Boys among men as the U.S. plays soccer versus Brazil

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Only the most heavily-medicated American partisans would not have felt humiliated Thursday when the U.S. national team was embarrassed, 3-0, by Brazil. This followed a similar, 3-1 spanking the other day at the hands of Italy.

We displayed technical inferiority, tactical confusion and gross immaturity. For the second consecutive game, an American was thrown out of the game for a dumb foul, forcing his team to compete with one less player. So, given the state of soccer in our land, should one bring in a band of shrinks to divine why a Chicago-based company has decided to spent a reported $130 million to have its logo on one team's shirt?

Not really. Check out my dispatch on a new romance between an insurance brokerage and the most famous of all soccer teams at http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200906u/manchester-united-sponsorship

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James Warren is the Chicago editor of the Daily Beast/Newsweek and an MSNBC analyst. He's former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune. More

James Warren is a former manager, editor and Washington bureau chief of The Chicago Tribune. An ink-stained wretch, he's labored at The Newark Star-Ledger, The Chicago Sun-Times, and the Tribune in a variety of positions, including financial reporter, legal affairs reporter-columnist, labor writer, media writer-columnist and features editor. The Washingtonian once tagged him one of the town's 50 most influential journalists (he thinks he was 46, the number worn by Andy Pettitte, a pitcher for his beloved New York Yankees). He's a political analyst for MSNBC. He was recently publisher and president of the Chicago Reader, and is now policy columnist for Business Week and twice-a-week Chicago columnist for The New York Times (you can find his handiwork on the paper's website and on new Chicago pages produced for Friday's and Sunday's Midwest print editions by the nonprofit Chicago News Cooperative, which he held to start). A native New Yorker, he's a happy resident of the wonderful, if ethically challenged, City of Chicago, where he lives just north of decaying Wrigley Field with his Pulitzer Prize-winning wife, Cornelia, and their sons, Blair and Eliot. Blair's t-ball team is, yes, the Yankees.

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