Tag Archives: soccer

A simple proposal to normalize fact-checking

Here’s a simple rule reputable media publications should follow, with absolutely no exceptions: If you’re going to reproduce a third party’s factual assertion, you must provide immediate clarification whenever said factual assertion is false.  The alternative – that is, current practice – makes it far too easy for the subject of a news story to hijack the vehicle you provide for his or her own ends.

Because I don’t want to turn the hunt for truth into a partisan issue, I’ll give an innocuous example of how this ought to be done. On Saturday morning, the Seattle Times published an editorial by columnist Larry Stone that touched on what a potential Sounders victory in the MLS Cup could do for the franchise in its home city:

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Setting the record straight on BART’s updated color scheme

In its article describing the new trains designed for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), a Bay Area Publication (BAP) felt the need to assure its readers that any similarity between the cars’ interior color scheme and Santa Clara‘s erstwhile nemesis from the north was purely incidental: “This is no homage to Russell Wilson and gang.”

But this should have gone without saying. Not because deliberate homage would have garnered few fans, or because — as BART marketing and research manager Aaron Weinstein told WIRED — “any combination of hues would run into sports allegiances,” but simply because the magazine mixed up its Seattle sports teams.

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How Russell Wilson escaped the curse of Justin Bieber

When Richard Sherman was named this past year’s Madden cover boy, I imagine a significant fraction of football fans felt schadenfreudic tinglings: Sherman — thug, villain, superstar — would surely fall victim to the vaunted Madden Curse. After all, he had only one direction to fall.

But this past week, Sherman was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after nearly becoming the San Francisco 49ers’ leading receiver (Colin Kaepernick threw him two passes; the actual leader caught three). That recognition makes him the only player in the NFL to receive the honor in each of the past three seasons (and those 22nd and 23rd interceptions stretched his lead since entering the league to 8).

RS25 has been frustratingly (to his haters) just fine.

But there is another, far more serious, curse the Seahawks have had to contend with in 2014: the Curse of the Bieber. As has been established on this very blog, Russell Wilson does not always make the wisest of wise decisions, and so in early May he failed to extricate himself (or those poor, doomed children) from an obviously dangerous situation:

Continue reading How Russell Wilson escaped the curse of Justin Bieber

LeBron James doesn’t think his children are as tough as he is

LeBron James made headlines Friday* when he informed ESPN of his Decision not to let his sons play football because of “the health dangers”. Presumably, James is concerned about “the health dangers” posed by concussion and other violence-induced head injuries that have driven down participation in youth football programs by over 10% in over just a three-year span (2010-2012). Those are legit.

But don’t let James fool you into thinking he is taking some sort of principled stand against the dangers of participating in sport.

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So you want to rebuild the Temple? Get ready for some crazy… cost overruns

It’s almost Tisha B’av, and that means The Children Are Ready — to be precise, The Children Are Ready III.

Ready for what?

To record the latest fundraising video on behalf of the Temple Institute! The organization recently released its third annual video calling for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem — you may recall earlier editions if you close your eyes and concentrate — or you can just click on these links (first and second).

But what is different about this video from all other videos? The 5774 version is accompanied by a brand new Indiegogo campaign, titled simply “Build the Third Temple“:*

Continue reading So you want to rebuild the Temple? Get ready for some crazy… cost overruns

The New York Times left its World Cup analysis incomplete; I completed it

Right before the World Cup, the New York Times devoted an entire issue of its weekly New York Times Magazine to the upcoming international soccer tournament.

Americans love to make facile comparisons, especially when they talk about sports, so in one of its heroic efforts to make soccer more understandable/relatable, the Times tried to equate players who would appear in the World Cup to their American “counterparts”:

Continue reading The New York Times left its World Cup analysis incomplete; I completed it

There’s still time to see justice done in the World Cup

Of course, it’s too late to do anything about Team USA’s elimination from the tournament earlier this afternoon. But it’s not too late for The Seattle Times to get at least one thing right in its World Cup coverage: more me.

After the opening match of the World Cup, the Times’ front page looked like this:

Continue reading There’s still time to see justice done in the World Cup

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?

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:

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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.

Continue reading Some free legal advice for Hope Solo