After the argument about my rights as an urban sketcher, I decided to draw other window items that I thought would look good on my sketchbook page. It’s all about balancing out the sketches on the page for me – I like my books to have that composition. After two very feminine items, it was time to move onto the sporty shirts. I don’t think I’ve ever been into the Davis Sport Shop on E Street, but if I ever decide to get a baseball jersey (and since we’re such big Giants fans now) it’s good to know there’s somewhere downtown. This item was next to an Oakland Athletics shirt, but I left that one out (though I am told that the A’s owner is a Tottenham fan, which is to be commended). Next I went down to probably my favourite shop in Davis, Soccer & Lifestyle on 2nd Street (in fact it was discovering this place, a shop which primarily sold football shirts, that swayed me towards choosing to move to Davis in the first place). I had to see the new shirts that had just arrived – Milan’s one is nice, I like the thinner stripes, but am not sure about all the white detailing. The new Barcelona kit had just arrived too, and it was the player (rather than replica) version, slightly tougher and more durable, and more expensive to boot, but I can’t say I like the odd design of the new Barça shirt, it’s either one for the ‘what were they thinking’ threads or ‘cult-design-must-have’ sections in future football kit forums. I’ll save all that for a future ‘footy-kits’ post, you get them every year on petescully.com – I am in fact a huge football shirt (or ‘soccer jersey’) geek. Keeping with the ‘in-window’ theme, I drew the current Mexico shirt; they had just beaten the US in the Gold Cup final with an amazing goal by Tottenham’s Dos Santos.
With all this new post-Symposium energetic sketching (which you’re yet to see), you might think that the start of the new Premier League football season had somehow slipped by me. Not at all! Things kicked off today, with my team Spurs drawing 0-0 at home to Man City, who for all the billions and squillions they are spending, still can’t beat Tottenham. Sorry, City fans.
For a World Cup year, we haven’t seen all that many big blazing transfers this summer. Clubs are being more cautious. However, there have again been a glut of new kits, many very nice, many not so nice. I love Tottenham’s new home kit, Puma have really stepped up lately. The new ‘tailored’ Umbro shirts are lovely, especially the Rangers one (I’d even get it, if I didn’t have a Celtic shirt). Most of the adidas kits are overdone, gaudy and unnecessary. However, hate to say it though I do, Arsenal’s new old-style Nike kit is one of the best they’ve had. I can’t believe I just said that.
I’m sure football-shirt-design geekery isn’t as interesting to you as it is to me. Nonetheless, if you want a laugh, go over to the football shirt websites (such as this one or this one)and check out the comments sections. They get quite unbelievably passionate, vitriolic, ridiculous. Laughter will ensue, I promise, at least after a few beers.
So who will win the league this year? I don’t care, I really don’t. As long as Spurs do alright, I’ll be happy. Now, back to the Portland Symposium sketches…
The World Cup is over, and it’s a long wait until the Premier League season begins. But that doesn’t mean no footy! And who should come to California for a friendly but my own beloved Tottenham Hotspur FC. They kicked off their US tour with a match against their club partners in the MLS, San Jose Earthquakes, who happen to be my ‘local’ big team. When I say ‘local’ it’s all relative of course – San Jose is almost three hours away by train, and I’d never been before Saturday. When I say ‘big’, it’s all relative… their ground, Buck Shaw Stadium, is located on the Santa Clara University campus, and the Earthquakes recorded their largest attendance there with a whopping 10,712. I was in that number.
Sure, the match ended 0-0, but it was a fun occasion. We had our big names there, those who didn’t go to the World Cup - Bale, Modric, Huddlestone, and the returning Robbie Keane (who missed some sitters). I coudn’t believe how many Tottenham fans there were! A good deal of whom were American, but many were British (with their American kids tagging along; that’ll be me in a few years). And it was like a walking gallery of Spurs football shirt history! I’ve never seen so many different era Spurs shirts, not even at the Lane. All the classics were there, with the exception of the 1986 hummel one, I never saw that. My one wouldn’t fit me now, I was only ten back then. I wore the all-white Kappa shirt. On the field, the players were wearing the new Tottenham shirt for the first time, and it’s a beauty, I’ll be getting that. Surprisingly, here and there were dotted people in bright and obvious red Arsenal shirts; unsurprisingly, each of them were roundly booed as they passed (and some looked genuinely surprised at that fact too). There were lots of other shirts on show from all sorts of clubs and countries, something you also wouldn’t normally see at the Lane. A guy sat near me had the old Wales away shirt from the early 90s, the white Umbro one with little green and red arrows and lines on it. Haven’t seen that in years. Even the Earthquakes fans were well decked out, and I saw kits going from the current black Adidas tops to the old Nike blue ones with white arms.
But enough football-kit geekery. You know I can’t help myself. I enjoyed watching the Earthquakes; it’s America, for sure, and there are cheerleaders and sunburn, but it felt a lot like how football used to be, or still is for small clubs, intimate, friendly, informal. I really enjoyed that. I would go again. I also liked that I cycled to the stadium from San Jose train station. Good job I knew the way.
Oh yes, and some urban sketching. Before the match I drew the Mission Santa Clara de Asis, on the SCU campus right by Buck Shaw.
Come on you Spuuuuuurs!!!!!!! Tottenham play New York Red Bulls on Thursday; I think I’ll watch that one on telly.
The World Cup is finally here! After all the talk, after the training, the hype, the injuries to big names, the predictions, the greatest show on earth starts in a matter of hours in South Africa. I cannot wait. It is like Christmas Eve. Of course, the matches are all on so early that I’ll be setting my VCR. Damn you, ten hour time difference!
And per tradition, that perennially poor prognostic Mystic Pete has been whispering some predictions to me lately, namely that Brazil will win but it won’t be pretty. This is because (he says) European teams don’t win it outside Europe, which realistically leaves only Brazil and Argentina. Argentina probably have the better stars, but Brazil’s manager will drill them into a better team. Mystic Pete also says, sorry guys, Spain won’t win it, because Spain always do badly at the Wolrd Cup, it’s a tradition, like Scotland never passing round one, or England losing on penalties and having their star players sent off unfairly. (Of course, Mystic Pete fans will know this probably means Spain will in fact win it). He says though, the one Euopean team that could go furthest is… Holland. Nobody is talking about the Dutch, but they have some great players, a great team, and a good manager. As for England, well we all hope of course, but Mystic Pete is saying ‘no comment’ (yeah, last time he said they’d lose the final to Germany). Which African team will do well, and be the new South Korea or Senegal? Ghana and Ivory Coast are the best bets, but it’s a shame Egypt never got there, they have a good team (oops: Mystic Pete predicted them to qualify! Doh).
And then there are the kits… I may have to tackle that in a separate post. South Africa’s new adidas shirt is pictured, and as ever this is a battle between the Adidas and Nike shirts, though Puma’s ones this time are quite nice, the African designs at least. England are the only Umbro participants, and what a beautiful couple of kits they have.
The players to watch? Rooney, Messi, Ronaldo, obviously; Kaka, Drogba (if his injury heals), Xavi for Spain; but this tournament always comes up with unexpected heroes, and villains. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Tottenham players (I hope they don’t do too well, in case someone notices them!).
Oh man, a whole month of footy; I only get this every four years. I hope I have time for sketching! Bonne Coupe du Monde! May the least cheating team win!
PS: I will be changing the background colour of my blog each day, to match whichever team I am supporting on that day… to keep you guessing…
Summer is here, and with it comes 90-plus degree weather and fans and sunscreen. It just suddenly arrives in Davis, acting as though it were here all the time. I was out yesterday (looking for things to sketch on Drawing Day 2010) and drew some images that struck me downtown, the colours especially. That first one, the yellow dress, is in the window of Pinkadot on E St; the last, the South African football shirt (World Cup starts in less than a week!), is in the window of Soccer & Lifestyle. That is a football (soccer) short shop and one of my favourite places in Davis (indeed it was the discovery of this shop that helped in our initial decision to give living in Davis a go). The red cars were on E and 3rd respectively, and were begging to be sketched. I wanted to give this spread a kind of comic book quality, and I was originally going to add words, I let them speak for themselves instead.
I never thought I’d see the day. A couple of weeks ago, I bought the England away shirt, the new Umbro ‘tailored’ kit in red. I’ve never bought an England shirt before, but this one is nice. I live in America now, so I can wear it without getting the urge to throw chairs. I am getting ready for the summer, when I will be following the South Africa World Cup. For those who aren’t aware I am World Cup crazy, and have been since I was a kid. I watched the last one on the Mexican stations, but this time I have upgraded to the English-speaking sports channels, which means I’ll nderstand when they talk stats, but will have to provide my own exclamations of“goooooooooooollll!!!!!”.
But before the summer of World cup, there’s a week of highly exciting Premier League left. It’s between Man U and Chelsea for the title, but for me it’s all about my own team Tottenham, and that fourth Champions League spot. If you’d have told me at the start of the season that Spurs would be in fourth place with a week to go I’d have said you were nuts. Well we have to thank that guy on the left there, Harry Redknapp, Tottenham’s manager (drawn in my football journal-cum-sketchbook). That could all change in the next couple of hours of course, and we have to beat (or not lose to) Man City, so I am still expecting us to throw it away again. Even if we do, we haven’t been below 6th all year and that is incredible. Come on you Spurs!
Over in France meanwhile, the team I followed when I lived there, Olympique Marseille, are set for their first title since the early 90s when they dominated and then exploded in match-fixing disgrace. Again, I’m still expecting that familiar capitulation but I’m hopeful for l’OM. Besides, my other old favourite equipe, Auxerre, are right behind them. Lyon’s time is over, and Bordeaux have lost it. Allez allez!
“Football football football football football. What you men see in it I don’t know. A load of men kicking a bit of leather around a field. You men, the things you think are great fun.” (Mrs. Doyle, Father Ted)
Alors, je suis de retour, considerez ceci…
Beckham has landed. Rather, The Beckhams have landed. LA Galaxy unveiled goldenballs this week, along with a brand new kit and badge, club colours, in fact pretty the only thing they haven’t done is rename the club ‘Beckham Soccer Club’. It’s all very exciting now, but I have a feeling this will turn out to be a bad move for Beckham, maybe even for the MLS. And maybe for Posh as well – recently recalled into the Spice Girls team, she may find the long commute between Hollywood and Abbey Road seriously affects her singing voice.
Incidentally, the author of this BBC article apparently has no idea who Beckham is or what year it is, bizarrely believing David was a teenager in the 1970s, saving up his cash for the latest Abba album. It also implies that the Blind Beggar pub is in Walthamstow, when it is miles away in Whitechapel. Come on, BBC, you can do better than this hackneyed twaddle.
And it’s new football kit time of year. I’ve been following all the new kits on this site – there do seem to be a lot of clubs switching to Umbro these days, don’t there? Umbro is seeing a resurgence. What I’ve noticed most this year is the way they’re all being marketed: 125th anniversary here, centenary there, Celtic are commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions, Northern Ireland are celebrating 25 years since they were in the 1982 World Cup (which wasn’t even their last time there). Best of all, Arsenal have a new white away kit, marketed not as the ‘we-wish-we-were-Spurs-now’ kit, but the ‘Chapman’ kit, enticing people to buy it by associating it with their 1930s manager. Shameless.
Changing sports to baseball, this week San Francisco hosted the All-Star Game, American League versus National League. I saw some of it, on TV of course, it was quite fun, my wife tried explaining some of the rules to me, the fly-balls, the bases which can and can’t be over-run, all of that confusing fun. The most fun was reserved for the guys on the little boats in the bay, waiting for a home-run ball to come splashing their way (and from SF Bay to e-bay). There was even a little bulldog swimming around in a lifejacket. The thing I liked the most, though, was the poster for the event, a classic style.
Oh man, while I was out sketching in Sacramento last week, I lost my mechanical eraser. Listen, I had had this thing for about 18 years, it was my favourite sketching item and I just knew I’d lose it someday. I clip it to my bag or my shirt or wherever, I’m very lax, but I’ve had it since I was about 13 and managed not to lose it. So I have bought a replacement, and it’s just not the same.
I still managed to do some sketching this week: