The Fine Art of Failure

A few months ago, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek guide to freelancing for the online world. Jokes and utter lies aside, I offered tips on how to identify and win over the gatekeepers for most sites, the folks known as editors. Executive summary: use Twitter and email *tactfully. Since then, lots of other folks have chimed in on the conversation. Most of these people are/have been/will be much more successful than me.

For the record, I freelance part-time and enjoy a day job serving impoverished, at risk communities in Houston. My income from freelancery is not insignificant, and I’m writing here about why things you have read elsewhere about the game of writing for cold hard cash just may be lies. Filthy, dirty lies. Continue reading “The Fine Art of Failure” »

Rubber Stamped?

In case you missed it, the State of California and the feds are investigating whether artificial turf is safe. For those not in the know, many versions of turf use thousands if not millions of tiny little rubber balls (from recycled tires) to create a grass-like bounce and cushion. Arguably, these little pellets are carcinogens that may be dangerous both to skin-contact and if inhaled.

They are also a pain when they get in your cleats and you track them into the house. However, the State of California has already investigated rubber ball turf (my fav moniker) twice. Here are the results. Continue reading “Rubber Stamped?” »

Ball and Foot: My Own Nicaraguan Tale

In case you missed it, Remezcla had a pretty dope story about a young American heading to Nicaragua and helping out with a nonprofit in Granada that uses soccer as tool for social change. The story reminded me about my own tale and the joys of living in Nicaragua, raising my two young kids in Managua, and working for Casa Alianza Nicaragua.

More importantly, I recalled that about three years ago I filed a short story on said life experiences for XI Quarterly, the seriously dope soccer quarterly founded by Tom Dunmore that due to a major printing error and contract dispute went belly up after only two issues. I have the utmost respect for Tom (and David) and harbor no bad feelings towards either, but I am publishing the story here so it sees the light of day. Enjoy! Continue reading “Ball and Foot: My Own Nicaraguan Tale” »

A Protective Guide to Streaming Sports Sites

Disclaimer: you should never ever illegally stream a sports event, unless a hooligan holds a gun to your head, puts a laptop in front of you, and says “find me United-Chelsea on Rojadirecta OR ELSE”. Okay, now that I’m no longer liable for what I’m about to write, I will write what I’m about to write.

I’m not going to morally justify piracy. If you are an internet pirate, then you are wrong. If I could spank you, I would, but I can’t, so I won’t. However, like that disingenuous abstinence-only conversation with a hormonal adolescent, I at least want you to protect yourself. Hence this post. Continue reading “A Protective Guide to Streaming Sports Sites” »

The Annual Winter Dip in Production

Hello, readers. I know that about half of you live in the Southern hemisphere and are enjoying a warm summer. A good chunk of you do not practice a Judaeo-Christian religion. Many also use the lunar calendar instead of the Gregorian. Sadly for you, this website is and always will be a xenophobic and American hotbed of hatred.

Yes, I am taking a few weeks off to enjoy the winter, travel to see family, and celebrate Jesus’ birthday (and El Dia de los Reyes Magos). Continue reading “The Annual Winter Dip in Production” »

A Freelancer’s Guide to the Galaxy

I get these weird emails once a week, sometimes twice. Normally, a recent college graduate or student wants to write for my site. Why? You ask. Well, aside from the sexy XHTML/CSS re-design from, say, five years ago, Futfanatico is a prestigious cauldron of creativity. Sadly, though, I must turn these budding scribes away. The ad revenue and Kindle subscriptions pay the server fees, but little else.

I still get the odd royalty check from my two eBooks, but freelancing, not blogging, is the path to a stream of revenue from your writing. Yet I see lots of young scribes making rookie mistakes. This post will hopefully help. Continue reading “A Freelancer’s Guide to the Galaxy” »

Grantlandia

In case you have been living on a remote island with no internet connection or working phones, I have a rude piece of news for you: ESPN is shuttering Grantland, the Bill Simmons’ sports and pop culture site. This royally sucks for the people involved and for readers, even if after BS left ESPN for HBO some might have seen this coming. Of course, lots of sites are doing post-mortems on the “state of media.”

Here’s an irony: I wrote an article back in 2011 at TheScore’s FootyBlog on some kinda new sites, including The Classical, Grantland, and the kinda new Blizzard football magazine based in the UK. Where is that article? A few years ago, TheScore canned the FootyBlog, deleted the content, fired lots of people, and allegedly is now trying to adapt to short-form mobile media consumption. Since that article, other things have changed. The Classical is still a great launching pad for young writers, but a good chunk of the original cast have defected to better remunerated gigs elsewhere.

So, ahem, what the fuck is up? Allow me to tell you what the fuck is up. Continue reading “Grantlandia” »

Your Totally Not Sponsored Daily Fantasy Futbol Tips!

Remember a few years ago when I wrote that long diatribe about why I hate fantasy sports? Well, to be honest, I lied. I was riding high on a counterculture trip; I was in a standoffish mood. I knew that you liked fantasy sports before me, so I played down my own interest. That way instead of getting “early adapter” street cred, I could salvage my ego with some contrarianism. I am sorry. In all truth, I love daily fantasy sports.

And who doesn’t need more fantasy in their daily life? Continue reading “Your Totally Not Sponsored Daily Fantasy Futbol Tips!” »

Safe Spaces?

For the past few years, writing (and writing about soccer) has been a privilege. P-R-I-V-E-L-E-G-E. I am a college-educated professional who works a 9-5 and has Saturdays and Sundays off. Thanks to this free time and a computer and internet connection at home, I was able to blog with very vague dreams of financial remuneration. The point was writing. I enjoyed writing. I also liked interacting with a handful of you in the comments. Eventually, these funny people called “editors” started to contact me about writing for money. Of course, I also cold-pitched hard, spreading a wide net. But that’s besides the point. I had the money and time to write at home for free for a few years, then started to get paid.

However, one thing is missing from that narrative. I’m also a man. Continue reading “Safe Spaces?” »

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” »