The World Cup of Soccer, G.I. in June and me

Posted: June 28, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

This June I have been spending some lost time with my family in GI. Over the last 2 years I had only been back in GI a total of 3 weeks so it has been nice to have the chance to spend time with everyone in the area.

I brought a trailer full of fundraiser sales items to list on Craigslist and eBay while spending time with family. I planned on having most of it sold after a few weeks and moving on to my next Helping Hands project but my love for futbol has taken a grip on my focus.

With the World Cup underway, most of the days have been filled with soccer and my work outs. It is 3:30 every day before I can focus on my GI projects. Growing up my life was all about soccer training and competing. I used to walk the streets and halls at school dribbling a ball and wearing soccer gear.

I played most every day since I was 4 and traveled to train under the best coaches in the USA at Virginia, Indiana, Minnesota, KC and more. When I was not training, I was refereeing for clubs and helping at clinics. I missed a lot of school driving 350 miles every weekend to compete with the Olympic Development Team and advanced to the national reserve squad.

After my 17th I could not train with the state ODP team any longer and the national reserve team members only get called up to replace injured players. I choose to train with the Lincoln Brigade series A program so I could stay close to my brothers and help train the University of Nebraska womens program while waiting for the MLS team try-outs.

Weeks before my first try-out for the KC Wiz, I was hit by a car on my motorcycle paralyzing my left limbs. It took me 6 months of therapy to walk again. It was nearly 9 months later by the time I was back on the pitch training. I lost my place in the ODP and the Brigade. I fell too far behind in classes and the depression slowed my will to keep fighting. By the time I got back in shape I had to face the facts that my kicking strength and my agility were too far damaged to compete at the pro level ever again.

I attended one last try-out with Indiana and convinced myself to be happy with helping UNL and training/coaching club players on the side. I have had to settle with being a personal trainer ever since.

SO, when it is time for the World Cup, it means the world to me. In all the other countries around the world, business’ close on game days and people party in the streets. School is stopped and church is scheduled around the game. Everything revolves around the games. My family comes from England and Germany and I their top sports like Soccer and darts have always been what I am best at. That similarity in my life keeps me thinking that I would be better off living outside the USA.

Once I have my stuff all sold here, perhaps I will convince myself to make the move permanently.

In the meantime, I find myself in GI listening a friends band, “Ashanti African Roots”, perform at an Ethnic Street Festival. For a town of 50,000 people, the festival was small and the entertainment was thin in comparison to the other small town street festivals in the area. Some of the scheduled bands did not even show up but it could of been coincidence there was a World Cup game on during those times.

I am a bit hard on this small town festival because I can compare it to better managed festivals in similar sized towns that I have reviewed around the world. Most festivals outside the USA have recycling collections, water tanks, bountiful shade, renewable energy, multiple stages, World Cup support, a no waste policy (using biodegradable dishes and no plastic containers) and enough people you can not see from end to end. The GI Ethnic festival had none of these things showing that it has a lot to learn from the rest of the world.

I have loaded some video and photo coverage for those that would like to see the lack of support at this festival.


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