Is Football really so very different from Futbol?

Tickets for Seahawks training camp went on sale this morning at 10AM — right in the middle of Team USA’s potentially crucial match against Team Deutschland in the World Cup. I took this as a particularly clever strategy to winnow Seattle’s infamous football fans from its similarly notorious futbol fans — an effort to ensure only the purists would show up to watch the team practice in Renton.

But are the two sports really all that different?

Continue reading Is Football really so very different from Futbol?

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It might be time to get nervous in San Francisco

Seahawks fans breathed a deep sigh of relief last week when rumored holdout Marshawn Lynch showed up to his team’s involuntary offseason minicamp. He didn’t actually participate in the practices (putatively due to an injured foot or some such excuse), so his contract situation is far from resolved going into the 2014 season, but his appearance gave Seattle good reason to feel optimistic about his future with the team.

Down by the Bay, by contrast, it might be time to get nervous. The absences of Vernon Davis and Alex Boone are drawing the headlines — especially after Head Coach Jim Harbaugh “stepped in it” by excoriating them to the press — but were I a fan of the Niners, I’d expend most of my worrying on the man who’s supposed to be running the show.

Continue reading It might be time to get nervous in San Francisco

Don’t give Kim Jong-il too much credit

Kim Jong-un is not happy (and probably a little lonely).

After Seth Rogen and James Franco released their first trailer for The Interview, in which they play journalists charged with assassinating the North Korean dictator, Kim’s lackeys promised “merciless” retaliation:

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Colbert needs another lesson in biology

Almost exactly one week ago, I gave Colbert a little lesson on rodent taxonomy (serious business, as you may recall). And now, time for another quick biology lesson.

On last night’s episode, Stephen presented the results of the Mississippi Republican primary, in which Thad Cochran defeated Chris McDaniel by the slimmest of margins:

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Colbert and Stewart make the same joke — and the same mistake

Jon Stewart is listed as an executive producer on The Colbert Report, but that hasn’t always stopped Colbert from repeating jokes that appeared earlier in the evening on The Daily Show. The frequency of awkward repetition has certainly dissipated over the years — whether because of divergent source material or due to concerted effort, I do not know — but it showed up in full force last night, as the adjacent Comedy Central hosts both praised Barack Obama for sending the perfect number of American advisers to advise in opposition to ISIS advances in Iraq. Here’s Stewart, then Colbert: Continue reading Colbert and Stewart make the same joke — and the same mistake

Mondoweiss: wrong on a lot of things, but especially wrong on soccer

I have passing familiarity with Mondoweiss: The War of Ideas in the Middle East, a blog that once described mine as “angry.” I’m not sure that’s the term I would have used, but that’s his opinion and this here’s the internet so that’s that. You get your own opinion on the internet.

But what you do not get is your own facts — and that’s precisely the hat trick Mondoweiss tried to pull while explaining why he, as an American, does not support Team USA.

Now, I have no problem with the author’s lack of support for the boys in red, white, and blue — even active dislike is a step up from the indifference with which the team is greeted by the overwhelming majority of Americans. But I do have a problem with a few of the “facts” he cites to justify his position. To wit, reason #1:

Continue reading Mondoweiss: wrong on a lot of things, but especially wrong on soccer

Some free legal advice for Hope Solo

I should probably start this post with a disclaimer.

The first time Hope Solo was involved in an episode of domestic violence, I did my very best to write about the incident while not making light of the situation. I noted that if the allegations against then-fiance, now-husband Jerramy Stevens were true, they were obviously serious and not the proper subject of discussion on this blog.

And then I wrote about it anyway.

Now that Solo herself is the alleged perpetrator of the latest incident against her sister and nephew, I hope to similarly avoid any real discussion of the specific nature of her purported infraction. Domestic violence is not a joke. Millions of families suffer every year. I in no way intend to make light of its tragic reality.

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“Ready for Hillary” has been a thing for longer than you thought

We’re not even halfway through 2014, and you’ve already seen what Hillary Clinton has in store for the 2016 campaign (above). It certainly sounded familiar, so I dug this out of the archives:

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Indian park ranger and defender of Rhinos has wonderfully appropriate name

Like a great number of species forced to share a planet with human beings, Indian rhino populations are not so healthy as they once were. Via Treehugger:

The Indian rhino is classified as a ‘vulnerable’ species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. With about 3,000 individuals living in the wild, and about 2/3 of those living in India’s state of Assam, one of the biggest risks they face is poaching. During the past decade, poachers and park rangers have actually been fighting each other quite literally, with 27 poachers being killed and 198 arrested. 156 rhinos have been killed in Assam since 2006.

The good news is that the conservation and anti-poaching efforts are bearing fruit. Indian rhino population in Kaziranga National Park in Assam is up 27% since 2006, or up about 4.6% a year, for a population of 2544 individuals.

And to whom do we owe this small modicum (not redundant, because even the word “modicum” covers a range of potential values) of success?

Continue reading Indian park ranger and defender of Rhinos has wonderfully appropriate name