Browsing All Posts filed under »World Cup«

And just like that… it’s the beginning of the end of the 2010-11 NFL season

January 14, 2011

2

Sorry about that. I disappeared for three months. From here, anyway. Life happens. There was so much going on I had to choose between writing about sports and watching sports in my free time, and I opted for the latter. Hopefully I can continue to do both from now on. In the meantime, the long […]

Great athletes are not born, they’re made… then sold to the highest bidder

September 23, 2010

0

It has been a big week for philosophizing about sports at Duke University, where I teach. Perhaps this helps us take our minds off a crushing loss to Alabama, the NCAA football national champions, who played here last weekend. First it was Justice Samuel A. Alito reflecting on how cheering for the Phillies made him, […]

What’s Wrong With Soccer Broadcasting? (Soccer vs American Sports, part 4)

July 22, 2010

9

The job of sports broadcasters is to help viewers see the order and intention where the untrained eye sees only chaos. We expect broadcasters to be experts of the game. (By “broadcasters” I mean the entire team, from the people who plan and select the camera angles and design or use replay and “telestrator” technology, to […]

Soccer vs American Sports, Part 3: Going with the flow

July 20, 2010

0

Dazzling offensive plays are the pop music of sports. Like catchy tunes, they are hard not to love. Even more, they are like the vocals and the melody of pop-music hooks. (You can sing these yourself in the shower or on the school bus, without realizing that the song was a hit because of the […]

Soccer vs American Sports, Part 2: In praise of defense

July 15, 2010

3

In Part 1 of this little series, I argued — well, asserted — that an appreciation of the individual and team defensive plays and strategies is an essential component of sports connoisseurship. As a corollary, a sport in which defense is either non-existent (say, bowling, golf, or most track-and-field events, for all intents and purposes), […]

Soccer vs American Sports, Part 1: Dissing defense

July 13, 2010

5

We’ll get back to the 3rd part of the series on the ethics of diving soon. In the meantime, while the World Cup is still fresh, I’m starting a new series of reflections on some of the ways fans of North American team sports (principally American football, baseball, basketball, and hockey) might think about what […]

Blemishes on the beautiful game, Part 2: Is diving really a problem?

July 8, 2010

1

Diving is not the story of this World Cup, by any stretch. And I’ve been too wrapped up in what’s been great about the tournament — namely, the tactical match-ups and play on the pitch — to blog about this perennial and revealing issue. As I noted in the previous post, diving seems to be […]

Blemishes on the beautiful game, part 1: Luddite officiating and the ethics of diving

July 6, 2010

2

It’s been a terrific World Cup so far. We all have to keep our fingers crossed for the semi-finals and the finals being as intriguing as the quarters, because our individual and collective memories of the overall quality of any given World Cup lean heavily on the quality of those contests. The nil-nil draw and […]

World Cup diary #3: the beginning of the end

June 28, 2010

0

A busy travel schedule has allowed me to see most of the matches so far, to keep up on the press and bloggers, yet not to comment much myself. But now the real tournament has begun, in the second round. I’ll be blogging regularly from here on in. It’s hard to give a comparative assessment […]

World Cup diary #2: the end of the beginning

June 16, 2010

1

Every team has now played one game — and more often than not, rather cautiously. We are a long, long way from the beginning of the end now; though to paraphrase Churchill, this is a convenient place to mark the end of the beginning. With two games left for each team in the opening round, […]

World Cup diary #1

June 15, 2010

0

I love everything about the World Cup. I love even the things I hate about the World Cup. Since these things — the gamesmanship, the aristocratic governance of the sport, the nationalism, the ridiculous narratives people map onto the results, the over-looming factor of luck that seals fates, and the resulting “unfairness” and tragedy of […]