And on the eighth day the Lord created the internet, and he said that all shall see the Premier League, be it in a slum of Bangkok or a dive bar in Washington, DC.
The world is a confusing mess. Sport is no exception. The internet has brought us closer together and eliminated the clear lines demarcating the nation state. Fans now root for teams in faraway places. Top clubs forget about preseason and instead favor cash-generating Far East tours. American football stadia are packed during the summer for friendlies between Mexican soccer clubs and Italian teams. In sum, fans are everywhere and are fans of anything and everything. We all can lay a claim to a team, regardless of geographic location.
Here’s the big problem: just how are we supposed to feel better than other people?
Continue reading “Evaluating the Authenticity of Your Fandom” »
It’s not really a World Cup if there’s not at least one or two missed deadlines for stadium construction. It’s also not really a World Cup until major media outlets report on stereotypical “problems” associated with the host country. Before South Africa 2010, folks only wanted to write, read, and hear about witch doctors and goat sacrifices and “voodoo.” And Brazil?
“Favela” violence aka disaster porn. Continue reading “Violence in World Cup Host Country Article #68899” »
During the Everton-Spurs game last weekend, goalie Hugo Lloris suffered a serious blow to the head. However, he stayed on the field, finished the game, and made a few key saves. Was it heroic? Was it stupid? If it was stupid, then who’s to blame: the player for staying? The coach? The trainers? The medical staff?
Predictably, op-eds and finger-pointing have surfaced all around the interwebs. I dive beyond this superficial debate to examine just how our culture and sensitivities create a complex web and relationship between the mind and the brain. Continue reading “The Concussion Headache” »
David Beckhamania. Many MLS fans recall his arrival to ‘Merica – we thought, wow, MLS teams are actually paying serious salaries to a pretty good overseas player who is not retirement age!?!?! Pinch me! His first year sucked, as chronicled in The Beckham Experiment, but he ended up winning some trophies.
Now he wants to be an MLS owner. There’s just one problem: he’s set his sights on Miami. Read my thoughts, and doubts, at the Guardian. Simply click here.
The blogosphere and mainstream media have an uneasy relationship. On the one hand, many famous writers and bloggers have climbed the ranks by attacking their more popular peers. Bill Simmons entered the ESPN ranks thanks to a scathing critique of the ESPYs. On the other hand, invariably bloggers and mainstream media will write about the same or similar topics. Mainstream media feels the pressure to produce daily doses of news – their model still follows the paper print run cycle, even as technology has evolved. Bloggers can sometimes take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Often, though, these competing tensions manifest themselves in odd ways. And that’s especially the case for the proverbial “English Player/Coach Said Dumb Things” news cycle. Continue reading “The Ulitmate Non-story: No English Player or Coach Says Anything Stupid!” »
Ah, France. Once again, Les Bleus find themselves in a two-legged playoff with a ticket to the World Cup on the line. As a neutral fan, I of course wouldn’t mind seeing France’s talented stars take the field in Brazil 2014. After all, what would we do without headbutts and petulant player strikes? Granted, their current manager has not proposed to his girlfriend on live television nor waxed astrology. However, Nasri can be entertaining. Right? RIGHT?!?!
But, alas, the two legged hurdle looks steep to France. Even worse, because their group only had five teams, they feel they could not rack up enough points to be a top seed in the draw. Thus, they filed an official complaint with FIFA. Here’s what’s so amusing. Continue reading “France Complains About World Cup Playoff Seeding, Forgets About “Hand Ball” Rule”” »
I know what you’re thinking – am I Jack Wilshere SEO baiting or is he just too easy a target? Probably both. Less than a week after getting caught smoking, he made some offense (remarks) about foreigners playing for England. To use his exact words, he said that living in a country for five years does not make you “English.” He said he could live in Spain in five years and that wouldn’t make him Spanish.
Technically, he’s correct. Mere physical presence in a country does not confer upon you legal residency or citizenship. You have to fill out a boatload of paperwork, pay fees, and follow certain rules. It’s a headache. So, why were people so offended by his words? Continue reading “Jack Wilshere On “Being English” & Other Three Lions Thoughts” »
You follow the news. You know that somebody took a picture of Jack Wilshere holding a cigarette outside a nightclub. I won’t bore you with the trite “Athletes are role models/I like to watch cocky, irresponsible assholes” debate. We lampooned it before. Rather, another angle to the Wilshere story caught my eye.
In response to Wenger’s criticisms, Jack Wilshere’s representative claimed that he was holding the cigarette as part of a prank and did not in fact smoke. Presumably, his representative said this because Jack couldn’t say such bs with a straight-face during a presser. Aside from being a lie, this excuse tramples over the intellectual property of former US President Bill Clinton, who famously “put a joint to this lips but didn’t inhale.”
Yawn. Here are some much better excuses Wilshere’s rep could have cooked up. Continue reading “Arsenal Player Jack Wilshere Steals Page from Bill Clinton Playbook” »
Two years after a bribery scandal, FIFA’s independent corruption experts are almost “done.” What has happened? Well, next to nothing. They’ve created two new committees, one for finance and another for ethics. Guess who will staff those committees. Here’s a hint. Graft-loving FA officials. The panel’s conclusion that stuff “still needs to be worked out” is both accurate and hysterical. No shit. Continue reading “FIFA Declares Victory as Anti-Corruption Advisers Go Away” »
In case you missed it, the Guardian broke a terrifying story: numerous workers from Nepali have died due to atrocious working conditions in Qatar. Guess what they were building? Soccer stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup. Few are surprised. This is the same Qatar where a) Chucho Benitez died from heart problems after a less than a month playing for a local club, b) LGBT individuals cannot publicly display affection, and c) Bribes marred the voting process.
So, I dare to ask, why not boycott the World Cup? Continue reading “The FIFA World Cup in Qatar – a Perfect Boycott Target” »