Author: SoccerMom

SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.

November 27, 2010 / / Barcelona

[The following first appeared as a comment from SoccerMom in a long-ago BFB post. Since then, readers have requested repostings on various occasions. Well, kids, the Clásico might come late this year, but Santa’s arrived early!

This reprint is dedicated to our visiting Madriles, who have not been treated with the  courtesy and respect on which the BFB community prides itself. Although the post is dated, my estimation of Moudrid has not depreciated. RM is playing at the top of its game recently —  a game that relies on stalwart goalkeeping, physical defense, long midfield passes, quick counterattacks and psychological domination. The fact that the depth of your squad as well as your pockets makes your strategies cheap, your pace of play boring, your star striker delusional and your coach sociopathic — these are all personal opinions, and do not reflect those of other editors and/or the blog in general.

Feliç Clàssic, SoMa]

November 22, 2010 / / Barcelona

So you think you know the Clásico

But how far back, in fact, does the rivalry go?

How about cerca 1200 anno domino?

There’s an interesting bit in old Spanish epico

That later would star Chuck and Sophia (that’s Loren, not Coppol-0)

So if you’re just killing time in the Stadio Olimpiako

Read El Poema del mío Cid, Cantar Uno

Tiradas 55 to 58 or so. (Below!)*

November 4, 2010 / / Barcelona

Previously, we considered how Special Soccer Coach José Mourinho (as quoted in Madrid’s El País, the London Observer, The Daily Telegraph and the BBC — that rag!) shows a certain philosophical affiliation with fifteenth-century political strategist Niccolò Machiavelli and his masterpiece, The Prince.

This week, we analyze La Liga’s other Míster J., Pep Guardiola, as football’s philosophical heir to seventeenth-century Jesuit Baltasar Gracián, whose Art of Worldly Wisdom contains a treasure of maxims for the would-be nobleman in ignoble times.

October 25, 2010 / / Barcelona


Part I: The Prince

The first in a two-part series intended to illuminate the philosophy of football as practiced by La Liga’s premiere Josés, ‘MouMou’ Mourinho of Real Madrid and ‘Pep’ Guardiola of FC Barcelona, and thereby edumacate fans worldwide on the sport of soccer, the art of coaching and Renaissance and Golden Age speculum texts.

Today we consider MouMou and Niccolò Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ (c. 1513), a treatise  inspired by Ferdinand I of Aragón and dedicated to the great Lorenzo de Medici of Florence.

October 18, 2010 / / Barcelona

Curiosport reports that French journalist Besma Lahouri may have uncovered the motive which led former Real Madrid player and French national Zinedine Zidane to head-butt Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final. According to Lahouri, the Gallic soccer star had argued with his wife earlier that morning and spent the day quite upset. “In fact,” he reports, “Zidane wasn’t even wearing his wedding ring during the game, as he usually does.” (yahoo.es 10/15/2010)

October 6, 2010 / / Barcelona

[There is a lot to take away from Saturday’s match. Leo’s recovery. Mascherano’s quality. Xavi’s absence and Iniesta’s ability. Tiki-taka, shaka-laka. A draw for us and a goleada for Them. But what I loved about Saturday was the opportunity to spend quality time with DooPhil and RayRay, GolTV’s star commentators, who always bring that little extra something … what is it? good-natured idiocy? hyperbolic lunacy? … to my television viewing experience. Their give-and-take is kind of like tiki-taka in Jell-O pudding: a little soft, a little squishy and a little hard not to enjoy in spite of yourself. So here, in honor of our GolGuys, a post. – Ed.]

September 16, 2010 / / Barcelona

Another autumnal weekend is upon us. What do CheeseHeads do for Fall Fun on a September morn? Well, CityFolk, I enlighten you. We go for rides in the countryside! And now that someone mentioned [certain EPL team–Ed.] and someone else mentioned [certain EPL team– Ed.] yesterday, put down your bangers and masch and come with me, your SoMa, to savor some local flavor. Let’s cesc it out!

Welcome to Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, the Troll Capital of the World (what an empty life)! Located in southern Wisconsin (can any other reader imagine what that feels like?), Mount Horeb is the destination of choice for travelers from all over the world, throwing their weight around, saying and doing whatever they like with no regard for who is actually effected. The area features several one-of-a-kind fundamentally stupid attractions that are sure to be of disgraceful interest and shameful adventure!

September 6, 2010 / / Barcelona

Pep Guardiola may not exist as you think he does. If you thought he existed as the head coach of FC Barcelona, you got another think coming. For on August 29, Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaped from the club baths, draped a towel toga-style round his Greek-statuesque midsection, raised his Roman-aquiline nose to the heavens, smacked his head and cried, ‘Eureka! before running out to the media multitudes and declaring: ‘Guardiola is not a coach, but a philosopher’ [1]. But what sort of philosopher is Pep, a.k.a. Josephus Guardiolus (b. 1971 AD)?

August 23, 2010 / / SuperCopa

The least-crappy thing about a crappy TVE feed is the lack of sound editing. So even on an even-crappier VHS tape (yes, you read that right, Millenials!), one heard tot el Camp corear their beloved champions/ campeones/ campions: Val-dés … Pu-yol … Pi-qué … Bus-quets … Xa-vi … Pe-dro!… and, later on, In-iesta … Vi-lla … who makes the best team in La Liga, and how much of whom makes the best team in the World. The afición showered affection on internationals, too: banners for a benched Ibra; a warm welcome for Adriano; and an hours-long hands-down homage to Messi at his most messianic. Everybody on the pitch pitched in, except for maybe Víctor, who had little else to do but point skyward every once in a while, as if to remind somebody that he was there, rockin’ the 80s tiger sleeves. But in a spirited game that lifted all our spirits, the SoMa Spirit Prize goes to My Man Dan.

August 18, 2010 / / Barcelona

About seven hundred years ago, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ did not refer to a Pat’n’Vanna megasquirt of game-show CheezWhiz (am I the only one here old enough to remember when you had to buy the ceramic dog?), but an oversized accessory for the hippest gal in the galaxy. Her name was Fortuna, and she dangled men from her wrist like a giant charm bracelet, turning them round to glint in the sun or to tumble into shade. When you’re down, there’s nowhere to go but up, and if you’re up, well, don’t look down. Who’s in, who’s out, who’s hot, who’s not … it’s the September Issue. Let’s see who’s taken a ride on Fortuna’s wild Wheel this summer.

July 28, 2010 / / Barcelona

With all the buzz ‘bout who’s coming, it’s easy to dismiss who’s going. Who’s coming generates excitement: He’s only 14 years old! He scored 8,973 goals for the youth squad! Imagine what will happen when he plays alongside him! And HIM! And HIM!

The goings, meanwhile, read like rejections from an on-line dating service: He’s too old. He has no style. He doesn’t get out enough. He didn’t live up to his profile.

But the goings give me, oh, what would Pep call it? Ah, I know. A fee-leen.