Nobody makes ads like Nike.
Lovely story about Megatron paying back.
Johnson has run the slide projector and has helped his mother moderate the session. But she is gone now, and it is just Johnson and the five boys. Johnson has been standing behind a lectern during the session, but as soon as his mother leaves, he and the young men instinctively huddle. Johnson might be an NFL megastar, but at 28 he’s only a decade older than the boys. . . .
Johnson has never been comfortable speaking publicly to large groups. But here, in a conference room the size of a living room, tucked inside this skyscraper, the NFL’s best receiver is at his best in a small setting, talking casually and revealing more about himself than he ever has.
Why an entire country of 200 million people is nuts over Neymar even though he hasn't done all that much yet.
Unusual for articles of this type, the work is shown.
Brian Phillips does a fine job summarizing what happened this past Tuesday . . .
The trouble with metaphor, though, is the trouble with any post facto analysis of a phenomenon like Brazil-Germany. It’s selective. If we say a 7-1 win in a World Cup semifinal is the equivalent of a 47-point NFL road playoff victory, we’re emphasizing statistical probabilities at the expense of both culture and atmosphere; if we say that the clouds boiling on the horizon were portents of angry gods, we’re emphasizing drama at the expense of the fact that Brazil’s execution just really sucked. Most matches fall pretty easily into a particular frame of reference, and so that kind of emphasis isn’t debilitating to understanding. But this was — well, it’s at least not crazy to argue that it was the worst defeat in the history of sports. There’s no easy frame of reference for it. It wasn’t only some of the things it was, it was all of the things it was, and I don’t think you can make sense of it without starting from the total loss of sense that it created as it was happening.
. . . and he does an equally fine job discussing what's expected today:
And that’s what we’re playing for on Sunday. Validation for the best team in the tournament or validation for the best player in the world. In a sense, it’s perfect. Germany has the better squad, Argentina has the best player. Germany comes in after a terrifying rampage, Argentina comes in after holding on for dear life. Argentina, thanks to Messi, has a better chance of producing a moment that feels like magic, but Germany has just done something indescribably astonishing and strange.
Economist Lee Ohanian explains.
I arrived at a conclusion that I wasn’t really expecting or prepared for: Lionel Messi is impossible.
It’s not possible to shoot more efficiently from outside the penalty area than many players shoot inside it. It’s not possible to lead the world in weak-kick goals and long-range goals. It’s not possible to score on unassisted plays as well as the best players in the world score on assisted ones. It’s not possible to lead the world’s forwards both in taking on defenders and in dishing the ball to others. And it’s certainly not possible to do most of these things by insanely wide margins.
But Messi does all of this and more.
Even when he doesn't score.