Batman Playing Baseball in the Olympics with Zidane

… Carlos Quentin has been amazing for me in fantasy baseball. Not only that, but also for the White Sox as well. He has practically carried the offense on his shoulders. Leading the AL in home runs and up there in runs and RBIs.

… I’m now convinced that Zidane is probably the best technical player and teammate ever in soccer history. He might have not won as many World Cups as Maradona or Pele, but he did win one in 1998, lead them to the finals in 2006. But just his skill, his touch, his presence on the field, and vision was simply amazing. The other thing is that when he was on the field, he made his teammates better. The fluidity and beauty of his game is stunning. Unmatched. Never will be. Still sad that he’s retired…

… If you haven’t seen The Dark Knight yet, it’s either because you don’t have the time, you’re not ready for it, or you’re just insane. I wouldn’t say it was the best movie I’ve ever seen (Schindler’s List is still first for now), but it’s definitely captured my imagination and pretty much set the standard for me in terms of how I view action movies now. Batman Begins started it and The Dark Knight just proceeded with astounding success. It’s no longer this goofy “I’m invincible” look but rather humanistic side of the protagonist. It’s going to be hard to match that.

Also, Heath Ledger has the Joker was probably one of the best casting I’ve seen for an antagonist. I’ve never seen someone so enveloped into a role. It was impressive. Award-winning? I would argue that it definitely was. He sold it well. Maybe a bit too well…

… I also have a fear for pencils now… Especially ones that are sticking out of a table… With a clown standing next to it.

… The summer’s so far created a lot of great memories. The trip to Northern California was a unique and good experience for the most part. Camping with the SYTE group was fun and a blast. Hanging out with people, serving, traveling. It’s definitely changed my outlook on certain things. That’s for sure.

It also means I need to travel more, which I might. Depends if my family in Southern California is around when I’m planning the trip. (David, Lindsey and Ryan, you’ve been warned).

… The 2008 Beijing officially starts in two weeks. The Olympics have to be one of my most favorite sporting events. Partly because of all the coverage on TV (except for the gymnastics, diving and synchronized swimming… bleh). It’s almost 24/7 for just over two weeks. I’ll probably write something up about it over the course of the two weeks.

But when you think about it, it’s a pretty amazing concept. Bringing all the world’s best athletes together in one place to compete. Setting aside political differences (except for the Iraq controversy), social differences, and other similar things and uniting everyone together under sport. It’s a great sight to see.

If only we could do that outside of the Olympics…

Quitting soccer…

A few weeks ago, I suffered my third concussion in the span of a year while playing soccer. A week before that, I landed on my head rather clumsy on a bad challenge and was dealing with a lot of headaches. The fact that I had taken two head injuries over a week span left me made me thinking long and hard about my health and well-being.

It’s the things that we love so dear sometimes that we have a hard time letting go of. Sometimes, it’s a loved one. Or it could be it’s an item we’ve treasured for so long. For me, soccer was one of those things I had loved a lot.

It wasn’t for the glory of playing the game, nor was it for bragging rights or even to work towards becoming the best. It was the fact that I learned about a game that isn’t about one person. Or two… Or even three. It was a collective whole that made it work. It was about building the trust between everyone on the team in order to succeed and progress.

But more importantly, it was about the relationships that I had built through playing the sport. Whether it was IMA teams, Shamrock leagues, or Co-Rec teams, I built a lot of friendships there. That’s what really crushed my spirit when I had to make this decision. I could still watch games from the sidelines, but it wouldn’t be the same as it is on the field. The difference in the relationships between player to spectator versus player to player is huge. The other thing was it wasn’t with just men, but women as well. It gave me a bit better understanding and more respect for women in the game. I cherish all my relationships with those on the teams I play with though.

How long am I quitting for? That seems to be the question everyone is asking. Some are saying that I should just take a break and come back. However, I already know the answer. It is for good. During that weekend, I considered all the pros and cons about a possible return. While I have control over my own actions, that only half of it. It’s about the opposing player that I can’t control. It wasn’t worth that risk of taking another injury from another place that could result in me suffering serious brain damage or disabling motor skills. To have to deal with that as well as my friends and family suffering the consequences due to it wasn’t something I was willing to make them go through. Being unable to serve, my family, my friends, the community and the world would be extremely difficult as well and I didn’t want to do that either.

While it’s sad for me to have to quit playing the game, I know it doesn’t mean that I am leaving everything behind and moving on to something else. I will still try to be involved somehow. It could be coming to games to support or it could be helping with managing teams. I don’t know, but I will still be around.

Though this door has started to shut itself, I know that there will be another one that will open up for me. It’s the way life and God works with all of us.

The Perfect Touch

Soccer these days has been largely influenced with the thought of power and strength. In order to score goals, one must use all the force of their leg to get the ball past all the defenders and the goalkeeper to get it into the back of the net. Playing three times a week and watching clips on the internet, I see a lot of players focused on two concepts: power and velocity. Whether it be while taking a shot, going for a free kick, or making a cross towards the goal. Every time I see something like that happen, it frustrates me just slightly. Sure, sometimes it’s my teammates that do it, but there are a lot of others that do it as well. Why though? Because it’s not always necessary… Continue reading The Perfect Touch