Thursday, June 29, 2006


I have just read and signed the online petition: "FIFA World Cup: Flopping Penalty and Concurrent Replay" hosted on the web by at:

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider signing yourself.

If you are sick of watching world-class soccer plays fall down and grab their remarkably unscathed heads, then this petition is definitely for you. The players will do better if FIFA makes some changes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Amazing race...


The race for the MLB American League Central Division is hot. Probably hotter than it has ever been in the history of Major League Baseball. The two best teams, by far--the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers--are battling for first place.

That might not seem like a big deal, but since the Tigers moved above the White Sox, the race has been on. And the race has seen the two teams win over 75% of their games for the past 30 days. I rarely, if ever, see two teams in the same division have incredible streaks of this sort.

Between the two teams, in their last 20 games, they combine for 2 losses. And that has been the case for more than 20 games. That means these teams are playing .900 ball. That is insane!

Who will win it all at the end? Probably the White Sox, again, with their post-season experience and what-not. But the Tigers have redeemed themselves and then some.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

World Cup Germany 2006! --brought to you by Hallmark

The way they're handing out cards at this World Cup soccer tournament, you'd think that Hallmark was a sponsor.

"Referees handed out 102 yellow cards and five red cards in the first 21 matches of the competition, an average of 4.9 yellow cards per match. An average of 4.25 yellows per game were handed out at the 2002 World Cup: 272 yellows and 17 reds in 64 matches.
...In Spain in 1982, 98 yellow cards were shown. [That's an average of 1.5 cards per game.]"
The USA has gotten 2 red cards--more than any other team in the tournament thus far. And yet the USA has some of the best integrity when it comes to taking flops, a weakness for many of the best teams.

I'd like to see officials give out cards for flopping players by using video replay. They could do it throughout the match, or during half-time. I'd also like to suggest that FIFA get a new card--something worse than yellow, but not as bad as red. Maybe something that would throw a player out for just the remainder of the game, but not banishing him from the next game. Red cards should be reserved for throwers of punches and eye-gougers. Has anyone seen or heard of a card getting pulled on a player for floppping yet in this tournament? I haven't, but I also haven't seen every minute of every game. (Anyway, I mostly just wanted to make the joke about Hallmark with this post.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

If you want to hear radio webcast of the World Cup, then this link will give you some love. English coverage is rare. Let me know if you get any good coverage online.

The USA got destroyed 3 - 0 yesterday by the Czech Republic. It was embarassing. The best players for the USA were probably the captain Claudio Reyna and the Eddie Johnson. The worst players for the USA were Bobby Convey and Oguchi Onyewu. Convey made so many bad crosses that we were left wondering what his potential really is. Onyewu was embarrassed by the talented Czech strikers.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Start Crankin' 'Em Out, Maestro!

A few years ago I heard a comedian named Brian Regan. I heard his audio material first. Then I saw him in a few videos. Then I decided that I wanted to write my own stand-up routine, just as a hobby.

A few months after that, I saw a sign-up sheet getting passed around at church. I decided that would be my first time to do comedy (stand-up at church? this is a testament to Brian's clean comedy inspiration). I didn't ever actually get the sign-up sheet. I forgot about it, and the next week I asked the coordinator of the show if there were any slots open. He said he thought all the time was already taken for the show. A mixture of dissapointment and relief rushed through me.

On the night of the show, I got there 15 minutes late, and sat in the front right side of the auditorium, which is in the Clark Law Building. I missed Bytheway's performance, which was my major purpose for attending. Shucks. I watched the show, and near the end they said, we have two more acts. First we'll have break dancing from Man A and Man B, then for a the grand finale we'll have a special treat from Chris Johnson doing stand-up comedy. (insert record player needle-scratch noise) "Do what now??"

The MC calmly came near and sat in front of me. I leaned forward and said to the back of his head, "Sorry dude, but I was under the impression that I wasn't going to do any comedy. I know this is lame of me to say, but I'm not prepared and I'd prefer not to go. I've never even done stand-up before." He quietly expressed surprise and then agreed that my concerns were valid. He whispered that he would announce after the dancers that he'd take care of it. Again I felt anxiety melt away, replaced by dissapointment.

Then I decided that I could be funny for 60 seconds. Thoughts rushed into my head. I knew lots of comedy. I could use Brian Regan's routine. I'd never done it on stage, but it was funny material. Could I really do it? Would it be funny? Would people boo me for being a hack?

I leaned forward and with a hushed voice said, "On second thought, you announced me--I'll work something out. I'll go." He nodded, ok.

I took swimming lessons as a child. My mom drove my sister Kathy and I down to Lion's Park Pool across town to receive instruction from a lifeguard. That was fun and exilarating most of the time. I remember that jumping off the diving board was a big deal for me. I was ok with jumping off the lower height, but the "high dive" as I we called it was intimidating. I remember climbing up the ladder, the tingling of the muscles, the desire to climb back down, and seeing the pool property from a whole new perspective.

That's how I felt as I walked up the steps onto the stage--the microphone standing solitary, and I was supposed to make people laugh.

I am aware that some people might be upset that I used Brian Regan's material to do stand-up. I support comedians trying out the jokes that work before they start composing their own. I would liken it to music composers playing classic musical works before going to compose their own. It's all part of a large study that leads to mastery. That is my theory, anyway. Although I've improved since my start, I have yet to achieve mastery of comedy performance.

Brian Regan's material is a classic. I am thinking about him today because on Saturday I bought tickets to see him live. I've been considering driving to L.A. to see him live for a while. Now I won't have to; he's coming to Salt Lake in December. I'll be sitting on the first row of the balcony--studying him. I also want to ask him if he meant "get the ladder" or "get the latter" in his donut-lady bit.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'm busy with school, but I had to post a pic of this block. I didn't see it live, but I saw the highlights. What a block.

Shaq landed on his backside after this block; he thought he was going to dunk it. Ben Wallace thought otherwise. Ben Wallace is my favorite NBA player.