Monthly Archives: May 2014

We’re All Thinking It…

Posting an alternate opening credits video for The Office in the style of a classic ’90s sitcom yesterday has inspired me to post another clip from this show that seems appropriate for today: Friday. At any point this morning or afternoon when our boss begins to speak, we’re all hoping he or she will say that magical phrase.

Stanley, we’re with you.

Hey, it’s Friday, make it count!

Happy Throwback Thursday!

Throwback Thursday is a great weekly tradition because it puts people in a good mood right before Friday and the weekend with a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

And on that note, have you ever wondered what some shows that aired in the 2000s would have looked and sounded like if they had debuted during the 1990s?

“You are in luck! There’s a town about 3 miles that way, I’m sure you’ll find a couple of guys there” (bonus points if you can guess that ’90s reference!).

Actually, it’s more like visiting Dwight at his beet farm lucky.

‘That’s what the ’90s said!’

Finding the Right Mix

Super-subs.

Jürgen Klinsmann does not always put out the best starting 11, but he is quite deft at rotating the right players in at the right times for maximum returns late in games.

Example?

Just take last night’s stand-out second-half substitutions during the Americans’  World Cup send-off match against Azerbaijan (their head coach is now literally on Klinsmann’s United States Men’s National Team staff for Brazil and is a long-time friend) at the ill-fated (yet energetic) Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.

Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson.

These names have been mentioned in this blog before as being key players for the USMNT and for Brazil in particular. Each player added positive evidence to this hypothesis last night. Granted, it was a home match against the 85th-ranked team in the world, but there was virtually no flow from the middle-to-final third before they entered.

Johannsson subbed for Chris Wondolowski in the 61′ and Diskerud came on for the flat Alejandro Bedoya in the 71′, noticeably sporting #10, Donovan’s old number. And by old, I mean four days or so.

Speedster DeAndre Yedlin also came off the bench for Fabian Johnson in the 61′ and played a fair game.

The game was nil-nil in the 61′. What was the final score? 2-nil USMNT with goals from Diskerud and Johannsson.

Making a statement? Yes.

The match opened-up immediately after Johannsson started running around up top with some much needed purpose towards scoring goals and the flow looked as nice as Diskerud’s waving brown mane following his entrance. Just four minutes after Mix was added to the mix (c’mon, it’s right there), he scored off a rebound just outside the six-yard box that originated from a Michael Bradley half-volley at goal.

#10 to the rescue.

Regarding the #10 shirt, Diskerud had the ideal response in his post-match interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap.

“For me it is just a number. I am playing for what is in front of the jersey, not what is in the back or my name.”

Classy answer.

Aside from the fact that Clint Dempsey had minor groin pain and didn’t play, the quick takeaways are that the central defense is still shaky, the outside defense is shaky, the outside midfielders need to be more creative and daring on the flanks, starting forward Jozy Altidore has apparently adopted the Jairo Arrieta theory of playing up top without scoring goals and that the young 23-year old players in Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson need to be subs and/or starters in every group game this summer.

While Diskerud and Johannsson are both relatively new to the national team universe, they clearly play with an energetic and inventive chip on their shoulders that results in positive contributions and results. Johannsson wants to score whenever he plays, which is always a good thing to have in a forward. Just saying.

And Mix Diskerud and Michael Bradley are the perfect complement to each other. Diskerud is right-brained and Bradley is left-brained and together they can create a dangerous dynamic for the USMNT in the middle of the pitch. This team needs leadership and this coupling could very well be the stable and imaginative core this squad needs for pulling off any last-minute heroics or improbable upsets in Brazil.

Diskerud and Johannsson as super-subs? Yes.

However, if match-ups on the field permit it, super-starter also has a nice little ring to it. I’m looking at you, Mix.

Either way, Klinsmann finalizes the lineup. It rests with him in deciding if the summer of 2014 will be a memorable World Cup experience for the Americans.

Will Klinsmann be a super coach in Brazil?

USMNT fans hope so.

Peacefully Whisked Away

Here’s a little taste of my recent trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for the long Memorial Day weekend with some of my family:

“What kind of fruit is in the fruit cup?” my sister asked,
“Fruit” was the waitress’s response, so pithy and fast
We all got a big laugh as we came to realize in that instance,
of the unfiltered truth of the Volunteer State and its simplistic brilliance
The journey was an experience, that’s for sure,
especially traveling with two small children, with screams so pure
The imaginative street signs, the trees, the smoky mountains and the clean, crisp air,
is enough to immerse oneself into the culture and rock back and forth without a care
This includes playing miniature golf on a hillside one Saturday night,
at a place called “Hillbilly Golf,” which left us helplessly joking with smiles so bright
“Is that King Kong climbing on the side of that building over there?”
Sure it is, because why not? It’s just a little Tennessee flair
Up, down, and around we drove the mountain roads, searching for the place,
with the rooms to sleep in that had a view that would pleasantly shock any grumpy face
Overlooking at the towns below was a wondrous site,
peaking over the edge at the maximum height
The two-story cabin was beautiful, a great home base,
a perfect location to find some natural grace
The food was delicious, with breakfast setting the tone,
from the bacon to the eggs and french toast, it got us all into the Southern zone
This past weekend was an adventure, aided by a soothing breeze,
especially for those who zip-lined through and over the trees
Turning 180 degrees, the canon ball and the front flip,
were just a few of the ways to do a ‘Tennessee zip’
But for those who didn’t fly through the air with an audible swish,
they took a walk across a stunning bridge and made a special wish
Strolling through town, there were sights to remember, including the borderline eerie,
like venturing through pottery stores, goofy t-shirt warehouses and getting a picture with the cardboard gang of “The Big Bang Theory!”
And being from Ohio, there’s something all us Ohioans know,
which is whenever and wherever we hear OH-we always respond with an enthusiastic IO!
Monday was special occasion and not just for all those who protect us,
but because it was also the birthday for one of my sisters, a terrific plus!
Gifts were purchased and people relaxed in rare moments of serenity,
it was the ideal setting to rejuvenate one’s identity

Tennessee, I’d volunteer another weekend for you!