Piercy, Phelps, Phillies, Phantastic Phootball Phanatics … and of Course the USWNT … and Elvis!

First (from The Writer’s Almanac), a wonderful poem by Marge Piercy to start your day with something introspective – before diving into the usual sports-centric deluge! This poem runs along the thought-path I was pursuing last night just before sleep. Guess it may be time to get reacquainted with myself … as soon as the USWNT has won its gold medal … πŸ˜‰

by Marge Piercy

It happens in an instant.
My grandma used to say
someone is walking on your grave.

It’s that moment when your life
is suddenly strange to you
as someone else’s coat

you have slipped on at a party
by accident, and it is far
too big or too tight for you.

Your life feels awkward, ill
fitting. You remember why you
came into this kitchen, but you

feel you don’t belong here.
It scares you in a remote
numb way. You fear that you-

whatever you means, this mind,
this entity stuck into a name
like mercury dropped into water-

have lost the ability to enter your
self, a key that no longer works.
Perhaps you will be locked

out here forever peering in
at your body, if that self is really
what you are. If you
are at all.

“Dislocation” by Marge Piercy from The Crooked Inheritance. Β© Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Reprinted with permission.

And now, for the sports … Michael Phelps has tied Mr. Spitz with his 7th gold medal … in a close one … a very, very close one! He beat Milorad Cavic by a hair … the difference was the choice between a glide and a half stroke. (I could not do this … on SO many levels!)

The Phillies broke their skid on the work of Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell (who dated Heather Mitts back in the day), and the Phantastic Phootball Phanatics had their draft and are ready to roll! Oh yes, and rounding out the non-USWNT news, Elvis is dead. (He was 42 years old back in 1977 when he died on 8/16. I was 24 … had no idea back then how young 42 was!)

Coaches Hug!On the soccer front, the USWNT defeated Canada 2-1 in an epic battle that spanned 4 hours, between a rain delay and OT. Next up, Japan at 9AM (ET) on Monday. Germany-Brazil is the early game. Can Brazil score the first goal on the Germans? My money is on that. And can the USWNT move through to the gold medal match? My money is on that, too. Here are the post-game quotes. And here’s Jennifer Doyle on the other games yesterday morning .. I was so soccered-out by 2PM yesterday that I was sorely tempted to take a nap! (On vacation … thankfully!)

I’m curious – how did you handle the lightning delay? I was “chatting” with Tony DiCicco … and would highly recommend that you take part in the Boston Breakers’ chat if you can, during Monday’s game. I learned a lot – for example: The Breakers (along with every other WPS team, no doubt) are in touch with Marta and her agent, Dagny Mellgren is retired and has at least one kid, Maren Meinert is coaching the German U-20 squad (and will be coaching against Tony in a tournament), etc., etc. He pretty much answered any question I asked … great way to pass the time! He will be online live at 8:30am on Monday to chat with fans before and during the Semi-final game. Click here to visit the Breakers Chat Forum.

Team Celebrates!As for yesterday’s game – I continue to be hugely impressed with Heather O’Reilly. She’s had a stellar tournament – working hard and productively and steadily. Angela Hucles has been a revelation on the pitch, as her play is rock solid and I think her passing has been superb (not to mention her goal-scoring). Who would have thought? I’m very pleased to see Chalupny back and looking strong – and have loved A-Rod’s work rate. The back line looked solid yesterday … and I was particularly impressed with Mitts’ play – how she continually won balls against much taller players. She is looking her old self! And Natasha Kai? Wow. She brings so much energy to the pitch- and then follows it up with production. You can’t ask for more! This Abby-less team is starting to click!

Beulah won’t be posting about this match but hopes to be back for the semi’s (and I hope that she is getting to see them play at least)! Lindsey Dolich put up a nice piece on ESPN Soccernet in which, among other things, she ranks the players’ performances. I pretty much agree with her take. Lauren Cheney made the most of her several minutes, while Tobin Heath did not show me why Pia has her there. Too many give-aways. Interestingly, Shannon Boxx was the Woman of the Match. Charlie HopBrew agreed with that pick, I think. Others (like Lindsey Dolich and lots of folks on BigSoccer) are seeing it very differently. Lets hope we can all agree by the end of the Oly’s that Shannon, and the rest of the team, have played their best football … adopting Pia’s style beautifully and winning the gold … that’s all!

At any rate – yesterday was a great performance by an ascendant USWNT – against an also-ascendant Canadian Team – that’s what it looked like to me. (Can’t wait to see what the Canadians are able to do post-Pellerud!)

Soooo … bobbleheads, anyone?

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2 Responses to Piercy, Phelps, Phillies, Phantastic Phootball Phanatics … and of Course the USWNT … and Elvis!

  1. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Alice – as always! (And I do hope you enjoyed the bobbleheads … speaking of dislocation!)

    I hadn’t thought about dissociation, but the two do seem closely related, huh? The dislocation seems perhaps more cultural than individual to me, though. Not-so-much trauma-based – maybe more related to lack of community, lack of roots, lack of … something? I keep thinking of that Talking Heads song where he asks (with a bit of panic in his voice), “Is this my beautiful wife?” and “Is this my beautiful house?” and “How did I get here?” Something to that effect … indeed!

    Interesting to think about whether people like Olympic athletes experience this. My guess would be absolutely not- when they are focused on their athletic pursuits (either training or competing). But in the interstices of their lives – the down times – I bet they are as subject to such feelings as the rest of us are.

    Okay, maybe not quite as much as you and me … πŸ˜‰


  2. Alice says:

    I had just read Marge Piercy’s “Dislocation” on the Writer’s Almanac website, and was so taken with it that I said to one of MY selves, I must share this with Jordan Cornblog–I think she, too, will be stunned by it, intrigued by it, provoked by it. But, JordanCornblog had already come upon it herself, no slouch she who is ever surfing and multitasking at superhuman speeds. What an interesting poem! It certainly resonates with me: lots of folks tramping around on my grave apparently. I wonder how dislocation and disassociating are related. I wonder if actors make use of these feelings in a creative way. I suspect world class athletes such as we’ve been seeing in the Olympics rarely experience the sense of dislocation that Piercy describes so well. Lots of food for thought. Thanks JordanCornblog for the morsel. I’ll be chewing on it today. First, though, another self is itching to take a closer look at those bobbleheads: they are a hoot.


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