Be Like Mike

Summer of 1991.  I am a few weeks away from turning 21.  Living in Nacogdoches, Texas and attending Stephan F. Austin State University.  I spend most of my summer days listening to the Houston Astros like I posted here.  T and I are in love.

Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan just won their 6th Championship. The entire world is learning who Michael Jordan #23 is.  The greatest and most competitive basketball player to ever set foot on a court.

I love Michael Jordan.  Watching him on the court is, still to this day, the best I have ever seen.  I imagine there will be nobody better.

Gatorade just decided to offer Mike 13.5 million as their 1st athletic sports star.

Gatorade decides to run a commercial called, Be Like Mike.  The song in the commercial is from the movie, The Jungle Book.  I still whistle it in my head…

Watching Jordan sitting in his red shirt during the commercial just laughing still brings back fun memories.  To me that commercial scene shows that Jordan was human.  He had fun.  He laughed.

After Jordan made the last second fade-away jumper to win the game.. He runs and jumps up pumping his fist.  That scene, that game… will always be etched in my brain.  Amazing.

This weekend during the NBA All-Star Game it will be the 50th Anniversary of Gatorade and they will release the original Be Like Mike advertisement that has been digitally mastered.

When I could I gave it my all.

Very inspirational story on E60 the other day.  This poor kid has been diagnosed with MS.  She was a former select soccer player (like my girls) and started to lose feeling in her toes, feet and then legs.  After tests she was discovered to have MS.

So what does she do?  Of course, she decided to become a distance runner throughout high school.  Truly amazing.

So next time I am feeling sad, feeling like I can’t “go” anymore.  I just need to watch this video.

All I can say is… wow

Super Bowl? Super Man

stuI have been holding off on making this post until the right time.  I feel this morning after watching ESPN and Suzy Kolber I broke down and shed a tear.  Stuart Scott died January 4, 2015.

stu

At times it feels that Stu has been in my life my entire adulthood from afar.  I turn on ESPN pretty much every day of my life.  Stu is there.  Stu is making me smile.  Stu is giving me some report on my sports stars.  Stu is making me laugh.  The guy is just apart of the TV to me.

His collegues, Suzy Kolber, Chris Berman, etc… Are all ingrained in my life as well.

I was thinking in January that the Super Bowl is not going to be the same.  Pre-game on Super Bowl Sunday is always so entertaining to me.  I love the in depth stories of the athletes.  Stu was always able to make me laugh.

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This morning I got more than I bargained for.  Suzy Kolber.  (btw.. The absolute more gorgeous sports announcer to walk the planet.  Well hell, one of the most gorgeous women to walk the planet) broke down when trying to talk about Stu.  It was raw.  It was not scripted.  It was true friendship and mourning.  It was real.

Thank you Suzy… Thank you Stu…  Thank you ESPN for being a part of my life.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:12118361

I Can Hear My Role Model

I Can Hear My Role Model

I live my life in a constant metaphor to baseball.  Baseball is my yoga.  Baseball is my relaxation, my meditation, my medicine, my calming force.  Everything about the sport soothes me.  I know…  I’m strange.

After being kicked out of my second college, back in 1989, I turned to baseball as my priest.  Baseball became my safe-haven.  Baseball was cathartic.

Do you get the gist?  I like baseball?

I was never the most graceful athlete growing up.  I was never as fast or big as the other kids my age.  I had great hand-eye coordination but I was slow.  Baseball was the sport I played.  I didn’t play well but I played.  I grew up in a time were you actually TRIED OUT for a sport.  There were kids that did not make a team and went home.  They cried and moved on with life.  No trophies for picking daisies.

When I tried out, I still remember the quote from the coach that chose me, “If you could take the ‘heart’ out of you and put it in a more athletic body you would be a superstar.”  How should a 7 year old take that?

As I grew older, I began to understand what “heart” meant.  I realized that I tried harder than everyone else.   Due to the fact I could never compare to them in ability; I knew I could “out-work” them.  And I did.  I practiced longer, I dreamed about the sport, I asked questions, I watched others, I tried.

I have tried to instill this lesson into everything I do in life.  My two daughters that are athletically gifted have this trait. …

Back to 1990…

I was kicked out of my 2nd college due to various stupidities.  (I’ll make a post on this in the future).  I then sat out a year of prime-college learning to become a bartender.  Great career choice.  Eventually I went back to college and needed something to keep me out of trouble.  I needed to go back to what made me successful.  I was lost… I was spinning like a top.  I was drunk at least 6 days out of the week.  I needed to regain control.

I returned to my first love… baseball.  I became the biggest Houston Astros fan you can find.

Do you know what guy was drafted out of Seton Hall and  had a few games in 1988 but was named the starting catcher for the 1989 season???    Craig Biggio!

I came home for opening day in the old Astrodome and asked my father to catch a game with me.  We watched this young man play and my father turned to me and asked, “ Remember your coach saying that if your heart was in a top level athlete?  Well that young man is what your coach was describing.” <of course I’m comparing myself to Biggio; this is my blog>

I will never be able to thank Craig Biggio for how much he inspired me.  For how much he helped me.

You see… baseball saved me.

Baseball gave me a way to settle down and control my crazy problems.  Baseball calmed me.  I would sit and listen to the games while I studied my coursework.  I got my grades and life back on track because I had an outlet.  I didn’t need to go shoot pool, drink whiskey, chase women, and create chaos anymore.  I had my studies, my books, Craig Biggio, and my soon to be ex-wife…

I have watched baseball ever since.

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 Craig Biggio was elected to the hall of fame yesterday

There is not a better athlete or role model for kids today.  This man played the game the right way.  This man treated every game like it was his last.  This man was loyal to a fault.

He could have left Houston and made more money elsewhere.  He chose to stay and be loyal to the organization that gave him an opportunity for less money.

In today’s media coverage he would be a superstar.  Another JJ Watt.  But he did it quietly.

We hear you now Craig Biggio

Sisters on the Pitch

Now is time for some positives… The New Year is here and I have been looking forward to January 2, 2015 for many months.

Today my two fabulous daughters play soccer together as teammates.  This is the first time this has ever taken place.  It is a monumental day.

Understand the background…

R is 17 and a junior in high school.  Se stands 5’7 and 128 libs.  Fastest kid I have ever seen. She is a highly skilled center defender on the pitch.  She is the quiet type that will knock the shit out of you.  On the club level she was ECNL level.  Basically meaning she was on the top level of select soccer you can play.  She was being recruited as a sophomore in high school to many Division 1 schools.  In high school her freshman year the coach was shocked that this quiet, well mannered, National Honor Society nerd could play soccer… and play she did.  Freshman year she was 1st Team All District, and Academic All District.  She played every minute on a team full of seniors as their Left Outside defender.  That team went all the way to state (here in Texas, that’s no small feat).  Her sophomore year she takes it to a different level.  She is 2nd Team All County (Montgomery County Texas). She is the only Texas 4A school in the county to have a representative on this team.  4A just doesn’t get the same press as the mega-large schools like The Woodlands, Conroe, Kingwood, etc…  She is 1st Team All District, All Academic Team, Defensive MVP of her High School Team.  Played every single minute as their “defender”  Coach just lines her up against all the top forwards of the opponents telling her, “Don’t let that friggin girl score a f-ing goal”.  Not a single girl scored on her the entire season.  Lost a tough battle when their goal keeper suffered a concussion in the Area rounds…  This year she was voted Team Captain.  Stopped playing select soccer because she is not interested.  Strange kid but I love her nonetheless.  Quote from R, “Dad, it sucks that I am better at everyone else in something that I do not truly love.  I want to pursue in college things I love.”  Amazing maturity for a 17 year old. Her nick name on the soccer field is Silent Assassin.  She is number 22

B is a young 14 and a freshman in high school.  She just hit a growth spurt and is 5’8 and 115 lbs.  She was always shorter and slower than her other select teammates.  Until this past year.  I think it helped her develop as a soccer player because she had to learn the game, learn angles, learn how to pass, etc..   Plays on the State Classic League Rush team (select soccer).  We travel all over Texas competing each weekend at the highest level.  B is the “in you face” knuckle dragging forward that loves to score.  She is a daemon in the air.  She scores at least a 1/3 of her goals of set pieces off her head.  She will flat run over you and then usually talk “smack” afterwards.  Her number one goal is to play college soccer at The University of Arkansas.  The high school coach has known about B for the past 2 years.  She was named the starting forward of the Varsity team.  Her goal this season is to score 15 or more goals, win Newcomer of the Year for the district.  She is super skilled with the ball and faster than everyone else.  Except for maybe #22?  They won’t race.  Her name is Bam Bam.  and it fits.  She is number 26

I have been watching these two girls play soccer competitively since they were each 3 years old.  They have never been on the same team.

My heart spills over with pride.  Today, everyday…

becca2015 brookebec2

Kevin Sumlin Dismisses Michael Richardson From Texas A&M Football, Also Fires Pool Boy

I was going to write an article about the Texas A&M game and one of my favorite college football coaches, Kevin Sumlin. But this blog does it better… Thanks, The Big Lead

2:00 AM and the Razorbacks Win – Never Yield

I am just returning home from the Texas Bowl.  The Arkansas Razorbacks completely destroyed the Texas Longhorns.  It was embarrassing for the poor Longhorns.  Great for the Hogs!!!

So, I’m still pumped and wired.  But Fred, the adopted dog, was locked in his crate for 11 hours.  He is shitting liquid and some of it got on my bed spread.  So, the sheets and bedding are all in the wash.  The joys of having a dog.  If you feed it; it will shit.

I can’t tell you how many times I called the hogs and sang the Arkansas Fight Song.  They have a line that they have adopted as one of their many slogan which is just awesome…

NEVER YIELD

Great game.  Great fun with the girls and my father… plus my nephew!

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The group

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What a night!