Sunday, July 31, 2011

Becoming a Hooligan

Somehow I have become a soccer hooligan.

I have coached and admired kids playing soccer for a few years now, and while my youth was spent at 49er games in S.F. admiring Joe Montana, I have found a vigorous passion for the game of futbol. I am glued to the tube, if I haven't carped tix from a friend, to watch the Timbers run the pitch against the latest foe. I am studying the players, the way I once studied the 49ers' player roster, and I am engrossed in the 107ist (you'll need to look that up.)

Granted, the MLS has a long way to go in terms of quality of play, however, the league is scoring huge wins along the way to becoming a mainstay sport in the US, where it was once relegated to Saturday mornings with moms in minivans, or so the cliche goes.

My sincere hope is that soccer does gain more prominence in the US - Not because I want a more 'Euro' lifestyle, but because I have truly learned to admire the game and the and the passion the fans carry for it. If you have a chance to attend a Timbers game, you'll know what I mean. The Timbers Army sings and chants from an hour before the game to well into the night. It is a sight to see, and a pleasure to experience and participate in.

When I root I root for the Timbers.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Oslo, Amy Winehouse, and Katy Perry

Another sick mind terrorizes the world, this time in Norway. So sorry to see this news...

I can only believe the answer to terrorism is education. Perhaps not the education we in the US consider, but simple education for those that have no access to it. Any education can and would deter such mindless acts by offering a constructive outlet for which one can pursue. In some cases, such as this one in Oslo, nothing may have prevented a deranged psychopath from committing to a heinous act, however, for the scores of ignorant that follow false leaders of terrorist groups into insane suicide missions, attacks on the innocent, and other ridiculously ill-founded strikes across the world, there is most likely a method in which to teach some basic human fundamentals along with some practical career choices.A positive example of such an effort is with Greg Mortenson, founder of the Central Asia Institute. If you haven't already, read 'Three Cups of Tea,' his book about his call to educate those that had no access to formal education.

I read that Amy Winehouse was found dead this morning. Not a surprise, however, a sad testament to those who become addicted. What led this talented young person to this fate? Was it access to drugs? A lousy childhood? I most likely won't try to find out, however, I can only imagine that those around her did not help the situation, rather enabled her into a life of chemical dependence. Maybe that's the wrong assumption? Maybe she desired it to hide from acts like those in Norway?

My wife and I attended a Katy Perry concert last night. Not where most would believe me to spend a Friday night. I have to admit, I was impressed with the young lady's performance and her natural ability to entertain a crowd of 12k screaming Portlanders. It was a an excellent show overall, with a lot of entertainment coming from the crowd itself. Not sure why I posted this at all. Baby, you're a firework.