Warszawski: World Cup fervor rising to fever pitch

The Fresno BeeJune 23, 2014 

Enter the Warzone, thousands and thousands served.

• World Cup matches last 2 hours and are played without commercial interruption, and the stadiums don't have fireworks, smoke machines or thumping music blaring from huge speakers.

No wonder soccer still feels foreign to so many Americans.

• Kissing your sister? That tie between the U.S. and Portugal felt like kissing every member of Twisted Sister.

• Even for non-Spanish speakers, watching the Mexico-Croatia match on Univision was more fun than watching on ESPN.

ESPN's announcers only rolled the R's when pronouncing Mexican players' names. Univision's did it for both.

• What's the difference between tea bags and England?

Tea bags stay longer in the Cup.

• Five Mountain West men's basketball coaches received contract extensions during the offseason.

Four of the five also received guaranteed pay increases. Guess which one didn't?

• To be fair, Rodney Terry's extension from Fresno State does call for a salary review after next season.

When he may be a very hot property ...

• Nothing in sports broadcasting -- nothing -- rivals Vin Scully during the ninth inning of a no-hitter.

You're pulling for Clayton Kershaw to finish it just to hear Scully call it.

• Scully has called 19 no-hitters (four of them perfect games) during his incredible 65-year run with the Dodgers.

Two more baseball records that will never be broken.

• You knew the Baseball Gods weren't going to let the Giants run away with the NL West.

Nor will they just hand it to the Dodgers. Fans on both sides should brace for a long, suspenseful summer.

• Opening Saturday's paper and seeing "Panik's time" in large type made us both chuckle and cringe.

Sometimes, the editors can't help themselves.

• Soon as Joe Panik went up to the big leagues, Tony Abreu suddenly reappeared to play second base for the Grizzlies.

Not out of thin air, but from that alternate universe known as extended spring training.

• To make room for Panik on the 40-man roster, the Giants designated reliever Jake Dunning for assignment.

A year ago, that would've been unthinkable.

• The Grizzlies are giving away Tim Lincecum bobblehead dolls Saturday night.

Might be the only thing shakier than Lincecum's fastball command.

• On the day Jackson Williams got called up to the majors by the Rockies, Eli Whiteside was designated for assignment by the Cubs.

There must be a rule: Only two light-hitting ex-Grizzlies catchers are allowed in the majors at the same time.

Two? Don't forget about the Pirates' Chris Stewart.

• Fresno State free safety Derron Smith appears on the cover of Lindy's.

Of course, coverage is something Smith knows a lot about.

• Like other college football teams, the Bulldogs are currently going through mandatory summer workouts.

You know, the ones that are supposedly voluntary.

• For no particular reason: Todd Zeile

• Much to the disappointment of HBO (and every football fan outside of Atlanta), Hard Knocks will feature some team other than the Browns.

Johnny Ratingsbonanza.

• Chad Johnson had one catch in his preseason debut with the Montreal Alouettes.

In Canada, it's called bringing your Eh game.

Express your bewilderment toward the Warzone at (559) 441-6218, marekw@fresnobee.com or @MarekTheBee on Twitter.

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