An Apology to Mainstream Media on Behalf of Richard Whittall (And Me)

Sometimes, the mainstream media is wrong. For example, a columnist at ESPN recently went on a posh vacation to Qatar. Surprise surprise, upon his return, he wrote a pretty bland, half-assed defense of Qatar. He had written quite movingly about the death of an Espanyol player years ago, but, like, the death of dozens of immigrant workers was brushed off as blogger chatter.

I actually wouldn’t mind to see a defense of Qatar. However, you need some stats. For example, the remittances from Qatar to Nepal (from migrant laborers) probably help out quite a bit. Also, there are probably some respectable employers in Qatar who don’t abuse the visa system. The problem is not defending Qatar. The problem is pretty shoddy journalism with vague assertions. Kudos to ESPN for taking it down.

A brownie point for a retraction. A hollow victory, no? However, sometimes, to a blogger’s chagrin, mainstream media is right. Continue reading “An Apology to Mainstream Media on Behalf of Richard Whittall (And Me)” »

Pumas & Michael Carrick Proudly Present the Most Boring Soccer Commercial Ever

Soccer commercials normally range from unbelievably campy to understandably understated. Often, our heroes from the field will pitch us on cleats, sports drinks, and carbonated sugar beverages. In some ads, the players dress as gladiators or jump around super futuristic black multi-level soccer fields. In most, the players just pull off a nice move in slow mo and then, boom, a close up of their cleat. In the most basic, they simply tell us to buy something. And we listen.

Like the surrealist Ronaldo watch ad from a few years ago, the recent Pumas ad featuring Michael Carrick breaks the mold. But not necessarily for the better. Continue reading “Pumas & Michael Carrick Proudly Present the Most Boring Soccer Commercial Ever” »

Check Out Juan Mata’s “Hocus Pocus”

Did you see that? Wow. Never has Raul Albiol been made to look so…Raul Albiol. Since Ronaldinho’s elastico and Robinho’s sombrero, soccer has gone quiet on the dribbling front. Yes, Neymar has rubber legs and a bag of tricks. However, he walks a path blazed by Garrincha. Brilliance is making the difficult look simple. Genius is not doing the unexpected. It is performing the unexplainable.

So, is Mata’s Hocus Pocus genius or brilliance? Continue reading “Check Out Juan Mata’s “Hocus Pocus”” »

The Creepy Soccer Instruction Video Files #44 – “Who Wears Short Shorts?”

The world is, in fact, a terrifying place. On the other hand, if I was paid millions of dollars a week to sit on a bench like Ricardo Kaka, I’d probably wear the shortest shorts possible too. Who would stop me? More importantly, shorter shorts=lower risk of “bench-rash.” I hope he has plenty of talcum powder.