A Lament for the Stillborn Transfer Rumors Now Lost to Purgatory

In all religions that promise either eternal bliss or damnation based on an evaluation of a human’s life, babies pose a problem. Namely, babies sometimes die before they can really do anything great or super bad. Thus, do babies automatically get shipped off to Heaven? Do they frollick in super dope cribs while angels hover above on clouds and sprinkle the softest talcum imaginable? In the Catholic faith, most babes go to purgatory, a land between heaven and hell. With any luck and a few hundred prayers from below, many eventually gain admission through St. Peter’s gate.

But what about stillborn ideas? What about concepts that linger in the air but then disappear? I’ve complained about transfer rumors with an air of inevitability before. However, just as sad is the transfer rumor snatched from our grasp at the last minute. Continue reading “A Lament for the Stillborn Transfer Rumors Now Lost to Purgatory” »

How many MLS players would be better off as Jermain Defoe’s Personal Assistant?

Last week, the internet was abuzz with a story. The story of Jermain Defoe and his need for help. On a “seeking a secretary” website, Monseur Defoe ran an ad looking for a personal assistant. This person would take care of his numerous houses, probably do some grocery shopping, and maybe even so do some social media work. Who knows? Lots of folks in Hollywood have personal assistants, and my friends who work/worked in this cottage industry say it’s kinda fun. You’re basically a grown adult’s mom, but minus the authority.

Here’s my cynical question: in the ad, Defoe offered to pay 60,000 pounds per year, roughly $120,000 per year. How many MLS players should quit soccer, fly to Sunderland, and start mowing the laws of Defoe’s numerous estates? Continue reading “How many MLS players would be better off as Jermain Defoe’s Personal Assistant?” »

Soccer Jam

The year is 2004. Zinedine Zidane has just announced his retirement from Les Bleus and international football. Instead, he wants to focus on his club career at Real Madrid and also try to play professional ping pong, which was his dad’s greatest dream for him. Sadly, though, Zizou’s serve lacks the spin and precision for him to advance past the semifinals at any of the major pro ping pong (PPP) tournaments.

At the same time, trouble brews in the galaxy. An Intergalactic Amusement Park complete with non-rolling coasters and wheels not  named after Ferris Bueler is having serious attendance problems. The place is named Seven Flags after some famous clone-ware related battle and resulting truce, but nobody can remember the exact details. All they know is that attendance has dropped precipitously. Even with 20% discounts on season passes and free meals (chicken tenders and fries) for kids ages 6-10 on Tuesdays, folks fail to turn up.

Thus, the nefarious Seven Flags CEO, Mr. HammSwindler, devises a dastardly plot: he sends his minions, the PotLucks, to Earth. Continue reading “Soccer Jam” »

The Most Sincere Manchester United Story this Transfer Window

This past summer, Real Madrid fans were dumbstruck when Sergio Ramos said he wanted to play for Manchester United. At least the stupid ones were. You see, Sergio Ramos was in the middle of contract negotiations with Florentino Perez. Sergio has won every trophy imaginable, but here’s the dilemma: he is very close to 30 and in a few years may lose his pace. From the club’s perspective, a long-term deal and a pay raise were not warranted because his future production will probably decline. From the player’s perspective, his peak years are 28-32 and he has been a loyal (and successful) servant.

Thus, Sergio went public and said he wanted a move to Manchester United. Predictably, no such move materialized and instead he got a beefy new contract. Continue reading “The Most Sincere Manchester United Story this Transfer Window” »

Futfanatico Writers Present the Forgotten Soccer Story Nobody Can Recall

Remember that really good player from an obscure South American league who absolutely dominated in the 1970′s? Or that amazing amateur team from the New York Hungarian immigrant league in the 1930′s? They went on a tour of Europe or something and picked up some big scalps from top teams. Me too. We both remember this because something that is only remembered by a few is not really “forgotten” per se. Rather, it’s just often overlooked. However, nobody writes a headline with “often overlooked” or “remembered by a few.”

In order to correct this injustice, we are Futfanatico present the first ever, 100% “forgotten” story in the history of soccer journalism. Continue reading “Futfanatico Writers Present the Forgotten Soccer Story Nobody Can Recall” »

Junito: The Importance of Winning

Every year, some parent blogger writes about how other parents are pricks for pushing their kids to play sports competitively and care about winning. I know this because I myself have been there. Junito plays on an elite soccer team, and I’ve noticed a great irony in youth sports: the higher the level, the more humble the parents. Yet the opposite is true. Basically, once you’ve seen just how good other kids are at a sport, you realize you and your kids’ place in the pecking order.

This is in contrast to rec leagues, where parents brawls and ref insult dot the land. In their heads, their kids are stars who can only be stopped by bad refs and cheating kids. They are Mourinhos but 10% more violent. Still, here’s the dilemma: their mind is misguided, but is their heart? Is there anything more American than hating losing? Is there a line to be walked? Continue reading “Junito: The Importance of Winning” »

Mourinho, Enrique, and the Sophomore Slump

In the world of music, critics often lament a thing called “the sophomore slump.” Basically, a new band with a unique sounds enters the fray, generally kicks ass, and launches a debut album that blows our hair back Sir Alex-at-halftime style. Then comes the problem. The second album. Almost inevitably, with expectations lifted, novelty not a factor, and initial creative juices maxed out, the follow-up album passes muster but does not light our hearts aflame.

In soccer, I’ve been thinking a lot about the hardest season for a manager. No, not after a relegation dogfight. Rather, I speak of the one following a major trophy haul. And Jose Mourinho and Luis Enrique have their work cut out for them. Continue reading “Mourinho, Enrique, and the Sophomore Slump” »

Manchester United and the Discourse of Shadows

During the title-winning season of Sir Alex Ferguson, commentators used the phrase “smash-and-grab” with abandon. Basically, Manchester United would go to an away game, play so so, grab a goal on a counter, and hang on for the win. Oftentimes, these victories owed more to luck (and goalposts) than any tactical acumen or physical superiority. Yes, one could say that United benefited from superior finishing, but even that’s a stretch when the chances created stat is so skewed.

Yet instead of saying “luck” or “fortune”, these crucial away wins were a “smash and grab.” So what about LVG’s team? Continue reading “Manchester United and the Discourse of Shadows” »

Disentangling the Counterintuitive Language of Futbol

Ahh, the language of sports. Has any other activity seeded such a diverse flowerbed of dialects within English? In the NBA, amnesty is not just for the losing side in a civil war. If you think that’s confusing, soccer has also given birth to its own add vernacular in both the US and UK.

Here are the ones that really stand out. Continue reading “Disentangling the Counterintuitive Language of Futbol” »

SoccErotica: Sensible SportsWriter Feeds You Steamy Takes

Oh, hello again. You didn’t forget me, did you? After our exhausting adventure with team touch zones, I knew you’d be fatigued. But now you’ve had your chance to rest, to catch a breath, to relax those tense tense muscles. Now that the English Premiership has swung back into action, you and I need to get those juices flowing.

Just close your eyes and open wide. Continue reading “SoccErotica: Sensible SportsWriter Feeds You Steamy Takes” »