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A feel-good video of Slovenian soccer moments by Slo-nogomet.net
Slovenia played Holland yesterday in a Euro 2008 qualifier. The match was pretty much pointless for Slovenia from the beginning, since they’ve already failed to qualify.
It’s a shame because the matches will be taking place right next door in Austria and Switzerland. But then, anyone who cheers for the Slovenian national team has learned to accept a certain level of disappointment. It comes with the territory.
Still, there are golden moments — many of them captured in the video above. It’s a nice picker upper. Almost as good as a speedball.
Behold the soccer stars of 1986/1987 Yugoslavia:
(Thanks to the always-potentially-nsfw Pengovsky!)
Jim McKay talks about the famous clip of Slovenian skier Vinko Bogataj on ABC.
Last year, I posted about the Slovenian skier Vinko Bogataj, who appeared week after week in the opening montage of the hugely popular show ABC’s Wild World of Sports. Since then, some new and interesting things have come to light.
Second, he appeared on the pilot episode of Scrubs, playing (appropriately enough) a patient.
Finally, he received a rousing standing ovation at the show’s 20th anniversary special, which you can see here:
Vinko gets an ovation.
He apparently got into a fender bender on the way to the ABC studio, prompting him to quip that “Every time I’m on ABC, I crash.”
It’s a strange world.
Nachbar vs. Tim Duncan.
Nachbar vs. The Knicks.
Nachbar vs. Elton Brand.
Nachbar vs. Jermaine O’Neil
Nachbar vs. Calvin Booth.
Nachbar wrecks Dalembert — hvala Tomaz!
Will somebody please kill this beast? (source)
This isn’t the first time Slovenia has culled its bear population. And it always manages to anger plenty of people: From the International Bear Association to the European Commission, which rightly pointed out that:
“…Slovenia’s estimate of its brown bear population at between 400 and 700 is so vague that it suggests the welfare of the species is not being properly monitored.”
I’m also among the angry, but for an entirely different reason: I’m wondering why the government isn’t doing more to profit from this. There are web sites, for example, like this one, which offer bear hunts in the backwoods of Russia. Prices start at over $4,000. Surely the Slovenian government should be trying to get a piece of this action. And yet, a Google search reveals nothing.
Selected Google Searches and Their Results
1) “Hunt Bears in Slovenia” : Only turns up this forum discussion, where someone mentions that you can hunt bears in Slovenia. Interestingly, later one member mentions this blog. My linking back to that forum is proof that life, and everything in it, is circular.
3) “hunting” AND “bears” AND “Slovenia” AND “bazooka” : 433 results, believe it or not. But not one of them telling you how to actually go about doing it.
4) “Due to deep-rooted insecurities about my own masculinity, I would like to travel to Slovenia and have a guide take me to where a bear is, and I mean, literally take me to a field and point to it so that all I have to do is push a button and it dies, and then I want to have it stuffed so that it looks ferocious standing in the study of my villa in Germany and for this service I’m willing to pay serious money.” : No results. Can you believe it? That search string has probably been put into Google a thousand times by now.
5) “Shoot something that can’t shoot back” AND “Slovenia” : Even a general search comes up empty. The first result is for this: the lyrics to Love Shot by Mandy Moore.
There’s clearly a lot of unexplored economic potential here, my friends. A lot. Someone just has to step in and seize it with their bare (stupid pun intended) hands.
Radlje, by Hans van der Meer. (source)
“i love how 2 of the 3 pictures from italy have some knob rolling around the pitch in fake agony. i guess it’s systemic.”
The complete collection can be seen here.
Slovenian teenage hockey sensation Anže Kopitar. (source)
Legend-in-the-making Anže Kopitar is still wowing fans in the U.S., to the point where radio shows are signing songs in his praise. Well, one show is.
You can listen here: Anže (sung to the tune of Angie)
12-year-old Denis from Murska Sobota is wicked good with the ball.
Part 2, the Revenge
Croatian soccer fans are known for their delicate sensibilities.
In what be the most ridiculous story of the year, the Association of Croatian Societies in Slovenia is suing two Slovenian cable operators because they blocked Croatian TV broadcasts of the World Cup this summer. Got that? No? Okay, don’t worry. Let’s break this down together. From the beginning:
2) They ask cable operators UPC Telemach and Ljubljanski kabel to “black out” Croatian TV transmissions of the matches. Why? To ensure that they have a monopoly on coverage here, of course. What’s critical to note, though, is that this almost certainly has nothing to do with Croatian viewers. Croatians account for less than 2% of the population here. What the broadcasters are worried about are Slovenes — many of whom may have preferred watching Croatian coverage of the matches. Was this a shitty thing to do? Perhaps. But it was also perfectly understandable and, frankly, par for course. But here’s where things take a turn for the worse.
3) In a fit of rage, the Association of Croatian Societies in Slovenia sues the cable operators, claiming “discrimination” and the kind of deep “psychological pain” that only 1.6 million euros can make right again.
And that’s where the story is right now. It’s the “psychological pain” part that irks me most, not only because I was hoping I’d left that kind of nonsense behind in the U.S., but also because it’s almost offensively ridiculous. In fact, you could say that this lawsuit is causing me psychological pain. And it’s deep… Like €50-million deep.
First of all, it’s not like they were hog-tied, caged and prohibited from watching World Cup matches. They just had to watch them in the language of the country where they currently live. And they didn’t even have to do that. I mean, let’s imagine for a second that you’re the type of fanatic nutter who absolutely HAS to see a match broadcast in your native tongue. If you don’t see matches with a familiar voice explaining that you just saw a goal being scored, or a pass being made, you become traumatized. That might be difficult for you to imagine, especially since those kind of people probably belong in a mental hospital, but try to imagine it anyway. You HAVE to see the game in your mother tongue or else, mental schism. If this is the case: Why not just drive to Croatia to watch the goddamn matches? The distance is less than the average New Jersey-New York City commute. Hell, they were showing them for free on big screens in Zagreb, if I recall correctly. Or go to Germany? I mean, it’s not like anyone was working during the time anyway.
Or how about this: tuning into Croatian radio while watching the match on TV? I know a lot of people who do this. What about that? My point is that there were options. Lots of ‘em. It’s not like me and Taco Bell, where traveling 1,000 kilometers in any direction just leaves me standing there, a poor fool, just as wise as formerly.
And I don’t want to sound insensitive or anything. I mean, I know firsthand that it’s difficult being a foreigner, and that maintaining a connection with your country of origin is important. I’m guilty of doing plenty of crazy, stupid things to keep up this connection, like going to Austria to get Dr. Pepper, or praying every night for the Good Lord to deliver a Taco Bell unto Ljubljana, so that I may rejoice and gnash chicken soft tacos with mine teeth. But at some point you have to decide if something is a deal-breaker or not, if something that’s missing here is going to cause you “psychological pain” worth millions of tolars, or not. In short, you have to adjust. You have to recognize those things that are inconveniences or annoyances, and work around them — not clog up the courts with monkey shit like this.
As for the legal implications: They may actually have an argument of sorts. You could argue that people (myself included) paid for a television package with HTV, and that we were denied this during World Cup matches. Then again, if withholding service or not delivering an expected service are crimes, I know a lot of Slovenian companies that should be sued. Really a lot.
In short, I suppose I can understand (although not sympathize with) the black out as a “breach of contract.” But all this “mental pain” garbage needs to be reserved for moments when it really applies.
Nika Mulec delivers the sad news of Kostelić’s sabbatical on live TV.
Since Slovenia prides itself on its Alps, and since Slovenes are almost universally fanatical about skiing, it’s always been a bit of a bummer that arch-rival Croatia produced a world-class skiier like Janica Kostelić.
Still: you’d think that her recent decision to skip this season wouldn’t so obviously delight this nation’s sportscasters…