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 · · · · World Cup 2010 (9 fragments)

Lightroom at the Whitecaps · Yes­ter­day I in­stalled Light­room 6 and at­tend­ed a Ma­jor League Soc­cer match, which the White­caps lost to D.C. Unit­ed. Here’s a com­bo re­view, with some Lr6-enhanced footie pix ...
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2014 World Cup — The Last Lap · I caught one semi­fi­nal in a pub and we’re hav­ing friends over for The Big Game. Which feels like the right way to do it. That’s the good news; then there were the semi­fi­nal­s ...
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2014 World Cup — The Quarters · All the fa­vorites won. [Sob­s.] Al­so, the tour­na­ment has nev­er got back to the high-scoring fast-running en­er­gy of the Group Stage. Let’s hope it ends with a bang ...
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2014 World Cup — Down to 8 · All the teams that were sup­posed to ad­vance have, and most­ly with­out any sur­pris­es. The round of 16 hasn’t been as much fun as the first phase, but things are look­ing up ...
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World Cup 2014 — We Know Four · Four of the six­teen are in, four more out. Lots of dra­ma even if some of the foot­ball was a lit­tle stinky ...
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2014 World Cup — Round of 16 · No­body would say the tour­na­ment for­mat is per­fect but, based on the first-round play, it’s hard to find teams that should have been in but are out, or vice ver­sa. When the biggest in­jus­tice is Greece in­stead of Côte d’Ivoire, that’s not ter­ri­ble. The ex­its of Spain, Italy, Eng­land, and Por­tu­gal are sur­pris­es, but I’d say the big­ger sto­ry in 2014 is the as­cen­den­cy of Latin-American foot­bal­l ...
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2014 World Cup — The Horror · I re­fer to the events of to­day, June 24th. “The Beau­ti­ful Game”, they say; on­ly some­times not ...
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2014 World Cup Days 8 and 9 · Wel­l, we’ve seen all the teams now, so I’m go­ing to back off and on­ly write about the games that mat­ter, where by “matter” I mean “I watched and didn’t bore me”. So, is this the year of Latin Amer­i­ca or what? ...
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2014 World Cup Day 7 · To­day marked the tournaments’ first ex­it­s, no­tably in­clud­ing the champs’. Things are start­ing to take shape ...
 
2014 World Cup Day 6 · Now we’ve seen all the team­s. Al­so, it was goalkeepers’ day! ...
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2014 World Cup Day 5 · Ouf, those Por­tugue­se ...
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2014 World Cup Day 4 · It’s time for tact­less­ness: Some of these teams shouldn’t be here ...
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2014 World Cup Day 3 · No­body could pos­si­bly watch all the games, even peo­ple be­tween jobs like me. This was point­ed out by my 8-year-old who want­ed the TV, so I told her the sto­ry of how she was born the day be­fore the 2006 World Cup start­ed, which is why I end­ed up watch­ing lots of it even though it was com­ing in from Europe at weird times: Pa­ter­ni­ty leave plus a newborn’s sleep­/wake sched­ule. But she per­sist­ed in her (los­ing) ar­gu­ment for a switchover to Bugs Bun­ny ...
 
2014 World Cup Day 2 · Give the Brazil­ians cred­it, the play­ing sur­faces held up re­mark­ably un­der the heavy rain. So did the qual­i­ty of play, most­ly ...
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2014 World Cup Day 1 · There were no broad­cast break­downs or sta­di­um col­laps­es or oth­er dis­as­ters (a­side from the ref­er­ee­ing); con­grats to the Brazil­ians for get­ting this thing launched smooth­ly (a­side from the foot­bal­l) ...
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Women’s World Cup Quarterfinals · I hadn’t planned it, but am hav­ing a slow single-parent week­end and tuned in by ac­ci­den­t. I was hooked in the first 30 sec­onds and watched three of the four. I prob­a­bly won’t be able to take in any more, but I’d un­hesi­tat­ing­ly rec­om­mend that you do if you can ...
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Whitecaps vs. Silverbacks · My son is an avid soc­cer play­er, has been in an or­ga­nized league for four years now. Van­cou­ver has a team, the White­caps, in the USL, one down from MLS. As a pro­mo­tion, the boy’s team was in­vit­ed to a match, some of them to march out with the play­er­s, some to play a mini-game at half-time. I went along and took the cam­er­a ...
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World Cup, the Day Before · Sun­day is the big day. I’m un­like­ly ev­er to watch as much of any fu­ture World Cup as the com­bi­na­tion of the new daugh­ter and Sun’s sum­mer pause made pos­si­ble this time ...
 
Germany 0 Italy 2 · Wel­l, that was quite a show. Hey, LazyWe­b, where’s the deep, eru­dite, fun­ny, World Cup com­men­tary to be found? Who’s the Roger An­gell of soc­cer? The best I’ve found is Mon­di­al 2006, but some­thing in my own lan­guage would be nice. As for the game: Can­navaro Can­navaro Can­navaro, what else is there to say? [Up­date: Os­car Meri­da writes to point at Soc­cer Blogs, an ag­gre­ga­tion with some good stuff, while Marc La­coste points to les cahiers du foot­ball (en français, ob­vi­ous­ly).] ...
 
World Cup, the Quarterfinals · I man­aged to watch most of all four games, and boy, were my pre­dic­tions ev­er wrong. The quar­ter­fi­nals pro­duced few cre­ative tri­umph­s, but were still pret­ty en­ter­tain­ing ...
 
2006 World Cup · I en­joy sports on TV, but not enough (usu­al­ly) to plan ahead on watch­ing them; but we’ve been mak­ing an ex­cep­tion for the World Cup. This week­end, I stuck my head in the boy’s room both days and said “eight o’clock” and we watched the quarter-finals to­geth­er while the girls slept up­stairs. [Oop­s, I wrote this last week­end but ap­par­ent­ly nev­er post­ed it.] ...
 
2006 World Cup, and More · I watched two com­plete games and parts of an­oth­er two, this week­end, and... played in one! Fathers’ Day, you betcha ...
 
2006 World Cup · I’ve been work­ing quite a bit this week, on­ly man­aged to catch a cou­ple of games end-to-end live, and some bits and pieces in the evening re­peat­s; I have to say, watch­ing the Cup in high-def on a com­fy couch with a com­fy new­born on your lap is pret­ty darn en­joy­able. Here­with the week’s notes, start­ing where the pre­vi­ous in­stal­ment left of­f ...
 
2006 World Cup · Wel­l, if you’re go­ing to spend three days in a hos­pi­tal room with a re­cov­er­ing wife and an ad­just­ing new­born, the first few days of the World Cup are the time to do it; I’ve watched six of the first nine match­es. Soc­cer isn’t my fa­vorite spec­ta­tor sport, but I’m a suck­er for a Big Oc­ca­sion, and sports-wise, this is the biggest. Plus the match­es look so great, the flower-bright uni­form colours and the arc of the ball in the Ger­man sun­shine. I to­tal­ly rec­om­mend catch­ing a few, it’s first-rate TV. Here­with some com­ments on the ear­ly go­ing ...
 
Underground, Invitation, Le kick and rush · I won­der if there’s any re­al ben­e­fit, when some­one whom I’ve al­ready high­light­ed writes some­thing ex­cep­tion­al­ly good, in point­ing to them again and say­ing “read this!” But some­times you can’t not do it. Item: my broth­er Rob on the joy of un­der­ground high ex­plo­sives. Item: Alex Waterhouse-Hayward on Ana Vic­to­ria (o­h, my). For my last link you’ll have to be able to read a lan­guage some­what but not en­tire­ly un­like French; Mon­di­al 2006 is the World Cup 2006 blog from Libération ; its tor­rent of high-velocity low-rent French baf­fles me in places, and it doesn’t help that I’m not 100% au fait with les Bleus, but you have to like pieces like Panini, beer & Co.
 
Hot Chocolate · Satur­day soc­cer prac­tice was at 10AM, 5°C with the wind push­ing the rain side­ways. On­ly six of the nine Dragons turned up, but they were in good spir­it­s, played through the pain; but by the end of the hour were look­ing kind of blue. So I said “Everyone come to the café for hot chocolate” and did they ev­er bright­en up. It’s on­ly a cou­ple of blocks from the dis­mal grav­el field we have to use when it’s too wet for the grass; soon we swarmed nois­i­ly in­to the wel­com­ing warmth. There was a cou­ple in our cor­ner that maybe want­ed some qui­et Saturday-morning cof­fee talk, we chased ’em away. One of the par­ents said “Oh, you shouldn’t pay for them all” but six kid-sized hot choco­lates doesn’t cost much and that was more smiles per dol­lar than just about any­thing else I can think of.
 
Have Mercy on Me · It was peer-group pres­sure that did it. For my sin­s, I am now the coach of Dou­glas Park Soc­cer Under-7 team #3, now known as... hold on, we’ll get there. The need was des­per­ate but I was up-front, said I’m there most Satur­days but mid-week might find me in Slove­nia or Tokyo, so they found me a co-coach and now I’m stuck. In my per­son­al mem­o­ry, coach­es are large per­son­ages with boom­ing voic­es and a gen­er­al air of hearti­ness, which I shall en­deav­or to em­u­late; a whis­tle and clip­board are on my shop­ping list. So, dur­ing the season-opening cer­e­monies I con­vened the team, whom my mathematically-literate read­er­ship will have de­duced are all six, to choose a name. They were se­ri­ous­ly in­to it, and giv­en the choice be­tween ad­dress­ing sev­er­al thou­sand from a keynote stage or eight ea­ger six-year-olds, it’s not even close. I asked them if they want­ed a fun­ny name (Turnip­s, Po­ta­toes, Car­rot­s), a fierce name (Lion­s, Tiger­s, Dragon­s), or a Van­cou­ver name (Griz­zlies, Or­cas, Ea­gles). It’s a mixed league but our team is all-boy, so they they didn’t hes­i­tate, they want­ed a fierce name. One skin­ny lit­tle guy, all shorts and shoul­derblades, looked at me sin­cere­ly and said “How about ‘Stormtroopers’?”, and I was gob­s­macked for a mo­ment till I re­al­ized this is the video gen­er­a­tion and he meant Im­pe­ri­al stormtroop­ers not Sturmabteilung. “Uh, no.” I said, and then The Dragons car­ried the day. No, I don’t know what I’m get­ting in­to.
 
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