Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Video: 80's Movie Describes Soccer's Awe

There may never be a more touching description of Soccer's power to affect the masses.  In the 1985 movie, Vision Quest, the late actor J.C. Quinn, playing Elmo, a blue-collar guy with friendly advice, gets the honor of handling some beautiful writing.

Vision Quest is a movie about a high-school wrestler, Louden Swain, who pursues a match with the state's best wrestler.  In it, Quinn tells Mathew Modine's character, Louden Swain, about one of PelĂ©'s fantastic goals.

The movie develops many characters while telling a story of persistence and eccentricity.  Elmo's descriptions of the goal and how the crowd reacted are a reminder of why Soccer is referenced so often as the world's 'beautiful game.'

This part of the movie is Louden's wake-up call for that night's wrestling match against state champion, Brian Shute.

Louden was moping around, feeling sorry for himself after losing his girlfriend, when he stops by to visit with his co-worker, Elmo.  They know each other from a big hotel, where Louden works part-time doing room service and Elmo is full-time as a cook.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Would Promotion/Relegation Work for the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB?

Is promotion/relegation more than an American professional soccer issue? Could promotion/relegation be an economic boost to all the popular American professional sports, the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB?

My feeling is yes it can.  But, will it be instituted anytime soon for any of them?  No, probably not.

But, it is an interesting question to ask, if it indeed would make owners of American professional sports teams more money in the long run.

If a system is built to support all owners of teams from the minor leagues on up to the top league (numerical divisions typically are used for soccer), each sport could have a better foundation to grow and thrive.

The promotion/relegation system has many capitalistic and evolutionary characteristics that are similar to the U.S. way of life.

Geographically and economically speaking, if metro areas increase or decrease by population, teams could end up promoting or relegating depending on how the economy is for that metro area.  For example, the Clevelands and Detroits of the world will have a tougher time and the Omahas and Boises of the world will be trying to move up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NFL Considered Proposal for Competing Pro Soccer League

Seattle Seahawks/Sounders Stadium
According to emails and interviews, can confirm the National Football League (NFL) received a proposal in 2007 to start a pro Soccer league to compete against Major League Soccer (MLS) for the months of March through August/September.  It appears though, the proposed new Soccer league, never made it to the desk of the commissioner, Roger Goodell.

Sources reveal the proposal was rejected by the Communications/PR Director at that time and he had not consulted with Goodell.  At the time, his statement read that their focus was expanding their football base and expanding internationally; Soccer was not in their plans. 

New details have emerged about the proposal and what was being considered.

Matt Hill, a former Public Relations executive with the NFL, was the person who received the proposal.  He has said that there was a lot of positive discussion about the possibility of having a pro Soccer league play in the dormant NFL stadiums during the off-season, but the idea got killed off pretty quickly.

Monday, April 21, 2014

10 Rules Changes to Enhance MLS

Amendments are meant to assist the shortcomings that have followed the game under FIFA's watch.

FIFA has been slow to evolve.  This is not anything new and just about anyone would agree.

American sports fans have high demands for their sports and they insist on common sense and the best possible drama in every match.

Ten (10) Proposed Rule Amendments/Changes for Professional Soccer:

I. Each 45-Minute Half counts down to 0 seconds:
a. Games may result in a tie.
b. Games played in overtime are decided by first goal scored (Golden Goal).
c. Overtime is considered 15-minutes of continuous play after the end of regulation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Would Usain Bolt Ever Wear Braids?

Originally Posted October 2013

I'm watching a batter versus pitcher matchup last night in the MLB NL Wildcard game, Johnny Cueto of the Reds pitching to Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, and I decided to write today's article, asking, 'Would Usain Bolt Ever Wear Braids?'.

Of course, I'm talking about the hairstyle that is all the rage and has been for a while.  Braids are way past being a fad.  They've been popular with high-school athletes, college athletes and the pros for many years.

I've wanted to write the article for a long time because I think it is an interesting topic, but I kind of always thought it wasn't for a non-wearing braids person to write.

Braids are obviously a very personal and cultural expression and one which I like quite a bit.  But, I've always been inquisitive as to why athletes would want to add so much unnecessary weight to tug from their head, if they are expected to be so quick and agile to the 1/100th of a second.

The hair is so long, it even blocks the name on the back of their jersey sometimes.  Aren't they losing a possible endorsement here or there?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

10 Action-Packed, Fun, Vintage Heavyweight Fights on Youtube

Thank you YouTube.  Since there are no great heavyweight boxing matches anymore, it is a real treat to go back and look at some which provide awesome drama.  They tend to get forgotten and deserve a second look.  The video quality is quite good for each of them.

Ali vs. Spinks I, 1978.  Spinks had only six fights under his belt.  Ali owned the belts. Great action throughout climaxing with an unbelievable 15th round.

Vitali Klitschko vs. Lennox Lewis, 2003.  Interesting that one of the best fights ever would last six rounds. During his call of the fight, Larry Merchant said these were the two most talented, biggest fighters to ever meet in the heavyweight division.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Top 5 Most Relevant Designated Players MLS Should Pursue part II

'Relevant' meaning possible and significant.  In other words, Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo are not on their way to MLS anytime soon because there are other soccer leagues in the world paying more money for world-class star players in the prime of their careers.

Clint Dempsey made the first list in 2012.  Who will be next from it to play for MLS?

Many soccer experts would agree that Dempsey is world-class and in his prime, but he made it to MLS. Why and how?  Well, 32 million will attract many of the world's best and it's his home country's club league in which he played in years ago.

Which brings the conversation to the number one player MLS teams should pursue and the four other main attractions.  MLS pay what you have to in order to get these guys to sign.

1) Jozy Altidore is younger than Clint, but needs and deserves all the American accolades.  Coming off a hat-trick Friendly and scoring more often in general, with the National team and his club team, Altidore would bring the same fire to MLS as Dempsey.  Especially, if he could get paired up with another hotshot, like Dempsey is with Eddie Johnson.  Would he possibly fit well with Kei Kamara  or Graham Zusi of Sporting KC?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Richard Sherman, Jonathan Martin: Dispelling Stereotypes in One NFL Season

Richard Sherman and Jonathan Martin both went to Stanford and played together there in 2009, 2010. This part of their backgrounds is a shared trait, but for the most part they grew up very differently. Sherman overcame the more traditional inner-city challenges to develop his skill-sets. Martin was born into a family of middle-class and more upward-mobile wealth.

What is mostly similar of Sherman and Martin is how they are dispelling the stereotypes of black athletes.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Will the NASL Look after MLS Expansion?

Not too many months back, I wrote that I thought the NASL had found firmer footing and a niche in the sports spectator marketplace.  I stand by those thoughts.

But, because of the next round of MLS expansion, growing to 24 teams by 2020-according to Garber logic, the NASL will once again have to struggle to find solid ground.  It will be tough as MLS cherry picks some of the NASL franchises or pushes some of them off the already precarious pro soccer cliff.

I predict it will eventually stabilize, though.  Unfortunately, the NASL will take years to finally settle in on its present business model and really reap rewards for the majority of its club owners.

The current business model for NASL club owners fits very well for a pro Soccer second division in the U.S.:

The name and branding of the NASL for the second division fits perfectly (US Soccer owes those who got the second coming of NASL off the ground a bit of a debt of gratitude).  And, building stadiums to seat roughly 8,000 people in medium-sized metro areas to accommodate 15 home games yearly, including friendlies and U.S. Open Cup dates should bring in dividends and be a positive community rousing.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Is it Time for a New Nickname for Toronto FC? The Top 3 New Nickname Suggestions

Toronto FC has made it known that it wants to be a contender in MLS. The signings of Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe give notice to their fans and teams in the League that Toronto FC wants to change its image.

The team known as the 'Reds' for their primary team color wants to turn the page on some lengthy losing and ordinary chapters. Toronto wants to become an exciting and dominant team.

With this exciting time for the franchise and so much change in the air, would it be a good time for some re-branding by trying a new nickname to replace FC?  Could it be something that would galvanize the public's attention and also help them to forget the bad start the franchise got off to since its inception in 2007?

FC as a soccer nickname has its challenges as I've opined on in the past. MLS Nicknames Confuse Joe Sixpack Sports Fan.

'Reds' is a nickname of sorts for the team, the unofficial one.  But, is there a better one out there?

If MLS Toronto has to keep the FC at the end, it can still place it after an original nickname.

For me, Toronto Reds FC doesn't work well enough and I would take out the FC completely.

Here are my top 3 suggestions: