Posts Tagged 'nytimes'

La Copa: Football Analysis Illustrated

How Spain beat Germany
For most of history, soccer has been fueled by passion and ambiguous calls rather than the statistics and absolute precision common in other sports.

Numbers alone don’t mean much in soccer from game to game. The number of goals, assists, foul, saves matter more in the span of a season or an entire career. However, analysis is not completely irrelevant or uninteresting. It just needs a graphic element as the NYTimes knows oh so well. They love infographics as much as words there.

The NYTimes live blog of World Cup matches includes four minute-by-minute graphics. Below are clips from the 17th minute of the Spain-Germany match.

The Line-Up

Based on amount of times a player touches the ball. Nearly the entire Spanish team touches the ball while only 5 Germans make contact.

The Passes

Lines connecting players by their passes. Look at the density of Spain's passes compared to Germany's.

The Heat Map

Where the ball is on the field. Spain safely keeps possession in their half.

General Stats

What numbers alone cannot describe is the rhythm of the game revealed over time. (Rhythm is so crucial in soccer which is way video replays cannot be implemented the way it is in football which is not to say not at all, but it is a slippery slope....)

See the Spain’s dominant possession, but the game breaks a little before the half. Then see how Spain allows Germany to take the ball after they score the goal. Also, this match was probably the least controversial in the entire World Cup. No yellow cards and the first foul isn’t called until the 30th minute.

Statistics and more statistics makes statistics seem important.
This is even better:
The possession of all the games in the World Cup broken down. And at the bottom, breakdown of Americas versus Europe and the Dutch versus the Spanish.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the most popular soccer player in the world
Given our world in the age of social networking, opinion sharing, data mining, this interactive graphic is the best one of the entire tournament.

The NYTimes tallies day-by-day all the names of soccer players mentioned in updates, statuses, notes, comments on Facebook. The image of the soccer player is then sized accordingly. Scroll through the days and watch them change (see link above)!

Cristiano Ronaldo’s looming figure throughout the tournament seems to confirm his place as the most popular soccer player in the world or just the one that teenage girls find most attractive?

omg. fashion.

beginning-copyI first stepped foot in the “high fashion” world when I read the New York Times fashion magazine in 6th grad (hence my enduring loyalty that magazine). While I religiously cut out ads and editorials from the nytimes, the images of glamourous, look-at-me fashion world conflicted with the reality of living in the bronx as a 12 year old and spending 2 hours a day on a subway by yourself to school. In the city, clothing is camouflage. Dark colors, baggy pants and sweaters hide you from unwarranted attention and comments. On top of that, Old Navy and JCpenny were the most expensive clothing I ever got.

So you can imagine my shock and initial recoil when I first stepped onto the front lawn at St. Andrew’s for class pictures before my first Wednesday night dinner and was surrounded by a sea of pastels a la Lily Pulitzer and all sorts of vibrant colors. Not just the girls, but the guys too in their nantucket red pants, and/or their seersucker jakcets (I was wearing some black skirt and brown shirt. fashion faux pas? maybe and just as a side note, St. Andrew’s is a prep boarding school but completely unique among boarding schools, thanks to all wonderful headmaster Tad Roach.) In any case, I did not hold out with my dark colors for long. I eventually gave in to the sundressy, casual preppy, rolled up jeans, and mesh shorts with polo look that I still love.

Previous to inmexico, I kept a blogspot as a private-ish journal documenting my evolving thoughts on fashion, style, fashionable people etc. It was a receptacle for images of fashionable people and fashion week that inspired me as a I slowly ventured out of my jeans, sweatshirt, and rainbows comfort zone. Designers like Nicholas Ghesquiere (Balenciaga), Francisco Costa (Calvin Klein), Oliver Theyskens (Rochas), Veronica Etro and photographer Scott Schumann (The Sartorialist) were frequently mentioned on that blog and have become the foundations of how I understand the fit, proportions, and possibilities of clothing.

The importance and place for fashion in my life is still unclear to me. It seems to me that I spend way too much time thinking about it, talking about it, looking at it, and buying it for it to just be nothing. It is still a dream/far off fantasy to work for a fashion magazine at some point in my life. Hmmmm. Maybe.

[photocredits:, vanity fair, vogue, nytimes, blue crush, papparazzi]

it smells like paris

After years of ‘reading’ the NYTimes style magazine, I recently decided I should actually read the words in the magazine, not just the graphics. This is how I stumbled upon the beautifully descriptive perfume reviews which made me immediately wish I had loads money to spend. Not surprsingly, perfumes are more intricate than smelling good or bad and much more nuanced than smelling like roses, apples, or old wood.

Some quotes from a recent NYT Style Magazine review:

Chanel No. 18 is a conceptual portrait of Paris. And a beautiful one….I cannot stress the degree to which No. 18 is a brilliantly postmodern perfume..No. 18 smells as if the perfumers had captured a flower, but a flower whose perfume somehow exudes from spotless glass jewlery counters and warm, burnished stone
is the jaw-dropping incarnation of mid-century Paris … it is astouding because [it] captures the quintessence of the 16th Arrondissment women in full battle regalia (heels, scarfs, blouse, jewels, jakcet)..also becuase of its starling modernity.
(NYT Winter 2008 Women’s Fashion)

What a conceptual portrait of Paris or postmodern scent smells like is completely beyond me, but it’s still intriguing. As little as I understand perfumes or smells, I think (at least for me) it is the strongest memory trigger, much more than any song or visual. When I smell cut grass in the fall, I can feel myself lying on the cold field on a Friday afternoon after practice doing our bizarre, disorganized pre-game ritual with Myers. Or that not-so-great smell of public school cafeterias makes me taste two plates rice and beans (best meal in the new york public school lunch system). My point is that unlike sounds, songs, or images that remind me of a memory, smell makes me relive that tactile feeling of a memory however briefly.

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