Why it sucks to be a Liverpool fan: Defeat from the jaws of victory

I have always been a fan of the US Women’s National Team because I played soccer when I was younger and they are, independent of my playing soccer, really amazing.  This led to me becoming a fan of World Cup football more generally and recently fate has conspired to draw me into being a follower of Liverpool’s football team.

This is a mixed-blessing.  It means I get to watch more football and talk about it with people who care way, way too much about it.  But it also means I am following one of the most frustrating sides I’ve ever followed.  I’ve just been following for this season, so I don’t know the deep history beyond they hate Everton and Man Utd., and that, at some point, they were really good.

They aren’t bad, far from it, they tend to dominate on possession, have impressive passing completion, do beautiful things with their footwork, and have several stand out players.  Luis Suarez is their striker-in-chief, and he is fantastic (and from the beautiful Uruguayan team, though he himself is not one of their beauties), Raheem Sterling is up front and also good, but very green (and definitely a beauty), and there is ever reliable and brilliant captain Stephen Gerrard.  The problem is that this trio appears to be the entirety of the team — Suarez is the second highest scorer in the league, and has had a hat-trick, but that’s because he’s the only striker.  Liverpool also has the dubious honor of having picked up more red cards than most of the teams.

In every game I’ve watched, they have looked to be the superior side.  In every game I’ve watched, the score did not reflect that.  For some reason, it seems as if the Liverpool team cannot turn excellent chances on goal and possession into actual goals.  Really, every article written about every game they’ve played has mentioned something about how unlucky they were.  And they have been extraordinarily unlucky, with bad calls and not getting calls, but at some point the team has to take ownership of their repeated failures.  At some point it’s not luck, it’s Liverpool, quite consistently turning what should be wins into draws and losses, and what should be blow-outs into slight wins.

I hesitate to blame Brendan Rodgers, though his style of coaching is definitely aimed at possession and passing more than attacking, but it’s clear that the strategy is not working with the players he has.  Coaching isn’t just about building the best team, and Rodgers can’t help the players, some of whom were monstrously overpriced, that he’s inherited and had trouble changing this summer.  But the players are what they are and his coaching strategy doesn’t seem to be getting them to where they need to be.  They aren’t at risk from dropping out of the league, no, but they still have a negative goal differential.

Undoubtedly, Rodgers is playing a long game hoping to get a better team together in the future and he really just has to play well enough to keep from dropping from the Premiere League.  They seem safe and solidly in the middle of the pack, which I suppose is good enough for him, but it sure makes it suck to be a Liverpool fan.  Here’s hoping January brings a striker.

Why it sucks to be a Liverpool fan: Defeat from the jaws of victory

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Pavlov’s dogs ate my homework*, so while I write up ethnographic fieldnotes (Worst. Thing. Ever.) here’s some collected clicky things. 

I’ve listened to the Dalek Relaxation Tapes too many times this week. Oddly enough….and I’m mildly embarrassed to be saying this…they work. Or at least, they make me giggle so much I can’t stay stressed.

On a more serious note, I’d like to have a real job some day, and while this isn’t something I worry so much about (counseling is pretty darn female-friendly), Geek Feminism has advice for you if your industry is mostly about teh menz.

Skeptical psychology at its best: Ed Cara of Heresy Club writes about Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder. If you’ve read Sybil, read this. If you haven’t, read it anyways.

A raw and honest account of assimilating one’s own identity.

Did you dress up for Halloween? Did you make fun of women who were ‘dressing slutty’? Stop that.

Stoya wins it all with this open response to everyone who asks “Is there something wrong with me if I like/don’t like ____?”

At least in the United States, you have the right to be wanton, sexually provocative, and promiscuous.
Conversely, you don’t have to exercise any of those rights.
Neither the sex industry nor recreational promiscuity are for everyone. You can be friends with known pornographers and prostitutes without being one yourself. Being accepting of whatever safe, sane, and consensual acts people want to engage in with their bodies is awesome.

And then extra points for this bit:

Asexuality is definitely a thing. I don’t personally understand it, but if it makes you happy go for it. Or don’t go for it. Go for not-it? I’m going to remove my foot from my mouth now.

Information is Beautiful has a massive interactive diagram of the scientific evidence for different health supplements. Mouse over the bubbles for the best effect, and then scroll down and read how it’s done. And then go play with the Drake Equation!

* And by this I actually mean I procrastinated until morally reprehensible, and I’m spending today fixing it. 


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Want to work in the movement? Here’s an internship opportunity

November 30th is the deadline to apply to be an intern for the Foundation Beyond Belief, a charity organization run by non-believers.

Foundation’s mission:

To demonstrate humanism at its best by supporting efforts to improve this world and this life, and to challenge humanists to embody the highest principles of humanism, including mutual care and responsibility.

More information:

The internship is a foray into both the inter-workings of a charitable nonprofit and the humanist movement. Past interns have found the experience was a unique opportunity to match their values with the opportunity to foster skills in management and communication. “My internship and continued relationship with FBB has broadened my perspective of how I can personally be involved in impacting the positive life-changing work of our beneficiaries and the humanist movement as a whole,” writes AJ Chalom, former Volunteers Beyond Belief program intern. “It has changed my life and inspired me to stretch myself, discover more talents, and learn about my passions in life.” Former intern Bridget Gaudette holds that her work with FBB “exposed [her] to humanist giving at its finest.”


Want to work in the movement? Here’s an internship opportunity