Week 3 confirmed my week 1 heroics as a fluke. Again I managed to start an inactive player (Donte Stallworth this time), and there were only 4 touchdowns by players on my roster (3 of which were by players I benched). Needless to say, I got whipped.
Some good news...from an article of the same title in the NY Times by Bruce Lambert:
Friday night's season opener pitting the Cold Spring Harbor Seahawks against their perennial championship archrival, the Roosevelt Rough Riders, is the football game that almost didn't happen.
The Seahawks come from a wealthy white Long Island district with top-rated schools, while the Rough Riders live in a working-class community of blacks and Hispanics whose dysfunctional schools forced a state takeover in 2002.
Four years ago Cold Spring Harbor officials canceled the Seahawks' trip 14 miles south to play Roosevelt, citing safety concerns after an off-campus shooting in the community, unrelated to the school or its athletics, killed a youth. The teams resumed playing the next season amid hurt feelings, but their annual face-off was jeopardized this spring when Roosevelt's budget troubles eliminated the district's entire interscholastic sports program.
Then members of the Seahawks' booster club began sending in donations, adding to the $15,000 that Roosevelt parents had managed to raise. A Seahawks captain, Peter Ottaviano, and a few teammates went to Roosevelt's turf to join their rivals in fund-raising car washes. And at the end of August, an anonymous businessman from Cold Spring Harbor sent an eye-popping $20,000, just in time for the school board to reinstate the football program before classes resumed.
"Well, bless them," Ebene Gabaud, 17, a Rough Riders linebacker and captain, said this week. "Basically, without them, we wouldn't have a season."
Today's game ended in a tie, 3 to 3. The Kickin' Chickens were down by two goals, stormed back to take the lead, but then gave up the equalizer near the end. Elliot seemed a little more timid this week...not going after the ball as aggressively. He definitely prefers to play defense and try to prevent goals than to try to score them (thought he tries that some too). Here are a few more photos:
Here are some pictures from Elliot's second soccer game. We don't know that they lost again 4 to 3, but Elliot scored and did a good job both offensively and defensively. From the photos you can see that Elliot has the post-goal-scoring celebration down-pat. There's also a picture from the hot air balloon festival where we met the Sitter and Wanous families tonight.
Tonight the boys and I went to a local high school football game. It was kind of boring because there was so few completed passes...mostly just grinding it out with the run. We left after the third quarter with Dow up 14-0. As we were leaving, we saw fire works in the distance and drove around until we found them. They were significant and professional...like from 4th of July of something. Who knows what the ocassion was. They were coming from a fenced in area with a man-made grassy mound all around it that I would guess was a landfill except it doesn't stink and doesn't have plastic bags blown up against the fence. Maybe it's water treatment or something. I'll have to find out. I pulled out the camera and filmed a bit of video right at the finale:
Saturday was Elliot's first soccer game. It was rainy/misty and about 55 deg F, so not the best of conditions. His team is the Kickin' Chickens. They don't keep score, so we don't know that Elliot's team lost 4 to 3. He did score his team's third goal which you can see in the video below (after the pictures). Elliot's goal is toward the end of the video. His reaction after scoring is priceless...joy and excitement.
Week 1 of fantasy football went well for me. I didn't have high expectations (since I was pretty clueless about the whole process beforehand), and they sank even lower when I realized that I had started an inactive player (Steve Smith) because church and the Chinese buffet kept me away from home until well after kick-off. I ended the first week with 20% more points than the next highest team in our league of ten, thanks in large part to Kurt Warner. It can only go down hill from here, but...
From an article of the same title (sub-titled Why does the United States keep losing in international sports?) by Robert Weintraub on slate.com:
In the wee hours of Friday morning, another American basketball team met its international Waterloo, losing to Greece in the semifinals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship. This squad was supposed to be a corrective to prior failures, most notably a bronze in the 2004 Olympics and a humbling sixth at the 2002 Worlds. Yet once again, despite a more strategically built team and the Madison Avenue-minted genius of Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, the United States once again came up shy.
Cue the recriminations. According to the newspaper columnists and television pundits, the Americans lost because they relied too much on individual talent at the expense of team play. They didn't pay attention to fundamentals and defense. They looked to make dunks and no-look passes instead of hustling for loose balls and setting screens. They were felled by hubrisitic arrogance.
Seems like we've been here before, very recently. Two months ago, the U.S. flamed out of the World Cup under a hailstorm of criticism. But strangely enough, the American soccer team was criticized for the exact opposite reasons. The players didn't have enough flair. They were fundamentally sound but lacking in creativity and athleticism. The U.S. team was faceless, artless, and empty. They're "trained monkeys" who are "incapable of having an original or ad-libbed thought on a soccer pitch."
Basketball and soccer aren't all that different, except in scoring rates. Both sports prize fast, fluid athletes who can think on their feet. Teamwork usually trumps individuality. So, why the contradictory excuses for America's bad showings in international play?
The U.S. basketball team lost because it ran into an extremely hot Greek team in a one-and-done game...
The single biggest reason for the loss was the Americans' failure to defend the high pick-and-roll. Greece ran this simple play on almost every possession after the first quarter for layup after layup. The United States' lapses against the pick-and-roll don't have anything to do with the me-first nature of the American player, though. This was a deficiency in scoutingâ€”Coach K and his staff should have been better prepared for Greece's offense. But more than anything, team defense depends on reps and familiarity, something this hastily assembled team didn't have. By the time the 2008 Olympics roll around, the U.S. defense won't be a sieve.
Now, let's look at the U.S. soccer team. As I wrote in June, the Americans' failings in the World Cup had more to do with our guys failing to challenge themselves in the top European leagues than with the team's supposed deficit in creativity.
From an article of the same title by Daniel Gross on slate.com:
Star-endorsed basketball shoes have long been one of the great rip-offs in footwear. Nike wants $130 for a pair of Zoom Kobe I sneakers and $110 for Zoom LeBron IIIs. You'll pay at least $90 for Allen Iverson's signature shoes, the Answer. (The question: What costs too much?)
But now cheap is suddenly cool. New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury has just put his name on a line of cheap athletic wear and shoes, dubbed Starbury. Marbury's signature Starbury One basketball shoes retail for a mere $15.
Marbury isn't the first basketball player to put his name on cheaper shoes. In 2004, Shaquille O'Neal's Dunkman line of shoes retailed at Payless for $40 a pair. But what distinguishes Marbury's shoe is its extreme cheapness combined with his vow to actually use it in his professional life. "I'm going to wear the shoe on court. I'm going to wear the sneakers all season," he said in a piece that aired on National Public Radio this morning...
And rather than affiliate with a sleek, design-conscious company like Nike or a mega-retailer like Target, Marbury has chosen to cast his lot with a scrappy upstart. The Starbury line is available only at the up-and-coming cheapo apparel retailer Steve & Barry's. Steve & Barry's started with a single store at the University of Pennsylvania in 1985, expanded to other college campuses, and then to malls. Today, there are about 130 stores, with six opening in August and September alone. This piece in Business Week explains how Steven Shore and Barry Prevor have managed to undercut Wal-Mart and Target by scoring great deals from landlords at crappy malls, buying directly from overseas, and offering only house brands. The result: absurdly low prices. Walk through the aisles and you'll shake your head in disbelief: polo shirts, rugby shirts, hats, university T-shirts, bulky hooded sweatshirts, jeans and khakis, shorts, warm-up jackets, all for less than $10.
From an AP story of the same title on ESPN.com:
Eddie Johnson is still getting over what he calls the worst day of his life.
He scratched his way out of the Cabrini-Green housing project in Chicago, fashioned a long and successful NBA career, turned that into an opportunity on TV and built a reputation as an all-around good guy who loves to work with kids.
His worst scrape with the law involved a couple of traffic tickets.
Now he's dealing with a case of mistaken identity that shocked him and his friends and, he fears, might have permanently sullied his reputation.
"Devastating. Hard to explain," Johnson said Thursday.
Eddie Johnson was mistaken in some media reports for another Eddie Johnson -- a retired 10-year NBA player from Florida who was arrested Tuesday night and charged with sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl.
The Eddie Johnson who had nothing to do with that hideous accusation is a former Illinois star who went on to a 17-year career with the Kings, Suns, Rockets and other teams. But when some media reports about the alleged crime included his bio information and file photo linked on the Internet, his phone started ringing.
"The thing that disappointed me the most is some people were overzealous enough to think it was me and attack me with a ferocity I can't comprehend," Johnson said in a telephone interview from his home in Phoenix. "That's the part that didn't allow me to sleep last night. That's the part that forced me to reach out to as many people as I could and say 'Shame on you, that's not me.' "