Monday, July 11, 2011

As Promised

So it'll turn out that this post is mostly about pics. But that's okay. I have a few things to say about the futbols, then on to the travel.

DCU: Fullback, with whom I tend to agree about football and tactics, and BFF, with whom I do not. In this case...well, I'm not entirely enamored of either of their primary thrusts. BFF thinks that the solution to our problems is to play our defensive line higher and engage the opposition strikers farther from our goal. I do not believe that our defensive line has the requisite skill to do so. Fullback has a complex theory about why Clyde Simms, who is worn threadbare, does better with two holding mids. Since I think that 4-2-3-1 sucks ass unless you're Barcelona and 4-2-2-2 sucks worse when you're a bunch of hailmary assclowns tryiing to play a possession game until you get panicked, I do not entirely agree, and I think that the solution is to get a holding mid who isn't as fucking worn out and used up as Clyde (who is a saint and a proud part of our tradition), and play the 4-4-2 diamond. Fullback is unhappy with the space that creates in our midfield. Or maybe the places the space is created.

Me? I'm gonna position as the simpleton on this one. I like goals. I like attacking. I like people who run after the fucking ball. I like passes toward the opposition goal. I like balls that have direction and intent and get to where they're supposed to go unless someone really, really smart and quick cuts them out. And whatever conclusions we draw from beating the fucking Redscum 1-0 in their park with me there, I like that. A lot.

Futbol pics (photography by Ilse):

Click to actually see Barra up in their corner. We lucked into a better deal through an accident of birth.

Postgame. See a ginger midget, knock his punk ass down. Now more than ever.
World Cup: We had the suboptimal experience of having to try to follow the US-Brazil game on the Web while riding on a train. It is not easy to figure out what happened on an own goal from ESPN's gamecast thingie. It's fairly easy to get a sense of how awful officiating is; on the other, as others have pointed out, despite the maybe-or-not red-card foul on Buehler (who I detest as a choice for starting center back, a perfect example of absolutely having to set aside my own biases and trust in Pia Sundhage, just because1), the no-fucking-way-in-Hell PK retake (FIFA is way tangled in its own jock on this one, with no on-field indication of what happened, a technical but essentially incidental and likely immaterial encroachment coupled with a lameass explanation that what very clearly didn't happen was in fact the basis of the call), the offsides goal, and the uncalled handball on Daiane--who would've been gone--we got one of our own in that Carli Lloyd (who would've been gone) was allowed to continue playing after an uncalled handball. There are schools of thought that all officiating sucks, that women have less experience, that it all evened out, that the imposition of women officials on the WWC results in too much ineptitude, and that no one can officiate alone in the center because the game's too fast. They're all full of shit, in their own ways, and true in their own other ways. I'm glad we can have the discussion in the context of a U.S. win, instead of a loss that would've been badly tainted.

BFF goes on a gender equality tear--the Brazilian women are every bit as filthy as the men. The commentariat at LGM thinks he's a racist (seriously, read it--fucking hilarious levels of gasbaggery). I think...damn, I really do love Marta, I've had the pleasure of watching her up close a number of times, and she's really fucking amazing. She's also wonderful to the fans, the grownups, the kids, the Americans, the Brazilians. I've seen rent-a-cops decide that they had to drag her away from returning the love as she kicked and twisted and tried to sign one more autograph, to light herself up for one more little girl in soccer kit on a fucking weeknight at a fucking high school stadium in the fucking burbs. I've seen her do magic, I've seen her do violence, I've seen her make the Earth move clean and dirty. I've seen her kill two soccer teams, and the one I haven't seen her kill is in fucking Buffalo. She's fucking fascinating, just an absolute marvel of humanity. I have never seen another player like her, full stop.

I think BFF is right like this: you put young athletes on the field for high stakes, emotional or financial or otherwise, and they get passionate and competitive. It's what sport is about. He and I both bitch mightily when we don't see the passion we expect. I've done it in this post, in fact. I think Marta is a brilliantly competitive athlete, and past that...I'm not sure analysis of what happened on Sunday is meaningful. Set it against Abby Wambach--also an incredibly nice young person with whom I've spoken casually, who I've seen happy and angry and competitive and richly giving of herself to her fans--same deal, different language, different flavors, but same deal.

Would I feel differently if we'd lost? Yeah. I'm a jackass that way. I can live with it.

New York, New York: This restaurant. Yum. This park is real spiff, an outstanding example of urban design and development and reuse and rescue and livability. This museum, which may not do a hell of a lot for you, but, y'know, boys and toys and all that shit. Pics, you say? Sure, why the fuck not?

Walking down the High Line. I took this one, which is why it sucks.

Undeveloped portion of the elevated tracks at the 30th Street end of the High Line (to be developed into more High Line in the future).

Cityscape from the High Line

Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, from the High Line.

Things that catch Landru's eye. I took this one, too.

Awesome World War I propaganda from the Intrepid Museum's exhibit on women and the home front.

1 Becky Sauerbrunn and Cat Whitehill, to name two, and I have good reason to bet that Cat Whitehill has no fucking earthly idea why Pia Sundhage seemingly hates her guts. Hell, Amy Lepeilbet, who's a conversion at left back, while Sauerbrunn plays it like a natural whether or not she is. But...Pia coach. Me? Moron former JV (and fourth-string varsity) keeper with keyboard. Roll your own conclusion.


Sasha said...

Just need to point out that all LGM is not the same. It was Brockington, not someone more ... sensible. And OMG that poster is amazing. Must. Have. One.

(All of that officiating bloviating is crap. Ice hockey is fast. Officiating is from excellent to execrable. If futbol can't be officiated as is, add a ref for fuck's sake.)

Jim H. said...

Funny thing about futbol reffing: when it's spot on, there's just nothing to be said. When not, game on.

Man, you and Marta get a room, dude! Fact is, tho', you're right. When Wisdaughter was big into soccer (ages 4-16), we got to see alot of the ATL Beat. Those gals (both sides)) would stay and sign 'graphs for those wide-eyed, idolizing girls till the field turned out the lights and the cops ran everybody out. It was the GREAT thing about the games and the girls. I loved them all, even the ones we hated when they dived, tripped, bitched, and moaned. They love their sport and they want to pass that love on. Still, what Erika did was abominable.

Landru said...

No, the room is for me and Heather Mitts Feeley, just as soon as I get her husband sent to quarterback Hell. Although I'm also very fond of Wendy Renard and Louisa Necib (France).

What Erika did was both abominable and totally normal, and for once, the futbol gods did justice. That game ended the only way it could've ended, but hindsight's easy, right?

Cat plays for the Beat now. I'm happy for her. She's a nice person, if a UNC grad and a bit too Jesusy for my personal taste in friends.

Landru said...

Oh, and welcome to the right margin, Jim. Been meaning to get to it for some time now, because while your thing is often more literary than my usual run of taste, I can mostly digest it, unlike a lot of the deep thought that passes for deep thought among our chums at that place where we met. Not that I love them any less.

Sasha, I also forgot to respond to you earlier: each of the LGMers has his flaws, and SEK is nuffin' but flawed. That doesn't make them a non-entertaining read, even Kaufman, sometimes.

And I was whomping on the commentariat, not Brockington (who is, in fact, mostly a prat, yes).

You're coming over for Databoy's birthday tomorrow, right? It's a treat, baby, the She-Nurse of the SS is in town!

Gothmog said...

I saw Heather Mitts play when she was a teenager, twice a year. Those were the days.