5
Dec

The brazuca reminds us of Brazil’s one true love

BAHIA, BRAZIL — With all the negativity surrounding the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, it’s easy to forget what it was that brought the tournament here in the first place: soccer.

Before the concerns about infrastructure, stadiums, transportation, government distrust and overall cost of the world’s sporting event, there was the simply the game, and the Brazilians’ undying love for it.

On Thursday afternoon in Bahia, adidas gave me the official match ball for next summer’s World Cup. Little did I know that the ball would prove to be the apple in the eye of every Brazilian I met that day.

Every few feet, someone wanted to hold it and take a picture with it. A couple of local volunteers looked like they might cry when they had to part with it. You could see the unbridled joy in just the way people looked at what adidas is calling the “brazuca” – it’s like a holy grail to Brazilians.

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There was the young girl who asked me if it was the “oficial brazuca,” and her jaw nearly dropping to the floor when I told her yes. And when she held it, she jumped around like it was Christmas morning.

There were the two children so small they could barely wrap their arms around it, beaming with delight as they desperately held on tight.

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There was the waitress who, after a few minutes of gesturing and attempts to explain what she wanted, gave me her email so I could send her a copy of the photograph I took of her holding it.

There was the chef who took a break to come all the way out of the kitchen to the dining area just to hold, juggle and take a picture with the ball.

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There was the cheeky little boy that jokingly tried to run off with it – twice.

Despite ever-growing concern and frustration with Brazil’s World Cup, the Brazilians’ excitement and joy from something as simple as the brazuca made it clear that if there is one thing this country can find happiness in, it’s soccer.

3
Dec

Adidas unveils “brazuca,” the official 2014 World Cup ball

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She’s beautiful, isn’t she?

World Cup supplier adidas officially unveiled the ball for next summer’s extravaganza in an event at Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday.

The brazuca is different from any other previous World Cup ball in several ways. What you notice right away is that it consists of only six polyurethane panels, down from the Jabulani’s eight panels. This follows adidas’ trend of reducing the number of seams on their balls; adidas’ first World Cup balls consisted of thirty-two panels.

The six thermal-bonded panels are irregularly shaped, almost propeller-like, and are meant to produce faster flight speed, a more stable flight path and maintain true roundness. This should be music to the ears of goalkeepers and players who lambasted the Jabulani for its unpredictable flight path.

The surface texture of the ball is also new. The Jabulani was the first ball that featured tiny, raised nubs to improve traction and control in all weather conditions. The Brazuca also features these, but are round like on a basketball. The Jabulani’s nubs were more rectangular in shape. We’re not sophisticated enough to understand why, or even if, that makes much of a difference, though.

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Then there’s the name itself, of course. For the first time ever, adidas let fans of the World Cup host nation name the ball. Millions of Brazilians turned out to vote, with “brazuca,” an informal word used by Brazilians to describe national pride, taking 77.8% of the vote. “Bossa Nova” was a distant second in the voting.

When adidas hosted media outlets at its World Cup kickoff event last month, we learned that their innovation lab already started developing the ball three years ago, and began testing the prototype just six months later. The brazuca thus became adidas’ most tested ball ever, with over 600 players involved throughout the process. The ball was also secretly tested at this year’s Under-20 World Cup.

imageThe brazuca is adidas’ most tested ball of all time

All that hard work seems to have paid off. Many of the game’s top stars have already taken a liking to it. Take a look:

If you wish, you can also follow the ball’s journey to Brazil on Twitter:

Images courtesy of adidas.

28
Feb

Introducing SOCCKET: The Energy-Harnessing Soccer Ball

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Photo: Uncharted Play, Inc.

Talk about a genuine idea, Uncharted Play recently introduced SOCCKET, a “durable energy-harnessing soccer ball” that can be used as an off-grid power source after 30 minutes of play via the ball’s patent pending technology. Sounds too good to be true, right? 

"About one ounce heavier than a standard soccer ball, the SOCCKET is constructed from a custom water-resistant EVA foam that is both durable and soft to the touch. Designed and assembled in the USA, the SOCCKET is currently being piloted in select resource-poor areas of North America and South America."

Photo: Uncharted Play, Inc.

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24
Dec

Looking to spice up your Christmas traditions this year? Need not worry as we present you one of the best compilations of the greatest footballer of all-time (sorry, Lionel Messi): Diego Armando Maradona.

Now be warned, we don’t recommend trying these moves around your valuables, let alone your lovely decorated Christmas tree.

Disclaimer, we apologize for the cheesy Youtube soundtrack.

11
Dec

"One World Futbol" co-founder, Tim Jahnigen, explains his invention: an indestructible soccer ball used to fight poverty.