Do Sports Build Character or Damage It? They foster the warrior within us, for better and for worse. [Via]
Carles of Hipster Runoff discusses the relationship between mediocre quarterbacks and office jobs:
The most intense forms of competition, stress, conflict, and insecurity that most of us will ever feel take place at work. We embrace mediocrity as a safety net to alleviate our minds from these uncomfortable thoughts, and hide from the idea of heightened accountability and expectations. Instead, we choose to live vicariously through other people we don't know who are actually 'special.' Athletes, technological entrepreneurs, and other people who are recognized for being legitimately 'gifted and talented' serve as our daily inspirations and escapes. While society tends to praise greatness and unique achievement, the public ceremony of 'exposing' mediocrity provides us with the opportunity for humor and hyperbole that inspires a dark breed of empathy and fan interest.
a human being as plated with artisanal finesse at a Michelin-star restaurant, with a head as garnish
During the month of December, 1. FC Union Berlin raised money to finance a new stand in its stadium by selling shares in the stadium to fans, under the slogan We're selling our soul. But not to just anyone! (YT--German). This is the second phase of renovation at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, to bring it up to 2. Bundesliga standards. Much of the work on the first phase was done by the fans themselves (DW video--English). [more inside]
Are field goals easier in Denver? Wired's Rhett Allain uses physics to consider which factors might make a field goal "easier" in Denver. Includes a Lego recreation of this 59 yard field goal.
The Buddha tells the people he can fulfil only one of their wishes. Someone asks: "Could you lower the price of property in China so that people can afford it?" Seeing the Buddha frown in silence, the person makes another wish: "Could you make the Chinese football team qualify for a World Cup?" After a long sigh, the Buddha says: "Let's talk about property prices." [more inside]
The Blizzard is a quarterly football (soccer) journal that covers an eclectic range of subjects which don't usually receive much mainstream coverage. Issue 3 is out, and features, among other things, articles on the demise of Spartak Moscow, a World War One internment camp that shaped the development of the game in Europe, how nationalism shaped the rise and fall of Beitar Jerusalem and how Dawson's Creek explains modern football. It is edited by Jonathan Wilson, of "Inverting The Pyramid" fame, and it's writers include Tim Vickery, Barney Ronay and Gabriele Marcotti. [more inside]
It just hasn't been a good month for the Chicago Bears. First they lost Jay Cutler and Matt Forte to injuries, and yesterday wide receiver Sam Hurd was arrested in an undercover drug sting, after an investigation that began in July 2011.
The other Chelsea. A story from Donetsk [1:28:06].
The Green Bay Packers are not unique solely for being undefeated this season. The Financial Times' blog reports on the only publicly owned and essentially non-profit NFL team, the shares of which cannot appreciate, do not pay dividends or capital gains, are non-transferable, and cannot be concentrated in the hands of any single owner. Beginning today, the defending world champs opened their fifth common stock offering, with shares priced at $250.
Sócrates is dead. It’s hard to see how anyone could be surprised. Run of Play on the death of Sócrates. [more inside]
It's Good to be Tim Tebow. "Tim Tebow’s completion percentage is 44.8 percent. Take away his magical fourth quarters and the number is closer to 30 percent. This kind of awful is in the 'Shaq free-throw percentage, Mario Mendoza batting average' sports hall of fame. But he’s not awful in the turgid unwatchable way that, say, a Kate Hudson movie is awful. He’s fascinating/awful."
"During my career, I kept my mouth shut. This now, speaking out, it’s about telling you my life. There’s no agenda, no vendetta. This is what football is really like." Kris Jenkins’s View of Life in the N.F.L. Trenches.
Larry Munson, the legendary voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, died yesterday at the age of 89. [more inside]
The 49ers are back, but who's paying attention? Sitting on top of a weak NFC West, is the Niner's impressive rise going overlooked? [more inside]
Allas creates surprisingly novel highlight clips of FC Barcelona, perhaps the most talented football/soccer team of the moment. This fifteen minute video illustrates Barcelona’s tactics, and serves as an introduction to aspects of the beautiful game that were previously invisible to novices like me. [more inside]
Here's the deal: If you don't play for, or you are not an employee of, the team in question, "we" is not the pronoun you're looking for. "They" is the word you want.Why "We" is the most overused term in sports.
Al Davis, 1929 - 2011. The owner of the Oakland (Los Angeles, then Oakland again) Raiders was one of the most important figures in U.S. sports history, known as much for his cantankerous relationship with fellow owners and city leaders as his team's success on the field. Davis also hired the first black head coach of the modern era, the first Latino coach and the NFL's first female CEO. Moreover, the Raiders morphed into a worldwide brand as the team’s colors, swagger and anti-establishment ethos became linked with the hip-hop scene that was permeating South Central Los Angeles.
Brianna Amat, 18, of Pinckney High School in Ann Arbor, kicked the game-winning field goal against rival Grand Blanc on the same night that she was crowned homecoming queen (SLNYT).
Grantland's Bill Barnwell is writing an ongoing series demystifying sports gambling for the newcomer. His first two subjects: how to bet the middle and teaser bets.
What happens when a multi-millionaire footballer playing for one of England's top club teams refuses to go out and play as a substitute? Possibly, he gets shipped off to prestigious second division northern Irish club squad Limavady United.
Due to being sanctioned for unruly fan behaviour, the football match between Turkish teams Fenerbahce and Manisaspor was due to be played in an empty stadium. Until someone in the Turkish Football Federation had the idea to only allow women and children under 12 to attend. [more inside]
Your NFL team probably has cheerleaders. But this team's cheerleaders had a movie made about them. And because they're from a place where they like to do things big, when that movie was broadcast, it was viewed on 60% of the televisions in use at the time. [more inside]
"Ask yourself, is your candidate smarter than an Aggie?" The Marching Owl Band ponders the next election. At the same UT-Rice halftime show, they also had something to say about upcoming conference realignments. (Full show script.) The MOB has a bit of history (show script) with Texas A&M. [more inside]
Ultimately, there is no separating Vick from his circumstances: his race, parents, economics and opportunities.
What if Michael Vick were white? The cover of the September issue of ESPN The Magazine features an image of the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, but another picture might end up getting more attention. [more inside]
Brian Phillips of The Run of Play (previously) examines FIFA's history of corruption from the birth of sports sponsorship deals to a serious of mysterious deaths in South Africa before the 2010 World Cup and speculates about the future of embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter. [more inside]
Fun While It Lasted is a blog that details the histories of long-dead sports franchises, including the Hawaii Leis/Sea-Port Cascades/Seattle Cascades, the Portland Lumberjax, the Columbus Minks, the Denver Comets, and the Phoenix Fire -- a professional soccer team that never actually played a game. [more inside]
Summer's here and the time is right...for American high school football players to drop dead. [more inside]
Before the former American football player Dave Duerson killed himself, he asked that his brain be left to researchers studying head injuries among athletes.
Even if you calculate that on average away teams only ever had a 10 per cent chance of beating one of Mourinho’s sides (for some, like Gijón, it might be a lot less, but for others, like Sporting Lisbon, AC Milan, Manchester United or Barcelona, it would be a lot more), the odds against going unbeaten for 150 matches are more than seven million to one. The London Review Of Books on the home advantage in sports.
Copa América is streamed live on YouTube. Copa América is the oldest international football competition, having been held first in 1916. This is a contest between the 10 South American nations and two invitational teams, this time Costa Rica and Mexico, who both sent young squads (Japan was slated to take part but withdrew due to the earthquake). The tournament started yesterday with Bolivia unexpectedly managing to hold Argentina to a draw. Colombia are currently beating a 10-man Costa Rica 1-0. Brazil start their campaign tomorrow, against Venezuela. One of the world's premier football writers, Jonathan Wilson, wrote previews of the three groups, A, B and C. The Independent has more light-hearted team previews.
Here Come The Lads - "The Irish soccer team will soon arrive for the World Cup with thousands of peaceful fans who love a glass and a singsong." Written before the arrival of Irish soccer fans to the US for the 1994 world cup, with anecdotes from the 1990 World Cup, when the Republic of Ireland qualified for the first time.
The Football Pantheon is a new website by football journalist Miguel Delaney. The aim of the website is to "present objective lists of the greatest clubs, players, countries, managers and so much more." The first entry is a very impressive list of The 50 Greatest European Club Sides, which breaks down the various legendary teams, from the late 19th Century until today, and ranks them according to their achievements.
Jim Tressel, one of the most successful college football coaches in history, has resigned as coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. After several players were discovered to have traded Ohio State football memorabilia for tattoos (actions which represent NCAA violations), it was revealed that Tressel knew of the player's actions and attempted to conceal the information from investigators. Though Tressel often projected a squeaky clean, conservative image, detractors have often accused him of hypocrisy.
The 2010-11 Champions League Finals. In two and a half hours, the biggest game in club football will commence (bbc text stream). The Champions League final is likely to be watched by 300 million viewers and features Manchester United (England's best team this year) against FC Barcelona, now sometimes claimed to be the best team of all time (although the Barca coach plays that down). Lineker thinks that Barca just have to 'turn up to win'. [more inside]
The most powerful presidential position in the world is having its election soon, and the incumbent has just been brought up before an ethics committee for investigation. The USA's best attempt at a candidate was shut out and couldn't even be nominated. The person who is supposed to be representing the US region has been found guilty of corruption several times. Could this result in a historic revote for the 2022 World Cup location? [more inside]
Last night, my brother, the real football fan, regailed me with stories of a bizarre double life that an English player seemed to be leading. Looks like someone beat me to collecting them all.
An oldie but a goodie: Don Reese, then of the San Diego Chargers, talks about his own problems with cocaine and the widespread drug use in the NFL at the time. [more inside]
The Carolina Panthers have drafted Cam Newton with the top pick in tonight's NFL Draft (watch the 1st round live here). The draft is taking place against the uncertainty of an intense battle between the owners and players (previously on mefi). On Monday, District Judge Susan Nelson issued her opinion ending the lockout of the players, who will be reporting back to work by next week, although at least one team was not allowed to enter facilities today. Although the league asked for a stay of the ruling, Judge Nelson denied the request yesterday, lifting fans' hopes that the 2011 season will be played.
A long investigation into the Fiesta Bowl has produced a long and damning report (link goes to long PDF) detailing a culture of corruption under CEO John Junker. The report details gifts given to lawmakers, college administrators and others to help boost the bowl's stature in college football. [more inside]
"It is completely strange, isn't it? It's all fucked up. Where the hell are all the others? No one is coming out." The Guardian interviews Anton Hysén, the world's only openly gay male professional footballer.
Just before intermission, Cowie took the stage and began juggling a ball with her feet until suddenly she popped it in the air, swished her right foot around the ball twice, kicked it up again, then rotated her left foot around once without letting the ball touch the floor. She bent her right foot back behind her body and caught the ball on the sole of her shoe. “I could feel the excitement building in the auditorium,” she recalled. “I could hear the oohs and the aahs. I could sense the shock.” ¶ For her finale, Cowie lay on her back and juggled the ball over her head with her feet. As they applauded, Green Hope students turned to their friends with the same question: Who is she?The New York Times Magazine profiles soccer freestyling star Indi Cowie. Photos of a few tricks. Video includes demonstrations.
"On our island we loved to watch football. But no one had actually ever played it." The story of a football team on the floating village of Ko Panyi. [more inside]
Why do we enjoy prodigies? Barney Ronay asks in reference to the latest footballing wünderkid, Raheem Sterling while Gary Kasporov reflects back on the life of perhaps chess' most interesting one, Bobby Fischer.
You have to wonder why a red-blooded American male in his prime would walk away from fame and fortune as an NFL quarterback to play handball and hang with his family and his dogs. Don't you? A profile of Jake "The Snake" Plummer.
Johnny Mac - Trick Shot Quarterback — University of Connecticut quarterback Johnny McEntee and his "trick shot" passing abilities. [4:50 SLYT] [more inside]