Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

Recent (or recently-read) selected interviews

February 5, 2009

5 Year old Oscar interviewing Chelsea & England captain, John Terry:

Oscar: Um, sometimes things are scary. What do you do when you get scared?
JT: Oh, when I get scared – we all get scared a little bit sometimes, don’t we? I’ve got children, and sometimes I hold their hand and tell them I’m not scared, but I am really, but I try and be there for them, so they don’t get scared. When I was little, I didn’t like being left on my own in the dark.
Dad [To Oscar]: Do you get scared of the dark?
Oscar: No!
JT: No, he’s too big for that. Are you scared of spiders?
Oscar: No… but I don’t like spiders.

Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel interviewing Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard:

“You learn a lot about people in those times. [emblematic former Chelsea manager] Jose Mourinho texting me every day; [interim Chelsea first team coach post-JM] Avram Grant was so clever and kind; people who were not in my life suddenly appeared, and in a good way. Fans, too, from places like Liverpool and West Ham, who generally don’t like me, writing letters. That really touched me. We get caught up in the rivalry, then something like this happens and you realise it is all bullshit. None of it matters.”

Freelance writer Marissa Moss interviewing singer/songwriter/awesomebadass (and house favorite) Ted Leo:

Do you think it’s the musician’s place, especially one in the public eye, to speak about and engage youth culture and activism via their work?

Absolutely. Is there a place? There certainly is. It blows my mind when people suggest that there isn’t. It’s not as if art in general doesn’t have a millennial history of exactly this sort of thing- the idea that anyone, a musician, should stick to pure entertainment is ridiculous. It’s absolutely fine if that’s what a particular artist wants to do, gods knows there is also certainly a place for the songs. But there’s plenty of immediate social commentary in Dante, and that’s going way back…there are a lot of people who just say “shut up and sing.” But the idea that art should somehow be separated from commentary is completely ridiculous….

Politics & Soccer: What else?

February 19, 2008

As politically minded as I am, I personally try not to focus a great deal on the Primaries. While I do believe it’s important to know the possibilities and choose the best candidate to represent your party, I also believe that politics has this funny habit of endorsing its own short-term memory. Two candidates supposedly on the same team can say the most horrible things about each other’s platform or proposed policies, digging in personally where there’s no business digging, only to suddenly latch on supportively when one person is designated to run for president in the general election. Case in point: Mitt Romney called out John McCain numerous times for not been conservative enough. Last week, he throws his full support behind him, instead of the more like-minded Mike Huckabee. And though Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have weeks before either will be solidified as the party candidate, you just know all the schoolyard bickering and zingers they’ve thrown at each other so far will be long forgotten as one is forced to step back and support the other.* It’s just the nature of politics. For me, I prefer to bypass the bullshit, listening to the news for updates and keeping tabs on soundbites without investing too heavily. Admittedly, this is also in part due to my Independant status, which preventing me from voting on February 5th, though either way, I’m not typically one to sit back and watch when something does actually matter. My slight OCD tendencies aren’t restricted to all things soccer/football.

*Though, Matt Lauer did an interesting little interview with Obama over the weekend where Obama states that he feels he’s been preparing for any upcoming Republican backlash thanks in part to his experience so far against the “Clinton Machine” – guess the Obama/Clinton ticket is out the door!

Speaking of.. 10 extra league games outside of the country? Denied! Basically, the plan would add one more game to each of the 20 Premiership teams’ season, with that extra game taking place a various venues in places such as North America, South America, and Asia. While I’d love to be able to see my Chelsea boys in person, this plan is lacking in rational thought in so many ways. Most importantly, as it stands now, each team plays every other twice – once at home, once away – and the extra game alone would create a great unbalance, nevermind how it could affect the home fans. I don’t doubt that these games would be a big draw wherever they are played, even in America, but the league’s presence is spreading as such a quick pace already that these teams could benefit greater from simple exhibition games, which many already do during the off-season.

Unchosen Representatives

October 17, 2007

1. In an rare moment, I listened to a portion of Bush’s latest press babble (clips provided by NPR) & agreed with him. He called on Congress to stop debating over the issue of the Armenian Genocide (ABC News – can’t seem find a specific newslink… is he that irrelevant now?*) I’ll call it as such, and I’m comfortable with others calling it as such, but damn if there aren’t more important things to be working on than a non-binding agreement. You may recall that Congress also spent some time debating over whether to condemn MoveOn.org’s “General Betray Us” ad (they did.) Given that this resolution also was non-binding and could do nothing on the grounds of, oh I don’t know, the first amendment… what a complete waste of time.
Mr. Bush – the day is yours. Congratulations.

2. Normally, I don’t give Ann Coulter or other right/left-wing extremists much thought. Media Whores, really. But, who told her should could speak for all Christians in the world? It actually bothers me more than her “perfected Jews” statement (not even going to begin to disect that – it’s too easy). I know many people actually know the difference between her & myself, but she mucks up the term “Christian” quite a bit.

3. EURO 2008: As it stands tonight, Scotland must beat Italy in November, and England better pray that Russia loses to Israel on the same day. I think it’s entirely possible for both of these things to occur (the Scots are on fire lately & Israel is the home team), but crazier things have happened. Maybe the Faroe Islands can break their 11-game losing streak & defeat those Italians. Those World Cup Champion Italians.

*Yep.

Back to Normalcy

August 31, 2007

After a 3-month break, the EPL & SPL seasons have started. Finally, I can get back to my normal routine of getting up ridiculously early on Saturday and Sunday mornings to catch games almost half a world away.

I did get to take a little vacation this summer in mid-July. I first went to Denver on the 18th for the MLS All-Star game vs. Celtic, staying at a lovely hostel (though had zero air circulation.. very humid indeed), and finding people to chat with both at the hostel & at the match. It didn’t start until 7pm on the 19th, so I spent much of the day walking around Denver. I ate breakfast at a nearby diner, read the NY Times at Starbucks, tried to visit the US Mint (all tours were unfortunately booked already), and relaxed in another independent coffeehouse with free wifi. The game was really fun, despite alittle rain during the first half. I sat next to two friendly gentleman (possibly an uncle-nephew duo?) who were rooting for both teams (more MLS than Celtic, but like me, a fan of both). Celtic really didn’t play their best (were they trying very hard? I don’t think so), and I was more impressed with the MLS side. David Beckham was there, and he seemed to make a big splash during his halftime interview. I caught him as he was leaving and snapped a few photos while he was signing autographs.

The next day, after spending an hour walking/waiting/riding the bus in the wrong direction (ugh), I finally just called a taxi, and made my flight out to Los Angeles. My long-time friend Matt picked me up from LAX, and I recanted my slightly creepy fight experience, sitting across from a woman who spent most of the flight doing what could only be described as counting the hairs on my head. (Yeah, I don’t know.) After showing me the wonder of LA transportation (aka sitting in traffic for an hour & a half), we went to dinner with Matt’s lovely girlfriend Elle, and just hung around for the night (aka Matt kicked my ass at FIFA ’06).

After some touring of the Hollywood area (Amoeba, Arc Light, etc), and running back to Matt’s work to reprint the tickets (forgot them at the apartment.. I’m a moron), we sat through the traffic to get to the Home Depot Center. Now, I was there to see my beloved Chelsea, but having Beckham there was nice treat. Especially because of the chaos he created. During the second half, you hear screams over on the side of the pitch, and its Becks simply stretching – his butt just happens to be in the air. It was like that all night – anything he did created a moment. When he finally entered the pitch, he was on for about two minutes when he started to limp alittle. Cue me going, “ahhh get ’em off, get ’em off!” and Matt says, “He’s grimacing.” Yeah, he really shouldn’t have played. And as much as ESPN, the MLS, silly Alexei Lalas wanna say they didn’t pressure him to play, you can’t deny that they did. (Hello, who banks on a debut date thats not guarenteed? ESPN, that was your own fault.)

Matt suggested I switch my flight to the one down the road (Burbank), which turned out to be brilliant. I had a great time out there visiting Matt & hanging out with Elle. Definitely still not a fan of the city of Los Angeles. Just not my cup o’ tea, I guess.

Live Action, finally.

February 9, 2007

On Wednesday, I went to the US vs. Mexico game in Glendale, and I really had a blast. Troy came with me after JT bailed, and it took about 2 hours to get there (normally 45min), but we made it before kick-off. The seats I bought were 18 rows up from the field, so needless to say, we had a great view! There were definitely more Mexico fans there than American ones, but it was still pretty mixed. Once again, I was jealous of the Mexicans and their supersweet spirit. I want chants. πŸ™ Anyway, we missed Conrad’s goal waiting to buy a t-shirt, but definitely saw Donovan’s, and it felt so good. It’s hard loving soccer/football in Phoenix; there’s no real opportunities to watch it in person, or at least not that I’ve found. There’s a lot of kids teams around, but that would be alittle creepy, I think, being as I’d have no connection there, you know what I mean? I think there’s one adult team with a season of sorts, so I’m looking into that. ASU doesn’t even have a men’s team (reason #62 why I wouldn’t recommend the school). So, I enjoyed my 90-minute fix, for sure. Of course, I took a lot of photos – I’ve realized it helps release some tension. πŸ™‚ You can see the full color and black/white sets, or see some of my favorites.