Its been a while since I’ve been on here, as usual, school is doing its best to consume my life, but after seeing some of the outrage of the past week, and the fact I’ve been off the grid for three weeks made me come back.
For those of you who are unaware, November 11 is Remembrance day in the United Kingdom. Akin to, and on the same day as Veteran’s day here in the United States. England commemorates their fallen heroes with the poppy, as seen below, however, each fall, the poppy sadly becomes mired in controversy and political red tape, and this year, its thanks to one, corrupt organization. You may know them very well, as they are FIFA, the worldwide governing body of international soccer.
Last weekend, teams in the English Premier League wore poppies on their shirts because of the international break the leagues are on right now.
For the international break, the England national football team submitted a request to FIFA to wear poppy patches on their shirts for their friendly against Spain on November 12, FIFA turned down the request as it would “be contrary to its rules against displaying political symbols”. This caused mass outrage from the footballing community, the Football Association (Governing Body of English Football) and English football fans in general. FIFA did finally relent after a personal intervention from the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. FIFA allowed England to wear Poppies on black armbands during the match, players had orginally countered FIFA’s rejection with custom cleats made just for the matches this weekend against Spain and Germany.
To this writer, this is not the first time FIFA has caused ridiculous controversy over nothing. Honoring fallen military members is not a political message, it is a universally recognized sign of respect, and if FIFA wants to cause a big ruckus over political or religious symbols, why don’t they crack down on Turkey’s national team emblem?
The symbol on Turkey’s kits, which is drawn from their flag, is a symbol synonymous with arab nationalism and Turkey’s proud Muslim culture, yet FIFA has never raised a problem with the Turkish side wearing the symbol on their kit, what would happen if England decided to permanently include the poppy in their crest? Then what would FIFA do?
The ridiculous things FIFA has done in the past year, including this poppy controversy, Sepp Blatter’s reign of corruption, and the controversial awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar (Really? its over 100 degrees there in the summers), reflects a dark side that I as a soccer fan do not enjoy, I think the beautfiul game should be played free of red tape and politics, but in the world we live in, this is not true.
For the EPL enthusiasts, I watched the Newcastle United vs. Everton match last weekend, and it was an excellent match with a screamer scored by Newcastle’s Ryan Taylor. One thing I did notice though, was the difference in clothing choices between the managers, Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew was donning a classic black suit, with a Newcastle themed tie, whereas David Moyes was in full Le Coq Sportif warmups. This begs the question for me, if managers are dressing up in dress shirts, ties and traditional dress, why must they bother mucking it up by wearing their team gear and look worse? my favorite side Arsenal is victim of this as Arsene Wenger loves his puffy coats almost as much as George Costanza loved his.
Some of the worst dressed crowd include the following
Bolton manager and George Clooney’s long lost brother, Owen Coyle
Sunderland’s Steve Bruce
And Stoke City boss Tony Pulis (Come on, you resemble an American Football coach)
My request to EPL managers is this: please follow Alan Pardew’s lead, call your tailor, get a winter suit coat, and look classy on the sidelines.
- The Buffalo Bills wore their all white uniforms at home in last Sunday’s 27-11 loss to the rival New York Jets, the last time Buffalo went white at home was in the 1986 season.
- Michigan State and North Carolina went with camouflaged themed uniforms last night in the Carrier Classic aboard the U.S.S Carl Vinson in San Diego
- The San Diego Padres unveiled their new, slightly tweaked uniforms in their first redesign since 2004, and their third new road uniform in three seasons.
- Leo Messi is now a truly elite soccer player, as he has been given his own logo
- Ukraine and Poland unveiled new soccer jerseys
- Spain unveiled the beautiful new kits for Euro 2012 in their 1-0 loss to England at Wembley stadium earlier today