- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle6 hrs ago
For much of their history, Barcelona took pride in the fact that they did not have a sponsor besmirching the front of their shirts. In 2006, however, the Catalan side agreed to donate the prime advertising space to UNICEF, putting a logo on the kit for the first time in 107 years. Many suspected this was a ploy to pave the way for a corporate sponsor, and they were right: the non-profit Qatar Foundation graced the shirt in 2012, which was replaced by the very-much-for-profit Qatar Airways for the 2013/14 season.
Barca have now taken the sudden leap from no corporate shirt sponsors to two, as Intel have been announced as a new partner. The "revolutionary initiative" will see the Intel logo placed inside the shirt, which is terribly clever because of the tech firm's "Intel Inside" brand campaign. The official Barcelona site has more detail:
- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle7 hrs ago
Borussia Dortmund may be falling away in the Bundesliga title race, but their Champions League dream is still very much alive after an 87th-minute strike from Kevin Grosskreutz ensured a 2-1 victory at Marseille and safe passage to the knockout stages. (A draw or loss would have allowed Napoli to progress instead, saving us all the sight of Gonzalo Higuain weeping like a toddler.)
BvB manager Jurgen Klopp is renowned for his touchline enthusiasm — and mortifying facial expressions— and he celebrated the last-gasp victory by giving 18-year-old defender Marian Sarr a firm slap around the face.
Sarr might not have appreciated the gesture, but it is impossible to stay mad at a man who drives like this...
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- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle2 days ago
This week, a popular YouTube mathematician figured out that a goalkeeper only has around 0.13 seconds to react to a penalty kick. Evidently, this amount of time is dramatically slashed when the ball is being fired out of a cannon.
A group of Slovenians — who may be associated with fourth division side SD Gorišnica — set up a row of football cannons, lighting them with a flaming torch to test the mettle of their goalkeeper.
The first shot is a bit of a damp squib, but the second one has enough explosives in it to make Keith Moon jealous, causing the ball to hit the net with the power of a thousand Zlatans. The third shot might be even harder, but it misses the target. It is probably floating in orbit right now, destined to collide with Sergio Ramos' penalty attempt.
If Johnny Knoxville and Jeremy Clarkson were ever put in charge of organizing goalkeeping practise, it would probably look something like this.
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- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle3 days ago
Stuart Tomlinson turned professional in 2003 with Crewe Alexandra and has played in goal for the likes of Barrow, Port Vale and Burton Albion. Having gained experience in a sport where participants throw themselves to the ground, pretend to be injured, try to con officials, act like divas and play up to the crowd, he has now decided to make the natural progression into professional wrestling.
Tomlinson was forced to retire from his position between the posts over the summer due to anterior cruciate ligament damage. Even though some opposing fans mistakenly gave the 26-year-old abuse for being enjoying pies a little too much, he earned the nickname "The Tank" due to his ridiculously muscle-bound frame and passion for bodybuilding. His enviable physique has actually landed him on the cover of Men's Health magazine twice.
- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle4 days ago
Sporting Kansas City are the new MLS Cup Champions, having defeated Real Salt Lake on penalties at the coldest edition of the championship match in its 18-year history.
Conditions for the MLS showpiece game, held at KC's Sporting Park, were not ideal — the mercury was hovering at around 18°F at kick off and dipped to a thoroughly polar 7°F with wind chill, with players on both sides finding it hard to get traction on the frozen surface.
It was also just the second game that each team had played in the past 28 days, another factor which led to a physical-yet-tepid first half, with little interesting action to speak of (even the MLS seemed to suggest one of the highlights was a man being carried off). In the first 45, it felt more like a League Cup tie in Stoke on a cold Tuesday night than a major cup final.
However, it was truly a game of two halves, which came alive in the 52nd minute when Real Salt Lake's Costa Rican striker Álvaro Saborío broke the deadlock. The highlight of the goal — and perhaps of the entire match — was the sublime no-look pass that Kyle Beckerman produced to set it up:
- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle7 days ago
Representatives from the 32 competing nations at the 2014 World Cup are arriving at the swanky beachside Costa do Sauipe resort in Bahia in preparation for Friday's World Cup draw.
The showpiece event, which begins at 11am ET (1pm local time) will feature around an hour of pointless singing, dancing and highlights clips before the actual draw process begins. The men who will actually be pulling the balls from FIFA's shiny plastic bowls are previous winners from the eight victorious nations: they include Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Mario Kempes, Lothar Matthaus, Zinedine Zidane and Sir Geoff Hurst. They will not, however, be joined by three-time winner and erectile dysfunction spokesmanPele, who has come down with a serious case of the draw yips.
The Daily Mailhas his response to being asked to participate by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff:
'I preferred to turn down the offer because I wouldn't feel comfortable in picking out balls which are not favourable to Brazil.'
- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle8 days ago
Brighton & Hove Albion's U21 side beat Millwall's youngsters 3-1 on Monday evening, but the highlight was a thoroughly unnecessary piece of showboating from Albion's Glen Rea.
Instead of retuning the ball to Millwall after a break in play in a conventional fashion, he attempted to balance the ball on his head then stylishly backheel it to the exact required position. That is, after all, the kind of move that helps you graduate to the senior team. However, the ball ended up unintentionally smashing Lions midfielder Kris Twardek square in the face from close range.
The more times you watch the clip, the louder you will giggle like a titillated schoolgirl.
This has been the Dirty Tackle of the Day: a chronicling of unfortunate events. Video H/T: 101GG
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- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle8 days ago
Almost exactly a yearafter we saw them furiously competing to win the affection of a small child wondering around a plane unattended, Leo Messi and Kobe Bryant are back with another hilarious feud.
This time, the Barcelona and LA Lakers stars have a "Selfie Shootout," in which they take as many flights as possible in order to snap their own picture in a plethora of exotic and exciting locations — ones that you could experience through the majesty of Turkish Airlines.
Firefighter worked on Glasgow helicopter crash rescue then captained Scottish Cup tie side after one hour’s sleepRyan Bailey at Dirty Tackle10 days ago
On Friday evening, a police helicopter crashed into a busy Glasgow pub when the pilot lost control. At the time of writing, nine deaths and 32 casualties have been reported at the site, with the search of the wreckage still continuing.
Not long after the tragic crash at around 10.25pm, a crew of 150 firefighters were on hand to help, one of whom was Frank McKeown, captain of Scottish League One side Stranraer.
The defender worked all through the night until 8am at the scene of the accident, and after just one hour of sleep, he led his side out in their 1-1 draw at Clyde in the Scottish Cup. McKeown spoke to The Guardian:
"What happened didn't sink in until I had left the job," McKeown said. "It was terrible, but I didn't think about pulling out of the game. I was really tired but I wanted to play. Football is a relief after something like that. I just tried to concentrate on the game to take my mind off things.
- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle13 days ago
Despite spending £110m on new transfers in the summer, Tottenham have scored only nine league goals this season — one less than Sergio Aguero has managed on his own — and they boast the worst shot conversion rate in the league. Also, they're not a lot of fun to watch.
All of this has mounted pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas, with reports that his job is on the line surfacing a few days after Spurs lay on the field at Eastlands and let Manchester City walk all over them.
Tottenham managed a 2-0 victory north of the Arctic Circle in Tromso on Thursday evening, but one Norwegian fan wasn't able to watch the entire game.
Reidar Stenersen Jr, a 29-year-old hairdresser whose Twitter feed claims he is a Manchester Utd season ticket holder, was ejected from the Alfheim Stadium at the behest of AVB, because he sang abusive sacking-based chants from the stand behind the dugout: