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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Baseball used to have all the good curses. For decades, Cubs and Red Sox fans wallowed in misery, shaking their fists at phantoms and decrying the lack of a championship. And that's not even mentioning the legend of Shoeless Joe Jackson whom, if I recall correctly, was decapitated and rode around on a horse (but sans a shoe on his left foot).
Christmas is all about love and family and yultide greetings and adorable bandanas on dogs and snow and giving gifts to others. Now that Christmas has passed, though, it's time to revert to your selfish, materialist ways. And I have just the best auto-regalos for your stocking.
Of course, they revolve around football and smart writing.
A quiver empty of arrows. A bow broken in two. A string pulled too hard, too long. For years, we believe that in the battle of sports takes, that takes were a renewable source of energy, like coal in mountains or oil in deserts or those strawberry candies that always appear in glass jars in a grandmother's house.
I am now posting so irregularly, it's almost laughable to be posting this. Still, I have paying eInk Kindle subscribers, have gotten some emails, and also some messages via Twitter. The holiday season in the US, from Thanksgiving to New Year, I am normally driving across the country and too busy to really think about soccer, let alone write anything of substance.
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.
as your trusted guardian of all that is cool and just and neat and worth reading, I would like to direct your attention to a really cool Spanish soccer journalism project. It is called "Los Demas", and here's the deal: a monthly long-form piece of journalism about teams in La Liga other than Real Madrid and Barcelona.
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.
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.
For decades, various forms of media and entertainment have sold flawed metrics to sponsors.
In case you missed the so-called "Decision Day" of MLS games this past weekend, a player named Kei Kamara scored a goal. All agree twas a nice goal of the finest variety, one worthy of celebration. Of course, players have shown emotion and excitement after the scoring of a goal for time eternal. And since Roger Milla danced for Cameroon in the World Cup, the rhythmic movement of one's body has long been part and parcel of said celebrations.