At its core, British football is a game played with passion, intensity, strong tackles. The followers are unmistakably passionate, bordering on mad and insanely mad, inciting their teams to keep up the intensity. The issue is that British football is lacking so many things to make it great - as in the case of 1966 - yet again. The best British teams embody crisp passing - often, a little too crisp - along with good chemistry, fight and determination to win at all costs, within the framework of the rules. The vast majority of British players have integrity, and immense honor in attaining legitimate victories. One major problem with their approach - which is detracting from their current potential - is the shortcut mentality. They will inevitably push the issue around the box, usually resorting to crossing the ball as their best means of attack. This is spurred on by the overly exuberant fan base, who, if rewarded with a goal, will go absolutely mad on top of mad. What's not to like about that? As a result, the players feel rushed by the fans, the coaches, who share this enthusiasm, to create goals. There's very little patience in the culture of British football - something they should learn from Spain: patience. The problem is the players begin to mold into crossing machines, who dribble less, create less chemistry with teammates, resulting in a very direct approach. What's not to like? When they do it good, it all looks okay. And the fans remind you of it.
Sports talk keeps insisting, "The Patriots blew out the Colts. There was no way the Colts were going to win that game. Affecting the balls wouldn't have affected that result. That game was out of reach for the Colts." You think? You think winning that game by a large margin has nothing to do with deflate gate? "Yeah he could've deflated the balls but that wouldn't have affect 'that' game. It was a blow out." It exactly would have changed the outcome of that game! That's the whole point. The deflation of the balls give you an edge. If Brady's ball was different from the opposing quarterback's (Luck) then you have an edge.
The other thing floating around is "the receivers can catch the ball better if it's tampered with." The idea is that if the ball is heavily inflated, and glossy from a coat of finish on its exterior, then it's hard to grip, throw, and, hence, catch. The quarterback and receiver are affected. Some counter, and have said, "All the receivers wear gloves these days, so that doesn't matter much for them. They can catch anything." Here's what's wrong with this statement: Receivers still drop passes, with or without gloves on. How do you explain that? It doesn't matter how awesome the gloves are, the receiver is still going to be affected by a heavily inflated ball versus a deflated one.
What is particularly great to hear is: "I wish we weren't talking about this, and talking about the actual Super Bowl 'game' coming up." No. This is exactly what we want to talk about and hear. What's better for Super Bowl ratings? Deflate gate? Not good? If they win, this raises the question of "were the Patriots deserving Super Bowl champions?" This also raises the question of their legacy, as one of the great teams and franchises in NFL history. Football is all about "law" and "science." Each week we're confronted with the "rules of the game" mixed with the physics of a body flying in the air, or having both feet in, or having a knee down, or did the ball completely touch the ground to assist the catch, and so on. We can talk about match ups all day, and we will, and we have, and then we get to hear about controversy. Deflate gate equals great. Law and science.
To the effect that Belichick said, "My coaching mentality, my philosophy has always been to make things as difficult as possible for players at practice," you wonder what does this have do to with the allegations? He goes onto to say that the footballs would be made worse at practice. If it were cold, they'd make the ball colder. And so on. He says, basically, he has no idea how the pre-game football approval occurs. The refs approve the footballs. "We play with what's out there." Apparently not.
Why is the NFL allowing separate balls for the two teams? This is the real issue. Why do the players on "Team One" have one set of footballs, throughout the whole game, and the players on "Team Two" have another set of footballs, throughout the whole game?
This makes no sense.
There shouldn't even be an opportunity for one team to have an edge, with a different set of equipment. They should all play with the same footballs. Simple.
Drop by Philadelphia Convention Center January 16, for meet and greet. Featuring Why American Soccer Isn't There Yet.
All these teams, Spain, Brazil, Germany, etc., are not just knock-out fighters; they have the complete boxing skill set. The game of soccer, like basketball, is simple in the respect of offense: fast breaks and half court possession. Your first instinct should be to look for the fast break. If this is not on, then turn to the half court possession game. The field in soccer is much bigger than a basketball court, however, according to Glenn Beck, as with climate change, the debate is still raging. The half court possession game can be broken down into sections, but it should be thought of as any place on the field. In half court possession the intent should be to play the ball across the field, going back and forth, connecting with each wing or outside defender positioned near the sideline. (You can pass up and back to accomplish this as well, presenting to the opponent, the idea, that you are going forward.) As you go across the field with possession you are looking for opportunities to create danger in your opponent’s defensive areas. Fairly simple. You have to conquer this first. As you begin to master this, which takes time and patience, the players will naturally begin to “possess with a purpose.”
How in the world could complicated science work into this?
Everything should connect, as Richard Feynman illustrates from the strange world of quantum physics “…the photons don’t really bounce off the surface of the glass; they interact with the electrons inside the glass. I’ll show you how photons do nothing but go from one electron to another, and how reflection and transmission are really the result of an electron picking up a photon, ‘scratching it’s head,’ so to speak, and emitting a new photon.” QED, Richard Feynman, Princeton University Press, 1985. Emitting a new photon. A photon strikes a surface, such as a mirror, and the reflection is not the same photon. What is Feynman talking about now? Crazy old Feynman. Photon “Albert” strikes the mirror, interacts with electron “Elizabeth” and photon “Billy” is emitted. What? A new photon comes out? We might want to trust Feynman on this one. He was one of the original scientists, along side Robert Oppenheimer, in New Mexico, working on the first atomic bomb – which would eventually be dropped over Japan in World War II, forever changing the course of history. Aside from the questionable morality of creating such a weapon, I think he knew what he was talking about. Lasers being bounced off of mirrors are actually photons hitting the mirror, doing something with an electron, thus, sending out a new photon, in light time. It wasn’t what we thought: just light bouncing off of something. Boom, light hit. Light go forward. It’s chemistry based. Both in the form of traditional chemistry, as in molecules interacting, and also chemistry in sports terms as well. People stop and talk, they may have a moment, they may have a laugh – what? They laughed? Some people don’t laugh. They don’t have a moment. But they’re interacting, nonetheless. In sports terms, we have to find the right interaction between players. It’s not just, “Boom-boom, go forward.” It’s not cut and dry. There’s got to be something going on there.
What in the world are buckyballs? Stephen Hawking explains, “In 1999 a team of physicists in Austria fired a series of soccer-ball-shaped molecules toward a barrier. Those molecules, each made of sixty carbon atoms, are sometimes called buckyballs because the architect Buckminster Fuller built buildings of that shape. Fuller’s geodesic domes were probably the largest soccer-ball-shaped objects in existence. The buckyballs were the smallest. The barrier toward which the scientists took their aim had, in effect, two slits through which the buckyballs could pass. Beyond the wall, the physicists situated the equivalent of a screen to detect and count the emergent molecules. (Buckyballs are like microscopic soccer balls made of carbon atoms.)."
Hawking goes on to illustrate that if you put “three walls” with gaps in-between, thus, making “two slits” or “two gaps” in the walls, in front of a real soccer goal and kick real soccer balls through the gaps in the walls, the balls will land together, in the back of the net, in the same area. If you do the same experiment using buckyballs, using slits in a metal wall, with a “net” – so to speak – for the microscopic travelers to land in on the other side, you’ll find that the buckyballs will not always land in the predictable places that the real life soccer balls would.
There are complicated theories as to why the buckyballs form interference patterns as they are shot through gaps in a wall. “According to the quantum model, however, the particle is said to have no definite position during the time it is between the starting point and the endpoint. Feynman realized one does not have to interpret that to mean that particles take no path as they travel between source and screen. It could mean instead that particles take every possible path connecting those points. This, Feynman asserted, is what makes quantum physics different from Newtonian physics. The situation at both slits matters because, rather than following a single defined path, particles take every path, and they take them all simultaneously! That sounds like science fiction, but it isn’t. Feynman formulated a mathematical expression – the Feynman sum over histories – that reflects this idea and reproduces all the laws of quantum physics.” Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design.
Furthermore, if one slit is open, a certain amount of buckyballs will land at the other end. If two slits are open, the predicted amount of buckyballs, according to reason, will not land there. “It seems as if, somewhere on their journey from source to screen, the particles acquire information about both slits. That kind of behavior is drastically different from the way things seem to behave in everyday life, in which a ball would follow a path through one of the slits and be unaffected by the situation at the other,” Stephen Hawking. By way of the observation from people the results vary as well!
People are complicated. “The quantum model of nature encompasses principles that contradict not only our everyday experience but our intuitive concept of reality,” Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design. I would argue the macro model and approach of American soccer contradicts not only our everyday experience but our intuitive concept of reality.
People make decisions, just like it is assumed the buckyballs might be doing by Feynman and others, suggesting that they were taking every possible path to the “net” area. What? Every possible path, you mean in the universe? Apparently. Very peculiar behavior. And that path may also be disturbed by the observation from people. Humans, in a soccer game, have many choices to make. Fans are watching the game, thus, if we can extrapolate from the findings of Feynman, Hawking and others studying the world of quantum physics, they – the fans – are influencing the choices the players make, whether they yell or not. It seems to be in sports, that these influences originate from the belief system from each culture. (Brazil desires a creative, dancing, flow in their style; whereas England can be very direct and to the point with piercing crosses.) How can we get them – the players – to make the right choice? What is the right choice? So far, after twenty years of mediocre results – at best – I would suggest the right choices haven’t been made. American teams – along with the fans and culture wrapped up with it – keep going through one slit, with the same result; thinking only one way. Other teams, with great success, have players, it would seem, that think of every possible way to do things. Or maybe they’re just plain better?
Just pushing forward for the sake of getting forward is out-of-bounds-wrong and it defeats the purpose of going forward in the first place. It rushes everything. It takes the game out of playing the game. The whole point of stepping on the field is to possess the ball and score, in the simplest terms. There are so many other things, obviously, but possessing the ball is something we as Americans are lacking. We lack in possession like the 85’ SNL cast lacked a good…plan.
(NS) refers to "Non-Soccer" related blog entries, stories and essays.
ALL WRITTEN WORK COPYRIGHT SHANE STAY 2014-2018