Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gems I Just Found On The Internet

Pat Jordan Interview In Two Hour-Long Parts

Here he is on ocular block:

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Game That Is Soccer

1.  The United States is not good in soccer.  I watched a number of teams.  Besides North Korea, there was no team that the United States was significantly better than.  They do not have the strikers who can score goals when they should score goals, much less can score goals on their own.  They also do not have a real defensive prescence.

2.  I thought that the U.S. would be bigger, faster, and more physical than most teams in the world.  They are none of these three things.  Against Ghana, they were smaller, slower, and much less physical.  I know some of this is due to football and basketball.  But I thought it was sad.  You take the fourth best wide receiver on Division I-AA football team, and they would have been a top 5 athlete on the U.S. soccer team.

3.  The World Cup has shown my pod system for college football could work.  But it also showed that ties would be a problem, and no system can be perfect.  All I can say is "it could work."  

4.  My sports career taught me about 50-50 teams, 50-50 games and 50-50 sports.  50-50 teams are mediocre teams.  Teams that are average.  Teams that would be .500 after 1000 games.  I played on a 50-50 team my senior year of high school.  (We finished 2 and 8.)  I also played on a 50-50 team my freshman year of college.  (We finished 5-5.)  50-50 games are games where if the two teams played 1000 times, each team would finish with 500 wins and 500 losses.  It is a game between mediocre teams.  A game where all you can expect is average.  These games can be fun to watch or hard to watch, and usually it would be filled with a number of mistakes.  50-50 sports are sports where most games are 50-50 games with 50-50 teams.  Sports where the best teams don't always win, because there are very few "best" teams.  I would argue that most professional leagues strive to make their leagues 50-50 sports.

5.  World Cup soccer is one of the ultimate 50-50 sports.  This explains the U.S team's result with England.  England would beat the U.S. 6.5 times out of 10, but World Cup soccer is a 50-50 sport.  The U.S. tied and won the 50-50 games with Slovakia and Algeria.  (I am hesitant to put Ghana on this list.  I thought Ghana was clearly better than the U.S.)  The U.S. is clearly a 50-50 team that I cannot get excited about in the near future.  Now, Argentina and Germany, and England to a lesser extent, are not 50-50 teams.

6.   Argentina and Germany and Brazil and Spain will keep me interested in the World Cup.  But without the U.S. team, I will not retain any interest in soccer after the World Cup.        

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quick Thoughts On College Football Realignment

I've always had this idea of Division I football shrinking and going to this 'pod' system.  Each of the top 48-60 teams get placed in a six team league.  If a team wins their league, they advance.  Every team knows at the beginning of the season they have to win their pod.  There are no formulas or voters.  Win five games and you move forward.  Of course, ties will always be a problem, but ties are always a problem.      

And in a mixed up sort of way, I think we're closer to that now.*

*I wanted the pods to be determined after a 5-7 game preseason where teams play their rivals and try to make sure they are good enough to be placed in a pod.  These games would also be used to keep the pods "fair."  I recognize this is a pipe dream and pretty foolish from a practical standpoint.  It also brings back in formulas and voters.  So maybe these new conferences are even better especially if the Big 12 and Big East finds two more teams.

Love and Fear

There are two fears that I live with everyday. The first is poverty. There is nothing that scares me more than poverty. I am not really worried about absolute poverty. But I am much more afraid of relative poverty. There is nothing that scares me like not having enough. Not being able to get something I want. I don't want much. But there is no worse feeling than not being able to get something you want.

So you teach yourself either to want what you have or to not want anything. There isn't much difference here. And it creates the second fear: the fear of greatness. Not greatness in being famous or anything like that, but being good. Having people respect you. Basically getting what you want and maybe even a little more.

Now the underlying issue here is work. The work it takes to be good at something is tough, especially when that something is not completely under your control. Most successes in this life are dependent on complex mix of things. Luck exists. Failure exists even with hard work. We have a lot of control of our destinies but we don't have total control over anything.

So I think we all learn that a strategy in life is to lower expectations. Life is difficult when expectations are never met. Of course this realization that expectations won't be met is part of life. Eventually you either stop caring about your failures or forget about them or lower your expectations or something.

This is life, but you can't really live looking at life in this way. You can't live if you're sitting around thinking about poverty and lowering expectation. You can't do it.

"On his right hand Billy tattooed the word love and on his left hand was the word fear
And in which hand he held his fate was never clear
Come Indian summer he took his young lover for his bride
And with his own hands built a great house down by the riverside

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Adventures Of My Bluetooth Headset

In no particular order:

Survived night in a gravel $5 parking lot in downtown Richmond.

Fell into peanut butter, stopped working for about two weeks until a technician cleaned the peanut butter out of the microphone.

Fell into a toilet.  (I did clean it with alcohol.)

Survived a night in a drainage ditch near my mailbox.

Fell from my ear four inches away from a 10 feet deep drain.

Survived a night at the bus stop.

Wore it in the shower.

Fell into a toilet.

Fell from my ear to the asphalt 1113 times.

Fell into the kitchen sink while washing dishes.

Fell into bathroom sink while brushing teeth.

Fell into bathroom sink while shaving.

Fell into a toilet.

Notice this headset was cheaper when my wife bought it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Oil Spill

I've been thinking about the oil spill.  I don't really have any deep thoughts.  I just think the whole thing is voyeuristic.  I don't necessarily understand the live feed on the internet.  I don't think it is helping anything.  I know it is the world we live in today.  I don't know.

There are bigger issues here.  As Adam Carolla pointed out on Monday, we live in a world where people want people to see their sex tapes.  I guess people enjoy seeing the oil rushing out in real time.

Some times you have to turn off the news.  Some times you have to turn off the internet.  I hope the engineers who are determining how to stop the leak aren't paying attention to the live feed and the news.

I don't know.