#BuckFiftyADay Since March, 2014

#BuckFiftyADay Since March, 2014

Thursday, January 29, 2015

#BuckFiftyADay: Stop Telling Me What's Wrong with Youth Sports

Teammates, friends for life.
Every day, it seems, I read another story on all that’s wrong in youth sports. We are pushing our kids too hard! Let them have fun! I could go on and on, but I’d use up the entire buck-fifty. So, I’ll cut to the chase. What’s right for me, might be wrong for you. What’s right for you, might be wrong for me. I played sports like my life depended on it, from the age of 10-19. Agonized over bad days, lost sleep worrying about the next game. Big deal! Today, in large part because of all I poured into trying to be a good athlete (I was NOT a good athlete), I have life long friends who don’t remember if I booted a groundball to cost our team a game, or delivered a game-winning hit. What they do remember is that we gave everything we had for each other.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

#BuckFiftyADay: If You Only Knew Him Like I Know Him

Sometimes I think if you only knew. If you only knew about the former players who’ve told me he changed their lives, inspired them to be better players, better people, to stop drinking or doing drugs. If you only knew about the texts that come, often from players who barely speak English, to thank him, because they just got called up to their national team for the first time, or because his words, which maybe didn’t make sense when he coached them, now make perfect sense. If you only knew that coaching is so much more than putting on a nice suit on the sidelines on game day and looking the part. That coaching is time spent preparing to speak to players, because you know every word counts, every word has the potential to inspire or deflate. If you only knew him like I know him… But no, that’s impossible.

Friday, January 23, 2015

#BuckFiftyADay: My Brother Bob's First Words on the Hall of Fame

By Bob Bradley

I've not said one word about the Hall of Fame, so today I'll offer up a few with a guest appearance on my brother’s #BuckFiftyADay blog, starting things off with two names. Walter and Manfred. You see, long before my journey took me through places like Cairo and Oslo this ride began in my VW Rabbit, which I'd drive from Princeton to Union where I'd jump into Manfred Schellscheidt's Rabbit and make the four-hour trip to State College with a Union Lancer team or Region I team, or a pickup team, for a game at Penn State. Walter Bahr's Penn State. Manfred always made sure we'd spend a few hours at the Bahr home where we'd be welcomed by Walter's beautiful wife Davies. Sitting in the living room, a young coach had the amazing opportunity to listen to two great men discuss experiences, challenges, ideas and wishes for our game. Doing it with intelligence, humor and humility. I'll never forget their wisdom. I hope those two Hall of Famers know how much it meant to me. Congratulations also to Kristine Lilly and Brian McBride on your induction.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

#BuckFiftyADay: Every Day I Write the (Fatherhood) Book

I’ve never read a book on fatherhood or parenthood, I guess, because I find it hard to believe that there’s a book worth reading. A book on fatherhood would have to be written in pencil and you’d need plenty of erasers on hand. Or, it would have to be written on a Word document, so you could continually make changes. What I did right today may not work tomorrow. Words that didn’t get through last week suddenly registered today, but will probably evaporate soon. Sometimes yelling works. But yelling too much becomes a din. Sometimes a quiet mentoring session resonates. Sometimes you see your son glancing at his phone. I’ve been at this for 18 years and every day is a new test, a new challenge. The only thing I could write that would hold up is this. I love every single minute of it, even on the worst days.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#BuckFiftyADay: No Access, Favor or Discretion = Anything Goes

I like Deadspin.com. I swear, I do. I like Deadspin because it’s entertaining and it’s informative and because they clearly have a hard-working staff. That’s apparent because of the volume of content, which is ever-changing and always fresh. But if you’re going to be a Deadspin fan, like me, I think it’s important to understand their motto: “Sports News without Access, Favor or Discretion.” What they’re saying, really, is “anything goes.” They occasionally nail a true investigative piece, but it could play alongside a story about a fan taking a dump in a plant. The motto is a catch-all. They don’t want access because with access comes accountability. They favor no one, because, well, why would they? And the “Discretion” part gives them license to not really give a crap what anyone thinks. So, I like Deadspin. But I know what it is. It’s a little bit of everything.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

#BuckFiftyADay: Saying Goodbye to the Long Run

At the age of 37, I ran my first marathon. Over the next 13 years I ran 26.2 miles a total of six times. I am not one of those people who thinks finishing a marathon is a big deal. My typical response when someone says, “Wow!” or “That’s amazing!” is to say, “Oprah and P-Diddy ran marathons.” I fell in love with marathoning not because I was good at it (personal best: 3:28...personal worst: 4:13), but because I loved the process of preparing. I’d usually train for four months and the feeling two months in, when you were 10 miles into a 12-mile run, cruising, and thinking back to when you struggled to run five, was awesome. Sadly, as I type this, my body can’t handle the training anymore. I still work out, try to keep in shape, but nothing will replace the long run.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

#BuckFiftyADay: MLS or Europe? It's Complicated

I’m amused at how many Answer Men we have among our soccer fanbase these days. People - good people I am sure - who think they know everything about what’s good for the game in our country. You’d think the questions were easy, so proficient they are with the solutions. Within my self-imposed 150-word limit I can’t get into it all, so let’s just focus on everyone’s current fascination with our national team players’ choosing between Europe vs. MLS. The answer is so simple, it’s complicated...see what I did there? Here’s what is simple. It’s not one-size-fits-all. For some players, being at the right club in the right league in Europe is exactly what’s needed. But for others, a key role on an MLS team serves them better. Making matters more complicated, in both MLS and Europe...no one on either side has all the answers right or wrong.