Posts Tagged 'television'

La Copa: Parte 2

The Holland – Brazil match today left us all wanting for some more jogo bonito (in the first half) and complete football (in the second half). Finally, there were the inspired moments of brilliant passing and fluid plays from two teams that are expected to do so every time they step on the pitch.

Despite playing their best halves of the tournament so far, they both managed to be needlessly irritating. Who was more obnoxious depends only on who side you were on. Robinho turned into a cursing machine who went off anytime Arjen Robben went down. Robben ended up on the floor clutching some random part of his body every time a Brazilian approached him at a crucial moment.

Robinho, yelling his head off for the nth time during the match.

Despite my penchant for balding midfielders with their hair shaved off (like Zidane), Robben has proven himself to be worse than Cristiano in his early years. While Cristiano sat on the ground like a helpless 3 year-old, Robben falls dramatically with arms failing followed by punching the ground with his fist as if in great pain. Perhaps he took this intensive one day course.

Robben's reaction after the Brazilian defender failed to make contact.

The worse heartbreak in soccer is when a genuinely brilliant player consistently cheats the game. Luckily, before I lost all hope, Sarah sent me this Nike commercial from 2002. It features the chicken dance move, the scorpion move, Ronaldihno with better hair, and all-around soccer merriment.

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La Copa: Parte 1

The uninspiring commercials
Nike’s “Write the Future” campaign this World Cup has been its most embarrasing series of soccer commercials produced in the last 8 years. Plenty has written already written about the unfortunate fates of the soccer players featured in the video like Cannavaro, who led the worst Italian defensive squad in decades and Rooney, the English goal-scoring machine who barely made a few shots on goal and most surprising of all, Ronaldihno who did not even make the cut for the Brazilian squad.

But the real crime is the commercials’ inability to capture anything related to the spirit of the beautiful game. The ad sequences go like this: footballer on the field at some crucial moment in the game, then flashes to a footballer at a red carpet event, exercise DVDs based on the footballers’ moves, bigger-than-life statues unveiled in their hometowns, then ends with ‘write the future’ and the nike swoosh.

2010 Nike Commerial
The Cannavaro part with half dressed dancers and singer is the most disturbing….

Why is more than half the commercial about stardom and celebrity? Do we play soccer now for money and perks, hoping for a sponsorship from Nike? The implication seems to be that the resulting stardom is more important than the plays on the field. I am not inspired.

What happened to those commercials from 2006 with Eric Cantona, former Manchester United star, yelling about the beautiful, sacred game and the shame of diving and embellishing? Or the 2002 commercials in the Nike Cage when footballers showed off their most inventive moves in 3 on 3 games?

2006 Nike Commercial

Adidas has produced commercials even more off the mark in their collaborations with Star Wars. It may be slightly amusing to see soccer players with aliens but what is in there about soccer besides a famous face?

Their 2006 campaign featured two kids naming Zidane, Kaka, Beckenbauer and the like to play on their pick-up teams. It captured beautifully a sweet and innocent passion for the game and our secret fantasies of playing alongside the legends of soccer.

2006 Adidas Commercial

What is perhaps the saddest is that Hyundai, a car company, has outdone Nike and Adidas in capturing our sweet, simplistic and undying loyalty to soccer. Ai yai yai…..

Hyundai 2010 Commercial

carolina one day, someday

This week in two chapters: Food and Television.

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I. Food
Food lasted from Saturday noon to Wednesday noon at Davidson College, a period of four days when I did not stop eating except to go out in a catamaran*, lay in hammocks, and read Outlander. I think the quality (and need) of snacking rises whenever I visit Liz or Sarah.

Most memorably, it consisted of brussel sprouts with garlic and sage, a salad of navel oranges, beets, candied walnuts, and goat cheese (which we made in 30 minutes to serve 16 people!), cherry tomatoes sweeter than any I’ve ever had in Boston, honey nut cream cheese, homemade bread, homemade grilled pizza, Cheerwine (southern cherry coke), drinks at Summit, lots of tea and grits. Grits are always the highlight whenever I go anywhere south of New Jersey. It is like the oatmeal of the South, but oatmeal doesn’t compare to how satisfying grits are. Perhaps I am partial to them because they tend to be salty and not sweet, but I think the texture of small fine grains is just more appealing than the large mass of mush that is oatmeal.

A thought as I left Davidson — three places I really wish I felt more comfortable and competent: in the kitchen, outdoors, and on a bike.

*our catamaran was not as intense as those in the wiki, but they were cooler. we had a pair of clipper canoes rigged with bamboos. and by we, i mean other people did most of the work and i helped.

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II. TV
Part deux of my trip took place in Charlotte where my aunt and uncle live. There was plenty of food involved here too, mainly Beijing duck and too many servings of fatty pork (I love Chinese food), but the television made it memorable. The first night was spent playing wii sports. I was most dominant in bowling and abysmal in boxing. While playing tennis, I am fairly certain I strained an arm muscle. I then realized that playing wii sports has nothing to do with form. It’s only about getting the most accerleration out of your remote which allows you to play most wii sports while sitting comfortably on the couch and flicking your wrist. Our second night was taken up by my first viewing (ever) of Star Wars – Episode 4 and 5. They were epic and I am in love. The plot is (I lack the word to describe the diviness and epicness of it), the characters are amazing, and Harrison Ford has never looked better. I completely believe in Star Wars.

iii. back north
The only disappointing thing about this spring break is that it was not at all captured in photos. I miss the days when we would document our afternoons/late nights with too many photos that took up enormous portions of our hard drive and could not bring ourselves to delete. But this is what blogs are for? Capturing in a pile of words rather than pictures? Also, i can’t tell if it’s obnoxious that I linked everything.My blog is in a constant state of identity crisis.


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