Jah Jah Dub

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

If you ever feel that British football clubs are too dependent on hunches, and feeling, and splashing millions on players who look good but don't do much, this is a story to keep an eye on:

Billy Beane could change the way you think about soccer.

Yes, that Billy Beane. It's getting old, this business of running a contender at half the price. This isn't the year to brag about it, not with his A's on pace for their first losing season since 1998, but this is a reasonable time for the general manager to try something new.

Try a foreign language. Translate "Moneyball" from baseball to soccer.

That's Moneyball, probably the most influential sports book of the last decade.

The Beckham effect

Bill Plaschke, 13th July:

Bored by Beckham.

If Los Angeles' newest sports star makes an impact beyond reality television shows and surreal gossip columns, I will stop using lame movie metaphors to describe him, OK?

But, for now, nothing else comes to mind.


One of the most publicized sports stars in the world shows up today more than six months after he agreed to the contract, and excuse me if I can't find the chills.

Bill Plaschke, 22nd July:

On a long and wearisome Saturday night, David Beckham's Galaxy debut was as phony as his wife's television debut.

Then why can't I stop smiling?

Why can't I get the shrieking cheers out of my head? The ones that rolled through the jammed Home Depot Center every time Beckham put his foot on the ball?

Why can't I get the low gasps out of my system? The one that escapes thousands of lips every time Beckham prepared to make a move?

Why can't I stop seeing his long kick, his corner kick, his perfect kicks, all filled with the sort of sight and sound that even the non-soccer fan can understand?

It's crazy, I know. I should be more dubious about a guy who made little real impact on a night that held no official meaning.

I was the guy who was bored by Beckham, remember?

What's really crazy is, I'm not bored anymore.

The soul of sport in this town is entertainment, and, for 16:19 on Saturday night, I was thoroughly entertained.

Turns out, even on a bum ankle, David Beckham is a blast.


Friday, July 13, 2007

I am not ashamed to say that I could watch this all day long.

Hey, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday: Facebook certainly helped up the "Happy Birthday" hit rate.

Not officially a birthday thing, so I'm not issuing a two line whip, but I'm going to be in South London Pacific on Saturday if anyone a come along.

Took it easy on the blog-browsing this morning, thought I'd knock up a poem instead (a poem!). America does that to you. A poetic people, Americans.


While weathered blondes still roam in denim shorts
And pose at essential waterfalls,
It will be worth slipping England’s clipping
For exuberance, and shopping malls.

I could hit golf balls into the ocean.
Police would stop me, and I would let them.
We might disagree, but good-naturedly,
And talk of the Queen, and David Beckham.

Or head out East with a mountain bride.
I’d think at Appalachian vistas,
“Oh, Tennessee, you’ll be the death of me,”
And rub my American blisters.


Monday, July 09, 2007

JJD in USA: 2

JJD in USA: 1

Having just come back from the States, what surprises me most is not that people are fat, it's that they're not all really, really fat.

The food is hilarious: everything's sweet, and salty, and gobble-able. Like a divorcee in an over-21's nightclub, you get what you see (and you see a lot) and it's immediately available, but it's a little too eager to please. America is better than Britain in most every category that matters, but it's been nice to come back to food which doesn't give itself up quite so readily: austere, craggy, British food.

Too much for my palatte. Do you have anything more tasteless?

Back from holiday.

And I though I liked America before...



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