In the year 2050, Real Madrid and Barcelona will take their huge TV revenue cut, split from La Liga, and start a separate “Super Iberian league.” They will play one another twice a week, every week. And the ratings will be amazing. Until that date, though, the soccer Gods at least have bestowed upon us a ton of clasicos. Mourinho’s arrival at Madrid has coincided with the blanquillos pushing Barca on numerous fronts – a major improvement from the Pellegrini/Schuster/Ramos era.
However, not all the action has happened on the field. What I most love about this rivalry is its eccentricities. Here’s some of the crazy stuff that has happened as of late. Continue reading “My Favorite Recent Clasico Memories” »
You’ve won back-to-back championships. You play to a packed house. You are located in a bustling metropolis where the sun shines year round. If you are the LA Galaxy, life is good, right? Kinda.
A few years ago, I flew to LA for the Galaxy Open Tryout. It was a blast. I stayed with friends in Irvine, got to play some quality soccer at the Home Depot Center, and enjoyed Manhattan Beach after not making the first day cut. Unbeknownst to me, said event and the disclosure of my email to said organization would result in the filling of my inbox by LA Galaxy updates. I am not an LA fan. I’m a Sporting KC fan. I’m no hater, though. I also like to get a lead on the news when possible. Thus, no “unsubscribe for me.” Then, I got the above email. Continue reading “Most Disingenuous Soccer Email of the Week” »
Some follow-up to the Jen Chang/Duncan Jenkins mess. Last October, Jen Chang, then director of communications for Liverpool FC, allegedly engaged in questionable tactics when trying to silence a satirical blogger/twitterati. Not surprisingly, the blogger used his social media savvy to air grievances against Chang. Who’d have thought it – somebody with a large twitter following would tell his twitter following about something! Chang clearly overplayed his hand.
And here’s what happened next. Continue reading “Jen Chang Still Proudly Lists former LFC Communications Director on LinkedIn Profile” »
Cristiano Ronaldo is your favorite villain. Admit it. If Messi is the no-talking, smooth-walking midget that scores goals, wins trophies, and wins over your heart, then Cristiano Ronaldo is the pompous peacock who begs for your eyeballs while turning your stomach. Ronaldo needs to win games and needs your love, while Messi just seems like some precociously talented dude who wishes the world would leave him the fuck alone. How can you not love somebody who doesn’t need your love?
Still, folks latch onto Ronaldo’s every move and exaggerate. For example, at the recent Ballon d’Oro awards, Leo Messi won and Ronaldo lost. Sky Sports caught a pic of Ronaldo’s face. It was not pretty. However, nobody can read Ronaldo’s mind. We don’t know exactly why his face shrunk into a wrinkly and petulant frown. Instead of jealousy, other explanations abound.
Here they are. Continue reading “Explanations for Cristiano Ronaldo’s Grouch Face at the Balon d’Oro” »
I know what you’re thinking. Or, rather, the things you are thinking. First, incredulity. The above headline can’t possibly be true. You like to think yourself knowledgeable about soccer. You watch several games a week. You have a few clubs you follow from Western Europe. You even bought a scarf at a stadium the one time you were backpacking through Spain. You put a fiver on a game now and then. You have a general sense of which teams are good, which players are good. Nothing catches you off guard.
Until now. Continue reading “FUCKING BREAKING NEWS: INTERNATIONAL COACH SELECTS PLAYER NOT SELECTED PREVIOUSLY!” »
Merriam-Webster defines “mercenary” as “having or marked by an eager and often selfish desire especially for material possessions.” Arsenal fans recall the Ashley Cole saga. In 2005, Ashley, his agent, and several Chelsea honchos met at a hotel to discuss his footballing services. He did not inform Arsenal of the meeting, the word “tap up” took on a whole new meaning, and he was fined. However, he did sign a one year extension with Arsenal.
Nevertheless, Cole departed for Chelsea after only a year later. In his own words, Arsenal’s offer of 55,000 pounds per week left him “trembling with anger.” Despite this admission, Ashley, nicknamed “Cashley” in some parts, has claimed steadfastly that he left Arsenal for footballing reasons. This summer he opened a twitter account, and promptly taunted Gunners fans with his trophy haul since leaving. 11 to 0, for the record. Conclusive proof Cashley is no mercenary? Not quite. Continue reading “Ashley Cole isn’t a Mercenary, just Misunderstood” »
Remember in January when Mexican police raided the headquarters of soccer club Puebla FC? DeMarcus Beasley made a few tweets, we giggled, and then thought to ourselves #ThirdWorldProblems. Well, that flippant hashtag was incorrect. Today, the Italian police have raided the headquarters of Serie A leading (tied with Juventus) Napoli. I personally blame the media. Brian Phillips wrote a post on them a few months back at Grantland. A few months earlier, the Regista blog penned some thoughts. If not for Brian or the Regista blog, the police may never have set their sights on the Italian club.
Of course, Napoli can now stand proudly in solidarity with club legend Diego Maradona, who enjoys the confiscation of personal jewelry every time he visits Italy. Is a benefit match in order?
Fulham and Swansea are tied on games played, wins, goals scored, goals conceded, and points. So why is Swansea, which starts with an “S”, ahead of Fulham, which starts with an “F”? Does the alphabet matter not? On the other hand, as somebody scarred by elementary school memories and a last name beginning with a “T”, I’m only somewhat bothered. If the EPL table is the starting point for reversing the centuries-old discrimination against back-end of the alphabet names, then so be it. I want me some of that last name affirmative action.
To err is human. To err gravely is footballer. In the last few months, we’ve seen some pretty atrocious actions by a few soccer players. The EPL has been marred by dissidents and racists. La Liga has been cursed by malevolent dubsteppers. However, I always hate the sin, not the sinner. And by “sin” I don’t mean “Sin Bad”, although I never did get the contemporary comedian’s jokes. Also, the Arabian Nights tale is kinda long at parts. No, I mean “sin” as in “immoral offense.” The point is simple: these players committed offenses, but have apologized. From the bottom of their hearts, they plead for mercy. We should forgive them. Despise the sin, not the Sinbad. Criticize the foot stomp, not Pepe’s foot.
We have a lot to learn from footballers about sins and forgiveness. In particular, we have a lot to learn from their super sincere apologies. Here are a few key tips will help us all in the future should we need to beg for pardon. Continue reading “Some Footballer Tips on How to Make Sincere Apologies” »
I wrote a thoughtful piece at the Run of Play on linguistic differences between Spanish and English. Since then, the FA has banned Luis Suarez for 8 games based on allegations that he made racist remarks. I don’t care to get into the mucky and murky waters of administrative proceedings. Rather, I want to focus on Liverpool’s official statement in response. Why? Well, because unlike other snobby bloggers, I can see the logic. The calculation is simple, yet makes perfect sense.
And now we must take this logic to its rightful conclusion. Continue reading “Calculated Logic Behind Liverpool's Defense of Luis Suarez” »