Archive | February, 2011

Manuel Neuer’s Performance Enhancing Braces

22 Feb

These days, athletes will do just about anything to gain a competitive advantage. From steroids to steak to gender alterations, the need to keep up with the speed and power of modern day sport can compel players to do just about anything as their bodies begin to age. Football, while largely unaffected by the doping, is by no means estranged from such tactics, although it always seemed that fashionable tights were the most preferred method of choice, until now.

Leave it to the Germans for efficiency. Schalke’s Manuel Neuer paid a visit to Dr. Steffen Tschakert last week to get a fitting for his €1,595 bite guard. (All that money does not cover the emotional stress of being wired into a medieval torture rack better fitted for Frankenstein.) According to Dr. Tschakert, who also served as the chief doctor for the German Olympic team, “wearing the guard provides an ideal bite position for the jaw, which in turn produces efficient working body muscles, better balance, higher power capacity, optimal co-ordination, and less injury.”

Dortmund oral surgeon Dr. Manfred Nilius supports his colleague’s efforts by adding that affixing the temporomandibular joint to a neutral position can relieve the body of unnecessary stresses. It also allows the individual to breathe in more oxygen without completely opening your mouth.

Sounds good to me. Although I don’t quite understand why the man who has let in the third fewest goals in the Bundesliga and widely regarded as the most wanted goalkeeper in the world at the moment would require performance enhancing braces. Neuer is already top of his game yet those efforts have seen Schalke rise no higher than tenth in the league.

Maybe the outfield players are the ones who need to think about their jaw alignment a bit more. I know I’ll be wearing my retainer more often from now on.

Photo courtesy of


Pope Benedict XVI Supports Arsenal

9 Feb

The Pope has finally revealed his true colors in an attempt to sabotage next week’s mammoth Champions League clash between Arsenal and Barcelona.  Many people believed that as a son of Bavaria and former Archbishop of Munich, Bayern were his club of choice. However, a sudden turn of events has exposed the North London outfit as the true identity behind the red and white cloak he wears.

Pope Benedict has arranged for the Spanish World Cup winning squad to visit the Vatican next Monday, just 48 hours before the first leg at the Emirates. Without a doubt, such an invitation is both an honor and privilege for any individual, and you would be forever lambasted for turning it down. However, such a decision now confronts a number of players – specifically the eight Barcelona players who will miss an entire day of training just 48 hours before kickoff. Fabregas is another, but one man, as pivotal as he may be to Arsenal, is not nearly as detrimental as eight players – all of whom are starters for Barcelona.

It should be no mystery as to the timing of this event. The Pope surely watched Barcelona’s demolition of Arsenal last year, and the manner in which they are crushing records in La Liga to date. It seems that only an act of God could slow this team up. Well, just short of divine intervention, the most senior figure in the Catholic church is using his influence and close relationship with the man upstairs to derail the Catalan freight train by inviting the team to the Vatican seven months and three days after their World Cup final victory over the Netherlands.

Seven months and three days later… Coincidence?

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