Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Daily Silliness

http://ping.fm/Zc8F8

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Daily Silliness

hahaha, weather service takes snow out of forecast, snow begins an hour later, weather service puts snow back in forecast after snow stops

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Daily Silliness

some people are here to make a living, some are here to live ~ Vince Bell

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Daily Silliness

putting one in one's place -- "In addition, he refuted reports that Sarandon is dating her business partner, Jonathan Bricklin, an aspiring filmmaker and ping pong aficionado." -- ABC News

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

COM: Yay! Kerrville in the National News!

911 caller: Husband won’t eat dinner
Authorities reviewing woman’s frequent use of emergency number
The Associated Press, updated 5:51 p.m. CT, Wed., Dec . 23, 2009

KERRVILLE, Texas - Prosecutors planned to review the case of a woman authorities claim has called 911 30 times over six months for non-emergency reasons, including a call to complain that her husband refused to eat his dinner.

Last Friday, the woman allegedly made a pair of calls to 911, including a hang-up and another where a woman was heard screaming.

Police were dispatched to the residence and officer Paul Gonzales said she told police that "her husband did not want to eat his supper." A police report said the 53-year-old woman was also yelling "about things that happened two weeks ago."

The woman now faces charges of 911 abuse.



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COM: Santa makes an early visit

Thanks to Austin technology company S3 and Huffington Post Columnist Jim Moore, Santa (S3 CTO Mark Davies) flew in to Kerrville Municipal Airport Monday to spend the day with our kids and hand out stockings and gifts. S3 DEO Jack Holt and a host of Elves drove in from Austin to complete the North Pole entourage.





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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Daily Silliness

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, first one ever found in the United States, just reported from the Valley . . . thanks Mary!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Daily Silliness

http://ping.fm/p0vQe

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Daily Silliness

@FakeAPStylebook -- Only use the word "proactive" if it will dynamically impact your synergistic throughput paradigm.

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The Daily Silliness

this story, via and about phlezk, is simply amazing if you ask me -- http://ping.fm/9jL4C

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Daily Silliness

evil lurks in craft stores . . . who knew? . . . http://ping.fm/bNTd4

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Daily Sadness

well Tivy lost to Brenham in the state semifinals . . . Great season though!

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The Daily Silliness

http://ping.fm/qCDYI

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Friday, December 11, 2009

GSQ: A Christmas Carol Opens Toinght!

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NAT: Texting Language

Texting, a language in very rapid evolution

D. Murali,
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Why did texting become so popular so quickly? Partly because texting was less expensive than voice on mobiles, reasons David Crystal in ‘Txtng: The Gr8 Db8’ (www.oup.com). Apart from the economic factors, it was the nature of the communicating medium itself that proved appealing, he continues.

“Among young people, in particular, texting quickly emerged as an index of belonging… I would also expect texting to become an index of prestige, within a group, as some members develop special kinds of expertise, such as texting speed or creative coinages.”

Then there are the communicative strengths of the medium, notes Crystal. “Texting is far more immediate, direct, and personal than alternative methods of electronic communication. It is more convenient than instant messaging, where both sender and receiver have to be sitting at their computers.”

He finds that there are many circumstances in which texting offers a novel opportunity for communication, a welcome alternative to speech in noisy environments such as bars and night-clubs. “In the street or on public transport, it permits a level of privacy which some cultures (such as the Japanese) highly value.”

Texting has added another dimension to multitasking, the author informs. “People text while doing something else, such as watching television, listening to a lecture, attending church, and driving. Teachers have frequently observed students texting in class while reading a book, writing an essay, or even carrying out a scientific experiment.”

He postulates that texting could be meeting a new communicative need in a society where pressures on time and short attention spans are increasingly the norm. The medium appeals to people who do not want to waste time engaging in the linguistic hand-shaking that is needed in traditional face-to-face or voice telephone conversations – what has sometimes been called ‘phatic communion’ in linguistics, explains Crystal. “Directness has become normal and everyday in English texting. You can send me a text which gets to the point immediately, and I won’t feel you have been impolite.”

Decrying the popular impression, created largely by the media, that the written language encountered on mobile phone screens is weird, the author looks back at some of the labels used in news stories and opinions about texting, thus: textese, slanguage, new hi-tech lingo, hybrid shorthand, digital virus, and outlandish.

He decodes that texters have evidently intuited a basic principle of information theory: that consonants carry much more information than vowels. “We are unused to vowelless writing in English, but it is a perfectly normal system in several languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew. And even in English there have been many demonstrations to show that a piece of text with vowels omitted is intelligible, whereas one with consonants omitted is not.” Texting may be using a new technology, but its linguistic processes are centuries old, concludes Crystal.

Fascinated by texting, he describes it as the latest manifestation of the human ability to be linguistically creative and to adapt language to suit the demands of diverse settings. It is an instance of a language in very rapid evolution, still to become codified, with no ‘house style’ as in newspapers or journals.

Texting is getting into speech, too. For example, a 2007 commercial called ‘My bff Jill’ for Cingular on US television, which achieved cult status, uses text abbreviations such as bff (best friend forever). “And the other day I heard an adult say imho ‘in my humble opinion.’ Most of these innovations will probably die away; but some may live on, and add new acronyms to the spoken language.”

Engaging style.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Daily Silliness

Can't Afford to Drive My Car

http://ping.fm/KuKXT

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GSQ: A Christmas Carol Opens Friday!

Tomorrow (Friday) is opening night of Dan Groat's amazing one-man show Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol -- Warrior Theatre, Ingram 7:30 -- you really don't wanna miss this one! -- brought to you by Guadalupe Stage Quartet . . .

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MRF: Irec Strikes Again!

check out the cast in this! http://ping.fm/d6chN

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The Daily Silliness

FakeAPStylebook To "impeach" is to charge an elected official of a crime. To throw peaches at someone until they die is simply to "peach."

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The Daily Silliness

If they put up christmas decorations in hell . . .

oh my, can you spell OCD -- http://ping.fm/fmKIC

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

COM: Huge news from Interior

Office of the Secretary - U.S. Department of the Interior - www.doi.gov - News Release
Date: December 8, 2009
Contact: Kendra Barkoff, 202-208-6416
Frank Quimby (202) 208-7291
Melissa Schwartz (DOJ) 202-514-2007

Secretary Salazar, Attorney General Holder Announce

Settlement of Cobell Lawsuit on Indian Trust Management

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a settlement of the long-running and highly contentious Cobell class-action lawsuit regarding the U.S. government's trust management and accounting of over three hundred thousand individual American Indian trust accounts.

“This is an historic, positive development for Indian country and a major step on the road to reconciliation following years of acrimonious litigation between trust beneficiaries and the United States,” Secretary Salazar said. “Resolving this issue has been a top priority of President Obama, and this administration has worked in good faith to reach a settlement that is both honorable and responsible. This historic step will allow Interior to move forward and address the educational, law enforcement, and economic development challenges we face in Indian Country.”

“Over the past thirteen years, the parties have tried to settle this case many, many times, each time unsuccessfully," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "But today we turn the page. This settlement is fair to the plaintiffs, responsible for the United States, and provides a path forward for the future.”

Under the negotiated agreement, litigation will end regarding the Department of the Interior’s performance of an historical accounting for trust accounts maintained by the United States on behalf of more than 300,000 individual Indians. A fund totaling $1.4 billion will be distributed to class members to compensate them for their historical accounting claims, and to resolve potential claims that prior U.S. officials mismanaged the administration of trust assets.

In addition, in order to address the continued proliferation of thousands of new trust accounts caused by the "fractionation" of land interests through succeeding generations, the settlement establishes a $2 billion fund for the voluntary buy-back and consolidation of fractionated land interests. The land consolidation program will provide individual Indians with an opportunity to obtain cash payments for divided land interests and free up the land for the benefit of tribal communities.

By reducing the number of individual trust accounts that the U.S must maintain, the program will greatly reduce on-going administrative expenses and future accounting-related disputes. In order to provide owners with an additional incentive to sell their fractionated interests, the settlement authorizes the Interior Department to set aside up to 5 percent of the value of the interests into a college and vocational school scholarship fund for American Indian students.

The settlement has been negotiated with the involvement of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It will not become final until it is formally endorsed by the court. Also, Congress must enact legislation to authorize implementation of the settlement. Because it is a settlement of a litigation matter, the Judgment Fund maintained by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Treasury will fund the settlement.

“While we have made significant progress in improving and strengthening the management of Indian trust assets, our work is not over,” said Salazar, who also announced he is establishing a national commission to evaluate ongoing trust reform efforts and make recommendations for the future management of individual trust account assets in light of a congressional sunset provision for the Office of Special Trustee, which was established by Congress in 1994 to reform financial management of the trust system.

The class action case, which involves several hundred thousand plaintiffs, was filed by Elouise Cobell in 1996 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and has included hundreds of motions, dozens of rulings and appeals, and several trials over the past 13 years. The settlement funds will be administered by the trust department of a bank approved by the district court and distributed to individual Indians by a claims administrator in accordance with court orders and the settlement agreement.

Interior currently manages about 56 million acres of Indian trust land, administering more than 100,000 leases and about $3.5 billion in trust funds. For fiscal year 2009, funds from leases, use permits, land sales and income from financial assets, totaling about $298 million were collected for more than 384,000 open Individual Indian Money accounts and $566 million was collected for about 2,700 tribal accounts for more than 250 tribes. Since 1996, the U.S. Government has collected over $10.4 billion from individual and tribal trust assets and disbursed more than $9.5 billion to individual account holders and tribal governments.

The land consolidation fund addresses a legacy of the General Allotment Act of 1887 (the “Dawes Act”), which divided tribal lands into parcels between 40 and 160 acres in size, allotted them to individual Indians and sold off all remaining unallotted Indian lands. As the original holders died, their intestate heirs received an equal, undivided interest in the lands as tenants in common. In successive generations, smaller undivided interests descended to the next generation.

Today, it is common to have hundreds—even thousands—of Indian owners for one parcel of land. Such highly fractionated ownership makes it extremely difficult to use the land productively or to provide beneficial use for any individual. Absent serious corrective action, an estimated 4 million acres of land will continue to be held in such small ownership interests that very few individual owners will ever derive any meaningful financial benefit from that ownership.

Additional Information is available at the following sites: www.cobellsettlement.com.
The Department of the Interior website: www.doi.gov. The Office of the Special Trustee website: www.ost.doi.gov



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ATH: US Chances in South Africa

from the US National Team Players Association

Bradley And Capello On USA - England

US National Team Coach Bob Bradley: “It gives us a great opportunity to challenge ourselves in the first game. Believe me, we know that Algeria and Slovenia are very good teams and we have respect for what they accomplished. We’ll do our preparation and prepare our team. It's a four-year period of growing and we've played very tough teams along the way. We have the experience of the Confederations Cup. I think the final round of qualification in CONCACAF was a good challenge. I think these things work in a positive way to make sure that when we arrive here in June, everybody is ready to go.”

England Manager Fabio Capello: “Well, we played in Wembley last year in a friendly game, also against Slovenia, and they were both very good games. But I think the next game that we play here will be different. I know that the USA played here in June, played very well. I saw a lot of the games, saw them beat Spain, I do not think it will be an easy game. And another thing about the USA is that they will have more time to prepare and work hard.”

Early Scouting Group C

By Clemente Lisi -- World Cup draws have traditionally not been kind to the United States. That tradition (finally!) came to an end Friday in Cape Town.

Trying to predict which teams the US would be pitted against in the first round of next year’s World Cup was nearly impossible on the eve of the draw. What many expected was a tough group -- even “Group of Death” tough -- after the Americans were placed in Pot 2 on Wednesday by FIFA. That left the prospect of getting drawn into a group with seeded sides like Brazil or Italy and joined by a European team such as Portugal or France.

Instead, the US avoided a nightmare first round and ended up in Group C with the manageable trio of England, Algeria and Slovenia. This may be the most favorable draw the US has ever received at a World Cup and not getting to the second round will be seen as a lost opportunity.

Here is a quick look at the USA’s three opponents as the pundits spend the next six months picking apart the eight groups:

England

Landon Donovan faces a familiar face in Los Angeles Galaxy teammate David Beckham and against an England squad that is always considered one of the favorites to win it all. Perennial underachievers since lifting the World Cup at home 43 years ago, England are coached by former AC Milan and Real Madrid manager Fabio Capello. He is rightly considered one of the best in the World.

The England players are very familiar to American fans of the Premier League – such as Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard – and to a group of US players who play in England. Tim Howard knows these opponents from his weekly meetings against them with his club Everton. Ditto for Fulham’s Clint Dempsey and Hull City’s Jozy Altidore. The encounter could go either way and should make for a riveting opening game.

Way Too Early Prediction: USA 1 - England 1

Slovenia

Winners of a two-match playoff against Russia, the former Yugoslav republic were surprise qualifiers for the 2000 European Championship (after defeating Ukraine in a playoff) and 2002 World Cup (after defeating Romania in a playoff). A team that is no stranger to pulling upsets in qualifying, Slovenia has achieved little once it reaches major tournaments.

A well-organized squad that features a tenacious defense and counterattacking offensive skills, Slovenia is led by striker Milivoje Novakovic, who has scored 13 goals in 36 appearances. His five goals during 2010 Qualifying were key. This is a squad the US can beat and should beat if it hopes to earn a second round berth.

Way Too Early Prediction:

USA 3 - Slovenia 2

Algeria

The North Africans survived a tough, one-game playoff against favorites Egypt to qualify for the finals. The weakest of the African teams to reach the World Cup, Algeria is another opponent the US can beat.

Leading the team are a group of English-based players: Portsmouth defender Nadir Belhadj, Hull City midfielder (and Altidore teammate) Kamel Ghilas, and Blackpool’s French-born striker Hameur Bouazza. The Algerians, accustomed to the heat, are at a notable disadvantage playing in the chilly South African winter. The Algerians qualified for the 1982 and 1986 World Cups – and both times they failed to get past the round-robin stage.

Way Too Early Prediction:

US 3 - Algeria 1


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ATH: World Cup by the Numbers

From the US National Team Players Association

Ten 2010 World Cup Facts

By Clemente Lisi -- The World Cup is loaded with facts and figures. While Cape Town prepares to host the 90-minute final draw Friday with all the trappings of an Academy Awards ceremony (Oscar winner Charlize Theron will co-host) before a global TV audience of 200 million, the numbers reveal that the 2010 tournament will be one for the record books.

“We’re confident that our preparations for the tournament are going extremely well,” Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the 2010 World Cup, told FIFA.com. “Now, it’s time to focus on the teams and the stars coming to South Africa 2010, for the global football World to see who their teams will be up against and for our host cities and residents to gear up to welcome the teams that will be heading their way.”

With the final draw upon us and the World Cup 190 days away, here is a zero to 10 guide surrounding the tournament:

0

As in the number of times an African nation has hosted the World Cup. South Africa, a soccer and rugby-mad nation, will make history by being the first.

1

As in teams that will make their World Cup debuts next year. Slovakia is the only team in the 32-nation field to make its first-ever tournament appearance. The last time that occurred was in 1950, but there were only 13 participants at that edition. In 2006, six nations -- Ukraine, Ivory Coast, Angola, Ghana, Togo, and Trinidad & Tobago -- made their debuts.

2

As in the times Brazil has captured the World Cup outside its own continent (none of the other six winners have ever done so). It occurred twice: 1958 in Sweden (featuring a 17-year-old Pele) and 2002 in Korea/Japan. Most bookmakers favor Brazil to lift the trophy next year.

3

As in the number of bids South Africa had to overcome in order to get the World Cup. South Africa received 14 votes from FIFA’s executive committee in May 2004, while Morocco had 10 and Egypt 0. Tunisia and Libya withdrew after FIFA ruled it would not consider joint bids. South Africa lost to Germany when both bid for the 2006 tournament.

4

Thierry Henry’s blatant handball (one of the biggest injustices since Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal against England at Mexico ’86 and German defender Torsten Frings’ hand preventing the US from scoring in the quarterfinals of Korea/Japan 2002) may have helped France overcome Ireland in the European playoffs last month, but the striker could also become the first Frenchman to play in four finals if he makes the team’s roster next Summer. Truth is, Henry should be invited to the draw to handle the plastic balls.

5

As in the number of referees that were considered for each FIFA World Cup game. The proposal, following the Henry controversy, needed to be approved by the International Football Association Board, the sport’s rule-making body. Instead, it didn't get that far with FIFA leadership quickly taking the plan off the table.

6

All six confederations will be represented in 2010. The last time that occurred was Spain ’82 when New Zealand qualified for the finals. At the time, Australia was a member of Oceania. The Aussies switched confederation two years ago and are now part of Asia.

7

The 2010 tournament should be the most competitive ever given that all seven teams that have won the tournament in the past qualified this year for South Africa: Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, England and France. The last time this occurred was Korea/Japan 2002. Brazil has qualified for all 19 finals – the only country to ever do so – and will keep that streak alive as host nation in 2014.

8

As in the number of seeded teams. FIFA (hush-hush about the system until Wednesday) has determined that South Africa will be seeded, along with Italy, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Germany, Holland and England. For the first time, the top eight were determined solely by October’s FIFA rankings, and not by performance at any previous World Cup. The Bafana Bafana have won just one game over the past seven months and are the lowest ranked team – currently No. 86 -- ever seeded. The US has only been seeded in 1930 and again in 1994 when they played host.

9

As in the number of cities that will host games over the 31-day tournament: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Polokwane, Nelspruit and Rustenburg.

10

As in the number of stadiums that will host matches: Johannesburg (Soccer City Stadium and Ellis Park), Cape Town (Green Point Stadium), Durban (Moses Mabhida Stadium), Pretoria (Loftus Versfeld Stadium), Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Stadium), Bloemfontein (Free State Stadium), Polokwane (Peter Mokaba Stadium), Nelspruit (Mbombela Stadium) and Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng Stadium). Soccer City Stadium, where the final will be played on July 11th, was built in 1987 and hosted a rally for Nelson Mandela following his release from prison in 1990.



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Friday, December 04, 2009

ATH: The Draw!

Bring On Beckham! U.S. Gets Favorable World Cup Draw
Americans to Play England in World Cup Opening Game
By MATTHEW JAFFE, Dec. 4, 2009

The United States soccer team will kick off this summer's World Cup in South Africa against a formidable former -- former world champions England.

But the group in which the Americans were placed during Friday's draw in Cape Town also features two more manageable opponents in Slovenia and Algeria -- neither a traditional world soccer power.

The top two teams in each of the eight opening-round groups advance to the tournaments knock-out stages, with the goal of being crowned world champions.

Sam's Army -- the unofficial rabid fan club of the U.S. national soccer teams -- will see the squad in action starting June 12 in Rustenberg against England, a rematch of the the U.S. team's 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 World Cup. Sixteen years later, England won the world title.

The U.S.-England match-up could pit club teammates Landon Donovan and David Beckham against one another, a pair who have already squared off in media headlines.

Donovan and Beckham have played together with Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy the past three seasons, but their relationship was strained by critical comments Donovan made in Grant Wahl's book, "The Beckham Experiment."

Beckham, the former England captain, attended Friday's draw.

Former U.S. national team player and ESPN Soccer Analyst Alexi Lalas said the Americans should be ecstatic about a draw that features relative lightweights Algeria and Slovenia.

"It's awesome. I can't believe it," Lalas said on ESPN. "You knew you were going to get somebody big, but I thought you'd get two big teams."

Instead, the only world power in the Americans' group is England.

It was Lalas who -- as the Galaxy general manager -- brought Donovan and Beckham together in Los Angeles. After patching up their off-the-filed differences, the duo failed in their bid to win the MLS title this year, losing the championship game on penalty kicks to Real Salt Lake.

Brazil Placed in 'Group of Death'
Today's draw produced a number of other intriguing pairings, including an ominous "Group of Death" that includes five-time World Cup champion Brazil, European powerhouse Portugal, African titans the Ivory Coast, and North Korea in Group G. The Brazil-Portugal game appears on paper to be the best opening-round match-up.

The draw also produced a tough opening-round group for the host nation. In Group A, South Africa will play France, Mexico and Uruguay.

There are also some mouth-watering potential second-round match-ups. If England and Germany both advance to the knock-out stages, then they could meet in a second round elimination game. A similar scenario exists in Groups G and H -- which could pit world powers Spain and Brazil -- widely regarded as the two best teams in the world -- against each other in the second.

If Spain and Portugal meet in the second round, the game would pit Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo -- the world's most expensive player -- against a handful of his teammates at club level with Spanish giant Real Madrid.

Defending champions Italy were drawn into a favorable opening group, pitting the "Azzurri" against New Zealand, Paraguay and Slovakia.

U.S. Looks to Rebound from Disastrous '02 World Cup
The U.S. team is coming off a hugely disappointing effort at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The Americans lost their opening game to the Czech Republic, tied Italy, and lost their final group game to Ghana, failing to advance beyond the opening round.

The U.S. will head to South Africa with bittersweet memories of their last trip there. Last summer the Americans shocked the world by knocking off European champions Spain in the Confederations Cup, an eight-team warm-up tournament.

The victory over the Spaniards -- who had been riding a 35-game unbeaten streak -- was one of the greatest wins in U.S. soccer history, and the Americans looked to be on the verge of completing their Cinderella run when they jumped out to a surprising 2-0 lead over Brazil in the championship game. But "la Canarinha" rallied in the second half for a 3-2 win to clinch the title.

To embark on a similar run this summer, the Americans will have to overcome a series of serious injury questions. Star defender Oguchi Onyewu is currently rehabilitating a serious knee injury, much to the chagrin of his club team, European giants AC Milan. Star striker Charlie Davies is also out with a long-term injury, the result of a severe car accident this fall outside of Washington, D.C.

The Americans boast attacking firepower with forwards Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Donovan. Michael Bradley -- the coach's son -- leads the midfield, while defender Carlos Bocanegra has been a mainstay at the back for years.

If there is one position when the Americans can truly lay claim to ranking with the world's it is at goalkeeper. Tim Howard is the team's first-choice between the pipes after taking over for long-time net-minder Kasey Keller. Howard plays his club soccer in England's Premiership with Everton.

The 32 national teams have more than six months to prepare for the tournament, with soccer's biggest showcase kicking off on June 11 when South Africa faces Mexico in the opening game. One month later, on July 11, the World Cup will be presented to the tournament's champions, an honor far more valuable than the accompanying $31 million prize. As they say, to the victors go the spoils.


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Thursday, December 03, 2009

FYI: Program Cover Markups



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