scandal

#Juventus v. #RealMadrid: was it a foul or not?

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The million dollar question. I will start off by stating that i am a Juventus supporter. Given the 3:0 result of the first match, i will also admit that i never imagined that Juventus would pull off the comeback they did yesterday. Surely, the Roma result served as inspiration/motivation but i didn’t see it happening. Especially without Dybala. But it did. What did they get for it? Nothing. It was indeed a scandalous ending. Of course, depending on which side of the fence you are on you will either say it was not a foul or it was a foul. Here’s my take on this.

Given the corruption that exists in the world of soccer, starting with FIFA, why is it so hard to think that a plan was in place to ensure Real advanced? Especially considering the stunning defeat of Barcelona v. Roma. Why is this unimaginable? Could you imagine having both Real and Barca out of Champions league? Ousted by 2 Italian teams? Never. So why not have a plan in place? I am sure just like me, no one thought Juventus would score 3 goals and leave Real at 0.. but what if?? eh? what if? It’s not too hard to tell a referee that should this situation come up, to look for an “opportunity” that ensures Real advances. That opportunity came at the 93rd minute. Trust me, had the scoreline been 1:0 or 2:0 for Juventus that late in the game that call would not have been made. Had the scoreline been a draw or Juventus down that late in the game, that call would not have been made. The call was made because of the scoreline. Plain and simple. The question isn’t whether it was a foul or not; it was. The right question is ‘would that call have been made under any other circumstances?’ the answer is no.

It’s a shame. given the performances of both teams for both games combined the correct call should have been to have these two teams head into extra time.

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Time to Hang Up The Coaching Cleats

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After 14 years I decided this season would be my last as a volunteer soccer coach. Fourteen years. That is a long time. I could make this post a very, very long one but I won’t. It will only be a long-ish one πŸ˜‹. Although there were some bumps in the road, the 14 years for the most part were great years. I’d be lying if I wrote that I remember every single detail of these 14 years. I don’t.

When I set out on this adventure, it was innocent enough and really for my son. You want to do right by everyone but eventually you realize you cannot. It is impossible. I don’t have any regrets but certainly I wish I could have done some things differently. You want to be everyone’s friend but you cannot and will not. I definitely learned a lot over the years. From the great moments, to the good moments and also the not so good moments. I definitely made friends over the years but I also made a lot of what I will refer to as FBFFS … fake best friends forever. These are the folks that needed something from me and so either befriended me or family members for motives that were anything but sincere. There are a lot of bad people in this world.. But you know what? To each his own. I am far from perfect but I would rather be me then some of the folks I got to know over these years. From the down right evil, to insecure people who need to be the center of attention, to parents who think it’s ok to trash talk kids because as long as the kid doesn’t hear it, no harm no foul. To bullies and to those parents that supported this bullying. To parents who themselves bullied but poo poo’d when the tables were turned. My biggest disappointment came four years ago when a family we had such a fantastic friendship with over many many years turned out to be less than the people we thought they were. It truly shattered our family. I can go on and on but that would take away the good that came out of all these years as coach. For one, I continue to watch as these kids are growing up to be fine young adults. It’s amazing to see. Many I have known since they were 4-5 years old. As much as you want to be that coach that affected, in a good way, all the players that crossed your path, it doesn’t work out that way but I know that I did so with many. I have had the opportunity to reminisce in recent years with former players and it’s always a great feeling. Four years ago our family had the pleasure of hosting a 14 year old young man for three months during the summer. What a pleasure indeed. So disciplined. So caring. So focused. A truly genuine lad beyond his years who also showed true friendship to my son; unlike some others. We learned a lot from each other; our cultures. It’s something I will forever cherish and remember. I continue to follow his success in football (he’s gotten a scholarship in the US) and I expect to see him one day in the NFL quarterbacking a team all the way to the Super Bowl. No doubt in my mind πŸ˜€πŸ‘. It was his birthday over the weekend and I wished him well and he sent love our way. Very heartfelt. This is the kind of stuff you live for. The bad, you toss aside. As with anything, quality over quantity. There are alot more moments but if I don’t stop myself this will indeed become a very very long post!

I would be incredibly remiss if I didn’t write about what a great human being my son is. A fine young adult as well. He had to endure a lot over these years. An exceptional player at a very young age, he went through difficult times starting at age 13 when everyone around him was growing but he wasn’t. It became a struggle for him on the pitch and he suffered for it. Both on and off for several years. Many a time he had to endure being collateral damage on account of my being a coach. Very difficult for a kid to go through but he showed strength in overcoming this and we are proud of who he is becoming. In his first year at college last year he made the Dean’s list twice. That’s who he is. We know he will achieve greatness. That’s what matters. A few years ago an ‘adult’ went on this rant on Facebook about heroes and zeroes. He was trying to send a message. It was ridiculous especially coming from him and the hypocrite and bully he is. Well.. Let me tell you, I strive to be a hero to my kids. That’s all that is important to me but in the end for all he had to go through my son is my hero.

I stopped coaching my son three years ago. The plan was to retire then but I was talked into staying on. I wish I hadn’t. The past few years have been an eye opener. my expectations and what actually happened, night and day. At the beginning of this season I made it clear it would be my last. Over these many years I put my heart and soul into this. I worked very hard at it. As a family we sacrificed alot. It’s time now to make our family the center of attention. Yup, it’s actually a very very late wake up call but in the end better late than never.