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Commentary...

What is it like?

·opinion

·comparisons

·advice

·comments

·description-snapshots

·ask questions

·figurative language(similes and metaphors)

·humor

·both sides of an opinion or point of view

·dialogue

·author talks to reader(voice)

·thoughtshots:ideas or thinking of the author

·main idea: a problem or issue

·nonfiction topics


·hear the author's voice

·opinions are stated

·author includes comments on something

·two sides

·author is trying to convince you of something or agree with him

·talks about both sides of an argument

·includes some facts

·telling you what to do

·inspiring:reach your dreams

·show determination

·lesson/example for others

·ask questions:like talking to your reader to get them to think about your issue


Ready Freddy

Section: The Life of Reilly

At 14 Freddy Adu is a millionaire and a media star, and he just bought a new house for his mom.

At 14 me and my buddies were seeing if the round end of a spoon would fit up our noses.

At 14 Freddy Adu is the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer (MLS), has a huge Nike deal and has been on David Letterman.

At 14 our goal was to capture our flatulence in a twist-top bottle.

But at 14 Freddy has something you would never have wanted--the weight of American soccer on his back.

Last week, when he signed a six-year contract with DC United for a salary that people are guessing at $500,000, MLS commissioner Don Garber said, "This is the biggest signing in the history of our league."

Gulp.

Is this any way to treat a 14-year-old kid?

Raised on the rock-and-bottle pitches of Ghana, Freddy emigrated to the U.S. at eight years old when his family won a long-shot State Department lottery. This country is just about to open its gift. The kid loves soccer the way a fat man loves Sara Lee. If you threw him a dinner roll, he'd bounce it off his forehead and knee before catching it with his plate.

He can do things with a soccer ball that make you wonder if it's not Velcroed to his foot. He can also cradle the ball on the back of his neck and not lose control of it while he pulls his T-shirt over the top of his head. He's left-footed, but he can shoot off either side of his right foot. And when he scored two goals for his IMG school team to beat the Chicago Fire 2-1 recently, the world knew he was ready for his close-up. LeBron James? That's so old school.

"A blind man on a galloping horse can see his talent," says DC United coach Ray Hudson. "He's a little Faberge egg, and everyone's just trying to protect him."

But is making him the new face of the league protecting him?

Damn right it is.

Freddy and his no-fuss mother, Emelia, turned down $3 million more from England's Manchester United to stay close to their new house in Potomac, Md. Emelia's insisting that Freddy get his high school diploma--which he's nailing down in March, three years early. And she wants to keep an eye on him because he's, well, 14.

"Man, being home is going to be great," says Freddy in a voice that still cracks sometimes, "except I have a lot of chores." Freddy has much to Adu. He vacuums, does the dishes and mows the lawn. "She can kinda get on my case sometimes," he says of his mom. Freddy, can't your agent talk to her?

It all beats Ghana, though. At 14 most kids there are just starting high school, where as "juniors" they have to "serve" the seniors, which includes washing their clothes and bringing them food. At 14 the most Adu will have to do as a rookie is to carry the ball bag.

Still, an MLS gig comes spring-loaded with temptation. The next-youngest player the league ever signed--Santino Quaranta, who was 16 at the time--is 19 now and already living with a girlfriend and new baby.

Cool! Sleepovers!

Worse, the average age of this season's players was 27. What does Freddy do when everybody else is going to the bar? Or to an R-rated movie? Do you get the full per diem if you're eating off the child's menu? And don't even think about trying to get the mini-bar key, Freddy.

"I'm not worried," he says, laughing. "My time will come."

Already, DC United is ironing out the lumps. Since Freddy is still two years from being eligible for his driver's license, a "staff member" will take him to and from practice, except on days when his mom can get off from her Home Depot job. Hope she brings the orange slices.

That's the other weird thing about Freddy--he doesn't want to dig a hole in the linoleum and crawl in whenever he's seen with his mom. When my 14-year-old and I are at the mall, she insists on a gap between us, and by gap she means a Gap clothing store. This kid shows up at MTV tapings with his mom. Have you ever kissed a girl? they asked him on air.

"Awwww," Freddy said, blushing. "You can't ask me that in front of my mom!"

Being a boy soccer god is a sketchy job. Diego Maradona burst on the world at 15, and now he's fat and living in Cuba, where he went to treat his drug dependency. Then again, Pelé was a World Cup star at 17 and is still the elegant face of his sport.

This kid can handle it. He's got Pelé's boyish face, Tiger's freakish talent and Magic's joyous personality. At 14 Freddy Adu might finally be the one to make this country fall in love with soccer.

At 14 we were hoping to finally be the one to burp the entire alphabet.

If you have a comment for Rick Reilly, send it to [email protected]

PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE)

~~~~~~~~

by Rick Reilly


Worth the Wait

Section: The Life of Reilly

Why do they come? Why do they hang around to watch the slowest high school cross-country runner in America? Why do they want to see a kid finish the 3.1 miles in 51 minutes when the winner did it in 16?

Why do they cry? Why do they nearly break their wrists applauding a junior who falls flat on his face almost every race? Why do they hug a teenager who could be beaten by any other kid running backward?

Why do they do it? Why do all of his teammates go back out on the course and run the last 10 minutes of every race with him? Why do other teams do it too? And the girls' teams? Why run all the way back out there to pace a kid running like a tortoise with bunions?

Why?

Because Ben Comen never quits.

See, Ben has a heart just slightly larger than the Chicago Hyatt. He also has cerebral palsy. The disease doesn't mess with his intellect--he gets A's and B's--but it seizes his muscles and contorts his body and gives him the balance of a Times Square drunk. Yet there he is, competing for the Hanna High cross-country team in Anderson, S.C., dragging that wracked body over rocks and fallen branches and ditches. And people ask, Why?

"Because I feel like I've been put here to set an example," says Ben, 16. "Anybody can find something they can do--and do it well. I like to show people that you can either stop trying or you can pick yourself up and keep going. It's just more fun to keep going."

It must be, because faced with what Ben faces, most of us would quit.

Imagine what it feels like for Ben to watch his perfectly healthy twin, Alex, or his younger brother, Chris, run like rabbits for Hanna High, while Ben runs like a man whacking through an Amazon thicket. Imagine never beating anybody to the finish line. Imagine dragging along that stubborn left side, pulling that unbending tire iron of a leg around to the front and pogo-sticking off it to get back to his right.

Worse, he lifts his feet so little that he trips on anything--a Twinkie-sized rock, a licorice-thick branch, the cracks between linoleum tiles. But he won't let anybody help him up. "It messes up my flow," he says. He's not embarrassed, just mad.

Worst, he falls hard. His brain can't send signals fast enough for his arms to cushion his fall, so he often smacks his head or his face or his shoulder. Sometimes his mom, Joan, can't watch.

"I've been coaching cross-country for 31 years," says Hanna's Chuck Parker, "and I've never met anyone with the drive that Ben has. I don't think there's an inch of that kid I haven't had to bandage up."

But never before Ben finishes the race. Like Rocky Marciano, Ben finishes bloody and bruised, but never beaten. Oh, he always loses--Ben barely finishes ahead of the sunset, forget other runners. But he hasn't quit once. Through rain, wind or welt, he always crosses the finish line.

Lord, it's some sight when he gets there: Ben clunking his way home, shepherded by all those kids, while the cheerleaders screech and parents try to holler encouragement, only to find nothing coming out of their voice boxes.

The other day Ben was coming in with his huge army, Ben's Friends, his face stoplight red and tortured, that laborious gait eating up the earth inch by inch, when he fell not 10 yards from the line. There was a gasp from the parents and a second of silence from the kids. But then Ben went through the 15-second process of getting his bloody knees under him, his balance back and his forward motion going again--and he finished. From the roar you'd have thought he just won Boston.

"Words can't describe that moment," says his mom. "I saw grown men just stand there and cry."

Ben can get to you that way. This is a kid who builds wheelchair ramps for Easter Seals, spends nights helping at an assisted-living home, mans a drill for Habitat for Humanity, devotes hours to holding the hand of a disabled neighbor, Miss Jessie, and plans to run a marathon and become a doctor. Boy, the youth of today, huh?

Oh, one aside: Hanna High is also the home of a mentally challenged man known as Radio, who has been the football team's assistant for more than 30 years. Radio gained national attention in a 1996 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED story by Gary Smith and is the hero of a major movie that opens nationwide on Oct. 24.

Feel like you could use a little dose of humanity? Get yourself to Hanna. And while you're there, go out and join Ben's Friends.

You'll be amazed what a little jog can do for your heart.

PHOTO (COLOR)

PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE)

~~~~~~~~

By Rick Reilly


Possible Topics:

+/-

·technology in the classroom

·chores

·inspiring person

·everyday life event

·too much to do and not enough time

·global warming pollution

·MCAS

·Clean Coal

·sports Celtics

·T.V.

·politics

·economy

·Windows /Mac

·2003/2007

·school lunches/health

·Life Skills

·Wendy's fast food/not

·animal shelters vs kill shelters

·commercials

·crosby

·kid appropriate advertising

·computer pop-ups

·police


Ben Comen: Dateline

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGeHXP24E0E


Hoyts Boston Marathon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flRvsO8m_KI


I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an Institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want To do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore For two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, It felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a Single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you Think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' One doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.'' So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''

And the video is below....

or if having problems with the video above you can click here.

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4B-r8KJhlE>


http://www.oprah.com/showinfo/Americas-New-Deadly-Obsession nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.


Commentary nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

·use a object (PJ square) as an example to talk about something else...lack of time

·"making fun" using humor-How lazy do you have to be...

·listing facts

·quotes the PJ Square website

·state opinion

·talking directly to the reader-sounds like a conversation(you)

·comparisons-1950 to 2007

·questions

·personal background

·exaggeration...make things worse than they may be

·people

·inspire reader-never quits


· nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots. gives images

·lots of examples of not quitting

·running until sunset

·feel like you are there using details

·gives you background of condition

·compares to most people-they would quit

·not just about winning


· nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots. coffee drinking

·health of fast food

·movie behavior/cellphone use

·money spent on elections

·opinion Martha Coakley

·solicitors on phone

·salesman in the middle of mall

·don't accept people differences

·comment on lack of aid to Haiti

·younger siblings

·loud music ad techniques

·cigarettes

·use of cellphones

·texting

·kids voting

·sales calls

·switching

·horseracing

·greyhound racing

·MCBA books

·parents' rules

·computer downloading

·animal abuse

·commercials

·music that gets stuck

·music lyrics

·dog fighting

·cock fights

·steroid use

·rude celebrities

·drugs


Attachments nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.


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