Blog Archives

The Different Goals in the World Cup

Championships give Cristiano Ronaldo the edge over Lionel Messi as the greatest of all time

(Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

What makes a World Cup legacy?

When Spain won the 2010 World Cup whilst executing a transplant version of the famed total football tactics of the Dutch against the Dutch in the final–a surreal case of the body snatchers indeed–coupled with the parallel success of Barcelona at the club level, it became clear that Spain was the soccer capital of the world.

This impressive achievement was stylistic and generational.

Thus far in the 2018 World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four goals in two games, which includes the game-winning goal in Portugal’s 1-nil win today against Morocco, while Lionel Messi hasn’t registered a goal or assist after 90 minutes against Iceland in the group stage. Both Ronaldo and Messi, for instance, are world-class soccer players and generational icons. The point is whether Ronaldo is genuinely tipping the scale in his favor in real-time in his rivalry with Messi for best player in the world because he’s scored/scoring more goals than his Argentine counterpart on soccer’s biggest stage?

If the 2018 World Cup ends up tipping the scales in this heated debate–this premise being a whole other debate–will goals or style of play weigh heavier in defining the (proposed) best player of his generation?

Either way, Messi will have his shot(s) tomorrow to add some goals to his tournament résumé and for his country, as well as some weight to his side of the scale.

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U.S. Soccer Is Acting Like Biff, Not Marty

That feeling when winning sort of feels like losing.

The United States, partnering with Canada and Mexico (United 2026), won the bid to officially host the 2026 World Cup. Beating Morocco, this victory is a long-distance–yet still unsatisfactory in the short-term–solace for missing this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

It’s great news on the surface, yet there are rumblings underneath that fuel discomfort.

The first discomfort is the reminder of no American team in the World Cup that kicks off tomorrow with host Russia vs. Saudi Arabia. The second and equally important discomfort stems from the list of cities submitted by United 2026. Of the 17 American cities, Columbus, Ohio is noticeably absent. Cincinnati made the list, which makes perfect sense since the city was awarded its MLS promotion, what, a week ago?

Unreal.

Plus, the rumored location for the 2026 World Cup final by United 2026 is the greatest soccer venue in the United States:

MetLife Stadium with an estimated capacity of 82,500. Remember this figure for later on in this article).

Unreal.

It is my analytical judgment that Columbus is The soccer capital of the United States of America. This is supported by extensive evidence both practical and philosophical. I don’t have time right now to dive into my dissertation on this subject, but it’s far beyond a mere opinion.

Anyways, the Columbus omission had to be due to lack of interest or just a failed bid.

The former seems implausible because of the 20+ year history of the Columbus Crew–including games and critical players to the USMNT–and its famous Dos-a-Cero matches, along with other USMNT friendlies and USWNT World Cup matches. I don’t have any information concerning the latter, but the fact nothing has come to light for that matter is not an encouraging sign for thinking Columbus simply failed to win a bid as one of the top 17 soccer cities in America.

Add in the 2016 friendly at the Horseshoe between European giants Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in front of more than 86,000 fans by comparing it to the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, which was attended by just shy of 75,000 people.

Just an FYI. History, fandom, and infrastructure (stadiums, hotels, restaurants, attractions, security, etc.) are all here and ready in Columbus.

Right now, I’m as happy about the U.S. winning the bid to be the primary host country for the 2026 World Cup (40 of 60 games in the U.S.) as I am about FC Cincinnati entering MLS next season. If one addition is at the expense of the other, which happens to carry with it unrivaled historical weight, then no, I’m not all that happy.

It’s a double-edged sword. If Columbus wasn’t being schemed against as an MLS team and as a leading soccer city nationally, then today would be one of much happier celebration. Sadly, that’s just not the reality. It seems, at least at this point, that Columbus is a primary target for removal by MLS and U.S. Soccer akin to Marty McFly’s family photograph in ‘Back to the Future.’

I thought the USMNT missing the 2018 World Cup was an embarrassing low-point.

I was wrong because this 2026 “win” feels like another massive loss for the identity of American soccer.

Tomorrow’s Forecast Up North: Gold Pants Weather

THE Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines will collide for the 114th time on the gridiron in “The Big House” in Ann Arbor tomorrow at noon on FOX for another installment of the greatest rivalry in sports.

The intensity is real, the history is storied and the legendary rivalry between two bordering Midwestern states continues with a lot at stake for both programs and states. Eternal pride and a pair of small gold pants are always on the line. And this year, there’s potentially a little something extra down the road for Ohio State if the men in scarlet & gray drive away victorious with the aforementioned gold pants for the sixth consecutive season. The Buckeyes are still (metaphorically) looking for a Hail Mary to sneak into the College Football Playoff.

More on this in a future blog post.

As usual, the rankings don’t matter in this rivalry. The #9 Buckeyes and the unranked Wolverines will compete like it’s the national championship and tomorrow’s game should add an amazing new chapter to an already amazing and evolving story. And winning those cherished gold pants against ‘That Team Up North’ defines legacies, like with quarterback J.T. Barrett seeking his school-record 4th pair as Ohio State’s starting quarterback in this rivalry.

(Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett in April 2017 receiving his gold pants for the win against ‘That Team Up North’ last season, courtesy of Eleven Warriors)

Losing this game can equally break legacies. You don’t have to remind John Cooper of that reality…

Analysis of the game will follow later. For now, here’s a subtle reminder of the greatest rivalry in sports.

OH-IO. 

Go Bucks!

RIP Adam West

Adam West, most famously known as TV’s Batman, died on June 9th.

Living a life for 88 years is impressive. Now, recall the fact that he defined (however humorously) the image of the Caped Crusader for generations of Batman fans and his legacy begins to take a clearer shape. For many, Mr. West’s defining moment as Batman was that famous “wall climb.”

Ladies and gentlemen, movie/TV magic had to start somewhere. Still, that scene/”stunt” is a nice reminder and memory of the notion that things were simpler back then.

While Adam West will always be remembered as the more comical, light-hearted version of Batman, he’s still one of the very few actors who has portrayed this Dark Knight icon. And, in that spirit, let’s honor Adam West by giving him a modern cinematic treatment of Batman by way of a custom Dark Knight Rises trailer.

Thank you YouTube user “allcappsfilm” for that entertaining adaptation for many people’s first acting Batman outside the comic book universe.

RIP Adam West.