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Friday, June 27, 2014

We Lost But We Won?

Earlier today the United Sates Soccer team lost a close game 1-0 to Germany.  If the United States had won or tied they would move on to the knockout round.  The World Cup's version of the Sweet 16.  Well the United States lost.  Since there game was going on the same time the Portugal and Ghana game was on the team had no idea of their fate.
Here's where the win comes in to play.  Because of goal differential the Americans were able to move on to the next round.  They will play Belgium on Monday in an elimination game.  This is when soccer gets fun.  There are no draws and after overtime the game is decided by penalty kicks.  Since it is now win or go home the games will also get a lot more competitive which means some players will try to be get away with a lot more.  The United States has an uphill battle if they want to win the World Cup but with us advancing after a loss gives us confidence in our national soccer team.  Go USA!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lebron.....Don't Come To Phoenix!

In case you haven't heard Lebron James has opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat and will become a free agent on July 1.  The move isn't surprising considering he and the Heat just lost the NBA title to the San Antonio Spurs.  The other thing that shouldn't surprise anyone is where he ends up.  He will most likely make a deal with a couple of other all star players and all go to the same team and try to be a dynasty.  We all know how that worked out for him.  I think this move tarnishes his reputation as a "can't beat'em than join'em " guy unless he goes back to Cleveland.  If he goes back to the Cavs he can make the case for "I tried it and it didn't work out so now I'm coming back home". 
Whatever Lebron decides to do is fine by me as long as he stays away from Phoenix.  Yes, he's a great player, and the Suns are one superstar away from dominance, but I wouldn't want the Suns to win that way.  I'm old school and like the way the Suns have begun to rebuild.  If they got Lebron I think the focus would be on him and not on the team.  The Suns are a bunch over role players who don't need a guy to come in here and put the spotlight on himself.  They need a guy that's going to come in here and help the spotlight get put on the team.  If Lebron came to Phoenix, let's be honest with ourselves, he won't come alone and we would probably end up losing players that have become fan favorites, such as the Morris twins.  Where ever Lebron ends up it's going to make for an interesting summer for the NBA. 

The Great Choke Of The World Cup

We are in the middle of one the greatest opening rounds in World Cup history.  One thing people don't realize is that on Sunday we witnessed the biggest choke in World Cup history.  I'm talking about the game between the Untied States and Portugal.  In case you missed it this was a thrilling game that ended in 2-2 draw. 
The U.S. trailed 1-0 at halftime and many American fans were concerned.  Could this be the end of the Americans stay in the World Cup?  But in the 64th minute that all change when Jone's scored.  The U.S. was now tied with Portugal and it remained that way until the 81st minute.  That's when Clint Dempsey scored given the United States the lead and putting them just nine minutes away from advancing to the knockout rounds of the 2014 World Cup.
Coming into the World Cup many experts said that group G was the toughest group and didn't think the U.S. would survive let alone be the first team to punch their ticket to the knockout rounds.  With the game already making history with the first ever water break the U.S. were getting ready to make more history leading 2-1 going into stoppage play.  There was 5minutes of stoppage play and with about 30 seconds left Portugal pulled of a miracle.  Varela scored on a sweet pass from Reynaldo and broke the hearts of fans across the country.
Here's where the choke lies.  With less the a minute left the U.S. allows Portugal to get the ball on their side of the field?  And to top it off they allow it in the hands of the world's greatest player in the open field?  Are you kidding me?  And the worst part is we are satisfied with a draw!  "well we still have a chance to advance", "we weren't supposed to even compete with them", and "at least we tied" are some of the things people are thinking to justify this loss.(even though we tied it's a loss, especially if we lose on Thursday)  Look at it this way, if this was any other sport and something like this happened we wouldn't be celebrating the U.S. soccer team, we would be calling them artist's.  The fact that we are not a powerhouse soccer country saves our soccer team from humiliation.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What To Do On A Saturday Night!

Yes folks it's Saturday night and with the NBA season in the books and college football still a few months away, the big question for sports fans is what do we watch?  Well here is my suggestion, turn the TV to Showtime and watch a ghost.  Yes a ghost.
Tonight Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero takes on Yoshihiro Kamegai in the main event on Showtime Boxing.  The fight is just another installment of great boxing matches this summer that includes Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez.  This is Guerrero's first fight since his loss to Mayweather over a year ago.  Both fighters have 3 combined losses and are very explosive fighters, which should make for a great fight.
With only baseball in season right now its boxing's chance to win back the fan base it had 20 years ago.  In the past two years or so boxing has began to make it's return as a legitimate sport.  With a great fight tonight it can help put boxing back on the sports map.  So enjoy the fight and watch as boxing becomes popular again.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Tribute To Dad

Today is Sunday June 15, 2014 Father's Day!  Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there.  In honor of this festive day I am going to write about my father, Benito Abeytia.  In a roundabout way he is responsible for this very blog you are reading now.  As you read on it will all make sense.

I know this sounds cleache but my dad truly was my best friend.  As I get older I realize how much like him I really am.  And just like most of you if I had question, dad had the answer.  Since I was three or four my dad and I bonded through sports.  We were always watching any sport we could together.  My dad taught me a lot about the mental part of sports.  He taught me to to think before I react and to always anticipate the other guys next move.  That has helped me with my coaching career.

My dad used to take our whole family to St. Mary's High School football games every Friday night.  For us it was like going to see an NFL game. (Back in the 80's we didn't have the Cardinals yet) I can still remember this one time I got honor roll on my report cards and my brothers didn't do so well so I was able to go to the game just me and my dad.  Now I know it was meant more for a punishment to my brothers but it's a day I'll never forget, especially because I caught a football the cheerleaders threw after a touchdown.   I would look forward to Friday nights at Phoenix College.  I was also able to take my dad to his last St. Mary's game a few month's before he died.  My daughter and wife were with us continue the family tradition.

Mine and my dad's love for high school football carried on throughout the years.  Years ago Steve Belles was coaching at Mountain Ridge and they made it to the state playoffs against powerhouse Mountain View.  My dad, myself, my brother and a buddy took the long ride to Mesa to see the game.  My dad was already sick and so before I parked I dropped him off at the front gate.  My dad had a gift of talk, he was able to talk to anyone and keep them interested. He was talking to the guy at the gate taking tickets and when we walked up he just let us through forgetting to take our tickets.

My dad, joklying said lets scalp these tickets.  The  joke turned into reality and we sold them to some high school students for half price.  My dad had paid so he kept the money, but as we were leaving our plans were to go to a friends house and he said "hey lets take this money and get a pitcher" .  He wanted to go to our usual drinking establishment, and even though by this point in his life he didn't drink we went where he wanted to go.  That night I met the women that would later become my wife.These events are a perfect example of how sports and everyday life sometimes intertwine to change your life significantly.

So to you Dad, I salute you and never stop thinking about you!  Happy Father's Day!