 2016 has arrived. Typically, I would feel a bit sad on this day, knowing that we would have a barren period between the end of this tournament and the beginning of the new season. However, this France 2016 has been so wretched that I can't wait to see the back of it. After today, I'll need a total break from football for about a month before the new season starts.

Until then, though - let's hope the final is a true tournament capper with loads of goals - and no penalties. Join me on ESPN and here on the LOB!

Friday, July 08, 2016

France 2016 Predictions Game - Semi-Final Update

Afternoon, chaps. We've all toweled off from that exciting match between the current world champions and the hosts and it's time to take stock of our humble predictions game before the big final between France and Portugal on Sunday. With that sole match remaining and only the winner, the scorer of the winning goal, the Golden Glove awardee and the MVP to sort out (I'm assuming that Antoine Griezmann, currently on six goals after his brace yesterday, will be crowned Golden Boot on Sunday), the Lancer Cup is West Ham Rising's to lose. He's predicted France as winners, has Payet as the scorer of the winning goal and MVP, as well as Griezmann as Golden Boot. It is still possible that MUR, who has guessed Hugo Lloris as Golden Glove winner, could pip WHR if the judges vote for someone else but Payet and for Lloris. It will all come down to those last few moments, as it should.

Here are the current standings:

1. West Ham Rising - 61 points
2. The Red Dragon - 59 pts
3. Man Utd Rules - 56 pts
4. Gooner71 - 52 pts
5. Red Devil 1FCK - 50 pts
6. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 49 pts
7. Blue Devil - 48 pts
-  The Saint - 48 pts
-  United We Stand - 48 pts
9. Chelskilad - 46 pts
10. Man Utd Rules - 42 pts
-  Someone Said - 42 pts
-  Yellows - 42 pts

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Semi-final 2 - France v. Germany

As France v. Germany kick off in tonight's France 2016 semi-final, it will be impossible to erase memories of the last time that these sides played, in November 2015 when terrorist bombs disrupted the events and the players spent the night in the stadium. However, let's hope this match will banish that memory with some glorious, attacking football. I can't wait to see it - won't you me?

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Semi-final 1 - Wales v. Portugal

We've reached the semi-final stage at France 2016. As irony would have it, the one side that England actually beat in this tournament are now in a semi-final against Portugal, who have drawn four matches on their way to these finals. That's how woeful these last few weeks have been. But the Red Dragons are representing the UK today - and I'll be backing them. Join me for an afternoon snack, won't you?

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

France 2016 Predictions Game - Quarterfinal Update

Afternoon, chaps - I thought I'd take the time during this break between matches at France 2016 to update you with the standings in our predictions game. The only changes that have happened since the last update are that I've added 4 points for each quarterfinal winner that you've predicted correctly. Since no one predicted that either Portugal or Wales would reach the semi finals, that side of the bracket was a wash (and one of the finalists will be a loser for us as well). Most of us, however, did guess one or both of Germany and France on the other side of the bracket. Antoine Griezmann is now the leader in the Golden Boot competition (on 4 goals), so Red Dragon and West Ham Rising have received the eight points for that one. Here are the current standings:

1. West Ham Rising - 53 points
- The Red Dragon - 53 pts
3. Blue Devil - 48 pts
- Man Utd Rules - 48 pts
- The Saint - 48 pts
6. Chelskilad - 46 pts
- Gooner71 - 46 pts
8 Red Devil 1FCK - 44 pts
9. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 43 pts
10. Someone Said - 42 pts
- United We Stand - 42 pts
- Yellows - 42 pts

Monday, July 04, 2016

The Ten Most Significant Goals in US Soccer History

Happy 4th of July, LOBers. In honor of the nation's biggest holiday, here is a handy list of the Ten Most Significant Goals in US Soccer History:

1. Paul Caliguri's historic goal vs. Trinidad and the Tobonagers back in 1989, which qualified the US for the first World Cup in 40 years.

2. Landon Donovan's last gasp winner against Algeria in the group stage of South Africa 2010, which put the US through to the Round of 16.

3. Joe Gaetjens legendary goal again England in Brazil in 1950.

4. Michelle Akers goal against Norway in World Cup 1991, the first World Cup win for the US women's team.

5. Carli Lloyd's classic David Beckham-style half-way line effort against Japan in last summer's World Cup win.

6. Eric "Waldo" Wynalda's free kick equalizer against Switzerland in the Pontiac Silverdome, which earned the US their first World Cup points in USA '94.

7. Abby Wambach's extra time winner against Brazil in the 2004 Olympic final.

8. Brandi Chastain's penalty kick winner against China in the 1999 World Cup final.

9. Brian McBride's opener against Mexico in the R16 match-up with Mexico at Japanorea 2012, which put the US through to its only quarter final match ever.

10. Michael Orozco's headed winner against Mexico in 2012, the US' first ever win in the Mexican capital.

For more details, here's the original Guardian post:

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Afternoon, chaps! It's the last quarter final of France 2016, and appropriately it's the hosts who are rounding off the round. I'm feeling a bit sad, as this was meant to be England's big quarterfinal day. Instead we have the great pleasure of watching Stoke City (excuse me, Iceland) gracing the big stage. What can say - Allez Les Bleus!

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Quarterfinal 3 - Germany v. Italy

Now this is a proper quarterfinal. Germany v. Italy. It's the tie of the round, for sure. Don't even think about going anywhere for the next three hours or so. Just settle in with some beverages and snacks and enjoy one of world football's great rivalries with me.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Quarterfinal 2 - Belgium v. Wales

Afternoon, chaps! Day 2 of the quarterfinals in France 2016 brings us the match-up between Belgium and Wales. The Red Devils have the Premiership pedigree and will be heavily fancied against the lowly Welse who are overly reliant on the silky skills of one Gareth "Monkey Boy" Bale. But we see what that all meant on Monday for England against Iceland. I'm hoping against hope for a thrill-fest with loads of good goals. Come on!