Five Tips for Faking Your Way Through the “Dreaded Soccer Conversation”

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Statistically speaking, if you live in America you are probably not a dedicated fan of soccer, aka “footy” or “The Beautiful Game,” as your one friend who studied abroad in London for a semester and came back wearing scarves all the time calls it. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s coming, to a Laundromat, elevator, coffee line or bar stool near you — the Dreaded Soccer Conversation (DSC).

A recurring challenge for casual observers, getting caught in a DSC is a near-sure thing. The major distinction here is that while boorish soccer haters welcome the chance to blather on about how prissy and phony they think the game is (“They don’t even have touchdowns, bro!”), noobs just want to get through it without looking like idiots. With the 2014 World Cup fully upon us, there’s simply no time to master the nuances of the sport and its culture beyond the most rudimentary observations (“They can’t use their hands, that’s crazy!”). That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to faking your way through a DSC as painlessly as possible.

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Loving World Cup Soccer Won’t Make You a Pretentious Jerk

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So the 2014 World Cup begins tomorrow, in case you somehow missed all the lead-up about collapsing stadia and civil unrest in Brazil, and for Americans, that’s problematic. The rest of the world calls soccer “football,” but we have real football, the game that no other nation plays (shut up, Canada) because no one else is as rough and tough and cavalier about the risk of brain injury as we are.

So we’re perplexed when we come up hard against the fact that something big is going on in this mysterious world of “football,” something that we don’t really get at all. If we know anything about soccer, it’s that we have to drag our asses out of bed on Saturday mornings to get our kids to soccer practice, and how interesting can a game really be if it can be played by a bunch of five-year-olds?

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Tom Ridge Isn’t Impressed with Chinese Hacker Charges

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge — he was also the first Homeland Security secretary — isn’t all that impressed with federal cyberespionage charges brought by the Obama Administration against alleged Chinese hackers.

“I frankly thought indicting five Chinese military officers was a public relations stunt,” Ridge told reporters this week.“They’re not going to be extradited, and we’re not going to try them, so what’s the value? I guess there’s a public relations value, but I don’t think there’s an American alive who thinks the Chinese are just going to extradite those folks. I don’t see the strategic value of it.”

The hackers are charged with stealing more than $100 million in online attacks. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

 

What They’re Saying About the Salvation Army Collapse Anniversary

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Here’s what they’re saying about today’s anniversary of the deadly Salvation Army collapse:

CBS Philly:

Ceremonies will mark the one year anniversary of a fatal building collapse in Center City. Families and friends of the victims will plant the first tree in a memorial park dedicated to the six people who lost their lives

It was one year ago today that a building under demolition collapsed on the Salvation Army thrift shop at 22nd and Market Streets, killing six and injuring 14.

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Suburban Bear Probably Just Wanted a Wawa Breakfast Hoagie

Another day, another bear sighting, this one in Montgomery County. NBC 10 reports: “Police received several calls reporting a bear behind the Wawa located near the intersection of Route 611 and County Line Road in Horsham, Montgomery County in the early morning hours Friday.

The TV station adds: “A Wawa employee says there is evidence the animal was going through the dumpster in search of food.”

Elliot Rodger, Misguided Male Entitlement, and the “Nice Guy” Fallacy

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, right, walks past a board showing the photos of suspected gunman Elliot Rodger and the weapons he used in Friday night's mass shooting that took place in Isla Vista, Calif., after a news conference on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Santa Barbara, Calif. Sheriff's officials say Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood. (AP Photo | Jae C. Hong)

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, right, walks past a board showing the photos of suspected gunman Elliot Rodger and the weapons he used in Friday night’s mass shooting that took place in Isla Vista, Calif., after a news conference on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Santa Barbara, Calif. Sheriff’s officials say Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood. (AP Photo | Jae C. Hong)

We acculturate our children in a culture of domestic violence. In playgrounds across the country this summer and into the following school year and those to come, little girls will learn that the boys who push them into the grass are the ones that like them. They will grow older and become teenage girls who accept the sting of a “love tap” in their arm as a sign that they have been chosen.

With any luck, the young women will unlearn these expectations.

And with hope, the young men will, too.

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