World Cup USA Coach Bradley and Col. John McHugh

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Colonel John McHugh (1963-2010) in 1981,
playing for James Caldwell High School. He went on to play for West Poi

This past year, our university Men’s Soccer team won its first Div. 1 NCAA Tournament Game, on our home field. It was singularly the most exciting sporting event I have witnessed in 13 years on our small campus, a home game against UConn. I started going to soccer games about 4 years ago, and I mostly watched the women’s team, since my student Alessandra DeTata was doing well. I was a fair weather fan at first, trying to follow the action with little knowledge of rules. A yellow card was bad, I could tell that. And goals were good.. But this year was different, with both the men’s & women’s teams going to the tournament, and at both games I cheered until my voice was gone and my bones were frozen from the 40 degree rainfall conditions. And now the World Cup means even more, when 4 years ago I didn’t watch any of it, even preview commercials.

There is nothing like seeing a game in person, smelling the grass, whether its soccer or baseball, which is the reason I drive to Citizen’s Bank Park to root for my baseball mistress(the Phillies–more about that tomorrow).The talent, technique, physical intensity, speed and also the emotional extremes all have found a place under my skin, and with my students playing, the game has grown roots in my heart. As Coach Bradley and the players take the field today, I will watch with that and with the addition of a heavy heart after the death of my brother’s friend, John. In a blog article in the New York Times, Coach Bradley’s ties to John were revealed:
Soccer Blog: Coach Bradley

Long Live the competitive, beautiful spirit of John McHugh and

Notes: I would not be following my duties or my thoughts if I didn’t talk Sox. The good game, bad game trends, the high and lows continue at Fenway. Today is filled with the anticipation about whether we can get two solid starts in a row from Dice-K and also two consecutive good starts in the Lackey-Dice combo. Somehow I  knew our bats would explode at Fenway against Moyer, but I wasn’t thinking we would tune up to 12 runs. And there was Mikey Lowell hitting one over the monster with only his hands. The price of admission for that hug between he and Papi.Looking forward to more bombs today. Blanton can be tough but if he misses with a fastball, the fans in the Green Monster seats better keep their hands free of the beers they are drinking when the Red Sox are batting. GO RED SOX!

On the ipod, a painfully timely song: Day After Tomorrow, Tom Waits


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