Posts Tagged "soccer"

Abby Wambach Speaks #Forward | Paying Attention to What Matters

Dear Kid,

While you were (doubtless) studying on Saturday, I was hanging out with my new BFF Abby Wambach.

Ok, she’s not exactly my BFF because I haven’t actually met her and by “hanging out” I mean listening to her speak at the Women’s Fund event. But I was in the same room and I had a great seat and the rest is semantics. Thank you Girlfriendology for the great ticket.

It will not stun you to learn (and by “learn” I mean be reminded) that I don’t take shorthand. [Do kids these days even know what shorthand is?] So I cannot replicate the afternoon verbatim. But I can share some of the highlights.

First a couple of people from the Women’s Fund spoke. The Executive Director talked about understanding the economic situation so many women find themselves in. Best quote: It’s not enough for someone to occasionally beat the odds—we need to change the odds.

Then a woman told her very inspiring story of making it from a high-school drop out single mom to where she is today.

Abby Wambach's biggest fans. Cincinnati Women's Fund. DearKidLoveMom.comAfter that we learned a little more about the Fund’s work and then two young ladies were introduced. They’d been chosen (via a big contest) as the biggest Abby Wambach fans. A-dor-a-ble. Even better because they got to talk about why they love her and then introduce her. She hugged them. We all kvelled.

She hugged them. We all kvelled.

Here’s what I think about Abby: she’s pretty amazing. She’s not the slickest person you’re ever going to meet (thank goodness!). She’s real. She knows who she is, she’s comfortable with who she is, she knows that All is not Right in the world, and she’s Taking Steps to do what she can do. She’s real and I loved it.

Abby Wambach speaking at the Cincinnati Women's Fund event on gender equality. #Forward #Important #LookUp

She’s also angry. Angry that she—the best soccer player in the world (repeat: the world. The entire freakin’ world) was payed bupkis and the pretty dang good men (but not even close to the best) were payed ridiculous sums. NOTE: She should be angry. It is not even close to right.

Some of my favorite moments from hearing her talk.

Speaking to a group of little girls at a soccer event: I want you to feel you’re actually equal to the boys—because you are.

Talking about how to make the group more successful even if you’re one of the standout players and learning leadership from Mia Hamm (“You’ve heard of her? Yeah, she’s pretty good.”).

About the 2011 World Cup when the American women lost and having to “find different things to do to not have the same outcome.” Think about that. The best player in the world saying I have to be even better, I have to question myself, I have to work harder, I have to try different things. Impressive.

On teamwork: We have to figure out ways to inspire each other.

She talked for a bit about the relationships we have with our devises rather than each other. Kids are not learning how to connect as people. (Hopefully, there are more houses like ours where no one would dare come to the dinner table phone in hand.) She also talked about the very real problem that what we see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. is the edited version. We delete the ick photos. Which is fine—except then people often have a skewed vision of the world in which everyone is perfect—except them (enter emotional problems, stage left).

Her biggest message was about gender pay equality. Basically, women not getting paid anything near what men are being paid. Personally, I find it revolting that in 2017 we are having this conversation. Not that we’re having the conversation, so much as that we have to have it. How is it possible that equal pay is not a done deal? How is it possible that paying women the same wages we pay men is not something we do everywhere? How can this still be?

Abby: We don’t have to pay women more. Just pay men less. That will get their attention.

The room was stunned. I think at first we were all shocked that someone would even contemplate paying men less. Then we tuned into the reality of the statement. Yep, that would get men’s attention all right.

Abby Wambach talking with Betsy Ross about gender equality. #Forward #Important #LookUp

I consulted My Friend the Internet. Not only are professional women athletes underpaid compared to their male counterparts, female athletic trainers are also underpaid. And underpromoted (hello, glass ceiling).

Think this doesn’t impact you because you’re male? Of course you don’t because you are a wise child. But in case you’re not sure, it impacts everyone.

Look up, lean in, pay attention. Perhaps right now you can’t do anything except be aware. You’re a college kid, I get that. But as you move forward, as you meet different people, as you hold different roles, be cognizant of what you can do to change the status quo and create a new reality.

Love, Mom

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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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