Archive for the 'soccer' Category

Michael Barry’s Diary

I am really impressed whe an athlete knows his sport, is articuate, and can actually write well. This is a rare combintation of talents, to know the sport well, to be able to put it to words, and to actually put words to paper, er, to keyboard.

Jimmy Conrad comes to mind in soccer; I used to really look forward to reading his features in Sports Illustrated online. I am not sure, but I think they no longer are written but the old ones can still be found. Who would know that the long bodied geek playing right back for the Quakes circa 2001 would evolve to be one of the best defenders in MLS and get to show his creativity in a major national (online) publication?

Now I have been enjoying Michael Barry’s Diary, a feature in Again, a well written insight, althought there is a bit of cliche in it. Still, it is a good read. Some entries in the past few months were more original in content, and made me see the more human side of Michael.

Still, it adds to the excitment of what looks to be a great Giro this year. And it seems one can watch it free online on Enjoy, and “Go Levi!”


Quakes and Spurs as Partners

From a fans persepective, this doesn’t seem like that big a deal until I think about my long-standing dream of going to England and seeing some Premier League games.
A quote from Tottenham’s Barber at the press conference announcing the partnership:
“We hope to see some visits between fans here and also fans back in London wanting to come to California,” he said. “I’m not sure which is the better swap there — coming to London on a cold, wet November evening to watch us play, or coming out here to California on a nice, sunny evening to watch the Earthquakes play. But there will be plenty of people who want to do both, and we’re looking forward to that.”

Understanding Football (Soccer) with John Cleese

I got this link on a list.

Too good not to share, as are some of the Releated Videos that come up on that YouTube page.

Intelligent Soccer Journalism

My wife would probably call the title an oxymoron, or worse, but I am always pleased when Frank Dell’Apa gets to write a column. Now with ESPNSoccernet (previously writing only for the Boston Globe), Frank understands both soccer and writing.  A real pleasure to read, at least for me.

I have also enjoyed Center Line Soccer in San Jose for great coverage of the NewQuakes. While maybe not as analytical as Dell’Apa, Jay Hipps and the rest do real coverage that years ago was done by major metropolitan dailies. SF Chron take notice, you are nowhere when it comes to covering this team. Although I would give an adequate grade to the SJ Merc News, as Ann Killion and others have done more than just report the scoreline.

Anyway, because of the internet, I can follow soccer without needing to go the a big newstand for the various papers. And thanks to RSS feeds, I can have it centralized and fed to me daily.

Funny Commercial

Thanks to Sean Wheelock and for this. A great PS on an interview with the funniest guy in MLS, Jimmy Conrad.

Don’t we all have fantasies?

Silverlight Olypmics Viewing

The promise of internet video on demand seems to be close to fulfillment. So far, it seems that various events are available to view “on demand, on line” (OK, so far, only soccer games, but what else is so important besides bike racing?) at my convenience. And note, I enjoyed watching the Dutch play Nigeria without a voice over announcing what I could see for myself, and without promo and popup adds. It seems that nbc has put the raw feeds from the venues on their web site ( ) for your enjoyment. Check it out.

Now, of course, the bad news. NBC uses Microslop Silverlight as the player. Note from the screen shot that the resolution is decent on our DSL line. And it caches info locally, so there is no noticable stutter. But:

  • Silverlight is only available for the major browsers (IE, FF, Safari) on Windows or OSX. Sorry Linux fans, can’t watch on that OS.
  • Silverlight locks down the content with DRM, so you can’t save it locally without some hacks that I haven’t yet researched. I guess I should research this, but it seems I couldn’t burn this to DVD for archiving.
  • There is no full screen mode. i repeat, THERE IS NO FULL SCREEN MODE. So the screen shot is the best I could do to watch it on the TV from my easy chair. I couldn’t get the stuff above the viewer “off screen,” but thanks to Firefox 3 I could zoom the image to take up more screen real estate. I estimate that on the TV I could use about half of the available pixels before I zoomed the lower part of the content off the screen.

But, I could pause, rewind, and fast forward, adjust the volume, etc.

And by the way, with the stadium sound pumped from the computer into the stereo in the living room, it did sound a lot like I was in the stadium.

Now, if they really cache the full bike race, and other full events, I won’t need to watch the evening shows much. I might avoid all that endless talking head filler that always gets in the way of the Olympics.

Another Class Act Retires

Sorry, Mr. Favre, but please look at this man as the proper way to retire. From the IHT.

Lilian Thuram decided to retire, even though his medical condition was a “false alarm,” to spare his loved ones from worry. Of course, he has enough money to last him ( and them ) a good long while.

Surfer dude talks about the California lifestyle from Ohio

Good old Spicolli, hero to surfer dude Frankie Hejduk of the Columbus Crew and Cardiff. Best interview from the Columbus Dispatch with him I’ve seen in a while, extolling the fitness one gets from surfing. It also allows him to get away with a high fat diet.

Some questions I wish they had asked:

  • How many espressos a day does he drink?
  • Is he a better surfer than Brian Ching?
  • When is he going to open a brewery to make his own pilsner?

Soccer Culture in USA

Well, there is a Lalas guy that has something worthwhile to write. Sorry, Alexi, not you, but your bro at Sports Illustrated online in this piece titled “The US soccer fans bill of rights.” For some of us, in fact more and more of us, soccer is as (is more!) interesting than football or baseball, etc. And we want the press to treat us with this respect, and not treated in some condescending way. And we want criticism of the game and its various players, coaches, etc., and not the homer hype marketing stuff that comes out of the team press releases and web site (sorry Quakes, but that goes for your site too.) Hence, we need more mainstream outlets to publish the kind of stuff you might find on Center Line Soccer dot com, or Pitch Invasion.

Nice to see that the Euros had rebellion against all the corporate hype and rules that mar the game now that money is the most important element. Check this out.

Green Living in Berkeley

In our house, I am sometimes the energy cop for things like water conservation (shut off the water, please) or lights left on. Sherie likes to reuse all kinds of things that I might recycle or throw away, like washing dirty old plastic bags and cutting the smallest “fresh” flesh from rotting fruit.

But we are not as nearly green as the Greenbergs, written up the the Chronicle. And they feel that are nearly as green as they could be.  The green mind set is becoming cultural norms here in Berkeley.


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