October 16, 2009 / / La Liga

Liga Preview: Valencia – Barça, Saturday 4pmEST, GolTV

A return to the Mestalla brings with it Phil and RayRay and the hyperbole without which many of us could not survive. Also, it brings us back to La Liga, which, thankfully, is going to dominate my life for while and get the pesky memories of World Cup qualifiers out of there. I like the World Cup itself, but give me continuous Barça any day over trivial international fair like “win or go home” European qualifiers. And yes, I stayed up to watch several matches this time around. Shush.

Today is the 5th anniversary of one Lionel Messi’s league debut with the first team. He came on for the final 8 minutes against Espanyol on October 16, 2004, and though he didn’t score the above goal until May 1, 2005 against Albacete, you knew big things were in store for this little guy. Little guy is relative, of course. We can expect a lot more out of Messi against Valencia this weekend, I would think, than we did in that match oh so long ago. Thanks for the memories so far, Leo, and let’s hope they keep on coming.

The title of this post explained, after the jump. Read MoreA Strength of Feet: Valencia – Barça

October 15, 2009 / / Team News
Paarl, South Africa
Paarl, South Africa

The international break is long and boring for most of us Barça fans, especially if we don’t have a dog in that World Cup race (as a USMNT fan, we squared away against Honduras on Saturday). If you were an Argentina fan, you were probably glued to your TV for most of last night while Maradona attempted to lose whatever dignity he had left*, but otherwise, there was this little ditty from the Honduran radio announcers (which warmed my heart), but that was it. Other than, of course, hoping our boys were fine. Read MoreNews of the Day – October 15, 2009

October 15, 2009 / / Nonsense
October 14, 2009 / / Match comments post
October 13, 2009 / / Thoughts
This makes me want to get Adium
This makes me want to get Adium

This is a personal follow-up to Kevin’s previous discussion of fandom. I am, if nothing else, a work in progress. Or at least I like to think so. It’s comforting, in a way, to know that in 5 years I’ll be in a completely different mental place, with a different life and a different set of values. And just like me as a whole, I think my fandom is constantly in motion, constantly absorbing new experiences into the totality of all that has come before it.

The whole, I hope, is greater than the sum of its parts, but that’s not for me to judge. What I can do, however, is share those moments that, for me, are treasured deep inside. I’m sentimental too, in case you hadn’t noticed—I love the club and the memories and can often sit for hours reminiscing about this or that match, much to my lady’s consternation, I can assure you. Read MoreI am Culé: A Few Fond Memories

October 12, 2009 / / Statistics

oyvey

I previously wrote about La Liga’s head-to-head tiebreaker system and found myself attacking the league’s system. Then I started thinking about all the various things that make a league what it is: the format, the structure, etc. Then I started thinking about how that compares to other leagues around the world, both within the footballing world and in other sports as well. In researching this, I came up with potentially more questions than answers, but I think they are valid questions and comparisons that need to be made if we’re to understand, in the end, La Liga from the ground up. Read MoreLessons From the West: Parity

October 11, 2009 / / Thoughts
Tot el camp! (Clap! Clap! Clap!) Es un clam! (Clap! Clap! Clap!)
Tot el camp! (Clap! Clap! Clap!) Es un clam! (Clap! Clap! Clap!)

Have you seen the FC Barcelona home pitch from this vantage point? Shame on you, scoff some people. Have you seen the Camp Nou from any vantage point? Double shame on you, say some people. How can you be a fan if you haven’t even been to a match?

But I’m calling nonsense on that one. Pure, unadulterated bovine bollocks.
Read MoreWhat it means to be a fan, a.k.a. “Camp Nou, here I come …. NOT!”

October 11, 2009 / / Injuries
Aw, man! Not again!
Aw, man! Not again!

I can’t sleep, so rather than vexing my damsel with my tossing and turning, why not bang out a news report, in the wake of a busy day of World Cup qualifiers.

And guess who got whacked in the Spain/Armenia match? You guessed it; Andres Iniesta, the guy who must have gotten Gabi Milito’s injury luck. He took a whack to the exact same area that was already injured thrice over, and recovering very nicely, until Del Bosque decided “Hey, let’s see if I can totally hose over Barcelona’s chances for a successful season. If I can get their guys hurt, they’ll be available for training camp and stuff, all nice and early. Bet.”
Read MoreThe Morning News, wakey-wakey edition

October 10, 2009 / / Match comments post
October 9, 2009 / / Barcelona

It’s been a slow day of news today in terms of quantity but thankfully not quality; especially when quality is defined as this Cristiano Ronaldo Superstar video. What do you think, ladies? Is Crynaldo the new Julio Iglesias (who ironically was once actually a Real Madrid cantera goal keeper)? Meanwhile the guys can just enjoy Sara Carbonero, the awesome sports anchor with excellent taste in men who broke Iker Casillas’ heart by totally blowing him off according to the gossip magazines that I never ever read. She is obviously saving herself for Iniesta in the vain hope that he dumps his girlfriend.

Seriously, I could just post this video and call it a day but I won’t. More after the jump.

Read MoreNews of the Day (October 9) Crynaldo Superstar Edition

October 9, 2009 / / Copa del Rey
October 8, 2009 / / Kevin Rating Synthesis

MushroomKingdomNeedsBodyguards

As most of you are aware, there’s this guy named Kevin that does the reviews for this here website. And some of you smart readers are even aware that during those reviews, he rates the players in each match. What you probably aren’t aware of is that there’s a bookish nerdboy collecting those ratings and putting them through the ringer and come up with averages, medians, and some analysis. That Peter Parker-esque science geek is, of course, me.

Each week I feed the numbers into my number crunching machine, carefully calibrated to understand exactly the emotions involved in these integers. The machine is, of course Excel. And it does fairly simple mathematical operations. Read MoreKevin Rating Synthesis