A Memorable Brawl, A Template For Fantasies Of Resistance

Despite a personal history that showcases an active interest–participatory, not just spectatorial–in the pugilistic arts of boxing, I’ve not been able to bring myself to become a fan of ‘mixed martial arts’ or ‘UFC’ or what have you. But that does not mean I cannot appreciate the skills of the martial arts. I did, afterContinue reading “A Memorable Brawl, A Template For Fantasies Of Resistance”

Brazil Unravel, All Together Now

Eight goals were scored in the ninety minutes of the World Cup semi-final yesterday between Brazil and Germany. Unfortunately for Brazil, seven of them were scored by Germany. Five of them came in the first half, in an eighteen minute stretch that began in the 11th minute and concluded with a four-goal burst in sixContinue reading “Brazil Unravel, All Together Now”

Soccer’s Clubs and Countries

Once the hubbub and the desperate hopes of the group stage have died down, the World Cup slowly settles down to normal service: the upstarts fade away and the big guns play on. Now, at the semi-final stage, the match-ups look decidedly familiar: Brazil versus German, Netherlands versus Argentina. (The final could be any oneContinue reading “Soccer’s Clubs and Countries”

Being Reductive About Sport (And How Silly It Is)

Some folks dislike sport. I use the word ‘dislike’ advisedly; the members of this cohort are not offering critical, politically tinged analysis of sport’s entanglement with big business and its value schemas; they are not exposing sport’s use as an ideology promulgating system, it’s supposed facilitation of political disengagement; they are not critiquing sport forContinue reading “Being Reductive About Sport (And How Silly It Is)”

Why I Watch The World Cup in Spanish

The reasons are quite straightforward, and as might be expected, not exceedingly deep. They are only interesting because, I, like many others who watch Spanish-language broadcasts of the 2014 World Cup, do not speak Spanish. (At least, my Spanish has never risen above some minimal fluency.) First, the most superficial reason of all. The SpanishContinue reading “Why I Watch The World Cup in Spanish”

On Not Failing the Soccer Tebbit Test

A few days ago in a post on the US men’s soccer team, I wrote: I find myself cheering for the US when it goes up against a European soccer powerhouse. When they play South American, Asian, or African countries, my underdog sympathies kick in. Well, on Sunday night, the US was most certainly upContinue reading “On Not Failing the Soccer Tebbit Test”

Put Away Work; The World Cup Is Here

Good afternoon, world. The World Cup starts today. Let me tell you how serious this business is: I had intended to cancel my cable subscription a month or so ago, till a good friend reminded me about it. He stayed my hand, eager to claim time and money. Imagine: a cable cancellation delayed because ofContinue reading “Put Away Work; The World Cup Is Here”

The ‘American’ Overseas

A few days ago, from my vantage point at the University of Luxembourg, during a week of visiting a research group on Individual and Collective Reasoning, I posted the following status update¬†on Facebook: As an American in Europe, I am getting shit for (on this trip): Budweiser (as always), the lack of a really goodContinue reading “The ‘American’ Overseas”

Dennis Bergkamp’s Goal and Fan Encounters in the Rainforest

The Wikipedia entry for Dennis Bergkamp–who graced the rosters of Ajax, Internazionale, Arsenal and the Dutch national team in a career lasting twenty years–includes the following notes: Bergkamp scored three times in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, including a memorable winning goal in the final minute of the quarter-final against Argentina. Bergkamp took a leapingContinue reading “Dennis Bergkamp’s Goal and Fan Encounters in the Rainforest”

Roger Cohen, the “Two Footballs”, and False Dichotomies

Over at the New York Times, Roger Cohen has an Op-Ed contrasting football and football. I mean, Association football and American football. Or, rather, soccer and football. Roughly Cohen’s thesis is: soccer is all skill and art, football is all violent force and anti-finesse; America reveals its plebeian failure to appreciate soccer artistry by itsContinue reading “Roger Cohen, the “Two Footballs”, and False Dichotomies”