Tag Archives: soccer

Tuesday 05/2 2017
Beware The Wolf: Can Esports Prevent Its Inevitable Match-Fixing Scandal?

“It’s a level of foresight that no other league has enjoyed in such relative infancy. As a result, Smith has set a lofty expectation: To be the first major sport to head off a sweeping match-fixing scandal well before it strikes.

‘Every single sport [with the exception of golf] has only put proper match-fixing regulations and procedures in place after they’ve been hit by a major match-fixing scandal,’ Smith said. ‘And my message to esports from day one has been, ‘Let’s do this before the scandal.’ If you want to wait ’til afterwards, that’s fine, but it’s gonna be a hell of a lot harder and a lot more painful once your industry is rocked by a major scandal to do something meaningful about it.’

But ESIC can only do so much. ESIC is a coalition of parties, which means it has no jurisdiction over anyone that isn’t a member. This is not, in other words, a governing body which dominates the landscape and has the teeth to implement sweeping sanctions. Even if the match in question was conducted by an ESIC-affiliated organization, Smith cannot force the organization to take any action. All Smith can do inform the tournament operators, the books, and law enforcement of ESIC’s suspicions, and hope they respond accordingly.

‘And this is the problem that we face,” he says. ‘In a sense, I’m the man who cried wolf. The only difference is, I know the wolf is coming.’”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Wednesday 10/21 2015
Grabner Scores!

“Her eponymous exhibition at James Cohan Gallery last fall spawned a tempest when New York Times art critic Kevin Johnson appeared to write off the show with strokes broad and base enough to hazard accusations of sexism.

‘Nothing in all this [the exhibition] is more interesting than the unexamined sociological background of the whole,” Johnson wrote in his concluding paragraph. “If the show were a satire of the artist as a comfortably middle-class tenured professor and soccer mom, it would be funny and possibly illuminating, but it’s not.’

In unhinging his jaw to devour the middle class (already an endangered species!) and women in general, rather than Grabner’s work specifically, Johnson made a crucial misstep. He has every right to not like Grabner’s work, of course, but in his generalization—and too-casual tossing off—of the work, Johnson committed the cardinal sin of damning the artist, not the art (and did so incorrectly, at that: Grabner never played soccer, nor was she ever a soccer mom).

All of which makes Grabner’s soccer balls—brightly banded with her signature gingham print—a most pointed sphere indeed.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Thursday 08/21 2014
Inside Brisbane Road, the Beating Heart of English Football

“And so the game began with the Gillingham fans looking like Rothko’s “No 1 (Royal Red and Blue)” and serving as the predominant source of noise. They sang songs and chanted, unopposed save the occasional seagull. Watching from the West Stands, I was fully prepared to suffer what author Bill Buford described as a “physical appetite” for a goal, even with the knowledge that Orient was considered to be a rather high-scoring club. As it turns out, I did not need to steel myself.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Friday 06/13 2014
Death & Sportswriting in the Digital Age

“A girl died in southeastern Pennsylvania. A mere 16 years of age, she was driving a 2004 Honda Civic on Bethel Church Road. She lost control of the vehicle, skittering across the median into the southbound lane before striking a tree, slamming metal and plastic and bark and bone. Rescued from the crash, she was driven to the hospital, where she would pass away shortly after the accident.

The typical types of descriptors were bandied about; bright, music loving and much missed by family and friends. A varsity soccer player at one of the high schools on my beat, her team was to take the field for the first time without her on my assignment. Purple headbands and wristbands were there–purple had been her favorite color–and the emotion was palpable. I made the requisite mention of her in the piece, then moved on to the game. The local paper’s coverage was different.”

Read the rest of my essay for the Loyola University (Chicago) Center for Digital Ethics and Policy.