Beware the Rhinos: Real Madrid – Barça

El Clasico Liguero: Saturday 4pmEST, ESPN Deportes/ESPN3 and GolTV

You ever stood in front of a snorting rhino, its mammoth foot pawing the ground, horn shaking up and down while its eyes somehow stay rooted on you? Me neither, but anyone who has played against Carles Puyol has felt that same cold, sweaty fear as the teams line up. I know this for a fact because anything less would be unimaginable. Each and every one of Madrid’s players are doubtlessly spending their evenings begging whatever crazy dark magic they employed to keep capitá out for this long to stay in effect just one week longer. But beware what you ask for, madridistas: if a butterfly sneezing in Borneo can cause a hurricane in the Atlantic, imagine what 11 exhaling athletes can do to the weather patterns.

But even if Puyol doesn’t make it and there’s no Day After Tomorrow super storm, that outpouring of relief, that “We’ve got ‘em now” thinking will get them only a backhand from one of the other mercurial geniuses to be found in blaugrana. It’s not that I’m overconfident it’s that I’m holy crap on a stick in a rainstorm of crap-covered sticks batty about the coming matches. Have I mentioned there are 4 of them? Have I mentioned that?

Well: there are 4 of them!

Will it ever be a walk in the park? Of course not, the manita wasn’t (but it was a manita!) and these coming matches won’t be either. We’re injured, we’re wounded, but we’re also going to enter pissed, ready, focused, and, as always, virtually impossible to defend. Yeah, it’s at the Bernabeu (more like the burra-bay-ew, amirite) but so were the 2-0 and the 2-6.

But I mentioned pissed. Why? Because like Meatloaf says, you just can’t push someone too far. Or you risk an explosive reaction in your face. You risk finding yourself on the wrong end of an elephant tusk (just to continue the imagery from earlier) named golaaaazo de Messi. You risk sticking your neck into the guillotine of Xavi’s brilliance. You’ll never see it coming but hoo boy will that sucka sting.

There must be someone open...

And this one is for all the marbles. They’re all for all the marbles. But these are the league marbles and no matter what you say, no matter how hard you try to convince me, I will never believe that anything other than the league is most important of the competitions. Lay it on the line, boys, and do it in all 3 competitions. We’re jugando la liga right here, right now. 10pm local time.

And that is where we are right now, us cules, we blaugrana. We are without our captain, our defensive lynchpin, and we’re also missing our first choice left back and an able midfielder. But we are there, jugando, as always, disfrutando del fútbol, living with every pass, dying with every mistake. And that is el clásico. The whistle you’ll hear ringing in your ears throughout the match every time they touch the ball will be your passion. That feeling that is like some lovely and horrible adrenaline rush that won’t let go of your heart is morbo. Or it’s a heart attack and you need medical attention. Who can know?

Busi in midfield, Milito in the back, Adriano out left. The rest? You already know it. You already penciled them in. You are already watching them in your mind, those impish wonders, those tiny creatures of pure joy: pass, move, offer. Repeat ad nauseam. You’re already screaming out el cant, you’re already holding up your scarf in your local bar, you’re already embarrassing your fiancée on the subway chanting something about Madrid quemando.

Our squad: Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Messi, Jeffrén, Keita, Busquets, Pedro, Milito, Maxwell, Afellay, Adriano, Fontàs, Thiago, Jonathan.

Predicted lineup: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Milito, Adriano, Busi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Messi, Pedro

Official Prediction: 0-2, goals by Messi and Pedro. Deja vu?

TV: In the US, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3(HD) and GolTV(HD).

Time: 4pmEST, 10pm local time.

And now: Freakout time!! Yay! In the meantime go read Euler’s tactical post for, you know, knowledge and other icky stuff. Me, I just know about this:

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. culemom
    April 15, 2011

    The member formerly known as soccermomof4 is testing new nickname:

    Apparently you can change your nickname as long as you keep your username. So here’s me trying “culemom” since soccermomof4 confuses people.

    I kinda like it, lemme know what you think y’all!

      • culemom
        April 15, 2011

        Now Kari dear, weren’t you the one who said to try it?

        • April 15, 2011

          …Yes. B-but if I call you SoMa4 people will get confused.

          Oh! I know! Why don’t you call yourself–oh, I dunno… SoMa4?


          • culemom
            April 15, 2011

            Not everyone called me SoMa4. I got somomo, SoMa4, and every other combo of so+mo+4 on earth (it was kinda cute actually). But Whatever was not the first person to be confused.

            This is just a test. Fortunately, it appears that the posts posted under the old nick remain as such so it would be easy to switch back.

            Blitzen seems to think that this makes me a cross between a cool mom and a pokemon. I wonder what my special pokemon power would be.

          • culemom
            April 15, 2011

            OK, trying SoMa4 because you said so and your a mod and I can always blame you and I just got back from happy hour and cosmos can do this to you…

          • April 15, 2011

            Oh, nononononono~! If you like it, you can keep culemom! Honest! 😉

            I was just being a brat. joking. 😀

          • SoMa4
            April 15, 2011

            I alway like SoMa4 too, Kari. The other variations as well. you all decide.

    • culemom
      April 15, 2011

      Or is this now more confusing?

      I’m so confused!

    • Jose
      April 15, 2011

      I approve 😀

      But so does Lev’s “roommate”…

    • Miguel
      April 15, 2011

      Put an accent mark over the e to make it look more fancys. Like so:


      • SoMa4
        April 15, 2011

        Trying SoMa4 because Kari is making me. Which one do I keep. I don’t want to confuse people and soccermom(the mod) is worthy of her own special distiction.

        I don’t know how to do accents on this keyboard Migs, I could try to cut and paste.

        BTW, does Isaiah get like this every clasico? I like it!

        • Miguel
          April 15, 2011

          He does. Isaiah’s gonna have a massive aneurysm by the end of April. Count on it.

          Cut and paste!

          • culémom
            April 15, 2011

            Cut and pasted just for you Miguelito!

            Kxevin and Isaiah are doing a good cop bad cop thing for us. Kxevin, in his pragmatism is cautioning us that we may have to steal our hearts against potential disaster (a la Pep) and Isaiah is telling us we’re so bas### let’s go kick so EE bottom (a la VV?) I like it.

            “Freakout time!! Yay!” God bless his lovely, patient bride to be.

          • culémom
            April 15, 2011

            I think we’re going to need a heavy dose of Isaiah’s pride, Kxevin’s caution, Euler’s wisdom, Kari’s enthusiasm, vicsoc and Kari’s LBs, SoMa’s wit, and Blitzen’s manitas to get us through this.

  2. culemom
    April 15, 2011

    “it’s that I’m holy crap on a stick in a rainstorm of crap-covered sticks batty about the coming matches”

    This is gonna be some ride isn’t it?!

    • culemom
      April 15, 2011

      Oh, and if I see a rhino coming at me from one direction, and our captain coming at me looking like that from the opposite direction, I’m running from the caveman!

      • 505
        April 15, 2011

        LOL! but if he’s looking like that without a shirt, i’m running to him and he can save us both from the rhino 🙂

  3. outerspacedout
    April 15, 2011

    Oh my God I’m crying with laughter at Arshavin’s usual Q&A he has with fans. It’s usually hilarious, but this one is especially epic. Excerpts:

    5. From Moonray
    Andrey, please tell some story (incident) from your childhood, just in a couple of words, if you can
    Thank you 🙂 N.
    AA: I was born.

    8. From Moonray
    Andrey, what to do when there is nothing to do at work? I need your advice. Looking forward to your reply! Thank you), Natalia.
    AA: I guess loafers are sitting on social networking sites at work.

    13. From Livlib
    Dear Andrey! We are the young employees of the
    Chelyabinsk Children’s’ Library. We are working on an Internet-project
    “BOOK 2, or advice from the celebrity reader”, we pursue an important goal –
    to draw young people’s interest to reading. Therefore, your opinion is important and interesting to us. Please share your thoughts on the issues: What does
    reading mean to you? What book, in your opinion, should any young person have read? Thank you for your reply.
    AA: You’re doing a good thing. I love to read. Basically, I read on the road or when traveling by plane, by bus. I read a lot on holidays.
    2. The ABC book.

    15. From nikita28
    Hello Andrey! I live in the city of Novokuznetsk. I am your fan and I watch
    you matches in Arsenal. I also root for Arsenal))).Andrey, could you please send me your football uniform with your autograph?
    Here is my E-mail: ……
    AA: If I invented the procedure of sending parcels via e-mail, I would be really pleased with myself and send it to you, honestly 🙂

    16. From Arseniy2011
    Hello Andrey!
    Your teammate in the National side Diniyar Bilyaletdinov moved from Loco to Everton. Do you think it was worth it?
    AA: I think that if I answer this question, it will be tactless.

    And for those of you that have never read the other Q&As Arshavin does with fans on his website, check them out on Dirty Tackle. Brooks posts a lot of them up (and they are real yes. I once went through all the archives of his Q&As I could find on his official website some time back).

  4. April 15, 2011

    alright from here on in, I’m in full Clasico lockdown mode.

    I’ll be watching the 2-6, 0-2 AND La Manita. 6 hours of football, you say? IT’S EL CLASICO, MUCHACHOS.

  5. outerspacedout
    April 15, 2011

    More Arshavin.

    11. From shibkos
    Hi, Andrey I’m at work right now and I’ve just read the answers to my questions. I can’t even believe that it’s you who answered them! I have tears in my eyes, I’m so attracted to you I can’t help it as if I’m pulled close to you! Thank you very much!
    Arshavin Take out your handkerchief, and I’ll take out the magnet that pulls you :))))

    14. From aram
    Hello, Andrey! I am 12 years old. I’m your fan and I wear a jersey with your name on it. Please tell me how to learn to play football, without straining myself. I do not like physical exertion.
    Arshavin: It’ll be difficult for you.

    15. From Zolychka
    Do you feel sometimes like you want to be inconspicuous, or do you like your popularity?
    Arshavin: Yes, I would like to become an owner of a magic hat that makes you invisible.

    7. From Boldzhur
    Hi, were you good at chemistry?
    Arshavin: I had no problem with organic or inorganic chemistry. Chrome! :))))))

    10. From ADP Zlatan
    Andrey, tell me please, what feelings did you experience before the game against Juventus when you met the eye of such a footballer as Alessandro Del Piero?
    Arshavin: I thought: Who was this guy shaking my hand before the game, I’ve already seen him somewhere ^)

    12. From Test Niels Test
    Arshavin: Test? What are you testing? :)))))

    18. From 15031994
    Hi, my name is Nastya. I’m almost 14 years old, I like you very, very much, because you are very, very handsome and play football like no one else. I think of you all the time, write poems about you and love you very very much! What should I do?
    Arshavin: Homework! 🙂

    This link is from an earlier Q&A posted here

    The link to the ones on the previous comment is here *

  6. outerspacedout
    April 15, 2011

    Why is my last comment in moderation? I put an asterisk before my second link.

  7. outerspacedout
    April 15, 2011

    Oh Lord. (These from this installment:

    4. From KostyaSuper
    Andrey, don’t you think that the chips you advertise are not very tasty?
    AA: It’s up to you. My friends, who own a supermarket in St. Petersburg, say that these chips are the sales leader.

    13. From vladislav2929
    Hi Andrey! I’m an unaccomplished footballer, but I’ll be a biologist! I have a question: how do you feel about the macroeconomic policy of Honduras, its main prospects and possible reforms?
    AA: To my shame, I’m not prepared to answer these clearly important for
    Hondurans questions.

    In this one it’s Brook’s comment which is hilarious:

    39. From 7895123zZZZZzz
    Hi Andrey ) I fell in love with football approximately a year ago.
    How many wins have you had in your life??? :))
    AA: Enough

    So now we definitely know Arshavin didn’t join Arsenal in a misguided effort to win trophies.

    Okay, continuing:

    43. From 10andrey10
    Are there players in Arsenal with flat feet? And one more, give me your shoes …=))
    AA: I do not know, maybe there are. It’s not necessary to have perfect feet to become a footballer. And it’s also not necessary to shave them ?

    47. From Denisfedorov
    Give me your phone number!
    AA: I won’t !

  8. outerspacedout
    April 15, 2011

    From yet another page of those:

    Andrey! I am 11 years old. I’m your fan. I want to open my own club. Give advice what will be useful for my business.
    AA: And who is your Daddy?:)

    Andrey, my friend and I want to open a football club, we are 12 years old. Do you think we’ve got a good plan and we are going to succeed? Only I want you to tell me the truth, I won’t get offended if you say no.
    AA: Who are your daddies, guys? 🙂

    42. From Vika23100
    Hi Andrey, My name is Vika, I’m 17 and I’m a football player … I’m your fan … I adore you so much, you’re the best player … please tell me, when I go out on the pitch, I get confused a bit, tell me how to get rid of this feeling? Thanks
    AA: By quitting going out on the pitch.

    • blitzen
      April 15, 2011

      Arghhh! You know I hate the HLH, why are you subjecting me to this?!>

  9. simple_barcafan
    April 15, 2011

    the Rhino looks like a meek and cute creature when u compare it to our Captain Caveman pic…

  10. SoccerMom
    April 15, 2011

    Testing one two three testing …

    Can you believe I won’t be able to see this live?

    Must wait for HSH to drive back from international academic conference 10 hrs. without any sort of media input whatsoever (so my expression doesn’t ‘give the scoreline away’ when he comes in). So I’ll be at a McDonalds play area intravenously feeding small children milklikeshakes and freemarket fries until at least 6 p.m.

    Last November I was dragging small children by the hand out of the mall to get home on time when someone very short said the words ‘Mommy’ and ‘accident’, and me frantic on my cell phone home yelling ‘PRESS RECORD ON THE THINGIE! PRESS RECORD, DAMN YOU, PRESS IT!’

    • blitzen
      April 15, 2011

      Your avatar is too dark and too small. Does not work for me.

      • culémom
        April 15, 2011

        Ooooh, it’s the pic she requested for her epic poem of epicness isn’t it. Gotta love that!

    • culémom
      April 15, 2011


      I’m so OCD that I DVR it and record it on the desktop just in case. “Mommy” and “accident”? Been there, done that! Warning- in just the time it takes to blink they grow up 🙂

  11. April 15, 2011

    Okay, wait a minute. We had soccermomof4. Then culemom. Then SoMa4. Now SoccerMom. So SoccerMom is the SoccerMom, aka SoMa. Then who’s SoMa4, and what’s up with this culemom that keeps popping up, and I didn’t know that butts even had parentage.

    Didn’t this all start with someone not wanting to confuse anybody? #fail


    • culémom
      April 15, 2011

      This is soccermomof4:

      Whatever was confused, he/she wasn’t the first poster to be confused so I figuered I’d try a new name (hitherto (love that word) I thought that since you can’t change your username that means you can’t change your nick. Kari proved me wrong with that so I went for it (SoccerMom deserves who own distinctive nick and even SoMa4 was too close to SoMa).

      I can change back if trying to be less confusing causes more confusion.

      The above posting SoccerMom is the real one (the mod). I admit that when she popped in with the new avatar I was so confused that I refered back to an old post of hers to make sure it was the same person. 🙂

    • soccermomof4
      April 15, 2011

      “and I didn’t know that butts even had parentage”

      OK I get it now and I give up see post below. dangdangdangdangdang!

  12. April 15, 2011

    And I’m running the LiveBlog tomorrow, beeyotches. This means a number of things:

    1. I am so relaxed about this meaningless match that I am breaking the mojo by NOT doing the same thing that I have done for the last 3 away Clasics.

    2. There will be no pessimism, or I will unleash my flying monkeys.

    3. We’re probably going to bust some kind of reader record, so I will be starting it 20 minutes before match time as a benefit for the regulars, who will know this because …. well …. they’re regulars, and are reading this here stuff right now.

    4. ESPN3 will be showing it, so we needn’t worry about quality linkage.


    • blitzen
      April 15, 2011

      2. There will be no pessimism, or I will unleash my flying monkeys.

      YAY! 😀

      What time is the game tomorrow, btw?

      • culémom
        April 15, 2011

        4:00 EST on ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, and GOLTV so if you got GOLTV, you got Ray!

    • Miguel
      April 15, 2011


      Drunken Uncle Miguel will be with his beautiful niece and nephew, the closest he will ever come to having kids of his own, so he won’t be able to join in on the liveblog festivities and talk in the third person. Speaking of which, I gotta go pick them up right now! Yikes.

    • culémom
      April 15, 2011

      There’s a game tomorrow?

      jk, Can’t come to LB but will be there in spirit. Hafta work and then rush (and I do mean rush) home and start watching it a few minutes late. I will catch up with y’all after the game.

      BTW, you said something a while back about Pato getting better. Do you think it would be good if he were a part of the BANGS deal?

    • Eklavya
      April 16, 2011

      Oooooh, baby Kxevin’s running the LB! I HAVE to participate then!!

  13. Lev
    April 15, 2011

    Culémom I can only think of 2 possibilities:

    1. you have not read the comment i left for you in the previous post
    2. you did read it and thought “Dyyyyyyeah!”

    anyway my roommate’s name is Alex, he is French-Canadian and you may or may not receive fan mail 😉

    As 4 tmw’s clásico I’m going to a bar to watch it with friends. I will need support.

    • soccermomof4
      April 15, 2011


      Just when I thought I had a solution (and if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate (sorry, cosmo induced chemistry humor)) Lev and Kxevin had to remind me of the etiology of the word, culé. I GIVE UP for now. Sorry, Whatever, I tried!

  14. yana
    April 15, 2011

    Comment on the RM Offside that really crosses the line:

    I will be soo pissed no matter the outcome of tomorrow’s game if Messi can still play the next three classico’s

    Um. Yellow card suspensions don’t carry across competitions, so there’s really only one way to interpret that. No one has dignified the comment with a response, and the rest of the posters — cule and madridista — are showing welcome sportsmanship. The Pedro-Bassam cross-posting is a nice touch.

    To take the bad taste out of the mouth, I leave you with this:

    • April 15, 2011

      To clarify, it was a sarcastic comment made by Paddy. This is why he said: This is for you bassam.

      The full comment:

      “this is for Bassam. I will be soo pissed no matter the outcome of tomorrow’s game if Messi can still play the next three classico’s”

      This is a joke made as Paddy always comes out and says: Lets injure the players. As a joke i believe. Plus, Paddy is usually ignored. He is what we call him: Joined the club for Mou.

      Can i ask you a question? Did you enjoy the Cross that me and Pedro decided to make? It was the first time we try something like that and both of us were nervous it would not work. Especially since both cules and Madradista’s will be commenting on the same board.

      • April 15, 2011

        Geh! I wanted to comment a while ago but it seems Disquis has finally found out I’m a spambot 🙁 😀 (It doesn’t recognize my email–no worries, that’s happened before. It’ll work eventually)

        In all seriousness, it was amazing. No, really. If fans from both sides take off their rose-colored glasses for even a second, they’ll see the quality in both posts. I tip my virtual cap to you both. Great job! 🙂

        • April 15, 2011

          Thank you! I was hoping it wouldn’t turn into a “Eff you mother effer! Damn cule” and then “Eff you mother effer. Ooooh Manita ooh”.

          Especially since the offside attracts some interesting (in a negative way) people.

      • Jnice
        April 15, 2011

        Bassam, regarding the piece you put up on Jose and the press conference, I just have to correct you in that, Pep’s mistake when accidentally stating “we’re in the finals if we beat Shakhtar” was actually made a big deal in some sections of the Madrid press.

        Marca and co ran with it and basically said “see, he doesn’t respect us!”, etc. Balague, Graham Hunter, and Sid Lowe have all pointed out the fuss being made over Pep’s slip up.

        As for Mourinho, I guess he made the right decision in not speaking to the press, but I think he’s playing too much of the victim. When you say things like “I have to train my team to play with 10 men because for some reason whenever I play Barça my team goes down to 10 men”, that’s only asking for headlines to be created. Yes, the press likes to blow things out of proportion, but he’s a big contributor to that.

        For the most part, the press hardly can blow anything Pep says out of proportion because he gives them very little to work with (that’s why they ran with the Shakhtar comments). It’s almost as if Mourinho is asking for it with some of the stuff he says.

        • April 15, 2011

          True, he is a huge contributor to that. That is why in my post i mentioned that he should have done this media silence waaaaaaaay before.

          In reality, if you read the Interviews from Real, Mourinho is a great admirer of Pep. Before and after the Clasico in November he mentioned that Pep is one of the best if not the best coach right now. When asked if Pep is better, he responded with: He won six trophies in a season, you tell me.

          It’s just that the spanish media chooses to stick to the negatives, especially with an international figure like Mourinho. I hope he sticks to the media silence, because it is something i like a lot. Unfortunately, i don’t think he will.

      • yana
        April 15, 2011

        Well, I glad it’s an inside joke. I will say it still makes me cringe, though. I guess unfortunately there’s all too many people on the internets that say that kind of thing in seriousness, and I think you keep too classy a place to be sullied by that element of fandom.

        I did like the cross-posting, very much. In fact I said so above. 🙂 Great content by you and Pedro, and I think the communities are taking that in the spirit in which it was written, that is, passion but not hatred. Good sportsmanship, I called it in my first post.

        Actually, that brings to mind an endearing comment on the RM Offside, don’t remember the post but within the last few months. One poster was ranting about Barca fans being classless, etc. Another poster was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, and then said something along the lines of, “you gotta stop talking to those cule friends of yours, and hang around with Bassam’s, instead.”

    • Jose
      April 15, 2011

      That commenter Paddy has been saying that for most of the season. It doesn’t seem like he’s joking, and it’s actually quite disgraceful behavior. It’s why most of the commenters on there either ignore him or make fun of him 😛

      • April 15, 2011

        Exactly! if you look a couple of posts form now, i looked up a statistic for how many times he has said: “as a tactic, we should injure Messi”. Zizou, one of our posters, recommended he starts dishing out posts.

        • Jose
          April 15, 2011

          jejeje, I remember one poster once sarcastically going like “I think 90% of your posts involve injuring Messi! Great effort!” I loved that 😛

          • April 15, 2011

            that was me 😀 And i used 85% to be on the safe side of things 😉

  15. April 15, 2011

    To clarify what happened in the press conference today. Last week, Mourinho announced to the press that neither him nor the players will be taking part in any Clasico talk. He said that the players can talk about the game, but will keep the right to refuse to answer any question that sounds like it could be misinterpreted.

    When Karanka, who has handled 11 press conferences for Mourinho this season came out, the reporters refused to ask him any question. They demanded Mourinho to show his face out of respect to them. So Mourinho went out to sit next to Karanka. Karanka announced that Mourinho will not be answering the questions, but he will. In response to that, the reporters ignored Karanka and went on to ask Mourinho questions. The press conference coordinator then announced that Mourinho will not be saying anything. In response to that, the reporters called him completely disrespectful because he sent out Karanka.

    here is a report about the story:

    The press in spain is really disgraceful. That is all i can say.

    About the game tomorrow, and as i always say: May the better team, and the one that plays better tomorrow win.

    • April 15, 2011

      Spanish press = annoying
      (Foreign) reporters throwing a hissy fit = annoying
      Mourinho looking for attention = annoying
      That El Clasico hasn’t started yet = annoying

    • Jose
      April 15, 2011

      Bassam, it wasn’t just the Spanish press, but a whole ton of international press that walked out. Mourinho’s behavior, while annoying and just begging for attention, is within his rights. Looks like the press just got tired of this treatment.

    • mardia
      April 16, 2011

      Bassam, thanks for clarifying. I couldn’t understand what had gone so wrong in this conference–I knew Karanka had taken over the conferences before this season (which, given Mou’s issues with the press, perhaps not such a bad thing) so I didn’t understand why this one had turned into such a farce.

      I’d tell everyone to stop feeding the trolls, except I can’t decide who’s trolling more, Mou or the press.

  16. soccerdadof4
    April 15, 2011

    Golly!! 4 Clasicos!! I am officially stacking up on my heart medication. Great news about Puyol too!

    Visca Barca!!

  17. April 15, 2011

    I would normally be super nervous in the hours before the game, but luckily the Bulls open up the playoffs at noon central tomorrow, so I will be (hopefully pleasantly) distracted.

  18. Goo
    April 15, 2011

    Dear Isaiah, your bride’s lucky you’re freaking out now. My groom doesn’t have that luck. I’m getting married at the end of the month right smack in the middle of the CL clasicos, and between this crazy wedding business and the OMGFOURFREAKINGCLASICOS I am totally losing it.

    Dear team, please win at the Bernabayeeww on the 27th, preferably by a manita. I would love to look calm and rested on my wedding, and not ready to kill the next Madridista I meet. T’estimo Barca!

    • April 15, 2011

      Oh wow, congrats, Goo! Don’t worry, it’ll be the best month of your life regardless 😉

  19. Ryan
    April 15, 2011

    My apologies if this has already been posted, but wow, Schalke and Raul have taken to each other really well. He’s got the team kneeling to him and the fans hanging on his every word! It’s cool that he found a team to succeed with rather than head over to MLS and miss out on top class soccer.

    • mardia
      April 16, 2011

      It’s really cool that he’s doing so well at Schalke, given the way that his departure from RM went down. Wasn’t into footie at the time, but I’ve heard the details.

  20. stowe
    April 15, 2011

    guess i’m freaking out too. I kept waking up last night to “check” the score. For some reason I have my days mixed up, and watching la manita last night didn’t help to calm the nerves. NO TV to watch it on and not enough bandwidth to stream. Jnice, you’re gonna have to hook me up with a download link on Sunday or Monday.

  21. BTTFCule
    April 16, 2011

    You guys are going waaaaaay off topic with Arshavin and nicknames. Isaiah posted a brilliant preview and no discussion on it. Shame 🙁

    • BTTFCule
      April 16, 2011

      Oh wait this was supposed to be a reply to outer some 4 hours back. Fail 🙂

  22. hammeronmessi
    April 16, 2011

    cant wait.

    will be in a lockdown mode until the 2nd leg of CL.

    wish me luck.

  23. ElShowDeJason
    April 16, 2011

    Mathematics and patterns say that we will destroy Madrid: In ’08/’09 the goal difference of the Camp Nou clasico was +2. the match at the Bernabeu was +4 (twice as much as at home) In ’09/’10 the goal difference of the Camp Nou Clasico was +1. the match at the Bernabeu was + 2 (twice as much as at home). In ’10/’11 the goal difference of the Camp Nou Clasico was +5. It’s stands to reason that we will win tomorrow by +10 (10-0, 11-1, 12-2).
    Or, we can extrapolate the average. Under Pep, we are 16-2 in 5 games. We should win 3.2 to .4. when rounded… that’s 3-0, which is still an ass kicking.

  24. Helge
    April 16, 2011

    One question to those of you who will follow and participate in the LiveBlog:
    How do you cope with two different screens, the TV screen and the Computer/iPhone/… screen on which is the LiveBlog?
    I mean, I can only concentrate on one screen at a time, and for the most important matches of the season, I couldn’t take my eyes off the real football match.
    And the Admin of the LiveBlog will be distracted even more, right?
    Don’t you think you can relish the match more intensely without the LiveBlog? For my part, that’s true.

    But I’d like to know how you cope with it 🙂

    • stowe
      April 16, 2011

      There is something in sharing emotions with fellow fans. Sometimes it’s really interesting to discuss what’s happening with others and if you don’t have friends who care, the LB is the only way to get it. Personally, i couldn’t do it.

      • footballfan
        April 16, 2011

        It’s kinda like watching the match together which is way more fun that watching alone. But I always watched on stream and it’s always later than the ones on LB so it’s a spoiler for me.

        • Eklavya
          April 16, 2011


          It’s more fun to watch it together than alone.

        • Helge
          April 16, 2011

          Well, but watching the match together with some friends in your room or at a sports bar is very different imo.
          Because you can talk to your friends without taking your eyes off the screen.
          When I attend a LiveBlog, I always find myself looking up each new comment posted (addicting, as Eklavya said^^). That’s why I usually stay away from it.
          Maybe some of you guys have a multi-screen TV? Or are simply better in multitasking than me^^

    • Eklavya
      April 16, 2011

      A LiveBlog is so distracting yet so addicting. I don’t get many Barca matches on TV so I watch them on my computer anyway. I usually minimize both the LB window and the stream window and fit them both next to each other so that I can Liveblog AND watch the match. Ta-daaa!

      But whenever I get a match on TV, I don’t liveblog. And big matches such as Clasicos also need my undivided attention, but since we’re getting 4 Clasicos, I won’t not join the LB all the time.

      BTW, did you get rid of your pop-ups or not? You’re never in the LiveBlogs ever…

      • Helge
        April 16, 2011

        I’ve been in the LiveBlog, maybe 5 or 6 times since I’m here at BFB / Barca.TheOffside 😀

        I will certainly not be there for the next 4 Clásicos, nor for a possibe CL final. But maybe against Espanyol or so.

        Oh, and German free TV(!) broadcasts the CdR final in HD! It’ll be the first time ever for me watching Barcelona play in HD. Can’t wait!!!

        • Jim
          April 16, 2011

          Trust me. I get most of them on Sky in HD and it’s a treat. 🙂 It’s just about the only reason I keep HD.

          • Helge
            April 16, 2011

            BSkyB I suppose?
            I’d love to have it available here in Germany, because their Spanish football coverage is great.
            Revista de la Liga, inviting former and current Spanish football players to discuss pre- and after-match. It’s so much better than international football on Sky Germany. They only show EPL and European competitons, but the EPL is without any prelimiinary reports, no own studio – it’s simply poor. They broadcast the live match, and that’s it.
            I’ll be looking for a SkySports UK stream this evening, at least the sound is good quality 🙂

        • Eklavya
          April 16, 2011

          Well, I’ve only seen you once.

          And the Swiss free TV broadcasts only CL matches, so I only get to see them properly after the quarter-finals or so.

    • blitzen
      April 16, 2011

      I have the stream and the liveblog side by side, so I can pay attention to both. I go silent for long periods of time if the match is very intense, or joke around on the liveblog if the game is kind of slow.

      • Helge
        April 16, 2011

        Ah, forgot the slash while closing the italics…

  25. Jim
    April 16, 2011

    For important games like this it is a waste for me to join the Liveblog as I’m too taken up with the TV and trying to enjoy the moment while still worrying about potential disaster. Where the Liveblog scores for me is at before the game starts and at half time where I can pop in and see what everyone’s thinking. However, given the numbers that will probably turn up today I’ll give it a miss.

    • Jim
      April 16, 2011

      … and as football fan says there is nothing worse than being 10 seconds behind everyone else 🙂 Btw, that’s happened a few times with Sky recently. Has anyone else noticed that?

    • Helge
      April 16, 2011

      He doesn’t score against Mou anyway, so it wouldn’t be a disadvantage. Better play Jeffren, he already scored against Mou!

      • Jim
        April 16, 2011

        Does this have anything to do with him taking anti-flu medication as mentioned on Barcastuff? That would be all we need 🙁

          • Helge
            April 16, 2011

            He’s got a light cold, according to etc.

            Rest him, I fear Sergio Ramos will try to injury him seriously in the first 2 Clásicos… a red card doesn’t make any difference there (well, as long as it is not after 10 min or so^^). But no long-term consequences that would matter.

    • Lev
      April 16, 2011

      can’t attend LB during clásico for fear that I might throw my laptop against the wall if EE score

      @soccermomo Dyyyeah is the same as Yyyyeah but more enthusiastic and with a funky guitarloop in the background.

      futbolmom sounds good but i’ve never confused you with anybody else anyway

  26. soccermomof4
    April 16, 2011

    Gave up on the new nick. Giving up on everthing but worrying right now. Hope I don’t scowl at everyone I see innocently wearing white today.

    Messi rested? He doesn’t get rested even when he should be rested!

    I know this is the least important of all the clasicos if there is such a thing, so why do I feel this way?

    Anywho, our caveman is much much more frightening than their rhinos!

    • Lev
      April 16, 2011

      reportedly mourinho is letting the gras in the Burnabeu grow so that by the time the first leg of the CL comes around it will be 3-4 cm longer…

  27. Diego
    April 16, 2011

    Does anyone else thinking that EE winning will be a good thing for us.

    – They won’t explore our tactics and we’ll rest our Caveman.

    – Some players will get complacent thinking that they already beat us once and consider it enough of an achievement.

    – They’ll get cocky and enter the next match more careless.

    – They’ll exert more effort and go into the next match tired.

    Now I think of it, Us winning is better :

    – We’ll crush their souls and they’ll forfeit the Copa del Rey match.

    – They will go into the series of matches playing defensively so that they can lose 15-0 instead of the expected 60-0. (Messi will score 40).

  28. Diego
    April 16, 2011

    10 Things we can expect from the Classico :

    – Messi getting a yellow, not for fouling, but for a celebration, a handball, or playacting.

    – Xavi getting a yellow for arguing with the referee.

    – Pedro scoring, TB not scoring and then TB asks Pedro “Who are you?”

    – Di Maria diving in the penalty box and acting like he got hit by 3 consecutive trains.

    – TB imitating a teapot in the middle of the pitch while all the 21 other players are busy playing football.

    – Busquets grabbing his ankle.

    – Iker doing the Iker face and Pique crowd surfing.

    – Mourinho laughing at a foul against EE.

    – Pepe and Ramos getting yellows after their 37th foul.

    – Guardiola and Mourinho shaking hands before and after the match.

  29. April 16, 2011

    So Soccermomof4 is back? Does this mean that my butt is an orphan again? 😀 (We tease because we love ….)

    Managing the LiveBlog and watching the match is easy with a big-ass computer monitor. You can have both windows open, and voila.

    The FA Cup derby will be a lovely palate primer for footy fans, as United and Citeh face off in the semis. I just don’t see Citeh having the horses to beat United. It’s the same thing with EE and us: team vs collection of talented individuals. The individuals will pip one from time to time but on aggregate, the team is going to do the deed.

    • soccermomof4
      April 16, 2011

      Yeah I’m back. I tried to be helpful but all I ended up with was more confusion and Lev’s roommate as a stalker 🙂 .

      I don’t know what to think anymore. Is Messi really sick? Do we risk the captain? Everyone on their collection of talents is healthy and people on our team are hurting.

      Fourth picture in, CT traveling with team (that’s some contraption on his knee). Third picture in, Abidal looks fantastic:

      Now I’m off to work and I can’t even eat because I’m so nervous.

    • April 16, 2011

      I’m going to miss the Liveblog today as I’m watching with Isaiah and his wonderful group of cules.

      I’m soooo excited! Am not too nervous today….

      Goodluck to us all! I love our team! Visca Barca!

    • footballfan
      April 16, 2011

      Hoping that MU City match won’t be a repeat of the bore 0 0 draw again. Mancini should try to be more adventurous. You can’t win a game by playing defensively.

  30. Para
    April 16, 2011

    I’m asking this because I just saw a picture of RM’s pitch preparations for the game tonight on Barcastuff.

    How do they get the pitch striped like that? I asked someone (who purports to know much more about football than me, I might add), and they told me it was by mowing in different directions…but that just doesn’t sit right. Anyone know?

    Also, AAAHHH!

    • Lev
      April 16, 2011

      i think that might be right. you mow the grass in different directions, the grass gets tilted to another side, the light hits the grass differently and there you go.

      of course i am just speculating. you need somebody who knows about grass, not football per sé.

      • mei
        April 16, 2011

        Lev and your friend are correct.
        What they DONT do is to cut it deeper to make it look like that (obviously).
        They use a roller to push the grass into different directions.

  31. xavi
    April 16, 2011

    @people sweating at the thought of Messi being rested

    First off, it’s only my speculation considering the news that he’s suffering from cold and is on anti-flu medication.

    Secondly, come on guys… It’s better for us if he didn’t start. I mean he’s playing way too much anyway and there’s risk of him picking up a knock or two if he played tonite…not just because he might be targetted but also because in this match their tactics might just be not allowing us to dominate possession by being a bit too physical. remember their main target for this match would be to figure out the best way of dealing with us which is generally by being too physical. And there’s talk that Mou would give a press conference if we win, which means he’ll attack the fk out of referees and pressurise them from giving cards for Madrid players in the cup games, so he’ll definitely play tough this match and make the most of it if somebody gets carded… I know it’s wild speculation from my part, but hey it’s very much possible!!
    Not like we can’t play without Messi too, last time we played Mou’s team without Messi starting, it was a memorable & classic performance from our side!! The 2-0 against Inter at the Camp Nou in case you forgot

    • Lev
      April 16, 2011

      I am all for Messi not starting. Why risk them kicking the living daylights out of him? Why give Mourinho the extra rehearsal to prepare his defense against us for the games that matter most?

      Still I would be very, very surprised if Messi didn’t play tonight.

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