About a month ago, I penned a reported feature for VICE Sports about the FIFA prosecutions. Basically, I questioned the use of US resources to go after white collar criminals from other countries who, based on the legal theory of the case, only “hurt” a nonprofit that is organized in Switzerland. I came to the conclusion that the US government was only going after FIFA for (1) Publicity and (2) Money. That’s right – if you read all the available guilty pleas, those Defendants are forking over millions to the US Treasury.
In 2010, an octopus stole our hearts. I speak, of course, about Pulpo Paul, the aquarium-dweller with the clairvoyant tentacles who correctly guessedpredicted foresaw the results of World Cup games. Sadly, that same year in October, Paul allegedly died. Other animals tried to fill the gap, but they were clearly imposters. The world needed Paul, not some Paul wannabe.
Yet, as is often the case, nobody ever saw the dead body of this particular celebrity. Thus, a sliver of hope remained. In a rundown motel in one of those dark and blind alleys of Las Vegas, could a room full of Elvis, Notorious, and Tupac watching cable TV also have enough space for an aquarium filled with Pulpo Paul? Celebrity-love is the strangest kind because we never know the celebrity in any meaningful way, yet they haunt our dreams and fill our waking hours with emotions.
Yes, I know. Sponsored posts are icky and make me feel sick to my stomach, but that annual server fees payment fast approaches. In large part, I blame my readers for having to resort to this crap. All of you had Adblock Plus and/or don’t click enough on the banner ads. None of that is my doing.
I’ve written a few times about the infamous “p chant” that was all the rage at Mexico games. Sadly, Spanish soccer stadiums are not so different. Instead, they often appear a teeming cauldron of prejudice – this is a land where players of African lineage still have to deal with monkey chants and it is the year 2016. No, not 1916. 2016. I will never forget the dignity and grace and humor of Dani Alves when eating a banana tossed at him, or the time Samuel Eto’o made fun of the not-so-subtle prejudices of the Spanish language by saying he will correr como negro (run like a black person) – an offensive allusion to the days of slavery.
So that’s why the above video shocked me. A handful of fans at the Camp Nou shouted “Maricon” at Cristiano Ronaldo during a moment of silence for recently departed Johan Cruyff. Continue reading “Mes que un desgracia” »
Lots of smart and knowledgeable people have chimed in on Johan Cruyff, the Dutch soccer legend who recently passed away. Yet, as pointed out by Brian Phillips on Twitter, nobody has noted or observed or come to grips with the fact he was an asshole. Like all geniuses, Cruyff was difficult to work with as a player, a coach, and even an executive. He had ideas, the ideas were black and white, and you were with Cruyff or against him. When I saw Cruyff was an asshole, it is a compliment. Lots of people are assholes and forgotten, but to truly be an asshole and beloved is arguably the pinnacle of humanity.
In case you missed the joyous news, “Rog” aka Roger Bennett of the Men In Blazers will be at the AO (American Outlaws) rally before the USMNT plays Guatemala on Friday night. He will remind you that soccer is about to get big, give you two-minute summaries of every game in the latest Premier League “fixture”, and you will thank and love him for it. However, not all is well. In case you forgot, Noah Davis penned an investigative feature for Fusion last year on how sexism has started to appear at AO gatherings. Elaine Teng of The New Republic went to BlazerCon last Fall and observed that the MiB podcast enthusiasts are not a particularly diverse group.
Luckily, we were able to track down a few eye witnesses who went to BlazerCon and plan on attending the AO rally featuring Rog. We are incredibly jealous, but maintained our professional composure to ask them point blank: did you see a diversity problem at BlazerCon?Continue reading “Ask An American Soccer Fan: The AO Rally” »
The above picture recently surfaced of now retired Juan Roman Riquelme with Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano and Riquelme’s son. Arguably, Riquelme was one of the last enganches to excel in Europe and possibly the world. Of course, you ask, what exactly is an enganche?
Last week, the man who once handled balls with dexterity and grace became the head of FIFA. Laughably, some members of FIFA tried to advocate for a non-secret ballot and even transparent voting booths. Yet even if the FBI and Swiss investigations (and the resulting problems finding corporate sponsors) prompt FIFA to cut down on corrupt broadcast deals and cash-for-vote swaps, the large and unwieldy structure will still be a large pork-barrel amalgamation of special interests. One country, one vote, and the majority of the countries in FIFA have depressingly low GDP’s and even lower scores on the Transparency International index.
Every now and then, we at Futfanatico land a huge interview about futbol with an unexpected celebrity. Once we got Slavoj Zizek to predict a World Cup final. Another time, Jean Baudrillard turned his piercing gaze to American celebrity fans of Arsenal. While Rolling Stone barely nicked us to that Chapo interview, we are delighted to welcome Silky Johnson, the greatest hater in the history of hating.
In case you missed it, United States prosecutors are charging and extraditing Latin American (and elsewhere) officials from FIFA left and right. The feds are so tenacious, they are even plucking Guatemalan executives off Disney cruises in Miami. Yet, for a country that has a pretty bad corruption score in most indexes, the folks in Mexican soccer have avoided the net. Why?