Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'll See You Back in Reno, Outside the Grand Casino

Every year, about this time, we'll get a torrential rainstorm, beautiful in its fury, and then the next day find that the summer heat's broken and we're into one of those periods where Atlanta is really beautiful. Giving it all a bit of a dark side, the storms are the remnants of hurricanes -- one this past Friday was, I guess, the tail end of Hurricane Humberto, which was a lot less pleasant for some states to the west.

So like I said, since getting back from London, I've been in the throes of one of my periodic soccer fascinations. These are generally fleeting, partly because I get confused about when I should be paying attention and what's the top prize to get (I know they have lots of cups), partly because I will never understand the offside rule. I get hockey's offside rule just fine, but not soccer. Why? I don't know.

One of the ways this current fascination is manifesting itself is through the Football Manager computer game, the older brother to the Eastside Hockey Manager game I've mentioned before. EHM is addictive, but it's just a lightweight gateway drug compared to the heroin that is Football Manager. My players get pissed off when I pull them out of a match, I get to insult other coaches -- there's so much you can do. I'm enraptured. Whenever I've had spare time (not often, these past couple weeks) I've been playing that.

On a more serious note, I've also read:

#39 -- "Ajax, the Dutch, the War" by Simon Kuper

Fantastic book here -- wide-ranging and far exceeding my expectations. I knew, vaguely, that it was about Dutch football during the war, the Holocaust, and the Ajax club. It turned out to be about so much more: Dutch society and the country's legend of tolerance, wartime behavior, anti-Semitism, the development of club supporter bases... and much more that I'm not thinking of right now. Despite taking on so many subjects, the book never seems to lose focus, and is a tight, quick read. I learned far more from this than you'd expect from a relatively thin book. Highly recommended.


Martin. said...

Imagine that instead of having a blue line, the line runs across the field at wherever the last defender is (at the time the pass is made).

So when you see the last player back for a defending team imagine a blue line following his feet around.

I have no idea if that makes sense or not.

gsdgsd13 said...

Actually, that does kind of make sense -- I'll try to put that into play next time I'm watching a match. I figure after a few beers, I'll be seeing the blue line there whether it's really there or not.