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Friday, November 14, 2008

Cheering appropriately

Ok...little Johnny just made a terrific pass. You, like the proud supporting parent you are, shout out, "WAY TO GO!" or "AWESOME PLAY!" Better yet, you see that an opponent is wide open, cutting down the middle towards the goal. You help the team out by shouting, "WHO'S GOT NUMBER 15? THEY'RE WIDE OPEN!"

Did you really deserve that withering look from your little player, making it clear that your vocal support is about as welcome as a zit on the tip of their nose on prom night?

Well.... yes.

If you've been a soccer mom longer than 5 minutes you've noticed your vocal support (that would be cheering) is not always welcome by the player, the coaches, and the ref. There are some good reasons why:

· From the player - well, that's obvious. You're the parent and, therefore, you know nothing. Besides, it's embarrassing to be seen having parents.

· Coaches point out that parental instruction and calling the player's name confuses and distracts the player. The coach expects to be the only one calling plays on the field and the players need to be attentive to his voice.

· Refs get huffy when you question their calls - or yell out that they missed a call (usually against the other team). You can actually be thrown off the field if you get too loud in this category.

So how can you cheer at your kid's soccer game and not get in trouble?

· Never single out a player - When you cheer, cheer for the team. Use the team named or the color of the jerseys. For instance, "Go Strikers!" or "Great move Blue!" Do not say, "Great move, Ashley!"

· Keep it general - Don't point out specific problems (the coach should be handling that). Instead of yelling, "Forwards, you're playing too far up, get back..." Yell something like, "OK blue, stay strong!"

· Keep it positive - Never yell out negative cheers - no matter how poorly the team or an individual plays. Really, the team or the player knows when something didn't work; they don't need you to point it out to them. This is when the team needs encouragement. Things like "Bad luck!", "Stay strong!", or "Let's get it back!" let's the team know you're behind them.
 Don't question the ref - out loud that is. Mistakes are made, life isn't fair, and referees are human. I'm not saying the quality of the referee is not important to the quality of the game, and, especially at the higher levels, the safety of the players. I am saying that there's nothing you can do about it during a game, and, if you push it, you can be banned from the game, or even multiple games. Save any indignation for an email to the Soccer Association, where it may help, if enough parents email, to get that referee kicked back to under 8s league.

Stick to these rules and you'll be in good shape...at lease with the coaches and refs. For your own kids, ah well, depending on the age, they'll only be happy if you drive them to the field and wait for them in the car. I suggest negotiation...you'll only drive them if you're allowed to cheer...but you promise you'll keep it to a dull roar and triple promise you won't use their name.

When it gets too hard to stick to these rules; the game gets exciting, or you just have to point out that your player needs to stay to the right so the same person won't get by them for the tenth time, try distracting yourself. Walk around the field. If there are other games going on at the same time, watch one of those. Call someone on your cell phone...anything. Bring your camera and take pictures. Anything. The coach, refs, and maybe even you kid will appreciate your efforts.

Going nuts..Cheerleaders?

By now you've seen or heard about the six teen-aged cheerleader girls (read that as: felonious loons with no sense of good or evil) and their two trollish male look outs who beat an unsuspecting teen with a savagery usually reserved for clashes between the Chinese militia and Tibetan monks. The reason for the beating? The victim wrote something that hurt the fragile egos of the cheerleaders on her MySpace page. Let's hope that the state of Florida tries these criminals as adults.

None of this would have happened without the Internet and YouTube. Before you send my editor crazed emails, hear me out. Thanks to the egocentric narcissism that compels these loons, they believe that no matter how heinous their particular crime, it is worthy of public viewing on a video sharing site. Had this attack occurred five years ago, the victim would have had to prove these troglodytes were her attackers. No doubt each would have lied for the other rather than face certain prison time and possible Karmic retribution. Now, the victim can just point to the video when her vision heals. The victim was beaten so badly that she (as of this writing) still has hearing and vision problems.

But there are those who will blame The Internet, YouTube and Myspace when the blame lies with the little criminals who committed the atrocious acts and, to a lesser extent, their parents. I had violent influences when I was growing up, but I can honestly say that I never tried to eye boink my friends, push them off cliffs or drop anvils on their heads. There was the one summer when I acted like Baretta and walked around with an unlit cigarette behind my ear, but upon returning to school in September, Mother Superior broke me of the habit by smacking the smoke from my ear and leaving me with a aural ring for three days. I did not tell my mother about the incident because she would have assumed that, if Mother Superior has whacked me I must have deserved it. The point is, even as young children, my friends and I knew that the things the Three Stooges, Buggs Bunny, or the Coyote did were fantasy and shouldn't be replicated in the real world.
The parents of these hoodlums also share some culpability. Not as much, but some. The cheerleaders and their accomplices were certainly old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong. While I don't know any of the parents personally, I will go out on a limb and say they probably never said ambushing a defenseless teen and beating her into a concussion is bad, but I am sure the parents implied that in some of their lessons. The parents are certainly financially responsible for their children, as future civil suits will no doubt bear out, but I am torn on the suggestion that criminal charges against the parents are necessary. Unless raising a thug is a crime.

Christina Garcia, mother of one of the thugs, I mean girls, had the audacity to blame the victim. According to news reports, the victim made some comments on her Myspace page about the girls. Ms. Garcia, who will never win Humanitarian of the Year, said, "I just don't see why [the victim] would do that if she didn't have the nerve to back it up, what you're saying." She did admit later thather daughter should have called police.Ya think?

These monsters had ample opportunities to prevent this crime. At every stage during the planning process one of the more highly evolved among the primates could have said this is bad idea. The person holding the camera could have put it down or, at the very least, stopped recording and suggest they release the victim. Instead the little vigilante holding the camera said, "There is only 17 seconds left, make it good."

One of the accomplices, an 18-year-old high school student, was standing by the door planning to run interference if anyone tried to interupt. He could have gone for help at any time, but choose to be a thug. A word to that particular troglodyte: you are just as guilty as the girls who perpetrated the beatings. You will be tried as an adult, as I hope the the rest of the pack is; and, if found guilty, you will end up in the big boys' prison. Keep in mind that someone will be standing outside your cell making sure no one interrupts your welcoming committee.

Rated E NFL Game Wii

Rated E

Do you have what it takes to lead your team to the Super Bowl? Can you spot the coverage and throw that deep bomb to the endzone for the game winning drive? Do all this in the video game Madden 08(Wii).

Two ways to play:
EA Sports Family Play- This allows you to just use the Wii Remote to preform basic offensive and defensive task while the CPU performs the rest.
Advance- Connect the Nunchuk and perform all the moves yourself.

(New) Party Mode: Up to 4 players
Play Now- Play against your opponent and use the Telestrator to review how badly you beat them.

Mini Games- Select from 22 mini games and have a tournament. Points at the end of each game will be added and at the end of the tournament the player with the most points will be the winner.
Trivia- A Madden trivia contest.

(New) Learn Madden:
Learn how to play like the pros. Choose from football 101, learn to pass, learn offensive running, learn to kick, learn to tackle, learn to catch, and Practice to better your skills.

(New) Play Online:
Online Lobby- Challenge opponents from all across the nation at anytime.
EA Locker- Your personal storage place online for transfer profiles, rosters, and franchise data.
EA Messenger- Contact your friends and creat buddy list.
Live Sports Ticker- Catch up to date scores with this option.

Game Modes:

Multiplayer Mini Games-
2 on 2- Like backyard football.
Kicking Combine- Use strong power and perfect aim to beat your opponents.
YAC Attack- Gain as many yards after the catch as you can to gain points. Be aggressive on defense and knock balls down and gain points.
Rushing Attack- Try and score as many touchdowns as possible to win.
Mini Camp Competition- 19 drills that will test your skills in punting, passing, and blocking.

Franchise Mode- Try and stay on top for as long as you can.
Fantasy Draft- You will have 49 rounds to fill your roster.
The Franchise Schedule- Training Camp, Preseason, during the season, owner mode off season, off season.
Franchise Menu- Weekly game plan, storyline central, rosters, my franchise, and owners box.
NFL SuperStar: Hall of Fame-
Play as a NFL rookie in the 2007 draft and work your way to the Hall of Fame.

My apartment- Your place to navigate through the NFL.
Become a Hall of Famer- Perform well in games and build your Hall of Fame resume.
Gain Influence on Gameday- Perform in the clutch and gain influence.
Roles- You can earn a specific role postion based on different factors. The my influence you have the more of an effect you have on other players.
Ego- Gain ego from your influence. Good egos come from being a team player and bad egos come from being selfish.
Mini Camo- 8 drills that build your mechanics.

So do you have what it takes to be a Hall of Famer or do you just want to challenge your friends? Which ever you choose this game is right for you.