I couldn’t find an individual picture from Getty of Bryan Gil with the Olympic silver medal he earned with Spain, but figured it was worth the recognition anyway so here’s one from his Instagram.
Ramble of the Day
Last week, I agreed when someone offered up the idea that the global football calendar take a few weeks off. It is, of course, never happening, but it was more a comment on sports burnout or football burnout specifically. I have recently felt that endless football can be a little bit of a slog if you’re actively attempting to pay attention to a lot of it. The choice to pay attention to that much football could be a mistake on my part, but I craved a tiny break regardless.
On Sunday, though, I turned on Fulham-Middlesborough after officially running out of Olympic sporting events. I did not assign myself a task for this match, instead letting it be the perfect default for the most casual Sunday morning. (One of the great perks of enjoying European football, I find, is that you can fill weekend mornings easily.)
It was a relatively insignificant match — the teams tied 1-1. Perhaps assigning the match no personal value was all the break I needed, though, because I got sucked in again. I could sense the freshness of everything, from the way the players played to Marco Silva’s suit. I felt the promise of a new beginning from this match, and I doubt it’s anything the match in particular did. I think I really do just find watching this sport irresistible, and not a means to an end.
We’ll see how much of a slog this European season will bring. I won’t get my hopes up too much — there are a lot of players with probably too many minutes on their legs and that is not going to make games fun. I suppose, even though I can’t believe the Premier League season is days away, that I’m ready to some degree. How ready? Who knows? I got sucked into the most average game, though, so I can probably get invested pretty quickly.
tl;dr: Being a sports fan makes you a total sucker for watching sports, even when you think you’re tired of watching sports.
Stay informed, read this: Holland Cotter on “Social Works,” an exhibit at Gagosian Gallery spotlighting Black artists for The New York Times
Links of the Day
Nine people tested positive for COVID-19 in the Premier League’s latest round of testing.
Spectators at Premier League games will be subject to random checks to show proof of a vaccine against COVID-19 or a negative test.
Liverpool’s Andy Robertson will miss the opening game of the season with an ankle injury.
Norwich signed Josh Sargent from Werder Bremen.
A longer read: Brian Phillips argues Harry Kane’s desired move to Manchester City is a boring one for the Ringer