Saturday, July 2, 2011

Children Are The Future

For no other reason than this kid is cooler than me, you, your dad and your awesome Grandma who let you eat brownies whenever you wanted, I had to post this clip.

Imagine being an accomplished breaker and then this tiny upstart with snot coming from his nose and birthing fluid still hanging from him comes and shows you up.  Sucks brah.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Go Away

Clearly, you don't listen, so I guess I have to give you something for your troubles.


I sat on the couch today wearing Jordan shorts.  I applied to numerous jobs that all interest me strongly, and I followed up with people that needed to be hit with the old, "I'm gonna follow up with you" shindiggity dig.

I watched Braveheart all day today.  I didn't play it on repeat, that movie is just so freaking long it takes the lifetime of a common housefly to finish it.

What else?


Oh, that's what the questions are for.

Anyway, I needed to put words on the page so I wrote this incredibly rambling, incohesive, and frankly, pointless post.  I hope you read quickly, otherwise I just wasted like 5 minutes of your time on nothing.  Better that than watching Glee, right?

Right.  Carry on.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oh Summer

It's summertime!  Blue skies, nearly triple-digit temperatures and sleeveless t-shirts abound.  Currently without a job, I wake up every day and dutifully search for employment, keep aboob of the world's goings-on and occasionally proffer my tuppence.  As I go through my day I can't help but think about my future, and where I'll be spending my summers from 2012 and beyond.  Whatever happens, I know that a year from now, my life will be drastically different.

While that's a sobering/exciting prospect at the moment, I have to continue to live in the present and make sure to do everything I can to be in the place I'm meant to be.  A huge part of that means prayer, introspection and working hard every day to find the right job opportunity, but another part of it is making sure not to let life stress me out too much.  I've never been one to let anything really get me down, but as 25  creeps around the corner, problems seem more and more real as the days go by.

With that being said, I'm taking everything a day at a time and making the most of the moment and blah blah blah, let's talk about Juventus!

Another part of the summer is hearing the RIDICULOUS transfer rumors flying around my beloved Old Lady.  We've made good progress so far, bringing in left back Reto Ziegler, legendary midfielder Andrea Pirlo, and solid backup defensive mid Michele Pazienza as well as most recent additions Fabio Quaglariella, Alessandro Matri and Simone Pepe on permanent deals.  Some of the dross still remains, *cough cough* Marco Motta *cough cough*, but I believe the club is on the right track.

Despite all this, questions rage around the internets, speculating on what (if any) big name Juventus will bring in, who will leave, what color underwear Del Piero is wearing, and whether or not Buffon has a breakfast or brunch on a regular basis.  While I typically try to stay out of the transfer debates, often I find myself unable to refrain from jumping headlong into the fray, just to let my worthless opinion be known.

The fact remains that I love my club, and I can't wait to see what happens when the transfer window does hit full swing.  However, until we begin to see "officially official" and players holding the Juventus jersey, there's simply no real point in speculation and debate.  All judgement of Marotta and co. is useless until September 1 when the transfer window closes.  Until then, I'll continue to hopelessly attempt to ignore the swirling rumors and pretend as I'm above it all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Talking To Myself

Just a few minutes ago, I tweeted a few times about a video I watched earlier in this morning.  I received no response, but it was ok.  Although I made it public, it was just part of my internal dialogue and I felt like letting it be known publicly.  

Internal dialogue is part of our everyday life, whether we acknowledge it or not.  Many people are looked at as mentally challenged if they walk through the streets talking aloud to themselves, but the fact remains, we talk to ourselves ALL THE TIME.  Being able to hold a conversation with oneself isn't a sign of being crazy, but rather a way to remain sane and rationalize situations without going to others for advice.

Maybe I'm a bit crazy, but I love talking to myself.  If I'm struggling with an issue, I can go over it in my head and consider both sides of the problem without having to run to another person and have them solve it for me.  That's not to say I walk around everyday holding Parliament meetings internally, but I do enjoy the ability to work through matters on my own with an inner debate.  

I may be crazy, but at least I'm fully aware of it.  That makes me less crazy, right? 
*Strides away proudly wearing tinfoil hat*

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Not A Writer

As my loyal readership, most of you clearly know I've had some recent issues with maintaining a consistent blogging presence over the past year or so.  Part of it stems from travel, being busy with work, and partially from good ole, down-home laziness.

At least that's what I told myself.  Week in week out, I'd sit down in front of my computer and try to write without getting frustrated, slamming the lid of my computer down and changing screens to Twitter.  While Twitter is indeed a wonderful medium for expression, it also coddles my strong tendency not to focus on any one thing for a significant period of time unless I deem it "important."  With Twitter, I don't have to be particularly introspective, I can just comment on the world as it goes by, whether I let it sweep me along or just watch the goings-on from my porch.

My biggest problem as a writer isn't my work rate, or my attention span, it's my feeling that everything I care to write about has been done already, by someone with better insight and skill than me.  Every day I read wonderful pieces by world-renowned writers I care about, about issues I care about, and I feel they're all done much better any paltry offering I can present.  In many ways, Twitter has exacerbated this problem by opening my eyes to dozens of journalists, writers, bloggers, and more who have unique insight and access to many different areas of my interest that I simply cannot hope to match.  For these reasons, I tend to simply kick back and enjoy my surroundings.

No more.  As I move forward in life, I realize that while I may not have the access and knowledge of many others, I do have a unique viewpoint and writing style that some may enjoy.  Furthermore, if I'm to call myself a writer, I have to write, plain and simple.  I've said it myriad times, and I partially don't even believe myself when I say "more writing is coming."  Neither should you.  With that being said, I invite you to disbelieve me 100%.  Believe me when the blog posts come streaming in.  When my Twitter feed starts to be filled with me commenting on my own writing, rather than on other's offerings.  Then we can revisit this post and marvel at my wonderful turnaround.

Then I can call myself a writer again.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gli Insegnanti (The Teachers) Part 1

Cris stalked down the sidewalk's edge quietly, every sense attuned to the slightest disturbance from the natural ambience of the night.  He stepped furtively to the corner of the nearest building, peering around the  massive structure with his heart in his mouth.

The teachers were coming.

Rumors of their demise were greatly exaggerated.  The quiet rumblings of trouble had begun in early May when their shackles began to loose.  More and more children roamed the streets during the day while more and more teachers prowled the streets of Hill's Chapel during the night.  As the days lengthened and they became bolder, sightings became more frequent.

A graduate student had been taken in broad daylight at the West End of town, carried off by three teachers barely finished their first year.  Whispers abounded of a struggling sophomore barely able to keep hold of his khakis while a pair of teacher's assistants manhandled him outside Bub's Valley.  Grizzled seniors warned of the beginning of June when gli insegnanti were released.  The dreaded ones, driven mad from their months of imprisonment were finally free to roam the streets in the heat of the summer.

The teachers were coming.

Armed with an overpowering sense of precaution, Cris stepped around the corner, only to be bundled over by what appeared to be a walking chalkboard.  Scrambling backward, he saw it for what it was: a young woman perhaps in her mid-20s; completely and utterly covered in chalk dust.  Staggering upright, the teacher grasped at his trousers and choked out a single word in a cloud of dust: "SUMMERBREAK."

Kicking out at his ghostlike assailant, Cris turned and ran headlong down the Franklin's Road without thought to what lay ahead, with what lay behind propelling his feet to greater and greater speeds.  Finally, he collapsed against a tree just off the path, chest burning and the balls of his feet pounding like steel mallets on an anvil.  Where was he to go?  It was just now nightfall, soon the streets would be teeming with recently freed teachers eager to wildly toast their release and take unsuspecting victims in their soporific embraces.  Whatever he was to do, he must do it quickly.

The teachers were coming.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I'm bored, I'm feeling creative bored and I have an inexplicable good-naturedly malevolent feeling towards mankind.  What's that you say?  That's an oxymoron?  Aso not a word?

Suck on a habañero clown.

Since this has been done before and it's easy, I've decided to direct this not-so-legitimate hatred towards one of my good buddies Andre Sherard.  That's right, I'm talkin to you fool.  Your tweets flood my timeline so I'm gonna flood your life with some hatred.

Let me tell you a story about Andre Sherard.

Andre was born at a very young age in Mizzizzippi.  From the age of 2, Andre exhibited a propensity for slurring his words, sleeping on people's couches and talking to the TV while no-one else was around.

Andre first kicked a soccer ball at age 5, but not before he had kicked 12 people on a neighboring pitch just for approaching said soccer ball.  At age 8, Andre approached a girl he liked but instead of talking to her, he wrote her a note and swallowed it.  He then became angry at the girl for not responding to his note.  The girl later saw Andre look at her angrily, liked it and they dated for 7 years.

Andre went to the doctor for a routine checkup at age 10 and it was discovered that he is in fact the only living Black Ginger.  He exhibits every sympton of Gingerness (no soul, disliked by 99% of the population of Hungary, insatiable appetite for virgin dolphins) without the physical appearance of a Ginger.  The sole benefit of being a Black Ginger is his slight relation to partial Black Ginger Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers.

Andre starred at the gay sport of kickball in his early years, leading many Southerners to say "DAT BOY FAST" and "LOOK AT THAT COLORED FELLA RUN".  He went on to star at kickball at UNC Chapel Hill and later in New Zealand where he allegedly was caught in a tryst with several hobbit extras and Gollum.

Sadly, the story ends... sadly for Andre.  He now lives out his days in Raleigh, NC where he has a terrible group of friends, has nothing to do but tweet, eat Bojangle's and occasionally lumber around a kickball pitch and pretend that he cares about his day-to-day.

When asked about Andre, a random passerby had this to say: "Who the podfark is that?"

And really.  Who the podfark is Andre?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Design and Create

I consider myself a relatively creative person.  I enjoy writing, and when I get the chance, I love to design and conceptualize different articles of clothing and sneakers.  That being said, when I can step out of the mass-production box and create my own colorway of a sneaker (usually via Nike ID), I do so with aplomb.

I've created hundreds of different designs with 10s of different styles of shoes, but I rarely ever go through and purchase my creations.  Often I find it more satisfying (read: easier on my pockets) to simply create the shoe and acknowledge its fresh than to actually purchase the sneaker.  When I do make the plunge, I painstakingly make sure every detail is exactly how I wanted it.

My process is to pick an initial color scheme, tweak it till its balanced in all the right ways and when it finally speaks to me as a finished product... STOP.  Nothing is worse than a piece of sneaker art that's been ruined by one too many "improvements".

That being said, this entire piece was an excuse for me to show off my latest design.  I give you, my Nike Air Max 95 ID:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monster We (Haven't) Met

I met a ghost, but he didn’t want my head,
He only wanted to know the way to Denver.
I met a devil, but he didn’t want my soul,
He only wanted to borrow my bike awhile.
I met a vampire, but he didn’t want my blood,
He only wanted two nickels for a dime.
I keep meeting all the right people -
At all the wrong times.

- Shel Silverstein
I had a great conversation with two early education teachers who operate in polar opposite situations: One teaches at-risk children whose backgrounds and prior experiences suggest they're on the fast-track to future incarceration, while the other teaches relatively well-adjusted kids from largely stable backgrounds whose futures look decidedly brighter.
Both teachers are passionate about their jobs with multiple struggles to deal with, but their day-to-day experiences are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.  While one teacher may have a child cockily report to her mother that "my teacher loves me," the other might have to deal with the pain of having to report a parent for a blatant disregard of crucial oral hygiene.  Both love their children equally and are dedicated to their jobs, but the nature of the jobs each has chosen makes their day-to-day a completely different ordeal.
The conversation I had with them brought to mind what type of scenarios they could be dealing with at a different point in time?  If the kids they both taught were even just 3 years older, would their experiences be the same?  A child from a "stable" background at 5 may have gone through a traumatic ordeal before age 8 and be a potential future danger to society.  An at-risk youth at age 6 could have a life-changing teacher at that age and be a star pupil by age 9.
Shel Silverstein's poem contains no obvious verbal complexity, but the depth of it is unfathomable.  The length at which our experiences and the times at which we go through these incidents affects us is an amazing spectrum of possibilities.  The breadth of the human experience is staggering, a fact that is simply and succinctly addressed in "Monsters I've Met".
Yesterday's devil may be tomorrow's polite bicyclist.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Here, There, Everywhere.

In my line of work (international super-spy, billionaire playboy, etc.), I find myself on the road fairly often. As such, I've gotten used to the rigors of travel, along with the small annoyances that come with it.  Apart from that, I've also learned to enjoy the little things that come along with travel to (sometimes) new and unfamiliar places.  

As my main region of work is in the Northeast classified, I often find myself running into cultures diometrically opposed to those I encounter in my day to day.  Growing up in the South, I've become accustomed to warm temperatures, laid-back living and the type of people this lifestyle generally shapes.  With this background, even though I've been traveling for a few years now, I still find myself amused by our "big city" neighbors to the North from time to time.  Subtle nuances such as acknowledging people as they walk by, avoiding direct conflict and generally being of a more open demeanor are personality traits not necessarily cultivated as the compass arrow points up.  

While these differences make for an interesting experience when I travel, it's a pleasure to encounter those who embody their regional stereotypes completely, as well as those who defy (admittedly ignorant) expectations.  They ensure that my life on the road stays interesting and I learn more about our little unfathomable world every day.

This past week, I had the pleasure of visiting frozen Boston for 6 days.  During that time, in addition to cursing the unescapable snow and blistering cold, I was blessed to be able to visit the oldest restaurant in the US.  There, in addition to amazing food and a great atmosphere, I was served by possibly the sweetest woman I've ever come across.  Not only did she give my colleague and I a complete history of the restaurant, she made us feel as if we were being served by a beloved family member at a homecoming dinner.  She even convinced me to eat (and enjoy) their famous clam chowder, a food I absolutely detest.  She then topped it all off by insisting that I use a bib which she further insisted on tying on me herself.  

Little experiences like these are what help get me through my frequent travel, especially when it gets difficult to stay motivated.  The fact that at any moment I can make a connection with another human with a unique viewpoint or experience to pass on keeps me optimistic to push on.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Barcelona Translation

I was just introduced this video, and it's changed my life... I cannot stop watching.  In this clip, Barcelona's newest signing Ibrahim Afellay hasn't quite acclimated to Spanish life and needs a little translation help.  Add in Gerárd Piqué's raging hormones and we have a YouTube clip for the ages.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The King Is Dead. Long Live the King

When I first began to play the game as an adolescent in North Carolina, I had no footballing background to speak of.  I had no experienced older brother from whom I gleaned all my knowledge, as he was on par with me with zero footballing experience.  My dad, although more than supportive of my sporting choice despite being a college track star, knew nothing of the sport either.  When I began, the only reference I had for the game was the Eurosport catalog, FourFourTwo magazine, and every VHS tape I could get my hands on.

Despite this, I fell fully in love with the game.  From the beginning, despite never having seen the man play live, I also fell head over heels for a goofy, light-skinned Brazilian named Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima.  From the first time I saw videos of this man steamrolling his way through defenders one minute, then dancing his way around them the next, I was hooked.  This was to be my favorite player of all-time.

Unlike those privileged enough to follow his career fully from nearly the beginning, I survived on video clips, magazine articles and word of mouth for years until the 1998 World Cup rolled around.  As Ronaldo smiled his way through the group stages alongside Rivaldo, Bebeto, Roberto Carlos and the like, I couldn't help but want to step into his boots and be the man himself.  Finally able to see the man play in real-time on  TV, I was forever a Ronaldo fan.  With the news of Ronaldo's fit before the France match and seeing the shell of a man that trotted around the pitch in the final, I was more than convinced that Ronaldo had been drugged by sinister forces just to keep him from being at his unstoppable best.  Despite his performance, my faith in him was unshaken and my love never wavered.

Living close to Eurosport's home, I was constantly in and out of the home office/warehouse, attempting to coerce my parents to buy me everything Ronaldo-related, including the newly introduced technological marvel, the Nike Air Mercurial.  While the boot itself was unattainable due to the extravagant price, the owner Mike Moylan was kind enough to allow me to try on the boot Ronaldo himself had tested for Nike.  I had long read that Ronaldo stuffed his feet into tiny boots to strike the ball better, but was completely taken aback and awestruck when I was handed a shoe barely bigger than a size 7 or 8.  Even more awe-inspiring was the fact that the great man himself had worn the same golden slipper I had on my foot.  Had I been a lesser boy, the experience would have made me cry.

Despite choosing to pledge my devotion to Juventus at a young age, I could never let my allegiance to Ronaldo be shaken despite his signing for Inter Merda Milan.  For me, Ronaldo was forever an entity, not bound by the jersey on his back.  When Ronaldo had his famous tandem knee injuries on November 21, 1999 and April 12, 2000, I was distraught.  The fact that knee problems had the potential to slow my hero down and even cut his career short was a sobering fact.  When the great man returned for the World Cup sporting a new haircut and looking as healthy (if a bit heavier) as ever, I couldn't help but wear the same goofy smile as O Fenomeno.  As Ronaldo tore through the opposition, I danced for a month straight, culminating in his famous brace in the final against Germany.  Watching as I dressed for church that morning, I jumped on my bed and did a lap around my house for each goal he netted.  Nothing could have made me happier.

With his move to Real Madrid and more access to international footballing coverage, I was better able to follow Ronaldo's exploits in Spain, especially in Champions League play.  Towards the latter end of his stint however, it was clear that he was in a regression.  As his waistline grew, he suffered a spattering of injuries here and there, his smile faded more and more.  Ruud Van Nistelrooy's acquisition in 2006 seemed to spell the end of his Real Madrid career, if not the end of his career, period.  The fact that times had changed and Google searches for "Ronaldo" yielded more hits for a whiny, temperamental Portuguese winger only served to exacerbate the feeling that Ronaldo's reign was to be short-lived.

It was bittersweet news to hear that Ronaldo had transferred to AC Milan for the 2007-2008 season.  I was more than happy to hear his retirement had been forestalled, but not as jubilant about his signing for another Milanese rival.  However, his struggles continued with Milan, despite a rare moment of joy against Napoli during which Ka-Po-Ro finally made an appearance in the form of Kaká, 17-year-old Pato and (now known as "Fat") Ronaldo.  Ronaldo's emotional double was overshadowed by his clear joy in playing with Kaká and Pato, as he lumbered bounded about the pitch attempting to link up with his younger Brazilian compatriots.  When Pato finally scored, Ronaldo's joy was so contagious it was impossible to smile and jump along with him.

When Ronaldo ruptured his ligaments yet again in a match against Livorno in February of 2008, I cried. I was sure that his career was done, and it was too much to bear.  I hoped against hope that he would return to the pitch, but in all honesty, I saw no reason for him to play again.  The man had nothing to prove, and for selfish reason, I couldn't bear to seem him break down yet again.

News of Ronaldo's recovery and training with Flamengo sparked a tiny flame of hope, but I refused to get ahead of myself.  When he announced his return, signing with Corinthians in December of 2009, I celebrated in a muted fashion; happy that his career wasn't over, but disappointed that he hadn't returned to the club he loved, Flamengo.  I followed his performances as he showed flashes of his previous brilliance, but it was painful to see the toll his injuries and (recently admitted) hypothyroidism affect his play.

Rumors swirled around his retirement the last few days, but yesterday, when Ronaldo officially announced he was hanging up the boots, I felt an intense sadness.  No rumor of tears stung my eyes, but to know that the player I grew up emulating has moved on is an indescribable feeling.  Gone are the days when I would practice every move he did in my backyard.  No longer can I tune in on a Tuesday, Wednesday or weekend to see him torment opposing defenders with a look of pure joy on his face.  Never again will I see his name on a World Cup squad list.  In my opinion, there will never be another Ronaldo.  No player will affect the game in the manner he did, with such a combination of skill, consistency and athleticism mixed with humility and joy.

Long live the King.  The King is dead retired.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I've come across this story a couple times and I feel it's worth passing on.  It made me think deeply about how we treat those around us, especially those we view as hopeless or marginalized.  I hope it impacts someone else in the same manner.


Jean Thompson stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the very first day of school in the fall and told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her pupils and said that she loved them all the same, that she would treat them all alike. And that was impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the third row, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were unkempt and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy was unpleasant. It got to the point during the first few months that she would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then marking the Fat F on the top of the paper biggest of all. Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, no one else seemed to enjoy him, either.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's records and put Teddy's off until last. When she opened his file, she was in for a surprise.
His first-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around."
His second-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."
His third-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy continues to workhard but his mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."
Teddy's fourth-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class. He is tardy and could become a problem."
By now Mrs. Thompson realized the problem but Christmas was coming fast. It was all she could do, with the school play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus on Teddy Stoddard.
Her children brought her presents, all in beautiful ribbon and bright paper, except for Teddy's, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper of a scissored grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of cologne. She stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume behind the other wrist.
Teddy Stoddard stayed behind just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left she cried for at least an hour.
On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and speaking. Instead, she began to teach children. Jean Thompson paid particular attention to one they all called "Teddy." As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. On days there would be an important test, Mrs. Thompson would remember that cologne. By the end of the year he had become one of the smartest children in the class and...well, he had also become the "pet" of the teacher who had once vowed to love all of her children exactly the same.
A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that of all the teachers he'd had in elementary school, she was his favorite. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still his favorite teacher of all time. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still his favorite teacher.
Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still his favorite teacher but that now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.
The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that Spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was to be married. He explainedthat his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering...well, if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually reserved for the mother of the groom. And guess what, she wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And I bet on that special day, Jean Thompson smelled just like...well, just like the way Teddy remembered his mother smelling on their last Christmas together.
THE MORAL: You never can tell what type of impact you may make on another's life by your actions or lack of action. Consider this fact.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Transfer Silly Season

Andy Carroll and Darren Bent. World class? Hardly, IMHO. However, between the two men, nearly £60m (close to $100m) was shelled out to obtain their services, notwithstanding the personal contracts they agreed.

As I am not a Liverpool or Aston Villa supporter, I honestly don't really care about the details of his transfer. However, if I was a Red or a Villan, I'd be incensed about the massive outlay to secure the signatures of the missing Geico caveman and the 5th member of Jagged Edge.

Let me first state that I understand the circumstances of the transfers. For both clubs, an immediate goalscoring boost was necessary in a short amount of time. In Villa's case, goals were coming less frequently than a music video on MTV, while Liverpool's Fernando Traitorres (Kregg Laundon™) put his faithful employers in a bind by requesting a transfer with just three days left in the January window. Both men are proven Premier League goalscorers, England internationals and fairly young (especially in Carroll's case).

However, I maintain that a much better deal could have been struck for the strikers, or at least other players of their ilk. Reports abounded that 30-year-old Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano was available for around £10m, almost a steal for the prolific Sevilla goalscorer. In addition, ready-made goalscorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was also reputedly available from floundering German club Schalke.

While this is all admittedly wild conjecture, my point is that with a bit of work, I feel a better deal could have been struck for both clubs. In this case, I believe that applies a bit more to Liverpool than Villa, as Darren Bent has an exemplary goalscoring record in the Premier League and was bought for the relatively "cheap" price of £24m compared to Andy Carroll's £35m for 11 Premier League goals.

Again, I admit that I do understand the circumstances surrounding the transfers. But as a casual observer I could not do anything but sit in front of my computer and say WTF. The valuation of these players is wildly inflated, especially for *braces for insults screamed through computer* English players. And lest I forgot to mention it, Andy Carroll has a ponytail!

All in all, my point is that the January transfer window always proves to be a ridiculous proposition with clubs scrambling to complete deals that often don't make sense in the long run, or even in the short term. I haven't even touched on the fact that Spaniard Fernando Torres, in the midst of perhaps the worst form of his life, was sold from Liverpool to Chelsea for nearly £50m. Foolishness.

Finally, as a bit of perspective, here are the top 11 most expensive transfers of all time...

1. Cristiano Ronaldo - £80m
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - £61m
3. Kaka - £56m
4. Zinedine Zidane - £53m
5. Fernando Torres - £50m
6. Luis Figo - £46m
7. Hernan Crespo - £45m
8. Christian Vieri - £41m
9. Gianluigi Buffon - £40m
10. Pavel Nedved - £39m
Andrew Carroll - £35m

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Didn't Happen

I told myself I'd write every day. Or at least 3-4 times a week. I didn't tell my readers because I knew something like *this* might happen. I posted once, got excited about it, then got busy, lost my flame and I'm back again 2 weeks later in the same position.

Why don't I write? The combination of being busy at work, busy after work, NOT being busy at work, NOT being busy at work seriously screws with my writing "schedule". When I'm busy I have to focus my energies on actually doing my job or whatever extracurricular activity I have going on at that moment. When I'm not, I'm very good at diverting myself through video games, *gasp* reading, frolicking through these internets or any number of additional extracurricular activities.

The lack of energy/desire to tackle more serious blog topics also severely holds me back when I have less than adequate motivation to legitimately think through an issue and put it into succinct, logical arguments or analysis.

So what's going to drag me back to my blog regularly?

To be honest, I don't know. I love writing, and I love seeing consecutive posts on my page, but I have a wandering mind and it's very difficult to harness. The only thing I can say (again) is that I'll put forth a concerted effort to sit in front of the computer and actually put words on the page that mean something.

But don't quote me on it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dark Clouds With a Bit of Sun Peeking Through

Fair weather fan. Bandwagoner. Glory hunter. At this point I almost wish I could be called one of those names. That would mean my beloved Juventus had won a trophy in the recent past for me to gloat about and parade around as if the footballing world should kiss our respective Bianconeri toes.

Unfortunately it's not to be so. Juventus is dark days at the moment, and although it would be much too easy to despair, I refuse to let myself be dragged down by the pessimistic attitude that plagues many Tifosi.

Let's face the facts. We're out of the EURO Cup, a competition that holds no real significance in the grand scheme of things, but one that we really should have done MUCH better in considering the quality we do possess. We're currently floundering in Serie A due to a combination of a terrible start to the new year, some very unfortunate injuries, and a simple lack of "grinta", intestinal fortitude and, to put it frankly: balls. Our strongest goal threat, Fabio Quagliarella is out for the rest of the season due to an ACL tear suffered in the 4-1 drubbing by Parma. One of our strongest performers of the season thus far, Felipe Melo, seems to have reverted to his old ways and had another meltdown, while his counterpart Momo Sissoko has refused to play out of spite for not being considered first choice.

The evidence for crisis is piled as high as the tower of Babel once was. However, we can be thankful that Juventus has its own team of builders, quietly rebuilding the Old Lady back to what we faithful supporters are used to. Andrea Agnelli, Beppe Marotta and Gigi Delneri are working stolidly to create a team that is both balanced and in the mold of the Juventus tradition. Many have criticized the management team for some of the decisions they've made this season, but the fact remains that Juve will be a work in progress for years to come. The current backroom staff have already brought in players that will serve us loyally moving forward. Milos Krasic, Leonardo Bonucci and Alberto Aquilani are three of the names that come to mind readily. With these players in addition to the core Juventini, just a few pieces remain to up the squad to the next level.

Yes, much of the squad must be revamped (outside backs, cover for centre midfielders & Marchisio, and at least ONE world-class striker), but the important things is that the foundation for success has been laid down by the "triade" of Agnelli, Marotta and Delneri. As my good friend Adamo Digby says, "patience". The January transfer window is not over yet, neither is the season. The Old Lady has fallen and suffered some serious injuries, but she's a tough old bird. She'll outlive us all.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

(Still) Sore Loser

I have an anger problem.

99% of the time, I'm the one of the happiest people you'll meet in life. I typically don't let most typical annoyances bother me, and I'm pretty hard to piss off, if I do say so myself.

Until I lose. I've visited and revisited my inability to cope with losing in a mature manner, but even though I've put significant (read: woosah)effort into adjusting my personality, I cannot get past the ridiculous competitiveness that drives me to best people in literally almost everything that can be quantifiably measured.

Last night while enjoying wings and a drink after playing soccer, I caught myself repeatedly checking the level of my friend's bottle to make sure he wasn't finishing his beverage before mine. I had twice the number of wings he had, but I still found myself rushing to finish my portion before he was done with his.

Recently, I've been increasingly unable to harness my anger while playing pickup soccer. If anything goes wrong, if I misplace a pass, or (Yah forbid) my team loses, I find myself descend into an incredibly pissy mood. More often than not I'm able to drag myself out of it by trying to enjoy my successes as much as I beat myself up about the failures, but my overly competitive side always kicks in when I try to rationalize staying happy.

As I continue to work on my competitiveness, my anger issue will surely become less serious. I'll never be able to fully stomach a loss or poor performance as I am somewhat of a perfectionist and that's my personality. However, moving forward, my goal is to be able to enjoy the bigger picture of what I'm doing; i.e. playing a sport I love, playing video game, or even simply enjoying a leisurely meal or drink (without competition) with friends.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What Can I Say?

Recently I've been struck with an increasing urge to get back on a regular writing schedule. My weekly article on provides me with a basic outlet for my literary energies, but for the most part I need to sit down, quit being lazy and actually put (digital) pen to (virtual) paper.

My biggest problem with writing is Twitter. Not necessarily Twitter as a service, but the fact that it allows me the perfect outlet for my incredibly unfocused thought patterns. Whereas before I was forced to sit down and actually think through a 4-5 paragraph idea, crafting it into something legible and comprehensible, now I'm able to just blurt out quick sentences via Twitter and get my point across. This is both a blessing for me as well as a hindrance. I now have a legitimate outlet for my mental spasticity, but I rarely take the time to make myself write anything over a paragraph unless necessary.

This post is my first attempt to change all that. I'm not going to sit here and lie to whoever reads this and myself and say that I will write faithfully every day in 2011. We all know that's excrement from the posterior of a bovine male. However, I am putting forth a strong effort to corral the wayward thoughts flying around my head into a consistent and (hopefully) enjoyable product for my two-person audience to read.

That being said: Happy New Year!

In other news, Inter Milan still sucks, Juventus is my Old Lady for life and O'DOYLE RULES!! Urban Dictionary is your friend on the last one if you're halftarded.