Did you see that? Wow. Never has Raul Albiol been made to look so…Raul Albiol. Since Ronaldinho’s elastico and Robinho’s sombrero, soccer has gone quiet on the dribbling front. Yes, Neymar has rubber legs and a bag of tricks. However, he walks a path blazed by Garrincha. Brilliance is making the difficult look simple. Genius is not doing the unexpected. It is performing the unexplainable.
Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement last Wednesday. Tears were shed. Thank you’s exchanged. Pleasantries spoken. The world held its breath for a grand total of 24 hours before United announced their next manager: fellow Scot David Moyes, of Everton.
Destruction is inevitable, creation divine. For most forwards in soccer, we ask little. If you loiter in the 18 yard box for 90 minutes, that’s okay. If you’re occasionally offsides, that’s okay. All we want is the bare minimum: competent finishing. If you get an open header, firmly place the ball on frame, or, even better, towards a low corner. Do not let the ball hit your nose. Do not balloon the ball over the opposing net. And please don’t blow simple tap-ins.
Chicharito Hernandez blew United fans away two years ago with his consistent finishing. Since then, cracks in his game have surfaced. When not served on a platter, he seldom eats. Other forwards, though, do not depend so heavily on service. Rather, their talents go beyond the mundane. They soar in a world where midfielders are accessories and any “service” will do. Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes to mind. However, the lurking Swede is more battering ram than ballerina, more brute force than grace.
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” »
The folks at 101GG unearthed a gem of a video: John Terry sitting by Frank Lampard and holding in his hand a book. Not just any book, but Simon Kuper’s Soccernomics. Why? Well, explanations abound. In all honesty, he could have been reading it. Ha. Ha.
As an American, I am proud of many aspects of my country. Freedom. Liberty. These are the overused and hollow terms used by others to explain why we swell with pride at the sound of the Star Spangled Banner. However, I have a much clearer view. I know exactly why I love my country. Unpaid labor. Inefficient management. Arcane rules.
Yes, I am proud of my country because of the NCAA. Nothing makes more sense than forcing talented 18 year old men and women to perform labor for free, as opposed to wages. The best part of this situation is that you then can selectively enforce the ban on under-the-table payments, and a bureaucracy is born!
Being a cosmopolitan soccer fan in North America can kill you. Why do I say that so confidently? Obviously, the dangers of a stadium-fight or getting shot in the street by a rival fan are slim-to-nil. A pond separates us from our beloved European clubs. However, we log a lot of couch and chair time, sitting before computers and/or televisions, and, according to a study, this increases our risk of diabetes, heart disease, AND DEATH.
I know your immediate reaction. A study finds a correlation between sitting and death. What’s next – a study finding a correlation between breathing and death? Eating and death? Well, you may be right. However, a looming European clash has raised my blood pressure to dangerous levels. The rest of the world licks their lips, but my heart gets tugged in two directions.
What happens when you have no legal basis to sue a company who you wrongly perceive as a threat? Well, some companies try to pull favors with the US government and get a domain seized, ala RojaDirecta. Others, though, like the Premier League, hire a lawchurn (law firm which churns out threatening letters) and try to rub elbows with corporate buddies. I speak of NetResult.
For the last half decade, NetResult has been all over the interwebs, sending threatening letters to Soccerlens, TheOffside, and others. They’ve forced websites to remove logos, fixtures, and other so called “intellectual property” of the Premier League, Manchester United, Arsenal, et al. However, without getting into too much legalese, a large gap exists between US and UK law. In the US, we enjoy “fair use,” which basically means that you can re-use and alter an existing work of art to create a new piece of art. US law also acknowledges an economic reality: the use of a logo often has little financial repercussions to the copyright holder.
Not all have tucked in their tails. 101 Great Goals, like Roja Directa, has published and ignore the cease and desist letters for several years. No lawsuit has materialized (I wonder why……perhaps because it has no merit?). Thus, NetResult got down & dirty: they tried to take down 101 Great Goals from the iOS App Store. Apple laughed them off, but this means war. As someone who recently purchased a refurbished iPad, I will not let the delicate crystal prison, err, Mac ecosystem go to hell in a hand basket.