Saturday, July 25, 2009

I can now die a happy man

Everyone knows that the MLS isn't the top league in the world. I personally think it is a good league. It's not Primership or La Liga, but I think it accomplishes its goal as a major soccer league in America. America has this competitive thing for being the best. For being the top at everything we do. With soccer this is not the case by far. Luckily, Americans are pretty business savy. One thing we know is that when you have a large enough group of people interested in a certain thing, money is ready to be made. Luckily this summer with Team USA's big summer in football (with the exception of Today's Mexico drumming ) the World Football Challege came.

The World Football Challenge consists of 4 top tier teams from Europe and Mexico. These teams were AC Milan, Chelsea, Club America, and Inter Milan. 4 quality clubs playing games against each other in America. This huge for many fans of soccer here in the USA, where the MLS is standard for being able to watch live soccer, with a few international games here and there. Watching a live soccer game with European teams is a dream come true to many American fans such as myself. I've always wanted to, and still want to see a soccer/football game on European soil, but the World Football Challenge was as close as I was able to get without having to pay for a $1000 plane ticket to Europe. This was apparent for many others as well, as for the game I was able to attend, was also attended by 71, 202 other people.

On Friday, July 24, 2009, I was able to attend the AC Milan - Chelsea game thanks to a wonderful gift from my girlfriend. I was able to experience a Champions League game here in America. The experience was great, the seats were great, and the game was even better. I was able to see Ronaldinho, Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Clarence Seedorf, Pato, and Didier Drogba. Sadly Michael Essien did not play. Also able to play for AC Milan, their recently signed American Defender Oguchi Onyewu who came on to a standing ovation in the 2nd half. Lebron was even there, but who cares?

The game was great. The crowd was great. The atmosphere was amazing. This was like no MLS game I've ever been to. Everyone was friendly. If you were standing in line next to someone wearing the same colors (I happened to be sporting my Chelsea blue), conversation was bound to start up. I was invited to a tailgating outing in the parking with some fellow Chelsea fans. Everyone was there to have a good time and I'm sure everyone did.

The WFC ended tonight with Chelsea beating Club America 2-0, but I think the experience was great for all who were able to attend. I hope this continues to happen every year, and Baltimore is lucky enough to get chosen to host a game again.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Protecting Your House

Recently there is some fuss being made over Landon Donovon's comments in a book towards his teammate David Beckham. (I say just some fuss because I believe if it weren't for the USA's recent success in the Confederation's Cup none of this would be news to anyone (it probably still isn't considered news). ) Apparently Donovon is getting criticized for criticizing Beckham. A book is coming out that contains comments from Donovon, saying Beckham didn't play hard and some other stuff. You can read more about it here.

Some people think that Donovon is whining because Beckham is being paid so much more that he is. Others think he is a coward for not speaking to Beckham directly. I think differently. I think he did a good thing by calling Beckham out. I think he is "protecting his house."

Everyone knows, if you don't I'm going to ruin it for you, that David Beckham's signing was a huge publicity stunt. Huge. Where I work, they don't sell any DC United tickets, but the do have Beckham tickets for when he comes to town to play DC United. They also cost twice as much as regular, and it's also the only time the upper deck in RFK stadium is open for seating. Go in any sports (non-soccer store) and you may see a DC United jersey, but you will definitely see a Beckham jersey. He was supposed to help soccer blow up in America. Did he, probably not. Now that I think of it, I wonder who's more popular him or Marta?

Anyway, back to my main point. I like that Landon is stepping up and saying something about Beckham. For the amount of money he is getting paid, and the skill level he posses he should be contributing more. I understand he feels the league is beneath him and this may be nothing but a cash cow to him, but if he wants this league to step up he needs to step up his participation with the team. The more and the better he plays the more will tune into games, and the better the MLS will become. I think as the former captain of the Galazy and one of the few players in the league anywhere near to Beckham's level, Donovon has earned the right to speak up and protect his team from the mockery that could follow Beckham's exit. If Beckham doesn't want to be here I respect his right to leave, but I don't want him taking the MLS for granted. I understand that we have a long way to go before we can be compared to the leagues in Europe, but we are striving. With and without Beckham the league will continue to grow. Yes he does raise the level of awareness, but he was brought to play. People want to see him play.

Landon speaking out was just him protecting his house. Beckham has to respect it, and he is currently not doing that. If I have a no shoes on in the house rule, I expect all my visitors to abide by that rule. If President Obama came, best believe I would expect him to abide as well. He is a visitor in MY house. Just as Beckham is a visitor in Landon's house. The Galaxy is a house that Landon help build up. The MLS is a bigger house that Landon is the man of. I totally believe it was his right to speak out about Beckham. Could he have done it another way, probably, but that's another story...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who I am and where I want to be

This blog is called "The Tech Athlete." I believe these are two words which describe me best. Maybe they don't describe me, but they describe my hobbies and my interests. Isn't that what blogging is about. Writing about your interests, and sharing thoughts and ideas with the rest of the world?

This summer I've been doing a lot of thinking about who I am and where I want to be. Recently one of my good friends turned 25. With this we started reflecting on his life. During my weekly browsing of Hacker News I found an article here talking about a "Quarter-Life Crisis." My friend and I had jokingly diagnosed him with this before I found the article. We had no idea this was a real issue. Since I'm almost to the "quarter-life" point, I started to do some reflecting of my own.

Here are some of my thoughts:
Who am I?
  • I am a computer programmer. Not a very good one.
  • I am a soccer player, once again, not a very good one.
  • I am an amateur photographer, better at this than the previous one.
  • I am a cook. My best skill in the list. Although my cooking skills are limited.

Where do I want to be? (At some point and time in the near future)
  • A kick-ass software developer. I want to be able to code at home as easily as at work. I want to be able to generate side income via home projects.
  • A pretty decent soccer player. One who is comfortable handling the ball, and can run for the majority of the game. Also one who can dribble in more directions that north and south.
  • A good photographer with an understanding of the more technical aspects of photography, optics, focal lengths, etc. I want to be able to shoot comfortably in manual mode as well.
  • A cook who can make his own sauces, whip up a good meal out of anything I have, and manage proportions well.

These are a subset of the goals I have in my life. I hope to use this blog as an outlet for me working towards and achieving them. I have a lot of ideas and thoughts on how to go about. I hope to one day build up the readership to be able to collaborate and spread my ideas around, but for now I'm looking to practice. Practice my coding, practice my soccer, practice taking good photos, and practicing cooking.

My ultimate goal is to be The Tech Athlete I named this blog for. ..