Monday, November 26, 2012

Bucs Should Double Throw Back

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers break out their lovely creamsicke throwback uniforms once of twice a year. Since so many other teams also have a set of throwbacks, or wear traditional uniforms, with advance planning the Bucs could create a traditional-looking matchup. Looking at their 2012 schedule, they could’ve made as many as 13 good-looking games out of their 16 game schedule. Only Carolina and Denver do not own traditional or throwback uni sets. And who did Tampa Bay wear cream against this year? Carolina.

Unlike college football, I’m not sure if the No Fun League would allow both teams to wear colored jerseys, even if they were different enough in color to sufficiently contrast. Color vs. color games regularly took place before the age of television. The early black & white TV’s could not distinguish the blues from reds, so teams started wearing white. Now that B&W is virtually extinct and hi-def color rules the day, there’s no reason not to arrange more colorful NFL matchups. If not, the most natural throwback games would be the Cowboys on the road, and the Chiefs at home.

PANTHERS: Bucs should wear their regular unis.
at GIANTS: Since the G-man have royal blue traditional unis, TB could wear cream.
at COWBOYS: Dallas wears traditional white at home, so TB should’ve worn cream.
REDSKINS: Cream would contrast well against Washington’s traditional burgundy.
CHIEFS: Kansas City’s traditional white road unis would’ve looked great against TB’s cream.
SAINTS: NO’s black throwbacks and TB’s creams would be a great matchup.
at VIKINGS: Minnesota’s purple throwbacks would contrast well.
at RAIDERS: Oakland’s traditional black unis would contrast well.
at PANTHERS: No reason for TB to throw back.
FALCONS: Atlanta’s black throwbacks were what gave me this idea in the first place.
at BRONCOS: No reason to throw back.
EAGLES: Not sure if Philly has scheduled a throwback game, though they have in the past.
at SAINTS: Black vs. cream for the fans in the Big Easy.
RAMS: Royal & yellow throwbacks vs. cream.
at FALCONS: Black vs. cream for the Atlanta fans.

Note: I really should send this to the Buccaneers home office. Not sure that they're regular readers of my blog.

Turkey Day

Interesting Thanksgiving. On the way home from work Wednesday I stopped by the Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Shop (LOTH), hoping to see Haley Hurt. She had left, but I did see Catherine Norman, home from Memphis. Wednesday night I rented “Coma” which turned out to be a four hour TV miniseries. Took a while to watch. Filmed in Atlanta, using the High Museum as a clinic for coma patients. Starred Richard Dreyfuss and Geena Davis. A lady from North Point (Kelly Lintz) even had a bit part as a nurse…a speaking role.

Thursday morning Will invited me to dinner with Mary-Clayton’s extended family, at her grandparent’s house not far away from our house. Turned out to be a fun time. The highlight: MC’s sister Anna’s cool new black boots. Will and I thought it funny that Joel & Anna G wanted to shop at the same places. Ceil’s family ate at the local BBQ place, where it was crowded. Then they headed back, arriving around 7:30. Before they arrived I got the leaves blown off the driveway.

Black Friday: Late Thursday Will and MC went out shopping with Joel (and Kevin?). Didn’t return until 4 am. Around noon Will got a haircut, and then C and MC took him downtown to the Regency Hyatt. Will was one of ten 4-Hers selected nationally for a 4H leadership conference. My purchase: hedge clippers from Home Depot, and some $7.00 European golf pants from the TJ Maxx next door. Back home I trimmed hedges until dark. Later Ceil and Anna went out shopping, and I missed meeting up with the Hurts at LOTH.

Saturday was another college football veg-out: ESPN College GameDay, Tech/Georgia, Florida/FSU, and Clemson/SC. Ceil baked blueberry muffins and cooked BBQ in the crockpot. I put up ten items on eBay, and have already sold a Kansas State baseball jersey for $50.00. Anna texted Joel, telling him we had his scarf. His hilarious reply went something like this: “Greatest day ever. Anna Gilbert is texting me!” Good thing nobody reads this blog.

For some reason Sunday I picked up Kim King’s book on Georgia Tech football, and read two thirds of it. Not very well written. Few stories or details not already widely known. But unlike UGA, it’s one of the few books out about Georgia Tech football. I should write one, after I write a Herschel book. There may be a couple of Herschel Walker books, including an “autobiography”…but none chronicling his football career.

Will’s 4H group ate at the downtown Ted’s Montana Grill for Sunday lunch. Later I picked him up from the hotel, and we met Ceil at Passion Church. Will headed back to Athens after the service. Traffic didn’t seem too bad. Monday afternoon he toured Turner Field with his 4H group.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vampire Hunter

Rented Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter last night. Pretty good. Slightly different from the book. Violent, but most of the violence came in the shadows and dimly lit places. Some in slow motion, but still they didn't see much gore. The scariest parts were when the vampires' faces turned monster-like.

What chance do you give the Braves to sign BJ Upton? Concerned that his OBP has decreased, while his strikeouts have increased. Doesn't seem like the Braves want to give him Bourn-like money.

Will drove back by himself yesterday. He drove straight to the airport to pick up MC, then straight up to Cartersville. The Gilberts had hung up a banner for their daughters reading "Welcome home Mary Clayton, Anna…and Will".

Yesterday Matthew excitedly texted me a photo. He had found something he'd been wanting: a stereo record player (with huge speakers).

Monday, November 19, 2012

Andy on CNN published an article on the Stanleys. I thought it was better/nicer than the article. Andy did too. This morning he tweeted “My thanks to John Blake/CNN for a fair & accurate presentation of our story. Family is worth fighting for!”

Left work Friday at 4:15. Drove to Cumming to pick up Will. Left there at five and met Ceil at the Roswell Square at 5:50. Will and Anna swapped cars, and I drove Anna to Peachtree Corners for a bonfire near the river…not too far from work. Then drove back home, arriving at 7:15. A three hour rush hour commute. In honor of Will’s homecoming, Ceil cooked spaghetti and meatballs. At 11:30 pm I drove back to fetch Anna. Saw two large deer in the Peachtree Corners neighborhood.

For breakfast Saturday morning Ceil cooked scones, bacon, grits, and eggs. Watching college football was more challenging this week: UGA kicked off at 1:30, and both Tech and Clemson at 3:30. The Bulldogs game was pretty much decided by the half, thanks to Aaron Murray’s touchdown pass late in the second quarter. While watching Tech on channel 298 I eventually figured out Clemson was on channel 248. After falling behind 13-0, NC State scored three straight touchdowns. Then Clemson scored four straight TD’s, and wound up winning 62-48.    

Tech looked better on defense, but it was just Duke. The Blue Devils couldn’t stop Tech’s running game, and the jackets had four touchdown drives of 74 yards or longer (plus a 43 yard drive). GT fans are boasting on blogs that Tech will beat Georgia, I’ve been wrong before, but no way GT outscores UGA. UGA’s defense will shut down Tevin Washington, and Vad Lee is too inexperienced. Gotta root for FSU to beat Florida, so the Seminoles might let up against Tech in the ACC championship game. If Florida beats FSU, the Seminoles will come out ready to whip some tail.

It is possible for the BCS national championship game to feature two teams from the SEC East, if Notre Dame and Alabama lose. This just a couple of years after two SEC West teams were in the BCS.

Sunday night we had our small group “thanksgiving dinner.” I was talking to my friend Reid, who writes and produces music at Turner. Reid has worked on the music for the NBA on TNT several times. He said today that Adam Silver is visiting, the guy replacing David Stern as the NBA commissioner. A few weeks ago NFL commissioner Roger Goodell poked his head in Reid’s office. Reid doesn’t work directly with these people, but sometimes gets introduced to the bigwigs. A few months ago Ted Turner was in town to celebrate TBS’s anniversary. Reid also told a Jane Fonda story.

Later Jeff Foxworthy came up in the conversation, and Reid mentioned that he had recently worked with Foxworthy on a movie. It turned out to be Bryan Coley’s Crackerjack, and Bryan had been there as well. Foxworthy was recording the narrator lines for the movie. Jeff would read the lines as they were written, then revise them a little to make it sound more like something he would say. Reid said this made them even funnier.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Switchfoot on Leno

Thursday I ran at the nearby soccer fields after work, the first time all week. Ceil cooked a new recipe for supper: a meaty rice and black bean burrito filling. Then I took a nap, then stayed up with Matthew to watch his favorite band Switchfoot on Jay Leno. As usual, the band played one song right at the end of the show. Tim Allen and the young boy from Modern Family were also on with Jay.

Not much going on this weekend. The Clemson game and Tech game will be on TV, but not Georgia. I’ll clean up, and do some battle with the leaves. This afternoon Will is catching a ride home today. Anna is going to a bonfire tonight.

It may be me, but the people that DOB has to put up with on Twitter are harder to ignore than the commenters. DOB seems to have fun with them, almost publicly admonishing them for dumb questions. People continuously have bad, uninformed opinions. It’s like they aren’t reading DOB’s tweets and developing a sense of what the Braves are trying to accomplish. Should the Braves actually make one of the deals they suggest these same people would be taking Wren to task.

Some of the Braves fan pages on FB seem to try to draw out negative responses from fans based on the way they ask questions. Same with the AJC and 11Alive. The old codger in me likes to leave contrary opinions.

At the Tech game I snapped a couple of quick photos during the game with my iPhone camera. Just now a guy from work came by and said “Let me show you a picture of where I was last night.” I said “Wait! Let me show you a picture of where I was last night!” We showed each other the pictures at the same time. He was also at the Tech game. In fact, he was in the background of one of my pictures, behind the scorer’s table at center court.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hoops: GT vs Presbyterian

Had fun at the Tech / Presbyterian game Wednesday night. Reid and I rode with the Perry’s and their old lady friend. They were all a hoot. Mrs. Perry looked great, perhaps because she dressed in all black, like me. Their friend is a basketball nut, weaned on the game as a child in North Carolina. She has one season ticket for men’s basketball, and two for the women’s games.

This was the second men’s game in the new McCamish Pavilion. Reid said the bugs were still being worked out. The lighting had been adjusted since opening night. The courtside student seats were full, but the student section behind the north basket was only half full. Paul Johnson made a late entrance, making his way to a courtside seat. Later when the Jumbotron camera focused on him, he uncharacteristically smiled. A group of football players also arrived late, and settled into the section next to Reid and me. The only one I recognized was quarterback Vad Lee. While many went crazy during the inevitable Budweiser song, Lee remained seated, barely moving to the beat.

Tech came out sluggish, and trailed Presbyterian at the half. They shot under 40% from the field, and less than 20% from three point range. In the second half the Blue Hose clumsily turned the ball over several times, and Tech opened up a lead. The Jackets also started to move the ball inside. Late in the game Presbyterian had the chance to cut the lead to five, but missed. Tech finally broke the 50 point barrier with less than one minute remaining in the game. Last Saturday the football team scored more points.

Reid wondered if the Jackets weren’t in for a long season. Joe admitted they had played better against Tulane, but said Tech would’ve lost to Tulane had the Jackets played like they did against Presbyterian. In a few weeks Tech will add a transfer from Kentucky to the rotation. Coach Brian Gregory about ten players considerable playing time. Tech will probably improve on last year, but still are a year or two away from competing for the ACC Championship.

Tech’s new uniforms look great. Simple and traditional, with the plain gold TECH and block numbers thinly outlined in drop-shadow black. I was also impressed by Presbyterian’s simple navy BLUE HOSE unis, with the Air Jordan logo. Unlike Tech’s mismatched Nike footwear, Presbyterian rocked matching Nikes.    

Supposedly Julie Perry lives in Birmingham, working for various political candidates.

GT Outscores UNC

Hard to complain about the offense in Tech’s 68-50 win over North Carolina, the highest-scoring game in ACC history.

As usual, Tech passed on the first play of the game. As usual, this took the defense completely by surprise. Every week this amazes me. Tevin Washington’s first pass might’ve been a touchdown, but he threw it behind the receiver. This did not surprise me. Neither did Orwin Smith’s coming out of the game after the first play. While this could be by design, it seems implausible that the all-time ACC yards per carry leader would be a such a spot player.

After Tevin’s first two possessions resulted in a touchdown and a punt, Vad Lee quarterbacked the rest of the way. He played well, though right now he is more of an unpolished Tajh Boyd-type than the more well-rounded Cam Newton-type he has the potential to become. While Washington has run Paul Johnson’s option offense better than Nesbitt, Johnson can open up the offense even more to exploit Lee’s abilities. For some reason Tech is one of the few teams in the country to make their right-handed quarterback drop back to pass to the left. Then the QB has to take the time to turn completely around before he can pass. By then the pass rush is closing in. if the primary receiver is covered, there’s no time to look for other options.

UNC’s defense was clearly befuddled by Tech’s ability to run and pass. The Tar Heels contributed greatly to their own demise, losing several fumbles, throwing an interception to a defensive lineman, and botching a fake punt.

Running Back Rundown: David Sims stretched out for an impressive touchdown. Synjyn Days returned to his fumbling ways. Every game I grow fonder of running back Robert Godhigh, the former walk-on turned touchdown machine. He scored three times against UNC, on a short run, a longer run, and a leaping catch. He also is a tenacious blocker. After being tackled he pops up and returns to the huddle, unlike Orwin Smith, who seems to take himself out of the game after every play. Smith seems soft. All skinny sophomore fullback Zack Laskey does is gain yards. Johnson seems to want to play the more highly-touted Sims or Days, but Laskey remains the most productive. BJ Bostic and Tony Zenon add speed to the group.

Jamal Golden returned another kickoff the length of the field for his second touchdown of the season. Every time he touches the ball I’m afraid he’s going to slip. When he breaks out into the clear, Golden runs too closely to the sidelines. Once they reviewed the play to make sure he didn’t step out of bounds. Jamal must be hanging around fellow returner Orwin Smith too much.

Tech appears to have found a kicker. Redshirt senior Chris Tanner had a perfect game. His kickoffs were shorter than Justin Moore, who may be out hurt.

The Jackets extended their perfect record while wearing gold helmets to 3-0. We shall see how this influences their Saturday helmet choice.

With a slim chance for Tech to earn a spot in the ACC Championship Game on the line, the Jackets can’t afford to stumble against a decent Duke team. I don’t mind having Tevin start his last home game, but hopefully Lee will again get extended playing time. The 68 point outburst emboldened some Tech fans to predict victory over #5 Georgia, who “hasn’t proven anything” this year while winning the SEC East. How quickly they forget the 50 points the Jackets’ defense gave up in Chapel Hill. And UNC is no UGA.

CLEMSON: Every week the Tigers get out to a big lead, and leave starting quarterback Tajh Boyd in the game to risk the injury fates. There is a fine line between pulling him too early, because the outcome of the game has to be decided. Saturday Clemson led 38-7 with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, against Maryland’s freshman linebacker turned QB. Tajh Boyd was still in the game…throwing bombs. Boyd finally came out at the very end of the third quarter.

Maryland’s play of the game: Clemson attempted a 54 yard field goal. The punter, having nailed a 60 yarder earlier in the season, seemed to go too easy on this try, and the kick was way short. Maryland alertly fielded the kick and ran it out of the end zone, returning it 80 yards.  

For years Clemson has rolled over lesser opponents, then failed to show up against decent opponents like FSU. Next week’s game against South Carolina will determine if this trend continues.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Taco Bell

Read in Sports Illustrated that the Tigers' Justin Verlander eats at Taco Bell the night before he pitches. And he eats a bunch. Last night I grabbed some Taco Bell for Matthew. Ceil and I had chicken parmesan sandwiches on hoagie rolls. Matthew had one for lunch. Anna had Campbell's chicken noodle soup before her art class. Ceil was baking desserts for the kids Thanksgiving feast, which is today.

I was reading the USA Today article about Spielberg and his Lincoln movie. He said there are several Lincoln stories to tell, but he wouldn't make another Lincoln movie without Daniel Day Lewis. Years ago DDL had originally turned Spielberg down for the role, so SS shelved the project. Later Leonardo Dicaprio heard about it, and helped talk DDL into taking the role.

Left home Monday 4:20 pm and made the round trip to the airport and back in two hours…not bad for a rainy rush hour. Ceil said she'd ride MARTA, but I picked her up anyway. After a depressing weekend, our dog was happy when Ceil got home. She fixed spaghetti with meat sauce.

My sick co-worker hopes to return next Monday, to work at least half days. Between my normal stuff, extra meetings, taking off half of two days, and keeping up with her stuff, I've been pretty busy. I try to check my yahoo email, but sometimes I can go a day or two before checking it. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Good, Bad, & Ugly

GOOD: Funny that Tech exploded for 68 points the first time Vad Lee plays most of the game. He's certainly far from a finished product, and he appears to be from the same mold as Clemson's Tajh Boyd or Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas. I hate to watch those guys run a regular offense, but Vad could run Paul Johnson's offense better than Nesbitt or Washington.

BAD: Falcons lose: better now than later. I only saw the beginning of the game. You know how I hate excessive celebration penalties, and the one after the interception factored into Atlanta only getting a field goal instead of a touchdown…and the Falcons lost by four. I know there was more to it than that.

UGLY: David Ross signs with Boston: Luckily I did not read the DOB blog, though I did read all the DOB and Bowman tweets. Will's level-headed friend Kevin had an anti-Wren Facebook post, and I cautioned that you really couldn't blame Wren. I really can't blame an older player wanting to play in Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park (or for the crowds in Philly or St. Louis). The payday is great, but so is the pressure. We shall see how Rossy likes it.

Only working four hours both this past Friday and today. Ceil got to go to Williamsburg on Saturday, and returns this afternoon. Friday A, M, and I rented and all watched The Avengers together. I liked it. Another day of watching college football on Saturday. Yesterday was Passion City Church and Moes. I also ironed, did laundry, and completed the summer/winter clothes swap.

Coworker getting tested for Lyme Disease today. She was out all last week, and wants to make the rash decision to quit. I hope she doesn't…she has become a valuable employee.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Logan Thomas Disappoints Again

Exciting game Thursday night between FSU and VT. I was rooting for FSU, since I had written that they would win the ACC. Also because I'd written about the VT QB Logan Thomas not playing well in big games. He did OK last night, though he made several bad throws. For most of the game he had completed less than 50% of his passes. Most of the plays they call for him are "easy" pass routes: drop three steps and fire. Sure, he can rumble and is hard to tackle, but he's far from being a good QUARTERBACK or PASSER. His last pass was intercepted.

Not much happened Thursday night. Young Jimmy Ewing called. He occasionally calls Ceil, since C and Jenny were good friends. Ricky Richardson will call her from time to time as well, but he hasn't called for a while. Margaret Ewing is expecting her second child, this time a boy. Her daughter's photo is featured on the box of a baby product sold in stores.

Friday morning I took C to the airport for her flight to Dulles. Co-worker has been out sick all week. I was going to take off Friday and Monday, but was needed to fill in. MONDAY: Like today, I'll probably arrive to work late and leave early. Hopefully the coworker will be back.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Third Time is OK

Ceil always has a hard time picking out where to eat. After all day at school she had to drive from Alpharetta to southwest Cobb County for Matthew's appointment. Then Matthew had to be at Cumberland Mall at six, to go to the Hawks game. I suggested we meet at The OK Café.

After work I ran, then picked up Anna at the nearby Atlanta Bread Company in Peachtree Corners at 5:15. From there, getting to 75 & West Paces Ferry during rush hour is almost impossible. Went straight down Peachtree Industrial. 285 was jammed both ways, so I drove straight down Peachtree and turned on West Paces. Buckhead traffic was bad, but we arrived just after Ceil. Got to point out several points of interest that Anna had never seen.

I usually dread eating at the OK Café, but last night it was good. Had the BBQ pork sandwich. The fries were excellent. Ceil devoured the vegetable plate, and Anna had her usual chicken sandwich. Afterward C and A went to Perimeter Mall. I went home and watched the Hawks fall behind. The guys left the game early to meet back at Cumberland at ten, so they missed the incredible comeback. Of course I was the one who had to go get Matthew.

Interesting about the deflated footballs. Indicative not only of sports today, but also American society as a whole.

I saw a story about a football betting ring was busted up. Guys were betting hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of the men were coaches in the games being bet on. The football games were being played by little kids!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Bulldog Bowl Bust

The wonderful college bowl system seems all set to drop once-beaten #5 Georgia into your run-of-the-mill New Year’s Day bowl game. The only way the Dawgs can advance to an elite BCS Bowl is to beat number one Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Even then it is highly unlikely the Dawgs can earn a spot in the National Championship Game.

Even if Oregon, Kansas State, and Notre Dame win out, should #5 Georgia lose to Alabama in the SEC Championship game they will have two losses. They could fall behind South Carolina, Florida, and maybe even two-loss LSU in the standings. Since the BCS only takes two teams from one conference, UGA would be shut out. As usual, they’d go to one of those New Years Day bowls in Florida, like the Capital One or Outback.

Clemson loves to come to the Chickfila Bowl every few years. They will lose to South Carolina, and be bumped lower in the polls. I suppose FSU will win the ACC and go to the Orange Bowl.

Every year I am embarrassed by how poorly GT plays in their nationally televised bowl game, usually against a supposedly inferior team like Utah or Air Force. Tech brags about their long streak of going bowling, though they’ve lost the past seven bowls. Exotic bowl destinations like Shreveport, Boise, and San Francisco. I’ve said it before, but I’ll be happy if Tech stays home this year.

Take-Out Tuesday

Tuesday was Ceil’s birthday. She voted late in the morning, on the way back from taking Matthew to a teaching session at school. No wait at the polls. While Ceil was out, Anna cleaned up the kitchen and hung a large HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner from the ceiling.

Later Ceil went over to her friend Noelle’s for a quick birthday celebration. Her other friend Nancy came. They had red velvet cake and carrot cake from Whole Foods, and both girls gave Ceil pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (her favorite, on sale this past week at Publix). Ceil had gotten herself some Ben & Jerry’s a few days ago.

I left work at 4 pm and arrived at the polls forty minutes later. No wait. At six I took Anna to her art class, after getting her a kids meal at Chickfila. On the way home I had Publix write Happy Birthday Ceil on a cake. Not knowing about all the ice cream Ceil had, I grabbed two pints of Ben & Jerry’s as well. Then I met Ceil and Matthew (and dog Barney) at Zoes Kitchen. Ceil opted for takeout from Bamboo Chinese Bistro, and Matthew got Orange Chicken from the Panda Express across the street. He didn’t want to get tired eating Trader Joes frozen Orange Chicken. Besides, he reasoned, Panda Express isn’t only not frozen, but more “gourmet” as well. Back home I ate breaded chicken and other leftovers. And a little cake and ice cream.    

After watching some election returns, Ceil turned the TV over to reruns of Cosby and Raymond. I drove back to get Anna, first grabbing milk at Kroger. It was already 10 pm, and Anna had lots more schoolwork to do before going to bed. So I grabbed her something fancy at Starbucks.

David Rajecki recruited Will to play on his intramural football team. Most of the other players were seniors. Will played receiver, and scored a few touchdowns. I used to take Will to those Saturday morning Home Depot workshops.

Missed It By That Much

The Saturday before the last Presidential debate, Letterman comedy writer Gerard Mulligan tweeted that Fox News had declared Romney the winner of the debate.

At 6:30 am on this Election Day, I remembered this. Thought about tweeting that CNN was calling the election for Obama. I should’ve at least sent that tweet directly to Mulligan, for late Tuesday morning Mulligan dusted off his old tweet: Fox News declares Romney winner.

To think I could’ve cut him off at the pass! I did jab him about recycling his jokes. Someone did have a good response: “CNN declares Perot/Stockdale winner. #CNNWeUsedToBeRelevant”

Monday, November 05, 2012

Turkey Lasagna

Left work Friday and went for my usual run at the nearby soccer complex. On the way home I found a red Spain soccer jersey for Matthew. He says he likes it. Homemade pizza for supper Friday night.

Saturday morning A and M had to be down at Garden Hills Elementary at 8 am for the Passion Community Carnival. They seemed to have a good time serving and helping with the snowcones and games. Since traffic was light I decided to drive back up Roswell Road, instead of my usual Lake Forest route. As I crossed Weiuca I saw ex-coworker Darren walking his dog, so I stopped for a nice chat. He’s a good guy…I miss him. Back in East Cobb I got a much-needed haircut and had the oil changed at Mr Clean carwash. Still made it home in time for ESPN College GameDay.

Once again Tech, UGA, and Clemson played back to back, at 12:30, 3:30, and 7 pm…so I didn’t get much done. I did blow the driveway, back deck, and part of the yard.  After Clemson won I turned it over to Bama/LSU, and watched to the end. I missed how LSU outplayed Bama, but lots of people were saying Les Miles was taking too many chances.

Ceil had been craving lasagna, so Saturday she fixed a batch. Made a smaller lasagna for Matthew in a meatloaf pan, without cottage cheese. She used ground turkey, which usually tastes ok. For some reason this batch didn’t taste as good. So I have a bunch of lasagna to eat for lunch this week.

Sunday I cleaned upstairs, then got all the winter clothes out of the attic. I’ve got the backseat of my car full of old Living Science T shirts to recycle. I’ll also have lots of Matthew’s old clothes to dispose of. Also did several loads of laundry. Ceil fixed breaded chicken, broccoli, and a sweet potato & rice dish for dinner. Sunday night Ceil sat and watched ESPN as the top ten BCS team were announced. After the show went off at 8 pm she turned it over to ESPNU to watch the continuation of the show.

I’m hoping the lines at the polls Tuesday will be shorter than all the early voting lines were.

Late Friday morning Ceil flies out to Dulles for a long weekend in northern Virginia with her friend Dawn. Returns Monday, so I too will have a four day weekend.
All summer my co-worker, a lifetime Falcons fan, said the 49ers were going to be his team this year. I told him he was jumping off the bandwagon the very year the Falcons were going to go all the way. Last night I stayed up for the end of the Falcons game. It was the most I’d watched of them all year. I’ve watched much more of the Giants games this year than the Falcons. Also the Redskins. Hated that the Skins lost to the Panthers. Nice that the Falcons get the Saints after NO plays on Monday night.

I never get enough to eat at Steak & Shake. The menus look so good, but then the food is usually disappointing.

I kinda like the Yankees, Giants, and Red Sox, except when someone like Valentine is the manager. Loved Torre, and Giraldi is ok.

Will is buddies with football player Tra Battle in biology class.

Sept/Oct Thrift Store Recap

I hadn’t posted a thrift store update since early August. Pretty much busted my goal of reducing these purchases, but I have done a good job of buying items to sell at a profit. Other purchases were needed, for Matthew, or were just the perfect item. Since I’m trying to run every day after work, I have fewer opportunities to rummage for treasures. That’s OK.

Sean Casey Pittsburg Pirates bobblehead doll. A nice, cheap addition to the bobblehead collection in Matthew’s room.
Argentina soccer jersey for Matthew. For some reason Matthew wanted a soccer jersey. He liked this blue & white one OK.
Arsenal long sleeve goalie jersey. On the big side for Matthew. Perhaps he’ll wear it when it gets cold.  
Red Spain soccer jersey for Matthew. His favorite one so far.
Beatles wall hanging. Matthew loves it. Hangs on the end of his bunk bed.
Harry Potter book #4 for Matthew. Anna had lent out this volume. Since Matthew is finally reading, I wanted to track one down. Found one in Sandy Springs for 50 cents.
Red UGA T-shirt for Will.
Blue button-up shirt from The Gap. On the snazzy side. Looks good with jeans at Passion, or at work on Friday.
Vintage mesh Gerald Riggs #42 Falcons jersey. Classic. Already sold it on eBay.
Mitchell & Ness Jerry Rice San Francisco 49ers jersey. It’s only in OK shape, but it still should sell quickly on eBay. Should’ve bought a Steve Young jersey, but I just wasn’t feeling it.
Royal blue New York Giants long sleeve Reebok workout shirt. A tight fit, so I’ll probably sell it on eBay.
Black Nike Dri-Fit pullover. All my other winter pullovers are heavy fleece, so I’ll love wearing this lighter one all winter.
Black Champion workout shirt. Good to have a second nice black tee.
Black Reebok Fury Insta-Pump running shoes. I’d wanted a different color pair of Furys to wear during the winter, since my neon yellow pair fits tight (and is so bright). This almost new black pair is perfect.
Black low-cut Converse all-stars. Cheap impulse buy. Great to have, though I probably won’t wear them much.
Levis jeans. A great looking/great fitting pair for 99 cents.
Cream colored golf pants. Another cheap buy. Hopefully by spring I’ll lose enough weight to wear them.
New Era Greenville Braves adjustable cap. Classic GB logo. Will be great to wear it to Braves games.
Black & white stretch Titleist golf cap. Kinda tight on me, but Will or Matthew can wear it.
Old Navy boxers (3 pair). Great buy.
The Litigators, by John Grisham. A great read.

Almost $600.00 in merchandise for seventy bucks, which I’ll make back by selling the three NFL jerseys/shirts.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Cam or RGIII: Who's best?

The Redskins are playing the Panthers this weekend, so there are plenty of comparisons between the two starting quarterbacks. This is supposedly the first ever matchup between the two most recent Heisman Trophy winners as starting quarterbacks. While Cam Newton and Robert Griffin may appear similar on the surface, in fact they are worlds apart.

Newton is emotional and on the field draws attention to himself. Griffin is more cerebral and deflects the attention to his team.

When he scores, Newton shucks off teammates and playfully pretends to reveal a Superman shirt, as if his ten teammates had nothing to do with the touchdown he just scored. Contrastingly, Robert rejoices with his teammates, and has even jumped into the stands to celebrate with the fans.

Cam bounced around to three colleges in three years, and then left school early for the pros. Robert enrolled at Baylor early (setting NCAA track records fresh out of high school), graduated early, and was well on his way to a graduate degree by the time he was drafted by Washington.

Newton left in his wake allegations of impropriety at Florida, Auburn, and Mississippi State. At Baylor the articulate Griffin carved out a legacy of community service.

When the Panthers went on a losing streak, Newton poured out his frustrations to the media, throwing others on the team under the bus. When asked about the comparisons with Newton, Griffin politely replied that he would rather be compared to Super Bowl winning quarterbacks like Aaron Rogers.

While Newton has outstanding ability both throwing and running, Robert has world-class speed as a hurdler, and speaks intelligently about the intricacies of reading defenses at the line of scrimmage. So far this year Griffin leads the NFL in yards gained per play: on first down, second down, AND third down. Unprecedented.

Like all NFL quarterbacks, both Newton and Griffin are in danger of a career-threatening injury on any play. As I watch Redskins games, I fear that prospect. I'd hate to see an injury take one play away from what could very well be a historic NFL career.

With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Colts chose quarterback Andrew Luck from Stanford. Luck has shined brightly in Indianapolis. Since he and Griffin were the first two quarterbacks selected this year, their pro careers will forever be compared. While the Colts and Redskins made excellent choices, the jury is still out on the shaky Carolina franchise. Many question whether Newton has the mental fortitude to deal with playing for a consistent loser.

NOTES: Another reason to watch: the Redskins are breaking out throwback uniforms, that include helmets made to look like leather.

My Football Career

I was fortunate enough to be able to play eight years of football. Two seasons of Macon Recreation Department’s Midget Football, four years playing at Central High School in Macon, and two seasons of intramural flag football at Georgia Tech. Six of the teams were good, winning a title of some kind. I kicked for the last six years.    

1971 Macon Midget Football Vikings
1972 Browns (league runner-up)
1973 Central 9th Grade (city champions)
1974 Central B Team (city champions)
1975 Central (state champions)
1976 Central (sub region champion)
1979 GT intramurals (division champion)
1980 GT BSU intramurals

In 72 I was one of the biggest players in the rec league, playing end on both offense and defense. caught a long touchdown pass, sacked the quarterback, and intercepted a pass. At Tech I played fullback, and enjoyed blocking.

What follows is a list of the 19 different football stadiums I played in during my “career”. While twelve away stadiums in four years doesn’t seem like much, in actuality teams sharing stadiums meant more actual road games were played. Northside and Warner Robins shared International Stadium. Southwest and Northeast shared Henderson Stadium. At least four teams shared two stadiums in Augusta.

Appling Field, Northeast High, Macon (9th grade) Playing where I went to school for two weeks.  
Ballard Field, Southwest High, Macon (9th grade) I remember booming kicks here on a beautiful fall afternoon. 
Cedar Shoals High School, Athens (B team) Against a talented team, our defensive end Jim “Mobile” Holmes picked up a fumble and rumbled for a touchdown.
Douglas County High, Douglasville (varsity) Fun road trip. After the win our bus driver Bullet took us on a tour of downtown Atlanta.
GMC Stadium, Milledgeville (9th grade) Where we won 96-0. With the stadium wall right behind the goalposts, every time I kicked an extra point the ball sailed out of the stadium, onto the street.

Grant Field, Atlanta (intramural) It was fun playing intramurals on the Jackets’ Astroturf.
Griffin High, Griffin GA (varsity) My first game dressed out with the Varsity.
Henderson Stadium, Macon (pewee & varsity) Where we beat Southwest 7-6, the difference was my extra point.
International Stadium, Warner Robins (varsity) Played against future NFL star James Brooks. He did not score on my one kickoff that game.
Lakewood Stadium, Atlanta (state championship) State championship game in the cold, not long before Christmas. Astroturf field. Great feeling when we won.

Lanier A Field, Macon (9th grade) In practice I was hit while following through on a kick, and was knocked out. When I woke up the entire team was circled around me. Where we beat GMC 66-0.   
Old Lucy Laney Stadium, Augusta (varsity) On a kickoff a hulking opponent knocked me down, and wouldn’t let me get up until the play was over. Knocked the wind out of me.
Porter Stadium, Macon (pewee & varsity) Central’s ancient home field.
The Proving Grounds, Central High, Macon (B Team) Central’s famed practice field, where I would kick during the summer, by myself.  
Rose Bowl Field, Georgia Tech (intramurals) One game my job was to block a huge charging outside linebacker that looked like a caveman. Without pads. I did, and we won.

SAC Field, Georgia Tech (intramurals) Where I scored all my team’s points in a win: two TD’s (one rushing, one receiving), a field goal, and an extra point. Also laid a great block on a blitzing linebacker. During the Olympics the temporary Water Polo venue was erected here.
Swan Field, Central High, Macon (B team) Site of pep rallies and track meets.
Warner Robins High School Field (9th grade) The 2” black field goal block was left in Macon, so I had to improvise with an oval taped block from the medicine kit. Fortunately I did not miss that day.    
New Westside Stadium, Augusta (varsity) My last high school game. Boomed a field goal from the hash mark for our team’s only points. On the ensuing kickoff, the ball kept falling off the tee.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Reebok Fury Insta Pump

Reebok Furys are great shoes to wear around the house. They slip on and off, are comfortable, and the thick running shoe soles make for a warm wintertime shoe. I've worn my neon yellow Furys for years, but they're kinda tight in the toes. 

I stumbled across a good-looking all-black pair that should fit better, and fit in well with my wintertime wardrobe: jeans and black warmups. My black Furys have black inner lining. Besides the white soles, everything is black. The Reebok wordmark on the tongue and heel are both red. Sweet.

Braves Bits

Any thoughts on the 2013 Braves? Still too early to tell. Funny to read DOB's replies to fans floating crazy ideas. I'm not a Justin Upton fan. Seems inconsistent for the high price the Braves would have to pay. Think Rafael Soriano will get the big bucks he wants, apart from the Yankees? He was so inconsistent with the Braves.

Watched some of the Gold Glove show Tuesday night. Bowman was saying that LaRoche was a deserving choice. Great picture of Medlin in a Teletubbies costume.

In a few weeks I think I'll ask DOB if Simmons will be considered a rookie next year. It's like phone callers asking Skip Caray to explain the infield fly rule.

Halloween 2012

Left work later than I wanted Wednesday…almost 4:30. As expected, traffic was heavy. Near Centennial High a Mercedes decided it was important enough to cut ahead of several cars that had been ahead of it. Things like that really get my goat. And of course, since other cars had to slow down to let the Mercedes in, my law-abiding car got caught at the red light. Luxury cars are the worst…especially BMW's. This morning a Lexus ran a stop sign and vaulted right out onto 120, cutting across two lanes of traffic. It weaved through cars as quickly as possible, greatly exceeding the speed limit. Later an Expedition sped up to an intersection and slammed on the brakes. I might not have noticed, but I heard someone honk at it.

Anyway, back to Halloween. Ceil donned an old Braves jersey and Boston Braves cap. I wore the baby blue Dale Murphy jersey and Hank Aaron blue cap. Matthew had on his purple Morph suit. At Chipotle there was a long, interesting line of costumed characters waiting for two dollar burritos. A dad in a six foot tall fuzzy pink elephant costume. Ghostbusters. Clifford the Big Red Dog. A pregnant nun. Saw the older couple we'd eaten with last Halloween, and Xanna, the coffee shop trivia queen.

Went over to our friends the Earhart's to trick or treat. I hate leaving our neighborhood, but it's great for Matthew to trick or treat with the three buddies he's known all their lives. Two of the dads couldn't make it, but it was good to chat with fellow small group dad Steve. We talked about the election, and then segued into a conversation about the end times/last days…a subject that interests us both. As we walked I looked up and saw the Space Station float across the sky.

Afterwards we all sat around and had a nice chat. Got back home around 9 pm and we watched some of the X Factor. Anna had a sleepover at Emily's, and today her small group has a service project.

Whoever invented trunk or treat had a good idea. Sounds like it was a success at SPdL.