Monday, June 28, 2010

I Come to Bury US Soccer

Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury US Soccer, not to praise it;
The vile taste that sports leaves lives after it,
Their good is oft interred with their clippings and highlights,
So let it be with US Soccer...

The noble broadcasters hath told you US Soccer was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath US Soccer answered it
Here, under leave of analysts and the rest,
(For noble broadcasters are honorable men;
So are they all; all honorable men)
Come I to write on US Soccer's funeral...
It was my passion, faithful and just to me:
But broadcasters say it was ambitious;
And broadcasters are honorable men...

It hath brought many youth sports leagues to America,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in US Soccer seem ambitious?
When that the smaller, less athletic cried, US Soccer hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet broadcasters say it was ambitious;
And broadcasters are honorable men.

You all did see that on the SportsCenter
it was thrice presented a kingly crown,
Which it did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet broadcasters say it was ambitious;
And, sure, they are honorable men.

I speak not to disprove what broadcasters spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love US Soccer once, not without cause,
Capri Suns, or orange slices.
What cause withholds you then to mourn for it?
O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason...

Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with US Soccer,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Flag Football Guy

As heard from "Four-9" Knapp, aka The Paper Texan, on the Jim Rome Show Tuesday, June 22, 2010:

Flag Football Guy...

1. wastes untold time of the company he works for running his team and league for which he is an "officer" on their fictionally delusional Board of Directors
2. uses up all the binding materials that are supposed to be for presenting proposals to prospects and clients because he used it for playbooks to distribute to the rest of the team
2. has set up his e-mail so that his address contains as its domain the name of the team, or worse, also includes its motto:
4. schedules practices, and threatens disciplinary action against team mates who don't make it or are late
5. sends out multiple motivational "blast-texts" to the whole team
6. keeps paper and pen on the nightstand in case he wakes up in the middle of the night with a great idea for a play
7. has intricate system of audibles to be called in certain situations
8. has a system of "call signals" (like "Four - 9", or "All Day") for teammates that rival even those of "Maverick", "Goose", or "Ice Man"
9. has plays drawn up on his QB wristband that is only a little more embarrassing than the fact that he's wearing the earring he wore during his high school state championship game.
10. practices throughout the brutal summers in Houston in 100+ degrees when the league doesn't even start until January
11. bases workouts and practices upon what he saw at Houston Texans OTAs he snuck into
12. works on his footwork for routes and "cuts" while in line at the bank
13. approaches complete strangers about playing for the team

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blow It Out Your Vuvu!

"A society is ultimately judged by how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members."

But it SHOULD be judged by whether or not it allows vuvuzelas at its sporting events.

South Africa is both host to the FIFA 2010 World Cup, and source of mankind's most originally annoying sound. By failure to appropriately acknowledge the worldwide rage at the cacophony, FIFA will inexplicably allow it to continue.

Translation: the desire of the crowd to be a more compelling component than the game itself is proof once and for all that soccer...yes, soccer, deserves to be considered no more than a slightly amusing activity only barely more relevant than the other suspensions of reality that is elementary school recess: Kick-Ball, Four-Square, and Duck, Duck, Goose!

Gee whiz, soccer...I thought you said you wanted to finally be taken seriously.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Justice: The First Casualty of Pride

Jim Joyce. A name now synonymously analogous to the danger of not evolving. I'm not speaking of Jim Joyce, but Major League Baseball itself! Joyce's blown call of the game's 27th out cost Detroit Pitcher Armando Gallarraga a perfect game. Instant Replay would have effectively, efficiently, and rightly corrected the admittedly sans prejudice injustice. Instead, baseball fans were robbed of the sport's 21st Perfect Game of all time with what would have ridiculously totalled 3 in just the past 4 weeks!

Ah, but pride raises its ugly head yet again. I write not of the pride of universally recognized by players, management, and broadcasters alike as MLB's most admired and appreciated umpire. It is the pride of the game itself that steadfastly insists on resisting adapting policy and adopting technology to improve the accuracy of the game played and the integrity of the record books it claims are so sacred.

I often speak to those who can stand the sound of my voice and the length of my comments that the value of sports is in the lessons it offers that transcend the diamond, field, court, and ice to our personal and professional lives. Honor, commitment, loyalty...that sort of thing.

Jim Joyce owned the bad call, apologized to the person he hurt most, and made no excuses. Let's hope Commissioner Selig finally sees the value in honoring Jim Joyce's courageous admission with one of his own:

Baseball needs comprehensive instant replay.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Paper Texan's Day Off

Gummi bear? It's been in my pocket; they're real warm and soft.

I can picture you reading this right now: Dead tired on Day One of your return to work after a nightmare holiday weekend. A weekend that, despite the best of intentions, had all the allure of a real-life Ed Rooney experience.

You've been outsmarted by disrespectful teens, hurt from social and cultural institutions, and beaten down by your all too frequent self-admission that you are not where you thought you'd be twenty years ago. But you can relax because the unofficial beginning of Summer has struck like a Grandfather Clock in the middle of the night: unapologetic, without the least chance that you did not hear it, and the knowledge that its echo will not soon depart your senses.

The aforementioned chime is the realization that the Astros are officially imploding. The core players are not delivering, USDA prime pitchers are melting down, and management is unwilling to accept that a turnaround is as unlikely as a humidity-free Houston summer.

As disgusted as you may be with the current professional sports climate locally, celebrate instead the national and nostalgic reminiscent return to the sports legend lore of yesteryear: Lakers v. Celtics. There'll be no McHale clotheslining of Rambis, or Magic fast-break dishes, but you can join in on the festivity of great competition.

And you better. Try to fight off and not be distracted by the peripherally nauseating thought of the next taste that's coming soon to Houston sports fans, because here comes Football. A sport whose local franchise's playbook is as full of excuses as it is successes.

Houston Football? It's been in my pocket; it's real warm and soft.