July 2, 2014 / / Analysis
Waka, waka — oh wait.

So, I was thinking of what to do during the World Cup and settled on a kind of predictions game. It’ll be too complicated if it was done game by game so my twitter followers kindly narrowed it down to a couple of simple questions, or for those who find it easier and/or more familiar – a kind of March Madness style bracket. I’ll detail both ways below.

Read MoreThe World Cup Predictions Pool Game Thing

July 2, 2014 / / Analysis

atmbusi

These are tough times. Poor babies that we are, we have to suffer through a team that finished second in the Liga, in it until the final match, made the Copa final and Champions League quarterfinals. In a sport in which a two-year cycle is extraordinary, our team has been at or near the top since 2008. Six years.

The club has been, and is under assault from every direction from media to its own supporters and people who have been lined up, waiting for Barça to fall as “I told you so” rings throughout the halls of the Camp Nou, shrieks from the fronts of newspapers and websites, a conga line of people who are lining up to kick dirt on the face of the prom king.

So this post is going to start and end saying what I think every last culer needs to say, right here and right now: Gracies, equip. Thank you for the fun, the joy and tears, taking kicks and various fouls, scoring goals and making the effort to do the colors that we love proud. Thank you for everything.
Read MoreGracies, Equip, aka “Thank you so much for being superhuman”

July 2, 2014 / / La Liga

Cesc

Value:
noun
1. the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
verb
1. estimate the monetary worth of (something).

Value is a fun notion to contemplate. I like to think of it as two cars that passed through my possession. One was a big ol’ red sedan that looked really cool, but had … erm … mechanical complexities. It stranded me once, and I drove from the mechanic’s about a half-mile to the local Subaru dealer to trade that thing the hell in. Didn’t get max value, but part of that value was in having that thing GONE.

The other car, a hotted-up Subaru, I sold for something around 2k over its value, a price I could demand and hold out for because really, I didn’t want to sell it. It was one of those, “If you want to give me this much for it, okay.” And someone did.

Which brings us to players, transfers and in particular, Cesc Fabregas.
Read MoreThe value of something worthless, aka “The Cesc Fabregas saga continues”

July 2, 2014 / / Barcelona
July 2, 2014 / / International Friendlies


Immense thanks to Allas for the Sanchez video.

Alexis Sanchez is ready.
Alexis Sanchez is a problem.
Neymar will be something if he ever learns how to play the Barça way.
Alex Song was a waste of money, and isn’t anything approximating Barça quality.

A quartet of interesting statements that raises a complex matter with its roots in a notion that some American sports sides (particularly NFL teams) subscribe to, which is to pick the best available athlete. The thinking is that you can train a player to play a position, but you can’t train ability and talent. So you draft a speedy cornerback, and figure you can train him to run pass routes and play wide receiver.

In the footballing world, are we seeing its contemporary in the “difficulties” that three players, Sanchez, Neymar and Song, are having in the blaugrana?
Read MoreThe “best available athlete” dilemma, aka “Hammering nails with a banana”

July 2, 2014 / / Barcelona
July 2, 2014 / / Match comments post
July 2, 2014 / / Barcelona
July 2, 2014 / / Barcelona
July 2, 2014 / / Barcelona

imagesAn American soccer fan lives a lonely life. It’s not as if Americans didn’t love them some organized sports. I live in a town, for instance, where middle-aged people ask perfect strangers to “teach them how to Bucky.” Prosperous landowners paint their barns kelly green and yellow. And it’s not as if my neighbors were provincial yahoos. Why, they travel all the way to Milwaukee to see the Brewers, and enjoy bier, wurst, and fromage, preferrably al fresco in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot. Read MoreWorld Cup Rules! Part I: The Wingman

July 1, 2014 / / World Cup

barcelona-trivia-fans

Prepare for 2014/15 with the Best Barca Apps

The World Cup was a tumultuous time for Barcelona fans. Spain exited the tournament after losing two games with only a nonsensical 3-0 win over Australia being the only high point. We didn’t get to see the brilliance of Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets and Alba in the light we expected to. But they weren’t the major disappointments of the tournament.

Initiating the signing of Luis Saurez was meant to be a wondrous occasion but then came that ill fated moment with Chiellini – a moment that will be remembered by all football fans across the globe. Unfortunately or fortunately for Barca fans, this somewhat helped push through his transfer to Spain and although this moment marred his World Cup, we did however get to see him single handedly demolish England – showing the world that he truly belongs among the world’s elite.

Read MoreForget Last Season and the World Cup, 2014/15 will be Barca’s Season