Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Affluent European soccer team comes agonizingly close to winning two major trophies but falls just short! Equally affluent rival claims both! Oh soccer, you bizarrely wonderful world. Sport has always been torn in two directions: the idealists and the pragmatists. Some care about how a team plays, does it attack, will it win, while others care only about results. The two often come together, but not always.
Thus, when a team plays well but doesn’t win, what’s a club to do? If you’re Real Madrid, the answer is simple: sharpen your axes. Continue reading “The Perpetual Midlevel Management Crisis at Real Madrid” »
My writing on Junito has grown intermittent the last few years, but rest assured, he continues to play footy at a high level on a regular basis. It has not been all smooth sailing. Yes, for the first few years after joining a soccer club, Junito loved to go to practice on weekdays. His energy reaffirmed our belief that he really likes soccer. However, another explanation lurked beneath the surface. At our last residence, we lived in a rougher part of town where he had few friends his own age, he could not run around outside unsupervised, and we had no game console. Thus, he was cooped up inside with no video game relief. Practice was an escape.
Flash forward two years. We live in a nicer neighborhood. Kids the same age as Junito flock around and form friendships. We even got a Wii, if only to allow his dad to assert MarioKart dominance on the SNES and N64 throwback levels. Junito continues to thrive at soccer and this year has started every single game for his club team. There’s just one problem: is his heart really in it? Continue reading “Junito: Navigating Chutes & Ladders” »
Yesterday’s clasico was a tale of two halves. Or so say the headlines. In fact, many headlines refer to a game as a “tale of two halves.” Your cerebral self chuckles and thinks: no shit. Doesn’t every game of soccer consist of two halves? Isn’t that, like, kinda the fundamental rule and proportion of time? Could a headline be any less descriptive?
I used to agree with you. But, alas, you are wrong (and so was I). Continue reading “Clasico Recap: A Tale of Two Halves Edition” »
Every three to four months, the online media/writing world will produce a personal story about one of its own: a writer. The story will have one of two angles: either the writer admits that he or she can only afford writing because they come from a wealthy, privileged background, or he or she will talk about stepping away from a stressful but lucrative professional career to focus on family and becoming a writer for the job’s flexibility.
I have no beef with either of these stories: they are first-person narratives about personal growth. When done well, they’re like a 21st century It’s a Wonderful Life. Folks realize that family is important, especially when compared to the diminishing returns of wealth maximization via hours at the office. Still, they’re a bit solipsistic, a bit self-centered. Nobody dares to ask: what about other members of the family? How do they feel? Luckily, Real Madrid’s future greatest player ever Junito, an 8 year old whose dad recently changed jobs, has penned these slightly edited thoughts: Continue reading “Junito: the Other Side of the Story” »
You know the drill. I wrote about soccer for various outlets. Follow the map to then read my writing about soccer at various outlets. Yes, this is a link-post. However, in addition to my own writing, there were some good words typed about the MLS CBA negotiations from other folks.
Enjoy. Continue reading “Some Quite Fine Soccer Writery Methinks” »
So, in case you missed it, I’ve been writing quite regularly for Soccer Gods as of late. The show (available on Fusion, Monday nights) is hysterical and the site is now edited by Richard “Gnarly” Farley. Here are two recent pieces: Continue reading “Some Light Soccer Gods Reading…” »
During last Saturday’s clasico, my twitter feed was curiously silent. Was I in shock after the first half? Was I silently exuberant during the second? No and no. I was driving across Houston to my son’s game and then at a Halloween gathering. Thanks to Dishworld and BeIN Sports, I could watch the game later. Thus, I carefully avoided the excellent Guardian cellphone app, Facebook, Twitter, and incoming text messages and WhatsApp messages from the known entities.
Miraculously, I watched the game at midnight Saturday night and still didn’t know the score. However, the storyline and start were predictable. Continue reading “The Crumbling, Decling Empire Clasico Recap Edition” »
The furling eyebrow. The non-abrasive press conferences. The jovial laugh. Carlo Ancelotti is definitively not Jose Mourinho. Thanks in large part to signings, he’s re-made the Real Madrid roster into an attacking 4-3-3 with little regard for, say, defending. Gone is the counter-attacking 4-2-3-1, the crossfield switches of Xabi Alonso, the darting runs of Di Maria, the lackadaisical drifting of Ozil.
Also gone, perhaps for the better, is the animosity for FC Barcelona. Continue reading “Cool Carlo and the Non-Clasico Clasico” »
Being a Real Madrid fan means winning trophies, spending money on big signings, and winning even more trophies. You also get lots of shit when the expensively assembled team doesn’t win, but, hey, comes with the territory. What being a Real Madrid fan never meant before was this: selling key players in the prime of their career.
So what has happened these past two summers? Continue reading “More Reflections on the Galacticos 3.0” »
Up until recently, my two eBooks, An Illustrated Guide to Soccer & Spanish and Real Madrid & Barcelona: the Making of a Rivalry, were only available for purchase on major retailers Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble. However, given the emergence of two eBook “Netflix” style services, that’s all changed.
Here’s the details. Continue reading “Yet Another Shameless Author Plug: eBook Rental Edition” »