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Designer Defends Controversial World Cup Ball, Offers to Give Lessons

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It’s difficult for we Americans to capitalize on anything related to the World Cup, given that we don’t even call the sport involved with it by the right name. So we were sad, seeing that we weren’t going to be able to cash in on any of that lucrative football/soccer traffic. But now the sport has fortunately provided a gift to us with a design controversy about the very basic fundamental of the whole game: the ball. Designed and released by Adidas, the official World Cup ball, called Jabulani, has been leaving player livid over the past couple of weeks, most recently with goalkeeper David James who called the ball’s design “dreadful,” joining the chorus of complaints that the ball moves irregularly in the air and is much faster than those they’re used to. In response, one of the lead designers behind it, Dr. Andy Harland, has publicly come out to say that he’s willing to talk to teams, to give them a quick lesson on how to use it properly, and how everyone will eventually grow used to the ball and come to love it (so much for an emphasis on function, we playfully jest). Harland has even issued a thinly veiled warning, that those who do take him up on his offer will have a slight edge on the competition.

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