The Center of the Sports Take Universe

A quiver empty of arrows. A bow broken in two. A string pulled too hard, too long. For years, we believe that in the battle of sports takes, that takes were a renewable source of energy, like coal in mountains or oil in deserts or those strawberry candies that always appear in glass jars in a grandmother’s house.

Now, we know better.

Or do we? Continue reading “The Center of the Sports Take Universe” »

Annual Blogger Break Alert (Kinda)

I am now posting so irregularly, it’s almost laughable to be posting this. Still, I have paying eInk Kindle subscribers, have gotten some emails, and also some messages via Twitter. The holiday season in the US, from Thanksgiving to New Year, I am normally driving across the country and too busy to really think about soccer, let alone write anything of substance. I catch what games I can, but that’s about it.

This year, though, the break was hastened by a family tragedy and medical emergency. My wife and I found ourselves suddenly packing up the wagon, hastily filling suitcases, and then hauling ass 16 hours to see a dear one who is gravely ill. Since then, it’s been a mixture of hospital visits, commodes, depends, tapioca pudding, physical therapy, heart care clinics, and not much else. Continue reading “Annual Blogger Break Alert (Kinda)” »

The Absolutely Essential Manchester Derby Recap…

…Is so not happening at this site. I know you have loved your Pep on X player features, your Pep vs. Mou columns, and your contrarian “media overblows Y aspect of derby” takes. Still, I shall indulge you. Here is a brief summary of the Manchester derby: two teams from Manchester played soccer. They both fielded eleven players and kicked a ball for a combined ninety minutes plus change.

There. Now, onto important matters: Chicharito and Messi. And what they have in common. Continue reading “The Absolutely Essential Manchester Derby Recap…” »

Gawking About

As a blogger born and bred in the roaring 2000′s, I owe a tremendous debt to Gawker Dot Com. No, not in the dollars and cents sense. Rather, in a tailwind sense. Gawker Dot Com, for me, will always stand for two principles: (1) Cynical, at times caustic, observation and (2) Fearless journalism.

What’s so remarkable about Gawker is how neither of those principles is either new or revolutionary. Allow me to elucidate. Continue reading “Gawking About” »

Some Lighthearted Soccer Linkery

Friends, I am on a blogger break, remember? Me neither. Nevertheless, the capitalist freelancer in me has sold some prose to wonderful soccer content producers. You should visit their sites, turn off your AdBlock plus, and just download anything that shows up on your PC and/or enter your credit card numbers and any national personal ID number as well. Continue reading “Some Lighthearted Soccer Linkery” »

Blogger Summer Break Edition

Leicester has just pulled off a fairy tale season in the EPL. Real Madrid has chased Barcelona to the finish line in La Liga and a date with Atletico in the UCL final lingers. Everyday, you come to this site, click refresh, nothing new appears, and you violently shake your iPhone or PC monitor. You are desperate for my thoughts on why Harry “Fleet-footed Kane” and “Not Racist” Vardy will bravely lead the line as England bravely wins the Euros in the bravest manner possible.

You need me, but I don’t need you. Time for a summer break, so sorry you content-greedy people who take advantage of me. Yes, I will still freelance a bit, but things will go dark here. Very, very dark. The lights will come on again in August or September, depending on my mood. You may (as in “you have permission”) follow me on Twitter. I do feel pity from time-to-time, so I shall concede you that one wish. You can also check out my GoodReads author page.

Until then, enjoy this piece on Mexico’s 2004 Copa America squad for FourFourTwo.

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” »