Archive for the ‘The Beautiful Game’ Category.

World Cup 2014 and Brazil – Bread, Circuses, Crony Capitalism, Edifice Complex

If professional sports aren’t euvoluntary enough to survive on their own merits, then maybe more of us should hit the big orgs like FIFA, the NFL, and the NCAA where it hurts: right smack dab in the pocketbook. We may not have favelas in the States, but we do have a large, nearly unanimous literature that clearly states: “independent work on the economic impact of stadiums and arenas has uniformly found that there is no statistically significant positive correlation between sports facility construction and economic development.” (Siegfried & Zimbalist, JEP 2000)

World Cup Woe

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Lionel Messi

Update: Now 91 goals!

Lunchtime distraction: All 86 of Messi’s goals in one video

But [Lionel] Messi is best appreciated, [Pep Guardiola, the former manager of Barcelona] admonished, in the virtuosity of the moment, not against the backdrop of history and statistics. Soccer, like figure skating, demands art as much as sport. This is not baseball, where numbers mean so much that they seem to carry a moral weight. Soccer’s beauty is that it surpasses mathematics, or, in Barcelona’s case, conjures a sublime human geometry of triangular passing and movement.
. . .
As Guardiola said, Messi, at age 25, must be watched to be fully appreciated. To be wholly valued for his vision and anticipation and enthusiasm and ruthlessness and humility. For the way he chips a shot over a goalkeeper as if his foot were a sand wedge. For the way he dribbles in tight spaces, the ball bound to him like an electron bound to an atom.

The goals must be seen, and just as important, they must also be heard. For it is the excitable voices of the announcers that best convey Messi’s triumph over the parsimony of soccer. It surrenders so few goals to most others and so many to him. Only one response is appropriate, “Gooooooooooooal,” a prolonged, shrieking exhalation that takes the breath away.

Messi’s Brilliance Transcends His Numbers

Lionel Messi at the double for Barça to make it 88 goals and counting

Lionel Messi: Wikipedia | ESPN FC | FIFA

FC Barcelona

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