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Entries in Steve Susi (29)


The Top Nine Brands Of College Football

This Week's College Football Picks

One Great Season

With the first full spate of NCAA 2010 games in the books, I'd like to celebrate the return of the world's greatest sport by combining my professional and personal obsessions: branding and college football.

But why top nine and not 10? Because, as a massive Ohio State fan, it's only fair I exclude my Buckeyes from the list (otherwise they'd win hands-down and that's hardly objective). I could extol the virtues of the Buckeyes brand for hours, but it's also fun and enlightening to discuss other successful programs too.

So instead of replacing Ohio State with another school, I leave one spot vacated in its honor. Kind of like the Heisman Trust is about to do with the 2005 Trophy.

To read the rest of this story and to see the list of the Top Nine Brands Of College Football, visit

Click here for Steve's bio and an archive of his previous stories.


Fiction Friday: Notre Dame, Dirtied Sanchez & ManRam

Fiction Friday

One Great Season

Here's a quick look at some of the stories the One Great Season crew will be working on over the weekend.

+ Manny Ramirez Can't Figure Out How To Start White Sox New Employee Videotape

+ NFL Chief Reduces Roethlisberger's Name To Four Syllables

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Fiction Friday: Rex Ryan, Elin Nordegren & Clemens

Fiction Friday

One Great Season

Here's a quick look at some of the stories the One Great Season crew will be working on over the weekend.

+ Rex Ryan Protests Revis Holdout With 8-Minute Hunger Strike

+ Nation's Inmates Already Calling Dibs On Clemens

+ USA Basketball Team In Heated Debate Over Istanbul's Legacy Of Post-Byzantine Socioeconomics

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Fiction Friday: Steinbrenner, LeBron & Turducken

Fiction Friday

One Great Season

Here's a quick look at some of the stories the One Great Season crew will be working on over the weekend.

+ Steinbrenner Sues St. Peter Over Gate Revenue

+ In Reputation Cleanup Effort, USC Returns Reggie Bush's Heisman, Keeps OJ's

+ LeBron Tweets Vow To Remember Every Chauffeur Who Stopped At Yellow Light

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Fiction Friday: 'Ay Marriage, God & Turf Tongue

Fiction Friday

One Great Season

Here are some of the stories the One Great Season crew will be working on over the weekend:

+ Jays, Rays Vow To Fight Ban On 'Ay Marriage

+ Notre Dame Cracks Top 25 in Notre Dame Coaches' Poll

+ God Reveals That, Without Him, NFL Receivers' Successes Would Be Highly Possible

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Fiction Friday: Favre, Boise State & Depeche Mode

Fiction Friday

One Great Season

Here are some of the stories the One Great Season crew will be working on over the weekend:

+ Tiger: "I Won't Win Until I Can Sink My Putz"

+ Woman Who Slept With Rick Pitino Sentenced For Shagging Guy Who Looks Like That

+ Giants' Lincecum Shows Good Stuff In Loss, Smokes Good Shit After Loss

+ Brett Favre's Truck Needs New Muffler

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Fiction Friday: Tebow, Vick & Favregnügen

Fiction Friday

One Great Season

Here are some of the stories the One Great Season crew will be working on over the weekend:

+ Bengals Locker Room Set To Deal With T.O., C.O., B.O.

+ Report: Mrs. Saban Accepted Benefits From Real Estate Agent

+ Clown Shot At Michael Vick's Son's Birthday Party

+ Tebow Paid $11.25M By Broncos To Forget All That "Sunday Is The Lord's Day" Stuff

+ Tom Brady Signs 3-Inch Chin Dimple Extension

+ Little League Federation To Remove Games From Schedules, Just Give Out Trophies

+ Green Bay VW Dealer Pissed Off He Didn't Come Up With "Brett Favregnügen" Until Now

+ ESPN's Shelley Smith Breaks Story: "I Will Replace Redskins' Albert Haynesworth"

+ MLB's P.E.D. Ban Has Nothing To Do With 87 No-Hitters This Season

+ Dozenth WNBA Jersey Sold

+ NFL Camp Buzz: Shawne Merriman Pee-Peed in Top Bunk

+ SEC Concession Stands Lose Fight To Make Triple-Fried Bacon Snicker-Doughnuts™ Trans Fat-Free

+ What To Watch Tonight: X Games Big Air Gravity Bong Semifinals

+ Arena League Expands to 16 Fans

Click here for Steve's bio and an archive of his previous stories.


Tiger Woods, A Pair of Jugs And A South African Walk into A Par

Tiger Woods

Can St. Andrews Failure
Fuel Tiger Turnaround?

One Great Season

Even if you didn't watch ESPN's broadcast of The Open Championship from Thursday sunrise through Sunday sunset as I did, by now you're aware the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world finished nowhere near the top of that weird yellow Scottish leaderboard.

Sure, Tiger's still ranked No. 1, but after the 18th hole he made a beeline for the St. Andrews exit with 23rd-place winnings worth $21,275 more than the average U.S. annual household income. A moment with ESPN and then — he gone.

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Germany’s Demise Trumpeted By Vuvuzela Guy On Pitch

World Cup

Spain Set-Piece Dooms
Listless German Side

One Great Season

A former German client (well, she's still German, but was a client of mine at a certain German luxury auto manufacturer) emailed me at halftime, and I quote: "Looks a bit weak right now. Not sure what happened between last Saturday and today. Need a bit more drive and power. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Natascha."

Unfortunately for this lovely fräulein, the Italian fan who jumped the fence at the fourth minute and headed toward midfield with the plastic horn in his lasagna-hole had better moves and more determination than did Die Mannschaft today.

From the opening whistle, La Furia Roja looked every bit the title contenders they've been touted as since their 2008 European Cup win, dominating possession and dictating play with a tight midfield that pushed forward constantly and waited patiently.

The double-pronged grand irony: Germany was beaten on a set piece -- long their area of dominance -- and it was Carles Puyol, one of the smaller guys on the pitch, who did the deed from the air. Odd for a German team averaging 6' 0.4" tall, who have through history gone Luftwaffe on opponents' asses. Puyol's a full two inches shorter, measuring in at a whopping 5-foot-10 and 172 pounds, but that didn't seem to matter. He rushed that shit like "Pour Some Sugar on Me" once did the Top 20.

Um, what? This little Puyol went to town. This little Puyol went to the finals. The diminutive center back had more unmarked space for that corner than Christina Ricci's forehead. This was in fact a microcosm for Germany's listlessness -- a corner kick on their goal at 0-0 is normally a near-guaranteed clearing of the ball. No one communicated, no one moved, and no one smiled after the ball buried deep into the net.

Hmmm. If German coach Joachim Low could just keep his finger outta his nose for 30 seconds, he'd have made substitutions to stem the malaise and somehow fire up a German national team that, until this match, had shown more flair and creativity than most can remember. Too bad, because heretofore they were "The New Germany."

All the props go to Spain, however. Piqué, Villa, Iniesta, Xavi, and of course, Puyol had great looks all day, and the average viewer just knew it was a matter of time. They pressed but weren’t hasty, and when Germany made its expected drives, they were as cool as Paul the Octopus.

So, enhorabuena to Spain. The 2008 European Cup champs replicated their 1-0 tally against Germany from those finals, and never has Uno-Cero sounded so exciting.

Click here for Steve's bio and an archive of his previous stories.


World Cup Notes: Group D = Damn Strong

World Cup 2010 Logo

One Great Season

In the wake — pun intended — of the US Men's National Team's second loss to Ghana in as many World Cups, I felt I'd scour that match's post-game news conference transcript for words from the players and coaches themselves instead of streaming my own 18 yards of heartbreak-laced profanities. OGS has been, after all, a family website for more than 40 years.

This means that, with Sunday afternoon's thrashing of England, Germany and Group D-mates Ghana have moved into the quarterfinals, proving that "D" stands for "Damn Strong."

P.S. Now that Ghana has moved into the Quarterfinals, the author deeply regrets Korea's loss to Uruguay, as this would have realized his lifelong dream of watching the first "Ghana-Rea" match in history.

USA Coach Bob Bradley

On post-match sentiment:
"There's a pretty empty feeling right now because I think coming out of the first round, we felt that there was a real chance of doing something bigger."

On benching central defender Oguchi Onyewu in favor of Jonathan Bornstein on the left and Carlos Bocanegra in the middle:
"We thought that it was important to have both our outside backs being active and trying to get into the attack. Johnny Bornstein had fresh legs coming into this game and his running on that side of the field and his energy would help us. Carlos and Jay (DeMerit) have been a good pairing. The fact is also that in Gooch's comeback, before we got going with (the tuneup games) and then the first two games of the group, he had been out for a long time. You have to factor in minutes."

On opposing players who feign injury:
"I hate to see players acting like they've been hit getting away with it. That is the simplest thing of all to clean up. When I see Kaka get sent off, it's too bad for the game because he is a great player. That is play-acting at its best — or worst. I like to see real competition. I would be in favor that, if it's as obvious as somebody getting pushed in the chest and grabbing his face and laying on the ground, I would rescind the red card and suspend the player who did it for a good number of games.

On the growth of the game in the US:
"We understand that every four years, to some degree, that growth will be put to the test by the results of that World Cup. That's just the way it is. If we do take it further, then maybe that shows people the progress. When you don't, then you still have to keep going. So we've got to keep going.

USA Midfielder Landon Donovan

On losing to Ghana:
"Soccer is a cruel game. Sometimes you're at the top and sometimes you're at the bottom of the mountain. It sucks, man."

On his team's errors:
"I think the way we went out is frustrating because we played a pretty good game, but made a couple of mistakes and got punished for it. It's a tough lesson to learn when you don't get a chance to redeem yourself. I guess the warning signs were there, getting scored on early, and it came back to bite us."

On whether the energy spent fighting back for three straight games took its toll:
"I actually don't think so. I thought we were the fitter team and had more energy in the second half and into overtime. But when you're consistently behind in games, it's very difficult to get back into it."

On the end of the World Cup for Team USA:
"The finality of it is brutal. You realize how much you've put into it not just in the last four years, but your whole life. There's no guarantee there's another opportunity at that. It's disappointing."

USA Goalkeeper Tim Howard

On the future of American soccer:
"We're one of the biggest countries in the world so we've got to start producing some megastars somewhere along the line. But you have to catch that bug first, so you hope this is all part of it for the next generation coming up. I'm sure it will be. I have no doubt."

USA Defender Jay Demerit

On Ghana's second goal:
"When you have sharp forwards that sit on your shoulder, they wait for balls like that. For defenders, we have to worry about the ball in front and the ball behind, and sometimes you get caught in two minds or you just get caught in the space and have to react. The athleticism that they have on that team, they were able to react a little bit quicker than us and showed good strength and a good finish.

Ghana Coach Milovan Rajevac

On the USA-Ghana match overall:
"Both teams deserved to win (Saturday), but only one could go to the quarterfinals. During extra time we needed strength and we had this strength."

On midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng's injury:
"Boateng was injured against Germany already. It is going to be a huge problem to get him ready for the next game."

On the challenges the team faces in the next match:
"It is fantastic to be in the eight best teams, but our problem over the next six days is an injury to Kevin-Prince Boateng that will have our medical staff working hard, and two players (André Ayew and Jonathan Mensah) suspended through second yellow cards."

Ghana Striker Asamoah Gyan

On team perception:
"I said it before: most of Africa turns to take us for granted, but we have proved the critics wrong. I'm the happiest man in the world we did it."

Ghana Midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng

On the injury sustained against the USA:
"I don't know if I will play in the quarterfinals. I don't know if it is a big tear in my hamstring but I will be devastated if I've to leave my friends and brothers like that, but I am praying."

Click here for Steve's bio and an archive of his previous stories.


In Pictures: A Day At Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal

One Great Season

LONDON -- It's not a bad week when you take a page out of Jeff Spicoli's party manual and you wing on over to London to watch some World Cup matches at the local pubs, and mix in a day at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club to take in a few Wimbledon matches.

But thanks to a friend with free tickets, that's exactly what another friend and I were able to do on Tuesday. And because the complimentary seats and overall access were so good, a coat and tie were required.

We saw Rafael Nadal (pictured, above) win an easy first-round match and lucked into seeing the Williams sisters play their women's doubles opener. Click here for some pictures.

Click here for Steve's bio and an archive of his previous stories.


BBC Heaps Praise On USA After Thrilling Victory

World Cup 2010 Logo

One Great Season

LONDON -- What a day it was Wednesday. I'm exhausted after an extensively hot day that pretty much had a soundtrack from The Specials as I ran around Europe's largest city in the vain hopes of finding one single screen showing the USA-Algeria match (read about my ordeal here). This day's weather was perfect, after spending all day seated in a perfect Centre Court at Wimbledon Tuesday, I assumed today would match the ease, grace, and elegance of the two previous. It did weather-wise, at least.

But back in my hotel room after all the madness, I flipped on BBC1 and listened to a World Cup expert drop a fairly flattering opinion on the American team after its thrilling 1-0 defeat of Algeria:

"I watched the whole of it and, you know, it was back and forth, fantastic football for the fans. Algeria and the United States, going at each other for 91 minutes; errors, options, possibilities. And you really saw the character of the Americans — and America — on the pitch. They never, ever stopped fighting. And even though they had some bad calls against them, they didn't let those things stop them. They just cleaned up after themselves. And then they won. What was it, the 92nd minute? They deserved it. You know when you have so many chances it's bound to happen. It was lovely, lovely football and they deserved to win the group. Good on you, USA."

Click here for Steve's bio and an archive of his previous stories.


A New Yorker in England: A Harrowing Tale


One Great Season

LONDON -- I found a "pop-up bar" online called Fever Pitch that's only in Fulham Broadway (in the heart of the football-mad London neighborhood of Fulham) for the extent of the World Cup.

I also found some blogs and local news articles about the best pubs for watching all matches, and Fever Pitch was rated highly. So I headed over there from my hotel in Vauxhall and they barely let me in an hour beforehand; it was packed to the gills.

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I asked the bouncer which screen's rolling the U.S. match, and he said, "No way. We tried at kickoff, but when we turned it on the TV at the far corner, the place went berserk. So, not here mate. Sorry."

I was goddamned livid; not only did they promise the airing of all matches online, it even said it on the clapboard standing outside the door of the place.

So I walked around that square to all the bars and they basically laughed when I asked about the U.S. match. "Sorry mate," went the reply at all of them. "We understand, but if I give up a screen here to the U.S. match I'll be fired and then killed." I even went to a place called "The American Grill," and the Pakistani family inside running the place said the same.

So in my travails I found one bar manager who's American. He told me to go to an American-owned pub called Back Page in Leicester Square, just outside the station. "Perfect," I think, and I head over there as fast as I can (by this point it's roughly 20th minute) and go straight to the first bar I see outside the station to ask their bouncer standing outside, who should know, and sure enough, the Back Page is nowhere near that neighborhood. The dopey American dude at that one bar in Fulhman was dead wrong. So I go around Leicester Square and Covent Garden and find 100 places packed solid, and in keeping with the story, none had even one goddamned screen rolling the U.S. match — not even one of those dumb little bar-side monitors that no one watches.

At this point, I'd be happy to just sit down, have a beer, watch the end of the England-Slovenia match, and hear its broadcast commentators possibly give asides that include progress of the US match.

So — you ready to laugh? — I found a Travelodge in Covent Garden with big ground-floor windows, through which I discover a hotel bar about half-full with plenty of empty seats, beer and a big screen. I came in with about 15 minutes left, grabbed a beer and fire up one of the Internet terminals which just happen to be in the hotel bar. I turned on ESPN3 online and about 10 minutes later, the people in the Travelodge were visibly terrified when I started jumping around and yelling at the computer. Landon Donovan's goal in extras sent the USA into the next round, and at least one American in London embarrassing himself in a cheap hotel bar.

Click here for Steve's bio and an archive of his previous stories.


World Cup Notes: Update On Hot Dutch Girls

Dutch Soccer Fans

One Great Season

Sports Web sites and other media outlets offering even the most basic World Cup coverage were just as ecstatic as Barbara Castelein and Mirthe Nieuwpoort  Tuesday afternoon.

The two Dutch women were cleared of criminal charges in a Johannesburg courtroom, just days after being accused in a beer company's ambush-marketing gag at last week's Denmark-Holland Cup match, The Guardian reported.

The development gave sites everywhere another reason to publish the picture of the gaggle of gals sporting those form-fitting getups in that familiar Dutch orange, and use terms like "Hot Girls" in their cheap headlines.

NOTES FROM ENGLAND: As you know, OGS World Cup writer Steve Susi is wrapping up his whirlwind European tour this week, watching matches at pubs and what not, and sent these emails Monday evening:

"I just landed in London this afternoon and am blown away by how down-spirited the island nation is about their famous football team after two draws. I visited a Sainsbury supermarket here a few hours ago, and walking through the England World Cup merchandise aisle I heard an older guy say to his wife, 'They ought to put all this stuff on clearance.'"

And ...

"In a Notting Hill bar at the moment and just saw this incredibly amazing 'World Cup Managers Fashion Report' that absolutely excoriated Germany's coach Joachim Low, his butt-cut hairdos, and sportcoat/v-neck sweater. I haven't laughed this hard in a while. Like two days. But still, fantastic. (The music bed for the feature was Madonna's "Vogue," FYI.)"

RE: ALL: Susi's second note earned a cheeky reply from OGS Group F correspondent Mike Marshall: "That's awesome they're showcasing Joachim Low. Watching their last match the other day, I was dumbfounded that both he and his assistant were doing some form of Hugo Boss meets Mr. Rogers sweater shit. I'm expecting them to have low-tech head sets, rocking out to Kraftwerk in true Dita Dance Party fashion. They should check out Pep Guardiola for fashion tips."

VIDEO OF THE DAY: NBA star Steve Nash, a native of Canada and lover of seemingly all sports, is featured in Visa's latest worldwide GOOOOAAAAAL cheer, shows off his Brandi Chastain sports bra at the end of this short clip.

SUGGESTION BOX: If American football uses seven officials to spy a 100-yard field for NFL games, why do only three zebras patrol a pitch that in international footy can be as gargantuan as 120 yards long and up to 80 yards wide? Should FIFA consider adding more officials to Cup games?

KIT JOKES: I'd heard plenty of jokes about Slovenia's uniforms during their gift of a 2-2 draw with the Americans on Friday, most of which had a Charlie Brown theme. But this Facebook status update from friend Matthew Fenton was too good to ignore: "Some vandal broke into Slovenia's locker room and drew EKGs on their jerseys."


Five World Cup Matches You Can't Miss This Week

World Cup 2010 Logo

Desperate Football On Tap
In Final Games Of Group Play

One Great Season

Tuesday brings the first day of the final round of matches in World Cup pool play in South Africa.

The first round saw some teams, even traditional powers, sitting back and playing conservatively.

The second round required some of those teams to step things up after less-than-positive results in those opening-round matches.

And now that we're on to the desperation round, it's OK to expect more excitement from many of the games over the next few days. A few of the One Great Season World Cup writers reveal below which must-see matches you won't want to miss:

+ Mike Mudd
USA v. Algeria, Wednesday (10 a.m. ET, ESPN)
Group C has been sort of a mess. The U.S. has played great in stretches, and, frankly, like crap in others. This is a must-win game for the Americans and it's going to be interesting to see if they can buckle down and play their best when a spot in the knockout round is on the line in a do-or-die game.

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+ Steve Susi
England v. Slovenia, Wednesday (10 a.m. ET, ESPN2)
How will the Three Lions respond to this must-win situation (or at least must-draw and pray for help) after a week of discord, calls for Fabio Capello's head, Capello's calling out of John Terry for press-conference comments, Jamie Gallagher's absence due to two yellows and the tabloid mania that's drowned us all these past few days?

+ Jake Yadrich
Germany v. Ghana, Wednesday (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
After Germany blasted Australia 4-0 in their opening match, people were talking Cup favorite. But then a 1-0 loss to Serbia left the Germans likely needing a victory over group leader Ghana to advance to the knockout stage. The German attack will be without prolific goal scorer Miroslav Klose, and Ghana captain John Mensah and fellow central defender Issac Vorsah may both be available for the match (neither played the last game due to injuries). I imagine Serbia will take out Australia, leaving the Germans with no option but to win this game. It has added importance, not only because a world soccer power may be booted, but it could also determine who the Americans would play in the knockout round should they advance.

+ Mike Dick
Italy v. Slovakia, Thursday (10 a.m. ET, ESPN)
The Italians have looked completely devoid of creativity, lack a consistent goal scorer and have been shaky at the back at times. Can Lippi make enough tweaks to get the three points they so desperately need? Or are the defending champs catching an early flight home?

+ Mike Marshall
Chile v. Spain, Friday (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Spain will be looking to top the group, not only for obvious reasons like national pride, but avoiding a knockout-round game against likely Group G winner Brazil. Following a much-improved second match against Honduras on Monday, Spain will move forward often, and shoot the nets off of the Chilean goal.