Category Archives: Media Musings

Category devoted to all and any forms of Human communications. Books, videos, music, etc.

The Knee of God

…we could get into the specifics of why this brawl occurred and why this dude was dropped.

Maybe another time…just remember not to fuck with Maradona.

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Brah-zuca

Fanmail keeps pouring in and it seems like everyone is following our run to the cup to these days.  A handsome link provided by Ashu describes the qualities of the Brazuca: Adidas’ spherical offering to the footballing Gods of 2014.

New ball to showcase talent in World Cup

“Physics experts believe the new soccer ball created for the 2014 FIFA World Cup starting next week is a “keepers’ ball”. The new ball, called Brazuca, should be much more predictable than the 2010 World Cup ball, Jabulani, which was less-than-affectionately labelled a ‘beach ball’ because of its sometimes erratic flight path.”

The article summary as quoted above and published in Science Daily is fairly diplomatic but the truth is that the Jabulani was an absolute piece of shit. It should also be noted that millions of dollars and the collective of will of a team of scientists should be devoted to bettering humanity by curing ills rather than making a fucking ball that you kick into a net. What was wrong with the balls of the 90’s? Remember that Pele learned his trade with a ball made out of rags.

One wonders what the balls of yore were like. Watching old videos it appears that the old balls were heavy, or at least did not hold air very well. What kind of antiquated tech went into these non-bouncing leather-wrapped pig bladders?

 

Rivelinho didn’t care, nor did Pele it seemed. Check out Pele’s blast at 2:09. Well, anyway the vid won’t load and you have to watch it on youtube. On a sidenote: it’s FIFA’s channel and the content is surprisingly good. The video of note is a short blurb on Rivelhino and his magical moustache. There are some great scenes of WC 1970 shot on film it seems and not the grainy, hazy tv feed that one is used to. Magical stuff, brah.

Mas mas que nada…

“Never grow up my friends”

-credo of the manchild.

“I see your Nike commercial and raise you one,”

“Also, 5:41 Timmy Howard,”  says the DJ

 

Although, probably the best soccer-themed video ever made is this one:

Props to Campos and Bradley Wright-Phillips’ dad at the end.

Yedlin Brooks Bedoya

The US National Soccer team will fail in Brazil. That is our prediction and we believe that they will not so much fail but fail fairly miserably without aplomb, or even verve. It doesn’t really matter anyway because we’re all grown men watching a child’s game but it’s fun and we like to watch it and make predictions. Sure, we will even spend thousands of dollars on plane tickets and Cachaça and travel to distant lands for it so it must matter a little bit, right? The DJ reminds us that we still must live our lives with just a little passion, for what else is the point?

We’re all Americans here for the most part and as such we enjoy cheering for our countrymen. I’m sure people cheer for Brazil in Brazil and for Spain in Spain, for Italy in Italy, for les Bleus in France. The US National team will be painful to watch this summer, indeed they have been excruciatingly painful to watch for a really long time. As horrible as the 1994 US National Team was it is forever seared into memory as the most entertaining American team to ever take the pitch, a colorful cast of oddballs and amateurs bumbling their way to the knock-out stage with personality and luck. Leonardo fractured Tab Ramos’ skull and US Soccer has never been the same.

With the exclusion of Landon Donovan, the 2014 US National Team World Cup roster is virtually unrecognizable. Who the fuck are these guys? Sure, we recognize a few names. Clinton Dempsey comes to mind. Timothy Howard. We’re even familiar with the goal-scoring journeyman Christopher Wondowloski. At a stretch, we can recall a quality cross made by Mix Diskerud. But who the fuck is Alejandro Bedoya? DeAndre Yedlin? John Brooks?

Landon Donovan is an easy cat to hate, what with his constant whining and what-not, but the fact remains that he is the most recognizable American soccer player of all time. We remember Tab Ramos, but no one else does. And for all of his so-Cal douchiness Donovan was the most entertaining and productive American player to watch over the past decade and perhaps ever. For the all the chat about Lando Donrisian having lost a step or two, remember that speed does not a great player make and that young Landon, now old Landon, has grown and matured into a very, very good soccer player. The same cannot be said for so-called better players, once hailed as prodigies, who fizzle out too soon. 

Watch Donovan’s pass at 3:54. A perfectly weighted, delectable one time touch pass which completely destroys the Costa Rican defense. It looks painfully simple and to the unappreciative eye  is just a forgettable blip which comes before Brek Shea’s awful, sloppy finish, but the truth is that few players have the ability to make a pass like that; for it is not just the pass itself but the drawing of the defenders away from the streaking Shea, the hitting of the ball one time on the half volley at the just right time, and the sheer accuracy of the pass which defines Donovan the player of today, how good he is, and how much he has grown as a player. With the exception of maybe Bradley, there is no one else on the US team that can make a pass like that. And indeed, it is likely Bradley who will captain the ship come June; and while we support him in his captaincy, there is no mistaking who is really behind the wheel.

 

Brazil Nuts

Fuck Brooklyn.

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Yes, fuck Brooklyn. Fuck NYC and it’s 3rd world economy, its haves and have-nots divided by not so thin racial and geographic lines. Fuck SNAP benefits, WIC cards, and model ships and little sailors.

The mind drifts toward warmer climes and sun dappled beaches where manchildren play soccer until the dawn. It’s off to Rio, bro…for the World Cup no less. Maybe it’s 10 years too late, but the DJ happened upon a bunch of tix for football’s penultimate tourney down old Rio way and one musn’t disappoint the DJ, for there is still some romance left in this world. There must be. Bromance, really. Indeed, this was never really the way I wanted to experience Brazil, smack dab in the middle of a gigantic clusterfuck international sports tournament. But…fuck it.

Note that to garner entry to Brazil one must pass first through their hallowed consulate, located conveniently in midtown Manhattan.

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The consulate is modern enough, but it’s all a mad rush of bureaucratic incompetence. Like a south american DMV. There are hundreds of people queuing up to get their visa with one woman behind a thick plexiglass window accepting applications who comes out occasionally to yell at everybody. The visa was free for the world cup and the lines moved quickly enough.

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“hey, i applied for my visa yesterday at Brazilian consulate. the funny thing is that it’s really bureaucratic and that there were 180 people waiting to submit their visa apps and only one person at the window, way worse than the DMV, with security and everything…anyway the funny thing is that this mute homeless guy comes running in with bare feet moaning and clutching a ripped up telephone book. he runs all the way from one of the cavernous consulate to the other and then back again and out, moaning the whole time. man, no one said anything or stopped him. i bet he does it all the time.”

The mascot for the 2014 World Cup is an armadillo. This is cute enough I guess but the mascot should be the mute homeless man who ran through the Brazilian consulate unmolested moaning and clutching his book. Certainly he is no Jairzinho, running the length of the Azteca in the ’70’s final to strike home in temperatures of excess of 100 degrees. Certainly he is no Gerson or Garrincha, whose playful dribbling defined the samba style and brought the Brazilian game to the soccer nerds of Europe. But certainly, this gent would bring joy to millions, if not those suffering the tedium of hours wasted clutching a numbered stub in the arid, windowless Brazilian consulate.

 

And so we dream. We dream of Brazil…of greener pastures. We dream of the American dream and what has become of it. But for now there is Brazil. If only for now, bro.

I could watch these vintage clips from football’s forgotten past for hours. See above the aforementioned Jairzinho, an artist, man.

 

Q is for Quietness…

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…culled from On City Streets, a quick read described as ****A remarkable compendium of poems and photographs that captures the heart and soul of the city and its people****

Perhaps…but one must question the placement of a cafe racer beneath a poem extolling the virtues of silence. But, perhaps it was a little joke by the editor. On City Streets was published in 1968, and one can imagine the noisy little two-stroke blasting around the empty avenues of a 1960’s Sunday’s Manhattan. Note the single downturned bar-end mirror, air scoop on the front drum, and low handlebars. As for the rider; bubble helmet, fingerless gloves, and loafers complete the look. At first glance, the bike is a Kawasaki..one of their infamous two strokes. But no…it’s something else. A Bultaco…maybe?

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The Pan American Highway 70 years ago

Cool video found on Dan the Man’s website theroadchoseme.com.

The entire length of the Panamericana is pretty much all paved now…progress man