Posts Tagged "soccer"

One-Platoon System in Football

Dear Kid,

Football Themed Treats (yum!). DearKidLoveMom.comDid you watch football this weekend?

I assume not. I assume you were single-mindedly focused on studying. (Please do not do anything to disillusion me.)

Allow me to summarize.

It was a hot mess. (I refer specifically to the Oakland/Pittsburg event. Calling it a “game” seems to stretch the imagination.)

Which got me thinking about the days of the one-platoon system when players played both offense and defense.

When the two-platoon format (that we use today) was first introduced, Tennessee head coach “General” Robert Neyland called it “chickenshit football“. I think he may have had a point.

There are a lots of arguments both for and against the current two-platoon system. You can see a bunch of them here. Most of them are more objective than “chickenshit football”.

But really, I can’t think of another sport where players specialize in either off- or def- and don’t bother learning the other side of the game.

So I think we should go back to the origins of the game. When men were men* and mud was mud and the only people who specialized were QBs and kickers. As it should be.

Love, Mom

*Just so we’re clear, that wasn’t a sexist remark. There just weren’t any women in the game [or the mud] then.

Although I’m not clear about the gender of the mud.

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Defining Dallas

Dear Kid,

I am on my way to Dallas.

Dallas, Texas, that is. Turns out there are 5 or 6 (depending on which website you check) cities in other states with the name Dallas, not to mention a few counties, and at least one very important guiding eyes dog.

Dallas is the 9th largest city in the US. It was once part of Mexico, and then from 1836 to 1846 it was part of the sovereign country the Republic of Texas. Mostly it’s part of the state of sports (primarily football, but we’ll get to that), We Do Things Big Here, and weird stuff.

It is illegal to modify the weather in Dallas unless you warn residents via local newspaper. It is also illegal to fish using electric shock.

We’ll be flying in to the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) airport which is bigger than Manhattan Island and may or may not be home to the world’s largest parking lot. We will not be sprinting from the gate to the car rental and we will allow plenty of time to hike to the gate on our way home Friday.

German chocolate cake was invented by Sam German of Baker’s Chocolate Company. The recipe first appeared in the Dallas Morning Star in 1957. The cake is named after the inventor not the country.

Dallas was founded in 1839, by John Neely Bryan, a lawyer from Tennessee, who wandered into the area and decided to start a metropolis (20 streets).

At the State Fair of Texas (also known by me as the Fried State Fair) you can purchase fried beer, fried Coke, and fried Cadbury Creme Eggs. There is a 52 foot Big Tex statue at the entrance of the fair. Makes you want to buy a ticket right now, doesn’t it?

Dallas is known for oil, although there aren’t any oil wells in the city.

Dallas has a zoo which was founded in 1888 with two mountain lions and two deer. It’s a lot bigger now (both the city and the zoo).

According to Fortune magazine’s marketing research, more popcorn is consumed in Dallas-Fort Worth than anywhere else.

Dallas is known for invention and industry (in addition to oil). The frozen margarita machine was invented there (it was a repurposed soft ice cream machine), the integrated circuit computer chip was invented there (not frozen), and the ATM was invented there by someone who was tired of waiting in bank lines. Clearly, the modern world would not be possible without Dallas.

A piece of cake from President Wilson’s daughter’s wedding is built into the Woodrow Wilson High School’s cornerstone.

Where there is oil and margaritas, there is shopping, and Dallas has a lot (and by “a lot” I mean more places to shop per capita than anywhere else in the world). The first planned shopping center in America was developed in Dallas in 1931. At one end of the shopping scale, 7-Eleven was founded in Dallas; at the other end, Neiman Marcus opened there.

The Dallas Cowboys were originally known as the Dallas Steers. The name was quickly changed, however, when the team’s general manager decided he didn’t want a castrated mascot.

And sports. Texas sports. Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Hams (the original name of the professional baseball team), Dallas Stars (hockey), Texas Rangers, FC Dallas (soccer), and countless minor league/college/high school/club/misc teams. Lots and lots of sports. But mostly football.

And for the next few days, me.

Love, Mom

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My Foot, Urgent Care, and a Very Hungry Walrus

Dear Kid,

Sons of many b*****es.

I'm pretty sure I was bitten by a hungry walrus. There must be an outbreak of them in our office....DearKidLoveMom.comI had Quite A Day yesterday.

It started out harmlessly enough.

I made coffee without spilling a drop.

I backed down the driveway without hitting any native wildlife.

I drove to PT without causing any breaks in the time-space continuum.

All good signs, right?

Then Kyle the Physical Therapist set to work. As I believe I have mentioned, Kyle is part sadist. A large part. Most physical therapists are. As in

Me: That hurts!
Kyle: Yep. I don’t believe anything we’re going to do for the next half hour is going to be particularly comfortable.

It’s the grin as his says this that gets me.

Once Kyle decided he’d inflicted sufficient torture (and by “inflicted sufficient torture” I mean our hour was up), I headed off to work.

The car in front of me took the Last Reasonable Spot in the parking lot, leaving me to hike from a spot 2½ miles away. Partway through my trek to the building, Dad called.

Having been ignored all morning, my cell phone got 3 kinds of excited at the incoming call and literally leapt out of my fingers.

In all the years (4,873 to be exact) I’ve owned a cell phone, I’ve never (as in not ever) broken a screen.

Streak over as of yesterday morning.

Wait. It gets better (and by “better” we all know I mean much worse).

Around 1:30 or so, I got a small cramp in my foot. NBD, right? Wrong. I walked down the hall to a meeting, a little annoyed at how uncomfortable the cramp was and a lot annoyed that it wasn’t un-cramping.

During the meeting, it got worse. So I took off my shoe and peeked. (OK, I had taken off my shoes the minute I sat down. Habit.)

My lovely narrow foot was no longer either. It was swollen, disfigured, and painful. Really painful.

Following the (blessedly short) meeting, I walked to the car (and by “walked” I mean somehow managed the 4½ mile reverse journey while putting minimal pressure on my foot) and drove to Urgent Care.

Where I learned that “Urgent” means “please enjoy our lovely waiting room for a really long time.” A really, really long time.

Long time.

Eventually I saw a doctor who decided to list a whole bunch of scary options and take an X-ray.

Even without a trip to medical school I knew we needed an X-ray. I’m pretty sure I could have done without the list of scary options.

Post X-ray, we agreed that nothing was broken, my foot hurts like (censored), crutches might be an idea for a day or two, and a handful of meds might be in order.

Apparently the “Care” part of Urgent Care means “I dunno but I’ll try to make the pain stop and you should follow up with your Primary Care Physican.”

It’s possible that the morning’s PT caused the problem. It’s possible that dropping my cell phone caused the problem. It’s possible that I was bitten by a hungry walrus.

It’s even possible that someday I’ll be able to put shoes on again.

For the record, it’s 6.78 miles from the parking lot to the soccer stadium seats.

Love, Mom

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When A Blog Is Not A Blog and Road Construction

Dear Kid,

I started writing this letter to you (in my head) while driving home from the soccer game last night. Well, not exactly this letter.

I composed a great beginning. And a pretty good ending. I had a general idea about what the middle of the letter was supposed to do. Only it refused to come together. The words simply did declined to arrange themselves in a way that would make sense to normal human beings. (You can refrain from pointing out that the vast majority of the time the words in my brain refuse to arrange themselves in an order that makes sense.)

Here’s where it started:

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. ~Noelie Altito DearKidLoveMom.comThere is a lot of road work being done in Cincinnati these days. That makes now differently from the rest of the year in exactly no way whatsoever.

Good, right?

The middle part of the letter would go on to discuss how roads are like life (stick with me here). Some parts of our lives are just fine and can handle regular wear and tear. Some need a little bit of cleaning up (street cleaning), some parts need repair (potholes), and sometimes we need real structural overhauls.

This part was going to be brilliant. It would be quoted by poets and philosophers. It would be The Defining Blog of the Day.

Except for the part where I couldn’t compose a single coherent sentence.

Which, when you think about it, is a lot like some road projects. The ones that get started and never really go anywhere.

Making life a lot like road construction. But without a publication deadline.

Love, Mom

P.S. We won the soccer game.

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How Turpin High School Got Its Name (and Penguins)

Dear Kid,

High school soccer season has begun. And by “begun” I mean there was a scrimmage last night.

We played at Turpin, which is southeast of exactly nowhere.

I’m pretty sure the location moved while we were there because the drive home was significantly shorter than the arduous journey we took to get there in the first place.

Turpin (according to refers to an English highwayman named Richard Turpin.

The Turpin High School probably didn’t get its name from a thief who died a couple of hundred years ago, but their website didn’t give a more relevant explanation.

So, being the kind of mom I am, I will provide a little more information. (This explanation of course is coming from the unimpeachable source of I’m-making-it-up.)

There are quite a few conflicting theories as to where the name Turpin came from. Scholars have debated the origin for years, but evidence has finally come to light to Explain All.

How adorable is this little penguin? DearKidLoveMom.comThe first theory is that Turpin stands for Township Urchins Revere Penguins In Nests. This is of course pure nonsense as one doesn’t need to be an urchin to adore penguins and who uses the word “urchin” these days anyway (unless they are referring to sea urchins and we’re more than a few miles from the sea).

The second theory is that someone named Turpin died where the school is built. Which is probable but gory and one can see why they don’t brag about it on the website.

Another theory is that someone named Turpin gave a lot of money and/or land to the district, which sounds better but is highly unlikely since nothing else in the area is named Turpin and because they would have been screaming it in BIG LETTERS on the website if that were the case. (Mr. Donald P. Turpin, though he didn’t have children of his own, left his fortune of $14.17 to build this school on the family farm…).

The most logical explanation is that one day a terrapin fell out of the sky, landed on that very spot, and in the confusion of trying to explain what it was doing up in the sky in the first place lost a few of the more important letters in its name. Those letters T, R, P, and N mixed with letters already in the soil in that area and a school sprouted up.

One must be careful of having too little education. One must also be careful of having too much education.

I must be careful to go get some more coffee.

Love, Mom

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