World Cup 2010 Week 2 Round-Up

What a week of soccer it has been! My obvious highlight was the 91st minute of the USA/Algeria game Wednesday morning. Landon Donovan became an instant national hero! I was very impressed with the US squad although they still need to tighten up the backline and make sure to not give up any early goals against Ghana.

France and Italy crashed out so no repeat of the 2006 finals and no 2 World Cup wins in a row for Italy. Good riddance. (Ireland would have put up a much better performance) The Netherlands are still impressing me and are front runners in my opinion. Germany looked okay in their last game, and I would not want to be the team that has to play Brazil or Portugal in the next round. And what a mouth-watering set of match-ups with Argentina/Mexico and Germany/England, then the winners playing each other. Those will be great games!

The last group still has to be decided, but I think Chile and Spain will go through ultimately.

The World Cup gets real interesting now with extra time and the dreaded penalty shoot-out possibilities. Here are my thoughts on the matches we already know are scheduled:

Uruguay vs. South Korea – Uruguay

USA vs. Ghana – USA

Netherlands vs. Slovakia – Netherlands

Argentina vs. Mexico – Argentina

Germany vs. England – England (I think they will surprise everyone)

Paraguay vs. Japan – Japan

As for the other 2 matches that have yet to be determined, I guess only time will tell…

Par for the Course

I went golfing yesterday with my Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law. We played all 18 holes which makes this the 4th time in my life I’ve played a complete round of golf. I’m officially comtemplating retiring from competition after yesterday though.

I enjoy the thought of golf, and I do quite well when I play the golf game on my phone but when it comes to actually holding a club and hitting a ball, it’s an altogether different story. Most of my drives went far left into the trees or weakly bounced about five feet in front of me. My Father-in-Law should have bought stock in the company that produced the golf balls I was using because it’s going to take a lot of money to replace all of the ones I lost.

There were 2 shining moments during the day though. On a Par 3 hole, my drive actually went straight and landed on the green about 7 feet from the hole. I then proceeded to take 3 putts to actually get the ball in, but that was my best score. On another hole, I was roughly 40 feet away from the hole on the edge of the green and I just hit the ball and somehow it wound its way across the green and went in. The longest putt of the day!

On a different hole, near a water trap (water is like a magnet for my balls) I took a swing at my ball and it took off at 100 mph right into the weeds surrounding the pond. I heard a thump and then a duck started squaking like it had been hit with a hammer. Oops. Hope it didn’t have little babies.

After 4 hours I limped back into the clubhouse with blisters rubbed raw on both my feet, an aching back, and a severely bruised ego. But surprisingly, as I looked back out over the course, I had the delusional thought of, “maybe next time…..”

World Cup 2010 Week 1 Round-Up

The first week of the 2010 World Cup has passed and I must say that there have been some great games, some lame games, and some big upsets! Every team has played once by this point and now we’ll start to see the pack separate between the favorites, the hopefuls, and the “we have 1 game left but we’re playing for our pride” teams.

Things have changed since the time I woke up this morning (I haven’t seen 4:30 am this often since I worked nights at a supermarket) and started thinking about which teams looked good and which ones fell flat. Before today I was thinking that Germany were hot and were potential “underdog” favorites, then they lost. I was definitely thinking the USA had a clear shot to the second round until we were down 2-0 at halftime and I resigned myself to thinking that there was always 2014. Thankfully they fought back and got a point.

At this point, Argentina is looking really good in both of their games. Brazil wasn’t super impressive in the win over North Korea, and France is mess. After watching Italy play I’m thinking that they don’t have a great chance at winning for a second time in a row. Currently the England/Algeria game is on and the outcome of that will go a long way towards how I feel about England’s chances. The Netherlands won but weren’t overly impressive and South Africa bombed. The team that really jumped out at me as a fast paced, well organized, sleeper team is Chile. Yes, I know they were playing Honduras (no offense) but they really looked like a good team. Spain was upset and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) has been as big a baby as ever.At this point, your guess is as good as mine at who will advance to the next round and ultimately win it, but here are my thoughts at who will advance from the group stages:

Group A – Mexico, Uruguay

Group B – Argentina, South Korea

Group C – England, USA

Group D – Germany, Ghana

Group E – Netherlands, Japan

Group F – Italy, Paraguay

Group G – Brazil, Portugal

Group H – Spain, Chile

What do you think?

Moving

My wife and I are in the process of moving (for the second time in 2 years) from our current apartment to a house. I think the house actually has less sqaure footage than our apartment, but it has a garage, a second bedroom, and  a yard that’s twice the size of the house (the dogs are going to love that)!

We’ve been busy painting (Jenny and her mom) and ripping up carpet (me) to get everything ready for all the stuff to be moved in. This Saturday we are getting some friends together and hopefully can get everything transferred from the old place to the new one.

Why is this of any interest to you? The reality of it is, it probably isn’t that interesting, so I shall quit writing for now, because I could be packing boxes instead!

On a quick note though, I’ve been enjoying the World Cup so far, seen some good matches and upsets. Anyone else watching? After seeing all the teams play, who stands out? Brazil? Germany? Netherlands? Switzerland?

Look Askance

I’ve been branded a white man

By everyone except my own children

Who see me as black

Just as they are

I’ve been branded an American

Hated by the world

Until they take the time to see

That I might actually be worth something

I’ve been branded an outcast

For rejecting the teachings of this old world

And following after a man

Who was killed by his peers

Though my skin is different, my eyes are the same

And what you see – is not really me

For you see-

You’ve branded me a white man