All P.O.W. presentations by Ariel Mazzarelli, except "CONCACAF Qualifying
Picture" by Dustin Christmann and "What's up?" by Stig Oppedal.

[-] P.O.W. meant as a flame
[+] P.O.W. meant as a compliment

Jan 11, 1997    [+] Pele vs. Maradona (Peter Murphy)
Feb 18, 1997    [-] 1998 World Cup prediction (Brandon Bailey)
Feb 19, 1997    [-] P.O.W. follow-up (anon)
May 21, 1997    [+] Cantona Homage (Snaps)
Sep 17, 1997	[-] CONCACAF Qualifying Picture (anon)
Oct 29, 1997	[-] What's up? ("Indeur")
Dec 17, 1997	[+] Offside diagram ("hamr")

Subject: RSS Post of the Week [Pele vs. Maradona]
From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Date: January 11, 1997

You know some bytes are going to be wasted when the Pele v Maradona thread
returns. Sure, somebody will occasionally come in with some attempt at a
sober analysis of the skills of these two men, but by and large, it is a
chance for a certain kind of "fan" to give us his chemical brand of morality.

We recently learned on RSS that a certain panel of "experts" hired by an
English TV network offered up their version of an all-time eleven--that's
eleven, mind you, not one--and Diego did not make their squad. We feel their

Having seen both of them play in their prime, I have no doubt that He was
better. There is no need for me to go into why that is so, since I have done
that many times before. Perhaps when He decides to finally retire, I'll
recompilate all His accomplishments. For now, however, I would prefer to
wait, since, well, there is a World Cup coming up next year, and one never

A more balanced approach to this issue takes into account the fact that they
did not play the same position. In fact, there is no reason why they could
not be excellent teammates, except for the obvious chronological constraint.
In fact, taking into account the polyfunctional side of futbol, an argument
could be made that alongside Him and Do Rei, we could easily place Cruyff,
Beckenbauer, Obdulio Varela, and Di Stefano. We would also need a goalkeeper,
and surely an argument over whether Mazurkiewicz was better than Didi would
demonstrate much of the absurdity that these threads inevitably generate.

So, you might ask, why do I read such a thread? Well, who knows. Partly out
of pity for the envious condition, partly with hope that someone will have
something original to say. Occasionally, when the slander gets out of hand,
it might be necessary to intervene.

It was, then, refreshing to find this little gem buried deep inside that
thread (you can see how deeply by glancing at a part of the tree that trn
produces). Tackling firmly with both studs at the clumsy insults of the
envious ones--a reminder of Cantona's glorious charge--this week's winner
reminds us all that what matters when discussing greatness is the
supernatural quality, and that in that regard, He is the greatest. I present
you the


------------------------------------------------------------------- #285363 (4 + 0 more)           |    |         |    \-(1)
From: "Peter Murphy"          |    |         |-(1)
Subject: Re: Who's the best - Pele or Maradona? |    |         \-[1]
Date: Fri Jan 10 09:03:33 PST 1997              |    \-(1)--(1)--(1)
Organization: TIS                               |-(1)
Lines: 5                                        |-(1)--(2)

Maradona was number 1. Any bloke who took as much drugs, slept with as many
women and still won the world cup single handedly has to be the best. Both
his goals against England were especially brilliant for different reasons.
Pele? Great striker but I wouldn't want to go to one of his parties.

Subject: RSS Post of the Week [1998 World Cup prediction]
From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Date: February 18, 1997

Deep inside a thread that grew monotonically in absurdity, comes this
brutal crescendo that dwarfs even the crossposts from the helmet-headed
rednecks in the socker-vs-fatball discussion. Brace yourself, for you are
about to encounter the type of thinking and editing skills that will
encourage you to consider the widespread preemptive application of
euthanasia among children, while sending you in a panic-stricken search
through your genealogical tree for any trace of parentage with this week's
winner. As with the case of Benny earlier this week, I find little hope
for a cure of the condition of this poster. Without further warning, I
present to you the


From: Brandon Bailey  \-(1)--(1)--[1]
Subject: Re: BRAZIL RULES!!!!
Date: Tue Feb 18 21:42:33 PST 1997


All of you are rong. This will be the cup for the US.
My prediction is the next time the US plays Brazil they will beat
the crap out of them.The US are ready this time.Every time they
play Brazil they get closer and closer until something stupid
happens like we score an own goal or something. The final four
of world cup 98 will be Brazil, Germany, USA, and the Holland.

Subject: RSS Post of the Week [P.O.W. follow-up]
From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Date: February 19, 1997

This has been an unusual week. It began with a sober brasuca, then there was
a plea for treatment from Benny, then a nice post from Irineu about Veron,
then another brasuca expressed a desire to meet Argentina in the WC, and
then a genetic anomaly won the Post of the Week award.

To cap the unusual week, we have for the first time ever, a FOLLOWUP to the
RSS Post of the Week as a winner of the RSS Post of the Week. Although there
are still six days left in *this* week, I must nonetheless ask the rest of
you to please refrain from posting something idiotic enough to make this
week's winner an undeserving one. I hope that you will not find that bar
raised too far above your capabilities--simply refrain from exhibiting the
sort of cluelessness that would be surprised by the presence of the fine
institution that is the RSS Post of the Week, or that would mistake that
fine institution as one that stands against the freedom of speech--and
remember, it is WRONG to write "rong" or "worng"; for though mine be a
voluntary duty here, it would be divergent (i.e. WRONG) for you to increase
it in proportion to its amount (i.e. f'(x) = f(x) ).It is bad enough to
cause one to curse--but it is just plain WRONG to cause one to recurse.
Without further entreaties, I present to you the first-ever recursive


'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' #291364 (7 + 127 more)        (1)--(1)+-(1)
From: anon				               \-(1)
Subject: Re: RSS Post of the Week
Date: Wed February 19, 1997 (Ariel Mazzarelli) wrote:
>Deep inside a thread that grew monotonically in absurdity, comes this
>brutal crescendo that dwarfs even the crossposts from the helmet-headed
>rednecks in the socker-vs-fatball discussion. Brace yourself, for you are
>about to encounter the type of thinking and editing skills that will
>encourage you to consider the widespread preemptive application of
>euthanasia among children, while sending you in a panic-stricken search
>through your genealogical tree for any trace of parentage with this week's
>winner. As with the case of Benny earlier this week, I find little hope
>for a cure of the condition of this poster. Without further warning, I
>present to you the

From: Brandon Bailey  \-(1)--(1)--[1]
Subject: Re: BRAZIL RULES!!!!
Date: Tue Feb 18 21:42:33 PST 1997


 >All of you are rong. This will be the cup for the US.
>My prediction is the next time the US plays Brazil they will beat
>the crap out of them.The US are ready this time.Every time they
>play Brazil they get closer and closer until something stupid
>happens like we score an own goal or something. The final four
>of world cup 98 will be Brazil, Germany, USA, and the Holland

You know, it's just opinion. If he thinks USA can make it to the semis and
beat the crap out of Brazil and "the Holland", more power to him. He is a
much right-- or worng -- with his prediction as those who claim that
Italy/England/Brazil/Mozambique/Solomon Islands will win the Cup. If he
thinks so much of the USA, fine, let him be, but don't make fun of him in
front of everyone on RSS. I bet you YOU never said something stupid like

Subject: RSS Post of the Week [Cantona homage]
Date: 21 May 1997 02:47:01 -0700
From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)

There are, alas, not enough Men with real huevos in futbol today.
This may be as good a time as any to mention that Robbie Fowler is
in that category, as he has been the target of some punny barbs in
the past by yours truly.

Well, this week, another one of these Men said goodbye to the place
that will define his role in futbol, and the following tribute, whilst
breaking some of the customary rules of this award, is clearly the


From: (Snaps)
Subject: God, and related insights
Date: Tue May 20 02:17:17 PDT 1997
Organization: Me love you long time

I have just witnessed Suzanne Charlton, daughter of the legendary Bobby
and a weather girl at BBC TV, have a spluttering coughing fit live on
air during her forecast. I think someone probably just broke the news to

November, 1992. I was perched in this very chair when it flashed onto
teletext that United had signed that Cantona guy from Leeds for a
whopping great =A31m fee.
I didn't really have an opinion on the player (beyond 'artsy-fartsy
French ponce'), but I was delighted anyway because of the upcoming
anguish that I knew the defection would cause amongst the SheepShaggers
-- I was right and we haven't heard from them since. At the time United,
who had choked in the previous seasons Championship, were 12th in the
league and worryingly boring. A northern Arsenal, almost. Enter Cantona
from stage left.
Six months later we were Champions for the first time in 26 years, and
10 points ahead of our nearest rivals. We never looked back.

So last night, after hearing the numbing, but not unsurprising news that
he has decided to call it a day, I allowed myself to wallow in some
exhibitionist Geordie-inspired personal anguish. Cranking up the stereo,
I trawled through my record collection for the most melancholic music I
could find, so that I could brood awhile. A suitably tear-jerking
playlist was the order of the day -- Hey Jude (The Beatles), With Or
Without You (U2), If You Leave Me Now (Chicago), Creep (Radiohead), The
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Roberta Flack), Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla
Ice), etc, etc.....

Now oddly enough, when I try to think of the ultimate Cantona vignette,
the all-defining cameo of what he meant to United, the one image that
keeps resurfacing is not of Eric himself, but of Maradona. More
specifically, Maradona in the first knock-out round of the 1990 World
Cup. Our friendly Argentine played 7 matches in the tournament. He was
fast asleep for 6 full games and 89 minutes 55 seconds of a seventh. In
his brief 5 seconds of awareness he decided to amuse himself by knocking
out Brazil.
To my mind, Cantona's redefinition of English football history at
Wembley last year is the only comparable equivalent.
You can hate the guy as much as you want, but the impudence, the sheer
fucking impudence sends chills down your spine. You would luvv it if he
had decided to play for your team. Luvv it. And you know it.

Cantona is undoubtedly the most important player in Manchester United
history. He doesn't have the ludicrous skill of George Best, he doesn't
have the raw bursting power of Bobby Charlton, he doesn't have the
blitzing aggression of Bryan Robson, he doesn't have the tragically
sublime 'everything' of Duncan Edwards. Nonetheless, Cantona's impact at
United supersedes them all because of the influence he had on his
team-mates. He made mediocre players look good. He made good players
look great. Most importantly, he made nervous players look supremely
confident. In short, he made Champions.
Without his arrival in 1992, I'm convinced that United would still be
looking for their 1st Championship in 31 years. Simple as that.
We shall not see his like again at Manchester United. There is only mild
satisfaction in knowing that every other team in England has never seen
his like before.

That said, I'm not particularly worried about Man United's ability to
now cope without Cantona on the playing field (as far as I'm concerned,
his best performance of the season came in the Charity Shield, before
the league campaign even started) and I see absolutely no reason to
assume our English dominance is under a major threat by anyone, Juninho
or no Juninho. My only worry is somewhat philosophical -- what's the
point without Eric?

Everything must one day come to an end. You just don't expect it when it
finally happens. In true schlock Hollywood fashion, in my my minds eye I
have an image of a scene that may have occured not too many months ago.
Cantona, near dusk, standing off to the side at the training ground. As
he quietly surveys the amazingly gifted, confident youngsters that
United now have in their first team, with a decades worth of even
younger talent waiting in the wings, Cantona rubs his chin, smiles and
utters but one final sentence, "My work here is done......."
And the sun goes down over The Cliff.

Subject: Re: RSS Post of the Week
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 23:36:15 GMT
From: (Snaps)

I knew a reference to Vanilla Ice would be worth it in the long run.

Subject: RSS Post of the Week! (was Re: CONCACAF Qualifying Picture)
Date: 17 Sep 1997 22:48:10 GMT
From: (Dustin Christmann)

A charge that is generally levelled at North Americans is that we're not wise
to the ways of international futbol, that we don't understand the value of
defense, that we don't understand that every goal is sacred, and that we don't
understand the time-honored and widely utilized philosophy of winning at home
and drawing on the road.  Of course, given the fact that Steve Sampson is under
constant assault in this forum for showing understanding of these principles,
it's probably a fair criticism.

A further criticism of North Americans is that we don't appreciate futbol for
its intrinsic merits and that we don't appreciate the fact that scoring does
not necessarily equate to quality of the match.  And while I've seen far more
bad 0-0 matches than good ones, I'd have to agree with that sentiment on all
counts.  After all, context is important.  The 1994 final between Italy and
Brazil is likely to have been far better than any 0-0 draw in a Sunday after-
noon league.

So you can imagine the glee with which I read the following article.  For
those of you who can't be bothered with reading it, let me summarize:

* CONCACAF futbol sucks, because there have been a lot of 0-0 and 1-0 matches.

* CONCACAF futbol sucks, because teams play for the draw on the road.

* Asian teams are MUCH better than CONCACAF teams, because Asian teams will
  give up three goals in a single half, or four goals after taking a 2-0 lead.

* Any of the top Asian teams would beat any CONCACAF team except Mexico.

Now then, I'm sure some of you out there are at this point wondering what
sort of defending is currently en vogue in Asia, or what Eric Wynalda, Carlos
Hermosillo, Raul Diaz Arce, or Robbie Earle would do to any defense that
would give up SIX GOALS in World Cup qualifier, or if your average Asian
defender makes Alexi Lalas look like Paolo Maldini, but please, follow along
with our anonymous friend.  Results are irrelevant, only scoring is.  De-
fense is bad, even if it occasionally wins matches.

Because China did not cynically pack it in and preserve their 2-0 lead,
they're better than any sorry defensive CONCACAF team, even if they did
lose, according to our anonymous friend.

So while Ariel normally wouldn't give this prestigious award to an anonymous
poster, I'm sure that he would make an exception in this case.  After all,
while we mere mortals are going around filling our names, or our pseudonyms,
into the appropriate spaces in our newsreaders, some people are too preoccu-
pied with the important matters of international futbol, like the great
determining factor of what makes a good team, to be bothered with the mun-
dane matters of newsreader configuration.

In honor of your great, great contribution to this newsgroup, we at the
awards committee are HONORED to award you RSS Post of the Week!  Please
collect your prize, a tape of the May 2, 1996 6-4 match between the Columbus
Crew and the Kansas City Wiz, featuring the debut of Mo Johnston for Kansas
City, at our table on the stadium concourse.  Thank you.

- -- - - - - -
Stan Collins  wrote:
>Colin Morris wrote:
>> Redsocks wrote:
>> >
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > >And to have 2 of these teams
>> > >besides Mexico in the WC is stupid. I bet that we will see
>> > >these other two teams go down to double digit defeats in
>> > >the finals.
>> >
>> > Hrm ...
>> >
>> > 1990: Costa Rica 1  Scotland 0
>> > 1990: Costa Rica 2  Sweden 1
>> > 1994: USA 2  Colombia 1
>> >
>> > Yes, I can see why you would say that.
>> Admittedly the double digit defeat stuff is almost certainly silly, but
>> it's not clear what your point is here. Costa Rica qualified as
>> the top CONCACAF team in '90, and history tells us that hosts are almost
>> guaranteed progression into the 2nd round. The question was whether
>> having a third CONCACAF qualfier is reasonable given the lack of depth
>> of teams in that region.
>Actually Colin, that wasn't the question here.  The assertion the poster
>made quite clearly was that no more than *one* team from CONCACAF should
>be allowed in the World Cup.  The assertion is, as such, mularkey.
>Stan Collins

Ok, Let me explain in more detail why I think aside from
Mexico the rest of CONCAF is a joke.
Just look at the six teams in the qualifying round. These
teams have played a total of 20 games. The breakdown of
results is as follows:

         0-0      6 games
         1-0      5 games
         1-1      1 game
         2-2      1 game

So, out of 20 matches the majority(6, 30%) have ended in 0-0
draw! I call that boring and very low level soccer. Also out
of 20 games the majority have had only one goal scored in them
(11, 55%). Can you say boring and very low level soccer.
And out of 20 matches (8, 40%) have ended in a draw.
It is not only the low level of soccer but also the attitude
of the teams that makes CONCAF a joke. Only on visiting team
has manged to win a match(mexico beat Salvadore 1-0 on a
last minute controversial goal)! All teams go for a draw
on the road, why? I mean these teams don't have a chance
in the finals in France anyway, then why not put on your
best entertaining soccer and try to win each game? That's
what soccer is all about anyway, doing your best to win
a match.
Now contrast this with the rest of the world. I guess Asian
teams are the closes to CONCAF as far as the level of
soccer goes(I personally think top Asian teams will beat
all teams in CONCAF except for Mexico). They have just
started their final wualifying round and look at some
of the scores

Japan 6 - Uzbekistan 3

(japan was up 4-0 at half but the Uzbeks made a comeback
and actualy scored 3 goals and you can bet your bottom
dollar that they did not go to Japan to get a draw)

China 2 - Iran 4

(China goes up 2-0, and then Iran comes back in the
last 30 minute to score 4 goals ON THE ROAD? When was
the last time any team in CONCAF came back to win a game
on the road. I am sure Iran could played it safe and
play for a draw but they chose to play their normal game
fell behind but came back)

In fact in the 6 games played in AFC so far there are
no draws and a total of 28 goals have been scored. Now,
this is exciting soccer, not the 0-0 and 1-0 games that
I have been witnessing in the CONCAF for the past six months.

I personally rather watch an Asian team in FRANCE98
ahich comes on the pitch for every match with the intention of
winning the match no matter who or where they are playing than
a CONCAF team who is more interested in not losing.

Don't take my post as an attack on your national team,
I am just posting as a concerned fan who wants to see
exciting soccer.

Subject: Most Desperate Grab For Attention By An Anonymous Netter - Let's Not Vote
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 11:32:02 +0100
From: Stig Oppedal 

... but if we did:

1. *N* *I* *G* *G* *E* *R* *S* by Anonymous #6935 ("Maynard")
2. Most Hated RSS-er - Let's Vote! by Anonymous #6478 ("Dick")
3. What's up? by Anonymous #7019 ("Indeur")

Note that I applied the Khomeini Method to the first two - others
didn't, judging by the 30+ "Re: *N* *I* *G* *G* *E* *R* *S*" headers
that filled my screen and made me proud to participate in this
newsgroup. I actually read the third candidate, and a real gem it was,
too: an attempt to start an all-out flame war that floundered in some
beautiful, surrealistic, non-sequiter poetry - the kind that literary
critics would have gone wild about had it been written by some trendname
author. Adding that it was an original post, and not (as it gives the
impression of) a follow-up, you'll understand why I cheerfully nominate
it for

RSS Post of The Week

- - - - - - - - - -
Subject: What's up ?
Date: 29 Oct 1997 02:01:44 GMT
From: (Indeur)

  First, England is not a real Europe, they do not even want to join The
European Union. Second, have you ever seen a game in Bundesliga Germany, or
even Poland. Jorge Campos with his size disadvantege would not stand a= chance.
Body contact and almost checking is common place. All body contact that is not
clear and obvoius foul is alowed, so hard takles and though injuries are
common place, too. There is not tougher league then Bundesliga - Geraman, I am
Polish, but I have to admit Justice... one more thing no body more eagerly
pulls other player's shirt the South American MLS players, is not it girly ?

Subject: RSS POST OF THE WEEK [Offside diagram]
Date: 17 Dec 1997 02:29:00 -0700
From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)

After a long pause, it only seemed fitting that this award should explore a
new direction. Clearly the standard of "inanity" will present so many nominees
nowadays that it alone will not suffice. The old tack of rewarding a
violation of Netiquette is impossible in an age where most posters will not
even know the meaning of the word--ask yourself, when was the last time you
saw a properly edited followup?

So, we'll see where we go from here. Today, I present you with a post that has
earned its distinction in a visual, primal way. Rest assured, gentle reader,
that if your screen does not reproduce this week's winner accurately, your
newsreader is flawed. The poster should be proud of his role in reminding
the rest of us of the merits of using fixed-width fonts. So, without further
ado, I hereby present the


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
From: (hamr)
Subject: Re: My Predictions - Believe it!
Date: 12 Dec 1997 00:45:45 GMT

O.K smart people (including Stan) I will have to draw it out for you.

Team A =  *
Team B =  X
Ball   =  o
                                | *
        *                       |
                        *       |       X                      
________                        |                               _________
        |       X               |X                              |
        | *                     |       X                       |
        |               *o >>>>passing the>                     |
*       |       *    X          |X         >ball>> o*(offsides) |    X
goalie  |                       |                               |goalie
        | *                     |       X                       |
        |               *       |                               |
________|       X               |X                              |_________
                                |       X
        *                       |
--------------------------other side line--------------------------------

The last * to the right IS IN AN OFFSIDES position if the ball is at
o then follow the path (>>>>>>>>) to the other player WHO IS IN THE
OFFSIDE POSITION. Ok, smart ass, tell me this doesn't count.

Wegerle was in this position for both of his goals. One time he was
five feet offside, the other time he was 10 feet!

Stan when in doubt please refer to the clue bucket

 \------------- /
  \   get a    /
   \   clue   /
    \ _______/

and below the clue reads:

"Please, ask someone who knows, and cares about the game..."

>Which is why he refrains from ever asking you about it.

You're afraid you might learn something new?

>Stan collins

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -