Friday, March 30, 2007
(via Consumerist and probably a 1000 other places at this point. I am sure this little nugget is all over the place.)
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Update: Flickr set with more photos can be found here.
While most US Soccer fans were watching the MNT's inability to adjust to Guatemala's defensive posture, I was in Baton Rouge watching the New England Revolution slaughter the New Orleans Shell Shockers (PDL team). The Rev's won 4-0 and pretty much dominated. Even though their opponent was weaker then them, I couldn't help but be impressed with the speed of play at times. The primary difference between a MLS team and a PDL team? First touch was awesome. Speed of play was 3* faster.
Game coverage on the Rev's site can be read here. I think this guy Cristman is going to be interesting to watch. The guy is big, fast, and seems to have a knack to put them away (in contrast to the forwards in the other game folks were watching...). He had 34 career goals at UVa and has a history with younger US national teams as a former member of the U.S. Under-17 and Under-18 programs. He also played the U.S. Under-23 Team this past February in Japan. He was involved in 3 out of 4 goals last night.
BTW, Steve Ralston is an awesome midfielder. I never appreciated him until I saw him in person. Great player.
Here are some photos that I took during the game ( I may upload some more to Flickr and will post an update if I do). The assistant referee in the one shot is my buddy Mark. Congrats to him on getting to ref at this level.
Shalrie Joseph warming up pre-game.
Reis, Ralston, and Mark
Ralston passing in the midfield. This guy never stopped running.
Reis on a goal kick.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Oliver Kahn did. I feel his pain. Free Kahn.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
"Maybe it's time for the gallery - and that's all of us not named Sunil Gulati and Dan Flynn - to look past the obvious story-line and focus on what's not being addressed from that summer of misery we slogged through.
The lack of meaningful games played in Europe. The continual club vs. country issues with European call-ups and the relative benefits of staging games with MLS dominated rosters. The real size of the player pool and depth at individual positions. Establishing the National Team as the top of the pyramid and calling on players and at least MLS club coaches to think about overall tactics and an American style of soccer. Until then, any coaching selection is going to be interim, especially if the coach in question already has a contract. "
In no particular logical order:
- I got my wish and got to see Feilhaber play center mid. He did not disappoint and even made a goal line save. I thought his vision and poise in the center of the field were excellent. Simple passes and fairly consistent distribution. Yes, he got burnt in the beginning of the game on one play (badly) and he had a couple awkward touches, but remember that this was his first cap ever. If you watch that game again and pay attention to where every play starts (especially in the first half), you will notice that a great majority start with Benny. This is in spite of the fact that the guys in the booth thought it always started with Landon. Not true. Defensively, he needed Bradley next to him in the second half. The front/back combination with Landon did not do him justice on the defensive side of the ball in the first half. I did notice him body an Ecuadorian off the ball though at some point. In general it looks like he might want to hit the weight room (coming from someone who hasn't been to the gym in 4 weeks).
- Guys in the booth: I hate to harp on it but they pretty much just plain suck right now. Did they show a graphic comparing Gooch to a Buccaneer? Did Bruce just compare Landon to Michael Jordan? Can these guys slobber any more over Landon? Listen, the guy played great and I am impressed, but there came a point where I thought they were simply ignoring the contributions (or lack thereof) of other players on the field. Do I care if you like Bruce Springsteen? No. Do I want you to talk about about the play on the field? Yes. Do you? No. Ugh.
- Bradley: It doesn't matter which one you are talking about, right now, neither can do any wrong. The son was one of the reasons the second half was such a big improvement. He's a work horse. I like him. The coach, 3-0.
- In case no one noticed, the future of the US MNT center midfield may have debuted in that game. I can only pray this is the case, Benny and Mike were good.
- Johnson: Time to hang up the boots. Even when the ref missed that offsides call you managed to sky the volley. Next chance you had in the 18 you didn't shoot. Where were you the rest of the game?
- Gooch: Really poor first half. Watch that clip again and see how bad he gets smoked on the Ecuador goal. Alternatively, you can admire that sweet first touch by Caicedo. Ecuador disappeared in the second half and that was no mistake. Gooch and the rest of the back line manned up in the second 45.
- Conrad: Despite a shaky first half by the back 4, I keep the faith in Conrad. Key game changing save in the first half, big and strong in the back.
- Bocanegra: Exposed all game. Not a good showing at left back...which isn't his true spot anyway and he showed why.
- Defense: How slow are we? Or is Ecuador just that fast? Holy cow. That first half was sketchy.
- Dempsey: I think he needs to get some real playing time before rust sets in. I won't say lack of confidence might set in. I can't imagine Deuce would ever suffer from that.
- Beasley: Besides the assist I thought he was a black hole. He actually may be more annoying to watch right now than Johnson. Is that possible?
- Ching: Strong on the ball. Bled for his colors. Great assist to Landon. Can't complain.
- Howard: Looked awkward at moments and had some mis-communication with his back line. Stellar save in the first half though. I like Howard in between the sticks. Some guys just make you feel safe back there - right now he's my man.
- Post game reaction: Folks, get off Landon's back. The guy is good. He had some bad games last World Cup. Cut him some slack and let's support the leading goal scorer on the squad. I am behind old Landycakes even if he is a pretty boy wuss. It is a little annoying that the guy can't have a good game without everyone complaining about him. Silly really.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
- "I see more and more financial interests over-riding people in club football especially."
- "Even rich countries they are not capable of providing safe and comfortable stadia and I see that violence is everywhere, including inside the stadia."
- "Where is football leading to if players are now at each others' throats?"
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Jay DeMerit (Watford FC)
Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen)
Benny Feilhaber (Hamburger SV)
Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday)
I am really hoping to see Feilhaber take the field. I watched him play for the U-20 team in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and I thought he showed potential to be the future playmaker of the US squad. It's a double fixture camp so the chances are good that we will see Benny get his first cap.
Bob on Benny: "Benny started the season quite well in Hamburg, but obviously has suffered of late with the coaching change, but he has a good feel for the game. He reads things well when he has time on the ball. He has a good sense of where the ball should go. He can mix up passes short and long. So we are anxious to continue to challenge him and move him forward."
Bob on Spector: "Jonathan, we all know, is a young player that has done quite well in the Premiership. Primarily he has played as a right and left back, but he also has some experience playing as a center back. I think that we want to be able to see him on both the outsides and in the center and have a good grip on what he can offer for the tournaments this summer and know where he fits best. Week in and week out the part that always impresses me with Jonathan is just his competitiveness. He’s shown, even as a young player in hard games, that his concentration is good and he understands how to handle himself in tough games."
Benny vs. Landon:
Monday, March 19, 2007
This is a picture from a marquis at the local technical college in Lafayette. Beyond the local relevance of the marquis, I like the staggered signs (for a dry cleaner and a shoe repair shop) that fall back behind it.
- We did not give up a single goal all weekend - 4 games, 0 goals. The final was 0-0 and went to PK's. Half the time we played with a back-up goalie who is not trained at all. I didn't keep a tally on shots but I remember 5 or less that even came close.
- We scored 11 goals in 4 games.
- We did both of these with 12 players - 1 sub. That is not an easy task.
- I saw my team play their best game of the year on Sunday morning. It was good to see them click. Now they just need to do it when the cup is on the line.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Slick Willie is confined to Virginia. When I moved to Louisiana, I went back to my simple first name and life settled down. One particularly close friend seems to have recently started my newest nickname. At the moment, he is the only one that uses it and I am ok with that. I picked up on it after the second voice mail on our home phone. He seems to be calling me "Dubya."
The way I see it, the potential to associate my name with a President of the United States now dates back two administrations, all the way back to 1993. Now, I can't really figure out how Hilary, Barack, Giulani, McCain, or any of the others has a potential nickname that can help me figure out who is going to win in 2008...but if a candidate comes along with a nickname that fits me, maybe you should put your money on that one.
Monday, March 12, 2007
- The youth soccer season for my U-16 team kicked into gear with our first tournament. We lost in the final on penalty kicks to one of our rivals. Losing in PK's is usually considered one of the most unsatisfying ways to lose a soccer game. I normally agree. However, we had come back from a 1-0 deficit in the final against a very strong team...and looking back at that game, I don't feel the classical dissatisfaction with the PK loss. Odd.
- Gardening is rewarding. We planted a lime tree this weekend (as well as some herbs in our backyard) and I think this is the first tree I have ever planted. Not 100% sure about that but I think I am right. I am excited to see if it makes it. We have had some personal loss in my family recently. Until now, I have refrained from mentioning in this forum. The tree was purchased at a different time, but upon planting it, I can't help but associate it a little bit with the memory of my grandmother.
- Life lesson: Don't leave your trunk open for extended periods of time - the battery runs out.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
My name is Robert L. Darbelnet and I am the CEO of AAA. First, I would like to thank you and your wife for the last 10 years of doing business with our company. When you bought your first house, we were very happy to see that you turned to AAA to provide home, flood and hurricane (wind and hail) coverage.
The reason I am writing this letter to you is because it has become clear to AAA that there is a good possibility that you might actually need to make use of your insurance if another hurricane were to impact your area of the
You should know that if you were a hurricane policy holder with us for 3 years or more, that we would not be able to legally remove this coverage from your policy. However, because the legislators in your state have decided to not protect or encourage new homeowners in
I understand that you have discussed this situation with our phone representatives that they have outlined some possible options to help you feel more at ease with our decision. To recap, these options include:
2. Call all insurance companies operating in
3. Open a savings account and begin saving money in case your house gets damaged by a hurricane. Placing money under your mattress is a good back-up just in case the local banks suffer damage as well.
Mr. Wilablog, your patience and understanding in this matter is greatly appreciated. Even though you may not be able to find a viable option for hurricane coverage, please understand that we personally recommend that you find some way to protect yourself from this risk. After all, hurricane related damage is extremely likely when you live on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana.
Robert L. Darbelnet
If you've never been to this part of the country, these last names are ubiquitous. Thus, there are tons of classic cajun jokes and stories where two characters named Boudreaux and Thibodeaux take all the glory. The -eaux is pronounced with a long "O" and the "x" is of course silent. Cajuns love their -eaux and play on words with literal long "O"s in them and replace them with the -eaux. Thus, you will see signs that read something like "Geaux Cajuns."
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
Satellite photo on WikiMapia.
My neighbor from Jersey, SINEDDIE, is from a hunting family so I know that signs like this aren't actually cajun. I know that this sign is remarkable to me purely because I was not raised in a family where hunting and guns were part of daily life. And finally, to be fair, I have a little bit more experience with hunting than I let on. In fact, I've had my share of run-ins with deer carcases and assault rifles more than once. But those are stories for another time.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
These are some photo's from dinner.
2. Cajun Yoga
3. The Wine
It was a sit down show with a songwriter session feel with Marcia doing a lot of talking between songs as well as a little Q/A with the audience. Two major highlights of the show for me:
- The cover of the Randy Newman song, Louisiana 1927 - with the orchestra backing the band, this song was really moving.
- An encore rendition of When the Saints Go Marching In - with each repeated chorus another full row of horns would stand up and the sound grew in intensity with each pass. The audience was of course all standing, clapping, singing, dancing, you name it. I've never seen this song performed in a live setting in Louisiana. Way cool.
Go to Alligator Records get her music
Thursday, March 01, 2007
The straw is sometime covered with a piece of tape or the upper most portion of the straw wrapper. This is a good thing. Otherwise, we would have a bunch of drunk cajuns driving around Lafayette. Ummm.....yeah.