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When my family lived in the UK, one of my fondest memories came from watching Liverpool take on West Ham at Anfield.

Liverpool take on West Ham at Anfield

I’ll never walk alone (as the song goes).

LeBron followed in my footsteps some 10 years.

By the time we moved back to Silicon Valley, I was quasi hooked on futbol.

I checked out some of the recent Euro 2012 matches; but it’s a story, specifically a New York Times story on the Spanish player Andrés Iniesta, that I want to share.

Even if you hate sports – I hear there are a few such folks out there – you’ll love the writing by Jeré Longman.

The story unwinds with the type of amusement in which the smile never actually happens, but it’s there.

I thought this line was worthy of a 3M sticker:

He is 5 feet 7 inches, humble, pale and balding at 28, but Iniesta’s natural reticence is balanced by a chimney sweep’s comfort in tight spaces.

After my third pass through the piece, I realized much of Longman’s art comes from the juxtaposition of words.

I’ve highlighted such examples in the full length of the story:

Spain’s Midfield Enchanter Stands Out by Fitting In

When conducting our workshops on storytelling techniques and corporate blogging, we make the point that even one word or phrase can lift writing above the mundane.

In the case of the Longman piece, you can see the juxtaposition of words takes place three times in a mass of almost 1,000 words.

As is often the case in writing, less is more.


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