Monthly Archives: February 2007

My American Family – Soccer League

american-family.jpg I haven’t said this before, but I’m in New York now… I moved a few weeks ago to find my dream job in the city and am staying with a friend on Long Island in the meantime. The cool thing is that my friend lives with an American host family. She’s been here forever, so she’s part of the family. This is the first time I’ve lived with an American family and I’m enjoying it to the nth degree! There’s no better marketing than to live what I’m living now. I’ll have so much to write about.

Today I went to watch Brandon play soccer as part of a tournament the schools are having this winter. This was a great American experience for me, since I haven’t done much typical American things since I’ve been here. Not that soccer is an American thing, but the gathering was.

When we got at the high school where the games were being played, we entered this huge high school hall (something I’ve only seen in movies) where all the parents were with their kids taking a break in between games. Next to the corner, there were tables with people behind them selling food: hot dogs, pretzels, “snoco”, popcorn, water, soda and a few more things. I was surprised to see all that food there. My first thought was: “why the food? This is a sports event, you don’t eat when playing.”

When I played volleyball as a kid and competed in tournaments against other clubs, the last thing on my mind, my teammates’ minds and parents’ minds, was food. We got there earlier so we could gather around the coach to concentrate, discuss the strategy and warm up, NOT to eat or even think about it. And eating before playing is also not a good thing to do, so…. I really didn’t understand all the food around.

Well, I do understand it. Events like that are more of a social and entertainment nature (which automatically involves food) than a serious sports competition for both the kids and the parents…  that, in fact, is exactly what I don’t understand! I don’t understand why sports event like that is entertainment here. Sports to me are a serious thing, it takes discipline (which eating before playing is clearly not), it takes concentration and it takes determination, drive to win. I didn’t see any of the three in those kids who played today, which is extremely sad. At one point, the kids were more interested in eating hot dog and pretzels than playing. It scared me. As for the parents, they were also more interested in feeding the kids (and keeping them happy) than they were in giving them moral support, preparing them for the game.

In my days, there was no food. There’s no need for food. We were not there to be entertained; we were there to play and win. We played the best we could; we fought together, we laughed and celebrated together… we cried together. It was about how important the sport and our effort and training were to us. Nothing else mattered.

I miss that, I miss being involved in something that requires discipline, commitment and determination… and not something that’s turned into silly entertainment. I quite don’t get why people here are so driven by just “having fun” as opposed to playing seriously, with your heart and soul. When you put your heart and soul into the game, it’s way more fun and rewarding!


The Curse of the Lottery

lottery.jpg The other day, I was watching the E! channel (yeah, I watch this wonderful channel sometimes when I’m sick) and the THS (True Holywood Story) program was on and the topic was The Curse of the Lottery, which was about regular folks who won the lottery and their lives (rather contorted) after that.

The title of the program just gives it away… those people who won the lottery went crazy spending all the money and quickly went back to having nothing. Aaaannnddd, it’s a curse that some-invisible-body put on those people and caused them to spend all their money! How non-sensical is that?

I perfectly understand that people can make bad financial decisions and go wild with so much money, BUT it’s their own doing, nobody forced them to do so, nobody was cursed to so such thing. Most of the time people don’t know any better, financially speaking, and think that the money will last forever… I feel sorry for them, but it’s their responsibility to manage their money wisely (or not, if they so wish) and not blame the curse for their wrongdoing. I’m pretty sure that the winners themselves don’t blame any curse for their lost money, but the media did and I just think that’s irresponsible and annoying.

The whole country is pointing the blaming finger at somebody else, whether is the war, the deficit, the obesity crisis, the educational system and so on, that we don’t need another display of irresponsible behavior being glamourized by the media. But, I know, that’s business as usual… This program really got me thinking about this growing inconsequential attitude and irresponsible (and quite arrogant) behavior I see often on TV and on the streets. Just think about Cops and Judgy Judy!

What happened to those nice and responsible Americans? Vanished? It just worries me that we have gone from picture perferct to a twisted one in a short period of time… and things are likely to continue getting stranger and stranger…