The benefits of immigration

Julia Ioffe@juliaioffe
This #WorldCup has been clear evidence that immigration has changed the “culture” of Europe—for the better.

Sabrina Siddiqui@SabrinaSiddiqui
Sixteen of the 23 players on France’s team come from families that recently immigrated to the country, most of them from Africa. Seven players are Muslim. A testament to how immigrants enrich a country’s culture.

They’re absolutely right. Congratulations to the World Cup-winning “French” team! The people of France must be so proud! From the Daily Meme Wars.

I saw one amusing aspect of this unseemly multiculti triumphalism when a member of my soccer club spoke to an African acquaintance after Nigeria and Senegal were both knocked out. The African said, not entirely without bitterness, “maybe an African nation could win a World Cup if the European teams didn’t keep stealing all our best players.”


Well, he is

The usual suspects are upset at an MMA champion acknowledging the obvious:

MMA fighter Conor McGregor has sparked outraged after labelling Vladimir Putin ‘one of the greatest leaders of our time’ after meeting him at the World Cup Final.

McGregor posted the inflammatory photo to his 24 million Instagram followers on Sunday showing him posing with the Russian top dog ahead of kick off at the Luzhniki Stadium.

In the photo’s caption, the multi-millionaire fighter said he was ‘honored to attend the event’ and said he had been invited as Putin’s personal guest.

But his antics didn’t go down all that well on social media, as several online commentators blasted him for accepting the invitation.

Remember, his critics are the kind of people who slavered over Stalin and Hitler back in their day. But what world leader seriously compares to the likes of Putin, Xi, and the God Emperor? Merkel? May? Trudeau?

The eight years of unmitigated failure known as Obama?


Lame

I’m pulling for Croatia, but expect France to win on the basis of being better and more rested.

UPDATE: Horrible refereeing today. Griezman takes a dive, wins a free kick, and scores on an own goal off a defender’s head. Croatia answers with a beautiful team goal, only to have the referee hand France a penalty on an obviously non-deliberate hand ball.
It’s not that hard. If the hands aren’t waving around or being used to control the ball, it’s not a foul. This is the first time the VAR system really seems to have gone wrong.

Semifinals Day 2

Normally, I would expect Croatia to beat England and go on to face France in the final. They are definitely the better team. But they look absolutely exhausted from their quarterfinal game and made three unforced errors in the first seven minutes, passes to no one, the sort of thing you do when you’re tired and you’re not all there.

And with England scoring on a great free kick by Trippier inside the first five minutes, it’s going to be tough for them to pull it together against a fresher, faster England team. The interesting thing is going to be in the last thirty minutes, when England is tired too and Croatia’s superior skill begins to show.

UPDATE: As I anticipated, once England’s fitness advantage wore off, Croatia’s skill began to tell. 1-1 after 90 minutes, and Croatia has all its subs. Given that furious ten minutes between the 75th minute and the 85th minute, England is fortunate to still be in it. And Croatia’s subs will be better players than England’s two subs. I don’t expect this to go to penalties; it wouldn’t surprise me if Croatia manages two goals in extra time.

POSTMORTEM: England rode a much easier route to the semifinal and it showed in their relative energy in the first half compared to an exhausted Croatia team. But once their wings and strikers weren’t able to run past the more experienced Croatian defenders with impunity, the English attack all but disappeared. Also, whoever was on England’s left wing was a complete disaster defensively, as he wasn’t tracking back to help cover the Croatian defender who caused complete havoc for most of the second half. This game wasn’t as close as it appeared; without Pickford’s heroics and with a bounce or two going Croatia’s way, it could have easily finished 4-1.

England has nothing to be ashamed of. Vardy’s injury hurt them worse than most people realized – he’s their true scorer – and I really like the way Gareth Southgate managed to his team’s strengths and improved their set plays and penalties. He has the makings of a top flight manager and it won’t surprise me if he moves on to a big club when he is ready to move on.

But the final outcome was never seriously in doubt after the first 20 minutes. Consider the key match stats in favor of Croatia.

Shots: 22-11
Shots on goal: 7-1
Final score: 2-1

I’ve personally done the research. In every league, shots on goal is the most reliable statistical indicator of wins. If you want to win, you have to put shots on goal. The goalie seldom blocks them all, and even when he does, rebounds lead to easy goals. Croatia did. England didn’t.


Darkstream: burning down the NFL

From the transcript of the Darkstream:

This big lead column on Monday Morning Quarterback is written by Jenny Vrentas. Now there are women who know about football, there are female sports writers who understand the game, but one thing that you’ll notice about SJWs in general, and female SJWs in particular, is that they have no interest in the actual topic that they’re supposed to be covering. All they want to do is either talk about politics or people, because that’s the only thing that they’re interested in….

There’s a whole section on NYC Pride and NFL pride, how this is the first time that the NFL has sponsored the Pride Parade in New York City. So it’s not enough it’s not enough that they are attempting to push migration, and they’re attempting to push social activism and support the flag protests, but now they’re also trying to push homosexuality, using the league to do this, and so what we’re seeing here is that SJWs in the media are shameless about using any organization with influence, with power, with the microphone to push their own social justice agenda.

Now there is no planet on which you can claim that this is going to be good for the NFL now, and so we can blame the NFL, we can blame FIFA, for all the idiot SJW BS they’ve been pushing, but what’s astonishing is the way in which the NFL and other organizations allow SJWs in the media to push this. They allow themselves to be used by outside organizations, to push those outside organizations’ social justice ideals to their own detriment. There is absolutely no question that the more they push migrants, the more they push gays, the more they push flag protests, the more people that are going to abandon the NFL.

What’s killing the NFL is not so much the people who are turning it off, although that is definitely hurting them, what’s absolutely killing them is people like me just dialing it down a few notches, you know, because I don’t follow it as closely as I used to as when I had the NFL Game Pass. Because I’d always watch every Vikings game and I wasn’t the only one in the house who would do so. Now, you know, if there’s a free game on the TV, I’ll watch that. I’m not a fanatic about about this stuff, I’m just not willing to spend 100 bucks or 120 bucks or whatever it is. I’m just not willing to do that anymore, and if you look at other people who are doing the same thing – and many many other people are doing the same thing – the net effect of that is tremendously negative.

You can already tell the NFL is not going to make it’s 10-year growth goals because they lost so much traction last year, and that’s assuming that they’re able to start recovering this year, but based on what we’re seeing from the media, I very much doubt that’s going to happen. When NASCAR first went SJW, it lost about the same 10-15 percent the first year, and of course they doubled down, and they were certain that they were going to come back from it, but NASCAR television ratings and track attendance is now down as much as 50 percent. It might even be more than 50 percent this year,
and so I think the same thing is going to happen to the NFL. I think it’s going to be a shock to a lot of people, especially people in the media who have been denying that their SJW infestation is the cause of their problems.

In light of this, consider this “let’s you and him fight” piece written by a particularly stupid SJW at Sports Illustrated.

The NFL has a choice. It can continue to fashion its responses to the whims of a president whose appetite for conflict and controversy is so limitless that the NFL will be forced into embarrassing concession after embarrassing concession while alienating its highest-profile employees, who have every right to believe themselves jerked around on an issue that is of paramount importance to them.

Or it can follow the example set a century ago by the GAA. It can resist.

It can rescind its failed policy, which only will continue to fail in embarrassing ways. It can return to the status quo ante—basically, just allowing players to do what they will and then stand the gaff no matter what the origin of said gaff. The problems the NFL is having with its TV ratings have little or nothing to do with what the players do while half the stadium is under the stands, loading up for the first quarter, no matter what the talking points of the day say.

NN Taleb is right. Never pay any attention to the advice given by anyone without material skin in the game.


Quarterfinals Day 2

England is the better team, but Sweden is solid at the back. Russia shouldn’t be able to play with Croatia, but given all the upsets in this World Cup, who can say anymore.

At the end of the first half, England is up 1-0 and controlling the game easily. They could have had a second goal if Sterling could either a) finish one-on-ones or b) pass the ball to his open teammates.

And it’s over. 2-0 England. Gareth Southgate has clearly had his team working hard on penalties and set plays.



Round of 16, Day 4

Sweden beat Switzerland in a game of two teams without a single true striker between them. It was a boring affair settled by an own goal on a deflection of a shot that would have been easily saved, Sweden 1-0.

Colombia-England has been an incredibly chippy affair with loads of yellow cards. England had it, but a 93rd-minute header on a corner kick just after an excellent save of a magnificent long-range shot has it even going into extra time.

Round of 16, Day 3

Precisely no one is surprised that Brazil beat Mexico, 2-0. But the Belgian defeat of Japan, 3-2, in the 94th minute was heartbreaking for Japan, given that they led 2-0 at the 55th minute. But, as Didier Drogba presciently observed during the group stage, Asian teams tend to overwhelm their opponents with their extreme effort for the first 60 minutes, then flag a bit, which allows the game to open up. This game was an almost textbook example of that.


Round of 16, Day Two

I don’t see the hosts surviving a vastly superior Spanish team, or even keeping it close. As for Croatia vs Denmark, both teams are tough and disciplined, but the Croats have more skill than the Danes.

UPDATE: Holy cow, Russia winning on penalties after holding Spain to 1-1 through extra time. I did NOT see that coming.