Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Very Phillie Birthday

Here is a story that I probably have told some of you, but it is very appropriate because it happened seven years ago tonight. It really shows that there are good guys in sports.

Because of my disability, I was eligible for a Make-A-Wish trip. Maybe you know of my obsession and it may seem obvious that I chose to go to my first ever game in Philadelphia which also happened to be the final year at Veterans Stadium. What made it even better was that the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers was on my birthday.

So, we made the journey down Broad Street from our hotel near Chinatown and were escorted in the press entrance. On our ride down the elevator, an older gentleman who was riding with us proceeded to show me his National League champions ring from the 1950 "Whiz Kids" team, and I knew that this was going to be pretty awesome to say the least.

As we walked onto the field at the Vet, I gradually collected autographs. Soon, I had collected Larry Bowa, Gary Varsho, Dan Plesac, Pat Burrell, and Jimmy Rollins. We have some great pictures especially of our family with Rollins and Plesac on the Astroturf. This is extremely exciting as you might imagine, but I was slightly disappointed not to see Jim Thome around the field. He was my favorite Phillie at the time, but I later learned that he was injured and couldn't play that night.

The game was excellent, and Brandon Duckworth won the only game that he would win for the Phillies for the rest of the season. My name appeared on the scoreboard with all the other birthdays which was very cool although they did have my age wrong. We also met the Phanatic and enjoyed the entire atmosphere. However, at the end of the game I wanted to find the players' parking lot. You never know who you might run into. So, with quite a bit of effort and the help of some security guards, we eventually located the parking lot, and spoke with the security guard there. Unfortunately, he informed us that he thought that Thome had already left for the night, but he would go and check the clubhouse. We sat around watching all of these very expensive cars pull out of the driveway and waiting. The man eventually came back and said that he had already left for the night as he had expected. We started walking back towards our car which was quite far away in the basically empty parking lot when the man started shouting for us to come back. I bet you're thinking about the fairytale ending where we go running back and enter the gate that Jim Thome is standing behind and he happens to drive my favorite car, a Hummer H2 (sorry my environmentally conscious friends). Of course, you would be... correct. Although our suspicions were never confirmed, we think that the security guard called Jim to see where he was, and he came back to meet us. This officially cemented Jim Thome as one of the nice guys in baseball, at least in my mind.
Photo by  Keith Allison on Flickr

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fiction Friday Night Live

All right, there is no more winning streak for the Phillies. However, do not despair because today is Fiction Friday! I know that that just brightened up your day even though it is almost over.

As I sat in my hotel room in Sacramento with my elbow throbbing and the rest of my joints not quite what they used to be, I had to think about my future a relative lack thereof. It was evident that my days in the NBA were limited. At one point, I was on top of the depth chart, but now I was feeling the pressure of all that water on my head. When the team takes a first-round draft pick who happens to play your position, you get the hint that they might be searching for a replacement. When you're drafted out of high school, your joints don't hold up until you're 40 like the college graduates. I was only 34, but I already felt like someone twice my age. The problem was that I didn't want to admit that I was going downhill. When you play a sport and are constantly praised for your amazing fitness level, it's hard to admit that you don't quite have it anymore. But it was becoming obvious to me, I had to face the facts and deal with what looked like a painful rest of the year for me and my body.
Photo by Colin Gregory Palmer on Flickr

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Baseball Trade Rumors Revealed!

Since the trade deadline is rapidly approaching, I wonder if there will be any major moves. Certainly, Cliff Lee being traded for the second year in a row at the deadline is significant as well as Dan Haren moving to the Angels. I have heard about a few other rumors as well. There has been talk about Prince Fielder, but I do not think that he would move midseason if ever. He is a franchise player, so I would be surprised anyway if he moved. Adam Dunn has also been rumored to leave the Nationals, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Nationals indeed trade him away to build a younger core that will complement Stephen Strasburg in the future. Another rumor that I am particularly excited about is Roy Oswalt leaving the Astros. Why am I excited? Because according to what I read on, several media sources say that Oswalt is headed to the Phillies. Of course, making this trade would mean parting ways with most likely JA Happ, but I think that Oswalt could be a major part of our rotation for the rest of the season and has options in his contract so we can keep him for longer if we want to. All in all, I don't think that this year will get much busier on the trade deadline, but I have been known to be wrong, so we will see.
Photo by Aidan Jones on Flickr

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Halladays!

Well, how about the Phillies? We are looking a lot better now with seven consecutive wins. However, that will not be my main point tonight; I just wanted to emphasize that fact to all of you who might not be paying attention. Rather, how about we focus on Roy Halladay? He was excellent tonight and going the distance and only allowing one run that really shouldn't have been. However, that was his eighth complete game of the season. He leads the Major Leagues in that category, and that fact alone is very impressive. He has had a few rough starts, but he has mostly gone deep into games for the Phillies and given the bullpen a much-needed break. Halladay is still relatively young, but I have to wonder about his arm. He consistently throws over 100 pitches per outing. This has to drain his arm, but he also is in incredible shape. He is a big man, but his delivery seems to be relatively low stress which will help prevent injury in the future. He seems like he will not be wearing down anytime soon, so Phillies fans have that to look forward to for a while more.
Photo by Keith Allison on Flickr

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shopping for Wheelchairs

I bet that very few of you have tried shopping for a used rear wheel drive wheelchair. After our power soccer clinic on Sunday, it became incredibly obvious to me that rear wheel is the way to get more power. Not that I would automatically rise to that level just because of a new chair, but I would have the potential to raise my game to a level where I could be competitive. I have never been on the market for a used wheelchair before, so this is a bit of a new experience. However, it seems as if there are very few power soccer caliber chairs on the market. Most of the chairs are either mid-wheel or the portable type meant for people who don't need to use their wheelchairs all the time and want to fold them up. So, I just throwing this out there, but if anybody knows of a website with a good inventory of tilt wheelchairs, please let me know. I think that some people have to be selling, and I just need to find them. In fact, I will be selling my backup as well once I find a rear wheel chair. If anybody has any good leads, please let me know.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Look at Power Soccer Defense

It was interesting yesterday to learn more about power soccer defense. I never really understood the teamwork involved in playing defense and the communication that is required. For example, the one thing I heard more than anything yesterday is "face forward." If I am moving in the same direction as the offensive player, there's no way I'm going to stop the ball because I'm keeping the momentum forward. Therefore, I should challenge at the offensive player from the side until one of my teammates can come to challenge him from the front. As I see him coming, I need to back off to avoid a two on one and then rotate behind the defense to be his backup if the offensive player gets by him. This really relies on communication. If I do not let my teammate know that I am coming to challenge from the front, we are going to get a two on one every time which can be very costly if the other team can execute off of the free kick. Also inherent in this strategy is the need for some contact with the ball. Whoever is charging to defend from the front needs to stop the ball or else there will be two defenders out of position. I think I understand slightly better how we need to rework our defense. Hopefully, we can improve and actually have a solid system to run through.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Game Two

Well, today certainly put our soccer team in perspective. To put it mildly, let's just say that our power soccer team is not undefeated anymore. However, I must say that today was an amazing learning opportunity for all of us. CNY United of Syracuse, New York came up to meet us at the University of Vermont which we were thrilled about in and of itself. You know, for about 5 seconds we actually controlled the flow of the game. Then, I turned it over and it was all downhill from there. The final score was 9-1, but I think that they were being nice because they were much more experienced and particularly played with much better teamwork. It might have been a long afternoon for our goalkeepers, but luckily Jerome "Pika" Durand of the Atlanta Synergy came along with Jerry Frick to teach us. However, he did more than just teach us something, he got out there and joined our team. With Pika anchoring our defense, we only lost 2-0. However, the best game was the last one. We divided the teams in half and blended together. That game ended with a score of 1-0. I must say, it was a bit intimidating playing a Division I opponent led by US national team member Peyton Sefick, but at least I learned so much about how I need to improve both in both equipment and ability. But at least now I know where I could be going with hard work and practice. I want to thank everyone who came out to support us today! It makes it a lot more fun when you have friends behind you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Poor Phillies Hitting

Because yesterday was Fiction Friday, I didn't get a chance to write about the Phillies game on Thursday. Did it strike anyone else as odd that even though Cole Hamels and the bullpen threw a one-hitter, it took 11 innings to win the game? What is wrong with the Phillies offense? Well, they will soon find out if the problem was hitting coach Milt Thompson as he was let go yesterday. Honestly, I don't think he was the problem. The Phillies have had one of the most explosive offenses in baseball for the past few years. One month of bad hitting does not mean that the coach is all of a sudden not capable of teaching them how to hit. As much as I hate to say it because I want the Phillies to turn around immediately, I really think that this is a slump. It has been a very long and painful slump, but I believe that that is all it is right now. How do you fix it? Well, any player who is able to compete in Major League Baseball has proven that he can hit a baseball. Therefore, I feel like the Phillies need to mix up the lineup and reevaluate how they play. If they can rediscover what made them great before, I think that we would see a rapid turnaround.
Photo by DeusXFlorida on Flickr

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alternate History

Today is Friday, and although my post is very late at night, it still remains as Fiction Friday. However, I want to change it up a little bit. I've watched many Phillies games on the opposing team's network. Although this doesn't happen anymore, I want to make my fiction today based on what could have happened had one specific trade not happened.

Let's say that Bobby Abreu was never traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Philadelphia Phillies for Kevin Stocker. The aging Stocker was wearing down even though he was only approaching 30, so the Rays decided to keep the young prospect Abreu. Without an answer in right field, the Phillies went out to drain a ton of money into a right fielder who happened to not pan out while Stocker retired a year later. Abreu, on the other hand, gave the Rays exactly what they needed to complement the savvy veterans on the original expansion roster and actually not be pathetic for so many years. What's more, the Phillies continue to stick with Stocker through his early 30s hoping that someday he will turn around his performance, and that totally miss on another young shortstop who should have debuted in 2000, Jimmy Rollins.

Although this is only a very brief alternate history, and you can see why one of the most talked about trades in recent Phillies history was vitally important to the franchise.
Photo by emples on Flickr

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chris Paul Pulls a LeBron

I know that I complained earlier about LeBron James jumping on board with the Heat just to make a super team. Now, add Chris Paul to the list of people I will complain about. It is a similar argument to what I made before. I think that Paul is making a big mistake by leaving the team that he has been the star of just to go to a team where he might win a championship. I say might because All-Star teams generally fail because to quote from the movie Miracle "they rely solely on the individual's talent." The important part is making a team that is able to win, and the best players are not always the right ones. Again, I think that all the money in the world cannot necessarily buy a great team. Some teams can, but we have all seen plenty of teams that flopped despite high expectations. I think that Chris Paul is setting himself up for failure. I think that he should stay there and build a champion. The great individual talents are not the great ones. The great ones are the winners. Chris Paul should try to help lead to a winner rather than just try to leave New Orleans.
Photo by magnusfranklin on Flickr

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Contract Interference

It is interesting to think about Ilya Kovalchuk and his rejected contract with the New Jersey Devils. The NHL said that his 17 year, $102,000,000 contract was illegal. I do understand the NHL in some sense because the last five years of his contract he makes under $1,000,000. However, at this point in his career, he would be in his 40s and probably not playing anyway. Therefore, it appears as if the end of the contract is just meant to reduce the average salary for each year. Why does this matter? It matters because the average is what is calculated for the salary cap. This means that the Devils would have a lot more room to operate while retaining Kovalchuk during his best years.

I see why this might be a problem, but I'm not sure if the NHL should interfere. The reason I am concerned about it is because there was an agreement made between the player and team. If it legally put them in violation, I understand interference. However, they did everything by the rules. I don't think that this would become a major problem in the NHL if they would have let this go so. I don't think very many guys would want to stay with the team forever anyway.
Photo  by Mykl Roventine on Flickr

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wade's Slip-Up

Dwayne Wade has recently taken some heat for comments he made concerning the upcoming season. He talked about how the media will blow out the losses out of proportion and give it as much attention as the World Trade Center which was obviously a much more tragic and important situation. Rather than focus on the poor word choice that many people found offensive, I want to focus on what Wade intended. If the Heat lose a few games, the media will blow the whole situation out of proportion. That is the job of the media; to make stories out of nothing that the public will buy. However, the expectations on this team are so high that they have to expect this. If they lose a few games, which they are going to do, people will wonder what is wrong with them. Personally, I do not think the superteam will necessarily be the best team in the NBA. My reasoning is that Wade, Bosh, and James have all been the go to guy for the team. That was perfectly fine when they played separately, but now they need to learn how to adapt and not always being the guy who takes the final shot or makes the important stop. I'm not sure if they know how to do the small things to make each other better. I am sure they will learn because they are intelligent athletes, but I do wonder about the beginning of the season. For all of you who think that the Heat are buying a championship, let's see where the flag hangs at the end of the year.
Photo by compujeramey on Flickr

Monday, July 19, 2010

MJ Shows Why He Was Great

Hooray for Michael Jordan! I was so happy to hear him say that he would never have wanted to sign up with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson to create a super team. That is what made him great. He went to a bad team, and eventually once the pieces joined him, he became one of the greatest sports heroes of all time. I think that a lot of this comment comes from the fact that he is such a competitor, he did not want to admit that he needed help from Larry Bird or Magic Johnson; he wanted to prove that he could lead his own team to a championship. Of course he needed the great players around him such as Scottie Pippen, but I know that there was no doubt who the star of that team was. Now, is LeBron, Bosh, or Wade the star? Honestly, if the Heat win the NBA championship, I think that there will be treated like the Yankees, another team who bought a championship. Although I don't necessarily believe that you can buy a championship as I noted earlier in my George Steinbrenner post, I think that the public does generally believe in the idea of buying championships. Therefore, this might not be the glorious triumphant that the Heat were looking for.
Photo by Marcin Wichary on Flickr

Sunday, July 18, 2010

8 Rules to Playing Power Soccer

Since we are one week away from our power soccer clinic at the University of Vermont, I thought I'd take this opportunity to go over some rules that I didn't really know existed. Just for your information, the rulebook that I am referring to is available on the United States Power Soccer Association website.
• We always talk about how power soccer is for all ages. However, on page 6, it says that you must be five years old to play. I guess I could not have played when I got my first wheelchair.
• Also on page 6, you are only allowed to have four substitutes unless there is an agreement made before the match. Again, we don't have this problem.
• On page 11, the rules say that a game can be called because of the weather. However, it is an indoor sport, so I don't really know what this is referring to.
• On page 12, half time may not be more than 10 minutes.
• The team must be 5 m away on the kickoff, but the two on one rule still applies to the team kicking off. (Page 13)
• On page 16, the two on one rule does not apply when one of the players is the goalie. However, if the goalie goes outside of the area, then he cannot double-team anymore.
• Apparently, on page 19, of all the bad things that you can do, spitting deserved its own reference for a red card.
• If there is a goal kick, any player on the offense can take it, not just the goalie. Also, the defense must be 5 m away, and the offense must respect the two on one rule. The ball is not in play until it leaves the goal area. (Page 25)
I hope you learn something from all of this, and then please either come out to play or support us at the University of Vermont, Patrick Gym, next Sunday from 1 to 4:30!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

This may very well be the earliest blog post I've ever written. However, that's okay; it will still be hopefully good. I think about the hot weather we are scheduled to have today. However, I also think about the thunderstorms we had last night. It's interesting how quickly the weather can change but neither one of them is good for baseball. Obviously, you can't play in thunder and lightning especially when it is accompanied by torrential downpours. However, they do play through the heat, but I do not know if I could ever do that. On days like this, I bet the Red Sox wish they were the Diamondbacks and could close up to the dome and turn on the air conditioning. Unfortunately, very few places in New England, if any, have domes. It seems to be one of the things that we only need air-conditioning and things like that about a week’s worth of day every year, so no one has it because it is not worth the investment. In theory, this makes sense, but for that one week the weather can be pretty brutal for those of us who are used to our more frigid rest of the year.
Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr

Friday, July 16, 2010


Okay, today is Fiction Friday as you probably assumed. The countdown is at nine days until the Vermont Chargers hold a power soccer clinic at the University of Vermont. The Phillies will do better than they did last night. Now that I've said all that, on with the story.

"Hey Joe, Skip wants to see you."

As these words came out of the mouth of our pitching coach, my heart sank. Somehow I knew that this wouldn't be a happy talk. Why did I feel that way? Well I had been pitching badly, and since I was always aware, for good or for the bad, of my rearview mirror, I knew that there were a few guys in AA who were racking up wins and strikeouts.

I stepped away from my locker and walked across the room. Of course all my teammates knew where I was headed. Some of them probably didn't want me to go, some of them were probably ready to ship me to the farthest away team they could find. I didn't really care about them though; I just didn't want to take that step back. After working so hard to make AAA, one step away from the big leagues, I was about to be two steps away. But I knew that I had to open that door and face the music.

Photo by salvez on Flickr

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Tribute to the Boss

As I sat here last night writing about how I wanted baseball back, I feel like I wanted the Phillies to come back a little bit better than they are now. However, they still have a little bit of an opportunity left, so I will not get too depressed. However, I realize that I never talked about George Steinbrenner when he was alive, but I should give him a tribute. To say the least, I was never a fan of the Yankees using ridiculous sums of money to lure free agents away from their hometowns. However, after witnessing this whole LeBron James fiasco, I guess that George Steinbrenner was not that bad after all. He never had a television special to announce who he was signing. He signed the players to make a winning ball team and boy did they ever win. Some people have said that money buys championships, and that is true to an extent. Well spent money buys championships. Look at the Texas Rangers who under Tom Hicks have spent crazy sums of money and have had limited success. Steinbrenner was able to get the right people around him who knew how to assemble a winning ball team. The budget definitely made it possible, but it was not done by random chance. We will miss the Boss, but his Yankees better not take down my Phillies this year.
Photo by Sev! on Flickr

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Where's the Ball?

I would write to you today, and I will. However, first I want to direct your attention to a video of our power soccer team that was on WCAX last night.

Okay, now that I know you have watched that. I miss baseball tonight. I am totally enjoying watching the Karate Kid, but I must say that it feels weird not to be watching baseball. Think about it, they play 162 games over a six-month period. Upon looking at the Phillies schedule for this year, I counted a total of 18 days off over the whole season including the All-Star Break as three days off even though it wasn't for Charlie Manuel, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay. That means that I essentially only have 18 days off of watching the Phillies over the whole summer. I will admit that I do miss a few days when we are on vacation (hotels need to get MLB Extra Innings), but by and large I watch almost every Phillies game. So, when you think about all the time that you’re bored over the summer, remember that you could spend every night watching baseball and then be lost when there is no more baseball.
Photo by theseanster93 on Flickr

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

All-Star Celebration Continued

First of all, congratulations to David Ortiz on winning the Home Run Derby. Despite a somewhat disappointing year, this was a good night for David and will hopefully signify a large turnaround. Tonight, we have the All-Star game with Ubaldo Jimenez and David Price squaring off as the chosen starters. I must say that I think that Charlie Manuel and Joe Girardi made the right choices on this. Both of these guys are young and exciting, and I believe that showcasing up-and-coming stars is a big part of the festivities. I also think that the National League will win tonight. I feel like they have very good pitching as well as a solid lineup led by Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard in the middle that will drive in several runs and give the Phillies the home-field advantage in the World Series. Yes, I just made that prediction. I feel like after sweeping the Reds the Phillies will turn a corner and finally start playing like we all know they are capable of. If Joe Blanton can turn around, JA Happ can return from injury, Chase Utley can eventually come back, and Placido Polanco returns as well as wall as he was going before injury, we will be ready to go.
Photo by Ed Yourdon on Flickr

Monday, July 12, 2010

All-Star Celebration

The All-Star Break is upon us. Some of the best baseball has to offer are converging in Anaheim to fight for home-field advantage in the World Series. Tonight of course is the Home Run Derby. Over the years, I have enjoyed watching this event, but it often seems like if a player has an amazing day, the rest of the year is not quite as stellar. Does anybody remember Bobby Abreu's monster day at the Derby? If you do remember, you will remember that he was amazing. However, the end of the year was not quite as amazing and eventually led to him being dealt to the Yankees. It was as if he burned all of his home runs in one night and then couldn't keep up with it the rest of the year. I hope that doesn't happen to anybody this year. Do you know what else should not happen again this year? I vote for no more ties ever in the All-Star Game. I know that this is a few years old, but we are still making jokes about it. It was a joke, and I hope it never happens again. Enjoy the break, then tune in tonight!
Photo by Evan Wohrman on Flickr

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy 200th Birthday! Who Lives That Long?

Today is a day for celebration kind of like every day at Disney World. Why the celebration? Well, there really are two reasons. Firstly, the Phillies had another walkoff victory last night make it three in a row which they had never done before in team history. This one was even more impressive as the game featured dual nine inning shutouts that both Travis Wood and Roy Halladay deserved to win but both got no decisions. So, that is one reason to celebrate. The other reason is on a more personal note. Release the balloons and streamers and confetti and whatever else you need to throw an appropriate birthday party. Whose birthday is it? It's not mine, but it is the 200th birthday of the Perpetual Blogging Co.! With this post, I have written 200 times with at least 200 words every time. That means, if you have been with me from the beginning, you have read at least 40,000 words from me. I'm surprised you're still here. Just kidding, but I do appreciate all my readers who have been here so long. Hopefully, we will make it a few more hundred before I finally run out of ideas.
Photo by Andréia on Flickr

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Magic Happens at the Bank

There has been magic in the air in Philadelphia for the past two nights. Home runs by unlikely heroes and a pair of walkoffs have kept people like me happy. For those of you who don't know, two nights ago Brian Schneider launched a home run in the 12th to give the Phillies the victory. If that wasn't dramatic enough, last night the Phillies were down 7 to 1 in the ninth, and Mike Leake was looking particularly strong. However, after putting up a six spot in the frame highlighted by a three-run shot from Greg Dobbs and a game-tying two-run shot that barely made it over the right-field wall from my new hero Cody Ransom, Ryan Howard proceeded to launch one into the Philadelphia night in the tenth and pulled out another extra inning victory. Can the magic continued tonight? Right now in the top of the seventh, they are knotted at 0-0 with a three hitter and a no-hitter going. It looks like we're going to need some more late-night heroics to pull out another victory and clearly win this four-game series that leads us into the All-Star break.
Photo by lindseywb on Flickr

Friday, July 9, 2010

All Alone

Finally, and sadly, we know that LeBron is in Miami, so now the sports world can move on to something new. However, for me, today is Fiction Friday, so without further ado...

How do they live in a world without sports? I think that it'd be pretty boring to be quite honest. However, I didn't need to think about it since I was living it. It seemed like the rules were different here. No baseball, no basketball. As far as I was concerned, I was entirely separated from civilization. Without sports, it seemed like I had somehow stepped back to a more primitive time. Of course, you know that I'm exaggerating greatly since sports are not quite everything, but it was an entirely different experience not to be able to walk outside, find some playground basketball court, and pick up a game. It didn't matter who you played with. All that really mattered was the point that you were playing, so I decided that I wanted to make that happen here. I stepped out of my new house and dribbled a few paces down the asphalt. I wasn't going to be the only one for very long, I would show them what they were missing.
Photo by (matt) on Flickr

Thursday, July 8, 2010

LeBron-Fest 2010

The soap opera will end tonight. Finally, we will know where LeBron James will call home next season. I like LeBron as much as the average fan who can realize how talented he is, but I think that this has been much too big a deal. I know that people argue with me when I say that James is the most talented player in the NBA today mainly because he hasn't been able to bring in a ring. However, even though I believe he is the best player in the NBA right now, who on earth deserves a one-hour TV special on ESPN to announce who they will sign with? No one. Ridiculous if you ask me.

Now that I've vented about the whole situation, I will now weigh in with my own two cents. I think that LeBron should stay home in Cleveland. If he goes to Miami, so what if they win a ton of games? Who wouldn't be able to win with that team? Having three of the best players in the NBA all on the floor together is quite a bit of talent all bought and not developed in-house except for Wade. Whatever happens tonight, remember that all of this hoopla is ridiculous from the beginning.
Photo by  Keith Allison on Flickr

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Need Deception

Given the popularity of my post yesterday about where King James would go, I wish I had had another dream last night about where Chris Bosh would end up. Unfortunately, no such luck. However, I will celebrate the Dutch victory! I was very excited to see them move into the finals. However, today is going to be a post about power soccer again. Today, I feel like it is necessary to talk about ball control. I've been recently working on different moves to attack with. As I have emphasized in previous posts, I know that my mid-wheel drive wheelchair cannot hit the ball very hard relative to a rear-wheel drive chair. Therefore, I have been trying to work on deception. I am trying to work on ways to propel the ball right but end up making my shots to the left or vice versa. I think that I need to somehow employ the sharp turns that my wheelchair can make to outmaneuver the goalkeeper who may very well have a rear-wheel drive. However, if anybody else can think of some other great ideas on how I can create deception with my wheelchair, please let me know since the Internet has been just about no help.
Photo by albany_tim on Flickr

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

LeBron James is Going Where?

I was wondering what to write today to bring you something new and maybe kind of weird. Well, I've got that for you now. Last night I had a dream that I knew where LeBron James would sign. I was sitting in a press conference, and the moderator introduced James. Everyone started cheering as he came onto the stage carrying flags of all the teams that have potentially been in the running for his services. I am not really sure if this has ever happened in the history of the press conference. As most of you know, the Cavaliers and Bulls are the favorites to land him while the Knicks, Nets, Clippers, and the Heat have all been mentioned as outside chances. However, in my dream, all of these flags were passed on until only one remained. For some reason, my mind projected the Sacramento Kings. Don't ask me why or how I came up with this, but I do know that when it does happen, I will be one of the few who thought about this ahead of time. It's not like I'm even a Sacramento fan and this was wishful thinking; I'm a Mavericks fan. Whatever, all I know is that I barely ever dream, so this kind of surprised me.
Photo by Ed Yourdon on Flickr

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hot and Cold

I think that since today is a federal holiday, maybe it should be a hot weather holiday. However, no such luck. Therefore, I'm sitting in a room full of fans doing nothing particularly intense. It makes me wonder though, how do people ever play baseball in Arizona? I realize that the Diamondbacks have a retractable roof that they probably just close if the sun is too intense. However, how do minor league teams pull this off? Granted, many games are played at night, but they have to do something during the day. I guess there's a reason I was born in Vermont, but still, you don't choose who you get drafted by. Again, I don't have that problem is being drafted, but some people have to have that problem. It's not necessarily that I get dehydrated or anything like that, I just don't know how you can perform to the top of your ability when it is that hot. However, I have also wondered about how on earth you perform in weather conditions like Lambeau Field in the middle of December. I guess I'm just a moderate temperature guy, not too hot or not too cold. In Vermont we have both extremes although much heavier on the cold end of the spectrum. Maybe I need to move to Hawaii; I've heard it's pretty temperate there...
Photo by artic pj on Flickr

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Weird Power Soccer Places

For some of you who thought that power soccer was sort of an odd sport, but I might have a more unique story about it. As you might imagine, it's nice to have a wide-open flat space to play on. However, there are also several other qualifications that need be taken into consideration when choosing the proper power soccer surface. Therefore, here is a list of all of the places I have played power soccer in Vermont and New Hampshire. Maybe this will turn into some giant directory of everywhere you can play power soccer in the world. (That last statement is totally over the top if you do not understand my sense of humor.)
• Montpelier High School parking lot
• U-32 High School parking lot
• Barre Town Elementary School parking lot
• Berlin Mall parking lot
• Hilltop Inn parking lot
• Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital parking lot
• Allen Brook Elementary School gymnasium
• Miller Recreation Center gymnasium
• Hamel Recreation Center field house
• Orange Center School Gymnasium as well as outdoor basketball court
This list might be incomplete, but at the very least it will give you some idea of what to do if you ever end up in central Vermont and need to play power soccer somewhere. I'm sure that that happens to everyone. (Soon, you will see Patrick Gymnasium on this list when we play there on July 25th from 1 to 4:30!)
Photo by mjb84 on Flickr

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Delayed Fiction

As I said yesterday, today would be Fiction Friday delayed to Saturday. Therefore, I won't delay any longer, but I guess 24 hours isn't that bad when sometimes planes are delayed longer than that.

I had always thought that I played basketball for fun. However, now that free agency hit me, I realized it was more than that. Basketball had become a career; it was no longer a pastime. I missed the freedom to play ball just to play it. Now, just playing basketball became a business venture; my points per game were like my stock price. If it went up, I was doing well, and I preferred not to talk about it when the price dropped.

Now, I had to make it all pay out. I didn't want to end up like Scottie Pippen and have to be suing for my airplane that I bought and almost end up bankrupt. However, I realized how lucky I was to even be in this scenario to play basketball for money. How many people get paid to play a game? Whatever, I thought, it all will work out somehow. With that, I walked into the conference room and began negotiations.

Photo by Matt Callow

Friday, July 2, 2010

World Cup Predictions

Another round of the World Cup begins today as Uruguay and Ghana will face off first and the Netherlands and Brazil will follow. As much as it would be fun to see all four South American teams move on since I guess we would know what continent dominates soccer, I have to say that I am a Dutch fan. However, I feel like they will have their hands full with Brazil. Brazil seemed to be extremely athletic, but hopefully the Netherlands will be able to overcome. I'm not sure how to call the other game, but I would have to give Uruguay a slight upper hand. Ghana looked really good against Team USA, but Team USA also did not play in that game. Therefore, I'm not really sure how much they will be able to turn it on against Uruguay.

I think that now would be a good time to put out my predictions for the quarterfinals that might be totally and completely wrong since I'm not the greatest soccer analyst ever. However, my predictions are: Uruguay, the Netherlands, Argentina, and Spain. I'm not a fan of Spain, but I think they will be able to take Paraguay. I'm sorry I did not remember to write fiction until I finished, so that will be tomorrow!
Photo by thetorpedodog on Flickr

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Goalie Stops

I was thinking about power soccer again as usual. However, this time I was thinking about the role of the goalkeeper. I don't think that I would like to be goalie; I don't think I have the right mindset for it. The goalie cannot be afraid to dive in and make some contact. I see myself as more of a finesse player who would rather go around people than go through people. Nevertheless, I was thinking about the power soccer goalies while I was watching the World Cup because unlike in South Africa, we cannot pick up the ball. This means that the goalie needs to be able to do more than pick up the ball and drop kick it. I think they really need the support from the teammates to have open passing lanes. I know that during our last match, I jumped a goal kick from the other team and then proceeded to score. It is difficult to get those passing lanes but the rest of the team needs to find them in order to help the keeper. Clearing the ball from goal is really a team effort, so I hope we are able to get this together to defend our goal and not give up easy goals.

Photo by Ed Yourdon on Flickr