Should Players Be Allowed To Return After An Injury?

September 20, 2011

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After the game this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, it was discovered that Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo not only had a couple of cracked ribs, but that he had also suffered a partially collapsed and punctured lung.

The NFL has tried hard to crack down on head injuries and neck injuries in the past couple of years. Mainly in an attempt to control the amount of players trying to come back too early due to concussions.

At what point do team doctors need to step in? Or should injured players just not be allowed back in the game at all?

When a player blows a knee out (see Jamaal Charles for the Kansas City Chiefs this week) or breaks dislocates a shoulder (well I guess Matthew Stafford did come back into a game two years ago with one) the injury is pretty evident. The players are not able to perform at all and are in high degrees of pain.

Over the years in the NFL – – and most colleges would be my guess – – you head to the locker room, get shot up with some Novocaine, and then head back out there.

But…Playing with a collapsed lung?

Although the level of competition is completely different, I remember playing baseball in my little league days. There was a rule in place that if you came out of the game due to injury you were not allowed back into the game no matter what. I was playing 2nd base in a game and had a guy come in on a steal attempt and by left ankle conveniently got right between his cleats and the bag.

I was pulled from the game and not allowed to return. My guess is with children and athletics league organizers want to be extra careful and make sure that injuries are checked out completely.

Shouldn’t we take the same stance with athletes making millions of dollars a year? Is the risk of playing a few extra snaps or innings or an extra half or quarter worth the risk of a long term injury?

Most players will tell you they will do anything possible to get back into the game as long as they are able to walk. Lie to doctors, gut it out, take the “shot” etc.

More needs to be done to prevent longer term effects that will linger well after the playing days are over. After all, at the end of the day it is JUST a game.

Until Next Time

Stay Classy New London Connecticut!

Will Texas Cause The Big XII To Break Up?

September 14, 2011

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Everything is bigger in Texas. Include in this list, Ego’s, Greed and Attitude.

Things started down a road of fragile eggshells last year before the season got started. A&M had looked into leaving the conference. Missouri then rumored that they wanted to go to the Big 10. Then there was more speculation that Nebraska might be looking to jump ship, and then Colorado.

Besmirched commissioner Dan Beebe put out the ultimatum to all conference members “Are you in or out”

Well turns out that Colorado was not on board and like we say here in Nebraska, we were “N” ………. IN with another conference that is.

This put the Big XII in a precarious situation. No more Title Game sponsored by Dr. Pepper. No more charging extra money when Nebraska comes to town on the ticket prices. No more Red Clad state people to yell about to blame all of our woes upon and to say “how dare you take your ball and leave Huskers”

Enter the Texas Football Network. Enter lots and lots of heated debate particularly among Texas schools such as Texas Tech, A&M and Baylor. Enter Mack Brown saying “this does not give us an unfair recruiting advantage.” Enter more schools thinking this is a bad idea, and enter the NCAA possibly looking into it.

Fast forward another month. Exit Texas A&M…No one seems to be throwing them under the bus like Nebraska was in the conference last year. (Let’s see how many signs are posted at away games this year bad mouthing the Aggies…I am guessing not many) Exit the idea that this conference is going to stay around much longer.

Now it appears that Oklahoma holds all the cards. They are involved in exploratory discussions with the Pac 12 to pursue membership in the league, and will likely be in cahoots to bring little Brother Oklahoma State along with them for the ride.

If you have read my columns for any amount of time here on the Soap Boxers, you know that I have no issues in throwing Texas under the bus. Texas has pushed out other teams that used to be in the league due to their egos. Now their greediness has led the likes of Texas A& M and other schools to pursue leaving the conference (well you could argue the Aggies have had their pride hurt so that is the main reason that they are wanting to leave for greener pastures). Above it all, the Attitude still permeates that the Longhorns are above board, and to heck with everyone else.

Oklahoma hopefully sees the writing on the wall. It is better to leave under your terms to a situation that is best for your University, than be dumped to the wayside, which is likely the fate for schools like Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor and Texas Tech.

When the Longhorns are out playing independents in two years and filling the football schedule with the likes of UTEP, North Texas State, SMU, Rice, Houston, and any other local Texas school you can name, it will be interesting to see how the boosters will view the Burnt Orange and their new independent digs.

Texas has brought this on to Texas. Good riddance Big XII…errr 10….errrr nine. The falling apart of your glass house is eventually going to lead to a handful of super conferences in college athletics, and unfortunately for you – – – it is unlikely that one of them will have a commissioner’s office located in the Republic that some of us consider the State of Texas.

Until next time….stay classy Stuart, Florida

Last Minute Fantasy Football Sleepers

September 6, 2011

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Quarterbacks– A couple of guys I like here that will not immediately come off the board but can help you out. First is Josh Freeman – The Bucs are young and people forget they won 10 games last year. Look for even a better performance this year. Also he is a bigger name, but the Cowboys are not going to be ahead in many games so grab Tony Romo to get you some big time stats. Be a little more cautious of him however in leagues that penalize for throwing interceptions

Running Backs – Love me some Ryan Matthews. He was highly touted last year but was banged up early, never really looked to be in shape, and was a large bust as a rookie last year. Have a short memory here. He will get the load of carries for a Chargers offense that was #1 in the league last year.

Legarrette Blount is another guy I like (wow two Bucs players early on) He came on late last year and since he is in Tampa flies under the radar. He should be on yours

Wide Receivers – Former Stud now turned sleeper is Chad Johnson ( I am calling him by his real name since he got shut down by the Jets last year and then never followed through to change his name back) He is with the Pats, Brady has to have someone to throw to…and let’s face it….the Patriots have NO running game at all. Dez Bryant – See my comment from Romo above. Miles Austin still will get the brunt of the coverage which means a healthy and big play maker Dez will get plenty of chances to shine

Tight Ends – Heath Miller – Big Ben is in town for all of the games this year, and with and aging Hines Ward, this guy becomes and even more popular target for the Steelers offense.

Kickers – I will go to the homer card here and take the rookie from Nebraska Alex Henery – He steps right in with the Eagles who have had David Akers…well …forever. This is one of the harder places to kick in all of the NFL due to the wind conditions as well as the fan base, but the Eagles will have plenty of opportunities to score. If you have to have a rookie on your team, this is the guy to have as he is about the safest bet to score 130-150 fantasy points.

College Football Week 1 recap

The early talk of the college football season is not the fact that Johnny G picked straight up upsets by Bowling Green and more impressively the Baylor Bears over TCU. Nope, the newly rolled out uniforms of the Maryland Terrapins made the twitter world blow up last night. If you think these looked funky, wait until you see what they will roll out later this year with some other color combinations that they have available in their arsenal.

Once again Notre Dame proves that they are horribly over-rated in the polls and now have a distinct possibility of starting 0-2 as they face Michigan this week.

Boise State blows out a super over-rated SEC foe in Georgia. Boise State has 17 returning starters and a bunch of seniors….Georgia well…they could not even beat the Colorado Buffaloes last year. This was about the easiest upset pick of the week in Johnny’s opinion. Boise now has a clear path to undefeatedness once again but will they get a shot at the title game once and for all? I am sure the talking heads on ESPN will be rolling this out all day today…too bad I am not home to watch it.

Until next time…stay classy Dubuque Iowa!

College Football Picks

September 1, 2011

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[Editor’s note: It’s that time of the year again. The kids are back in school, summer’s enjoying one last hurrah until the autumn inevitably causes the leaves and temperatures to fall. In the coming weeks, one lonely hot dog will become the final wiener to die a martyr’s death – dropping between grill grates and into the fires below. The television lineup gets refreshed with new shows (Hope Solo on Dancing With the Stars – how can other shows possibly compete with such high drama?</sarcasm>). On the athletic fields, baseball has already separated the chaff from the wheat, with several teams on the cusp of having their playoff tickets punched.

But for our sports writer Johnny Goodman, this time of year means one thing – COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Without further ado, I turn it over to Johnny for his pigskin picks.]

 

Temple (-7) vs Philadelphia Owls are not playing the Eagles here folks… Temple 24, Cheesesteaks – 10
Idaho (-6) vs Bowling Green Idaho loses long time starting QB. I’ll Take the Bowlers. BG- 28 – Idaho – 27
Wisconsin (35 1/2) vs UNLV Stinking Badgers run it up early on the running rebs – Wisco – 63- UNLV – 10
Syracuse (-6) vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons all day baby – Wake 17- Cuse 14
TCU (-4  1/2) vs Baylor Low spread due to defense, they don’t chase RG III though.  Baylor 28- Frogs – 20
Iowa St (-15) vs Northern Iowa Clones are way better than last year according to Majic Rhonson. Iowa State 35- NI – 7
thuh ohio state (-34) vs Akron Zips get zip…..oh st. 35  – Akron – 0
Houston (-3) vs UCLA Pac 10 errrrr 12 dominates – ULCA 27- Houston 24
Notre Dame (-10) vs South Florida Golden Domers early and often – ND – 45- SF – 14
South Carolina (20 1/2) vs East Carolina Cocks vs Pirates….I’ll just leave that one alone – SC – 31  EC – 10
West Virginia (-23) vs Marshall Mountaineers win but don’t cover – WV – 42- Marshall – 21
Texas A&M (-16) vs SMU A&M distracted by leaving Big XII.  A&M 21- SMU 14

 

Fan Violence in San Francisco

August 23, 2011

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For years fans in the United States would see highlights on soccer fans outbreaks across the globe. Mass riots, fires in the stands, and mobs were not uncommon. This seems to have moved to the West Coast of California where two exceedingly violent events have occurred in a very short relative time frame at sporting events.

Just this past week a huge fight broke out in the aftermath of an Oakland Raiders – San Francisco 49ers game. These fights escalated into two people being shot in the parking lot areas. The motives for the shootings are yet unknown, but may be gang related. One person who was shot was reportedly wearing a F— the Niners T Shirt. This person was shot 4 times in the stomach. A 2nd victim was also wounded in a separate incident.

Raider fans are to put it lightly – unusual to say the least. They dress up in studded leather, black paint, and look like a 23rd century version of a Capital One Commercial, except with a much more foul attitude.

The foul attitude may have somewhat led to recent fan violence.

The recent attacks come as the city still watches the progress of Giants fan Bryan Stow, who was brutally beaten in an altercation outside Dodger Stadium nearly five month ago.  Stow, who suffered brain damage, remains hospitalized in serious conditions as he continues down the road to recovery.  After months of police investigation, 28 year old Louie Sanchez and 30 year old Marin Norwood have been charged in the crime.  Both suspects have pleaded not guilty.

Living in the sheltered Midwest as I do, it is hard to imagine that fans are so rabid that they would take to shooting one another in a parking lot after a game. I also don’t foresee a lot of fans in Nebraska wearing shirts telling Michigan Fans to “F” off.

Here is hoping that the NFL, the local communities, and the authorities take harsh and swift action to deter from this sort of violence continuing in the future. Just another reason to live in the good ol’ Midwest.

Will the Raiders ever learn?

The Jamarcus Russell Experiment was a total flop so now they burn a 3rd round draft pick on Terrelle Prior. Prior shows up as a black sheep of the Ohio State Program who is still awaiting word on the final tally of what will come down on their program due to the “tattoo-gate” scandal. Players have left the program, coaches have been fired (call it what it is Jim Tressel..by the way I am still waiting for your apology.)

Pryor will have to sit out five games. He has always held an attitude in his own mind that he is better than the next guy and deserves special treatment. His above the law way of going about his business is a large reason he was prompted into the problems he was accused of at Ohio State, and a large reason why some college programs shied away from even recruiting him in the first place.

Well this should be no problem then for the Raiders who have rolled the dice on plenty of young and old players throughout the years. Some have worked out but more often than not they have been busts.

The Raiders are still run by the prehistoric dinosaur like creature known as Al Davis. Decades ago when the Raiders were a proud franchise and successful Davis was the figurehead and a key component to their Tradition of Excellence. Davis has always been active in the organization, and his coined “Just Win Baby!” has always been a popular battle cry of Raider Nation. Unfortunately this has not been heard a lot around those parts lately.

Until next time, stay classy Temecula, California (shout out to my buddy – Happy Birthday Smither!)

Jim Thome Reaches 600 Homers

August 16, 2011

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A major milestone occurred yesterday in Major League Baseball.

Six Hundred Home Runs were hit by Jim Thome of the Minnesota Twins. He became just the 8th player to reach this significant milestone, although most now on this list have done it very recently. Even with that said, the list of folks in front of him as members of the 600 club is quite impressive.

Aaron, Ruth, Mays, A-Rod, Sosa, Bonds, and Griffey.

A couple off of this list are considered the best to ever play the game regardless of what era you are talking about in the history of baseball – Yet others have the tainted cloud of steroid use hanging over them.

I think it is safe to say that NEVER has a player who has hit 600 homers done so with so little fanfare or media attention. Thome played the most years in Cleveland, where he played 12 seasons. Since then he has had brief stops in Philadelphia, Chicago with the White Sox, Los Angeles with the Dodgers and now in Minnesota.

Thome has been consistent only hitting over 50 homers one time (he hit 52 blasts in 2002) , but having many years in the mid 30 to mid-40 home run totals. When you do this for a span of 20 years, do the math….you basically get to 600.

Most power hitters by their nature have a short shelf life in the majors. Swings get slower with age, younger players are always showing up to push you out. Many times the media attention that comes with being a slugger in the bigs is the same media coverage that starts to throw a player under the bus when they get into the twilight of their careers – and the production numbers start to wane.

After all, chicks dig the long ball…..

But Thome has seemingly escaped much of this. A popular player – but not necessarily a household name outside of the venues he has played in. He appears to be fairly quiet and un-assuming. Most casual observers would have no idea that he is a career .277 hitter (better than most big time power sluggers to be certain)

A lot of debate will happen over the upcoming weeks as to his all-time status in the game. Before the McGwire, Palmeiro and Sosa debacle of Performance Enhancing drugs, 500 Home Runs Pretty much got you into the Hall of Fame. 600 dingers I would think would make you a lock, yet questions abound on a variety of on-line sports sites as to if Thome deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Since I am not a member of the Baseball Writers Association of American no one really cares about my vote. With that said, I will take the quiet 600 Home Run guy who seems to be a throwback type of player any day of the week.

Congratulations Jim Thome

Until Next time,

Stay Classy Peoria, Illinois

Having Fun At The National Sports Card Convention

August 10, 2011

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(Continued from yesterday’s article)

I awoke early for the 2nd day of the National Sportscard convention. I was not one of the folks that ponied up the extra money to get the early pass so I had to wait until 10 AM to get into the show.

I grabbed a quick and tasty bagel sandwich at the Aloft Hotel lobby and then made the block and a half walk to the Rosemont Convention Center. The lines were already about 700 people deep to get into the show.
 
 

I felt less hurried and much more refreshed than I had in my hastened arrival the day before. I had eight full hours to check out the merchandise and a lot of money burning a hole in my pocket.

One of the first stops I made was this booth that had a bunch of Heartland Figurines, various ceramics, and BOBBLEHEADS! And I mean Hundreds of them. Must have been tough to get those all to Chicago but the display was quite nice

One of the next stops I made was a booth that had a bunch of vintage pennants. I am sure these are expensive as the material they are made out of is cheaper, and the fact is most were likely tacked to a young boys wall many moons ago. This booth had this unique “pinwheel” type of display of pennants but I could not figure out what they all had in common. Still a cool piece and I snapped a photo of it

Platinum Promotions had an impressive display of Hockey Cards – mostly graded by authentication services. I am not a hockey guy, but if you were this was probably like visiting Mecca.

Speaking of authentications services, I visited the Professional Sportscard Authenticators Booth ( PSA) I get most of my golf cards encapsulated by these folks. They only do a handful of shows that are on site grading, and the joint was jumping. They offer show specials which some folks like to take advantage of. One person I ran into even brought 200+ cards from England to get the same day service ( that is like $5K in grading fees alone) because in the long run it would save him a lot of money versus having it shipped through customs.

I took a photo of this guy but I did not get a business card or anything, so if anyone else was there and can identify this persons business that would be great. He had a small albeit famous photo of Ty cobb sliding hard into 3rd base. He was doing a airbrushed rendition of the photo on a massive canvas. When I first walked by I thought it was just a blow up poster of the photo until I saw him working on it. He said it only cost 25….I am assuming thousand. It was mega cool and one of the nicest things I saw at the show.

And in case you are wondering I did spend a little money at the national. I bought a few Nebraska related football cards for a buddy back in Nebraska, I also picked up a few newer golf cards including a SP Game Used Phil Mickelson Rookie Autographed card numbered to 250, a 1948 Kellogg’s Pep Cereal Sam Snead Rookie card, and a vintage Bobby Jones Men of America Booklet. Here is a photo of what one looks like, although mine is in basically perfect shape, and the dealer even cut me $25 off of his asking price!

I wrapped up my show experience and waited seemingly forever for a cab to take me back to the airport. I was not flying back out to Omaha for a few hours so just enough time to grab something to eat and a beverage (or two) in the airport lounge!

Overall it was a great time in Chicago, and I look forward to when Goodman Jr. is old enough that he can go with dad on one of these trips.

Until next time…Stay Classy Chicago!

 
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2011 National Sports Card Convention

August 9, 2011

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Last week I attended the National Sportscard Convention in Rosemont Illinois. The National moves around the country from year to year, but having it in Chicago is a popular stopping point because it is pretty much centrally located and also it is easy access for people to attend if they want to fly there.

I should say normally, it is easy for people to fly there..

As Johnny G was arriving at the Omaha airport last Wednesday just before noon, and was going through TSA screening, the fine blue uniformed folks saw something they did not like on the scanners. We were ushered back from the security area and then shortly after a wave of police officers, a bomb sniffing dog, and others came through, we were moved off the concourse entirely. After a short 4 hour delay, we went back through security and finally got on my plane, and to Chicago, 4 ½ hours later than expected.

No complaints here, I am glad the TSA folks are doing their jobs!

Anyway, I arrived on Wednesday night for the “sneak peek” A chance for mainly dealers at the show to do deals with one another before most of the public arrives. Since I was already missing out on 3 hours of show time, I decided to do the so called “speed pass” route and went booth to booth, scratching some notes down in preparation for my full day at the show on Thursday.

Each of us in the realm of sport card and memorabilia collecting have our own niche. For some it is baseball cards. For others football autographs. For me…vintage Golf cards.

Yes they made cards of golfers too. Long before the likes of Tiger Woods and the more recent golf card products produced by Upper Deck in the early 2000’s.

I scraped around the show and found some nice vintage cigarette and tobacco issues from W.A. & A.C. Churchman Cigarettes. I saw numerous Bobby Jones Lambert and Butler rookie cards from 1926. I even found a guy that had a complete set of 1923 Copes Golf Strokes. (if you are in the golf card circles you know how rare this 32 card set is to find in any condition)

I picked up a few freebie catalogs, and made sure I ran into Reed at Baseball Card Exchange since I sold him a bunch of graded football and baseball cards during March Madness of this past year. I then headed to the Aloft Hotel to check in, grab a quick change of clothes, and then head out for the night.

I would recommend the Aloft Hotel to anyone – especially the younger crowd. It has a retro look to the rooms and lobby and the staff was very very friendly. They also had a kicking bar with a great selection in the main lobby (and nice drink specials I might add)

I decided to head to Gibson’s Steakhouse for a really good meal. Not surprisingly the place was wall to wall jammed as it is directly across the street from the convention center, not to mention the food is epic there as well. I finally secured a spot at the bar and introduced myself to a gentleman from Minnesota named Bill.

Bill was at the convention trying to complete his run of Topps Baseball card sets from 1952 until the present! WOW. That must be quite the collection. Bill was a great guy, we swapped collecting stories, talked about baseball players of today, the Yankees, the Twins, the Red Sox, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and solved most of the world’s problems over scotch and crown and cokes. He was going to try and find a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie to round out his 52 set. This is the crown jewel of the Topps cards and also one of the most expensive. I thanked him for a good night of chatting at the bar and camaraderie.

For me it was back to the Hotel where I just missed closing time at the WXYZ Bar in the lobby (DARN) and off to bed for an 8 hour day the following day at the National!

Interested in Johnny’s trip to The National? Continue to part 2.

 
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Time To Disband The Big XII?

July 27, 2011

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I never thought I would say this, but…

The Big XII media days are a bit entertaining this year.

Most of the head coaches questioned on the topic of the recently formed “Longhorn Network” an exclusive deal between ESPN and the University of Texas, were hush hush on the topic. But not Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel.

“It’s a lack of common sense there to think that the network, the university network, can have high school games,” Pinkel said.

A major up-roar has caused some dissention in the ranks of the “New” Big XII Conference. The Longhorn Network has announced plans to cover high school games. Most everyone still left in the Big XII Conference, outside of the University of Texas thinks this is a complete and utter unfair recruiting advantage for the University in comparison to the remaining members of the conference.

Pinkel echoed sentiments expressed last week by Texas A&M Athletic Director, Bill Byrne (who coincidentally prior to this job was the Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska)

Last week Byrne released a statement expressing concern about the network carrying high school content as well as broadcasting a Texas game against a conference opponent, said Big 12 athletic directors will hold a meeting to discuss the issues within the next two weeks. Yesterday Byrne, who just returned from a fishing trip to Alaska, declined to expound upon his Longhorn Network thoughts with the following statement.

“I caught about 36 salmon, and I learned that if they keep their mouths shut, they won’t get hooked,” Byrne said.

Texas coach Mack Brown disputed the notion high school content on the network will give the Longhorns a recruiting edge.

“It would have nothing to do with the University of Texas,” Brown said. “Those games would be games that might be on ESPN anyway. … We’re going to sign 20 to 25 players a year, and those players will probably be committed to us before June in their junior year. So I don’t think that part will have any effect on recruiting at all.”

Yeah….whatever Mack…..

But before you start throwing stones at glass houses….

Texas A&M and Oklahoma are both more than happy with the new agreements in the Big XII Conference. Last summer when A&M almost bolted to the SEC, and as part of the deal to stay home, A&M, Texas and Oklahoma each get $20 million a year from TV revenue while the remaining sisters of the poor in the conference would get more in the 14-15 million realm.

Also these three schools got the majority of the “blood money” that was paid out by Colorado and Nebraska in order to be allowed to leave the league. Matter of fact some of the smaller schools even gave their share to these three as a means of appeasement.

HA HA …Nebraska and Colorado….Allowed to leave the league. It is looking like a better decision all of the time.

It appears that the rich (mainly Texas) is trying to get even richer. One of these days the rest of the teams will realize what Nebraska realized after they finally woke up and smelled the coffee.

Texas only cares about Texas. At the end of the day it is football, not academics, which rules the conversation of conference alignments…because after all it is all about the money.

It is time for this sham of a conference ran by an inept administration to simply disband. I am hoping that some of the other football powers in the remaining Texas…errrr….Big XII conference decide to take their ball and go home the way that Nebraska and Colorado did.

Until next time…stay classy in the Republic!

Darren Clarke Wins, USA Women Lose

July 19, 2011

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It is no secret that I am a big fan of the Open Championship. If you read my article last week you already picked up on that idea. It was another great tournament with European Tour favorite Darren Clarke, getting lucky bounce after lucky bounce in the final round to hold off an incredible early charge by Phil Mickelson (aka Flopsy McChokenstien) and a late but belated surge by Dustin Johnson.

Mickelson made a major move in the first 10 holes, picking up 6 strokes relative to par to get in a tie for the lead. He missed a short putt and then the oil spewing began.

Major disappointment of the day part II was the women’s US soccer team. Many would argue that the team has staved off defeat a couple of times and was lucky to get this far in the World Cup. Others would argue that Japan, with all the horrific events of the past year, was the team of destiny. I would argue that poor execution and lack of focus was the reason for the defeat.

Once the Americans took the lead (both times matter of fact) they exhibited ole’ defense near the goal and looked nervous…a case of “not losing a late lead” This turned into goals by Japan late in regulation and in extra time, which allowed the Japanese team to win in a shoot-out. Maybe the worst excuse I head was Abby Wambauch explaining that Japan had “already watched the USA team penalty kicks against Brazil, so they pretty much knew where we were going.”

WHAT???? Seriously , that is your comment??? You are world class soccer players and you only have one place to kick the ball when it comes to shoot out time? That would be comparable to Lebron James saying he can’t shoot the ball from the right side of the floor, only from the left side…. Get back to me when you can admit that you just blew it.

Speaking of blowing it, Johnny played in member guest tournament at a local club this past weekend. Turns out the pressure cooker got to Johnny G as well. I missed a 3 footer on the 17th hole that cost me and my partner from making the playoff for the title of the tournament. We still finished 3rd overall – and made some money in the process. It was a real rush to get the competitive juices flowing again. Just too bad that I could not come through in the clutch.

Changing gears……

College Football is just around the corner. Many schools have “fan days” where the fans and kids have a chance to meet the players and coaches, take a few photos, get some autographs, run around on the field, etc.

The University of Nebraska has one of the craziest fan days around. Since the announcement of Bo Pelini as head coach, the Fan day crowds have likely been around ten thousand or more in attendance for the 90 minutes allotted for the players to sign autographs for the fans.

This year the University has moved fan day from the tradition late Saturday morning start time to the middle of Friday afternoon. Why? My guess is the University has had problems controlling the massive crowds, and hopes that moving to a time when many more parents will be at work, will lower attendance to a more manageable level. As a parent who has taken their kids to the event the last couple of years I can speak for the sheer mass of people that are present at the stadium for the event. Some will applaud the decision (such as me) and others will be unhappy as it may affect their ability to attend the event at all.

I am betting that many fellow Big X schools wish they had to deal with such a problem….

Until next week, stay class Ames Iowa.

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