Sunday, July 1, 2012


The final of any major contest, especially international sport events, helps us mark phases and stages of life.  Enjoy the final, rejoice with the champions or suffer the anguish of the vanquished. But then - just as suddenly - it is time to begin, again.

Tempting but false to say this Spanish side have come to embody an aesthetic in any ideal sense.  The idea of nationhood should not distort the trends and traditions woven together in their singular tapestry of tiki taka.

Catennaccio has locked out opposition attacks, while it has kept a country from playing in a way that better reflects its soil and sky.  Triumph today for the Azzurri would reveal a stylistic turn toward the flamboyent, proud with strength and audacity.

What we hope for from both today is the daring to attack.  Boredom is the enemy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bulls v Goats: What's in a Brand?

Tonight's match at Red Bull Arena is interesting enough with the possibilities of club goalscoring record holder Juan Pablo Angel's homecoming visit and Thierry Henry's return to the lineup from his hamstring injury.  But any time these two teams meet the semiotic crises that continue to plague Major League Soccer come to the fore: arguably the two most poorly named teams in American sport compete with their Austrian and Mexican owner-operator groups asserting their presence via club(/franchise) branding.  The Energy Drink v the Oxymoron some might say.  Should NY have a second team?  Should LA? 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rangers Ready for Derby Day

It's Derby Day in Glasgow as Rangers welcome their bitter archrivals from Parkhead to their famed Ibrox home.  If Celtic win, they will claim the title on the home ground of the defending Scottish Premier League champions.  A loss would be the fourth in a row at home for Rangers, something that's never happened in the club's 140 years. 

In the past few weeks, some questioned whether this match would even be played as the Light Blues were faced with administration due to the mismanagement of the fabled club's funds.  The subsequent ten-point penalty means the title race is all but a fait accompli.  As recent as two days ago, veteran Lee McCulloch was faced by a French journalist asking him how he felt heading into what might be the last Old Firm. 

Having spent these last few days in Glasgow, spending time at Ibrox and the club's training ground at Murray Park, there's strong evidence that sure strides have been made to ensure the club will recover stronger than ever as it works through financial crisis.  Five ownership groups have placed bids to take over, but the group to be chosen by administrators Duff & Phelps must not only be capable of eliminating the club's debt but also of reinvestment.  What these prospecive owners will find as they review Rangers' operations is a passionate and dedicated staff who refine our understanding of professionalism.  To say the club's facilities are first-rate would be an understatement.

From the front door security to the youth trainers to the first squad and their manager Ally McCoist, everyone's generosity and sincerity has been astounding.  Knowing what today's match means to all of them, their guests today face a bitter fight.  Regardless of the outcome, the greater victory is to be found in all the efforts of everyone at Rangers Football Club to ensure that today won't prove a sad ending to their club's great history.  This crisis will not kill the club but will instead make it stronger.  On the pitch and off, everyone at the club is ready for any challenge.

The match kicks off at 1:00pm in Glasgow and American soccer fans can watch the Old Firm live for the first time in over a decade at 8:00am ET on Fox Soccer Channel.