Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

December 31, 2009

2010 – a to do list

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 2:36 am

What to do?  What to do?  Hmmm …

– Keep my next book in the house … so there is never not a new book to move on to …

– Never look at the same website 2 days in a row … I spend a lot of time zoning out reading about football or videogames.  Have I spent more time recently reading about games than actually playing games?  Too many game consoles available, too many games, not enough time …

– Watch a movie every week … a good movie really rattles around in my head and can move me emotionally a lot … I should be a movie buff.

– Each month, get a new album from an artist I don`t know …and delete 1 from my collection.

– Put a word ring on my key ring, so I can write down English words I don`t know when I see them.  Gotta work on that old word power.

– Do my own personal Triathlon – in one day, do the run leg, swim leg and cycle leg of a normal triathlon.  I really live out in the Boonies – no weekly soccer league to play in, no triathlons anywhere near my town.  There is a really big road bike race though.

What the fuck, I`m gonna sling some metaphorical shit at the wall and see what sticks.  List is about to get long folks.

– Summer night time picnic / bbq on the beach.

– Cook something I have not made before.

– Eat something I haven`t eaten before.

– Go to a live concert.

– Go to a dance club – with friends who dance.

– Go go-karting.

– Fall asleep at the beach listening to the waves.

– Cook a bread pudding.

– Make Hommus.

– Go fishing.

– Write letters to home, my bro, my sis, my nephews, Ali, Aimee and Yokosan.

– Go horse riding.

– A weekend in Sydney.

– Go to an Onsen/Food Ryokan.

– Watch a movie at some old Indy Cinema.

– Take a 2 day hike.

– Take a 2 day bike ride.

– Print this list out at work.

December 29, 2009

How to spot a Soccer Fan in Japan …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 10:56 am

Well, when you meet someone and have the typical small talk …

How long have you been in the area?  Whats your job?  Where are you from?

It is the last one that lets you spot the soccer fans.  Every time they`ll get this big eyed, reverential look on their faces and say … “Kewell”.   Well, not quite.  With alphabets that use very different sounds, it comes out sounding more like “Kue – weh rue … “.  But anyways.

The point is that our Harry is treated with great respect over here.  And he is the first thing any soccer fan will talk about when you mention you are from Australia.

This conversation just played out again – with the guy from the rent-a-car company after returning the car after a recent road trip.

It got me thinking about our Harry.  For me, he has been that guy who could have been something special if his body had held up.  I wasn`t into soccer before his wheels fell off.  I got interested about the time when he was on the treatment table at Liverpool.

But you look back, you watch highlights from the Leeds days and you can see that the guy had magic dust on his shoes.  Harry Potter with a ball glued to his shoe.  He was nominated for the Ballon D`or back in 2001.  Didn`t get any votes, but still.  The most acclaimed Aussie player ever.

And the soccer fans I have met in Japan?  I never get around to telling them that their isn`t another Harry Kewell on the way.  Looks like Harry was a one off for Australian soccer.  Lots of solid young players, but they don`t have magic dust on their shoes.

Excuse me, going back to Youtube to watch some old Leeds highlights again.

December 25, 2009

My A-league …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 2:24 am

When I take over running the World, this is how I will run the A-league …

A first past the post league based on a balanced home and away.
A simultaneously running knockout comp, lets call it the Australia cup, including A league clubs and top state league clubs.
A pot of money for clubs to receive based on the year`s performance (1st gets more, last gets less).
Staggered entry into the next year`s Australia cup based on league performance (1st joins the cup later in the competition whilst last enters the competition right at the start).

I saw something about the MLS awhile ago … teams get to go on different pre-season tours based on last season`s standings … do well, you do the tour of Hawaii, do badly you do a tour of Mexico.  Something like that.  So an A-league version would be something like … Top two teams get sponsored as the Australian tourists of Western Europe.  The next two get to tour through South America, the next two get a tour in Eastern Europe  … you get the drift.  An alternative would be winning the right to face visiting tourists instead.

But until then I guess I`ll cop whatever the FFA puts on.

Here is a question though – as a fan, would you prefer if your club won the Prem or the Champ?  Okay, a genie has told you you could have one or the other, but not both.  Which do you want?  I want the Prem.

I am not a Victory fan, but respect what they have done winning the Premier`s plate and the Championship twice.

Are there teams that have hit form at the right time or just plain got lucky to win the Championship?  I think so.  Does that make them the best team of that year?  I don`t think so.

PS. I latched onto this rant/post idea after spending time at the Roar forums … and a lot of people were talking about how this system is flawed or that system is flawed – I have to admit that First Past The Post isn`t perfect.  It is possible to be a poor champion in whatever system humanity can devise.

I do think that there is more possibility for being a poor knockout champ than a league champ.  Or maybe it is just that I prefer consistency.

PSS. The least that the FFA can do for nutters like me is find a way to have a balanced league season.  I am not expecting to take over the world anytime soon, so my plans will stay in my daydreams … but I can hope for a balanced league season at least.

December 22, 2009

Aussie Football – the need for a new dream

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:48 am

Yeah, yeah, more from “Inverting the Pyramid” …

Legendary Soviet coach Lobanovskyi – paraphrased, cos I am lazy, Once you have reached a dream, it isn`t a dream anymore.

Hence the hangover after reaching the World Cup finals after 32 years.  Being there again doesn`t have the same resonance as getting there after 32 years.  It couldn`t.

So we are now in the slow, painful process of figuring out where to from here.  Time for a new dream.

The more things change …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:43 am

Bought referees.  Fixed matches.  Drug use.  Amoral (that means “no morals”) play based on a “win by any means” philosophy.  Football as the play thing of unsavoury powerful people. This is stuff I have been reading about in Jonathon Wilson`s “Inverting the pyramid”.  The book is a history of tactics, but these tales of football`s dark side are there on the edges.  Pretty much since play was professionalised – the 50`s?

Don`t like Abramovich?  You probably wouldn`t have liked the dictators who patronised Brazillian, Spanish and Argentinian football back in the good old days either.

Didn`t like Henry`s recent handball to knock the Irish out of the World Cup?  It`s not a like for like comparison, but it made me think of Argentina`s Estudiantes when they were winning Intercontinental Cups by any means necessary – most of them thuggish.  For me, the amorality is the same.  Yeah, the easy connection was the “hand of God”.

I don`t think that modern crimes should be excused because “hey, its always happened”.  But I do think that people need to stop harking back to the good old days … cos football, being full of people, is full of dodgy shit.

December 21, 2009

The weather and football pt II – the next world cup

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 1:31 pm

The last three World Cups were held in the Northern hemisphere summer – France, Japan/Korea and Germany.

The next is in the Southern winter.  So what?  Expect more pressing, and higher tempo games.  Woohoo.  Fast is good, right?  With cooler temperatures, workhorses can work harder, longer.  Expect the “artistes” to have less time on the ball and less space.

Spain could still win the whole thing, but they will have less time and space, and they won`t be able to tire out and stretch opponents as quickly as they could in a summer tournament.  They`ll have to be … exceptional.

Could get interesting.

December 13, 2009

The bottom of the table …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:06 am

Someone has got to be there.  Now having 10 teams, soon to be 11 (and more games in the season to suck in) – the bottom of the table is just gonna become a worse and worse place to be …

Currently in last place (despite winning this weekend), Adelaide is pulling a Newcastle like form reversal … ACL finalists, CWC entrants and A-league GFinalists, they are now stuck to the bottom of the table.

North Queensland is just behind them, but are probably quite positive about life.  Everyone expected them to be bottom of the table.  So even at second last, they are exceeding expectations.

Lets have a look back at earlier seasons last and second last placings …

2008/09 season – Perth Glory and Newcastle

2007/08 – Perth Glory and Wellington

2006/07 – Perth Glory and the NZ Knights

2005/06 – Melbourne Victory and NZ Knights

I am not sure who had the toughest time …

Perth for consistent failure.

Newcastle for seeing the lows follow the highs so quickly.

Auckland fans for seeing their team die (It doesn`t help the small group of NZ Knights fans that much that there is a new team down/up in Wellington).

A mate was at Suncorp for the loss to AU yesterday, and his facebook page painted a not very pretty picture.  I can just imagine him and the rest of the crowd slowly growing more frustrated as chance after chance was missed, pass after pass misplayed … and that final, inevitable moment when AU got their goal.

I can also imagine the smile on AU fans faces as they realised they had picked up 3 points.  And that smile disappearing as they realised they were still bottom of the table.

Amazingly – despite their horror season, fans are still going through the turnstiles at Hindmarsh.  Another horror season could put paid to that, but that is pretty impressive support imho.

PS.  Course, the table never tells the whole story … how did you get there?  A lack of talent?  An injury crisis?  An inadequate coach who is unable to get the most out of the team?  A collective failure by a playing group who underachieve (despite their coach being adequate)?  An inability to keep the talent you had last year?

PSS.  Yes, the gloom at Suncorp is about more than results.  Its about more than high expectations.  A board that doesn`t understand supporter relations or pricing.  Club in-fighting.  An under pressure coach who drank drive ON HIS WAY to training.  Lots of reasons to be happy up there in Brisbane this year.

December 12, 2009

Learning to like Jack Warner …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 9:23 am

Recently, watching respectable news sources talk about FIFA and FIFA heavyweights as if they were respectable, trustworthy people felt a bit … galling.  They are not.  Google search “Andrew Jennings” and “FIFA”.

But, recently, I had a change of heart.  Reading another article or blog post about Australia`s World Cup hosting bid, and the merit of the bid, I thought “FOOLS!  The winning bid will have little to do with the relative merits of the competing bids!  The deciding process will involve bags of cash, drugs and beautiful loose women.”

Then I thought, “Hey, these fuckers sound pretty cool.  Jack Warner would be a cool guy to be buddies with.”

Everyone likes the Austin Powers movies, because of his roguish goofiness.  But Austin is such a faux rogue.  A wannabee.

The guys that run FIFA?  Nothing faux about their rogue-ishness.

I like these fuckers.  Party on Jack.

December 10, 2009

many goals does not make a great game …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 10:18 am

watched the SFC vs NQ game last weekend …

My first look at NQ for a full 90 minutes.  They sure had a game to forget.  And whilst I have maliciously enjoyed other maulings, I took no joy in watching SFC carve them up.  It felt like men against boys, except some of the boys looked rather old …

I want to watch a competitive match between equals I guess.

December 9, 2009

2009 Wishlist Scorecard …

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 2:34 am

Twas a mistake to not print this wishlist out – I really didn`t keep tabs on what was on the list …

Bolded Items are things that were done …

Italics are things I could STILL get done before the year is out …

sing a japanese song i don`t know at kareoke …

a midnight picnic / beernic on the beach, looking up at the stars, letting off fireworks …

go fishing on a charter boat

a 2 day hike

cycle the shingu – tanabe – hongu triangle

12 months, 12 books, including 1 non-fiction and 1 of poetry

score another goal in soccer

12 japanese recipes go into my cook book

wear my suit for a night out …

go to a livehouse

make a chocolate thickshake

watch a j1 or j2 game at the ground (osaka is the closest city, so gamba or cerezo … ) – I DID get to the Aus v Japan international though …

cook a dinner for my girlfriend that she likes

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