Category Archives: Football

Things That I Don’t Like About Sports

   As anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows, I am a big sports fan. There aren’t many sports that don’t pique my interest when I have the opportunity to watch them. Hockey would be a notable exception as would soccer unless, of course, one of my sons is playing.

   There are some things that are emerging in the wide, wide world of sports, however, that I find disturbing and down-right irritating. If you will allow me to vent, I will afford you the same courtesy in the comments.

   1.  I can’t stand the term “swagger“. Teams and athletes feel like they must have “swagger” (whatever that is) to be effective in their contests. Usually this amounts to nothing more than an overabundance of charisma, taunting and intimidation of the opponent. Just play the game. If I want to watch grown men act like children, I’ll watch the presidential debates.

   2.  Contract renegotiation. Player A signs a contract for six years for an ungodly amount of money, becoming the highest-paid player in the league at his position. In the following off-season, players B and C sign contracts for larger amounts of money. Player A now sulks, complains and lollygags until his team renegotiates his contract to once again make him the highest-paid under-achiever in the league. I would say to these people, “Get a life. You make more in one game than Joe the Plumber makes in a year. Play the game and hope McCain gets elected so you can keep the fruits of your whining.”

   3.  Contract year. We now have the scenario repeated over and over through all professional leagues where a player suddenly steps his level of play way up because his current contract is about to expire and he is preparing to enter the lucrative waters of free-agency. Whatever happened to giving it your best shot every play of every game? Pete Rose may not be a paragon of virtue, but it is a travesty to deny “Charlie Hustle” access to the Hall of Fame while these slackers march toward the realm of legends. We’ve come a long way from the Babe’s incredulous statement, “You mean you’re going to pay me to play baseball?”

   4. This one always cracks me up. A running back breaks free for a twenty yard run or a wide receiver catches a pass for a big gain. A safety will bring them down hard and then jump up and start beating his chest. Are you kidding me? The guy just schooled you and your team for big yards! Tackle him for a loss and then you have reason to celebrate. Better yet, just tackle him and then walk back to your huddle and act like you’ve done the job that is expected of you.

5.  Then you have goings-on like the Baltimore Ravens putting bounties on opposing team’s players. I realize this has been going on for some time, but what Mr. Suggs and company need to realize is that the NFL is not the mafia, it is a GAME! Players who engage in such practices should be banned from the sport for life. These activities should be ranked right up (down) there with drug and steroid abuse.

Thanks for letting me get these things off my chest. I feel much better now. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Favorite Things About Fall

   As I sat watching my son practice soccer last evening, I noticed a cool edge in the weather. It immediately caused me to perk up, fall is in the air!

   Fall is my favorite season. There are so many things about it that I love: cooler weather, football, hunting, bonfires, Thanksgiving…so many things.

   So what do you like about Fall? Or, if you prefer another season, please share with us why.

   God bless and have a great weekend.

Fearless Predictions

I realize that college football season started last week, so maybe this is fudging just a little. However, my Seminoles don’t play their first game until tomorrow evening so, technically, the season hasn’t started for me.

Here are a few random predictions for the world of college football.

Oklahoma and West Virginia will play for the national championship with the Mountaineers taking home the hardware. As much as I would like to see Georgia do it this year, the SEC schedule is simply murder. Oklahoma on the other hand has a much softer schedule (I can hear Missouri fans screaming at me now) and the tools to get it done. If first-year coach, Bill Stewart, can keep the ‘Eers focused through the Big East schedule, they will win this rematch of last year’s Fiesta Bowl.

Florida State will win 10 games in the regular season (I told you these were fearless predictions). I hate to admit it, but Florida will probably prevail again this year and possibly Wake Forest. After last week, though, I have to believe our guys can play with Clemson, Virginia Tech and the rest of the ACC. New quarterback Christian Ponder will bring a better arm and more mobility to Jimbo Fisher’s offense and if the defensive line can stay healthy, the Seminole nation just may be back on the warpath.

Michigan will have a losing record.

Alabama will win the Western Division of the SEC.

Contrary to Lou Holtz’ predictions, Notre Dame will NOT go undefeated this year, but they probably will beat Michigan.

UCLA will upset USC and knock them out of the BCS Championship game.

USC will beat Ohio State, but the Buckeyes will beat Michigan.

Penn State will beat Michigan, but Bobby Bowden will finish the season ahead of Joe Pa in total victories.

Utah will be the surprise team in the BCS picture this year. After all, they have already beat Michigan in the Big House.

Michigan fans will attempt to hang this blog in effigy.

You heard it here, first, except for the part about Ohio State beating Michigan. The news is all over Ohio right now.

What sayeth thee, noble and informed reader?

Don’t Do It Brett

As football season is approaching, NFL teams are preparing for the opening of training camp and the commencement of preseason schedules. Soon it will be time for players to fight for a spot on the roster, teams to decide who those players are and for prognosticators to sit on their lofty perch and tell us whether or not the Patriots are going to be able to go undefeated without their top videographer.

Emerging from this hum and chatter is the rumor of Brett Favre’s return from a short-lived retirement. So far, neither Brett nor the Green Bay Packers are saying a whole lot of anything of substance, but this thought has been lurking just beneath the surface of the fond farewell that Brett has been receiving over the past few months.

I am a bit conflicted about this. I am a big fan of Brett Favre and have been for several years. When I watched him play I was reminded of what the NFL was like when I was a kid. I loved his gunslinger’s mindset and his winning attitude. He played the game as it was supposed to be played, for the fun of it. There is a big part of me that would love to see my favorite player return and lead his team to one more year of glory.

That is the idealist in me.

The realist in me says that this is a game for young guys. Aaron Rodgers has been the patient understudy for three years now. Everyone close to the situation says the kid is more than ready to step onto Lambeau Field and begin another brilliant chapter in the Packer’s illustrious history.

Favre has absolutely nothing left to prove. The only reason for coming back is the aforementioned love of the game. The old warhorse still has the heart for one more charge. Yes, he would still be better than probably two-thirds of the quarterbacks currently starting in the league, but not that much better. The years are starting to catch up.

He has a stellar legacy that is sure to land him in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. He has the Superbowl rings, the awards, the accolades and the cherished memories of millions of fans, some as far removed from the frozen tundra as myself. We remember him as being great when he left. If he returns now he risks being remembered as being great “in his day”, joining the countless number of veterans whose desire for one more season caused them to discount the diminishment of their skills. He risks being scrutinized and second-guessed every time he tries to force a pass into double coverage. He risks the humiliation of a cold shoulder from the Packer’s brain trust at best, or a mid-season benching at worst.

Don’t do it, Brett.

Weekend Survey

The family and I are going to go down to St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge (pictured in my header) to do some hiking and birding this afternoon. We have plans for a picnic supper and hopefully the bald eagles have returned after the summer.

As majestic as the eagles are, however, I would have to say that the bird that fascinates me the most is the Great Blue Heron. These birds have some amazing beauty and I never get tired of watching them hunt for supper in the wading pools with the sun setting in the background.

So, with that in mind, this week’s survey is for the birds. Which bird is your favorite?

God bless and have a great weekend.

Oh, yeah, the ‘Noles are gonna take Alabama down hard!

Burgers With the Big Dawg

   I had a great opportunity last night, along with about 1200 others to hear Mark Richt share his testimony at a hamburger supper. For those who do not know, Mark Richt is the head football coach at the University of Georgia.

   He gave a wonderful testimony of the circumstances God used to bring him to faith in Jesus Christ. His life had been built upon his love for football and his dreams of a professional career. When things didn’t work out as he planned, he followed the wrong voices for a time in his life, but through the witness of a former team mate and his new boss (FSU coach Bobby Bowden) he came to see his need of being saved.

    We hear so much today of the scandals and problems of athletes and coaches, it was very refreshing to find one who is willing to take a public stand for Christ.

Christmas Wishes

I am leaving tomorrow to travel with my family to Palatka, FL, to visit my wife’s family for a few days. I don’t know how much time I will have for blogging, or how many of you will be blogging over the weekend, so let me share with you my Christmas wishes for all of you.

 I wish that your life is filled with light of God’s love and the glory of His grace.

I wish that this Christmas is warmed by laughter and the company of those you love.

I wish that all of your children and grandchildren will know the true meaning of Christmas.

I wish that our missionaries will receive a special measure of comfort from the Holy Spirit.

I wish that our military will be safe and know that there are those of us back home who love them and are praying for them.

 I wish that you receive gifts that you don’t have to wait in line for two hours on Tuesday to return. 🙂

I wish that the Seminoles win their bowl game and find an offensive coordinator that will do them justice.

I wish for snow…oh, how I wish for snow. But, alas, I am going to Florida.

Oh, well. 🙂

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Movie Review: Facing the Giants

Last night I had the opportunity to watch the movie, Facing the Giants. It was a very enjoyable and inspirational experience.

“Facing the Giants” is the story of Shiloh Christian Academy and their underachieving football team. Through a series of personal conflicts, their young coach comes to grips with his faith, thus changing his philosophy about life and coaching. This facilitates a new attitude for his team and brings about a change in the way they are playing and living.

 Let me begin by telling you what I did not see. This film was not produced in a Hollywood studio with a mega-budget. As you are probably aware, it was produced on a $100,000 budget by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA. Thus, it doesn’t have a lot of special effects or bells and whistles that many movies use to cover up a lack of substance. Neither did I see any drinking, cussing, nudity or gratuitous violence (just some hard-hitting football action).

 What I did see was reality. The movie was very realistic in the way it portrays the struggles of life. Issues such as tight-budgets, infertility, job security and frustration are presented in such a way that most, if not all viewers will feel a connection with the lead characters.

I appreciated the unadulterated Gospel that was presented throughout the movie (this is why it was rated PG). The humor was a little contrived in some parts, but it was good for a few laughs, nonetheless. The football scenes were very realistic and the plot moved toward a fulfilling climax.

I highly recommend that you see this movie. You don’t have to be a Christian or a football fan to enjoy it, but after seeing it, you may become both.

Weekend Survey

I am soooooo excited about the start of college football. There are a couple of games this weekend that I think bear watching, Notre Dame vs Georgia Tech, tomorrow, and Florida State vs Miami on Monday.

So for this week’s survey question, What is your favorite college football team and do you have any predictions for the upcoming season?

My favorite is the Florida State Seminoles. I predict they will win their conference and may even contend for the national title. Ohio State, Texas and West Virginia should be at the top as well.

Notre Dame is not going to survive the schedule they have.

Have a blessed weekend.

What I Love About Fall

Forgive me while I express some exhiliration. I will resume posts of a “spiritual” nature soon, but I must share with you what I am feeling right now. It is coming up on my favorite time of the year, fall. Now those of you who live in more northern climes than do I will probably be thinking, “Don’t you mean ‘autumn’?” You are probably thinking about rolling countryside carpeted in a vivid display of colors that no artist could hope to match. Maybe you are thinking about bonfires and hot chocolate or mulled apple cider as the changing seasons bring a hint of chill to the air.

The fact is, all of that is great. I used to live up north, so I have had the opportunity to enjoy all of that. That is, indeed, a true “autumn”.

Things are different in South Georgia.

We have very little fall color and the leaves don’t even fall off the trees here until late November and December. Hey, it doesn’t even get cold here until January when we have a three-day cold-snap and then it warms back up. We had three inches of snowfall a few years back and it paralyzed the whole area. It doesn’t pay to get out and drive in the snow here. If you don’t know how to drive in the snow, you wind up in the ditch. If you do know how to drive in the snow, people begin to suspect you may really be a Yankee and that can lead to misunderstandings.

But I digress.

Fall is my favorite time of the year.

“Why?” you may ask.

Two words: hunting and football.

Yessirree, in just a few weeks it will be time to take to the woods in search of fresh meat. Getting out with the boys while trying to avoid redbugs, mosquitoes, yellowjackets and rattlesnakes. It seems like everytime we go hunting, it turns into a big adventure of some kind. Sometime I’ll have to tell you about the Great Yellowjacket Caper or the Squirrel Who Wouldn’t Die.

And then there is football.

I dearly love college football. I am proud to be a fan of the Florida State University Seminoles. Believe me, there is no feeling in the world like being among 82,000 of your best friends in Doak Campbell Stadium, on a Saturday afternoon that is still 95 degrees well into October, watching those teams from up north fold like a cheap suit in the middle of the second quarter.

I even enjoy watching games involving teams I care nothing about. The NFL is okay when there aren’t any college games on, but give me the old school spirit anytime. Kickoff is just around the corner. I am making plans for the optimal viewing experience for several games (you need plenty of iced tea and snacks).

My wife is starting to get that resigned look on her face that she always gets this time of year. She knows that our house and conversations are going to be filled with elements of pigskin and junkfood and that the remote control will be stuck on ESPN. I, on the other hand, am going around with a silly grin on my face that just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

I am a happy man.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.