A response to Shaker’s “This is Miro” here: http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/capturing-the-game/players/this-is-miro/
I love the style of this piece. It begins with small glimpses and snapshots of Miroslav Klose’s early career, sprinkled with detail to set a scene before pulling it away in the next paragraph. Each repetition of “This is Miro” was like a rhythmic cadence, stringing together the many pieces of his career. At first we hear only of disappointment and defeat. A player so promising, yet never delivering, seemed to be Miro’s story. Failure after failure, Shaker builds up pace with his writing. As the reader, we have now experienced the bitter taste of defeat just like Miro has. But with each “This is Miro”, we grow hopeful. Surely he cannot fail again. Surely it will finally be his time to succeed. And at long last, in the closing paragraphs, as the sentences grow shorter and faster, we speed to the end: “This is Miro, World Cup Champion.” At long last, Miro achieves what has been so elusive all his life. As the reader, we are able to experience that joy with him, because as readers, we’ve taken that same journey. The way Shaker crafts this telling of Miro’s career is captivating and elegant. He effectively utilizes repetition to punctuate each stage of Miro’s career, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Miroslav Klose was actually one of the very few soccer players I knew by name (along with players like Ronaldo, Messi, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Wayne Rooney, etc.) I loved playing as Germany in FIFA for their speed and ability to finish the ball, and Klose always ended up being the guy I used to finish my crosses. I quickly learned that this was actually his forte on the real pitch, known for his “godlike” headers. I think this was FIFA 10 or something, because by the next time I played a new FIFA game, Klose was on the bench. I had never known his story, his struggle with international play, the elusive World Cup title, or any of his characteristics as a person and as a player. This piece really gave me a new perspective on Klose, a man I used to think had success come easy for him.