Argentine Soccer’s Curse of the Colorado

It’s been over two years since I last spilled ink on South American soccer. Thanks to the excellent Futbol y Asociados, I brought you the story of the altered cedula (national id card). Basically, a young Argentine got a national ID card and wore his team’s jersey in the picture. He received his cedula a week later, but one of the officials apparently was a fan of a rival team and had handwritten in a margin the score of a recent victory. The result? The kid’s high school would not admit him because his identity document was altered. D’oh!

Today, we again go way South of the border and learn a bit of Spanish. In Argentina, the term for a ginger or redhead is colorado/a. The term can mean either colored or red, depending on context. Some also say pelirojo. Regardless of the term, red head means bad news in Argentina. During a  recent game, San Lorenzo coach Caruso Lombardi was accused of sending a redhead alcanzapelotas (ball boy) to greet the rival team’s goalie and jinx him. San Lorenzo won, but their coach denied intending to curse anyone.
Regardless, gingers around the world respectfully ask: who and why did being colorado come to mean bad luck in Argentina? Here’s a few ideas.
Continue reading “Argentine Soccer’s Curse of the Colorado” »

Explaining Why Messi & Argentina May Never Win Again

Messi has won every possible tournament at his club, FC Barcelona. Argentina regularly produces world class soccer players that excel in Europe. Argentina has also won two World Cups. So, the question arises: why hasn’t the pulga lifted any trophies with the albiceleste?

Theories abound. Some claim that Messi relies on the midfield brilliance of Barcelona players Xavi and Iniesta. Others point to generational talent gaps in his national team. A decade ago, Argentina rode a wave of creative midfielders with Veron, Riquelme, and Aimar. Now, however, they feast on forwards like Tevez, Aguero, and Higuain. This lack of balance complicates team formations, especially since Ever Banega plays enganche about as well as he sets his parking brake. Some point to the long shadow of Diego Maradona. The pulga cannot escape the legacy of the pibe diez, they speculate.

All these theories are quaint. They are also wrong. Why? Because they are myopic. The soccer universe has constructed an elaborate lexicon and discourse to explain itself, yet this closed system chokes off alternative explanations. Messi, and Argentina, won’t win anything for the foreseeable future and it has nothing to do with soccer. Allow me to explain. Continue reading “Explaining Why Messi & Argentina May Never Win Again” »

OWN GOALS – the Futfanatico eBook & some entertaining links

After much deliberation and feedback, the soccer eBook is now available in a DRM-less ePub format at Goodreads. Right here. What does that mean? Well, for those folks who do not have a Kindle or Nook, you can now purchase the book for $5.99 to then download and read on pretty much any other device. If you rock the open source Calibre, you can read it. If you use Adobe Digital Editions, you’re also included. And, of course, you can simply use the Goodreads eBook reader by simply signing up.

Speaking of the eBook, Robert of theTwoUnfortunates wrote a positive review that you can check out here. Terry Duffelen, blogger, podder & Socrates co-founder, also had some kind words to say about the eBook at Goodreads. And thus far the ratings have been squarely in the 4-5 range. Not too shabby. I’m still riding on a wave of confidence and my Vampire-High school-Law firm legal thriller/comedy series will be available from Doubleday in May of 2013.

But seriously, I promise to stop proudly boasting about the eBook until at least the new year. Scout’s honor. Books are like kids – once you have more than one, they all start to look the same & you eventually forget their names. Now, the links. Continue reading “OWN GOALS – the Futfanatico eBook & some entertaining links” »