Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sega Saturday: A Cult Tribute for Jet Set Radio

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Full disclosure; I'm a huge Sega fan. Hell, I'm a fan of all things video games (I own as many consoles as I possibly can), but my sympathies in recent years has lied with the boys in blue. The Sega Genesis to this day remains one of the best consoles ever. My favorite handheld system wasn't the Game Boy, but the Sega Game Gear growing up. And my favorite console of all time; the Sega Dreamcast, a system with a cool design, a spectacular name (seriously, how great is Dreamcast? It's the Blade Runner of console names) and some revolutionary features for its time. I love Sega, and it pains me to know end that the company has somewhat been forgotten since Sonic ran off a cliff and they stopped making consoles. Come on guys, can you not make another console? The world needs the Dreamcast 2! THE WORLD NEEDS THE DREAMCAST 2!!!

Even Martin Luther King wants the Dreamcast back!
But enough about my hopes and dreams, you're wondering what my point is. Starting on this Saturday, I'm going to start writing columns about my love for Sega, in a series I'd like to call Sega Saturday. Great name right? And for my first Sega related column, I want to do a Cult Tribute on one of my favorite Sega games. This is considered by many these days to be one of the best, most influential games of the last fifteen years, and I tend to agree. So let's not waste time. Put down your Playstation controller, turn off the X-Box One so no one is watching and get that bottle of Pepsi; this is a Cult Tribute to the legendary game, Jet Set Radio. No wait, that's not a good enough intro. Let's try JET SET RADIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Much better.

What You Already Know

Jet Set Radio is a Sega Dreamcast game released in 2000. Set in futuristic Tokyo (the best Tokyo in my opinion) where expression is, if not illegal, frowned upon, the story follows an inline skating/graffiti gang called the GG's as they spray paint the city, run from the cops and battle with other gangs. All the while, an American DJ (Professor K) narrates over the airwaves and plays cool music. Basically, it's The Warriors on roller skates. And hey, why not; The Warriors formula is a good one to follow. Plus, imagine Ajax on roller skates. It's a fun image I don't want to let go of.

What You Don't Know

These days in video games, it's not uncommon to see a ton of games using cel-shaded graphics. It's a good idea; cel-shade gives a game a very distinct look, making the graphics look like they're straight out of a comic book. Jet Set Radio is the game that pioneered that look in gaming. While cel-shading had been used as early as 1994 (the long forgotten 3D0 game Doctor Hauzer appears to be the first to use the graphic design), no one had attempted to build a whole world with the look until Jet Set and the Playstation game Fear Effect were released in 2000. Thus, you could say that Jet Set pioneered the cel-shade look and influenced modern day games like Borderlands, Sunset Overdrive and Nintendo's upcoming game Splatoon. Not a bad legacy to have.

Besides that, there's only three other notable facts that aren't known. One, Jet Set Radio actually had a semi-known name involved with the voice work. Actor Billy Brown, who has appeared in such shows like Dexter, Hostages, Sons of Anarchy and How to Get Away With Murder (where he is currently one of the leads) is Professor K. Yes, the guy Viola Davis sleeps with on ABC's new big show is the same guy who screamed "JET SET RADIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" right before every mission. Let that sink in for a second. Secondly, Jet Set Radio isn't what the game was called here in the United States. Rather, if you buy it, you'll find the game is called Jet Grind Radio, because...I'm still not sure why. Apparently there was some sort of trademark issue, which is only less infuriating than every time Paulie Shore is allowed to do something. Finally, despite Jet Set's critical acclaim and its reputation for creating one of the coolest worlds in video game history, the game didn't sell well upon being released. It's not too surprising given the Dreamcast's struggles overall, but come, seriously? People didn't want this game, but were okay playing The Bouncer? THE BOUNCER?! I'm still not sure what that game was about. Thank goodness that a re-evaluation of the Dreamcast and the strong performance of Jet Set Radio Future (Jet Set's X-Box released sequel) have helped improve the original's reputation over the years. You can legit classify Jet Set as a cult game these days.

Surprise dance party

Best Character

This is a little tougher than usual, seeing as most of the main characters from the GG's and the villainous rival gangs don't have a whole lot of personality. Even still, this ends up being a tie. Obviously, DJ Professor K deserves some mention for being one of the most energetic video game characters I've ever seen. It's as if he drank every bottle of Mountain Dew in the world and then listened to the Conan score until he was the most hyped man to ever live. And yet, right there with him is the games main villain, Captain Onishima. The leader of the local police force, Onishima is the perfect over the top parody of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry. He takes his job way, WAY too seriously, he looks like a cross between Dirty Harry and an Ed, Edd and Eddie character, and the joy of watching him fail to catch you simply never gets old. There's a reason he was one of IGN's 100 best video game villains ever. Thus, I'll allow him and Professor K to share the title here. Unlike the NBA, there can be co-MVP's here.


Jet Set Radio was, and is, revolutionary. I'm talking about on a level of the first Donkey Kong Country, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy's VII and X, Shadows of Colossus and Mario 64. The world Sega and Smilebit (now called Sega Sports R&D) is something that had never been seen before; back in 2000, I imagine those who played Jet Set watched their jaws drop right through the floor like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It's one of the best worlds ever created, and on top of that features some fun game play and one of the best video game soundtracks. Rock, rap, electronica and pop enthusiasts will be overjoyed playing this game. Is it the best game ever made? No; the character's aren't particularly deep and some of the camera work could've been better. And honestly, it might not be the best game of its series, as Jet Set Radio Future is considered to be a masterpiece in its own right. But even if it's not, Jet Set Radio remains one of my favorite games I've ever played, and certainly has to be a top fifteen game ever and a top three Dreamcast game, along with Sonic Adventure and SHENMUE (which is so good, it must always be capitalized). Play it, play it now!

That's it guys, hope you enjoyed it. I'll be back...soon, perhaps tonight, perhaps tomorrow. You just never know. Till then, have a happy Sega Saturday, have a happy Goku day, check out all the other things written RIGHT HERE, ON PLEASE CHANGE DISKS TO CONTINUE (cheap plug), always make sure you don't go too far with a Digimon marathon, and don't believe Conan O'Brien when he says DUCHOVNY is the Russian word for syphilis. 

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Friday, May 8, 2015

The Return of the Failbag

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[Warning: There may be some swear words. Just warning you. Probably not a big deal]

Towards the end of my time writing for the Lords of Pain Columns forum, I came up with this idea called the Failbag. I know, I know, such an original idea, I'm totally not ripping off columnist legend (and now martyr) Bill Simmons. Except here's the catch; the emails I got may or may not have been real. Which is to say...shit I can't give it away. Leave it up to your imagination! In any event, I thought it would be a good idea to break this bad boy out now to include all topics. So starting today, this is either going to become a weekly or bi-weekly thing (haven't decided yet), and you are more than welcome to send any type of question you desire. But let's not waste time, I need to answer some mail. ON WITH THE SHOW!

What was up that time Roddy Piper kept quietly chanting “Y2J” while other people were talking?
-Fox, Washington

First off, I have no recollection of this moment even happening. Secondly, if it dad happen, I'm glad I missed it. And finally, we know what was up. Piper was either drunk, high, thinking he was still on set for They Live, or all three. I'm going to go with all three. That's Hot Rod for you. At least he gave us many years of great promos and They Live before he burnt himself to a crisp.

Why do the Wild suck dick?
-T.O., Minnesota

I'm sensing a bitter Minnesota Wild here. Look, the Wild aren't a bad team. Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Jason Pominville, Mikku Koivu and Thomas Vanek (among others) are talented players, and I personally think Mike Yeo is a very good young coach. There's talent. The reason they got swept was because a) The Blackhawks are really, REALLY good, b) they appear to have Minnesota's number (the Hawks have beaten Minnesota three straight years in the playoffs) and c) Devan Dubnyk stopped being one of the best goalies in the NHL and reverted back to the dude who made the Edmonton Oilers go "thank you, please leave. NOW!". That's why they lost, not because they're bad. Alright, maybe Dubnyk was bad, but not the team. Poor Devan; and here I was thinking I didn't have to make jokes about how bad he was with the Oilers ever again.

Spider-Man reboot? Yay, nay or meh? And who do you want to play the web slinger?
-Subho, the Abyss to Which You Run

Meh, with a side order of extra meh. How many times are they going to reboot the web slinger? Batman thinks they keep going to the well too often for crying out loud. I get that Marvel wants Spider-Man for the upcoming Civil War film, and I'm all for him getting some shine there. But yet another attempt at a Spider-Man series? Stop. The only way I can be convinced this is a good idea is if the right director is picked (unlikely), Donald Glover is cast as Spider-Man or if Marvel stops this trend of turning into a dictatorship that takes away the filmmakers control. Beyond that, I'll be rolling with Zack Snyder. Bring on the haters you Marvel hypocrites!

Did you enjoy Age of Ultron?
-Marvel Executive #33, Disney

I haven't seen it, and I'm not going to see it until Joss Whedon's cut is made available on DVD/Blu Ray. Stop silencing your director's voices Marvel.

What’s a good name for a new wrestling promotion?
-mizfan, LOP

World Wide Championship Wrestling. WWCW. Came up with it when I was eight years old, and have always wondered why someone hasn't done this since. Then again, seeing as everyone is always falling over themselves to apologize for WWE these days despite claiming they hate it and want something new, perhaps it's not surprising no one has stepped up to start something new. Thank goodness for Lucha Underground right?

Frankie Kazarian & Antonio Banderas = The Same Person???
-Dakota, Los Angeles

Sadly, for Kaz, no. You imagine how much he probably wishes he was though? Not that being a successful, entertaining wrestler (who both WWE and TNA misused) who's married to Tracy Brooks isn't good, but come on. Antonio Banderas has lived the life; he's been involved with many attractive women, he's made millions of dollars, he gets to pal around with Robert Rodriguez whenever he wants, and on top of that, he was fucking Zorro. You don't get much better than Zorro. He's like Turok if Turok was Mexican instead of Native American. Or if Zorro was Turok. Now I'm confused; this is what I get for bringing up the Son of Stone.
Take that Jurassic Park!

Is there any way Jeff Jarrett (or anyone) could have made TNA a true competitor to WWE when he had the chance?
-Bobby Lashley Guy, Impact Zone

I would like to say that the answer to this is Ted Turner. He loves wrestling, he has two channels that could've provided TNA with a ton of eyeballs, and he proved with WCW he was willing to bankroll a wrestling company for years, regardless of the money it lost. Truthfully though, I don't think he wants to get back into the wrestling business (why would he have waited ten plus years to do so?) and even if he did, no one could've saved TNA. They've had a lot of great talent and at times have been the strongest wrestling promotion in America quality wise, and it's never amounted to anything. It just never was meant to be with TNA; I'm pretty sure Vince McMahon before he lost his mind couldn't have made it a true competitor.

The character of Denny Crane represents the pathos of outliving one’s wits, of confronting the inevitability of decline with humor and aplomb, both softens and satirizes the harsher natures of our conservative culture, and can literally provoke me to tears if I watch certain episodes of Boston Legal. Captain Kirk represents boning green women. How can you continue to defend your intransigent blindness to the obvious truth of this matter??
-Chris, Impact Zone

My apologies readers. Back when I used to write these for Lords of Pain, I frequently received emails from this delusional Boston Legal fan who inexplicably thinks Denny Crane is a better character than the immortal James Tiberius Kirk. Evidently, he has followed me here to pester me once more about how Crane is the greatest thing William Shatner ever did. For the final time dude, it's not even close. Denny Crane is no slouch, but he is no James T. Kirk, captain of the stars, lover of green women, and the cause of death for Bones McCoy at the age of 67. Of all the characters of Shatner I've ever encountered in my travels, Kirk was the most...awesome. See what I did there? Now let it go man!

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn; hot or not?
-Skeegan, UCONN

To be honest; not that big a fan of Margot Robbie as far as looks go. I know, blasphemy, but there's just something about her that I'm not really attracted to. She can act just fine though, and I like the look they have for her as Harley. Very punk rocker esq, which seems to fit exactly what David Ayer is going for with Suicide Squad. Is it wrong I'm more excited for that and Dawn of Justice than the Marvel stuff? Perhaps it's my DC bias talking, but I think those movies could easily top it. Then again, I also think Yvonne Strahovski is hotter than Margot Robbie, so what do I know (a lot is the correct answer)?

There is hope for Mazza and Matt Mortensen yet!

To what one thing do you most attribute the success of the Austin/McMahon feud?
-Julio, Key West

The Montreal Screwjob. Seriously. The main catalyst for why Austin-McMahon was able to take off was the heel turn Vince pulled off in the winter of 1997. What caused him to turn heel? The Screwjob, followed by the whole "Bret Screwed Bret" interview and the underrated Black Hart angle with Owen Hart. The fans rallied against Vince for taking away and, in a manner of speaking, violating their hero and their trust. Austin was then able to take that fan outrage and use it to motivate him against McMahon. He wasn't just fighting for himself; he was fighting for the people who no longer trusted Authority and for Bret, the man who was screwed by a man he trusted. That is what made the feud great for a period of time, and that only exists because of the Montreal Screwjob.

-Rob, New England

...yup, people aren't taking a story about air being let out of a football too seriously at all! Here's a hint, watch real football dude, and leave dear old Roger behind.

Do you think the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to kill superhero movies once and for all?
-Joss, Sunnydale

It's on its way, if it hasn't already happened yet. I'm a lifelong comic book guy; I love Batman, Superman, Daredevil, Howard the Duck and numerous other heroes. Some of my favorite movies involve these guys, and for the most part I've enjoyed the Marvel films. But recently, it's gotten too much. Ask yourself, seriously, how many of these Marvel films have actually been good. Hell, ask yourself how many superhero films recently have been great? Honestly, the only ones I can think of (not counting Nolan's Batman films obviously) are Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier. Beyond that, Thor and the first Captain America were good but not great, the Iron Man films were vastly overrated, no one remembers the Ed Norton Hulk and Thor 2 was terrible. And that was despite having Chuck Bartowski in it! Also, if we count TV,  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D hasn't done a whole lot either. It's best moment was when Bill Paxton defected to Hydra for crying out loud. The point is, it's not like they're banging out Kubrick films in the MCU.

Game over man! Game over!

Now, take all of that, combine it with the fact that we're now about to witness yet another Spider-Man reboot, how every single film/show seems exactly the same and that Marvel is turning into the spitting image of a totalitarian 1980's film studio. Does that look like a bright future to you? Financially, I'm sure everything will continue to be fine for Marvel and Disney. The Iron Man films still made money despite getting progressively worse after all. But long term, unless there are more shows/films out there like Daredevil that allow the behind the scenes people to be creative and different, fatigue is definitely going to set in. If nothing else, this is why I'm excited for what DC is going to do. They could easily flop, especially with the hit or miss man himself (Snyder) in the Whedon position, but it'll at least be different than what Marvel is doing. Different is paramount if comic book films want to continue drawing Mayweather money.

True or false: WWE will try to squash the “Ole” chants for Sami Zayn when he is brought up to the main roster, since they did not originate in WWE.
-Garlic Jr., the Death Zone

False, as the WWE seemed fine with them the other night on RAW. How long that lasts is another question. We'll probably find out once Vince McMahon is done issuing another memo about how Roman Reigns is the greatest thing since Pizza Pringles. 

Who the hell do the people who criticize Ric Flair for wrestling a few matches for TNA think they are? Do they think their own made up sense of indignation is worth more than a man’s passion or livelihood?
-David, North Carolina

Man, can we get some LU questions in here sooner or later? All this WWE and TNA talk is making me enjoy this new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. A film that by the way featured the immortal line "THE TURTLES ARE THE VIGILANTES!!!!". Cowafuck you Michael Bay.

Alright, I'll answer the question. I get why people would be upset about Flair wrestling again. Say what you will about how poor WWE may or may not have been recently (I'm being kind there just for you dudes on Right Side of the Pond), but they gave him an awesome retirement match and send off back in 2008. I still get a little teary eyed watching recaps of it. That he then came out of retirement not long after kind of defeats the purpose of all that, which is definitely something that would anger people, America against Tom Brady style. In the end though, people make a bigger deal out it than needs to be made. The dude needed money, he clearly still had the itch, and he's not the first wrestler to Brett Farve his way back into the big leagues. Let it go WWE fans. Why is it when someone big does something in TNA they suck, but when they're awful in WWE they are Gods? Now let's move on. I want some LU here!

Who is Matanza?
-Mazza (Closeted LU fan), England

That's what I'm talking about. I actually asked this question in a mega collab column I did a few months ago, and my answers are the same now. Who I want it to be is CM Punk. I know he's done with wrestling, but he's my favorite and the best wrestler I've ever seen. Plus, the amount of shit that would fill Vince McMahon's pants if Punk went there could be enough to build a real life Hyrule Castle. As that's not realistic though, I'm going to go with the Mexican wrestler Chessman. He's a bigger wrestler than most of the Lucha Underground roster, he's a darker character down in AAA, and as AAA and the LU are associated together, it's very easy for him to come in. One way or another, can we just find out who he is?! I WANT TO KNOW! How many more times do I have to say this before we get some answers? This better not turn into the end of Lost.  

Will Smith as Deadshot -- seriously??
-Eric, Rhode Island

Almost as bad as Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Speaking of that!

Are you hoping that Deadpool exceeds expectations? Or will it crash and burn like Ryan Reynold's past hero role, Green Lantern?
-Edward, Los Angeles

Deadpool is going to crash and burn quicker than Tom Brady's reputation. I have no faith in Ryan Reynolds for this part; he's not a terrible actor and Green Lantern wasn't entirely his fault, but he also proved with it that he's not the guy to be a superhero. What was Nathan Fillion doing that made him unavailable for this role again? This is the second time Reynolds has stolen a superhero part from him, and just like the last time, I expect the results to be poor. It also doesn't help that Deadpool's director (a Tim Miller) has made the same amount of movies as I have.

Why does Japan have 80,000 wrestling promotions while the rest of Asia and Europe have almost none that are well known?
-Ajax, Germany

Because you touch yourself at night! And also because Japan is, along with Mexico, England, the US and Canada one of the biggest wrestling hotbeds in the world and have New Japan. But mostly, it's the first reason I listed. Get on that, then maybe my boy Alex Wright's promotion in Germany can take off. Or he could come to the states. Can we just bring back Das Wunderkind? Only 40, still in great shape, still the man!

What would you do to improve the Authority as the general antagonists of the WWE?
-Master Splinter, the Sewers

Get rid of them. The Authority served a purpose when Daniel Bryan was making his run that would ultimately end in injury, disappointment and Roman Reigns; now they're just the annoying group in the background when Seth Rollins tries to do something. I'd slowly faze them out and use someone else to fill the power vacuum. Which means in 2018, Vince will finally break them up and then replace them with himself once more. So fresh. So clean.

Bring back Starburns!
-Starburns, Greendale

Ah, a Community...statement? A good one too; where has Starburns been? Did his van/meth lab blow up again? Is he lurking somewhere in the shadows, waiting for the next paintball episode? Is he really Garrett in disguise? Whatever the case, I'm sure we'll see him at some point. It's Starburns; Community without Starburns would be like the show ending with six seasons and no movie. And there will be a movie.

Jeff and Britta or Jeff and Annie. Choose, but choose wisely.
-Grail King, Undisclosed Location

Tough one. On one hand, I spent most of the show rooting for Jeff and Britta, mainly because the first season set that all up and TV shows do a great job at manipulating me. As I've gotten older and wiser though, the thought of Jeff and Britta together is like "there will never be another Sega console" levels of horrifying, not to mention that Jeff and Annie have a lot more chemistry. So in the end, I'm gonna go with...Jeff and Britta. What can I say, chaos is funnier than meant to be. Plus, single Annie gives me hope for wooing a single Alison Brie one day. I know it doesn't make sense, but let me hold onto it anyway!

Beautiful and dangerous

You have chosen...wisely.
-Grail King, Undisclosed Location

Why thank you Mr. Grail Knight who totally isn't me and totally knew I was going to choose wisely before I answered the question!

Am I wrong in thinking that Guardians of the Galaxy is the best movie of the franchise so far?
-Dave, Washington

No; Guardians was hilarious, it made Andy Dwyer a star, it made Dave Bautista look like a genius for telling Vince to John Carter himself, and most importantly it had Howard the freakin Duck. I went to see that film specifically to see the master of Quack Fu, even though he was onscreen for about as long as Fred Durst was famous. The film still remains the biggest winner thus far in the MCU. And to think I thought it was going to bomb! I admit, mistakes were made, though I still regret nothing.

What does Lucha Underground need to compete with WWE on a bigger scale?
-The Man From Another Place, Another Place

Great question. I'll go into this more in a column next week, but what the LU could really use is a new TV Network. I hate saying that because I love El Rey; it's a channel filled with grindhouse flicks, X-Files reruns, kung fu movies and wrestling. That's practically made for me. But unless it gets into more homes soon, El Rey won't be able to get the LU known on a bigger scale. Thus, another network will be needed eventually. I know, sad. It appears we'll be ending this on a sour note.

Super web tasarım hizmetleri!
-Yunus, Turkey


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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cult Tribute: Tim Cahill

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Ah Australia, the land down under. Home to Paul Hogan, Greg Norman, kangaroos, Russell Crowe, Mel Gibson, the Mad Max franchise, Matt Mortensen (one of the two greatest hype men to ever live that you don't know about) and countless other people that I would have to go look up. Oh, and Yvonne Strahovski, who is the greatest thing Australia has ever produced. Yes, I said it. Have you seen this woman? Not only is she the most beautiful person not named Paige in the history of the western hemisphere, but she's super talented. Go watch Chuck if you don't believe me. Unless you're the lamest person ever or my buddy Pen (who eventually realized the error of his ways), you'll end up both loving this show and loving Yvonne by the time her first scene has occurred.

But enough about my love for amazing Australian blondes, time to write. Why did I bring up Australia? Well, for all the great things they've given us, one of the things Australia doesn't have a great abundance of is football stars. No, not the lameass, corrupt American game that Roger Goodell has brainwashed millions into loving, I'm talking about actual football (or, as the British would say, what we Yanks call soccer). For all of the Aussie's success in sports like golf and rugby, it's just never been the same with the football, especially the national club. There is however, one exception, and we're going to talk about him today. As an American, I unfortunately haven't had the privilege of seeing some of the great football players of years past. I have seen this one however, and I can honestly say he's one of my favorite players in any sport. And, in the best way to tie this whole thing back to the beginning, he is a born and bred Australian. So without further ado, let's begin another Cult Tribute, on the best player Australia has ever produced, the man, the myth, Tim Cahill.

Cult Tribute: Tim Cahill

What You Already Know

Depending on where you're from, this is either a little or a lot. The one thing everyone is going to know is this; Tim Cahill is a football player (an attacking midfielder by trade) from Australia, best known for his performances in the 2006 and 2014 World Cup. He is considered by many to be the best player ever to come from Australia, and has played in both England's biggest league (Barclay's Premier League) and America's (Major League Soccer).

Cahill in the 2015 Asian Cup against China

What You Don't Know

I think I may even impress my Australian friend with this fact; Tim Cahill did not, I repeat, did not start his international career playing for Australia. Instead, he began playing for Samoa in 1994 as a 14 year old, joining their under 20 squad. Cahill was allowed to do this due to having lived in Samoa for three years during his childhood, a less egregious factoid considering how many players play for nations they weren't born in these days (hello Diego Costa). It appears that Cahill didn't enjoy the experience; he played in only two games (both 3-0 defeats) and later acknowledged his main motivation for accepting Samoa's invitation was so he could be closer to his ill grandmother. He never played again for Samoa following the tournament, and Cahill would later switch allegiances back to Australia in 2004 after FIFA changed its eligibility rules.
To say Cahill's career with Australia has been extraordinary is like saying Blade Runner is the greatest science fiction film ever; it's common knowledge. Since joining the Socceroos in 2004, Cahill has been a machine for them. He's scored 39 goals in only 82 caps, his best performance being in his first year when he scored an astonishing 7 goals in only 5 caps! That run, which took place during the OFC Nations Cup, helped Australia get to a World Cup qualifying match, where they defeated Uruguay and punched their ticket to only their second World Cup ever. Cahill would play in that World Cup two years later), and scored the first ever Australian goal in World Cup history. Yes, the Socceroos apparently didn't put any points on the board during their only other World Cup appearance in 1974, making Cahill's goal in the 84th minute against Japan the most historic one in the 84 year history of Australian football. Insane stuff. Cahill would add another goal a few minutes later, and Australia would beat Japan 3-1 to win their first ever World Cup game. They would eventually make it to the Round of 16, losing to eventual champions Italy in a hotly contested, controversial game. Australia has qualified for the World Cup every year since, with Cahill appearing and scoring in each one (he is one of five players to score in three different World Cups). The Socceroos most recently won the 2015 Asian Cup (which Australia hosted), with Cahill leading the team once again.

Cahill and former Millwall teammate Neil Harris

As decorated as his international career has been, Cahill's club career has been impressive as well. He started out playing for Football League Second Division Team Millwall in 1997 and, in a theme that has to be recurring by now, instantly made them better. Only four years later, Millwall would go onto win the Second Division title with a record 93 total points, with Cahill as their best player. An even bigger accomplishment would come in 2004 (the Dark Side of the Moon of years for Cahill as it were), when he led Millwall all the way to the FA Cup Final against Manchester United. Though they lost, it's still considered a remarkable run due to Millwall's position in English football. It also turned out to be Cahill's last year with the team, as he was transferred to Everton during the offseason. In 249 appearances, Cahill would score 56 goals for the Lions, and remains one of their best players ever despite his lack of longevity.

Cahill celebrating a game winning goal against Sunderland

Cahill's Everton career was solid too. He totaled 68 goals in 278 appearances (leading Everton is scoring three times), with his best playing once again coming in 2004. Damn, did he win that year or what? Just like his national team and Millwall, Everton improved upon his arrival going from 17th to 4th in the Premier League and never falling lower than 11th during his eight year stay. He left Everton in 2012 and came over to the MLS, signing with the New York Red Bulls. His signing was noteworthy for being one of the few international stars to come over to America, but unfortunately he did not bring the same success to the Red Bulls he did to Millwall and Everton. With the exception of his second season, Cahill's tenure in New York was disappointing, tallying only 16 goals in 72 games, and parted ways with the team after only three years. He now plays for Shanghai Shenhua F.C. in the Chinese Super League, likely to be his last stop as far as club play goes. Is it too much to ask for a Premier League team to get him? Come on QPR, it's not like Cahill is any worse at this point than anyone not named Charlie Austin on the team.

Best Moment

For all of Cahill's triumphs, his masterpiece took place in what turned out to be the last World Cup game he ever played. In the second game of Group play in the 2014 World Cup, Australia squared off against the Netherlands as heavy underdogs. Having just conceded a goal to Dutch star/flopper Arjen Robben (sorry Robben, it's true) in the 20th minute, Australia quickly tried to counterpunch. Right back Ryan McGowan launched a cross close to the box, where Cahill was covered closely. Somehow, the ball landed right to Cahill, who proceeded to do this.

Ladies and gentleman, I have seen the David Tyree catch, I have watched the Red Sox come back from a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees, hell I've even seen a grown man satisfy a camel (okay, that last one is a line from Dodgeball). This is one of the best plays I've ever seen. Cahill not only manages to snag McGowan's excellent cross, but he hits it perfectly while it's still in air, sending it past the keeper and off the cross bar into the net. The only thing better than the goal was Cahill's boxing celebration afterwards, which was 100 times more impressive than anything Mayweather and Pacquiao did just a week ago. Australia would ultimately lose the game 3-2 (eliminating them from the World Cup), but their effort was lauded by their fans and football pundits, and Cahill's goal is now considered one of the best in World Cup history. Not a bad way for your final game in the world's greatest competition.

Spoiler alert; it goes in


There has never been a finer football player from down under than Tim Cahill. Granted, Australia's history at football has never been that strong, but even if it was, I find it difficult to believe there's anyone close to Cahill's skill. His ability in the air, his intelligence and craftiness allowed him to be one of the most underrated international stars of the past twenty years. Perhaps most importantly, every team he played for became better once he got there. I reckon if he had played for the U.S., England or Germany he would be a household name, although it would deprive Australia of one of their greatest citizens ever. Every place deserves to have a great sports hero. Tim Cahill is one of Australia's, and is, in this writer's opinion, the best footballer to ever lace them up for the Socceroos. I hope he reconsiders his decision to not play in the 2018 World Cup (even at 39, I reckon he could still play at a high level), and I hope he gets one last chance to play high level football. The best thing about Australia other than Yvonne Strahovski deserves as much.

That's it guys. Hope you liked this; I did what I could. I'll be back tomorrow answering your questions in the first ever PCDTC Failbag! Till then, watch Tim Cahill highlights, watch Chuck, watch Dexter (but not the end of Dexter), play some FIFA and put Tim Cahill on QPR, never beat LOP columnist 'Plan for he will hunt you down for revenge, always remember that nice guys finish last, and be thankful DUCHOVNY took the night off so Yvonne could get some shine.

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