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Friday marks the start of one of my favorite quadrennial traditions, the European football (soccer) championships (also known as Euro 2012). Even if you don’t like soccer, you may have been exposed to the euphoria of Landon ‘Landycakes‘ Donovan, as he scored a last gasp goal against Algeria to put the USA through to the knock-out rounds in the 2010 World Cup. In 2011, you saw Abby Wambach score on a header to level the score against Brazil in the Women’s World Cup. The European championships are like a mini-World Cup, but only for Europe, and some would say a tournament contested at a higher level. Every four years, my brother and I journey to the promised land (in this case Poland) to watch the games at the local Fan Fest, meet random fans, and get rowdy like you can only do on holiday.
You may think that my team to support would be England, seeing as how my fake fifth cousin Wayne (who starts the tournament serving a two game ban for kicking out at an opponent during a qualifier…which is probably only in the middle of stupid things he has done) is English, but that is not the case. Next you might turn to the land of my real ancestors, ze Germans, but ever since the bad sport Michael Ballack scored against the winner, the USA in 2002, helped in part by some atrocious refereeing, I turn elsewhere. That brings us to the Dutch and the Portuguese. The Ajax teams of 1995 and 1996 started my affair with Le Oranje, while Portugal gets points for being a great place to visit, as well as including United old-boy and sometime Kardashian dater, Cristiano Ronaldo. To celebrate this great event, let’s journey through a hat trick of patents!
US 5,620,186 — Soccer training and practice device
This product is similar to the “Kickmedic,” the legendary product endorsed by former player Taylor Twellman. Unfortunately, Taylor can’t compete with uber-spokesmen like Billy Mays or Vince, but he he’s got a nice pitch. Seriously, that was the best take.
US 7,686,712 — Soccer goal with sunshade
This removable goal covering provides a shelter for all wayward soccer players nearby. It can be used to stay out of the blinding sun, torrential rain, or even catastrophic hail. If you get tired of playing goalie, you can apparently pull up a bench and hold court inside the net. Perhaps give your youth team some pointers.
US 2006/0068946 — Soccer practice cage
Have you ever wanted to hold soccer practice in a location in which you could immediately stage a WWF/WWE style cage match? Ostensibly designed to retain the pesky runaway soccer ball, this practice cage can also be used to contain your foe during your fight to the death over the identity of the greatest soccer player of all time.
Next time: Danny falls into the wrong crowd in Poland, and ends up re-enacting parts of the movie Eurotrip, including the robot battle.
Find previous writings and musings from the off-kilter Danny Rooney here.
This post was contributed by Registered Patent Agent Dan Wolka and Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company, Landon IP, a major provider of patent search, technical translation, and information services.