OT: World Cup Thread

concordtom
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sycasey said:



Couldn't you say the same about any other sport were there are two evenly-matched teams? Someone has to win. Small breaks will decide it.
Good point, except that in soccer, 90% of games (seemingly) are either ties or one goal games. If an alternative scoring mechanism were devised (e.g., larger goals), many games would end 10-5, 6-2, or some such. For the remaining 20% that were truly close, then small things would decide it, and either team could lament a couple key moments of coulda woulda shoulda.

Many tie games in soccer should not be ties. And plenty of 1-0 games should actually have been 2-4, or something...

concordtom
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Goobear said:



Truly sad that politics always gets into the discussion at some point. We are talking world cup folks. Leave the rest alone or go to a politics board.
Sorry, I thought Trump made it fair play to intermingle sports and politics when he started dictating to NFL owners.
I shoulda known that's reserved for him alone as Commander in Chief, as elected by a minority of Americans. I'm going to the OT board now so I can continue to rip on the President. Thanks.
calbear80
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Here is a radical proposal to make soccer have higher number of goals and be much more exciting:

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO USE THEIR HANDS, NOT EVEN THE GOALIES.

Eleven players, all equal. Each team can have one (or even two) players stand where the goalie stands now, but, no use of hands for any player.

That way the team that attacks more ends up winning by something like 6-4 or 8-5 rather than one lucky (briliant?) moment or a PK deciding the game 1-0 the other way.

Also, the ball possession on the offensive end of the field is rewarded as teams can take shots at goal from mid to long range aiming for the corners of the goals where now the goalie would stop the ball using his hand.

Possibly, this proposal would require the height of the the cross bar to be reduced by around one feet to allow the no-hand defender a fair chance to reach and defend the entire height of the goal by jumping up and using his head rather than his hands.

Do not laugh. Anyone who has played soccer knows that in games with smaller numer of players (4 on 4 or 5 on 5), there is no goalie and no use of hands, but, goals are smaller. I played a lot of pick-up soccer games like that in the neighborhood as a kid and later at Cal.

What do you think?

Go Bears!
82gradDLSdad
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I think that's a great idea.
HearstMining
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How about this:
1. Shots outside the penalty area count for 2 points instead of 1 (adaption of basketball's 3 pt shot)
2. Goalkeepers can use their hands only for defending corner kicks and penalty kicks
3. Either eliminate offsides entirely or have it in effect when the player crosses from the middle 3rd of the pitch into the attacking 3rd.

One of American sports enthusiasts' favorite discussion topics is what does soccer need to do to appeal to the American fan. Of course hard-core soccer fans (American or otherwise) refuse to participate.
GMP
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calbear80 said:

Here is a radical proposal to make soccer have higher number of goals and be much more exciting:

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO USE THEIR HANDS, NOT EVEN THE GOALIES.

Eleven players, all equal. Each team can have one (or even two) players stand where the goalie stands now, but, no use of hands for any player.

That way the team that attacks more ends up winning by something like 6-4 or 8-5 rather than one lucky (briliant?) moment or a PK deciding the game 1-0 the other way.

Also, the ball possession on the offensive end of the field is rewarded as teams can take shots at goal from mid to long range aiming for the corners of the goals where now the goalie would stop the ball using his hand.

Possibly, this proposal would require the height of the the cross bar to be reduced by around one feet to allow the no-hand defender a fair chance to reach and defend the entire height of the goal by jumping up and using his head rather than his hands.

Do not laugh. Anyone who has played soccer knows that in games with smaller numer of players (4 on 4 or 5 on 5), there is no goalie and no use of hands, but, goals are smaller. I played a lot of pick-up soccer games like that in the neighborhood as a kid and later at Cal.

What do you think?

Go Bears!
Why do non-soccer fans always want to change soccer?

Anyways, I think it's a bad idea. I think you severely underestimate how many goals would be scored. It wouldn't be 5 or 6 or 8. It would be 12-15, perhaps more. Think of an open net situation in hockey. Players will take longer and more outlandish shots. There will be less of an attempt to create "good" shots because you don't need to account for a true goalie. Some of the most beautiful and creative plays will be a thing of the past.

What makes soccer great is the scarcity of goals and the emotional release when your team finally breaks through.
calbear80
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GMP said:

calbear80 said:

Here is a radical proposal to make soccer have higher number of goals and be much more exciting:

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO USE THEIR HANDS, NOT EVEN THE GOALIES.

Eleven players, all equal. Each team can have one (or even two) players stand where the goalie stands now, but, no use of hands for any player.

That way the team that attacks more ends up winning by something like 6-4 or 8-5 rather than one lucky (briliant?) moment or a PK deciding the game 1-0 the other way.

Also, the ball possession on the offensive end of the field is rewarded as teams can take shots at goal from mid to long range aiming for the corners of the goals where now the goalie would stop the ball using his hand.

Possibly, this proposal would require the height of the the cross bar to be reduced by around one feet to allow the no-hand defender a fair chance to reach and defend the entire height of the goal by jumping up and using his head rather than his hands.

Do not laugh. Anyone who has played soccer knows that in games with smaller numer of players (4 on 4 or 5 on 5), there is no goalie and no use of hands, but, goals are smaller. I played a lot of pick-up soccer games like that in the neighborhood as a kid and later at Cal.

What do you think?

Go Bears!
Why do non-soccer fans always want to change soccer?

Anyways, I think it's a bad idea. I think you severely underestimate how many goals would be scored. It wouldn't be 5 or 6 or 8. It would be 12-15, perhaps more. Think of an open net situation in hockey. Players will take longer and more outlandish shots. There will be less of an attempt to create "good" shots because you don't need to account for a true goalie. Some of the most beautiful and creative plays will be a thing of the past.

What makes soccer great is the scarcity of goals and the emotional release when your team finally breaks through.


GMP, OK on everything you said except calling me non-soccer fan! I don't know your age, but I have been a soccer junkie probably since long before you were born. For examlpe, please see my earlier post about watching every minute of every game in 1970 World Cup.

P.S. Would travelling to Spain and Brazil to watch Messi play in person, traving to Hayward to watch Marta play in person and traveing to Russia to watch Ronaldo play in person all in the lst four years give me some credibility as a soccer fan? How about attending the last three Wirld Cups: 2014 World Cup in Brazil, 2015 Women World Cup in Canada and 2018 World Cup in Russia?
GMP
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calbear80 said:

GMP said:

calbear80 said:

Here is a radical proposal to make soccer have higher number of goals and be much more exciting:

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO USE THEIR HANDS, NOT EVEN THE GOALIES.

Eleven players, all equal. Each team can have one (or even two) players stand where the goalie stands now, but, no use of hands for any player.

That way the team that attacks more ends up winning by something like 6-4 or 8-5 rather than one lucky (briliant?) moment or a PK deciding the game 1-0 the other way.

Also, the ball possession on the offensive end of the field is rewarded as teams can take shots at goal from mid to long range aiming for the corners of the goals where now the goalie would stop the ball using his hand.

Possibly, this proposal would require the height of the the cross bar to be reduced by around one feet to allow the no-hand defender a fair chance to reach and defend the entire height of the goal by jumping up and using his head rather than his hands.

Do not laugh. Anyone who has played soccer knows that in games with smaller numer of players (4 on 4 or 5 on 5), there is no goalie and no use of hands, but, goals are smaller. I played a lot of pick-up soccer games like that in the neighborhood as a kid and later at Cal.

What do you think?

Go Bears!
Why do non-soccer fans always want to change soccer?

Anyways, I think it's a bad idea. I think you severely underestimate how many goals would be scored. It wouldn't be 5 or 6 or 8. It would be 12-15, perhaps more. Think of an open net situation in hockey. Players will take longer and more outlandish shots. There will be less of an attempt to create "good" shots because you don't need to account for a true goalie. Some of the most beautiful and creative plays will be a thing of the past.

What makes soccer great is the scarcity of goals and the emotional release when your team finally breaks through.


GMP, OK on everything you said except calling me non-soccer fan! I don't know your age, but I have been a soccer junkie probably since long before you were born. For examlpe, please see my earlier post about watching every minute of every game in 1970 World Cup.
Hah, fair! My mistake.
calbear80
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GMP said:

calbear80 said:

GMP said:

calbear80 said:

Here is a radical proposal to make soccer have higher number of goals and be much more exciting:

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO USE THEIR HANDS, NOT EVEN THE GOALIES.

Eleven players, all equal. Each team can have one (or even two) players stand where the goalie stands now, but, no use of hands for any player.

That way the team that attacks more ends up winning by something like 6-4 or 8-5 rather than one lucky (briliant?) moment or a PK deciding the game 1-0 the other way.

Also, the ball possession on the offensive end of the field is rewarded as teams can take shots at goal from mid to long range aiming for the corners of the goals where now the goalie would stop the ball using his hand.

Possibly, this proposal would require the height of the the cross bar to be reduced by around one feet to allow the no-hand defender a fair chance to reach and defend the entire height of the goal by jumping up and using his head rather than his hands.

Do not laugh. Anyone who has played soccer knows that in games with smaller numer of players (4 on 4 or 5 on 5), there is no goalie and no use of hands, but, goals are smaller. I played a lot of pick-up soccer games like that in the neighborhood as a kid and later at Cal.

What do you think?

Go Bears!
Why do non-soccer fans always want to change soccer?

Anyways, I think it's a bad idea. I think you severely underestimate how many goals would be scored. It wouldn't be 5 or 6 or 8. It would be 12-15, perhaps more. Think of an open net situation in hockey. Players will take longer and more outlandish shots. There will be less of an attempt to create "good" shots because you don't need to account for a true goalie. Some of the most beautiful and creative plays will be a thing of the past.

What makes soccer great is the scarcity of goals and the emotional release when your team finally breaks through.


GMP, OK on everything you said except calling me non-soccer fan! I don't know your age, but I have been a soccer junkie probably since long before you were born. For examlpe, please see my earlier post about watching every minute of every game in 1970 World Cup.
Hah, fair! My mistake.


No problem my friend. Go Bears!
TheSouseFamily
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Forecast calls for angry, belligerent and drunk in Not-So-Jolly Olde England tonight.

I'm thinking all the "It's coming home" talk angered the woofing gods. Never do that.
calbear80
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Brave hearts of Croatia overcome their (very very) tired legs!

Amazing: Croatia 2-1 over England in OT.

I had been wearing my #10 Modric Croatia Jersey (that I bought in Dubrovnik) for the last three days until yesterday when it got really dirty and went into the laundry basket. It just came out of the laundry basket and I am wearing it now again, dirty or not (ok, don't come too close)!

Yes, I am a Croatia fan!

Go Bears!
oskirules
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Lock your doors and hide your children, the hooligans are on the loose!
Another Bear
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I was really looking forward to France - England. You can combine all American sports rivalries; Red Sox-Yankee, Dodgers-Giants, Bama-Clemson, and it still wouldn't compare to history. That would have capped a great WC. But good for Croatia. An upset champion would be a nice capper.
sycasey
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GMP said:

calbear80 said:

Here is a radical proposal to make soccer have higher number of goals and be much more exciting:

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO USE THEIR HANDS, NOT EVEN THE GOALIES.

Eleven players, all equal. Each team can have one (or even two) players stand where the goalie stands now, but, no use of hands for any player.

That way the team that attacks more ends up winning by something like 6-4 or 8-5 rather than one lucky (briliant?) moment or a PK deciding the game 1-0 the other way.

Also, the ball possession on the offensive end of the field is rewarded as teams can take shots at goal from mid to long range aiming for the corners of the goals where now the goalie would stop the ball using his hand.

Possibly, this proposal would require the height of the the cross bar to be reduced by around one feet to allow the no-hand defender a fair chance to reach and defend the entire height of the goal by jumping up and using his head rather than his hands.

Do not laugh. Anyone who has played soccer knows that in games with smaller numer of players (4 on 4 or 5 on 5), there is no goalie and no use of hands, but, goals are smaller. I played a lot of pick-up soccer games like that in the neighborhood as a kid and later at Cal.

What do you think?

Go Bears!
Why do non-soccer fans always want to change soccer?

Anyways, I think it's a bad idea. I think you severely underestimate how many goals would be scored. It wouldn't be 5 or 6 or 8. It would be 12-15, perhaps more. Think of an open net situation in hockey. Players will take longer and more outlandish shots. There will be less of an attempt to create "good" shots because you don't need to account for a true goalie. Some of the most beautiful and creative plays will be a thing of the past.

What makes soccer great is the scarcity of goals and the emotional release when your team finally breaks through.


Yeah, I used to think that soccer needed to do something to drastically improve scoring, but having watched more of it I now understand that the slow build and drama is important. You don't want to lose that too much.

Only thing I might be in favor of is a slight tweak to offside rules. I think maybe you could start to waive those once the ball is in close enough. That might result in one or two more goals. But even there I don't think it's entirely necessary.
TandemBear
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calbear80 said:

Brave hearts of Croatia overcome their (very very) tired legs!

Amazing: Croatia 2-1 over England in OT.

I had been wearing my #10 Modric Croatia Jersey (that I bought in Dubrovnik) for the last three days until yesterday when it got really dirty and went into the laundry basket. It just came out of the laundry basket and I am wearing it now again, dirty or not (ok, don't come too close)!

Yes, I am a Croatia fan!

Go Bears!
Such a great game today! One of the best things was that I wanted both teams to win. So regardless of the result, I'd be satisfied. And I'm so happy for the tiny country of Croatia going to their first final. That plus Croatian relatives means I'm good. But I fear France will prevail, but am hoping for the upset. Allez les Croatians!!!
oskirules
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Croatia, it's time to take a vacation to see what this place is about.





calbear80
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Yes, I highly recommend visiting Croatia: Beautiful country, nice people and amazing history.

I have been to Croatia three or four times and am going back again this Novemver (this time as a part of a tour of Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia).

Please see my next post about my favorite Croatia story.

Go Bears!
calbear80
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One of My Favorite Stories About Visiting Croatia:

In Novermber 2015, while visiting Croatia, I got a tour of Roman Forum and Roman Coliseum (smaller version of the Coliseum in Rome) in the historic city of Zadar in Northern Croatia on the Adriatic Sea.

While standing in the middle of the ruins of the Coliseum in Zadar, Croatia, here is what our 40 something year old local tour guide said:

. My grandfather was born in Austro-Hungarian Empire.
. My father was born in Italy.
. I was born in Yugoslavia.
. And, my son was born in Croatia.

AND, WE WERE ALL BORN IN THE SAME HOUSE!!!

That is a part of what makes Croatia so interesting. Here is a little history about Croatia:

. Not long ago, most of the region was a part of the Ottoman Empire ruled from Istanbul (back then Constantinople)
. Before WWI, most of Croatia was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire (and their playground and beach town).
. After WWI and demise of Austro-Hungerian Empire, it became a part of Italy (which was on the winning side of the WWI).
. After WWII, Croatia was taken away from Italy (which was on the losing side of WWII) and was incorporated into Yugoslavis under Marshal Tito (who had helped the Allies in WWII).
. Then, after the death of Marshal Tito in 1980 and desolation of Yugoslavia, Croatia eventually became the independent country of Croatia in 1991

Balkans are a little like Middle East: Amazing history and very volatile. Remember, WWI started when the Austro-Hungarian Prince Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914 in Sarajevo (in nearby Bosnia-Herzegovina, another one of the republics which later formed Yugoslavia). I have visited all the seven former Yugoslav republics and recomnend visiting them all (if you are Serbian, you would kill to prove that there was/is only six because Kosovo doesn't exist and never existed as a separate region)

Go Bears!

Disclaimer: I am not a historian and all the above statements need to be fact-checked.

P.S. I ran into a bunch of Serbian fans in the Moscow Kremlin a couple of weeks ago during the World Cup. In their mind, ...never mind, I don't want to go there.
sonofabear51
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calbear80, awesome post! Thank you! Need to go to Croatia, and will in the next couple years. On my list. TY

Go Bears!
OdontoBear66
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Great post calbear80. Have been there but need to go back and see more. You brought back a lot of history, some never known, some filed away in some dark recess of my brain. Thanks.
calbear80
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Belgium won the third place game as they deserved. To me Belgium was one of the top three teams in this World Cup along with France and Brazil.

As for tomorrow's finals, I"ll be rooting for the underdog Croatia while wearing my my Croatia #10 Modric jersey (my France jersey that I have worn a lot lately will be nearby, just in case!).

Go Croatia, Go Bears!
Another Bear
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Revealed: The Technology That Is Driving Croatia's World Cup Fairytale

Quote:

Their solution was to embrace technology.

Every side has video analysts, but none have had quite the same insight as Croatiathe only team in Russia using STATS Edge.

The Chicago-based tech firm has been tracking football data since 1999 and in June launched a new football platform that uses artificial intelligence to analyse a team's performance, compare playing styles and conduct game-changing set-play analysis. You can even start to predict how an opponent might react to a specific scenario based on their past behaviour.

concordtom
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HearstMining said:

How about this:
1. Shots outside the penalty area count for 2 points instead of 1 (adaption of basketball's 3 pt shot)
2. Goalkeepers can use their hands only for defending corner kicks and penalty kicks
3. Either eliminate offsides entirely or have it in effect when the player crosses from the middle 3rd of the pitch into the attacking 3rd.

One of American sports enthusiasts' favorite discussion topics is what does soccer need to do to appeal to the American fan. Of course hard-core soccer fans (American or otherwise) refuse to participate.

I've thought of this before, but it's a horrible idea. You don't want to encourage excessive long range shooting. It's boring. As someone else said, you want the intricate moves close in.
concordtom
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calbear80 said:

Belgium won the third place game as they deserved. To me Belgium was one of the top three teams in this World Cup along with France and Brazil.

As for tomorrow's finals, I"ll be rooting for the underdog Croatia while wearing my my Croatia #10 Modric jersey (my France jersey that I have worn a lot lately will be nearby, just in case!).

Go Croatia, Go Bears!
But did you wash Modric yet?
concordtom
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sycasey said:


Only thing I might be in favor of is a slight tweak to offside rules. I think maybe you could start to waive those once the ball is in close enough. That might result in one or two more goals. But even there I don't think it's entirely necessary.
Offsides the reason for offsides is to stop the goalie to goalie back and forth bombardment that would ensue. Boring.

But maybe you could do something where offsides is active the first time you enter the attacking zone. So, if you advance the ball beyond the 18 yard line, then offsides becomes inactive. Then you can attack as you like. How might that alter attacks?

One thing I wouldn't want is more headers. I have also thought of eliminating header goals. It's not a part of the game I'm crazy about.

Remove GK and header goals?

If you lowered the crossbar, too many head injuries by guys running into it. Can't have that.

I've also wondered about disallowing long range shots. You want to see guys move the ball in with skill, not just booting and hoping. But there are lots of great strikes from distance, so, you can't do that too much.
oskirules
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This has been an entertaining World Cup and the final won't disappoint. Croatia has to be worn out after all these extended period matches but they have enough gas in the tank for an epic victory.

Croatia 2
France 1
calbear80
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concordtom said:

calbear80 said:

Belgium won the third place game as they deserved. To me Belgium was one of the top three teams in this World Cup along with France and Brazil.

As for tomorrow's finals, I"ll be rooting for the underdog Croatia while wearing my my Croatia #10 Modric jersey (my France jersey that I have worn a lot lately will be nearby, just in case!).

Go Croatia, Go Bears!
But did you wash Modric yet?


Yes, once a day, every day my Modric jersey gets washed. Just to be sure that I always have a clean jersey, I have also digged up my old Croatia #19 Kranjcar jersey that I bought in Dubrovnik the first time I was there around 2006! But, the France jersey is sitting right next to it ready to go just in case! (I do like both teams).

I am going to miss WC after 10 AM on Sunday!

Go Croatia, Go Bears!
concordtom
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calbear80 said:

concordtom said:

But did you wash Modric yet?

Yes, once a day, every day my Modric jersey gets washed. Just to be sure that I always have a clean jersey, I have also digged up my old Croatia #19 Kranjcar jersey that I bought in Dubrovnik the first time I was there around 2006! But, the France jersey is sitting right next to it ready to go just in case! (I do like both teams).

I am going to miss WC after 10 AM on Sunday!

Go Croatia, Go Bears!
So, if France goes up, you'll switch jerseys? You can't lose and will be unhappy that way. A true fan of the game enjoys it however it's served up, like a hungry man doesn't care what he eats.

I'll miss it, too. But will enjoy the women's tourney in France next year.
With the fox sports app on my Roku, I was able to watch perhaps 85% of all these games. That actually is NOT a good thing. I suppose it's a better addiction that drugs, alcohol, or gambling...
concordtom
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oskirules said:

This has been an entertaining World Cup and the final won't disappoint. Croatia has to be worn out after all these extended period matches but they have enough gas in the tank for an epic victory.

Croatia 2
France 1

Prediction:
This will be a final game that leaves us all feeling like the tournament was better than the finale: anticlimactic.
Then again, neither France nor Croatia were among my numerous "root for your roots" picks. (England, Germany, Switzerland for me, add Portugal for my wife and kids, and Spain cause I lived there for a time.)

I also had Senegal, Nigeria, Mexico as teams I could have enjoyed watching advance.

And, oh, Australia cause my gg grandfather spent ten years as a British convict in Van Dieman's Land 1843-53 for stealing his father's employer's cash box at age 16.

And Belgium, because I like lukaku, hazard and debroyin. They put on a good show.

England petered out, didn't they. But good showing!

It's been a good tourney, for sure! Maybe Mbappe scores a hat trick by outrunning the Croatian defense 3 times. That I'd like to see. Usher in a new wave of little Jahvid Bests in this country. Down with "football", up with Football. This IS the football growls board, right?

Over and out. Enjoy the game!
concordtom
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calbear80 said:

One of My Favorite Stories About Visiting Croatia:

In Novermber 2015, while visiting Croatia, I got a tour of Roman Forum and Roman Coliseum (smaller version of the Coliseum in Rome) in the historic city of Zadar in Northern Croatia on the Adriatic Sea.

While standing in the middle of the ruins of the Coliseum in Zadar, Croatia, here is what our 40 something year old local tour guide said:

. My grandfather was born in Austro-Hungarian Empire.
. My father was birn in Italy.
. I was born in Yugoslavia.
. And, my son was born in Croatia.

AND, WE WERE ALL BORN IN THE SAME HOUSE!!!

That is a part of what makes Croatia so interesting. Here is a little history about Croatia:

. Not long ago, most of the region was a part of the Ottoman Empire ruled from Istanbul (back then Constantinople)
. Before WWI, most of Croatia was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire (and their playground and beach town).
. After WWI and demise of Austro-Hungerian Empire, it became a part of Italy (which was on the winning side of the WWI).
. After WWII, Croatia was taken away from Italy (which was on the losing side of WWII) and was incorporated into Yugoslavis under Marshal Tito (who had helped the Allies in WWII).
. Then, after the death of Marshal Tito in 1980 and desolation of Yugoslavia, Croatia eventually became the independent country of Croatia in 1991

Balkans are a little like Middle East: Amazing history and very volatile. Remember, WWI started when the Austro-Hungarian Prince Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914 in Sarajevo (in nearby Bosnia-Herzegovina, another one of the republics which later formed Yugoslavia). I have visited all the seven former Yugoslav republics and recomnend visiting them all (if you are Serbian, you would kill to prove that there was/is only six because Kosovo doesn't exist and never existed as a separate region)

Go Bears!

Disclaimer: I am not a historian and all the above statements need to be fact-checked.

P.S. I ran into a bunch of Serbian fans in the Moscow Kremlin a couple of weeks ago during the World Cup. In their mind, ...never mind, I don't want to go there.

Please. Go there. I was enjoying.

So, how did it come to be that Yugoslavia was behind the iron curtain? It was, right?

I have a friend who also said split was awesome! Super cheap, too. But maybe that's been changing as it's been discovered again.

I was traveling Europe with my then girlfriend now wife in '92. We went to Greece and then Turkey by hitching a ride with a Finnish couple on their sailboat. Made our way to Istanbul and then needed to get back to Brussels. Two train options. One thru Belgrade, but they were fighting a civil war. We heard train lines were good, but I didn't want to be on CNN. The other route was thru Romania. Now, while in Greece we got some work at a restaurant hotel on Rhodes. We met a couple Romanian men there, and they told us about the chowchesku (sp?) revolution, police with Freddy Kruger hands that would rip your guts out. Then we later heard how they were so desperate they'd steal your bags on trains and throw you off, while moving.

Now, I realize that such stories can be very far fetched, but I also know that 3 hikers once got lost hiking in Iran and occasionally a journalist will be nabbed as a prize. I also know that I had to take care of this girl, else I could never look her dad in the face again. So, we went to a travel agency store and bought a couple tickets on a plane and flew over the mess. When we got to the airport, I discovered it was on an Aeroflot plane. Flashback to January 1990 when I went to Moscow and flew Aeroflot, the airline with the worst safety record. Nothing eventful, other than we stopped in Riga unannounced for an hour (were they loading stolen goods? was the pilot banging some chick?). It was the chicken that freaked me out. I felt like it had been dipped in formaldehyde. No way was I going to touch that! But the Cuban guy next to me polished it off like his last meal. I was like, wow!

On that Moscow trip, lots of super interesting things. I'll never forget being offered a bowl of fruit while sitting around a table with teachers, students, administrators in a sort of cultural exchange. I didn't really want/need an orange but felt rude if I didn't partake. After an hour or more when they saw my brother and I would not eat more, they let the kids have some, and they dove into that bowl. I then realized, oh my god, they just offered us something that must have cost a mint, not to mention a day of waiting in some horrible line to get.

In this country, we have pretty much only known good times, and we see progress happening all around and envision of a future of only good. But things can change rapidly if we do not take care vigilantly! Society can collapse thru many means, and misery and desperation is right around the corner. I have barely traveled the world compared to Cal80, but he knows it's true.

. My grandfather was born in Austro-Hungarian Empire.
. My father was birn in Italy.
. I was born in Yugoslavia.
. And, my son was born in Croatia.

Thus, the Yugoslavs agree with me, too.
So do the Poles, the Jews, the Germans, the Chinese who've starved, those sent to Siberian gulags, been raped by Boko Harim, those wiped out by Agent Orange....
20 Millions Russians died in WW2. 20 MILLION!!

Lest we not forget, these are the Best of Times (queue Styx song).

This is why this WC event is important. It keeps us talking, shaking hands, celebrating out differences. Quite a different tone than the divisive fear mongering politics of Brexit and Trumpism. Don't go down that road, folks. There are 7 billion people on planet earth, we are all human, and this is OUR home. Let's celebrate, not divide.

Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.
-Santanaya


concordtom
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Good first half.
I kinda want Croatia now because I'm not a big fan of griezeman's fortnite doing the L celebration.
Plus, own goals are weak.

It's Mbappe or NO for France and me.
concordtom
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Oh yeah, griezeman drew a fake foul on that free kick which turned into the first goal of the game (own goal). That and the fact that France has been there before...
Go Croatia!
concordtom
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Ou est mon blouse rouge?
calbear80
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Croatia the better side.

France the luckier side.

Now, France 4-1.

Croatia jersey just came off. France jersey went on!

Yes, except for Cal and USA, a fair weather fan!

Go Bears!

calbear80
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concordtom said:

calbear80 said:

One of My Favorite Stories About Visiting Croatia:

In Novermber 2015, while visiting Croatia, I got a tour of Roman Forum and Roman Coliseum (smaller version of the Coliseum in Rome) in the historic city of Zadar in Northern Croatia on the Adriatic Sea.

While standing in the middle of the ruins of the Coliseum in Zadar, Croatia, here is what our 40 something year old local tour guide said:

. My grandfather was born in Austro-Hungarian Empire.
. My father was birn in Italy.
. I was born in Yugoslavia.
. And, my son was born in Croatia.

AND, WE WERE ALL BORN IN THE SAME HOUSE!!!

That is a part of what makes Croatia so interesting. Here is a little history about Croatia:

. Not long ago, most of the region was a part of the Ottoman Empire ruled from Istanbul (back then Constantinople)
. Before WWI, most of Croatia was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire (and their playground and beach town).
. After WWI and demise of Austro-Hungerian Empire, it became a part of Italy (which was on the winning side of the WWI).
. After WWII, Croatia was taken away from Italy (which was on the losing side of WWII) and was incorporated into Yugoslavis under Marshal Tito (who had helped the Allies in WWII).
. Then, after the death of Marshal Tito in 1980 and desolation of Yugoslavia, Croatia eventually became the independent country of Croatia in 1991

Balkans are a little like Middle East: Amazing history and very volatile. Remember, WWI started when the Austro-Hungarian Prince Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914 in Sarajevo (in nearby Bosnia-Herzegovina, another one of the republics which later formed Yugoslavia). I have visited all the seven former Yugoslav republics and recomnend visiting them all (if you are Serbian, you would kill to prove that there was/is only six because Kosovo doesn't exist and never existed as a separate region)

Go Bears!

Disclaimer: I am not a historian and all the above statements need to be fact-checked.

P.S. I ran into a bunch of Serbian fans in the Moscow Kremlin a couple of weeks ago during the World Cup. In their mind, ...never mind, I don't want to go there.

Please. Go there. I was enjoying.

So, how did it come to be that Yugoslavia was behind the iron curtain? It was, right?

I have a friend who also said split was awesome! Super cheap, too. But maybe that's been changing as it's been discovered again.

I was traveling Europe with my then girlfriend now wife in '92. We went to Greece and then Turkey by hitching a ride with a Finnish couple on their sailboat. Made our way to Istanbul and then needed to get back to Brussels. Two train options. One thru Belgrade, but they were fighting a civil war. We heard train lines were good, but I didn't want to be on CNN. The other route was thru Romania. Now, while in Greece we got some work at a restaurant hotel on Rhodes. We met a couple Romanian men there, and they told us about the chowchesku (sp?) revolution, police with Freddy Kruger hands that would rip your guts out. Then we later heard how they were so desperate they'd steal your bags on trains and throw you off, while moving.

Now, I realize that such stories can be very far fetched, but I also know that 3 hikers once got lost hiking in Iran and occasionally a journalist will be nabbed as a prize. I also know that I had to take care of this girl, else I could never look her dad in the face again. So, we went to a travel agency store and bought a couple tickets on a plane and flew over the mess. When we got to the airport, I discovered it was on an Aeroflot plane. Flashback to January 1990 when I went to Moscow and flew Aeroflot, the airline with the worst safety record. Nothing eventful, other than we stopped in Riga unannounced for an hour (were they loading stolen goods? was the pilot banging some chick?). It was the chicken that freaked me out. I felt like it had been dipped in formaldehyde. No way was I going to touch that! But the Cuban guy next to me polished it off like his last meal. I was like, wow!

On that Moscow trip, lots of super interesting things. I'll never forget being offered a bowl of fruit while sitting around a table with teachers, students, administrators in a sort of cultural exchange. I didn't really want/need an orange but felt rude if I didn't partake. After an hour or more when they saw my brother and I would not eat more, they let the kids have some, and they dove into that bowl. I then realized, oh my god, they just offered us something that must have cost a mint, not to mention a day of waiting in some horrible line to get.

In this country, we have pretty much only known good times, and we see progress happening all around and envision of a future of only good. But things can change rapidly if we do not take care vigilantly! Society can collapse thru many means, and misery and desperation is right around the corner. I have barely traveled the world compared to Cal80, but he knows it's true.

. My grandfather was born in Austro-Hungarian Empire.
. My father was birn in Italy.
. I was born in Yugoslavia.
. And, my son was born in Croatia.

Thus, the Yugoslavs agree with me, too.
So do the Poles, the Jews, the Germans, the Chinese who've starved, those sent to Siberian gulags, been raped by Boko Harim, those wiped out by Agent Orange....
20 Millions Russians died in WW2. 20 MILLION!!

Lest we not forget, these are the Best of Times (queue Styx song).

This is why this WC event is important. It keeps us talking, shaking hands, celebrating out differences. Quite a different tone than the divisive fear mongering politics of Brexit and Trumpism. Don't go down that road, folks. There are 7 billion people on planet earth, we are all human, and this is OUR home. Let's celebrate, not divide.

Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.
-Santanaya





Yugoslavia (literal translation: Southern Slavs) was NOT A COMMUNIST COUNTRY and it WAS NOT BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN. Kind of!

Yugoslavia was an (the "leader" of) the UNALIGNED NATIONS. Whatever that was during the post WWII Cold War.

Marshal Tito did an amazing job of playing the Soviet Block against the West and getting all he could from both sides for his country.

Marshal Tito also did this all the while governing a nation of four of five nationalities with widley differeibg ethnicities and religions some of whom would kill each off if they had a chance, as they did after Marshal Tito died (Serbs, croats, Bosnians, Slovenians, Kosovans, Eastern Orthdox Christians, Catholics, Muslims and more).

Let's just say, while I was visiting Skopie, the capital of Macedonia (FYROM), I was amazed that there was almost as many mosque minarets as church towers in the horizon.

These are the kinds of things one learns if one visits 123 countries after studying each country extensively.

More later (if you really want).

Go Bears!

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