The Season of Giving


We discussed  all the freebies being handed out in Russia this week. Morocco's own goal in stoppage time set Tehran in raptures. Toon-E-zee-a cleared a table for Harry Kane to peruse the appetizer menu before  ordering dessert straight away. Even Ronaldo donates lots of money to charities, I bet.* He is even ready to deliver about $17 million to the Spanish government. But his greatest gift is his unabashed talent on the pitch. Today's record-breaking goal wasn't among his top ten, but our Glory Boy in bronzed abs somehow managed to slink unimpeded through a crowd of defenders to snuff out any Moroccan dreams of upset.  Not so nice after all. 


Day Seven: The Games

Today was never going to be much for drama with three heavily favored sides. Three 1-0 games give Portugal, Spain and Uruguay a pass to the round of 16. Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Iran have one opportunity left for pleasant memories on the ride home. 


On to the beer: 

 As promised it was a grab bottle. Turned out to be Ommegang Three Philosophers. I've never been a big fan of this Belgian-style American brewery. Always a bit raw and too much. I believe our resident expert en musique has a fondness for Hennepin. The beers are okay for American Craft, but that's the thing. I think for all the great American craft brews there are very few that nail even the good, not great, German and Belgian imports. Victory and Capital do some good German styles; I like many of the Canadian Unibroue Belgian-style beers, but I'd expect more from such a well-funded operation.  


23rd-minute ho-hum winner

Mudpuppy Porter from Central Waters, Amherst, WI. Good basic porter. Our first Wisconsin beer of the tournament, I think. Gary, remember the Grenada War vet at the bar up north in 1997? Not sure I've ever been so worried about getting punched in my life. Thanks for that memory. 


Warming Up 

Denmark play Australia at 10 a.m. tomorrow, the usual time for the drunks of Copenhagen to open their first Carlsberg Elephant, the Colt 45 of Europe.  If Billy Dee Williams shilled for import beer it would be Elephant, It Works Every Time. BA posters gettin' real: "The Bros rate Steel Reserve 211 higher than this? Fucking idiots! This taste like a Stella but has more kick. Steel Reserve tastes like SHIT, FOOLS! MORONS!"  Thanks BulletsNbeers, you didn't let me down. Skunky bonus points, we all have our weird kinks.


 Cristiano Ronaldo Athletic Rock and Roll Song! 

Artist: The Athletic Sports Band 

Nation: United States

Album: Sports Music Songs (2014)

Bold and largely baseless prediction time: Cristiano Ronaldo’s strike-fest, now at a remarkable four goals, ended Wednesday. He won’t find the net again this tournament. 


(I’m mostly saying this to appear contrarian and prescient if it works out. It’s all upside, baby.)


What a legend, though. Europe’s top international goal scorer. Refining his approach to remain deadly as age creeps up. And they finally replaced that hallucinogenic airport statue. Honors abound. 


Of course there’s no higher honor than being celebrated by this blog (you’re welcome, CR7). And second only to that is the honor of immortalization in song by The Athletic Sports Band. 


What is the Athletic Sports Band? It’s actually a Massachusetts guy named Matt Farley, who releases music under that name and also as The Very Nice Interesting Singer Man. 


Oh, and also as The Great Weather Song Person, The Guy Who Sings About Cities & Towns, and The Hungry Food Band. And some 80 or so other names.  


What Ronaldo is to sheer volume in goals, Farley is to songwriting. He has an irrepressible calling to create, and he’s one of the rare few to arrange his life to enable it. To date, he’s written and released more than 19,000 songs. You’ve probably come across his work while searching on Spotify or iTunes for something else. For about 40 bucks, he’ll even write a custom song for you — details at Or you can just call the dude  — he sings his cell number in his songs all the time and welcomes your call. 


Farley’s work tends to polarize people. At first, many strain to locate some sinister reason or another to write it off. But I’ve come to view his body of work as a singular, audacious, sprawling work of American conceptual art. And for a fringe artist, Farley himself is a disarmingly nice, approachable and “normal” guy, for lack of a better word. A suburban family man whose vocation just happens to be unorthodox and outwardly ridiculous. Or at least more obviously so than yours. 


There is top-tier songwriting in the mix. Of course, with this much output, not all of it can be. Today’s track, with real-time Wikipedia lyricism, is a performance perhaps akin to Ronaldo netting by getting some help from poor Moroccan defending. 


But hey — how many songs about Ronaldo have you written? Or Messi? Or Beckham? Or Yaya Touré? Or, um, Jon McShane? 


I hoist a Worth Brewing Company glass to all those, like Ronaldo and Farley (and you too, Brewer Peter), who are dedicated fully to a craft, and living their lives as they want. Cheers. 


 This will put the Brulee in your creme.                                                                                   MedicalXpress


Nat's Kitchen

Full admission. When the World Cup field was settled in November, I lured Nat up to Peter's Luxury Apartment® for Kobe beef sliders with a palate cleaner of  Thomas Hardy Ales circa 1987.


The sound of the dead-bolt must have been jarring once he was in the lush confines of my mid-century, mid-town man pad. He had access to bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and daily list of suggestions delivered under the door each morning. From his Gio Ponti lamp I imagine he researched his copious notes on escargots a la Bourguignonne. After a late morning trying to jimmy the lock, he'd resign himself to a brief rest on the Hans Wegner sofa before digging in to his favorite Swedish Surströmming. Frenetic, almost fevered, he may have scurried to the Charlotte Perriand cabinet for his 2nd edition Escoffier for  direction on a Mussels à la Marinière recipe that could be replicated in the  ocean-less middle of a large continent. After one last attempt at transmitting an SOS via a home-made transistor fashioned of used dental floss and anchovie tins, he would cry himself to sleep on a Melvin Mikkelsen Mobler bed set making sure to dehydrate the tears for a breakfast of sel de agonie la morue. 


If Nat survives I will release him on July 15. I've had doubts he'll make it. Last week there was a strange smell and no sounds eminating from Peter's mid-century bastion of good taste and design®, but alas, it was just his latest attempt at Kæstur hákarl.  I've given him the day off until tomorrow's Nigerian Jollof- One pot



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