Monthly Archives: October 2017

MESSIng with FC Catalonia

Spain is experiencing a Brexit-lite moment these days. And the aggressive tactics that prevented massive amounts of voters from casting their ballots in Catalonia that, according to early polls, would’ve very likely led to Catalonia declaring its independence from Spain earlier this month, didn’t help matters.

Catalonia’s vice-president has said that the Spanish government has given them “no choice” but declare independence.
–Caroline Mortimer, Independent UK

News of bitter conflict between Spain and one of its own regions (for now) Catalonia instantly brought to mind a 60 Minutes interview about FC Barcelona from a few years ago. Please scroll the timeline to 12:21 for the interview portion concerning the long existing divide between Spain and Catalonia.

As the interview in the 60 Minutes piece reveals, the rift between Spain and FC Barcelona’s home in Catalonia is not new and has been peacefully subdued for years and years through passive-aggressive tension. Not anymore. The time to get off the fence has finally arrived. The future outcome between these two Spanish forces is unknown at this point, but there are serious divides between Spain and its independent-minded region. The consequences, positive and negative, for the Catalan people are, and potentially will be, far-reaching and lasting in a variety of ways. These critical issues will continue to be highlighted and discussed in the coming days and weeks as this battle royale rages on. However, again, what’s fascinating is that soccer football has a place at the table in this evolving debate.

If Catalonia successfully becomes an independent nation and actually has its seat at the UN, then what league does FC Barcelona play?

Technically, FC Barcelona would not be a city in Spain. How would La Liga feel about admitting/re-admitting one of its most historically prolific and profitable clubs? Could, or would, Spain really turn away the cash cow that is FC Barcelona in the Messi era? Would the Spanish government interfere at the highest levels? Would there be a public vote? Could FC Barcelona become football’s first independently floating Notre Dame equivalent? Would the English Premier League, Serie A and Bundesliga bid for FC Barcelona to join their league?

These questions may not be as hypothetical as people may want to think.

Moreover, former FC Barcelona manager and legend Pep Guardiola, born in Catalonia, recently expressed his views to reporters on the Spain vs. Catalonia debate after a Man City match.

“It’s a really sad day for democracy. I thought in the 21st century, those kind of things didn’t happen,” he said.

“Especially, for example, the Catalan parliament is older than the Spanish parliament itself.

“I am really, really sad. The Catalan people just wanted to vote and we want to be listened to and let the people say what they wanted to be [part of Spain or independent].

The EU and its powerful, overarching style of governing may still be mostly intact, but it seems each of its members is passionately and continually expressing its own desire for independence in some form or another, whether it’s from the EU or from itself. Fascinating and transformational times we live in, indeed.

El Clásico in Madrid, Spain should be interesting on May 6, 2018. Something tells me the supporters for each club will be cheering and contesting for more than just a football victory in their high-stakes rivalry game…

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Damn, Daniel’s Almost Done

Sometimes, the messenger rises above the message.

On that note, 60-year-old Daniel Day-Lewis announced a while back that he was going to retire from acting. This news was a little surprising, particularly given his age and that he still appears to be at the top of his game. Nevertheless, the trailer for his last film, Phantom Thread, recently debuted online. As mentioned in the opening, the story of this film may not necessarily excite one’s cinematic senses, but the lead actor will. Regardless, one should be interested in this forthcoming movie for a couple things:

  • Phantom Thread is the final film in the storied career of acting savant Daniel Day-Lewis. This is it.
  • Of all the films Daniel Day-Lewis could have made his swan song, why did he choose Phantom Thread?

Let’s get the first glimpse and try to decipher an early hypothesis to the second question above.

Whatever the reason for why Daniel Day-Lewis chose to leave audiences on Phantom Thread, there’s no ambiguity in the fact that he fashioned together one hell of a great career.

Happy Monday

No matter who we are, we all need that spark of inspiration on Monday. And what’s great about inspiration is the awesome power it possesses by requiring the smallest amount of that “it” factor for incredible, life-altering change.

The inventiveness, not the movies about the scary clown and his red balloon.

Speaking of clowns, the funny kind, Jim Carrey is one of my favorite actors. His brand of comedy is overwhelmingly unique, impactful, creative and inviting. While many critics contest he’s merely a professional goofball that drives his clown car off the road into comedic extremes, the more you listen to and discover about Jim Carrey’s past and present — the internal workings of his imagination and mere being day-to-day — the more you’ll discover there’s a person who does his signature silver screen jig while frantically changing the mask he wears like the rest of us:

Between drama and comedy.

The point is that we, believe it or not, are more like that dumb (or dumber?) guy than we may want to think or admit. Jim Carrey’s extremes reach far beyond where we go or can even see at any given moment, but fans of his (like me) have always wanted to get a glimpse of his yellow brick road to, one day, take a stroll unlike any other we could imagine.

That day is today and it turns out Jim Carrey’s road isn’t monochromatically yellow at all.

Yes, man.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

#SaveTheCrew is What We’ll Do

The man, the myth and the legend.

lamar-hunt-crew-2002-open-cup-final

(Columbus Crew winning 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with Lamar Hunt in attendance, pictured above in the center. Photo courtesy of thecup.us)

Lamar Hunt, American sports business icon, and Columbus Crew Founder is crying in heaven right now.

As you probably know, Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt bought the Columbus Crew back in 2013 with every discreet and sleazy intention (as has been reported in recent days) to move the team to Austin, TX in 2019. A previous blog post this week on Jimmy’s Daily Planet gave my first extended impression of this equally heartbreaking and infuriating news.

And the snake in the grass incarnate responded via Twitter last night. Let’s just say his message accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of failing to meet even the lowest standard of decency and self-awareness.

Then this.

Put you all in, not us.

— Anthony Precourt (@APrecourt) October 19, 2017

Anthony Precourt does not “feel for you Crew fans” because his intent all along was to move the team to Austin behind our backs while lying and, in the process, rip the heart out of this city, longtime Crew fans and the soccer capital of the United States of America. He knew exactly what he was doing from the moment he arrived in Columbus.

It’s an “uncertain time” because Anthony Precourt made it uncertain with his deceitful behavior whilst in concert with Don Garber from the beginning several years ago, who is another snake in the grass and opponent of professional soccer in Columbus.

The “I take full responsibility” is simply another over-sanitized and lawyer-approved line of PR nonsense. How is Anthony Precourt taking “full responsibility”? He’s cowardly hiding behind a Twitter account…and being quite terrible at it. Funny, I didn’t see the words “I’m sorry” or “I lied to everyone from the beginning” or “I’m going to sell the Crew to local investors ASAP to keep the team here at home, as they’ve requested multiple times, and leave Columbus, Ohio immediately in disgrace” or “I will meet publicly with Crew fans to see and listen to them, no matter the humiliation I’ll feel during this event.”

And then there’s the “correction.” Anthony Precourt consciously tweeted, “put you all in, not us.”

That said it all. 

Recent reports locally are that major Columbus investors will be meeting with the Anthony Precourt of the MLS head office (Commissioner Don Garber) today.

Concerning next steps, it’s important to know that the fight to keep the Crew in Columbus is not over and I have a feeling that the Black & Gold will be staying. I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy, plus there are positive signs that are pointing towards moving professional soccer out of Columbus (the soccer capital of the United States, with “Dos-a-Cero” for starters) as a massive mistake.

The movement (online and in-person) is called #SaveTheCrew and the website is savethecrew.com. Join the effort and stay tuned!

The USMNT has devastatingly lost its identity and, if Garber’s MLS allows Precourt to have his way, MLS will lose its identity, and beloved home and history, as well.

Saving the Crew is what we must do.