Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stars Align in Indiana

As I was looking at the new power soccer website, it was interesting to see where players move from season to season. As people move, they go to find new teams or make their own to spread the game farther and farther. However, I am sensing a powerhouse being built in the Midwest. Anyone who knows anything about power soccer knows that the Circle City Rollers have been one of the most dominant teams in America behind the play of their star Michael Archer (shown above in white from the 2007 World Cup). Of course, he isn't alone. Two of his teammates, Case Calvert and Matt Griffin, join Mr. Archer on the US National Team which is amazing in and of itself. However, for the first time ever, add another national team member to the roster. JC Russo formerly of the Ball State Cardinals and the RHI Sudden Impact will now join the Rollers. Russo will bring a defensive presence in the backfield that doesn't need much reinforcing. However, I would think about perhaps an interesting scenario. Russo played goalie during the last World Cup for Team USA. In fact, he played very well. Therefore, I wonder if he will play in the goal or if he will play the floor like he did for Ball State. Either way, look out for Circle City this year. This much individual talent is going to be dangerous.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Upset City

Well, I haven't written much about Vermont soccer for a while. Here's the story though. If I told you that a team ranked 19th in the country was from Vermont, you might not believe me. Many people including myself realize that Vermont sports are not necessarily the most competitive. However, you should believe me because Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU) was ranked 19th in the country. Notice the use of the past tense. The reason I put it in the past tense is because CVU got beat. Oh, okay, they must have gone to some national tournament and been beaten by like the 20th ranked team. Wrong! They got beat by an eight seed. That's right, in the Vermont Division I playoffs, Harwood Union High School based out of Duxbury, Vermont took them down 1-0. Let's put this in perspective. CVU has only lost one game in the past two seasons. They have won seven out of the last eight championships in Division I. Basically, they are pretty impressive. Well, Harwood somehow managed to slip by on a goal by a kid who normally stops them. Win Parker is normally a backup goalie for Harwood, but he managed to bury CVU and probably create a Vermont legend. The classic David versus Goliath theme never gets old, so congratulations to Harwood for an excellent game!
Photo by US Army Africa on Flickr

Friday, October 29, 2010

Support a Friend

Okay, I know that you are used to me writing every day. However I have something that I would rather have you read today. One of my friends from high school got published on a nationally read hockey blog because he gave 10 great reasons why he was the one who would be best to make picks for this week. His name is Matt Desmarais, and I would love for you all to support him. Trust me, he is pretty hilarious. However, come back tomorrow for more writing from me.
Photo by garryknight on Flickr

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Texas Needs to Rise

Well, all good things have to come to an end. Cliff Lee finally lost a playoff game. Amazingly, he was 7-0 in his career before during the playoffs, but I guess that everyone has to lose at some point. Unfortunately, it had to be in the World Series, but still, I feel like he will get a second shot because I do not think that the Rangers are going to simply roll over and surrender. Even though they lost last night, they scored seven runs. Obviously the offense is clicking, so now they just need to allow fewer runs. Personally, I still support Texas. I feel like it would be an excellent story when a team that had never even won a playoff game previously to go all the way through the World Series. Obviously, the Phillies should have won the World Series, but since that didn't quite happen, I guess Texas will have to be my second choice. However, I hope Texas can turn it around or else my favorite teams in the playoffs will have all choked. The Giants are not perfect, so I feel like Texas should be able to scratch their way back into this and hold that trophy at the end of the year.
Photo by little black spot on the sun today on Flickr

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Heat Got Beat

So, Miami couldn't handle the Celtics in their first game of the season. A lot of people were probably surprised about that, but as you have seen me write before, I didn't have my heart set on this team. I think that this kind of phenomenon has happened before. I know that there are teams that have several stars. If you remember back to the Bulls in the 90s, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman were all pretty heavy stars on those teams. However, there was a definite role for each of them to play. I believe that they all had talents complemented each other. I think that Lebron, Dwayne, and Chris will figure this out because they are great players with different abilities, but I think it will take time. For all three of them, they were the definite stars on their franchises last year so there will be a learning curve to learn how to use other stars as teammates. It probably will happen, and with all of the talent that they possess, they will eventually be very good or even great. But it won't be an instant takeover; I believe that they need time to bond before they will dominate.
Photo by RMTip21 on Flickr

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Great Job Last Night!

We had practice last night. Honestly, I think that we are getting better every time. It's definitely encouraging to see the growth from everyone as we all learn more about the game. It was great to see how dedicated our team is becoming. We are having a great attendance rate which is a very exciting. The only way that we're going to get better is if everybody keeps showing up. I am definitely an advocate of watching video online about power soccer; I do it a lot. However, there are definitely a few skills that you definitely need to touch the ball. You can only learn so much about dribbling without touching the ball. That's what it is vital that everyone keeps showing up. Of course, there are circumstances that are unavoidable, and I have missed practice before just like we all will. However, it is great to see everyone making an effort to come out and improve. We are definitely not perfect yet, but there is potential there. If every individual is committed to maximizing their own individual talent given his or her type of wheelchair, guard, and natural ability, our team is going to grow. You can only do what you can do, but make sure you do that and do it the best you can.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tough D

It will be an interesting day to play soccer. I'm thinking that I did learn one thing last week; aggression is necessary. Admittedly, my preferred style of play is set in the box and let the ball come to me. However, I began thinking about all I have said about field position. I realized that it's not only the goalie who should worry about field position. Typically as the center defender, I also need to stop the ball as early as possible to keep the ball away from our goal. Again, as I have said several times, power soccer is a game of field position. If the ball is on the other half of the court, there is no way the other team will score. Okay, I guess it might be possible if you have some insane spin kick like Michael Archer, but I do not know if even he could make a full-court shot through the defense. Therefore, I need to remember to be aggressive tonight, and not aggressive like full contact, flipping people over aggressive but rather aggressive in terms of playing the ball and dumping it back towards the other end. Again, remind me tonight if I forget.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Points to Recall

Tomorrow night I have power soccer. Therefore, let me review for the world what I need to remember.
Play defense facing forward. Of course, the easiest way to surrender a goal is to bump it into your own goal. Facing forward to help eliminate the odds of taking an unintended shot on your own goalie.
Remember the weak side. It seems that more often than not goals are scored on the weak side. Due to the fact that there can only be one defender in the box with their goaltender, that defendant will most likely be on ball side with goaltender. The offense can set that weak side player right on the post. Half of the goal will be wide open if a strong cross can be made.
Play the ball to the outside on defense. Granted, many goals are scored from free kicks or corner kicks from the sideline. However, with the ball bouncing around in the middle, the risk is even greater. Also, since there is only one defender in the box, one of his or her teammates will probably be on the outside to pass to.

I hope you enjoyed the three points that I intend to work on and remember tomorrow night. If I forget them, let me know very loudly so I can do better next time. As always, iron sharpens iron.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

During the Game

Well, this has been an interesting game so far. Unfortunately the Phillies cannot seem to capitalize on any opportunity that has been presented. We got those two quick runs which was exciting, and we gave them back which was not ideal, but we need to figure out some way to get on top right now (while technically not right now because the Giants are batting). There is something to be said about being ahead and not needing to rally. The Phillies tend to rally very well, but I would hate to rely on that tonight. Not that it wouldn't be exciting, but the season is on the line, so I would prefer to have a little bit more insurance tonight. If we can finish this off tonight, I feel like tomorrow will definitely be advantage Philadelphia. Of course, as much as I would like to guarantee this, it is baseball, and I don't want to jinx it. However, all of the momentum and the home field would be supporting the Phillies and aiding the cause. But before this can happen, we need to finish it off tonight. Everybody, enjoy the game and hope for game seven in prime time tomorrow night!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Game Five was a Success

Well, the Phillies live to fight at least one more day. Essentially, they won because of a very nice third inning and held onto the lead. I have to say though, it was one of the craziest games I have ever seen. If you were watching, you will remember the bunt by Roy Halladay. It was definitely a foul ball; it bounced off home plate and into the left-handed batter's box but somehow it was called fair. I don't want to complain because it was a perfect sacrifice bunt, but the crazy play did not end there. Because that was ruled fair, Giants' catcher Buster Posey threw down to third baseman Pablo Sandoval who somehow missed third base. However, it looked like he tagged the base, so when he threw over to first base, I thought there was a double play and the inning was looking grim. Roy Halladay wasn't even halfway to the base because he thought correctly that the bunt was foul so he wasn't running. Crazy stuff, but the Phillies were able to capitalize on the insanity and proceeded to win the game, so I won't complain. Now we head back to Philadelphia and hopefully can push the series to seven games.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Do or Die

Okay, it is official. The Phillies are choking. There is no way we should have lost that game last night. Honestly, I was shocked that Roy Oswalt pitched the ninth. He is a great pitcher, and I will not argue with that. However, my question is why Brad Lidge wasn't pitching. I figure that Charlie Manuel was probably saving him for when the Phillies got the lead later in the game. I appreciate this, but as was obviously shown, you can't get the lead later if the game ends in the ninth. Don't get me wrong, I think Roy Oswalt is an excellent pitcher, but Brad Lidge is trained by the ninth inning; he is a closer for that reason. Again, I appreciate the idea of saving Brad Lidge for the final three outs, but unless you're ahead, there'll be no final three outs. So, tonight is do or die time. Luckily, we have Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels for our final stand. There is not any staff I would rather have to hold onto this series. All of them have made big starts in the playoffs before (Halladay's no-hitter a few weeks ago, Oswalt's gem in game two, and Hamels' in previous World Series), so I know that they are capable of it. We can make it, but it is definitely an uphill battle.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I think that is pretty crazy how the Phillies managed to lose last night. It is very difficult to win if you don't score any runs. However, we are down, but I am hoping that Joe Blanton will be able to eat some innings tonight with minimal damage or preferably no damage. Our bullpen hasn't been heavily used, but Blanton is known for going deep into games, so I prefer not to use the bullpen in case we really do need them in the future. Incidentally, I find it very funny that I refer to myself as a member of the Phillies. I'm a very influential fan apparently. Anyway, I would like to see our offense come alive. Raul Ibanez is 0-10 recently. Not that he is all to blame, but he is the most dramatic example. The team needs to pick up on the whole. The only player who has been hitting well is Jimmy Rollins, but one man cannot carry the team. Hopefully, tonight will look different than last night, but I also hope that Texas can finish off New York tonight. The Rangers have been playing excellent ball, so I think that they deserve the trip to the World Series.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weak Side!

It was a great night at power soccer practice. I think that we are definitely coming together even though we slightly mixed up the typical teams just so that we do not get accustomed to just playing with two players. It was good to see that we are still able to gel even though we haven't played with certain players for a while. That is a vital part of making the team. We need to be able to be familiar enough with who is on the floor to know their strengths and weaknesses and how to support them best. That was what I was most impressed by last night. It seems that we are all learning how to adapt to each other, and I hope that continues. Also, I noticed that the weak side was much more active last night which is also extremely important. When the weak side is active, there will be many more opportunities for goals. In fact, I think that two of our goals were weak side and one of the other teams. More than half of the goals were weak side; obviously it is very important. Nevertheless, great practice last night, and get ready for next week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Add a Win!

For any Phillies fans who are reading my blog, you must have been excited about Roy Oswalt last night. He was in top form and outdueled Jonathan Sanchez which was impressive. I will say though I was slightly confused when I saw the lineup card. It seemed so weird to see Chase Utley batting second and Placido Polanco batting third. Of course, it does make sense because of Sanchez being a left-handed pitcher and this lineup split up the left-handed bats of Utley and Ryan Howard. I guess that is why Charlie Manuel is manager and not me. When he leads us to another National League Championship, we will be only the fifth team in National League history to win three in a row. How awesome would that be? Not only would we have one of the only two no-hitters in postseason history, but we would also be seen as one of the best teams over a period of three years in National League history. Of course, we have a ways to go before we finish off this series. We still have to get through at least Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum again everyone to finish off this. However, I know we can do it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Triangle Game

I was watching power soccer footage today, and after thinking last night that offense and defense are essentially the same and interchangeable, it made me think about how a lot of power soccer is played in a triangle formation. In the picture above, you can see a relatively generic play that seems to be very common. Essentially, the offense is in a triangle with one player on each post and one at the top of the box. I noticed this type of pattern particularly with the Atlanta Synergy although it does seem to be the basic set for almost every team. The defense I portrayed in the image above is not necessarily always true because occasionally those wing players end up dropping lower if the offensive wing players are out wider than the box. However, I think that it is evident that the basic shape is a triangle on defense as well. As I was mentioning yesterday, the pattern is the same and the strategy is similar. Whoever is at center is trying to get the ball to the wing players. On offense, this will set up the assist on the goal and on defense this past will begin a fast-break hopefully. Of course, transitional defense looks a lot different than this, but this appears to be what happens when the ball is on top of the box and the one defender is settled in the box. I won't even get into transitional defense, but I thought that it was interesting how triangles occur very often when I am watching game footage.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Offense = Defense?

Today is my 300th blog post! Hooray for however many of you have been here since the beginning. Anyway, as I was looking for some inspirational quote to put on the Vermont Chargers Power Soccer Club Facebook page, I found the one that is obviously there now , but afterwards I found this one. "If you're attacking, you don't get as tired as when you're chasing. ~Kyle Rote, Jr." I found it under the soccer section on Anyway, as I thought about it more, I realized chasing the ball is very similar to attacking if you think about it.

Everybody loves offense; there is no denying that. The newspapers, the television, and the box score love the people who score the goals or hit the home runs. However, defense is often times neglected. I would like to challenge that notion that chasing the ball can be more tiring

Personally, I end up playing center much of the time during our practices. Therefore, I end up being the defender in the box more often than not. However, I thrive on that. I loved being able to support the goalkeeper and try to get rid of the ball. It is a challenge to react to the offense and anticipate. I often think of Mighty Ducks Three and the line "Make him make the first move, Conway!" I strive to do that on defense. If the offensive player is coming at me, I should be able to see where he is playing the ball on his guard and anticipate what will happen (sorry, I was not politically correct in that sentence :-))

Of course, I am a proponent of the theory that offense is the best defense. I do not mean that we forget about defense. I do mean that if we have the ball, the other team does not. We are preventing them from moving the ball forward which is the goal of playing defense. In this case, maybe we can reconcile offense and defense. As I mentioned before, offense is by nature fulfilling the goal of defense. In a similar way, isn't the goal of offense to drive the ball towards the opposing goal? If I am playing defense and I clear the ball, the ball is moving towards my opponent's goal is it not? Therefore, I challenge everyone to think about power soccer as a complete game. You do not just play offense or defense. By nature, they are intertwined and cannot be separated. They fulfill each other's objectives. Therefore, your team may run some form of offense, but never forget that it is also concerned with defending the ball from the opponent and therefore keeping it ourselves.

Sorry if this seems rather long and cumbersome. It just kept flowing.

Written Yesterday but Posted Today.(Ran Out of Time)

I have an idea. I'm thinking that all of this snow needs to go away right now. Some people, like my sister, want this crazy stuff, but I must say I disagree. Sure, snow has brought us super athletes like Shaun White, but really, I think that he could stick to his skateboard and be just as innovative and amazing. Okay, I think I have made a convincing argument. The only thing that snow has going for it is that it looks nice at Christmas. Therefore, it is my platform that on maybe December 23 that white stuff is allowed to fall from the sky and temporarily cover the earth. Then, on January 1, it will all melt away. Nobody will be any worse for wear because nothing important happens that week. Anybody who is traveling for Christmas will probably be there before December 23, and a lot of people take that week after off from work, so it will not cause any inconvenience to anyone. Of course, I'm not opposed to snow on the mountain tops since I'm never on the mountains, so the Vermont economy will not be ruined for the winter. There, you have my platform for seasons.
Photo by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi on Flickr

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Support the Power Soccer Community

First, let me encourage everyone to go to this website and vote for power soccer athlete Ben Carpenter to put on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Kids. I do not personally know Ben, but we all should get behind him so that he can be an ambassador for power soccer for a different audience. For example, I wish that somebody would have written about power soccer in Sports Illustrated for Kids when I used to read it. As the primary medium for children who want to read about sports regardless of disability, it would have been awesome for me to have discovered power soccer earlier. Oh well, I guess I'll have to enjoy it now and make up for lost time. However, the point remains that everyone should vote for Ben! Get on here and rock the vote! I should mention that I've already placed my vote, so I am not just telling you to do something that I won't do. This could be a big step for power soccer. I hope that everyone helps it gain the support that it deserves!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sheer Domination

So first, congratulations to the Texas Rangers. They made their first ALCS ever as they knocked off Tampa Bay last night. Personally, I'd like to see them knock off the Yankees and play the Phillies in the World Series. Honestly, I feel like the Phillies can defeat either team, but I would feel a lot better playing the Rangers. However, I watched a crazy blowout last night. At last year's America's Cup in Georgia, the Synergy squared off with Team Québec. Now, to be honest, I downloaded this game film in French because that was my only option, but I wanted to see Team Québec just in case we ever end up playing them (Montréal isn't that far away). Anyway, when the game started, I didn't think Québec was that bad. However, playing Atlanta is a tall order for anyone. Quite honestly, Atlanta slaughtered them. Of course, the commentary was in French, so I had no idea what the final score was until we panned the scoreboard at the end. The final score was 21-0! Again, I didn't think Québec was that awful, but they were just overmatched. If you want to watch the game, here is a link to it. The most dominating performance I have ever seen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Individual Accomplishments

I was very impressed with our team's practice last night. Therefore, I was thinking that today I would highlight something that every individual did well last night. So, here we go.
• Nate: You are developing wicked ball control with really sharp turning. You use that to push the ball down court and find your teammates on the weak side. It is becoming very effective!
• Linda: You were doing very well on the weak side. When Nate would cross the ball over, you were there to take this shot on goal. That is the aggression we need!
• Jamie: You were playing some awesome defense last night (I would know, we got locked up a lot). Sometimes, the best defense is not moving. The ball cannot physically go through your chair, so nice job!
• Wanda: Now that your chair is adjusted, you did a nice job in goal. Also, during our passing circle at the beginning, your timing improved so much! Practice is definitely paying off; you are getting good!
• Guy: You had some wicked saves last night! You are challenging the ball well and clearing it to the outside without making too much contact. I was glad to have you behind me in goal!
• Zeb: You stayed out of the box when I was in there! However, when I wasn't there, you covered for me and told me to stay out which is just as perfect. Also, you kept putting offensive pressure on the other team which was awesome. Power soccer is about field position, so even though you didn't score, getting the ball to the other end is a great thing to do.
• Zach: First off, nice job not getting into too many collisions. Aggression is part of the game, but definitely your control last night was much better! Also, congratulations on your goal! I believe that that was your first ever and the first of many!
• Jesse: I thought that your ball control is getting so much better! As you were scoring all 14 of your goals, you were hitting the ball with more power which is what you want to do! Nice job!
All in all, I thought we played much better last night than we ever have before. I think that the team is beginning to learn how to use each other and each other's positions. Of course, keep watching video online, but I think we are definitely moving in the right direction! (By the way, I need to get more power soccer pictures for these posts, so if you have some, let me know!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Moving On!

So anyone who watched the Phillies last night should be impressed. How many times do you have two shutouts in a three game series? Well, I'm not really sure, but at least once! I cannot believe how sloppy the series was though. There were so many errors by both teams, but I'm happy that we came out on top of course. The best part is that our rotation stays intact though. Because we were able to win in three, Roy Halladay was able to only throw in game one which is important because now he is able to start game one of the NLCS. Oswalt will be able to go game two, and Hamels will pick up game three. I'm not sure who will take game four, but I would bet on Joe Blanton. We haven't seen him for a while, and he is more than adequate to beat the Braves or the Giants. Of course, I never want to guarantee anything because I have a bad track record on guaranteeing, but I know that the Phillies will have a really great chance to win this series. If they don't, there are none to blame but themselves.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What Power Soccer Means to Me

Tonight, we go for elimination! This may sound like a very brutal claim what I want to eliminate the Reds from existence, but I am honestly only hoping for elimination from the playoffs. However, I kind of wrote about that yesterday, so I'm going to write about something different than that. Let's talk about power soccer! So, I'm headed to play tomorrow night, and I think that we are going to have excellent attendance if everyone shows up who has responded on Facebook! This is very exciting because I know what power soccer is all about for many of us. Power soccer is a sport where we are all on a level playing surface. We all have roughly similar equipment, and our physical strength is not necessarily a factor. My doctor says that lifting a pound for me is like 20 pounds for the average person. But that doesn't matter in power soccer. I can play just like everyone else because I can push the joystick and use my brain just as effectively as everyone else. The competition is great because it serves as motivation for each and every one of us. There is some part of a sports fanatic that never wants to lose, and we carry that over into this game. It is great to see people are motivated and driven to pursue a goal. Not only a goal, but a team goal, something that is beyond each individual. This is the beauty of power soccer. It opens the realm of athletic competition to an audience that might not be able to compete otherwise.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Feelin' Groovy

I was sensing trouble last night, but I now know that the Phillies are excellent! Of course, I knew that anyway, but last night definitely reinforced that. I knew that we might be in a little bit of a dilemma, but of course I was wrong. Granted, it was a bit of a roundabout way to do it, but I guess they had to give Brad Lidge an inning. That was definitely the way that they planned it. Or, we can just go with that. Sounds good to me. However, we are definitely in prime condition right now to finish it tomorrow night. It's extraordinarily rare for a team to overcome this type of deficit, so I'm feeling pretty good about their chances. Now I know that we should be able to finish this off, but I would especially like to finish it off with Cole Hamels because then we could use Roy Halladay again to start off the next series. Of course, we can win without him starting the first game and using him later, but I would like to see him start game one again. It worked pretty well last time, so I won't mess with what works.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Team Works

I have been thinking about one-on-one power soccer moves again. I have essentially come to the conclusion however that there are going to be few opportunities to go one-on-one with the goalie. 99% of the time there will be another defender in the box with the goalie, and it is very hard to beat two defenders at once. Therefore, the obvious answer boils down to teamwork. It is much easier to pass the ball across the box for another teammate to knock in. However, the entire strategy relies on developing some level of team chemistry. That is what I have been very excited about our past few practices. People are finally beginning to look for each other as an easier way to score rather than trying to ram the ball in individually. From personal experience, I used to play that way, and it kind of worked but that was because we were still very young. Now, as we are getting better, I can't do that anymore, so I have started using my teammates more. Of course, I'm not the only one doing this, but I thought that the story sounded better in the first person. I am very glad that we are all starting to get familiar with each other, so hopefully we're on the track to becoming a cohesive unit.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What a Night

You all know what I have to write today. How amazing was Roy Halladay last night? In my opinion, that was pretty much the most dominant performance I've seen him turn in. He was getting first pitch strikes and never really having any ball hit hard. The closest is probably that final out by Brandon Phillips as Carlos Ruiz almost overran it and had to make a somewhat dangerous play that was fortunately successful. It was funny though because as I was watching the game on TBS, the fans were going crazy, and then as we all wondered whether or not Ruiz was going to make the throw, the fans began silent. However, as soon as Ryan Howard caught the ball, it was pandemonium. Even Roy Halladay who is particularly stoic on the mound couldn't help but smile as that final play was going down. That is definitely the way to make the playoff debut! It is hard to believe that Halladay hasn't been in the playoffs before, but I am glad that he waited for this start to be in a Phillies uniform. Now, one of the only two postseason no-hitters has been done in a Phillies uniform. How cool is that?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kicking Off the Post-Season

Well, tonight is the night for the playoffs to begin. Hopefully, there will be a favorable turn for the Phillies as Roy Halladay faces off with Edison Volquez. I'd have to say that this matchup is advantage Philadelphia. However, I know that either lineup is capable of putting a bunch of runs on the board at any given time. You can give Philadelphia the upper hand here as well simply because I don't think that Cincinnati can match Philadelphia hit for hit. Every member of the Philadelphia lineup is hot right now, so if that trend continues, I do not see how they can be stopped. Of course, you have to remember my bias here, but I think that most people would agree with my evaluation. I do not know how the odds are running in Vegas, but I assume that they give the Phillies the upper hand. So, I hope that everyone watches tonight as October baseball begins and the quest for a new champion begins. I hope that the end result will be red, but we have a long way to go before we get to that point.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Safety Valve

So, I think that after playing soccer last night, I need to reiterate one of my former points to myself. While we were scrimmaging, it was an incredibly competitive matchup. However, in the last minute I turned and faced my own goalie and bumped the ball past him while I was trying to stop a cross. So, even though the loss was unfortunate, I need to remember the fact that you need to play defense facing forward. I've also noticed from watching game film that many players play facing sideways. I guess it does make sense though because then I can spin into the ball to clear it out. However, I have a tendency to like to try to square up on the ball. So, I guess I need to learn that again. Also, I was thinking about a strategy that seems to be relatively standard in power soccer. Essentially what happens is whoever has the ball passes it to the player who is called the midfielder. The midfielder pushes the ball while being followed by the striker who serves as almost the safety in case the midfielder has to pass the ball back. The third player is on the weak side so that if the ball gets spun back to the striker, he or she has an option across the court to rotate the attack. I think this basic setup has potential, so maybe we can try it at some point.

Monday, October 4, 2010


So now it is official, but I would go even farther to say that it is Facebook official because I have seen it on Facebook. The Phillies are playing the Reds starting on Wednesday at 5:07. You know, I wouldn't have believed ESPN when they said it, but when I saw that on Facebook I knew it had to be true. The question now changes to who will win? Well, my totally biased opinion is that the Phillies will win simply on the strength of our pitching. I know that Roy Oswalt had a tough day yesterday, but I'm not too worried about him because it is always different for a starting pitcher to come out of the bullpen. Hamels, Oswalt, and Halladay can match anyone the Reds will throw. Then, you have to look at the offense where the Phillies have power throughout the lineup. Personally, I'm hoping that Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz can get their elbows straightened out. So, I definitely feel like the Phillies have the upper hand in this matchup, but you have to remember my bias. I always encourage everyone to look at the primary source, so go look at the stats so that you can make your own position.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Final Day

It's kind of funny, but I guess kind of sad. I am totally happy that the Phillies keep winning, so I don't want you to get me wrong. However, I'm not happy that it means that the Padres might get in instead of the Braves. I know that inner division rivals should not be liked, but I want the NL East to look good, so by default, that means that the other teams have to win quite a bit. However, I don't want the Braves to win today, but I definitely do want the Padres to lose today. Part of this reason is also selfish. If the Braves get into the playoffs, we have to play Cincinnati in the first round. If the Padres get in, they would become our first-round opponent. That may not seem like a big deal, but I'm not sure when the Phillies will play on the West Coast, so maybe two hours later at night then it has to be. However, this reason might be mute because you never know what the TV schedule is going to look like during the playoffs. However, whatever happens, I think that our playoffs won't end that early.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Looking Toward the Playoffs

I was very impressed that the Phillies pulled off the win last night. There were some powerful shots, but none were more powerful than Jimmy Rollins' grand slam to essentially guarantee the victory. It was kind of ironic because the Phillies' announcers kept reiterating the fact that Jimmy Rollins was in a slump, and they thought that he was trying too hard. Well, I guess he busted that slump in a huge way! I realize that this game really didn't matter too much to the Phillies since we're already in the playoffs, but it is good to keep the momentum rolling. The Phillies are looking very relaxed right now which is good, but I also hope that they can maintain some tension so that there is no slacking. However, they are professionals, so I know that they will be able to keep performing at a high level and not give too little effort. Also, I hope that this incredible stretch can continue. The Phillies have had one of the best Septembers I have ever seen. Of course that is awesome, and I really want it to continue into October, but I also have to be skeptical as to how long this incredible luck can continue. Baseball takes a lot of skill definitely, but luck is also a part of the equation, and I hope that that doesn't run out until the end of the playoffs.

Friday, October 1, 2010

End of Luck

So here's my idea. In crazy weather like we are having right now, a baseball game would have a rain delay. Normally, I'm not a fan of rain delays simply because they drag the game out later. However, here's my vote for today. I think that midterms should have rain delays. I have a midterm in the History of China and Japan at midday today, but a little rain delay would be nice. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this weather is going to change much for a while, but what has changed is the Padres chances of making the playoffs. With a 1-0 loss last night, it looks as if they are all but done. However, I guess technically they have a prayer, but I would not bet on it because the Braves are in control of the wildcard, and they are playing the Phillies this weekend. You all know I love the Phillies, but I know that they will not be sending all of the starters out there every day, so I highly doubt that we can sweep Atlanta as much as I would like to. So, San Diego needs more luck right now than anyone else, but I think that it has run out.
Photo by ** Maurice ** on Flickr