Barça IKEA, complete with screws and spare parts

Have you ever assembled something from IKEA? It’s the easiest thing in the world, but it requires something of you: Shut off your brain. Anyone who says that IKEA stuff is difficult to assemble, is probably saying that because they are thinking about it, instead of just looking at the pictures and doing that. When… Continue reading Barça IKEA, complete with screws and spare parts

Transfer risk and reward, aka “Betting the horses”

A devoted tout heads for the horse racing track or betting parlor with a plan. He has his racing form, his booklets full of inside knowledge about horses and jockeys. His betting isn’t a risk. It’s science, and everything makes perfect sense. It is only the pile of losing tickets stuffed in the pockets of… Continue reading Transfer risk and reward, aka “Betting the horses”

Classic XI predictions, speculation and psychology

Here we go. Luis Enrique has a problem, best explained in a “this is you” hypothetical. You have a job, and you’re part of a team that has been working on a big account. The team leader went on a two-month medical leave, and you step in. The team has some early clunks, then begins… Continue reading Classic XI predictions, speculation and psychology

It isn’t fashion. It’s tradition.

The problem with the new Barça shirt isn’t that it’s ugly, it’s that it’s repugnant in all senses of the word. adjective: repugnant 1. extremely distasteful; unacceptable. “the thought of going back into the fog was repugnant to him” synonyms: abhorrent, revolting, repulsive, repellent, disgusting, offensive, objectionable, cringeworthy, vile, foul, nasty, loathsome, sickening, nauseating, hateful,… Continue reading It isn’t fashion. It’s tradition.

What’s our hurry, aka “What does a “Barça midfielder” look like?”

Harold Miner. Now only the most die-hard fan of American basketball will remember that name. He blasted into the National Basketball Association carrying the nickname “Baby Jordan,” after the already-iconic Michael Jordan. His NBA career lasted 4 years. A comment in the last thread noted that Ivan Rakitic, for the commenter, has for the past… Continue reading What’s our hurry, aka “What does a “Barça midfielder” look like?”

Understanding Pedro, aka “Achievement through effort”

Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma is an odd one. Few players have been so liked by his coaches, yet so reviled by so many supporters while being misunderstood by those same supporters. Some of that is because Pedro defies traditional metrics, those objective evaluators of a player’s performance. He’s the kind of player who would require the… Continue reading Understanding Pedro, aka “Achievement through effort”

Is the “black hand” at Barça wearing blaugrana?

It’s the “black hand.” When in doubt, calling upon a conspiracy can be effective. Conspiracies are quite useful because they can’t be disproved. Even if nothing happened, believers can still say “Well, we just don’t know that something didn’t happen.” It’s what makes them so effective. Conspiracy theories have something for everyone, and everyone will… Continue reading Is the “black hand” at Barça wearing blaugrana?

CAS appeal denied, so now what, aka “No shopping for you!”

To start, there’s this: I don’t care about the transfer ban. Sorry, but I don’t. I can’t get mad about it, I won’t stomp my feet and talk about how heads must roll, junta dimissio etc, etc, ad infinitum. It’s because this board has been on bad paper with me since it took office and… Continue reading CAS appeal denied, so now what, aka “No shopping for you!”

Enrique and life on the fringe, aka “Stuff is happening, but why?”

The challenge of holding a minority opinion is whether it stands up to the litmus test of logic. A popular worldview, supported by many an intelligent football chronicling voice, is that Barça under Luis Enrique is a team that is losing its identity. The latest piece, and an excellent one from Sid Lowe, makes the… Continue reading Enrique and life on the fringe, aka “Stuff is happening, but why?”

Standards and ghosts, aka “Barça and the 1985 Chicago Bears”

The 1985 Chicago Bears won a Super Bowl, the hyperbolically monikered championship of American football, a Roman-numeraled event that was an extraordinary thing. The Bears had style, the Bears had swagger. The Bears had a long-suffering group of supporters, who braved weather that would make even hardy souls giggle at the notion of sitting around… Continue reading Standards and ghosts, aka “Barça and the 1985 Chicago Bears”

A Classic preview, aka “Great men don’t always make history”

If great men decide history, the effect of lesser men in steering history is often overlooked. Saturday’s Classic boasts two of the greatest footballers in history, facing off on opposite sides. As the notion of great men and their writing a script for an extraordinary event goes, you couldn’t ask for a better moment in… Continue reading A Classic preview, aka “Great men don’t always make history”