Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘soccer

My World Cup Runneth Over

leave a comment »

If you’re a soccer fan (even if the U.S. men’s team didn’t make it into this year’s World Cup, which it most certainly did not), then you had plenty of drama over the weekend and into Monday.I don’t even know where to start.

Over the weekend in the knockout round, France beats Argentina, Uruguay beats Portugal, Russia beats Spain, Croatia beats Denmark (both those last two games went to penalty kicks).

Today, Brazil beat Mexico, and Belgium comes back from a 2-0 deficit to somehow win 3-2.

Obviously, seeing Argentina and Portugal go gentle into that good knockout round is hard for world soccer fans to see, especially considering they have some of the world’s best players.

On the other hand, it IS a team sport, a very collaborative one at that (meaning, you can’t just depend on Ronaldo and Messi), and those who have made it this far are playing a long, and increasingly careful, game to get into the quarterfinals.

I have not seen every team play yet, so I’m holding off on my predictions for the moment.

Up next: Sweden vs. Switzerland and Columbia vs. England tomorrow. We’ll see if they’re as nail biting as several of these knockout round games have been!

Written by turbotodd

July 2, 2018 at 4:49 pm

A New Pulse

leave a comment »

We’re getting down to the wire on these London 2012 Summer Olympic games.

First off, bonne chance to the U.S. Women’s soccer team, who will have another go at the Japan women’s team, a powerful side that beat the U.S. last summer in the Women’s World Cup finals in penalty kicks.

Kick-off should start around 1:45 CST, and can be found on NBCOlympics.com.

I also wanted to send a shoutout to the ThinkPad, which is celebrating its 20th birthday.

Though IBM sold its PC business to Lenovo a few years back, it was 1992 when IBM introduced its first IBM ThinkPad laptop — I remember it well, because I was an early and proud owner of one of those first machines.

To celebrate the ThinkPad’s birthday, Lenovo is introducing some new machines, including a tablet aimed at business professionals and which runs Windows 8, the Thinkpad Tablet 2.

This new machine will have a 10.1-inch screen and is a mere 9.8mm, and it includes a new Intel Atom processor.

Because it will run Windows 8 Pro, it will be able to run those legacy Window apps you can’t afford to be putting in your desktop recycling bin!

And for you news junkies out there who use Pulse on your iOS or Android devices, there’s some new news on that front: Pulse is now available on the web. 

Click to enlarge. The new web-based edition of the Pulse news reader makes it easy to quickly check in on the latest stories broken down by your favorite topics.

The Web version will include most of the features you see on your mobile device, although the list of news sources will now be on your left, with the stories appearing in an elegant grid layout.

Nice way to catch up all the news you can (and cannot) use with a quick glimpse.

I added the “sports” category to my web edition, among others, so let’s hope there’s a nice big picture about the U.S. Women’s soccer team victory over Japan a little later in the day!

You can find your new Pulse here.

Written by turbotodd

August 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Smarter Futbol

with one comment

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

Futbol And Football

leave a comment »

Anybody following the UEFA Champions League semi-finals this week?

If you’re a soccer fan, it’s been a “must-see” week, with Chelsea outing the world-class Barcelona team on a 2nd half lay-up by Fernando Torres in a match earlier this week, and Real Madrid losing to Bayern Munich last night in a heartbreaking 3-1 penalty shoot-out after Bayern had tied Real-Madrid 3-3 in the aggregate.

Bayern, a four-time champion of the Champions League, will now have reached the final for the second time in three seasons, and will take on Chelsea at Allianz Arena May 19.

Of course, if you’re more interested in the football that takes place on this side of the Atlantic (I happen to enjoy both!), then you’ll want to tune in to ESPN this evening at 8 PM EST for the first round of this year’s NFL draft.

The first five projections? Stanford QB Andrew Luck is expected to go to Indianapolis at #1.  #2 is Baylor’s QB Robert Griffin III to the Redskins.  #3 is offensive tackle Matt Kalil from USC, expected to head to the Vikings. #4 looks to be Alabama running back Trent Richardson, expected to be picked up by Cleveland. And bringing in the rear is LSU corner back Morris Claiborne, expected to be taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  But this is all pure speculation, so watch tonight’s first round tidings to know for sure.

Meanwhile, IBM made an important announcement today in the healthcare research field.  It announced that researchers from The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo are using IBM analytics technology to study more than 2,000 genetic and environmental factors that may contribute to multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms.

As part of the initiative, Researchers will tap into IBM’s analytics technology to develop algorithms for big data containing genomic datasets to uncover critical factors that speed up disease progression in MS patients.  Insights gained from the research will be shared with hundreds of doctors to better tailor individual treatments to slow brain injury, physical disability and cognitive impairments caused by MS.

Using IBM analytics technology, SUNY Buffalo researchers can for the first time explore clinical and patient data to find hidden trends among MS patients by looking at factors such as gender, geography, ethnicity, diet, exercise, sun exposure, and living and working conditions. The big data including medical records, lab results, MRI scans and patient surveys, arrives in various formats and sizes, requiring researchers to spend days making it manageable before they can analyze it.

Using an IBM Netezza analytics appliance with software from IBM business partner, Revolution Analytics, researchers can now analyze all the disparate data in a matter of minutes instead of days, regardless of what type or size it is. The technology automatically consumes and analyzes the data, and makes the results available for further analysis. As a result, researchers can now focus their time on analyzing trends instead of managing data.

MS is a chronic neurological disease for which there is no cure. The disease is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, infectious and autoimmune factors making treatment difficult. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, there are approximately 400,000 people in the US with MS, and 200 people are diagnosed every week. Worldwide, MS is estimated to affect more than 2.1 million people.

You can learn more about IBM’s Big Data strategy and portfolio here.

World Cup Digital

with 4 comments

If you’re a fan, I don’t have to tell you what’s coming up in South Africa starting Saturday June 11th.

If you’re not a fan, you probably don’t care, anyhow.

But you should.

Because I expect this is going to be the largest demonstration of global social media in the history of mankind.

Seriously.

I’m talking, of course, about the World Cup futbol championship being hosted this year in the great country of South Africa.

Once again, my tickets didn’t show up in the mail, but that’s okay, because back to my previous point, this will be the most covered sporting event, or event of any kind, ever when it comes to the social media.

Hyperbole, dear Turbo, you say?

Well, let’s start with the estimated 1B+ expected “watchers” around the globe (I suspect that number is too conservative, but it’s a good starting point).

The World Cup is, after all, the biggest sporting event in the world, bar none.

In 2010, there will be 32 teams from countries around the globe competing for the World Cup championship.  In 2006, during the last World Cup (it’s hosted every four years), social media as we know it today was nascent.

There was no Twitter until about the time the tournament started, and only in September of that year did Facebook open up fully to the public.  YouTube was still a wee lad.

Facebook now has over 400M users, Twitter over 150M, and who knows how many YouTubers are out there.

So, what’s my recipe for following the action?

Well, in these United States, for starters get yourself a big screen TV, access to ESPN, and a DVR.  Some games will logically appear in U.S. primetime, but for others you’ll want to watch the DVR replay at your convenience.

Which means you’re going to have to carefully watch and possibly hedge your social media habits.

The last thing you want to do is find out the U.S. beat England in the opening round of Group C (Hey, it happened in 1950 in Brazil, and I can certainly wish it to happen again!).  Or, whomever your favorite team might be.

Which means you’ll need to carefully keep track of the schedule, so you know which of your teams is playing when, and instigating your own self-propelled social media blackout until such time as you can watch that replay without some Twit ruining it for you!

For my money, the World Cup Schedule iPhone/iPad app (V. 1.1) was key.  I think it cost me $.99 U.S. cents and gives me a full view of the groups and playing calendar (up through currently scheduled games, as well as mid-tourney games the teams for which will be decided in the first two weeks).

I also downloaded the 2010 FIFA World Cup application from ESPN (see screenshot below), which also provides schedules, as well as team and venue overviews and a countdown clock (as of this writing, we’re 8 days, 19 hours, 55 minutes, and 28…27…26…seconds away from the first kick).

image

If you are a highlights junkie, your iPhone or iPad won’t be complete without the “100 Best Soccer Goals” application (also $.99 U.S. cents).

Once downloaded, don’t forget to watch Roberto Carlos’ “Best Goal Ever” during a France/Brazil Tournoi de France match in 1997, a free kick in which the ball bends it into the net way beyond David Beckham.

Of course, let’s also not forget the official FIFA Web site, fifa.com, which is also intending to interact with a number of key social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook.

And I’m sure there are a gazillion other resources that I don’t yet know about.

The key is this: Find the ones that work for you, get them ready in advance of the tournament, and be prepared to talk trash to your friends around the world throughout the tournament.

As to who the winner is…well, the U.S. is generally given around 80-1 odds to win.

Though I’ll certainly be rooting for them (and give it up, we do have one of the world’s greatest goalkeepers in Tim Howard), I have a feeling the winners this year are going to be either Brazil or Spain.

But why should you listen to me, I’m an American!

What in the world do I know about soccer???

Written by turbotodd

June 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Goal!!!!!!!!!!

with one comment

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

%d bloggers like this: