Archive for the ‘Sports’ category

College Football Season 2009 from the Coach’s Daughter

September 12, 2009

collegefootballIt’s blood, sweat and tears…  freshly cut grass and pigskin in the morning… Ladies and gentlemen, it’s OFFICIALLY the NCAA college football season!

Every year, college football means tailgates, beer, cheering on your team, and Saturday afternoons full of celebration with another victory for their alma mater, or their team of choice.

With this time of year comes plenty of reflection for me.  For the past 25 years of my life, I’ve had quite a unique perspective of college football.  This is because I have the somewhat rare position of a college coach’s kid.  That’s right, my dad’s job is not as an engineer, or a doctor, or a lawyer.  My father is an offensive line coach for major universities, and has been since before I was born.

So while the start of the season means tailgates and fun…. for me, it also meant that I wouldn’t be seeing much of my dad. And with that came great anticipation, absolute feelings of heartbreak over losses, and sometimes even lingering questions of job security when the team didn’t do well.  It meant sometimes reading or hearing ugly things about people that were close to me, and trying to tune that kind of stuff out. Very stressful indeed.

This year, however, I am able to view things from a much different perspective.  For the first time in all of my life, dad is not coaching this season.  There have been several shakeups in the industry, and many top collegiate coaches have found themselves on an involuntary hiatus.  This isn’t entirely a bad thing, since I am able to spend much more time with dad, and August for him now means the golf outings and family vacations he has always missed, rather than film meetings and two-a-days.  I honestly welcome this change.  I am finally able to dig into this football season with full, unworried gusto, sans the butterflies and sick feelings over wins or losses that came with my previous seasons experience.

fsugirlsThis past weekend I enjoyed my first college football opener without any true and distinct cares over who wins or loses.  I got to enjoy the game.  Really enjoy.  Of course, it comes with it’s own unique set of circumstances…it’s quite different to have to search for parking spots rather than ride with a police escort directly to the game, and ticket prices sure are high (yes I’ve been spoiled-paying for football tickets never entered my psyche), but it was fun.  However, it made me ponder a few things.

One  of the biggest things that has entered my mind is what does it mean to be a GOOD fan?  We, the families of the coaches, somewhat isolate ourselves when watching the games.  This may seem odd, but when you really think about it, the idea makes sense.  The next time you are at a game, really listen to those around you and what they say.  Some ‘fans’ say some pretty ugly things.  So, it is with this that I provide you with a few guidelines on how to be the best fan possible, while still supporting your team!

  1. No booing. Just don’t do it.  Don’t boo your own team, don’t boo the other team, don’t boo the refs.  Just don’t do it.  It’s unnecessary, as everyone out there is just doing their job.  Not to mention, it’s incredibly tacky.
  2. Try not to be a ‘stadium coach’. Will coaches sometimes make calls that you don’t see as logical?  Yes, sure.  But remember-they have a reason for doing so, as this is their JOB.  They have more at stake than any gambler or fan sitting in the stands.  They will make the best calls that they can.  Nobody enjoys a novice telling them how to properly perform their jobs.
  3. Don’t scream ugly things at the players. These are 18-22 year old KIDS who are playing for their education and to make themselves better.  And remember, you never know who’s mama, grandma, uncle, aunt, sister, cousin may be sitting nearby in the stands.  Cheer them on in a positive manner!
  4. Remember that when you wear your team’s colors or logos, that you are representing them. Always try to give your team a good name by being polite to the opposition and positive when supporting your team.  Having bad fans is a stigma that is difficult to shake, and you never want to be known as ‘that team’ that people don’t like to be around.  Some teams fans have been so bad, in fact, that opposing teams have to increase police and security tenfold just to ensure their own physical safety.  The term “rabid fan” is not too far off.
  5. The referees are there to do a job. They will make calls that you love, and calls that you hate.  They are impartial and rarely make outright ridiculous calls.  Do they happen?  Sure.  But it’s sad to me that they have to fear for their own safety when leaving some games.  Leave it on the field!
  6. Handle losses gracefully. Nobody enjoys losing, and those players on that field are playing to further their education and to ensure a place in the world for themselves, whether it’s as an NFL running back or as a CPA.  Support them through losses and wins.

I hope you all enjoy the games with good friends, good beer, and good food.  Let’s all celebrate the fact that our great nation has such a strong tie to a national sport, and that we all enjoy it so much.  And when going to a game to support your team, bear in mind some of the pointers that I have offered.

Remember, to many of you it’s just another game.  But, to many others, it’s a livelihood.

Roll Tide!  Gig ‘Em Ags!  Go Hokies!
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Dikembe Mutombo Retires from the NBA

April 22, 2009

dikembeToday we’d like to pay tribute to a person the city of Houston has adopted as a local basketball hero, Dikembe Mutombo. Formally known as Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo, the Congo Native joined the Houston Rockets in 2004. The 7 ft 2 in center joined the team after a storied career in the NBA that took him to Denver, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York.

Motumbo,  an NBA veteran with 18 years experience and the distinction of being the oldest player in the NBA, never played like an old man with the Rockets. In a league where players oftentimes tank games and act like prima donnas after getting paid, Dikembe has continued to serve as a an example for his younger teammates. He has also been instrumental in mentoring Rockets star Yao Ming on his way to becoming arguably the best center in the NBA.

Now, after a gruesome knee injury suffered In the second quarter of the Rockets game two loss to the Portland Trailblazers in the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs, Dikembe Motumbo has announced his retirement from the game of basketball. The NBA, Houston Rockets, and most of all, his fans will miss the raspy-voice, the finger-wagging center for everything he has done for all of us.

Dikembe Mutombo – The Basketball Player – Highlights

·         Second Team: 2001

·         Third Team: 1998, 2002

·         First Team: 1997, 1998, 2001

·         Second Team: 1995, 1999, 2002

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team: 1992
  • 2nd on All-Time NBA recorded Blocks, 3.256.
  • 2-time NBA regular-season leader, rebounding average: 2000 (14.1), 2001 (13.5)
  • 4-time NBA regular-season leader, total rebounds: 1995 (1029), 1997 (929), 1999 (610), 2000 (1157)
  • NBA regular-season leader, offensive rebounds: 2001 (307)
  • 2-time NBA regular-season leader, defensive rebounds: 1999 (418), 2000 (853)
  • 3-time NBA regular-season leader, blocked shots average: 1994 (4.1), 1995 (3.9), 1996 (4.5)
  • 5-time NBA regular-season leader, total blocks: 1994 (336), 1995 (321), 1996 (332), 1997 (264), 1998 (277)
  • Career averages (as of March 2008): 9.9 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 2.7 BPG
  • Invited to be a special guest at President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address, commended for his humanitarian aid to his homeland.
  • Oldest player in NBA history to collect over 20 rebounds in a game (March 2 2007 vs. Denver Nuggets)

Dikembe  Mutombo – The Humanitarian – Highlights

  • Graduated from Georgetown with a B.A. in linguistics and diplomacy.
  • He and his wife have six children, four adopted.
  • Mutombo is able to speak English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and five African languages.
  • Started the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to improve living conditions in his native Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997.
  • NBA’s humanitarian award in 2001.
  • Paid for uniforms and expenses for the Zaire women’s basketball team during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • Mutombo is a spokesman for the international relief agency, CARE (relief) and is the first Youth Emissary for the United Nations Development Program.
  • Invited to President George W. Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address and was referred to as a “son of the Congo” by the President in his speech.
  • Funded the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in Kinshasa, the first modern medical facility to be built in that area in nearly 40 years.

The Funniest Dikembe Mutombo Video You’ll Ever Watch

Fearless Weekend Sports Predictions from a Ninja

January 30, 2009

Okay so the biggest sports weekend so far in 2009 is upon us. Let me peer into my magic 8-ball and give you guys my fearless predictions. Anyone who wants to bet against me can comment below if they want to lose some hard-earned dollars.

UFC 94 Main Card Bouts:

  • Georges St. Pierre (#1 Welterweight in the World)* vs. B.J. Penn (#2 Lightweight in the World)*
    As everyone else who has seen UFC Primetime this past 3 weeks can see, these two guys are ready to go at it. Most everyone is picking GSP to win because of his all-star training camp and freakish athletic skills to go along with 3 years worth of improvement. Me, I’m not going that rout. I think BJ Penn will win. He sees this as the biggest fight of his career and has trained accordinigly. If his cardio holds up, and it will, GSP has no way of finishing him. And looking at it the other way, BJ can submit or KO St.Pierre. I say BJ by taking GSP’s back off a failed takedown attempt and choking him to the tap.
     
  • Lyoto Machida (#4 Light Heavyweight in the World)* vs. Thiago Silva (#10 Light Heavyweight in the World)*
    On paper, I would think that this is the most challenging fight of Lyoto’s career. A physical specimen at light heavyweight with Chute Boxe stye agression and extremely good muy thai striking. Add to that a BJJ Black Belt and Thiago Silva should have a shot at beating Lyoto. Only one problem though… He’s dealing with the most tactical, technically-proficient striker we have ever seen. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida is as intelligent of a fighte as they come, formulating a game plan that can stifle and frustrate just about anyone. I’m picking Lyoto to KO Silva in Round 2, right after Silva gasses trying to catch a ghost. 
     
  • Karo Parisyan (#10 Welterweight in the World)* vs. Dong Hyun Kim
    Karo Parisyan is supposed to run through this guy. He’s talked a big game as usual and has aligned himself with Greg Jackson’s supercamp. Only problem is that Karo seems to be dealing with some mental issues right now and I’m not sure he’s even going to make it to the cage on Saturday. There are talks if him back out. Even if he doesn’t, I’m taking Dong Hyun Kim by upset.
     
  • Nathan Diaz vs. Clay Guida
    Nate Diaz has been on a role lately. Losing fights all throughout and pulling it out with a slick submission in the end. Guida is an exciting fighte but prone to just this type of trap. I’m picking Nate Diaz by triangle in Round 2. After that, the UFC really needs to sign KJ Noons to settle that score. After KJ wins that one, Nick Diaz will be back in the UFC.
     
  • Stephan Bonnar vs. Jon Jones
    Stephan Bonnar is back from injury! He was on a 2-fight win streak prior to injury and should by all accounts win this match, as he has gotten better during his time out. Unfortunately, I do not see him taking Jon Jones down and despite his golden gloves, I think the upstart Jones is just a little too fast for him on the feet and a little too good at wrestling to take down. Jon Jones by unanimous decision after he bloodies Bonnar’s face is my guess.

UFC 94 Preliminary Card Bouts:

  • Jon Fitch (#2 Welterweight in the World)* vs. Akihiro Gono
    Fitch by whatever he wants. This time by stoppage after dumping Gono on his head and GNP’ing his way to victory.
  • Jake O’Brien vs. Christian Wellisch
    Jack O’Brien by boring lay-n-pray decision.
  • Chris Wilson vs. John Howard
    Chris Wilson by submission.
  • Manny Gamburyan vs. Thiago Tavares
    Tavares by KO in the fight of the night. This will be a wild one on the feet, on the ground, in transition, and in finish.
  • Matt Arroyo vs. Dan Cramer
    Who cares? Arroyo I guess.

Super Bowl Pick

Pittsburgh Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals 31-24 in an up-and-down game. The game will be decided by a turnover.

Congratulations to Manny Pacquiao!

December 8, 2008

Congratulations to Manny Pacquaio for defeating Oscar De La Hoya by TKO in the 8th round of their fight this past Saturday night. De La Hoya was gracious in defeat while Pacquiao represented with the support of 90 million Filipinos worldwide behind his back.

Some other thoughts – Anyone ever notice how harsh HBO’s Larry Merchant is in his interviews and commentary? Should De La Hoya retire? What’s next for Pacquiao? Ricky Hatton?

Cookie – The Disappearing Ninja!

November 29, 2008

westside11-copy

I Know I’m not much of a writer but I thought I would give everybody an update how things have been since I hardly see anybody anymore.

I like to think that most of you notice that I make a sudden disappearance from about October to February every year and there’s only one explanation; Wrestling season! Everyday at 6AM on the track, and Every afternoon til 6 o’clock. Wrestling has been taking a strenuous toll on my body and its not even half way over. But I’ll give you guys an update of how its been.

Two weekends ago, the team packed up into vans and headed all the way out to Klein Oak for the Klein Oak Gator Roll Invitational. This tournament was fairly easy for me until i faced a very strong wrestler from The Woodlands – who i could of swore had me beat, but i went on to get a lucky reversal, putting him on his back for the pin. My final match went smoothly as I stood atop the podium with that sweet, sweet gold around my neck.

Last weekend was the Bishop Lynch Invitational, which is supposed to be the toughest tournament of the year for us. Bishop Lynch is a private school housing some of the most elite wrestlers in the nation. Their team over all is ranked 8th in the US. So the cookie monster went into this one feeling a little bit more like a crumb. My first few matches I easily won by pin, working my way up the bracket until I had a kid from Canyon Randall (which is a school ranked number 2 in Texas). I expected for a good match. The whistle blows and the kid is going nuts, shooting takedowns, snapping my head… this kid has to be 6’3″. After the second period ended i realized i was down  8 points. SHIT!, I thought, this match is over! But I stayed true to myself and proceeded to shoot 8 takedowns, hitting them all because the other guy was just gassed. Felt good to get my hand raised on that one. I’m sure i gave my coach some more gray hair.

Anyway, after all the tournaments and duals, I’m ranked 7th in the state, which is a pretty big accomplishment for me. Check 171 for the weight.

Inside Texas Wrestling

Anyways – the family is doing great. Travis is off at Blinn in College Station and Wyatt is chuggin’ his way through grade school. Me and the same girl are still together and it has just been an awesome year and a half for me. I’m sure a bunch of you are giggling at my little high school relationship but cut me some slack ha ha.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of you and miss the gym alot. Don’t hesitate to call a Cookie every now and then guys! Later!

The Pinnacle of Sports – Olympic Powerwalking!

August 21, 2008

Witness the thrill of victory…

The Gumby-esque form amidst the driving rain, she is queen today. All those years of training. The strolls in the park. The moseys in the mall. The long walks on the beach. All for the most glorious victory of all! - Dirt, the OG

The Gumby-esque form amidst the driving rain, she is queen today. All those years of training. The strolls in the park. The moseys in the mall. The long walks on the beach. All for the most glorious victory of all! - Dirt, the OG

And the agony of defeat!

Kersti Tysse Platzer of Norways training regimen did not match Olgas.  Kerstis naps during training were longer, and her hikes with her Pomeranian puppy Ginger were not enough.  - Dirt, the OG

Kersti Tysse Platzer of Norway's training regimen did not match Olga's. Kersti's naps during training were longer, and her hikes with her Pomeranian puppy Ginger were not enough. - Dirt, the OG

Usain Bolt – The Undisputed World’s Fastest Man

August 20, 2008

When I remember watching Michael Johnson break the 200m in the 1994 Olympics, never in my wildest dreams did I think that record of 19.32 would be broken. I was running track in middle school at the time and Michael Johnson, with his golden spikes, and 9.66 split time projected such an aura of invincibility. He was a hero for me, as he was for many other would-be track runners in America.

Flash forward a dozen years and here we are in Beijing, watching Usain Bolt run a blistering 19.30 and Michael Johnson’s record. Words cannot even express how impressive it is to me for one man to break BOTH the 100 and 200 world records in the same games. Usain Bolt also became the first man since Carl Lewis to win the sprint doubles. And so it is. This 6’5″ Jamaican prodigy is now the hero for the children of this generation, as Michael Johnson was mine.

The 21 year old lightning Bolt ran his ass off like he said he would. And into a headwind. Simply amazing.