Tag Archives: Soccer

Update on the Vuvuzela ban in British Soccer

I mentioned the cheaply made plastic horns being banned on the ridiculous “public safety-homeland security” excuse that they could be a weapon.
Now, I’ve a passing familiarity with weapons and the scars and record to prove it. If you could possibly use a vuvuzela as a weapon, if you have that skill level, then you would do a far quicker job of it with your bare hands. I also mentioned that the Soccer Football clubs don’t ban drunken rowdies, and the existence of beer so strong it’s properly measured in “proof” the way distilled spirits would be, 40% alcohol = 80 proof. The usual strength of distilled spirits in the U.S. Anything over 100 proof, is considered “overproof”. This is not from direct experience, I don’t drink. I do have a steadily decreasing number of friends who do. One of the many Reaganite approved ways of offing yourself with a little help from the Corporate Empire. Like this example. 55% 110 Proof BEER. It’s a microbrew, sure. Most English beer that’s a mere 25% alcohol (they call American beer “piss”) isn’t micro-brew, it’s commercial grade toxins.
This stuff is called “The End of History”, they made like 12 bottles for sale, at 500 pounds per bottle. Using stuffed animals to hold the bottles. By that I don’t mean Winnie the Pooh dolls or “my pretty pony” dolls…

REAL animals, dead and stuffed.

Yes, that’s really a dead squirrel. You’d be drinking, had they not sold all 12 bottles almost immediately, so we know there’s at least 2 dozen truly SICK ind-DUH-Viduals on the loose in our planet who have enough money to pay about $750 for something like … drinking from a dead animal.

It seems to me that you’d be French-kissing a dead rodent. While and at the same time, in a pointlessly repetitive, yet redundant, sort of way, poisoning yourself.

Bottoms up. These dudes seriously need to make friends with Bill W.

Meanwhile, in America and in Britain one can get the equivalent of a life sentence if you have pain medicine that’s not prescribed for you. The Capitalist Propagandists who are cheering this particular piece of Legalized (and insane) Drug Dealing, also cheered when Jeb Bush refused to issue a pardon to a Florida Resident who had 20 Vicodins which had been prescribed to him, for neuro pain from Multiple Sclerosis, and given a 25 year sentence without parole on the One-strike-you’re-out rule. The same week that Jeb Bush’s daughter, who also happened to be the niece of the (at the time) Current President of the U.S. and the granddaughter of another President…. got probation and a “sentence” to drug rehab after testing dirty for cocaine while already on probation for drug offenses.

And, meanwhile, here in Colorado Springs, the TeaBags are petitioning to ban the use of Medical Marijuana citywide. Their Puppet Organization the “Our Westside Neighbors” Fascist Control Freak Group is supporting the petition.

Hypocrisy in action.

Futbol or Football, it’s all about us

Americans already have a “football” and so come into conflict with a majority of the world when our television broadcasters have to say “soccer” and assuage the confusion of US viewers when confronted by everyone else’s “football.” And ironic too, the sportscasters like to explain, compounding their error, because it’s about the foot and the ball, unlike domestic football which is about using your hands to carry an un-spherical bladder. But this humor presumes another American overreach: “Futbol” incorporates “foot” and “ball” only if you speak English.

In a preponderance of languages, futbol defines neither foot nor ball, and mimics simply the phonetic term used by the British, whose colonial representatives were responsible for spreading the game across the world. As long time English speakers, the Brits have no difficulty with differentiating football from American Football. But Americans didn’t come by the term “soccer” on its own, which brings to light the other side to the complexity of FIFA’s hope to standardize the World Cup experience. Americans are not alone in resisting globalization’s attack on their cultural identity. A great deal of the world doesn’t call it FOOTBALL either.

To survey just the languages which share our Arabic alphabet, here’s how others refer to what we call soccer: Sokker (Afrikaans), Fodbold (Danish), Voetbal (Dutch), Jalgpall (Estonian), Jalkapallo (Finnish), Labdarúgás (Hungarian), Calcio (Italian), Sepak bola (Indonesian), Putbol (Filipino), Peil (Irish), Pêl-droed (Welsh), Pi?ka no?na (Polish), and Nogomet (Croatian).

World Cup victory dances demonstrate culture clash of national identities

World Cup Football champions España hopped up and down like school- boys in elation about their victory. More culture shock for NFL or MLB fans: FIFA goals were celebrated with the airplane, the “can you believe that?”, the pileup, the pyramid, the group dance, and team USA’s “America Fuck Yeah!”

Argentine players lose to their bosses, New World Order is Old World Order


Team Argentina unfurled a banner before Saturday’s match against Germany, against FIFA regulations, but it wasn’t the one above which calls attention to the organization of grandmothers trying to lift the veil on Argentina’s Disappeared, some of whose murderers still occupy high office. This picture was taken during an earlier practice session. Instead, before today’s game, the Spanish-speaking Argentines were joined by their German-speaking adversaries to hold a sign in English: “SAY NO TO RACISM.” It reached American and British viewers, but could the message have been more innocuous?

The admonition resembled “Just Say No To Drugs,” Nancy Reagan’s pseudo-urbane theme of America’s War On Drugs, an attack on the lower class that continues today and couldn’t be more racist.

Note how two dark-suited gentlemen unrolled the English banner while FIFA line judges enjoin a handful of players from both teams to form the backdrop. About the “bold letters” television commentators described the cause of the brief delay as “something we all believe in.”

Will we learn from those in the stadium that the Argentine team had unfurled its anticipated banner, but the TV cameras were kept aimed at a FIFA diversion?

One might be excused the impression that the soccer game that followed, Argentina’s catastrophic loss to Germany, appeared to have suffered a similar negotiation. Half of the excitement of an Argentine ascendancy was anticipating the mouthpiece it would give coach Diego Maradona, beloved star and great fan of international upstarts Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Maradona hasn’t been speaking truth to only Argentina’s power.

The Argentine dribblers dominated the Germans at every turn, but none seemed disposed to coordinate a goal. At keep-away, they surrendered the ball to Germany only four times.

The South American quarterfinal losses to Netherlands, Spain and Germany confirmed that as sports mirror life, the New World Order is the Old World Order. The Ghanian Black Stars are out, and the Dutch rise from the ashes of South Africa.

FIFA vuvuzela horns may prove to be thin-skinned America’s best friend

Gearing up for Saturday’s World Cup match between the USA and Ghana, media talking heads are already preparing US viewers for the home field advantage that will favor the remaining African team in contention. Convenient actually, because by chance our A-Team is booed in any arena it sets its invader’s foot. The now maligned South African horns have so far masked a third world animosity that might put most Americans over the edge. The nerve of those ingrates, to boo, hiss and whistle the emperor’s freedomTM fighters?

Soccer offsides rule is agreement not to score behind your opponent’s back

The US pretends the International Criminal Court doesn’t have jurisdiction over its war crimes, and thinks the same immunity should shield us from FIFA referees I guess.
 
The USA-Algeria match today was hard fought, admittedly team USA displayed an offensive edge. Rooting for Team Weasel Empire doesn’t automatically make you a Nazi, but I’ll be curious to hear firsthand accounts of the hostility our compatriots faced in the stands. The silver lining to a US victory is that eventually our sportscasters will have to apologize to American TV viewers about the constant booing whenever USA gets the ball.

Vuvuzelas may turn out to be a fortuitous annoyance for Western broadcasters. They mask the dynamics of how the spectators are really responding. I was slow to realize what I was hearing during the USA-Algeria match, a consistent switch from boos to cheers whenever the ball changed hands. I’m surprised I didn’t see more commentary about it.

Honestly, the TV talking heads spoke of the US supporter presence being “huge,” and didn’t bat an eye at the eruption of disapproval when Landon Donovan scored the last minute goal to net a USA victory.

The next match pits the US against Ghana, which sets up a plausible excuse for why the entire stadium will be cheering against the USA. Much as I’d like to see an African team advance, I hope the Americans survive, because the more American stateside see our athletes jeered and booed, the sooner our sorry imperialist swagger can face abrupt self-reflection.

Eduardo Galeano’s SOCCER IN SUN AND SHADOW offers a great explanation of the Offsides Rule. Simply put, it reflects the gentleman’s agreement not to go behind your adversary’s back. What sport is there to kicking at an unprotected goal?

Down to sports, empires are tribal

American World Cup viewers tuning in to watch their team face England on Saturday might be excused confusion about their adversary’s flag. Instead of the British Union Jack, English fans waved a red and white standard usually only glimpsed in movies where knights fight dragons, crusades, or Braveheart.
 
That’s the red cross of Saint George, dragon-slayer, minus the diagonal white-on-blue X of Scotland’s Saint Andrew and the red X of Ireland’s Saint Patrick. Where British dominion is concerned, natural resources and labor are commonwealth, assertion of athletic dominance is forever England.

But the England team crest, with the three lions passant-guardant, dates to lionhearted King Richard, the early realm’s warrior expansionist. Technically the heraldic cats are léopards, because the royal houses ruled in the language of the French, and these three show the empire’s spots: Team England’s badge invokes the era when “England” included the conquered Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

As far as world onlookers cared, the first round pairing of USA versus England was an intramural match among conspiratorial members of the Coalition of the Willing. At best one could only root for the good cop colonizer. Early enough in the game, a score fumbled past England’s goalie portended the Gods’ ambivalence over the outcome. Like Olympic teams, the FIFA contenders are groupings of soccer all-stars whose day jobs mean playing side by side, for either Man United or Real Madrid apparently. It’s hard to expect that team allegiances would defer to nationalism any more than to the federation’s television revenues. The achievement of a tie for match USA – England guaranteed to string along the barely interested American TV audience.

England, Scotland and Ireland were grandfathered into FIFA because, despite not being standalone sovereign nations, they originated the competition. Indeed Britain invented football, whose spread across the world is owed to European colonialism.

Sovereignty is no small distinction when it comes to legitimizing sports teams. Taiwan and Tibet are not recognized by China for example, as the Korean halves reject each other, as the US might object to Puerto Rican or Hawaiian bids for succession.

Today a pretense of sovereignty is enough to field a national soccer team. Take Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel, for example, and I needn’t stop there. By what standard are they independent entities versus US client states? They have their own flags, for all the US cares, and I daresay American pride would be sacrificed for the political gain of either of these puppets excelling their master in sport. A success in sporting circles would only bolster the facade of their indigenous national sovereignty.

Does it say something about the difference between contemporary empires and past, that the US doesn’t need to stamp the red, white and blue unto its colonial projects? Nor dominate them in the arena?

We can contrast America’s far-flung possessions and occupations with the British Commonwealth, whose flags closely mimicked mother Britain’s theme. But I’d like to clarify Ireland’s representation on the British flag. The cross of St. Patrick whose outline informs the Union Jack, represents Ireland before her independence. Still occupied Northern Ireland has a flag which duplicates England’s but for the addition of a loyalist co-opted red hand at its center.

While England holds fast to Scotland’s oil and Ireland’s loyalists, when it comes to sport, she wants all the credit.

Castro Chavez Ahmadinejad Maradona!

Diego Maradona!
 
MARADONA!
has just given an autographed soccer jersey to the Iranian people, in care of their president Mahmud Ahmadinejad. The number ten shirt is inscribed: “With all my affection to Iranian people.” While Google News lists only FARS and AGI carrying the story, the Argentinian soccer legend has triangulated the axis of our empire’s last nemesis.

Call them SPECTRE, call them KAOS, or The Other Evil Empire, they’re the last rebel leaders defying our Death Star. In a ceremony with the Iranian ambassador to Argentina, Diego “Hand of God” Maradona explained: “I have already met Fidel, Chavez, now I just want to meet your president, Ahmadinejad.”

Used American soccer balls

Soccer ball used in one gameThere’s a local drive to round up soccer balls to send off to the children of Iraq. And they don’t want new ones.
 
An eight year old friend of mine came home from school and explained the logic. “Iraqi children want soccer balls that have been played with by American children. Just like when I go to the ballgame and catch a ball that’s been hit into the bleachers. American kids are excited to have a baseball that’s been used by professional players. Iraqi kids are excited to have soccer balls used by American kids!”

Except that the distinction kids make between new and used is universal. Everywhere there are such things as hand-me-downs probably. Otherwise the concept of children of two nations sharing their toys with each other sounded nice.

Then I learned further instructions. If you do not have a used soccer ball to give and are inclined to purchase a new soccer ball, the organizers would like you to give the new ball to your local soccer league in exchange for a used one of theirs. Thus the local soccer teams will benefit from this program as well.

Does that sound like unmitigated self serving crap to you?

When charities solicit donations of toys for AMERICAN children at Christmas, they always specify that the toy must be NEW, not the least bit used.

Pictured: A soccer ball fit for Iraqi kids. Scuffed and scratched by American kids before the American kids got a new one.