We here at The Other 87 get a lot of fan mail, and until recently we’ve been nervously stuffing it in the freezer like Andy from Parks and Recreation. But now that we’re pretty certain our parents aren’t the only people following this blog (Hi honey!) we owe it to you, our readers, to answer the questions you thought only we could answer. I’m channeling Sally Field here…You like us! You really like us!
Okay, the truth is we don’t get any fan mail. But we’re not going to let that bother us. Instead, today’s feature is an exercise in self-delusion. We scoured all the search queries that led to our site and picked our absolute favorites (basically, anything that wasn’t a search for Ivan Drago or Fergie, not that there’s anything wrong with searching for Ivan Drago). While the names and places are fictionalized, each question below is an honest-to-God unedited Google referral.
Without further ado, the O87 Mailbag. Oh, and if you wanna email us questions in the future, our email address is @firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why does Messi not perform for Argentina?
-Desmond Flanders, Munich, Germany
How to deal with pickup players ball hogging?
-Evan Diehl, Sarasota, Fla.
There are a couple of options here. You could talk to them about it, and ask them to maybe pass a little more. It’s best not to yell, as this will only lead to everyone getting angry. Tell them gently but firmly that the team could probably benefit if he passed the ball after every seventh stepover, and that it would certainly be more fun for everyone else in the side. (It’s probably easier to do this as a group, so you can have some nodding affirmation from the others.)
Another option is simply to try to freeze the player out. Again, you’d need the help of others and again this runs the risk of raising tensions on the team, but if he sees that you’re ignoring him completely he’ll either eventually change his behavior or get pissed off and leave.
Either that, or you can just give him a little bit of the old Pepe and see if that changes his attitude. And by that we don’t mean rolling around on the ground until he feels sorry for her. Mean Pepe.
Is it only hipsters in America who follow soccer?
-Cheryl Ambrose, El Paso, Texas
No, despite what the hipsters themselves would have you think.
Do professional soccer players play pickup?
-Mark Vickers, Olympia, Wash.
If it’s with professional basketball players they do: http://theassociation.blogs.com/the_association/2007/08/nash-always-gam.html
Do soccer players have to use math?
-Kyle Shambling, Bismarck, N.D.
Of course. Working out the movement of a flighted ball on the run in order to subtly adjust one’s speed and positioning to intercept it and redirect it with one’s head or foot requires a level of differential calculus that would cause any liberal arts majors to wet themselves. Basically, David Silva is the smartest man alive, and they don’t call it a slide rule pass for nothing.
Fortunately, your brain handles most of this on its own, without you realizing it, through a variety of sensory receptors and minute muscular adjustments. But the point remains, math is everywhere. Haven’t you ever seen this?
What’s next for Super Mario?
-Jeremiah Ramblin, New York, NY
Good question. Wikipedia says he’s going to have a busy schedule of sports (tennis mostly), parties (his ninth), and getting himself done up in print (Paper Mario), in addition to his commitment to participating in the 2012 Olympic Games. We imagine his schedule will get even busier later in the year and into 2013, with the release of a new console, Nintendo’s Wii U.
Ohh, you meant the other Super Mario? Mario Balotelli? Hell if we know.
Do you think Cruyff would of be (sic) the best player all time if he wins the World Cup?
-Ciro Hernandez, San Jose, Costa Rica
Probably not. We love Cruyff as much as — okay, even more than — the next guy, but even we wouldn’t argue that he was “better” than the undisputed top two, (though perhaps we would say he was more influential, more enjoyable, etc.) Which kind of makes Pele’s “Messi has to win a World Cup to be the best player ever” argument seem silly. If you can be the third-best player ever without having won one, then why not the first? To say that is to indicate that the top tier, the zenith of the footballing ranks, holds just two players, which, then again, we all believe anyway. So maybe Pele has a point. Except Messi, might prove good enough to shatter that World Cup-holder glass ceiling anyway. Or to just win one and render the argument moot. Or, you could just take Adams word for it and acknowledge that it’s an impossible and silly thing to try to determine.
At any rate, the answer’s still no. But thanks for the food for thought.
What were the challenges Sir Francis Drake had?
-Billy Shoemaker, Ms. Samuel’s fifth grade class, Oliver Elementary School, Seale, Ala.
We love explorers! Where to start? How about the time he and his men dragged stolen Spanish gold and silver through more than ten miles of jungle-covered mountains (with the Spanish in hot pursuit) only to bury it on a beach, build a raft and sail to the flagship for reinforcements? Or the “getting injured by native South Americans then circumnavigating the globe with a ship full of treasure” thing? Or the time he helped defeat the Spanish Armada? Or the fact that despite his incredible, awesome life, he still died of dysentery, just like little Timmy in your Oregon Trail game.
The moral? You have it easy kid, even if you are trying to Google your way to a passing grade on whatever report you have due tomorrow (You seem to have gotten horribly lost, which was no doubt another challenge Sir Francis Drake had at some point in his life). That and we should really look into doing an Explorers Tuesday XI.
How to not overthink when playing soccer?
-Jacob Fierney, Overland Park, Kansas
We are the last people in the world who should be answering this question.