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25 Jun 2011 11:10


World: Gaddafi just lost the soccer-playing contingent of his base

  • 17 Libyan soccer players side with the rebels, not Gaddafi source
  • » Harsh words for the dictator: One of the players to defect, goalie Juma Gtat, put his feelings as such: “I am telling Col Gaddafi to leave us alone and allow us to create a free Libya. In fact I wish he would leave this life altogether.” This is significant for a number of reasons — first, it comes after some notable military defections, and secondly, soccer is particularly huge in North Africa. That means that Gaddafi just lost some pretty significant allies in a public relations war.

04 Apr 2011 13:19


Offbeat: This week in misplaced tributes: MJ statue bugs soccer fans

  • A misplaced memorial: The man you see above is Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of the Fulham FC soccer team (or football, as everybody else calls it). The fellow immortalized in statue form behind him is clearly the late Michael Jackson, who was a friend of Al Fayed’s- the owner commissioned the statue after MJ’s death, and ultimately placed it just outside his team’s stadium. Some fans have claimed that the statue is inappropriate, or at best a bizarre display for an athletic stadium, to which Al Fayed responds thusly: “If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell. I don’t want them to be fans. If they don’t understand and don’t believe in things I believe in they can go to Chelsea, they can go to anywhere else.” source

12 Jul 2010 10:17


World: Uganda’s World Cup excitement shattered by deadly blasts

  • If you want to fight, why don’t you attack soldiers or military installations instead of fighting innocent people watching football?
  • Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni • On the attacks that killed at least 74 people, including one American. One of the attacks – which had multiple blasts – occurred in the capitol, Kampala, while people were watching the World Cup final yesterday on a big-screen TV at a rugby center. The other took place 50 minutes earlier in a popular restaurant district. Another 71 were hospitalized in the attacks. source

27 Jun 2010 11:49


Culture: Yo, New York Post, tell us how you really feel about soccer

  • A couple of weeks ago, we debated on a message board with a couple of English soccer fans what the New York Post’s cover about its tie to England really meant. We thought it was brilliant commentary of the fair-weather nature of American soccer fans. This panel, which ran in today’s paper, basically confirms it. The New York Post is making fun of Americans’ anemic love of soccer.

12 Jun 2010 16:46


World: World Cup game yet another bone for South Korea to pick

  • yes North Korea aired last night’s World Cup opening game on a local broadcaster … It wasn’t live.
  • no They legally did not have the right to air the game; a South Korean broadcaster had the rights. source

11 Jun 2010 09:56


World: Nelson Mandela’s symbolic World Cup appearance cut short by tragedy

  • We are sure that South Africans and people all over the world will stand in solidarity with Mr. Mandela and his family in the aftermath of this tragedy.
  • A statement from Nelson Mandela’s people • Regarding the tragic, unexpected death of his great-granddaughter, Zenani, just before the opening ceremonies of the World Cup. Zenani, 13, died in a car crash – preventing Mandela from making the ceremony, a much-heralded appearance on the level of his heralding of the victorious South African rugby team in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Why so symbolic? Well, rugby was traditionally associated with the Afrikaner elite, whereas soccer had ties with the black population. So it’s very unfortunate that he won’t be able to appear tonight. source

07 Feb 2010 12:38


Culture: The Super Bowl’s big as a moneymaker; as a viewer draw, not so much

  • The Super Bowl is an American phenomenon. Despite its completely unavoidable presence in the U.S., Super Bowl Sunday is pretty much a nonentity outside of North America, where soccer is king. Even so, it’s still a much bigger moneymaker than any other single sporting event. Here’s a breakdown of how this works out.

Not-so-super viewership

  • 106
    people watched all of last year’s Super Bowl telecast, almost entirely in the U.S. and Canada
  • 109
    people watched all of last year’s UEFA Champions League final, a hugely popular soccer match

Super brand value

  • $420M the Super Bowl’s value as an brand, making it the largest brand of all
  • $230M the Olympics’ value, despite the fact it’s a much larger event
  • $120M the World Cup’s value; it routinely tops the Super Bowl in total viewers

Super ad rates

  • $312 million in Anheuser-Busch ads alone since 1990
  • $3
    the amount NBC charged for 69 ad spots last year
  • $2.8
    the amount CBS is able to charge per ad this year source
  • Big game, big profits. Despite the fact that it’s just a single game, it often can top the advertising value of both the the World Series and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, which each take place over multiple games.

So why isn’t it spreading?

  • complication American football is a much more complicated sport than soccer and basketball, which both have easily and quickly spread into China, for example. Blame the penalties.
  • mediocrity The NFL had been trying to tap the European market for years with a secondary league which folded in 2007. Now the NFL has real games in Europe, a better strategy. source

18 Nov 2009 21:48


World: Sudan doesn’t lighten up for anything – even a soccer match

A major soccer match between Egypt and Algeria took place in Sudan today, and the Sudanese brought their guns and military presence. Sounds fun. source

20 Jul 2009 09:05


Sports: David Beckham: Not feeling the love from L.A. Galaxy fans

  • Hey Becks, Here Before You, Here After You, Here Despite You.
  • A sign in the crowds trashing David Beckham • Beckham played his first game for the Galaxy at home this season – a friendly match against AC Milan, the elite club that Beckham chose to play for instead of the Galaxy for the first half of the year. And the fans, boy, they let Becks hear it, especially one fan who got arrested in a near-attack of the soccer superstar. So, in case you’re wondering: MLS fans aren’t storied soccer hooligans yet, but they’re getting there. • source

03 Jul 2009 11:37


Offbeat: Meet torsoman. Despite his lack of limbs, he’s quite the athlete.

Nick Vujicic can swim, surf, play soccer, kick (with his nub of a foot) and play golf. And you’re sitting on your butt eating Cheetos. source