Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘futbol

Smarter Futbol

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It’s been a while since I was on a plane all night, but I must say, the trip from Dallas to Madrid was most pleasant.  It was right at a little over 9 hours flying time, so ample time to get some shut-eye, even in coach class.

I don’t know if I dreamed on the way over, but if I did, I’d like to think it was about soccer (or, “futbol,” as many refer to it across Europe and around the world).

I’ve been a futbol fan ever since I was a wee lad, having played starting in YMCA leagues early on, and having embraced that most defensive of positions, goalkeeper.

So I would like to think I was dreaming on the flight over of the Chelsea v. Bayer Munchen final for the European Champions League, played Saturday night in Munich.

It seemed a minor miracle that Chelsea even made it that far, but as a team, they pulled together to beat some of the best in the world to get there, and Didier Drogba once again demonstrated what a clutch player he is — even as his contract with Chelsea expires shortly.

It was all Bayern Munich all the time for the first half, and well into the second half.  Possession slid into 54-55% Munich, easily, and it seemed like every time I looked up, their relentless offense was pounding Chelsea on their end of the field.

But things took a turn for Chelsea late in the second half. They were getting the ball more on Bayern’s end of the field, and seemed to be picking up momentum…that is, until Bayern’s Thomas Muller knocked in a brilliant header in the 83rd minute.

Chelsea’s sails deflated, with only 7 minutes left in the match, it looked as though it was Bayern’s for the taking…but that’s where Didier Drogba comes in, levelling it at 1-1 with his own brilliant header.  You could feel the tide turning across the Bayern stadium.

Drogba almost became the anti-hero in extra time, fouling Franck Ribery and engendering a penalty kick from Arjen Robben that Petr Čech was able to deflect.

Enter the drum roll, as the two sides went to penalty kicks, and the last opportunity came down to Drogba’s penalty try, which sent Petr Čech diving to the left as Drogba spun the ball into the right side of the net, anointing Chelsea this season’s European Champions League victor.

Written by turbotodd

May 21, 2012 at 10:05 am

South to North

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I’m back in the Estados Unidos after a productive and enjoyable trip to Argentina.

What did I learn while I was there?

One, the sun is very powerful in South America.  I spent my last afternoon there to take a quick tour on one of those turistico buses (highly recommend, especially if you’re short on time).

You know, the kind with no tops on them, where the sun can shine right down on your head and forehead?

Yeah.  Estupido turista.

Two, I learned that while the social media is alive and well in Latin America, I would suggest based on my observations and discussions with our teams there that its use is a little more tepid and cautious in Latin America, particularly within business.

Personally, particularly with sites like Orkut and Twitter, there’s substantial and widespread use, but the business uptake is slower than other parts of the world.

Three, the Internet communications and marketing opportunity is much more substantial in the mobile space than in the land-line Internet (that is, if you’re interested in raw numbers).

By way of example, EMarketer’s “Digital Atlas,” which I consulted before I headed south, reveals that Internet users in Brazil last numbered around 67M, while mobile phone users were in the range of 150M.

Similar disparities between mobile and landline access exist in other countries in Latin America as well, including Mexico and Argentina.

Four, I reaffirmed how much it sucks to get sick while traveling abroad.  But, as mentioned in this blog, I was fortunate to be able to head over to Dr. IBM right there on the site to get some medicine to stave off the nastiness.

Here I am, a week later, still illin’, but I was very thankful to stave off the illness while on the ground there.

Five, I learned that it is possible to get a full night’s sleep in economy class, particularly with the help of some other medicine (in my case, doctor-prescribed sleeping pills).

In fact, such sleep can make all the difference in the world (although admittedly, it’s easier when you’re not jumping so many time zones).

Personally, I don’t mind so much the long flights, but in coach they can be quite painful if you have legs longer than 2 feet, so the ability to totally sack out can help put about 70% of the time on the plane into unconsciousness, which is the perfect way to shorten the plane ride.

(As for you people who stay awake for the duration of 10-13 hour flights, you may want to check to see if you’re related to some of the characters on “True Blood” [vampires].  I don’t know how you do it.)

Six, I can’t or don’t keep up with what’s going on in the world very well when I’m on the road.

Despite having a BlackBerry that lives up to its promise as a “world phone” (Since I got it in January, it HAS worked in every city I’ve been to around the globe), one simply doesn’t have much free time to check in and keep up when you’re bouncing from one meeting or dinner to another.

The whole point of making these trips is to meet one’s colleagues on the ground and spend quality time, so that’s the priority.

So, I’m still playing catch up on the news flow (email and otherwise).

Seven, I still love my Nikon CoolPix camera and my FlipVideo camera…both allowed me to easily (and very portably) capture sights and sounds from the journey without having to lug around a lot of equipment.

Eight, I can’t wait for the World Cup next summer.  I really enjoyed being around a bunch of honest-to-God futbol fans, and my excursion to see the Boca Juniors play Arsenal was a highlight of my trip.

If anybody needs a blogger to cover next summer’s World Cup, I’m so on that plane to Johannesburg…business, coach, or even luggage class.

And nine, regarding my iPod Touch: I don’t leave the country without it.

Since I got the “touch,” it has become my best friend while traveling.  I now download books, games, music, podcasts, and even movies to carry with me on the road and to help pass the time, to Tweet, to read, to chill…it’s one of the first things I pack just to make sure I don’t forget it.

All that said, it’s nice to be back in Austin in time for the Thanksgiving holiday and a whole meal of American football.

Written by turbotodd

November 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Goal!!!!!!!!!!

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Greetings from the Paris of the South.

Buenos Aires, that is.  I landed here yesterday morning and though I’ve been on the ground right at 24 hours, I’ve already fallen in love with the place.

I was told this would be the case, but like any futile love, I resisted for as long as I could hold out but just didn’t have the willpower to resist.

I’m not here on vacation, but I did come in a day early to make the inevitable breakup that much harder.

As is my custom in cities I’ve never visited before, I went for a long walk to help fend off sleeplessness from the plane and jet lag, and found myself yesterday afternoon at the huge Sunday flea market on Defensa, a street right near my hotel.

Though not much of a shopper, the scenery on Defensa on a Sunday is not unlike that which you would see Washington Square Park on a weekend, only it’s on a street instead of a square.

I even saw a man without a head who apparently made his living having his picture taken with turistas like myself.

Hard times.

My real order of business for day one of my new love affair was to attend my first ever South American soccer (futbol) match.

I knew the joke was on me the moment I met my new friend, Tony, on the circus tour bus which almost didn’t get us to the game.

Tony, who hails from London, is a lifelong Arsenal (the one from the Premiere League) ticketholder, and who himself played in an amateur Sunday league until he was 38:

“What’s an American doing going to a soccer match?” he asked incredulously.

Ha ha ha.

Well, Tony, there are a few of we U.S. Americans hho graduate from soccer mom-dom to become actual fans of the beautiful game.

Describing the Buenos Aires game experience itself requires a whole other post to do it total justice (including the getting to the game, which is half the story).

Me, I was just worried about wearing the wrong colors and already trying to figure out in advance how to explain to my mom that she would need to contact the American embassy to get me out of jail for choosing the wrong color shirt.

But as fate would have it, I ended up wearing pretty neutral colors, until I found myself in the home stand (separated by glass and steel barriers from the “away” side…that, and concertina wire), in which case my side was chosen for me: Arsenal all the way, baby.

I have to go get some work done in advance of my meetings, but to whet your appetite for a more descriptive post about my first foreign futbol experience (other than the telly), let me just include the quick video byte below.

Hint: Focus on the sound.  This was before the game had even started, as the riot police made their way onto the field (a purely offensive play on their part).

After this experience, I’ll just say this: American sports fans have no clue what real fandom is.

This small stadium of probably no more than 20K fans made more noise, more continuously, with more passion and enthusiasm, than all the American sporting events I’ve attended in my lifetime.

I’ve definitely fallen in love.

Written by turbotodd

November 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm

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