The Oz Blog View about stuff while living in the Land of Oz

7Mar/12Off

The Focus of Dedication.

     During this 40 Days of Dedication so far I have attempted to go without soccer of any kind for I do not know how many days so far. That is a little weird for me to think about. I was talking with a good friend last night and he asked me, "How many days do you have left?" My response, "I don't know, can't say that I have been counting." He then asked, "Do you even know when Good Friday is?" My response, "Nope, do you have a calendar?" I have gotten into a routine of living without soccer and I know what I must do to survive. I know that I cannot look a certain channels and if I am tempted too much. Then I must turn the television off, period!

Yet, I struggle to understand why I am not keeping better track of the days. I mean this is suppose to be a 40 day experiment. Although, for some strange reason the amount of time seems irrelevant to the overall situation. I know this is for my betterment and no matter how long the time and the invest of pain, I must put in the work. I know there will be an end to this some day, so until then I will just drive-on. I am reminded of making it through some of these kind of days in the Army. I had good days and bad days, but I always knew that I was progressing towards the end of training or whatever we were doing.

Often times we do not understand the season of life that we are going through, but hind-sight is always 20/20. The Lord is always guiding us down the path that is best for us, even though that path might not seem terrific at the time. In the end the narrow road is worth the trials and tribulations, the heartache and sorrow. For the Lord was only growing and stretching us to becoming all that we could be to glorify Him.

Red Beards

**To the Ends of the Earth**

5Mar/12Off

Brain Injury Awareness Month 2012

     Have you ever hit your head hard enough to a lot of stars? Have you ever played a sport where you have 'rung your bell'? Have you ever been in a car accident where your head impacted any part of the car? If you answered yes to any of these question, then you have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). According to the Center for Disease Control, 1.7 million people  each year sustain a TBI. Let us really look at that number, 1,700,000 people who actually go to the doctor. This number does not account for the people who refuse to go or who do not even know that anything has happened to their brain. Of these 1.7 million people: 1.36 million are treated and released from the doctor, 275,000 are hospitalized as a result of the injury to their brain, and unfortunately 52,000 people die each year from their brain injuries.

If you have been watching the national news lately, a ten year old girl was killed from a TBI. The girl sustained the TBI during a fist fight at school. We of course cannot forget the men and women of the Military. According the researching that is being done 20-30% of all injuring in from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom are TBI. The US Youth Soccer organization does not support kids wearing a padded helmet. Even though statistics show that in soccer, players are just a likely to get a concussion as in football. There are many ways to injury your brain, but many of the injuries can be prevented.

The human brain is not one of those repairable objects in the world. Once you have broken your brain, you just cannot turn back the clock and fix it. People take risk that they should not and will not listen. Yet this is one area of life that if you do not listen, there is no cleaning up the mess. We must only look at professional football players, professional soccer players, people who have been in car wrecks, and people who have served in the Military. To see the results of mild to severe TBI.  The Lord gave us a wonderful gift in the human brain, please do your best not to destroy it!

Red Beards

**To the Ends of the Earth**

1Mar/12Off

Thoughts after a week of Dedication!

     The journey of self discovery and personal dedication is going very well. I am very much enjoying this time that I have to spend with my family and friends. I also have surprised myself with the levels of creativity required to fill my time up. I wasted a lot of time before now on senseless stuff and now I am starting to see other areas of my life that I need to remove to make my life better. When Pastor Bob at Maywood gave me this challenge, I did not know the truly great impact that this would have on my life.

Of course this program will only impact my life as much as I let it. For if I chose tomorrow to not put forth my best effort, then I will not get the best possible result . This is true about every aspect of life. If we do not put forth a great effort into being a parent, then we cannot expect our children to turn out as responsible adults. If you watch the news, you can see parents that have put in the minimum effort or no effort at all. This whole situation goes back to the principle: to gain much, much is required. Too many people do not want to put in the 'much' that is required to received the 'much' on the other side.

You also do not see individual people putting in the effort that is required to better themselves. People just expect to become better over night with a magic pill. Take the weight loss industry for example. There are a lot of products out there that promise tremendous results in the first week or two of use. Yet true weight loss requires a total change of life style. A person must change their eating habits and start exercising, not just take a pill. Changing your life around will not happen after only one day.

As the changes take hold, mistakes will happen because we are only human. The key for dealing with a mistake is taking responsibility for the mistake. Do not try to push off responsibility or deny the mistake, because you need to face these problems head-on. The best way to deal with the problem is early and face the problem. The worst way to deal with a problem is to let the problem fester and have the problem sneak up on you from behind.

We have to set our priorities and let nothing get in our way. We must fight for those things that we deem worthy of fighting for. Because if we do not make the situation better or model behavior for the next generation, who will? If you leave the job for something else to do, then we cannot complain  about how the job is done! But if we only start moving now, we have chance to change the future.

Red Beards

**To the Ends of the Earth**

25Feb/12Off

Is the Border War Really Over?

  How did the Border War even start? Well let's go back and look at history. Before the Civil War, men from Missouri would go across the state line into Kansas and tried to stop Kansas from becoming a Free State. The men from Missouri would try and stake a claim right before a city would take a vote, those men would vote for Kansas to become a Slave State, and then go back to Missouri after the vote was over. This tactic did not work though and Kansas became a Free State. And of course we all know about the blood shed between the Jayhawkers and Raiders. This sporting rivalry goes far deeper than just two school that do not like each other like most other schools.

The rivalry is ending this year with the University of Missouri moving to the Southeastern Conference. The Universities of Kansas, Kansas State, and Missouri have all been in the same conference for a very long time. The fans from all of these teams do not get along with each other. And this past year has been a great year of goodbyes. In football this year, each state claimed a win, KSU 24 v MU 17, MU 24 @ KU 10. Then of course is men's basketball, the state of Kansas 3 - the state of Missouri 1. (KSU 75 v MU 59, KSU 78 @ MU 68; MU 74 - KU 71, KU 87 - MU 86 OT). These six games will be the end of an era.

There has been high drama is the two KU v MU basketball games. These two games have been two of the best in the series. We as fans can only hope for a third match up this season in the Big 12 tourney. The outcome of each game was to be expected, each team won because of home-court advantage. Let us see a game on a neutral court, that will be the true test between these two teams. This is one of the best coached and hardest working MU basketball teams that I have seen in years. You also very rarely see a team shoot free-throws that well. MU fans, you have a found a great coach and have a lot of success to look forward too. KU has turned around their season very nicely. After their loset to UK early in the season, I said that KU would not win more than 23 games this season. I have been pleasantly surprised by the Jayhawks this season.

Now too address the raging fans as a result of today's game from Allen Field-house. I still hold and will always hold that every single college basketball game is officiated unevenly. One team will get more of the 50/50 calls than the other team. With this premise goes a couple of thoughts on how a team gets those calls: 1) one teams has more prestige than the other, 2) one team has higher national ranking, 3) the official likes one coach more than the other coach, 4) which team is at playing at home. These are what I feel are the main factors that affect those close calls. The officials are human and will make mistakes, they will get caught up in the moment of the game, will hold a grudge against a person, or have more respect for one person.

With the officiating in mind, let us move to the game. When the Jayhawks and Tigers played in Columbia. MU was the team that was getting those close calls. Yet when the game was played in Lawrence, KU was the team that was getting the 50/50 calls. Although, just getting calls by the officials will not win a basketball game. At the end of both games, the team that won made the plays down the stretch. Fans from the losing teams both went crazy after each game and blamed the officiating. Yet, you do not want to claim victory thanks to the officiating. But at the same time people do not blame a loss on the officiating either.

When you blame the officials, you sound like a kid who loses at video games and blames the controller. Or the golfer who says his high handicap is because of his golf clubs. Our favorite teams lose games and will lose more games in the future. There has never been a team and will never been a team that goes unbeaten throughout the team's existence. Now, I am not saying to accept losing like David Glass. But these are just sports teams and they are just playing a game. If you want to rage over something, rage about the lack of coverage for our troops! Those men and women are awesome and do not get enough coverage from us.

Red Beards

*To the Ends of the Earth**

24Feb/12Off

Day 3 of 40 without Soccer

   Well day number 2 was not an eventful day, because I had a migraine headache. Although, I did discover I had to navigate through the television chanels very carefully. I forgot about all the lesser known channels that could possible have soccer. So to not cause my self to slip, I just decided to watch Season 2 of 'Boy Meets World'. That was a very nice distraction for the day and helped me to pass the time. I did not make any mistakes in day number 2. Although, one of my good friends decided to mention me on his Twitter account. If he keeps this up, I might not be able to us my email.

I am a huge Kansas Jayhawks fan and am looking forward to the basketball game with Missouri this Saturday. Yet, I am not for sure that I will be able to watch the game. I know that I cannot listen to the game on the radio, but I do not know if CBS covers soccer. This will be the last time the Jayhawks and the Tigers play for awhile.  I will also be missing the Daytona 500 this Sunday.  I cannot go to my favorite cigar store, The Outlaw Cigar Company. The Outlaw has three huge televisions and sports on all the time in the smoking lounge.

Why am I doing this? Why did I go all in? Because without much being required, much cannot be given. If I did not go all, what was I really giving up? And truly what reward would I be able to reap? I am only able to reap what I sow. So if I give up and dedicate myself, then I have even more to gain. There is no lottery to play and hit a jackpot, there are no lucky numbers. There is only hard-work and long-suffering, too reap the benefits of the harvest.

Red Beards

**To the Ends of the Earth**

20Feb/12Off

40 Days of Dedication!

    The 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday is going to be a trying time for this individual. I am huge soccer fan. I follow Sporting KC, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich. I have coached my daughters soccer teams for the past three seasons. I have to the ability to wear a different soccer t-shirt or jersey on each of the day week. For those 40 days, I am going to give up soccer to bring balance to my life. I will be giving up all things related to soccer, except for this website. This website will be a place for me to chronicle my adventure. I will be giving up wearing soccer t-shirts and jerseys, watching soccer shows or games (which also means not being able to get information on the sports tracker; so no Fox Soccer Channel, GOLTv, or ESPN channels), no soccer video games, no soccer web-sites or web-sites with soccer information (Facebook and twitter, included). I have a feeling that is going to be very hard.

Sporting KC is getting ready to start the season and I am super excited about that. I would love to go to the first game and get the limited edition scarf. Or Keep track of both ManU and Bayern as they compete for titles down the stretch run of the season. Yet, I think that this is about finding balance for myself and becoming healthy. A person just needs to have the ability say 'no' sometimes, and not overload. I am looking for that in this coming 40 days and will be posting all about it. You too have the ability to take some time to walk away from something that is taking control of your life. There is no time like the present to take back control of your life.

 

Red Beards

**To the Ends of the Earth**

16Feb/12Off

WPSLKC Fundraising Tournament

COLOR_wpsl_logo

The idea of this midsummer tournament is to help bring awareness to the KC metro area about the WPSL (Women's Premier Soccer League) and that we are trying to form a WPSLKC team/league. The other purpose of this tournament is to help raise funds to run such a team/league for the following summer. I am sure that of the main people that will be involved in running the team and league I was not the only one that ever thought about starting something like this up, but speaking from experience of starting up a league it is easier to do with more than just one person. After the WPS suspended the 2012 season a few people came out speaking about women soccer as did I and expressing how there was a severe lack of Women's soccer in the Kansas City area after the High School level. I mean there are a few colleges, but it seems that you better be really damn good or have a large amount of money set aside to attend school. It even appears that somewhat local bigger universities (Kansas, K-State, and MU) don't even really have women's teams.

So the question was brought up about what if we could form our own league? Which is the idea that I had been toying around with for a little while as I had quite a few friends that I had come across in the last year and half that were of college age, but really didn't have anywhere to play as only two of the local community colleges had any form of soccer teams, and I think that only one of those had a women's team. I came across a person on twitter that just so happened to already be looking into the rules of the WPSL and more specifically how to run such a thing. Well I had recently been to the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) convention a couple weeks prior and learned a bit more about the WPSL and got to see a map of where all the teams were. I must say there was a lot, but I also noticed that there was what appeared to me like a void circle any where near the KC area. Since I had been playing with the idea of forming a college aged women's league before hand not knowing anything about the WPSL at the time, I thought that this would be a great opporutunity to hook up with this other individual and we started talking about the ideas. Well it seems like that we haven't had any problems getting our group to grow and even getting support for our cause. No cash money support yet, but it seems to me that it probably won't be a problem to get it started. Although I see how the final push to meet our exact goal that we set could be a problem.

As I started this I had mentioned that the idea of a tournament was to bring awareness and fundraising. This was an idea I had for this immediete summer (2012) because I knew that we would need a lot of funds to get everything kick started plus it was also clear to me that as we were discussing all this in the month of January at the time that there was no way to get a full WPSL team ready for this summer let alone a whole league which is what we are utlimately aiming for. I figured that it wouldn't not be beneficial for us to just wait to get everything ready for the 2013 summer and that we should have a small round robin type tournament to, as I keep repeating myself, bring awarness to the KC area.

My idea is to have at least 3 teams that would all play each other once in the span of a Saturday. With the MLS season in full swing at that point and Sporting KC getting a huge following of support this last season, I don't want to have to fight with that, so the best time would be June 30th, July 14th or July 28th, possibly August 4th but that one seems a bit late. We also have to take any sort of youth soccer tournament schedules into consideration, but I think that the best possible day would be June 30th.

Probably the best location would be the newer Overland Park soccer complex as it has a larger set of bleechers that would allow for the selling of tickets and could sit quite a lot of people. I don't know the exact amount, but definitely a significant amount of tickets could be sold. Other possible options would be the Blue Valley athlectic complex right across the street from the OP fields. The idea of High School fields was also brought up, but I really think that some of the High Schools during the summer would probably be less inclined to allow something like that on their fields unless it was turf. So it comes to that we would have to find High School fields that were turf and had soccer lines on them. The other thought is that with the few colleges around that we could probably approach them about hosting such a tournament. My thought also with that is that it could be like a preseason style tournament for that college team as well and allow them to possibly particpate in the tournament. That last part is still up for debate and probably wouldn't actually work, but maybe could. Guess it depends on the school.

The purpose of this tournament is to help raise money to help the WPSLKC get off the ground and so the idea is to have admission to the tournament. Honestly I am not 100% sure what we should charge and there is even the thought that we could just ask for donations and that could possibly wield better results because some people might feel compelled to give us what would amount to several possible admission tickets. There is also the thought that we could just do both, charge admission to possibly even include a pre-sale price. I would also look at possibly getting some special items and what not hopefully donated that we could then auction off or do like a raffle and that would further help increase the amount of money that we receive. I highly doubt that a single tournament like this would get us the full $50K+ that we would need for start up in 2013, but I think that it would give us a good jump of point. Especially with us planning on selling shares.

One of the most important things is the all important concession stand. A place where people can go to get food and beverages. This is obviously a necessity and will have to be figured out. This could be something that is very simple or could be a real pain in the ass if not done the right way or even ran the right way. Hopefully where ever we go we would be able to run the stand entirely on our own and not have to share any profit with some other organization. The problem with that though is if we buy too much stuff, then we have to try and figure out how to get rid of it, but I even think I have an idea for that, especially with it being the middle of the MLS season. The best thing to probably do is to hopefully buy everything up front so that we don't possibly owe any body any payment and then possibly come up short. There is probably also a good possibility of being able to get a lot of the stuff donated and thus cost us even less. We will moderately price everything so that people are encouraged to actually buy stuff from the concession stand. With the tournament being in the middle of summer I think that it would be a wise idea to provide water for free in some sort of aspect, but could still sell bottled water and probably for really cheap. I think another really popular thing would be to have candy items because that is what kids always want and with it usually being a cheaper item the parents tend to get that type of stuff for their kids.

Another possible concession that passed through my mind, but would probably be really difficult to do is the selling of beer. Again I highly doubt that we would be able to pull this off for a small tournament like this, but I do think it is something to be considered since it is technically an adult tournament and can be viewed more along the lines of a professional event rather than just some youth soccer tournament. Plus it is always a good money grab for the most part.

Something else that is a huge part of any soccer event unless you're just playing a pick up game is officiating. Well if you have ever had to deal with some thing like this then you will sometimes find out that it can be expensive. I have two ideas to potentially help lower the cost if not get rid of it completely. The first idea is that if we have three teams playing in this tournament that we could have that third team for every match serve as officials and ball people. The second is to find High School level students with experience and give them a small amount to possibly officiate the games for us. There is also that other idea that could go along with the HS student officials and that is to figure out how to pay them by giving them service credit. Like if they have to do community service to graduate or something like that. There is one other idea and that is to just try to find people that would possibly do it for free, which isn't unlikely, but I'm sure any body would prefer to get paid in some aspect.

That pretty much sums up my plan for the tournament, but I did want to make sure to bring up a few other items that crossed my mind while working on this post and that I jotted down on my notes. Putting them here will help us not forget them.
- Can could potentially be like a college showcase as well for some of the players that are looking to possibly still go to college, but haven't or left for whatever reason.
- Waivers. I am not sure with something like this if we should go ahead and have some sort of a waiver for the players and really anybody that helps us sign so that the tournament is not liable for anything that could happen.
- Fees. Something that we could also look at doing is having the players give us a small fee that would ensure that they get to play, and this would also become a significant amount that would allow us to get uniform, concessions, field space, et cetera.
- Uniforms. I was thinking that we would probably have to buy uniforms, but thinking about it more I am almost convinced that we could possibly get companies that do apparel and/or uniforms to possibly donate uniforms that would have their logos or what not on them and it would be free advertising for them.

14Feb/12Off

Prescription Medication and Alcohol

  Over the weekend Whitney Houston died from reportedly mixing prescription medication and alcohol. Houston was a very talented person, but made a very huge mistake. She was reportedly taking very strong medication. The day Houston died, she had spent several hours at the hotel bar drinking. The death of a person by mixing medication and alcohol is completely preventable.

While I was serving in the Army, I attending a lot of meeting about this very topic. Most prescription pain medications will slow down the heart of an individual. Of course, alcohol has the same effect of slowing down the heart rate of the individual consuming the drinks. Which means by taking prescription medication and by drinking alcohol, you are slowing your heart rate down by a significant amount.

Drinking alcohol has been a part of the culture of the Military for a very long time. Also, Soldiers and Marines that are suffering from PTSD often try to find comfort in the bottom of a bottle. A large number of these military personnel have physical injuries as well and are receiving prescription pain medication. During my time in the Army there was a problem with soldiers going to sleep after drinking and not waking up.

These soldier did not intend to take their lives, but they did not understand the consequences of their action. The soldiers are use to drinking and are also trying to find peace. The soldiers are also taking medicine to manage the pain in their body. They do not know the problems that they have just caused. After a couple of drinks or beers and the soldiers go to sleep, then they just do not wake up.

Whitney Houston did not understand the effects on her body. Someone around her should have known or understood the things that were happening. Whitney's case is not special, because there are people everyday who tragically die from this. And unfortunately there is not a lot of light being shone on this problem.

People should always understand what their medication does to their body. The people around them, should also understand what that person's medication does to that person's body. And if that person is doing something unhealthy, then you need to stop them. Because if the situation was reversed, would you want the other person to save your life?

Red Beards

**To the Ends of the Earth**

10Feb/12Off

Saying No to Fantasy Football

fantasy-football

This is actually a blog post that I planned on getting done quite a while ago, but I had kind of been putting it off, but I have gotten to the point that I really want to get caught up on any blog topics that I have considered, written down, or like this one kind of started.

Fantasy sports is something that is seemingly starting to take over the country and in some cases I've seen it called the Dungeons and Dragons for sports guys/nerds. Fantasy Football is probably by far the worst one with fantasy nascar or baseball coming in at a distant second. Millions of people, not just guys, play it and most play on more than one league.

I for instance have played up to three leagues at one time and if you expect to be competitive then it can be and usually is very time consuming especially on Sunday mornings. Yes church goers are fantasy players too. Not saying that I'm a church goer myself, but I know what you were thinking.

Well this past year with all the lock out stuff going on I kind of lost a lot of interest in american football altogether and decided not to really be focused on it, and so I think that goes with out saying focused on fantasy football. I must say that it was actually very relaxing not having to fight with a bunch of other people over players on what most call "my make believe" team. I think fantasy football is partially the reason why I seemed so obsessed with watching football because I felt in necessary to watch all the games and be up to date on any player I might have playing or if I was paying close attention who any of my players were going against virtually.

I had actually tried to pull away from fantasy football last season, but my addiction got the best of me and I still ended up in a league that only about 50% of the people paid attention to and I just about ran through the league with incredible ease. So I was set on trying to make sure I stayed out of it this year to just see how the experiment went and it was quite nice. It might not be as easy as that for most other people as I had something else that helped distract me very easily and that was professional soccer or what the rest of the world calls football.

If you're thinking about trying to get a way from fantasy football then I would suggest it at least for a season. I'm not saying give up all of football like I pretty much did, but stop fantasy football for at least a season and just watch your favorite team or even your favorite team and then the Sunday night or Monday night game, unless your team is good enough to play in most of those match ups, but I can almost promise you that you will thank me later.

Filed under: Misc, Oz Blog, Sports No Comments
1Jan/12Off

I_am_McBeth Plans and Goals for 2012

2012-goals

My last post was me talking about some of the awesome stuff that I got to do in 2011, so I figured this post should be about what a few of my goals are going to be in 2012. With the latter half of 2011 being so good for me I don't see how 2012 could get much better except for just doubling what I got to do. There is a possibility of a couple things making 2012 huge for me and I can only hope that they pan out for me.

Starting the year off with a bang the NSCAA convention this year in Kansas City and the MLS Superdraft and WPS draft are both here during that time in January. I have submitted for my media pass and it is looking promising but haven't been completely confirmed if I am indeed getting to go or not. There is a ton of stuff going on during that week and weekend. There is one thing that I would like to do and that is get my national coaching diploma, but I know I will miss out on that. I should however be getting the chance to go to a couple special breakfast meals to catch some great talk about soccer stuff. Not to mention getting to see both the major soccer leagues in the United States drafts.

The CONCACAF have also confirmed that there will be games played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park so I will be submitting to get a media pass to go to those games as well and of course to go along with that will be hopefully getting my pass to go back to the Sporting Kansas City games this year to cover them.

I am also starting up my own youth soccer club to convert my oldest son's soccer team over to a competitive team and hopefully to build it up by also adding other teams to the club. I have been blessed to have an amazing team with amazing parents of all the kids that have been incredibly supportive and I am just so thankful and stoked about being able to do this.

Something that kind of goes along with forming my own youth club is further developing the corporate soccer league that I started almost 5 years ago and made bigger last year by inviting other companies to join the league. I am really hoping to get to expand that out even more this year and potentially next year making it a full blown 11v11 full field league.

With all this media stuff and other soccer stuff I could only wish that I could get paid something for my time and services. Hopefully that will be something that comes along a little more down the road. Something else that I am looking at doing to go along with my blogging is podcasting, which is like an audio blog, or I should say at least get back into podcasting as I did it for a little while a couple years back and really miss it. Something else that kind of goes along with all this blogging is that I have decided that I would kind of like to write some sort of a book, so one of my big goals for 2012 is to completely write a book. Nothing huge, but probably around 50 to 100 pages to give me a very obtainable goal in my opinion.

It also looks like I have been given some of the tools to finally be able to start wood carving and a little bit of wood working as I received some stuff for Christmas to help me get into wood carving and I have already started on my first project. Wood working stuff is something that I have really wanted to get into for quite a few years now. Both my grandfathers did quite a bit of really good woodworking stuff and I would just like to try my hand at it.

Closing up for anybody that has possibly made it this far which probably isn't many people if any I have some big plans for 2012 besides turning 30 and I just think that putting them down in written form will hopefully give me more motivation to do so. I am sure that there is something that I have missed, but I know that I have it written down, but I am not currently referring to my written list of goals to write this post yet I am still insanely high on the word count for a single blog post, which I think will be one of my other goals this year and to try and create a lot more post but keep them shorter then I have been making them.

I hope that all of you are ready for the new year and have good goals or resolutions if you would like to call them that planned for the upcoming year.