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Your Bloguero loves futbol utterly and completely. In that he’s a lot like millions of people around the world. And like them, he knows that beginning on Thursday he will put everything on hold (read: Everything) for a month so that he can bask in the World Cup Finals, broadcast live from Brazil.  Ah. Your Bloguero suspects that most Kossacks don’t give a hoot about this. Yes, to be sure, there are others, probably a vocal minority, who are fanatics (like your Bloguero), but in general, those of you who don’t care, really don’t care.

I know, I know. It’s a democratic blog. WTF does the World Cup have to do with that? Eh?  There’s no reason to get an attitude about this. Really. Your Bloguero is thrilled to explain it a bit.  And he knows that the faithful from across site will join in.

The simplest explanation. The entire world is going to be glued to these games. Other things are important, but nothing is more important across the continents. Want to understand the world? Understand this event.

Join your Blogero on the otherside of the goal.

Ten things to know:

1.    There are 32 countries playing in the finals. This does NOT mean that ONLY 32 countries are involved. The 32 had to beat out all the other countries to get here. They played elimination games for about 2 years to accomplish that.  There are lots of football loving countries that are watching on TV and saying they will be back next time, those guys who are there don’t deserve it, they’re not that good.  Ooops! They are really good.

2.    The greatest footballers in the world are playing in this tournament (unless they are injured).  Your Bloguero spares you the litany of names. They have a level of skills and smarts that is positively astonishing. This is not your eighth grade gym class. These guys have mad skills.  And they are playing for their home countries, not their usual club teams.  This is nation v. nation. It is not, e.g., Barcelona v. Madrid. In that sense, it represents a war between nations. In another way, it’s about worldwide bragging rights.

3.    FIFA the governing body of soccer is totally and irredeemably corrupt, with a capital C. For a brief exposition of this watch this John Oliver video. He nails it.

4.    The World Cup has probably ruined Brazil’s economy for decades to come. They do not need a 100,000 seat football stadium in Manaus any more than your Bloguero needs a klezmer in toochis. And they do not need increases in the cost of living brought about by the games or the damage to their economy. And they will demonstrate about this, fiercely, until the first ball is kicked. Then, your Bloguero assures you, things will get really serious. About getting the ball in the net, or preventing that at all cost. Brazil about all else is about football.

5.    Productivity throughout the world is going to take a beating. You cannot watch 3 or 4 90 minute-long games each day and do your job. Part of this may be drinking beer for the entire time while watching. Part of this may be the arguments that these games provoke. Everybody can kick a ball. Everybody is a futbol critic. Some of these critics need a dope slap. Others are to be revered. Can you tell the two apart?  Can you tell the two apart when you’re not sober?

6.    The first two weeks is “group play.” You have to be in the top two teams of your group after 3 games to advance. The United States is in a group with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Will the US advance? Does a chicken have lips?

7.     Your Bloguero’s favorites, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Cameroon, Germany, Portugal, Algeria will advance (he hopes) to the elimination rounds. Here’s how this goes: in the elimination rounds lose and you go home, win and you can stay.

8.    Things will get more and more and more intense as the elimination rounds go on. Your Bloguero thinks this will end up with Argentina playing Brazil in the final game, the championship. Messi’s team against Neymar’s team. But it doesn’t matter: these games are incredible games, full of strategy, drama, skill, and alas, the most important thing, luck. It’s about all of these things and more. Nobody can make a sensible prediction of how it all comes out. Although ESPN will let you fill in a bracket if you want to.

9.    Mexico had an enormous problem getting to this stage. The greatest player probably won’t start for the team. No matter. On Thursday no business will be conducted in this nation, and everyone will focus on the games. It doesn’t matter whether Mexico is playing: all of the games are very important.

10.    The United States is not up to this level of play. Expect the US to be eliminated in the first round. This is not a national disgrace. It’s just an indication of what it takes to win this tournament.

Your Bloguero confesses: there's more that's important. Fill it in, please, in the comments.

Originally posted to El Bloguero on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Who are some of the exciting players? (5+ / 0-)

    Tell us a little more.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:47:35 PM PDT

  •  I'm one of those drags on productivity. (7+ / 0-)

    For big games (and occasionally one involving the USMT), I've been known to slip out of the office to the nearest sports bar for a few hours.

    Like most Americans, I had little exposure to the game growing up; but through the offspring being pretty good players and my resultant career as a club and HS referee, I've grown to love the game.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:48:55 PM PDT

    •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, mint julep, slowbutsure

      I knew the game in hs, but when my kids got involved I remember how much I love it. A wonderful sport that does not permit the biggest people to dominate the smaller.

      •  In fact, in futbol (5+ / 0-)

        big guys are at a disadvantage. No contact. You need quickness, cutting ability, and speed. Size is really only helpful as the center back to help with the head shots.

        In college, I was always able to fake out the football players and get a foul by running at them. They would instinctively level me. This was intramural. Real soccer players are not such chumps.

        •  Speed, agility and game IQ > size (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          For proof look no further than Lionel Messi. Widely considered the best player in the world he is maybe 5'8" with his boots on and can't weigh much more 140.

          OTOH, his competition for best player CR7 is 6'1" and weights around 175...

      •  Big people. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        El Bloguero, mint julep, NXNW, slowbutsure

        One thing that frustrated me as a spectator at the kids' games was that the "big guy" always got called for a foul against a smaller guy, even when it was a fair charge.  As a ref, I was pretty good at assessing the contact fairly.  Just because somebody hits the turf after contact doesn't mean there was a foul.

        But yes, a smaller guy (or girl) with good ball skills was a far bigger asset than mere physical presence.

        You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

        by rb608 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:45:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I love this diary. (13+ / 0-)

    El Bloguero, this is PRECISELY the thread I was hoping for. I'm actually watching the John Oliver video for the second time while I read this.

    The electricity at our house is off-the-charts. We are ready.

    We're still shocked about the omission of Donovan from the US squad, but he didn't do himself any favors with the sabbatical and impending retirement talk. If Klinsmann feels Green and others were more prepared for this level, I'm willing to trust in that decision and see where we go.

    I was also relived to see Altidore break his slump on Saturday.

    Smack talk warning:

    I gather you're a Mexico fan. You're welcome for helping you to the World Cup (SHOTs FIRED!)

  •  My thoughts about SOCCER World Cup (5+ / 0-)

    1) Some great actors in the sport. Dive on the ground with nearest person 10 yards away and get a penalty (or some card the ref carries)

    2) Nationalism lives.. LETS GO USA!

    3) Have a friend wake you up when a goal is scored (because after a while you will be asleep, assuming he/she isn't sleeping as well by that point)

    4) How much time is really left in a game?  Who knows?  Seriously!

    5) Where is the line for offsides?  Just put a real line out there (aka blue line from hockey!)

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:51:59 PM PDT

    •  The first person who puts a line for offsides (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NXNW, El Bloguero, mint julep, slowbutsure

      will be the first person taking to the top of the Empire State Building and dropped off. That would be an evil moment.

      •  A "Blue Line" for soccer would improve the game! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If I remember (as I have to ask every Olympic and WC year), the DEFENDERS set the offside line?!!

        No wonder it's such a low scoring snoozefest!

        A blue line would do wonders for scoring and make the game more exciting (i.e. watchable)

        "Breakaways" in hockey are exciting, think of bring that kind of excitement into soccer!

        Also a blue line would not be some arbitrary thing called, it would be definitive!  Less chance for a ref to mess up the call!

        I suggested this to a soccer fan years ago, and for some reason he wasn't on board with it.  Don't understand why

        Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

        by Mannie on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:25:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A huge amount of soccer strategy (6+ / 0-)

          involves offside. The defense controls the effective size of the field by moving up. The special manuver the "offside trap" consists of the defense moving up to put an offensive player offside. Many other plays depend on offside manipulation. Real fans know offside. It's not that hard to understand.

          •  "offside trap" ?? Really?! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Where the defenders do NOT defend but RUN AWAY from the goal they are "defending"?!!!

            When a defender does not defend but retreats that makes no sense to reward retreating!

            Shakes head ......

            Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

            by Mannie on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:42:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't be ridiculous (7+ / 0-)

              They don't run away. They take a single step forward.

              The play starts with the 3-4 fullbacks in a line. Somewhere on the line, there is an offensive player waiting for the ball. The defense guys take a single step forward. The offensive guy is now in the offside position. If the ball is delivered where he can get to it, he will be offside.

              It's a good play. It can blunt the offense and stop a score. It takes a well-drilled defense. They must all work together. If one is lagging behind, it can be a disaster, and lead to a score.

              •  It is still a retreat .... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                just admit a "blue Line" would be great for the sport to grow!

                Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

                by Mannie on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:58:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Which doesn't make it a good idea. (0+ / 0-)

                Though you would think that setting up a mass offensive charge at the gaps timed just right would lead to some serious breakaways.  3-on-solo-goalie is not going to be fun for the defense.

                -7.75 -4.67

                "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

                There are no Christians in foxholes.

                by Odysseus on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:22:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The defense never rests (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Odysseus, citisven, nookular

                  nor does it sleep. They watch the ball. If things develop, changes are made.

                  The second goal against Nigeria demonstrated a great concern for the tight defensive line. Bradley blasted a lovely shot over the defense which Altidore very nicely handled leading to a score. Precisely what you were suggesting. Defense must watch.

                  •  Yes, defenders must operate at a higher level (0+ / 0-)

                    of awareness- no switching off or at this level you will get burned.  There's nothing as frustrating for a defender or keeper than seeing your attacking players miss clear opportunities and then get accolades for a "near miss".

        •  The NASL tried it back in the 70's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Didn't work.

          "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

          by Utahrd on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:48:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What happened? Please expand! n/m (0+ / 0-)

            Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

            by Mannie on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:51:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe it was all the coke they snorted? (0+ / 0-)

              The NASL had a line about 35 yards from goal.  No offside was called on the midfield side of that line.

              Maybe it was the fact that so many NASL players were 30+ Europeans who didn't care any more?  But scoring did not go up, even though players had 20 to 30 fewer yards to rul on a long ball.

              "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

              by Utahrd on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:43:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  my response (7+ / 0-)

      as someone born & raised in Germany who has played the game in the park and on club teams for as long as I can remember (1974 World Cup being first international football memory):

      1) Agreed about the dives. The flagrant ones are super annoying. However, good to remember that sometimes something that looks like a dive is actually preceded by contact, and when you're running full speed, even just a little contact can cause a pretty dramatic looking fall. Also, from experience as a striker, what happens often is that you get held and pinched all game long, and so sometimes when you finally break through and the defender bumps you and you fall, you just kind of instinctively roll around, not so much because you're seriously hurt but because you finally want to see some justice for all the other fouls that didn't get called. Doesn't necessarily right, but it's human.

      2) Yay, as long as it's an inclusive nationalism that also appreciates everyone else's efforts.

      3) Sometimes 0:0 games are the most exciting ones, lots of defensive and midfield strategizing and often many close-calls. Perhaps a bit like a pitching duel in baseball? I think the deeper you get into the game, the more you can appreciate the low scoring nail biters.

      4) They've definitely clarified that a lot in recent years. It's 2 halves of 45 minutes each, but the referee will stop his personal clock during longer injury times and other delays, and those minutes are then officially added at the end of each 45 minute half. One good thing about that is that it prevents players from faking injuries to take time off the clock as their team is in the lead. It's pretty straight forward, I'd say there are a lot more obscure rules in American football or baseball that are much harder to understand.

      5) Offsides plays a huge role in soccer, there's a lot of strategy that affects the entire game I think in a very positive way. Taking away offsides would perhaps be comparable to replacing umpires who call balls and strikes with a machine generated strike zone. I think most baseball fans would lobby against that, as it would take an integral human element out of the game that despite or perhaps because of its susceptibility to human error makes it so intricate and exciting.

      Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

      by citisven on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:52:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many Baseball fans would like (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a machine to call balls/strikes!

        Be much more effective (and FAIR).

        Instead of some pitchers and teams getting calls that other pitchers and teams don't.

        Also a baseball 0:0 Pitchers duel is rare and therefore more exciting versus an everyday 0:0 game in soccer!

        Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

        by Mannie on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:02:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but obviously not enough fans (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mint julep, Mannie, slowbutsure, nookular

          want the machine, otherwise they would have already introduced it, no?

          Scoreless draws are also relatively rare in soccer. Not as rare as a 0:0 in baseball, but rarer than you think. I'd say that fewer than 5% of soccer games end in 0:0 ties, though I don't have any stats to back it up. Either way, I think many Americans tend to disproportionately focus in on the scoreless draws because it reaffirms their dislike of soccer. I don't have a problem with that, we all have sports we like more than others, but I do think the more you actually try to understand a sport the more you come to appreciate it. I never thought I would ever make it through a baseball game because it just looked like everyone was just standing around doing nothing, but I've come to really appreciate the game, now that I've learned about some of the technical and cultural intricacies of the game. But it's all good, I would never try to convince you to like soccer, it's not like the game is going to run out of fans any time soon. ;-)

          Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

          by citisven on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:13:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I WANT TO like soccer, I really do! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'm a sports fan, and one of the biggest events in sporting is about to take place, but I can't get too interested (other than LETS GO USA)

            Fix the not "fix", even though there is widespread reports of fixing the game as FIFA has no real jurisdiction. (See I have read about soccer!...The former FIFA security official who started looking into the "fixing" aspect of the game and the book he wrote)

            Put in a "blue line" for offsides
            Review the penalties (and penalize for blatant flopping). Also the card system seems a bit harsh with kicking players out of the next game for just a penalty!

            Just a couple easy fixes and the game I think would dramatically improve and more people would get into it!

            Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

            by Mannie on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:20:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  haha, yeah, the game fixing is messed up (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I read that article in the NY Times. They definitely need to not let that happen in any meaningful games, and there's no indication that a WC game has been fixed.

              As far as your "demands" for liking the game, I feel for you but I see little hope, at least as far as the offside goes. The card system has been getting changed over the years, so there's always room for adjustments if it makes sense. They are using goal line technology now, so that's one step in your direction. Either way, no need to force yourself, it's probably better to not spend all your time glued to a TV anyway.

              Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

              by citisven on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:27:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Scoreless ties (0+ / 0-)

            during the last World Cup in South Africa: 4 out of 64 games, plus one knockout game scoreless tie that went to penalty kicks. So that works out to about 5%, just as I had guessed.

            Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

            by citisven on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:21:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  An (American) football fan once told me that (0+ / 0-)

        he recorded a lot of games while he was on the road, then watched them later, skipping through to just watch the actual game play.  A typical game had 13 minutes of playing time!  In soccer you'll get 90 plus typically 4-8 minutes added on.  And it doesn't take 4 hours to see 13 minutes worth of plays!

    •  That's right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Soccer players should be ashamed of their diving.


      NFL wide receivers who are sneezed on by a defensive back.

      NBA superstars who are looked at by a defender

      First line NHL forwards who are touched by a defenseman

      "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

      by Utahrd on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:47:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, not understanding anything about the game (0+ / 0-)

      may leave you bored! lol :)

  •  I have heard (4+ / 0-)

    that some chickens do, in fact, have lips. It's one of those things that happen sometimes. Like God said "oops" ;-)

    I don't watch television anymore, but I have made it quite clear that, just for the duration of the tournament, no matter the number of chickens with or without lips, my ass is on the couch with clicker in hand from the moment I walk through the door from work until wheneverthehellIfeellikeit.

    Soccer is big with me. Thanks for this

  •  Why is futbol so addictive? (4+ / 0-)

    Basketball is like masturbation. You want a score? SCORE-SCORE-SCORE-SCORE - 25 scores a day. You want another score? SCORE SCORE SCORE OHHHHH BABY.

    American football is like sex with your wife. It's good, it's dependable, you get a couple scores a game, but the scoring is predictable and .... a little b-o-r-i-n-g after a while.

    Futbol is like sex for a single guy who is not rich or cute. You try and try and try, but when you score - OOHHHHHHHHHH BABY THAT IS A SCORE!!!!  OH BABY ....

    Well, I need to clean my screen.

  •  This reminds me that we are NOT the center of the (4+ / 0-)


    Which makes me feel better for the rest of the universe and even for us.

  •  Thank you thank you! El bloguero! (5+ / 0-)

    Me encanta el futbol!

    "Zizou, why did you do it?!?"

  •  watch USA (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NXNW, Mannie, citisven, slowbutsure

    if we beat Ghana we will get to next round

    "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill

    by smartone on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:01:36 PM PDT

  •  Long live the Nation-State. Long live World Cup!! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NXNW, citisven, El Bloguero, Utahrd, nookular

    Nothing could compare to the last game Mexico played that enabled it to qualify for the World Cup.

    Three games took place simultaneously in the Concacaf:

    And while Mexico lost, the US scored a meaningless goal late in its game, allowing Mexico to qualify.

    It was literally, Mexico's in, Mexico's out, Mexico's in, within the span of two hours.

    No apto para cardiacos.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:04:34 PM PDT

  •  no Landon Donovan on Team USA, no viewing (0+ / 0-)
    10.    The United States is not up to this level of play. Expect the US to be eliminated in the first round. This is not a national disgrace. It’s just an indication of what it takes to win this tournament.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:09:12 PM PDT

    •  Thank god no Donovan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      El Bloguero, mint julep

      Very overrated.

      •  We will miss him. Yes, he has lost a step but I... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citisven, nookular

        We will miss him. Yes, he has lost a step but I think he would have been an asset. If the USA does well then jurgen is a genius, if we falter then cutting LD will come back to haunt him.

        •  You and I both know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mint julep

          with or without LD, getting past the group stage is going to be very very hard. Klinsman is probably thinking of 2018, really. We have a pretty young team - Beasley is the oldest guy. By 2018, we will have some pretty good seasoned players.

          The US soccer committee knows this too. So do serious fans. LD is not a deal-breaker for Klinsman's coaching job. I think it was not a big difficult choice. I think it was easy.

          •  JK is Def focused on 2018 (0+ / 0-)

            I totally agree with that. Yedlin, Green & Brooks are at the core of his youth movement.

            I still say cutting LD was a mistake that could bite him. But that guaranteed contract gives JK a lot of room to do as he wants. And JK does have the Gold Cup in 2015, Copa America in 2016 and potentially Confederations Cup in 2017 to refine his system/pool of players.

            I'm hoping for the best in the WC, hopefully it will be a good ride! :)

    •  Did you watch the USA beat Nigeria this past we... (4+ / 0-)

      Did you watch the USA beat Nigeria this past weekend? You know, the champions of Africa-and no, that was not just a friendly.

  •  Just for fun, futbol/football doppelgangers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Bloguero

    This is the dullest time for the hardcore NFL fan. You can only read so many "At minicamp, (late-round receiver you'll never hear of again) looks like the team's next star!" updates before you pass out.

    Every four years, something fills the void: The World Cup.

    Maybe you, Mr. Football Fan, don't watch futbol. Too little scoring, too much flopping, too many vuvuzelas. Well, you're missing out. The World Cup is a tremendous event. Put it this way, the world cares as much about this soccer tournament even more than you care about that preseason opener against the Bills. Crazy, I know!

    We're here to help. We've paired all 32 World Cup teams with a NFL counterpart, to give you a reference point as you watch the matches in Brazil.

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)
    This message will self-destruct upon arrival in the NSA archives in Utah.

    by MTmofo on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:09:23 PM PDT

  •  WC 2014 Basics: Socceroos. You are welcome. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven, El Bloguero
  •  Anyone else's kids... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa, El Bloguero

    Doing those GD Panini cards? It's making me insane. Tons of adults are collecting the stickers too. We are going to our soccer store, Upper 90 in Brooklyn, every single day.

  •  Nice! (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the good-humored summary. German native here, so no questions as to who I'm rooting for. I do hope the US can squeak out of the group, though I agree with you, it'll be tough. Then again, Klinsi is from my hometown and we Swabians don't mess around, so I wouldn't be surprised if team US eek out a win against Ghana and keep Portugal at bay.

    This will be lots of fun, no matter who wins. San Francisco where I live has really come a long way in terms of WC fever since I first got here. The games are on at every cafe and the cool thing is there are people from all over the world, so no matter who is playing, there are some passionate people. But everyone is very respectful and appreciates a good game, so it's all cool.

    Personally, I think Spain is still the team to beat. Brazil, of course, will be hard to stop, and the dark horse this year might be Belgium. I'm still hoping an African team will make it deep into the playoffs, as long as it's not at Germany's expense. :-) Also, watch out for Colombia, Chile and Uruguay, especially on South American soil.

    Let the games begin, and bring out the 9am beers! :-)

    Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

    by citisven on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:16:35 PM PDT

  •  Damn I love soccer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Bloguero, citisven

    futbol, football, or whatever anybody wants to call it. I call it soccer because that's what I grew up kicking around: a soccer ball. I love it.

    I hate to get all wishy-washy, as you say teh srs bsns is coming up fast, but goddamn I love soccer.

    I mean, human beings are masters with their hands. I'm a carpenter, pretty good at delicate trim work and other stuff that takes some pretty tricky maneuvering, but all with the hands. I'm good with my hands, and so are nearly all humans, with or without a bit of training.

    Nope. Sorry. Can't use 'em. The most basic rule of soccer. You have to use those damn clubs hanging under you. You know, those things that you also use exclusively to get you around. And you have to get around at full speed, or nearly so, while also controlling the ball.

    Then you have to actually try to kick something accurately past someone who CAN use their hands.

    I love it because it is a real test

  •  About Chicharito: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven, PatriciaVa, nookular, Jen Hayden

    not starting for Mexico. No, not kidding.

  •  Broadcasting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The World Cup finals are one of the "crown jewels" of television sport that must be shown on free to air television in the UK and some other European countries. FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA unsuccessfully tried to challenge these laws in 2010. They argued that they limited their ability to get money for broadcasting rights from broadcasters who would put them behind paywalls (Murdoch's BSkyB, I'm looking at you).

    Actually Murdoch and the huge amounts he gave for the rights for Premier League matches drove the ridiculous increases in the salaries of the players. One thing he got wrong though was the remaining feeling about the headlines his Sun "newspaper" ran in 1989 about the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. This was at a soccer game in which crowd control failed and 96 died of crush injuries. The Sun falsely claimed that it was the fans' fault and that they had caused the deaths (a false claim promoted by the police). This is still the subject of criminal investigation of the police after a series of public enquiries. This week Murdoch planned to distribute via Royal Mail, free mini-copies of the Sun in advance of the start of the tournament. They are still boycotted in Liverpool, the home of one of the teams involved at Hillsborough. Now the area not delivered to will be increased because of the threat of strike action by post deliverers.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:12:14 PM PDT

  •  I'm so ready! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Bloguero, Jen Hayden

    I'll be sneaking Fussball action at my son's house as soon as I get off work.
    Geaux Germany! Geaux Portugal!

    El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. The people united will never be defeated

    by mint julep on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:26:00 PM PDT

  •  I love the World Cup! My sons are super excited... (4+ / 0-)

    I love the World Cup! My sons are super excited too and I am looking forward to enjoying this tournament with them. These athletes are simply amazing! Hope the USA can advance!

  •  Old article still relevant on soccer and WC (0+ / 0-)

    Wow, this guy is ON it!

    He breaks it down really good!

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 08:21:51 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately the first thing he says about the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      rule is wrong.  Fortunately, another commentator corrected him and he updated the article at the end.  Another reason why you should know something about the subject you're criticizing!

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