Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

March 21, 2009

which european league`s fans are the best off?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 10:53 am

the way things are looking – seems like man u will be the big winners this year.  just like last year.  so their fans will be the happiestest?  no?  ummm, yes, they will be.  or not.  with great powers comes great responsibility.

there will be some man u fans who will be upset because their team didn`t quite play like the teams in shaolin soccer.

but, as a fan of a new, rebranded league … where the quality is low, but fans are excited about what it could be … the question in the subject line interests me.  talking with other a-league fans, you`ll hear the line “it`s not the premier league …” as a disclaimer.

but, i says, THANK F$CK IT ISN`T THE PREMIER LEAGUE!!!”

who wouldn`t want to emulate the richest, most popular, (currently) most dominant champions league power?  me.  cos i`m strange.

when the fans of only 3 teams can honestly think they have a chance to win the league at the start of the season (or worse, only fans of 5 teams can really picture their team competing for the title in the next 5 years).  when prices keep going up, up, up.  when fans look at squad lists and have to squint to find players who come from their country, let alone their city, when teams are owned by bad bad people (if not abramovitch, then definitely, frank sinatrakawyakdoakapa – i may have gotten the second bad guys name wrong … ex thai pm), when teams can be bought on credit and their profits are then used to pay off the loans that the new owners have borrowed to buy the team, when your team can almost borrow itself out of existence (leeds) …

it ain`t all coming up roses.

sorry, ranting.  oh yeah, the question above.

i reckon its the germans.  big crowds, safe standing spaces, cheapish entry prices, a comparitively open league (a recently promoted team taking a crack at winning the league?  hoffenheim – i know, they got cash behind them, but this is still mindblowing), minimum 51% members ownership of a club, good solvency laws …

hehe, note that i have not gone anywhere near the attractiveness of the football, or how good the football is.  on the former, beauty is in the eye of the beholder … so i won`t go near that debate.  and i don`t believe that no of goals is necessarily a good indicator of how attractive football is.  see my earlier rant on the lie of jogo bonito.  whatever attractiveness attaches itself to a particular style of playing is a mere happy accident, not a determing factor.

but on the latter … no.  by not funneling all available resources to the top of the league, german teams are unable to truly compete in the champions league.  so german fans do not get to see the best available football. that would be available to english fans, who can watch their heavyweights battle it out a couple of times a year.

but if i only cared about the quality of the football on display …

i probably wouldn`t watch the a-league, would i?

a wise dead guy once said that to analyse the fairness of a given society, imagine the following proposition – imagine you could be born into any strata of society … is this a society you would want to be born into?  ummm, he said it better than that too.  but anyways … using this question, you probably would want to be born into a denmark or a japan rather than a brazil (or perhaps, an america?).

imagine you could be born a fan of any team in a country`s league … would you want to be born a fan of a team from that country?  i`m picking the bundesliga over the prem.

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how the hell did pokemon get its claws into me?

Filed under: Videogames — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:36 am

zelda phantom hourglass was the best thing and the worst thing to come out for ds.  the best, because it was one of the best games i played on any machine.  as good as twilight princess or wind waker.  it was that good.  and funny.  and it fit the ds perfectly.  fun, funny, well made.  good good good.

BUT everything i have played on DS since has not been able to hold a candle to it.  there has been lots of tasty little snack games that i can play on the train or bus … but no OMG woohoo wow games.  on a train or bus, a spot of braintraining or sudoku, or a space invaders extreme or soul bubbles is a great fit.  but none of them are OMG woohoo wow like zelda phantom hourglass was.

i am hoping that gta chinatown wars can be that next great game.

but right now, pokemon has its claws in me.  i have never played one of these before, but i had read good things about them, so i decided to try it out.  i am now 118 hours into the game.  i am guessing i am about 80 per cent of the way through the story.  the time taken isn`t related to story progress – i am sure you could finish the game more quickly, if you know what you are doing.  but it has been a strange journey.  i have stopped playing the game so many times vowing to leave it behind, but then, eventually the ridiculous polish of the game, the sheer size of the game, and the ponderous, slow slow slow tempo of the gameplay (which is perfect for playing while knocking back a morning coffee) bring me back.

it is boring.  is it?  or is it really slow?  i dunno.  but grinding up levels, gardening, seeing how the pokemon evolve, catching new ones … its fun.  or is it?  i dunno.

but it has its claws in me.  of that there can be no dispute.

March 20, 2009

thinking ain`t really my thing …

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:14 am

have been at my current job for almost 2 years (which is a long time for conversational english teaching) and i am wondering about what to do next, where to do it, when to go …

do i keep on english teaching (and enjoy being near tokyo, but in a job that isn`t deep and doesn`t have a built in pension payment),

or do i go home and find a job i can get old in, and that pays super?

and the list of pros and cons goes on and on and on … but i`ll stop there.  the freedom of teaching what i want versus getting sign off before i DO ANYTHING.  missing the entertainment part of teaching, missing research and analytical writing … ok.  i`ll really stop now.

so i decided to quit thinking my way through it and just float along for a change.  see what happens and roll with it.  cos when i tried to think it through, i got a bit natalie imbruglia`d.  no, i did not see a man born to life, but i am torn.

so i am not gonna make any decisions.  just float along and see what happens.

perhaps i am scarred by my law school experience … decided to become a lawyer and eventually work overseas, went to post-graduate law school, but could not get an opening in a law firm, so i scurried back to government.  it was very shocking, deciding to do something, but then finding that the doors weren`t open.  [i might be intelligent, maybe not, but my undergrad marks were middling at best].

March 19, 2009

i thought i was reading the chaser …

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:57 pm

but no, it was the age website.  so, oz to create a secret blacklist of bad internet sites …did i just break a law by saying there is a secret list of bad internet sites?  i dunno.  maybe.

oz taking internet tips from china – just lovely.  i was a little surprised to see our middle left overlords continue with this … and the tone of the discussion does look straight out of the chaser –

– man on the street “i`m against secret censorship lists”

– middle left overlord “so you support child porn, eh?”

i better check again, was i reading the chaser?

[10 minutes later] nah, it was the age.

in a way, this is not surprising.  1 thing that i have endlessly repeated to any adult student of mine, or adult person i have met, it that oz is a much more anally retentive place then japan.  we got a set of tax laws that could pass for a couple of city phone books.  we got a business licensing framework that seems designed to snuff out any sense of entrepeneurship that a person on the street might have.  and our usual government response to any situation is the stick, not the carrot (from my experiences as a public servant).

the day will never come when japan will have mandatory helmets while riding bicycles.  there would be an uprising of colour co-ordinated, perfectly coiffed women who would ransack every police station, hunt down and execute the prime minister and the parliament … the country would burn.  you just do not fuck with these women`s hair.

most japanese cities have a network of small police stations all over the city.  even small towns.  and the police presence is quite visible.  but before the oz v japan game, there was a stack of street side vendors selling counterfeit  jerseys etc and the cops let them be.

oh, and they just made seatbelts in the back seat mandatory.  last year.

and fireworks are legal : )

i think the aussie larrikin is not exactly a myth per se, but exists as a counter-reaction to our dominant, controlling nature … first euros in oz were prisoners and prison guards, and not having a revolution or anything like that, we have kept the same mindset ever since …

March 18, 2009

mckay off to china eh?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 3:11 pm

if this is a permanent departure, then thanks for the memories and all the best …

mckay`s worth might be better understood in his absence

favourite mckay moment … ccm last season, roar had position in ccm`s half, but the play breaks down and ccm have the ball.  but before they can launch a counter, mckay wins the ball back with a strong, correct tackle and quickly gets back to his feet.  he is outside the penalty box, fairly central.  tahj is on the right and moving into the box.  on tv you can see a pass to tahj is a goal.  and it looks like mckay hasn`t seen it.  but at the last second he makes pass, and goal scored.

motor, a strong tackle, passing and some goals … very handy player.

if it does turn into a permanent move … so be it.  clubs shouldn`t spend more than they have.  and players should maximise their earnings while they can.

but it isn`t necessarily a permanent move.  hope to see him back in the roar`s colours, but if not.  all the best.

no more heroes

Filed under: Videogames — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 3:00 pm

this one has been on my to play list for awhile … but never quite got around to it.

had a blast … its witty, fresh, a bit kooky.  quite cognisant that it is a videogame and happy to break the 4th wall and talk directly to the audience.

even the grindy bits were fun for me.  i never got tired of working the gas station … an assassin, filling gas for spare cash, bopping away to mexican music.  the emptiness of the game world got to me in the middle of the game … but the character, and the wonderful controls got me over it. even virtual shopping was fun … i have enough clothes, and not enough space – i had a lot of fun with the shopping.

unfortunately, i accidentally played the game on easy.  while all the voice was in english, the text was in japanese.

March 16, 2009

nicholas bendtner rocks

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:35 am

whilst not particularly caring for the prem league, i sat down to watch arsenal v blackburn with an arsenal fan yesterday …

arsenal won, for the most part looking like they were in a training match.  blackburn, for the most part looking like the u17s team helping out at training or something.

but nicholas bendtner … some nice passing, but every shot he took was pants.  utterly pants.  and he had about 8 shots that he wasted. i would have been crawling under a rock by then …

but not bendtner.  andrei arshavin went on a wonderful byline jaunt before scoring a nice goal with a tough angle … and bendtner was in front of the goal, hands out, demanding the ball.

he may not be particularly good, but he gets points for keeping on believing, even when all prior evidence points towards failure.

March 12, 2009

the proper apportionment of blame …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 6:29 am

now when things go badly … and you have no real power to influence matters (say, if you were a football fan), the first thing to figure out is who to blame.

the refs are a handy starting point … they can be counted on to make errors quite often.  being human and all.  some of those errors may even influence the outcome of the match.

but lets imagine the ref actually does a good job.  who should you blame for your team`s loss?

the candidate`s are the coach and the players.  how you pick out who to blame from these two candidates is a very interesting question.  are the players stuffing up the coach`s brilliant game plan, or are the coach`s ridiculous strategies stifling the champion team?  it can be pretty hard to tell sometimes …

it helps if the coach is easy to dislike … like graham arnold.  just blame him.  its fun.  you could even argue that his coaching is to blame on technical grounds.  if you are into that sort of thing.  like the olympic line up he used with 2 quick striker types who never got the ball where they wanted it.  apparently.

or on the other hand, if you like the coach, then, its good to blame the players.

or if you like the players.  blame the coach.  and vice versa.

the best way to apportion blame is to base it on personality.  it gets really tricky when you try to use a non-personality, technical approach to apportioning blame.

you have to look into the players strengths and weaknesses.  how they have played in the past.  how well they should be playing … how the coach`s strategy and selections affect the players performance.  how well the team as a whole play.  the coach`s history …

good luck with that one.

aus v kuwait.  blame the coach, or blame the players?  i dunno, i didn`t watch it cos i was at work : (

March 11, 2009

if and who – two words missing from game reviews

Filed under: Videogames — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 5:21 am

a mate came round with her ps3 last weekend.  had a massive play through biohazard 5.  god, maybe 5 hours almost.  that is the longest playthrough i have had in a long time.

but 2 player co-op using a good projector and sound set up (hehe, aimee even went and got hdmi cables – nerd!)  was fun fun fun.  the movement and controller system is ponderous, but once i got in the flow i was too busy having fun to think about it.  i also found the game very cinematic.  wow, this part is black hawk down.  this part is mad max II.

so i decided to check out how the reviews were going for this one.  the reviews i saw were very different to my experience so far of the game.  but that doesn`t mean the reviewers are stupid, or fanboys, or wrong.  we are playing very different games.

i played only the co-op.  i am a resi 4 fan.  i don`t have a ps3 or xbox360 (yet), and am unfamiliar with recent games in the action adventure genre.

IF you are gonna play this single player, then your experience will be different.

IF you have played, and loved, other recent big games, like GTA4, CoD4 … then your experience will be different.

IF you are not a biohazard fan … ditto

IF you have not played a video game since pacman on the atari … you will not be able to play this game.  at all.

the value you get from this game will depend on who you are … but this never seems to come up in reviews.  as the audience fragments more and more, the question will continue to come up … will this review really help you?

ps.  team fortress 2 rocks.  but so much change has happened since the initial release … that those initial releases must no longer be relevant to the game (if you got it on pc).  but where is the review that elaborates on TF2 as it stands now?

baby and the bath water?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 3:59 am

all the recent post – kuwait game hand wringing /blame alloting has been a lot of fun.  in the same way that drama, tragedy, and crime are all rollicking good fun.  a special kind of fun; why else would we cling to them?

was just reading a lovely little piece at sbs on the a-league`s lack of technique …

technique is lovely, but should we be careful to not throw the baby out with the bathwater?  in rejecting our physical style completely, would we lose something special.  aussies love the biff.  for better or for worse … its who we are.  if you disagree spend a night in one of australia`s cities, and then spend one in tokyo or osaka.  that drunken, testosterone laden aggression that you can feel in the air … its who we are.  a bunch of big boofy idiots.

this shows in our footy.  i still remember the aus v brazil game back in the last world cup.  the look of joy on vinnie grella`s face as he raked ronaldo`s shin … was priceless.  his righteous indignation as the ref blew the whistle was also a beautiful thing.  and watching the slow mo replay to see our vinnie win the ball, and afterwards raise his studs and get ronaldo afterwards … made me proud to be an aussie.   we are a nation of kickers.  and bruisers and tradies.  not me, i`m as soft as you can get.  but the rest of my people …

in an earlier rant i proselytised on how physical attributes have effected different countries footballing cultures draws on this.  just taking the spanish style, or the kuwaiti style wholesale is not going to be effective … we are not spain.  we are a bunch of aggressive boofy kickers.  and we love workers.  we need to develop a style that suits our physical attributes and temperament that raises our efficiency. or stop ignoring players who don`t fit the aussie stereotype, like nick carle or travis dodd, or at club level, kaz patafta. i am sorry, i started ranting there a bit.  crazy talk.

so raise the efficiency of what we do.  not pretend we are 160 cm tall, and have all the corresponding strengths and weaknesses.  except for evan berger, you are excused.

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