World Cup Flopping And Diving

Without question, this year’s World Cup seems to have drawn in more of my casual sports fan friends to soccer, than any previous edition. Maybe soccer is getting a bit bigger, maybe the US team is getting a bit better, and maybe the time zones are just perfect this year for lunch time, late day break, and after work viewing.

Either way, it’s been a ton of fun, as my friends are not only watching, but are getting really into following the game, the rules, and the details, beyond just yelling “AMERICA, FUCK YEAH”.

BUT, as is the case every four years, the conversation always comes back to the flopping and diving.

No matter how much soccer advances, one of the casual fan’s chief complaints, is the over dramatic injury acting that seems to plague every match.

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And while I get the frustration, as someone who’s played at a fairly high level for almost thirty years, I figured I could shed some light on the whats and whys of the dive.

  1. First, I generally share your aggravation and annoyance. Really lame flopping and diving is bad for the game and cheapens the appeal of an otherwise beautiful sport to watch.

    There is however, a bit of a tactical element to a well-timed, well-executed, well-sold dive. When I played in college, I was a 5’8”, 135 pound center midfielder. I survived against lots of 6’2” 200 pound opponents with a mix of speed, quickness, and skill. But when I found myself in trouble, and in a spot where I couldn’t use those advantages, I could feign being fouled better than anyone on the field. I flopped in moderation, but I did so tactically and effectively. But I most certainly did so deliberately.

  2. I totally get that it’s a bit of the boy-who-cried-wolf, but I can promise you, that a lot of those bumps and nicks that look minor on TV, actually hurt like hell.

    The shoes that pro soccer players wear are generally constructed of the lightest, thinnest material possible, and often the spikes are titanium. Additionally, the only padding that players wear, are shinguards - and most players (myself included) literally wear the minimum possible size allowed (for lightness). I actually wear kids shinguards, because they are the least obtrusive.

    Couple all of this with the force and speed with which these guys move, and those bits of incidental contact (as they appear on TV) become extraordinarily painful moments.

    Which leads me to the third point. 

  3. In professional soccer, you cannot sub players in and out multiple times. If the manager takes you off the field, you are done for the game. Which means, that unlike in most other sports, if you are dazed from an errant elbow to the face, you can’t hit the bench for a few minutes to get your bearings. Your choices are…

    Get back up and keep playing.
    Sub off, and be done for the day.
    Writhe around on the ground for a minute and recover there.

    In certain instances - namely if the player is bleeding or needs quick treatment - he can go to the sideline for a moment, and be brought back on at the next play stoppage.

    But generally speaking, those moments of rolling around in pain, are a player’s only chance to try and recover from the brutality of a 90 minute match, and those painful collisions as they happen.

There will always be awful and overly dramatic fake diving in soccer (as there is in the NBA too!), but hopefully this provides a little bit of insight into the situation.

I think the insistence on credentials at companies is such a huge mistake. I believe you should hire people based on who they are and what they’ve done, not because of something like what college they went to—or even whether they went to college. It turns out, the rigor that college requires often screens out the most creative people anyway.

(Source: Fast Company)

The Summer of Andrew

After a lot of thought and internal conflict, I’ve decided to step away from Heart and take the rest of the summer off. With no plans to return to the agency.

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As I’ve begun to tell people about this plan, the first thing they ask me (unsurprisingly) is “why?”. So here is an attempt at an answer.

And let me state up front, that it has nothing to do with the health or prospects of the business. Heart is going to continue its ascent, and remain strong without me. Thomas (my partner at Heart) has always been the creative force behind the business, and he, along with the rest of the awesome team, are going continue to kill it.

The reason I am stepping away, has everything to do with where my heart (lowercase “h”) lies today.

Thomas has a great little framework that he always draws, which provides a really simple and smart way to prioritize one’s focus, as a means to happiness. It looks like this:

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The essential idea here, is to demonstrate that if you start mapping all of life’s annoyances and problems onto this little spectrum, you begin to realize that most of your energy is largely spent worrying about shit that you can’t control, and that simply doesn’t matter.

And if you work in advertising, you’ll likely reach the even sadder realization that MOST of your stress and worry triggers tend to sit quite firmly in that lower left quadrant.

Which is where I’ve found myself living these days, and it’s making me rather unhappy.

I’ve become buried under the stresses of building a business, slugging through work I’m not excited about, arguing over what’s a good idea and what’s a bad idea, and just generally trying to push a big rock up a steep hill as we try and change the advertising game from the inside.

It’s been bumming me out, it’s been exhausting me, and more importantly, I can’t control it (as much as I’d like to) and I’m not really sure any of it matters (to me, today).

Not compared with what’s on the other side - which is a new family that needs me to be a better husband and dad for a while, more than they need me to be a better ad guy.

Because for too long, work has been in competition with family, and for at least a little while, I need to let family win. 

I need to look at the things that matter, that I can control, and shift my energy there.

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So starting this week, I’m going to take some time off. Like, completely off. I’m taking the back half of June, all of July, and perhaps some of August too. 

My central focus will be to spend some more time with my family, looking after my infant daughter and supporting my wife in her new job. And just generally doing things that make me (and hopefully my family) a lot happier.

At some point though, I’ll need to return to the working world (likely end of summer, beginning of fall). So I’ll be looking to stay sharp in my downtime.

I’m going to try and write/publish more, I’m going to read the stack of books I’ve been collecting, I’m going to seek out lots of beer/coffee conversations with interesting people (get in touch!), I’m going to tidy up some of my dusty tech skills, and I’m generally going to be really deliberate about getting setup for my next move, whatever that may be.

Because looking back, it’s clear that my entire career has been nothing if not some combination of luck, hustle, opportunism, timing, and a near frenetic changing-of-mind and continual re-shaping what I love and believe.

I’ve always led with my gut and my heart, and this time is no different.

It’s the right thing for me to do now.

See y’all out there.

 

Ad creatives are miserable and frustrated. They have spent so long now working in the mind gym trying to thread a needle with a pair of pliers while wearing a boxing glove that they have over-developed the wrong muscle. They have become technicians capable of servicing their client’s advertising boiler when they thought they were architects.

Is advertising still the place for creative people? | The Drum

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