Showing posts with label Soccer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soccer. Show all posts

Monday, June 21, 2010

Solution to Flopping in Soccer

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

Soccer players flopping/diving/embellishing/simulating (as the euros call it) sucks. Every single person agrees except for the players. This has been the case for as long as I have watched soccer and for some reason soccerophiles think it is an unfixable problem.

Here is how to fix it. Have a team of officials review the games immediately after they end. If a player's flopping resulted in another player getting unnecessarily carded, the offending flopper will have to sit out the next game (or a half of the next game).

Since the review of the play would take place after the game is over, as opposed to an official timeout like the NFL does, it wouldn't slow down the game any, which soccerophiles are afraid of. Also under my scenario, the punishment would fit the crime. If a player flops and a foul is called, no harm done (or very little). But if the floppee gets a card, then the flopper has inflicted some damage- especially if it is a player's second yellow card (double especially if both cards resulted from flopping).

My system's post-game review works well too because the call comes not from referees on the field, wherever they may be, but instead it comes essentially from Big Brother. A player is probably correct in thinking they can fool a referee who is 30 yards away, but they'd think again about flopping when they know that a team of officials with 45 different television cameras at various heights, angles and zoom capabilities and all day long to get the call right.

People behave differently when they know cameras are watching.

How would this system not work? Why would a soccer purist not support this?

That's how I roll.

Friday, June 18, 2010

World Cup Corprolalia

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

- It seems like the 2010 World Cup is becoming a lot like the NCAA men's basketball tournament has been lately. Since kids are leaving college ball increasingly early, the smaller schools have pulled a lot more upsets. The reason is that the smaller schools graduate more of their players and that team is likely to have a cohesive team that is battle tested, has veteran leadership and oftentimes, has played together for a few years. When it comes to crunch time, the battle-tested, savvy veteran teams seem to be doing better against the favored, high-flying youngsters. It seems as though team cohesiveness really does count for something.

England's poor 2010 World Cup showing supports this theory. Algeria had no business tying them, but they did. One reason for England's slump is that they haven't played together. They're basically an all-star team and are playing against actual teams- albeit, teams that are less talented (so far). No professional soccer players play more games in a given year than English Premier League players. All of that club ball is cutting into National Team practices, film sessions, etc. A similar case could be made for France and Spain as well.

The upsets that have taken place have all benefited cohesive teams who lack multiple premier league players with club ball obligations, and victimized the teams with the most marquee talent.

- An investigation should be undertaken to look into how the referee in the U.S. vs. Solvenia screwed up as badly as he did. It looked like he had an interest in keeping the goal total low.

- I'm standing by Germany despite their wonky loss today. Miro Klose getting sent off like 10 minutes into the game kind of tinkled on their offense. So the kids got a baptism by fire and played on their own (kinda poorly). Michael Ballack would have helped there.

- England looks humiliatingly bad.

- One team has a dude named Shabalala. I really hope a racehorse gets named after him sometime soon because I would be way-too-interested in hearing Tom Durkin give him a stretch call.

- Mesut Ozil looks like Peter Lorre.

- Brazil's coach's name is Dunga and they have a player named Kaka. If fecal sounding names is a good thing, Brazil is a shoe-in to win the world cup.

- Is the tradition of holding hands with kids before the game really necessary? When did this tradition start? and why? and Whose idea was it? Unless they're Make-A-Wish kids, it's just odd.

- The announcer with the Scottish accent is just too hard to understand. Furthermore, two accented dudes in the booth can be a bit much. A jingoist, I am not, but it just takes more energy to decipher them and I'd rather focus that energy on watching.

- Despite England's struggles, I like their chances on Wednesday. The reason is that they're playing at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Why is that significant? Because you can't spell "Mandelay" without the "Mandela". That link may be NSFW. It's for Mandelay cream (Man delay cream) that is the featured "male genital desensitizer" at

- I have learned a bit about the world from the world cup. I didn't know a few of these countries existed. Like, North Career, South Career, and South Africker,

- This English team might be wussiest English sporting entity since Tim Henman's annual Wimbledon collapse in the semis or quarters after getting all of England wussydom's hopes up because he beat a lower-seeded player and this could be his year! The first Englishman to win Wimbledon since Moses's dad did it. I love it when a stereotype comes together.


I thought of two more.

-Did U2 sponsor this World Cup or something? Enough of them already. It's bad enough they seem to do the Super Bowl every 3 years. And the Grammys. And any aid/relief telethons. Just enough. Not them. Not now.

-A while ago Jeff Van Gundy told a story about watching Rasheed Wallace during practice. During the scrimmage a foul was called on Wallace which he vehemently denied doing. Being a shooting a foul, the fouled player went to the free throw line and missed his first free three throw. Wallace then turned to the ref and said, "Ball don't lie." As if to imply that the ball refused to go in on an unjust call.

Well considering how France got into the World Cup and how they are doing now, I have to agree with Rasheed. Ball don't lie.

-THIS is bad as hell!!! I will tell you how it works, since it took me a minute to figure it out. You highlight the bubble to see which game the dot represents. (for this example I recommend going to Germany's 4-0 win over Australia on the bottom left). So you click on it and it takes you to a streaming twitter stream/feed kinda thing. Scroll down so you can see the moving time bar along the bottom to see which part of the game is being highlighted. The bigger the world bubble, the more mentions on Twitter that topic has had. So you can see the explosion of activity during goals.

That is a really, really cool concept.

That's how I roll.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Where I Draw The Line With Soccer Jargon

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter
I wanted to get this out before the 2010 World Cup started because this has been annoying me forever.

It makes sense that soccer jargon doesn't sound very American Englishy- the game was neither invented here nor thrives here. Given how geographically dispersed the game is, it also stands to reason that it might have a few verbal oddities too and I'm totally ok with that. At the risk of sounding too jingoistic, there is still one I cannot stand. But first I'll review the tolerable ones.

Pitch- the playing field. As in, "he was the best player on the pitch tonight." I don't know why they can't just call it a "field", but we call a baseball "field" a diamond, so I guess I can cut them some slack.

Nil- zero. As in, "his team lost 3- nil." It sounds a little Eurotrashy, and for some reason seems to be used only for soccer, but I guess I'm ok with it. Well, I'm ok when foreigners use it. I hate when American soccer fans feel obligated to say "nil" as if it ups their soccer credibility.

Match- usually it's a soccer match and not a soccer game. As a former tennis player I am ok with that because I know that in tennis you play points, games and sets, which are collectively known as a match.
Football- I wish the rest of the world called it soccer, but I must concede that calling it football makes a lot more sense than us calling our football, "football".

Here's what annoys me about soccer lexicon- when people refer to a country as plural, as in, "England are very strong right now and should advance to the finals", or, "If Argentina are really ready for the challenge, we'll see it early on."

The country, (e.g. England, Argentina) is singular. It is only one country. Conversely, their team, though it comprises several players, is still singular. The singular verb in that case is "is.". You say, "where is your shoe (singular)?" and "where are your shoes (plural)?". One may correctly say, "The players on Spain are in top form" but you can't say, "Spain are in top form".

Sadly, stupidly, maybe arrogantly, annoyingly, lamely, unfortunately, seriously-what-the-fuck-ly, this grammatical rule is repeatedly broken in an attempt to sound more soccer credible. The same a-hole who will say, "Where is my book? I have zero books. Where are your books?" will later put on a soccer jersey, and turn on the soccer match and state, "England are great. They'll win 4-nil." . And it is fucking awful.

As indicated above, I'm ok with some with some slang unique to one's sport. I don't chastise snowboarders for riding "goofy" or getting "squirrelly". It's how snowboarders talk, and that's cool. But they still have the dignity to keep the rules of grammar in tact. They don't say, "Dude, hill steep I anyway down ride it to the wall balls, bro. What? Oh no, it's ok to make my own syntax because I'm talking about a sport, bro." They know better.

With all of this crappiness (sadly) in mind, the real question is: Do I sound more learned about soccer when I make a poor, jargon-buttressed prediction like, "America are going to win the World Cup 6-nil over Argentina." or when I use non-soccer jargon but make a rational prediction. "If Tevez gets injured Argentina is not going to win 3-zero, but probably 3-1."?

Don't bother trying to answer it. It's an Ancient Chinese Riddle.

how I roll.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Suggestion to Improve the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

By: T.R. Slyder,

The pregame introductions at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest are the best introductions in sports- whimsical, entertaining, and mildly educational. The antithesis of this is the introductions at professional soccer matches, especially in Europe, where the players walk out holding hands with children, then exchange flags, and a bunch of other pomp and circumstance that reminds me of the introductions on Iron Chef.

Soccer just needs to abandon all that foolywang, but I think the hot dog eating competition intros would be even funnier if they came holding holding hands with random Coney Island kids during the introductions as seen below.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When You Think the Opposing Goalie may not be Hetero

(Nice bikini briefs, brah)

By: T.R. Slyder,

This was from a soccer game in Italy's Seria A game on Saturday betwixt Torino and Catania. If you look closely you can see one of the players from Catania (blue and red striped jerseys) drop his pants to distract the opposing goalie immediately before the free kick.

At around the 3 second mark, Catania sends 4 men between the wall of white-clad Torino players, and the goalie. Around the 6-second mark you can see the Catania player that is third from our left drop his pants (it's not super easy to see, but you can tell that he is). The goalie was then distracted by the sight of his buns and gave up a goal.

Leave it to the Italians.