(Not So) Super Sunday, Manchester 2 – North London 0

Super Sunday was just that for Manchester teams; in the first match Manchester City took a late win over Tottenham. After 55 goalless minutes, Samir Nasri made an exceptional darting run through the Tottenham defense, was picked out by an excellent pass, and he finished it off with a powerful first-time finish. After just a few minutes, Joleon Lescott bundled in off a deflected corner from Samir Nasri. A mistake from Joe Hart allowed Jermain Defoe to have an instant reply. Gareth Bale would cap off the comeback with a shot of immense quality. A curling left footed shot from outside the box goes just beyond the reach of Joe Hart. The final goal would be something of controversy; although there was no doubt it was a penalty, there were claims that Balotelli should have picked up a red card after he stepped on Scott Parker. Balotelli however, walked up to the penalty and calmly put the shot beyond the outstretched hand of Brad Friedel. After nearly securing a point from the league leaders, Tottenham fall just short losing 3-2.

In the second game, Arsenal would look for revenge after the 2-8 loss to Manchester United back in August; they would have to do so without Sagna, Gibbs, Santos, Henry, Wilshere and Arteta, though Manchester United also would have to deal without some players due to injury. The game started all for Man Utd, they were the more dangerous team through the first half and seemed almost destined to score before half and they did just that. Just before the half time whistle Valencia headed home a cross past Szczesny. The second half was much better for Arsenal, Arsene started off by subbing Nico Yennaris for the under performing Johan Djourou. There were nearly a few goals in the early part of the second half for Arsenal; arguably the best chance was in the 52nd minute when Robin Van Persie missed a sitter after mistake by Smalling that was capitalized on by Tomas Rosicky. I thought that Rosicky should have been more selfish and taken the shot himself, but I could not argue when he passed it off the RVP. Aaron Ramsey nearly had a goal himself, but his shot was always going high over the bar. The equalizer would come from none other than RVP who took a great first time shot off the post, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made that goal with a great pass to get the ball the RVP. Then something unusual happened, Arsene Wenger decided to take off AOC (who had played very well and was a danger to United) and put on the little Russian Andrei Arshavin. Arshavin would make a major mistake, his poor defending allowed Valencia to attack the defense and the ball would find its way to Danny Welbeck who finished what would be the game winning goal. There were a couple late chances from Arsenal to level the game, but some goal line clearances from the Man U defense would keep Arsenal from winning the game. Arsenal are clearly missing the players likes of Gibbs/Santos, Sagna and Wilshere/Arteta. The title chances for both North London teams now seem completely gone, Tottenham are 8 points back and Arsenal are 18 points back, the struggle for Arsenal is whether or not they will be able to overcome the deficit to maintain a place in the Champions League. Arsenal have 36 points after 22 games, they are now 5 points back from Chelsea who have 41 points after the same 22 games.

The King Returns With A Bang, and Arsenal Progress

Not often does a player get the chance to play at a stadium with a bronze statue of him outside, but that is exactly what happened today. Through the first hour of the match it seemed another 3rd round draw at the hands of Leeds United would be the outcome, that was until Thierry Henry was introduced to replace the helpless Marouane Chamakh. Chamakh struggled to find much good in the 68 minutes he played, but it only took 10 minutes for Henry to completely change the outcome of the match. A great through ball from Alex Song and a lapse in concentration from the Leeds defender allowed Henry to calmly score what would be the game winning goal. Henry’s scoring total now reaches 227, and with a few more games left in his loan that total could go even higher.

Unfortunately all was not as good for Arsenal; already playing with a depleted back line, another player might have an extended time in the trainer’s room. Francis Coquelin left after 30 minutes with what looked to be a hamstring injury. With the likes of (Kieran) Gibbs, (André) Santos, (Carl) Jenkinson, and (Bacary) Sagna already injured, having another defender go down for any period of time would be very detrimental for Arsenal.

I thought that the starting XI did well for the most part; Andrei Arshavin was very wasteful with the chances that he did have, and Chamakh was all but absent throughout the game. I thought that Aaron Ramsey did particularly well with what was asked of him today, he was able to find some good passes to spring some other players and was a bigger threat to the defense than either Chamakh or Arshavin. Another player that did well offensively was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he made some good runs and even got a good shot on goal. Alex Song and Mikel Arteta were more than capable in the midfield, finding good passes, breaking up Leeds attacks, and starting Arsenal attacks. The back line and (Wojciech) Szczęsny were never really tested, but were able to take care of any would be attacks.

All around it was a comfortable win for Arsenal; it would have been better to get the goal earlier, but a win is a win and we progress to the 4th round to host Aston Villa.

Major Transactions in Sports

Within the past week there have been some major transactions that led to drastic switches in roster in both the NBA and MLB. Excluding the deals the Angels made for Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the San Diego Padres trades Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for Brad Boxberger, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Yonder Alonso. My first thought on this trade was “Who is Mat Latos and why are the Reds giving up so much?” A quick Google search showed that Latos is a 24 year old Pitcher who has a career record of 27 wins and 29 losses; last season he won 9, lost 14, and had a 3.47 ERA. The Reds needed some pitching help and obviously thought that Latos would do the trick, but they gave up a lot in return for him. I definitely think that the Padres got the better of this deal.

Another story that came out that Milwaukee Brewers OF Ryan Braun had apparently tested positive for Performance enhancing drugs and would face a 50 game suspension if it is upheld. Losing Braun would be a big blow to the Brewers who could also be losing Prince Fielder, though they have signed Aramis Ramirez, which will help a little.

In the NBA, Chris Paul was finally traded out of New Orleans to Los Angeles. Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers along with 2 future draft picks for Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman and a draft pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Although the Clippers got a superstar in CP3, they had to give up a few good players. The most frustrating part of this whole ordeal was how the Commissioner (David Stern) handled the situation. It is very difficult for a fair trade to be made when the person who holds the overall power to accept or deny the trade has a vested interest in one of the sides. The LA Lakers had a deal accepted by the New Orleans Hornets for CP3, but was ultimately denied by the NBA for “Basketball Reasons”. The Lakers (and Rocket) were forced out of making any sort of deal not by the Hornets’ front office, but by the League itself. The Clippers then tried to get a fair deal in, but ultimately had to give up more than they wanted to get Chris Paul. It’s hard to decide who won this trade; the Clippers got Chris Paul and two future draft picks, but the Hornets got a few good players and (possibly) a high draft pick. For now I will call it a draw and see how it plays out, but I do not think they will be calling it “Clipper Town” any time soon. However, the obvious loser in this trade is the League itself, David Stern over stepped his bounds in vetoing the Lakers/Rockets/Hornets trade and then caused the Clippers to give up more than what might otherwise have been necessary.

50/50 Review

Earlier I was able to watch the new film 50/50, it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, and Bryce Dallas Howard. I am very happy that a friend of mine recommended that I see this movie, because I really liked it. The movie follows everyday guy Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who one day finds out that he has a tumor in his spine and now he has to deal with it. Along the way, he gets help from is friend Kyle (Seth Rogen), his girlfriend Rachel (Bryce Dallas Howard), and his counselor Katherine (Anna Kendrick). When you hear about the story, it is obvious that the movie can only ever end in two ways, but one of the best parts of 50/50 is the way that it takes you to the end.

I thought that both Seth Rogen, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a wonderful job with the roles they were cast for. I usually do not like the typical Seth Rogan type of movie and this was definitely not like those. Although Rogen was outside of what he is normally known for, he was still able to have moments where he did what you would expect him to do. As for Gordon-Levitt, he made his character relatable and was very convincing as a person who was going through immense emotional and physical toil. I also thought that Anna Kendrick did a great job, and after movies like the Twilight Saga it reminded me of how much I really liked her as an actress.

Overall I thought that it was a great film, something that was definitely worth paying the $7 ticket price at the theaters. If you have yet to see it, I would definitely recommend watching it. There were some very comical moments and some others that made me want to cry, but my favorite quote from the movie was:

Kyle: You could have totally f**ked the shit out of that girl.
Adam: No one wants to f**k me. I look like Voldemort.

I give it 4.25 out of 5.

Albert Pujols Signs With The Angels

As a St. Louis Cardinals fan I was a little upset when Albert Pujols signed for the L.A. Angels. I thought that the offer the Cardinals had made was good enough to keep Pujols in St. Louis for the rest of his playing career, but the offer that LA made was too good to pass up. The final offer the Cardinals made to Pujols was reported to be around $210 Million over 10 years, while the offer he finally accepted was said to be closer to $254 Million over the same 10 years. The most frustrating part of the entire situation was in the past Pujols was saying that the money was not the most important part of his decision, but in the end he chose more money as opposed to staying with the only team he had ever played for. However, with all that being said, I can understand with the economy issues that the country is having that Pujols would do what it takes to make as much money as possible. Yesterday there was an article on ESPN where Deidre Pujols (Albert’s wife) was talking some of the reasons that Albert left. She said that they had never planned to leave St. Louis, and that they did not have a reason to want to leave, but the initial offer that the Cardinals made was almost insulting. The initial offer was worth somewhere around $130 Million over 5 years. I do not think that a 5 year deal worth nearly $26 Million a year is an insult to a nearly 32 year old Baseball player, but that is just my opinion. They said that 5 years would not give them enough security, so the Cardinals showed that they would be willing to offer up to a 10 year deal. Unfortunately for St. Louis, $210 Million is not enough for a person who had stated before that he wanted to finish his career as a Cardinal. I have no issue with the offer that the Cardinals made to Albert, if anything I thought that it was too much of a financial risk to give a 31 year old a 10 year deal for that kind of money. With the way Pujols has played over his entire career, he definitely deserved to be one of the highest paid players in the league. This is where I have another problem, with the contracts that are being given out to these players there is only one way to go. The contracts given out to players like Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez already have and will continue to cripple the team that signs them. The Texas Rangers struggled after giving Rodriguez such a contract and the Angels might do the same. I wish that Albert Pujols would have stayed with the Cardinals, but I cannot blame him for taking the higher money offer, especially when he could be done playing within a few years.

Was Tim Tebow worth it?

Watching Tim Tebow play football is not something that I enjoyed but no matter how poor of a Quarterback he is, it is impossible not to see how much of a winner he really is. I will not ever be a fan of Tebow as a QB and I do not think that he will have much success as a throwing QB, but the way he plays the game and his work ethic is very admirable. However, it would not be a good option to play Tebow on your Fantasy Football team because he will not ever put up good numbers. Even in College at the University of Florida, Tebow was a winner. During his College career, Tebow won the SEC twice, the National Championship twice, the Maxwell Award twice, the Davey O’Brien Award, and the Heisman Award among many others. During his time as a Gator, Tebow threw for almost 10,000 yards, and 90 touchdown, he completed over 67% of his passes and only had 15 interceptions. Even after all of these accomplishments and stats, Tebow was thought to be a stretch when Denver picked him with the 25th overall pick in the 2010 Draft. At the time, I did not think that it was a good pick and I still think that Denver made a big stretch to get him. With how poorly that Tebow had been playing, it is a big surprise how well the entire team has played to get the wins. This year Tebow is 6-1 as a starter, and he has turned around an abysmal start for the Broncos. The most frustrating part of all of this is that Tebow starts out playing poorly in the first few quarters, but then plays well enough in the end to get the win. I know that all that is supposed to matter is getting the win, but as a person who at one time considered himself a Broncos fan, I would prefer to see a QB actually play well as a QB. Another problem I have with this form of the Broncos, is that they are getting very lucky to win these games. Would they be getting the same luck if it were Kyle Orton playing QB instead of Tebow. I am not saying that Kyle Orton is a good QB, I think he just played the position closer to what I expect from a QB in the NFL. Tebow on the other hand does not play a good QB, but does just enough to get the wins. With all that said, I never have been a fan of Tim Tebow nor will I ever be.

November 8th, 2011

For a while now I have been trying to figure out something to write about, every time I would sit down to start a new post I would lose all interest in writing. Other times I was able to get something written, but would decide to delete it because I did not feel it was good enough. That was until this morning when I watched the latest GradLife vlog. So I figured that it would be best to tell a story; it is neither a great story nor does it have a happy ending, but more importantly it is true.

I do not have the same issues that other people have; I have a place to live, I have access to food and water, I have clean clothes, and I have many modern-day amenities that I have taken for granted. Even with all this great stuff I have the past few years (and more so the past few semesters) have been the hardest to get through in my life, and I do not say that lightly. On the outside I am just a normal University student; I go to class, do homework, etc. My friends and family do not know what I have been struggling with because I am afraid to tell them. I am afraid to tell them that I need help, that each morning I struggle just to get out of bed and do anything. I look in the mirror and see somebody that I hate and each day I hate that person even more. It is not as much the way I look (at least not as much as it used to be) but rather what I have done with my life. I feel that I no longer have anything to live for. Each passing day becomes more difficult to pretend that I have a future. Every night I go to sleep hoping that I won’t wake up, and I get upset every morning because I do. I wish that I had more friends, but how could somebody be friends with a person like me? I have struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past and even tried it once. That is when I realized how terrible of a person I really was, I was a failure. I even failed to take my own life, it took me years to realize how good it was that I was not supposed to die that day. It’s hard to describe what I am thinking or feeling.

I want to run away; leave my problems, my family, my life and start over completely fresh somewhere new. I want to get away from all the people I pretend to care about, I want to get away from my responsibilities, my worries, my troubles. I just want to get away and sometimes I feel like suicide might be the only way to fix these problems. Recently it seems like the problems have only gotten worse and every day it becomes harder to keep going.

I think one of the main reasons I hid all my troubles was because I was always told that I should not have problems and that it was wrong to feel bad about them. I wish I had an easy fix to get over my problems, but each day I have to fight just to get through. Each day I have to battle against my demons in the hopes of one day knowing that they are really gone for good. There are easier days, where through all the dark clouds of my issues the sun will show through and bring with it moments of clarity where everything in life seems to make sense again. Those few and fleeting moments are what I look forward to, what I strive for, what I live for, because in those moments I know that everything will workout and just as importantly everything will be fine.

That is my story. I have gotten through so far thanks to a few people who genuinely cared about me. It’s partly because of people on the internet (that I have never met) that I am still getting through each day. Something that Wyatt said in his latest video was that “You’re never by yourself”, this thought can really help a lot of people out. There is always somebody around that cares for you, there will always be somebody around you to help if you are willing to ask. As I have realized through personal experience, suicide is the easy way out. There is a quote about suicide that I have heard quite often

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

– Phil Donahue

Please do not take suicide or somebody saying that they have nothing to live for lightly. Talk to them, listen to them because sometimes that is all that it takes. If you are having the same problems that I had, know that things can and will get better. You have forever to be dead, but you are only alive for a fraction of that time.

Thank you Wyatt for saying what you said, you guys really do make a positive impact on a lot of people.


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