UNITED PASSIONS: Forget Everything You’ve Heard… Sepp’s Movie is AMAZING

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..

Advertisements

Nike Risk Everything… Takes on Corporate America (Irony and Hilarity Ensue)

Nike goes Anime-esque as Team Nike battles the corporatization of international football.

A future dystopian world where players are replaced by robot clones, lacking any semblance of creativity, individuality or humanity. It is brilliantly done and features Rooney, Zlatan, Ribery, Cristino, Real Ronaldo, David Luiz and St. Timmy Howard to assumable like a footballing Justice League to save the beautiful game.

They fail to see the irony of the their part in the corporatization and destruction of the the game which might be the funniest part. That said, it is awesome

BTW, NIKE.. COULD YOU STOP WITH THE ST. TIMMY IS A FAULT NONSENSE? LIKE RIGHT NOW.

Today, I Met the World Cup..

She is 13 pounds of solid gold perfection.

WP_20140419_021
ME WITH THE MY NEW BFF (Ignore how horrible I look) REPPING US SOCCER and ROCKING MY RUN DMB HAT

WP_20140419_010 WP_20140419_017

WP_20140419_019  WP_20140419_005

Coca-Cola and FIFA have been taking trophy tour around the globe with their only fan stop in America being in LA.  I literally texted every day for a month for tickets.  TOTALLY WORTH IT.

They had a hologram presentation on the history of the Cup which I only caught part of to record and the video is not great but it was cool to relive so many great World Cup Moment.  The big cheer in the middle was a clip of Clinton Dempsey dancing in 2006

The GAME OF THEIR LIVES

World Cup 2014 is exactly 170 days away. Yeah, just 22 weeks until Kick-off.

The obvious questions remain and intensify:

  • Will Brazil Do a Confed Cup redux with protests at stadiums and in the streets?
  • Will the stadiums/hotels/transportation infrastructure/communications infrastructure/etc be ready?
  • Do the anticipated temps pose dangerous risks for players and fans in the sun-soaked stands?
  • Will fans be safe from crime?
  • Would FIFA really move it? If so, where?

No idea the answer to any of those but I know mostly the same questions were asked prior to SA2010 and it was almost all good in the end.

Now, 170 days is not a lot of time.  Moving would have to be done within the next few weeks, and that seems highly unlikely.   I would not hate because USA would be top of the move to list. We require almost no advanced notice to stage massive events.

When SARS hit China in early 2003, FIFA pulled the Women’s World Cup and handed it to the USA.  It was only with a couple of months notice and it went off without a hitch.

Now again, I think that it is highly unlikely FIFA moves it.  So we prepare for the first Brazilian World Cup in 64 years.

First up – MANDATORY READING

The Game of Their Lives by Geoffrey Douglas.  The story US Soccer’s great triumph, with first person accounts and meticulous research.  June 29, 1950, in a mining town North of Rio, the locally called, “Reyes of Futbol,” (Kings of Soccer, aka England) faced a ragtag group of American kids in the first round.

Spoiler Alert: Much like the two previous wars, let’s just say.. ‘Merica!

Douglas beautifully tells the story of how this diverse group of men and boys became arguably the greatest United States Men’s National Team ever.  In extensive detail, he described the match, explores Brazil’s love affair with the game and the World’s adoration of that relationship, then most importantly,  introduces our generation to these forgotten legends of the US game.

The book is an fantastic, READ IT! It is 146 pages (including several pages of photos) and moves at the pace of a great match.  The Game of Their Lives at Amazon.com

The movie is not has wonderful but it is great…  Here is the trailer and NOTE IT IS CALLED, “MIRACLE MATCH”   

Moral of the Story for the Modern Age:  in remote parts of Brazil where no one wants to play, US players against the, “Unbeatable,” team.. Magic happens