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Whence and wherefore thy love of football?
We've done it! Ronan, I'll answer when I can breathe......
Hey you're clogging up Box 4 at Mormon Archipelago.
Publicity, Kim. It's all about publicity.Plus, D-Train's just that cool.
You'll choke at Highbury (although I wish you well against those Madrid primadonnas).
Ronan, we won't choke. The great thing about playing Madrid is that we finally found a team that's worse under pressure that we can beat up. I'd predict a 1-1 draw to send the Arse through.And how football? Entirely Fever Pitch (the book, not the good British movie or the bad American movie that I refuse to ever see). My debate coach demanded that I read the book. He's from Germany and figured that I'd like it, given that I'm a real sports nut (mostly baseball and college sports). Once I read the book, I had a revelation: there are really people like me out there! People that hyperventilate during big games, that worry that eating a certain food or wearing a certain shirt might be a big deal, that hate the company of most folks during the doldrums of sports. We had digital cable, so I decided to watch a Premier League game (a 5-3 Manchester United victory over Newcastle) and I was hooked. Naturally, since Fever Pitch was my introduction to the sport, Arsenal became my team. It didn't hurt that the first full season after my conversion featured "The Invincibles" (although I did experience the Prem choke of the season prior). I never even thought of the game as a kid. Soccer wasn't a man's game, it was for nancies that couldn't handle football (American), weren't bright enough for baseball, and weren't tall enough for basketball (according to my father and others). My first experience in even a pickup soccer game was in college and I never saw a full soccer game until the above experience. That's the short version.
I'm not sure why everyone is so surprised by this result. While I wouldn't have predicted an Arsenal win, their form in Europe this season has been excellent and Madrid are a shadow of the team they were 4-5 years ago. You should heed Ronan's warning though, Arsenal have the potential to blow it at home.
D-Train & Ronan: I still haven't won a game on FIFA06, though I did take the Everton suggestion and switched. After doing a bit of reading, it sounded like Chelsea is the Yankees of Soccer, and we can't have that.I did tie (0-0), though, facing off against MLS' Salt Lake team, which was the worst I could find without going through all of the gazillion teams the game offers.Problem is, I don't understand soccer (and refuse to call it "football" or "futbol" because I don't want to denigrate the One True Sport). I need to know more, need to understand the game, and definitely need to learn strategy. Suggestions of resources/blogs out there for the soccer neophyte with a strong analytical bent?
Pris, I find it amusing that Americans call it "football" in the first place. But I can see that "giant leather egg chasing" doesn't quite have the same ring.
Pris,Ah! A fellow FIFA nut! Here's some help:This BBC page has some basics.This page is pretty informative as well.Some FIFA-specific tips: I probably score about eighty percent of my goals through headers off crosses, corners, and inswinging balls. Basically, the first rule of FIFA attack is: put the ball in the box! Nothing good can happen anywhere else. Do you know how to execute a cross from the wing? If not, the basic idea is to dribble the ball toward the goal-line on the wing. Let's say that you're dribbling from left to right on the bottom of the pitch. You would then use your lob pass button (square on the PS2, I believe) to pass up and left. Literally, you would be passing up on the screen and against your motion. In game mechanics, this sends a cross into the box. You then take control of one of your forwards in the box and use your shot button to get a header on target. Try this out in practice mode with no defenders to get used to it. Also, you can work on your shooting in there. The shooting is pretty intuitive, but VERY unforgiving. In order to dribble through defenders, you need to learn to use your "skill stick" (right joystick). I haven't mastered this yet, but using the skill stick in the direction that you're dribbling executes a stepover (see this page to see what a stepover is if you don't know). That one is pretty good if timed right. Also, if you're completely lost on an offensive possession, just try to win a corner kick. That's a free shot to pump a ball into the box to see if something will go right.I'll post a few more tips later.....
Gomez/Ronan:I agree that this tie is a long way from over. Arsenal's form in the Prem was so bad that this was really a shock, especially given the good (heroic?) performances from the kids. Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Eboue, Kolo Toure (not really a kid, but young), and Senderos really stood tall.I agree about Arsenal's European form, but they basically beat two midgets twice, beat Ajax at Highbury, and drew to Ajax in Holland. That was good, but their inability to score on the road has been really out of character for Arsenal. I think we're beginning to see the Gunners turn the corner. Hopefully, it'll be enough to pip hated Spurs to the fourth spot....
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