30 June 2006

Diving Comedy

This commercial for Euro 2004 is pretty funny and after watching all the diving and acting so far in the Cup, it may not be too far from the truth.

German pride

A quote from Boris Becker in the London Times:

"How wonderful it is to be at home, a country where i no longer live, and feel so comfortable being German. We haven't forgotten what happened with our nation in the past and never must. We have respect for our fathers and grandfathers and what they have done for us, but it is not a part of what my generation stands for. We are more international than than people give us credit for, more open, more friendly, and that has been shown in the opening three weeks of the World Cup. I would be sheepish in the past about being German, now I walk around Miami with my head held high, and that is a dramatic change."

28 June 2006

adidas exceeds

Good news for adidas lovers (that's me!). Sounds like they are doing even better than estimated. I thought it was interesting they sold triple the number of Germany jerseys they expected to. Germany vs Argentina is an all-adidas affair, so I'm sure they are looking forward to that. Someday I'd like to tour the factory there!
Sponsors of the remaining eight:
Germany, Argentina, France - adidas
Brazil, Portugal - Nike
Italy - Puma
England - Umbro
Ukraine - Lotto
Interesting to see that Puma, who had the most teams to qualify for the Cup (12) only has one left. They signed all the African teams, none of which is still around. Great story here, I think I may have linked to it already, if so, Sorry!

Franklin Foer Article

I liked the premise behind this article, so I thought I'd share it. You may have to register to read it. It is written by the author of "How Soccer Explains the World". It talks about how a countries political system might possibly be a indicator to what kind of success its football team will enjoy.

A Break in the Action

When I looked at the clock just now, I thought, "Good, only an hour and twenty minutes til the 10:00 game kicks off." Then, I realized that there are no games today or tomorrow! After 19 days straight of soccer, there is a two day break between the Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals. My day will be empty without the Soccernet Gamecast telling me what is happening and who is playing brightly and who is disappointing. The sharp witty little comments always crack me up.
So I guess I have to look forward to two games on Friday and two on Saturday. Check out these fun brackets (complete with flags!) Germany v. Argentina could be a classic. Germany has been playing very non-Germanic during this Cup. They have been very free-flowing and attacking. With Ballack, Podolski and Klose, they have a deadly trio. I'm picking Argentina, though. I like their depth and quality throughout. Italy and Ukraine battle in the 2:00 game on Friday and I think Italy may have the quality to squeeze off any service to Shevchenko. Then again, the Azzuri needed a stoppage time dubious PK to beat the Socceroos! On Saturday it is England v Portugal in a game that I couldn't care less about. I don't care for either team. At the other end of the entertaining spectrum, Brazil v France should be a delight to watch, though.

27 June 2006

Record-breaking Philantropy

Warren Buffet has made the largest private charitable donation ever, an estimated $37 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I heard a comment quotes from him on NPR this morning, one of which was very good about children should not be entitled to riches just because of whose womb they came from. I couldn't find it on this great article & interview's page, but I did find this other good one, "a very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing." He said that back in 1986. His donation will double the assets of the foundation and he will take a seat on their board.

23 June 2006

Cup Comraderie


I love it.
Here's a little (not much) info on the player escorts.

Future for U.S. Soccer

This article attempts to peer into the crystal ball and provide a picture of what the World Cup in South Africa may hold for the U.S. four years from now. This article gives a little more info on Project 2010 and some of its graduates. (It was obviously written before the Cup started.)

Cup Recap

There are so many stories going on with all the action in the World Cup. I'm really not that sad to see the U.S. go home. They didn't play well enough to deserve to stay. I followed the Croatia - Australia game yesterday on the wonderful soccernet GameCast ticker (it has been my lifeline throughout the workday). There was a lot of insanity and this article points out some of it. There's so much to keep up on. Players (i.e. Wayne Rooney) blowing up when they get yanked out of a game, coaches and players spatting (U.S.'s Bruce Arena & DaMarcus Beasely), players vs players (England's Beckham and Steven Gerrard), coaches (Togo) walking out (and then back in) on their contract over pay disputes, players announcing their international retirements, records being set (Ronaldo ties the scoring record with 12, Portugal's coach Scolari sets record with 10th straight Cup win, although 7 were with Brasil, Brasil setting # of consecutive wins), in addition there's all the fans, the pagentry, and the Jose+10 commercials. I love it!

21 June 2006

From the Mouth of Babes....

"I'm probably the luckiest boy in the world"
--after having his dad hand him the caught foul ball
"A mound?...I don't see a mound."
--after his dad told him to watch the player on the mound
"I'm sunburned?! I've never been sunburned before."
--to his sisters after a hard morning of soccer. turns out he was just flushed.

I made a mental note to myself to remember these three quotes from my weekend in Omaha. All happen to come courtesy of NTW. I love the simplicity and truthfulness of them. Fun times.

College World Series


What A Catch!!!

First off, the story behind the picture. In the fifth or so inning of Monday's afternoon game at Rosenblatt (Oregon State vs Georgia) a foul ball was hit our way. We were seated just past the dugout and about 20 rows up, great seats. So the ball comes our way and comes down just two or three rows in front of us. A guy reaches to grab it but fails, the ball bounes off his hand and back and Eron went full-stretch to snag it, all while holding NTW in the other arm! The crowd applauded his catch, but when Eron gave the ball to NTW and held him up, Noah had this undescribable look of joy on his face and a ball in his upraised fist. The crowd cheered like mad! One of those life moments that give you goosebumps, make you smile & thank God for blessing like that.
Then a short while later a man came up and told Eron he had taken some good snaps of his catch, so Eron gave him his email and here is one of the 4 pictures sent. Very cool. The day was just a blast overall. CWS at the 'Blatt in the summer heat is tough to beat. I had a Minute Maid Frozen Pink Lemonade for the first time ever and it is was great!
The whole weekend was fun too! Watching lots of World Cup on tv, playing soccer with all the kids, a long and dirty house project on Sunday, and two rain delays during the Saturday night game with my mom and Eron.
Thanks all for a great weekend.

16 June 2006

Team Bus Slogans

This page shows all the team buses and lists the slogans that were voted on by fans and are displayed on the sides of the coach. There are a few that I think may have lost a little something in translation, but there are some fun ones too. My favorites are France (an adaptation of their national slogan "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite") (Jules Rimet is the name of the championship trophy, it all rhymes if you say it with a French accent.) Argentina (I like the bluntness of it. Get Up!) Brasil. And Costa Rica (the first nation in the world to constitutionally disband its army).

PS - The U.S. is the only participant who does not have a large flag of their country displayed on top of their bus. That fact, in addition to their sizable security brigade that follows them around has been a talking point. Like taking the flag off is going to fool anyone.

15 June 2006

Gentlemen, It is time to kill your cows.

This article about the Ecuador coach having his players read a fable as a motivational lesson is great! It is about getting outside your comfort zone and ceasing to be content with the status quo. You don't know what you can really achieve if you continue to be happy with how things have always been.
Ecuador vs Costa Rica...starts in 60 minutes.
(Mom, you should pass this on to Kay!)

14 June 2006

College World Series

Here's the bracket for the upcoming festivities in Omaha! Pick your games and let's go! I'm coming in town on Saturday morning and staying til Monday night. Monday has the winner's game and loser's game from the teams playing on Saturday (Rice, Georgia, Oregon St., Miami). Those are the games I'm thinking about.

13 June 2006

Pet

I've never been a big fan of pets but after seeing Spike on Stoppable's page and acknowledging my fondness for all things penguin (Osbert!, Mr. Popper's..., The Adventures of Marco and Polo, Pittsburgh..., The March of..., the clay one I made in camp last summer, the ones at the Shedd Aquarium) I thought I would love to have a penguin for a pet. Please welcome Paddy to the blog. (A green penguin! He must be a native of the northern coasts of the emerald isle.)

Teachers....

A teacher, when they really excel and utilize their skills, takes on an almost heroic or magical aura.
Not only the minds, but more importantly the hearts, spirits and characters of our children will be transformed, for better or worse, by the actions, words and examples of their teachers.

Cup Venues

Here is my rankings of the twelve cities, based purely on how much I enjoy saying their name:
1. Kaiserslautern
2. Gelsenkirchen
3. Leipzig
4. Stuttgart
5. Nuremburg (Nurnberg)
6. Munich (Munchen)
7. Cologne (Koln)
8. Dortmund
9. Berlin
10. Hamburg
11. Frankfurt
12. Hanover (Hannover)

Feel free to share your favorites.

Also, here is a list of locations of the past World Cups. You can see that for the last 50 years or so, it has alternated between a European location and one somewhere else. So I would think 2014 would bring it back to Europe. For more info on the South Africa venues in 2010, check out their presentation to FIFA. (Their section starts on pg. 60).

US trips in its '06 World Cup debut

(I wrote a whole post on this topic and then lost it so this is a condensed version.)

#2 in the world Czech Republic made short work of the #5 in the world USA squad yesterday. It took five minutes for the top of Jan Koller's 6'8" bald head to send a ball to stretch the USA net. Tomas Rosicky added a couple more goals later. The US just looked completely out of sorts and off their game. The never should much aggresiveness or any hope of attacking.
We have to hope they get things turned around before their contest on Saturday with Italy, otherwise the results could be similar.

09 June 2006

Germans vs Ticos

What an opening match!!! 4-2 Germany. 3 goals in the first 17 minutes! That is crazy action for a World Cup opener. I came in early this morning to work (6:30) so that I could take a 2 hour lunch and watch the match as I worked out. First half on the elliptical (45 min), pushups and dips during halftime, and biking in the second half (45 min). After showering, I returned to my cubicle with a case of jelly legs, I feel a bit like I played in the match myself!
I hope all the games will be this exciting! Bring on the weekend.

PS - The US government needs to get a clue. Costa Rica declared a national holiday today and everyone has the day off.

07 June 2006

Petrol hijacking

If I had stopped to fill up my very low tank on the way to class Monday night, I would've paid $2.61 a gallon. Instead, I decided to wait and fill up on the way home. So, four hours later on the way home, my low fuel light lit up and I cruised in to QT only to see that they were now asking me to pay $2.72 a gallon. An eleven cent increase in four hours. Now how can that be justified? All these analysts keep saying that it is just being dictated by the influences on the market, simple supply and demand, etc. I don't think that is entirely true. The same scenario happened over Memorial day. In the two or three weeks leading up to Memorial day, the prices had dropped a penny or two every couple days to bring the price down from $2.65 to $2.51. Then, overnight, the price jumped up ten cents again. I honestly believe that it is a conspiracy. But I also don't think that anyone is going to modify their gas consumption until the price gets closer to $4. Too bad our government and the auto industry haven't/aren't doing more to advocate for alternative fuel options.

05 June 2006

The Last of the Mohawkins



Noah was right; the mohawk is a lot of fun! I cut mine before going out on Saturday and then wore it all day Sunday before, sadly, having to take it off this morning before work. I highly recommend it. Very liberating.

04 June 2006

Amnesty billboards

Check out this link to see a new outdoor advertisement campaign from Amnesty International. It has not been introduced here in the States. The images are harrowing and the tagline is powerfully short and sharp. "It's not happening here, but it is happening now."

02 June 2006

Arborists Unite!


My free Colorado Blue Spruce!