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So you just won the World Cup...

Thierry Henry is one of the biggest stars in Association Football. With AS Monaco, Arsenal, FC Barcelona and the French national squad, he's won about every trophy that there's to win: 1996-97 French Ligue 1, 1998 World Cup, Euro 2000, 2003-2004 English Premier League, and the unprecedented 2008-2009 "perfect season" for Barcelona: Spanish Copa del Rey, Liga, and Supercopa, European Champions' League, European Supercup, and Club World Cup. He's also won a large number of French, English and worldwide "Player of the Year" accolades. However... [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Jul 24, 2010 - 54 comments

A literary roundup of football/soccer keepers.

Saint Taffarel who is in goal
Like a guardian angel
Sweet like honey
Defending our goal, our hope, our happiness.
- Carlos Drummond
A literary roundup of the mysterious keeper, from Nabokov to Camus to Dante. A little more football for those of us getting the twitches.
posted by Hiker on Jul 14, 2010 - 6 comments

Football in Africa

Jessica Hilltout has been traveling around Africa taking pictures of matches as they are played in the continent's small villages, its players, goals, boots and balls. It is especially striking to compare that last collection to all the official World Cup balls. You can see slightly larger versions of some of Hilltout's pictures here and here.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 10, 2010 - 11 comments

Finally

The World Cup Final is almost here, only 24 hours and 30 minutes away: Sunday Night, 19:30 GMT [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 10, 2010 - 206 comments

We are amused

Yesterday, the Spanish national football squad won its first World Cup semifinal. A distinguished supporter insisted on personally congratulating them in the locker room. (SLYT, but priceless. Watch in particular the hero of the match enter the frame around 1:16).
posted by Skeptic on Jul 8, 2010 - 83 comments

Physics of Phootball

Free during the World Cup the IOP (Institute of Physics) has a collection of papers all about football (soccer). Also related is NASA's recent findings regarding the randomness of the new Adidas ball.
posted by ozomatli on Jul 6, 2010 - 8 comments

Pele should go back to the museum

Argentina has been eliminated from The World Cup, but that doesn't mean we aren't free to enjoy some quotes from the always quotable Diego Maradona. For example, after Argentina qualified for the finals in South Africa, after looking like they would not make it, he said "To those who did not believe: now suck my d**k - I'm sorry ladies for my words - and keep on sucking it. I am either white or black. I will never be grey in my life. You treated me as you did. Now keep on sucking d**ks. I am grateful to my players and to the Argentinian people. I thank no one but them. The rest, keep on sucking d**ks."
posted by Keith Talent on Jul 5, 2010 - 85 comments

Football Manager

They were one of history’s greatest teams. But by the late 2000s, Pro Vercelli were entrenched in the lower leagues, their glorious past forgotten. Until one day, a man bought a video game. Read the uplifting saga of a small-town Italian club, an unknown American manager, triumph, betrayal, passion, and several extremely good recipes, from start to finish [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jul 3, 2010 - 26 comments

Nearly there....

There are only 10 days of the World Cup left. The World Cup Final is on Sunday 11th July at 19:30 GMT. Today sees the start of the Quarter Finals, and with only 8 teams left, this is when the pressure really starts. A brief Preview of the Quarter finals: [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 2, 2010 - 349 comments

Goal line technology for some, tiny vuvuzelas for others

Following the goal that wasn't a goal in the England vs Germany match and the illegal offsides goal in the Argentina vs Mexico match, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has apologized to the eliminated teams and said that goal line detection technology will be considered for future matches. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jun 30, 2010 - 177 comments

'Cause It's Known to Give a Brother Brain Damage

Chris Henry, the Cincinnati Bengals player who died last December, was found to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), almost certainly as a result of his football career. Many other deceased NFL players are known to have suffered from CTE, but Henry was the youngest diagnosed thus far. Henry was infamous while alive for his repeated legal troubles and erratic behavior, and other notable NFL concussion victims, such as Ben Roethlisberger, may also be exhibiting symptoms of CTE. This news will only increase scrutiny of the NFL's much-criticized concussion policy, although the problem is not limited to football players. (Previously)
posted by Copronymus on Jun 28, 2010 - 35 comments

Start, Approach, Take Off, Flight, Roll, Penalty

One of the least edifying aspects of professional football [soccer] is the dive. Is it just part of the game, or something that, ahem, foreigners do? In 2006 FIFA rejected the use of video evidence to punish cheaters and although "simulation" is punished, when spotted by the referee, the problem remains. In the wake of (among others) a dodgy red card to Brazilian star Kaka in the 2010 World Cup, here's a handy guide to some of the best/worst dives about (inside) and how to tell when a player is faking it. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Jun 25, 2010 - 92 comments

"All the great contests at some point become head games."

The whistle has blown in Port Elizabeth. Stoppage time in Pretoria, and three men run into the box. Altidore flicks the ball across, but Dempsey walks it straight into the goalkeeper. On the rebound, Donovan puts it in the net. The world reacts. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 24, 2010 - 194 comments

"Hand of God", indeed.

All’s Fair in Love and Soccer Cheating and working the refs are part of what make the beautiful game fun to watch.
posted by horsemuth on Jun 21, 2010 - 376 comments

We're going to the moon now to find a suitable site to play three-sided football

We're going to the moon now to find a suitable site to play three-sided football.
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 19, 2010 - 27 comments

Vuvuzela Time!

Vuvuzela time! View any web site like you're at the South Africa World Cup!
posted by GuyZero on Jun 17, 2010 - 112 comments

The Game of Their Lives - Part 둘

North Korea played in the World Cup in 1966 [BBC Documentary on YouTube]. The 1966 World Cup was the subject of bitter disagreement before a ball was ever kicked. Sixteen African nations boycotted the tournament in protest of a 1964 FIFA ruling that required the champion team from the African zone to enter a playoff round against the winners of either the Asian or the Oceania zone in order to win a place in the Cup. [more inside]
posted by vectr on Jun 16, 2010 - 22 comments

Lego Fussball

Some people really do have too much time on their hands: Lego Football [more inside]
posted by idiomatika on Jun 14, 2010 - 30 comments

The Game of Their Lives

Sometimes called the "Miracle on Grass", the USA's 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 World Cup is arguably the biggest upset in the history of the cup; when a team of school teachers, dishwashers, and postmen beat the "Kings of Football". It was the Game of Their Lives. Today, they had the chance to do it again.
posted by daniel striped tiger on Jun 12, 2010 - 241 comments

USA USA USA USA USA USA USA

USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA !
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 12, 2010 - 210 comments

32 Posters for the participants of the World Cup

ESPN commisions 32 posters for each of the participants in the upcoming tournement. In addition to the cool art, here's an interactive calender to help you plan your viewing courtesy of Spanish website Marca.com.
posted by Keith Talent on Jun 8, 2010 - 77 comments

College Football Selling Out, In Real Time

"It's a storm only a game theorist could love..." In the next few weeks, the NCAA College Football landscape may change completely. Or not. Either way there's a massive power struggle unfolding among college football conferences for big TV money, and an increasing gulf between the haves and have nots. [more inside]
posted by bbuda on Jun 6, 2010 - 101 comments

Must Read Soccer and other soccer blogs

Must Read Soccer has one aim: To bring you the best writing in English on football, wherever we find it, fresh almost daily, and without favor. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 6, 2010 - 16 comments

"I left my stamp."

I scored a goal in the FIFA World Cup Final. A series of short films produced by ESPN about players ranging from Uruguay's Alcides Ghiggia in 1950 to Italy's Marco Materazzi in 2006. [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat on May 31, 2010 - 25 comments

Joe Gaetjens scored a goal in the World Cup, died as a political prisoner of Papa Doc Chevalier

A heartbreaking 10-minute documentary on Joe Gaetjens who scored the single goal in the USA's shocking victory over England at the 1950 World Cup. Gaetjens was a Haitian accounting student at Columbia University who went to Europe shortly after the 1950 World Cup and returned to Haiti a few years later. His story, and the story of the upset victory, was until recently largely unknown in the US.
posted by Kattullus on May 31, 2010 - 12 comments

Gooaaaal

SLYT: Write The Future - A three minute long Nike World Cup ad
posted by AceRock on May 21, 2010 - 39 comments

Back to the Future

On September 24 1983, a brilliant young Argentinian footballer playing for FC Barcelona was brutally fouled in a Spanish league game against Athletic Bilbao. The resulting injury incapacitated Diego Armando Maradona for four months and ultimately resulted in him leaving Barcelona for Naples and a serious cocaine addiction. More than the fouling player (who already had the nickname "Butcher of Bilbao"), many blamed Bilbao's coach and his somewhat lacking concept of "fair play". [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on May 16, 2010 - 46 comments

Ballad of a South African Football Fan

16 years after the end of apartheid in South Africa and one month before the first ever World Cup to be held in Africa begins, Raymond Whitaker writes about his memories of football (not rugby) in South Africa in the 60s and 70s. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on May 10, 2010 - 3 comments

Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaaal! Goooaa....

Last Wednesday, Hibernian and Motherwell played their penultimate game in the Scottish Premier League. It ended in a 6-6 draw, equalling the record for the highest score draw in the history of professional football. (YT highlights for those who can't get iPlayer.) [more inside]
posted by Dim Siawns on May 10, 2010 - 27 comments

We ain't no hooligans, this ain't no football song

New Order's 1990 official World Cup song, World In Motion, promised a new, actually listenable era in football songs. So what has England seen since then? The endearing Three Lions for the hopes of Euro '96. Fat Les' Vindaloo celebrated the marriage of matches and curries. Meat Pie Sausage Roll celebrated the meal options of your average footie ground. On The Ball celebrated the meteoric rise of Ant and Dec. In 2006, we had a novelty cover of a novelty song, the unspeakable, the unelectable, and the so bad it loops round to genius. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Apr 30, 2010 - 30 comments

Marx is claiming it was offside

One of the greatest football matches of all time, Greek Philosophers vs German Philosophers is going to be replayed.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 27, 2010 - 22 comments

A zone has never scored a goal. Apparently.

Following on from Jonathan Wilson's excellent column The Question (previously), Zonal Marking illustrates and explains how a football match is won and lost, often with same-day analysis and emphasis on individual players. [more inside]
posted by Errant on Apr 14, 2010 - 25 comments

“What’s a gay Wolverine fan to do?”

Jim Tressel: 'Everybody is important'. Ohio State's football coach talks to Outlook Columbus, a local GLBT magazine. [more inside]
posted by kmz on Apr 7, 2010 - 22 comments

Who dat?

The Who Dat nation is composed of long-suffering, widespread, well-dressed, ballsy, divinely inspired (?), stubborn, parading, boundary-crossing, musical, and - as of tonight - very happy citizens. What's the deal with "Who Dat," anyway?
posted by honeydew on Feb 7, 2010 - 87 comments

When The Saints Go Marching In

A white kid adopted by a Japanese-American couple, he grew up hearing stories of his grandmother raising his dad in an internment camp while his grandfather fought in Italy, and didn't eat a baked potato until he was eight. He went to UC Berkeley. He's vocal in his support for marriage equality. Scott Fujita is a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints.
posted by rtha on Feb 7, 2010 - 57 comments

Ray Hudson - sports announcer extraordinaire

The Magisterial Goal. YouTube/Essay on the great British sports announcer Ray Hudson and his literary metaphoric style. “Look at him, so languid, look at him walking. He’s like a big, beautiful zombie, Riquelme. He just strolls around…like smoke off a cigarette.” [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Feb 2, 2010 - 15 comments

America Bowl: U.S. Presidents vs. Super Bowls

America Bowl: U.S. Presidents vs. Super Bowls. "44 Presidents. 44 Super Bowls. Finally they battle head-to-head." For example, Abraham Lincoln vs. Super Bowl XVI: "Super Bowl XVI was pretty good. President 16 was pretty great. With malice toward none -- and in this we include the Bengals -- it's Abraham Lincoln in a walkover."
posted by kirkaracha on Jan 19, 2010 - 28 comments

Ever Wonder Why NFL Apparel Is So Expensive?

Is the National Football League a single entity or 32 individual businesses? That’s the question before the Supreme Court in the case of American Needle vs. NFL. American Needle (warning: heavy Flash), a Buffalo Grove, IL sport apparel manufacturer, claims the NFL’s exclusive contract with Reebok to manufacturer all NFL apparel is an anti-trust violation. The NFL counters that they are one entity, and thus, cannot conspire against themselves to restrict competition. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch on Jan 14, 2010 - 87 comments

Putting the tackle into Society of the Spectacle

"One might be tempted to say that the LFL is a startling critique of the homoerotic undertones that are rife within men’s American Football. Indeed American Football’s hyper-masculine qualities, its predilection for tight trousers, bottom patting and suggestive positional names (‘tight end’) have long made it an easy target for artists, theorists, critics, or anyone who is not American. Yet while to claim such satirical depths for the LFL would be disingenuous, what the LFL does achieve is equally subversive." Highbrow British art magazine Frieze discovers the Lingerie Football League. Warning: pictures on both links are NSFW.
posted by WPW on Jan 13, 2010 - 73 comments

the trouble with cabinda

Cabinda is an exclave of Angola with extensive oil fields and a troubled history. Left out of the negotiations that granted Angola independence from the Portuguese, separatist movements in Cabinda have a history nearly as long as that of modern Angola itself. These movements are in the news again, thanks to an attack on the Togolese national football team ahead of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations that has other clubs calling their players back, Cabinda losing the right to host matches, and South Africa reassuring the world that security there will be adequate ahead of this summer's World Cup.
posted by jackflaps on Jan 9, 2010 - 11 comments

Macaroni and Boom

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese will be the official sponsor of A Cheddar Explosion: The Demolition of Texas Stadium.
posted by GatorDavid on Jan 5, 2010 - 44 comments

"Television demands activity."

Is television holding back the evolution of football? What is rarely considered is that television could be shaping the way the game is played, and not necessarily for the better. It sounds, admittedly, a touch far-fetched, but two of football's most respected thinkers believe it to be true, and when Jorge Valdano and Arrigo Sacchi are in agreement, it is usually worth listening. Sports journalist Jonathan Wilson investigates the effect televised football/soccer might be having on the tactics of the game. [more inside]
posted by dng on Jan 5, 2010 - 64 comments

All Quiet on Christmas Day

When Pope Benedict XV called for a cease fire over the Christian holiday of Christmas the high command on both sides of no man's land called it "impossible". But the men in the icy muck and mire of Flanders decided for themselves what was possible, what was not possible. The future held millions of dead and wounded but the season motivated the British (along with some French and Belgians) and the Germans to shake off the traditional definitions of enemies and allies. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Dec 24, 2009 - 36 comments

Extra! Extra! Football causes brain damage!

Malcolm Gladwell did an article about this in the New Yorker, but this GQ article shows the opposition the researchers who discovered CTE faced from the NFL.
posted by reenum on Dec 19, 2009 - 61 comments

A Perfect Season

At the beginning of the '09 season a young rookie coach named Pep Guardiola was appointed manager of FC Barcelona, one of the top teams in European football. One year later, the team plays 19th December in Abu Dhabi against Estudiantes for the Club World Cup, the cusp of association football season. Guardiola had taken a talented but stagnating team to the top, a prometean figure that brought the philosophy he had inherited playing for historical player Johann Cruyff almost 20 years before. [more inside]
posted by valdesm on Dec 17, 2009 - 18 comments

Who's got the ball?

(American) Football trick play video roundup: the Statue of Liberty, Fumblerooski (2), the Puntarooski, the Hook and Lateral (2), the Flea Flicker (2), the End Around (2), the Double Pass, the Fake Punt (2) (3), the Fake Field Goal (2) (3), Fake Field Goal/Fake Punt, the Swinging Gate, and the Bouquet Toss. [more inside]
posted by starman on Dec 5, 2009 - 57 comments

The Manliest Game On Earth

Calcio Fiorentino was an early form of football (YT) that originated in 16th century Italy (YT). The modern version (Foto Gallery) allows tactics such as head-butting, punching, elbowing, and choking, but forbids sucker-punching and kicks to the head.
posted by gman on Nov 22, 2009 - 23 comments

Re-Meet Ricky Williams

In case you haven't, please meet Ricky Williams. He has had one of the most fascinating careers of any professional athlete: he was a high school phenom in Football, Baseball, Track, and Wrestling. He played FOUR YEARS of minor league baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He was a two time all American at Texas and winner of the Heisman Trophy. He translated that success into a great early start in the NFL. He also grew up in an abusive home. He has tested extremely high in both IQ and diagnostic tests. He is incredibly shy and has been diagnosed social anxiety disorder. Hating the effects of medications, he opted for Marijuana claiming that it had a much better effect. [more inside]
posted by Lacking Subtlety on Nov 20, 2009 - 36 comments

The Hand of God, Part Deux

The world of soccer has been rocked by a French player's game-defining handball in the much-anticipated qualifier match between France and Ireland. Thierry Henry has admitted to the offense, but said ultimately it is the duty of the linesman to make the call. His action and subsequent admission have drawn strong reactions, including attempts to vandalize his Wikipedia page. [more inside]
posted by lovermont on Nov 19, 2009 - 112 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

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