Wednesday, January 28, 2009


At the scorer’s table at night I recognized the brand name on the scoreboard unit…Daktronics, the name of the company profiled in the Sports Illustrated Jumbotron article. The clock operator loved the unit, and was showing off to the KR scorer. Kept up with timeouts, etc, and the bonus “B” game on automatically when six fouls were reached.

Sunday at NP I saw the clock operator, seated not far away!

John Smoltz: What Not to Wear

Arrived at Kings Ridge last night between the middle school and girls game. I was headed down to sit with Kara’s dad Eric. He didn’t see me, and just before I got to him, he got up, went down, and crossed the court over to the empty table to keep score. Scores just about every game Kara plays.

Soon thereafter, John Smoltz appeared, and also crossed over to the table. He took the clock operators seat in the middle. Eric is a tall, quiet guy, but looked small next to Smoltz. They appeared to chat some, but naturally Smoltz spoke more to the Kings Ridge scorer seated to his left…waving his arms like on TV.

Smoltz’s daughter was introduced last, and she was their best player, though she didn’t have much help. She tallied 6 points and rebounds, and an assist…but Kara and Danielle both blocked several of her shots. Kara scored 20 in the 42 – 19 win. During the game Will went over and sat near the scorer’s table, just to be near Smoltz.

After the game I headed across the court to score the boys game. As I walked, Smoltz got up and moved away from the table, chatting with the boy’s coaches. Not long after he left with his two daughters.

Perhaps it’s harder for tall guys to look good in clothes, but Smoltz looked the same as always…dark slacks and loafers, and white sweater. His shoes never look good, and I think he’d look better in any other color than white. I’ve seen him in black, which looked ok.

Kings Ridge is just west of Alpharetta Highway, just north of Windward Parkway. Beautiful new buildings, separate elementary and high schools, Astroturf football field. A football supporter’s plaque listed “The Smoltz Family” but I forgot to look for Foxworthy’s name.

At the scorer’s table at night I recognized the brand name on the scoreboard unit…Daktronics, the name of the company profiled in the Sports Illustrated Jumbotron article. The clock operator loved the unit, and was showing off to the KR scorer. Kept up with timeouts, etc, and the bonus “B” game on automatically when six fouls were reached.

Connor scored 31 in perhaps his best all-around game, aggressiveness wise. DJ had 14, and Will hit a 3-pointer. Easy win for the boys: 72 – 50. After almost losing his jacket and wallet recently, Will was again pretty careless last night. His wallet fell out of his jeans pocket, and three times I had to remind him to get his jeans and jacket.

Several people I know on Facebook were writing these”25 Things About Me” Lists, so Tuesday I took too much time writing one. I was kinda stoked by my list…guess I’m old enough to have experienced a lot. Most of my comments were sports-related and celebrity related. To me, any spiritual comments would’ve been even more self-serving and not as “interesting.” Could’ve said I’ve been a Christian for over 33 years, but most people would pretty much know that about me.

My blog reader who just moved back from Saipan had just posted one as well. Missy’s list was interesting, more on the insightful side than mine. Embellishments? Like a couple of my comments - I was in the stadium when the Rookie was filmed.

Saw some of the Clemson game late Sunday, and it wasn’t pretty.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Last night Matthew rode up to Living Science with me to get Will and the carpool. Gotta go all the way there right now to get Will, then backtrack to Alpharetta to his game. Not far from where my friend David moved…at least it’s west of Alpharetta Highway.

Glad Sutton is back? This morning I heard the new guy talking to Rude and Perry. Sounds like an ok dude…into fantasy football and baseball. He loved Uecker.

I heard Lang did ok last night (I couldn’t tune it in) but was amazed at how fast Holman could talk. He flew back to NYC…and could very well do tonight’s game against the Knicks. Last year he was bumped by Billy Knight…don’t know if Billy just didn’t want him to do it, or if Billy did the game himself.

pet peeve # 647

Have I said this before? People who stop at the top of interstate off ramps, when there’s a right-turn lane to take. Many intersections will have the “keep moving” signs. Old Milton at 400 doesn’t, but there was a pickup stopped there yesterday morning. Fayette County plate, so perhaps they were in unfamiliar territory. Ceil didn’t mind when I tapped on the horn, but never likes my Homer Simpson “duh, I guess I have a lane” remark. Of course the pickup headed for NP. I took an alternate route to my regular space, but the pickup parked about 100 yards away.

Cool that Andy got to pray at Wednesday’s Prayer Service in Washington. Funny “Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford” video.

WEEKEND: With Will in Memphis and Anna at a sleepover, C, M and I went down to Lenox and Jalisco’s Friday night. Cleaned most of Saturday. Will got back around 11:45 pm. His JV team won both games. The undermanned JV Girls lost both games, and both Varsity teams split. Of course they had a big time. Tuesday night Flight plays at Smoltz’s school in Alpharetta.

Since Will won’t get much baseball practice for the next two months, we went out Sunday afternoon. The Sandy Pains fields were full, but one field was open at Mt. Paran. I hit him balls at short and third, and he was able to hit the L-screen at first-base with a vast majority of his throws. I’m not an artist with a fungo, so he never knew what was coming at him. Still, Will only missed one grounder he should’ve gotten…taking balls on a very sandy all-dirt infield.

He hit a bucket of soft-toss, then I threw him another bucket. By the end of the second bucket he seemed to be getting going pretty good. Having taken off the fall season, Will’s hands had lost their calluses, and he quickly developed a blister. As we were finishing an old teammate arrived, and Will warmed him up. As we were leaving a team we knew was showing up to practice.

Glad Will and I had the field to ourselves yesterday…we got so much more done that way. It will be tougher and tougher to find empty fields. He didn’t throw from the mound…I just don’t want him to have a sore arm this year. He hasn’t thrown since July…I wanted him to recover, but now he needs to build his arm back up. Hard to do everything.

Ran both Thursday and Friday, right after work, so I was sore as well. I’m trying to get back into shape. There’s a track around a lacrosse field at the new Gwinnett Aquatics Center, right next to our Ptree Indl building. I’m trying to run every relatively nice day, since I’m trying to leave every day at 5 pm…that I don’t have a conflict. It’s 47 degrees now, so today should be OK. I’ve gotta get out there quick…it’s gets colder quick as the sun goes down.

But I did have more energy this weekend, and I got more done than usual. If my new desk has a window, it will overlook the field/track…and in the summertime I can see the kids going down the slides. Perhaps there will sunbathers! Anyway, hitting fungos yesterday made other muscles sore. Luckily, pitching BP didn’t hurt much (except the one knuckleball I threw). I just can get any mustard on the ball, or throw it far.

Friday night Joel Norman’s “band” has a gig in Kennesaw. Catcher Andrew and the ever-popular Kyle are also in the band…”A Quiet Fight.” Last night I saw Kyle…he was pumped.

Fun Facts About Me

1. Thomas Jefferson? Distant relative.

2. As a Naval Chief Petty officer, my dad was wounded in the Korean War.

3. At the Tonight Show with Jack Paar in NYC, Andy Williams went into the audience and sang to my mom.

4. My maternal great-grandfather’s farm was sold in the 1950’s. The first shopping mall in Atlanta was built there…Lenox Square.

5. Comic strip character Mark Trail was based on my uncle John Wayt. For many years his Seven Branches Farm in Cumming was the site of the Atlanta Steeplechase.

6. Before Bob Denver became Gilligan, he played airplanes with me in Macon Hospital. I was four and had pneumonia. One of my oldest memories.

7. In the mid-1960’s, my sister and I appeared on WSB-TV’s “Popeye Club” with Officer Don and Orville the Dragon.

8. Saw Namath, Unitas, Sayers, Archie Manning, Staubach, Meredith, Bart Starr, George Blanda, Len Dawson, Alcindor, Bird, Magic, Dr. J, Aaron, Mays, McCovey, Clemente, Stargell, Rose, Bench, and Bob Gibson. Collegians Michael Jordan and Joe Montana. Minor leaguers Chipper Jones and Tony Perez.

9. Walking home from school in first grade, I was hit by a car and knocked unconscious.

10. My Ninth Grade football team won a game 96 – 0.

11. Umpired Little League games with former Tech kicker Cam Bonifay, future GM of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

12. In high school Ceil regularly competed against hall-of-fame golfer Beth Daniel. Both played on the boy’s team.

13. One of my state championship football team’s leading scorers, in Georgia’s highest classification. My points were the difference in at least four games. My high school football coach later coached Herschel.

14. Befriended Steve Norman in 1977, as a freshman at Tech. Over thirty years later, our sons are best friends.

15. In the late 1970’s I entered a Steve Martin look-alike contest. With hundreds of competitors, I was the first to make legendary DJ Gary McKee laugh.

16. Saw Leno and Seinfeld perform…long before they were stars.

17. Ceil and I went to Bermuda for our honeymoon.

18. Played baseball with Joe Pepitone, Ron Santo, Bert Campaneris, and Jimmy Piersall.

19. Appeared in the Dennis Quaid movie, The Rookie.

20. There have been 14 unassisted triple plays in MLB history…the rarest feat in sports. My son Will has pulled off two.

21. For a few days in the womb, our daughter Anna had a twin.

22. Carried the Olympic torch…three times. Gold Medalist Janet Evans and I were two of a very small group to carry the 1996 torch two different times, in two different states.

23. Twenty-one Peachtree Road Races, and counting. Will has run the last five with me.

24. Seen all but one MLB team play. Visited 23 MLB ballparks, and another thirty-four college and pro football stadiums.

25. I have a list detailing every sporting event I’ve attended in my life (over 400!), a Sports Illustrated collection dating back to the early eighties, and scrapbook calendars chronicling my daily activities for the same time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Locked Out!

Yesterday Ceil and Matthew were leaving the house, and Matthew closed the locked door while the keys were still in the house. M was able to save the day.

I had to go into the attic last night, so I took the chance to poke around looking for where I’d put stuff. Perhaps this is the garage sale year. I drug out a box of toys, and Matthew spent the rest of the evening playing with them. “Mom! Look at these!”

Last week Matthew filmed a short video of himself at the Normans, on their PC’s camera. Joel posted it online, garnering numerous responses. M was jumping around with a bottle of glue, extolling it’s virtues.

We caved and let Will go to Memphis to play basketball…he had a ride and a place to stay. All the boys are crowding into a few hotel rooms, so they’ll have a grand time. Means Ceil and I might not go on the date we were planning. Nothing on tap for the weekend…perhaps a movie, or Matthew and I can work on the playhouse.

Good new SI hit my desk…the bit on Peyton, the Jumbotron article. Just finished the Point After about the Braves, which was good, except I wouldn’t call the Lowe signing “desperate”. Nice that the national media is accurately representing what’s going on with the Braves.

My shoulder hurts when I shoot a basketball, so I haven’t been shooting at Eastside on Tuesdays when I go pick up Anna.

See where Walton’s football coach is moving to Waycross? His sister Margaret Dudley was in the SPdL youth group in the 80’s, so I’ve followed him closer than others. Interesting “life’s an adventure” comment when quizzed about moving from the big city to a small town.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Saturday Will left his new North Face jacket (and wallet, with his Driver’s License) at his road game at Mt. Vernon’s school gym. They were closed yesterday, and Saturday there were two games after his. Will forgot to call today…drives me crazy.

What are the chances Jordan S will be ready opening day? I guess they figured he needed another year (or half) in the minors, due to last year’s setback. I still think Diaz’s .300 average would be serviceable in left…why not? They won’t set HR records, but singles and doubles are OK until the McDonough kid is ready.

Making progress at work, catching up with old projects…but there’s always new projects to take their place. The Ogre doesn’t understand/remember everything that goes into this EZGo account, and it takes telling him several times for stuff to sink in.

Whenever I’m driving around on Saturday afternoons I tune in to Costas on 640 AM.

Ceil is tired of Moes…her new place to take the kids is the new Willies, next to Trader Joes.

Will made a hole-in-one in Wii golf yesterday. This weekend I made a Double-Eagle on the same Par 5…two times in a row.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Balance 992

While I'm at it, here's the New Balance 992's I got for with grey trim. Thought about upgrading to the 993's, but figured that would be overkill.

Meet Jack Purcell

Bought these Converse Jack Purcell's a few years ago, on sale at Marshalls. This weekend Matthew the musician took an interest in them, wearing them to Daniel's yesterday, and to church today. Now he has to get better at tying his shoes!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Margaret and Brian

My friend David's daughter Margaret with Bran McCann. McCann is wearing her T-shirt, just like the one my kids wear.

Flight JV Doubleheader Sweep

Connor scored 22, leading the Flight JV to victory Saturday in game one of their road/home doubleheader. Flight beat Mt. Vernon 53 - 47 at the Mustang's Sandy Springs campus. Charles scored three in the Middle School team's 4:30 game, followed by the Varsity Girls' 51 - 22 win. The JV won the nightcap in similar fashion, beating the American Heritage varsity 50 - 43. Joel hit for double figures for the first time in his JV career, and kevin garnered 15 rebounds.

The JV built a 26 point lead at the end of third quarter, then emptied the bench in the fourth. Flight only scored seven foul shots in the fourth quarter. Mt. Vernon cut into Flight's lead, as shots started falling that ealier in the game bounced off the rim...but the Mustangs ran out of time.

DJ added ten points in limited playing time. Will added a foul shot (and 4 hard fouls). Nine of Connor's 22 points came from three straight second quarter three-pointers. Joe added a layup and Jake two rebounds. Then most of the squad took off on foot, walking through the woods and across the street to Flight's home gym.


Connor...22 points, 2 steals
DJ......10 pt, 5 RB, assist, steal, block
Josh...6 pt, 5 RB, 3 assists, block
Kevin...5 points, 4 rebounds
Isaac...4 pt, RB, assist, 3 steals, block
Ethan...3 points, rebound...steal
Joe......2 points point, 3 rebounds, steal
Jonathan K...3 rebounds, 2 assists
Jake......2 rebounds

The Varsity Girls...
...cruised to a 51 - 22 win over American Heritage, despite missing starters Danielle and Kara, both sitting out due to concussions suffered in last Saturday's Crown game. This time it was the varsity playing the whole game with five players: Courtney, Kathleen, Katelyn, and the two Hannahs.

JV Boys Game Two

The JV played the American Heritage Varsity in the nightcap. It appeared Flight would win easily, even without DJ, CV, and the two JB's. Kevin had seven rebounds and Joel six points in the first quarter. The JV built and held a 12 - 13 point lead deep into the third quarter...even though poor Ethan took an inbounds pass from Isaac and promptly made a lay-up - in the opponent's basket!

But American Heritage didn't give up. Down 30 - 18 in the third, they outscored Flight 22 - 15, cutting the lead to four points by sinking threes, making steals, and passing inside for open lay-ups. But like Mt. Vernon, their best player fouled out, and the clock ran out on them.


Connor...14 pt, 3 assists, steal, block
Joel......10 pt, 4 RB, assist, steal, block
Isaac...7 pt, 2 RB, assist, 3 steals, block
Ethan...4 pt, 2 RB, assist, steal
Jonathan K...4 pt, 5 RB, 4 steals
Kevin...3 pt, 15 RB, 4 steals
Will...3 pt, 4 RB, assist, steal
Josh...3 pt, 4 RB 2 blocks
Jake...2 pt, 5 RB, assist, steal

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The fun news is that Wren talks to the media more than JS…but it leaves him open for more abuse. MANY are true baseball fans, but most of the radio hosts (and callers) just like to talk…with viewpoints that yield the most fervent response. I hear so many wanting to sign all these people and spend all this money…thinking nothing about the amount the team actually has to spend.

Wren has to plan for 2009 and beyond, not just next year. He makes plans and goes after players, remembering Tommy Hanson and the hotshot RF will be ready in a year or two…unlike many fans. Callers and hosts emotionally demand action…”someone must be signed as a response to the Mets signing KRod!” Then they jump sides and say “why did they give all that money to him? He has a history of injuries!” They want it both ways, but that’s not the real world.

These “fans” want a championship every year. No team wins every year. Even the 13 straight division championships, unprecedented, unmatched in any sport, wasn’t enough. The Yankees spend twice as much, and they have the same problems.

People are quick to forget about injuries. Even when players get hurt and still play, “fans” are mad because they don’t have a better year, when in fact they play hurt all year.

The Braves are finally getting their ducks in a row. Many were hoping to see earlier moves, but the season doesn’t start for 2-1/2 months. Lowe could well turn out to be better than the two the Yankees paid much more for. So the Braves have three new starters, plus last year’s Rookie Pitcher of the Year, and perhaps this year’s Rookie Pitcher of the Year. AND Hudson comes back in August, in time for the pennant race. That’s without old man Glavine. Smoltz wasn’t coming back until June at best. He may never be able to pitch again.

Now the Braves just have to sign an outfielder and they should be set. Diaz comes back, plus the league-leading pinch-hitter Norton. Both are .300 hitters. Hopefully they can sign reliever Ohman to put in the bullpen with Soriano and Ramirez, both who were out most of last year. The Braves should be competing for first place most of next season.

The Yankees have proved over the past few seasons that a World Series can’t be bought! If everyone has an average season, here’s today’s Braves batting order…

2B K Johnson…280, 20 HR

SS Escobar…300

3B Chipper…330, 25 HR

C McCann…300, 25 HR

1B Kotchman…280, 20 HR

LF Diaz…300

RF Francoeur…270, 20 HR

CF Anderson…270

Now if Tech football can be as good next season…we’ll see. They sure looked ugly in the bowl game!

Top 50 Announcer Rankings: Jon Miller does ESPN baseball with Joe Morgan…sounds just like Vin Scully. Can’t believe Scully is what, 80 and still doing games. Musburger should be higher and Morgan ranked lower. I like Madden as well. Milo was who I grew up listening to. It won’t be the same next year without Skip and Pete. I like Chip, because he uses a lot of the old time baseball phrases, like can of corn. Saw John ‘Boog’ Scambi announcing a football bowl game.

My new boss is a guy I’ve worked with all 22 years, and he knows I do good work. We just had lunch today. Unfortunately, his first official duty was announcing a wage freeze for this year, but at least we all have jobs.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Things are falling into place for the Braves. I’d still rather have Ainkel or Dye instead of the strikeout king Dunn…though he’s supposed to be a good guy. Couple of amateur blogs on the Braves Facebook page…a guy was disheartened by the Smoltz loss, but rambled and didn’t back up his point about it being it being the Braves fault. Another guy disagreed. I thanked him for the post and made my (opposite) point, without saying I disagreed. I was just submitting my own blog entry about Smoltz…it’ll take a few days to get approved.

When Kara fell and bumped her head Saturday, I though she knew better than to lay in the middle of the lane while play continued. Turned out she had a concussion, and can’t play tonight. Lucky for her, tonight is the big Living Science parent meeting she and Will have to attend. It’s also a big conference game, downtown. The JV boys should be ok without Will and Joel…DJ and Connor are playing. The girls will probably lose for the first time.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Watched 3.5 Flight basketball games Friday night, and stayed up past midnight writing recaps. Left at 10:45 am Saturday for the gym, watched another 3.5 games against the rivals, and went home and wrote more recaps. Caught up with an old friend at the games, whose daughter plays on the other team…the Toholskys, who were up to date on some Whitaker and SPdL news. They live in Acworth, a big reason why they left SPdL.

We all watched Monk Saturday night…we’re just getting into that show. Didn’t watch much football this weekend…did watch 24 last night with Will.

The younger couple who were leading our small group just had baby # 4 and a new puppy, and are quite overwhelmed. He works at a big accounting firm, and they’re into the busy season. They made it to NP yesterday and considered it a huge accomplishment.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Flight Sweeps Crown Yet Again

Flight swept all four games against Crown Saturday, before a huge gathering of students and parents at King’s Academy. The play was intense, particularly in the JV Girls opener, where the Lonely Five won a close 31-28 battle. The JV Boys cruised to a 53-33 win, thanks to a 25 – 6 second-half run. The Varsity Girls won each the first three quarters, and finished with a 41 – 32 win. The Varsity Boys distributed playing time equally among all ten players, and used a 22 – 4 second-half run to easily put away the Knights 59 – 43.

Crown was quite hospitable, putting on shooting contests, dance-offs, costumed slam-dunking cheerleaders, even adding drummers on the stage. There were plenty of familiar faces taking part. Meg and Q sank three-pointers. Mr. Blair was a crowd favorite, and later Mr. Switzer and Mr. Pratt took part. Michael Woodard put down his cute “David #4” sign long enough to prompt Alissa to try a half court shot. Burgundy-haired Willis led cheers. Elin texted, held Cassie, and rocked black Chucks. Alec was seen in black & red Air Force Ones. Outside it was raining, but the sun was shining in Julie’s world, so she wore shades.

For the second straight day Flight re-created a scene from High School Musical. Early in the varsity Boys game the lights in Crown’s gym shut off, causing a 15 minute delay. Whether any players hustled off to rehearse a play is unknown. During the delay the crowd was treated many Crown and Living Science students dancing to “The Cuban Shuffle” – including Jessica, Heidi, Elin, Julie, Alissa, and yes, Michael. Even Joe’s mom was seen cutting the rug. Adding hilarity, Kevin led Will, Charles, and Matthew through the lines of dancers with a jig of their own.

JV Girls: The Lonely Five played their second full game in eleven hours, and found themselves in a battle. The girls were crashing into each other on both ends, with few fouls called. Emotions where running high. Crown trailed by a point at the half, and led by one after three. Will and Joel’s childhood friend Lila played hard for Crown, shaking off an elbow to the face.

In the fourth quarter Flight outscored Crown 7 – 2. Danielle and Kara each had three, little Hannah blocked a shot, and Victoria banked in a foul shot with 16.9 seconds. Crown made it exciting, hitting a three-pointer with 3 seconds left. A steal and a three could tie it up, but Danielle was able to dribble out the clock for the close win.

Varsity Boys Keep It Respectable

With all ten players sharing playing time, Flight took their time to win the game…trailing almost the entire first half. Coach Hoffer gave Jordan the start, along with Travis, Q, Gerald, and Jared, and Jordan grabbed two early rebounds. Halfway through the quarter David, DJ, Matthew, Chris, and Phillip subbed in. This would be the rotation for most for the game. David had an inbounds assist to DJ for two. Chris launched an ill-advised three-point attempt, but looked like a pro on the next possession, quickly weaving through the Crown defense for a lay-up.

In the second quarter DJ and Jared hit long threes, then Q’s steal & assist for a Travis lay-up. Jordan forced a jump-ball, then Q kicked over to Travis for a three. Jordan grabbed two more rebounds. As the seconds ticked down Travis grabbed a rebound, and as the buzzer sounded shot the ball from the baseline, almost over the backboard, for a basket. At the half Flight trailed 24 – 25.

Early in the third David went high for a graceful tap-in basket. Chris kicked over to Travis for a three, then Phillip dished to Travis for two. During the game Chris came over to chat up his parent, then he had to hustle back as the ball was brought quickly upcourt. Q assisted Gerald on a give-and-go layup, then he dished out to Jared for a three. In display of leaping ability Gerald missed a dunk, then hustled back downcourt in time to goaltend a Crown lay-up.

After tying the game at 34 Flight went on their 22 – 4 run. Matthew assisted on a Travis basket. Q grabbed two steals, and after Travis rebounded and drove the court, he failed to see the sideline scoreboard clock ticking down to zero.

Flight 6 24 42 59
Crown 10 25 36 43

Travis…20 pt, 6 RB, block
Jared…9 pt, 2 RB, assist
Q…8 pt, 2 RB, 4 assists and steals
DJ…7 pt, 3 rebounds
Gerald…6 pt, 11 RB, assist, block
Matthew…2 pt, 2 RB, assist
David…2 pt, rebound
Phillip…1 pt, 2 RB, assists, and steals
Chris…1 pt, 2 assists, steal
Jordan…4 rebounds

Varsity Girls Crown the Knights

The Varsity Girls led the entire game, by 17 points at one point, cruising to a 41 – 32 win. Kara led the way with a double/double. While all eight girls played, it was the starters who led the way. Kathleen had a personal Varsity high, with 7 points.

Some highlights: Shelby’s inbound assist in Danielle, then a rebound and kickout assist to Courtney. In one first quarter sequence Courney forced two jumpballs and grabbed a rebound, then Kara had two blocks, a steal, and a jumpball. Courtney and Kathleen sank three-pointers, but only Kathleen smiled afterwards. Kara rebounded, then assisted inside to Danielle for two. Shelby’s steal, and coast to coast drive for a layup. Another Kara rebound and assist, this time to Kathleen. Shelby fed Kara for two. And when Kara went down hard in the lane with a bumped head, Courtney was the first in gym to applaud as her teammate came off the court.

Flight 6 16 36 41
Crown 0 8 20 32

Kara…11 pt, 12 RB, 2 assists, steal, 4 blocks
Courtney…7 pt, 3 RB, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Danielle…7 pt, 2 RB, steal, 2 blocks
Kathleen…7 pt, RB, 2 steal
Shelby…4 pt, 8 RB, 3 assists, 6 steals

JV Boys Roll on Saturday, Too

Down one zip early, DJ’s first three-pointer put Flight ahead to stay. With Crown’s outside shooters off their game, Matthew Liener became Crown’s main offensive threat for most of the game, finishing with 11 points and five rebounds, despite a busted lip. Connor scored 16 for the second straight day, and DJ added fifteen, with 9 rebounds.

Like the JV Girls game, play was rough around the basket. Late in the first half Kevin scrambled for a loose ball. A Crown player made contact with him, and both fell to the ground, without a whistle. Both held the ball and writhed around before a whistle was finally blown. By that time tempers were short, and pushes were exchanged. The ensuing technical foul on Crown could’ve been avoided had the refs called a tighter game.

Early in the second quarter Matthew turned and ran into Will. The foul made Leiner’s lip even redder. Later Will fouled Matthew again, and Matthew made 2 of his 7 foul shots, on 8 attempts. Meanwhile Flight went on a 25 – 6 scoring run, aided by many unselfish passes. DJ dished out to Connor for a fourth quarter three. Josh passed to Jake for two. Kevin passed to a driving Connor for a layup, then outside to Connor for another three. Connor returned the favor, fed Kevin for a basket. Will inbounded to Kevin for another two points.

Connor’s defensive highlight was blocking tall Matthew’s third-quarter shot. Jonathan Blair sank a three-pointer. Will ended the scoring by flipping up a prayer from under the basket. Miraculously, the ball went into the basket, and the crowd went wild.

Flight 9 18 34 53
Crown 5 7 14 33

Connor…16 pt, 3 RB, assist, 3 steals, 3 blocks
DJ…15 pt, 9 RB, assist, 4 steals
Isaac…5 pts, 2 RB
Kevin…4 pt, 4 RB, 2 assists
Jonathan Blair…4 pt, 3 RB
Will…3 pt, 4 RB, assist
Jake…2 pt, 3 RB
Jonathan…2 pt, RB, steal
Ethan…RB, 2 steals
Joe…blocked shot
Joel…2 rebounds

JV Boys Roll on Friday, Too

JV BOYS – Isaac and newcomer CV led a second quarter 15 – 4 run, propelling the JV Boys to a much easier win than their previous one-point victory at Covenant. DJ led Flight scorers with 19 points, and Connor added sixteen.

The JV Boys game was delayed several minutes while Willis repaired the backboard padding. Contrary to some reports, he did use a chair. Flight trailed most of the first quarter, as Flight shot poorly. Connor nicely assisted Josh for a basket, and later Jonathan had an inbound assist to DJ, who made a long three. Late in the quarter DJ assisted Isaac, who made a running bucket. Flight trailed 14 – 12 at the quarter break.

CV entered the game as the second quarter began, and endeared his teammates by repeatedly passing and assisting on scores. His first two rebounds resulted in four points for DJ. After a DJ block, Jonathan B amused the crowd with a wild hook shot, in the same area code as the basket. DJ rebounded, then made a running bank shot. Isaac reentered the game, and stepped things up a notch. His first rebound led to a basket by Connor. CV grabbed two and scored a putback. Connor had a block, and drained a three. Isaac kicked out to CV, who made the jumper. CV assisted Isaac on the next two scored, then made a steal. Kevin made an inside shot, then Connor assisted on an Isaac basket. Flight had bolted ahead to a 35 – 27 lead.

Connor picked up his fourth foul just seconds into the third quarter, and he had to be spelled. CV and DJ passed back and fourth, with CV assisting a DJ layup. Josh rebounded, and passed to DJ for a layup. CV rebounded, and kicked out to DJ for three.. After Kevin’s rebound, DJ made a long three after the buzzer.

Up 49 – 32 against a hard-playing Covenant team, Coach Hoffer made sure everyone got plenty of fourth quarter minutes. The closest Covenant could cut the score was nine points. Kevin rebound, CV steal, Jonathan block, Joe rebound. Kevin made a steal, then Josh had a steal and two straight rebounds. Jonathan assisted Kevin on a give-and-go. Connor and Ethan each made two straight free throws. Joel made a big block inside. Jake grabbed two rebounds. Joe’s steal resulted in two foul shots by Connor, then Ethan forced two straight jump balls. Connor made two more foul shots and added a steal, before fouling out with 48 seconds remaining, up 11 points. Joe grabbed two rebounds.

The game ended similarly to the end of the championship game in “High School Musical – Senior Year”. As the seconds ticked down, BMOC DJ gave up a shot, passed ahead to Joe under the basket. Joe laid it in just before the buzzer sounded.

DJ…19, Connor…16, Isaac…9, CV…5, Kevin…5, Josh…3, Joe…2, Ethan…2, Jonathan…2 assists, Jake…2 RB, Will…2 RB, Joel…block, and Jonathan B played hard, with no stats.

Girls Win Easily on Friday

Though both Flight JV teams beat Covenant handily, the Varsity Boys were overpowered Friday night. The JV Girls won 58 – 15, and the JV Boys cruised to a 61 – 51 win.

JV GIRLS – Courting only five players, Flight won both halves almost equally. The halftime lead was 30 – 6, and the second half score was 28 – 9.

Second half recap: Kara got a steal, and Victoria grabbed two straight rebounds. Danielle assisted to Kara for two. Kathleen rebounded, then Danielle scored off a rebound, before blocking a shot on defense. She again assisted on Kara’s basket, then stealing, driving, and being fouled…making the second of two free throws. Hannah assisted Kathleen, who then made the foul shot for a three-point play. Kara rebounded, then Danielle made a steal, grabbed a board, and made the putback. Kara got a block, Victoria rebounded, and Danielle scored. Hannah closed the quarter with two rebounds and a steal. Flight led 45 – 8.

Kara opened the fourth quarter by passing ahead to Hannah, who turned and sank the baseline jumper. Kara grabbed two boards. Kathleen scored, rebounded, and was fouled on her drive. She made the first of two. Victoria scored two straight baskets, the second on a putback. Kara had a steal. Kathleen passed to a cutting Kara, who made the running lay-up. After another steal, Kara succinctly allowed her opponent to get off her lay-up. Victoria closed the scoring with a basket off a rebound.

Second half stats…
Danielle…7 pts, 2 RB, 2 assists, 2 steals, block
Victoria…6 pts, 5 RB
Kara…6 pts, 3 RB, assist, 3 steals, block
Kathleen…6 pts, 2 RB, assist
Hannah…2 pts, 3 RB, assist, steal

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Good-bye Smoltzie

See where the Braves lost out on a 41-year old pitcher coming back from recent arm surgery? He had a history of arm problems, missing several seasons due to injury. Would've cost them $10.5 million...much more than Smoltz will make the rest of his life. He's so competitive, and it would be hard for him the chance to experience an AL East pennant race from the inside, especially as opposed to the hard time the Braves are having signing elite players. Hey! Niekro and Glavine "finished" their careers in Braves uniforms!

Similar to what I told a guy last night about Stafford and it's easy for us to look at their decisions and see how easy it is to make...particularly Stafford, who could go number one overall. Sounds like Stafford didn't struggle with the call much, and he sounded out a bunch of experts, including Aikman and Manning.

Last night the guys from my small group got together and played poker and of the guys' idea. There were five of us, all pretty much like me, complete novices at stuff like that. We divided the chips equally, and we weren't betting real money. Still, one guy didn't even ante one chip the first two rounds. I beat him out on the last hand, when both of us were betting lots of big chips. Then we played spades, and it was the same thing. At one point I loudly exclaimed to my partner "Been to a CLUB lately?" Today I joked to Ceil that we were playing again tonight.

Guess tonight I'll watch most of the BCS game instead of Wii golf. Will has bball practice, though.

The office mood is quite lighter today, and we're all getting more work done more efficiently. The quality guys always bog themselves down with details and stuff doesn't get resolved quickly enough, but their new boss is great about cutting to the chase. Monique and I can work more unencumbered, moving ahead on stuff. When we move to the other building, so will most of the staff from my old processing office, so Sherry can be of more help.

Another co-worker called yesterday, saying how upset I must be. The Ogre was a supervisor when I started 22 years ago. The situation is much better with the Ogre than with my old boss. EZGo is still shut down, and it's nice to go home at five most every day. At lunch yesterday the Ogre had a bunch of ideas to change stuff around. I'll have to butt heads with him about how things are actually working. He did immediately address some concerns that my old boss never addressed.

The Ogre had gained a bunch of weight, mostly because a traffic accident left him with neck/back problems. But he just finished losing 60 pounds, and he looks completely different.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Addicted to Wii Golf

Reckon I don’t need to play as much Wii Golf, it being New Year’s resolutions time. Last night I broke my previous record by two strokes, then made a double eagle on a par five. I’ll let Will find out the next time we play each other…last night he went to play basketball up the road at church. They had 22 up there…mostly high school and college guys.

My favorite “uni-Watch” web site mentioned Will’s basketball team’s rivals yesterday…two of the girls were wearing one high, striped sock each, in a game. They may have taken it from our girls.

Will’s Science teacher had to resign yesterday, because he wasn’t getting any work at his other job. He was well loved by the students and did a great job. He’ll continue to work with the youth at ECPC on Wednesdays, where W and A will see him.

Cobb Water came out last night and found roots in our pipes. I doubt the Zep root remover we got from Home Depot will work much…then we’d have to spend big bucks on digging them up. Durn Bradford Pears.

Didn’t stay up to the end of the Fiesta Bowl…did you? I was rooting for Texas, though.

Picked up my new (stronger) glasses, and they seem to be working ok. Staci seemed to like them OK…she looked like she was doing well when I saw her last night.

Saw a bunch of photos Catherine N posted…she appears to be doing ok as well. She will be graduating this spring…how time flies.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Bowls Ranked by Location

Here’s a ranking of most attractive bowl sites, from least to best. I tried to rank them based on the city, status of the bowl, stadium, and weather. The date of the bowl speaks for itself. Extra corporate named removed where possible, thank you very much.

New Mexico…Albequerque
Sun…El Paso
Music City…Nashville
Texas Bowl…Houston
Meinke Car Care…Charlotte
Motor City…Detroit
Armed Forces…Ft.Worth
Alamo…San Antonio
St. Petersburg
Poinsettia…San Diego
Holiday…San Diego
Emerald…San Francisco
Pioneer…Las Vegas
Champs Sports…Orlando
Capital One…Orlando
New Orleans Bowl
Sugar…New Orleans
Rose Bowl…Pasadena
Hawaii Bowl
BCS Natl Championship…Miami

Bowls Ranked by Name

UniWatch is my favorite website, and I certainly admire/respect/envy Paul Lucas. He has the enviable task of shepherding a nation of uni devotees, many of whom argue on posts to his blog over small uniform nuaces. Paul polices these posts with wit, humor, and authority…it’s his domain, and rightfully he makes the rules.

Paul and I have differences of opinion from time to time. He is a Brooklyner devoted to the Mets, while I’m a Southerner who loves the Braves. He made a recent comment on his blog, refusing to call the Chick-fil-A Bowl by name. It is consistent with his treatment of corporate America in sports, which I agree with.

When I posted a reply stating the virtues of Chick-fil-A, it was met with typical internet replies by commenters more interested in hushing Christianity and allowing second-half beer sales (which is probably more a Georgia Dome/NCAA policy than Chick-fil-A’s!?). At first I thought I'd dump all this on him, but he gets enough grief as it is.

Anyway, here’s how the bowls rank, based on name alone:

34. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
33. GMAC (short, but with a government bailout)
32. Meinke Car Care
31. Roady’s Humanitarian
30. majicJack St. Petersburg
29. (points off for the “.com”)
28. Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
27. SD County Credit Union Poinsettia
26. Gaylord Hotels Music City
25. Brut Sun (anti-perspirant bowl!)
24. AutoZone Liberty
23. Konica Minolta Gator
22. EagleBank
21. Chick-fil-A
20. Capital One
19. Insight
18. FedEx BCS Natl Championship
17. Motor City
16. Valero Alamo
15. Pioneer Las Vegas
14. Pacific Life Holiday
13. Sheraton Hawaii
12. Champs Sports
11. Outback
10. Tostitos Fiesta
9. AT&T Cotton
8. AllState Sugar
7. FedEx Orange
6. Rose Bowl presented by Citi
5. Emerald
4. International
3. New Mexico
2. Texas
1. Independence

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Chick-fil-A Embarrassment!

Tech didn’t put up much of a fight in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. It was almost like they didn’t even try. Instead they continually made poor decisions, particularly by the coaching staff, secure with their recent raises. Let me count the ways...

Navy Jerseys – It’s not just Tech…outfitters like Nike and Russell want to trot out as many uniform variations as possible, throwing tradition to the wind. ESPN noted the last time Tech wore navy was in an ACC championship game…not mentioning they lost that game. The good thing…it will be a long time before they wear them again. The navy didn’t look bad, by why make a change after such a successful year in gold and white?

Passing? – LSU was one of the nation’s worst at defending the run. So what does Tech do? Come out passing!. After completing his first pass, Nesbitt started misfiring - continuously throwing behind receivers, and badly missing deep receivers more often than not. Nesbitt is not a passer. It did not appear Tech worked on the passing game, as they boasted. Needing multiple scores to come back, Nesbitt failed to get plays off quickly.

By passing incomplete on first and second down, Tech continually left themselves in first half third-and-long situations. Conversely, the option works best when run over and over. That’s what wore UGA down. Sure enough, Dwyer broke off a long run late in the game.

Reading the option – Nesbitt again proved to be a poor decision maker running the option, continually handing off to Dwyer when the middle was stuffed. It’s the OPTION!

Opening Kickoff Goes Out of Bounds – Tech shouldn’t have tried to be so fancy, particularly after out-of-bounds kickoffs contributed so mightily in the win over UGA. Hopefully next year Tech can upgrade the kicking game, which could show improvement in all areas.

Michael Johnson – again the “All American” played without a brain…jumping offsides and roughing the passer. His lone good play was made only because he was left unblocked.

Fake punt on the 20-yard line – snapping the ball to a defensive lineman! And trying this down several touchdowns. A very poor decision.

Chop block penalty – will this blocking scheme ever be successful? Johnson plans on “teaching” ACC refs at their off-season conference, but he’s going to run into non-conference refs several times a year…particularly on big bowl games.

Other mistakes were sins of commission, which weren’t as bad, except when coupled with the poor coaching decisions and mental errors. Muffing a punt happens. Failing to recover the onsides kick was poor…that’s why players line up ten yards away from the ball.

All these miscues allowed the game to get out of hand. Many times during the game there appeared to be no urgency on the Tech sidelines, as if it was Tech’s right to eventually win the game. Instead the score got worse and worse. While second-half touchdowns were needed, it may have been wiser to kick a few field goals instead of so often going for it on fourth and long, with Tech’s passing game in the shape it was in.

LSU faked a punt with nine minutes left. Fun, but needed? Les Miles gave a flimsy excuse. Coach Johnson did have a good response when quizzed about LSU’s fake: things like that have a way of coming back at them. LSU also went for it on fourth and goal. The continual bombs thrown by LSU were more a function of their inexperienced QB, but you can’t blame them when the receiver is wide open.

In future years the ball may not bounce Tech’s way quite so often. While the Jackets had chances to beat the Hokies and UVA, everything went right against Boston College, FSU, and UGA. Next year things will be much tougher: Miami, FSU, and UNC will continue to improve, and BC and Virginia Tech aren’t going away.

Tech had a great year, but there’s never an excuse to feel superior. Every team is only as good as its last game.