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Showing posts from January, 2017

Football Film: Becoming Zlatan

Before watching Becoming Zlatan (2016) I knew precisely three things about Zlatan Ibrahimovic: He's Swedish, he plays for Manchester United, and he's good. I'd also heard he was kind of an egotistical prima donna but so are a lot of great athletes and who can blame them? It takes a thick skin, a big ego, and a superhuman amount of confidence (not to mention actual talent) to be successful in professional sport.

After having watched Becoming Zlatan, I feel inclined to forgive Zlatan for any sins of excessive egotism. The film details his transition from schoolboy footballer, to his first professional football club in Sweden, Malmo FF, to his formative years as a pro, under the gun at Ajax FC in Amsterdam, where he flourishes under the intense pressure and competition for the number one striker spot, until he is scooped up by Juventus FC in the Italian Serie A.

It is a really bizarre thing to see Zlatan, the gargantuan talent that he is today, before he was "Zlatan"…

The Guardian's List of the 100 Best Footballers in the World

If you call yourself a soccer fan (or even if you don't) you have got to take a look at this list of the 100 best soccer players in the world. 


Ronaldo is number one. Again. Which I think is super boring...and I actually like Ronaldo. He's an incredible ball-handler and free-kick taker but I've never thought he was a great leader or playmaker. He's no Maradona, IMHO. Then again, I don't know anyone today who is. So I guess if 124 experts think he's numero uno...then he's numero uno.Glad to see Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero (two favorites) at 9 and 11 respectively.Shocked to see my man Diego Costa all the way down at No. 46 but, whatever. Here's the link again: https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2016/dec/20/the-100-best-footballers-in-the-world-2016-interactive

City Ties Tottenham

Man I love being wrong, publicly, on my blog.
Manchester City drew with Tottenham today 2-2. However, City's goals were absolutely bizarro scores that probably should not have happened and can only be looked at as blunders by keeper Hugo Lloris. Tottenham's goals, on the other hand, were pretty.
Thus, I maintain: the score was actually 2-0 Tottenham. Despite what it said on the board.
***
Look up Wayne Rooney's free kick goal vs Stoke City today. Absolute magic. And it also made him the all time scoring leader for Manchester United, with 250 total goals.

Article Predicts Chelsea to Win Premier League

I don't exactly see what's so brilliant about an article predicting -- 21 weeks into a 38 week season -- that the league leader Chelsea are going to win the league. What's really interesting is that it predicts perennial boomerangers Hull City, Crystal Palace, and formerly not-too-shabby Swansea will go down. Blame Swansea's bad luck on the horrible run of games under American manager Bob Bradley, they shall.

I'm an adopted Chelsea fan while my Newcastle Magpies are cleaning up in the Championship (English 2nd Division) hopefully on their way back to the Premier League where under Rafa Benitez they can hopefully struggle and flop their way into the middle of the league table. So...I hope the article is right. Because Chelsea play some damned exciting football.

Diego Costa China Deal Squashed

Apparently Diego Costa will not be going to China (China? Yes...CHINA) to play professional football for Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian for a whopping 30 million pounds per year. I guess there are some new rules regarding how many foreign players a Chinese club can have, and the club already purchased Radamel Falcao and Raul Jimenez (who are not Chinese).

The very fact Costa was even maybe, possibly going to China in the first place saddens and depresses me. He's where he belongs right now: the leading scorer on the Premier League leading club. He's a legend in his own time. A goal scoring, defense-breaking villain. A certified practitioner of the Dark Arts, doing in his thing in the best league in the world. And yet, the lure of ca$h was about to drive him into what must be considered the netherworld or at least purgatory of professional soccer leagues. China?? What next, man?

Getting Into Shape, Part II: Don't drink your calories

You want to lose weight? Fast? I'm about to drop on you one of the single biggest weight-loss hacks there is...and for free: Stop drinking your calories.

That means:
No sodas: They're pure sugar, even diet sodas are just chemical soupNo fruit juices: They're sugar water with vitamins and you can get those vitamins elsewhereNothing in your coffee or tea: No milk, no cream, no sugar, and no frappucinos And the tough one: No booze: At least for a while until you see some results Okay, so why is this important? 
Liquid calories are super easy to take in and super easy to loose track of. They count just like food calories and don't give you any nutritional value, and don't even fill you up. "But orange juice is good for you!" Sure it is. Said the Florida Orange Juice Lobby in the 1940s to sell orange juice. It's liquid sugar and extra calories you don't need. Drop it.Since the sugar in these drinks is not trapped in anything -- like a potato, or bread, or…

And in Cravat News...

FA Cup Football

Geeking out on a little English FA Cup action today. Barrow AFC vs. Rochdale FC.

Wait...who? Exactly. It's the third round of the FA Cup tournament, a knockout tournament that involves basically every level of English professional football. It is an opportunity for football junkies to watch teams they've never heard of, composed of players they don't know, playing gritty, loose, desperate football on muddy pitches in the middle of nowhere with "stands" that hold less than 2,000 people.

The FA Cup runs throughout the regular football season and -- like this weekend -- interrupts regular season play. It's basically a chance for the Davids to take on the Goliaths and occasionally triumph, as when Chelsea were beaten by Bradford FC in 2015 and have a moment in the sun, but eventually a Premier League team usually wins.

The number of soccer tournaments in existence is absolutely staggering. Right now, for example, being contested simultaneously (just off the top o…

Getting Into Shape, Part I: Stop Working Out

That's right, you heard me. Now let me explain:

At this time of year many people make a "New Year's Resolution" to exercise more, lose weight, get in shape, or whatever. Usually what happens is, they drastically change their lifestyle for a few weeks, don't see any results, and then quit, and feel like crap about themselves and go back to what they were doing. Why does this happen? It would take a long time to go over all the reasons, but essentially a.) People try and change their habits too greatly, too fast, and b.) People focus on the wrong things. What is the answer:
Before you step into the gym or step on the treadmill, lose 10 lbs."But how do I drop 10 pounds without exercising?"Since weight loss is 90% about diet, it's very, very simple to lose 10 pounds.Notice I say it is simple to lose 10 lbs...I did not say it is easy.Simple because all you have to do is cut down how many calories you're ingesting; Difficult because, well, cutting down …