how do you become champions without playing a championship?

So these Leicester blokes just won the Premier League title. Folks are freaking out. It’s draped the news for days. Apparently the odds were so high that I figure it’s the equivalent of having the Jaguars or the Browns win the Super Bowl next year.

For amusement, my Guests have calculated the chances of the Jaguars or the Browns winning next year’s title as longer than, “…the chance the Sun viciously explodes tomorrow due to a fourth rate intern pressing the wrong button at the Large Hadron Collider.”

Doesn’t that sound super rare? Gee I sure hope so. That Collider thing scares the hells out of me. They be wielding black magic inside that mountain, I assure you. Think workplace violence is bad? Wait till the Black Hole Ghosts they let into our temporal realm warp all those Euro scientists’ heads.

hadron.jpg

Anyways, Leicester didn’t play Manchester United and knock them off in a brutal Duel of the Fates that risked the destruction of multiple stadiums by hooligans drinking too many non-alcoholic beers. Instead, Leicester gets the trophy because Tottenham and Chelsea played to a draw. What?

At first, when I heard Leicester was to play Manchester I thought it was for the championship. To win it all, loser goes home, etc, etc. Apparently not. I guess in EPL the title goes to the best record, or so I’ve been able to gather. There are no playoffs.

That’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. So I embarked upon a quest to read the rules of the EPL to figure out why there is not just a straight Super Bowl like title game that would likely be watched by a billion people across the globe. After twenty minutes of this, I gave up. My head hurt.

You go ahead and try and determine via relegation, EPL rules, the Championship League, UEFA, FIFA, the various regional groups and ruling bodies, what the hell is going on. If you want to understand why the European Union is an unhinged organizational basketcase, kindly go and try to figure out how Euro soccer is organized.

If I’ve got it wrong, one of you seven fringe people who regularly read this blog who knows better please clue me in. I think I’ve got it right, but who knows.

Manchester United v Leicester City - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford

Leicester City fans cheer on their side in the stands after the match despite not winning the title on the day, during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Two other teams just tied. We won!

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outrage is now apparently the taste of victory

Great news! Your team just won. It’s a moment to celebrate glorious victory on the soccer / football field / pitch. You have many choices available on how you’ll enjoy this wonderful moment:

 

 a) Drink lots of beer with family and friends in an unbridled moment of enjoyable life

 b) Calmly read a book with your mate, pausing repeatedly to contemplate how lucky you were to get to see your team win

 c) Viciously parse random social media comments and shout loudly about how outraged you are that somebody wrote something that bothers you

 

Yeah, I know! I’d choose (a) or (b) too, and, oh, what, [unintelligible muttering] I’ve chosen (c)? When? [unintelligible muttering] But I did (a) and (b) last night. Doesn’t that count? [shakes head] [unintelligible muttering] Oh.

Once upon a time social justice warriors and the news media had pretty awesome causes to get behind. You could go to Alabama and do battle against goons who’d turn fire hoses onto people based upon the color of their skin. Or you could go to Nazi Germany and work against those guys who were too focused on mathematics and spreadsheets to realize what horrible fucking people they were.

You can do these things today too. For instance, you could go to Lebanon and deliberately cover the mass human misery and help millions in desperate need of support. Or you could go to Baltimore and cover the grinding day-to-day (not a single brief week) of how hard it is to live in America’s urban wastelands.

But why do any of this hard stuff when you can spend your time parsing somebody’s tweet and get mad at its content. After all, solving ISIS or urban America is awfully hard. Eh, whatever, let’s do nothing of actual value. Let’s sit behind a desk and trash free speech. It’s much easier that way.

I, of course, do this too. But the difference between me and somebody who works for the BBC or Washington Post is I don’t get paid for this. Plus, they’re on the nagging side. And I’m on the anti-nagging side. I want people to be free to say whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. Their ilk literally wants to control human thought.

Two lunatic events to this end:

The Washington Post thinks this tweet is the most offensive thing England has done since the vicious firebombing of Dresden #BomberHarris #toosoon:

 

“Our #Lionesses go back to being mothers, partners and daughters today, but they have taken on another title – heroes: …”

 

Activist, journalist, and stormy-cloud-frowny-face-man Ishaan Tharoor, who used to be a senior editor at Time and a Yale man (must be a coincidence) called this a “sexist tweet”.

But what if I alter this tweet a little and make it say this:

 

“Our #Lions go back to being fathers, partners and sons today, but they have taken on another title – heroes: …”

 

To which my point is: What’s the fucking problem?

Is it illegal for us to refer to these female humans for what they are? I’m pretty sure every female player on the England team is somebody’s daughter. Quite a few of them are mothers too. Maybe we need to sanitize this speech to the point it sounds like a faceless machine wrote it.

After all, isn’t the term “lionesses” sexist too? Doesn’t that imply that female athletes can’t be male lions? Isn’t the fact that we say a female human can’t be a male lion the most offensive English anti-feminist thing since King Arthur beat (alleged) his wife over an (alleged) adulterous act? The BBC doesn’t seem to think so (surprisingly). The term’s plastered all over their website.

Whatever, I got my Guests to write this very, very professional tweet:

 

“Our #humans go back to being humans, workers and oxygen consumers today, but they have taken on another title – winners of the game: …”

 

See how much safer and kinder this tweet is. If only all our speech sounded this way. Then nobody would ever say anything valuable or fun ever again. Think of how awesome that world would be.

Next up is the BBC who (not surprisingly) raises the issue of how many low-class-haters took to the airwaves to use the term Pearl Harbor in conjunction with the Japanese loss.

Apparently, poking fun at history is horribly offensive and juvenile. What kind of insensitive pig would do something like that? Well, me. This is what I posted prior to the game’s start on an unrelated social media platform:

 

On July 5th, 1942 USS Growler torpedoed IJNS Arare and two other destroyers off Kiska or 2,527 miles from today’s stadium. Here’s hoping for an anniversary repeat. ‪#‎theystartedit ‪#‎toosoon”

 

But what if I alter this tweet a little and make it say this:

 

“On August 8th, 1942 Admiral Mikawa’s forces torpedoed and sank four Allied crusiers off Guadalcanal or 6,140 miles from today’s stadium. Here’s hoping for an anniversary repeat. #longlance #youstarteditoilembargo #toosoon”

 

To which my point is: What’s the fucking problem?

If we as a human race cannot laugh and tell jokes (even offensive jokes) about the most horrible war in human history, we’ll rapidly discover that humor no longer exists and we’re just a bunch of boring losers.

Somebody needs to get Tharoor and the BBC a bunch of beers and watch them drink until they calm down. Then they can just simply celebrate victory with the rest of us. They should try it now and again. They’d sleep better at night.

Normally I wouldn’t care, except that Tharoor and the BBC are powerful enough that people who actually matter are going to listen to them and further do what they can to control our speech.

It’s going to get to the point that anybody, anywhere is going to be afraid to tweet or say like, things, or anything at all, because they’ll be too afraid that what they say is offensive to somebody, somewhere, over something.

And what we can / cannot say will be dictated to us by an elite BBC woman and super-elite Yale man; upon pain of outrage and social ostracism. I fear this world. For when it arrives, it’s going to be a freaking miserable nightmare.

As an example, I almost, almost didn’t post my Kiska thing because I thought it’d offend people or folks would think it too juvenile. But I did it anyway. I’m glad I did.

stormy

The Arcturus Project’s Weekly (Not Weekly) Stormy Cloud Award goes to His Ivy League Eminence Ishaan Tharoor. Smart Yale man you might be, but wise you are not. Do you get it? I did a thing there.

schizophrenic behavior is never okay

I don’t care what anybody says, both those women were concussed. Alexandra Popp had her skull split wide open. Morgan Brian’s eyes looked like she was strolling through the Land of Chocolate with Homer Simpson. Neither of these players should have gone back into the game.

If this was the NFL, it’d be front page news today. The outrage. The mass hysteria. But because it’s women’s soccer, it’s somehow okay.

To their credit, many media outlets (SI, NY Times, Post) who hammer the NFL with glee do have articles this morning questioning the wisdom of allowing two very clearly injured players back onto the field. But other imperial bomb throwers (ESPN) don’t have a word about it at least a dozen articles deep.

You’ll see this line on this shitty blog again and again, I originally stole it from South Park:

“Either it’s all okay, or none of it is.”

If the sports media is going to demolish the NFL over concussions they need to demolish women’s soccer over concussions. Anything less is schizophrenic behavior from a media that chases an issue based on click value, not actual value.

And thus: NFL is popular = concussions issue sells, but women’s soccer is not popular = concussions issue does not sell.

I’m of the mind that everything in life has risks, even driving yourself to work. Sports have risks that need to be managed. Concussions happen. Life happens. And the sports leagues, NFL, FIFA, etc, can work the issue to make it better.  Without sacrificing the core of the games.

Clearly last night needs to get handled better by FIFA. It was not okay. I guess the point of this post is there’s progress to be made to lessen the risks, but the media treats the issue differently depending on what sport’s being played. This schizophrenic behavior serves nobody, nor the issue at hand.

Morgan-Brian-Alexandra-Popp

I kept waiting for the ambulance to come out; and ten minutes later they’re back on the field; these two players are real warriors, admirable; but they should have been made to sit down

The definition of insanity is not knowing why you did what you did

We’ve all been there. You do something entirely rational. Nothing bad happened. There isn’t a problem. You do it, you move on. But then you spend days asking yourself, so, uh, why did you do that?

Everybody’s got a completely pointless story on where they watched America and Germany play last Thursday. As if to say that on any given day, people normally do not watch a competitive sporting event. So it’s special when you do, and you should broadcast to the planet how you did it.

Maybe you watched the game on an illegal feed in your cubicle. Maybe you watched it in a bar with friends. Maybe you were holed up in a creepy basement in the dark in front of a thirteen inch black and white wonder while sharpening knives. But who cares either way?

Well, I guess a lot of people. Because everybody tweeted how they did it, showed pictures, posted to social networks, told their friends, and so on. It’s like the purpose of the game is to tell folks where and how you watched the game. What was the score? Who cares bro, we were at this bar, out of work, and like, we did shots. Oh, uh, …

So now that I’ve addressed that key issue, I’m going to talk about how I personally watched the game. Because if you foolishly read this far, you deserve what you get.

The ability to take off from work to watch the game? Banned. Why? Well, I have no idea. I’ve reached the point where the decisions and actions of my supervisor(s) are more bizarre than doing long division while having your head beat with a plastic bat wielded by a screaming ten year old girl.

Oh, I can’t take off to watch the game with my family, okay boss. Understood. Thanks for hearing me out. Why boss? No, don’t go there. If you ask, you won’t understand the answer. Move along.

So in my cubicle I was. I knew how the game would end. I figured it’d be close and Germany would win. It’s not rocket science. But I wanted to watch the game because it felt important to me. So I journeyed around like a lunatic looking for an option.

Watch the game in the common area? Banned. Watch the game in the break room? Banned. Watch the game on an illegal feed at the desk? Site blocked. Watch the game in the food court? Banned. It’s delightful to discover how much your employer does not value your own country.

So I ended up huddled in front of the abandoned security guard station, watching it on a very small color square, on Univision (ESPN blocked), with about a hundred of my best friends who I’ve never met. As a separate issue, I was probably the youngest person there, which probably says something about me (not sure what, really).

You want to experience something unsettling? Stand for over an hour with a hundred suit and tie wearing old guys you don’t know, who say not one word to each other as they watch a game in Spanish when none of them speak Spanish. But I didn’t leave, I didn’t walk away.

So the question that’s come up later inside my brain was why?

1) It’s America

If the USA cricket team was playing Germany in an important game I’d probably at least care enough to watch. When in doubt, experience the joy of raw primal patriotism. And why not?

In today’s joyful Command & Control world where everything is existential, without happiness, and you must conform to the values of others? Well, this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to cheering for our side alongside the rest of the culture like its 1945. By the time this is over in a month we’ll all go back to hating each other again. Trust me.

Even our favorite Kraut (not our favorite) Herr Klinsmann got in on this by ghost writing an absence letter for folks to take off work to watch the game. It was a neat touch. It had style, class, humor, and was fun to read.

Now it might not have come from inside Klinsmann’s brain and instead got generated by some faceless public relations hack at USA Soccer. But we’re going to go ahead and give our Kraut friend the credit because it’s his signature at the bottom.

But this isn’t the true answer for me. Because as much as I love the Colors, I’d never watch the American cricket team on Univision.

2) I do like the game

I do enjoy soccer. So this obviously increases my ability to care. But I don’t snake out of work to watch MLS or EPL. So that’s not it either.

3) I hate my job

Maybe the excuse to depart my cubicle for an hour is enough. Maybe I’ll watch cooking on Univision next week at the same security station. Just to escape. Now don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky I am. There are people literally breaking rocks for a living. But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it when I clearly don’t.

4) It’s the event

The clearest answer I have is one we’ve addressed earlier when discussing this last Super Bowl (not actual Super Bowl due to blowout factor). It’s the event, friends.

Just as 100 million people watch the Super Bowl, when at least 60 million of them don’t follow football, so 60-70% of those who tuned in last Thursday could not care less about soccer. It’s about the event.

You go watch the game in the park with thousands because thousands are there. If you got out of work, even better. It’s cool to have fun when you normally are trapped behind a desk. Go socialize, go live the experience. Go share something with friends and family. The game isn’t the event, the experience is the event.

Why did I feel weird about my situation? Maybe because as much as I actually did care about the game, I was also searching for that experience. I didn’t get it. I got Univision with a bunch of weirdoes like me. So it felt wrong.

Well, we’ve corrected that in preparation for tomorrow’s bout. I took leave from work. I’ll depart my sour box shaped cage early. Going to watch it with family. So I’ll have both the game and the experience. Win or lose, it should be fun. But winning would be nice. USA! USA! …

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This California beach crowd was a slightly different soccer viewing demographic than the one I enjoyed

We fire coaches who are self-proclaimed losers

I don’t care that it starts tomorrow.  Fire him now.  When a coach states the team can’t win, he’s admitting he’s a loser.  What kind of coach tells a team they’re going to lose before the first game?  I don’t care how accurate a statement this is or is not.  You play one game at a time, to win.  We’ve previously articulated our thoughts on this man.  Sadly, it seems we’re proven right.  He should never have been hired.

US Men's National Team vs Brazil

The greatest loser of a German leader since Hitler’s torched skull

There are violent exceptions to every rule

Sepp Blatter is worth more to the human race as fuel than as a breathing human being. So we should add him to the feed stock of his local power plant.

Now generally, such a belligerent statement is not productive. Who wants to promote the rapid disintegration of people? Well, my guests I suppose. But this is typically not a good idea. Yet there are exceptions, and in Sepp’s case, I’m willing to break all the rules to remove his form from our lives.

Sepp’s latest drunken boast is that those who oppose the selection of Qatar for 2022 are racist. No, really, this actually happened:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27762435

You have to at least admire how ridiculously carefree Sepp is. The dude’s been on the take for decades. Everybody knows he’s stolen as much cash as the world’s biggest kleptocrats. On his watch, soccer is among the world’s most consistently widespread corrupt sports. Why? Because when the guy in charge is lining his pockets and always getting away with it, well, why not you too?

But no, no, we’re not upset that Qatari cash bought 2022 despite the fact that the country is unfit to host. No, we’re all just racists. Oh, okay Sepp. I’ll be sure to remember that as I think about you sleeping in your palace tonight. Right before my guests rip you from your bed, throw you into the back of their Teledar, and fly you over to your local generating station for the aforementioned end stage of your existence.

But don’t worry, FIFA is personally investigating the claims that FIFA is corrupt. So you know the report is good. We’ll have this cleaned up before 2015. Truly.

I suppose it’s natural that we’d want to discuss what’s going on with 2018 and 2022 just as we’re about to begin 2014, but you have to wonder why Sepp wants to bring this up now? Uncle Vladimir and a bunch of oil barons bought the next two tournaments. But you can reasonably claim that Brazil earned 2014 fair and square. I think?

So my only conclusion is that Sepp is a lunatic. And he just does not care. He’s survived this long. He’ll be around for the next one too. So it’s Russia in 2018, Qatar in 2022, and Sepp Blatter in a gold laced, diamond encrusted casket one day. Either that, or the power plant option. Don’t sleep too deeply, Sepp. You never know.

sepp-blatter

How the fuck do I keep getting away with this shit? [hmm] Eh [shrugs], whatever, fuck it. [lights cigar with cash & orphan’s tears]