Category Archives: Sports
Merry Christmas!!! Yep – that’s right… today is like Christmas, people!!!
Why, you ask?
Football season has begun!
My Gamecocks beat the Tarholes this week!
Georgia’s going to beat Clemsux tonight!
I’m on the couch with my coffee right now, watching College Gameday.
It doesn’t get any better than this!
So find yourself a comfortable spot on your couch (or a barstool), get yourself a nice cold beer, turn the TV up, and cheer for your team!!
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Sir Big Spur…
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.
He peered through the holes in his face mask and looked up into the bleachers. There they were – his whole family – beaming with pride at their star athlete. Okay, maybe he wasn’t a star yet. But he would be someday. He just knew it.
He heard the whistle blow, and he knew that this last play would determine the entire game. They were down by six, and a single last-second touchdown would seal the championship for him and his teammates.
He could feel the pressure. He could no longer hear the crowd of parents, grandparents, and siblings screaming their names, but could only hear his own heart pounding out of his chest. Ba-boom. Ba-boom. Ba-boom.
He knew the team was counting on him. He couldn’t let them down. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and called his snap count. He felt the ball fall perfectly between his fingers. There was nothing like that feeling of the pigskin about to leave his hands and sail across the field.
He dropped back three steps, just like he did perfectly in practice every day. He caught a glimpse of his receiver at the exact spot on the field where he needed to be. This was it. The moment they had prepared for all season.
He cocked his arm back, took one last deep breath, and let the ball sail to its perfectly calculated place on the far-end of the field. The crowd fell silent. No one dared to blink. Even the players seemed to be in a trance as they watched the ball near its target.
It glided through the air and began its descent like a perfectly aimed missile. Only that’s when he noticed… It wasn’t quite perfect. It was a little too far past his eagerly waiting receiver. The crowd knew it, too. Everyone’s shoulders seemed to slump.
He could barely stand to watch as the ball landed only feet behind his receiver, thumping loudly to the turf. He heard the buzzer sound, signaling that the game was over. That the season was over. He had let his teammates down.
Dreading his walk of shame to the locker room, he put his head down, utterly defeated. How would he face his teammates now? He just couldn’t believe it. He practiced that exact play so many times that he was sure he could make the pass in his sleep.
As he headed back to the locker room, he thought about the irony of his refusal to look away from the very ground that caught his pass. He began rewinding the play in his mind just as he felt a hand grab his shoulder.
Sure he was going to be reamed by his coach or a teammate, he looked up slowly, fearing what was about to come. To his surprise, however, his entire team stood behind him, heads held high. He could barely keep his emotions in when it happened.
They hoisted him up on their shoulders and walked him the rest of the way to the locker room. They showered him with “good tries” and “we’ll get it next years.” He had never been so proud to be part of a team.
He knew that, at that very moment, they were more than just teammates.
They were brothers.
In a study done by Michigan State University, children between the ages of 10 and 12 were asked why they played youth sports. Here are the answers they gave:
– To give them something fun to do.
– To keep them healthy and in shape.
– To improve their skills.
Most parents would probably also throw these reasons in:
– To teach them how to be team players.
– To keep them busy and out of trouble.
Did you notice that “to win” was found nowhere above? Don’t get me wrong – Children who play sports love it when they win a game. Hell, we all love to win. But winning is NOT the reason kids play sports. Some parents I know may find that hard to believe.
My boys have played youth sports since they were about four years old. That means that for eight years, I’ve had the pleasure of watching them, cheering for them, and photographing them. Since they first enrolled in youth sports, they’ve played baseball, football, basketball, and they’ve wrestled. And they’re both really good at all of those. Between their natural talents and abilities and their consistent hard work and practicing, they’ve really excelled in every sport they’ve played. They’ve consistently played on all-star teams, and they’ve brought home numerous medals and trophies for various achievements and wins.
They’ve also, however, had their fair share of losses… both individually and on their teams. They haven’t medaled in every wrestling match, and their teams haven’t gone undefeated every season. I’m okay with that. Why? Certainly not because I like to watch them and their teams lose. In fact, there were times I wanted to scream at their coaches for making a terrible decision on which kid plays which position. I’ve wanted to yell at an umpire for making a bad call. I’ve wanted to scream at one of their teammates for dropping an easy pass or an easy throw. But I haven’t.
Why haven’t I? Because the reason my kids play sports is not solely to win. For one, even if my kid was the greatest athlete on their respective teams, there’s no guarantee that every one of their teammates is great, as well. For two, every player in every sport at every age is allowed an off-day. We all have off days every now and then. My usual six-minute mile sometimes takes me seven if I’m having a crappy day or if it’s too cold or too hot outside. (Okay, yeah, I made that up, but you get my point.)
No athlete is perfect all the time. We’ve all heard that while Babe Ruth hit the most homeruns, he also had the most strikeouts. Do people think about all those strikeouts now? Of course not. He’s remembered as being one of the greatest players to ever live. We don’t judge him on his off-days.
I had the pleasure of attending a youth girls’ softball tournament this weekend, as Emma was selected to play on an all-star team for her rec department’s league. The tournament was double elimination, with the winning team to move on to the State tournament.
As I sat and watch the games over the course of several days, I saw things that I’ve seen periodically in games over the past eight years, and I came to the following conclusion: Some parents are crazy! I have seen a good number of parents over the past several years who put their kids in youth sports for one reason (and that reason is not one that was named above) – to live out their failed dreams of playing pro sports vicariously through their children. Face it – You’ll never make it to the Big Leagues, bud!
I’ve watched nearly every season as one coach or another has put his kid in at pitcher or quarterback even though son can’t throw to himself and catch a ball, much less accurately throw to someone else yards away. In nearly all of these cases, the coach once had dreams of making it big himself, but ended up with a career-changing injury. Yes, Coach, that really sucks, and I’m sorry about your future in sports, but that doesn’t mean your kid is going to automatically be the next Joe Montana.
Also, in most of these situations, the coach’s kid had the worst attitude on the team. They would often talk back, whine, or pitch a full-blown fit if struck out, defeated, or tackled before they scored a touchdown.
I’ve also watched as parents have screamed at their kids for making a bad play or missing a catch or not running fast enough. Not only do they already feel bad enough for potentially letting their teammates and coaches down, but now they’re getting the third degree from their obnoxious mom or dad for not being perfect. They’re kids, people!!! And they’re learning! The whole point of youth sports is not to win, but to LEARN! Kids are out there on the fields to learn the fundamentals of whatever sports they’re participating in. They can’t be expected to just be natural/perfect athletes just because their moms or dads played at the collegiate level.
This weekend, specifically, one of the big things from the parents that was just maddening to me was that every time their kids’ team was down, they would automatically accuse the other team of cheating in some way. Really? You think a team full of eight-year-old girls are really going to cheat to win? You really think volunteer coaches are going to scheme up a way to do whatever it takes to get that W on the board? I very highly doubt it.
Just because their team only lost two or three games in the regular season does not mean that they won’t lose a game at the all-stars level. They played with different players, they played against different teams, and there’s even the slight possibility that not every girl wanted to (or was equipped to) play on that team at that level.
As unfortunate as it may be, losing is part of the game, also. We, as parents and coaches, must teach our children how to not only win graciously, but also how to lose graciously. They need to learn to be good sports and team players. And while it’s never fun losing, we have to show them that it’s okay to not win every time, as long as they tried their personal best.
We’ve all seen those crazy parents on YouTube who have ended up in physical altercations with referees or other parents, some going as far as drawing weapons. This is NOT okay. And yet we consistently bitch about pro athletes setting bad examples for our children. Maybe they’re not the ones are kids are watching…
Kids don’t play sports to win. They play to have FUN. And playing is no longer fun to them when they have to deal with jackass parents and coaches. Granted, winning is always more fun than losing, so maybe we should start focusing more on the fundamentals of the sports and teaching them the correct way to play so that they can improve, rather than on the bad calls the umpires and referees make, on all the ways the other teams may be cheating, and on making your particular kid the “star” athlete.
I want to know what you think about youth sports. Weigh in, and share your thoughts!
“You don’t want to be flattered and become big-headed by getting awards. But, well, I am.” ~Johnny Vegas
Dang it, don of all trades… Why’d you have to go and do something nice like nominating me for the Liebster Award? While I love recognition (who doesn’t???), I don’t love having to do all the work that comes with it. Kidding… relax. I’m not an ungrateful witch all the time. Seriously though, I’m honored that a blogger like myself, with a sad, sad stats page, has been noticed by ‘The Man.’ (That’s how ardenrr and I refer to you, by the way. You’re our dookie fresh blog hero.) So, without stalling any further so I don’t have to keep working on this difficult blog, I thank you!!!
Okay peeps, here are the rules to this award that recognizes new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) who may perhaps be as obsessed with their stats as I. Whoa! Wait a minute! What the heck?? Way to remind me of the fact that I still have less than 200 followers. Hmphh.
Okay, wait – my insecurities are getting me sidetracked. Where was I? Oh yeah. The rules. Here they are:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you for the Liebster Award, and link back to their blog. Don’t harass her and give her a hard time like I did to my nominator.
2. Answer the 11 questions that your nominator asks you.
3. Post 11 facts about yourself. Now you’re beginning to see why my thankfulness over this whole nomination business was a little iffy, right?
4. Nominate 11 bloggers of your own whom you think deserve to be put through the same torture that you’re in right now. Remember – their number of followers has to be nearly as pathetic as yours. Comment on their blogs so they know they’re the chosen ones.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. And finally… a simple rule: Display the Liebster Award logo on your page.
I’ll start with my answers to ‘The Man’s’ questions.
1. If you could introduce your husband or boyfriend to someone and had to tell his occupation during the introduction, what would you want that occupation to be? The Tootsie Pop mascot. (Give it a few minutes… you’ll get it.)
2. Pancakes or waffles? Waffles, hands down. With blueberries and pecans, please.
3. Favorite professional sports team? The Gamecocks, of course. But if they don’t count as professional, then J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!
4. City in the USA not named New York, Boston, LA, Dallas, Chicago or Miami that you’d like to visit? D.C. – Believe it or not, I’ve never been there. (Don’t judge me.)
5. Vacation time! Where do you go if it can be anywhere? St. Croix. My favorite place on Earth. [Sigh… I wish I was there right now…]
6. If you could…if Jesus insisted that you murder one person, who would it be (I’m excluded please) – Well, murder is such a strong word. Let’s use “whack” instead. There are two people in front of Ex #1, but for fear of massive amounts of hate mail, I’ll keep those two to myself. (Hint: One is a douche bag’s politician’s wife, and the other is a crybaby quarterback. I strongly, strongly dislike both.) I also want to whack all the people who do these things [link to pet peeve blog].
7. What’s a regret you have that sometimes eats at you? That I didn’t go to law school right out of college. I told myself that I didn’t want to miss the boys’ football and baseball games and stuff like that, and I promised myself I’d go eventually. Well, you know how that goes… I’m freakin’ 31 now [gasp], and the longer I wait, the harder it is to talk myself into taking the LSAT. I guess for now I’ll just keep doing all the work while the attorneys make all the money.
8. You can change one thing about your husband/boyfriend. What is that thing? Hmm… In light of question #7 above, I’ll just stick with the safe answer and say that I would change the fact that he’s a Gay-dor fan. (Go Gamecocks!!!)
9. When’s the last time you were drunk? Sadly, I don’t have much of a social life, and my life’s not quite so pathetic that I feel the need to drink alone. So really? I can’t remember. [smh…]
10. What would you do for a Klondike bar? Don’t get too excited… I wouldn’t do much. Not a big fan.
11. Best thing you’ve ever eaten? Wow. This is tough. Probably the shrimp and grits from Bubba’s Love Shak. But I ***love*** food, so I love a lot of what goes in my mouth. [Go ahead… Get it out of your system, perv.] And no…In case you’re wondering – I’m not fat. Or even slightly overweight. So there.
Whew! Now that that’s over with, I can think of 11 ways to try to make you like me.
1. I have terrible judgment. To be so damn smart, I apparently can’t make a wise life decision if it kills me. Go figure…
I’ll be the QUEEN of experience at this rate…
— Oops. I’m supposed to be trying to make you like me. Fail. —
2. I sleep naked. Seriously. I hate waking up with my pants all bunched up around my thighs and those weird creases all over me from my pjs.
3. I’ve only flown twice. Once to Buffalo and once to St. Croix. How pathetic. (But I loved it and wish I could fly everywhere.)
4. I love amusement parks. I’m like a big kid when I’m around roller coasters and funnel cakes!
5. I really really REALLY want a boob job. Badly.
Holy crap, am I really only on #5? Ugh…
6. I love all things football. I yell at the TV during games, I jump up and down, and I love to talk trash to Cowgirl and Clemsux fans.
7. Sometimes, when I get nervous, I stick my hands under my armpits and then I smell them…
8. I love BINGO. Sometimes I take my Grandma to go play just so I can use her as an excuse for my obsession.
9. I put both socks on first, and then I put my shoes on. And I tie my shoes with two bunny ears and not that stupid loop-around thingy.
10. I’m left-handed. That automatically makes me cool. And smart. And funny. And talented.
So, what do you think? Do you love me now?
Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… (drum roll, please…) My 11 nominees for the Liebster Award are —
1. “Normal” is the New Boring – We have a ton of stuff in common – She loves her son, Bob Marley, photography, southern cooking, caffeine, and reality TV. It sounds like she could be my long-lost twin! AND… she’s a great mommy! 🙂
2. Just Another Canadian Gurl – She’s a fighter, and when life knocks her down, she punches it in the face, gets back up, and keeps on truckin’. And best of all, she actually used the phrase “killer vajajay” in one of her posts. That, folks, deserves an award!
3. My Fair Diary – She gives life lessons. I need life lessons.
4. Vintage45s Blog – Who doesn’t love old movies and music?
5. The Cutter Rambles – He almost fought a goose once, he devoted an entire post to why M.C. Hammer is better than Vanilla Ice, and he watches Wrestlemania. What’s not to love here?
6. Brickhouse101’s Blog – I, like her, am hopelessly guarded and am surrounded by walls. I respect her already.
7. This is Me – I must admit that I’m a little jealous of her, and I plan to live vicariously through her travels. I can’t wait to hear about all the amazing adventures she has in store for her in this newest chapter of her life.
8. here and there – Other than the fact that she went to Alabama, her life is pretty fascinating. The photos from her time in the Peace Corps are amazing.
9. The Irrefutable Opinion – No one can argue with death by sedatives over being eaten alive by zombies, right?
10. Where Words Fail… – I, too, am a lover of music and believe wholeheartedly that there is no emotion that music can’t reach. I also love most of her favorite things. Except cats. I hate cats.
11. whiny baby – She’s all the things I’m not. That’s awesome.
And finally, the part for all you awesome blogger nominees. Here are your questions:
1. Why did the chicken cross the road?
2. M&Ms: plain or peanut?
3. What’s your favorite joke?
4. Best pick-up line?
5. Early bird or night owl?
6. Freddy or Jason?
7. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
8. Favorite pizza toppings?
9. Favorite smell?
10. Can money buy love?
11. What song is it impossible not to dance to?
Again, thanks to don of all trades for the nomination and to all of you for holding your applause until the end.
“Dark circles under my eyes sink deeper and deeper into my skull, in contrast to my pale skin there is an undeniable resemblance to a fresh corpse.” ~Dee Remy
The two things I’m sure of in life are as follows: 1. I am EXHAUSTED. 2. My kids are freaking awesome. Seriously, I have no idea how they do everything that they do. I understand that kids have more energy than those of us from the “olden days,” as the boys so affectionately call it, but I don’t ever remember having even close to the amount of energy that they have. We always tell our kids that they have it easy because they’re still kids. WRONG! I mean, yes it’s true that they don’t have to have jobs or pay bills, but they still work their little butts off every day! Think about it… the average adult works an 8-hour day, right? Well, my kids, like many others, work 7 hours a day at school and then after that, work another 2 to 3 at whatever sport’s practice ’tis the season for. They wake up at the butt crack of
dawn, and go to school, where they don’t just sit and daydream all day. (They’re terrified of suffering my wrath if they bring home a bad report card.) They work hard, listen well, and study hard. And on top of that, they have to deal with the awful pressures of middle school… the bullying, the labeling, and the constant attempt at fitting in somewhere. [I HATED middle school and would never ever ever go back.] Then after being in school all day, they come home, do their homework, and rush off to sport’s practice. Keep in mind, my kids play a sport every season. They get about a three-week break in the summer, but the rest of their year is spent playing football, baseball, basketball, or wrestling. Any of you who’ve played a sport before know that it takes hard-work and dedication to succeed. And RUNNING! Tons of RUNNING!!! They remind me of Forrest Gump they run so much. By the time practice is over, I’M exhausted. I know that they must be. And then, what amazes me, is that the next morning, they wake up and do it all over again (without getting a paycheck every two weeks). They are ah-maze-ing. This time change has thoroughly kicked my butt. And this morning? Forget it. It was dark and rainy. It’s a miracle that I even got myself out of bed, much less the boys too. I look like death and can’t even function before my first cup of coffee. And Lord knows, don’t ever try to have a conversation with me before that glorious liquid crack kicks in. I came to work this morning, complaining incessantly that I was exhausted. Then I had to stop, shut up, and remind myself that Gerald and Ronald are really the ones who should be complaining of exhaustion. (Please don’t give them any ideas…) They work their little butts off constantly and don’t even get to drink coffee! Next time I feel like whining about how tired I am, all I need to do is look, with pure awe, at my two little men. They make me so proud, and I’m constantly amazed by them and their resilience and commitment. I, of all people, have no right to complain about being tired. My desk job doesn’t look so bad after all…
“Sometimes I just want to paint the words ‘It’s my fault’ across my forehead to save people the time of being pissed off at me.” ~Christina Westover
So have you ever been blamed by your kids for something being your fault? Well, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that everything that Gerald does wrong is somehow MY FAULT… For real. “I missed that football tackle because you were taking too many pictures from the bleachers a half mile away.” “I missed that basketball shot because you breathed too loud.” “I didn’t pin that kid in the wrestling match because you blinked.” Today at baseball practice was the perfect example of yet another thing I did wrong. Now keep in mind that I have never played baseball a day in my life. I mean, sure, I throw the ball with the kids and play a pick-up game with them every now and then, but I throw like a girl, and I hit like a girl, and I would never EVER expect a team to rely on my mad baseball skills. So anyway, today at practice, he was working with a batting coach who’s played in the Major Leagues. He was showing him how to step into the pitcher and power up his swing, keep his head down and eye on the ball, and where to connect with the ball on his swing. Now when it’s Gerald’s turn to step up and hit, he does a good job with all the steps, except keeping his head down and eye on the ball. So what happens as a result? He either hits a foul or misses it completely. This happens about three times before the trainer shows him again how to keep his head down. As soon as Gerald steps back up to hit, he keeps his head down, and he hits it… Imagine that! But, by this time he’s already furious because, as he so eloquently puts it, “he sucks at hitting.” The very SECOND that practice ends, he yells to me from behind the fence, “I suck at hitting because last year YOU told me that I need to open up my swing more!” Now if you read back up a few lines, you’ll remember that the reason he missed the first few balls pitched to him was because he was picking up his head and not watching the ball all the way to the bat. Two questions: 1. What the heck does opening up his swing have to do with keeping his head down? 2. How the heck is it MY fault that he’s not watching the ball? I didn’t hide his eyes when the pitch was thrown. I didn’t pull a pillowcase over his head. I didn’t jump up and down screaming his name so he would turn around and look at me. How in the world can I possibly be to blame for this? I wasn’t surprised in the least to be the brunt of his wrath because, like I said, I’m ALWAYS the bad guy. WTH??? So my response… “Gerald, I’d take the blame for this, except I don’t even know what the heck “opening up your swing” means. If I really said that last year, then I’m completely impressed with myself, and I will probably tell you to do that again all year this season because it sounds completely cool!” The response I got: The awesome, infamous, teenage boy GLARE. But, ultimately, I got the response I wanted… He shut up.