Hey guys, Let me be the first to welcome you all to a place called college… I’ll also be the first to tell you that the transition to college life, in South Florida, is probably the best experience that awaits you all. I knew when I came here that the best thing about this place, over the years had always been its international feel. Honestly, I’ve seen more international people during my time here than I expected. Even more than that, Lynn resembles everything you need to know about the cross-sectional cultural aspect of South Florida. In short this college is the hub of international students. The statistics say one international in every four students, but it surely feels like it’s a lot more than that. To cap it off, most of the local students all seem to come from out of state (No Joke). So I hope you will be happy to learn that there will be no push to force you to conform or identify with any particular group of students. Everyone is away from home like you.
So as you all come to school this week, please be aware that this is probably the best place you could have signed up to go to. As long as you remember what’s most important to you, the rest will take care of itself. This is South Florida and the fun will never be at a short supply, but at the same time the opportunities to succeed will come faster than you anticipate; so keep your eyes and ears open at all times. You do not want to be that person that blames everyone for what could have been. With all that said and done, I can’t wait to meet most of you over the next few weeks. It is known that at times the going may get tough being away from the fam and everything, but always remember that you are not the first and you most certainly won’t be the last.
I have learned over the past couple of years that all individual experiences are different. My freshman year can never be the same as yours. However, the principles of staying a happy individual are pretty universal. As long as you stay in touch with the family and stick to what you believe in; in the midst of all the fun, your college life will be satisfactory. Lastly, I wish you all a great first year, and I hope you enjoy your life to the fullest. Lynn will certainly present that opportunity. Oh by the way, remember to drink lots of water and always have a cloth to wipe the fog off your sun-glasses every time you walk out of a building. WELCOME!!!
It seems the world cup preparations have, over the past few days, become more famous for injuries than the results they have produced thus far. I actually had to wait till the end of the Spain vs Poland game to see if there would be anymore notable casualties before putting this up. Post-match conversations are now introduced with a customary question of who got injured, and not who won. Such has been the brutality of the world cup warm-up period that the teams which played the last round of games today kept their captains on the bench until the last quarter of the game. England even chose to play a lowly rated South African premiership side in order to protect whats left of their team while they get a run around.
Many exciting players will miss this year’s world cup; I feel very much for the captains especially, that have been ruled out by injury. Michael Ballack of Germany fell out on the last weekend of the club regular season. Then came his club teammate Jon Obi Mikel the Nigerian talisman; he failed to recover from an injury he incurred during the season. The last captain to get his dream ripped away from him was Rio Ferdinand, the captain of England. His knee that made up his stop-start season for Manchester United came back to haunt him while training in South Africa. Aside from those guys, there have also been some really crucial injuries that hit the world cup teams. Michael Essien will probably be the most missed of the African players, and possibly of all the players that are confirmed to be out of the tournament. Ghana will surely miss their robust midfielder known as Bison for his beastly midfield domination qualities. Also missing from the tournament will be Portugal’s player of the moment, my Man United man, Louis Nani. He mysteriously dislocated his collarbone during training. I hope he did not hurt himself practicing a new acrobatic celebration considering he is well known for the most amazing Olympic style spin and twist celebrations.
There are also players who can consider themselves really lucky to still be in the tournament after threatening injuries. Didier Drogba heads that list after he returned to the Ivory Coast camp a couple of days ago, recovering from a Samurai kick that was laid on him by a Brazilian born Japanese defender during a warm up friendly. How ironic that the player who almost bisected him has Brazilian ties and Brazil is in the same group as the Ivorians. The Netherlands did the smart thing by keeping Arjen Robben on the bench throughout their entire warm up campaign. Their decision paid off for all but the last 25 minutes of their whole up campaign when they finally decided to give a chance man nicknamed the “glassman” for his fragility and injury proneness. Robben’s appearance proved exactly why they had decided to keep him in a cocoon until the start of the world cup, as he limped of the park with another injury after coming on as a second half sub. The news reports say that Robben like Drogba will most likely miss his country’s first game, but the Dutch should count themselves lucky because knowing Robben, it could have actually been worse – talk about riding your luck.
On a lighter note, I am going on record today as saying that Spain are the best team in the tournament. After watching their warm up friendly against Poland yesterday, I will go as far as saying, barring refereeing errors or any Zidane moment, Spain will comfortably walk through this. So there you have it, I’m calling Spain. However, please do not confuse my calling for support; I will still fully support my African teams from the heart. I am simply marveling the juggernaut that is the Spanish football team. Coincidentally, Spain did not fall away from the World Cup Warm up script yesterday; sticking with the injury theme that has been attached to this period, their midfield genius Andres Iniesta walked off with a niggle after unleashing a 39 minute football lesson to the Polish team. Fortunately, this morning’s reports said he would be back in time for Spain’s first game, and rightly so for the man who I think will be the man of the tournament if he stays healthy the whole way. Anyway, one hopes that the warm up period has taken up all the bad luck with its injury mini-crisis and that we can now sit down and watch exciting football with no stretchers and medics.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is it! If the last few weeks of the semester were anything to go by, we are all in for the time of our lives. Soccer fan or not, just keep your eyes and ears open over the next month as the world will come to a stand still and focus on South Africa. The World Cup has arrived! On June 11 the world’s most beautiful game will kick off its quadrennial showpiece, and believe me, it will be the best one yet, as always is with each new one.
After months of debate on who will be crowned champions of the world, absolutely no one has a clue on who it will be. All the favorites have given everyone a reason to doubt their tags. This is exactly why it is the greatest show on the planet; held once every four years, but talked about for much longer, if not everyday. As the debates rage on, the days are surely gone. What is now left is for us is to just sit back and save energy for the arguments that will arise with each game. I am keeping my lips tight on calling this one. I had my money on Italy last time around, and it paid off. However, this tournament is more than just a summer world cup for me; it is being held literally in my backyard, and all logic demands that I root for my fellow African brothers. Which ever African country makes it to the second round will get my backing. If all else fails, I will stand with my man Wazza and his English boys. Even if that fails, the cause will not be lost. This is when the beauty of going to Lynn comes into perspective. I know that no matter who wins this year’s tournament, I will have still someone to celebrate with when we all get back to school because of the unbelievable diversity we have on our campus.
Truth be told, my main reason for not picking a a specific team is merely to avoid the controversial arguments that come with calling out. In order to keep my blog and especially myself safe, I will just say, “May the best team win.”
Wave your Flags!!!
So China has a long history of this censorship business and it was only a matter of time before Google ran into a brick wall. The way they have reacted thus far shows that they were somewhat prepared for the conflict. Google executives have shown the Chinese dictatorship that they will not go down without a fight, no matter how long it takes them. I personally think it’s a war worth fighting. At least they are frustrating the Chinese government, which is something no one has done in recent times. Even though it looks like Google will eventually lose the war, they are winning some crucial battles thus far. I will not be surprised to hear that China will take some stern measures within the next few days. Alas, communism is still alive and well in the People’s Republic of China. I’m still struggling to understand what part of China is a Republic and how exactly this Republic belongs to the people.
Boy has it been cold so far this semester; so cold that I was forced to drink coffee over Spring Break. The weather caught us all comepletely off guard this spring. To be honest I have every right to complain because I never anticipated to be in freezing weather when I chose to come to South Florida. How long this will last, noone knows, but it’s gotta end soon. I feel sorry for the folks coming down this weekend and next week for their regular Spring Break up north. Word of advice would be, please care to bring your winter coats along with you if you want to enjoy your break. I know, its totally not fair. Come on weather, lets be serious now.
With the soccer season having ended on a disappointing note, the Lynn community will now look to the ever so consistent tennis team to deliver the goods. As the men kick off with a light warm up game against the alumni to inaugurate the courts on Saturday, they will keep in mind how a home loss to Barry sent us to the nationals with a tough draw. The team which boasts a couple of new faces should be interesting to watch how they progress. The women on the other side managed to retain the entire team that lost out to the eventual winners of last year’s national tournament. If their performances last year are anything to go by, the championships will be 20 in counting by the end of this season. Hopefully the rain stays away for the most part of this season. Once again a big thank you to the Pepper family and all the sponsors; we will definitely enjoy watching the night games, and shade wont be a problem anymore during the sunny days.
Now that the thanksgiving (fall) break is finally over, we enter what is known as the final stretch of the semester. Basically, if schedules seemed packed before the break, then I’ll be the first to inform you that you aint seen nothing yet. With the finals week in the horizon, time is certain to become the moct valuable asset in student life. If, as a student you are able to dodge anything, it certainly will not be this. Finals week is like an epidemic that affects everyone without exception. One thing is certain, you will spend more time awake late at night doing exactly what you came to college for, studying or writting papers (unless ofcourse you are dropping classes). Painful as it maybe, it should come as a consolation to let you all know that every student goes through this more often than not throughout their college lives. So to all the freshman, please dont feel robbed of your precious time, or that you should have completed your final papers earlier in ther semester (never happens); it is all part of the process. Finals are designed to push you to the limit, hence I call it the final stretch!!!
The win by France over Ireland in the do or die world cup qualifier has just about summed up the problems with soccer today. No honor, too many cheaters and divers, poor refereeing, the lack of tv replays, jumped up players who don’t play for the shirt and lack pride; too many moaners, big games decided by controversy rather than brilliant football. Unless something is done football will become a more predictable and pointless sport. Ireland will go down among the many football teams that have been robbed by elementary refereeing decisions. Even our own Lynn Fighting Knights fell victim to the refs throughout the entire season. Apart from the ref in the France-Ireland game, Thiery Henry’s act of blatant cheating should go down as one of the worst plays ever in the history of sport. Shame on you Ti ti!!! I feel sorry for all the Irish people and the neutral football fans that were exposed to such shameful play and officiating.
I am sure those of you follow my blog are aware that I went with the men’s soccer team to Tampa last weekend. We unfortunately succumbed to the Spartans in double overtime. The final goal from Tampa was as painful to watch as it was watching the baseball team lose their first game last year. But here is the overlooked irony that is associated with this first loss and dip in form by the Men’s soccer team. The baseball team was consistently ranked number 1 last year for the first half of the season and then they unbelievably sunk into oblivion on the rankings. Call me crazy, but figure this one out: The baseball team dropped to 14th after their first bad weekend which was followed by a couple of forgettable series which left the knights unranked nationally. We all know how they picked up their socks at the business end of the season and brought back the much needed silverwear. The Soccer team lost to Tampa last weekend and we went down to 14th and we followed that up with a loss to St Leo which will probably drop us even further after the rankings are refreshed. Sports logic would suggest this is all going according to the script. So let’s look on the bright side; there really is no need to panic. The National Championship is returning to Lynn this year.
So the men’s soccer team is displaying some of the most scintillating football ever witnessed in college soccer. Today’s massacre of Nova was a clear message to all the people who doubted our potential in the aftermath of Jean Alexander and crew. Paulo, Gabe, Kyle and crew have given us value for the time we have spent at the few home games that have been played. Even Matt Prickett has produced man of the match performances off the bench; something that shows that this year’s team has more depth and is definitely scoring more goals.
My mission now is to go to University of Tampa for what will arguably be the best game of the season. Saturday August 3rd will be the true test for the Fighting Knights, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be there to watch and cheer every minute. I know Striker is definitely coming so we will try to rally up the numbers and get a bus to head up to Tampa. Trust me; if they play anything close to what they did today, it is going to be a sweet night in Tampa. Please contact me if you are interested in going.