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Showing posts from April, 2015

Will Hull Park the Bus?

West Brom parked the bus and got a 0-0 result. They got very few threats but in looking at the highlights their opportunities could have been cashed in and Liverpool fans would be out on a ledge talking about a defeat at West Brom!

Hull is in a relegation battle has to decide whether to risk going for three points against a floundering Liverpool and open up the game which favors Liverpool's style of play.

More likely, Hull will park the bus and trust Liverpool slips up and concedes a goal which nearly happened against West Brom.

Is it time to really shake up the line-up?

With the short rest from the game on Saturday, time to dust off Manquillo for Johnson, give Sterling a break after all that unwanted publicity the last couple of weeks, give Gerrard the respect of starting him but have him subbed off at the half with Allen. If Borini and Lambert don't get things shaking, plug in Balotelli for one of that pair at some point in the second half. If a little more pace is needed pu…

Starting 11 and 7 Subs

It is a road match for Liverpool at West Brom.

Can't say it is "must win" in the sense the team is probably not going to slip into 4th place unless Manchester City really collapses.

But as a matter of pride, Liverpool wants to edge out Tottenham and Southampton and keep its 5th spot so in that sense, it is "must win."

My starting XI. You can see other ideas over at the Liverpool Echo.

Goalie: Mignolet
Defensive Four: Can, Lovren, Skrtel, Moreno
Midfield Three: Henderson, Gerrard, Allen
Advance Three: Ibe, Coutinho, Sterling.

Subs:
Ballotelli, Markovic, Lambert, Johnson, Toure, Manquillo, Jones.

Fans will hotly debate Gerrard's role in the starting XI. My question is simply this, does Rodgers really have a better option sitting on the bench at this moment?

Other options I considered:
3-4-3
Lovren, Skrtel, Moreno
Ibe, Henderson, Allen, Can
Coutinho, Sterling, Balotelli.

Balotelli gives Liverpool an alleged "true" striker up front. As a sub Balotelli…

Association and separation?

In life, we rarely find ourselves in 100% agreement with people. We may share similar faith perspectives but disagree on some political matters. We might side with one political party in most issues but not all issues. We might hold certain doctrines of the Christian faith with greater firmness and less on others. On lighter concerns, like sporting matters, a Dodger fan probably could not root for the SF Giants with the possible exception of the Giants vs. NY Yankees!

We face the social dimensions of this question on the bigger issues: when do we associate even if we might disagree? When do we separate because the issue of disagreement is too large.

How do we provide a framework of choosing?

In USA political life, there are two major parties and though one can be a member of the myriad of small parties, realistically, the only candidates getting elected come from the two major parties. Thus, one chooses a party based on which is most inline with one's views. No party matches us 10…

Final 6 Games of the Season for Liverpool FC - Is Rodgers on the Firing Line?

Liverpool didn't have any answers against Aston Villa.

Was it a matter of Liverpool being "found out?"
Or was it that Villa was more motivated?
In reading various match reports, it sounds like since March 16 against Swansea, Liverpool's 3-4-3 formation magic spell over opponents has been broken. Though Swansea lost that contest 1-0, I recall post-game comments suggesting that Liverpool was lucky to get the win.
Since then: Losses to Man U, Arsenal, Aston Villa Wins over Blackburn, Newcastle.
Hard core fans wanted wins over Man U and Arsenal. But realistically, beating them is asking a lot. Wins over Blackburn and Newcastle continued the positive trend of beating the teams Liverpool is supposed to beat. Theoretically, on paper, Villa is a team Liverpool should beat.
Thus, losing to Villa and the manner of the defeat was troubling. It is hard to believe that Liverpool was "out motivated" but perhaps Villa manager Sherwood has got his side believing and more c…

New Apostolic Reformation Movement - Beware?

Have occasionally heard of churches and organizations that claim they have modern day prophets and apostles. My immediate reaction is skepticism. I confess that this is an "occupational" hazard of anyone who is trained in the sciences.

Nonetheless, my concerns are two-fold, these apostles/prophets would be authority figures who could (1) potentially abuse their authority and (2) teach "novel" doctrines inconsistent or opposed to Scripture.

Have dug around a little bit and have discovered that the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) Movement is actually quite large and count some notable figures see the Wikipedia article for a quick run-down.

My first in-depth exposure to the movement was a Stand to Reason Podcast on 2/24/2015 when Greg Koukl interviewed Doug Geivett who co-authoredtwo books on the subject. Am in the process of listening to a two-part interview by Michael Boehm of Geivett's co-author Holly Pivec.

When you hear of some interesting churches or organiz…

Learning to be a Liverpool Fan, Part IV - The Hillsborough Tragedy

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15. April 15, 1989 was a dark day for football fans the world over but especially for Liverpool when 96 Liverpool fans attending the FA Cup semi-finals at Nottingham Forest were killed and 766 injured during a crowd crush.

On April 13, 2015 before the start of the match with Newcastle, all in attendance at Anfield observed a minute of silence (see video).

For more details of the disaster, see the Wikipedia article and at the Liverpool web site.

The incident is under a new investigation initiated in 2014 after many years of charges that earlier investigations were inadequate.

150 years ago - Lincoln Assassination

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The AP is reprinting the original story of that fateful evening.

excerpt:
The parting of his family with the dying President is too sad for description.

Learning to be a Liverpool Fan, Part III

12. Liverpool is an iconic UK soccer club even in the USA.

There is a North American distributor of their official merchandise http://www.anfieldshop.com. There is an Irish Pub that is the headquarters of the LA LFC Supporter Club http://joxerdalysirishpub.com.
Undoubtedly, there are pubs across the world that cater to Liverpool fans.
There are officially recognized supporter clubs throughout the world http://www.liverpoolfc.com/fans/lfc-official-supporters-clubs.

13. The Liverpool fan base has a love-hate relationship with Brendan Rodgers, the current manager since 2012.

Sounds very much like how LA Dodger fans view Don Mattingly and UCLA Basketball fans view every coach not named John Wooden.

14. Continuing on the theme of similarities to teams I follow, Liverpool (like the Dodgers and UCLA basketball) has a storied history with occasional tastes of success in recent years but yet falling short of the biggest prize.

Liverpool's most recent heartbreak was the ill-fated defeat to …

No time to panic?!

LA King fans are on the ledge. Two games left and scenarios for the Kings making the playoffs are getting thin. How about just win the next two games! Let's Go Kings!

Meanwhile LA Dodger fans in game one of the season saw the bullpen do alright. In game two, yesterday, they had a meltdown. No time to panic only two data points.

Liverpool needs a win today in FA Cup competition to restore the confidence of the team. The thrashing at the hands of Manchester United and Arsenal in their last two matches were devastating but in the end not surprising. The team needs to play its game and put away the Blackburn Rovers. I would guess the Rovers will "park the bus" and if Liverpool gets frustrated failing to score early the Rovers could steal a goal and pull off the upset. And, of course, the other scenario is for the Rovers to play to 0-0 for 120 minutes and roll the dice on PKs. My guess is that Rodgers will stick with the 3-4-3 formation for at least the first half and see ho…

Sports Roundup - Final Four

Well, UCLA got to the Sweet 16 but Gonzaga was too much for them.

Anteaters got to the last possession and a no call finished them.

Thus, as a fan of both programs, they got farther than I could have hoped.

In the end, the big upsets were in the first round but that was pretty much it. By the end of the first weekend, only UCLA was a double-digit seed still playing. And by the Final Four, it was three one-seeds (Duke, Wisconsin, Kentucky) and one seven (Michigan State). For all the talk of parity, it really still does come down big names from the big conferences that make the Final Four.

Went back to the history books:

If you look at the last 10 years (2006 to 2015), how many "surprise" teams made the Final Four?

2006 George Mason (Colonial, 11 seed)
2010 Butler (Horizon, 5 seed)
2011 Butler (Horizon, 8 seed)
2011 VCU (Colonial, 11 seed)
2013 Wichita State (Missouri Valley, 9 seed)

5 out of 40 spots (87.5%) in the Final Four of the last 10 years came from outside the big co…

Sixth Sunday in Lent - liturgy of the Palms

John 12:12-16 (NRSV) The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord --  the King of Israel!" Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: "Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!" His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. The Kingdom of God is at hand.

That is one of the themes in the Gospels and here we see that the crowds saw Jesus as a King. But what follows is the Apostle John commentating on the scene: His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.