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Archive for July 4th, 2014

On This Fourth

75 years ago today Yankee great Lou Gehrig said this:

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

It is the highlight of a 275 word inspirational masterpiece that still resonates today.

See how close you can get on this. How many career dingers and RBIs did Gehrig have and what was his career batting average?

A Fourth of July Happy Birthday shout out goes to Malia Obama on her Sweet 16th!

The President is coming to the Lone Star State next week to do an economy event and raise money for Dems and he is starting to get heat for…… well check this:

“If he doesn’t come to the border, I think it’s a real reflection of his lack of concern of what’s really going on there,” declared Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016.

The White House said Thursday that Obama currently has no plans to visit the border when he travels to Texas next week, primarily to fundraise for Democratic congressional candidates. A trip to the border could result in awkward optics for the president, who would be unlikely to meet with youngsters he’s seeking to deport and would risk upsetting immigration advocates who oppose the deportations if he were to meet with border patrol agents or other law enforcement.

Administration officials say that Perry and other Republicans are merely trying to score political points rather than working to resolve a major problem. But the political concerns aren’t so easily dismissed for Obama.

The border crisis has put him in the difficult position of asking Congress for more money and authority to send the children back home at the same time he’s seeking ways to allow millions of other people already in the U.S. illegally to stay.

The White House also wants to keep the focus of the debate in this midterm election year on Republican lawmakers whom the president has accused of blocking progress on a comprehensive overhaul of America’s immigration laws. Obama announced this week that, due to a lack of progress on Capitol Hill, he was moving forward to seek out ways to adjust U.S. immigration policy without congressional approval.

I am thinking The President will end up doing something immigration-wise when he gets here. If not, the GOP is going to hammer us on the issue and score some points.

Jerome Solomon from the Chron really put a diss on a lot of us Team USA World Cup fans. Check this:

So the U.S. “run” through the World Cup is over.

Well, that was fun. Or not.

I will continue to follow the World Cup to see how world-class soccer is supposed to be played. I found little pleasure in watching the U.S. get pushed around.

More than 21 millions Americans watched Tuesday’s U.S-Belgium match, a 2-1 loss for the United States. The sentiment most came away with was how proud they were of our boys.

Seriously?

When did Americans take such pride in losing?

Now that the U.S. is out of the World Cup, can we get back to our regularly scheduled whining, moaning, and complaining about athletes?

The USMNT lovefest was sickening.

This isn’t some “get off my lawn” rant. As I told a friend on Twitter, this is more of a “get off my lawn selling a 1-2-1 record as the greatest thing ever” rant.

Soccer is fun to watch. Watching the U.S. win is more fun.

The U.S. women’s national team has appeared in all six Women’s World Cups, won it all twice, and never finished worse than third. Big fun.
The men, well … losing is not fun. Watching them get manhandled by a country about the size of the Greater Houston area is embarrassing.

The U.S. winning percentage at the World Cup was .375. The Astros’ winning percentage is .419.

Which one is the bigger loser? Take your time.

The only U.S. win in four World Cup matches was over Ghana, a team so engrossed in drama that a Hollywood director has penned a treatment for a movie about the Ghanaians’ World Cup adventures.

The USMNT couldn’t have fared worse if Matt Schaub were quarterbacking the team.

Hold your “There isn’t a quarterback in futbol, Jerome” comments.

Whatever the positions, where is the standard finger-pointing, name-calling and social media ridiculousness we see with other sports?

Remember, things got so bad for Schaub he had to delete his Twitter account when the Texans were a .500 team.

I’m not advocating said foolishness, just wondering where it is for soccer.

As the millennials say, if you don’t have haters, you’re not doing it right.

Well, the USMNT has almost no haters. Obviously, they aren’t doing it right.

Poor showings

Michael Bradley played badly, but he was not alone. Matt Besler, for instance, would have done more to help the U.S. effort by watching Tuesday’s match from a “boteco” in Brazil.

There were other no-shows as Belgium ran circles around the U.S. – which was saved by Tim Howard’s brilliant play in goal – and took twice as many shots as the Americans. Still, the U.S. had a chance.

Missed opportunity

Chris Wondolowski’s miss in the latter stages against Belgium, a shot that would have almost certainly won the match and sent the U.S. to the quarterfinals of the tournament, should go down in history as an all-time blunder.

(Google Jackie Smith, Bill Buckner, Earnest Byner and Scott Norwood.)

“It’s like an old saying in our family: ‘You get the glory when you score, and you’ve got to take the responsibility when you miss,’ ” his brother, Stephen Wondolowski, a former Dynamo player, told the San Jose Mercury News. “It might be fair or unfair, but that is just the life of being a forward.

“I know Chris is going to get past it. But I don’t think everybody else will get past that. That’s just sports.”

Um, not true. Many got past it as soon as it happened.

Even the reaction on typically over-the-top Twitter was mild, with not a single negative comment to Chris Wondolowski’s post saying he was “gutted to have let everyone down.” Not one.

Soccer zealots and media fanboys are an amazing lot. They pull out the kid gloves for soccer, something they don’t do for any other sport.
Not even for Olympic sports in which the U.S. has no business participating. Why is that?

We act as if soccer is a foreign sport. There are soccer fields everywhere.

It’s un-American

Heck, you might be reading this from a smartphone while watching your son or daughter on the pitch.

All this grass dedicated to a sport, and the best the U.S. can do is not lose by a lot?

And we’re supposed to be proud of one win, two losses and a draw?

Not in my America.

First of all, how come the Chron didn’t send anyone to cover the World Cup in Brazil? A lot of other newspapers did. The Chron obviously doesn’t think this event is worthy of sending someone to report on.

Second of all, historically, sports departments of our country’s newspapers have pretty much overlooked soccer while the rest of the world hasn’t. For decades sports sections have inundated us with the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA football, Final Four, PGA, tennis, NASCAR, Indy….you get the picture. They only started covering soccer after Americans started taking a bigger interest.

A lot of folks, including Commentary, are just learning the sport. It is going to take me a while to know when to hate or go after one of our own. BTW: Why should I even have to hate on the fella that missed the goal in the last minute of regulation? Like why should I hate Brad Lidge for serving up the Albert Pujols dinger that sent us to a Game 6 and forced us to use Roy O?

In just about every other country in the world soccer is number one. All their best athletes play soccer. Not here. Lebron, Mike Trout, Tiger, and Peyton didn’t choose soccer.

Our soccer fans are pretty smart. They know it is going to take us a few more cups before we bring one home.

In the meantime, our interest in soccer continues to grow. More of us watched the World Cup than watched the World Serious or NBA Finals.

Give us some time Jerome. Maybe in a few cups if Team USA goes down in the round of 16 we can then start acting like arseholes.

Lou Gehrig of course had 493 dingers, 1995 RBIs, and had a career batting average of .340.

Jose Altuve continues to lead the AL in batting average and hits. That’s about the only good news I can report this morning.

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