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Date Title Body
07/16/2018 - 3:43pm The problem is that we don't…

The problem is that we don't really understand how to form elite soccer players in this country.  

We have plenty of kids that want to play, and they are athletic enough.  But the coaching model we use for other sports doesn't work for soccer.  You can pick up basketball at 13-14 and become awesome, but for soccer you've got to start really early, and thoroughly develop your skills at a young age.  

Like with birds learning to sing, learning to be really skilled with your feet needs to be accomplished during a critical period.  If you miss that period, you can't become a world-class player.  In Europe, the top players all join the youth sections of pro clubs when they're really young.  We're not quite comfortable with that idea here, and it's a handicap.

07/15/2018 - 10:18pm Ha, "grêle" means hail that…

Ha, "grêle" means hail that falls from the sky.

I think you would say "Vive" for the closest equivalent (as in "Vive la France").

07/15/2018 - 2:19pm I'm happy with the result…

I'm happy with the result but it's always a little sad to see the World Cup end - it's such a fun global festival.  And this will be the last one in the summer until 2026 . . . ugh.

All politics aside, it looks like Russia ended up being a solid host country.  There were a lot of pre-tournament fears about logistics, hooliganism and racism, but it seems (as far as I can tell) that they pulled it off.  Now, Qatar?

 

07/15/2018 - 12:31pm That's sports, man . . . you…

That's sports, man . . . you've got to capitalize when you have a chance.  

 

07/15/2018 - 12:22pm Ha, I've really got to stop…

Ha, I've really got to stop criticizing Deschamps...

07/15/2018 - 12:13pm Wow, I don't know about that…

Wow, I don't know about that substitution.  I guess it's because of the yellow card but he's been arguably France's best player.

07/15/2018 - 12:04pm Frankly, I'm not a fan of  …

Frankly, I'm not a fan of  "The Star-Spangled Banner" - it's a odd tune, very difficult to sing.

I like the music of "God Bless America" better, although I understand why it wouldn't be the anthem due to the religious references. 

07/15/2018 - 11:57am That half was the Deschamps…

That half was the Deschamps era for France in a nutshell.  You watch and think they have far too much talent to look this lethargic and passive.  But they're ahead...

 

 

07/13/2018 - 12:54pm Yeah, but Isner's been known…

Yeah, but Isner's been known for playing rather long matches at Wimbledon.

07/13/2018 - 12:49pm What else is wrong with it? …

What else is wrong with it? 

You do know that South Africa abolished apartheid a quarter-century ago?

 

07/13/2018 - 12:45pm Besides editing posts, being…

Besides editing posts, being able to clearly identify new posts would be very nice.

07/12/2018 - 11:17am Yeah, they've got to stick…

Yeah, they've got to stick with their regular colors.  

07/11/2018 - 6:02pm Well, as I've been cheering…

Well, as I've been cheering for France I feel pretty good about this whole setup, having an extra day of rest before a Croatia team that's actually played 90 more minutes of soccer (plus two penalty shootouts) than France has.  But two years ago it was basically the same thing against Portugal.  Some teams are just Dracula-esque.

 

07/11/2018 - 5:58pm The World Cup was founded by…

The World Cup was founded by a Frenchman (Jules Rimet), so maybe not...

07/11/2018 - 10:45am Neymar reportedly is unhappy…

Neymar reportedly is unhappy in Paris, which might make him available.  I can't see PSG's super-rich ownership letting Mbappé go - he's not only an emerging megastar, he's a local kid.  If France wins it all they'd be insane to give him up.

07/10/2018 - 11:08pm I don't know about Mbappé…

I don't know about Mbappé but they might well get Neymar.

07/10/2018 - 11:06pm I think the back four has…

I think the back four has been more of a question mark than Lloris, specifically the two lateral spots.  Pavard (who is normally a CB) and Hernandez only became starters there at the beginning of this tournament.  

07/10/2018 - 7:29pm The English fanbase probably…

The English fanbase probably has plenty of fine people, but it does contain two loathsome subgroups:

1) The hooligans.  (Not as bad as a generation ago, but still out there.)

2) The "We invented this game, so we deserve it more than you" faction.  Insufferable.

 

07/10/2018 - 7:25pm As a fan of the French team…

As a fan of the French team I've often found myself scratching my head at what Didier Deschamps is trying to do, and feeling like the team is not as good as the sum of its parts.

But the guy wins.  

07/05/2018 - 8:00pm The problem with buildings…

The problem with buildings getting approved is that they are for expensive condos/suites that do nothing for affordability. In fact, I wonder if they help drive the prices higher. 

Building more supply, no matter how expensive, shouldn't drive up overall housing costs.  The biggest driver of housing costs is scarce supply.  Run-down houses in Silicon Valley sell for seven figures because people are desperate for any kind of housing they can get.

That said, housing costs can increase when an insufficient amount of supply is created.  If the market demands 800 new units and only 200 are built, housing prices may increase - but it's not because of the 200 new units, it's because the market needed 600 more.

07/03/2018 - 4:41pm I thought that was actually…

I thought that was actually a fairly interesting extra-time session, as these things go.  A lot better than the last 30 minutes of regulation which was a foul-and-dive fest.

 

07/03/2018 - 3:40pm Both of these teams are…

Both of these teams are irritating.  Colombia is dirty and England is diving like crazy.

07/03/2018 - 1:56pm All English people are…

All English people are British, though.  And Scots/Welsh of a nationalist streak don't like being called British anyway.

07/02/2018 - 12:27pm I think a more workable…

I think a more workable solution would be to advocate term limits for Justices.  If Justices served, say, 10 years, with a predictable end to their term, it wouldn't be quite so apocalyptic every time one left.

 

07/02/2018 - 12:18pm Yeah. I don't fault him for…

Yeah. I don't fault him for wanting to go to a better team (and leaving Cleveland in general) but it waters down his legacy a bit IMO when he goes chasing after a ring elsewhere again.  I like to see guys ride it out in one city.

 

 

07/01/2018 - 4:45pm I know penalty shootouts are…

I know penalty shootouts are unfair and random and everything, but for neutrals, they are awesome drama.

07/01/2018 - 4:32pm Great goalkeeping is always…

Great goalkeeping is always fun to watch.  What a boss.

07/01/2018 - 4:27pm Wow!  

Wow!  

07/01/2018 - 4:11pm Yeah.  Some handball…

Yeah.  Some handball penalties are marginal, but this play one may have prevented a goal from being scored - the header looked to be on target.

 

07/01/2018 - 3:17pm Yeah, I don't get the need…

Yeah, I don't get the need for American soccer fans to try to sound British when they talk about the game.

 

07/01/2018 - 2:52pm This sums up their…

This sums up their performance today.

 

 

07/01/2018 - 2:05pm Holy cow, what a start to…

Holy cow, what a start to this game!

07/01/2018 - 2:04pm Your new favorite player's…

Your new favorite player's name is actually Kylian...

 

 

07/01/2018 - 1:29pm And that even sells it short…

And that even sells it short.  The biggest upset on paper (South Africa over France in '10) is deceptive - it was the last group game and France benched all the guys who had led the "strike" against the coach.

 

07/01/2018 - 1:27pm The Volkswagen curse? …

The Volkswagen curse?  Germany, Iceland and Argentina are out.  Maybe we should pick against Brazil, Switzerland and Belgium, too... 

07/01/2018 - 12:44pm What a save.  

What a save.  

07/01/2018 - 12:31pm This game has been a soccer…

This game has been a soccer hater's dream.

Spain has completed over 1,000 passes but has rarely threatened to score in two hours of action.

The two goals have come on a comical own goal and a handball penalty.  

Bring on the PKs.

 

06/30/2018 - 3:18pm Walk-ons aren't guaranteed a…

Walk-ons aren't guaranteed a permanent spot on the team.  If the team no longer has a spot for them, they get cut.  It's unfortunate but that's how it goes.

06/28/2018 - 3:23pm I don't think it's that much…

I don't think it's that much of a debate anyway.  The winner here plays Japan; the loser plays Colombia.  Almost everyone would agree that Colombia is the more dangerous opponent.  You can't worry about the rounds beyond that.

 

06/28/2018 - 2:38pm Spain had won the Euro two…

Spain had won the Euro two years previously (2008).  Germany had not.  I don't think Germany was considered a favorite in '14 at all - most had Brazil or Spain.

06/28/2018 - 1:33pm Possession time in soccer is…

Possession time in soccer is as pointless as it is in American football.  England was better than Tunisia but still looked to be headed for a draw until Tunisia forgot to cover Kane on an extra-time corner.

In their game, Belgium left no doubt at all.

06/28/2018 - 12:48pm Both teams atomized Panama,…

Both teams atomized Panama, but Belgium also atomized Tunisia while England needed an extra-time goal to beat them.  That would probably explain the difference in perception. 

Regardless, England can make a statement today.

06/28/2018 - 12:22pm Neither Spain nor Germany…

Neither Spain nor Germany looked that strong in group play in 2010 and '14, respectively.  Spain lost a group game in '10 and Germany tied Ghana and barely scraped by the United States.  

Both teams rounded into form in the knock-out stages.  That's often the case.  It's rare that a team just crushes everybody for seven games straight.

06/28/2018 - 12:16pm I would say two goals -…

I would say two goals - Pogba's was curiously ruled an own goal - but yes, they are limping along as usual.  

I'd still expect them to get to the semis. 

06/28/2018 - 12:13pm They wouldn't play Brazil in…

They wouldn't play Brazil in the next round but in the quarterfinal.  They'd have to win the round of 16 first.

06/25/2018 - 9:17pm What is ANW?

What is ANW?

06/23/2018 - 3:56pm Of course.

Of course.

06/23/2018 - 2:37pm Not often you hear that…

Not often you hear that someone with a Finnish name (Toivonen) scored a World Cup goal.  (Finland's never qualified.)

 

 

 

06/21/2018 - 3:19pm Sure, it's a totally natural…

Sure, it's a totally natural reaction from him.  It's just funny to watch the replay - I completely missed this watching it live.  I thought Giroud had just plain missed.

 

06/21/2018 - 3:10pm I just don't like the idea…

I just don't like the idea that under this new format, 16 teams will get to play only two World Cup matches.  It's the biggest event in the sport and their experience in it gets shortened.