Our Week On Social Media, June 6 2014

Our last 20 posts on Twitter; enjoy.

An all-timer: Diego Maradona scores solo goal against England, 1986, LEGO style: http://rlyv.se/tQN

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It’s fair to say Argentina’s Diego Maradona had a decent game against England in the 1986 World Cup. After the notorious ‘hand of God’ incident , he sealed victory over Bobby Robson’s side with a strike that’s gone down as one of the best World Cup goals ever. Watch it here, lovingly recreated brick-by-brick Continue reading…
Jun 6, 2:19 PM

I’m obviously interested: The 6 Craziest Requirements For FIFA World Cup Uniforms http://rlyv.se/tPW

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FIFA has some incredibly specific and very odd rules for its uniforms. For example: no number can have a stroke width larger than 5cm or smaller than 3cm. Sweatsuits–which aren’t even worn by players on the field–have rules as well. Same with baseball cap-style hats, which aren’t worn by players. Branding and advertising play a larger role in soccer than in almost any other sport, except maybe NASCAR, and FIFA has rules for that. Even the brand logos on the shoulders have rules: they have to be of a certain size, centered, and symmetrical. Thou shalt not exceed the required stroke width for fonts. To the unfamiliar, World Cup uniforms seem open to styling: different colors and patterns, brand names, and logos splashed in every possible square inch of fabric. But FIFA actually has incredibly strict guidelines for the uniforms, right down to the millimeter. Creative Review published a few excerpts of the 92-page document, and we’ve picked out six of the craziest.
Jun 6, 11:57 AM

It’s a #rattle: The #caxirola is Brazil’s version of the vuvuzela. http://rlyv.se/tPA

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The caxirola is Brazil’s version of the vuvuzela . Looks like FIFA World Cup 2014 … Perth Now It kind of sounded like this: Dzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Well, just when you … and more
Jun 6, 10:43 AM

Pique is pretty scary. “World Cup mascots: from Naranjito to Bulldog Bobby in pictures” http://rlyv.se/tO6

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With the 2014 World Cup fast approaching, Brazil’s mascot Fuleco will both be entertaining the crowds and be used as a marketing tool, so we thought we would have a look through the archives to check out mascots and merchandise from days gone by Continue reading…
Jun 6, 10:02 AM

Solid: Vintage 2004 Adidas Cal Surf T-shirt Football World Cup Retro Tango http://rlyv.se/tOG

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$8.36 (0 Bids) End Date: Sunday Jun-15-2014 11:35:00 PDT Bid now | Add to watch list
Jun 6, 2:22 AM

2014 World Cup noisemaker is a #caxirola? Fifa fans drop vuvuzela for a rattle http://rlyv.se/tOE

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Examiner.com 2014 World Cup noisemaker is a caxirola ? Fifa fans drop vuvuzela for a rattle Examiner.com Fans of the 2014 World Cup might be concerned about hearing the vuvuzela on television during the upcoming games, but there is nothing to worry about as the crowds have moved on from the noisemaker. Sounding loud and extraordinarily annoying, the … and more
Jun 6, 1:44 AM

Via @SoccerByIves, USMNT Notes: Jones to decide club future after World Cup, Johannsson talks AZ extension http://rlyv.se/tOC #USMNT

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USMNT Notes: Jones to decide club future after World Cup, Johannsson talks AZ extension, and more: #USMNT
Jun 6, 1:02 AM

!!!!!!!!!: The episode “The Cartridge Family” is history’s best soccer satire. http://rlyv.se/tN0

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Open Wide for Some Soccer!: The Simpsons Brilliant Parody of the Beautiful Game. The Simpsons does soccer, and it is glorious. Lampooning soccer has long been an American pastime. To its mostly unfunny critics, the sport is boring, unmanly, and foreign. My son is not playing soccer, bloviator Jim Rome once said . I will hand him ice skates and a shimmering sequined blouse before I hand him a soccer ball. There is, however, one inspired piece of U.S.-made satire that manages to mock soccer while also embracing the very thing its laughing at. Whos behind this bit of comedic brilliance? Unsurprisingly, The Simpsons. The Cartridge Family , which aired on Nov. 2, 1997, opens with a five-minute sequence that taps into our nations distrust of soccers seemingly slow pace, overexcited announcers, and exotic teams and players.
Jun 5, 7:27 PM

RT @socceramerica: Bob Bradley: Michael Not Given Arsenal Chance: In an interview with Slate, former U.S. men’s… http://rlyv.se/tNS

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Bob Bradley: Michael Not Given Arsenal Chance: In an interview with Slate, former U.S. men’s…
Jun 5, 6:46 PM

P.I.M.P.: Vintage 1980 Adidas Erima Goalkeeper’s Jersey Shirt World Cup 1982, NO RETRO http://rlyv.se/tNI

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$8.36 (0 Bids) End Date: Sunday Jun-15-2014 12:25:57 PDT Bid now | Add to watch list
Jun 5, 6:06 PM

BOOOOO! FIFA World Cup Group A: Brazil – The noise of a nation silenced http://rlyv.se/tNq

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Financial Express FIFA World Cup Group A: Brazil – The noise of a nation silenced Financial Express Four years on, the sound of the vuvuzela still forces us to shudder at the soundtrack it leant to the event and perhaps even making us bless the souls responsible for making the migraine machines extinct. Only, they aren’t extinct. … Conceptualised purely for the 2014 World Cup by Carlinhos Brown, a leading Brazilian musician with a Oscar nomination to his credit, the caxirola is said to rattle more than hum and the ‘shakestick’ (filled with ball-bearings) was even blessed by Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff. and more
Jun 5, 5:26 PM

This is not so good. RT @ESPNFC: Uni Watch has ranked all 32 World Cup kits. http://rlyv.se/tNi,http://rlyv.se/shorten http://rlyv.se/tNi,http://rlyv.se/shorten

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Uni Watch has ranked all 32 World Cup kits. The defending champions might not like their spot http://r.rallyverse.com/c/?link=quLmI%2bjYDAwBkGnbju1Hkmz5OcR5DonpWOBUar9sPReQuaC%2briPQVmBvMEXPon27h4qoNz7eKGa2xySATVHzA2z60dgN1mhCqw15nC%2b%2b6WuPLNprxmXVn0tDaskYeIdP9kWS%2fxhh4t4%3d
Jun 5, 4:53 PM

Qatars critics accused of racism, assuming that, you know, disdain for bribery is racist http://rlyv.se/tM0

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Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah, one of the most powerful figures in the Olympic movement, has waded into the storm over Qatars hosting of the 2022 World Cup finals. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah has accused Qatar’s detractors as racist. Influential player in global sport accuses Qatar’s detractors of racism.
Jun 5, 4:12 PM

Just Pele being Pele: Amazing photographs uncover secret World Cup moments http://rlyv.se/tMW

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In pictures: Amazing photographs uncover secret World Cup moments from Pele … Mirror.co.uk Taken from behind the scenes they show a side to most players and managers that you don’t usually see. The collection covers a range of World Cups from 1962 in Chile to Germany 2006. There’s Pele lounging around being Pele in Mexico in 1970 and …
Jun 5, 3:31 PM

We <3 #Eusebio: The untouchables, From Pele to #Eusebio, 10 great World Cup players http://rlyv.se/tMM

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Firstpost The untouchables: From Pele to Eusebio , 10 great World Cup players Firstpost Considered by many the greatest player in football history, Pele won three World Cups with Brazil. He was a teenager when he helped the “Selecao” lift the trophy in 1958, then four years later he won again despite playing only one match because of an injury … and more
Jun 5, 2:51 PM

Nodding: Interactive All-Time World Cup XI is guaranteed to waste your morning http://rlyv.se/tMI

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The BBC polled experts to come up with just over 100 players from which to cull your All-Time World Cup XI. Does yours look like ours?
Jun 5, 2:11 PM

Oh. Great. “Hackers Target World Cup Sponsors” http://rlyv.se/tMm

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The World Cup could be the victim of multiple cyber attacks (Getty Images). (ATR) Hacker group Anonymous said they are planning cyber-attacks on World Cup sponsors. Speaking to Reuters, a hacker with the alias Che Commodore, said: “We have a plan of attack,” regarding targeting the websites of prominent FIFA World Cup partners. Commodore spoke under the guise of anonymity. We have already conducted late-night tests to see which of the sites are more vulnerable,” he said. Anonymous posted 333 pages of documents they hacked from the Brazilian Foreign Ministrys website, the largest data breach for Brazil since the United States NSA allegedly spied on Brazilian president Dilma Rousseffs personal emails. The documents included which sports ministries are planning on going to the World Cup, and a briefing between the Brazilian government and US vice president Joe Biden, who will attend the World Cup. “The problem has been resolved. Nothing important was leaked,” a Brazilian official told the news agency. Preparations for the World Cup have been marred by stadium delays, and a cyber-breach would add to the list of troubles for tournament organisers.
Jun 5, 1:31 PM

So two different members of Rancid have written team songs for MLS teams? http://rlyv.se/tLU

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Tattoos, nine-year grown dreadlocks and the ‘sno-fro’ look the US team are going to be eye-catching however they get on Continue reading…
Jun 5, 12:21 PM

“When [M. Bradley] got to Italy he found he was immersed in a culture that thought like him to a certain extent.” http://rlyv.se/tLK

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Once thought of as only being in the team because he was the coachs son, the midfield enforcer is the key man in Jrgen Klinsmanns side who face a tough-looking Group G Continue reading…
Jun 5, 11:47 AM

No broken legs though? World Cup tuneup between England and Ecuador turns into unfriendly http://rlyv.se/tLA

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After enduring a four-game goal drought, Wayne Rooney finally broke through as England tied Ecuador in a friendly that got rather testy at times.
Jun 5, 11:08 AM

Answer to the Juve Trivia Question

ZlatanNedvedEmersonIgor Tudor

In response to the trivia question from Saturday/ Sunday (and these results are as official as I think I can make them), the four Juve players who featured in the World Cup Finals but were not in the final for Italy and France are:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
Pavel Nedved (Czech)
Emerson Da Rosa (Brazil)
Igor Tudor (Croatia)

Admittedly, the Tudor thing was a little tricky because he’s on loan at Siena. I didn’t have Appiah because he was sold to Fenerbahce in 2005.

Pre-Game Speechifying From The George And Dragon

lippi11.jpgAnd we are live from the line out front of The George And Dragon Pub in C@L’s charming Fremont neighborhood. I figured showing up at 8 am would at least get me a decent spot. Nope. The line was around the corner at 8:30, and is a complete disaster at this point. The regulars assure me that I’ll be able to see, though I’ll likely have to stand in the parking lot. Charming.

Anyhoo, I’m pretty excited for the game, and have been doing some cogitating about just how crazy it would be if the Azzurri won, given that most of these guys are going to have to change jobs in the next couple days (when they dismantle Italian soccer). If nothing else, this should provide ample fodder for Marcello Lippi to speechify prior to the game.

Signor Lippi, here’s how I would roll with it; feel free to substitute clichés as appropriate:

“Boys, this is the end of a long road. It goes without saying that we have worked very hard to get where we are. Many doubted us. Many thought that the recent unpleasantness [grumbles of laughter] back home would distract us. They thought we would crumble. Instead, it has only made us stronger.

In many ways, we don’t know what tomorrow will hold. Many of you will change clubs. Some may leave Italy.

But that is tomorrow.

For today, there is only one game. One game between you and your destiny. No matter what happens tomorrow, no matter what the politicians and judges say, no matter what the newspapers write, today is your chance to be a champion forever. To be remembered as the best team in the world. They can take away your clubs. They can try to shame and embarrass you. But they can never take away what you will do today. They can never take away what you will do on that pitch.

There is only today.”

(Okay, I’ll stop now. Also, the other people in line are looking at me funny.)

Secrets Of The Azzurri – White Stripes Connection Revealed!

A Seven Nation ArmyAs has been noted in this space many (comma many comma many) times before over the past couple weeks, we’ve become pretty obsessed with the Azzurri fans’ White Stripes chant. Essentially, they all chant the bass line of of “Seven Nation Army” in unison again and again.

I had no idea what the origin of the cheer was (this was the first time I’d heard it), so I did some sleuthing (and by “sleuthing” I mean I put “the white stripes italy soccer” in the search box). Turns out that it was something that the Italians nicked from a group of Belgian supporters a couple months ago, and which has since been adopted by the Roma fans, who in turn have shared it with the Azzurri.

See below a link to a lovely podcast explaining the whole thing, including some great audio clips (around the 1:55 mark) of what it sounds like in the stadium, as well as a clip of Totti trying to do the cheer.


Global Hit [theworld.org]

World Cup Final Trivia

For a limited time onlyA little bit of trivia ahead of tomorrow’s final. For the next few days at least (until the verdict comes down Monday morning), Juve will be able to boast that they own 12 players who were on World Cup Finals rosters. In case you were wondering, Arsenal have the most, with 15, followed by Chelsea with 14 and AC Milan with 13.

Remarkably, a full 8 of the 12 Juve players are on either the Italian or French rosters, 6 of whom should expect to start. The starters are Buffon, Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Thuram, Vieira, and Camoranesi, with Trezeguet and Del Piero not unlikely as subs. This is surely a very impressive feat for the Italian champions (and future denizens of Serie C); clubs with transfer budgets take note!

The trivia question: can you name the four (4) players owned by Juve who aren’t in the final? In in the interest of fairness, one is on loan with another club. The first one to answer correctly (and try not to cheat) will win an official F.C. Camena ringtone (.wav recording of me singing “So Are We Drinking” into my computer’s microphone).

Good luck!

Reversal Of Fandom, Or How I Learned To Stop Being A Hater And Love The Azzurri

Some tifosi from K-Town

I take it all back.

I’ve said some not-so-nice things about the Italian team and their fans over the past couple weeks:

For the avoidance of doubt, this Italian team was complete crap. Before minute 75 (when our guys completely ran out of gas), their offense consisted entirely of lobbing the ball towards Toni and Toni trying to fall down. I remain shocked the game didn’t end on a dubious penalty in the 89th minute. They’ll likely advance, but they will beat no one of consequence. There’s just no there there. June 19, 2006

That Italian team was a disgrace. Their supporters should be ashamed. June 17, 2006

And, this little charmer:

I will never root for an Italian team again. They were a disgrace, and I will cheer their eventual defeat at this tournament. June 21, 2006

So, to summarize, I was completely wrong about the Azzurri: they’ve beaten the most consequential team in the tournament, the hosts, and looked like anything but a disgrace in so doing. Admittedly, much of the above vitriol came out of the USA-Italia match in K-Town. I didn’t see Italy play Ghana, and missed their game against the Czech Republic as well. In retrospect, it appears that the USA game was the Italians’ worst effort of the tournament. They played without style or imagination, and seemed to do a lot of falling down. And I was steamed — I thought the USA deserved better that night. Also, this filthy Italian guy spat his blood at me.

So I was pissed.

And today, I take it all back. Not only do I appreciate how well this team has played, but I will be proud to root for them in the final. My reasons:

(1) The scandal back home: this deserves more words than I’m going to give it, but the fact that these guys have played this well in the face of the IMPENDING COLLAPSE OF ITALIAN FOOTBALL which will FORCE MOST OF THESE PLAYERS TO CHANGE TEAMS IN THE NEXT WEEK (Fire sale at Juve! Everything must go!) AND SEE FRIENDS SUFFER SERIOUS PENALTIES cannot be discounted. These guys had plenty of built-in excuses for trotting out a lousy performance (certainly a bunch more excuses than Brazil), and yet they’ve been focused in every match. Maybe the scandal back home was what they needed to come together as a team (insert appropriate cliche here).

(2) They have played against stereotypes: yes yes, everyone loves to give Italy grief for playing boring, defensive football. This team hasn’t skipped the defensive part — Fabio Cannavaro and Gigi Buffon have been spectacular, and the team has only conceded an own-goal against the US — while also managing to score a bunch of goals (11 total). Only Germany (13) have scored more — and they’ve had an extra game to do it. Even cooler: the 11 goals have come from 10 different players. They’ve managed to do this with a dodgy striker (LucaToni hasn’t been very impressive) and a hobbled playmaker (Totti). Against Germany, right when you expected Lippi to bring on defenders to try to lock the game down, he kept introducing strikers. Catenaccio? Not so much.

(3) We drew with them: a minor point for sure, but if the Azzurri win, the USA will have been the only team to get a result against them. Pitiful, I know, but it’s something.

(4) They did us all a favor and beat the hosts: the one thing I kept saying when I got back from the World Cup two weeks ago was how remarkable the home-field advantage actually is. After sampling the atmosphere at the tournament, it didn’t surprise me one bit that four European teams made the semits, or that a non-European team hasn’t won the tournament in Europe since 1958. France’s win in 1998 made a lot more sense. And, most of all, I was convinced it was going to be next to impossible to beat Germany — if only because of the power of the crowds. So when the Italian team hung on for 120 minutes against the hosts and had the courage to not only keep playing but win the game in the 118th minute, I was stunned. That took more than talent — that took courage and guts. The Azzurri had every opportunity to fold in that game, in the tournament’s loudest stadium (where Germany had never lost), but they kept fighting. They earned that game with every ounce of their souls. And that’s pretty compelling.

(5) The cool White Stripes thing: Daaaa-da-DA-da-dah-duuuuuh-duh. Daaaa-da-DA-da-dah-duuuuuh-duh. Seriously, I can’t get enough.

In conclusion, I’m pulling for the Azzurri. I am a hater no more. I gots no beef with France, but this Italian team has charmed me.

Forza Italia!

The Zissou In Team Zizou?

You're the Zissou in Team ZissouI’ll be honest, I had France crashing out in the Group Phase.

Despite the fact that the core of this French team had won two major trophies (The World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000), I couldn’t really get over their performance in the more recent championships. And when I saw that they were going to be trotting out the same-old-same-olds for this World Cup, well, it didn’t exactly inspire confidence.

Which, in retrospect, is a bit silly. I mean, it isn’t like Patrick Vieira, Claude Makalele and Thierry Henry aren’t among the best players in the world (with Henry making a pretty convincing case for being the best player in the world this past season). I had heard rumors about the Ribery guy, but didn’t really just how impressive he was. And I certainly didn’t expect Willy Sagnol to play like such a superhero. (Seriously, why aren’t more people talking about Sagnol? He owned, in succession, Roberto Carlos and Cristiano Ronaldo? What does he have to do?) Sure, Barthez/ Balles has been his usual erratic self (and probably has one more major blunder in him), but he’s gotten away with it so far.

Which all leads up to Zizou. This game tomorrow (as the media never tire of reminding us) is likely his last. While he probably isn’t the Zizou of 1998 (or even 2002), he’s still Zizou. The technical ability (fancy Euro term for his amazing ball skills) is completely ridiculous. And with Ribery out there, he doesn’t have to worry about running end to end. He can just quarterback the France offense from 30 yards out and do little tricks to make sure the ball finds its way to the right people. There were rumors that the French teams in 2002 and 2004 suffered from identity crises (other folks thought it was their time to be the big dog). Not so this time. Everyone’s deferring to Zidane, and it seems to be working perfectly. Most importantly, Zizou seems pretty intent on winning this tournament, which, if past data means anything, suggests that Italy will have their hands full tomorrow.

While We Were Gone…The Haters Came Out In Force!

The Ugly AmericansHello, hello. It’s been a while.

It hasn’t been that we haven’t been watching the footy (we have). More that we were on semi-vacations across the board (along with some staffers being semi-homeless) and we just haven’t had much idle time with football and our internet connections.

I suppose it says something about me as a soccer fan, and especially an American soccer fan, that it took a crap article by some semi-literate blowhard in the Philly papers to get me back on Camena. Sigh. Perhaps that’s a conversation for another time. I guess I was just so shocked to read something like this; I thought the whole Jim Rome “Soccer sucks” things was a bit passe.

I guess not.

In case you’re not inclined to click through, Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer argues that soccer is really boring on TV. He appears to argue for more stoppages and commercials (so he can get another beer and make wee-wee), and to contend that the fans sing because the action on the field is so boring (and this in Philadelphia, one of the few American sports cities lucky enough to have a sports song — “Fly, Eagles, Fly” — to sing!). And it wasn’t like he was dissing on half-assed MLS; this was a World Cup semifinal!

I know. I know. Probably just some WIP-ish bombast. I should know better than to be annoyed. But I couldn’t help myself. I sent him a flame mail. I really don’t care that he doesn’t enjoy the footy on TV, but it’s kind of awkward (for him) to actually publish thoughts like those. Makes him sound, what’s the word I’m looking for, “not terribly bright.”

Also, isn’t there an impending TO tell-all book that he should be covering? Get on that, would ya, Frank?

For the neophyte, soccer on TV can be a real trial [Philly.com]

Camena LIVE on Deadspin…

zamb.jpgSo it looks like the crew from Camena will be live-blogging the Italy – Ukraine match on Deadspin. We’ll be doing this on two coasts in the middle of the work day, involving a conference call, some instant messaging, my media center PC, ESPN360, the Movable Type web publishing interface, and a lot of shouting.

Honestly, we have no idea how it’s going to go, but I think it should be pretty fun. Also, it will afford the opportunity to talk funny about the Italians.

Come check us out.

Forza Camena!

Camena on Deadspin