Tag Archives: football

Happy Draft Day!!!

It’s Draft Day, people!

This is big!

Especially this year, when so many of our South Carolina Gamecocks are looking so good!

I think we all know who’s going first:

That’s right!  Our very own: Clowney!!

In case you’ve had your head buried under a rock for the last couple years, here’s a reminder of who Clowney is, exactly:

Yep – He’s that guy!

And then, of course, we have Bruce, Kelcy, and Connor who I’m hopeful will go tonight or tomorrow, as well.  They’ve all worked hard, and they’ve given us some awesome football to watch.

Let me tell you – there’s no better place to watch these guys play than at Williams-Brice.  But I’ll happily root for whichever pro team they’re picked to play for.

So do me a favor tonight – Help support and and cheer these guys on as they make football history!

Christmas in August

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.

And on Sunday night, Arden, Eugene, several other players, and I have our Fantasy Football draft.

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!!

Merry Christmas!

Source: Chicago Reader

Source: Chicago Reader

Ode to the Cocks

Sweet Caroline…
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Willie B…
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Sir Big Spur…
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Cocky cloth…
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Ten days…
Real Carolina…
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Beat Georgia…
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

Oh Cocks, my Cocks.

National champs…
Oh Cocks, my Cocks.



Operation Lose the ‘Fro

As I’ve mentioned before, Ronald (my 11-year-old) is fiercely independent and doesn’t care a bit about what others think of him.

As such, he has been growing his hair for over a year-and-a-half, in what I consider an attempt to have a record-breaking afro – and is pretty darn close, if you ask me…

Exhibit A:

Pretty big, right?  [That’s what she said!]

At any given time, you may find food in there.  Or sticks.  Or maybe even a pencil.

It’s really that big.

Okay, so he took this to heart... Source: caimay

Okay, so he took this to heart…
Source: caimay

Anyway, as the new school year approaches and football season begins, I (being the mean mom that I am) told him that he must get his hair cut before school starts.  I refuse to buy a new football helmet just so it fits over his ‘fro, when his helmet from last year fits perfectly fine over his non-‘fro head.

After a ton bit of reluctance, he agreed, as long as I took him to a specific place to get it cut.  So I did, and none of the ladies in there could believe how long his hair was!  They couldn’t believe he wanted it cut.  Probably because he didn’t.  Like a champ, though, he hopped up in the chair and let her begin to cut!

I have to admit, I was nervous for the poor kid!  All these months of loving his huge hair, and he finally agreed to butcher it!  After a few minutes passed, I walked around the corner to take a peek at the progress, and this is what I saw:

How amazing is that?!  He could pretty much pass for Kid of Kid & Play.

SEE??? Source: Egypt Said So.com

Source: Egypt Said So.com

I laughed, the ladies were laughing, and even my little man was laughing!  I must say that I was impressed with the lady’s ability to lighten the mood a little, knowing full well that she was partly responsible for ruining the child’s life!  I asked him if we could keep it that way, and he laughed some more.

A little while later, when the lady had finished up, Ronald came around the corner, and I saw my handsome little man’s face again!  He looked years older, reminding me that one day soon I won’t be able to threaten him until he gets his hair cut anymore.  We all loved his hair and oohed and aahed over what a gentleman he looked like.  He ate it up and loved all the attention.

On the way home, as he looked at himself over and over again in the mirror, he actually said, “Wow, Mom. I really like it. I think I might keep it this way from now on.”  I was one happy mama!

Operation Lose the Fro: SUCCESS!!! 

The Boys of Fall

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

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.

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

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.

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

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.

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

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.

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

One, Two, Three Strikes You’re Out… And Disowned??!

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 crazyI 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!

“My dad taught me the four seasons: preseason, regular season, postseason, and off-season.” ~Unknown

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Today’s Be Happy Challenge:

– Something Sweet. –

You want to know something sweet?  Okay, but it’s not romantical or cute or full of puppies or babies…

What’s sweet is that there are only SIXTY-EIGHT days until Gamecock football begins!

That means there are only 68 days until:

Jadeveon Clowney knocks someone else’s head off – –

More one-handed, game-winning catches from our receivers are made – –

We begin preparations to beat Clemson again – –

We see more perfect passes from Connor Shaw – –

We beat another overrated team – –

We make Williams-Brice go crazy with a Sandstorm – –

We get to represent the SEC with Sweet Caroline – –

And we get to begin our next unbelievable highlight reel – –



“You look absolutely amazing.” ~Eugene Benton

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Today’s Be Happy Challenge:

– Three Ways to Win Your Heart. –

There are lots of little ways to win my heart.  Telling me I look absolutely amazing is one of the ones that works for Father Figure every time.  Some other ways (like buying me coffee) you already know about or at least could have guessed.  But there are a few really special things that win my heart in a big way.  Father Figure has mastered them all pretty well.

1. Take me fishing.  (The fine print: and bait my hooks for me.)

Yep, that’s right.  I love fishing.  Except the bait part.  If you really want to win my heart, you have to do more than just take me fishing.  You have to put my worm, or squid, or fiddler crab on my hook for me.  And then when I catch a fish, you have to take it off the hook for me and re-bait my line.  Sometimes I may catch so many fish that you might not even have time to bait your own line before you have to take my next fish off and get me all ready to cast again.  But you can’t get mad about that… You have to be proud of me and happy that I’m catching so many fish.  Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?  I never said it would be easy to win my heart…

2. Take me to a football game.

You all already know that I love football, and there’s nothing better than being at a game and watching it in person.  Football, fall, burgers, and beer.  Does it get any better than that?  This particular way to my heart isn’t as complicated as the last.  The only difficult thing you may need to do for this one is back me up when I trash talk the obnoxious fans cheering for the other team, and they start threatening to kill me in the parking lot.  No big deal, right?  Oh, wait.  I should probably mention that my “cheering” gets louder as my team wins by more and more.  You’ve now been given fair warning.  And Go Cocks!!

3. Take me on a vacation.

Now, this vacation that I speak of doesn’t need to be expensive and fancy, but I do prefer St. Croix.  Or Niagra Falls.  Or Jekyll Island.  All of these places hold special little places in my soul, and my heart has been won in each of them.  St. Croix is the most beautiful place in the entire world, and I wish I could live there in a tiny little beach house on the West end.  Niagra Falls is completely majestic and romantical (yes, that’s a real word in our house), and it’s an amazing reminder that there is a God far bigger than ourselves.  Jekyll Island has the most amazing beaches and scenery and could be home to a million more opportunities to win my heart.  Someone has taken me to all these places and has won my heart in every one of them.

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As I’m sure you’ve picked up on by now, it takes someone pretty special to win my heart.  I don’t think the ways that it can be done are that complicated, but I have the feeling some of you are shocked at how high-maintenance I probably appear.  I’m not really that bad… I promise.  Okay, Father Figure may say differently, but either way I’m thankful I now know that there are, in fact, a few ways to break through my rock-hard exterior and get through that mile-high wall to my heart.

How does someone win your heart?

Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as s/he finishes the book.” ~ Roald Dahl, WD

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