Diary of a misEducated Black Man

The Problem with American FUTbol is American FOOTball
July 17, 2010, 5:29 pm
Filed under: Lifestyle, Politics, Race, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Guest post by the one and only Football connoisseur himself, Mr. Avon Jackson.  Enjoy.

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup over, the soccer fan in me could not pass up this opportunity to speak my piece on American Futbol (ie. American Soccer).  I would like to preface this article by congratulating our US Soccer Team on a tournament well played.  The Yanks managed to win our group for the first time in 80 years, which is a monumental achievement, especially in a group with England, and when they had two controversial goals called back on separate occasions.  Add to the mix their tendency to allow points in the first 15minutes of the match (3 out of 4) and winning the group becomes an amazing feat!!! My hat is off to you gentleman.  Continuing to the purpose of this blog….

I was watching Roberto Martinez break down the US vs Ghana post game the other day and I had an epiphany; US Soccer’s main enemy is American Football.  Fewer children play soccer in this country because they play football, a sport non-existent in other nations.  Martinez cited an inadequacy in US International soccer as a lack of early recruitment in the lower-class, a level of society know to produce athletes.

Martinez believes in America soccer is a sport reserved for the middle and upperclass children and therefore they can’t be as devoted to bettering their game.  I agree to a certain extent but add that more lower class American children would be interested in soccer, if they were not force-fed football.  It makes sense children who enjoy one might enjoy the other because both games foundations are similar (running, cutting & tackling on a field).

It’s a fact that in this country football is the promoted outdoor sport of the lower class.  If you dont agree with me ride through any American ghetto and see how many pop warner signs you see vs youth soccer ads.  This limits the pool of soccer athletes without ever giving children a chance to choose, possibly eliminating all chances of a US born Lionel Messi.

Can we imagine for a second a Brazil with the NFL and a US without?  Kaka and Ronaldinho could possibly be All-Pro at quarterback and receiver respectively, while Michael Vick and Chris Johnson would be quite appealing forwards.  While this would unquestionably improve our National Soccer team, both of these players were born in the “god watches football – South” and while I could be wrong, I’m pretty sure they didn’t get a fair shot at trying both sports.  Had they been given this opportunity however we might have witnessed a shift of power in International soccer worthy of 9.0 on the richter scale.
Now I’m not condemning American Football by any means, I played in college and I’m a diehard Redskins fan. What I am condemning is the American mindset that soccer is not an acceptable sport for the children of all social classes and all nations. Playing soccer is just as respectable and in many markets more profitable than American football.  Not to mention that like basketball, it has a much longer field life expectancy for it’s professional and casual athletes, giving us American born “brilliance on the pitch” for years to come.


Happy Fathers Day; Bones, Billiards, and Bullcrap

First off, Happy Father’s Day to all the Pops out there, young, old, and in between.  Today is a celebration of manhood.  The bond between a man and his seed.  A day where we thank our Pops for taking us to the ballpark, teaching us how to mack the ladies, shoot pool, and play bones.  At least thats what mines did.

I gotta hand it to my Pops though, out of all the things he did wrong, he did one thing all too right.  When you have six babies by four different women the biggest challenge you face is juggling baby momma drama, finances, and being a father to all six of them.  My Pops had his flaws, no doubt.  There were large chunks of my childhood when I barely saw the guy.  However, from birth, my Pops made sure my siblings and I all knew each other.  We lived miles and miles apart, but on the weekends we’d all get together.  We’d shoot ball, we’d bowl, we’d go to the movies, or we’d watch Pop sleep on the couch watching Sportscenter over and over again.  No matter what though, we knew each other, and for being so far apart with different mothers, we all knew each other well.

That was important to my Pops, and of all the things he failed at, he succeeded at the most important thing.  Because after he’s dead and gone, his legacy will be us.  And we can all share in uplifting it together because of the one thing he did right by us.  Nowadays we’re pretty much all grown.  The last two are bringing up the rear at 17.  And we are all tight, leaning toward success, and blessed to have each other.  Thats the legacy of my Pops.  And I thank him for that.  Happy Father’s Day dad.

On to the next…

I’m done being sappy and back to being my regular pissed off, ranting and raving self.  I want to smack the Black off of Malian referee Koman Coulibaly, for being a totally inept, incompetent, and hopefully infertile, pile of flung monkey dung, referee.  This guy robbed us with no mask, no glock, and didn’t even have the courtesy to put gum on the cameras so the world couldn’t see the travesty.  I’m pissed.  I’m heated.  I’m upset.  But mostly, I’m motivated.

United States

Because to me its all too obvious.  The world is hating.  If you look at the roster of the current US National Team, we’ve got seven players that play for clubs in the English Premier League, one that plays for AC Milan, two playing on top clubs in Germany, one on the Glasgow Rangers, one in the Spanish Premier Division, and six others playing ball at a high level outside of the US.  In fact there are only three players on the national team currently playing in the MLS, widely considered the minor leagues of pro football.  Landon Donovan is currently with the LA Galaxy of the MLS, but was most recently on loan to Everton of the EPL.

In 2006, there were 12 players that were based overseas and 11 from MLS clubs.  Of the 12 based overseas, 8 of them had played in the MLS at one point in their careers.  From 11 MLS players to 3.  This trend indicates to me that US players are starting to get on par with the rest of the world.  The quality US players are now able to compete in the top leagues in the world.  Tim Howard is easily, top five goalkeepers in the world.  He just happens to be American.

To me its obvious that the world is having difficulty accepting the US as a football power.  Its a game thats not indigenous to us.  We are not the inventors, only a small percentage of our population cares about the sport, and they used to be able to say that US players were all minor leaguers.  But now, we’ve stuck out our chest and are right there with the big boys.  And the world doesn’t like it.  Koman Coulibaly doesn’t like it, and he let it be known. But you can’t keep a good Yank down.

..Just a few quick bits…

…I’m happy to see Tiger back.  He looked amazing yesterday.  Best back 9 of his career possibly.  Amazing shot on 18.  Right there in the thick of it…

…I was soooo wrong about the Celtics/Lakers.  What irritates me most is now I have to hear the Kobe/MJ discussion.  Nothing frustrates me more.  He’s good, not MJ…legendary…

…theres a huge oile spill in the gulf, you heard about that?  No really, google’s got a great feature to track it…

…I’m out like a batter facing Stephen Strasburg…

…check please…

Texico loves Futbol, Martin Tyler, and DUI’s before noon…oh and the Celts will win tonight

I’ve been told that I’ve been treating my blog like a baby locked in a car for three hours in triple digit heat while mama goes to get her hair did.  So with that in mind, I’m here to roll the windows down just a bit for my poor blog.  Not funny I know, because people actually DO leave their kids in the car all the time.  Like here during a domestic dispute, and here while the parents smoked meth, and here while the babysitter got a facial, and here while the parents hit up the casino, and even here while mom got her drank on at a local watering hole.

But!  This is not a PSA, calling for better parenting, but, then again maybe it should be.  As usual it is a random rant of ridiculous Rabelaisian rubbish, radicated in rooster recrement.  Not sure that makes sense, but alliteration is fun.  On to the goods…amazing week in sports!

The World Cup has finally begun. Can somebody please inform the American populace.  No seriously, somebody let them know.  The Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers AKA Comrade Obama needs to implement federal legislation, mandating that people tune into at least one game. You have to think, our bredren from the land of fish and chips, have found futbol to be so great that, as that stupid Hyundai commercial keeps reminding me, people name their children after entire national teams!

So, the goods so far.  Very few goals.  A huge gaffe by England keeper Robert Greene. Four goals by Germany.  Argentina looks potentially very scary.  Group G looks absolutely disgustingly difficult, with Brazil barely eeking out a win versus lowly N. Korea.  With the Ronaldo led Portuguese team and an Ivory Coast team thats dangerous as anybody in the tourney, this years Cup is shaping up to be legendary.

How bout that German team?  Jeez, a bunch of young bucks and two wiley vets have been the scariest team in the tournament.  They created opportunity after opportunity against the Socceroos.  I was highly impressed with them and speechless in regards to the Aussies poor performance.  My hat goes off to Miroslav Klose, who always seems to show up when wearing that Deutschland uniform.  Where was he during the club season?  I bet Bayern Munich fans are thinking the same thing.

Miroslav Klose Germany

But what about the damn ball?  If Mike Tirico brings up that gosh darn ball one mo gin…  Look, they complain about the ball every year.  It sucks, got it.  Now play.  Gotta say though, there was not a better moment than seeing the Red Coat Rob Greene crawling trying to keep that Clint Dempsey effort out of goal.  Awesome stuff.

This is a very low scoring tournament which I know is really turning off the casual fan, which is a nightmare for ESPN.  Too bad that the only casual fans live in the US.  Everyone else in the world is going bananas.  Trust I know.  I live in El Paso, Texico.  The bars opened up at 6am.  People were getting DUIs before noon.  I drove past the border and saw ten guys in the back of a pickup waving AKs and Mexican flags.  Its beyond bananas.

I’m in heaven.  Its like that dream I had when Hershey Park was actually made of Hershey’s.  I was very disappointed when I actually went there.  Heartbroken even.  So, I’ve decided that since I’d literally have to smack a Colonel in his face to get fired from the Army, that I’d just not go to work for a while and watch the Cup.  I mean hey, I’m a friggin Veteran, I deserve to watch the darn Cup.  BTW, if you ever wondered what warfighters do when they’re not at war, NOTHING!  So I’m watching the doggone World Cup!

Biggest observation of the WC thus far, is sadly these ridiculous vuvuzela things.  Ugh, I have never been more annoyed with any sound in the world.  Sorry Dumb and Dumber, move over.  Jeez its like living in hornets nest.  I have to mute the darn TV, which really bothers me because half the fun of watching soccer is Martin Tyler’s amazing commentating.  He has a way of saying really mean things that come across like compliments.  Must be the accent.

So now that I’ve lost my entire American readership, lets talk about a ball you all know all to well.  The Celtics are going to win tonight and thats that.  I’m out.  Want some analysis, go watch the worldwide leader!

…check please…

A United City defeats a Nation

Because every so often it’s nice not to have to do all the work, I’ve invited my best bud and soccer enthusiast, Ace, to guest blog for us today.

A United City defeats a Nation

by Avon Jackson

Yester-evening, DC’s most decorated sports team, DC United, took on Brazilian heavy-hitter Ronaldinho and the rest of his Italian club team AC Milan. It was a 90 minute thrill ride at RFK stadium in our nation’s capitol and I had the pleasure of witnessing it first hand.

To start, for those who don’t know, soccer is the only sport in the world that features international friendly matches at the professional club team level. This is an anomaly that benefits avid fans, such as myself, because it allows regular folks to witness the talents of international stars, such as Ronaldinho, LIVE and in person! My anticipation for this event was only amplified when I learned a few weeks ago that the former 2xFIFA player of the year was released by the Brazilian national team as they prepared for the upcoming World Cup (Jun 11th – July 11th a must watch event for any sports fan) therefore solidifying his attendance at the match in RFK.

Straight out of the gate United started attacking the Milan backline like a team possessed. Spending the bulk of the first half on the defensive, it was hard for Milan to get a shot and even harder for Ronaldinho to please the masses.  There were countless fans who wore his jersey and cheered every time he even touched the ball. The star power of this man is amazing in a way I have never seen before. With the most basic plays he ignited cheers and applause in a crowd dominated by DC United fans.  It was equivalent to the sound of proud mothers at their children’s graduation.

Sidebar, this type of respect is not found in other sports American or Worldwide. Only in soccer is it common for a player of a different race, nationality and playing for the opponent to be glorified in a foreign arena out of total respect for his play on the field. I still remember the days of Magic and Bird when neither player could step foot into their opponent’s floor without hearing boos and racial slurs despite their total dominance of the sport.

Back to the action, United wasted little time as our own Brazilian sensation, Luciano Emilio, found the back of the net off a headed shot attempt by Chris Pontius. Coming off a set kick, Pontius headed a shot that was blocked by Milan’s keeper only to land at the feet of a streaking Emilio who finished the job.

With this goal, United took a surprising lead in the 20th minute of play and RFK roared with excitement, accented by the normal sight of flying beer cups and colored smoke cans thrown by the United faithful. Even I threw my $9 beer in celebration, a feat I was quick to regret as I was then forced to purchase another.

As if this weren’t enough excitement, United played to the crowds pleasure with another goal coming 10 minutes later on a header by Pontius that was established by a brilliantly placed corner kick by Santino Quaranta.  Pontius touched the ball off the back of a defender and accomplished what he had meant to do with his first shot. This goal was a thing of beauty, as the header was so crisp and so quick that it left the Milan keeper motionless like a dancer in cement shoes.

At this point in the match, RFK was no longer a sporting arena but one big party. With random strangers slapping fives and grown men singing.  All that was missing was Jimi Hendrix and this could have been mistaken for Woodstock in ’69.  The stadium remained this way for the rest of the first half despite the extremely rough defending of Pontius, eventually resulting in a yellow card on Milan defender Ignazaio Abate and a strong shot attempt by Ronaldinho, that was deflected by a United defender.

Following the games intermission United made it a point to involve the entire team in the game. They made numerous subs and eventually ended up having to play a man down due to injury and lack of players.

The most electric play of the game came early in the second half on a missed shot attempt. Ronaldinho received a pass in the United goalie box and after volleying the ball in the air to himself, he unleashed a ferocious bicycle kick shot attempt that blew past all United defenders to include goalie Troy Perkins. Had the ball not hit the right post it would have made for a mesmerizing goal.

The matches next goal was scored by United in an all hustle effort. A feeble pass from the Milan backline to the goalie was pressured by United forward Danny Allsopp, who blocked the clearance kick which sent the ball rolling ever so S…L…O…W…L…Y into the net. United now lead the match 3-0,  a feat which no one not on the DC roster would have predicted. Not to be out done Milan picked up their efforts from this point on. Their first goal came on a questionable hand-ball call on a United defender in the penalty box. Milan’s Massimo Oddo stepped up to the plate and knocked down the easy penalty shot. Oddo struck again about 10 minutes later with a driven shot from about 30 meters out that cut through the defense like a hot knife through butter. The crowd, myself included, began to get uneasy as it appeared the Italian squad had come to life and was out for vengeance. Despite one more nerve wrecking shot from Oddo, the United backline managed to stay strong and close out the game securing the win.

All in all it was a world class experience that the MLS helped bring to my front door. The great Ronaldinho ended the match by throwing his jersey into the stands to some lucky fan who more than likely was cheering for United and donning the black and red. Players from both teams signed autographs and mingled with the fans exemplifying true sportsmanship as well as humanity. In my mind it was an introduction to soccer’s biggest event which starts next month, and carries the slogan “for one month, we are all spectators.”

Great stuff Ace, we appreciate it.

…check please…

Write the Future
May 25, 2010, 1:19 am
Filed under: Lifestyle, Politics, Race, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Absolutely amazing Nike spot.  Unbelievable!

Cristiano Ronaldo is an absolute man beast.  One day we silly Americans will get into Association futbol.  Just not today.

Does this ad help?

…check please…