What a Week

Jason Singer
Mar 23, 2010

 

What a week.

First, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina disappears. His wife tells the AP he just needed to get away from the kids — on Father's Day — so he could write in quiet.

Then his staff says Sanford's hiking the Appalachian Trail ... on National Naked Hiking Day. You couldn't make this stuff up. Er, I guess you can.

A reporter then catches Sanford at the Atlanta airport, and Sanford says he wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail but instead went to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"I wanted to do something more exotic," he said.

Turns out though, he's been doing something exotic for awhile: The next day he calls a press conference and admits an affair with an Argentinean woman.

What great theater. More twists than a bowl of fusilli. I love it.

But the week wasn't over.

Wednesday afternoon, the US Soccer team, the ugly incompetent stepchild of international soccer, upsets Spain, the world's best team.

Suddenly, all the upper-middle class white kids from liberal suburban families named Shane, Ethan, Tyler, Griffin and Tucker, who were always a little different and who were only 5'6 or 5'7 and couldn't play football, and who went backpacking through Europe and fell in love with soccer — those kids, Shane and Ethan and Tyler and Griffin and Tucker, those kids finally have a reason to cheer and feel validated for always loving soccer.

Then late Wednesday, Shaq was traded to the Cavs.

Suddenly, the Big Cactus or Big Aristotle or whatever Shaq calls himself these days is now the Big Walleye, and LeBron finally has a partner in crime with playoff and championship experience.

On Thursday though, the fun stopped. Two global icons, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, both passed away prematurely.

Every generation has its larger-than-life personalities, and Jackson and Fawcett defined their eras. Fawcett's iconic poster hung on the wall of every teenage boy's wall in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

And Jackson? What can you say? He was the "King of Pop," a guy who made MTV and influenced the lives (and dance moves) of music-lovers on six continents.

Both Fawcett and Jackson will be dearly missed. They left us too early.
 

Comments

Karl Hungus-Mr....

Jason, what happened to your blog.... do you really think that "all the upper-middle class white kids from liberal suburban families named Shane, Ethan, Tyler, Griffin and Tucker, who were always a little different and who were only 5'6 or 5'7 and couldn't play football, and who went backpacking through Europe" are really the only ones that play soccer.  I envite you to come out to a Saturday with the BASL (Bay Area Soccer League) this fall and see how all walks of life participate.  You will never see more children or cars at an Erie-metropark.

Or you can just ignore it, like everyone else at the Register has ignored it for 30 years.

jasonsinger

Karl,

I will not disagree the blog was hastily written and needed an editor.

Of course kids from all walks of life play soccer. In the USA alone, more than 17 million kids play soccer each year. But very few of them watch International Soccer, and support Team USA on a regular basis.

In fact, in my experience — and I spent most of my career as a sports writer/editor — the ones who support USA soccer and watch that instead the NFL, NBA, MLB, are mostly middle-upper class white kids who have traveled to Europe and fallen in love with the game's international appeal. That's where it's biggest. In the US, professional soccer teams are struggling to stay afloat, let alone expand their fan bases.

What I should have said was: "Those kids finally have a reason to cheer and feel validated for always USA loving soccer." Instead, I left out the USA.

Anyway, I appreciate you reading and pointing out the mistakes. I agree, kids from all over — black, white, Hispanic, poor, middle-class or wealthy — all play and love soccer. It's a great sport: Who wouldn't? I will try to do better in the future, and write with more care.

Thanks,

Jason

 

Karl Hungus-Mr....

I would not call it a mistake.  And in my opinion blogs should not be edited...they are blogs.  98% of them are Big Loads Of Garabage, but there are a few that are worth reading.  However, they should be your thoughts and not edited and sanitized...too much.

There is a reason why kids cannot watch USA soccer on TV.  It is not on TV.  We can watch all the Latin American soccer we want thanks to Telemundo (that is what it is called right, or is it Univision?).

Soccer is a hard sport to present on American TV, there are no constant breaks, just straight action.  That makes it hard to show the commercials that pay the bills. 

By the way, I did not fall in love with soccer by backpacking through Europe.  I played as a yound child.  However, when I did make it over to Europe I did buy many, many soccer jerseys from many of the top teams.

I remember when I was in Europe the second time in 2000 I was in Dubrovnik Croatia.  There was a large group of children playing soccer on the roof of a building.  I remember looking down at the makeshift soccer field from the window I was in and asking why the were playing on the roof when there was acres of ground available.  A local explained that after the wars there in the 90's there were so many landmines scattered across the countryside in Croatia.  Because of this if you were to walk on ground that was not concrete, road, or other type of material, you would be taking your life into your own hands. 

That kind of put life in perspective for me.  We take so much for granted.  These kids could not play on the grass or in their parks like you or I took advantage of in our younger years.  These kids loved soccer so much that they would climb out a window and play on a 40 foot by 40 foot roof with smokestakes, vents and other obsticales in the way.   Not to mention the frustration and delay if you kicked the ball off the roof.