Posts tagged football
The human body is 18 percent carbon, which means that if you subject it to high enough pressures at high enough temperatures and hold it there for a long enough time, it will form diamonds. You can try this yourself, in a laboratory. 

All it takes is, say, a pound of human ash, more than 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and 60,000 times the standard atmospheric pressure of Earth at sea level. Extract carbon, bake, compress. Check back in a few weeks. Not a DIYer? No problem. Just FedEx your burial urn to one of the many Internet-facing memorial-diamond companies that have sprung up in the last few years. 

For between $2,500 and $25,000, outfits like Chicago’s LifeGem and Switzerland’s Algordanza will take the cremated remains of your loved ones and return them, presto chango, in the form of wearable jewelry. Diamonds created from human ashes often carry a blue tint. 

This is because of the boron contained in bone. “I don’t know why,” the CEO of Algordanza has said, “but if the diamond is blue, and the deceased also had blue eyes, I hear almost every time that the diamond had the same color as the eyes of the deceased.” 

Gems can also be synthesized from dead pets and, since the mid-2000s, from hair. Several memorial-diamond firms report revenue in the millions of dollars. In 2007, a diamond made from a lock of Beethoven’s hair sold on eBay for $202,700. 

The World Cup tends to gather every thread of weirdness on the planet; as the largest human spectacle in existence, it rolls through every four years trailed by a vast peripheral freak show of psychic octopuses, celebrity witch doctors, and horse-placenta fetishists (otherwise known as soccer players). 

So it’s no real surprise that the tournament’s 2014 edition is now officially the World Cup of diamonds made out of people. In late May, a Brazil-based memorial-diamond company called Brilho Infinito began selling a series of 1,283 diamonds made from the hair of Pelé, the most celebrated footballer in Brazil’s football-obsessed history, and widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time. 

The 1,283 gemstones are one for every goal that’s claimed on Pelé’s (dubious) official record. The gemstones are selling for about $7,500 each. The proceeds will be donated to a pediatric complex in Brazil. 

Diamonds in the Rough

The human body is 18 percent carbon, which means that if you subject it to high enough pressures at high enough temperatures and hold it there for a long enough time, it will form diamonds. You can try this yourself, in a laboratory.

All it takes is, say, a pound of human ash, more than 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and 60,000 times the standard atmospheric pressure of Earth at sea level. Extract carbon, bake, compress. Check back in a few weeks. Not a DIYer? No problem. Just FedEx your burial urn to one of the many Internet-facing memorial-diamond companies that have sprung up in the last few years.

For between $2,500 and $25,000, outfits like Chicago’s LifeGem and Switzerland’s Algordanza will take the cremated remains of your loved ones and return them, presto chango, in the form of wearable jewelry. Diamonds created from human ashes often carry a blue tint.

This is because of the boron contained in bone. “I don’t know why,” the CEO of Algordanza has said, “but if the diamond is blue, and the deceased also had blue eyes, I hear almost every time that the diamond had the same color as the eyes of the deceased.”

Gems can also be synthesized from dead pets and, since the mid-2000s, from hair. Several memorial-diamond firms report revenue in the millions of dollars. In 2007, a diamond made from a lock of Beethoven’s hair sold on eBay for $202,700.

The World Cup tends to gather every thread of weirdness on the planet; as the largest human spectacle in existence, it rolls through every four years trailed by a vast peripheral freak show of psychic octopuses, celebrity witch doctors, and horse-placenta fetishists (otherwise known as soccer players).

So it’s no real surprise that the tournament’s 2014 edition is now officially the World Cup of diamonds made out of people. In late May, a Brazil-based memorial-diamond company called Brilho Infinito began selling a series of 1,283 diamonds made from the hair of Pelé, the most celebrated footballer in Brazil’s football-obsessed history, and widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time.

The 1,283 gemstones are one for every goal that’s claimed on Pelé’s (dubious) official record. The gemstones are selling for about $7,500 each. The proceeds will be donated to a pediatric complex in Brazil.

Diamonds in the Rough

My grandfather, born in 1919, grew up playing football in a wooded corner of the British empire.

The eldest son of a family of bright-eyed troublemakers from the southern Indian district of Palakkad, Kerala, he wore knee socks and a chip on his shoulder to the local missionary high school, where beatings from teachers quivering with rage were the chief method of keeping boys in line. 

Tempers ran high on the playground. 

Thanks to what must have been a combination of extreme arrogance and extreme vulnerability, my grandfather’s boyhood was marked by a determination to start or escalate fights. 

Playing “soccer,” as he called it from beginning to end of his life—Edwardian slang has a certain tenacity, as North Americans will know—he was an aggressive and inconsistent forward, not notably destined for success on the field. 

Although some of his brothers and friends would play the game for a great part of their lives, my grandfather gave it up relatively quickly. In the middle of the Second World War, he boarded a train for Bombay: a metropolis then, as now, suffocating in its love of cricket. 

On the churning streets of the vast city, he found himself stepping aside sometimes for trucks full of European soldiers, who were either passing through on their way to other theatres of war or enforcing imperial law in a restless city. 

The Dream-Time of the World Cup | Roads & Kingdoms

My grandfather, born in 1919, grew up playing football in a wooded corner of the British empire.

The eldest son of a family of bright-eyed troublemakers from the southern Indian district of Palakkad, Kerala, he wore knee socks and a chip on his shoulder to the local missionary high school, where beatings from teachers quivering with rage were the chief method of keeping boys in line.

Tempers ran high on the playground.

Thanks to what must have been a combination of extreme arrogance and extreme vulnerability, my grandfather’s boyhood was marked by a determination to start or escalate fights.

Playing “soccer,” as he called it from beginning to end of his life—Edwardian slang has a certain tenacity, as North Americans will know—he was an aggressive and inconsistent forward, not notably destined for success on the field.

Although some of his brothers and friends would play the game for a great part of their lives, my grandfather gave it up relatively quickly. In the middle of the Second World War, he boarded a train for Bombay: a metropolis then, as now, suffocating in its love of cricket.

On the churning streets of the vast city, he found himself stepping aside sometimes for trucks full of European soldiers, who were either passing through on their way to other theatres of war or enforcing imperial law in a restless city.

The Dream-Time of the World Cup | Roads & Kingdoms

Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston is one of the strangest places to play in international soccer. The track that surrounds the field is pristine, but the pitch is marked with patches of bare dirt. 

There is a scoreboard, but it has no clock. The U.S. national team came here to face Jamaica last June in a crucial World Cup qualifier they were widely expected to win. 

But after the U.S. took a 1-0 lead deep into the second half, Jamaica took advantage of a free kick and a sleeping U.S. defense to sneak a header past the U.S. goalkeeper and equalize the score. 

In the convoluted math of World Cup qualifying, a tie against Jamaica was as good as a loss for the U.S.—one that could seriously damage its chances of even making it to Brazil for the World Cup. 

The Americans desperately needed a quick score. But without a scoreboard clock, none of the players knew how much time was left. U.S. defender Brad Evans asked the referee, but he just ran on by. Finally, an official on the sidelines held up a card. Four minutes to go. 

With His Eye on the World Cup, Soccer Coach Jurgen Klinsmann Overhauls Team USA - WSJ

Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston is one of the strangest places to play in international soccer. The track that surrounds the field is pristine, but the pitch is marked with patches of bare dirt.

There is a scoreboard, but it has no clock. The U.S. national team came here to face Jamaica last June in a crucial World Cup qualifier they were widely expected to win.

But after the U.S. took a 1-0 lead deep into the second half, Jamaica took advantage of a free kick and a sleeping U.S. defense to sneak a header past the U.S. goalkeeper and equalize the score.

In the convoluted math of World Cup qualifying, a tie against Jamaica was as good as a loss for the U.S.—one that could seriously damage its chances of even making it to Brazil for the World Cup.

The Americans desperately needed a quick score. But without a scoreboard clock, none of the players knew how much time was left. U.S. defender Brad Evans asked the referee, but he just ran on by. Finally, an official on the sidelines held up a card. Four minutes to go.

With His Eye on the World Cup, Soccer Coach Jurgen Klinsmann Overhauls Team USA - WSJ

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Michael Sam was the loud country boy who wore a tank top and a cowboy hat. He was the smooth-singing baritone who could irritate his coaches and crack up his teammates with his improvised songs. He was one of the best players to come out of tiny Hitchcock, Tex., where his family was well known for all the wrong reasons.
He was an all-American and defensive terror on the football field. He was a regular at the gay club, where the bartenders knew him by name. Sam introduced himself to the world Sunday night as a National Football League prospect who happens to be gay.
Now he is poised to become a trailblazer in a violent and macho world that will scrutinize his every action and turn his private life into a very public debate.
But Sam has never had it easy. He grew up about 40 miles southeast of Houston near Galveston Bay in Texas, the seventh of eight children. Three of his siblings have died and two brothers are in prison. He lived briefly in the back seat of his mother’s car, and his relationship with his family remains complicated: When he visits home, he usually stays with friends. 
MORE: Michael Sam’s Troubled Upbringing in Texas

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Michael Sam was the loud country boy who wore a tank top and a cowboy hat. He was the smooth-singing baritone who could irritate his coaches and crack up his teammates with his improvised songs. He was one of the best players to come out of tiny Hitchcock, Tex., where his family was well known for all the wrong reasons.

He was an all-American and defensive terror on the football field. He was a regular at the gay club, where the bartenders knew him by name. Sam introduced himself to the world Sunday night as a National Football League prospect who happens to be gay.

Now he is poised to become a trailblazer in a violent and macho world that will scrutinize his every action and turn his private life into a very public debate.

But Sam has never had it easy. He grew up about 40 miles southeast of Houston near Galveston Bay in Texas, the seventh of eight children. Three of his siblings have died and two brothers are in prison. He lived briefly in the back seat of his mother’s car, and his relationship with his family remains complicated: When he visits home, he usually stays with friends.

MORE: Michael Sam’s Troubled Upbringing in Texas

He saw it in me before anyone else—the ability to be a shutdown corner—when I was still in high school. But even though I didn’t wind up playing for Pete Carroll at USC, I’m sure glad I am now. If you’re looking for reasons the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl, start with him. And it’s not just his game plans, either. 

Richard Sherman’s tribute Pete Carroll’s role in Seahawks Super Bowl

He saw it in me before anyone else—the ability to be a shutdown corner—when I was still in high school. But even though I didn’t wind up playing for Pete Carroll at USC, I’m sure glad I am now. If you’re looking for reasons the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl, start with him. And it’s not just his game plans, either.

Richard Sherman’s tribute Pete Carroll’s role in Seahawks Super Bowl

If Terrance Knighton had his way, the behemoth better known as Pot Roast would be running slant routes for Tom Brady instead of trying to sack him. If you ever see Virgil Green at a restaurant, tell the waitress it’s his birthday: You will be in for a treat. 

And if you only associate Golden Tate with the $7,875 fine he received earlier this season for taunting the Rams on a breakaway touchdown, well, there’s more to the wideout than one unfortunate highlight. “He’s one of the most compassionate people I know,” says one man who knows Tate like few others do. In the oversaturated media frenzy that is Super Bowl week, the fact that players are people from diverse backgrounds often gets overlooked. 

To learn more about the Broncos and Seahawks beyond the manufactured storylines, The MMQB called the players’ high school or college coaches and asked them to share one thing that fans might not know about their former pupils. The answers will surprise and, in some instances, amuse you. 

(via Broncos, Seahawks players before they became famous | The MMQB with Peter King)

If Terrance Knighton had his way, the behemoth better known as Pot Roast would be running slant routes for Tom Brady instead of trying to sack him. If you ever see Virgil Green at a restaurant, tell the waitress it’s his birthday: You will be in for a treat.

And if you only associate Golden Tate with the $7,875 fine he received earlier this season for taunting the Rams on a breakaway touchdown, well, there’s more to the wideout than one unfortunate highlight. “He’s one of the most compassionate people I know,” says one man who knows Tate like few others do. In the oversaturated media frenzy that is Super Bowl week, the fact that players are people from diverse backgrounds often gets overlooked.

To learn more about the Broncos and Seahawks beyond the manufactured storylines, The MMQB called the players’ high school or college coaches and asked them to share one thing that fans might not know about their former pupils. The answers will surprise and, in some instances, amuse you.

(via Broncos, Seahawks players before they became famous | The MMQB with Peter King)

Andrew Sullivan points us to a Brazilian soccer team’s “ingenious" way to promote blood donations.

Nicknamed the ‘Red and Blacks’, there’s no prizes for guessing what colours Vitoria usually play in. However, ahead of the new season, the club have ‘drained’ the red hoops from their home strip in a bid to raise awareness and get their fans to donate blood for transfusions and the like. The red hoops on the home shirt will then be replaced one-by-one as the level of blood donated rises, until the shirt is eventually restored to it’s former glory when the target is met.

Andrew Sullivan points us to a Brazilian soccer team’s “ingenious" way to promote blood donations.

Nicknamed the ‘Red and Blacks’, there’s no prizes for guessing what colours Vitoria usually play in. However, ahead of the new season, the club have ‘drained’ the red hoops from their home strip in a bid to raise awareness and get their fans to donate blood for transfusions and the like. The red hoops on the home shirt will then be replaced one-by-one as the level of blood donated rises, until the shirt is eventually restored to it’s former glory when the target is met.

To say that you love football because it is primal and vicious and visceral is to say that you are in favor of early Alzheimer’s, or constant and debilitating headaches, or severe depression, or even suicide.
Buzz Bissinger writes on Junior Seau’s death, the media scrum outside his house, and that regardless of how little we know for what led to his suicide by gunshot to the chest, the man was a ferocious warrior in a vicious game.
ocandrew1 asked

Will you be doing a story about Al Davis' passing and his imprint on football?

We ran a short item on The Daily Beast’s Cheat Sheet when he died, but I’m unsure of any edit plans for a larger tribute or story. If it happens, we’ll be sure to post on the tumblr. In the meantime, here’s a fantastic Sports Illustrated profile on the genius of Al Davis from 1974.