We took a quick one day trip to watch the ultra-overpriced friendly match between Real Madrid and Manchester United in Houston, which happened last night. This is what a good father must do with two soccer-crazed boys.
This is the first time I see Manchester United play live. But it’s the second one for Real Madrid: as we all remember, I watched them get their butts royally kicked back in 1990 by a much superior squad.
The Copa América Centenario is over. For me at least – no more stadium. I got to go to the stadium for all three matches held in Houston.
Game 1: Colombia 2-3 Costa Rica
Colombia’s coach Nestor Pekerman miscalculated and lost the match and the first place of the group. Still made it to quarterfinals. Costa Rica closed the tournament with dignity. Interestingly, this is the second time I see Costa Rica play, and they won both times.
Outside the stadium before Colombia vs Costa Rica
Nice view of the field. Underwhelming attendance.
Game 2: Mexico 1-1 Venezuela
Venezuela did well and was ahead for most of the game.
With my good buddy Alberto García Aspe.
Donald Drumpf was not a popular guy among the crowd.
Maduro was unpopular as well.
Those jerseys are like $90!
Good looking fans.
A few days after the Orlando gay club shooting, the full stadium respectfully honors the victims with a moment of silence before the match starts. But only a few minutes later, the cultured Mexican fans go back to their famous gay slur:
I get it, people who are obviously straight think it’s funny and not offensive in this context. But it’s up to those who feel offended to decide whether it’s offensive. Also, the joke is kind of old by now.
Game 3: Argentina 4-0 USA
Oh boy, Argentina played at half capacity and completely humiliated the host team. USA had no ball possession and created no opportunities. In the second half, the American players would stay 3-6 feet away from Lionel Messi whenever he had the ball… they simply stopped trying. Due to happy circumstances and the generosity of some people, I sat really close to the field and was able to see the action up-close.
Nice view. I mean us. Get it?
Field panorama. Messi’s free kick goal looked amazing from this angle.
Posing with a few peasants who sat really far from the action.
This is my view – short video of Argentina’s 4th goal celebration:
Veetle, a peer-to-peer video technology uses a proprietary plug-in in order to see their streams, usually at exceptionally high quality. On the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, browser plug-ins are not available. Thankfully, Veetle provides some of the videos using HTML5 and Apple’s HTTP streaming which in English means “live high-quality streaming video on your favorite toy’s browser”. The quality is top-notch.
Live soccer on Apple TV, courtesy of Veetle, iPad, and AirPlay
At some point recently, they enabled AirPlay on the streams in their website; or maybe it’s an iOS 4.3.1 thing, but it didn’t work last time I tried it. This means I can finally send live video from my iPhone/iPad to my Apple TV. Since the TV in my room is hooked up only to an Apple TV, this is great. And the quality is very, very good.
Bonus tip: Exit Safari to use another app or open another tab while the video is playing on the Apple TV. Playback will stop, but you can double click on your Home button in order to bring up the multitasking tab, swipe to the playback controls, and resume your video in the background!
I received a mysterious envelope with a return address in Germany. I wasn’t expecting it so quickly: My own myPanini World Cup sticker for my album. It’s finally (almost) complete:
Click on image to zoom in
Compared to the 2006 version, I look a lot happier and hairier. Most readers will quickly point out that I’m wearing an outdated 1994 Umbro jersey instead of the current one. You are right – but I guarantee that this photo was taken in 2010 next to none other than former national team legend Luis Roberto Alves “Zague”! (see original).
There’s already quite a long waiting list, but I do have a few extras. So if you want your limited edition Marcos Kirsch sticker, just ask nicely in a comment.
And if you know what happened to the mystery sticker shipment from Panama (you know who you are), please let me know.
So this Tim dude is watching CNN one day, and some kids from Darfur are playing soccer using a make shift ball made out of twine and trash. So he thinks to himself: “Wouldn’t it be great if this kids could have a soccer ball that would never need to be inflated, couldn’t puncture, can be used in any terrain, and would basically last forever?”. Then he remembered once seeing a foam-like material, much like what Crocs are made of. One day he casually mentions the idea to his buddy Sting who agreed to finance the endeavor.
Fast forward and the One World Futbol project is born: A regulation size and weight ultra durable all-terrain soccer ball. You buy one for the not-so-low price of $39.99 and another one just like yours is donated to some kid in the other side of the world. The same model was used by the OLPC project, which didn’t hasn’t worked out so well, but perhaps this time it will be different.
It’s a great idea. The one unanswered question is: Does this ball actually feel like your good ole soccer ball, painstakingly sewed by the nimble hand of some Pakistani kid? I can’t seem to find any opinions from people who have actually hit the ball. I personally wouldn’t pay forty bucks for a soccer ball that plays like a ga-ga ball, donation or not. But then again, I may not be the target market. Here’s hoping for this project’s success.