Ronaldo Wants To Be The Johnny Depp Of Iran

Unless I’m mistaken, Iran isn’t exactly known for its thriving movie industry — they frown on all moving pictures, even the cell phone camera kind. But Ronaldo is ready to change all of that — the Brazilian soccer star has signed to appear in an Iranian movie, of which he is one of the main subjects.


The movie, which doesn’t yet have a title, is based on the true story of a 13-year-old Palestinian girl who dreamed of meeting Ronaldo when he visited the Middle East on a humanitarian mission in 2005. But she was killed in a political conflict before meeting him. Read more…

Iran Slaps Lifetime Ban On Four Soccer Protesters

Four of the six players on the Iranian National Team who wore green wristbands last Wednesday to show their solidarity with Iranian protesters have been banned from the team for life by the nation’s governing soccer body, according to several reports.

Ali Karimi

(Ali Karimi)

The match, against South Korea in Seoul, ended in a 1-1 draw and ended Iran’s quest to qualify for the World Cup. but a lot more was at stake for six players who wore the wristbands to show support for opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, whom protesters believe had the June 12 election stolen from him in favor of government candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Read more…

Anna Rawson Makes Her GoDaddy Girl TV Debut

• It’s finally here: Anna Rawson’s first TV commercial as a GoDaddy Girl.

Anna Rawson

Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen are six months away from unleashing Superbaby onto our world.

• Count Brendan Haywood among those who aren’t pleased about Donte’ Stallworth’s light sentence. But Plaxico probably isn’t as judgmental.

• Wimbledon is worried about potentially massive match-fixing.

• Hard to believe it’s been 15 years since O.J.’s most memorable run.

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U.S. Reaching Out To Iranians…With Badminton?

It’s no secret that Iran isn’t exactly high on the list of countries that the U.S. is friendly with, but that’s not stopping the State Department from sending America’s women’s badminton team to Iran for a major international tournament. Because, as we all know, the key to mending broken diplomatic relations involves weird rackets and a shuttlecock.

Iran badminton

The Americans were invited by the Iranian Badminton Federation to play in the Fajr Tournament, which is apparently a big deal to badminton enthusiasts. And lest you think this signifies some change in America’s stance toward Iran, think again. The State Department has been involved in cultural exchange programs with Iran since 2006.

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Mixed-Gender Soccer Matches Aren’t OK In Iran

We recently reported on the late-night midfield tryst between Croatian soccer player Dino Drpic and his wife, which led to Drpic being placed on transfer list out of Zagreb. And by contrast, as if we needed more examples of the difference between Western and Middle Eastern culture, three officials in Iran have been suspended and fined because they held a soccer game in which men and women…played against each other.

iranian women's soccer

It is thought to have been the first mixed-gender soccer game since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. At first, the officials of  Esteghlal — which staged the match between the club’s female team and youth male side — denied that the game had taken place, but cell phone video was leaked that proved that this apparently egregious affront to humanity had occurred.

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Iranian Hoops Fan Chants Include “I Will Kill You”

The FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM follows up on Michael Byars-Dawson, an American basketball player who’s currently making his living in Iran.

Michael Byars-Dawson playing in Iran

The former Texas high school star talks about the culture shock of playing professionally in the Middle Eastern country. One surprise is how manic Iranian basketball fans can get.

Byars-Dawson remembers one road game where he got into some verbal sparring with the crowd. The fired-up folks responded by throwing coins & water bottles on the court. Even after he was taken out of the game, an angry group gathered behind Byars-Dawson’s bench threatening to kill him.

Read more…

Maradona Looking To Meet With Iranian President

After already spending time with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, Diego Maradona wants to continue his personal Axis of Evil tour by visiting with the president of Iran.

Diego Maradona tattoo

REUTERS reports that the former Argentine soccer star and prime Jenny Craig candidate expressed interest in meeting up with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. After giving an Iranian diplomat a signed shirt, Diego told him, “I’ve already met Fidel and Chavez…now I need to meet your president. I’d like to meet Ahmadinejad.”

Maradona has tattoos of Cuban leader Castro and revolutionary Che Guevarra on his bulbous body, and recently decided to add the mark of Chavez, Venezuelan president and U.S. critic. Maybe the meet-up with Mahmoud will result in another Maradona body marking.

Iran president soccer

There should be plenty of room available on Diego’s right ass cheek.