Good Bye Marc-Anthony Thomas

marc

I lost an old friend today.  I can’t say we were close but we shared many things in common.  Marc and I traveled together in Up With People from July 1984 to July 1985. 

Marc was a beautiful and sensitive person and he definitely lived his life to the fullest.  He had a beautiful singing voice and was a talented dancer.  He performed for years with Cirque du Soleil before recently becoming ill.

 marc_thomas_2004_bw_01.jpg

“Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away

into the next room. I am I, and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in

the easy way which you always used. Put no

difference in your tone, wear no forced air of

solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed

at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Pray, smile,

think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the

household word that it always was, let it be spoken

without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it

ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should

I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am

waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very

near, just around the corner. All is well.”

 

– Henry Scott Holland

Of Course They Are….

The Princeton Review has bestowed the honor of the No.1 Party School in America upon the University of West Virginia.  The administration, for obvious reaasons are none too proud of this distinction and in fact their incoming president Mike Garrison tried to deflect the attention by saying, “the students he met over the weekend and on the first day of classes Monday are more concerned with their futures “and with the great year we have ahead” than with partying.”

I find this an interesting comment from the head of a school that recruited a convicted armed robber to play football.  Remember Pat Lazear?  As far as I know he is still playing and receiving a free education from WVU in return for playing football.  All this while far more deserving teenagers are working several jobs to pay thier tuition and they didn’t break any laws.

 I will give President Garrison the benefit of the doubt on the Pat Lazear situation since he is new and did not have anything to do with Pat’s recruitment. But Garrison also said, “I’m focused on the way this university changes people’s lives, the research that we do and the service we provide to the state of West Virginia.”

 If that is the case then President Garrison I would suggest you look at how many residents of the State of West Virginia did not get in or get a scholarship becasue your school actively recruited and  accepted Pat Lazear and others of his ilk.  Look at how their lives were changed by this.

Oh, and congratulations on being voted the No.1 party School in America.  The parents of your students and all of your staff must be proud.

A Funny Thought….

I just realized there are two phrases you NEVER would want to see on the same package:

 – Special Applicator Tip included, and

– Family Size

Just a thought that struck me as funny…..

Lazear & West Virginia

From Sunday, Feb. 18th in the Washinton Post: 

Lazear Signs With West Virginia

Smoothie King Robbery Had Dissuaded Other Schools

Ok.  Good for him.  But, bad for West Virginia. 

West Virginia has always been one of the schools that had the bad fortune of being located in a state that was the butt of jokes dealing with incest, rednecks and overall low IQ’s.  I have often felt the school has gotten a bum rap and  that their engineering and business management programs have never gotten the full recognition they deserve because of the reputation of the State they share a name with.

It has been guilt by association.

Being the quality school that The Univeristy of West Virginia is, I thought they would have avoided Pat.    Having worked hard to separate themselves from the stereotype of West Virginia, I really am surprised.

But I think I get it.  If you are going to viewed like those that people associate you with, why not associate with the best?  Ohio State University with it’s successful Felon Rehab Program ….I’m sorry… Football Team, and many other schools of the like, you can now add West Virginia to the list.  And isn’t that great company to be in.

WVU you have made a mistake.  Pat Lazear hasn’t proven he deserves a chance at college football or a free college education, yet.  The only remorse he has shown is that he got caught and that it has impacted his ability to play football in college. 

If West Virginia wants to sign him, fine.  Maybe their program is strict enough to straighten him out and help him learn what it means to be a productive member of society.  But he shouldn’t get a free ride and take the opportunity of a college education away from another student who played by the rules and avoided hurting others.

In the Tribune

I certainly hope following the Super Bowl this past Sunday, Chicago fans woke up to see the following ad in the Chicago Tribune:

grossman

What a disgraceful showing in a Championship game.

Thank God we have Peyton.  GO COLTS!!!

Why It’s OK to Root for the Colts in Super Bowl

The Colts did it!  They were able to slay their nemesis of so many years and win yesterday to make it into the Super Bowl.    Manning sucked it up and he did the necessary things as QB to help the Colts come back from an 18 point deficit and win in the closing minutes.

And this was clearly not just a “Peyton Manning playing great so the Colts win” kind of game.  The defense stepped up to hold the Patriots to field goals instead of touchdowns.  Rhodes and Addai ran the ball great to keep the ball moving down field and Clark, Wayne, Harrison, Morehead, Utecht all made the catches on those all important 8 – 15 yard passes to help Indy ring up those first downs.

As for the other game yesterday, I am disappointed that the Saints and Drew Brees could not pull it out.  It really was a great Cinderella story.  Fortunately, I am not sad that it is the Bears who are going to the Super Bowl.  Having grown up in the midwest, I like all (ok, most) things Chicago – especially compared to anything in NY or LA.  I am a die hard Cubbie fan and grew up at a time when Dick Butkus roamed the D back field for the Bears.  I like Chicago and I like the Bears (the ’85 team rocked), so I am glad that they are going to the Super Bowl.  It is just too bad they had beat this year’s Saints to get there.

The bright side is the Colts are going to the Super Bowl. And if you are a Colts fan consider this about why it is better to play the Bears than the Saints

  1. You won’t feel bad when the Colts win because they aren’t dashing the hopes of the Katrina victims
  2. Tony Dungy is also African-American so you can’t feel bad if Lovie Smith loses
  3. Tony Dungy has been so close, so many times to making it to the Super Bowl that it will be okay to be happy when he wins
  4. The Colts have shown that no matter how great one of your players is, it takes a team to win
  5. Rex Grossman – ’nuff said.  Ok, maybe not.  He is from Indiana (good) Bloomington, Indiana (bad).  He chose to go to Florida to play football instead of staying in state and playing for the “Cradle of Quarterbacks” – Purdue University (BAD).

GO COLTS !

Poor Eren

Ok, this is a really bad title for this blog and to some (namely:  ME), might even be considered in bad taste.  So I apologize.

Now, to the point.

As a person who has written some pretty harsh comments on his blog about the administrators, coaches and teachers of Walt Whitman High School and about a former student/star athlete turned armed robber, I am sure many of the Whitman faithful already have their keyboards and pitchforks all fired up to come after me for writing anything about Eren Civan.  But please read what I have to write before you come after me.

Eren Civan really deserve a better end to his High School Wrestling career.  A 135 -0, 3 time state champion, who was on his way to another undefeated season and 4th state title, deserved better than to be taken out with a knee injury like he suffered. 

I have had the good fortune to see Eren wrestle on a few occasions over the past 3 years.  There really were none better.  Unfortunately, I never got to see him wrestle in a close match.   Everyone was a blow out.  Did he ever have a close match?  I am sure he did, but I just never got to see it.

 To become that good at anything and especially wrestling takes a certain mind set and determination.  I like what Hopkins said in The Washington Post

But in the opinion of Dave Hopkins, in his 30th year as coach at Damascus, Civan could still win it — on one leg.

“I’m surprised he hasn’t suggested doing that,” Hopkins said with a laugh. “He’s an amazing competitor.”

Most of us won’t ever be able to understand or comprehend this type of mental attitude.  Most of us would not want this type of mental attitude about anything.  But for the few who have found a passion for anything that is so strong to drive them to such lengths…..go for it.  We all marvel at it and gain enjoyment from your accomplishments.

So Eren is going on to Columbia University where with luck he will be able to continue his wrestling career after a year or so of rehab on his knee.  But even if doesn’t ever step on a mat again, he has won so much already.

The respect of others, an opportunity to attend an Ivy League School and the knowledge that if he puts his mind and body to something he can achieve it.

As I said, I really hated to hear about Eren’s injury.  You don’t wish something like that on anyone. 

 Good Luck Eren