Soccer, Going to War, and American Malaise for a Great Sport

I do not generally care about professional sports, the posturing, the whining, the divas. It irritates me. I prefer college sports of any flavor. That being said, the World Cup this year seems to have taken over the American psyche. Soccer has finally changed from the sport we love to ignore to the sport we can’t stop talking about. I am glad for that.

Mr. Rochester sent me an article by Bill Simmons, an ESPN writer who usually writes about the NBA. It is long but very amusing. My two favorite bits were right in the middle:

Question No. 13: If you could change anything about soccer, what would it be?

I hate how teams milk leads in the last 15-20 minutes by faking injuries and taking forever to sub players. When that Ghana player had to be carried off on a stretcher at the tail end of the America game, then hopped off like nothing ever happened as soon as the stretcher was out of bounds, I thought that was appalling. Actually, it made me want to go to war with Ghana. I wanted to invade them. I’m not even kidding. That’s another great thing about the World Cup: Name another sport in which you genuinely want to invade other countries when you lose.

Question No. 14: What’s been the strangest thing about the 2010 World Cup?

To hear Germany described in such likable, underdoggy tones. Who would have thought these young upstarts would jell this fast? It’s like the announcers were talking about the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays or something … if the Tampa Bay Rays had started two world wars and nearly brought down Europe.

I have never watched soccer on TV much. To me, soccer is like baseball, a little boring to watch on TV but really fun in person. The first time I saw soccer being played in person, I thought it was one of the most beautiful sports I had ever seen. Granted, it was the A&M girls team and they were all actually beautiful PLUS they glided around that field and kicked the ball with a grace I had only imagined. Extraordinary.

I hope soccer becomes more popular in the US. I have always thought our general indifference to something that is so pervasive everywhere else was a bit rude.

–Jane, will be watching soccer Saturday morning with a Bloody Mary in hand

Cinderella in March

It is that time of year again. When the flowers start blooming, the trees start budding, and Mr. Rochester becomes a man obsessed. Sadly, the object of his obsession is not his lovely wife.

College Basketball is his one true love for the next few weeks.

All day there has been basketball on in three locales in our house: the living room, on the newer flat screen TV; the bedroom, on the old flat screen; and the computer, for those untelevised games and for frequent checking of the brackets. The ever important bracket.

Do not misunderstand me. I love college basketball. I love the uncertainty. The idea that anything can happen and frequently does. Today, #1 Louiville was almost beat by #16 Moorehead and #1 Pitt v. #16 Eastern Tennessee State almost went badly as well. If either of those #16 teams had won, it would have been the first time ever for a #1 seed to loose in the first round of the NCAA tourney. That is exciting stuff.

I love the commentary supplied by Mr. R during the games. I find that with him by my side, I do not need to remember statistics or event he names of players. He provides trivia, gossip, and all manner of tidbits for me, whether I desire them or no. Who needs Prince Charming and a waltz when I can have a Mr. Rochester and a pint on the couch?

If you are a basketball fan, then I wish your team well. Unless, of course, they are playing the Aggies and then I am praying that we hand your arse to you.

–Jane, all is fair in love and sports

That Old Ballgame

There has been some controversy regarding baseball’s origins recently. According to Julian Norridge, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey mentions baseball well before it was reported to have been invented in America. Furthermore, Norridge says that there is mention of the sport in a diary from Surrey dated 1775.

I do not care where or when baseball originated, but Stephen Colbert, of the Colbert Report, gave Jane Austen a “Wag of His Finger” last week. The Austen bit is directly after the wag at the Pope. Colbert’s take on Austenian romance had me quite diverted.

–Jane, loves diversion

Madness, I Haz It

It is that time of the year again. Leaves are appearing on the trees, the azaleas are blooming, the sun is out, and college basketball is on at the Rochester house. I, under orders of Mr. Rochester who is not even home, have the first games on of the season. I suppose he thinks the aura of the games will fill the house with shiny thoughts for his arrival home this evening.

I have filled out my bracket which is nothing to write home about. I use the very scientific method of picking and choosing the winners from teams I like. In the years that we have been doing brackets with our friends, I have never come in last place. That’s not nuthin’, as the Captain himself would say.

If you have teams in the tourney, I wish them good luck, unless they are playing my team, that is.

–Jane, is there a cure for March Madness?

NCAA Thinks It Owns the Internets

In the Rochester household, there are a few months that are sacred in terms of planning events. Aggie Football season (that is college football season for those who do not know) and March Madness. Both our wedding and the birth of the first Little Rochester will avoid these fine events. Why? you ask. Well, because why would anyone want to compete with the glory that is college football and basketball?

College Basketball is starting to get exciting as it heads towards March and the NCAA has decided they needed to make a little announcement. The NCAA, being omnipotent, has decreed that no live blogging will take place during college sporting events. They have even gone so far as to limit the amount of updates per quarter. Apparently, they think it is not good for fans to know what is going on with their team.

I know this is aimed mostly at professional writers, but who are they protecting? ESPN’s live updates? Those expensive cable packages no one can afford to buy? Are they going to take away every spectator’s cell phone or Blackberry? If the public wants to know what just happened in the Duke game, they will find the information somewhere. If a reporter is denied “credentials” could they not simply go to a game as a regular fan who just happens to send updates to the local paper every 5 minutes or so?

It is ridiculous that the NCAA thinks they can control the flow of free information and the press by declaring that “It Shall Not Be So”. I wish I had that kind of power.

–Jane, declares, “It is now time for everyone to go home and read a good book. Make it so.”

Happy New Year!

I know this salutation is a few days early, but tomorrow morning the Rochester household is packing into the new car and heading for the annual festivities at my family’s lake house. There is, of course, no toobes, and thus no posts in this space for a few days. Please contain your sorrow. There is no crying on the internets.

At the moment, we are watching the Holiday Bowl, which is in the 3rd quarter, and the Aggies are not doing as well as I would have hoped. We did just recover a fumble however, so maybe the fates will turn to favor us. Nope, it was a touchdown for Cal. Poo.

My resolution for 2007: I will strive to make things happen at MPOW and in my life in general. Less talkie more fetchie. A little more action with less stress. Wish me luck.

Many blessings to all of you in the New Year. I will toast my friends at midnight and wish you well.

–Jane, its going to be a great year

Flurry

With the flurry of posts, you may have realized that I have reached the end of the tunnel! Yes, gentle readers, the light is now upon my face. The birds are singing and the air is cool.

This weekend most of my college friends will be in town for a wedding. Aggie football is on TV early enough for us to watch the game before the wedding so all is right with the world. The two previous sentences mean we will be acting, not like responsible adults (a questionable statement in any case), but like crazy college kids, at least for a couple of days. Bring on the beer games and make sure the Bloody Marys are nice and strong in the morning.

Beat the Hell Outta Texas Tech, Whoop!

–Jane, in love with Fridays

Saturday Bits


Leap!

Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre.

Today involved washing the puppy who was beginning to smell like a stinky dog and napping. Contrary to the appearances in this picture, he does not like to get baths, but he does like to attack the hose.

Today marked the beginning of something wonderful, the College Football Season. At the Rochester Estate, it has been nothing but football, football, football. The Aggies played a little rough, but pulled out a win. Hopefully, we will improve after this first showing. This season marks the first time since he was a college freshman, many, many years ago, that Mr. R has not had season tickets.

Gentle readers, this is what getting married causes, a lack of football enjoyment. Instead of standing for three plus hours in the heat, hung over, and screaming until you get darting pains in your head, you are entertained by washing the dog and listening to the game on the radio.

What has this world come to?

–Jane, what indeed

How Is Your Bracket Looking?

My bracket for basketball was doomed after the first few days. As the only woman in my group, my goal is always not to be in last place. Alas, I believe I am firmly stuck there for the remaining time in the tournament. Compounding my grief, is the fact is that my Ags lost by one point in the last seconds of the game on Saturday.

Hauling me out of my grief is The Morning News which has started the Second Annual Tournament of Books with a whimsy explanation. Tomorrow, the first battle will take place between A History of Love and The Time In Between.

–Jane, bring it on baby