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Happy Monday!

In my scarecrow dreams,
When they smash my heart into smithereens,
Be a bright red rose come bursting the concrete.
Be a cartoon heart,
Light a fire, a fire, a spark
Light a fire, a flame in my heart.
We’ll run wild,
We’ll be glowing in the dark

Coldplay has many, many hit songs. Some are slow and emotional and others build to a celebratory pinnacle. “Charlie Brown” combines both of these dynamics for a sound (and reaction) of inspiring brilliance.

This is especially true live in concert…

I was lucky enough to see this Coldplay tour in the picturesque setting of The Hollywood Bowl in May of 2012. The environment was just like the video above. It was crazy awesome.

Have an Animated Week!

We Believe You Won More Than a Game

On July 5, 2015, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) made a declaration of independence of their own from the rest of the competing teams as the clear champions in women’s soccer after dominating Japan 5-2 in the 2015 World Cup Final. Carli Lloyd sprinted out of the gates for a spectacular hat trick in the opening 15 minutes. Earning their third title and first since the unforgettable penalty kick shootout victory in 1999, the USWNT made a statement to the world and inspired young girls everywhere.

Fittingly, the women were treated to a ticker tape parade earlier today in New York City, a first for a women’s sports team.

(Robert, Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)

(Robert, Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)

(Robert, Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)

(Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)

It was a beautiful moment for the beautiful game.

3-2-1…

Hamingjusamur Nýtt Ár!
(“Happy New Year!” in Icelandic)

The best part about tonight is how the entire world celebrates New Year’s Eve. If there was ever a day to literally hang out in Space, it would be tonight/today. The colors seen in the night sky will represent every color in that gigantic Crayola crayon box from our elementary school days.

“Was that firework orange with twirling turquoise?”

It’s a continuous stream of fireworks, light shows, boisterous music, confetti, happiness, kissing, goofy hats and crowds of people joyously dancing in the streets, homes and in hotel lobbies that’s a spectacular display of hope and the infinitely possible. Welcoming in the new year is a universal truth that’s proven in every language in every corner of the globe. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to fully report on each city’s unique festivities. Fortunately though, there are plenty of places to choose from. As it’s become commonplace, Bing posts a picture each day that dazzles the eye. Today was no exception.

When my family went to Iceland, we were there for New Year’s! Luckily, there’s a photo of what it would be like to be on the pristine glacial lake of Jökulsárlón, Iceland, which is a better sight than the much-hyped, expansive collection of celebratory bonfires around Reykjavík we were told about…

 

(© Norbert Eisele-Hein/Aurora Photos)

(© Norbert Eisele-Hein/Aurora Photos)

Here’s to a Perfectly Picturesque 2015! 

OH-It’s Good to be Home

Crew Stadium will once again play the patriotic host to a pivotal World Cup qualifying match. This evening, under a Midwestern blanket of stars, the United States of America will battle “That Team Down South.”

The stands will be painted with jerseys and shirts that will proudly showcase the brightest and boldest color combinations of red, white and blue. The chanting and support will be relentless because, honestly, it’s the USMNT’s homecoming.

The fans, players and coaches all know what’s waiting for them. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. on ESPN, but the excitement has been building since the last match four years ago.

The stage is set for another defining 90 minutes of American soccer.

For the United States, tonight’s game can (should) provide this squad with a unique window into the future. Can the Americans regroup after suffering an embarrassing loss in Costa Rica 3-1 in a matter of just a few days with a depleted starting lineup (injury and yellow card accumulations)? Like today, and potentially during the summer of 2014 in Brazil, can the red-white and blue prove to have a short memory. When maximum points and victories are necessary and when the team is forced to travel between games, will Jürgen Klinsmann’s team rise to the occasion?

When an individual is under pressure, there are only two reactions: get crushed or push back.

The United States vs. Mexico is an incredible soccer rivalry. Luckily for the American players and fans, they will feel right at home in Columbus, Ohio. In the three World Cup Qualifying games played between these two nations at Crew Stadium (2001, 2005 and 2009), the United States has won all three games with a final tally of 2-nil.

Or, in better words: Dos a Cero.

There have been great goals, hard tackles, beautiful passes, yellow cards and McBride’s “eye wide shut.”

With three games left in World Cup qualifying and a point differential of 1 between the United States and first-place Costa Rica, 5 between the U.S. and Mexico and 6 between Costa Rica and Mexico, tonight’s match is critical for both teams.

The stakes are undeniably high. The rivalry is real. This is the game and Crew Stadium is the venue!

To build the suspense even more, there will be several intriguing story lines playing out tonight in the heat inside (but really outside) the house Lamar built.

  • Without the maestro in the middle, can the U.S. be guided without the quiet, steady leadership of Michael Bradley?
  • How will Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey play together in such a vitally important game? Will they be the catalysts or finishers on goals?
  • Will Mexico, having fired its head coach last Saturday morning, be dejected or inspired by pride?
  • How many yellow and red cards will the ref show or not show?
  • Will Chicharito (Javier Hernández Balcázar) play like a Manchester United star?
  • Besides Tim Howard, which American player will take the strategic and emotional leadership role tonight? FYI-This responsibility is not limited to the man wearing the captain’s armband…
  • Does the American side have a reliable and dependent back line?
  • Will the United States of America pull off another paramount victory in front of its best crowd?

Now, the most critical question: will it be miraculously cold tonight like back in 2001? The forecast says mid-80s, so probably not. But remember: this is Columbus, where the hopes and dreams of American soccer fans, players and coaches come true…

Plus, it all depends on how you define “cold.”

Another 2-nil win for the U.S. could seriously start to freeze the hopes of a berth to the 2014 World Cup in sunny Brazil for “That Team Down South.”

I’m getting chills just thinking about it!