Flip Flop Flying

World Cup, part 15

without comments

Adidas, we need to talk about the thin stripe across the shoulder blades of every kit you have designed for teams in the World Cup. Why is it there? Not got enough stripes on all of your kits? But it’s not just you who does this. Other kit manufacturers get too fussy, too.

It seems to be in our nature as football fans, sports fans, human beings, to get annoyed when anything changes. Team crests, for example. Arsenal’s cannon is facing the wrong way these days. Manchester United lost the words “Football Club” off their crest. Everton fans got riled up when their team’s crest was re-designed last year. Liverpool’s crest grew and grew over the years, and in that growth included–rightly–two eternal flames for the 96 Hillsborough victims. And with a new kit manufacturer (Warrior) the crest was pared back to a beautiful and simple Liver bird and L.F.C. But that meant we lost the flames. As a design, I prefer the return to a simpler crest, but as a fan, I wish the flames were still in there. But they are now on the back of the neck, either side of the number 96.

As someone whose work is vaguely design-related, though, I can also see that things need to change. A wee bit of tinkering, modernising, refreshing, seems like something we should be doing now and again. Cardiff City fans, rightly in my opinion, are resistant to their owner’s decision to change from blue to red shirts. That’s not a wee bit of tinkering, though. Which brings me to the World Cup kits.

The teams at the World Cup are representing their countries. And the sports manufacturers are fucking with things. Spain have red shirts and blue shorts. That’s how it is. But not this time. This time they had red shorts. England have dark blue shorts. But not this time (or last time, actually); this time they had an all-white kit. Germany are supposed to have black shorts. This time, they too are all white. Brazil, the home nation with the most iconic of all international kits should have yellow shirts, blue shorts, and white socks. But they’ve played their last three games with white shorts. That’s not Brazil. In this era of brand management, you would think that Fifa would understand that one of the key things about the World Cup is our ability to instantly recognise a kit. Yellow-blue-white: Brazil! Yellow-white-white: err, who’s that? These things are fundamental in our collective memory of World Cups. What is a World Cup if these memories, the history, don’t exist? (Well, aside from a way for Fifa to rock up into a country and scrape every possible penny from under that nation’s collective sofa.)

The design of kits seems all about letting the manufacturers do whatever they want. Within reason. I don’t understand why goalkeepers, who obviously need a slightly different kit, wear a uniform that is so often totally unrelated, design-wise, to their outfield brothers? If you mixed up the goalie kits and blurred the team badge, it’d be kinda tough to guess which keeper belonged to which team. Not only does this make for unnecessary ugliness, it seems to me to be missing an opportunity. I have no data for this, but I’m gonna go ahead and assume that of all the replica jerseys, the goalkeepers’ jerseys are the ones that sell the least. If Adidas and Nike and Puma, etc. gave it a bit more thought, there is a potential revenue stream there that benefits everyone. Make the goalie kit look like an essential part of the team, just like the person wearing that kit is an essential part of the team.

Maybe, though, my feet are just stuck in the mud. Maybe I just don’t want to accept change. And change looks good sometimes in hindsight. I remember disliking the the 1990 Germany home and away jerseys at the time. I look at them now and really like them. I can’t ever say I will truly dig, though, the Nike jersey for Portugal this time around. It just seems so cynical that the two tone stripes somehow pause to allow for a lighter red band wide enough for the Nike logo to appear unsullied on a plain background. Something they neglected to do for the country badge on the other side. It just seems to me, as design elements go, to be so disrespectful and so blatantly about promoting themselves. Or, maybe I’m spending too much time staring at a screen with moving images of football players on it. Maybe, right?

Written by Craig

July 6th, 2014 at 8:44 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

Beer glass

without comments

Written by Craig

July 4th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Dodger Stadium

with one comment

I love Dodger Stadium. I’ve only ever been there once, but it’s so beautiful. The above drawing is done with the iPad app, Adobe Ideas. You can see it bigger, and the ink drawing it is based on, here.

Written by Craig

July 4th, 2014 at 9:39 am

Two scribbles

without comments

Written by Craig

July 4th, 2014 at 8:50 am

El Ángel

without comments

Written by Craig

July 4th, 2014 at 8:49 am

Bandstand

without comments

I’m starting a new ongoing project on the site today. It’s called Bandstand. Hopefully I’ll keep this going until I have done every single band that exists, has existed, and will ever exist. That last sentence is a lie. But I will do a lot more.

http://flipflopflyin.com/bandstand/index.html

Written by Craig

July 3rd, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Infographics,Music

Argentina v Belgium

with one comment

I wrote a post about this photograph in May 2013. It’s a deceiving photograph.

Later this week, those two teams play each other again. So, self-promotion!, here’s a link to that post again:

http://flipflopflyin.com/g/2013/05/maradona-vs-belgium/

Written by Craig

July 3rd, 2014 at 8:34 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

Eighteen paintings of ballparks

without comments

My new thing at NotGraphs is paintings of the eighteen major league ballparks I have visited:
http://www.fangraphs.com/not/eighteen-paintings-of-ballparks/

Written by Craig

July 2nd, 2014 at 12:36 pm

World Cup, part 14

without comments

We are down to the last eight teams. All the group winners got through. Fuck you, Holland.

So, the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals:
French Republic v Federal Republic of Germany
Federative Republic of Brazil v Republic of Colombia
Argentine Republic v Kingdom of Belgium
Netherlands v Republic of Costa Rica

In 1914, it would’ve been:
French Third Republic v German Empire
Republic of the United States of Brazil v Republic of Colombia
Argentine Republic v Kingdom of Belgium
Netherlands v Republic of Costa Rica

And in 1814:
First French Empire v Confederation of the Rhine
State of Brazil v Viceroyalty of New Granada
United Provinces of the Río de la Plata v First French Empire
Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands v Viceroyalty of New Spain

In 1714:
Kingdom of France v Holy Roman Empire
State of Brazil v New Kingdom of Granada
Viceroyalty of Peru v Spanish Netherlands
Republic of the Seven United Netherlands v Viceroyalty of New Spain

In 1614:
Kingdom of France v Holy Roman Empire
Governorate General of Brazil v Viceroyalty of Peru
Viceroyalty of Peru v Spanish Netherlands
Republic of the Seven United Netherlands v Viceroyalty of New Spain

In 1514:
Kingdom of France v Holy Roman Empire
Indigenous peoples of what is now Brazil v Province of Tierra Firme
Indigenous peoples of what is now Argentina v Habsburg Netherlands
Habsburg Netherlands v Indigenous peoples of what is now Costa Rica

(All of this was “researched” by quickly looking at Wikipedia, so, y’know, sorry, actual historians. Feel free to correct me in the comments.)

Written by Craig

July 2nd, 2014 at 8:40 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

Don Garcés

without comments

This is a local bar. I began the drawing during the Colombia-Uruguay game, finished it off yesterday whilst watching Belgium beat the United States of America.

More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

July 2nd, 2014 at 7:11 am

Time Out

with 2 comments

It is always a thrill to do an illustration for a cover. I’ve only done a few, but when it’s a magazine that you buy (or used to buy), it’s an extra thrill. Before I lived in London in the late nineties, buying a copy would be one of the first things I did when I visited. Kinda proud of this one. Anyway, it’s the issue that’s came out today, Londoners.

Written by Craig

July 1st, 2014 at 7:41 am

Posted in Artwork

Real talk

without comments

Written by Craig

July 1st, 2014 at 7:38 am

AT&T Park, San Francisco: a pie chart

with one comment

Written by Craig

July 1st, 2014 at 7:37 am

Van Gaal

without comments

Written by Craig

June 30th, 2014 at 7:55 am

Predictions update

without comments

I am clearly rubbish at predicting stuff.
My original predictions, with correct placings in bold.

Groups:
Group A: Brazil, Mexico, Croatia, Cameroon
Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Group C: Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Japan, Greece
Group D: Uruguay, England, Italy, Costa Rica
Group E: France, Switzerland, Ecuador, Honduras
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria, Iran
Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, United States
Group H: Belgium, Russia, South Korea, Algeria

Let’s have a re-look, then, and predict the Round of 16 and beyond.
Because of my crappy predictions in the groups, my original Round of 16 predictions are virtually pointless.
I originally went for a Brazil v Argentina final with Argentina winning. Still think that’s possible, but having watched each of the teams a few times, I might change my mind.
Let’s see, shall we? (Enthralling, right?)

Round of 16:
Brazil v Chile
I would love to see Chile win this one. But I just think that, however it happens, the home nation will find a way to stay in the competition.

Colombia v Uruguay
Colombia had a relatively easy group, of course, but they look pretty good, huh? And Uruguay, apart from Suárez against England, haven’t been as impressed as I originally imagined.

Netherlands v Mexico
Heart over head here.

Costa Rica v Greece
Please let’s get rid of the boring teams at this stage.

France v Nigeria
It would be wonderful, I think, if there was an upset here. And then we, as the dominant species on this planet can all come together and get behind the Nigerian people and completely destroy those fucks kidnapping schoolgirls and bombing people.

Germany v Algeria
They’ll just win, right?

Argentina v Switzerland
The only Round of 16 game I actually predicted happening. *High fives self* Argentina all the way here.

Belgium v USA
I don’t like the US team at all, but they’re like mosquitos and never bloody stop. Can see them upsetting Everyone’s Dark Horses here.

Quarter-finals:
Brazil v Colombia
Mexico v Costa Rica
France v Germany
Argentina v USA

Semi-finals:
Colombia v France
Mexico v Argentina

Final:
France v Argentina

Written by Craig

June 28th, 2014 at 9:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Bird, flower, Capello

without comments

More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

June 27th, 2014 at 8:11 am

Well played

without comments

I quit Facebook five years ago. Then I rejoined Facebook about four years ago. I’m quitting again. Same reason, actually: it seems to be a truly hideous company and I don’t wanna be a part of its growing wealth anymore. I posted a quick reminder about this on the FFF Facebook page yesterday, letting the people who follow that page that it will be disappearing at the end of this month. And then Facebook sent me this message. I suppose you have to admire that, in a way…

Written by Craig

June 25th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Blah blah

An A, a shirtless man, and two blobs

without comments

More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

June 25th, 2014 at 1:56 pm

World Cup, part 11

without comments

Luis Suárez appeared to bite that Italian fella. I only say “appeared” because, guess what, I didn’t see it from an angle where I can be sure. And those marks on Chiellini’s shoulder? Well, the not-hi-def images I’ve seen aren’t conclusive. I can’t be absolutely sure they are bite marks. Everyone has already convicted him, of course. I’m not denying it appears likely that he did it. And I’m not defending him, and I’m very specifically not defending him because he plays his club football for my favourite team.

What I will say though—and this is not a hot sprots take, obviously—is how bloody dull everyone became yesterday after it happened. It was Twitter at its most tedious. Vampire! Hannibal Lecter! #Food #Brands using it for the same un-hilarious “If you’re hungry, Luis, why not try our chocolate-coated fried pork in popcorn batter! LOL.” The moral high ground was staggeringly over-populated; border guards were having trouble keeping up with the visa applicants. Everyone is allowed their opinions of course. I am expressing mine now.

Twitter is at its best, I think, when it feels like you’re having a chat in your living room, just that the people you’re chatting with are in various places around the world. That’s a good thing. When Internet moral outrage takes hold, though, I can’t be arsed with it. Go at it all you want. Knock yourselves out. But that’s when I close the browser window cos your unique opinion on Luis Suárez is fucking tedious.

Sadly, Suárez took away from other things that happened:
England didn’t lose. Yay!
Italy got knocked out. Yay!
Costa Rica won! the! bloody! group!
And the awesome-looking Colombia now face Uruguay in the Round of 16. That section of the Round of 16 is gonna fun as hell: the winner of that game facing either Brazil or Chile in the quarters. Much as I love the country of Brazil, I’m kinda hoping we see a Chile vs. Colombia quarter final. And if Ecuador get out of Group E—making it six out of six South American countries getting out of the group—they could meet Argentina in the Round of 16. That’d be fun. I wonder how much fun, though, these games will be for South Americans. Would they see these as chances to beat rivals on the big stage or would they all rather have the chance to play teams who aren’t from CONMEBOL?

And, oh yeh, congrats Greece, your presence in the Round of 16 is something everyone has been hoping and praying for…

Written by Craig

June 25th, 2014 at 7:36 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

México! México! México!

with 2 comments

Mexico won. In a cheap bar in the downtown Centro Historico part of Mexico City, we chugged down Tecates, ate peanuts, and eventually jumped up and down as Mexico beat Croatia 3-0, oops, I mean 3-1. We paid, and joined the throng of people leaving the Zócalo and heading to El Ángel de la Independencia, a nearly four kilometre walk which, due to the amount of people, really managed to mess with the traffic. Heading to El Ángel is something of a tradition when Mexico wins something. They won a group game yesterday. A group game.

You may have read that Fifa, that most discerning of bodies, decided to drop its charges of improper conduct with regards to Mexico fans at the World Cup shouting “puto” when the opposing goalkeeper takes a goal kick. That’s a shame, really. It would be good if something was done about this. It has occurred at every football match I’ve ever seen in Mexico. And, as far as I can tell, it’s hardly ever discussed. A few people I’ve spoken to about it don’t see it as a big deal, but, y’know, that’s what people say, isn’t it? Washington Redskins fans who want to keep using that horrible name will say it’s not a big deal. But as we walked toward El Ángel, the hordes shouted that word fairly regularly. One can’t say if it’s a knee-jerk, cornered, kind of fuck-you reaction to being slightly chastised by Fifa, or whether the people were just shouting it as a matter of course. Either way, Mexican football fans are, for the immediate future, still gonna use that word, and I just hope that the fact that this topic has come up during a World Cup may mean that we have started the long journey to stop shouting “puto.”

As people walked by Parque Alameda, a few of them noticed a Circle K. They began shouting “Chelas! Chelas!” Slang for “beer.” Before the store employees had time to react, the steps up to the place were full of fans. There was no real malice there, as the two or three employes seemed to fairly easily get twenty or thirty people out of the store and shut the doors quite quickly. Not quick enough, though, to stop the beer fridge being looted.

But, all in all, it was an incredibly good-natured and fun time. As an English person, it’s kinda nice to see a football victory being celebrated with such joy. It may seem, from the above two paragraphs, that it was all kinda crappy, but that’s totally not true. People danced, took photos with strangers, kicked balls and balloons around, honked car horns, sprayed foam everywhere, and whenever a TV camera appeared, went utterly bonkers in front of its lens.

Written by Craig

June 24th, 2014 at 9:46 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports