[gallery columns="4" ids="1051591,1051592,1051593,1051594"] One full week has gone by and I can honestly say this is the GREATEST WORLD CUP EVER. There have been upsets (like Costa Rica representing CONCACAF in style) and comebacks (like Japan getting Drogba’d). There have been stunning early exits from past champs (thanks for playing, Spain!) and upstart teams making the most of rare World Cup appearances (nice work, Colombia). There have been world-renowned stars doing world-class things (Messi!), word-renowned stars breaking World Cup droughts (Rooney!) and world-renowned stars returning from injury just in the nick of time (Suarez!). There have been breakout stars (Colombia’s James Rodriguez) and unlikely heroes (our favorite German-American John Brooks). There has been the closest thing you’ll see to a buzzer beater in soccer (thanks, Switzerland and Ecuador) and even damn exciting scoreless draws (thanks, Mexico and Brazil). But, above all else, there have been goals. People that don’t like soccer like to point to the sport’s lack of scoring as a reason why – but this tournament is shaping up to be the highest-scoring World Cup ever. And many of the goals have been dramatic and beautiful. Here now is a list of our five favorite goals to this point: 5. USA’s Clint Dempsey vs. Ghana American bias? Perhaps. But the three touches the U.S. captain makes are brilliant and his finish is a perfect one. And don’t act like you didn’t jump off your couch screaming when this goal happened in the first minute of the game. [nbcsports_video src=http://player.espn.com/player.js?pcode=1kNG061cgaoolOncv54OAO1ceO-I&width=576&height=324&externalId=espn:11095373 width=620] 4. Costa Rica’s Oscar Duarte vs. Uruguay There have been a lot of great headers for goals in this tournament but this one is certainly one of the best – not only because it was the game-winner in Costa Rica’s massive upset over Uruguay but because a defender’s foot was practically in his face when he dove for the ball. [nbcsports_video src=http://player.espn.com/player.js?pcode=B4a3E63GKeEtO92XK7NI067ak980&width=576&height=324&externalId=intl:1881933 width=620] 3. Ivory Coast’s Gervinho vs. Colombia Who doesn’t like a bit of individual dribbling brilliance? That’s exactly what Gervinho did against Colombia, splitting a couple of defenders and dancing around another one before scoring a beauty to the near post. [nbcsports_video src=http://player.espn.com/player.js?pcode=B4a3E63GKeEtO92XK7NI067ak980&width=576&height=324&externalId=intl:1894342 width=620] 2. Netherlands’ Robin Van Persie vs. Spain Most people would have tried to settle this long ball. Most people are not Robin Van Persie, who opted to fly instead. [nbcsports_video src=http://player.espn.com/player.js?pcode=B4a3E63GKeEtO92XK7NI067ak980&width=576&height=324&externalId=intl:1878442 width=620] 1. Australia’s Tim Cahill vs. Netherlands The force and precision behind this one-time volley is hard to fathom. One of the greatest goals you’ll ever see. And I hear this guy plays in MLS. [nbcsports_video src=http://player.espn.com/player.js?pcode=B4a3E63GKeEtO92XK7NI067ak980&width=576&height=324&externalId=intl:1891216 width=620] --- And since this is purportedly a local blog, we should also highlight the goal from Colombia’s James Rodriguez against Ivory Coast because it led to an epic dance party on the Colombia sideline – led by none other than ageless former Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. (Look for the guy right next to James, who then tries to go for a piggy-back ride on him). Also, great call from former Union forward and color man Alejandro Moreno, who’s been calling the Colombia forward James “Don’t call me James” Rodriguez. (You have to listen to it to get it.) [nbcsports_video src=http://player.espn.com/player.js?pcode=B4a3E63GKeEtO92XK7NI067ak980&width=576&height=324&externalId=intl:1894334 width=620] One last sorta local story: former NBA star Rip Hamilton – our favorite native son from Coatesville – is on his way to Brazil to give one his signature masks to Dempsey, who broke his nose in the last game. Gotta love that American solidarity.
Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz shared a special relationship.
We all know the story.
The two formed an incredible battery combination that produced a perfect game and postseason no-hitter in the same year.
Halladay, a Cy Young winner with plenty of accolades, loved the unassuming Ruiz just as much, if not more, than anyone.
This is case in point: Doc, via CSNPhilly.com's Phillies Insider Jim Salisbury, provided an absolutely epic quote summing up Chooch, who the Phillies traded on Thursday night.
Without further ado ...
Chooch was the little engine that could for a team loaded with big names, but no player was more valuable to the team as a whole than Carlos! He was so humble and grateful, you couldn't help but just want to do anything for him including win! He flawlessly handled one of the greatest pitching staffs ever assembled and was just as important offensively, as well. It was nothing short of miraculous that he could handle so many different personalities and approaches on a day-to-day basis the way that he did. He was the best catcher I've ever thrown to and, in my opinion, the best catcher in baseball in the years I was with him. It's going to be sad to see him without a Phillies uniform on and not seeing him sitting in his chair in the clubhouse with a smile. And just the way the fans treated Chase last week, Chooch is also deserving of that hero's welcome. They are my two favorite players of all-time as well as favorite teammates. I was fortunate to have both of them in the clubhouse. I want to wish good luck to Carlos. Maybe one day when we're old and gray we can come back to Philly!!
With that, we'll leave you with these awesome moments.
Carlos Ruiz has been traded to the Dodgers and it is sad.
Not in the sense that it's a move that remotely affects anything about the current state of the Phillies. It's sad simply because Chooch -- lovable and awesome and wonderful Chooch -- is no longer a Phillie.
Chooch will be remembered for catching Roy Halladay's perfect game and no hitter and that little dribbler down the line in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series. And, of course, dropping to his knees in celebration with Brad Lidge making them World Effin Champions.
Thank you, Chooch.https://t.co/HMyRb1CN8d— Phillies (@Phillies) August 25, 2016
But mostly he'll just be missed. What a guy to have aroud for so long.
Roy knows how hard it is not to have him around. I guess Chase won't need his any longer since the two will be reunined with one last chance of glory in L.A.
Charter schools. They're complicated!
After watching John Oliver's segment on them over the weekend, you'd agree there is plenty of nuance involved in the charter school debate. But also that some of them are dirty as all get out. An underground nightclub at a SCHOOL? Jeez. That can't be okay anywhere.
It's a solid segment. But it also took a couple of unneeded digs at the city of Philadelphia, its cuisine, and its sports fans.
That irked the Mayor of Philadelphia and he fought back today on Twitter.
"Agree on charter oversight but English soccer fan who eats fish from newsprint can't judge Eagles fans, cheesesteaks," Jim Kenney tweeted.
Take that you fish-eating Brit!
You can also watch the entire John Oliver segment from Last Week Tonight below.
Agree on charter oversight but English soccer fan who eats fish from newsprint can't judge Eagles fans, cheesesteaks https://t.co/QQfgE26Kqh— Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) August 25, 2016