Summary of “How We Watch Soccer Now”

When I’m feeling curious or apprehensive about the future of the game, and about the sheer range of soccer I might one day feel obliged to obsess over, I’ll read up on Major League Soccer or the Chinese Super League-generally agreed to be rising forces, though still currently a place for second-rank talent and the occasional fading, pampered megastar.
A recent Gallup poll found that soccer was the favorite sport to watch for seven per cent of Americans-higher than hockey, and only slightly lower than baseball.
Attempts to introduce the game at Cambridge University during the eighteen-forties foundered, because, as one student wrote, “Every man played the rules he had been accustomed to at his public school. I remember how the Eton men howled at the Rugby men for handling the ball.” A compromise, the Cambridge Rules, was drawn up and a campaign for universal standards spread. In 1863, representatives from eleven clubs formed the Football Association-the term “Soccer” is a contraction of “Association football”-and set about devising the Laws of the Game, which included the maximum length of the pitch and a prohibition on throwing the ball.
Foreigners’ soccer was viewed with haughty indifference by the English soccer establishment.
In the next decade and a half, England had its first soccer tragedy, the Munich air disaster, in which eight Manchester United players died; its first soccer superstar, George Best, the so-called fifth Beatle; its first and only World Cup victory; its first knighthoods for a soccer player and a manager.
In his chirpy “History of British Football”, the musicologist Percy M. Young identified the arrival of a recognizable new type-the soccer connoisseur, who would watch only “Attractive football.” But even among connoisseurs tribalism often won out; the point of soccer was still to chant and cheer, not analyze and admire.
Like most families, we didn’t have Murdoch’s satellite package, but we still caught highlights of Premiership games on the BBC’s weekly roundup “Match of the Day,” and, for the first time, it was easy to watch soccer being played outside the British Isles.
More recently, Karl Ove Knausgaard wrote that Zidane’s “Every move” at the 2006 World Cup was “a joy to behold”-even the head-butt was “Entirely rational”-and Tom McCarthy mused that Zinedine Zidane’s head was ineluctably drawn to the double “Z” in his antagonist’s surname, calling the head-butt “Perhaps the most decisive rite typography has been accorded in our era.” Such poetic flights, for all their idiosyncrasy, constitute a more or less natural response to the way we watch soccer today.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Legend of Nintendo”

Few people who play Nintendo games are likely to notice their fingerprints, though there are pious aficionados who vigilantly assess their work, bridling at signs of impurity like Tolstoy devotees picking over a new translation of War and Peace.
The only place to play Nintendo games was on Nintendo devices.
“If we think 20 years down the line, we may look back at the decision not to supply Nintendo games to smartphones and think that is the reason why the company is still here,” Satoru Iwata, then the company’s president, told the Wall Street Journal in 2013.
The following year, Niantic released Pokémon Go, a mobile game that thrust Nintendo back into the news.
More symptoms emerged in November, when the company released the NES Classic Edition, a miniaturized, rebooted version of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the console that had made the company a household name in Europe and America in the ’80s. The updated version was carefully calibrated to rekindle the latent passion of lapsed fans, with 30 of the most popular NES games built in.
At $59.99 per unit with no additional games, NES Classics were a low-margin item; much more important for the company was to whet the world’s appetite for Nintendo games in preparation for the Switch.
Nintendo has a few plans in motion: a partnership with Cygames Inc., a Japanese developer specializing in mobile games, and the launch in September of an online subscription service for the Switch, which will allow gamers to compete against one another and play a slate of retro titles.
In early June, Nintendo released a free online demo of the upcoming Mario Tennis Aces-a tournament game expected to be one of the first major attractions for its network service.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Nate Robinson Battles Inner Demons in Quest for NBA Return”

“I’m sorry, I’m playing WOUNDED!” Robinson exclaims, referring to Paul not playing.
Rivers isn’t ruling out the possibility either, if Robinson can accept whatever role he’s given.
The first time Robinson touched an NBA basketball, in his debut against the Celtics in 2005, was on a quick steal.
Robinson fantasized about retiring in Chicago, but he says tensions with coach Tom Thibodeau escalated privately, as Robinson’s focus and maturity were once again issues.
“The NBA gave me my depression,” Robinson says.
“In therapy, Nate was trying to figure out what he was doing wrong.”I was trying to change,” Robinson says.
Robinson says current NBA players are held to different standards.
Once, on an open fast break with no defenders in sight, Robinson was surprised when a player on the opposing team rose from the bench and ran onto the hardwood to stop the break.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Zach Lowe on The Basketball Tournament and NBA crunch time”

The organizers of The Basketball Tournament, the $2 million winner-take-all pickup-style challenge entering its fifth iteration, did not know quite what to expect last year when they experimented with a radical change to crunch time: shutting off the game clock and playing until one team reaches a target score.
The Elam Ending is the brainchild of Nick Elam, a former middle school principal who got sick of NBA games ending in an endless torrent of intentional fouls.
Under Elam’s rules, trailing teams would use regular basketball – not hacking – to rally.
He settled on adding seven points at various trigger times – under 3:00 in his NBA proposal, and under 4:00 for TBT, which uses nine-minute quarters and a 30-second shot clock – because it represented a close points-per-minute match to what teams produce in typical game play.
They have had internal spitballing sessions about what the NBA game would look like without an all-powerful clock – if teams took quarter breaks whenever one reached a certain threshold of points, sources said.
How would manufacturing a dead ball look in a close, intense game? As Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers crescendoed over a furious stretch of uninterrupted play, would anyone have wanted either team stopping the action on purpose?
Of course, some NBA teams intentionally foul when they are ahead by three late in games.
The approximately four-minute Elam Ending lasted an average of almost 10 minutes in real time and featured six free throws – close to the NBA’s averages over the same length of game time, Wasch said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “MMQB: Andrew Luck throwing, Mike McCarthy’s minicamp tradition”

“You gotta define the statement-‘limited time with players,'” McCarthy told me just before his last practice of the spring.
“From my viewpoint, the defining thing is it’s limited time with younger players. I’m of the opinion-and it started in 2016, and in a different form and fashion it started before that-that you get to a point in the offseason program where you’re trying to create more opportunities for your young players.”
The league in general has gotten younger, thanks in part to the reworked rookie salary scale, which means players have to be ready to play faster than ever, despite having less time to work than ever.
McCarthy says he’s seen the difference in his young quarterbacks and corners and pass-rushers, and with younger defensive players’ readiness to step into a signal-caller role.
“If you watch at the beginning of the season, games one through four, one through five, you look at the quality of play, it’s different from before. This is my opinion-it really is noticeable once you have injuries. And unfortunately, we’ve had injuries. When you start battling the injury component, and every team goes through it, now you’re playing younger players a little earlier than you’d like to.”
The result the coaches have seen is a locked-in starter who’s learning the ins and outs of every play call, rather than just going out and playing.
There is something of a domino effect at play here-if one player holds out then another will feel more comfortable following suit.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has tracked these arrests over the years, and he published some eye-opening numbers in 2016: There were just nine player arrests over the first half of that year, down from 13 in the first half of ’15, 21 over the first half of ’14, and 29 over the first half of ’13.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Understanding the’Beautiful Game'”

Laurent Dubois devotes around 10 pages of The Language of the Game to describing how soccer’s offside rule has changed over the decades.
“Negotiating the offside rule is one of the most complex and absorbing features of the game both for strikers and defenders, an intricate dance that involves positioning and timing of the most nuanced kind,” he writes.
The offside rule is the very heart and soul of what we aficionados, in exalted moods, call “The beautiful game.” Please bear with me as I explain this.
It might be easy to conclude that soccer is the sort of game that you either get or don’t get, yet Laurent Dubois takes up the noble and difficult task of trying to make soccer comprehensible and interesting to people who are used to games that follow a different logic.
One consequence of that model of organization is that The Language of the Game doesn’t work well as a reference guide, but rather as a narrative.
If you want to understand what this most popular of the world’s sports is all about, or if you already understand it and want your friends and family to share your interest, The Language of the Game is an excellent place to start.
Like an ant colony or a slime mold, the game of soccer exhibits emergent complexity: A mere handful of rules generates an astonishingly wide range of action.
That is why Johan Cruyff, one of the greatest of soccer players and thinkers, the closest thing the game had to a philosopher-king, so often spoke in paradoxes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Jeff Goldblum, in Conversation”

Jeff Goldblum has long been one of Hollywood’s most charmingly distinctive actors.
Does the Jeff Goldblum persona that exists on social media jibe with how you see yourself?Let’s you and me uncover the truth.
Is there ever any concern that the popularity of the Jeff Goldblum persona gets in the way of audiences believing fully in your characters? Or that it might lead to you getting typecast as yourself?We know actors – Daniel Day-Lewis, and I admire his approach greatly – who say, “When people see me onscreen I want to be entirely believed as some transformed character.” But no, I’m not worried about that.
Director] Taika Waititi, when we met at the Chateau Marmont before we started on Thor, said to me, “I want Jeff Goldblum in makeup in that role.” And I like to do that.
This little Jeff Goldblum row that I’m hoeing is still adventurous.
I’ve pestered people – there’ll be plenty of people you’ll come across who’ll say “Keep Jeff Goldblum away from me with the books,” because over the decades I’ve done a lot of recitations.
Goldblum has appeared on Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s IFC sketch-comedy show multiple times, playing the owner of an artisanal knot store and “The Pull-Out King” – the proprietor of a pull-out bed superstore.
Goldblum also has a sister, the acclaimed visual artist Pamela Goldblum.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Draymond Green sacrificed to build Golden State Warriors’ dynasty”

In the closing seconds of Game 4 of the NBA Finals, a giddy Draymond Green and Kevin Durant stood near the Golden State Warriors’ bench, high-fiving each other uncontrollably.
Golden State had just won its first title in 40 years, and Green’s prolific career was starting to take off.
Green insisted, and Armstrong, who could not be reached for comment on this story, notified the Warriors of the agreement.
Green and Durant also maintain that there was no courting until after the 2015-16 season – when Green told Durant the Warriors needed him after they lost an excruciating NBA Finals in 2016.
During the Warriors’ second-round series against New Orleans, a livid Green sent a long text at 4 a.m. to Durant after a loss, challenging him to bring more the next game.
After a late Game 1 scuffle in which Thompson shoved the ball in Green’s face, the league interviewed Green about the incident the next day.
No one anticipated Green being in such a lucrative position coming out of Michigan State.
If he achieves one of those incentives, will the Warriors be willing to pay a 30-year-old Green that much? Or would Lacob let him walk or try to trade him if Bell shows he’s capable of filling Green’s role?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Two Decades Later, the Spurs May Have to Rebuild”

Leonard feels the Spurs turned on him once he got a second opinion for the tendinopathy in his right quadriceps that sidelined him for 73 games, according to multiple reports.
Though Leonard hasn’t officially requested a trade, and the Spurs still have a five-year, $219 million supermax extension they can offer to Leonard, reports suggest we’re heading toward a breakup.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein said the Spurs still haven’t “Yet” made Leonard available.
The fact Leonard’s camp leaked that he wants out is an indication that his camp is trying to escalate the situation in order to force the Spurs to trade him.
The Spurs aren’t budging as of now, but Leonard’s camp is pushing back hard.
The Spurs can attempt to run it back with the pieces they acquire in exchange for Leonard, but with so much salary committed to aging stars, there are few avenues for them to become a contender until the 2020s.
The Spurs should at least consider blowing it up after dealing Leonard by flipping Aldridge, Gasol, and Patty Mills, and then turning their focus to the draft and player development.
Leonard’s relationship with the Spurs appears to be irreparable, and now San Antonio will need to build again.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Messi Walks Better Than Most Players Run”

In the 12 years since he became the youngest Argentine to score a World Cup goal, Lionel Messi has won more Ballon d’Or trophies, awarded to the world’s best player, than anyone before him.
Messi may get the ball more than most, but he, like all players, still spends the majority of his time without it – making runs, hiding in space, creating space for his teammates.
The most popular explanation has been that Messi walks to conserve his energy for critical moments, like a perfectly efficient machine.
Applying the models to data from that La Liga match between Barcelona and Villarreal in January 2017, Bornn and Fernandez found that Barcelona’s most important principle space gainers were Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Messi.
Remarkably, in about 66 percent of the moments Messi won control of valuable space, he was walking.
In the same match, Messi was one of Barcelona’s top three players in terms of gaining space, along with Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Whether Messi consciously decides to go against the run of play with his movement is difficult to ascertain.
“Can we say Messi gets a lot of his space by not chasing the play? Yes, that’s precisely what our research shows.” Bornn said.

The orginal article.