With the new work routine still taking some getting used to, this might sound crazy, but there is one reason why I miss the 1+ hour commute.
Well ... it's the commute. Because there is nothing better to do on a long streetcar/subway ride than listening to podcasts and reading books. I was in a really solid routine for over a year of listening to three/four different pods (WSD, Football Weekly, The Game, Footy Show) and getting through books like it was nothing.
This past week I realized that I haven't downed a football book since November. Well that is just unacceptable. So when I thought about it, the only place that seems to have a somewhat reliable section is the World's Biggest Bookstore. Not a huge fan of Chapters/Indigo, but you gotta do what you gotta do. When you don't have the patience to wait two weeks for an ebay victory to arrive, this will do.
So today was only -4 and sunny so I hopped on my bike and rode out to the other side of town to check out the selection.
Well wtf, they had it all ... that I already owned! So if you want some of the good stuff: Brilliant Orange, Fever Pitch, Soccer in Sun and Shadow, The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro - it's there right now. So this is great if you need these but I'm looking through the rest and I don't really care about Graham Poll's book or biographies of players still playing (Michael Owen?! Who cares!?!). This was tough. But there are quite a few books and finally I stumbled across one that I wanted:
This is right. I am going to try and commit myself to reading up on Brazil as well as World Cup 'centric' books for 2010. I'm feeling the Verde e Amarelo, which is weird because I look horrible in both colours but what can you do? Fabiano, Diego, Kaka, Melo, Maicon, Alves ... I don't know man, I'm just feeling these players and can't wait to watch their games.
So the edumacation begins. 2010 is going to be an awesome year.
Everything, at least on the Canada front, circles around the likes of Montreal and Vancouver, who will officially (and by officially I mean it literally!) will be playing next ... errr I mean this year. I'm not really qualified to make any bold commentary on this, as I casually followed this drama. By casually I mean I can make some awesome sweeping statements (USL loses big time!) but this is great news for Vancouver and Montreal. Bare minimum they will be in an organized, North American, league this season and everything looks to be in order.
Six teams in USL, Six teams in NASL and they will meet for a super finals!!
Not to mention Marcus Haber won't be playing in said league (NASL) as he has just been sold to West Bromwich Albion. He had an interesting 2009 where after failing to sign on with Leeds United, he then missed out on Hartlepool and linking up with Simeon Jackson at Gillingham. There seems to be many throwing around how if he couldn't get in at Leeds, how is he going to find a place at West Brom? The only thing I can think of is momentum is carrying him through as he was a key player down the stretch for Vancouver and into the USL-1 finals and he clearly improved by leaps and bounds over the last ten months.
I for one am hopeful this pans out and he sees the pitch. Bare minimum, West Brom could gain promotion and even if he isn't in the starting XI, to get a season in for the reserves in the EPL and possibly even some time on the field for the first team (even if it's in the Championship) is a good place to be at 20 years old.
Pretty symbolic. We'll see who takes it to heart. It was a crazy 2009 and I'm sure '10 will be no different. We laid back at RNO in terms of content for the last week or so, but focused primarily on R&D for the next phase of the site. I don't feel like I'm compromising anything talking about it here because there are about 10 people who read this!
It was nice to sit back and work on other things for a bit, thinking about layout, balance, legibility etc ... instead of only content. So we missed out on posting Top 10s ... oh well everyone read those all over the place. We'll get to it next year no doubt. Which as I think and ponder should be a time to upgrade the old blog. I know blogger rules but at the end of the day I'm not 100% sure it fits the bill.
Anyway, change is good. Winning is sweet but change is good, right guys?
At home! Yessir, Last night I was more than a few sheets to the wind when I stopped everything and thought to myself, "Holy shit do I have to work tomorrow?!?" Well after few frantic text messages and emails I was informed that I in fact have the whole week off. Success! Which means about five days of non-stop football nerdery. Nerdery? Well I said it, can't go back on it now.
I've laid out my various sources of entertainment from where I watch games online to what podcasts are IMO the best to listen to. The Guardian, Times, 606, EPL Talk and even the now free thirty minutes of World Football Daily are staples, but with this extra time on my hands I've had to scour around a bit and see what else is out there.
So I'm trying to open up to more VCasts, and as I download the one from Al Jazzera, I noticed that UEFA puts out a VCast and it's not half-bad! Obviously nothing groundbreaking but still pretty cool to see well produced interviews and shots of players and teams that are at the forefront of European Football.
And as I'm watching this I'm thinking to myself, do they use the same guy for every voice-over of a European athlete into English? Don't know about you but I definitely grew up (well I was about 10 or so) watching Trans-World Sport and I swear to god it's the same guy. And I definitely remember watching this wondering when the hell are they going to show some baseball or hockey highlights?!!?! Well once a year we saw the Super Bowl highlights but it was always a week late and by that point I'd seen it one hundred times. But at least there was always Rally-Car footage and I always wished my parents would buy a decaled-out Toyota Celica.
Getting back to the topic at hand, the UEFA Vcast is pretty sweet and the last one up there is on Genoa, which works because Serie A has definitely grown on me over the last few years. Berlusconi getting punched in the face literally and figuratively with AC Milan has definitely had something to do with it.
Clearly the craziest time of the year. On the roads, in the malls, and in the EPL. Maybe they could squeeze in a few more games? I mean only TWO games on Tuesday and Wednesday? Unacceptable. Surely there are a few clubs that have had a days rest that could suit up.
Good to see the Reds get it together for the holiday season. Strange coincidence that the poster below was made by none other than Wolverhampton. Not a bad game at all for the reds, although you can clearly see something is still off. You gotta take it when you can though. It will be interesting to see what 2010 will bring. I do not anticipate any signings, and if there are they would be on the cheap. Hard times for scousers that is for sure. But it is soon January and things always begin to take shape. This time last year Liverpool began the string of draws (Stoke) and losses (Middlesbrough in Feb) that cost them the title. Now is the time to get it straight because as we saw, by March it will be too late.
So here's hoping Yossi stays in the starting XI and Hicks can sell the Rangers!!