Confession of a Non-Soccer fan

In case you just woke up from a deep 10 year sleep, there is a huge world soccer, or as my European friends say, football tournament going on in Russia. Yes, it is World Cup time and I imagine the World Cup is the topic of conversation today among millions of people all around the world. Even though the United States is not involved in this year’s tournament, the Fox Networks are televising several games. The passion of fans in many countries is off the charts. All normal forms of daily life are put on hold in these countries during the games. Unfortunately, I am not one of those rabid soccer maniacs. I love watching many sports, however for some reason, soccer has never spiked my interest. It is safe to say that many in this country share my same feelings. I cannot get enough of the NFL or NBA, but when it comes to watching a soccer match, I would rather fold my socks for an hour!

For me, the problem starts with the lack of scoring in the game. Tack that on with a lack of scoring opportunities and you have a rather boring game. A typical soccer match has the winning team scoring a few goals, right? And how many good legitimate scoring opportunities are there in a typical game? It seems to me that in a game that long, 90 plus minutes, there ought to be more scoring chances and more goals being scored. The lack of scoring is a definite turnoff for me. A team who falls behind by a couple of goals in the second half of a game is basically finished. It is not like basketball where no lead is safe.

Perhaps the problem with the lack of scoring might be the size of the field. Maybe a much shorter field would lead to more scoring chances and goals. It seems to me that there is a lot of wasted time being spent with guys running up a very large field without really being in position to score. I may be crazy for saying that, but a shorter field might pay huge dividends for the sport and make it more action packed.

I will probably tune in if England or neighboring Mexico go deep into the tournament. It is always fun to watch some huge underdog have a great deal of success in this tournament. The players are honored much like war heroes when that happens. As a general rule though, I cannot see myself wasting valuable time watching a soccer match unless the United States is playing. Yes, I am the ugly American who is dishing the most popular sport in the world. Perhaps my attitude will change some day. Maybe I might start watching the World Cup and get hooked on soccer for some unforeseen reason. After all, a true sports fan will watch any sport, right? Regardless, I greatly admire the passion that many fans have for this tournament and I wish the best of luck for the countries still involved and in contention for the title.

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Selective outrage over the child immigration controversy

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the illegal immigration debate was a hot topic in the news last week with the revelation that children were being separated from their parents after being detained. This practice has been going on for years and nobody seemed to care. Suddenly, this practice is called the worst form of child abuse ever and some extremely ignorant people have placed the blame squarely on the hands of our President. Never mind that this stuff has been going on during the Obama administration. Children back then were being kept in cages and detained at nearly twice the rate as during the Trump administration according to a report in one of the New York main newspapers. The fact that this is happening under the watch of President Donald Trump has only intensified this controversy. I have a hard time believing that this story would get this much attention had Hillary Clinton won the election. This is just another attempt to make our President look bad.

Pictures came out in 2014 showing children detained at the border and many were in fact traveling alone. Some of the pictures showed children being crowded into cages, surely a very inhumane practice. Where were these so-called social justice warriors back then with their outrage on social media. Funny how many of them were very quiet back then, now it is the biggest injustice in the history of civilization! Furthermore, there are injustices to children all over this country. Many happen at daycare centers or many happen in the streets of our major cities. Young children are being shot at an alarming rate and you do not hear the same level of outrage or reporting of these stories. Why is that? Do they care more about immigrant children from foreign countries more than our own children?

Lost in the heated topic is the fact that the parents who are bringing the children over are breaking our laws, pure and simple.What loving and responsible parent would take a risk with their own child and do that? I find that extremely irresponsible to do that and put your child through that. Yet you never hear any outrage by people calling out the parents of these immigrant children. In my mind, the parents deserve a ton of blame for being law breakers and they alone are at fault for being separated from their children. Maybe we should call these law breakers out with just as much outrage as the current administration.

The immigration debate has been going on for years and no administration seems to have a solution. President Trump is rightly justified in following a zero tolerance policy with regards to our borders. I hate to see children get separated from their parents just as much as anyone else, but maybe if the parents would follow our laws, we would not have this controversy. This latest immigration fiasco is not about the kids at all. It is all about selective outrage in order to score some political points. And this game will not end anytime soon.

A truly successful man

When you look at successful men in our society, what are some of the things that you see in them? Perhaps some man is a CEO of his company and you see the drive and risk taking of that individual. Or you might look at some famous professional athlete and see someone who is gifted with a great deal of athletic ability. Our definition of success in people, especially in men, is usually defined as someone who has achieved a great deal of fame and power in their chosen occupation, but something is often overlooked in that conversation. If that man is married and has a family, what type of father is that man? Is that man so obsessed with achieving fame and fortune that he neglects his wife and children? How can you say any man is a success when his family life is far from being a success?

I still remember people speaking at my late father’s funeral and praising him for being successful in his work and his hobbies such as golf. My father was very talented in many areas yet the one thing that seemed to touch people the most about him was when people spoke of him as being a great family man. He was a great father and husband. He always had plenty of time to spend with my sisters and I. I still remember him playing catch with me in the backyard when I was very young and giving me plenty of tips. Those times with my dad are times that I will never forget. He was very involved in our lives and made many sacrifices of his time and energy to make our lives better. In the 18 years plus years that I lived at home, I never heard him yell at my mom once. He treated my mother extremely well and believe me, that was something that really stuck with me. He was not a loud talkative guy, instead, he influenced people with his actions and deeds.  Looking back, I was extremely fortunate to have been raised by someone like that.

It is only natural for guys to want to strive for greatness and achievement. Some guys are driven in their careers, but what is really important? Is it really worth achieving success in your career at the expense of your family? I truly believe that one of the greatest successes any guy can ever achieve is raising a good and strong family. Sometimes that might require making some personal sacrifices. It might mean coming home from work early to watch your child play soccer. Or helping out your wife who is sick with the chores instead of sitting on the couch watching the ball game. Or might mean going to your daughter’s music recital instead of playing golf with the guys. How you conduct yourself around the home is very important as well. Some guys become so stressed out with their work that they come home and take it out on their families.

On Father’s Day this Sunday, all dads out there should think about their family life. Are they being the best fathers possible? We all benefit as a society when fathers view their role as the most important thing in their life.

Thoughts on the unlikely meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un

It was less than a year ago when many, including myself, began to wonder if the prospect of a nuclear war was about to become real. North Korea was shooting rockets non-stop over neighboring countries and basically sticking their middle finger at the rest of the world. It was scary to think that some madman was leading a country with nuclear weapons. Insults between President Trump and this madman leader were constant and continuous. The future of the world did not look bright at that time. Now flashback to last Tuesday. Seeing these two leaders shake hands and have a friendly meeting certainly has eased any concerns and is certainly a huge step in enhancing world peace for the short-term future. Whether this suddenly new pleasant relationship between Trump and Kim Jong-Un stay pleasant and lead to bigger and better things down the road is any ones guess at this time. But it certainly is a great sign and a nice win for President Trump.

Why Kim Jong-un is agreeing to become a denuclearized country has been a huge topic of discussion in talk shows. The common belief is that those sanctions against his country are working and Jong-un is a desperate leader with his regime about to tumble. I certainly believe this to be true, but I also believe that we did a masterful job of convincing Kim Jong-un of the long term benefits of having a denuclearized state. In exchange, we would help with their economy and tap into the potential of a stronger and vibrant quality of life for the North Koreans. What struggling country would not want that? I strongly believe that unlike his predecessors, Kim Jong-un is fascinated by the western way of life and yearns for his country to have the same economic success of many western states such as the United States.

Getting rid of nuclear weapons is certainly a huge sign that North Korea is willing to keep this bargain alive, but there are other things this rogue nation must also agree to. Something that is not talked about enough is the huge number of human rights violations that are going on in the country. The crimes against their own people is staggering. There are a huge number of political prisoners who are being tortured and severely being mistreated for being against Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship. This fact about North Korea should also be addressed in any talks. We should not help any country that treats their people in a inhumane way.

Sadly, many of the Trump haters out there are downplaying this meeting. Some have foolishly said that Trump was taken to the cleaners by Kim Jong-un. Whether you like President Trump or not, you have to give him credit for at least trying to make this world a much safer place to live. He is doing what few presidents would even think of doing. I have to give him a huge amount of credit for meeting with Kim Jong-un. I also give him a ton of credit for not being a weak world leader like the last President was. Sometimes peace is only accomplish through strength. We are looked upon again as a strong world leader who will not back down to rogue states. Kim Jong-un is appearing to find that out and that might just be a good thing for future generations of people in this world.

Can anyone dethrone Golden State?

It is becoming more and more rare for a professional sports team to have a dynasty these days. Just winning back to back championships is rare enough. Free agency splits many teams apart. There is more parity in professional sports now than ever before. Which makes what Golden State is currently doing in the NBA even more remarkable. The Warriors are building a dynasty that is unlike any that we have recently seen. The other night, they won their 3rd championship in 4 years and you can bet that many more are on the way. If you are an avid Golden State fan, you are feeling pretty good right now about your squad. Who is going to knock them off?

If there was going to be a year when the Warriors were vulnerable, it was this year. I had some serious doubts whether they could win this year’s title. Flash back to late March, early April when they only won 7 out of 17 games and limped to the playoffs. Did anyone belief in them back then? Or during the Houston series when they trailed in both game 6 and 7 by double digits at halftime. A mark of a great team is the ability to handle injuries and adversary and the Warriors did just that this season. It was not their best overall season by far in this 4 year stretch by they battled and won when it counted.

The core players of Golden State are just reaching their prime. That is the scary part of this team. They could easily win 3 more championships in a row. The only thing that may derail this awesome team is injuries, but they are so deep in talent that it might take a lot more than just injuries to stop this team.

I see a couple of teams who might just have the ability to dethrone Golden State right now. It can be argued that Houston could have knocked them off if Chris Paul did not get hurt this year. Another team that may give them fits in a potential championship series next year is Boston. Imagine if Boston comes back healthy with all of their players next year? And lets not forget the LeBron factor in the off-season. If LeBron is really serious about winning a championship next year, he will look at signing with Houston in the off-season. If that happened, I believe Houston would be strong favorites to win the title next year. But in all reality, the only team that seems to be able to dethrone Golden State is the Golden State Warriors themselves. They are one of the best teams that I have ever seen, not only in the NBA, but in any professional sport.

To visit the White House or not

It started several years ago during the Reagan administration when newly crowned champion professional sports and college teams were invited by the president to visit the White House. Now that honor seems to be dying a slow death with several professional teams in recent months declining because a few players are not happy with the individual who holds the highest honor in the White House. It seems that many of those champion athletes cannot come to grips that someone, who holds different political beliefs than them is running the country, so they decline the invitations. Just another sign on how divided this country is slowly becoming.

I am by no means a professional athlete, but I would relish the opportunity to visit the White House no matter who the president happened to be. How many people in their lifetime can say that they had the chance to visit the White House and visit the most powerful man in the country? An extremely small percentage of people living in this country can say that. It would be one of the most memorable moments of my entire life. I could tell my grandchildren that on a certain day, I was there at the White House visiting the president. And more than likely, I could show my loved ones pictures and videos of my visit. It would be a moment that I would cherish forever.

It seems that the athlete of today does not think that way at all. It is more about going with the false belief that the president is a racist and does not stand up for certain minority groups. Many of the players are not happy with president wanting players to stand up for the national anthem and pay some respect for this country. I believe that many are just caving into peer pressure by a few teammates who are very vocal about President Trump’s policies. Many players probably are willing to go, but do not want to be seen as an outsider on a team.

I personally am not hurt if my favorite team does not visit the White House after a championship. It is up to them as a team to decide. I am just a fan who does not make those decisions. However, it upsets me that these visits are becoming more and more about the political makeup of the team and nothing else. Maybe these players should look at these potential visits as more than just meeting someone they just so happen to disagree with politically. It is a chance of a lifetime to do something that will carry lifetime memories, maybe even just as much as winning a championship. Sadly those days appear to be gone forever. Maybe future presidents should just stop these invitations. Why bother when you got a bunch of crybabies who cannot respect the White House and the people who run this country?

Roseanne picks on the wrong person

A large controversy erupted this week when comedian Roseanne Barr, who is a very vocal pro President Donald Trump supporter, said something rather degrading things on Twitter about former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett. The comments were very distasteful and racist in nature and in this blogger’s opinion, she deserved the ensuing heat that she got. Her new show on ABC was quickly canceled. Thankfully, Barr delivered a much-needed apology to Jarrett which many on the left still cannot accept. Apparently Barr does not realize that it is a mortal sin to say degrading comments towards anyone who is a leftist, which Jarrett is. An apology is not enough; Barr should have been sent to prison for the rest of her life!

A few months ago on the same network, a bunch of ladies on a show called “The View” were talking about Vice President Mike Pence and the subject of Christianity and Pence’s faith were brought up. One of the ladies went so far as to describe people of the Christian faith as having some sort of mental illness. This woman in effect insulted and mocked millions of Christians throughout the country and world. Was the show canceled much like Barr’s show was? Absolutely not! Why? Because we now live in a world of double standards when it comes to saying degrading things about race or religion. Imagine if that woman had said that about a person who practices the Muslim religion? Don’t think for a moment that they would not have canceled the show. In this day and age, it is alright to mock a person who practices the Christian faith, but not someone who practices the Muslim religion.

A few days after Barr’s comments, a comedian on a cable network said some rather distasteful things about our first lady. I am still waiting to see if that show will be canceled, but I am not holding my breath. This is another double standard in our society. It is alright to mock and ridicule anyone who is a Republican or Conservative, but not a Democrat or liberal. President Trump is fair game for degrading comments and insults, but not Barack Obama.

Had Roseanne Barr made those same comments about Mrs. Trump, she would have been hailed a hero by many in the media and her show would still be on. But Roseanne picked on the wrong person and she is paying the price for a very obvious double standard that goes on when it comes to controversial statements by celebrities. The thing is that all degrading statements about people should be treated equally. Unfortunately, people like Roseanne just found out about the very unfair rules in the media these days.