From time to time I’d like to do a reflective post, just to touch base with my goals and reflect on things. One week in and I’ve been surprisingly satisfied with how things have gone so far. Four posts this week, not sure I’ll always have that many, but good to get some stuff on the blog and build from there. Here are some of my overall impressions:

Performance Anxiety

Best post this week by far has been the one on mapping Orlando City, and I expected that. With that said, after doing the mapping the Miami Fusion post, I’m disappointed at how the Orlando City one came out. I’m looking forward to updating it. Didn’t get too many looks at the Fusion post, but I’m not sure I expected too many for a defunct team in a city with a challenged relationship with MLS right now. Chalking that post up to learning a bit and hopefully it will help with some future posts.

Get to Work

My graduate cohort and fellow graduate student and girlfriend have been a little curious about the energy I’ve put towards this site, as I’m also writing my third chapter for my master’s thesis. A fair question. Working on some of this stuff has actually helped me to be more productive on my thesis as well. Writing on other topics has actually helped break a few of my research log jams. I’ve written more of my thesis this week than I have in a few months. That said, wrapping up my master’s degree has to be the priority.

My First Critique

Had a friend comment a few days ago about the article reviews. “So you aren’t actually writing anything new, you are just regurgitating someone else’s work and calling it your own?” This friend is a soccer friend, and one that doesn’t really understand what the academia side of my life is all about, and I don’t think he meant it to sound as harsh as it did. I’m engaging with these articles in a tradition of academic research that allows for conversation. These ideas have been put forward in people’s research, and I am merely reading it and responding. How does the research stand up over time, how does it fit with other ideas on similar topics, where do I see holes in which my own ideas may plant themselves and grow. To write on a topic, the first step is to read and thoroughly understand what has been said before you.

I actually hope to shed some light on articles that don’t get a lot of discussion and allow them a new audience. It would be amazing if someone read one of my reviews and decided to seek out the original research.

Looking Forward

As mentioned I want to update the Orlando City map to reflect both some of the new aspects of Google Fusion Tables I’ve learned as well as the OCB roster. I’ll do some more maps soon, looking at doing a map of Generation Adidas players, a first generation MLS club’s players, and more of the historic Florida teams. I’ve got an idea for a completely different way to visualize Orlando City as well, but that’s just an idea right now.

I’ve got some article reviews coming up on two different African football topics, and one on Becks and Posh in the USA. I’ve found a couple of cool dissertations on American soccer that seem interesting, so when time allows I can’t wait to dive into those.

Thanks for reading! Questions, comments, concerns, or collaborations please feel free to email me at kevin. mercer @ outlook. com or find me on Twitter: @KevinIsHistory

 

 

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