Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Strange Week

Sitting in my living room watching the pre-game analysis of the Confederations Cup Final between the US and Brazil National teams and began to think about what a strange week this has been. First we hear of the passing of Ed McMahon. I was a big fan of Johnny Carson, and of course Ed McMahon was a major part of the Tonight Show. Don't know if Ed ever said AAAYOW, but it was a good urban myth anyway.

I love pop culture. I'm 46 years old, so when I heard on Thursday that Farrah Fawcett had died, I couldn't help but think of the poster that I'm guessing that every teenager/college student had hanging in their rooms. I know I did, and Charlie's Angels was must-see tv!

Then, of course the big shocker Thursday afternoon was the death of Michael Jackson. 50 years-old, a pop-music icon. This morning I went to I-Tunes to put some Michael Jackson playlists on my I-Touch and saw that with the exception of the Black-Eyed-Peas new single and album the top ten downloaded singles and albums were Michael Jackson's. I was a fan-and was trying to figure out my favorite songs-Ben, Black or White, Billy Jean, Thriller, Pretty Young Thing. My most vivid memory of a Michael Jackson song was when my wife and I went to Las Vegas with some friends in December of 1988 (she was 5 months pregnant with our daughter) and hearing "The Way You Make Me Feel" over and over again. Michael Jackson became a very troubled individual later in life and his weirdness will be over-analyzed by the media in the coming days, but there is no denying he was one of the greatest and most influential artists of his time.

And then today I found out that Billy Mays has died. Certainly not on the same scale as Ed, Farrah and Michael, but still a surprise!

One quick note: I had an opportunity to travel to a seminar on United Way Community Impact held in Madison, Wisconsin this past week. It was hosted by the Dane County, Wisconsin United Way. I travelled with volunteers and staff from the Butler County, Ohio United Way.

The United Way in Madison, Wisconsin is doing some of the best Community Impact work in the entire country! They have been able to rally the community and it's resources to make a real difference, with results they can track and measure (graduation rates, school preparation, decreasing homelessness, access to health care etc.) They do it through faithful implementation of their process, and it's working. We plan to do the same for Butler County. Check it out


Signing off USA USA USA.......Jiresell

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Random Thoughts, Soccer, my Son etc......

I haven't blogged in a while, but have been making notes on some random thoughts I wanted to comment on:

Ohio Elite's graduating seniors-The season is over for Ohio Elite's US Soccer Development Academy teams. Most of the U18 team has graduated and are moving along to college. These young men should be very proud of their accomplishments and Ohio Elite should be proud of the development of these players. I'm looking forward to watching these players in college. Go to and check out the team page for U18 Development Academy for a list of where these young men will be going to school.

By the way, also check out the team pages for the Ohio Elite U18 Girls Academy and U18 Girls' Gold for a listing of the graduating Ohio Elite girls who will be playing college soccer-amazing! Congratulations to the entire coaching staff and the players.

US Soccer Development Academy-As a charter member, Ohio Elite just completed it's second season as a member of the US Soccer Development Academy. Player development is the goal of this program, and if one measure of development is the number of players continuing their careers in college, than Ohio Elite's 2nd year in the program would have to be considered a resounding success. And despite other clubs' in the Cincinnati area spreading misinformation about Ohio Elite (see Ohio Elite's coaches' blog), tryouts have been a resounding success, with more players than ever before coming out to play in the program. In addition, Ohio Elite continues to add to the best coaching staff in Southern Ohio, as Dave Schureck, Head men's soccer coach at Xavier University in Cincinnati and Director of Advanced Youth at Northern Warren County Alliance Soccer Club has been added as the head coach of next year's U15/U16 Development Academy team. The young men will now take their summer breaks, and join their high school teams for the Fall. I am anticipating another great season in the Development Academy next year.

I still love Twitter-If you are on twitter, and you are a soccer fan, follow these tweeters: DallasCup, ussoccer, topdrawersoccer, tweetmls, thesoccerdon, americanoutlaws, mlsinsider, mlsrumors. My favorite tweeter is obxlaw, just random tweets from a pretty funny guy. Also check out celebrity tweeters like the_real_shaq, johncmayer, miacarruthers, rainnwilson, pennjillette, andersoncooper. Oh, and don't forget to follow me, jiresell and my son, brianjsell.

Stanley Cup-Pens Win! Wow, and on Hockey Town's home ice!

Finally, my middle son (son #1) graduated high school last weekend. Congratulations! He is a writer, music lover and technology fan. He has decided to travel to Europe by himself this summer, backpack and Eurail pass in hand. I think we are going to see a Jack Kerouac "On the Road" style book come of this adventure!

Jiresell.....signing off!