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R.S.S.D. Is An Embarrassing Disorder And It Could Be Effecting Millions of People

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3 generations of Royals fans (front to rear): Greer (my son), Me, My Dad in an awesome 1985 Royals World Series Champions hat.

Ebola and EV-D68 are serious viruses. What I’m about to explain to you is not serious but could be embarrassing for a bit.

If you see me wearing shorts in November, yes AR weather normally will allow for shorts in November, this is because I’m suffering from a disorder that will soon be listed in the JAMA as an official disorder: RSSD – Royals Seasonal Shorts Disorder.

The cause of this disorder is because from 1990-2013 the Royals seasons were in essence over in May. May as we all know is the height of shorts season. So for the next couple months I might be a little confused about proper attire and being that I live in mild weather perpetuity I’m glad I won’t catch frost-bite. But I pray for my Royals-fans-friends who live in Kansas & Missouri where it actually gets cold.

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More proof about this disorder: Never in the past 2 decades have the Royals been in contention to warrant carving a “Royals Pumpkin”, but here’s my amateur attempt…come to think of it…are there professional pumpkin carving attempts?

But for now I’ll spend some time relaxing before college football and college basketball get started in a few months…wait…KU basketball has a game on Monday?! Well this is just freaking awesome!

On a more serious note (ummm, that sounds way too serious) when the fog of the Game 7 loss lifts (things are seeming better day by day – I’m down to 3 bottles of bourbon per day to help numb the pain) I will have a blog post covering my family’s trip to Kauffman stadium this past July (the first picture in this post is from that trip), and in that same post I’ll some other final thoughts on this magical season. What an amazing season!

Go Royals!

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in sports, Uncategorized

 

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Don’t Let The Terrorists Win. #BeRoyal and Go Royals!!

Don’t Let The Terrorists Win. #BeRoyal and Go Royals!!
photo credit Shane Keyser, The Kansas City Star

photo credit Shane Keyser, The Kansas City Star

Go Royals!!

Go Royals!!

The time to not let the terrorists win has never been more important than now!! We must be responsible!!

How can you do your part for the betterment of…the Royals?!

Don’t drink beer from San Francisco!

If you drink one of these beers from San Francisco then the terrorists win…ok, I’ll stop with the exaggerated hyperbole (department of the redundancy department) but semi-seriously ———- during this awesome World Series – that we haven’t been to in 29 years(let alone the playoffs) it’s super important for us to be responsible with the beer choices we make!

What you drink matters. Stay thirsty my friends but be sure to drink a Kansas City beer! Boulevard is my beer of choice.

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Go Royals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in sports

 

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“I’m Sorry.”

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. As a nation we have had so many things to process and work through. Mark Driscoll gets booted (rightfully so) from Mars Hill and Acts 29. Robin Williams commits suicide. And finally, after a couple days of ignoring it, the media started paying attention to what was going on in Ferguson, MO after Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer. And then on top of that all hell broke loose on social media – twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., about what was going on in Ferguson.

A very tough couple of weeks.

Throughout this past week’s racial tension that we all saw unfold in Ferguson, and then with the horrible fallout on social media, we were exposed to people and media outlets showing their true (racist) colors. On social media I saw “friends” post blatantly racist comments and also post veiled racist comments that were truly disheartening.

And disgusting.

Here in Little Rock, my wife, son, and I attend a multi-cultural church – Mosaic Church. Our church is made up of Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Eastern Europeans, and other ethnicities. It’s a beautiful thing to witness so many ethnicities worshipping our multi-racial god during what is the most segregated hour (11am-12pm) in America. Regrettably, racism is an issue that is unlikely to be solved in our ethnically segregated churches. If we don’t worship together how can we expect to work together on an issue that plagues our society?…and plagues the South moreso than anywhere else in our country.

When we went to church this past Sunday I was wondering what the atmosphere would be like. Would there be the elephant in the room (Ferguson) that we would not talk about? Would it be tense. Would it be normal? How could it be normal?

I don’t know why, but I arrived at church with an attitude of, “I’m sorry” towards my African-American brothers and sisters. I’m sorry for the way our nation has reacted to the situation in Ferguson, MO. I’m sorry for what happened in Ferguson. I’m sorry for the things that were/are being said in the media. I’m sorry for the hateful, vile things that were/are being said and spread on social media. I’m sorry that we (via the media) clamor to hear about the white couple who has gone missing, but turn a blind eye towards the minorities who die or are murdered every day in our cities’ core. I’m sorry.

But this past Sunday, I also saw hope. I saw understanding. I saw solidarity. I saw this issue addressed in the setting and clarifying manner it should be addressed – with multiple ethnicities being able to converse about the issue.

Every Sunday at Mosaic we close our worship service in prayer and each row of people holds hands with the people next to them stretching across the width of the worship area.

We do this every week and normally it doesn’t mean much more to me than a nice gesture, but this week it seemed like a strong gesture of solidarity after Mark DeYmaz addressed the white elephant in the room.

In the clip below watch what Mark DeYmaz had to say and the 5 questions he asked about the Ferguson situation. (click the play button)

I will have a longer, more in-depth post about racism in the near future – it’s been in the works for quite awhile.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in culture, spiritual, theology

 

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If You’re A Red-Blooded American You WILL NOT Drink Any of These Beers on Tuesday

If You’re A Red-Blooded American You WILL NOT Drink Any of These Beers on Tuesday

 

 

 

 

…Because without beer, things do not seem to go as well.

- Brother Epp in 1902 (Kansan)

 

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. 

- falsely attributed to Benjamin Franklin

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Two of the above five beers are safe to consume during the USMNT game on Tuesday, three are not. In this post I will explain why, and why not.

Ok, so who is excited?! The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) will continue on in the knock-out stage this Tuesday, July 1st, at 3:00pm (CST)! That’s awesome! This is the first time the USMNT has ever advanced to the knock-out stages in two consecutive World Cups. This is huge! The USMNT has a good team…not as good as I believe it could be…but remember, we are over that now and we are moving on.

We have all kinds of celebrities urging us on…like Will Ferrell (this video was before the Portugal game and pays homage to Luis Suarez)

And Hulk Hogan! I mean, does it get any bigger than Hulk Hogan?!

All kinds of watch parties are happening across the nation – Chicago, Brooklyn, Kansas City,

and even more cities. Even in my own background Dugan’s Pub will be hosting a block party…although I will be with my good friends at Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge. Michael has graciously agreed to open a little early for us soccer nuts.

This country is absolutely nuts for the World Cup and I can’t wait until tomorrow!

But I have important news for those of us who support the red, white, and blue – if you consider yourself a red-blooded American and want to truly support the USMNT you should do your part and NOT drink any of the beers listed below that are Belgium or Belgium owned.

Here are my qualifications for beers that made my “thou shalt not buy” list:

- Beers owned by Belgian companies – such as AB InBev

- beers owned by Belgian companies but still brewed in the USA – such as Budweiser

- beers that have the word “Belgium” in their name or the style in which they brew their beer – such as New Belgium Brewery

Now, this sucks, big time. Boulevard is one of my favorite breweries and I passed on their beer this weekend when I made my beer run…on Saturday night because I can not buy beer on Sunday here in Arkansas…it’s so asinine and actually bad theology…but that’s for another post some time later.

Beers Thou Shalt Not Buy…until after Tuesday

Boulevard – owned by Duvel

Hoegaarden

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Chimay

Duvel

Goose island

New Belgium Brewery

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Corona

Spaten

Labatt

Modelo

Leffe

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Anheuser-Busch InBev

Budweiser

Bud Light

Stella Artois

Michelob Ultra

Bass

Becks

Amber Bock

Landshark Lager

Hoegaarden White Ale

Busch

Shock Top

Rolling Rock

O’Doul’s

Kirin Ichiban

Lowenbrau

Bud Ice

Bud Ice Light

Budweiser Select

Budweiser Chelada

Budweiser Select 55

Budweiser American Ale

Bud Light Chelada

Bud Light Lime

Bud Light Golden Wheat

Bud Dry

Natural Light

Busch

Busch Light

Busch Ice

Natural Ice

Michelob

Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus

Michelob Ultra Amber

Michelob Light

Michelob Seasonal

Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry

Ultra Light

King Cobra

Hurricane

High Gravity

Beck’s Premier Light

Beck’s Dark

Beck’s Oktoberfest

Hurricane Malt Liquor

Kokanee Glacier Pilsner

O’Doul’s Amber NA

Anheuser-Busch Seasonal

Ziegenbock Amber

Bacardi Silver Strawberry

Bacardi Silver Lemonade

Bacardi Silver Raz

Bacardi Silver Mojito

Boddington’s Pub Cream Ale

 

Beers In The Clear: (this is not a comprehensive list, just mainly the big hitters)

Miller brand

Coors brand

Schlafly

Free State

O’Fallon

Diamond Bear

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Sam Adams

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The answer to the question with the picture at the beginning of the post:

Schlafly and Coors are safe.

Boulevard (owned by Duvel, a Belgian company), Stella Artois (owned by AB InBev, a Belgian company), and Budweiser (owned by InBev, a Belgian company) are not safe.

So there you have it. Have fun on Tuesday, cheer loud, and buy American-ish beer! And you know what, if you have any doubts drink bourbon…I think most bourbon would be safe.

Cheers!! U-S-A!!

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“In Munjor, we built a small combination brewery and ice-house. We felt justified in this because without beer, things do not seem to go as well, and to ship beer into the prohibition state of Kansas would arouse public notice, to say nothing of the expenditure and other difficulties.” – excerpt from Brother Epp’s journal

Resources

http://mobile.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-25/the-plot-to-destroy-americas-beer

http://beerwarsmovie.com/2009/12/01/who-owns-what/

 

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in sports

 

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Soccer in America: World Cup Fever vs. I’m Just Plain Sick of the World Cup: Part II, I Like You But I Don’t Need You

Ok, so here is part II. If you missed part !, it’s here. 

Expanding the American’s Mind to “Kiss Your Sister”

I like that soccer expands the minds of the people who are curious about soccer. I can’t tell you how many people (casual fans) texted me after the US tied Portugal, asking me, “So what happens now? Are we out? Can we advance?” While I was also trying to figure out all the tiebreakers – which are confusing and again not the way we as American’s would expect.

The way baseball fans can enjoy a quality pitcher’s duel is the same way I can watch and enjoy two soccer teams match wits and end in a 0-0 tie. Now, granted some 0-0 ties are ugly as sin and the fact some games can end in a tie blows people’s minds, but that’s soccer. Quirky, but beautiful.

I understand that some of the nuances of soccer, like a game ending in a tie, goes against our win or lose mentality here in America. We like black and white bifurcations – we won, you lost, that settles it, it’s over.

In America:

Win = good

Loss = bad

Therefore there is only one thing that can be good…a win.

In Soccer:

Win = good

Loss = bad

Tie = ok.

Tie = can be good.

Tie = can actually be awesome! Like this coming Thursday; if the US/Germany game or the Ghana/Portugal game end in a tie then the US will advance to the knockout stage!

In America we’re just not sure about how ending a game in a tie can be good. It confuses the hell out of us (even though NFL games can end in a tie) so we dump soccer in the “bad” category in our brain because we don’t know how to process/reconcile a tie. A tie is like kissing your sister!

But again a tie this Thursday in the US/Germany game or Ghana/Portugal game will send the US fans into a frenzy because it will send us into the knockout stage!

Pure, Absurd Hate That Makes Me Laugh and Pity The “Haters” 

What cracks me up is the way some people are so completely vehemently AGAINST soccer. I don’t get that. Where did all this vitriol towards soccer come from? You never hear people say, “Hell, no I won’t watch tennis?! What are you crazy?! That sport is terrible!”

Most Americans won’t try to process it, they’ll normally dismiss it and this is why you have so many people that are against soccer. If it is different or we don’t understand it then we dismiss it or oppose it.photo

Why are people so against soccer? And not just against soccer, there is pure vitriol coming from people who hate soccer. But I don’t get it. You don’t hear this same kind of hate spewed towards golf, or tennis, or hockey…why soccer? Is it because soccer is so different and we (people in general) dismiss things we don’t understand? Could they maybe feel threatened or afraid?…

Whatever. Spew your hate. I’ll laugh and I’ll show you some pity and help nurture you back to feeling good about life…

…because that misplaced hate is coming from a very narrow almost closed mind. But hey, suit yourself, that’s just more beer for me at the soccer matches.

On the lighter side of things…

If you’re not pulling for the US team…shame on you…but check out this flow-chart for who to cheer for…although some teams have been eliminated already. But this is pretty dang funny.

http://m.tickld.com/x/for-any-confused-world-cup-fans-this-is-absolutely-genius

What’s In A Name?

Look at the comical side of things…what other sport throws in an arbitrary water break (like in the US/Portugal game) 5 minutes before half-time. And, who couldn’t like a sport with crazy names: a Brazilian named Fred? Seriously, there’s a Brazilian named Fred, Hulk, Maxwell, and Oscar. What are their last names? It doesn’t matter, you will call me Hulk. And there are other great names, Nani, Mix Diskerud, Zusi, and Koke. If you want to have some real fun go to Croatia’s or Bosnia and Herzegovina’s team page and look at their names – yeah, big time tongue twisters.

I Promise I’m not a Haughty-Toddy/Snoccer Fan

Some friends and I got together at Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge to watch the US vs. Ghana game last Monday. It was a great end result with Brooks scoring the winning goal late in the game. During the game we were talking about the state of the game and it’s popularity in the United States. One friend made the comment about how much the popularity would grow if we did well in the World Cup. Well, the topic of “doing well” in and of itself is a huge topic but my initial thought about his statement was, “I don’t really care how much soccer grows in popularity in the United States”. Now, if I’m honest my thought isn’t 100% true. But at the same time I honestly don’t care too much about what other people think about soccer. I love soccer. Period. I don’t care if my neighbor is a fan or not; it doesn’t decrease my enjoyment. I’ve survived to this point in my life watching, playing, coaching, and enjoying soccer and I believe I’ll be able to do the same the remainder of my life as well with or without a new crop of fans by my side. Although I do have an adorable 16 month old son who I will try to brainwash… ;)

 

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I say all this and I don’t want to come across as haughty, but in all honesty I don’t need casual fans to enjoy one of my favorite sports.

Soccer fandom in the United States has always existed as a sort of quirky subculture in the United States. We sing dumb songs/chants, (I mean, they honestly are dumb, but when you’re doing it with 20,000 other fans it’s alot of fun!…did you actually watch this video?

…we hold scarves over our heads in 100 degree weather, and we don’t go berserk if a game ends in a tie. Yeah, I get it, we’re weird.

Now allow me to clarify something before y’all think I’m a jerk. In this post I made the comment it doesn’t decrease my enjoyment if other people are not fans…but the more fans there are watching at watch parties at all across the country, and packed in bars in Little Rock so tight the fire marshall has a coronary, that makes it all the more fun. More fans jumping on the band wagon can increase my enjoyment. Even if it is only during the World Cup.

Closing Time, Last Call

To those who will continue to post hateful comments about soccer, I want you to know I pity you and that you also make me laugh – it’s pretty funny to see people go out of their way to expend hateful energy on the world’s most popular sport. Oh, and you can also imagine my middle finger in your face too – I’ll expend that energy towards you. Love ya mean it. :-)

To the casual fans peaking over the fence at the game of soccer, jump on over that fence, grab a beer, a scarf, and hop aboard the US Soccer Fan Train. I appreciate more people joining in on the fun. If you’re ever confused don’t feel hesitant to ask me a question. It’s a fun, beautiful game. We love that you’re with us. It’s going to be a fun ride on Thursday and hopefully beyond!

 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in culture, sports

 

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Soccer In America: World Cup Fever vs. I’m Just Plain Sick of the World Cup, part I

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Soccer, Yoda, Hulk, Fred, and Marcus Smart in the Same Post? Yes, but not all today. This is a two-part (on back to back days) post. I’m not like ESPN or Yahoo! Sports, or CBS Sports that stretches it out for months. This will be short and sweet…and if we (the USA) advance to the knock-out rounds I’m sure there will be more posts. You’ve been warned! ;-)

Since the World Cup began, about two weeks ago, I’ve had lots of thoughts bouncing around in my head so there are several topics in this post. Most of these topics I will just touch on lightly…I don’t go too much in to detail. If I did it would make this post super, super long instead of just super long. I hope you enjoy…and of course fire back your thoughts to me. I love civilized dialogue!

Move Along, There Is No Donovan To See Here

I believe it was a mistake for Landon Donovan to be left off of the World Cup squad. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but I was miffed about this when the squad was announced.

But we need to get over it. Sure, it’d be awesome to have him at the World Cup, especially considering the injury to Josey Altidore. I thought it’d be great that even if Donovan didn’t start we could bring him off the bench in the 60th minute to change the pace of our attack. But since he was left off of the roster he can’t play. It’s over. It’s done. He’s one helluva player and I wish he could be with us but he can’t. So we need to get over it and stop bitching about it.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

As the game on Thursday gets closer I’m getting more and more nervous thinking about the game and if the US will advance out of the group stage.

All Germany needs to do advance, and take first place in our group is draw with us on Thursday.

All we need to do to advance is beat Germany or tie Germany.

Oh, one little thing though…Germany is good…damn good! Did you see the hurt they put on Portugal? The same Portugal that we tied 2-2. To be fair Ghana tied Germany 2-2 and we beat Ghana…so who knows what will happen?

Even if we lose against Germany we can still advance if Portugal and Ghana draw, but I don’t see that happening. Cristiano Ronaldo even came out recently and said he doesn’t believe they (Portugal) are a top team and by their showing in the World Cup so far I would agree. They’re old and several of their players are battered and bruised and also hot-heads who can get red-cards for the dumbest of things. I believe Ghana can beat Portugal and our goal differential with Ghana is razor thin. We are +1 and Ghana is -1. Now Portugal can still advance too, but they need a ton of goals to do so and if they start forcing the issue that can leave them exposed for counterattacks with Ghana’s high pressure defending which is excellent. Did you see how they controlled much of the second half against us. And there’s a reason for why they did, but I won’t get into the boring tactical analysis.

I’m secretly hoping there are some back-room deals going on between the US and Germany and they’ve already agreed to play the most boring game ever and in a draw; but in reality that’s not going to happen. So I am genuinely becoming more and more nervous about the game on Thursday. But as an optimist I believe I will be celebrating with a big, fat, celebratory cigar on my drive home from Northwest Arkansas on Thursday.

{If you’re still not clear on what is going on with all the tie-breakers here is how the US and all the other countries can advance, if they are not already eliminated.}

We’ve Come A Long Way

Soccer has come a long way in the United States. I can remember back to my freshman year of high school in Topeka, KS and the football team was running next to our soccer field while we were practicing and the football team was yelling homophobic slurs at all of us and then my coach feeling the need to stick up for us went over and was about to start a fight with some of the football players. We thought it was hilarious and we weren’t affected by the slurs they were yelling. I guess I should probably be in counseling for the bullying I experienced that day, but that’s for another post. The point is, is that soccer has risen above the floor of most civilized* people in the United States not necessarily understanding it completely, but at least not making fun of it.

As we were getting done with our league soccer game this past Sunday we were hearing reports of alot of restaurants being jam-packed full of people ready to watch the US vs. Portugal game. This soccer fever has been caught by a wave of people across the US and this is fun! Outside of Little Rock there are huge watch parties all across the country in Kansas City, Chicago, Houston, Brooklyn and more cities drawing tens of thousands of people at each location! I’m telling you, hearing about all of this and seeing different clips on the news, social media, and on youtube from each location…this is fun!

Floppity Flop Flop and Marcus Smart

I’ll admit that flopping in soccer is a big problem. But it’s getting much better…in most cases.

And then after a little spray from the magic spray can they’re good to go and right back in the game.

Magic Spray is Magic! – photo credit to SBNation.com

 

Yes, flopping sometimes seems unique to soccer but remember Marcus Smart?

I will also say that for the most part USA players do not flop. There will always be exceptions and incidents when it will happen, but mostly when a USA player goes down it’s because they were fouled. I’m not a soccer apologist – there are issues, just as there are issues with all sports – no sport is perfect and this is a specific example where soccer can get better.

Soccer thankfully has made a serious effort to decrease flopping by doling out yellow cards for Marcus Smart-esque flops, or at the very least letting the play to continue on without even acknowledging the flop.

That’s all for today…

In my next post ,on Wednesday, I’ll cover: kissing you sister, hate towards soccer, awesome world cup player names, and how I’m not a snobbish soccer fan but I don’t need you to like soccer.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in community, sports, Uncategorized

 

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Your Blame is Seriously Misguided

 

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First, I’m partially to blame for the loss. I jinxed us. Let me explain…as the game entered the final minute of stoppage time I turned to Tracy (my wife) and said, “It only takes 5 seconds to score a goal”. ——— 30 seconds later I was cussing at the tv.

Like Tim Howard said after tonight’s game, “Soccer is a cruel game”. So true, Tim, so true.

I’m mentally and physically exhausted from that game…and I’m also completely jacked up…but I want to clear something up.

I keep seeing people saying that if Cameron would’ve had a better clearance then Portugal wouldn’t have scored the first goal; or if Bradley scores on the open netter that was saved by a knee then we would’ve won. Well, that’s not actually factual. Soccer is a game that a simple touch, flick, or whatever that changes how the ball rolls then changes the sequence of the game from that point on. So this means the sequece of events is ever evolving. Does that make sense?

I guess some people just don’t understand alternate dimensions.

For example, in tonight’s game if Cameron gets a better clearance on the ball then the play continues on and doesn’t stop with a goal being scored – so the sequence of events would have been different than how the game actually played out.

If Cameron clears the ball we don’t know 100% how many other goals might have been scored…or whether or not a goal is even scored during the game at all. Those results are somewhere in an alternate dimension.

Consider this explanation from Michael Caine in the movie, “Mr. Destiny”. But when he says “destiny” just pretend he is saying, “the end result of the game”.

 

Soccer is not a systematic game…actually most sports are the same as well…the sequence of events are ever-changing. Every touch on the ball, tackle made or missed, fumble won or lost, 3 pointer made or missed – they all change the trajectory and sequence of events of a game.

I’m not 100% blaming Bradley…but factually, Bradley holding & losing the ball at midfield, or the defenders who were initially in position but were being lazy while watching Ronaldo cross the ball, are the only plays you can factually say that if that doesn’t happen, or something occurs differently in that sequence of events then we would win the game. This is “factual” because it happened with 10 seconds remaining in the game.

I’m sure there is an easier, better, or more articulate way of explaining all of this but like I said before I’m mentally and physically exhausted.

That is all for now.

My next post is a big middle finger and also laughing at the people who “hate on” soccer. Their narrow-minded, needle-brained, vitriol makes me laugh. And frankly, I don’t give a damn what they think about one of my favorite sports. I’ll explain soon…

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2014 in culture, sports

 

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