Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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

Great Sports Weekend!

What a great sports weekend I got to experience

First, the Colts, MY COLTS, beat the Ravens in Baltimore to advance to the AFC Championship game.   I am a huge Colts fan and truly believe Peyton Manning is the best QB in the NFL, if not of all time.   The way he so efficiently runs the offense and works the clock and also the way he can pick a defense a part with his audibles and passes, he is like no other.

What is really great about their victory though, is Peyton played like crap.  Not just by his standards, but by most NFL QB standards, and they still won.  Everyone was saying this was going to be game decided between the Colts potent offense and the Ravens vaunted #1 defense.  I didn’t see it that way and wish I had written it here last week.  I saw it as could the Colts questionable defense hold the Ravens offense enough to give the Colts a chance.  The Answer:  YES.

Cutting Vanderjagt lose and picking up Adam Venatieri in the off season, most brilliant move of any team in the past 5 years.

Next, the Saints beat the Eagles.  I love this for 4 reasons:

  1. I hate the Eagles
  2. New Orleans needs this.  After the past year and half that they have been through, they need this.
  3. Reggie Bush.  I typically am not a fan of the Reggie Bush type college player coming form a perennial college powerhouse and whose majority of Heisman votes are because of his school and not his deserving the award, but Reggie has shown a lot this year.  He is not flashy or boisterous, he has done his job and really helped his team win.  A perfect example of his toughness and focus was shown after he took that hit in the opening minutes of the game.  It was a nasty hit as Reggie had trouble getting to his feet afterward.  But Reggie went to the sideline for a couple breathers and then came back in to help take his team to victory.  He didn’t have to be the star for them to win – just do his job.
  4. Drew Brees.  I want all fellow Purdue Alum to do well in the NFL, but Drew more than most deserves it.  While at Purdue he took us to our first Rose Bowl in over 30 years and he did it with some truly heroic play.  who can ever forget the finish of the OSU game in 1999?  He gets drafted by the Chargers who go out and pick up Flutie.  Once Flutie leaves they draft Rivers.  But Drew hung in there and played his butt off.  Problem is he was NEVER going to be the Charger’s “Guy”.  So after dislocating his shoulder and being shown the door by San Diego, he signs on with the Saints despite all the question marks surrounding the franchise.  By winning yesterday he has shown he is for real and the this All Pro season is no fluke.  Keep it up Drew.

On Sunday I was treated to the Bears victory over the Seahawks.  First, what is a team from Seattle doing in the playoffs?  I know they were in the Super Bowl last year and Seattle itself is a great city.  But NFL and Seattle just don’t go together.  Sorry.

Now, Chicago and NFL – say no more.  The Bears (da’ Bears) are football and the way they played on Sunday showed a lot of heart.  Winning by two 40+ field goals, well that isn’t smash mouth but in the playoffs it isn’t necessarily “how” but “how many”.

I do have one bone with da’ Bears.  last year they put Kyle Orton (fellow Purdue Alum) in a very tough position as a rookie.  Once Rex Grossman was off the IR he went under center and hasn’t been moved since.  Ok, so Orton didn’t play great and Grossman looked better, but let’s face it – I would look good compared to a rookie who gets thrust into the starting QB job a week before the season starts.  And to be honest, compared to Grossman this season, Orton looked just as good last year.  Now, I not lobbying for Kyle to get under center but the Bears do have another pretty QB by the name of Griese standing on the sidelines (he also happens to be the son of a fellow Purdue Alum who was a pretty QB himself).  Why don’t they play him?

After the win by the Bears we got to see the Patriots use every lucky charm they had to beat the Chargers.  Being a Colts fan I am not a Patriots fan.  But for reasons I stated earlier, I am not a Chargers fan either.  While the Colts history against the Pats in the playoffs is not encouraging, I think the Chargers are better team this year and would have a better chance of beating the Colts than the Pats have.

Finally, some of the best sports news this weekend.  The University of Maryland Women’s Basketball team lost to duke ending the winning streak and hopefully, moving them out of #1 in the polls.  To all my UMD friends who ever since Purdue won the National Championship up until UMD won it last year, said women’s basketball doesn’t count…oh yes it does.  AwwwwHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sometimes you have to take your victories where you can get them. 

My Thanks for 2006 and Wishes for 2007

Happy Holidays Everyone!

As 2006 comes to a close, we all have very much for which to be thankful.

– For the love and comfort of my family;

– For those of us who reunited with our old friends during the year and especially those who we had not been in touch with for far too long;

– For those whose ill health was caught in time and successfully treated;

– For those who started new families and learned of future additons to them;

– For those who while they faced crises both in their families and their communities, had the prayers, well wishes, love and support of so many friends and family;

– For those who served their country overseas in the name of helping others and saving lives;

– For the safety and well being of our loved ones who ventured out into the world on thier own;

– For Melanie, because, well, she’s just “Melanie”;

– For rediscovering the beautiful sound of Mona’s voice in the Great Market;

– For the opportunity to celebrate successes of our own and our children and the strength to overcome the defeats; and

– For each and everyone one of you who while you know it or not have had an impact on my life this year.

My wish for 2007 is that we can learn from those who have gone before us, by showing tolerance and understanding, peace and love for our fellow mankind.  That we learn from the mistakes we have made and the mistakes of others so that we we can improve our lives and help guide others to make the right choices.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!