Thursday, July 30, 2009

Working weekend

If you so happen to be in Shizuoka, say, in November, and want to plop down 10-20,000 yen for a conference registration, stop by one of my two presentations at this year's JALT Conference at Shizuoka Granship:

Sunday, 11/22 @ 9:20AM - Cultural Perspectives and Influences of Teachers
Monday, 11/23 @ 9:20AM - Random Elements in the Language Classroom

The latter one was presented upon at the NEAR Conference earlier this year; the full slideshow can be found on inDef. The former is new and based on ongoing research.

If you go, I promise I'll bring candy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eurosnobs: MLS fans should accept place in food chain

The war of words continues to escalate in the soccer blogosphere over Fangate. Did Beckham instigate? Does he deserve the verbal abuse? Should Garber suspend the fairweather Designated Player?

Here's my angle: are fans entitled to their opinions once they buy their tickets?

Ask the Eurosnobs, and apparently the answer is no, especially if you're an LA supporter or an MLS fan.

With the L.A. Riot Squad pushing back and giving their perspective to the press, some are giving Americans a piece of their mind, reminding them how awful a soccer nation the United States is, and how fans all over the world sacrifice livestock in Beckham's name for the privilege of watching him play in person.

Some comments on the article include:

Except for a small minority of LA fans most Americans that love football (soccer) understand Cappello is a hard man and if Becks didn't play in the european season he would not be in the England squad.

But this LARS group think it is all about them and take his going on loan as a personal insult.

Apparently, soccer fans are not entitled to feel insulted when their team suffers (how do you suppose we New York supporters feel at this point in the season about JCO?).

It's soccer in America why do you care so much, it's not like it matters. That being said there would have been nothing for him to escalate if the fans would have kept their pie holes shut.

It's true, just as IOKIYAR, European fans are entitled to get away with a whole slew of things. Racist taunts, pitch invasions while naked, etc. Americans, however, should just be content to sit at a game like a movie is playing.

But this one is the most telling:

I think all the cry babies need to really stop. Becks is one of the greatest players to ever play. And the U.S. is screwing it up because west coast is doing what they always do and act stuck up. We should all be gracious that he is spending his time playing in a league that is below minor leagues, and wish;s it had a quarter of the talent that plays in Europe.

To my mind, there have only been two Designated Players, Blanco and Angel, that have come to these "minor leagues" and given it what little respect the American game deserves by actually showing up and playing hard for a full ninety minutes week in and week out, while Beckham for three years, minus some bright spots few and far between, has mailed it in while going on in the press about how much he would really love to get the hell out of MLS. That's not "spending time." That's wasting time. His and ours.

5-4 at Giants Stadium in 2007 seemed so long ago. That was a game that foretold a lot of promise and progress for Major League Soccer. All David Beckham ever had to do was not spit on it by walking out. And it is walking out, whether it's for a minute or forever.

One needs only to read the views of the Eurosnobs this week to see how the biggest ego and most overrated player in the game has ruined it for American soccer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Worst. Banner ad. Ever.

The mangling of the English language (and I take a descriptive approach whenever possible) is bad enough with banner ads - "Search anything your want" read one poorly designed ad a few years ago, and very few these days top the ads from ("Take gun! Save your girl from bomb shelter!"), which are two steps away from "All your bases..." And when it comes to online gaming, what could be hotter or sexier than "develop[ing] agriculture"?

However, this one, whose only choice is to actually refuse an opportunity, is my favorite of the day:

Well, that's that, then!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't believe Beckham for a minute

At the same time MLSNet headlined that Beckham "reaffirms commitment" to the league, a separate article has indicated that the Galaxy player will ask for another loan to AC Milan at the end of the season.

This is not about where is the best venue to allow players to best prepare for their national team's run through the World Cup. If it was and the Eurosnobs have their way, there is no point in having a league in the United States. But there is something much more fundamental than that.

A man's word is his bond. Loyalty is paramount. Beckham cannot for one moment claim a commitment to team and teammates while talking about personal ambition. American soccer fans should not be upset that Beckham went to Europe. Rather, they should feel insulted that someone who claims to espouse professionalism and leadership brought none of it to the American game for the past three seasons.

If the league does the right thing (which may not be the most successfully financial thing - and MLS does just fine without Beckham as it has shown in the first half of the season), it will value Beckham's supposed, even mythical, professionalism and commitment above all else and not allow one player to be so selfish as to handicap and cripple one team for a second time, at least quite so easily as the first.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Don't get sick

It throws your entire schedule off and you may not like the consequences when you get better.

One more week of this.