Blank Screen and Blank Thoughts…

epl-table-2015-live-score-results-channel-today-game-epl-tableI turned on my computer and brought up my blog site with a fresh clean page all ready for me to peck away with many words of wisdom.
I stared and stared and nothing came to mind, just a blank screen looking back at me.
I thought of all of the subjects that I have written about in the past and that still didn’t help.
Maybe a poem, I thought but I could not think of what to rhyme about so I gave up on that idea.
I have spent this past week working on the Austin Pond Society web site. Now, it is finished and I can’t think of anything else to do to it for a while.
Night has fallen and it is dark outside so I can’t work on the ponds or go for a hike.
It would appear that my mind is a blank and needs firing up a little.
To hell with writing, I am going to watch the English Premier League and my favorite soccer teams…Manu


Todays Ramblings – 4/3/2012

Dismantled railway line, near Waltham. Used as...

Dismantled railway line, Used as a farm track (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I had to pay a trip to my Dermatologist to get a couple of Basal Cell’s removed. I routinely visit her every 6 months for a check over to make sure that there are not too many of these things growing. Most of the time, it’s a few squirts from some strange and magical can that freezes then off but occasionally, there are a couple that have progressed beyond the squirt stage. Hence my trip to visit the Doctor which I might add, is not my first time.

I have spent my entire life out in the sun and much of that time not using sufficient sun lotion to prevent those dangerous UV rays. I can’t remember when I was working outside construction, that I ever put the stuff on and yet on weekends when I was a very active soccer Referee, would use it. The trouble was that when I worked soccer tournaments when we would referee several games all day, it would wear off and I would forget to replace it and the brutal Texas sun did the rest. It usually resulted in sunburn.  I had one friend who also was a very active Referee who died just recently from melanoma caused by the non sufficient use of sun lotions.

When I coach my little boys team, I make sure that I am carrying sun lotion with me and I am always asking them if they have it on and if not, why not and here, use some of mine. Talking of the little boys team. We played a game on Sunday against a team from Elgin that we had played just a week previously. That day, I was unable to coach the team due to another committment and they lost 10-0. This time, we tried several different strategies including both of the Mauro boys man marking their best player and it seemed to work as this time, we only lost 5-0. We got 50% better or they got 50% worse. Either way, we still lost.

Generally speaking, we played much better and had many moments when we were attacking their goal. We could never get off that telling shot and if we did, the goalkeeper saved it. We had lots of moments of good one touch passing but more than anything, our first touch let us down and the ball would bounce away back to the other team. In fairness to our boys, the pitch was definitely not the best with very little grass and was hard and bumpy.

At least three of their goals should not have happened and with more skill and effort, we should have prevented them. I am always the optimist and believe that even at this young age, some of the things that happen in a game are stored deep within the furthermost recesses of the boys still growing brains and will surface one day for them to use to create their own moment of brilliance.

I have by far, the nicest group fo parents on any team that I have ever coached. They are very supportive of the boys and of me and they really appreciate the efforts that Cristina, my Manager puts in, as do I. So far, I have not had any life threatening one on one conversations with any angry Mom or Dad relative to their kid and with this group of Parents, am not really expecting to.

Antonio Valencia of Manchester United during a...

Antonio Valencia of Manchester United (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday afternoon, I watched my favorite team, Manchester United, continue on their winning ways as they played and beat Blackburn by a score of 2-0. It took a long time for United to score and for most of that time, I was pulling out what little hair I have left. I saw the most amazing goal scored by Antonio Valencia to open the scoring. He cut in from the right, beating a couple of players along the way and then hit the ball with the outside of his right foot so that the momentum curled the ball into the far side of the goal. I swear that ball moved at least 5-6 feet in the air and beat Robinson, the Blackburn keeper by the sheer skill of the kick.

I remember now that my loss of hair has nothing to do with hereditary baldness and the fact that both my Father and Brother both lost their hair. It is due to watching this wonderful team in the close race to win the Premier League Title and the frustrations they put me through along the way. My little dogs, who watch the game with me, OK sleep while I’m watching, keep looking at me in the oddest way as I jump up and down or scream out loud as United misses yet another opportunity to score. When it was over, I felt quite drained by all of my efforts. Oh the joys of supporting a team…

I ended up the day working in the garden which is always relaxing regardless of what work I am doing whether it is loading and spreading mulch or just plain old weeding. When I was a kid and for those of you who have read my very early blogs, know that I spent my childhood in the woods and fields back in Sussex, England. That early beginning has stayed with me my entire life and I am never happier than when I am outside, preferably close to nature.

When I was walking around the garden on Sunday, I noticed a few droopy plants in the morning sun which prompted me to start watering later that evening. It is supposed to rain today and I am keeping my fingers crossed as we have had such a wonderful start to the growing season. If it doesn’t rain, then its back to the watering routine. I have already dragged the hoses out and checked them over in preparation for this.

Come on rain…

The need to believe

Manchester United

I watched the Manchester City and Manchester United game this morning in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Being a long time Manchester United supporter, obviously I was rooting for the visitors and was overjoyed when Rooney put them ahead with a very nicely headed goal.
I was a little surprised to see the red card come out on Kompany who I think is one of the best center backs in the business. The decision was a little harsh but none the less, United got on with the game and at half-time were winning 3-0 and deservedly so.

Second half was a whole different story and in the end, United ran out 3-2 winners. I believe that with a full squad, City would probably have won.

Anyway, why I am writing about this has nothing to do with this game but about how we as human beings react when we watch the teams of our choice. I am fortunate that I usually watch alone if you don’t count three dachshunds and maybe one of the cats. Those animals between them have been subject to and have probably learned all of the foul-mouthed vocabulary that I can think of every time I watch United play.

As a team this season, they have been so frustrating to watch playing oh so good and then oh so bloody bad (there I go again) enough to send my emotions every which way.

This got me wondering what is it about us humans for having the need to support one particular team when in my case, there are many to choose from. I can see if there is a birthright connection like being born in a certain city or watching a team as you grow up. None of these applied to me and yet, I have supported Man U for as long as I can remember even when I was living in England. The closest professional team to me was Brighton and Hove Albion and back in those days, you had to be a bit of a fanatic or live close to the ground to support them as they were never very good. And yet, my team was Man U which was several hundred miles from me and it didn’t hurt that they were very good and have been for the past twenty-five years.

Like a true supporter, I fussed and worried before the game today speculating on how poorly the team has played losing their last two league games. I was planning on getting up early but in the end decided that as United were going to lose, got up at the usual time and even had a leisurely breakfast and read the paper before turning on the recorded game. In my mind, I was delaying the inevitable by leaving it as long as possible before watching as United were in for a fight and I didn’t really believe that they had it in them. Not this season, anyway and to watch them lose, would spoil my whole day as it has so many days in the past. I wonder why I get like that. It’s just a game and I don’t stand to gain or lose anything except emotionally. Maybe it because we humans have the need to believe in something and a football team makes up for not having other things to believe in.

I coach a U11 Boys team and they all know which team I support. I notice that several of them are now wearing Man U shirts or have Man U balls. Maybe that’s how it’s passed on.

I guess that I am not a die-hard United supporter. I only have one United shirt and it is an old one. I prefer my own company when I watch the games as I don’t want to hear other people’s opinions on how well or poorly they played. One of my coaching friends is a Chelsea supporter and he suffers the same symptoms as I do every time that Chelsea plays. He calls me and we discuss the outcomes of the days games. He can’t explain it either why he feels as he does about his team.

We both have a coaching friend who is a Liverpool supporter. The less we say about that, the better…