Kickin' It: World Cup draw scenarios, and why the international break stinks

Michael Regan

Your football news and links for Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

Lots of links today, especially considering that football is so insanely dull right now.

Why I dislike international football | The Short Fuse

I don't share PDB's total dislike for international matches, but a lot of his points are fantastic. Maybe his idea of a pared-down international schedule is not a bad one.

World Cup Draw Simulator | Ultrazone

Jack sent us this on the 7500 to Holte group email. I clicked, and thought "Wow, how stupid. It literally just shifts team names around." And then I spent 15 minutes clicking and seeing the various scenarios for the United States. The time I drew them with Uruguay, France, and Greece didn't seem too bad! Moral of the story: you may think this is dumb, but you will spend tons of time on it and stress yourself out. You're welcome.

Statisical sources, the best league, and the absurdity of Suarez | StatsBomb

A great mailbag from StatsBomb, wherein is discussed what the best league in the world is, the lack of sexiness in defensive stats, where stats can be had, and the lack of sexiness in Luis Suarez. Wait, sorry. He talks about how out-of-his-mind good Suarez has been this season.

UEFA World Cup Qualifying Recaps | SB Nation Soccer

Catch up on anything you missed in UEFA qualifying! Including: the sad saga of Iceland.

Scotland's coming Golden Generation | SB Nation Soccer

Just pointing this out because there is no mention of Barry Bannan. Remember 3 years ago when Bannan was one of the brightest young stars in the Scotland squad? Sad.

Nico Muhly at Le Poisson Rouge | NPR Music

What? I can have non-football interests. If you don't know, in the real world I'm a musicology PhD student, and I specialize in 20th- and 21st-century music. It's stuff that's usually stuck with a giant stigma of sounding ugly or being stupidly gimmicky (thanks Webern and Cage). Well, this came out in May, but I've been listening to it as I write this post today and if you feel negatively towards new music, it just might make you change your mind. Nico Muhly is an amazingly talented composer, and one of the brightest lights in the firmament of music today. Give it a listen. It's exceptionally cool music.

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