Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lando Can't-miss-ian

I'm hooked. Soccer is awesome. As you know, I have made an effort to be a soccer fan for the 2010 World Cup. So, I went to a local bar here an Auburn called Quixote's to watch the match this morning at 8:30 a.m. Mimosas and breakfast burritos were flowing and patriotism was high. I felt like a true soccer fan watching a match in a bar in the morning! In the seventh minute, Algeria hit the top bar on a shot that scared us all to death. Later, a Clint Dempsey goal was discounted because we were called offsides, which we weren't. Thus, after 90 minutes of play, the score was still nil-nil. At the time, England was up 1-0 on Slovenia. If those results had stayed, England and Slovenia would have moved on to the round of 16 and we would have gone home. Things were looking grim. The official added four minutes of extra time. In the 91st minute, Algeria made a rifle shot on our goal, but our monster of a keeper stopped it. He quickly threw it out to one of our players in just the right spot. It was then passed downfield and we were on the move! Landon Donovan passed it to Jozy Altidore who shot, but the ball was blocked. As the ball came bouncing out, Donovan smashed it in. The place went NUTS. The country went nuts. All hell broke loose. Beer was spraying everywhere. It was better than an Auburn win. In a split second, we went from going home, to winning our group and moving on. (By the way, we haven't won our group since 1930!) Elation. Pure joy. Check it out.
video


After the initial celebration the bar broke into a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. It was the "War Eagle fly down the field" of our entire nation. What a cool moment. Go USA!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

World Cup of Football Soccer match games

I've never liked soccer. I was never cool enough to play soccer. I was never athletic enough to play soccer. Why watch or play soccer when there's hard-hitting, high-scoring American football to watch?

I'm changing my tune these days. I've made a commitment to be a soccer fan throughout this 2010 World Cup. I'm trying to understand the game and all its weird rules. So, here's a list of things I like about soccer, things I don't like, and ways I would improve the game.

Things I don't like:
1. The fact that the officials can penalize a team for something... and not even have to tell the team WHAT for. Case and point - USA v. Slovenia. Are you freaking kidding me?
2. The acting. Because they give officials so much power, whenever a player hits the ground they have to whine and cry and grab their face and pretend to be more injured than they've ever been. Dumb.
3. The low scoring. I know, I know, it's just the nature of the game. And I am learning to appreciate the little things (takeaways, good passes, etc.) instead of focusing solely on goals.

Things I like:
1. Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin... I like how the clock just runs. You will not have to watch commercials until half time. That's pretty rad. It also speaks to the athleticism of the players that they have to continue playing for 45 mintues!
2. The globality (new word) of it. I'm a huge fan of the olympics because it brings the world together. For those three weeks, most of the world's attention is focused on the games. I always dismissed the World cup. But, soccer truly is a global game that brings hooligans from all parts of the world together.
3. The simplicity of the game. Kick the ball into the goal. Easier said than done, but that's how you win. Done.

Ways I would improve soccer:
1. Coat the ball in bacon grease and periodically release a pack of dogs onto the field.
2. Have "hotspots" like in NBA Jam. If you score from the small circle with a 3 on it, you get three points instead of one.
3. Flaming soccer ball.

Those are just a few of the ways soccer would be more interesting. I think FIFA will have no problem implementing those simple suggestions.

Go USA!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Who Knew There was a Water Park In Auburn?

Who knew there was a water park in Auburn? Ok, I knew. But, I thought it was like trashy, run down, gross, dumb, nobody goes there water park. Turns out it's none of those things (except for the nobody-goes-there part). With the summer off, some coworkers and I decided to get season passes to Surfside water park. It's pretty rad. There's a wave pool, a lazy river, six slides, and delicious chili-cheese dogs. We got the "family package" so it was a much better deal. We spend our afternoons sliding, floating, and generally lazing around the water park. On a crowded day, there may be a two-person wait for the best slides. On an average day though, there are as many lifeguards as patrons of the fine establishment. What a hidden gem in the sediment that is Auburn.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lions




In 2nd Samuel, a man named Benaiah is in the woods on a snowy afternoon. He spots a lion. Most of us would wet ourselves, then run. Not Benaiah. He charges the lion and the lion runs! Benaiah gives chase until he comes upon a deep pit. He walks up to the edge, looks down, and sees two huge yellow eyes staring back at him. Benaiah turns from the pit and walks away. However, he's not walking away for good. Instead, he's getting a running start. He leaps into the pit with spear in hand to kill or be killed. After several minutes of roaring, grunting, and screaming, Benaiah climbs out of the pit.
I bought a book yesterday called In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. I thought I was done with these Christian self-help, inspirational books. However, something about this one peaked my interest (and it was only five bucks at the Cornerstone bookstore). I've read four chapters and am loving it.

It's not NORMAL to chase a lion into a pit and try to kill it. God doesn't call us to sit by and be normal. The lion represents our seemingly insurmountable fears, and the only way to overcome that fear is to face it head on. That defies all that is within us though. Our rational minds say, "Are you crazy? I'm not going into that pit after that lion!" But it's an integral part to becoming who God wants us to be. Imagine you are on a boat in the middle of the ocean. You've never really sailed before, but you thought it'd be fun. You ask your captain, "Have you ever been in a storm before?" Wouldn't you feel much better if your captain's response was "Yes, I've weathered many storms at sea" rather than "Nope, never sailed in a storm before"? The adversity makes us better, stronger, wiser.

So this image of a lion is stuck with me right now. It represents those fears that we normally would run away from, but God is calling us to chase, charge, and kill. I like that. I like the thrill of overcoming a fear. I've been wanting a tatoo for a while now. I couldn't ever think of a phrase that I would want on me forever. But a picture is worth a thousand words. I think I want a lion tatoo. So, yesterday I drew one on my arm just to see what it would look like.
I would probably go about two-thirds that size. It's called a "rampant lion" and it was used in medieval times on shields and crests.

We give lions so much respect because of how much we fear them. Our fears in life don't deserve that much respect. They can rule us if we don't chase them down and defeat them. The thing to remember though, is that we don't fight them alone. Our God is fighting alongside us.