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Corn Flakes: A Boy That Can’t Kick A Ball

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Today a break from flag protesting and the first amendment. With today’s news you get a story about a boy that can’t kick a soccer ball.

boy soccer players

I have been really fighting fatigue this week. I would have liked to do a somewhat thorough media analysis, but, I just didn’t get there. Instead I’m going to tell you a story. It’s another true story. I have tons of them. Probably just keep sharing them when I’m too exhausted to come up with something clever about college football or the issues around it.

As a plus, you need a break from all this protesting the flag, freedom of speech stuff anyway, don’t you?

Here we go...

I coached youth soccer for a decade. It was just a rec league, but as you know, kids are still competitive and the older the ones that are more competitive tend to separate themselves even more from the others.

Kids develop at uneven levels. Some may be way more coordinated than others at age seven. Some will catch up later. Some, like myself, will stay uncoordinated for their entire lives. After a couple years of experience I learned that an easy way to find out who was ahead in terms of coordination was to have the kids do ball taps. It’s a relatively simple drill, but it can tell you a lot. Rather than me explaining, here’s an advanced example of the drill I’m talking about:

One year... I’d say the boys were around 10 or 11 years old, I have a kid show up, and he can barely move his feet. It’s not like he can’t walk, but he can’t do the ball taps at all, and he really couldn’t even kick a ball. He has zero coordination. Zero.

I notice that the man who brings him video tapes me when we’re doing practice. Nobody’s ever done that before. It kind of bothers me, because I’m certainly not a licensed soccer coach and it’s not like I’m an expert. It is also an excuse to ask him about the boy so I do that.

Notice that I don’t say “ask him about his son”, because I have a strong feeling that this boy is not his son. I’m sure he’s not his stepfather either. So I ask about the videotaping, and his relationship, and why this kid can’t move his legs very well.

The guy says, “No, I’m not his father. Nobody knows where his father is. I am his Big Brother (from the organization). His mother has never gotten him involved in anything. She works full time to support them, while the boy stays at home alone and sits around playing video games, so I got him enrolled in soccer. I bought him a ball and tape these practices to show his mother so he’ll do this at home.”

I now have a clearer understanding of what I’m dealing with.

The boy works hard at practices. He plays hard in games. One day at practice, I notice two of our better players making fun of him. I catch them making jokes about how he can’t kick a ball, although the kid is improving quickly.

I look at one of them, one of our more competitive players and I say “How many goals did you score yesterday?” We scored zero goals in our last game. His response is to look at his shoes. I tell them I don’t want them making fun of someone on their own team, that everyone has different circumstances to deal with, and that, in fact, that kid is working a helluva lot harder than they are.

At the end of the soccer year, our club has a tournament. It’s not for a big prize, it’s just like a big get together. Our team is ready, we play reasonably well, but during a break in a game, I notice that the uncoordinated kid has a can of pop. I take it from him, and I throw it on the ground and tell him he can’t drink pop during soccer or it will make him sick. I tell him I’ll buy him another one after the game is over. I instruct our players to share their water with him because he hasn’t brought any. They quickly do so.

Something has changed. I look around for his Big Brother. He’s not there. There is a different guy who’s now glaring at me because I threw the kid’s pop on the ground.

After the game is over, we do our season wrap up, and during that time I point out how much the one kid has improved. The other boys all slap him on the back, and yell his name. He is a now a part of something.

Everyone departs. I ask his new Big Brother what’s going on. He explains the other guy had to move, so he’s the new Big Brother. He doesn’t look very sports-oriented.

A year comes and goes. The next year of soccer starts. Teams come together. Coaches say hello again. I looked throughout the teams for the uncoordinated kid. He’s not there.

I never saw him again.

Heart of the matter: Physicists record movement of atomic nuclei | Nebraska Today | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Physicists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and partner institutions are picking up good vibrations – via laser-driven excitations – after capturing the continuous motion of atoms for the first time.

'There's No Place Like Nebraska' is homecoming theme | Nebraska Today | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

It's homecoming week at Nebraska. Celebrating the theme "There's No Place Like Nebraska," the university's weeklong 2016 homecoming celebration kicks off with a 5K fun run and walk on Sept. 25 and ends with the Husker football game with Illinois on Oct. 1.

Green issues message affirming student-athletes’ right to peacefully protest | Nebraska Today | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

In a Sept. 28 message to campus, Chancellor Ronnie Green reiterated the university’s commitment to freedom of speech, diversity of thought, and inclusiveness.

Everyone say that we’d have every level of administrator issue statements of support for Michael Rose-Ivey and the other players, right? President Hank Bounds, Chancellor Ronnie Green, and that other guy who is head of the Board of Regents?

Kieron Williams Seeks His Own Pictures, Answers - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

Williams came to the weekly media session with a camera and a tape recorder, hoping to ask questions and get answers rather than the other way around. An Advertising and Public Relations major, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior wore a broad smile, and it wasn’t because he has six more tackles than team runner-up Nathan Gerry.

Husker Offense Sets Sights on Illinois - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

Offensive Coordinator Danny Langsdorf spoke to the media after practice to discuss the offense's preparation for the first conference home game of the year on Saturday against Illinois. He started off by praising the offensive line for stepping up and filling in for some of injured starters.

Stats Six-Pack: Illinois-Nebraska | Hail Varsity

There was a moment early this season when I entertained the idea that Illinois might be better than most imagined in its first year under Coach Lovie Smith. This was after the first game, a larger-than-expected win over Murray State, and a reminder to never make assumptions — even cautious ones — based on one game.

Tate: We've been here before | News-Gazette.com

Coach Lovie Smith said he didn’t want to watch much film of the 2015 Illini football games so he could maintain an open mind about the players.

TCR Podcast: Talking Huskers with the Big Red Cobcast - The Champaign Room

Pat and Ryan join us to talk anything from the Nebraska-Illinois matchup to Bo Pelini

BTN Tailgate bringing live show to Lincoln - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

Now 10 years old, the Big Ten Network has begun taking its Saturday pregame football show on the road. As far as lead studio host Dave Revsine is considered, it’s not a day too soon. “I think the one place we have fallen short in our 10 years is connecting as well as we could with the fans,” said Revsine, who’s been with BTN since its inception.

Big Ten

Game Preview: Penn State vs. Minnesota - Black Shoe Diaries

Can a trip back to the drawing board save the Lions from a second straight defeat?

Know Your Foe, Week 5: Minnesota Golden Gophers - Black Shoe Diaries

Penn State and Minnesota are going to go for the Governor’s Victory Bell trophy!

Iowa football's C.J. Beathard raised on football, country music

About two minutes into the music video for Kenny Chesney's 2010 hit, "Boys of Fall," five sweaty teenagers in uniforms embrace. Three of the boys stay composed as they yell. Another points, helmet in hand. And the fifth, the smallest of the bunch, jumps like a maniac, his mouth contorted between a smile and a scream.

Purdue at Maryland Preview - Hammer and Rails

Because of another rare victory under Darrell Hazell there is at least a modest amount of optimism again. Purdue did look better against Nevada. The defense has a solid day overall and, if not for four turnovers (two inside the five yard line) it wins that game going away.

Rutgers vs #2 Ohio State: Complete opponent preview - On the Banks

This one should be fun. Rutgers is set to go on the road to face the number two team in the country without their best player. The Ohio State Buckeyes are loaded with talent one both sides of the...

Know thy enemy, Rutgers: Why they love THE Ohio State - On the Banks

Yes, this week they’re the "enemy". But they are also fans - nay, people - who love their school. And as we’re doing all season, we’re telling you why. Today: O-H....I-O

Michigan State Spartans at Indiana Hoosiers Game Preview: The Old Brass Spittoon is up for grabs in prime time - The Crimson Quarry

After a calamitous outing against Wake Forest, Indiana must regroup and refocus. There are nine conference games to be played and S&P+ gives them anywhere between a 42 - 79% chance to win all but two of them, giving Indiana plenty of chances to rack up wins and become bowl eligible for the second year in a row.

Northwestern vs. Iowa: Three matchups to watch - Inside NU

Northwestern has struggled against Iowa recently, but pulling an upset this week would be a huge step toward bowl eligibility this season.

Saturday’s Wisconsin-Michigan is a huge part of the Big Ten race. Here’s how it’ll define things - SBNation.com

Big Ten win projections tell us that the East is a predictable battle between Michigan and Ohio State, but the West race could get messy.

Reasons why Wisconsin has a chance at greatness - Bucky's 5th Quarter

It’s not difficult to find positives when you’re 4-0. Let’s take a look some facts, figures and feelings.

Report: Les Miles turned down Michigan offer in 2011 - Maize n Brew

Former LSU athletic director Skip Bertman shares some inside information on Les Miles and Michigan.

Elsewhere

Will the Pac-12 have the last laugh in the TV money battle after all? (Maybe) - SBNation.com

Also, let’s check in on the likely site of the ACC Championship and Ed Orgeron’s chances of landing the full-time LSU job.

How Texas A&M’s gone from a stereotypical air raid team to a complete football team - SBNation.com

Kevin Sumlin’s Aggies look strong on both sides of the ball, thanks to some smart moves.

It takes a special player to change a team’s destiny. Lamar Jackson is special. - SBNation.com

In the recruiting rankings era, no team that fails to pass a specific benchmark has won a national title. For now.

Blake Barnett transferring, no longer with the team - Roll 'Bama Roll

Alabama’s highest-rated quarterback prospect is moving on.

This is very surprising. Not necessarily that he’d transfer, but that he’d do it at this point into the season.

These college football players spoke out about race. It’s time I do it, too. - SBNation.com

I should have the courage to stand up for what I believe is right, no matter the cost and no matter the stage.

Read this. It’s by one of our newer national writers.

Then There's This

Invasive Asian carp leaps onto restaurant tables

Feared as an invasive menace taking over U.S. waterways, Asian carp is leaping onto tabletops in Kentucky's finest dining establishments. At Ward 426, the fish surfaces as “Kentucky Carp,” a $24 special browned in butter and served atop sweet potato puree with roasted fig jam and mushrooms pickled in balsamic vinegar.

I found this interesting. This was the first year I didn’t go fishing in many, many years. Now I wonder what it’d be like to go fishing for these damned things.