Friday, June 18, 2010

And for the Recap

Alright, the US pulled it together.  Major props.  Donovan brought them back with their first goal, then Bradley sunk in the equalizer.  Both fantastically placed goals.  The defense seemed to pick it up and Howard kept being awesome.

Now I have a problem with the ref.  He called fouls left and right, first mainly against the US (18 in all) then finally realized that Slovenia was pulling a few fouls (16 to be exact) themselves.  Then...THEN.  Then Edu came through on a free kick and sunk it in the goal...and he blows the whistle.  No problem...  Wait.  Against the US?  For what?!  The goal is disallowed, and they of course replay it over and over again because the commentators can't figure out what the heck happened.  Let's see...  You've got TWO US guys being full-on HUGGED by Slovenia defenders, Edu and everyone else ONSIDE, and NO FOULS FROM THE US SIDE.

As you might imagine, I was furious.  Where did that call come from?  There was no justification for it whatsoever, and you, Mr. Dumba** Ref, just cost US a goal, a win, and possibly a ticket to the next round.  


You're an idiot.

Now, as you can tell, I get fired up about stuff like this.  Namely, sports.  Namely soccer.  My fiance mocks me for it and doesn't understand when I start yelling at the screen that yes, I do realize they cannot hear me, and no, it doesn't matter that they can't.  I am passionate about my sport, and I am not ashamed of it.  Just wait till he sees me next year with the Women's World Cup...  We'll be married before then, so he'll just have to deal with it.  ;)

Regardless of whether the US continues or not, I'll keep watching.  I just love to see beautiful soccer played, no matter who's on the field.  I doubt Italy will repeat, but it's a distinct possibility.  Spain also has a good shot, as well as Brazil, as always.  I'd love for a smaller team to come through and win, and there's always a good chance of that.  After the US goes, I'm not sure who I'll go for.  I could go for Spain, I think.  They looked great in their opening game.  England might have a decent shot, but I can't take them seriously for some reason.  Maybe they'll surprise me.  They're definitely not hurting without Beckham.

We'll just see what happens.  And you'll probably read about it here, since I'm sure I can't refrain from it.

A Rant for You

I shall start off by saying that I never had high hopes for the US team in the World Cup.  The US men struggle to compete.  Their highest finish was 80 years ago, in third place.  They reached the quarterfinals in '02.  I believe we have the talent to get further and even win, but it's difficult for them to pull it together.  This year just seems to be a disaster.  The defense keeps falling apart and letting only halfway decent goals through.  Right now it's halftime at the Slovenia game, and they're down 2-0.  It's all because of defensive breakdowns, and it appears that Onyewu is the main culprit.  Talk, people!  Tim Howard, I feel sorry for you.  You're hurting but playing anyway, and I give you props for that, but you have no support from your back line.

I also have a problem with the team's style.  I've watched several teams play this week, and I was blown away by just how beautifully Spain and Italy play.  Their passing is just gorgeous!  Hardly a stray pass or bad touch - they just link passes together like...I have nothing to compare it to.  Then I watch US.  Ugh.  It's like passing was completely skipped in training.  They pass to other teams' players, empty space (with no one there), the sideline.  They try to push through with brute force, and, honestly, sometimes it works.  They just had ten chances within about four minutes, but none of them found the net.  Slovenia actually has a defensive line that acts like they know what they're doing.

I'm not against teams having different styles, but the US isn't making theirs work for them.  I give them about ten years before they figure it out.  Until then, I'd much prefer watching the US women team.  Which reminds me, NEXT YEAR!!  :D

(and by that I mean that next year is the FIFA Women's World Cup - hecka yeah)

And now back to the game that USA needs to get back to as well...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Doses of Optimism

I don't consider myself to be an optimist.  Sometimes I am, but it seems that I usually take the glass-half-empty view on things.  I found a website yesterday that is amazing.  Each little story makes me smile, and many have almost made me cry.

It is often said that humanity is declining, that true human kindness is a very rare thing.  I would like to disagree.  The world has definitely changed, but so much stays the same.  There will always be people who think only of themselves and what others can do for them, but there will also always be people who spend time with a mother who lost her son on Mother's Day, people who treat the handicapped just like anybody else, people who will take time out of their busy schedule to assist someone injured up a flight of stairs, people who will lay down their lives to help those they love.  Those people do exist, and we are surrounded by them.  We can be those people.

So remember that when you complain about how the world has gone to shit, you can do something about it.  Show kindness, exhibit love, give encouragement.  We don't do those things enough, and I am completely at fault for not doing my part.  This has nothing to do with being righteous or working your way to Heaven - even if you don't believe in God, this applies to you.  This is about the pursuit of happiness.  Not just your own, but others' as well.  Pursue someone else's happiness.  Isn't it worth a little embarrassment to see a smile on a stranger's face?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Utilizing My Options

I'm liking the new design setup, as you may be able to tell from the new look of my blog.  I'm loving the new blue, and I posted a new picture from last January's trip.  I believe this is either Dublin or London.  One or the other. 

Speaking of trips, we just came back from Tacoma and Vancouver.  Vancouver was pretty neat.  We went to Grouse Mountain and did some ziplining.  We missed out on the great views you usually get during that tour because it was so foggy, but it was pretty awesome to see nothing but the line in front of you - making you wonder if you'd be able to see the spring brake you're about to hit.  Thankfully, that always came into view in time.  There was a little bit of hiking thrown in that tour, but we did some serious hiking Saturday on the Rattlesnake Ledge trail.  Gorgeous view once you got to the top; nearly death-to-me hike to get there.  I have been jogging and/or speed walking on and off since soccer has been over, but no sprinting.  As a result, I nearly died.  I was fine for about half of the hike; I was in front and had a pretty quick pace going.  Then...we  took a break.  Which ended up almost breaking me.  I swear I was on a sugar rush before or something, because once we began hiking again, all energy was gone.  I had nothing.  Miracle of miracles, we finally got to the top.  I just laid on the ground and died for a minute.  Then I was fine.  Well, until the next day anyway.  Then I felt it. 

Speaking of dying, I miss soccer.  I've been missing soccer subconsciously for a while...well, ever since I finished up my senior year over a year and half ago.  In the past couple of days, though, it seems to have really hit me.  It could probably be blamed on the World Cup starting up.  I definitely listened to the South Africa-Mexico game online through  I would have watched it if I thought our internet could handle the constant streaming and if I didn't have actual work to do.  Listening is so...banal.  Fortunately, I did get to see South Africa's goal.  GORGEOUS passing!  Wow.  I was in awe.  And it almost started in their back third - I have to give them major credit.  Perfect passing all around.  For some reason there wasn't video of Mexico's goal.  Anyway, back to me missing soccer...  I would love to play in an adult soccer league when we get to Memphis.  If I have the time, that is.  Jackson has one, I do believe, but I thought my time could be better utilized at this point.  Now I don't have time, for sure.  Work, wedding...nope.  I'm kind of afraid to get back in, though, honestly.  I had so much trouble with injuries all through college, and my knees feel totally jacked.  I don't trust my body to survive.  Haha.  I would LOVE to be in the shape I was when I played, although I'd rather lose weight than gain any.  I'm sure if I don't lift (so many) weights this time around, that'll happen. 

Speaking of losing weight, I am completely jealous of my fiance's ability to lose weight.  Guys do typically lose and gain weight faster than girls, so it's generally unfair.  I do have to be honest and admit that I haven't tried that hard to lose.  I had a plan to start working out a couple of weeks ago, then I wrecked my bike.  I couldn't walk without a limp, so I really didn't want to attempt running.  Monday I got some new shoelaces from Nike (proceeds go to AIDS assistance in Africa) and I plan to put them on my soccer cleats and then put those cleats back to use.  I want to just run around the soccer field at Union, messing around with a ball and maybe doing a few sprints.  I may run the cross-country track as well.

Speaking of running, I have to do that now.