I was one of probably less than 75 people in America who saw United Passions, the movie FIFA commissioned about its history. I assumed that I would be the only person in the theater and therefore planned to livetweet it. I was shocked that there were six others in the theater with me.
The reviews are horrible.. seriously, Rotten Tomatoes has nine critics reviews and it has thus far earned a zero, yep, zippo.. the New York Times called it, “one of the most unwatchable films in recent memory, a dishonest bit of corporate-suite sanitizing that’s no good even for laughs.” Clearly this dude, Daniel Gold, did not watch the movie.. His entire review is not actually comparable with the film I saw. My guess is he got notes and freeballed it. Bad Daniel Gold bad or not since I am one of so few people who saw it..
He says, “Yet there is barely a nod to the corruption scandals that have plagued FIFA for decades.”
Is he drunk? The entire plot of the movie is this message from a Sepp led FIFA, “SINCE THE BEGINNING WE HAVE HATED THE ENGLISH AND BEEN BRIBED TO HOST THE WORLD CUP..ALSO WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CORRUPT SO TAKE YOUR MORALITY, YOUR ETHICS, YOUR LAWS AND GTFO.”
At no point do they try to hide or discount corruption, but instead embrace it as a traditional, and romantic part of the game.
Now, Sepp is positioned throughout as the noble servant of the organization and the game. Paying for FIFA salary from his own pocket because corrupt leaders have drained the coffers. To be fair, it is not painted as altruistic to protect the staff from income loss but to protect the image of FIFA and the power of the game.
As for Gold’s assertion that it cannot even be played for laughs… again untrue. Seven of us, unknown to each other but drawn by the love of the game… all laughed heartily at the same things. They usually involved lines like, “you didn’t break any laws,” or, “we need more women in the game.”
Movie critics review movies for their critical appeal and artistic merit… this was not meant to be artistic or appeal to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters. It is a dramatic defense of FIFA doing business in the FIFA way and not giving any fucks about if anyone else cares.. You have to understand the scandal and FIFA to understand what the film’s message is.
Gold makes another erroneous claim, “[i]ndeed, surprisingly little soccer is shown.” Um, yeah that is not true at all. They actually use a lot of original archival footage for many of the greatest WC and other games in history and they recreate others. The film anchors with a modern multi-racial, multi-ethnic pick-up match between a bunch of boys and a single girl (she gets stuck in goal as per) watched by the local people of the town, where ever it is.
The montage of World Cup moments, both male and female, is honestly worth the $12 admission price. It is also the nail in the coffin point FIFA wanted to make…
IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH CORRUPTION THERE IS.. YOU STILL CARE ABOUT THE WINNING THE TROPHY. WE STILL MAKE THAT POSSIBLE, SO STFU AND STOP WHINING ABOUT IT
That said, this person gets it.. THE 19 MOST RIDICULOUS MOMENTS IN FIFA MOVIE UNITED PASSIONS First one is amazingly true and we all burst out laughing..
My work life has been insane, not busy insane as much as plot of a law firm drama insane… Seriously, it has been nuts to amazing levels and I have been busy as hell.. I cannot share sadly but some day….
Because of this chaos, I have only been able to watch everything happening in the beautiful game. I have not had time to blog during the day and by the time, I get home at night, I walk to dogs and crash for the night.
Now that said, the game has made me cry repeatedly, so sad tears and any happy ones. Goddess Loretta Lynch handling shit like the Boss she is; Sepp winning re-election, defiantly, triumphantly promising to clean up FIFA, almost choking on the cracker I was eating when he said it. Five days later, resigning… the stream of tears down my face left me puffy and blotchy the rest of the day.
I have yet to read the full indictment and blazer’s testimony, but I have them printed out and sitting next to me. I have read Blazer’s Order of Forfeiture which was damning. He is/was required to turn over $1,958,092.72, yes that is almost $2 million, “which represents a portion of the monies that defendant [Blazer] received from bribes, kickbacks and unauthorized World Cup Ticket Sales.” He was also required to forfeit a second as yet undetermined amount.
Of all of it though I feel most bad for the Irish fans who discovered their own government bod betrayed them for FIFA cash. It might be legal but ethically, there is no justification.
Yesterday, I cried because Pirlo cried and no one ever wants to see that… My bb may be coming to MLS which scares me as ever. People, even experts, have no idea what he actually does or how he does it so they judge him harshly and ignorantly.. You talk shit about his game.. you and I will be having a conversation and it will not go well for you.
All of that said and because of all of this madness, I have been able to avoid processing THE WORLD CUP IS HERE.. HOLY FLIPPING HELL…. THE WORLD CUP IS HERE..
LADIES BRING BACK OR TROPHY/TITLE.. IT HAS BEEN LONG ENOUGH, NOW GET IT DONE
WTF is this sexist bullshit, Fox Soccer? SERIOUSLY, NO WTF IS THIS?
The horrifying levels of sexism in this one commercial is staggering.
So according to Fox, the two-time winning World Cup champions, four-time Olympic champions, etc, etc, etc, U.S. Women’s National Team now apparently ONLY exists avenge the failures of the Men’s National Team, a team that has won precisely zero internationally. Save me the CONCAFAF wins nonsense, since the ladies have won all of those too.
These professional athletes who have trained their whole lives, among whom hold some of the most impressive records in international soccer, a recent FIFA world player of the year and couple others who have been shortlisted, are simply reduced to being second rate subs for their male-less- than-actually-equal-counterparts. It is both mind-boggling and highly insulting.
Silly me, I assumed that having lost in the FINAL of the 2011 Women’s World Cup that the, “SCORE TO SETTLE,” would be winning our trophy back. Yes, I have seen us lift it a couple of times and simply believe it belongs to us. Kind of like Brazil feels about the men’s trophy.
So tell me Fox Soccer, what is this “score” the women need to settle for the men? How will we all know when the score has been settled? Does Jermaine Jones tweet, “that’s our win ladies and suck it Belgium?” When the women win the Cup, must they then have the USMNT come out and have Deuce collect it since it is clearly the guys’ trophy? After all, it is there score that got settled.
Why am I even wondering where the history of the USWNT fits into this score? It clearly doesn’t.
Thanks Fox for correcting my clearly erroneous belief that the Women’s World Cup was about celebrating and supporting women athletes in an international setting. Clearly it is about using women as pawns in a male soccer wars.
Not words… just right…
I have read and read and re-read pretty much everything written about this Hope Solo mess. I have also read a lot written about domestic violence in the NFL and in sports in general.
Generally all the talking has proven to me is that very, very few people either involved in the decision-making or writing about it have any clue what the fuck they are talking about. There is precious little discussion about the cycles of abuse, the toll it takes on families or why it exists in the first place.
To be clear, I have never been in a physically abusive relationship and got out of a couple emotionally abusive relationships pretty much unscathed or with minimal damage. I have had a few close calls with some class-A DBags and suffered some sexual harassment and a sexual assault by a then boyfriend that left serious emotional scars, but thankfully not physical ones. I have never been hit buy a guy that I was seeing or any other one for that matter. I have never been in a physically abusive relationship by the grace of God and A LOT of luck and friends stepping in the line of fire so to speak. Luckily, in my case relationships that could very easily end up there, I got out before it did.
Now back to the topic at hand… the never ending mess that is Hope Solo’s non-professional life. I keep hearing this combination: Hope, Ray Rice, the question of why is SHE still playing, the false equivalency of male and female domestic violence and the idea that she is somehow different by virtue of gender There are only a few people who know what happened in Hope Solo’s family’s kitchen and ultimately that is a matter for a judge/jury and or her legal team to sort through and determine. There was no smoking gun videotape to crystallize the world’s opinion.
There are charges to be adjusted, include getting into a violent altercation with him 17 year-old nephew including breaking a broom over his head and then punching her sister, the boy’s mother, in the face when the sister tried to break it. If those charges are true, she should be sent to jail as befitting punishment for those crimes. I don’t care that she is a Hope Solo, America’s Best Goalkeeper or whatever.. if she is a violent thug, she is a violent thug. Simple… simple… simple…
There is the trick and real issue, nothing, not one damn thing, in domestic violence is simple or black and white.
She is being portrayed in some segments as the same as Ray Rice and given the charges you can very easily make that case. She is accused of the same crime as he was, punching a female loved one in the face, but she also has additional charges of violence against a minor. Is she then worse than Rice? Is she been given a pass because we sexistly, as a society, do not consider women to be equally capable of violence and therefore not held to the same standard when they commit acts of violence?
Few, if any people, are talking about the ultimate irony of Hope’s life… that less than two years ago… Hope was the Janay Rice. Hope was engaged to former NFL player Jerramy Stevens when he was accused and arrested for physical assaulting her at a party. She married him hours later and charges were dropped due to lack of evidence and her refusal to testify. When I say She was the Janay Rice, I mean down to the emergency marriage to protect her man. Now does her being a, “victim,” of domestic abuse make her more sympathetic than Ray Rice?
Before I get too involved in this… let me state this emphatically, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NOT OK.. IN ANY FORM, be it verbal, mental, emotional, physical, sexual or any combination there of.. it is also not cookie-cutter, or cookie-cutter easy to solve. If you are wondering, no I have no answers to solve the problem. I just think that different questions should be asked.
Hope has always been, “troubled,” and, “trouble,” depending on your perspective. She has always been US Soccer’s bad girl: fighting with teammates, defaming the ’91ers, ignoring coaches, and then there is the family drama on the side. She has been the victim and now the accused perpetrator of intimate violence. It is typical of Hope’s image .,.. conflicted mess of good and bad, light and dark, right and wrong.
There are real questions that should be asked about Hope and her Captaining of the US Women’s National Team while these criminal charges hang over her. It is fair to know that until convicted, she is innocent. I firmly believe that for all persons. It is the cornerstone of our democracy. She is entitled to that right as well.
What becomes the issue is how do we are the American soccer community deal with this mess most appropriately? Hope missed national team friendly to attend the party where all this went down. It potentially was the match that would have broken Briana Scurry’s shut-out record. She did it later while both captaining the national team and still under indictment.
After all Uncle Sunil said in a statement recently, “From the beginning, we considered the information available and have taken a deliberate and thoughtful approach regarding Hope Solo’s status with the National Team…Based on that information, U.S. Soccer stands by our decision to allow her to participate with the team as the legal process unfolds. If new information becomes available we will carefully consider it.”
Uncle Sunil is flat out wrong, so is USSF.
If it were Tim Howard and not Hope Solo, we would not be having this discussion. He would be banned… and NO, I am NOT accusing Tim of any sort of thing. It was just a like for like analogy.
Look I believe in innocent until proven guilty in a Court of law after a fair trial, with every fiber of my being. I do. This is not a Court of law… this is the Court of public opinion, the Supreme Court of public perception. This is teaching young children, both girls and boys that violence committed by women is not as serious or as dangerous as that committed by men. It is. It is that simple. This is the core group of USWNT fans, young, impressionable kids.
What is this teaching boys who are the victims of domestic violence? By the way the estimate is 1 in 14 guys at some point in his life will be the victim of domestic violence, YES VICTIM. That number rises dramatically for homosexual boys and men to 40%. [Per the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence]
What is it teaching girls who commit those acts? What about girls who are lesbian and subjected to domestic abuse in their relationships? Is is not as serious, as dangerous, as important because the abuser was another female?
The players of the USWNT have been shamefully quite on this subject… shamefully quite. I give them only the benefit of the doubt in that, I assume they were strongly encouraged/ordered to keep their mouths shut.
Until today when back-up goalkeeper Jillian Loyden retired from international soccer, not one team member spoke out. Loyden retired and then in the proverbial same breath, called out USSF and its basically unconscionable decision to ignore the Solo situation. She has a very special reason to be so insistent that USSF gets it collective shit together. She more than most know that what domestic violence can do… Jillian buried her sister Britton who was (allegedly) murdered by Britton’s fiancé who is still awaiting his murder trial (yes I believe he is innocent as he has not been found guilty). Jillian wrote an impassioned op-ed piece calling for Hope to be banned.. She is correct, Hope should be banned. [READ IT NOW] For more info, you can go to Jillian’s Foundation’s website.
I do not pretend to know all the ins and outs of domestic violence, or how it affects people individually. I know that Hope has been involved publicly as both a victim and a perpetrator. I do not know if she is guilty; that is for a Court, a judge and jury to determine… this is about representing the United States of America in international soccer, the historical beacon of the Women’s game. Hope is not the player to do that at this point.
Thrilled that #fifa has added the 2016 Copa Centenario hosted by U.S. to the international calendar. Look forward to an amazing tournament.
— Sunil Gulati (@sunilgulati) September 26, 2014
Look I am not pleased with Sunil… this Hope Solo nonsense is seriously annoying me and his Roger Goodell modeled approach is not helping AT ALL.. I have been attempted to write something on that mess for a week now but I keep getting angrier and angrier, so I stop and go back later…The whole thing has tainted my excitement over the Women’s World Cup and the USWNT to a large extent. It is a super messy disaster and that needs resolution fast.
So we will focus on the
good err, FLIPPPING AWESOME NEWS that Copa America 2016 made it to FIFA’s calender meaning teams must release players and the US can field a full strength squad against the best possible teams in CONMEBOL and a CONCACAF brethren..”
Per the joint statement by CONMENOL AND CONCACAF and, “With the addition of the tournament to the FIFA Calendar, the historic Copa America Centenario in 2016 is now set to be the most important full national team tournament hosted in the Americas since this year’s FIFA World Cup,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “We want to thank Fifa, all Confederations and all others involved in the process for their unconditional support in this process making sure that this once in a lifetime celebration was treated with the respect that the players, football fans around the world and participating countries deserve.”
Copa America Centenario Participating Teams:
1. U.S.A. (Host)
2. Mexico (Seeded)
3. Costa Rica (2014 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Champion)
4. TBD (2014 CFU Caribbean Cup Champion)
5. TBD (Winner of 2015 Gold Cup –if not one of the already qualified teams, or 2015 Gold Cup Playoff 1 winner)
6. TBD (2015 Gold Cup Playoff winner)