Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. As my dad would have said today…Merry Christmas Eve Gift. It was something he always said on the morning of Christmas Eve. I won’t hear those words any more as my dad passed on December 19th. During his illness, I wrote about my prayer for a Christmas miracle. My dad was restless the last night, so my sister and I got him up to watch a bit of late night TV. Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire was on. I did not pay much attention to the movie, but found comfort in sitting with my dad. He finally said he was tired, so we put him back to bed, for what was to be the last time. I have no words to describe the sadness the next morning brought to my family. It was something that we realized was approaching, but I suppose we are never ready for the end of a loved one’s life. This was my father, my rock that is no more. I prayed for a Christmas miracle and I suppose in his own way, my father delivered one to my family. Life goes on, but nothing is the same. We must take comfort in knowing that my dad is in a much better place…sticks in hands, playing again. For those of you in the Austin area that would like to attend the celebration of my dad’s life…it will be at the First United Methodist Church in Killeen on December 29th at 2:00pm.
A song for my dad...I'll be seeing you dad.
A funny thing happened to the Cowboys on the way to their annual December collapse…they won. I have said repeatedly that I sensed something different about this Dallas team. The ability to run the football has given Dallas a toughness that they have not had before. Much of this success must be attributed to the offensive line of the Cowboys. I suppose it should be no surprise that three Cowboy offensive linemen were selected to the Pro Bowl. Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith are 3/5ths of a line that has delivered a running attack and protection for Tony Romo. As I look around the NFL, I don’t see an offense as balanced as the Cowboys offense. No, the Achilles heel of this Cowboy team is the defense…but I don’t think that Andrew Luck would say that the defense is all that bad either. Is this team good enough to win a super bowl? I honestly don’t think the Dallas has quite enough talent for the Cowboys to win it all. But, considering that I did not expect the Cowboys to even win 8 games, this season has been a pleasant surprise.
Suddenly folks are beginning to notice the numbers that Tony Romo has put up this year…as in MVP numbers. Yes, I remember the past years of failure. I understand that Romo has never won a super bowl or really led a team to any playoff success to speak of. But the MVP award is for performance in the current year. While DeMarcus Murray has been a workhorse, it has been Tony Romo that stepped up to take the Cowboys on winning drives to beat Philly. When Romo was hurt against Washington and the loss to Arizona, it was pretty clear how pedestrian this team became without Romo leading the offense. It has been said that MVP awards are won in December…so let’s take a look at the numbers.
Yes, I realize that these numbers only comprise 3 games, but if people are going to bash Tony Romo for his inability to play well in December, it is time that we acknowledge how well the man is playing this December. Performing at a high level is a tough task in the NFL and especially at the QB position. It appears that Romo has finally taken the step to become an elite QB. Now, I suspect that it is very unlikely that Romo wins the MVP this year. That is not how it works. The numbers are only part of the equation in determining an MVP…ultimately; it will take a super bowl victory for Tony Romo to attain the respect needed to win this award. After all, the MVP award is as much a popularity contest as anything else. I do have to say that watching this Dallas offense, I am very much reminded of the triplets of yesteryear. Romo, Murray and Bryant are a formidable trio in their own right, but until they win it all…none of them will receive the due that they deserve.
The season's yardage numbers have Tony lagging behind the other MVP candidates. In reality, Dallas has not needed the passing yards as they have in years past. But, it is the balance of the Dallas offense that has allowed the Cowboys to win this year. The accuracy and lack of intereceptions has made this season one to remember for Romo.
Last weekend, Hoov talked about the lack of accountability in our country. The more that I think about that comment, the more I realize he is right. Many in our country want to blame others when bad things happen. It is fine to put your arms in the air as a protest, but a more productive act would be to take time for your kids. Make sure our kids were receiving an education, as there are many that simply fall through the cracks. I caught a bit of Bryant Gumble’s HBO sports show this week. They had sort of a round table discussion that included an interview with the tutor that busted North Carolina…Mary Willingham. As she talked about what went on at Chapel Hill…it made me realize what a mess college athletics has become. Student athletes reading Dr. Suess because this is their reading level is more than scary, it is criminal. Schools have lowered their standards to achieve athletic status…and that reads MONEY. There has been an argument that student athletes should not be paid because they are receiving an education for their athletic efforts. Given the scenario at Chapel Hill, this is a completely bogus thought. If this is happening at one institution of higher learning, it is surely happening at other universities across the country. There is one athlete that has taken education to the highest level. This person is Dr. Shaquille Oneal. Yep, after earning his undergraduate degree from LSU in 2000, Shaq received his MBA online from the University of Phoenix. Now, Shaq has completed his doctorate degree from Barry University in Miami. In Shaq’s own words, it is not how much money you make, the question is are you educated enough to keep it? You may be surprised to learn that Shaq owns over 150 Five Guys restaurants, car washes, fitness centers, a shopping center and even a few Vegas night clubs. Clearly, Shaq learned early that the money would not last. Early in his career, he received a call from his banker scolding him for spending a million dollars in 30 minutes. Apparently, Shaq stopped in an LA Bentley dealer and was pissed when the salesman questioned his ability to purchase a car…so he bought 3. Too often, this is what happens to athletes with their first pocket full of money. Luckly for Shaq, he figured out that he needed to be educated to hang onto his money. It is time for athletes and actors who are parents to put their hands down and work on accountability with their kids. I think that the best way to ensure a future is to lay the law down with their kids. Shaq credits his parents with his education, as probably many of us with degrees do as well. If it is time for a change, the change needs to be to get an education and breathe easier…
I would like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas. This is the time of year that is special for families and I hope that this holiday finds you in the company of those you love.
That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
People laugh when I say that I think a jellyfish is one of the most beautiful things in the world. What they don’t understand is, I mean a jellyfish with long, blond hair.
If you’re a boxing referee, it’s probably illegal to wear a bow tie that spins and changes colors.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
As much as I am enjoying the thus-far undefeated season for my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, I am also joining the frustrated masses regarding the still-unknown fate of 5 Irish football players who have been suspended from the team for 60 days and counting. This includes wide reciever DaVaris Daniels, and 4 defensive players in cornerback Keivarae Russell, end Ishaq Williams, linebacker Kendall Moore and safety Eliar Hardy (Hardy's suspension came a couple weeks after the other 4, but STILL). Daniels, Russell, and Williams were projected as starters before the suspension occurred. The charges? Academic impropriety; they are accused of turning-in homework that other students did for them.
I know that it's pretty common for hearing-and-appeals processes such as this to take some time. Red tape. I get that. All 5 of these players did have their hearings last week, however. Here we are a week later with the football season half-over, and they're still suspended with no announcements from the ND administration or the athletes themselves as to their fate...are any of them back on the team and will they play again, or not???
Look, I'm not the Kool Aid drinking Irish fan who's automatically going to assume the "frozen five", as they are called, are innocent just because I want to see them back on the team. If they are guilty, fine, kick them out and be done with it! If they are innocent, let them play!
It's of consolation to me that The Irish now sit at 5-0 in spite of these players' absence and the team is doing well without them, but it is also a major distraction to the team. Coach Brian Kelly keeps being asked about the players and keeps having to give "mum" answers about the situation being that the suspensions and hearing processes are not under his control...Credit to the guy and his charges that they've handled the distration as well as they have up till now, but the coach and the team are being put in an unfair situation by being the ones who have to answer questons about the suspended players when it is the administraton who should answer, but won't.
GEEZ - Shit or get off the pot already! That's what I'm sayin.
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I know that many find Mark Cuban to be a loud mouth and generally an obnoxious ass. I have always enjoyed his outspoken nature and appreciate his obvious business acumen. I read with interest this week when Cuban poked the suits in the NFL with his comments about the NFL being in danger of over saturation. Honestly, is this any different than what many of us have been writing about the NFL? In case you missed it, the NFL is now talking about bringing an NFL game to Saturday night. I loved this Cuban quote: "Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I'm just telling you, when you've got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That's rule No. 1 of business." I love that saying about pigs getting fat. I used this often when talking about folks trying to grab the lowest interest rate on a loan. The NFL is sitting pretty now, but things can change and change quickly. Saturdays are for college football. Friday is for high school football. Maybe the NFL believes that they are too big to fail, but they are not. Hooray for Cuban for speaking the truth…even if some don’t want to hear it.
I think I have a solution for the Redskins. They can keep the name and just change their logo. Everyone wins...Seriously though, why can't people leave this alone. I am certainly no Daniel Snyder fan, but it really is ridiculous the way this will not die.
The NBA cracks me up. I admit to not paying too much attention to the game of late, but I was amazed to learn that the Spurs were on a 13 game winning streak (make it 14 after Tuesday night’s game). Many believe the Spurs are an old team, but if you take a look at their roster, they are loaded with young players. Pop has quietly built a very solid roster. I admit that I sort of expected the Spurs to fade away once Duncan and Ginobli retired…but now, I am not so sure. Pop does an amazing job of finding players that fit the mold that he requires. He sort of reminds me of Belichick that way. The NBA obviously is not crazy about San Antonio and the lack of flash…but it wins games. So…with the Heat, OKC, Indiana and others getting the press, it is the Spurs that are fighting the good fight. Damn, I may have to start paying attention to the NBA again.
Did you hear about Shaq having assault charges brought against him by a TBS employee? Apparently what Shaq considers horseplay, is not much fun for normal sized people. Shaq reportedly tackle/punched the employee then fell on him, injuring his back and neck. For all of Shaq’s faults, I truly have a hard time believing that Oneal would intentionally hurt someone. Of course, it would not be a stretch to think that a falling Shaq might cause damage to a “regular” sized person. Maybe this guy is really hurt, but I have a hard time buying it. The bad thing for Shaq is that intentional or not, he will probably have to pay. How much is a Shaq tackle is worth? I suppose we will soon see…
Maybe Shaq should sue Charles to recoup his money?
Julie and I made another mad dash for the valley last Friday afternoon. The starting catcher banged up his knee and it looked like Blake would be playing all three games. If you know college baseball, you realize that the best pitcher works on Friday night. The Broncs Friday night pitcher is a very good one…Sam Street. He really is one of the better arms in the country. He may not throw heat like the big boys at Vanderbilt or Texas, but he is a very advanced pitcher. He works in and out and changes speeds very well. At 6 and 0 with 4 complete games…he is a great college pitcher. Friday was UTPA’s first conference game against the New Mexico State Aggies and Street was money again. As we pulled into the parking lot in the 4th inning, the Aggies had loaded the bases. A walk, a missed call at 1B and a bunt single was the scenario as I turned off the car. As we walked into the stadium, the crowd reaction indicated a happy conclusion to the inning. As I quickly glanced at the scoreboard, the 0 under visitor confirmed my hunch. An infield fly and a double play allowed Street to work out of the inning. Street did not have his best stuff on Friday, but he pitched well enough to grab a win and another complete game. In our travels around the state this year, we have seen some very nice stadiums. I realized that although there may be more grand venues, but sitting in the front row behind home plate watching your son play is not all bad. Blake played pretty well. He was certainly not perfect, but is finally beginning to settle in. Here is the head coach Manny Mantrana discussing the weekend games.
Did you happen to see the fight between Florida State and Florida? The pitcher has to make that play…
It seems that each week that I find something to say about the Cleveland Indians. I am not sure if this is some kind of sign, but the video I saw this week was too good not to share. I can only imagine how cool it would be to watch your son take his first at bat in major league game…even a spring training game. Tom Hamilton is a lucky man!
I refuse to acknowledge those two games in Australia as opening day. I know that the games count, but not for me. Opening day is next week…in the US. There were two baseball things that really stood out for me this week. Don Mattingly publicly calling out Yasiel Puig and Max Scherzer turning down a 6 year contract worth slightly more than $25 million per…wow. Why am I not surprised that Scott Boras is Scherzer’s agent. I learned that Scherzer wanted to stay with the Tigers, but wanted an 8 year deal. Obviously Tiger management is pissed that Scherzer turned down this offer and I can’t blame them. The thing that is sad about this is that this incident could seriously impact how the Tigers play this year. How are Scherzer’s teammates going to look at his refusal? Is it just a business? Or will it be taken personally? One thing I know is that he probably won’t get a warm reception at home this year.
Yasiel Puig’s nickname is “wild horse”. Given his game, it is an apt nickname. What surprised me is Donnie Baseball making light of Puig’s injury with an implication that he exaggerates his aches and pains…a whiner if you will. I guess what is more surprising is that Mattingly went to the press with his comments. I get that Mattingly may be somewhat frustrated with Puig, but it is not even April yet. The Dodgers and Tigers are two teams that could be playing in October, but unless they can put aside these distractions…they may find the season to be a troubled path.
That is all I have this week, but will leave you a bit of Jack Handey…
It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.
I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
The circus over in Orlando, maybe not?? Bodemeister?? Umpire’s going wild?? All this and more in this weeks edition of…
Yesterday, Scottjax was coughing up a storm at work. I am usually a very, very talkative person at work, but I wasn’t talking too much yesterday and everyone new I was coming down with something. Well that something is Bronchitis.
Doctor was going to give me one day off, but since I had Saturday off (my weekends are Sunday and Monday) I asked for two additional days off. There is a United States versus Scotland friendly game at Everbank Field and I want to make sure I am good to go.
Here is my take on the college football playoff system. There should be 10 conferences with 12 schools in each conference. Each conference has 2 six team divisions. Then there can be a conference championship. The 10 conference champions play in a playoff and the winner is the national champs. What’s so difficult?
Wow, a MLB umpire suspended. Yep you read that right. Umpire Bob Davidson was suspended for one game for repeated violations of the standards for situation handling. What's that? Did MLB make that up?
Bodemeister might just be the most over-rated horse ever.
So Jonathan Vilma filed a defamation lawsuit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claiming he made false statements that tarnished Vilma’s reputation and hindered his ability to earn a living playing football. Really..Really. Opps starting to sound like The Miz.
Saturday Night Live did a skit on their evening news with a take-off on Stephen A. Smith
Is it dangerous to go to a Los Angeles Dodgers game? After Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, a fan was beaten up in a minor fender bender in the parking lot. 4 people were arrested as three of them held the man down while another kicked him in the face and head.
Orlando did what they had to do to make Dwight Howard happy, they fired Stan Van Gundy and parted ways with General Manager Otis Smith.
Now for a shocker. The new GM of the Orlando Magic is…..
That is a rumor that just started. The first thing he would do is trade Howard for Andrew Bynum. Shaq is a big fan of Bynum and he feels that Andrew is better than Dwight.
Former West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart died of a heart attack at the age of 59.. He had a record of 28-12 in three seasons with the University.
Is Lin-sanity over?? It might be for the Knicks. Lin’s agent say there is no guarantee Lin will stay with the Knicks. Jeremy is a restricted free agent this summer.
What’s with all this violence during celebrations? Is it a mandatory thing for someone to get hurt when their team wins? 8 people were hurt after the Thunder beat the Lakers 4 games to 1.
How can you be the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and yet be left off the first-team all-defensive squad?? Tyson Chandler the Defensive Player of the Year was beaten out by Dwight Howard. Tyson was named to the second team. Gee thanks. What a sham.
In case you missed it, Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton’s grand slam homerun broke the scoreboard in left field. In this fan’s you tube clip you can see a bank of lights out.