Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat...

Aye matey, me wench and I appeared in the Boardroom to join the Conference Call already in progress of the staff members in three of our offices reviewing week six of the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage. Unlucky for those in Guatemala and Miami, only the New York crew got the kisses made by Hershey and delivered on a tray of treats by Mary Lynn for Halloween.

After all that sugar, Doris Fernandez, a 15 year veteran of our New York office, nursed me back to full strength as her stethoscope tickled me with its cold plate against my heated chest.

Mary Lynn, undaunted by not finding everyone in the Boardroom, made her way through our offices delivering Hersey Kisses, in many flavors and varieties, to those who craved chocolate. From all of us here in New York, we hope all of you had a very Happy Halloween.

Send me your Halloween pictures and we'll post the best of them next week.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This was the day before Halloween...

The dentist makes it look like Halloween. But, fortunately rather than turning up looking like the toothless pumpkin carved during the season, I was given two new implants in the area of my upper right molars. It is real surgery, and as you can see, the nurses have me draped in a sterile environment to protect me from infection.

I have a really great Periodontist, who looks out for my gums and in this case saw to it that we restored bone where a couple of teeth has no longer been of service and now after 3 months of a bone graft, he was ready to drill and position the implants into the bones laying just below my sinuses.

I am happy to report that the procedure, due to the great care of Dr. Thomas J. Connolly, was painless and a total success. After the end of the year, when the implants are well integrated into the bone, the new posts and crowns will be fashioned by Dr. Weinstock (refer to a previous posting) and round out my sparkling dental array with functional perfection.

For those of you wondering what implants look like, here are a couple of x-rays, before and after which will give you an idea of the surgery performed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wish I was there...

Opening day at the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup New Zealand 2008 began as a major tribute to the young girls who gave a great exhibition of how well they can play the game. Both New Zealand and Canada, shown below prior to the first whistle in history of a FIFA Women's U17 World Cup, put on a great show for the fans which ended with a 1-0 win in favor of Canada over the local New Zealand team.

As Chairman of this event for FIFA, I would have really enjoyed being there for this grand opening in front of more than 13,000 fans, but my regional responsibilities kept me in New York. I will join the staff and local organizers at the Semi-Final stage to witness the product of our work over the last couple of years.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Opening the New Wing in Zurich Airport...

Normally, we fly back from Zurich through terminal E, with exclusively Swiss International gates, but this time we were heading to London City Airport on British Airways for a stopover and visit on the weekend.

Little did I know that we would be amongst the first passengers to ever use the newest terminal building in Zurich, literally opened minutes prior to our arrival Friday afternoon at the airport.

The picture below shows the bridgeway to new section and if you look carefully beyond the glass doors, you can see a man on a ladder putting up signs, still trying to finish the work on this new wing.

Maybe it should have been an omen that things weren't quite ready, since shortly before takeoff we learned that some chemical spill had occurred at the incredibly convenient in city airport in London and that we were going to land at Stansted Airport, far outside of town.

Quickly onto our cell phones and luckily able to reach our friend Jason in London to change where our driver was to pick us up and for him to know that we would be late in meeting him and Stefano, both former CONCACAF staff, for drinks.

Finally we joined them at the bar of the Mandarin Oriental hotel and the weekend kicked off in good form.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Big Night of World Cup Qualifying...

Tonight's results are:

Jamaica 1 Honduras 0
Cuba 2 Guatemala 1
Trinidad 2 USA 1
Canada 2 Mexico 2
El Salvador 3 Suriname 0
Costa Rica 1 Haiti 0

El Salvador advances to the Final Round of Qualifying, joining Costa Rica and the USA who had already advance on Saturday to the Final Round.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Now, I am six feet tall...

And these ladies stand ten feet tall because they are fighting to reinstate Softball in the Olympics. Each Olympic Champions in their own right, Donna de Varona with two gold medals for Swimming in 1964 as a teenager and Jennie Finch, whose prowess on the pitchers mound, demonstrated how dynamic the sport had become.

Both of these ladies are working hard at the task which works at turning to positive the view of IOC members in order for Softball to return in time for the 2016 Olympics. Donna was the chairperson at tonight's Women's Sports Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which was nothing short of spectacular.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It is a lovely day here in New York City...

This picture captures Central Park from the south side looking all the way up to the top and beyond. A great view to begin the day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A full card of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches...

Tonight's results are:

Surimane 1 Costa Rica 4
Haiti 0 El Salvador 0
USA 6 Cuba 1
Jamaica 1 Mexico 0
Honduras 3 Canada 1
Guatemala 0 Trinidad 0

Costa Rica and the USA advance to the Final Round of qualifying.

Jamaica striker Ricardo Fuller (10) celebrates with team mates after scoring against Mexico during their World Cup qualifying soccer match in Kingston October 11, 2008

Balthatzar was the site of a very good lunch...

It was hard to tell on Spring Street, in the midst of Soho, that the U.S. Stock markets and the world banking economy were brought to their knees with losses of 20% in recent days. It didn't seem that anything had happened to dampen the spirits of people shopping in one of the fashionable bargain centers of the city.

Lunch was fantastic. With a wide assortment of dishes everyone poses following dessert, although Ricardo is distracted by his cell phone which is constantly being used. Ricardo is the hardest working President of any National Association I have seen over the years. He is tremendously dedicated to his Federation and especially his teams. He has a lot to be proud of, and justifiably so.

A lovely surprise...

Late last night, I got a call that my friend and colleague, Ricardo Teixeira, President of the CBF and Member of the FIFA Executive Committee, who was in New York with his wife Anna and daughters Antonia and Joanna. So, on this beautiful sunny fall Saturday, Mary Lynn and I will have lunch before they go off to see their Brazil World Cup Qualifying match in Venezuela tomorrow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Adriana is getting ready to have a baby...

There was more more than enough fun to go around in the boardroom as we finished a staff lunch dedicated as a baby shower for Adriana (for those of you that don't know, Adriana has been my long time assistant in New York) and her little girl to be. Three kinds of chicken (spicy, spicier and spiciest) were served with all sorts of great side dishes. Then the games. I actually won the guess how big her belly is contest. This is played by each of the guests unrolling a length of tissue paper that they believe represented the entire girth of Adriana and child. My eye for measurements was still best in the house. But, watching them sample baby food and have to identify the ingredients was the best laugh of the party. Some of their faces made you wonder why any baby would eat that stuff.

Finally, Victor broke out his guitar and played a song dedicated to the way Adriana does things, doing it "My Way", while Jill tempted her with over decorated cupcakes with tops of butter cream large enough to land a 747. Watch and enjoy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Breaking the fast is a wonderful thing...

Marci and my grandson Dylan made a banana loaf with chocolate chips and a made from scratch apple pie. They were both delicious. Typical bagels, cream cheese, nova scotia lox, whitefish, kippered salmon, egg salad, herring in cream sauce, orange juice, coffee, onions and tomatoes rounded out the end of Yom Kippur. It was great.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Second Presidential Debate...

Normally, the volume on the TV at Elaine's Eastside Bar and Eatery is never turned on. The typical program being watched is the New York Yankees, Knicks, Mets, Rangers, and tonight, with no sound, Cruz Azul vs Marathon from Mexico City, a CONCACAF Champions League game in the fourth week of group play. As the second half was about to get underway, all of a sudden, the sound went on loud and John McCain and Barack Obama were center stage and their booming voices were from Tennessee in their second nationally televised debate.

While I had planned to watch the debate the morning after, having taped it in the office, the show became compelling viewing for our table, which had originally included Elaine, with (from left to right) Dr. Ruth Westheimer, with her newest sex education book on the table Teens & Sex Today, Me, Mary Lynn, Suzanne McFarlane, a 33 year associate of Dr. Henry Kissinger, and my Deputy at CONCACAF, Italo Zanzi, a former candidate for the U.S. Congress.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A complete blowout...

Following the day of kids' visits and other parties and the Madonna concert, Mary Lynn and her kids are finally able to celebrate her birthday with the traditional blowing out the candle which leaves her all smiles.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


For those of you who were wondering, yes... I was seated in the third row (or maybe it was inside the bass drum given the amount of vibrations my body tolerated). The show was great. The lights and sounds are beyond belief and the dancing fantastic.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

FIFA in the Bahamas...