Archive for the ‘Schooled!’ Category

Schooled! A lesson in GERMAN

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Schooled!

We don't understand you! Take that whatever way you'd like!

 By Kim DeRaedt

It was a Bombenschuss, but the Torjäger is no stranger to sniffing out the back of the net.  Each Anhänger stood and cheered when the Angreifer beat the Schlussmann to lead the Heim to the Meisterschaft.  Gooooooool! Ole! 

Well, minus the latter exclamations, this German-American statement reads, “It was a difficult (long-distance) shot, but the (frequent) goal-scorer is no stranger to sniffing out the back of the net.  Each fan stood and cheered when the striker beat the goalkeeper to lead the home time to the championship.”  With the 2006 World Cup having passed through Deutschland, this summer’s Women’s World Cup plopping on German soil, and the inevitable dominance of the country’s squads across age and gender divides, the Germans can certainly walk the talk in the globe’s greatest game.  It’s about time we learn to talk a bit of their talk too!  (Note:  Studies have shown that talking the German talk does not correlate with walking the German soccer walk i.e. don’t expect the USNT to be confused with Die Mannschaft, “The Team”, anytime soon!)

Here’s a bit of lingo likely to (not) impress the Fußball -loving German public:

People
Soccer player:  Kicker
Spectators/Fans: Anhänger (s.), Zuschauer, Publikum    
Referee:  Schiedsrichter, Schiri (sl.)

Positions
Goalkeeper:  Torhüter, Torwart, Schlussmann (sl.)   
Sweeper:  Libero
Defender:  Verteidiger
Midfielder:  Mittelfeldspieler
Forward/Striker:  Angreifer, Stürmer, Spitze

On the Field
Field/Pitch:  Feld
Ball:  Ball (Bälle)
Bench:  Bank

Essential Expressions
Throw-in:  Eckstoß
Free kick:  Freistoß
Corner kick:  Eckstoß
Offside:  abseits (adj.)
Penalty kick:  Strafstoß, Elfmeter
Halftime:  Halbzeit

Verbs
To kick:  kicken, bolzen, treten, schlagen
To substitute:  auswechseln
To win:  gewinnen
To lose:  verlieren

Neat Nomenclatures
Bombenschuss:  a difficult shot, usually from a long distance
Hexenkessel:  an unfriendly stadium (“witch’s cauldron”), usually the opponent’s home stadium
Joker (sl.):  substitute who comes in and scores goals
Strafraumschwalbe:  “penalty box swallow”, i.e. diver
Torjäger:  goal scorer (who scores often)
Torschützenkönig leading goalscorer (“goal king”)

We say foosball (Fußball); they say kicker.  But really, isn’t it just /təˈmɑːtoʊ/ or /təˈmeɪtoʊ/ in the end.  Same difference! 

The turned-to tutor:  http://german.about.com/library/blsport_fussb.htm

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Schooled! A lesson in MUSIC

Posted: January 13, 2011 in Schooled!

Clint Dempsey gladly signs autographs for his fans, but soccer isn’t the only trade that Dempsey has tapped into and built up a following.

By Kim DeRaedt

Soccer may be the only sport that creates a music genre of its own.  Granted fans don’t have the voices of the Jonas Brothers nor the songwriting capabilities of Taylor Swift, but supporters do put a unique stamp on the industry.

Don’t Forget the Lyrics
Did you really think the English sang “When the Saints go Marching in?”  Liverpool fans make a simple adjustment, insert: Reds. http://fanchants.com/football-songs/liverpool-chants/when-the-reds-go-marching/
Something tells me this doesn’t end in such a “Silent Night”. http://fanchants.com/football-songs/birmingham_city-chants/silent-night/
From “Three Blind Mice” to “Three Blind Refs”—refs, mice, rats…what’s the difference? http://www.fortunecity.com/wembley/highbury/1256/songs5.html

100% Reason to Remember the Name
For better or for worse, “He Goes by the Name of Wayne Rooney” http://fanchants.com/football-songs/manchester_united-chants/he-goes-by-the-name/
America’s turn, “This is LA” http://fanchants.com/football-songs/los-angeles-galaxy-chants/this-is-la/
Brazil’s nearly identical, easily mistaken brother? “We’re not Brazil, We’re Northern Ireland” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6ia9drgL7s

From MF to D—DJ that is
Clint Dempsey has appeared a respectable 68 times for the US Men’s National Team, and his 19 goals puts him sixth on the all-time chart.  It’s this on the field rhythm that must aid Dempsey in finding his beat in the hip hop industry, his outside passion.  Under the alias “Deuce”, the tenacious Texas midfielder paired with two of the state’s rappers XO and the late Big Hawk to produce “Don’t Tread”, a Nike soccer advertising campaign launched for the 2006 World Cup to showcase the working-class origins of the US team.  Dempsey dedicated the song’s video to his sister Jennifer whom passed away suddenly from a brain aneurysm at the age of 16.

Julio Iglesias’s singing success is no accident
Known as Spain’s best-selling singer in history and one of the world’s top Hispanic voices as well, Julio Iglesias was a Real Madrid goalkeeper with hidden talent that took a devastating accident to reveal itself.  Receiving a law certificate from Cambridge University might seem like a neat feat, but Iglesias’s real flair was found in music.  After an accident meant Iglesias was unable to pursue his soccer desires, he went on to release nearly 80 records, sell over 250 million copies, perform at some 5,000 concerts, and snatch a Grammy to boot.  Now “Everybody’s Talking” about the La Liga runaway.

And you thought “Goooooooooool” was soccer’s greatest (most annoying) musical contribution.

Schooled! A lesson in GYM

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Schooled!

There was no monkeying around on the playground for these multi-talented athletes. They were the kings of the jungle (gym).

By Kim DeRaedt

Whether it was kickball or freeze tag, basketball or baseball these multi-sport athletes were likely the stars of their grade school gym classes en route to becoming soccer hotshots.  Athletic, accomplished, and adaptable, sporting glory runs through their veins. 

On the podium

Gold Getters
“The All-American Boss”, Bruce Arena:  The former US National Team coach didn’t chase a soccer career; soccer sought him.  Arena was a high school defender before the team’s goalkeeper was suspended, and he stepped in between the pipes.  He was both an All-American lacrosse and soccer player at Nassau Community College but moved on to Cornell University with the intention of playing lacrosse, not soccer.  A void in the goalkeeper position due to injuries once again thrust Arena into the role.  Post-college, he played professional lacrosse for Montreal Quebecois for a season until the National Lacrosse League folded at the end of the year.  Soccer lured Arena back into its grasp where he tried, albeit rather unsuccessfully, to establish himself as a professional.  Flash forward and the 49-year-old can now look back at his athletic career having added several successful coaching stints to his resume including collegiate, professional, and an eight-year stint as the US MNT’s go-to leader and coach. 

“The Royal Rev”, Taylor Twellman:  It’s not uncommon for a skilled athlete to compete in football, basketball, baseball, and soccer in high school as Twellman did during his St. Louis University High School days.  What’s not so normal, however, is for an athlete to be offered a contract with the Kansas City Royals right out of high school and turn it down to play soccer at Maryland.  It took only two collegiate seasons for Twellman to realize that he had made the right decision as the prodigious forward jumped overseas to suit up for 1860 Munich II.  Nevertheless, his short stint was unsuccessful, so Twellman returned to his native land where he transformed his career into a huge success scoring 101 goals for the New England Revolution and making 29 appearances for the US National Team. 

“Mr. Football”, Aldo Donelli:  Donelli hardly felt the pressure of the US National Team’s rivalry match against Mexico in the 1934 World Cup qualifying match.  He became the first US player to net a hat trick in an international game by scoring all four goals in the 4-2 victory.  “Football” ran in Donelli’s blood.  He had a brief career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles and served as a coach for the Steelers and Cleveland Rams as well.  Donelli passed away in 1994, but his legacy lives on as a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. 

Silver Starters
Curtis Pride:  A 13-year MLB career was Pride’s claim to fame, but the outfielder didn’t always carry around a Louisville Slugger.  Pride scored twice for the U-16 US National Team in its 1985 FIFA World Cup appearance in China.  He was slated as one of the world’s top prospects before he heard baseball call his name, or did he?  Pride racked up his athletic laurels despite being deaf from birth. 

The Bahr Boys:  Chris and Matt Bahr both got their kicks in the National American Soccer League and utilized their talents to serve as placekickers in the NFL for over a decade’s time. 

Bronze Bullet
Brian Kuritzky:  An Ironman is supposed to be the ultimate athletic achievement, something even the fittest of fit athletes spend years training for.  Kuritzky, a soccer player at Cornell, knocked off an Ironman competition without thought or training as if to say “what’s next?”.  To support his point that soccer players were the fittest athletes, he signed up for an Ironman-length triathlon just three weeks in advance, made a faint attempt at relevant preparation, and crossed the finish line in a respectable 15:30:26 while raising money for charity and proving soccer’s predominance along the way. 
A neat feat:  http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/blog/which-college-athletes-are-the-fittest

One thing is for sure:  These guys sure weren’t picked last in recess kickball!

Schooled! A lesson in LITERATURE

Posted: December 19, 2010 in Schooled!

Sometimes flipping through the pages can be just as good as flipping through the channels. These are the books that should've landed on your school's required reading list.

By Kim DeRaedt

If reading feeds the mind and soccer fuels the soul, then the sport’s best literature will surely provide total body benefits not be discounted.  Take a look at your bare or boring bedstand and consider livening it up with some of these great reads.

Bestselling on Amazon
1. A Beautiful Game:  The World’s Greatest Players and How Soccer Changed Their Lives
By Tom Watt
“A Beautiful Game
tells their stories, in the players’ own words—stories of boys who would grow up to be heroes for a new generation of young players and fans. They look back to their childhoods: to their family homes, to their schoolrooms, to the friends they grew up with, and to the places where they first played the game that has made them stars. The players’ words are brought to life with over 160 full-color images that offer rare, emotive, and striking insights into childhood all over the world, and celebrate soccer’s ability to touch the lives of children—and adults—wherever the beautiful game is played.”
2. Soccernomics:  Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Austrailia, Turkey—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport
By Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski
3. Inverting the Pyramid:  The History of Football Tactics
By Jonathan Wilson

ESPN Expert Endorsement:  Roger Bennett’s Recommended
1.
The Ball is Round:  A Global History of Soccer
By David Goldblatt
“…is more a monumental achievement than a book. A precisely written, 992-page cultural history of soccer, a little bit like Bill Simmons’ colossus “The Book of Basketball” but without the sense of humor. Reading it is like running a marathon — a test of human stamina and endurance that is uniquely rewarding at the finish.”
2. The Glory Game
By Hunter Davies
3. Garrincha:  The Triumph & Tragedy of Brazil’s Forgotten Footballing Hero
By Ruy Castro Find out more!

Schooled! A lesson in ART

Posted: December 9, 2010 in Schooled!

From the people who brought you SportsCenter, take a look at the beautiful game ESPN 2010 World Cup mural style.  An honor to last summer’s sweet sixteen!

Schooled! A lesson in MATH

Posted: November 25, 2010 in Schooled!

They say the best players wear number 10. Lionel Messi has certainly been working to support this adage as he takes over Ronaldino's number at Real Madrid.

By Kim DeRaedt

It’s soccer by the numbers.  Facts, stats, and records that don’t make the media cut…

 Basic
–20 hexagon panels + 12 pentagon panels = 32 panels on a soccer ball
–Circumference of a soccer ball= dπ
27.161 in.=8.65 in.*π
–4 out of 5 soccer balls are produced in Pakistan
–1-0:  The top score line in EPL games over the last five seasons (11.1%)
–A player covering 10 km/game (6.2 mi.) runs the length of an NBA court (94 ft.) roughly 350 times.

Intermediate
–90 min. – 22 min. = 68 min.  During World Cup 2010, the average actual playing time (APT) was 68 minutes in games where there was a winner/loser.  Matches ending in a draw averaged 67.2 minutes.  So much for 2-3 minutes of stoppage time added to each half. 
–Winners and losers in the 2010 World Cup both took shots at nearly the same frequency, every 2.5 min. and 2.8 min. of APT respectively.  However, winners took only 5.8 minutes to land a shot on goal, whereas losers managed a shot on goal every 10.2 minutes.    
–Spain’s Xavi covered the greatest distance over the course of World Cup 2010.  In seven matches, he covered 49.7 miles.  His top speed reached was 14.1 mph.
–Michael Bradley won the award for the most distance covered per match.  He averaged 8.0 miles per game, which equates to an 11:15 pace per mile over 90 minutes of play. 

Advanced
World Records
–Heading a soccer ball, doubles passing:  Kosovo’s Agim Agushi and Bujar Ajeti headed the ball between each other 11,111 times in 3:55:20 hours on November 9, 2003.
–Juggling a billiard ball with feet:  Paul Sahli from Switzerland kept a billiard ball up for 51:55 minutes on February 10, 2002. 
–Walking while keeping up a soccer ball:  Leave it to Brazilian Ricardo Silva Neves.  He covered 448 miles in June of 1992 and arrived in Brazil after traveling for a remarkable 12 days!

Countdown
5
—World Cup championships for Brazil, more than any other nation (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
4—MLS Cup titles for DC United, the league leaders (1996, 1997, 1999, 2004)
3—Domestic titles won by Inter Milan during the 1964-1965 season as the club became the world’s first   and Italy’s only club to-date to complete a domestic treble
2—Instances in which a European country was not represented in the World Cup final (1930, 1950)
1Only one team will be able to claim recognition as the SPSL’s inaugural champion.  Who will it be?! 

Resources for math nerds (incorporated within this post):
An excellent, in-depth blog dissecting soccer statistics and statistical trends:
http://soccerbythenumbers.blogspot.com/
More World Cup statistics than you could possibly want:  http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/statistics/index.html 
A step above soccer blogging, it’s soccer from a detailed journalistic perspective:
http://usa10kit.com/ 
A list of untouchable soccer juggling achievements:
http://www.recordholders.org/en/list/ball.html