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Soccer Poet

Guest Monkey

Guest Monkey

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Christmas! As a matter of fact, Happy Everything! And congrats to the Georgia football Bulldogs for a great win over Georgia Tech on Saturday! State Champs 2010!!

Just a heads up, I’m heavily medicated so this one is gonna be all over the shop. Thanksgiving was spent on the couch (more about that later) but thanks to Nooj, his wife Janna who prepared an amazing
Thanksgiving dinner, and to my boss who drove it to me a la meals-on-wheels, I got to wolf down a delicious feast.

Let’s begin with one of my favorite things, a guest monkey submission that came in a while back but was just recently uncovered in the stacks at HQ. It’s from our good friend Reggie who writes:

Being an avid disciple of all things Zeppelin, I was surfing for news regarding Robert Plant as he has a new album out (yes I said album, I turned 45 this year...) and I ran across a recent interview he just did with Canadian radio. The host ended the interview by playing a track from Plant's new album and wait for it....the track is titled "Monkey". Here is a link to the interview. Skip to 42:00.

Congrats to the United States for qualifying, albeit by the skin of our collective teeth, for another women’s World Cup. Remember when we were the preeminent force in women’s soccer? Well, that time has passed. The world has caught us, and some nations have more or less sped on by. The way this all has transpired has made me think of two words: Anson Dorrance. The U.S. had a head start on the rest of the world (and a much larger talent pool to choose from). But in the 19 years since the inaugural 1991 World Cup, the head start has evaporated. We’re no longer a favorite. Well, at least we’re no longer the favorite. And that was to be expected. I mean, how could we not expect a country like Brazil, where soccer is culture, to catch us? They produce and dispose of legitimate world-class superstars (remember Sissi?) every four years. Meanwhile, we can’t develop the player to replace Kris Lilly (keep in mind I am a huge fan of Lil) who has been on the national team since before the invention of DVDs and the internet. In Lil’s lifetime, she’s lived more years as a member of the national team than not. We’ve got to find a better way to develop players and keep them passionate about playing. But that’s not my point.

My point here is to laud Anson for what he’s done at UNC. Yes he had the same head start. And yes, the days when everyone else was playing for second place have long since passed (as evidenced by UNC’s 4-1 drubbing by Notre Dame last week), but for the better part of three decades, Dorrance kept the Heels atop the women’s soccer mountain, and even now they’re not far from the summit. The funny thing is… the man still has his critics. How? I have no idea. Here’s the thing… I don’t care what you think you know about soccer, when a guy has more rings than fingers, he should be presented with the mother of all immunity idols. I don’t care if the man couldn’t kick snow off a rock, he’s obviously doing something right. Just sayin’.

There are a lot of big events going on in the world this week, but obviously none bigger than SoccerPoet registering its 100thsubscriber! Thanks very much to the other 99 of you! Actually, we’ve cleared the century mark by a comfortable margin which I’m told assures me of riches beyond my imagination. I don’t know why. It’s just a rule. Start a website, get 100 subscribers and someone will back a truck full of money up to your front step. That’s how it goes. The truck hasn’t arrived yet but I left the front light on for him with a note to wake me upon arrival.

Speaking of awake… that’s something I haven’t been a lot of lately. Y’all who tagged along from that other journal I kept know all about my annual bout with Ebola. This year is no exception. It crept its way into my life down in Orange Beach and has picked up steam ever since. These last two weeks have been miserable and the days sorta bleed together so my timeline is a little fuzzy. Okay. Real fuzzy. Think shag rug.

It may have been last Tuesday that I dragged myself to a doctor to do something about the sinus infection that had clobbered me on the Kansas flight. If you happened to be sitting near me on that flight you’ll be happy to know that I wasn’t holding my head and rocking back and forth simply because I’m a prize nutter trying to make the voices stop. Turns out, my left eardrum ruptured on that flight, and the right one nearly did also. And would you believe that my ears STILL haven’t cleared? Yeah. So that’s fun.

Anyway, the doc gave me a prescription for the sinus thing and that has mostly cleared up. What hasn’t budged is the overwhelming fatigue that has pretty much kneecapped me for 14-16 hours a day and shows no signs of relenting. When you’re getting 14 hours of sleep a day, you’re not going to get a lot of sympathy. But I assure you, it’s insanely frustrating, especially because in the evenings I start to feeling better. Last night for example, around 8 or 9 P.M., I staged a mini-rally and felt good enough to start writing this entry. I was certain that when I woke up today I’d be feeling right as rain. Today was gonna be the day! So I went to bed shortly after midnight and woke up at… wait for it… NOON! Are you freaking kidding me??? Here’s the thing… after 12 hours of sleep you think a body would wake up energized. And of course you’d be dead wrong. Well, I dragged my butt to the sofa and 30 minutes later I was back asleep. For another. Three. Hours.

So now four o’clock rolls around and my body clock has popped all its springs and my mind doesn’t have any answers. Try this one on: When it’s four o’clock in the afternoon, what the heck are you supposed to eat for your first meal of the day? Breakfast? Dinner? Candy?

This isn’t just today. This has been the pattern. So I’ve settled on a steady diet of everyone’s favorite anytime meal, PB&J. On white.

Yep. That’s me. Livin’ the dream.

So anyway, when your sleep pattern goes completely off the rails, you never know what time of day you’ll actually be awake. And because I usually don’t have the energy to do much more than watch TV, that’s what I do. What has happened to television in the past decade is amazing, and I mean that in the Holy smokes what in the world is this? kind of way. The way ‘reality’ television has snowballed is astonishing. For example, who knew a show about crab fishermen would be such a hit that it would spawn a copycat show about lobster fishermen? It seems practically every occupation has an accompanying reality show. There are shows about trash collectors, pawn shops, ghost seekers, meter maids and hopeless addicts among many, many others. There’s a show called Hoarders… about hoarders… who, well, they hoard things. And those are just the shows where no one gets voted off. Even the UFC has a reality show because, you know, getting in the cage and going primal against the best fighters in the world isn’t real enough.

Now animals have their own reality shows, which is to be expected if Animal Planet is going to fill a 24 hour programming card. And animal shows, my friends, is where we have finally crossed the line. In a matrix of television ironies, animal programming has jumped the shark.

I’m fine with a lot of the animal programs. Heck, I’m fine with almost all of them. Who doesn’t love watching a family of antelopes being all warm and fuzzy before the hungry cheetahs lunge out of the underbrush and break bread? But a few nights ago I found the show that has to make any rational person ask, “Who on earth would possibly watch this?”

I’m speaking of course of the show entitled… My Dog Ate What? I promise you I am not making that up. That’s really the name of a television show. I didn’t watch the show and I can’t imagine anyone ever would, but I read the description. It’s exactly what you think it would be. The contents of dog stomachs are examined for missing household items.


You know, there are moments in our history that I wish I could have been a part of… Hancock signing the Declaration of Independence… Cornwallis surrendering at Yorktown… the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Now added to that list is the meeting where some lunatic pitched the idea for this show about what the neighbor’s dog may have eaten, and the guys in the suits across the table saying, “Yes! You’re really onto something here. This is a great idea! Let’s make it happen!”

And here’s the thing… how’d you like to be the guy who has to sell the advertising for that show? Can you imagine pitching that to… well, to anyone? Who could their target audience possibly be? Rats?

Anyway, My Dog Ate What has inspired me to create a couple of television networks of my own. In early 2012 I’ll be launching TBN… The Bibliography Network. It’s going to be 24 hours of rolling end credits from shows and movies, just in case you need to reference, for example, the key grip from Mystic Pizza (Shunil Borpujari) or the best boy from Cry-Baby (Edgar Martin). Genius, right? It’ll be the first television network in history that doesn’t have to pay for talent.

As soon as TBN is launched and stable, fast on its heels will be my true labor of love, The Weather History Network.

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Our motto: Yesterday’s weather with 100% accuracy. See the difference? It’s thinking completely outside of the box! Weather forecasters are basically just guessing, right? They make mistakes. A lot of them. But not my crack team of weather history experts! Forgot how cold you were yesterday? Not a problem. The WHN team is on the case! Forgot where you left your umbrella? WHN can tell you if you even used it yesterday. See where this is going? The practical applications for this technology are boundless. And I’m in on the ground floor!

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