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June 18, 2006

World Cup Blogs?

Heather Green

I am glued to the World Cup games this weekend and am wondering whether there are some blogs that are breaking out as must reads. Up until now, I have been working on, ok, work, so haven't had time to check out anything out, besides the marketing blog that Coke is doing, Nike's Joga, and the news aggregation I have seen at Google.

And just as an aside, while the commentary on ABC and ESPN seems fine, they definitely seem to dumb it down, compared to say the Spanish language channels.

June 19 UPDATE: Buzzmetrics did an analysis of the World Cup buzz.

Here's one datepoint from their research:

"While it stil hasn't reached the peak of online saturation as the 2006 Super Bowl (2.5% of all blog posts on the day of the big game), buzz about the World Cup spiked at 2.25% of all blog posts on June 9, opening weekend. Look for it to creep back upwards again as the July 9 championship game approaches. Who will the last two teams be?"

12:31 PM

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AOL sports has done a suprisingly good job blogging the world cup. They have a blogger focused on each team, and they offer live blogging of the games. The live blogging helps with the watered down American commentary.

You can find the site at:

http://www.worldcupblog.org/

An example of their great live blogging can be found from the US Italy match:

http://www.worldcupblog.org/world-cup-2006/liveblog-italy-usa.html

Posted by: Patrick Grote at June 18, 2006 02:12 PM

Check out www.soccerblog.com

Posted by: Lode Broekman at June 18, 2006 03:14 PM

Not to be self-promotional, but we have 2 soccer blogs: www.soccerati.net and www.thefootie.com. The first looks at the Cup from the player perspective. The second takes a higher level view of the tournament.

Posted by: Jeremy Wright at June 18, 2006 03:31 PM

I'm not finding the spanish-language broadcasts especially illuminating, but they do get very excited and put drama into the games. I think the American broadcasters are worried that if they get excited too often on drives that don't produce goals, the soccer-skeptical audience will accuse them of crying wolf. Or more likely, they're just not excited.

Posted by: steve baker at June 18, 2006 06:51 PM

I have to disagree with you about the announcing from ABC/ESPN. It is far beyond dumming down - it's downright ignorant most of the time. The lead crew of Dave O'Brien and Marcello Balboa have been poor to awful, although to their credit, they raised their game in the US-Italy match. O'Brien doesn't know soccer and it shows. He uses the same banal phrases over and over. Balboa offers little in the way of technical analysis that actually advances the viewers knowledge of what is taking place on the pitch. In yesterday's US-Italy match, however, Balboa did step up with his spot on bold criticism of the referee.

Posted by: Mark at June 18, 2006 11:07 PM

Soccer Blogs, at www.soccerblogs.net, is a great resource during the World Cup, or any time.

Posted by: Mr Fish at June 19, 2006 01:15 PM

Lot of great blogs out there, but www.soccernista.com has become my first look in the mornings. Too funny.

Posted by: ruby at June 20, 2006 02:50 PM

Okay, it isn't a blog per se, but www.dalyslaw.com uses Newtonian physics and a lifetime in the game as the basis of Daly's Law Analysis of all World Cup 2006 goals scored, day by day. Check it out - and tell me what you think.

Posted by: Terry Daly at June 26, 2006 06:55 PM

This is a World Cup blog that I've been enjoying...Chris Hunt's World Cup Diary... it's by the author of the BBC TV series companion book 'World Cup Stories: The History Of The FIFA World Cup', but it's his offbeat daily thoughts on the 2006 tournament as he travels around Germany at http://www.chrishunt.biz/diary

Posted by: frank gibbons at June 26, 2006 08:23 PM

Thanks a lot for the suggestions!

Posted by: Heather Green at June 27, 2006 10:37 AM

I've been writing a bit about it. will probalby do more or the weekend. uscroger.com

Posted by: uscroger at June 28, 2006 12:26 AM

Here is my world cup blog which id slightly different and deals with soccer boots. I am a shoe historian and anthropologist

Hope you have time to surf by

Cheers

Cameron

Posted by: Cameron Kippen at June 28, 2006 08:26 AM

http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/w/bypa/eligible.html

VOTE FOR CRISTIANO RONALDO BEFORE JULY 7 2006!!

Posted by: Sarah at June 29, 2006 08:01 PM

I am in awe over the abilities, fitness, and skill of soccer players. They are world-class athletes.

I’m Canadian and share the UK disdain for North American football’s “1 hour game stretched out to a 4 hour 5 second increment stutter fest”. I also share the European distaste for the self inflamed “World Series of Baseball”. What is that about?

Soccer is truly a finesse game played by gifted athletes. But take a minute and look at your game objectively.

The greatest thing about the greatest games on earth is that the player plays his opposition. It appears that in all soccer games, players have two opponents. They not only play the opposition colors, but they play the referee as well.

When a soccer player is brushed by an opponent and he falls down writhing in pain like he just took a .50 caliber round or stepped on a land mine until the 3 medics run on the field to cart them off on a stretcher with a wool blankie is an embarrassment to everything called "sports". This is playing the referee and makes whiners of all soccer players – yes, I said all.

Other times the player could run on but he elects to fall down in contact. This is more common and equally contemptible. When this happens, the player looks to the referee as if it's illegal for an opponent to contest his possession. Croquet would be a more appropriate game for such a pouter.

I saw two changes of possession in a row in one of the England matches. Both players fought their hearts out and took raked calves and shins in stride. They played on. How enjoyable to see such highly gifted athletes struggle through opposition. Then on the 3rd change of possession, the player stepped on a land mine instead of face the opposition like a man and begged a call from the referee. The diving resumed full force. For crying out loud! Make them stop and get back to their talent!

There are times the players are truly hurt, but the referee needs to insist they play on or get off the field. For sure, there is vicious antagonism at times. But the embellishment corrupts the nature of the game. The opponent's purpose is to resist. Complaining when an opponent does so ruins everything for some of these most gifted athletes in the world.

Here’s an example. I watched a player get carted off on a stretcher when another player stepped on his arm. What the? As a referee, I have never had a player taken off a field by stretcher when hurt during a rugby or hockey game. I cannot convey how detestable this is for all men who love competition and enjoy real sports and the nature of the real challenge of playing through opposition. Pain is part of it. If he had to leave, he could have walked off. Soccer has all the potential of being a sport, but is at best an “activity”.

It's inherent in the game. It’s the rules. The officials have no authority to punish whining. I officiate rugby and hockey, and remind the captains before the game that I expect the players to play each other, not me. When they do, I penalize them for diving or unsportsmanlike conduct. I remind them, “this is not soccer” at which point they sheepishly nod in agreement feeling my point inherently and return to play like men. The result is more often than not, a return to a contest of skill and desire, not tattle-telling or bawling. Give the officials the authority to penalize players for playing the referee and the game becomes one of the best on earth.

This makes soccer a great game for women and children - but not men who understand the true nature of sport. Whiners. Change the rules, empower the referee, and it becomes one of the greatest games on earth with ebb and flow and demonstrations of skill and fitness.

Posted by: brian Greenwood at July 1, 2006 10:28 PM


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