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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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