The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

Coaching the Y Combinator


So… as most of you know, I’ve been coaching my daughters in Soccer (and, it seems, everyone else’s sons in Lacrosse) for quite some time. In Georgia, the reputation of Shockers Nation has prevailed going on ten years now.

I sent the following to my Soccer parents this morning:


Some light reading for your hectic Sunday:

I’ll look for you, my hearty-and-ferocious Shockers all, later this afternoon at Bethesday Park as we march on Gerogia FC. This is a reminder to be at the fields no later than 430pm. Cheryl sent out special approach instructions earlier this morning.

Meanwhile, I’m going to share with you a long-standing theory of mine that has driven my coaching style for almost two decades. This takes my approach with “life lessons” to something of an extreme. However, I suspect the more technical amongst you might appreciate this, if just a bit

I’m certain you’ve noticed that we try to rotate our players through positions, and attempt to sub when practical, if not possible. The objective is to maintain good form, and keep the match interesting (this is how athletes learn best). That said, there are always a few players that play the entire match, or close to it. In the case of Soccer, it’s almost always a Stryker, our unique “Stopper”, and our Wing Defenders. For me, the variable, here, is Stopper. In any event, this consistent player formation is based upon the “Y Combinator” theory:

In computer science, a fixed-point combinator (or fixpoint combinator) is a higher-order function that computes a fixed point of other functions. If the effect of the other function is to advance a particular computation one step, or to do nothing if the computation is finished, then the fixed point will be a function that advances the same computation by as many steps as required to complete it. This can be used for anonymous recursion: to construct recursive anonymous functions.

Think about that for awhile, and you understand how this description elegantly applies itself to Soccer (and, Lacrosse), and helps explain why our Shockers can remain devastating against most other clubs despite our rotation (and, often because of it). It might also help you understand why you see me sub the way we do.

By the way… Thank you for having your dughters.

Who Wants The Ball!

– Coach Brian


If our leaders won’t Mexico and God will Bless America


mexico and god bless americaIf our leaders won’t Mexico and God will Bless America

USA Soccer put down Panama last night for a meaningless 3-1 come-from-behind win in injury time.

Giddy Mexican commentators praise the saviors of their World Cup hopes: ‘We love you forever and ever! God bless America!’

however, that win kept Mexico’s World Cup hopes alive. this is great for North American Soccer, and HUGE for USA and Mexico relations.

we had Mexican sports announcers screaming, “God Bless America!” over international telecasts.

I love it.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork


moments like these


our minds create pictures of moments that we can cherish the rest of our days, or perhaps soften the blow of our final moments as we are standing between our flag and bitter enemies, being hurled towards a tree, or simply fading to black.

this is the month we lost Bill Pope and his son and Bryce a year ago. you can read about that, here: taken aback by Bill Pope/

I often wonder what Bill’s final moments were like, the last thought, the image in his mind. I suspect he was calmly sorting through options that would navigate he and the boys to safety, and determined to realize Jane’s arms. by the way, Jane, if you are reading this, I only bring all of it up again because none of us can or should forget Bill and the man he will always be the standard for, and Bryce and his great potential.

the last few weeks were tough on my own family with Haley Anne suffering so much. it’s been a tough year. but, the recent events were, if naught else, perspective building.

emerging from all of this is a continued appreciation for the moments, great and small alike, that are making my own life so very rich.

monday night I was watching Stargate Universe (I don’t need any rude comments or jibing. at least I admit that I watch it – oh, and Battlestar Gallactica, as well). it was past her bed time but Haley Anne, still sore and restless could not sleep. so, she groggily made her way into the family room, muttered something about needing Daddy, drew up a large pillow and put her head up against my chest so I could stroke her hair for awhile. within moments she was purring and asleep. no ferocious tiger, just my silly little kitten.

that was a great hour. just me and Haley Anne. she was safe, relaxed and sleeping deeply.

last night at my U10 Shockers soccer practice I had a small turn-out. tuesdays are “extra” practice for the little ones.

this gave me an option to work very closely with the team and I decided to try and work on some fairly advanced “give-and-go” drills.

“think simple about giving the ball to a teammate and then running up pitch and calling for them to pass it back. give-and-go, give-and-go.”

to both my astonishment and delight, and that of one of the more experienced mothers, we pulled it off. the girls knew thay’d done well, and we all felt great about practice.

so, seeing my keeper roll the ball to an outlet player that deftly passed the ball to my little Emma Jo who then set up the “go-pass” was inspiring and deeply satisfying – both as a coach, and a Dad.

dammit Bill… I genuinely miss you. and, I know you would have listened to my stories at Starbucks and enjoyed them as much as I relished relaying them.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork


long live the shockers says my broken heart


this post was updated on january 21, 2011 to include an additional music file at the bottom.

“ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END” – There is an end to everything, to good things as well. The proverb dates back to about 1374 (Chaucer). First attested in the United States around 1680. The word ‘good’ was added much later. ‘Everything has an end’ and ‘Everything comes to an end’ are variants of the proverb.


In the end, we are undone, perhaps in only our current form through treachery, deceit and selfishness – all qualities that are, ironically, so un-Shockers Nation-like.

As one of our parents so aptly pointed out… Perhaps they, my erstwhile hearty and ferocious Shockers, have become accustomed to the unique experience and take it for granted (this includes parents). Now, they must drink from another cup and make that their comparison.

Will Natural Selection always prevail?

Let’s listen to: No Ceiling by Eddie Vedder.

Coach Brian

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell

photos by John Campbell


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