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3,155: Cruz Azul

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I was gonna write about Cruz Azul today. Last night was the beginning of the Liga MX 2016 apertura liguilla, that is to say: the playoffs. (We have a split season here, each half of the season has eight-team playoffs at the end. Clearly this is absurd.) Just before I started typing, I figured I should check the blog, and yes! I have done it before. But that was two years ago. Things have changed a bit since then. Cruz Azul were quite a good team back then. They didn’t make the playoffs, but they played well. Just seemed to be missing a good solid goalscorer. It was quite tight that season, they could’ve made the playoffs but finished 13th. Since then, since I’ve been going, they finished 9th, 14th, 9th, and in the season that finished last Saturday, 14th. The fifth championship of five since I’ve been going that they failed to make the playoffs.

Relegation here is a strange thing. Because of the split season, they do this thing were three full seasons’s points are averaged out, and the lowest one gets relegated. This sucks, though, if you are a newly-promoted team. You only have one season’s worth of numbers. All dreadfully unfair, and in place, one assumes, to kinda make sure none of the big names accidentally gets relegated. The season before I started going, Cruz Azul were top of the relegation table (ie. furthest away from going down), with an average of 1.7059 points per game. Now, they are 13th, with an average of 1.2588. (The team currently heading to the second division are Morelia, with 1.1059 points per game.) In that same time period, Cruz Azul have gone from an average attendance of 18,090 down to 16,928. In the 2016 Apertura, they had the worst average attendance in the league. For Saturday’s game, it was just 10,573, which is pretty crappy, and looks bad in a 34,000 capacity stadium. Look (image is bigger if you right click):

I moved a bit further away from the stadium this season. I was on the same street, just one block away, but now it’s about 30 minutes walking and public transporting. Still really close, but it has meant that I’m less inclined to just think, at the last minute, “fuck it, I’ll go.” That sentiment was easy when I lived on the same street. The street would get busy with fans, the floodlights would go on, and inevitably, I’d be tempted because it was happening right there. (Plus, watching games on TV when you live so close is annoying: there’s about a 10-second delay, so I would know Cruz Azul had scored long before seeing it on the telly. Especially annoying when a penalty kick has been awarded: I’d be stood in front of the telly with my fingers in my ears, singing to myself so I couldn’t hear any cheering, or indeed, a lack of cheering.)

Aside from the lowering footballing standards over the past couple of seasons, the owners seem to be doing everything they can to piss off supporters. Notably, the porra, the hardcore supporters behind the goal. Tickets used to be 65 pesos, and they were raised to 100 pesos. That’s a significant increase. And I read somewhere that the porra used to get group discounts which aren’t as big as they used to be. The upshot of that was, the end of the ground where the noise and flags were is now fairly free of that. I sit there now, because it’s the cheapest part of the ground. But I shouldn’t be sitting there. I’m a middle-aged European chap. I shouldn’t be in the part of the ground where the shirtless kids with drums should be.

And after the 2017-18 season, the landowner has decided to sell the land to build yet another fucking mall. No news yet where Azul will be playing, but the rumours are that until they get a new stadium, they will play in the enormous Estadio Azteca. An 85,000 capacity stadium for a team that draws between 10,000 and 20,000. That’s gonna be rubbish. It will also be the end of centrally-located sports stadiums in this city. The Azteca is a fair old slog in the south. Estadio Olimpico, too. The baseball stadium went from being in the middle of the city (now a mall, obvs) to near the airport. And Cruz Azul’s future stadium… the chances of that being anywhere as central as it currently is are pretty much nil, I’d imagine.

But, I’ll probably still go. Even if they continue to be shit. I enjoy being there. I enjoy watching live football. I enjoy watching Cruz Azul, even if they have only won one of the last ten league games I’ve been to. So yes, I was gonna write about Cruz Azul today, and, er, I did.

A wee bit of artwork
Another one of the cactus drawings, and one of Kraftpunk.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Walk You Home by Super Furry Animals

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Konrad Adenauer

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Minecraft Project Day 64
Here we go, the obsidian blocks in place. And once I use a flint and steel to spark it up, we will have a portal that takes us to the Nether, an underworld kinda thing with some decent useful stuff to be mined.

The portal is kinda pretty, innit?

I decided that the nice idea of not having a fence along the river edge is silly. Fuck it, I want to feel secure, especially now there’s a portal close to the river.

Yeh man, a Nether portal looks good at night. Tomorrow, let’s get down there.

Written by Craig

November 24th, 2016 at 9:12 am

3,154: Some drawings

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Playing around with some more of the late 80s/early 90s Adidas design work. I did the West Germany away kit from 1990 the other day, so here’s three of the others: East Germany ’86, USSR, ’88, and the most iconic one, the Netherlands ’88

Clearly, one of the best jerseys ever is the 1990 West Germany one. Here’s a version I drew (copied), which, out of context of the jersey, looks fantastic I think

A bit more playing around with that.

And the German 1992 away, again taken out of the context of a piece of clothing. I’m gonna play around some more with this stuff, I think. Maybe just Adidas stuff for the time being

Here’s a drawing of a Berlin U-bahn ticket

And a doodle of a dog that’d been working out

I did some scribbling of lines, then – bored – cut them up and stacked them on top of each other, and they kinda looked skull-shaped, so I cut some eyes out

This next one was another of those mindless doodles, done in front of the telly. Kinda ended up okay

So I did another one, with a more limited palette. I’m working on another, so I’ll show you that tomorrowwwww.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Another LCD Soundsystem one after seeing them at the weekend. this was their second-to-last song of the show, Dance Yrself Clean.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Hague Congress (1948)

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Minecraft Project Day 63
Down back to the obsidian where I found the diamonds.

Dig dig dig…

And back up, going home, with a load of obsidian, so that I can make a portal to the Nether!

Written by Craig

November 23rd, 2016 at 1:00 pm

3,140: Pixelly things

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I had this lettering knocking around for a month or so. I was playing around the levels of pixelation, making 4×4 blocks as one “pixel” but occasionally subdividing those blocks so that I could cut them in half diagonally. It was an idea to have pixelly lettering that was inspired by being in Mexico, really. Inspired in the way perfumes are described, rather than inspired in the Mark Ronson sense of making something sound like other music from the past.

Once I’d done the lettering, I played with the colours and arranged the name of this city (and country) like this: ME-XI-CO. (Fun fact: the name of the city came before the name of the country, which is why the local baseball team is Diablos Rojos del México. It’s referring to the city, not the country.)

I was playing around with the letters again at the weekend and got to thinking about this thing we have here called bardas de baile. People paint brightly coloured band names on walls, advertising forthcoming concerts. (More info here.)

Here’s some photos that I took near the baseball stadium:

So, I added a wall to my ME-XI-CO lettering, a pavement, some weeds, the edge of the road (still playing around with pixelly abstraction). But it needed something else. I added skeletons wearing the uniforms/kits of the four main sports teams in the city: the aforemented baseball team, and the three football teams, Cruz Azul, Club América, and Pumas.

After doing three Mexican football team kits, I couldn’t really resist completing the set, and doing the home kits of the other teams in the Liga MX. These are laid out (very roughly) geographically.

And at that point, of course, I had to do the Premier League.

We’ve been here before. Here’s a whole load more of these from days gone by. I did MLB uniforms every season from 2010 to 2013. I did NFL uniforms in 2010, Premier League kits of the 2010-11 season, and Liverpool kits from 1965 up until last season (note to self: update this). In a slightly different style, I did the top four divisions in England/Wales, the Scottish Premier League, and Liga MX here.

Right. Time for me to go update that Liverpool kit history, cos it’ll burn a hole in my brain if I don’t get it done now…

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
This has been here five times over the past two years. Not as much as I thought, actually, cos it’s one of those songs that I only need a whiff of for it to get stuck in my brain. All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor, the modern day Alanis Morissette (in terms of always having to check if I’ve spelled her name right).

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Patagonia

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Minecraft Project Day 11
Today was a supplies day. I dug some sand so I can make glass for the windows, and I decided that the roof of my cabin is gonna be darker spruce wood, so I had to get a load of that, too.

On the way back from the spruce forest, I got a nice look at my cabin from a distance. S’gunna be good, uguyz.

Tonight’s gonna be my last night in my cave shelter, so while I turn sand into glass in the furnace, I’m packing some stuff. It’ll take a couple of trips, but it’s not too far.

Written by Craig

November 7th, 2016 at 9:38 am

3,139: The 96

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I’ve had this saved in my YouTube Watch Later playlist for a while. There’s no real proper way to watch UK documentaries like this all the way over here, so I’m kinda stuck hoping someone puts them up on YouTube. I’ve seen and read more than enough about Hillsborough over the years, and, of course, every single time, it’s emotionally tough. The events are heartbreaking. Truly heartbreaking. And the aftermath makes you angry. But the strength of the survivors and families of the dead is utterly amazing. They got justice. It took way too long, but they got it.

A wee bit of artwork

One more infographic about baseball

The above is a bit bigger here.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Getting Away with It by Electronic. It’s hard to really remember the feeling, but back in 1989, the singer from New Order, the singer from the Pet Shop Boys, and the guitarist from the Smiths making a record was incredibly exciting to me. And what a wonderful song. Such a pretty melody.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Glacier

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Minecraft Project Day 10
I’m gonna have my cabin off the ground, so here’s the outline of what for now will be the whole cabin, but eventually will just be the living room/kitchen area.

As you can see below, it took me all day to just put the floor and walls in.

Written by Craig

November 4th, 2016 at 9:27 am

3,138: Cubs

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Well, that was fun wasn’t it? Here’s some graphics.

A simple one of every game of the Cubs’s season. (Prints)

Another one of the tree ring things. (Prints)

And one for Cleveland. (Prints)

And one for all 30 teams. (Prints)

A wee bit of artwork

Other business
Around the corner, I saw this restored, old taxi. This is how the taxis in Mexico City were in the 1950s and 60s. Taxis here have changed colour three times since my first visit. They were green and white, then dark red and gold, and now they’re pink and white. I once asked a taxi driver why this was, and he just said one word: “money.” Here’s a Mexican newspaper’s slideshow of even more of this city’s taxis over the decades.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Ink by Coldplay

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Creep (deformation)

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Minecraft Project Day 9
This is where my cabin’s gonna go.

I needed to flatten up the land a bit and clear out some trees first, though, which took the whole day.

By the end of the day, though, I got my first view of the sunset which will soon be my view every evening.

Written by Craig

November 3rd, 2016 at 9:08 am

3,136: Baseball

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Back in January, I made a conscious decision to have a pause in my baseball site, Flip Flop Fly Ball. I really needed to stop feeling the self-applied pressure to keep doing stuff that, at the time, I didn’t really want to be doing. The break was a good thing. I’d got to a point where I wasn’t actually enjoying baseball that much any more because of the site. I was still going to Diablos Rojos games, and it was really nice to only do that. To not think all the time. I still was doing the occasional drawing, but that was because baseball was a part of my life, not because I wanted to do baseball drawings.

A couple of months ago, a print I was selling on my Society6 shop was withdrawn because someone (I suspect it was the MLB Players Association, but I can’t be sure cos society6 didn’t tell me) made a copyright infringement claim. This is the offending image. I can kinda understand their point. They represent baseball players, and I’ve done drawings of them. A bunch of them. But, I would suggest that my drawing (below) is nothing more than a visual history of Major League Baseball. It is not an attempt to make money off of Albert Pujols or anyone else.

This pissed me off. A lot. From sales of that print on Society6, I’d made less money than it costs to subscribe to MLB.tv for a year. A thing I’ve been subscribing to for eleven years. Fuck MLB, fuck MLBPA (or whoever it was), and fuck baseball*. And that, dear readers, was a good place to get to in my head. To step fetishising baseball. It’s just a game. A game I enjoy, but ultimately, just a game.

*There is an entirely separate blog post to be done about my annoyances with the Diablos Rojos, but I’ll save that for another time.

And after slowly calming down (and it took a few weeks), it kinda felt like I’d made a good thing out of a shitty thing in my head. My distain for them still exists, but I’m not gonna let it stop me enjoying baseball. And that freedom from unwavering respect has allowed me to want to do stuff again. So, yes, long story short: Flip Flop Fly Ball is back as a going concern.

I’ve added all the baseball-related drawings and stuff I’ve done over the past nine months, and going forward: I’ll do stuff as and when. Looking back at the stuff I’ve done during the hiatus, I’ve been doing a couple of things every month anyway, and that more (internally) relaxed pace is probably how things will continue.

Anyway, here’s some recent baseball-y, World Series-related stuff. A couple of drawings of pitchers, John Lackey and Andrew Miller:

And one of Jon Lester as a snowman:

And a pixelly papel picado-style thing:

And some data art. First, something about last year’s World Series (bigger here).

Blue represents a Royals lead, orange represents a Mets lead, grey represents a tie. The width of the rings represents a number of plate appearances. This is way more data art than infographic. The kinda vagueness of the graphic representation of information is a deliberate choice.

And here’s a big big project that I’m calling Tree Rings, about every team’s history. There are two teams missing from this project right now, due to the fact that they’re in the World Series. Each ring represents a year since 1903, (the first World Series season, apart from expansion teams which begin at their first seasons), from the centre outwards. The colours are, obviously, of the specific teams. Grey rings represent seasons without any postseason success. The darker the colour represents a level of postseason play. World Series victories are usually represented in a different colour. Here’s three examples. The rest are here.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Work from Home by Fifth Harmony. Yay!

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
LEGO

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Minecraft Project Day 7
Leaving to get more wood, first thing I see a creeper. I let him explode in this nice flat area so you can see the damage he does. He is, for want of a better phrase, a suicide bomber.

Getting some more birch. If the chopped down tree drops a sapling, I like to replant it in the same place. Good to the environment, me.

If there are big open holes near where I’m living, I like to put a block with a light on top near the entrance so that a) I’m aware it’s there if I’m nearby at night, and b) there might be good mining stuff down there, so it’s essentially a Post-it note.

Wahey! Look at that! A zombie kid riding a sheep!

Some more scouting for a place to build my cabin.

Sun goin’ town, time to head back to my hole.

Oops, there’s a zombie comin’ at me.

Oh bugger, now there’s two of them, the attacks are depleting my health badly (the red hearts).

Shit. Slain by zombies. It should be noted that one of the reasons that happened is because I spent precious seconds making sure I got screen shots of the zombie attack that could’ve been used better, ie. defending myself. Anyway, I respawned back at my hidey hole (you always respawn at the last place you slept) with none of the goodies I had in my inventory, that is to say, all the stuff I was carrying when I died.

Written by Craig

November 1st, 2016 at 10:31 am

3,134: C

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Watching the Cubs-Cleveland game the other night, I was thinking about the Cubs logo on the hats. The cut-out bit of the C: what’s the angle?

I like the logo. It’s simple and would be a perfect circle if not a C:

I was kinda hoping that the angle of the cut-out bit of the C (is there a name for that bit, typography fans?) would be a right angle, thus echoing the first and third base lines of a baseball diamond.

Sadly not. But this is what it would look like if it were:

And here’s a drawing I did of Wednesday’s Cubs pitcher, Jake Arrieta.

Other business
A local taqueria’s Hallowe’en decoration.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Atom Heart Mother again this morning, so here’s the one that was in my head when I woke up last Saturday: Drag Me Down by One Direction.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Scotch Tape

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Minecraft Project Day 5
More lighting up of the caves, a skeleton shooting arrows at me is a minor inconvenience.

And back to the suspected dungeon I found yesterday. This is probably a really inefficient way of dealing with dungeons, but I like to dig out all the material around the outside of a dungeon, so that I can move around and dig out one block holes in the dungeon walls (monsters need at least two vertical blocks to get through a hole.)

Yep, it’s a dungeon with a zombie spawner in the middle. First things first, is to kill the nearby zombies with my sword, then drop torches in there. Monsters spawn in the dark, as mentioned before. The more light in there, the less zombies are gonna need dealing with once I cut a hole big enough for me to get through. (The brown chunks in the third picture are rotten flesh which drop when you kill a zombie. Not for eatin’, but if you tame a wolf to be your pet, you can feed the rotten flesh to them. They love it)

Hola, horsey!

Lastly, a bit more biggening of my room before beddy byes.

Written by Craig

October 28th, 2016 at 10:18 am

3,133: Raymonde and Lola

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You can see it a bit bigger, should you desire, here.

The idea behind this was to try and do a picture story about the process of doing a picture story. It’s been around as a vague idea for a couple of years. At that point, the idea was purely what I wrote in the first sentence here, and the idea that he starts off going the wrong way. I sat down a couple of days ago and bashed out a script. Edited the next day. Then drew it. The names Raymonde and Lola were the first names that came into my head. And, just in case you follow my work and recognise the character, I did a drawing of him a couple of years ago (May 2014) using Brushes on the iPad.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Go, Cubs, Go! by Steve Goodman. I’m a little surprised it’s taken this long to have a sports-y song crop up. For the amount of ad breaks on F*x Sports, and the same ugly music they play going into each break, I assumed that piece of shit would’ve been in my head before. But thankfully, no. But, obviously, the Cubs have been on telly more than usually the last coupla weeks. Thus this song’s appearance.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Helvetica

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Minecraft Project Day 4
First things first: more food. Sorry piggies.

Then a bit more exploring of the cave system. See them mossy cobble blocks? They’re possibly a bad sign. Behind there there could be a dungeon, which will contain a monster spawner. They’re a pain in the arse, but there are usually a couple of chests with free stuff inside.

First thing I do in a cave system is light it up. I don’t bother mining until there is light everywhere. Monsters spawn in dark areas, y’see. Last thing you want right behind you when you’re grabbing some iron ore is a creeper blowing himself up and taking you with him.

Oh look, it’s raining.

Last bit of work before returning home, put some lights out around the entrance to my cave. Same thing as above, really: keep the monsters away as much as possible at this early stage, and it’s also good if I’m out and about when it gets dark. I can find home easier.

A bit of mining for cobblestone inside my shelter before bedtime, which will also give me a little bit more space so I’m living in something a little less like a prison cell.

Written by Craig

October 27th, 2016 at 8:24 am

Athletics world records

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An updated chart:

Written by Craig

October 5th, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Geenric football hosts on Mexican TV

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Written by Craig

September 19th, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Rio

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A series of drawings of sport and Rio de Janeiro:
www.flipflopflyin.com/rio2016/index.html

Written by Craig

August 4th, 2016 at 12:03 am

New England jersey

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The actual new one is shit. Here’s a proposal for an alternative:

Written by Craig

May 17th, 2016 at 9:34 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

Liverton and Everpool

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I’ve done this sort of thing in the past for baseball teams (Cubs/Cardinals, Mets/Yankees, Dodgers/Giants). The reaction is always the same: people hate it and quite often want to “kill it with fire.” So I figured I should do it with a sports team that I really care about. And, y’know, it’s still just fun for me. Sport is just sport. Rooting for a team, in the grand scheme of things, means we kinda have a lot in common despite the teams we love/hate. We can relate to the passion in a deeper way than what divides us in terms of the oft-mentioned laundry. I love LFC. You love EFC. Same thing.

Written by Craig

April 20th, 2016 at 11:44 am

Posted in Sports

Estadio Azul

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Written by Craig

February 3rd, 2016 at 10:13 am

Posted in Artwork,Sports

Metres, y’all, metres

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Written by Craig

February 2nd, 2016 at 7:16 am

Which one?

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Written by Craig

January 12th, 2016 at 8:31 am

Posted in Sports

My tribute to the 2015 MLB Division Series

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Written by Craig

October 13th, 2015 at 9:23 am

Posted in Baseball,Silly,Sports

Chicago Cubes (or Rubik’s Cubs)

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Written by Craig

October 13th, 2015 at 9:22 am

Posted in Baseball,Sports

Liverpool 1986 F.A. Cup Final team

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Written by Craig

October 7th, 2015 at 8:02 am

Posted in Artwork,Sports

Gerd Müller

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Written by Craig

September 9th, 2015 at 7:49 am