By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
If Landon Donovan's 11th-hour goal against Algeria saved his marriage last week, then his flat elimination-game effort against Ghana put it back in jeopardy, what does his future look like with actress Bianca Kajlich now that Manchester City appears to be interested in the capable midfielder?
I'm guessing the marriage has been saved, because Donovan, the best American player who earns slightly more than $2 million per year with the MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy, could earn as much as twice that wage if he signs with the world's richest soccer club. Man City plays in the English Premier League and has beefed up its roster with high-priced talent since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan bought the outfit in 2008.
CUP REVIEW: OK, so we're more than two weeks in, and despite being a novice football fan, I feel like I now have some semi-educated takes on why Americans -- or non-fans anywhere -- don't like soccer:
+ It's not a contact sport. If it was, there wouldn't be so many divas diving after the lightest of bumps, and there wouldn't be so many whistles after those cheap stunts. Contact does not equal pain. Man up.
+ The clock should stop. Soccer is the only sport whose players fake so many injuries simply to waste time. How about this renegade approach: Don't let them waste time. If not card them for their manufactured theatrics, at least stop the clock so they can't eat it up.
+ Add referees. If a soccer field is far larger than an NFL field, and seven officials are used in each NFL game (and many think they still can't get it right), why not add more referees to soccer? Or at least to World Cup matches? I can't believe how many incorrect calls or non-calls have negated goals in a sport where maybe only two or three are scored each game. In the NBA, if a ref misses a traveling call that led to a basket in the third quarter, the victimized team still has plenty of time and scoring opportunities to overcome it. But in the Seligian game of international football, where it doesn't seem like video replay will ever be used, it would make sense to add more eyeballs.
BIIIIIING: You know that sound a door-stopper makes when you flick it to the right or left? It's often used by unfunny FM-radio DJs to imply the sound of a man's erection, and usually goes something like, "Boi-oi-oi-oi-oi-oi-ng."
Anyway, it's no coincidence that the fine people at BING, in their ad that's been running endlessly since the beginning of the Cup, use two very sexy Latin women whose every syllable is meant to induce such a reaction from their male-heavy audience.
Both of the women are beautiful, but that Filomena in particular seems to boast some curvaciousness that I find quite appealing.
TIPS FOR SPOUSES: Though there are fewer games ahead, the stakes are greater and the play will be better between now and the Cup final on July 11.
If your husband has been glued to the set and you've got some extra time on your hands, here are some tips from MSN on what to do while he's watching.
WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY FALLS: A new study out Monday shows there was an alarming drop in workplace productivity in the United States Friday, and the Cup is the obvious culprit.
The figures showed that Americans spent a total of nine man-hours -- perhaps as many as 10 -- of company time on Friday, as office workers from coast to coast printed out elimination-round brackets and tried to figure out where Italy and France were on the schedule.
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor said the figures clearly demonstrate a growing interest in soccer.
"The figures clearly demonstrate a growing interest in soccer," he said.