Misseytwisted

Urban (mis)Advantures

In Response to Ann Coulter…. — July 15, 2014

In Response to Ann Coulter….

The most exciting and anticipated weeks of summer drew to a close yesterday when Germany took the World Cup by a narrow 1-0 win over Argentina.  Futbol (or as we backwards Americans call it, soccer) is the one team sport I actually enjoy watching.  Like the American mis-named football (where the ball is mostly carried by hand), basketball, baseball, and hockey, it does take a team to win it.

In June, columnist Ann Coulter wrote an article blasting soccer, calling it a “sign of the nation’s moral decay.”  Although soccer/futbol can be boring, the 2014 World Cup proved many of her points erroneous.

First, Ann claims that individual achievements are no big factor.  Along with that, she claims there are no heros.  Ann, doubting people, and world, meet Germany’s Miroslav Klose, who holds the record of 16 goals scored in World Cup games.  And speaking of Germany, “Super Mario” Goetze, kicked the goal that won Duetschland’s title.  This single shot is now called “the goal heard around the world.”

Goetze (L) and Klose during a friendly match before the World Cup.  Image from gmanetwork.com
Goetze (L) and Klose during a friendly match before the World Cup. Image from gmanetwork.com

 

Now, on to us Americans, who are improving their skills in the World’s Game.  My man, goalkeeper Tim Howard, earned his own Sweet Sixteen, by blocking 16 shots in a single match from Belgium.  This is the most he’s stopped in his career, and the most attempts blocked in the World Cup in a single game since the 1950’s.  If Tim hadn’t been such an epic hero, the Belgium-U.S. game would have looked more like the Germany-Brazil stomping.

Tim Howard and his awesome beard. Image from goal-news.com.
Tim Howard and his awesome beard. Image from goal-news.com.

And lastly on Ann’s point of there being no individual achievements in soccer, yes, there is an MVP award.  Lionel Messi of Argentina was awarded with the trophy, along with the Golden Glove award presented to the German tank goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer.  Though us Americans will argue that Tim Howard deserved that coveted Glove.

Ann indicates that there are no “humiliations” or major injuries in soccer.  Well, if you didn’t pay attention to the matches of the 2014 World Cup, pay attention now.  American team captain Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones, midfielder, both sustained broken noses.  Jozy Altidore tore his hamstring in the first U.S. match and did not play for the rest of the tournament.  Alvaro Pereira of Uruguay took a knee to the head and was knocked out cold, lying unresponsive on the ground.  In the final match, Germany’s Christoph Kramer took a jarring hit to the head that sent him spiraling to the ground, and he may have a concussion.  He appeared very dazed after bouncing off the opponent’s shoulder and a few minutes later, required assistance off the field.  And, oh yeah….

BRASIL’S STRIKER NEYMAR HAS A FRACTURED VERTEBRAE!!!!

Image from thenews.com.pk
Image from thenews.com.pk

No humiliations in front of millions of people?  This year, the host team of Brasil was crushed by the Germans.  The German team played with absolute precision, and the sloppy and impulsive Brazilian team was no match for them. This video about sums up the 7-1 score game :

The host nation sadly left the field that day knowing they had let their entire country down, playing on their own home grounds.  And they did it in front of millions of people.  Then during the final match, a BILLION spectators watched Argentina’s Messi miss his free kick.  He was so disappointed that he appeared to not look fans in the eye when accepting his MVP award.

And obviously football is not played with your hands. ITS WHY THE WORLD CORRECTLY CALLS IT FOOTBALL. The absence of being able to catch the ball makes footballers use specific athletic skills to carry it down the field.

Perhaps this comparison to America’s favorite past time will help non-football (soccer) fans understand the excitement:  If you enjoy baseball, you find it exciting that people stand in a diamond shaped field and wait for a ball to come their way.  You hold your breath once the bat cracks the leather ball, sending it soaring, anticipating that no one will catch it.  You stand up and cheer when its a base hit or better yet, a home run.

The same goes for the real football.  A defender kicks the ball past forwards, the midfield players pick it up and toggle it around their opponents.  Then the correctly shaped ball is kicked to a forward, who skillfully pops it around shark-like defenders.  Fans in the stands and at home stand up and clench their fists, heart racing, eyes unblinking and glued to the action.  And lastly, the striker succeeds at kicking it past a 6-foot-plus, 200 pound goalkeeper with ninja reflexes.  Nothing but Net.

So, you don’t like real football.  And I don’t like American football.  But don’t, for a second, think that it’s what has “demoralized” me. 😉

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Urban Adventure with Arthur — July 4, 2014

Urban Adventure with Arthur

Due to the Mother Nature celebrating her immense freedom of slamming the Eastern Seaboard with Hurricane Arthur, the Boston Firework Spectacular was moved to July 3rd. Seeing that it was a quick decision and being on a business day, we guessed that it might not be as crowded as our first adventure to the show a few years ago. So we parked at Alewife, took the subway into Cambridge and found a spot right in front of the barge on the Charles River.

The Boy and I playing Trash while waiting for the big show.  Good to see him not glued to his phone.
The Boy and I playing Trash while waiting for the big show. Good to see him not glued to his phone.

The Boston Pops performed, a children’s choir sang that “Frozen” song, and the Beach Boys played three songs.  Everything needed to be slightly rushed as the skies grew darker.  For some reason, right before the fireworks began, Fenway’s lights came on and illuminated the entire river.

Yes, the firework show was indeed dazzling, even though the Pops did not get a chance to play the 1812 Overture. And no, I do NOT have any pictures or videos of the spectacle, as I am NOT a dee-oosh who blocks everyone’s view of the fireworks with their stupid phones!!!  You know who you are dee-ooshes!  Yeah! You show up at the last minute, standing in any crack you can find, totally in the way of spectators who claimed their spots an hour ago and aren’t jerks who set up camp on the sidewalk!  Seriously, does the show look better through your tiny damn phone screen?!

Deep breath. But the fireworks aren’t the story we will be telling our family at Christmas or our future grandchildren.

With smoke still lingering in the indigo Boston sky, everyone packed up chairs. We froze when hearing a commentator over the loudspeaker thanking everyone for attendance, but we needed to

E V A C U A T E.

Like cattle, hundreds or thousands of people herded across away from the river and towards the Kendall train station. First, the sky lit up again.  But the fireworks were over.  Lightening illuminated Boston’s cloudy, churning sky.  Thunder rumbled.  We reached the outbound train station and within a couple of minutes, people began screaming like a tidal wave was spilling into the streets of Cambridge, Mass.  We could then hear rain pellets pounding the buildings.  Then, WOOSH!

As Arthur’s edge collided with fronts from the north, huge rain drops pelted us poor souls.  More screams of unnecessary panic rang through the wet streets as people dashed to the Mariott hotel, towards the Chipotle, or under whatever covering they could find.  We crowded the entrance to Kendall Station, and my heart beat raced as I feared the impact of panicked humans, and the Mister voiced that someone may get hurt. Umbrellas fanned out, but quickly folded backwards as Arthur’s winds gusted.  Raincoats began wearing people instead of the other way around as the water fell relentlessly.  The Boy, frustrated by drunk or rude spectators during the show, donned his Ramones sunglasses in the blackness of the storm and stood defiantly out in the downpour until the crowd slowly piled into the safety of the train stop.  When the wind died down, he opened the umbrella.  As the weather and people calmed a bit, the Mister got out the camera.

Caught in the storm! As you can see, the Boy was not amused at first.
Caught in the storm! As you can see, the Boy was not amused at first.
Soaked to the bone while waiting for the train!
Soaked to the bone while waiting for the train!

My husband and I laughed loudly as our wet clothes clung to our skin.  My Chuck Taylor shoes turned into puddles that splashed with each step.  Finally the crowd started moving under the direction of the T’s security.  I was bumped and shoved as we inched towards the steps and called out politely for people to remain calm and not trample me.  It worked, as others scooted away from me. Hanging on to the Mister’s hand so not lose him, we carefully took each slippery step down. The Boy predicted the ride on the subway to be “soggy human soup.” And he was right. Soaking people sat in chairs and hung on to rails, but all were in good spirits, at least on our car.

Four stops later, we reached Alewife where the Beetle was parked. While waiting 45 minutes in line to exit the parking garage, I took off my shoes and rung out my sopping socks.  Not many radio stations came in under the garage, so I slid in my Ramones collection CD and we rocked out to American punk to make the wait easier.

Although I will always have the fireworks beautifully exploding in my memories, Arthur’s July 3rd storm will was the moments that brought on the most laughs and memorable moments.

Enjoy your holiday weekend, America!