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Not Frank Lampard
09 August 2006 @ 09:38 am
For the past few seasons, it seems like the majority of Tranmere matches follow one of two scenarios:

Scenario One: Tranmere score early on in the match. They hold the lead for the majority of said match, only to give up an equaliser (or worse, two goals) in the last ten minutes of the match, effectively throwing away two (or three) points.

Scenario Two: Tranmere's opponent scores early on in the match. The mighty Rovers are unable to find an equaliser.

After the match on the Saturday, when Chris Greenacre scored in the twentieth minute and we were able to hold on the whole match and preserve the one-goal lead, I thought things would be different. But yesterday, scenario two played itself out in all its predictable glory. Cheltenham scored in the 8th minute, and the remaining 82 minutes passed without any more goals. Tranmere had chances, with one shot from Carl Tremarco of all people (a defender) saved off the line, but in the end, it all came to naught. Literally. Just maddening.

I know, it's the second match of the season, and there's 44 matches left to go, but as I said earlier...it's Cheltenham, for crying out loud. We really should have gotten something out of this match.

We find ourselves in 13th place. A draw would have put us in 6th. Next up, Doncaster away on Saturday.
Current Location: 27511
How I'm feeling: contemplativecontemplative
Not Frank Lampard
07 August 2006 @ 04:07 pm
I've decided that this year I'm going to try (no promises) to update regularly about my favorite English football team, Tranmere Rovers. This year I have high hopes for the Rovers. We have a new manager, Ronnie Moore, who not only has a proven record of getting, shall we say, less financially-endowed clubs promoted (Rotherham to the First Division, anyone?) but he's also a Tranmere man, having started his playing career with the club back in 1971 before he was sold to Cardiff for a club-record fee eight years later.

Moore's made a quick impact at Tranmere so far, cleaning out a lot of the dead wood at Prenton Park and bringing in nine new faces (many of who, funnily enough, played for him at Rotherham). But I don't care where they came from, as long as they do the business. And I believe that they can. Call it a gut feeling, or whatever, but I think this is our year to get back where we belong - the Coca-Cola Championship. I'm very optimistic about this season.

So far, the optimism is not misplaced. Rovers won their first match of the season, 1-0, over Oldham, one of the gaffer's old clubs. Strangely enough, with all the signings, it was a Tranmere old boy, Chris Greenacre, last season's top scorer, who scored the only goal of the match. The game was spoiled with some ugly scenes at the end when not one, but two Oldham players were sent off for trying to inflict bodily harm upon out Congolese playmaker Calvin Zola. Not to worry, though - Zola escaped unscathed.

So that's the first match out of the way, then. Three points in the bag, unfortunately, nine other teams also won (doesn't anybody draw anymore?) so we're still lying 10th in the table (out of 24 teams). Next up, a mid-week match against Cheltenham -  frankly, nothing less than three points here will do. Although, I suppose when you consider it's on the road, I should be happy with a point. Still, it's Cheltenham.
Current Location: 27511
How I'm feeling: optimisticoptimistic
Not Frank Lampard
21 July 2006 @ 11:36 am
Yesterday was my first game as the head coach of a soccer team. I've picked up two indoor soccer teams (U-7 and U-8/U-9) at Soccer Dome America as well as an outdoor U-6 team for Goldstar SC that starts in the fall. While the U-7 team's first game was Tuesday night, I couldn't be their because of festivities associated with the USL All-Star game this week (in short, I had to work). But with all that finished on Wednesday, I was able to make the first game for the older team, called the Storm.

I won't lie to you. I was thrown right into the deep end, and it was a little disconcerting. There are 8 players on the roster, and right away I knew two of them weren't going to be there because I had been on the phone with their mother a few minutes before, so I knew they were on the other side of town. I guess this is the point where I should mention that at this age group, there's seven-a-side, so even if everyone else showed up, we'd be down a man. Five of the six boys showed up, but luckily we were able to pick up a couple of U-8 kids would had played the game before (and were there because their siblings were on the team we were playing against) in order to field a full side. No subs for us!

How I'm feeling: excitedlooking forward to the season
What I'm listening to: The Open Championship (on TNT)
Not Frank Lampard
20 July 2006 @ 10:51 am
Well, the soccer team finally has a name. And yours truly came up with it (in collaboration with wjarrettc).

It's the Carolina Railhawks.

The background on the name: We were sitting around one day, watching soccer (as we usually do) and coming up with possible names. I feel very strongly that a team name should reflect local color. Cary is a old rail town (the line went through, a station was built, and a hotel next to it, and the town grew up around it). The tracks run right by (and I mean RIGHT BY) the stadium - you can hear trains go by two or three times a game.

The idea of Railwaymen (after "famous" English team Crewe Alexandra) was kicked about, but it was decided to be unwieldy. I felt there needed to be an animal involved in the name for mascot purposes, because the kiddies love the big anthropomorphic mascots. Where did "Hawks" come from? It was the first idea that popped in my head, and, upon reflection, I suspect it was subconsciously from dear old Mother Miami (the RedHawks).

From a marketing perspective, according to professional marketer wjarrettc, the name has a lot of potential (with the train and bird imagery and sounds). Also, it's completely made up. A Google search on "Railhawks" yields nothing (or at least, it did). The name, in short, had pretty much everything a new team is looking for.

Then it was a case of convincing the brain trust. Which, amazingly, we managed to do. We convinced my boss first, and let him talk to the big boss. Once everyone was on board, the logo was created by our awesome marketing company Kelly Marcom. The result is what you see above, and I think it looks sharp.
Not Frank Lampard
09 July 2006 @ 09:57 pm
The enduring image (and fitting end) to World Cup 2006

I'm beginning to think Franz Beckenbauer was right. This World Cup was crap. And I'm kinda glad it's over.
Not Frank Lampard
26 June 2006 @ 10:19 pm
June 26, 2006.

With the outrageous method in which Australia was eliminated from the World Cup, and UNC losing the College World Series to Oregon State, both on the same day, I think it's safe to say that my fabulous "year" of sports fandom has officially come to an end.
How I'm feeling: depressedbummed
Not Frank Lampard
26 June 2006 @ 11:49 am
I'm really sick of how every time Italy is playing, ESPN feels the need to trot out that dottering old douchebag Giorgio Chinaglia to sit in the studio and provide "expert analysis"

What a dickhead.
How I'm feeling: annoyedannoyed
What I'm listening to: Australia v. Italy (halftime, 0-0)
Not Frank Lampard
22 June 2006 @ 03:55 pm
The U.S. are out, as of noon today. Australia is currently in, but one goal could change everything.

I'm not sure I can handle them both getting knocked out on the same day.

To say I'm nervous for the next hour would be an understatement.
How I'm feeling: nervous(extremely) nervous
Not Frank Lampard
20 June 2006 @ 08:53 am
I already posted this on Randomville, where many of you have already seen it. But, in the interests of completeness, it needs to go into my journal, too.

Nine years ago, when hockey came to my town, I was torn. On one hand, one of my favorite sports had come to Raleigh. And it was the first highest-level pro franchise that we had.

But on the other hand, the team would be spending its first two seasons in Greensboro, 75 miles to the west, as they waited for the arena in Raleigh to be built. I was just out of college, and couldn't really afford the tickets. And, of all the teams to move to North Carolina, we had to get the Hartford Whalers for cryin' out loud. The biggest joke of the NHL.

Carolina Hurricanes, Stanley Cup Champions. It still doesn't seem like it's really true.
Not Frank Lampard
20 June 2006 @ 12:13 am
I just watched my hockey team win the motherfucking Stanley Cup.

Only now is it beginning to sink in.
How I'm feeling: scaredincredible
What I'm listening to: Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane