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Useless News Thread
Poland... during the soccer Cup:
Tomasz Czerniak, spokesman for the municipal police - Poland Wrote:When Russia scored the first goal, the man was so overcome by emotion that he took his old television and simply chucked it out the window.

Fortunately no one was around, so the television just fell, exploded, but no one was injured.

Neighbours in the southern Polish city of Sosnowiec reported the 46-year-old to police, who showed up at half-time to find the man uncooperative and heavily drunk.

he will likely have to pay a 500-zloty (115 Euro, $144) fine.
For the life of me, I am still trying to 'fathom' just what folks see in that sport.

Now, I'll admit that I am not into sports any longer. But I still love skiing, and will always love sky diving. Its two things I did best. But other sports? Colour me gone.
Have a Gneiss Day!
Let me explain what I can.

I grew up at a time when Baseball, Football, Wrestling, Track, and Basketball were the varsity high school sports. There were swim teams, cross country, and lacrosse teams, but they were not really varsity level sports. There were bowling teams, pool and billiard teams, even chess and debate teams - but they weren't really "sports". I played them, and did well enough that I didn't need to live vicariously through my children - and let them find what excited them. The played baseball, football, and soccer as kids. I could assist and help coach in baseball and football - but soccer was new to me, so I had to learn it. I found out that all the upper-level skills and athleticism needed in other sports was distilled and present in soccer.

They started at club-level - where a kid would brag to his Dad that he kept a blade of grass on his head for the whole game without it falling off. As they got better, the level of their games rose, and they moved to premiere leagues with all the best athletes. When I started coaching soccer, I was a very advanced coach from baseball and football, and understood the kinetics and movements used in all the sports. My teams had the best athletes in the state, and all the competing sports sought these kids to play on their teams. Many regional baseball and football coaches demanded their players concentrate on one sport and forbade them from playing other sports. I laughed at that, and let my players play wherever they wanted, just making sure my team was the must fun for them.

The kids on my soccer team learned how to play baseball and football better than many who specialized, because they learned how to move effectively and learned how to use vision and space. I had kids from eight or ten different high schools, and my players were the star kickers on their various high school football teams. There was one goalkeeper who went to the Michigan football camp under Schembechler, and earned a specially-invented trophy, as a star receiver for not dropping a pass in the entire two-week camp. My sons could kick 60-yard field goals and throw a pass seventy yards accurately.

They excelled in other sports, but soccer was their love. They played it and chose it over other sports as their favorite - with no prompting from me. One son was all-state in soccer and track, and MVP on the track team. All of the kids I coached could get college scholarships, whereas kids specializing in football or baseball were lucky to be walk-ons. What's funny, is that they could get scholarships in other sports - not just soccer. One became a star in Lacrosse. Two others in tennis were number one and two ranked in the state. Another great goalkeeper became a star in his college's basketball program. All were great soccer players, even in schools that didn't have it as a sport.

You see, many schools do not have a strong soccer program. Some don't have strong football, or baseball programs, either. When my son got a scholarship to play center mid at Michigan State, they did not have a varsity soccer program. That year Penn State joined the Big Ten making a total of six schools with strong soccer programs (the minimum needed to make it a varsity sport in the league.) To play a varsity sport at a Big Ten school - you are put in a five-year program with different rules for classes and majors. Any sport is like that.

I know all the sports, and enjoy them all. Anyone who doesn't like a sport, for whatever reason has that right - but those like me who knows up from down knows what is exciting and fun. Anyone who says he hates soccer is just someone who is ignorant of it, and is resentful because his own favorite sports he feels are somehow lessened by soccer's popularity.

I was never indignant over a sport because I wasn't familiar with it. When my kids said they enjoyed playing a game I wasn't conversant on - I learned it so I could be there for them. When I wrote a textbook on coaching - in my research I discovered soccer was the original American national past time - and baseball took over that role in the 1890's because a sports merchandiser sold equipment by claiming in the newspapers that the new game of baseball was the national sport and everyone was playing it. After 20 years, it was institutionalized - and soccer was put on the back burner. No skin off my nose - kids can play what they have fun at - and at that time baseball took their fancy. It may have been the Karl Marx school of sports indoctrination - but it took hold.

Now soccer has become the choice of most kids - but some are angry that it has. I just see the sports for what they are - and if they bring joy to the kids, that is enough for me.
It should be noted that costs for soccer equipment are much less than for most any other sport, because so little special equipment is needed. This has its appeal to budget-strapped schools.

My high school introduced us to soccer a few times back in the early 60's, but I was never attracted to it, because you have to run so much, and I hated getting my shins kicked all the time by other players who were as bad at it as me.

Bill's kids did develop an amazing level of skills. One of his sons was probably the best soccer player in the state for his age.

There has to be some reason why so many nations--not just European but also South American, Middle Eastern, etc.--have it for their most avidly followed sport.
Bill, you can explain til hell freezes over. It won't make any difference to me. The reason why I am partial to skiing, and sky diving, or fast motorcycles, fast cars, or getting shot at, is because of the adrenaline. I'm a former adrenaline junkie, and you will never get that adrenaline rush by prancing around a field and kicking a ball, or 'heading' it. Sorry about that.

There is something about walking off the back ramp of a high altitude C130, at night: something you will never experience playing soccer. And clearly you have never experienced it before, or you would not try to justify why I should really care about that game. Its all bush league to me.

So, "let me explain what I can": I am addicted to Adrenaline. Its just that, pure and simple. And that is why I don't do it anymore. Its wonderful, but only lasts for mere seconds, and its not worth placing my body in danger just to achieve that high for a few seconds. The rest of it I'm not interested in.

Its like my friend Michael. he is big into sports, and loves to watch boxing, and that kick boxing crap on TV. I've asked him why he gets his rocks off watching people beating the hell out of other people. To date, I really haven't gotten a good answer.

To me, its a waste of time hitting someone, or trying to subjugating another. If that person wants to do that to you, just kill him. That's what weapons are for. Why go to the trouble of allowing that same person to come back and finish you off, when you can permanently end your problem? Kill him!

In other words, quit pussy footing around. That's my philosophy in life. Its how I was trained in the military. When you have been to the mountain top, everything else looks tiny.
Have a Gneiss Day!
Am I the only one who finds skydiving boring? I mean, yeah there's that risk of death and all but it doesn't get me going.

A roller coaster (particularly one that leaves you facing down) is much more terrifying and more likely to give me an adrenaline fix.

Jumping out of a plane everything is too far away to be real. On a roller coaster potential splattage is up close and in focus.
The problem for me with the two typical american sports: Baseball and Football is the endless interruptions and extremely long waits, standing, doing nothing.
I found these sport very boring for that reason.
It's like 30 seconds of action for 30 minutes of inaction.

Watching it is even more boring because if you are not born in the US and the game rules are not in your DNA, you have no clue what they are waiting for, how the points are counted, what's the goal exactely etc...

In soccer it's the opposite: Even when you never touch the ball, positioning yourself strategicaly on the field will make you run all the time.
That alone will train your body and make you in a better condition to play other sports.

Yet I think there are too many player in soccer teams for it to be funny to play.
Two teams of 6 should be more than enough. Not two teams of 12. You can spend twice 90 min without touching the ball once. That's ridiculous.

JOhnL, Adrenaline shots are not realy sports.
It's cool, and there are many of such things I'd like to do, but it's not sport in the sens that you build and exercise your body.
(06-14-2012, 03:36 PM)Pixiest Wrote: Am I the only one who finds skydiving boring? I mean, yeah there's that risk of death and all but it doesn't get me going.

A roller coaster (particularly one that leaves you facing down) is much more terrifying and more likely to give me an adrenaline fix.

Jumping out of a plane everything is too far away to be real. On a roller coaster potential splattage is up close and in focus.

Most likely. Obviously you have never experienced free fall, or the sheer beauty of the landscape beneath. The only bad thing about it is that it is over all too quickly. Oh, and its a bit expensive too. S5
Have a Gneiss Day!
If free fall is what you crave, you need to be an astronaut.
I'm too old and wouldn't qualify. Otherwise, I'd love to.
Have a Gneiss Day!
Pretty weird and funny source of useless knowledge.
(06-14-2012, 12:24 PM)John L Wrote: ...because of the adrenaline. I'm a former adrenaline junkie, and you will never get that adrenaline rush by prancing around a field and kicking a ball, or 'heading' it.

That may be what you think - but you must re-evaluate your incorrect preconceived notions. I've been there. I played and coached all the sports and I know the level of adrenaline rush in soccer is far greater than in other sports. Basketball and hockey comes closest - but most kids have told me how standing in the sun for nine innings for an occasional few seconds of action is boring. Same thing with football, where most of the time is spent huddling up and running preordered plays with little variety. I've been there - I've played and coached it.

Watching a game from the sidelines is also more exciting than in other sports, because there is so much going on. I feel sorry for people who don't understand baseball, football, hockey, or basketball for the same reasons as people who don't understand soccer. Soccer rules are simpler - and easily understood, so ignorance of it is usually a self-imposed decision. Why a person prefers to stay stupid and not open oneself up to the fun and appreciation of anything worth doing is something I just don't understand.

As for sky-diving, I can get the same thrill driving over the Zilwaukee Bridge or sitting at the edge of a hill looking at the sunset. What brings out the adrenaline is pitting all my talents and skills and intellect against others. Even when I was refereeing soccer, I would run, jogging and sprinting for up to 70 yards at a time for about eight miles per game - and that is not playing - but just trying to keep up.

If it helps get past your self-imposed incorrect preconceived notions, here is an extract from my coaching textbook I wrote illustrating the coaching concept of pre-thinking actions to gain a Zen-like performance of skills. It was part of earlier entries that make the actions and skills more understandable - but I think it may give some empathy with what a player does during play:

I Wrote:• Previsualization

Teach players the usefulness of “thinking it through” before learning something. Reread the earlier Coaching Technique of Mental Training, and try it out.

During a quiet break time (after some strenuous exertion that used up adrenaline and siphoned off some nervous energy) have the team sit down and close their eyes. Talk them through a simple first-person point-of-view action. Break it down into the most basic components, and include the various actions necessary to react to all the continually changing influences happening around them:

“Imagine… you’re jogging near the center-circle ...on the right side of it ... waiting for your chance to get the ball. You don’t have any direct pressure from any opponents, and you’re about fifteen yards diagonally ahead of your teammate with the ball, who is near the center-spot, on your left as you look upfield facing your opponents’ goal. You have one opponent near enough to mark you… ten yards away, between you and the goal, and slightly to your left. There he is. Do you see him? He’s giving you a fairly loose upfield mark. Focus your eyesight on the ground a few paces ahead of you, to the left. Turn toward the center a little. Now you can see the ball and the opponent. The ball is in front of you, and the opponent is more to your right, now.

“Your teammate with the ball glances up at you, as you see a pressuring opponent running toward him to challenge for the ball. You realize your teammate will be too busy to pass the ball in a few moments, and needs to pass it away from pressure. He wants to pass you the ball… See him look at you for a signal? He wants to know where to pass it. You think about signalling with your left hand, but that may give it away. Use your eyes. Yeah, look to the left, at the ground where you want it, away from that opponent over there on your right. You’re up on your toes, jogging in place for the moment, ready to move.

“Imagine it… think about it — where you are… where that opponent is… where the ball is. Think about the signal. Does your teammate’s body language tell you he read your signal? Get ready, he’s going to pass it!

“Look, he’s pulling back his foot. It’s the backswing for an inside-of-the-foot push-pass. He’s going to kick it. Time to start moving… before he kicks it to you. Jab step. Yeah, that’s it! You have to start moving quickly, using the near foot jab step with far arm drive. You make a short jab step with your left foot, and drive your right arm across your body, to start moving to your left, toward your own goal in an arc around the passer. Visualize it… can you see yourself doing it?

“Okay, he passes the ball right where you signalled with your eyes, to the open space to your left, away from your nearby opponent. Oops! Speak of the devil! Here he comes. He’s starting to chase you to put on pressure. He anticipated the play and got a good jump on it. It depends on what you do now, whether he intercepts it or not. Whatever you do, he’s committing himself… he’s not delaying.

“The pass is on target, but it’s not hard enough for you to let it run on through, and just pick it up like a lead pass. You’re going to have to go to the ball, turn with it, and shield it, all at the same time.

“As you get near the path of the ball, you bend your run a little, to run straight toward it, directly in its path. Since the pressure is coming at you from your right side, you plant your right foot to the right of the rolling ball, in order to shield it from your opponent. He thought he could use a sliding tackle to intercept the pass, but your run to the ball and your right foot shielding the ball has ruined that idea. He’s going to end up next to your right foot, more on the side than behind. Can you feel where he might try to put a shoulder into you? Be ready for it, just in case.

“You let the ball come in, under your body, past your right shielding foot. You look directly at the ball now, it’s the focus of your attention. You put your weight on this shielding right foot, and pivot on it to the inside. As you pivot, your body is over the ball, protecting it.

“Your left, back foot is going to do the receiving and turning. As you pivot, you turn your left foot out so you can cushion the ball to slow it down. You don’t want to completely stop it. You’ve made contact! Soft and easy, and you’ve got it under control.

“Now you’re going to use this receiving foot as a jab step to start running with the ball. Can you visualize where you are? You’re facing sideways, with your back to your opponent, ready to make another near foot jab with far arm drive, to start running toward the opponents’ goal.

“The ball is moving right where you want it to go, just beyond your left jab stepping foot. Once again, your far right arm is driving across your chest toward the left, and you are in stride.

“Now that you’ve turned, you can even make contact using your left shoulder for a fair charge against your opponent if you want to, but you don’t need to. He guessed right early, but your shielding turn used his momentum against him, and left him facing in the wrong direction. He needs to take at least three steps to turn and follow you, so you can just accelerate and leave him behind.

“Your right foot makes contact with the ball, and moves it with you.

“Look at that! You’re running at full speed, up the field with the ball: and your opponent is completely out of position, on the wrong side of you. Good Play!”
WmL Wrote:“Look, (s)he’s pulling back his foot. It’s the backswing for an inside-of-the-foot push-pass. (S)He’s going to kick it. Time to start moving… before (s)he kicks it to you. Jab step. Yeah, that’s it!
[Image: 1%20(21).jpg]
Wow, looks like one person is trying to break the other person's neck!
Refs don't specialize in certain age groups or leagues. A good ref does them all - but the newer, less experienced do a lot of younger kids' and women's leagues to gain that experience, so the young refs need a heads-up. When I coached my wife's ladies team, my most important job was to caution the ref's before the game started to call all the fouls and control the game - not to assume the ladies were sweet, polite, little moms who wouldn't hurt a fly.

My Center D threw the discus in the Olympics, and a midfielder was a speed-skating champion with thighs like Schwarzenegger. One of my forwards was a trauma nurse, so things balanced out a little. (Her phone was on vibrate and went off in my pocket during a game one time and almost gave me a heart attack.) My job as a coach is to teach players how to play without hurting themselves or others - and how to avoid opponents who play on the dark side. My premiere Youth teams had the skills to anticipate a foul and ride it through without getting injured - and then return the favor by showing them up with superior skills. ...But ladies teams aren't usually that deep in the skill sets.

The girls playing in the photo above appear to be premier U16 - but may just be club teams. Either case, someone got out of control. Usually when that happens, even competing teams will try to prevent injuries - not break necks. To my skilled eye, it looks like the girl in the center made a clean tackle of the ball and did not make contact with the foot or leg of the falling girl. A ref would have carded her for the hold, though. What probably happened is the center girl was touching the girl with the ball, and when she poked the ball away, the girl in front lost her balance or stepped on the ball, and the touch turned into a dangerous hold.

I doubt it is as bad as it looks - because the real bad eggs aren't so obvious.
As impressive as it looks I also don't believe she tried to break the neck of her oponent, as if she tried to kill her. More probably the girls collided and one fell in a disordenly manner, while the other gripped her to stop her maybe because she was close to mark a goal.

Note that the face of the girl with the brown shirt doesn't help... S5
What is funny, is that there is a good chance it is the girl in front who may get penalized for foul play. It is often the innocent-looking one that acts the victim but is really the instigator. The girl behind doesn't seem to have made contact with her feet to knock her over at all. The only possible contact is on top - and that just may be a defensive reaction to ease another person's foul.

Referees have been watching for that for ages - and the era of a guy screaming in pain and rolling halfway down the field when no one touched him is long over. That stuff is not condoned - and only a poor ref doesn't whistle a foul on the actor. It would be a pretty poor player to be so obvious with a foul and think she could get away with it. I see the same thing in other sports, Basketball more often - but also in football and baseball. In Detroit, with the Lions, Ndamukong Suh was charged with foul play at least three times last year that was not foul at all, and the guy instigating the contact escaped. Bad refereeing. You do know that when a player wears his hair outside of his uniform that it can be used to tackle him. ...And don't get me started on pine tar on the bat.
wml Wrote:and the era of a guy screaming in pain and rolling halfway down the field when no one touched him is long over.
IMO it's thanks to digital imagery: It become more difficult to fake a foul play when you are filmed with precision.
I remeber the time when a soccer player would be evacuated on a stretcher, then come back on the field running as if nothing happened 20 seconds later.
(06-17-2012, 03:39 PM)Fredledingue Wrote:
wml Wrote:and the era of a guy screaming in pain and rolling halfway down the field when no one touched him is long over.
IMO it's thanks to digital imagery: It become more difficult to fake a foul play when you are filmed with precision.
I remeber the time when a soccer player would be evacuated on a stretcher, then come back on the field running as if nothing happened 20 seconds later.

No, not just digital imagery. An under-12 team I coached was probably one of the most advanced teams I ever had the pleasure to coach - and we didn't have digital replay. I did have plenty of families with cameras, but it was never necessary to catch acting. We would meet state championship teams from Missouri and other states at tournaments, who tried such gamesmanship - and the refs were never fooled. It helps when the team they are trying to foul knows how to avoid contact - which makes such acting very ham-handed.

Every now and then - someone does something wrong and gets away with it - but that happens everywhere. A good player likes to beat an opponent using skill. One that hacks is held in low regard and is not selected for good teams. Think a minute on that reinforcement not to play the victim. There have been players who had great talent, but were too lazy to make my teams. I cut a regional Olympic development player off my High-School team because he was a rule-breaker and hot-dog. It does happen - but it is usually self-correcting.

I saw more of this in baseball and football than in soccer. Hot-dogs may appear anywhere - but good players are judged by how they use their skill. A few are so talented that they can star in spite of themselves, which is a shame, because had they applied themselves and played with honor and integrity, they may have been great. Instead, they just make the cut.
Has anyone seen this story yet: Migrant to sue UK for making him unhappy
£11million will cheer him up
? I mean, this is really hard to make up.
Have a Gneiss Day!

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