December 27, 2013 / / Analysis
December 25, 2013 / / Analysis

messhurt

It isn’t the exact midway point of the season, but it’s close enough where we can start to examine some things, look forward and look back with anger, sadness, happiness and any other emotion you can think of.

Healing Messi

Obviously, the most dominant thing this season has been Broken Messi. He first picked up the injury against Paris St.-Germain on their potato field last season, re-aggravated it, then re-re aggravated it. Finally, it tweaked a good one, and Messi took 8 weeks off to rehab a hamstring that didn’t take 8 weeks to heal. So what the hell?
Read MoreBarça at halfway, aka “Making sense of seeming craziness”

December 22, 2013 / / Barcelona
December 17, 2013 / / Barcelona
December 16, 2013 / / Barcelona
December 14, 2013 / / Barcelona
December 9, 2013 / / Soap Box

Thiagopep

Just had an interesting discussion on Twitter that, of course, became the seed for a post, on the ones that got away and the reactions of supporters.

These days, no word can spark a spirited discussion like “Thiago.” Culers are never on the fence with this one, be it that Vilanova and the board cast him to the waves in a little papyrus basket, or he’s a little ingrate. After all the club did for him … .

There are many ways to look at the situation, but let’s take a broader view, for all the exes out there.
Read MoreOnes that got away, aka “I love him so much! How can he DO that to me!?”

December 7, 2013 / / Book Reviews

book

Joan Gaspart: “Barcelona is the defense of a country, a language, a culture.”

Okay, I’ll buy that. But you know what? I’m not Catalan, and I HATE Real Madrid. At my first Camp Nou Classic, I almost fell over the rail in a froth-mouthed rage. A complete stranger supported me at the waistband as I leaned over to spit invective.

After finishing Guardian journalist and Spanish football authority Sid Lowe’s “Fear and Loathing in La Liga,” I don’t hate them any less, even as I understand them a lot more, because Lowe makes it all make sense.

Jorge Valdano describes the Classic as “a club versus more than a club.” But, it should be added, not in the “mes que un” slogan sense. Barça means more than a successful team to culers and Catalans.

And if familiarity can breed contempt, so too can similarity. Because in so many ways, Barça and RM have parallels galore, as well as differences that are in fact similarities. That this is to be an unusual book is apparent early on, when Lowe takes on the myth of “Franco’s team,” and continues with a messy historical merging.

— The Catalans supply more Spain NT players.
— Barça was founded by a Swiss businessman.
— RM was founded by two Catalan brothers.
Read MoreFear and Loathing in La Liga, a review, aka “It has been forever thus.”

December 1, 2013 / / Barcelona
November 28, 2013 / / Barcelona
November 26, 2013 / / Champions League
November 25, 2013 / / Analysis