By Peter Ong
courtesy:Peter Ong blog
The Euro 2012 tournament is coming to an end, with just the final match between Spain and Italy on July 2.
It has truly been a feast for the soccer fan. We’ve seen the best players stuff up in front of goal. We’ve seen tempers and tantrums, poor refereeing (especially the disallowed goal for Ukraine against England), sheer lunacy (Nicklas Bendtner showing off his Paddy Power underwear), plenty of tattoos (many of them grotesque, such as Raul Miereles’), some stupendous goals (Sami Khedira’s wonder volley and Mario Balotelli’s two super strikes against Germany), and plenty of boots.
Yes, those pink boots, lime green boots, yellow boots, golden boots, white boots. But no black boots (yes, when was the last time you saw a professional footballer wearing black boots?).
But there’s a lot of technology that goes into these new boots made by Nike, Adidas, Puma and so on.It’s strange that newspapers worldwide hardly think about answering readers’ curiosity about these boots. I myself have wondered so many times that commentators can tell how many kilometres a player has run during a match.
A German paper, the Rheinische Post (Rhineland Post), the main paper in Düsseldorf, answered the questions for its readers, with a whole page about those boots.
Here it is:
My friend Hans Peter Janisch translated the page for me.
The main headline says “The football boot in the passage of time” and had this as the deck: “The most important piece of football equipment underwent dramatic changes in the past few years. Today the world stars carry the names of their girl friends or pets upon it. Individual design is affordable for everybody.”
But what’s interesting for me is the main graphic on the individually designed boots, showing the different kinds of studs for different weather conditions and other stuff. OK, it’s not the best graphic in the world, but it tells me a lot more than what I’ve seen in other papers.
I love the one about the technology that goes into those boots. Embedded in the soles is a very small chip which just weighs 8 grams. It records the speed, distance and all the runs the player makes in a game. The data can be analysed by the coach while the game is in progress and by the player afterwards.
How fascinating! Well done to the Rheinische Post.