If you are reading this you made it to mid-week. Congratulations.
It was great to see such positive feedback on my link to the bears in Alaska yesterday. As Jim noted in the comments it is quite a distraction, and one can easily opt to observe nature instead of focusing on tasks at hand. Watching these beautiful creatures go about their daily lives within their natural environment my mind will tangent to news stories such as the unfortunate event at the Cincinnati Zoo where a child fell into the gorilla enclosure and Harambe, a 450 lb silverback, had to be killed to save the child. There is a great lyric from "Right Where It Belongs", a Nine Inch Nails song from the CD With Teeth, that always gives me pause for that regarding zoos.
See the animal in his cage that you built. Are you sure what side you're on.
I was chatting with Jim on Slack the other day, noting how grateful I was to be writing for this blog. Years ago I wrote for another SB Nation blog Big Cat Country, but I grew tired of covering the NFL. Upon rediscovering my love for soccer I began following Newcastle. Periodically I would create a Fan Post, and some would get put on the front page. Sport is such a great escape from the seriousness of other every day events. Politics. Religion. Finance. Ethics. Academics. Family. I like myself better when not taking myself, and things, so seriously. That I focus on the aforementioned subjects is not a problem. There are, however, times in which others are perceived like a caged animal. Or is it me putting myself in a cage. We humans consist of many layers. Our natural environment is one of complex beauty. Much like the bears. Cages suck.
OK. Enough of that. Let's kick the ball.
This is the second of a two-part feature on Freddie Woodman; Newcastle United's young goalkeeper. It will be interesting to see if he fits into Rafa Benitez's future plans in light of the rumors Crystal Palace (shocking) are looking at Tim Krul. He is getting a chance to prove his worth while loaned out. Follow this link to the first installment.
The interesting take-away from this piece is this quote from the article.
Rafa Benitez is determined not to repeat the mistake of last summer, when Newcastle travelled to the US for a tiring pre-season schedule, and is instead only planning short-haul trips for his squad once they return for training on June 28.
This piece is chalked full of speculation on names we know without offering anything of substance. There are four additional names reportedly leaving, and another long suffering Geordie remaining on Tyneside. Frankly I would be fine if all these rumors became fact.
The 'next Ayoze Perez' in this instance is Spanish striker Nano. He spent last season with Tenerife, and is regarded as a promising talent. That Benitez is focused on someone with a track record is a welcomed change from the usual.
Adam Armstrong, a life long Newcastle fan and club product, scored 20 goals in 40 appearances in League One play last season. He has been viewed as a player with promise, and many would love to see him continue improving in the Championship under Benitez.
This really isn't surprising news considering the level of concern in the medical community regarding the Zika virus. Amidst all the pollution and political unrest in Brazil, however, this does warrant asking whether participating in these Olympics is even worth it. If the answer to any question is, "Well I'll freeze my sperm" you may want to reconsider the decision.