Hello and welcome to a Tuesday of deep thoughts. I am switching days this week to help out Black Bandit. Of course, since I love Halloween, I have no problem with this at all. It is Halloween evening and I am rather disappointed. We hung a few decorations and left the lights on and only had two kids came by trick or treating. The bowl of candy won't go to waste (perhaps my waist) but it saddens me that the kids in my neighborhood did not work the neighborhood. I know that some of you don't care for Halloween and all I can say is that you would if you grew up where I did. Now, of course grabbing candy with my boys was fun, but there is more to this day than just candy. When I got too old to go door to door, we had parties. I mean rally cool parties that were really fun. One Halloween had a hay ride. Dressed as a pirate or something, I remember the cool of the night and the smell of hay now, but at the time, I was seriously focused on my girl friend. When you are a 7th grader, there are very few opportunities to be with your girl. The Halloween hay ride was about figuring out exactly what a French kiss was. We spent much time perfecting our kisses. I had a coach that used to call us guppies. He obviously remembered what young love was like...good guy that Coach Beckett.
In high school, everyone wore costumes to school, including most of the teachers. It was almost a holiday from work for the day. But, there was always a party. Really good parties...parties that as a parent I could not approve. Damn was that fun.
College was the same, but we really did not need an excuse to have a party. In fact, I don't really remember Halloween in college. I am not sure if that is good or bad.
As an adult, I first saw some of the cool special effects props that are used in television. One Halloween, I wore my regular work clothes, but I had what looked like a wooden stake sticking out of my neck. I did not use too much blood, so it was very subtle. Many did not notice until I turned my head. I loved that scream of surprise. One year I had a compound fracture. The props were inexpensive and really cool. Here are a few pictures from old Halloweens:
My buddy Steve is very talented. He can make anything...he made the Lobster and Turtle costumes. He turned me into the Wolf Man in about 30 minutes.
Here is Steve more recently. His creativity has not waned. I guess aliens like beer? Who knew...
This was years ago on 6th St. Wild place that was. I was supposed to be Dizzy Gillespie, but could not figure out the cheeks. So, I became Louie Armstrong. Playing when the Saints go marching with some guy I did not know.
Blake as a Tiger. Many Halloweens ago...
My wife Julie as FrankenJulie.
I predicted the Rangers in 6 and I was almost right. I think that the Rangers have the best team, but the best team does not always win. The Cardinals got hot and competed like crazy. I think that most will agree that this was an exciting and memorable World Series. I was interested to read that Michael Young said learning to play 1B was the hardest infield spot he has played. It would not surprise me to see the Rangers go after Prince Fielder. Would that be a crazy lineup? With CJ Wilson a free agent, I wonder if the Rangers will be able to sign him? He certainly did not help himself with the way he pitched in the post season. The Cardinals will be hard pressed not to give Albert a big check. I just cannot see him in another uniform.
It will indeed be strange next year to see the Cardinals managed by someone other than Tony LaRussa. If you are going to go, you might as well go out on top. Even though Tony LaRussa is not popular with everyone in baseball, but you cannot deny the guy was a very good manager. He refined the way to use a pitching staff, changing pitchers a record 75 times this post season. Congrats on a great career Tony. I am sure that we will see him in the HOF in a few years... In fact, he could go in with Cox and Torre, right? Top three postseason managers are Torre, LaRussa and Bobby Cox. Of the three, which do you think is the best? I guess Torre would have to be 1? Tough call...I liked Cox the best, but with only one WS win, he would have to be third in this group. A better question is would the Rangers have won if LaRussa was in their dugout?
This is the week that will determine who emerges from the SEC as the odds on favorite to win the National Championship. This should be a great game. I have not watched much of Alabama this year, but from what I have seen of LSU, their defense is stout. I know that the Crimson Tide will also bring an excellent defense, so should we expect a low scoring affair? With lucky Les Miles you never know what to expect. If I was in Vegas, I would not bet on this game, but I sure as hell would watch it.
Last week, Dallas crushed St. Louis and the Saints won by 55. So in the craziness that is this year's NFL, of course St. Louis beats New Orleans this week and Dallas get trashed on Sunday night by the Eagles. Baltimore has to come from behind to beat Arizona? In reality, Arizona missed a very easy field goal to lose that game. Of course San Diego closed out the week by snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. All San Diego had to do was run a play, take a bit more time off the clock and then kick a game winning field goal. Inexplicably, Rivers botched the center snap and KC kicks the game winning field goal in OT. Amazing...I have been picking games this year without a point spread and 8 correct is about as good as I can guess. Which teams are the best? Green Bay? New England? Pittsburgh? Although the Packers are undefeated, it won't be long before someone beats them.
So, Denver how do you like your Tebow now? John Fox and John Elway tried to tell the fans in Denver that Tim Tebow was not ready to play QB in the NFL; the Lions proved it. Realistically, Tebow is fine to come in and beat a bad team like Miami, but when defenses have a week to get ready to play a one dimensional player like Tebow, it is not pretty. I think that Tim Tebow is a very good football player. He has great heart and is a great competitor, but if he wants to be a successful QB in this league, he must be more accurate. Perhaps now, the kid can go to work to make a few changes. The sad thing is that Denver may not have a better option in town. It will be a long season for Brono fans, and if Tebow plays the rest of the season, I am not sure if he will ever recover.
Last Friday night was the big game for Westwood and Leander. Both were undefeated in district play and the winner would have have the inside track to win district. Leander is a strong team that is annually contends in the playoffs. The Lions play power football. They run the ball and play good defense. Blake watched this game from the sideline. Last week, I was called to his school as he suddenly became very sick. Projectile vomiting and slurred speech spelled concussion to me. The strange thing is that after his game on Thursday night, he was fine. He complained about his jaw being sore, but managed to eat after the game. He got up and went to school the next day without issue; until the afternoon. I had planned to take him to have his jaw Xrayed after school, but the vomiting changed that. The trainer and school nurse were scared to death. Blake tried to talk, but it was difficult to understand him. My wife and I rushed him to the hospital. They got him in immediately and began the routine. After taking blood and doing cat scans, the doctor said that there was nothing abnormal. I found out later that when these symptoms do not occur immediately that they worry about a brain bleed. After I gave Blake a powerade and a water, he began to feel a bit better. We took him home and watched him, but he had no further issues. The next morning, Blake was back to normal. Speech was fine, no headaches...nothing.
I don't know about you, but each concussion I have ever been around was always immediately evident. The school required a Dr. to sign a release in order to allow Blake back to practice. I took Blake to our family Dr. and he was puzzled. He later told my wife that he did not think it was a concussion. I found a pediatric practice that specializes in concussions. The Dr. ran Blake through a battery of questions, then physical tests. If you think sobriety tests are tough, you should see these tests. He passed the tests, but then had to take what is called an impact test. It is a tough written test that Blake said made his head hurt. Needless to say, he was not cleared to play on Friday and frankly I was fine with that. Concussions are difficult to figure. As I have learned, the symptoms can happen days after the event. Blake's coach did not know this. He was skeptical that this was a concussion, as he had never seen the symptoms so long after a game. You can tough out a sprained ankle or a tweaked knee, but the brain is not something to screw with. Blake retook the impact test today and feels good about being cleared tomorrow.
It was strange watching the game of the year with Blake on the sideline. I know that it really bugged him, but that is life. My guess about the game was correct. This was the best team that Westwood had faced. Leander drove the length of the field only to throw an interception in the end zone. They finally scored, then we scored. At halftime, the game was tied 7 to 7.
Westwood was driving in the middle of the third quarter. After a nice run, Westwood's running back went down, and the ball came out. The play happened right in front of me...knee down, then the defender stripped the ball. The refs saw it differently. Leander managed to drive deep into Westwood territory. Westwood's D held on third down tackling the QB for a loss. It was now 4 and 4 from the 8. I figured Leander would kick a field goal...wrong. Leander called a time out and decided to go for it. After the time out, Leander got set quickly. They ran a tackle eligible play that looked like another QB power run, but was not. The LB's predictably rolled with the flow, but the QB suddenly stopped and lobbed the ball into the end zone to a wide open receiver. Turns out that they have been saving the play all year. 14 to 7 and time is now running down. Westwood gets the ball back with 5 minutes left. After a few first downs, Ben Johnson completes a long pass to the Leander 4 yard line. First and goal at the 4 with 2 minutes left. Westwood gained two yards on first down. Lost two on 2nd down. Gained two on third down. With 16 seconds left, Westwood coaches call a time out. Last play, Ben rolls out to the right and lofts a pass to the corner of the end zone. Sadly, the ball finds nothing but the ground. Game over. It has been a great year. In the long run, this loss may be just what was needed to recharge the fires for the playoffs. Next week is the last home game against Round Rock. Last year was a 44 to 0 spanking. The Dragons are better this year, but I think Westwood wins by 2 TDs.
A beautiful night for football.
Blake keeps a close eye on the measurement.
The first loss of the year...damn that hurt.
That is all I have for this week, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey:
Love is not something that you can put chains on and throw into a lake. That's called Houdini. Love is liking someone a lot.
The other day I got out my can opener and was opening a can of worms when I thought, what the hell am I doing?
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...