24 January 2007

Links of the week

It's kind of quiet this week in Liverpool news -- I guess that's what happens when you're out of both domestic cups and don't have another league match till Tuesday. Not that I'm bitter. So ahead of the trip to West Ham, some totally non-Liverpool news.

  1. Zidane to MLS? Not so much. I'm not surprised that he said no, I'm surprised that they had the balls to ask. He's barely been retired for six months, and also? It's Chicago. Nothing against the town, but it's not exactly LA. In that it's cold. If you're going to end your career by whoring yourself out to a lower-tier league, it seems like you'd want to go someplace warm. Like Dubai. Or LA.

  2. Speaking of whoring yourself out to lower-tier leagues, what does Beckham's arrival mean for MLS the brand? I know everyone's sick to death of this deal, but I thought this was an interesting take on it from a marketing and brand-growth perspective. Though if most of the article is about how Beckham is going to make the league more attractive, I really question the use of that picture.

  3. Dear footballers, what did I say about sex tapes? Also, what's with everyone wearing their shirts while having three-ways these days? Because, I have to say: not hot.

  4. The politics of pink and sports. Okay, this one isn't even in the same sport, but bear with me. The pink thing is, I think, symbolic of the whole female-fan problem. I've definitely had people question my fan credentials, even give me quizzes about it. (Yes, dude, I know what position Beckham plays. I also know who England should play in midfield and the last five winners of the Champions League. Anything else?) The assumption seems to be that if women like sports, they're either only interested in the cute boys or they're faking interest to make their boyfriends or husbands happy. Yeah, sorry, no. I don't know why people feel justified in jumping to that conclusion based on the color of someone's jersey. If the choices are wearing a pink jersey that fits or wearing a men's jersey that doesn't, I know a lot of women are going to pick the first option. And it doesn't make them any less able to understand the offside rule. Especially in soccer, and especially in America, there's about a generation of women who have grown up playing and watching and loving the game on its own terms, not as a way to make boys like you or whatever the easy assumption is. So if you're going to call me "a pink" and talk down to me about this sport I've loved for years, save yourself the trouble and fuck off.


Mal said...

Do you think that Beckham will give the MLS a shot in the arm or will the interest fade once the initial curiosity wears off?

Jones said...

The pink article says I have to subscribe to read it, but that's not going to keep me from ranting. :)

I have to say, I am eternally mystified by the way so many teams make their women's merchandise pink. It's so retarded I can't even fathom it. Team merchandise is already outrageously expensive. If I'm going to drop that amount of cash on what in the end is just a shirt, is it really too much to expect that it both fit me AND be in team colours? What's the bloody point otherwise? I can go buy a pink shirt at the mall for $15 bucks, if I so fancy one. The point of paying for team merchandise is that it's to do with, you know, the team.

I think it's great when teams have women's stuff - I don't need to look like a little kid drowning in my dad's jersey. But... pink? Why in the name of fuck would I buy, say, a pink scarf (unless I was a Palmermo fan, of course) instead of a REAL one? I mean, doesn't that pretty much say "Ohhhhh, you like football? That's so CUTE. Here, have a nice easybake oven to play with while the men get on with it."? Or, for most teams, I could buy the kid's merch if I want a real jersey that somewhat fits. Because that's not infantilising or anything.

Some of the big teams seem to generally do the best on the women's merchandise. Full points to Dortmund on this one - they have the best looking women's jersey that I know of, several cute tops and jackets in team colours, and almost zero pink bullshit. Werder also has some cute stuff and holds absolutely no truck with the pink crap, although no jersey. Schalke makes all their women's stuff baby blue - I can't decide if that's any better than the pink stuff or not (probably not, considering how many of the teams with a hard-on for pink have red jerseys). On the other hand, Chelsea, it should come as a surprise to no one, sucks on this front. There is a women's jersey, but it's all... stupid. Also, their women's merch in general is awash in the pink. Bayern also has a serious case of the pink taint. It's the colour of evil!

Jones said...

Crap, that was long! I should have just made a post of my own. Sorry.

ynba said...

Sorry about the link -- I think ESPN hides their archives after a while. It was really just the "I'm a female fan! Now let me tell you how all other female fans suck! They may be worth fucking sometimes, boys, but don't think you have to actually take them or their opinions seriously or anything!" (Ooh, I still have a little rant left in me.)

Hee. My favorite thing about that Chelsea page is Robben's "Blue Steel" face. Liverpool actually do pretty well here -- there's a pink shirt, but it's also in red and navy, so, you know. It's not the color itself, it's having that as the only alternative that irritates me. (I'm also amused by how much the men's and women's jerseys look alike. Thank you Adidas.)

I don't know. It seems like more of the "smart or cute?" bullshit -- you can be one, but definitely not both at the same time. And I'm so tired of all that, and I definitely didn't need it getting into my fandom.

Also, seriously, having someone ask me what position Beckham plays? In conclusion: blow me, dude.

linda said...

One of the things I've been really impressed by during my blogging experience so far is how no one's done the 'wow, you're a girl and you know what you're talking about' thing. I have gotten the 'wow, you're a Kiwi and you're interested in football' thing, but that's fine.

As for the jersey thing, I own the Barca women's jersey, which is actually just the men's jersey in a female cut and pretty nice, but I wish they'd do more of the jackets and training stuff in a female cut too. I don't even think we have anything pink. (Which is good, because I hate wearing pink.)

ynba said...

Yeah, it hasn't happened so much in the "blogosphere" (god, I hate that word), but you do hear it a little around, but not really more than you do about Americans or recent fans. (Honestly, if I were a glory-hunter, would I choose Liverpool?) Mostly it's a real-life problem, but this is honestly one place I think soccer is better than other sports -- you have to *work* to be a fan, at least here, in a way you don't at football or whatever.

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