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soccer

I may be here tomorrow, but….

Awesome coach training session tonight! Loved it!

CRUSHED IT!

Some notes:

1) The other coaches were at least 5 yrs younger than me. The majority were 25-35. I guess most guys don’t father a child at 44. Testosterone-challenged woosies.

2) Being one step above sedentary for a year and then, well, doing wind sprints for 2 hours? Feels great. But I was consciously checking for signs of a heart attack. “No numbness in left arm? Gooood…”

3) oops. Spoke too soon.

4) nope. Just indigestion.

5) I love the Beautiful Game. While my heart is with hockey, the poetry of soccer? Sorry. There is no equivalent.

6) Finally, I’m going to be really, really, really sore tomorrow. Really sore.

7) Really.

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Soccer in Canada if you have a penis?

I’ve been holding back posting this for a few days until my utter anger dissipated. Well, that ain’t really happening…

If you are serious about soccer as a career. if you are talented and want to pursue the Beautiful Game as a vocation, then I hope, for your own sake that you are not a Canadian male.

Because Canada when it comes to soccer? Well, we suck.

Let me be perfectly clear that I’m not talking about the estrogen dominant species… Just those of us where testosterone gains the day.

Our women? They win the bronze medal at the Olympics. They should have had a chance at the gold if not for a ref who was either on the take or stupidly drunk.

Our men? They go into a game against that soccer powerhouse, Honduras, needing only a tie to advance to the next stage. Honduras is not Germany. Nor England, Portugal, nor fricking Serbia!

So what do our men do? Well, they lose by 7 goals! I saw better defending by some of the U12 teams I coached!

We should just call it a day and forget about going after any more World Cups. It isn’t worth the humiliation.

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Christine Sinclair’s ludicrous ban…

…and fine is typical of the corrupt anachronism called FIFA! Like the IOC, it is a cabal of greed and very wealthy individuals who are interested in nothing else but seeing a great sport make as much money for them as possible… even if they have to degrade the Game to so.

Christine Sinclair is an amateur athlete who is the best in the world at her art. She should have been treated with more respect than this.

Wait till the boos rain down on the FIFA officials at the 2014 Women’s World Cup!

Does anyone know to whom I should fire off a cheque to help to offset some if the $3500 fine?

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Drunken ref not working any more…

Yup. She just wasn’t chosen. I’m sure that this has nothing to do with her being drunk during the Canada/US match.

No siree… nothing at all…

(398)

FIFA sucks… and so does the IOC…

This is such utter bullshit.

Either the fix was in or that ref was just so completely incompetent that it defies imagination. And I know more than a little bit about the game.

Tell ya what. If the players or the coach are fined for those justified remarks, I – and I’m sure millions of other Canucks – will be willing to cover those fines by throwing some coinage into the pot.

Just tell me where to send the cheque.

The beautiful game just ain’t so beautiful today.

(919)

Way to go, Canada! U rock!

You won that match. Hold your heads high. Your country is damned proud.

A comment on the cbc.ca site says it all:

Great effort ladies. The only thing missing from that game was a trained referee.

Yup. I coulda done better.

Might have exploded my heart trying to keep up with your pace, but, meh.

And Ms. Sinclair, you are a class act. You and your team must lead the Canadian team into the closing ceremonies.

(431)

Friday, er… Saturday, er, SUNDAY miscellany…

Queen, hockey, Hoedown, shopping and soccer edition!

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Oh brother… the world’s fave in-bred family is celebrating something again. Yay.

Revellers in London are getting ready for today’s big celebration marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Up to a million people are expected to flock to the banks of the River Thames to witness what promises to be a theatrical extravaganza, a flotilla of 1,000 vessels.

Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip will be part of the river pageant, aboard the Spirit of Chartwell, floating along the 11-kilometre route winding through central London.

They will pass under 14 bridges and finish at Tower Bridge. Military boats, D-Day boats, paddle steamers and boats from across the Commonwealth are taking part in the flotilla.

Gag me with a spoon. With the economic shitstorm that the U.K. has been in for the past few years, I can’t help but wonder that there must be more than a few Brits who are a little pissed off that oodles of Pounds Sterling are being spent on this crap.

Maybe they’ll make their views know?

Hey! Look at this! They are sure trying to!

The leading anti-monarchy campaign group in Britain, Republic, has announced plans for two major protests against “the hereditary system” in Britain which they consider as offensive to all “democratic values”.

The first protest, which has been described as the “biggest republican protest in living memory” is to be staged on Sunday June 3 at 1:30pm near City Hall.

The June 3 protest is organized so that the demonstrators will be in full view of the Queen and her family as they disembark the lead boat in the Queen’s Jubilee Thames Flotilla which is expected to travel down the Thames in London.

“Our loud, bold and provocative protest is a major step forward for the republican movement and an opportunity to kickstart a real debate about the future of the monarchy. The royals spend most of their lives shielded from criticism – this protest will give them a rare glimpse of the strength of republican sentiment in Britain today,” said Graham Smith, Republic’s chief executive.

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Nicholas Lidstrom has finally announced his retirement

What a career! Congrats!

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Speaking of hockey, the Marlies are in the Calder Cup final!

Even if they don’t win, this shows that there is a good crop of youngsters coming up through the TML system… and this has to be a good thing!

As long as Burke doesn’t trade ’em away, that is…

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What a totally bizarre murder – the body parts thing. And what a totally weird dude who has allegedly perpetrated the crimes.

Make you put a face to that seemingly intangible thing called “evil”…

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Capital Hoedown – The shit-kickin’ boot festival that has been held in Ottawa for the past few years is in financial trouble and may not happen this year.

To which I say “YEEEE-HAW!

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Cross border shopping is getting easier! Intrepid and cash and credit card-rich shoppers can bring back even more crap from the Wal-Marts in Syracuse and elsewhere!

This is a good thing?

It has to hurt our own retailers, right?

You won’t see me at one of those outlet malls… ever… don’t see the appeal and I cannot be convinced that when you factor in the fuel costs and dining out expenses, that anyone really saves some significant moolah. No way.

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Soccer this summer.

I fell in love with the game in 1982 during the World Cup held in Spain that year. I wasn’t a fan of the Azzurri but admired Paulo Rossi for his skill. But what really drew me to the sport was the Brazilian team… such poetry!

Since then, I have been as big a fan of footy as of hockey… started following the Coventry Sky Blues in the late ’80’s and then moving on to Arsenal in the mid ’90’s.

It is a beautiful and simple game. Support our Canadian men and women this summer as we try to qualify for the next World Cup and win some matches in the MLS!

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Really? Seriously?

Medals are bad? Athletic competition is bad? Really? From what I’ve seen, competitive athletics encourages excellence, teamwork, and effort.

But this is apparently now verboten.

And don’t even think about medals and trophies!

And I’m not speaking as some sideline soccer Dad. I coached youth soccer in Nepean and Gloucester for about ten years. I’m certified. I’ve run countless practices and drills and have coached scores of games. I know what I’m talking about.

And yes, medals and trophies are expected.

The awarding of medals at the end of the season is an annual tradition for soccer clubs in the city, just as it is for hockey, baseball, and I would guess most organized sports. The medals are normally awarded at a team’s annual banquet.

And this is what the folks at Ottawa South United (the City’s largest soccer league) expected to pick up when a rep dropped by the offices of the Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association (EODSA). But….

The district office told Ottawa South that there were no medals and there wouldn’t be in the future because medals promote competition.

Thinking this was a mistake the Ottawa South looked to clarify via email. Here is what they received back.

“The EODSA league will not be giving out medals. The decision was ratified by the EODSA board at its September 1 meeting. As you know we have reduced fees in the league to $200.00 per team this season, in addition the presentation of medals is considered to emphasize winning versus player development, which is the new focus of OSA programs.”

Skill development is vital. Don’t get me wrong. But skills can be talk in a competitive environment. And it is this combination that beings out the best in most if not all players.

So my reaction is somewhat predictable : screw your head back on the right way. EODSA!

BUT, as it turns out, this goes deeper than soccer. Brian Lilley (which I have NEVER EVER referenced until now – our politics are a little different and he writes for those Sun reactionaries..) points out the following in his blog:

This move towards eliminating competition goes well beyond soccer and is moving into all children’s activities and it’s backed by the federal government. Specifically Sports Canada, part of the Heritage Department headed up by James Moore.

The Long Term Athlete Development program is being pushed by the feds and national and provincial sports bodies onto leagues that belong to any kind of organized structure.

It has looked at the real problem of some parents and coaches putting too much emphasis on winning and not enough on teaching the fundamentals of a sport and decided to throw the baby out with the bath water.

They are mandating that children’s sports leagues follow a new regimen that drops competition at the youngest ages and focuses on practicing rather than playing a game.

According to the program, there should be no competition, meaning no real, organized active games in team sports until age 8 for girls and age 9 for boys. Even after that age the ratio of practices to games is ridiculous. The recommendation is 7 practices for every 3 games played.

After age 12, you can have 3 practices for every 2 games.

Yeah, I saw parents get carried away – even in the rec leagues that I coached in… but is this not going way too far? Kids want to know what the score was. They want to have  winner and a loser (oops, sorry, “almost-winner”).  I have seen this first hand!

Sigh. So, when can we expect Mr. Pendulum to swing back to a more sane position? Soon, I hope.

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What were the Dragons thinking???

I coached for the Gloucester Dragons for a number of years. Eight, to be exact.

I can only say that things must have changed in the league since I left a few years ago. The Dragons used to have a committed and sensible Executive – focused on teaching kids about the beautiful game, sportsmanship and on fostering a competitive spirit.

But, as covered heavily in the national media, the league has done a very, very silly thing.

From the League Handbook:

Scoring Limit
Respect your opponent: do not run up the score.
To prevent running up the score, a five-goal differential is the maximum allowed.
If at the end of a game there is more than a 5 goal difference in the score, the team that scored over 5 goals will have the results recorded as a loss when the game is recorded at the office.
Strategies coaches can use to avoid this problem include:
• Rotating players into other than normal positions;
• Passing the ball a number of times prior to a shot on goal;
• Kicking with the weaker foot;
• Reducing the number of players on the field;
• Kick at net only from outside the penalty box.

All for the “Strategies coaches can use…” part of this. If you are matched against a much weaker opponent, a good coach will employ these strategies. Put the strong kids in the backfield and put the weaker one up front and in the midfield. It usually works to curb embarrassing scores.

But no, some parent or parents have gotten their knickers in knots cuz little Jimmy or Jenny got upset because their side was blown out 12 – zip or something.

Well, OK, the winning coach did not do their job. Fine. But kids, life is about losing badly as well as winning gloriously. Better get used to that.

But from a sports perspective, coaches should not ever teach players how NOT to win. Seriously. I was never trained to do this. Instead, I was taught to use those techniques outlined above. Ain’t rocket science, really.

Do we want the players of a stronger side to spend the second half – up 4-0, to kick the ball into touch whenever they had possession?

THIS is coaching????

C’mon Dragons – reverse this silly policy – and now!

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Gunners prevail!

Yeah, I know this isn’t along the usual lines of this blog – but I love my Gunners ALMOST as much as the Blue and White!

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