“To be or not to be”, that is not the question. If you are reading this, you exist. Whether you like that or not, that’s your own issue. Rather, the pertinent question is: why do international friendlies exist? What comprises their very essence? Luckily, through a time and space warp continuum, great past philosophers & poets & writers recently met in a modern setting, drank some wine, and discussed a similar issue plaguing Greece thousands of years ago: non-Olympic friendlies between athletes. Keep in mind, this is a story I heard from my friend James who was told it by this one dude at a college party one night about ten years ago, so there may be some inconsistencies.
Here are their conclusions, if any. Continue reading “A Platonic Symposium on the Essence of International Friendlies” »
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” »
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….” »
You know the drill. Contrary to some rumors, I am not the only person who writes about soccer. While you love my writing and would love to see three epic, full length features at this site each and every week, I’ve been pretty prolific at SoccerGods and Paste Magazine. Thus, for today at least, you’ll just have to content yourself with fine writing by other folks and links to said writing. Which is fine. I do declare. Continue reading “Some Ferocious Soccer Lynx” »
It’s not so often that I post a one link article. However, one of the major barriers to full youth participation in soccer in the US is the current “pay-to-play” model. I’m blessedly middle-class and can afford travel team fees for my 7 year old son Junito. I am also an educated professional and have the weekends off, so we can drive him to Sugar Land and Missouri City and even farther for tournaments. His mom is a student and can drive him to training on weeknights. Not everybody else is so fortunate. Even at Junito’s club, we see other parents that sometimes struggle to get kids to practice and games (We do our best to carpool but you can’t make a person ask for help). Junito’s club also will waive fees if you can show financial hardship.
Still, the monthly club fees aren’t that high; the time commitment is more of a barrier. SB Nation has an excellent, detailed article on Alianza de Futbol: a group trying to create a non-”pay to play” pipeline for largely Hispanic talent. They are not exactly a club, but do incredibly competitive tryouts and then the top kids get trials with clubs. Read about it here. Like, right now.
We all know the new stadium scam playbook in-and-out: teams commit to a long-term lease, promise to create jobs, and show off some hired gun economic impact study. Local communities then throw subsidies, free land, and tax breaks at them to the tune of hundreds of millions. In reality, the stadium creates only a few part-time and low-wage jobs, the surrounding neighborhood gentrifies only a bit (based on, duh, external factors like location), and the team tries to weasel out of the lease in later years (or extract renovation concessions).
Yet, in both Detroit and Liverpool, England, a new and far more sinister stadium plan has emerged: strategic blight. Continue reading “Neighborhood Blight: the New Stadium Scam” »
Sigh. For the last few years, I’ve been pretty good about my Monday, Wednesday, Thursday posting. Why those days? Well, anymore and I’d turn the site into a content mill, any less and I’d lose my edge. Also, coincidentally*, those are the days when the internet has heavy traffic for actual readers. No, not bots. Not spiders. Not bait-clickers. Folks with the time to read some serious thoughts. I’m one of those serious thinkers. That’s why my listicles include full paragraphs under the pics and my lazy video posts include puns in the headlines.
Alas, it’s still Monday and I’m still posting, but time is short. Family and professional obligations have arisen. I’ve also gotten pitched by some seriously quality soccer sites, whom have generously agreed to publish my writing. Here are links to two longer pieces for said quality sites, both of which I am proud of: Continue reading “Yes, I am still writing about soccer…..” »
Every now and then, we like to give you, the reader, an esoteric South American soccer update. In today’s news, we looked closely at happenings in Paraguay, your favorite loser from the “War of the Triple Betrayal” err “Alliance.” Some pretty hysterical legal happenings have caught the headlines, but a more sobering fact got buried. Continue reading “Long Overdue But Totally Unexpected Paraguayan Football Update” »
Carry along, now. Nothing to see here. Just a chicano writing about the characters and happenings in Liga MX for Fusion. Oh, wait, you’re interested in reading my writing. Okay, well, if you insist, here are three such articles: Continue reading “Some Serious Liga MX Love” »
Contrary to FIFA’s assertion on its website, the “panenka” penalty is not a “cult.” Rather, on a superficial level, it is a technique – a player approaches the spot, usually stutter steps, looks to see if the keeper moves early, and then chips the ball down the middle or to the other side. Some criticize the panenka as arrogant – in reality, players take advantage of the fact that 75% of keepers move before the ball is kicked in PK situations. Also, on an incorporeal level, watching a ball softly float to the goal – something a child could do – brings a smile. Attitude and confidence are definitely at play, but so is the realization that no matter what the stakes are, soccer is always and always will be a game.
Still, the panenka is not always perfect. Sometimes the shooter does not stutter step. Sometimes the keeper reads it. In such situations, you look foolish. Here are those moments. Continue reading “When Things Don’t Always Go As We’d Like…. (Panenka Fails)” »