Soccer Poet

general : Therapy : Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do you remember the first Rocky? There’s a scene where the polished Apollo Creed in a suit and tie sits in his office with his stable of agents and promoters, doing what he can to promote the fight and expand his brand. “Remember to send the mayor’s wife 200 roses from me and make sure we get a picture for the newspapers,” he says. Behind him his trainer is focused on a local news telecast. He’s watching Rocky Balboa in a meat-packer's freezer, his bloody [...]

general : Two in Minnesota : Thursday, September 8, 2011

“Winning solves a lot of problems.” -Everyone who has ever coached After a spectacularly bad weekend at home, the Dawgs took the show on the road to Minneapolis for a four-team tournament at the University of Minnesota. The trip held all types of potential – both bad and good. We were going to open against the hosts on Friday night, and the Golden Gophers are a very strong program. If we took a third straight defeat, we were going to be contending with some morale issues. [...]

general : Ptooooey! : Monday, August 29, 2011

So I’ve had better weekends. And you? If you were one of the thousands victimized by Hurricane Irene, you have my sympathies. Otherwise you absolutely do not. The Dawgs dropped a pair of matches this weekend – at home no less – and gave up three goals in each defeat. So yeah, as far as days go when I wouldn’t mind being hit by a truck, today qualifies. I’m sick over it. This weekend is going to be a tough one to shake. Usually after we play I’ll go to [...]

general : Furman and a lot of Purple : Sunday, August 21, 2011

Honestly I’ve never seen anything like it.  In 21 years – nothing like it.  The slew of injuries we’ve sustained would seem a mathematically impossibility.  Odder still, this epidemic seems to be targeting blondes; we lose one of them every second day… Eddy, Hartley, Owens, Hill… all bitten by the injury bug.  As the saying goes around here, “Bad week to be a blonde.” Our training staff has been working overtime on its overtime and [...]

general : Just Ugh. : Sunday, August 14, 2011

So this afternoon we finished training with a fitness exercise that involved the players running around the outside of the field. As they turned the corner nearest the Turner Soccer Center they passed a line of 13 college girls in white socks, black shorts and red shirts bearing the ‘Georgia Soccer’ brand. A gaggle of soccer groupies, you ask? Oh no. No, no, no I’m afraid not. That battalion of onlookers is the ever-expanding manifestation of our injured reserve. Thirteen! [...]

general : Action for Ace : Friday, July 22, 2011

On the eve of our biggest camp of the summer, I jumped on a plane for Pittsburgh, rented a car and made the drive to Bethany, WV – population: one and a half pages of a phone book. Bethany is dead in the summer. It’s a small and quiet town even when the college is in session, but in July, you could pretty much sun bathe in the middle of Main Street without a care in the world. Bethany’s not going to be on anyone’s list of vacation destinations. There’s just not a [...]

general : Glory Glory, HALLELUJAH! : Monday, July 11, 2011

“The difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction has to be believable.” So yes, it was going to take something just a little bit special to lure the Poet from his indefinite impasse. The American Idol finale couldn’t do it. The Biggest Loser finale didn’t do it. Cam Newton going pro (again) didn’t do it. The death and disposal of Osama Bin Laden came close, but then again, hadn’t he consumed enough of our time? But yesterday I witnessed [...]

general : One Year and Wake Forest : Thursday, April 21, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my best friend and the most talented person you’ve never heard of, Scott Arnold. But I have unshakeable faith that one day Scott will sit down and write the book that will cast him into the stratosphere of celebrity author status next to Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris. Ask anyone who knows him. They’ll tell you the exact same thing. Speaking of famous writers, I am one now. Okay, that’s not even close to being true, but I did have an article [...]

general : 5 Days In The Life : Tuesday, April 12, 2011

THURSDAY Okay, this monkey thing has gotten entirely out of control. I know I don’t post a daily monkey despite a title to the contrary, but believe you me, the pictures folder on my PC has more monkeys than a Lewis Leakey biography. They’re coming in from everywhere. My sense of monkey consciousness has become so deep, so finely tuned that it’s downright scary. Plus we have an army of monkey hunting enthusiasts here in Athens, and when they see a monkey, it comes directly [...]

general : The Beat : Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So the Atlanta Beat came to Athens last night (at the time of this writing, last night has faded into last week). It’s not every day that you get to square off with a full-fledged professional team, so even for a spring game, and as much as we didn’t want to admit it, it was kind of a big deal. I mean, how do you not get just a little bit star-struck when Ms. All-Everything, Heather Mitts, is in your backyard? We’re only human. It was a gorgeous night for soccer and all [...]

general : Truck Stop Jugglers : Sunday, March 27, 2011

As you can see in the photo, the brainwashing of Izzy is nearly complete. If you ask her to spell Georgia, she does it in the same cadence as the Bulldog fans. She turned down a birthday party invitation to go watch the Gym Dogs. All that’s left is to wean her off of that dang stuffed alligator she’s so attached to. We may have to accidentally leave it at Chick Fil-A. Believe it or not, I’m actually the idiot that bought that gator for her. It was an hour before her first [...]

general : March Gladness : Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Congrats to the Georgia Bulldogs for getting a bid to March Madness! We’re probably the only bubble team that would be a top four seed if the basketball games were five minutes shorter. Hopefully we’ll continue our run of great starts and add a dash of close-the-door finishes. Women’s basketball is also dancing, so congrats to them, too! And while we’re at it, congrats to our softball and women’s swimming teams which are both ranked #1 in the nation. I guess the [...]

general : The Beat Monkeys : Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today I asked Izzy what she learned about in school. She told me that her class was studying the middle ages. I’m big on history so I thought that was pretty cool. I asked for more detail. Well, apparently they talked a lot about a king named William the Carpenter. Yep. I should have mentioned this a couple of entries ago, but a new coach has joined our staff. Athens native and all around good guy Jon Harvey is now the Georgia Bulldogs’ goalkeeping coach. When Nooj left for [...]

general : The Coach-Parent : Monday, March 7, 2011

Yes, it’s been quiet here lately. Part of that can be attributed to the lack of external stimuli in my soccer world as of late. And a bigger part can be attributed to the surplus of newfound stimuli in my personal life. About two months ago I had what some might call a major life event. Let’s just say that after 42 years of dodging responsibility in remarkable fashion, in December I became an adult. You’ve heard of parent-coaches, right? They’re the parents who [...]

general : Spring Has Sprung : Monday, February 28, 2011

We kicked off our spring season on Saturday by squaring off with a pair of very strong opponents. The way our spring training sessions have been going, the games couldn’t have gotten here soon enough.  Training has been the most intense I’ve seen, which as a coach makes you both happy and a little bit edgy.  You know what they say about familiarity breeding contempt?  Yeah well try being kicked by the same people day in and day out for a few weeks.  You start [...]