Is it Really the Ball?

JabulaniThe most important thing in the whole entire world right now is the sport of World Cup Soccer. Adidas gets to decide what technology the ball uses, and no one is happy about it:

Several players are going all out against the new World Cup ball, with more than one comparing it to those bought at a supermarket.

And this time it's not only goalkeepers who are complaining. Strikers, defenders and midfielders are also lashing out at the Adidas ball just a few days before the monthlong tournament is to begin in South Africa.

The ball is called Jabulani, which means "to celebrate" in isiZulu, but not many are celebrating it so far. It's hard to find a player who is happy with it, and those who don't like it are not saving adjectives to describe their feelings.

"It's very weird," Brazil striker Luis Fabiano said Sunday. "All of a sudden it changes trajectory on you. It's like it doesn't want to be kicked. It's incredible, it's like someone is guiding it. You are going to kick it and it moves out of the way. I think it's supernatural, it's very bad. I hope to adapt to it as soon as possible, but it's going to be hard."

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar on Saturday called the ball "terrible" and was the first to compare it to those plastic ones bought on a supermarket. Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini said the same thing, calling it a "disaster."

Here's how jacked up that article is over at Sports Illustrated. It really is one of the most incompetent news stories I've seen in quite a while. When you write a story about a ball, you should probably find a good picture of the ball. I know it sounds like the demented ranting and raving of a man wearing pants that are too tight and with ideas that were flushed out of his ears with hydrogen peroxide, but this is a visual medium. It's where you can put up a simple photo, perhaps a video, maybe an interactive graphic, and do something for a reader or a blogger. I don't know. It's where you can make a token, half-assed effort at trying and see it pay off for you.

I've never been above half-assing it, and I'm not going to start now. What?

Never mind. I'm on a roll, homes. Am I that kind of a blogger? Absolutely. I found and cropped (read: stole) a photo of the Jabbablouyouaniyappidy-whatever ball and I am making a heck of an effort here to give you something useful and informative. I'm asking the question--really? Is this ball really like the cheap ones purchased at supermarkets? I have to find out if this is true. I have to go to work for you and make something happen. Blogging is more than just finding an article and saying something about it--it's. Blogging is more than...hold it. My roll just came to a stop.

I found a picture, you see. I did what I should have done. I made this about me.

So, after my nap and a little apple juice, I went out to a supermarket and tried to buy a soccer ball. They just laughed at me. They told me I was crazy. Supermarkets don't really sell soccer balls unless they are an impulse item or a key buy added to a section of the retail establishment where toys and accessories and other purchased-in-bulk items are sold off of end caps or out of tables full of assorted pieces of merchandise that can be bought by people who don't really go looking for their ilk in supermarkets. You know, like hamster balls, duffel bags, soup can crushers, beaded seat covers, and Christmas ornaments that won't offend anyone Jewish.

It was a total bust. I must have gone to two supermarkets. Wow. I could have bought a new shower mat and made a soccer ball out of that, but I'm avoiding the impossible and trying to bring you the probable. I could have bought a beach ball. I passed. So, okay, fine--I went online and I ordered a soccer ball.

Yep.

It's going to take about three weeks to get to me, so. You know. I'll post something. That's how blogging works. I bought it out of some supermarket chain that allowed me to select items for purchase and throw them into a consolidated shopping cart after I spent a half an hour setting up an online profile. Oh, this wasn't entirely for buying a soccer ball--this is how I'm going to get some Archway cookies. The lemon ones. 

I know it's a waste of time, but I'll probably check the mail tomorrow. Well, that's kind of stupid. The ball--and, more importantly, the Archway cookies--are all being shipped from an Albertson's in San Antonio, Texas, but I did choose UPS expedited shipping, I think. I might have clicked on that wrong. Let me check the confirmation E-mail and I'll get back to you.

Anyway, I was going to take the soccer ball that I bought in the supermarket and see if it was any good. Miranda played soccer when she was in high school, and she actually has the ability to "bend it like Beckham" because she has these incredibly fat legs and can kick things really hard.

This post was going to be about what Miranda told me about the supermarket ball. Oh, and I was going to get a World Cup ball as well. Maybe do a little side by side comparison. Maybe film Miranda kicking the two balls and giving her opinion. I don't know. Miranda doesn't really humor me when it comes to blogging.

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