Recent Comments by rabi

Marco Melandri is some sort of Robocop.

You know, it looks like he took that fall just about as perfectly as anyone could. Not that this is something that you'd want to get really good at...but if you have to fall off a bike, that's the way to do it.

posted by rabi at 10:10 PM on September 12

'Wild Bill' Hagy

As a kid growing up in Baltimore in the 70's and 80's, this guy seemed like he was bigger than life. To me, he was as important to our city as the mayor.

posted by rabi at 07:31 PM on August 22

Beckham Comes to the Colonies

FonGu- I'm surprised Pittsburgh isn't big enough for at least one of the Telefutura channels. I think the u20 Cup is also being broadcast on- surprisingly enough- ESPNU. Another way to stay on top of US soccer news is by subscribing to the soccer RSS feeds from Yahoo! Sports and USA Today. ussoccer.com always has a schedule and a match tracker for every national game. But to the original question: I think media generally responds to a given market. I don't think the fact that mainstream media hasn't responded to soccer has hampered its development in the US. Objectively, US soccer has made great strides in the last 10 or 15 years. None of the progress came with mainstream media help; in fact, it came despite the tired Rome-like jibes. I live in Chicago, which is a big soccer market. Despite that, the local news rarely have anything to say about the Fire and never mention the national team. Even so, the Fire are in their own soccer-specific stadium and the national team played the Gold Cup final here in a sold-out Soldier Field. So, who really cares what dinosaurs like ESPN think? The real thing that hampers the development of US soccer is that there's not a good system for scouting players outside of the normal venues. You can be sure there are some great players out there who aren't getting looked at under the current system. Once that changes, the rest of the world will be playing for second place.

posted by rabi at 06:41 PM on July 14

Beckham Comes to the Colonies

That clip is two months old. Has Rome commented on Bekcham in the last couple of days? A lot of things, including Calderon's opinion, have changed since then. To your question: it depends on what media we're talking about. Minutes ago, I watched the under 20 squad (sadly) lose to Austria on Telefutura. They or their partners have broadcast the u-20 World Cup, the Copa America and the Gold Cup this summer. That's broadcast TV we're talking about. There's certainly a market for soccer in the States, and some media are responding.

posted by rabi at 04:38 PM on July 14

Carpenter and Cards take 2-1 lead in series

dbt302- You're remembering 1983.

posted by rabi at 10:34 AM on October 25

US names World Cup Roster

Yes to Brian Ching and no to Taylor Twellman? That was a bit surprising to me.

posted by rabi at 09:10 PM on May 02

Safe at home.

Great story. Thanks.

posted by rabi at 01:46 PM on January 21

History of Tour de France

Great, great, great. A magnificent madness. Thanks, FB.

posted by rabi at 10:24 AM on June 06

If you want some of the old #10, billy, it will cost you. First, you will have to master another language. Then, you will have to pay 89 CHF (whatever that is) for it. There must be some kind of copyright laws still in place for some teams. I bet these guys know something about it.

posted by rabi at 04:02 PM on June 04

Sosa ejected for cork in bat.

The most surreal moment in the press conference last night was when the reporter asked Dusty Baker "What can we trust?". Dusty said, "What?", and the reporter repeated slowly and clearly, "What can we trust?". What a strange moment for a baseball press conference.

posted by rabi at 09:59 AM on June 04

Bringing up cell phones these days is almost like bringing up religion at the dinner table. People freak out. Speaking of religion, the editor of "Darwinmag" (whatever that is) needs to get some, if only to raise his credibility. John 2:13? Huh? I would wager many dollars that no one has ever seen that reference on a sign in a stadium.

posted by rabi at 09:55 AM on May 10

New Zealand lost to England at Rugby today

Thanks, FB. Great article. There should be a Spofi category called "Passion" or even "Primeval pride" where we could post pieces like this regularly.

posted by rabi at 06:27 PM on November 10

Two teams to play next UEFA games in empty stadiums.

My mom used to tell me that fair was what you pay to get on a bus (get it? fare?). She insisted that the world wasn't fair. It appears that UEFA is proving my mom was right. I'm wondering if this will make any positive impact on the fans in the long run. Rest assured, it won't in the short term. I would guess that the next time the "banned" fans are admitted into the stadiums that they will be more wound up than ever-- like bees who have been swatted at. The real questions: Two or three games down the line, will these fans have "learned their lesson"? Will UEFA have the balls to do this more than once?

posted by rabi at 03:41 PM on October 11

Stop the holy showboating

Nice article about a pretty silly practice. McGraw is concerned with "posturing" prayer or religious display- and that's exactly what we see week in and week out in the NFL. McGraw is also on target to admit that sport and religion have almost always been joined at the hip. You know, like the Olympics. Named after the god Olympian. So joined together are these concepts that the adjective "olympian" is used to refer to the loftiness and excellence of a feat. This is kind of like saying, "Did you see him jump that hurdle with jesusistic ease?" I digress... The point is that I doubt this will ever go away in sport. Does anyone else? I also wondered what this really had to do with the point McGraw was making: I know of no accountants who point to the heavens after they balance their ledgers. If posturing religious display is the problem, we certainly shouldn't expect to know any accountants who showboat in the quiet stillness of their office. But if they had cameras pointed on them, who knows?

posted by rabi at 09:07 AM on September 28

End of offside controversies in soccer?

Referees, as elsoltano says, are part of the game. So are mistakes. I would think that most football fans would be against this kind of "innovation." There is just something about having the human element, for better or for worse, that adds to the passion of the game. Case in point: Would we really be happy if we couldn't moan about Moreno until the next WC (thanks, SF'er)? Football fans also tend to be purists. I know I don't like to see the game messed with. Didn't the MLS start with a game clock that the referee didn't control? I'm sure that was an "innovation" that some guy in an office thought would help fans follow the game. How long before that disappeared? Can anyone think of a football "innovation" that has lasted and significantly changed the sport in the last 30 years or so?

posted by rabi at 01:28 PM on September 27

KC Coach attacked.

Chicago woke up to pictures of this indident on the front page of the Sun-Times. Unfortunately, in some places, this kind of thing is no longer front page news. Football (the one played with the feet) fans have long shown us that "passion" sometimes spills over into violence. No Violence is a group with a simple mission: Our goal is to educate soccer fans worldwide that soccer and violence do not go hand in hand! But really, groups like this have no power where it really matters-- in the stands. Which leads me to wonder (contra rcade) how insane this incident really was. Beer + south siders (making a Chicago assumption here) has always equaled some pretty goofy stuff. Most of the time, somone ends up running onto the field and giving the finger or dropping his trousers. But not all drunks are funny drunks, as the national television audience found out last Monday evening. Banning alcohol in stadiums would go a long way towards lessening violence in the stands and (gasp) on the field-- but does anyone really expect that to happen before hell freezes over?

posted by rabi at 10:26 AM on September 20

Obsess much?

This is big-league obsession. I mean, play-by-play? Now this guy, on the other hand, is strictly minor-league, although he shows potential for greatness. He certainly covers all his bases.

posted by rabi at 03:26 PM on September 18

USA higher than England and Italy in FIFA rankings.

Besides, don't most people ignore the FIFA rankings anyway? No, but they probably should, given that there is an excellent alternative. Here's a preview of the fun: Rn = Ro + K (W - We)

posted by rabi at 03:07 PM on September 18

USA in FIFA top 10!

In reality, we'll probably struggle again, with our B team, to qualify for the next WC. I think that liam was referring to Brasil with this comment. In reality, though, it is possible that the US will struggle to qualify for the next WC- a lot of early matches end up being played 1) without overseas players and 2) as a sort of proving ground for players in the MLS fighting for a spot. In the ELO ratings, which many consider to be much more reliable than FIFA's, the US is 20th in the world. In the Americas, the US is ranked fourth, behind Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and, strangely, Mexico.

posted by rabi at 08:44 AM on August 15

MISL Online Journals.

Chicago hasn't had an indoor team since 1988. The first incarnation was the Horizons (80-81), and the second was the Sting (82-88). For a detailed history of Chicago soccer teams, you have to check this out. You can see all of the cities that have had indoor teams at one time or another here.

posted by rabi at 12:10 PM on August 09

Faking Injury.

To their credit, FIFA is trying to discourage diving at this year's Cup. It is, however, a big part of the game, and will probably continue to be. Comparing the "playing with pain" attitude of hockey and american football with diving on a soccer pitch, however, is like comparing apples and oranges. The truth is, soccer players are just like every other athlete- they play with just as much pain as the next guy. No one dives in order to be taken out of the game. Diving is strategy. Unlike the constant substitutions that occur in american football and hockey, soccer is played non-stop for 45 minutes at a time. Sometimes, a guy just needs a break...

posted by rabi at 04:18 PM on June 03

Biggest World Cup upset since Cameroon vs Argentina, 1980.

grum@work is right. Who could resist the joy of the post-goal Senegalese celebration? Even the children of Senegal joined in, as the government had cancelled school for the day in honor of the match. In Diouf's words: "Today's victory is a victory for all of Africa and Senegal. No one expected that Senegal could beat France, but we did. I want to continue winning in the future. I passed my chance to (Diop) and we were able to score. Let the celebrations begin. I'd give anything to be in Senegal tonight." On another front, I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the word "upset" yet- at least not in the larger sense. Group play makes it very difficult for "upsets" to work themselves into consequences. There is much football left to play, and in this group, it will include the return of Zizou...

posted by rabi at 11:30 AM on May 31