A Decay in the Art of Trash-talking

One of my favorite football pathologies is when a team is losing and fans observe that no player is yelling during games, and complain about a “lack of leadership.” The three assumptions behind this argument: (1) Leadership is atomic and individualized, (2) Leadership is the same as yelling, and (3) Leadership enjoys a causal, not correlative, relationship with results, all make me chuckle.

Yet I don’t want to laugh. I do want to wax, old timer lament style, on a decay in modern sport and the gift of gab. I, refer, to the poetic and oral tradition of “talking shit.” Continue reading “A Decay in the Art of Trash-talking” »

An Open Letter Thanking Tim Howard for His Commitment to the USMNT

Dear Tim,

I am Elliott, the father of two young children, and I am very appreciative of the fact that you, as an athlete, realize how important a role model athletes can be. Athletes teach young children – and society – that if you are going to rock a sweet manpurse (I am not being sarcastic), you need to be sure it’s a designer label and not some knockoff. Your Instagram never betrayed me on that issue. Your clutches are the Louis Vitton stuff of legends.

But you’ve also taught my children another important lesson. And I’m very grateful for this second one too. Continue reading “An Open Letter Thanking Tim Howard for His Commitment to the USMNT” »

Somber Reflections on the Thirstiest Picture of Cristiano Ronaldo on Social Media Yet

As Alexander Pope wrote in his Essays on Criticism: “To err is human; to thirst, also quite commonplace.” For the last decade, fans of soccer have had our eye-balls assaulted by Cristiano Ronaldo. Basically, he is a dude that works out a lot, and wants everybody to know that he works out a lot. His skin is an unnatural orange presumably from over-tanning, he wears short shorts that would make a 1970′s NBA player blush, and he invents excuses to take off his shirt anytime a camera may be within five miles.

He has been mocked for his behavior. But I will now dive even deeper into this important, salient issue and raise two very profound points. Continue reading “Somber Reflections on the Thirstiest Picture of Cristiano Ronaldo on Social Media Yet” »

Rising US Soccer Star Dates White Dude with Dangerous Job

Most of you don’t live in Houston. A good chunk don’t follow closely the women’s professional soccer league in the US. I know, I know – the league is young, the talent is a bit erratic, and there’s no pro/rel, so why bother? Because soccer is fun, duh. And soccer played at a high level is fun to watch.

Just like with the men’s game, though, sometimes the curious and puzzling things happen off the field. Such as with the Houston Dash’s Kealia Ohai. Continue reading “Rising US Soccer Star Dates White Dude with Dangerous Job” »

The Best Soccer Narratives I Could Possibly Fathom Not Hearing Ever Again

Yesterday, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United played Liverpool in Liverpool. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. Of course, some nil nil draws can be exciting games, pulsating affairs that draw deserved “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd. This was not one of them. Over 90 minutes, Liverpool created two chances: a quick snapshot that David DeGea palmed away to the right, and speculative curler from distance that DeGea palmed away to his left.

In between, a lot of nothing happened. Continue reading “The Best Soccer Narratives I Could Possibly Fathom Not Hearing Ever Again” »

Bradley’s Journey has Begun

Less than a week after my “Guide to Getting that European Coaching Gig” post, and Bob Bradley has been hired by Swansea City of the EPL. Mere coincidence? No clue. Honestly, Bob’s brother Steve, who is now doing PR for Toronto FC, followed me on Twitter and we had some pretty awesome, candid, and foul-mouthed exchanges.

Basically, more people read you than you think. If you are penning a profile that will shit on a coach or player, odds are likely they will read it. It’s a small world, after all. Continue reading “Bradley’s Journey has Begun” »

Mow – Ring – Yo?!?!?!

Jose has hit his first soft patch as coach at United. Of course, this means he’s incompetent and should be sacked tomorrow. Or, at least, he feels that’s what we the media are suggesting. Thus far, his pressers have been tame by Jose standards, but, as per usual, he has blamed his players (though reservedly so), the referee(s), and the prior coach. Basically, everybody but himself.

And yet this is what you get when Mou comes to town. As a Real Madrid fan, I know this too well. Continue reading “Mow – Ring – Yo?!?!?!” »

The Rapinoe Debate is Not Even a Debate

There is a saying in Spanish: Dime con quien andas, diras quien eres. “Tell me who you are with, and you will tell me who you are.” As you are aware, lots of athletes are protesting racial discrimination by doing various things during the national anthem. Some raise their first. Some kneel. These are silent protests that do not impede the ability of any person to go about their daily lives: nobody is running to the streets, flipping cop cars, or setting stores on fire.

Yet, people are upset. At a recent USWNT game, star player Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with people of color and other protestors. Continue reading “The Rapinoe Debate is Not Even a Debate” »

Edson Cavani and Greatness by Contrast

What do you think about Uruguayan striker Edson Cavani? Yeah, I have no clue either. In general, we soccer fans like our greatness as our oatmeal: consistent throughout. Cavani, though, is perhaps the least consistent consistently great striker in Europe. He’s scored goals by the boatloads for his club teams in Italy and France, and also a few big ones for Uruguay.

Still, one can’t get over a sinking sensation when you watch him play: does this guy know what he’s doing? Continue reading “Edson Cavani and Greatness by Contrast” »