Tag Archives: soccer

Super Soccer Saturday: Everton v Liverpool, No Spoiler

What a match, for those who follow football & the English Premier League. I don’t follow closely enough to offer hugely insightful commentary, but it was a wild ride.

The keepers and strikers were all in nearly top form, with brilliant defensive plays, and some defenisive lapses. Everton gave up more chances with bad decisions to shoot and not pass, and with telegraphed shots to the nimble and quick Liverpool keeper, Mignolet, back-up to their starting keeper.

Everton also gave up a goal in the fifth minute of play. And nearly a red card in the 35′ as well. It took the ref a long time to decide whether to dole out red or yellow. This could easily have been a red card. Would it have been had it happened to a nicer guy? No issues with his play, Luis Suarez was brilliant today, sliding behind the Everton defense, putting a ball through a poorly constructed wall, and generally making life miserable for Tim Howard, who was not all that pleased with his defense, but has to accept some of the blame himself. Below is a photo of Suarez not diving. He was taken down.

Yes, that is Luis Suarez, by Circespeaks.

Yes, that is Luis Suarez, by Circespeaks.

To be continued, so I this is not a spoiler for those of you who recorded the early morning match and have not yet watched it.

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Ibrahimovic: ‘A world cup without me is not worth watching’ as Sweden succumb to Ronaldo’s heroics

I, for one, will miss seeing Ibrahimovic and Sweden in the World Cup! Furthermore, I’d rather watch a man than a pretty boy, but that’s just reverse sexism. I’m just jealous because Ronaldo’s eyebrows and hair get far more attention by stylists than mine do 😉 Okay, women do watch men’s soccer, in part, to see some amazingly fit and good-looking guys. It’s all a matter of taste, and there will be many women who will be thrilled to watch the pretty Christiano. Based on looks alone–not skill set–I’d rather watch Zlatan. Zlatan even understands soccer hair. Men’s soccer hair should look interesting, even unusual, and definitely unstudied. But then a lot of men would rather watch Maria Sharapova, whose tennis bores me to tears, than a less lovely, but more exciting player. No one can fault Ronaldo on his skill set. Yes, I will settle in to watch, as much as time permits, even with a little hole in my heart. And when the Women’s World Cup comes around, I will watch that, too. (Former recreational player on the left wing, mother of two GKs, and with divided national loyalties, how could I not?!)

Hej! Ville bara hälsa att det går bra med svar på svenska här i min blog på vilken sida dom helst, vare dig det gäller Sverige, eller ej. Då svarar jag också på svenska, och om jag orkar, på engelska med. Det får vara jag som gör bort mig med grammatiska o stavfel 🙂

ProSoccerTalk

At the final whistle of Sweden’s 3-2 World Cup playoff defeat at home to Portugal on Tuesday night, Swedish captain and global superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic cut a forlorn figure as Portgual’s players celebrated qualification to the 2014 World Cup.

Zlatan, 32, knows his last chance to shine on the world stage had just been snatched away from him. And, perhaps sadly, the world may never get another chance to see Ibrahimovic light up the globe’s biggest tournament again.

This summers World Cup won’t be the same without him. In true Ibra fashion, he even said it himself.

“It was probably the last attempt to reach the World Cup with the national team for me,” Ibrahimovic said. “One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup.”

(MORE: Ronaldo topples Zlatan – Real Madrid star’s…

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The Return or Re-Entry

The Return

Re-Entry Innocence:
Re-entry begins innocently at rest stop.
Waterford, Vermont HS Girls’ Soccer Bake Sale.
I buy cookies. Homemade.
Still in Vermont, small maple leaf-shaped bottles of syrup on display.

Music: mystery mixes in CD player.
Guess that child. Sublime with Sublime.

Games with GPS:
Can I force it to show a route
Over the Tapanzee, not the GW?*
Success of sorts, after half an hour
Aimlessly recalculating, avoiding streets.

Pit Stop Rediscovery:
Gas for car; Red Bull for driver.
Passenger is not so bored as antsy.
Notes 2 for 1 price on Red Bull.
Asks Big Man checker whether Red Bull gets rid of cellulite.
(Nope, still don’t have much, but figure
Stretch marks are TMI & not going anywhere!)
An insomniac & he doesn’t get it
right away.
Behind me, short, cheerful man with shiny, fringed pate does.
He wants some Red Bull, too
If it will grow his hair back.
Big Man catches on, laughs.
“People complain about the price of gas. Look what this stuff costs.”
I pay.
“Take the Tapanzee, not the GW.
And get home safely.”
Seriously into solitude,
I rediscover that most people mean well.

Road Sign Reconsideration:
Writing the moment the CT exit sign for
Newtown looms overhead, I reconsider.
It takes a village to raise a child?
What made him kill babies?
Was he murdering his own past?
His motives are of little import now.
Only prevention of future
Slaughter of the Innocents.

Resignation:
The empty refrigerator awaits;
Piles of wash will whirl and whoosh;
Accumulated mail is more menacing;
Work to lend structure and meaning
(As did my morning swim.)

Reluctance and Rejoicing:
Hiker son left behind in North Woods;
Rapid motion son awaits our return.
Fine, awaits the return of the bike rack. Borrowed car already packed for
Outer Banks trip commencing at 3am
Mom has fewer ulterior motives!

Resolution:
Don’t leave inner barefoot, pond-paddling, wildflower-picking child behind!

This [Middle Class] American Life? (My pseudo-installment to the venerable NPR Radio Show.)

Do you recognize yourself? Do you have any re-entry rites and rituals to share? (Online bill pay is not a satisfactory response! 😉

*The driver was not engaged in “games with GPS.” GPS ultimately wins: We plummet off Tapanzee while making a U-turn for GW.

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Dear San Antonio Spurs

Dear San Antonio Spurs,

Can you please, please finish this tonight?

We have a son graduating from high school at 5:30 pm on Thursday, and a party for about 35 people at our home immediately thereafter. We need this to be settled tonight, or there will be conflicting allegiances in this home on Thursday. If we manage to wallow through the mud to get to chairs and bleachers on the high school lawn, we and our guests should be released by 7:30. We will not be watching game 7 at 9 pm, so though I feel disloyal, I have to wish for a Spurs Cinderella finish tonight.

During NBA halftime, I am back to watching the US versus Honduras qualifying match. The starter-missing Honduran players are acquitting themselves beautifully. It’s all about the goalkeeper, says keeper mom (me!) The young Honduran keeper saved a PK and its rebound. Altidore did just score an offsides goal, but the official score is still 0-0 “at the hour mark.” And the controversial hand ball call. The US beginning, unsurprisingly, to dominate, its back to the Spurs versus Heat.

In case anyone wonders why someone so apparently concerned with climate change, ethics, social justice, and world hunger cares about soccer and basketball so much, it is not only because my children played, and played very well. True, I am in mourning over my lost boy (lost only to soccer.) But I worry about world hunger, gun control, human rights, Syria, and my partially-written dissertation, and have to turn it off somehow. Fast-paced sports does it. I just want good soccer, so I can’t be thrilled at all the wealthiest nations back again. US versus Germany? Zzzz!!!

Now back to basketball! The game could not be closer. Closing now with Miller’s four fouls, as the game turns back to San Antonio. I have to confess that I am sometimes a little hazy on names and their associated places. I was really enjoying the fact that a city like Seattle was playing a team from Miami. Oh. those are the Seattle Sonics, and I confess to not knowing which players are on that team. San Antonio versus Miami, two sunbelt teams contending for the title, is a bit less dissonant.

Back to the game!

Brandi Chastain: Role Model

Brandi Chastain IconicBrandi Chastain is, to understate the case, an accomplished soccer player. She is best known for her game-winning goal, a penalty kick, against China in the 1999 Women’s World Cup. After scoring the winning goal, Chastain whipped off her jersey and fell to her knees in a celebratory pose male soccer players often strike. The sight, not of Chastain’s bare chest, but of Chastain’s sports bra became an international subject of debate, her spontaneous act defining for a time, her career, but also opening the conversation of women as athletes. Male soccer players routinely show bare chests without commentary, so why the furor about a victorious, but not seductive, pose? Chastain’s “sports bra seen round the world” (Jere Longman, NYT, 5 July 2003) offered more coverage than does the top of many a cheerleader televised during professional sports broadcasts. The bare female body and the bare male body occupy different spaces in our communal cultural imagination. Chastain’s removal of her shirt, not to seduce or titillate, but to celebrate a victory, was outside of the norm. Once she had donned a soccer uniform, Chastain was an “athlete,” no longer a “woman,” so it was shocking to many to see the sweat-soaked bra revealed.
Authorized nudity is acceptable, but unauthorized partial nudity, not designed to pleasingly display the beauty of the female form is unacceptable. The practice of putting little girls in two-piece bathing suits that cover their nipples–at an age when girls’ nipples look no different from that of their male siblings and peers–is part of our early indoctrination into this double standard. There are no soccer or basketball games in which girls or women spontaneously play shirts and skins. Standards of dress and beauty take much spontaneity out of the lives of women.

In Germany and Sweden, and in many areas of Western and Eastern Europe, men and women, old and young, wear tops or not, as they like at the beach and at public swimming pools. Grandmothers and grandfathers’ bellies spill merrily over the tops of bikini bottoms and tiny Speedos. Let the rebellion spread West! Why should women concern themselves with stomach fat after child-bearing or from medical causes (or beer-drinking) when many men do not concern themselves with stomach fat from medical causes or beer-drinking? Public pools and beaches should be zones of tolerance, where everyone present can let it (almost all) hang out.

The higher standard of beauty applied to women in the U.S., and against which it is incredibly difficult to rebel, is costly to women in terms of time and money dedicated to the pursuit of beauty. Appearance continues to define women in the U.S. in ways which it does not define men. Though I have staged some minor rebellions–no nail polish, no makeup whatsoever when I was younger–I too am guilty. No matter how I detest the neologism “mani-pedi,” and avoid nail salons, I fall prey to other travails and delights of fashion and vanity. Painting a wall the perfect color is satisfying, and so is putting together an outfit suitable to the occasion, and in which I feel comfortable and attractive. Despite assiduously refusing to subscribe to fashion magazines, I am a person to whom appearance matters. I have internalized dubious external standards. This internal divide is a source of stress. Though I do not aspire to wearing batik muumuus, and am comfortable with my generic sporty style, I wish I just didn’t care! Circe, who is almost always nude, had more time available and became an accomplished sorceress. She may not, however, have risen to her iconic, mythological station had she not seduced Odysseus.
Of all organizations, the ultraconservative Whig-Cliosophic Society of Princeton University (don’t ask, Google, or go to the MUDD Archives for primary source material) recently featured a panel that debated “Are women limited in our society? Does Freud’s claim that “Anatomy is Destiny” hold any weight today?” What is your view?

The Action Hero (Alter Ego) Versus the Procrastinator

Circe must abbreviate her words this evening. She works as procrastinating writers often do, against a deadline an hour from now.

Seeking the best word, I found “abridge,” “parse,” and “pare”, the latter of which I share here in visual thesaurus format from the thesaurus.com site. The visual thesaurus is brilliant! Sketched organic chemistry for word lovers! Check this out for fun. How or who determines which related words are nearer or farther from “pare,” at the center, & where on the 360 degrees each belongs? An algorithm or humans? http://thesaurus.com/browse/pare

Back to those alter egos. I was going to claim that I have no male alter ego, and I’m not sure I do, but perhaps posting a photo of myself as Diego Forlan belies that. (Where are diacritical marks to be found in WordPress?)

The Super Hero is taking a back seat to the Procrastinator tonight. Though left-footed, I am pleased that I did not feel any connection with Luis Suarez during the World Cup. Might too many concussions and headers be related to his appalling bigotry and behavior? Soccer (football) another day.

Circe Sleeps later….Image