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Since we already have a Friday Fryer for the biggest idiots in sports, I figured we could use a recap of some of the smokin' hottest people in sports. They can be on a hot streak, a big-game winner, being lusted after by other teams, whatever. They just gotta be SMOKIN' HOT!
A very team-oriented edition of the Smoker this week, as a world champion and a trio of Euro semifinalists make the list.
One of the largest monkeys in international football was lifted off the back of the Spanish national team on Sunday, as they defeated Italy 4-2 on penalties. Spain had not beaten Italy in a competitive game in 88 years. Ocho Ocho. The winner came off the foot of Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas, and Iker Casillas made two critical saves. An excellent game tied 0-0 after extra time, it seemed as though Spain would fall just short. Both teams played great defense, but Spain had some excellent chances to take the lead wasted. Daniel Guiza, the sub for super-stiker Fernando Torres, would have been the goat had Spain lost, as he used his hands on a great chance in the box, AND missed a penalty that lost Spain's advantage. But Spanish eyes are smiling, and they now face an upstart Russian team in the Euro semis. Spain has won every game they've played in the tournament.
Turkey and Russia
It's a Turkey sandwich with Russian dressing! Get it? Moving on... Two of the big underdogs in the tournament have made it all the way to the semis. Russia is the youngest team in the tournament, and have used their exuberance to take out the Flying Dutchmen, who looked pretty unstoppable, 3-1 in extra time on Saturday. Led by forwards Roman Pavlyuchenko and Andrei Arshavin, the Russians have the chance to avenge their only loss in the tournament, a 4-1 defeat to Spain.
Which leads us to Turkey, who proved they are no turkeys with their uncanny ability to comeback from the depths of elimination and claw their way to the final four. First, it was three goals in fifteen minutes to take out the Czech Republic, 3-2, and advance to the quarterfinals. Second, a game-tying goal in stoppage time of extra time against Croatia, to even the match 1-1, leading to a win on penalty kicks. Next in line is Germany in the semis, who look to be hitting their stride after a great win over Portugal.
One of the most satisfying championships in my lifetime, the C's title brings so much to so many people. To Kevin Garnett, long-awaited validation of a Hall of Fame career. To Paul Pierce, a well-deserved reward for staying with the franchise and being the consummate teammate. To Ray Allen, a silencing of the doubters who thought his career was over before he even took the floor with the Celtics. To Doc Rivers, a standing round of applause from everyone in the league for not being intimidated by the Zen Master. To Rajon Rondo, a bevy of playoff experience that will only help him in the future. Do I smell a repeat? Maybe...
Thames not only hit five home runs this week, but eight of his last nine hits have been home runs. Just imagine, every time you come up, you hit it out. That's unreal. For all the guys who are "locked in," I don't know if I've ever seen this kind of consistent power from a guy in such a short period of time. Add to that, the Tigers have won 9 of 11, and are 11-1 when Thames goes deep.
As for last week's smokin' ones...
David Villa: Scored Spain's first penalty in the win over Italy. Best player left in the tournament.
Netherlands: Eliminated by Russia in the quarterfinals. Alas, no more Oranje... It's a Russian revolution, and the Dutch are no longer on top :(
One final note: the Smoker will be taking a week off, as I have friends coming into town from Boston this week. Anyone who would like to take over for a week, feel free to message me.