Thursday, October 19, 2017

Aaron Rodgers and Faith

Interesting article in ESPN the Magazine about Aaron Rodgers. His parents were devout Christians, and for a while he was as well. Now he says “I think organized religion can have a mind-debilitating effect, because there in an exclusivity that can shut you out from being open to the world, to people, and energy, and love and acceptance…I was, you know, more black and white. This is what I believe in. And then at some point…you realize, I don’t really know the answers to all the questions”
What Rodgers says may be true, but the secret isn’t organized religion or knowing all the answers. Instead what’s needed is a personal relationship and faith in Jesus. It’s hard to break free to relate to other people, to love and accept as Christ did. To roll up your sleeves and get involved. Some never do. It’s sure hard for me. 

Rodgers references a book detailing violent acts committed over the years, all supposedly in the name of Christianity. Again, so many get “religion” wrong, just as people misunderstand relationships, politics, and so many other areas of life. As a young person the QB may have received a theologically incomplete answer to what happens to people who’ve never heard the gospel. Is anyone short of heaven completely sure of the answer to that question? Is an answer needed before someone can decide what their relationship with God will be? No one will ever know all the answers.

So often people’s relationship with God is influenced by key individuals (both Christian or non-Christian) at a defining moment in the person’s life. Several years ago Rodgers spent time with a young progressive pastor named Rob Bell, who influenced Rodgers’ (and thousands of others) on what Christianity is. While there may be some truth in Bell’s teaching and beliefs, some obviously strays from what’s written in the Bible. Bell’s book “Love Wins” has been criticized by Albert Mohler, John Piper, and SBC International Mission Board president David Platt.

Seems like the smarter a person is, the more they question things. Nothing wrong with that, as long as their search is open and thorough. I am far from a perfect Christian, but this is my response to Rodgers.

I do like Aaron Rodgers, and the way he comports himself. One of my favorite football players. He’s trying to be the best Aaron Rodgers, not trying to be anything he’s not. Jeopardy champion. Discount double check. Interesting that a kid from northern California playing in Green Bay would spend off-seasons in Los Angeles (though Tom Brady does the same thing). There have been reports that Rodgers is estranged from his family. Hope it’s not because he’s wandered from their faith.    

Many people who deny God’s existence on social media often show their ignorance in their comments. Some ask why a loving God would allow such human suffering on earth, never taking time to read/learn/think through how earth is a fallen place. Forgotten is the free will God allows, knowing that demanding love and obedience could never be genuine. Instead people are able to choose their behaviors good and bad, which can impact others. Would people rather be a bunch of robots? I think not.

Sometimes I read comments just to see the reactions. To me there’s no greater sign of God’s creation then the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. As the caterpillar spins its cocoon, its head splits open and it eats and digests itself. The cocoon is filled with goo - the caterpillar is gone. The butterfly is created from the goo. How could this process have been created apart from God? If this were evolution there would be no more caterpillars. Yet unbelievers still don’t see God in this, refusing to do the research that would negate their argument. Their mind is closed.  

Did I ever tell you about the time around 1980 when Ron Watts was living in the Giles house in Smyrna, near Campbell High School? The Giles were serving as missionaries (I think). Ron lived there with Steve Giles and David Hurt (I think). One time Ron was reading on his bed. Hurt popped his head into the doorway to ask him a question. Ron clammered around like he was doing something he wasn’t supposed to be doing. Hurt went over to see what he was reading. Ron had been covering up a Popular Mechanics magazine.

Repairs, we have an insurance adjuster coming out. Some shingles blew off during the hurricane, causing a leak that damaged a ceiling.

Tuesday: Ceil cooked roast beef, mashed potatoes, and salad for supper. I had picked up the potatoes on the way home. Ceil might have strep throat. We watched some of the game. Also The Middle, The Voice, blackish, and The Mayor. I went to bed at ten. C stayed up to watch Kevin Saves the World.

Wednesday: Ceil’s been sick. Later I went out to Kroger for medicine. M cooked a buffalo chicken pizza. Stayed up to watch Designated Survivor.

A former coworker called in today. She’s been gone over ten years – Yung Rinnert Murphy. A real fun troublemaker. The type those who followed in her footsteps had big shoes to fill, as Emily Blunt said at the end of The Devil Wears Prada.     

Back when I was single for some reason on Wednesdays I would leave work at 5 pm, drive home, eat supper, change clothes, and then go to the SPdL fellowship hall. Not like I wore a suit or anything. Didn’t know why all the men in suits didn’t change before coming. Not sure when I figured out how much easier to would be to come straight from work.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Week 7 Total QB Rating

Quarterbacks are expected to be the team’s savior. They get most of the publicity, and most of the blame when things go wrong. What I hate is listening to announcers on TV building up quarterbacks before the game that I know have poor ratings, on teams having disappointing seasons. If the player was so great, why does the team continue to lose? I know the announcers have to stir interest so viewers won’t change the channel. 
But let’s give credit where credit is due. Most of the top teams have highly rated QB’s. Most of the poor teams have low rated QB’s. Doesn’t matter if the QB is a “multi-purpose” QB or a traditional dropback passer. Strong arm or not. Either way, if they can’t hit a receiver in the hands, what good are they? “Multi-purpose” QB’s are more likely to get hurt. As I’ve often pointed out, “multi-purpose” just means they’re a good runner. More often than not, a multi-purpose QB isn’t Johnny Unitas when it comes to passing. In college the great Deshaun Watson often threw interceptions or threw passes too high. The secret to coaching any QB is to play to his strengths, and as much as possible keeping him out of situations he fares well in. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, who was Tom Brady’s QB coach in New England, may be the best thing that’s ever happened to Watson.
This week Georgia’s Jake Fromm vaulted up to 13th nationally in ESPN’s Total QB Rating. Jake doesn’t have an arm as strong as teammate Jacob Eason, but he can make most all the throws required of a QB. Fromm doesn’t have the running ability of Clemson’s Kelly Bryant, but Fromm sees the field exceptionally well – so he better knows when a receiver will be open or that a running lane is clear. As good as Bryant is, to me Fromm is the type I want running my team. Eason is like a baseball pitcher who can throw 100 MPH – but has no control. The speedballer who only has one pitch.
Like the NFL, colleges are enamored with athletic ability more than football IQ. They give the keys to talented players who may have the reaction time to avoid wrecks, but not the experience to maneuver the team past unseen obstacles like blitzes and disguised coverages.  Many consider the term “game manager” to be the worst title a QB can have, but if the rest of your team is good, that’s exactly the type QB you need. Watkins and Alabama’s Jalen Hurts may be considered the first of a new wave of multi-purpose game managers.
1. 91.0 Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
2. 90.6 Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
3. 84.7 JT Barrett, Ohio State (above): on the rise
6. 82.1 Will Grier, West Virginia: Florida transfer
7. 81.9 Lamar Jackson, Louisville: no Heisman talk
8. 81.7 Ryan Finley, NC State: in the Atlantic Division’s driver’s seat
9. 81.6 Jalen Hurts, Alabama
11. 79.0 Kenny Hill, TCU
12. 75.7 Danny Etling, LSU: on the rise
13. 75.6 Jake Fromm, Georgia: on the rise
15. 74.8 Kelly Bryant, Clemson: hurt
16. 74.4 Nick Fitzgerald, Miss State
17. 73.4 Jake Browning, Washington
18. 73.4 John Wolford, Wake Forest
23. 71.8 Malik Rosier, Miami: on the rise
25. 70.8 Kyle Shurmur, Vandy
27. 69.5 Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame: tough games ahead
28. 69.5 Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech
30. 68.4 Sam Darnold, Southern Cal: wunderkind?
32. 68.2 Taquon Marshall GT doesn’t get pub like #30 Darnold & #33 Rosen
33. 67.8 Josh Rosen, UCLA
34. 67.4 Eric Dungey, Syracuse: beat Clemson
36. 67.1 Conner Manning, Georgia State
38. 66.9 Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
40. 66.6 Stephen Johnson, Kentucky continues to drop
42. 66.5 Shea Patterson, Ole Miss
48. 63.9 Trace McSorley, Penn State: tough games ahead
54. 61.2 Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
58. 59.9 Drew Lock, Missouri
60. 59.8 Kurt Benkert, Virginia
62. 59.7 Sam Ehlinger, Texas
64. 58.9 Austin Allen, Arkansas
66. 58.8 Feleipe Franks, Florida
68. 57.7 Jake Bentley, South Carolina
71. 57.0 James Blackman, FSU
74. 55.9 Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
80. 51.7 Quinten Dormady, Tenn: lost his job
89. 48.9 Max Browne, Pitt: now we know why he transferred from USC
96. 47.0 Anthony Brown, Boston College
100. 43.7 Daniel Jones, Duke
106. 40.7 Shane Buechele, Texas
108. 40.1 Zach Smith, Baylor

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Life on the Road

In the early 2000’s we were putting several “northern” offices on our “southern” computer system: Charlotte, Chattanooga, Tulsa, Dallas, Houston, and Orlando. Back in the 90’s I traveled to Greensboro and Little Rock. Fly out Sunday, work four long days, and come back late Friday. We’d work until six or seven. After that I was too tired to want to spend another hour plus in a restaurant, so I’d usually grab something quick and maybe eat in my hotel room – where I could read and clip pictures from two newspapers: local and USA Today.  
In Little Rock the office and hotel were out on the edge of town, so there were few places to eat nearby. The Holiday Inn had a great breakfast buffet. At the end of every day I would leave the plant, drive across the way to Subway and get the same chicken sub, BBQ chips, and Coke.
Since I’d spent a month in Charlotte and would be spending two more months on the road in Tulsa and Dallas, I decided to drive back and forth to Chattanooga every day. The kids were all young then. I’d leave home extra early to arrive by 8 am, then usually leave at 4:30 pm so I could get home at a decent hour. Seems like I had a regular breakfast spot – the Chickfila in Dalton or a Hardees just north of there. On the way home I’d stop at a Baskin Robbins.   
In Greensboro I traveled with an older lady who’d pick the nice restaurant we’d eat at every night. She’d make me order dessert, which I didn’t mind. In Tulsa I didn’t go out much, but in Dallas we went to several nice restaurants. Also the School Book Depository, Six Flags Over Texas, and several Texas Rangers games.
For Charlotte and Orlando I drove instead of flying. In Orlando twice after work I drove over to St. Pete for Rays games. In Houston I got to see the Astros.  
I rarely order meatloaf in restaurants. We were eating someplace recently where I saw it on the menu, but I didn’t order it. I like it better shepherd’s pie!
There’s an all new NBA on TNT set for Ernie, Kenny, Shaq, Charles. Lots of white. Doesn’t look good, I hear. Speaking of Barkley, the Hurts saw him at a recent Auburn game. Speaking of the Hurts, Haley appears to have survived the fires in Northern California. Coworker Angie’s boyfriend lost a relative in the fires.  
Friday night W&MC went to an engagement party for Charles Norman and his fiancĂ© Annie. Mostly the young crowd. Only oldsters were Becky and Annie’s parents. Annie has been teaching special ed in Atlanta. Charles is finishing up at Kennesaw.
I had been planning on leaving work earlier Friday afternoon, but stuff kept me there until six. Ceil added toppings to a frozen pizza. Watched the Clemson game and worked on my laptop.
Cleaned upstairs Saturday morning. Watched football all day while packing away summer clothes and getting out winter clothes. Also did laundry.
Walking into church Sunday morning we met up with Will, who attended our new Sunday School class. The class broke up into men and women. Lesson was on husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church, and wives submitting to husbands. Good sermon as well.
Will ate lunch with us at Willys and we all visited M at Whole Foods. I watched the Falcons and sorted more clothes. Ceil went to a baby shower.
I watched the Yankee game. Shows you that players can improve after years of struggling – Astros starter Charlie Morton had long ago been given up on by the Braves. The announcers were saying how it was a surprise the Astros signed him to a big contract, but he came through.
Left work at six Monday. Stopped by Bed Bath and Beyond for a shower curtain liner. Ceil cooked grilled chicken in a new tomato sauce. Also salad. In addition to the game we had on The Voice and The Good Doctor. The bad thing about that show is that since it comes on at 10 pm, the producers feel the need to add sex and liberal plot lines. Last night one patient “needed” an abortion and another was a porn actress. Also bullying. Sure it is real life but is the answer to put it on TV? Guess I don’t have to watch.
Fifteen years ago was Wednesday Oct 16 2002. Ceil cooked baked chicken. I wore a grey striped shirt, black cotton pants from Banana Republic, and black shoes from J Crew – loafers I think. Ceil got a haircut and met with the home school office at Perimeter Presbyterian. The World Series would begin that next Saturday.
For years Tech has been trying the old draw them offsides thing, shifting backs around. I’ve only seen that work once or twice.

Anna was back wanting to work in NYC next summer as a fashion/graphic arts intern. If so she’d better line something up quick. Her boyfriend came up with all the Bible Study materials for their Camp Highland last summer. He’s working in a dean’s office and serving in a ministry. Anna does the graphics for Grace Athens church.  
My boss’ daughter just moved to Dallas. Her husband got a job with the Dallas Mavericks, but it’s just ticket sales. He had worked for the Falcons and Atlanta United, but it was just a one year contract.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dawgs Up, Clemson Down

Dabo often tells his team that the only one who could beat Clemson is Clemson. That’s exactly what happened. Dabo said he didn’t regret starting the injured Kelly Bryant. That’s what he had to say. Starting Bryant was a mistake. Leaving him in was a mistake. Now Bryant has a bad ankle and a concussion. But that wasn’t the only way Clemson beat themselves. Stupid penalties. Unsportsmanlike conduct. Missed field goals. Botched fake punt (below). And on and on.
Some fans were upset that Dabo went into the Syracuse locker room to congratulate the victors. But that’s who Dabo is. Don’t like it? Want to get another coach? I didn’t think so. I wasn’t a fan of the move either. To me that’s thinking too highly of yourself, saying “I’m great. I’m big stuff. Congrats on beating such a great team.” For Clemson to get beat by Syracuse means the Tigers need to look at themselves. Not doing so could mean more losses down the road. Like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, NC State is licking their chops.
Tech lost by a point. Their offense went cold. So did the defense. Might’ve had the big head. Another running back got hurt. Miami took away the middle, but as usual Johnson made the adjustment, finding success on the corners. Tech needed a return of a botched onside kick to stay in the game. Tech did not score after that TD return on the first play of the second half. Tech’s most surehanded receiver dropped the crucial fourth down pass – a tough catch to be sure. Then Miami drove the field, running their successful bubble screen left over and over – six times in a row, reeling off first down after first down while stopping the clock. Then a converted fourth down catch off a tipped pass, setting up the game winning field goal.
Nimble move by Mark Richt to hop over the sliding Tuquan Marshall on the sidelines. As usual, the new goateed former Georgia coach was humble in victory. “Another day in paradise” “Tech played well enough to win” and “this is how we roll.” Poor Tech could be, should be undefeated. Let the Tennessee game get away, then Miami. Instead of being able to sneak up on an undefeated Clemson team, the Jackets will face the full wrath of a Tigers team anxious to reclaim its swagger. 
For some reason Tech’s freshman punting sensation Pressley Harvin III changed his punting style, opting a running to the right rugby-style instead of the more traditional approach he’d been relying on. His first punt was a line drive that Miami was able to return, putting them into scoring position. Later Harvin went back to his traditional style, and again boomed his punt.
Tech gives a scholarship to a punter, which yields immediate benefits. They need to give a scholarship to a kicker. Johnson went for it on 4th and six instead of attempting a 44 yard field goal because the special teams coach told Johnson “he couldn’t kick it that far.” Not good. Perhaps that’s why Johnson sent in the backup kicker, who split the uprights from a shorter distance.
The Dawgs gave fans something to worry about, giving up two bombs to pass happy Missouri. That’s about all they got. Good to reveal the weak link now than against a tougher team. OC Jim Chaney became pass happy himself, showing future opponents that Jake Fromm could do more than just hand off. The freshman Fromm was hitting receivers in the hands far downfield. Hopefully the bye week will give Godwin’s bruised ribs time to heal. He will be needed against the Gators.
To no one’s surprise (except Ricky Glover) freshman Swift had another big game. Holyfield was the only Dawg wearing white socks. Not sure what was up with that. Both Swift and Holyfield helped set a Sanford Stadium record for total offense against an SEC opponent.
Rodrigo Blankenship came into Saturday ranked second in field goal percentage, having made 4 of 5 for the year. Against Missouri he made all four field goals, and continued to boom kickoffs out of the end zone. Looked like the special teams strategy changed on a few of the kickoffs, as Rodrigo was asked to kick a few higher and shorter.
As usual, Bama rolled. They remain the team to beat.

Both Washington and Washington State lost. Cougars coach Mike Leach didn’t mix words, calling his team a bunch of front-runners.
TCU won, but has a tough schedule. Oklahoma edged Texas, but doesn’t seem to be a dominant team. Michigan struggled, and now must travel to Happy Valley to face media favorite Penn State. Some experts think the Wolverines can hold their own.
Auburn lost to resurgent LSU. With two losses, their only hope is to beat Georgia, Bama, and Georgia again.
In a game that featured almost zero offense, South Carolina edged Tennessee. Seemed like neither team wanted to win. At least both teams wore their regular uniforms. Vols haven’t scored a touchdown in two games. Wonder if those Gamecock fans still think Muschamp is a better coach than Kirby. Crazy talk.
Falcons lost. Offense looked anemic. Not sure what’s the matter. Freeman reeled off 66 yards rushing in the first half but only two in the second. The defense couldn’t seem to stop the Dolphins. Fans will panic, but there’s still plenty of season left. The idea is to peak at the end. Only problem is the rest of the division all looks good.  The road doesn’t get any easier. Next up: New England, who struggled against the Jets. 
Eli led the 0-5 Giants past the Broncos, but the trade rumors continue. I’m sure he’s rather end up in Green Bay than Jacksonville, thought the Jags offer the best long term prospects. Jags rookie running back Leonard Fournette has been a beast, but he tweaked an ankle against the Rams. In other Manning news: (1) Tony Dungy squashed any rumors that Peyton would come out of retirement to replace the injured Aaron Rodgers, (2) Cooper is now co-starring in a commercial with Peyton, and (3) I’m not a fan of Eli’s new tight haircut.
Deshaun Watson continues to amaze. He leads the NFL in touchdown passes, and climbed to 7th on the all-time Texans TD list after just six games. Could I have been wrong about him?  The Browns were – they passed on Deshaun and took Notre Dame’s young Deshone Kizer. It always helps to be drafted by teams with good coaches, players, and front office personnel already in place.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Rosenberg: Putin = Gog?

One of author Joel Rosenberg's most recent posts. He says to be very wary of Putin, perhaps even more than ISIS.


On the eve of Yom Kippur, "Putin in Ankara to forge alliance of Russia, Turkey & Iran." Here's why that's interesting.

Readers of my novel, The Ezekiel Option, and non-fiction book, Epicenter, and this blog know how interested I am in the ancient prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39 and what is known by rabbis, pastors and Bible scholars as the "War of Gog and Magog."
The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote some 2,500 years ago that in the "last days" of history, the Jewish people will be gathered back to the land of Israel from all the nations where they have been scattered and exiled, they will rebuild the State of Israel, and they will create a nation of ever-increasing security and prosperity.
At that time, Ezekiel indicates an evil dictator identified as "Gog" will rise up in Russia (known in Biblical times as "Magog") who will form an alliance with Iran (known in Biblical times as "Persia"), Turkey (known in Biblical times as "Gomer"), and several other Middle Eastern and North African countries. Together, this alliance will surround and then seek to attack and consume Israel and the Jewish people.
Skeptics of the Bible dismiss all talk of prophecy as uneducated, unsophisticated and downright ridiculous, despite the fact that over the last century we've been seeing one Bible prophecy after another come to pass:
Jews from all over the world have been streaming back to live in the Land of Israel (myself included)
Israelis have been rebuilding the ancient ruins and building a modern, flourishing, prosperous economy.
Israelis have been creating the strongest and most successful military in the entire Middle East, have forged an enduring alliance with the world's only superpower, and feel more secure today than ever in their modern existence.
So some of us find headlines like these particularly interesting:
Keep in mind that tensions between Russia and Turkey (a NATO member) have been running quite high in recent years.
Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly condemned Turkey, saying Turkish leaders were "accomplices of terrorists" and warned of "serious consequences."
By February 2016, the Financial Times published a story headlined, "Tensions between Russia and Turkey reach new peak." The article noted that, "Tension between Russia and Turkey has reached a new peak as the two countries step up military action in Syria in support of opposing sides, edging closer to direct confrontation in the country's increasingly internationalised war....'Putin is furious with Turkey,' said [a] European official. 'The situation is really incredibly serious.'"
So it's not exactly obvious that Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan would be meeting in the Turkish capital to forge an alliance together, much less with Iran. Yet that's exactly what happened this week.
Putin's visit to Ankara comes a few days prior to the scheduled visit of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's to Moscow on October 5-7, 2017. After patching up an acrimonious row between the countries over the downing of a Russian jetfighter in November 2015 over Syria, both leaders have pledged to restore their political and economic relations to pre-crisis levels....
Moscow called for a peace conference in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, which involved Turkey and Iran. The countries formed a diplomatic triad for setting up de-escalation zones in Syria in order to end the war and stop the division of the country. Russia chose Astana as a venue for the talks to send a message to the US that it should not get close to Russian borders through former republics of the Soviet Union....
Turkish leadership is seeking strategic relationship with Russia to replace the loss of its Western alliance. In other words, Ankara is effecting a shift toward a more "Eurasian-ist" orientation due to the proximity of the region, the overlapping of interests, common cultural values and language.
After winning the war in Syria, Russia is now seeking to ensure its peace – a mission no less difficult than going to war. Initially, Russia used Turkey as a key partner to make the Syrian opposition accept a truce and join peace talks for reaching a political settlement....
Russian-Turkish bilateral relations have several common traits: pragmatism, multi-faceted approach, commonalities, reliance on energy resources, geopolitical power, military performance, circumspection toward the West. All of this has fueled the Russian and Turkish pursuit to play a pivotal role at the Eurasian and Middle Eastern landscapes....
In 2014, Putin and Erdogan signed several agreements on bilateral trade with the two countries hoping that their annual trade volume would reach $100 billion by 2020. However, the most important achievement of the meeting was the agreement to expand cooperation in natural gas trade. Russia aimed through these agreements to also increase its gas exports to Turkey by more than 3 billion cubic meters because of the latter's increasing need for energy.
Turkey imports 93 percent of its energy needs, 97 percent of which is natural gas. Ankara buy 60 percent of its gas from Russia, which makes it the second largest importer of Russian natural gas after Germany. The value of Turkish exports to Russia does not exceed $6 billion....
The recent military rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow with the S-400 deal has upset NATO officials because the Russian system, an anti-air defense system, is incompatible with NATO's. With this deal, Russia will be the third biggest arms exporter to Turkey after Germany and the US.
Erdogan, who plans to visit Iran in October to bolster military cooperation, will also be discussing the repercussions of any independent Kurdish state that might inflame separatist tensions in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria....
To be clear, I'm not saying that as Yom Kippur begins this year, Israel faces an imminent threat of attack from Russia, Turkey or Iran. Nor am I saying that this week's meeting between Putin and Erdogan necessarily fulfills Biblical prophecy. It's simply too early to say whether the alliances that are forming between have Biblical significance. Likewise, it's also too early to say that Putin is Gog, though he certainly seems "Gog-esque." We simply don't have enough information, so we should not be quick to draw conclusions.
That said, even skeptics of the Bible should find recent events not only troubling geopolitically, but also curiously consistent with the words of the ancient Hebrew prophet Ezekiel. I certainly do.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Back in Black Again

The Falcons wore their beautiful black uniforms against Buffalo.
Not a true throwback. Falcons wore white pants and red helmets in the 60's, but NFL rules require players to wear the same helmet every week. In the 90's the Birds wore black helmets and jerseys, but grey pants.
A great catch by Tevin Coleman.
Nice striped socks as well.
Jake Matthews. I love lineman shoes.
More Coleman. Note the new Nike jersey has fewer seams
and a less obnoxious collar.
Uni Watch recently featured the Falcons Brand X Draft,
the brainchild of rookie receiver Ken Burrow.
Later I helped Uni Watch writer Paul Lukas get in touch with Burrow,
a friend of mine on Facebook.
Burrow (right), with defensive back Tom Hayes,
his teammate at San Diego State and Atlanta.
Hall of Fame receiver Fred Belitnikoff had a great look:
old time suspension helmet, single bar face mask, sleeves just the right length, old style Raider jersey, tapes forearms, socks just the right length, black cleats perfectly taped.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Reserved Parking Spaces

Clemson/Syracuse: what a poorly played first half. Missed tackles. Missed field goals. Roughing the passer. Missed assignments. Defensive pass interference. Offensive pass interference. Offsides. Center moves the ball, and the defense is called for encroachment. Unsportsmanlike conduct – twice. You’d think football players would pay attention to what’s happening during the game, yet they make the same mistakes over and over. Playing out of control. Holding.

QB Kelly Bryant was playing hurt. He couldn’t run and the injury affected his passing as well. His immobility caused him to get hit more, and got him knocked out of the game. The last thing Clemson needed is for him to get hurt worse. Syracuse is an improved football team this year, and Dabo didn’t take them lightly. But even down 7-0. 14-7, 17-14, and 24-17, either of Clemson’s backups are more than able to get the win.

So many things went right for Syracuse in the first quarter. The quick snaps kept Clemson off guard. Eric Dungy played great but is a bit of a jerk. Ishmael celebrated while his touchdown was being called back for his push off. Syracuse gets called for excess celebration, then Clemson gets called for the same thing. It’s like the players didn’t know what the rules are. Maybe they don’t care.

So many things went wrong for Clemson in the first quarter. Offense. Defense. Special teams. Perhaps a little worse than several other close games this season. Those thinking them the best team in the nation haven’t been paying close attention. Bama isn’t the only imperfect unbeaten team.
Seems like it ought to be unnecessary roughness when a defender makes a tackle, then gets up celebrating - while inadvertently stomping all over the player he just tackled.
The Catalyst Conference was for ministers and leaders, so Stanley geared his talks to that. At one point he talked about how entitlements should be avoided if possible – special gifts, etc. I wondered what he would say. Andy said to cut them off at the beginning. He said one of the first entitlements was the reserved parking space. If anyone deserved a reserved parking space, it is the children’s minister, he said. No the most profound thing, but true.

Later he said that being a good leader meant being a servant – at work and at home as well. He talked about unloaded the dishwasher when it is clean. Then he said “For you wives – I’ve been doing this long enough to know, that I’m not going to go there.” That was the end of his talk. 
Tebow did a good job as well. You’d think they’d schedule him at the end of the day, to build up to him. Instead he was in the middle of the first day. But most all the speakers were excellent. I hadn’t heard of many of them. Ceil had heard of two that I hadn’t. Have you heard of Hillsong United, an Australian group that sings worship songs? They were there.
With the theme on courage, the hosts discussed things that took lots of courage. One of them mentioned standup comedy, and they tried telling jokes for a few minutes. Then Jeff Foxworthy took the stage unannounced, and did a comedy routine on some courageous that he’d done – his colonoscopy.
Fred O’s daughter was one of the singers at the conference. David Watterson was at the conference, as well as Braves announcer/former pitcher Paul Byrd. The conference ended Friday afternoon at 4:45. We drove downtown to look for a present for M, then stopped by Whole Foods on the way home. The concession stands were open and there were several food trucks and a Chickfila tent outside. But with 7500 people the lines were long. We had the time, so we drove off campus to eat.
Thursday lunch: Chickfila.
Thursday dinner: Moe’s.
Friday lunch: Publix sub sandwich.
Friday dinner: leftovers at home.
Sat breakfast: Bojangles biscuit (M)
Sat lunch: White Tiger BBQ
Sat dinner: M cooked Mexican
Sun lunch: Moe’s.
Saturday morning we drove to Athens. W&MC drove over from Augusta to celebrate M’s birthday. Hit the Athens Farmers Market and walked around downtown. White Tiger BBQ in Athens, where we ate lunch Saturday – evidently Danny & Connie Morris have eaten there as well. Back at Anna’s house for birthday cheesecake. Back home I watched Miami/FSU and Bama/Texas A&M. Tough game, but not sure why they dropped to number two. Also took a nap.
Taqueria was mentioned for lunch on Saturday but we’ve been there so much. It is great but there are so many other good places in Athens we have yet to try. Friday evening we arrived at the Westside at 5:50 pm. There wasn’t a line at Taqueria when we went into the eyeglass store, but there was when we came out.
It has been taking less and less to fill me up as well. Saturday night I wasn’t too hungry so I just had a taste since M had cooked it.
Didn’t do much Sunday after church. The Moes burrito is so big, but it’s the best thing on the menu. Nachos aren’t the healthiest. Tacos are so small. Quesadillas can be messy. Bowls and salads are ok. But for a change I got a junior veggie burrito. Not much smaller. No chicken, but it still had beans, rice, onions, peppers, pico, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.   
After lunch Sunday Will drove from Augusta to Cartersville. Monday he started his three week surgical training.
Charles Norman proposed to his longtime girlfriend Annie Blass this weekend. Both have been working as youth ministers. Charles met Annie years ago at East Cobb Presbyterian Church. So every other Norman child is married/engaged: Spencer the oldest, David the middle, and Charles the youngest. That leaves teacher Katherine, photographer/artist Willis, and musician/barista Joel as the single Normans. David and Beth had been living in the house with Becky, but I think they’re moving out on their own. Their wedding had been really sweet. This makes four upcoming weddings: Charles & Annie, MC’s sister Anna & Zach next June, my nephew Zane & Laura, and friend’s son Josh & his fiancĂ© on December 30.
Monday: C had a long day. She cooked a new chicken and tomato dish. Also salad. As usual I passed on the mashed potatoes. I’m having a hard time tracking down what channel the baseball games are on. Finally found the Dodger DBack game. Watched Last Man Standing, The Voice, and The Good Doctor as well, while working on my laptop. Wrote another 500 word rant on the protests, gun control, etc.
Slow Tuesday evening. Worked past six. Supper was beans and rice, plus salad. Some leftover chicken and tomatoes. Watched The Middle, Fresh Off the Boat, Blackish, and The Mayor. Then an old Johnny Carson Show. When to bed at 10:20. M went grocery shopping. Any time he can eat something other than fast food that’s good.
Wednesday lunch at the Atlanta Athletic Club was super nice. Two team members couldn’t attend, but there were nine of us. Saw Bobby Jones’ trophies from his grand slam. Three of us had the Johns Creek grilled chicken salad. Two guys got the patty melt and two others ordered fish and chips. Little Angie got the wings.    
Got some super-hot orders because my steel from the mill are late getting in. Running two plays to see which will work fastest – one through Atlanta and one through Charleston. Road blocks figurative and literal along the way. Trucks are scarce due to the hurricanes, and problems with tracks rerouted and delayed other shipments for two weeks. Late Wednesday I realized I needed to put everything in place before I went home so everyone else could hit the ground running first thing Thursday, so I worked until seven. Pulled a trick – receiving in the hot truck ahead of time so scheduling could start their part. Was worried the truck wouldn’t come in on time and had to chase that. Was after lunch before everything calmed down. Now I’m trying to resolve an $80,000.00 problem.
Wednesday night Ceil cooked chili. Matthew ate with us. Watched Designated Survivor.
Thursday night we had baked chicken and a different salad with almonds and cranberries. Better than usual. Kept tabs on the Cubs/Nats and watched Last Man Standing.
GT/Miami is the 3:30 game. Whoever wins will be in the driver’s seat in the Coastal Division. Both still have to play Virginia Tech. The Jackets first road trip of the season. Tech has often struggled down in Miami.
A few months ago I found a pair of waterproof high performance khakis that I love. Comfortable stretch fabric. Last week I found the same pair in grey, which are also great. Decided I needed a black pair, so I tracked down some on the internet.
I had never heard of shepherd’s pie until after I was married. Went 27 years without it. C fixes it once a year.
One summer in Macon I was home from Tech. I’d had a couple of dates with a girl. On Saturday we hadn’t made plans, then a thunderstorm knocked out the phones. I drove over to her house and asked her out. We were headed to south Macon to go to a movie. I got off the highway and was driving up a hill, and I ran out of gas. Not the best evening ever, but she said she had a good time.
Jimmy Kimmel repeatedly launches verbal assaults on the President of the United States, but refuses to tell jokes about the latest Hollywood sex scandal. His is not the only late night talk show taking a hit in the ratings.