For English-speakers, the headline is “Whose fault is it that Mou left?” If I have to explain to you why this is ironic, you should not be reading this site. Go watch cat videos on YouTube.
Another year, another disappointment. No decima. No dice. Madrid fought the good fight in the King’s Cup, conceded La Liga way early, and fell in the semifinals of the Champions League. Despite some fun wins at the Camp Nou, even Jose Mourinho has admitted this is his worst season ever.
Many Madrid faithful find their spirits down. However, a few optimists repeat over and over some well-scripted speaking points to feel better. Or at least sound like they feel better. Here are a few: Continue reading “Real Disappointment – What Madrid Fans Are Saying To Themselves” »
Don’t you hate it when your favorite blogger hops and skips about and blogs at sites other than his own blog domain? You have to, like, click on links and go to other sites. It’s quite inconvenient. Well, alas, prepare yourself. I have put finger to touchscreen for a few other fine sites. Here they are: Continue reading “OWN GOALS – Some Delightful Soccer Links to Lighten Your Day” »
Guess what eBook goes on sale to the general public today? A hint. Look at the above image. Details after the jump. Continue reading “Real Madrid & Barcelona: the Making of a Rivalry, Now on Sale!” »
Want to bring up a bad taste in the mouth of a Real Madrid fan? All you need to know is a term and a song. The word is “regime team.” The song is “Asi….asi….asi gana el Madrid.” [That's....that's....that's how Madrid wins]. Both bring to mind a very dark chapter in Real Madrid’s history: the rule of General Francisco Franco over Spain. Many have painted the club and the dictator as tied at the hip during the 1950′s and 1960′s.
However, a closer look reveals a much more complex tale. Continue reading “eBook Preview #7 – Regime Team Who?” »
In the 1970′s, Spain amended its oriundo law to allow clubs to field two foreign born players-a-piece. FC Barcelona immediately benefited by signing Dutch all-star Johan Cruyff. In his first season, they beat rivals Real Madrid 5-0 and won La Liga. More importantly, he embraced left-leaning Catalan politics and even bestowed a Catalan name upon his son. He was the perfect mix of athletic prowess and political consciousness.
However, his tenure as coach decades later just may have been even more impressive. Continue reading “eBook Preview #6: Which is Mightier – the Mind or the Foot?” »
In case you missed it, a black hole has opened just a few light years from the Earth and will swallow us whole in a matter of milliseconds. Or Google is closing Spartan RSS feed-eating machine “Google Reader” in June. Based on some recent articles, you’d expect those two events to be the one-in-the-same.
Folks ask: why are they killing off such a popular product? In summation, shareholders>consumers. Google has been pulling “unprofitable” products, pinching publishers on ad revenue (I don’t run them anymore), charging more for ads (Bah, eBook key words are astronomical!), and at first tried to milk Google Reader’s loyal group to move into a veritable ghost town: Google Plus. We refused. We still refuse. Now, many are migrating to other RSS readers.
I relied on Google Reader for years. However, when looking at my list of blogs in pre-preparation for a move and glancing at “unread” articles, I noticed something sad. Most of my favorite blogs have closed shop either indefinitely or infinito. Thus, why even bother moving RSS feeds that Here, I pay them homage. Continue reading “The Great Google Reader Non-Migration” »
When does history begin? For humans, the answer is relatively simple. You are born. Your mother pushes your out of her womb. Then, the clock starts to tick. Normally, after sixty to eighty years, you expire. You are buried. The story ends. The story begins. Simple and clean.
For institutions, such as nation states, the story is seldom so simple. Rather, historians strive to identify a single individual or “event,” and then label that “event” and the year of that “event” as the proper starting point for an institution. In the case of FC Barcelona, the club’s story lends itself to both an event-driven and individual-driven historical story. In the case of Real Madrid, we have a muddled mess of clubs, associations, and leaders. Who gets the credit? Or, rather, should nobody get to claim the prize?
Only by re-framing the basic historical question of “when” can we arrive at a satisfactory answer. Let’s begin. Continue reading “eBook Preview #5: Dispelling and Re-telling Foundation Myths” »
History is a funny thing. If you’re not successful, you’re forgotten. However, if you’re an all-star, everybody wants a piece of you – even after your dead. In the 1920′s and 1930′s, no goalie could compare to Ricardo Zamora. His broad shoulders and 6’4 frame made him a force in the box. He won several trophies, and, today, the award for top goalie in Spain is named after him.
Still, his hopscotch playing history and political dealings leave a question mark on an otherwise impeccable career. Barca claims him. So does Real. Who wins? Continue reading “eBook Preview #4: Ricardo Zamora, To Whom Does History Belong?” »
Ever since Suarez-Evra gate, I’ve grappled with the issue of racism and soccer. Of course, the larger problem is getting a firm grip on “racism.” If we define racism as irrational prejudices – preferring one race to another – then we get stuck in a rut as to solutions. Affirmative action to remedy historical injustice requires such preferences. More recently, folks have said that “race matters” and embraced minority identities and cultures as adding value. However, this also walks a slippery slope – if a minority group possess a culture that adds value, then can’t that same culture contain unsavory elements that decrease value? Uh oh.
In the world of soccer, some clubs (private business entities) have embraced identities based on a concept similar to race: nationality. This is even trickier. What’s the difference between nativism and national pride? Can you lift yourself up without putting others down? More recently, the 21st centuries’ wave of immigration tossed a wrench in the mono-national identity wrench.
Here are some lovely links for further reading. Continue reading “Racism, Nativism, and Nationality, Inside, Outside, and Around Soccer” »