The Astroturfery Behind the Failed Beckham Stadium Plan

In case you don’t follow me on twitter or already read Vice Sports, here’s a link to my up close look at how and why Beckham has failed to get a stadium deal done in Miami (so far). For the record, it was edited by the excellent Eric Nusbaum and the elucidating Patrick Hruby. Like all kinda long stories that require original research, there’s little snippets and footnotes along the way.

One of the footnotes that I want to share is the story of the “Downtown Neighbors Alliance.” ‘Tis a class tale of astroturfery, snobby rich people problems, and a Mayor’s flooded inbox. Continue reading “The Astroturfery Behind the Failed Beckham Stadium Plan” »

How Old is Too Old?

Bayern Munich has enjoyed a wonderful Bundesliga season to date. They’re top of the league despite an embarrassing loss to 2nd place Wolfsburg. They are also favorites to advance in their Champions League tie, despite tying the first-leg 0-0. However, for fans of beautiful soccer, not all is well in Munich. Why? Because of midfield. That’s why. And what hurts the most is that the players at fault are beloved, world-class veterans.

I speak, of course, of the Spaniard and the pig farmer. Continue reading “How Old is Too Old?” »

The Two Most Misunderstood Words of MLS CBA Talks

“Work stoppage.” As a fan who enjoys watching live soccer, these words strike terror into my heart. Thus far, the current MLS labor talks have followed the same pattern: MLS owners, happy with increasing revenue and a one-sided owner/labor balance, complain they are “still losing money” and profess to not be worried by the talk’s slow progress. Meanwhile, the MLS Players’ Union makes vague threats about “strikes” and says “free agency” over and and over.

I don’t know who has the upper hand in negotiations. I also don’t know what will happen. I know there are some creative quasi-free agency solutions. I know that MLS salaries also lag behind North American counterparts (and way behind England). However, here’s one thing I don’t know: would a work stoppage really be that bad? In that vain, I looked at recent work stoppages in other North American sports leagues. Things didn’t always end up so bad once the dust settled. Continue reading “The Two Most Misunderstood Words of MLS CBA Talks” »

DC Comics’ Laughable Trademark Tomfoolery against Valencia CF

In November of last year, the BBC reported that DC Comics filed a trademark complaint with the European Union against Valencia Club de Futbol. Their beef? That Valencia’s new crest featuring a bat was too similar to the bat of Batman fame. In response, Valencia issued a statement, basically saying that “Hey, we’ve existed and used bats for a few more decades than your little comic.”

However, that’s not even half the story. Continue reading “DC Comics’ Laughable Trademark Tomfoolery against Valencia CF” »

Barca Stuffed: Mes Que Un Petty Troll

I’ve written extensively here about the online soccersphere. Sometimes, I take potshots at sleazy mods and catty subreddits. Other times, I focus on copyright law and how trolls try to twist the arms of upstart sites who arguably follow the spirit and letter of the DMCA law. For example, I wrote about the US legal saga of the Spanish website RojaDirecta. Roja survived bogus DMCA complaints and even an illegal seizure by the US federal government.

However, this past December, many Barcelona fans noticed something strange: their beloved BarcaStuff disappeared. Here’s why. Continue reading “Barca Stuffed: Mes Que Un Petty Troll” »

Find my writing at these great sites……

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been pretty busy. I have a wife and two kids. I have a full time job. Thus, due to time constraints, Futfanatico is now officially a once-a-week blog. I say this because I hate it when a blog or site just disappears with no explanation. I also refuse to alter the long-ish style and oddness of my posts here – I could try and write two-paragraph, snappy, sarcastic responses to the daily news, but that’s what Dirty Tackle is for.  Another pet peeve for me is when a crazy good site just turns into a link mini-post mill. Thus, for the record, I will be writing here once a week original posts not found elsewhere.

However, the biggest factor in my drop in time is that I have been writing elsewhere. Therefore, about once a month, I will post links to that writing. If you want to know about my writing elsewhere a bit quicker, follow me on twitter. Continue reading “Find my writing at these great sites……” »

Barack Obama Destroys Hope of US Soccer World Cup Win (Singlehandedly)

I am such a bleeding heart liberal that I need regular blood transfusions to prevent cardiac arrest. I will defend LBJ’s “Model Cities” initiative to the end, and not so secretly took some delight upon hearing of the passing of Ronald Reagan. During the two terms of George W. Bush, I lived in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. If I spoke a third language other than Spanish and English, I probably would have moved to an even farther away country. Sadly, though, my Arabic and Mandarin Chinese are not so polished.

Thus, of course, I voted for Barack Obama and waited for him and government to immediately solve all of my life’s problems. And then he stabbed me in the back. Continue reading “Barack Obama Destroys Hope of US Soccer World Cup Win (Singlehandedly)” »

Top Secret Meeting of the Liverpool FC Transfer Committee

In the darkest of places, in an abandoned mine well below the depths of Moria, in a hole so deep you can hear the echoes from past Chinese New Year celebrations, lurks the cave…and the “committee.” Kinda. In truth, the cave is not a cave, but rather a series of caves, a maze of blackness so black it sucks in light, chews it up, and doesn’t bother to spit it out. If you’ve ever been lost in an IKEA around closing time, you know the full scale of absolute terror felt in a seemingly never ending labyrinth. You could fit at least two and a half IKEAs in this cave complex, if not 3.

And In this vast expanse of cold air, stalagmites, stalactites, mineral water and leather chairs, a table sits. And at this table sits the committee. Continue reading “Top Secret Meeting of the Liverpool FC Transfer Committee” »

A Premature Happy Holidays & Blogger Break Warning….

Don’t you hate it when your favorite bloggers stop blogging but in the blog don’t explain why they are not blogging or when they will resume regular blogging? Luckily, Futfanaatico is totally pro. I am traveling for Thanksgiving, hosting family for Christmas, and things will be spare around these particular parts. You may catch me on Twitter, you may not. Expect this Death Star to be rebuilt and fully operational by mid-January with some erratic planetary death rays here and there.

Luckily, though, I’ve been kicking it for Soccer Gods and Paste Soccer. You have plenty to read. Continue reading “A Premature Happy Holidays & Blogger Break Warning….” »

Affable Alexi Lalas Refuses to Badmouth US Soccer Group Whose Aim is His Imminent Destruction

Alexi Lalas has long been the “big tent” pundit of soccer in the United States. Whether it’s getting in a twitter spat with a US national team player or defending a less-than-popular idealist reformer, Alexi has taken the ACLU First Amendment position that “all speech is good speech.” At least if that speech is about soccer. For Alexi, the tent of US soccer is big enough for different opinions and stronger for encouraging robust debate and dissent.

However, one new US soccer group just may have tested his resolve. Continue reading “Affable Alexi Lalas Refuses to Badmouth US Soccer Group Whose Aim is His Imminent Destruction” »