Thursday, June 29, 2006

Rafael Alvarez said...

"If L.A. is Saturn, then Baltimore is an unmoored planet."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Why America Needs Soccer

Despite the early exit of our team this year, we need to embrace soccer and the World Cup now. Soccer has the potential to temper our aggressive global tendencies. We are the only country in the world who feels compelled to make the world safe for democracy. This is an admirable pursuit, without question, but it comes with a high price—the lives of young people—and frankly, no other nation much cares. Sure, they play along with us on the battlefield but the rest of the world seems content to displace any aspirations of global domination on the football pitch. When England plays France in soccer, memories of Agincourt rekindle. On match day, whole countries are glued to their television sets and then to their bar stools regardless of the outcome. I was driving along the M40 roadway in England during a match with Portugal and there were no automobiles on the road. The entire country held their breath. No magnetic bumper stickers needed.

Soccer will force us to alter our Type-A fascination with statistics and be content with “almost” as good enough. The notion of creating the best shot in soccer is almost as good as scoring the goal. Granted, the scoring in soccer at times can be scarce but the action is constant and dynamic. Take the Brazilian team for example, arguably the most talented team in the Big Dance(ing Feet). They play with what NBA coach Phil Jackson refers to as “relaxed abandon.” Their names are those of circus performers: Ronaldo, Adriano, Ronaldinho, Juninho, Cafu. Fast breaking all the time in blazing spectacle of speed and agility, Brazil will be tough to beat this year. I saw them play in Japan during the 2002 World Cup against Turkey. The scrappy Turks, like frantic Woody Allens, dodged missile after missile, and held their own, losing 1-0.

Certainly, our World Cup effort will be remembered for two goals in 270 minutes. The battle of guts and determination against Italy, a world soccer power, will be forgotten in the quest for results. This masterpiece vaulted us onto the World Cup stage as a force to be reckoned with.

On the domestic front, soccer has the potential to save marriages. It has already been officially sanctioned by “soccer moms.” The game lasts ninety minutes with a twenty minute intermission. The commitment requires only two hours. The commercials occur during half-time. Most of our television sports--football, basketball, and baseball average three hours. As soccer fans, parents can actually accomplish something on the weekend.

Our beloved professional sports continue to devolve with federal investigations and felony convictions. We have alternatives in women's sports and soccer. Soccer has the potential to unite us all toward a common goal: interacting with other nations in a productive manner.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Poem by Kara Ann Price, Age 10


77 years young
so much time
a child in Ireland
a man in America
an ocean between identities
a husband
a father
a grandfather

think of things that have gone
think of things to come

so much time
77 years young

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mary Julia at Camden Yards

Poem for Hilary Tham

Hilary’s Moon

In the hours before your passing,
a low-hung moon, strange and enormous
illumined the Potomac.

One night removed from the solstice,
its white-gold reflection
flashed in the branches.

Stopping along the riverbank,
I watched it blaze across the water
awaiting your soul.
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