As an avid fan of soccer who has played and coached at various levels, I am a keen student of what is reported by the always trustworthy British sports dailies. In particular, I read with a discerning eye about managers. I ask myself: how do they manage so well?
And how can I imitate them?
Continue reading “The Spuds’ Secret” »
Last Wednesday, FC Barcelona beat PSG in the second leg at home in the Camp Nou to advance in the Champions League. Barca features three of the soccer’s best attacking players – Messi, Neymar, and Suarez – and, before the first game, they were expected to advance past the Parisians. Then, Barca went and lost the first leg by four goals. That was bad. Very bad.
Yet they won the second 6-1 and the Camp Nou erupted. Still, some questions have to be asked.
Continue reading “Nou Campy” »
One of the best parts about sports is that, within a certain frame of assumptions, we can enjoy a heavy dose of unpredictability. Last season, nobody, not even a super computer with all the world’s knowledge and really really nice spreadsheet tech with dope algorithms could have predicted Leicester’s title.
This season, the EPL has returned to the same old contenders, but I’m still blown away by how Chelsea has turned things around. Continue reading “Counting on Conte” »
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” »
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” »
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” »
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” »
Everybody is kinda freaking out because allegedly live sports TV ratings are dropping. Both the NFL and the English Premier League have reported major “dips” in viewership. However, I’m very skeptical.
Something much bigger is at work. Continue reading “The Dip That Wasn’t” »
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” »
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” »