Feel Good Story of the Day


Iraq's soccer team is going to the Olympics. A 3-1 win over Saudi Arabia coupled with Kuwait's scoreless tie with Oman gave Iraq the much-coveted spot.

The Iraqis might be one of the few teams who feel safer in Athens than at home.

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  1. Did they ever get their coach back? I read he was forced to leave Baghdad.

  2. After all the Iraqi soccer team has been through, there’s only one way to explain their success.

    It must be a conspiracy!

  3. Man, Jeff, that is THE classic gag for this situation. You should really write this stuff into SNL/Leno/whoever.

  4. Who in God’s name is paying for an Iraqi Olympic team?

  5. What’s the pay for? We wear shorts and have one ball?

  6. “You should really write this stuff into SNL/Leno/whoever.”

    It’s mine now! Watch Friday night kids. And good luck to whatever the Hell political deal you folks have got going on here. It is some sorta political thing, right? Thanks

  7. I don’t know why I pay have to pay writers anymore when we have this WWW thing and I can get this stuff for free. You think it’s cheap to live where I do in fucking rich ass Connecticut?

    Hey kids, I’m drunk! Thanks again.

  8. As long as the U.S. beats Mexico, who cares about the rest? It’s just soccer.


  9. It is worth noting that the Olympic tournament is an Under-23 competition (with the tournament proper allowing 3 overage exemptions). This is the only way FIFA sanctions the Olympic tournament. So basically, it’s a youth-plus event. None of it counts toward any rankings of the full national teams.

    As a hint as to how this is NOT the most prestigious award in soccer (or even second or third), consider the following: in Sydney, the US finished 4th, Chile – Bronze, Spain – Silver, Cameroon – Gold; in Atlanta, Brazil – Bronze, Argentina – Silver, Nigeria – Gold; in Barcelona, Ghana – Bronze, Poland – Silver, Spain – Gold; in Seoul, W. Germany – Bronze, Brazil – Silver, USSR – Gold. To people familiar with soccer over this time period, this shows that this tournament is at best a mixed bag of traditional powers taking it seriously.

    The US has won 6 of the last 8, drawing one other against Mexico at the full national team level, including 2-0 on the ultimate stage, the 2002 World Cup. Mexico has not scored on the US in 434 minutes. That’s over 7 hours of utter futility and nearly 5 full matches. Mexico has not scored on the US on US soil (which isn’t always friendly; see LA) in 573 minutes over the last 5 years.

    In other words, the US hasn’t had much of a problem beating Mexico in a while when it counts.

  10. Evidently the FIFA World Rankings came out today. With the US’ win over Mexico in April (in Dallas), we have climbed 3 spots to #8. FWIW.

    Then again, Mexico was 4th and now has dropped to 6th as a result.

  11. Who in God’s name is paying for an Iraqi Olympic team?

    It’s those overflowing Iraqi oil wells that were supposed to pay for the war and all that stuff. Ahem. Um…I mean, it’s the United States taxpayer.

  12. There’s no real evidence for that. I imagine that much of the infrastructure was already in place from Uday’s days of running the Iraqi Olympic program. That is yet another thing that Saddam funneled money toward for his own glory.

    There’s likely little external funding involved or necessary.

  13. With the US out of the soccer tournament in Athens, I have at least one team to root for. At the same time, how far they’ll go is beyond me. My dead grandmother can beat Saudi Arabia’s team.

  14. YOU NEOCON LIAR!!!! All “terror” is a the faul of US Hyperventionist policies and blowback. The Greeks are not warmongers! There is no threat then! YOu just lie like a neocon!

  15. Judging by the way they (Saudi) played against Germany’s senior team two years ago, I’d be inclined to agree.

  16. It shows they are beatable when they let their guard down and/or don’t necessarily put emphasis on it, at the very least. Hell, we beat them not all that many years ago and haven’t lost by more than one goal to them in many years (IIRC).

  17. The only notable thing about the Olympic tourney is that Brazil has never won . . .

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