More From Eric Dixon at http://www.NYBusinessCounsel.com
Monday, March 25, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Snow fell throughout the game, but play in the second half bordered on treacherous. At one point the referee tried to stop the game but both teams implored him to continue. Undoubtedly, Costa Rica had an eye on its Tuesday night qualifying match. Had tonight's game been suspended and played tomorrow (a dicey proposition given the forecast for near-blizzard conditions through midday Saturday, and six inches of snow), Costa Rica would have had one less recovery day for that next game, at home versus Jamaica. That is a likely win (and a must-win) for Costa Rica. However, the conditions tonight negated any skill level advantage that the Americans might have had -- although Latin American countries traditionally have had more skillful ball handlers and dribblers who can excel at one-on-one battles, so most any Latin country poses a test for an American squad.
The snowy conditions required on-the-fly adjustments -- which I don't believe either team made. These adjustments would and should have been to the mentality of the players. Instead of the long volley passes, I believe shorter passes would have better enabled ball possession and the development of a methodical attack and scoring chance. Long passes were hard to execute due to the very slippery conditions, the condition of the ball (subfreezing temperatures turn leather balls into something resembling a block of ice), and the poor footing made it hard for players to be able to react and run onto a pass. In other words, a pass had to be right at a player or else the ball would go out of bounds, or simply stop as the snow and ice concoction would stop many rolling balls from sailing on the grass out of bounds.
The conditions and adversity made me think that tonight's game would have put a premium on the dribbling and short passing skills that often made certain mediocre outdoor players in the old North American Soccer League excellent -- if not star -- indoor soccer players in the Major Indoor Soccer League. Those players more often than not came from certain countries like Argentina, Bolivia and what used to be Yugoslavia -- countries where the traditional style of play emphasized ball control in tight spaces over the reliance on the "air war" of volleys and set plays (a good characterization of English soccer). The growing proliferation of players moving cross-border to top European leagues has erased much of the traditional "national" styles of play in the last two decades, however.
In the meantime, the United States next plays Mexico on Tuesday night at Estadio Azteca. The United States' qualification for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 is no means certain.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Eurozone ministers have declined to rule out similar measures in other countries. This may weaken many Eurozone banks as well as spark a flight to quality -- hell, a flight to pure safety -- as capital preservation becomes the immediate concern over any concern over returns on investment.
One wonders if the United States will see a flood of new capital, as well as increased commodity buying from abroad as people seek to convert seizable assets into less liquid assets. Gold and silver, anyone?
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
An early morning commuter might step into a subway car and be outnumbered by bums 50 to one. (Trust me: I was the one.)
If you knew better, you didn't sit down, because a homeless person with soiled pants may have been sitting there earlier.
Today, New York is returning to those dark days of the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. The days B.G. - Before Giuliani. When politicians were afraid to confront and expel the homeless. When commuters, business owners and residents were expected to tolerate their presence, their assault on our senses and sensibilities and, too often, their mental illnesses and violence, as the price for being in The Big City.
Those were the days when a New Jersey judge ruled that local residents objecting to a stinking bum's presence were ignored by that judge and told that "Instead of revoking [the bum's] library card, we ought to revoke his condition.". As if his "condition" were either the fault or the duty of the public to remedy.
New York City has returned to the days of inaction, of paralysis, of grudging resignation to tolerating the homeless. The evidence is the hundreds of stinking, menacing homeless now inhabitating Grand Central, Penn Station and Port Authority, certain midtown indoor plazas and even some parks.
New York City and building owners are rightfully reluctant to expel the homeless for fear of the plaintiffs' class action lawsuit asserting unconstitutional deprivations of rights. But the average person on the street has a voice.
Businesses which refuse to address their homeless problem -- of the homeless refusing to vacate the premises -- have an unenviable choice: fear the lawsuit, or fear the lost business when customers flee. (Indeed, the homeless understand this; part of this problem is a game of urban extortion played by the intentionally obnoxious.)
New York's renewal was sparked by Mayor Giuliani's understanding that the old paradigm of nonconfrontation had to change in order to retain businesses and residents, attract tourists and attract development.
New York's renewed decline will be sparked by a return to the fearful policies of appeasement and guilt. The elites may decry their condition. The average family with options -- hell, with a car -- will go out to the suburbs. And stay there.
Something to ponder the next time to hear any of the nine announced or presumed candidates for New York City mayor speak.
Thursday, March 7, 2013