Tag Archives: new york times

David Brooks on Soccer, Baseball and Life

In today’s New York Times, David Brooks wrestles with one of the most fundamental questions of our time: “Is life more brookslike baseball, or is it more like soccer?” Brooks makes a couple of reasonably good points about soccer – that winning is all about controlling space, that the sport doesn’t lend itself to statistical analysis – and then quickly transitions to his usual faux-philosophical rambling. The article contains classic Brooks-ian pronouncements like “awareness of the landscape of reality is the highest form of wisdom” and “genius is in practice perceiving more than the conscious reasoning.” It is monumentally stupid. Enjoy! 

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Does Brazil Hate Football?

Brazil is hosting the Confederations Cup, an eight-team tournament that serves as a kind of warm-up for the Worldbrazil protests Cup, which kicks off in about a year. Brazil is also hosting a series of increasingly controversial demonstrations: in the last week, Brazilians have taken to the streets to protest everything from high bus fares to government corruption to the construction of football stadiums.

These protests represent a rare phenomenon: the news story that gets as much coverage in the New York Times (bastion of high-quality journalism) as on ESPN Soccernet (The Worldwide Leader in Misplaced Commas) and the BBC Sports website (employer of Alan Shearer). Football has always influenced world politics – read Simon Kuper’s Soccer Against the Enemy – but, truth be told, the Times’ hard news and ESPN’s football analysis almost never overlap. This is an unusual situation, and it’s generated some interesting contrasts.

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