Thursday, June 12, 2008

LIFE & SPORTS...or was it SPORTS & LIFE?

Hmmm. I have been thinking a lot about Mike Balla's comment about how (in short) soccer is the world's sport. Yet, according to Americans, any team that wins a championship is considered the "World Champion." I would like to respond to this.

First of all, I will not dispute that soccer is the world's most popular sport. Let us be honest in saying that we like watching Spain play because more action is happening in the stands than on the field. The same is true with any soccer game. People in the United States don't sing songs during a baseball game because there are points being scored. Who wants to watch a game for 2 hours and have it end nil-nil? To me soccer is like a NASCAR race...I watch for the crashes. In soccer's case, a broken ankle, the goalie running into a pole, a solid foul, the occasional goal, and the next time a long-hair gets tripped and rolls around on the ground like someone kicked him in the groin four times with the point of his boot. You get the idea.

This is why we call our champions "World Champions." Anyone in the world who is good enough to beat the U.S. in a sport is already playing here in our professional leagues. The next time England has a national tackle football team (yes, tackle) will be the first. We could put them against a college team and the college team would desimate the squad.

"Well" you may say, "what about basketball? Argentina won the gold in the last Olympic games. How can basketball call themselves the 'World Champions?'"
1) Argentina's best players play in the U.S.
2) It is basketball. Do they still show that on TV?

We will give the world their due with soccer. Fine. But until another country can consistently beat the U.S. in our "World Championship" then there is not a reason to change the titles of our World Champions.

On that note, didn't the United States tie the number one ranked team in the world on Sunday? Yes, they did. "We" tied the Argentine National team ...(as I clear my throat)...NIL-NIL. Yes, I did watch, mortified that the United States might actually break their scoreless streak.

Don't get me wrong...I enjoy going back and forth with Mike about this. That is one reason I feel comfortable going back and forth with him about this.

ALRIGHT...on to other things. This week I found out that I would be rehired for next year. I am going to be teaching ELD again along with English. Yes, English. I am, quite honestly, a little nerveous about teaching Eng. next year and not Spanish. I have already taken the first half of the CSET. It was nice to not have the pressure of needing to pass the test to keep working. Now I feel the pressure of having to pass the next two subsets of the CSET in order to keep working. Things should be interesting.

Troy took his first steps by himself this week. He is feeling much better about being on his feet but is not quite confident enough to let go of the couch. We are also taking steps to get him to sleep through the night. He often wakes up in the middle of the night to scream and yell until someone picks him up. Stacy and I have been sleeping on the couches, floors and outside while he adjusts to waking up and not seeing anyone around. Last night was the first night in a long time that he only woke up once.

Lastly, we apologize to those of you who are going to the Bayles Family reunion in Blanding and are just finding out that we are not making the 12 hour trip with $4.50/gallon gas prices (on top of other things). We decided that it was a perfect time for us to spend some quality time with only our family around. As many of you know, we don't get a lot of that in a house with 13 people. We do, however, lament that we will not be able to cruise main street with you all at 8:30 in 100 degree heat. I was looking forward to jumping in the lake again and playing softball. However, both Stacy and I decided that this just wasn't a good year for it. Please, don't cry the whole time. If you put your mind to it, you can still have fun without us.



English Rose said...

Firstly Grant congrats on the new contract. I am going through almost the identical process as you are. I'm looking forward to my second year teaching and even summer school starting tomorrow. I heard rumors that California's economy was so bad that they had a recruitment freeze on teachers and they were getting rid of 25% of them. I guess that is not true then? By the way - I loved serving on the Bishopric with you back in Orem and I always thought you were a fantastic guy (other than your love for the most boring sport in the world)

Back to the sport discussion - please let me respond to your last post. You said, "People in the United States don't sing songs during a baseball game because there are points being scored. Who wants to watch a game for 2 hours and have it end nil-nil?" Let us consider what would happen if we changed the rules of soccer to give teams 3 pt for every corner and 2 pts to the opposite team for a yellow card. Take the recent European soccer game between France and Romania which by the way ended 0-0. With my new scoring policy in place France would have won 15-11. I'm sure you'd agree that is much higher than the average baseball score but did the game suddenly become more exciting simply because points were put on the board? In my opinion nothing changed in terms of excitement - no new things happened on the field; we just assigned points for things that we usually don't. But it sounds like from your post that you think Americans would suddenly become interested because the score will never be 0-0 any more.

What is more exciting to me is that with the score at 0-0 and ten minutes left, a goal by either team would almost certainly finish the game off making for a very tense and exciting finish to the game. What do you think?

English Rose said...

Oh and one more question - when is baseball going to get over its denial concerning its shameful position on steroids. I am sick of hearing sports commentators defend people like Barry Bonds over the use of steroids. Am I not correct when I say that he was pretty good baseball player and then suddenly in the course of 3 months during the 2nd half of his career put on 30 pounds of raw muscle and almost over night became a home run phenom. Another baseball friend of mine echoes the same ridiculous sentiment as the sports radio guys by suggesting that steroids and muscle mass don't help you in baseball. Are you kidding me? I understand the whole innocent till proven guilty argument but there are plenty of other baseball stars who have been proved guilty and I'm sure only time will tell. He is a disgusting example to young kids who grow up wanting to be baseball stars but feel like they need to put their bodies at risk by taking harmful drugs. Of course other sports like soccer and track have their problems but the difference is that those sports actually attempt to punish offender - 2 year ban for first offense - life time for 2nd Compared to the new "supposed" stringent punishments in baseball which talk more in days suspension than year. Pathetic.

Bringhursts said...

I always laugh about the World Champions thing because we, as Americans, can be slightly egotistical. I guess that's what you get when you live in the best COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

Jami and Scott said...


I won't have fun without you and I will cry myself to sleep every night you are there. But, I understand your decision. Have a great time with your family.