The World Cup at the AADL

I’m not normally much of a professional soccer fan (I prefer baseball), but I do like it when the U.S. team wins in world sports! Team USA has made it past the first stage at this year’s World Cup in South Africa, and will play Ghana tomorrow in the Round of 16. If they win, they continue on; if not, they go home. In honor of the U.S. team’s success thus far, here are a few books and movies at AADL about past World Cups:

The Game of Their Lives – The remarkable story of the 1950 U.S. World Cup team, made up of semiprofessionals, which defeated the powerhouse English team in the so-called “Miracle on Grass”, one of the greatest upsets in sports history. (Just like the Miracle on Ice, only soccer instead of hockey!)

Love and Blood: at the World Cup with the Footballers, Fans, and Freaks – A journalist’s account of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, full of funny anecdotes and colorful history.

Sixty-Six – An English boy’s bar mitzvah is overshadowed by the 1966 World Cup final, in which England will play Germany that same day. Starring Helena Bonham Carter.

The Year My Parents went on Vacation – Portuguese-language film about a young Brazilian boy whose parents go into hiding from the repressive military government at the same time that all of Brazil is excited for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico (which Brazil won).

We Wuz Robbed!!


Galarraga DID pitch a PERFECT game. Even umpire Jim (insert nickname here) Joyce admits he made one of the WORST calls in MLB history. Video clearly shows Galarraga had Donald out at first. In the 135-year history of MLB only two perfect games have been thrown in the same season, 1880. In 2010, there were three.

Master the Art of Juggling

Perhaps one of the more important questions to ponder on a rainy day: How long has mankind been perpetually throwing objects into the air for a sustained length of time (a.k.a. juggling)? A hundred years? Two hundred? Try 4,000 years. We're talking about Ancient Egyptians here, not only known for their early embalming techniques, but also for their master juggling skills.

If you'd like to become a part of this esteemed legacy, then the 2010 Ann Arbor Juggling Arts Festival this Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Wide World Sports Center is the event for you. Replete with workshops, games, and open juggling, the Festival is open to jugglers of any ability.

Concerned that your handling techniques aren't up to snuff? Across the road from the Sports Center is the AADL Pittsfield Branch, where you can pick up some juggling learning materials, like the DVD, How to Juggle and Other Cheap Tricks, or the book, Pathways in Juggling, or any of the other juggling materials in the library's collection. Place your requests today by logging into My Account, or giving us a call at (734) 327-4219, or coming in to any of our five locations.

The Long Goodbye: Ernie Harwell January 25, 1918 — May 4, 2010


For the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the song of the birds has come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

Opening day, every day, he embodied the best of the best game in the world.

Nimrod Nation, on DVD

Nimrod Nation is an 8-part documentary series that originally aired on Sundance. In the small rural town of Watersmeet, Michigan, the two most popular things on the minds and lips of the townies are basketball and hunting. The town is pretty much obsessed with the school basketball team called the Nimrods. George Peterson is the team coach, the high school principal, and the father of one of the players. The series is an intimate look at small town life, the residents, and high school basketball. I don’t know how I randomly found this DVD, but I’m glad I did, as it is original and heartfelt. Check out the DVD, or have a peek at clips from various episodes here.

Runners Take Your Mark

Runners across Ann Arbor have come out from treadmill hibernation and are taking to the blooming Gallup Park path and other popular running routes throughout the city this Spring. Many are gearing up for the annual Dexter-Ann Arbor Run, which takes off on Sunday, June 6 this year with a Half-Marathon, 10k, 5k, and Kids Race distance options for athletes. All race distances end in downtown Ann Arbor, where Taste of Ann Arbor vendors will be firing up their grills for this delicious event that takes place that same day. For those on the fence about making this year your year for running, check out some of the AADL's excellent collection of running training guides, including The Complete Book of Running, Runner's World Complete Book of Beginning Running, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running, and Danny Dreyer's Chi Running.

Youth Magazine Update -- Take Me Out...

Baseball BotBaseball Bot

...To the ball game! This month's Youth Magazine Update focuses on America's classic sport, baseball.

Sports Illustrated Kids brings you their 2010 Baseball Preview. This jam-packed issue has overviews of the American League and National League teams, an article on the best defense players, and a feature article on American League MVP Joe Mauer.

Faces Magazine explores Chicago baseball, along with other excellent elements of the Midwest, like the American Bison, the Mississippi River, and the world's largest goose. Also in this issue is "The Legend of the Moccasin Flower" -- an Ojibwe folktale.

If the ball game isn't far enough for you, you could always try outer space! The current issue of Odyssey Magazine is all about space -- with ideas for a moon base, articles on the moons of our solar system, and a short story about life on Saturn's moon, Titan -- can Alan survive a solo flight back to base? Read and find out!

Sports Injury Prevention!

sports injurysports injury

Robert Williams, MD, a Chelsea Orthopedic Specialist, will talk bones, stretching, stance, along with training tips to keep you playing this spring, whether you're running track, playing baseball or softball, or training ahead for a fall sport. He will discuss the various types of sports injuries, and will share things you can do to keep from getting sidelined.

Check out library materials Running Anatomy which gives you tips for improving your performance through strengthening exercises, thus reducing injuries or Sports Injuries Guidebook. Be sure to come with questions on March 22, at the Traverwood branch from 7:00 to 8:30pm. Grade 6-Adult.

Winter Olympics on film

If the Winter Olympics aren’t completely satisfying your need for winter sports-watching, check out these movies about Olympic glory on ice and snow:

Cool Runnings (1993) – The inpsirational story of the long-shot Jamaican bobsled team, featuring John Candy.
Downhill Racer (1969) – Robert Redford stars as a skiier who joins the American Olympic team and spars with his coach (Gene Hackman).
Ice Castles (2010) – The remake of the classic about a young figure skater who battles hardship, starring Taylor Firth, a real-life figure skater.
Miracle (2004) – The true story of the 1980 U.S. hockey team that defeated the Soviet Union and went on to win gold in Lake Placid; Kurt Russell as coach Herb Brooks.

And for a non-inspirational, humorous Olympic film, there’s Blades of Glory, Will Ferrell’s spoof of pairs figure skating.

Ice Skating and Winter: A high-performance combination

Ice skating has a long, fascinating history in this area -- and the allure continues today. Earlier this month, U-M students Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates were headed to the national figure skating competition in Spokane, the Ann Arbor Observer reported. To see a dicussion with Samuelson, Bates, and other skaters, check out our DVD The Life of a Figure Skater: Local Ice Dance Medalists Discuss National and International Competition.

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