I’ve got way more links in my morning blend pile than I know what to do with. So here’s a whole slew of ‘em (a good Alabama way to say it…). Continue reading
Tag Archives: football
I’m in the middle of a little series on morality and ethics (inspired by the story of Rahab), and a helpful reader provided me with this very interesting link. A group of psychology professors and graduate students from three universities have created a site on which you can explore your own morality by taking several simple tests. There are dozens of these tests available, and you’re provided with your own personalized results in graph form (comparing your views to those of the average liberal and conservative). You have to register, but it’s free and your information remains private (while used in research and studies).
My hometown of Dothan, Alabama, was the first city in the world to have a Cracker Barrel NOT on an interstate. [We're also the "Peanut Capital of the World."] While Dothan’s not anywhere in this article, the story of the beginning of Cracker Barrel is. As are the origins of Waffle House and nine other popular eateries.
From Star Wars to Bugs Bunny, the entertainment world wasn’t quite as impressive as it looked when we were little. [Or when I was little. For all I know, some of you guys are really old....]
I haven’t played a computer game in 10 years… until this one. Christie and I were both addicted for a day or two. It’s a simple idea: You’re given a world map (no country names) and a location. Your task is to click as close as possible to that location. But once you advance far enough in the game, the country lines disappear. I haven’t played in a while, but I’m pretty sure completing level 10 wins the game.
It’s a fact; don’t try to argue agin’ it. But if you want to know why the best college football in the country is played in the southeast, this article contains some insights for you. [In 13 years of the BCS, SEC schools have won the championship game 7 times -- and that includes an undefeated Auburn team not getting the chance to play for it in 2004. Oh, and those 7 championships were won by 5 different schools.]
I don’t like baseball; I think it’s boring and slow. But I did find this flowchart amusing. Want to know which team you should cheer for? Apparently, if you don’t care if your team wins or not and keep a skinny latte in your game day thermos, you should be a Seattle Mariners fan. But if it’s gravy you’re sipping, you ought to be pulling for the Kansas City Royals.
This is a pretty sweet bicycle storage system; I’d like to recreate it. But I’m not gonna’ pay $300 for it… that’s for sure.
photo by todd van emst — courtesy of jay g. tate
Auburn defeats Oregon, 22-19. War Eagle!
Just as predicted the Auburn Tigers are your BCS national champions. I listened to the game on the internet (at 4:30 am) while drinking coffee and making (and eating) pancakes. I wish I could have watched it, but our internet connection just won’t do it (I was booted off-line at least 20 times during the first half — only 3 in the second). The game wasn’t any closer than I thought it would be — but it was a LOT lower scoring. I expected to see it come down to the last possession, but I never ever would have guessed that neither team would break 30 points. I was envisioning something like 48-45.
A few interesting stats and whatnot:
- This is Auburn’s first national championship since 1957. [But they were shafted in 2004.]
- Auburn finished the season as the only team to beat more than five teams ranked in the top 25. They beat seven. ONE-HALF of the teams on Auburn’s schedule finished their seasons ranked in the top 25.
- Gene Chizik is 7-0 in bowl games, and 2-0 in national championships. [But he was shafted in 2004.]
- Heisman Trophy winner Cameron Newton ate three Oregon players while throwing for 265 yards and rushing for 64.
- Freshman running back Michael Dyer rushed for 144 yards and was named offensive MVP.
- Wes Byrum ended his Auburn career by kicking yet another game-winning field goal for the Tigers. He’s the highest point-scorer in school history.
- Defensive lineman Nick Fairley had 5 tackles, 3 for a loss, and won defensive MVP. Also, it’s been reported that he will, for the next few weeks, be visiting at least three of the Ducks in their nightmares.
- Speaking of Nick Fairley, Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas rushed for -6 yards on the night. [Yes, that is a minus sign.]
- This is the first season in which Auburn has won 14 games in a season. And they came from behind in 9 of them.
- Auburn is the 5th consecutive SEC team to win the national championship. But this was a down year in the SEC, you know.
Nike designed some super awesome uniforms for Oregon to lose in. And I use those words super and awesome to mean it looked like 5th graders were given charcoal and highlighters and asked to draw football uniforms with feathers on the shoulders. I know Nike gave the feathers-on-the-shoulder order, because not even 5th graders would think that looks good. Here’s a photo of an “athlete” in the uniform:
And here’s a photo of a scared athlete in the same uniform:
I kind of hesitate to make fun of these Oregon uniforms, though. Because the last time I did, I was told it was bad of me. I think the exact words were, “This blog drips with the hypocrisy of Christianity.“
Odds and Ends
I have only one friend who is an Oregon fan. His name is Charlie. You ought to head over to his blog and say hello. But don’t be rude; I’m sure he’s already pretty upset. As a matter of fact, if his comment on my post yesterday was any sign, I’m not sure he’ll even get out of bed today. Anyway, a simple “sorry for your loss” should suffice.
And to close it out today, would you guys do me this one small favor? [Of course, as usual, everyone is welcome -- encouraged even -- to comment below.] But just out of curiosity I’d like to know how many Auburn fans regularly read my blog. Would you guys let me know? You don’t have to type anything more than “war eagle” (though you’re welcome to type more if you like). Now, I’m talking actual Auburn FANS, though, not just those of you who were cheering for us last night. Though we do sincerely appreciate your support and thank you for your encouragement.
War Eagle! The SEC rules.
image courtesy of trackemtigers.com
Auburn will be playing in the national championship in January (this writer types while still grumbling about 2004).
Here are a few quotes (take a guess at how many are true):
“Auburn was too good for us.” – South Carolina coach, Steve Spurrier
“I ain’t never got beat like this before.” — South Carolina receiver, Alshon Jeffery
“On the day Cam Newton transferred out of Blinn College, I became the toughest man in Texas. I hope he doesn’t get drafted by the Cowboys or the Texans.” — Chuck Norris
“We had some great players, but never a better team than this one.” — Former Auburn coach, Pat Dye
“Our short arms and sharp teeth are no match for Cameron Newton or the Auburn Tigers.” — Tyrannosaurus Rex everywhere (the plural is indeed “Rex”)
“I want to be the greatest player in Auburn history.” — Cameron Newton (to Bo Jackson)
“You are the greatest player in Auburn history.” — Brett Harrison
“Cam Newton is the second-best college player I’ve ever seen. Herschel Walker, and only Herschel Walker, was better. And not by much.” – Mark Bradley
“I believe Cameron Newton is the best college football player to ever put on a uniform. And Auburn University is the best school in all the SEC. We Georgia Bulldogs never could touch them; we used to pee our pants before Auburn games — some guys would go through four or five uniforms in one game day. That’s where we came up with the black uniform idea; at first it was yellow, but we thought that would just look too stupid. We were right — have you guys seen Oregon?” — Former best college football player ever, Herschel Walker
“On the day Cam Newton transferred
out of Blinn College, I became the toughest man in Texas.” – Chuck Norris
And below is a picture of our competition for the national championship — and how amazingly ridiculous they will look when we beat them (and before). [Auburn is ranked #1 in the BCS and will be wearing home uniforms in Glendale, Arizona -- nice-looking, respectable home uniforms like the one pictured above... worn by Cameron Newton, quite possibly the greatest college quarterback in history.]
The players above were told to stand in numerical order. And Oregon will be wearing yellow when they meet the Auburn Tigers.
Please feel free to discuss in the comments how stupid the Oregon uniforms look or how many of the above quotes are true.
image courtesy of trackemtigers.com
[*If you generally skip my posts concerning sports, this one is also about Christianity, slavery, and drawing and quartering people. Come on, give just this one sports post a shot.]
Okay, I’ll admit it. All this Cam Newton stuff has got me really riled up. You know when one character in a movie realizes something nobody else knows, and they try to explain it but no one believes them, and you just want to yell at the screen for them to listen to the guy, because he knows what he’s talking about? That’s how I feel. I don’t believe I’m smarter than everyone else (or anyone else) — that’s not my deal. I just can’t seem to find anyone willing to think through this in logical fashion. At least no one willing to offer me acceptable or reasonable answers.
I’ve posted on some comment boards, asking some of the very questions I asked in my last post. Basically I’m wanting to know:
Why do so many of us support the punishment of innocent people in the area of college football recruitment?
Do we really think it’s fair to end the academic and athletic career of a student athlete whose greedy relative tried, unbeknownst to the player, to shop him around for money?
So far, I’ve received three types of answers:
- We have to be consistent. In the past we’ve punished some players for the sins of their relatives. We can’t just change our minds now. We’ve always done it this way.
- We need to be extremely strict on this, so as to deter it from happening in the future. We punish the player regardless of his involvement or knowledge of the wrongdoing because that will teach other students’ parents not to do this.
- Are you an idiot?! You must be, because everyone in the whole world has met and discussed this and we all agree except for you. The NCAA agrees with us, as do most of the conference officials and university presidents. We punish Cam Newton and others like him simply because most of us think we should — especially those really important people.
I don’t know about you, but I believe all three of these reasons to be full of crap. Get this — using these same three arguments, I’ll offer some other suggestions that must be good, right, and logical:
- Slavery is good. Really, we should keep this whole people-as-property thing going. Why rid ourselves of a perfectly good system? I mean we’ve always done it this way.
- Henceforth, from this point on, we will draw-and-quarter any student athlete whose parent or other relative has inquired at any university concerning a pay-for-play plan. Then we will send the four portions of his lifeless body to the four corners of these United States. We will teach parents that they can’t do this sort of thing. We’ve just got to hit them where it hurts. Slaughter their children.
- Let’s keep the current BCS system forever; it’s so awesome and all the officials and school presidents like it so much already. Forget a playoff, everybody — computers and polls are where it’s at.
And just for the sake of pushing a little further, let me try this all again but with Christianity as my subject of choice:
- Well, we’ve always met in a building with a steeple and a lot of pews that all face the front. And you want us to consider meeting in someone’s home now? Where will the preacher put his pulpit? And do we really have the funds to buy songbooks for everyone to keep at home? How in the world will we know if everyone’s following our required order of worship (welcome – 2 songs – opening prayer – 2 songs – scripture reading – 1 song – communion – giving – 1 song and mark another in your songbooks – sermon – invitation song (previously marked) – elder speaks for a moment – song – closing prayer)?
- All forms of dancing are wrong and evil. Males and females cannot and should not swim together or near enough to one another to be seen while in bathing suits. Any alcohol is sin, and Harry Potter is Satan incarnate. Anyone involved in any of these activities — or who knows someone who is — will be shunned, gossiped about, and possibly disfellowshipped or excommunicated.
- Are you kidding?! Everyone knows the way to reach out to the lost is to have an awesome band on Sunday morning and a knock-off Starbucks coffee shop in what used to be the foyer (we now call it the cafe). Yeah, all the biggest churches are doing it, and all the biggest Christian authors are writing about it….
Someone please offer me a better reason for punishing an innocent student athlete for the sins of his father.
image courtesy of trackemtigers.com
In light of the SEC Championship game and all the news on Cameron Newton, I wanted to post just a few of my thoughts and concerns. There’s an awful lot of talk out there about the loophole now present in the NCAA. I realize there is a loophole at this time — that a parent could potentially shop his kid around to universities, provided the athlete “doesn’t know” about these dealings. But here’s what I’m thinking:
- First of all, and my biggest question, why would we ever think it would be okay to punish an unknowing son for the wrongs done by his greedy father? Does that seem fair in any way? Whether money was exchanged or not, this just isn’t right.
- When forced to err on the side of either justice or mercy, I myself choose to err towards mercy. I realize national institutions, governments, and the like can’t be expected do that. But the Cam Newton Debacle is not an issue of justice versus mercy. To punish a player for the sins of a family member is to travel far beyond justice and deep into the realm of injustice.
- I understand there’s a loophole. but are we refusing justice simply because we’re afraid it will be abused? Because rules get abused every day; that’s life. I would suggest we find a way to punish the wrongdoer and not his offspring. The answer to rules being abused is not to punish the innocent — and there’s no such thing as guilt by genetics. I don’t really care how big a loophole there is, no 21-year old kid can force his father to behave, or be expected to — especially if he doesn’t even know about the situation.
- Everyone is worried about “the slippery slope.” We don’t want to set a precedent that this sort of thing can happen in college athletics. But what about the alternative precedent, this one: We like to end students’ academic and athletic careers because of offenses they neither committed nor knew about. Is that the precedent we want to set?
- And I’ve also got this question continually nagging me: Where is the line? How far away does a family member of a college athlete have to be before the athlete is not himself held responsible for that individual’s actions? What if it were Cam Newton’s brother who’d asked for money without him knowing? What if it had been his brother-in-law? What about his stepmother? Or an abusive father who lost custody in a divorce ten years prior? Grandmother? What if it was me who asked for money from Auburn, and agreed in exchange to deliver the quarterback?
By the way, my final score for the game: Auburn 42, South Carolina 28.
[Edited: I've been getting some answers to my questions, although they're pretty unreasonable and illogical.]
image courtesy of printfection.com
I am not a contented person by nature. I’m always wanting more.
I spent three days in a Tanzanian village earlier this week and realized how very discontented I am. I didn’t miss (for those three days) running water or electricity. Taking a bath out of a bowl of water isn’t so bad, and the absence of electricity only meant the night sky would be absolutely stunning.
But I can’t express to you how much I missed soft chairs, beds, and couches.* The cushiest thing I sat on during my stay in the village was a rock; and I thanked God for it’s anatomically-contoured curves. But still I was not content. I secretly longed to go read my Bible while sitting comfortably in the truck that was parked just a few meters away.
Nor was I content with the food I was served. I ate what was placed before me and enjoyed the company,** but I sure missed having some variation in my diet. In my mind, a guy can only eat so much rice or ugali — and dipping it in the same accompanying sauce at every meal is not my forte. Boredom sets in quickly with tasteless starches dunked in tomato-flavored boiled water.
I am not by nature a content person. And neither are you. Contentment is not inherent in fallen man. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
What I Learned On My Summer Mission Trip
Every short-term-mission-trip-goer is an expert on contentment. Because they’ve witnessed firsthand Haitians living in huts and Hondurans living off beans and rice. These Christians return to the states with a renewed appreciation for what they have and a strong desire to be as content as the completely satisfied Latin Americans.
To hear these mission trip goers, you’d think selfishness and materialism is a North American disease, one to which the rest of the world is immune. Not true.
The African living under a thatch roof desperately wants one made of tin. The Haitian family sleeping together in one bedroom lusts after their neighbors’ two-bedroom home. Godly contentment is not something the third-world has a firm grasp on. If you’ve witnessed true contentedness, it’s likely due to the Holy Spirit and not the absence of wealth.***
“…I’ve learned to be happy no matter what the situation. On one hand I’ve experienced not having anything at all, but on the other I’ve at times had more than I could ever possibly need or use. But most importantly, I have learned the secret of being content in all circumstances, whether hungry or full, whether lounging on a rock or a leather couch, and whether or not I own the newest Iproduct. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:11-13
A(n extremely) Common Misuse of Scripture
It’s odd that we’ve interpreted this last verse to mean nearly the exact opposite of what Paul intended. When I see a high school football team with Philippians 4:13 printed on the back of their state championship shirts, or a group of marathon runners who believe this verse means they can, and should, complete 26.2 miles to display Jesus’ power in them, I am saddened.
This verse would be more appropriately demonstrated by the little crippled boy who will never run a step in his life, but is happy just to be in the crowd. Or the football players who can’t play a lick and lose all their games, but enjoy the season and its accompanying camaraderie all the same. The family who has just lost a child in a car accident, but still believes — and acts as if — God is good. Or the Christian couple who desperately desire to have children but are unable and, so, volunteer their time at the local Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs.
While I’m certainly not against accomplishing great feats of athleticism — and am myself a runner and triathlete (though not one with any great feats to his name) — we can’t forget that “doing all things” to Paul meant being content no matter how horrible the situation.
[I would argue that the expression of joy during times of success is not nearly the witness of Christ as is the demonstration of contentment during defeat, poverty, or hard times.]
And Christ’s strength in us is the secret of that inextinguishable joy.
That is the meaning of Philippians 4:13 and the big secret Paul had learned — that Christ enables us to be content in any and every situation. Whether we’re marathon finishers or cassava farmers in Bilyahilu village, whether we’ve just received a raise or a pink slip, whether we live in an air-conditioned home or under a thatch-roof, we can have joy and Godly contentment because of Christ in us.
* I suppose this was made worse by my sore bottom due to arriving by bicycle.
** Well, all but the beans — God’s worst invention.
*** Though I’ll give you that the absence of wealth may give you a head start on contentment. Seems like Jesus may have touched on that with the whole camel-going-through-the-eye-of-a-needle thing.
I’ve been away from home (and computers, internet, electricity, and running water) for a few days, so morning blend is a little late; and there aren’t just alot* of links. [I'm also behind on reading and posting comments.] But the links that are here are quality, I assure you:
I am strongly in favor of more Christian interaction between adults and youth — which means less “traditional” youth group functions. This article offers just a couple of good reasons for such.
Basically Skye said not too very long ago that he’d never do Twitter for 10 reasons (you can find a link to those 10 reasons in this article). But he was talked into giving the whole Twitter experience a try. This is his first post in a series showing what happened when he set aside “one month to determine if [he] could engage Twitter in a redemptive way that would not erode [his] soul.” Interesting piece — and check out his initial 10 reasons.
This is a great blog that I just found a couple of weeks ago. The author writes (and draws cartoons) to illustrate his coping mechanism for dealing with regular use these days of the non-existent word “alot.”
You guys know my Auburn Tigers defeated Alabama on Friday afternoon (despite having given them a 24-point head start). And you know that we’re still undefeated. And you probably know that if we beat South Carolina, we will be the SEC Champions AND will go to the National Championship. This is Chad Gibbs’ Facebook take on last week’s game.
image courtesy of trackemtigers.com
Where is the line?
I’m not sure how much you guys have been keeping up with this Cameron Newton news story. Obviously, as a big Auburn fan, I’m keeping up with it a little closer than are most people (and I know my blog is generally more religious in nature — though this story has a religious bent, for sure). If you’re not following along, here’s an extremely basic and oversimplified idea of what’s going on (which I will rush through in order to get to my big question).
- Cameron Newton’s father, Cecil Newton, admitted there was talk between he and an ex-MSU football player concerning money in exchange for his son’s enrollment to Mississippi State University — where Cameron ended up NOT going to play. [This from mrsec.com]
- This confession was offered after numerous accusations by several MSU recruiters and boosters alike, some unnamed and others on the record.
- This confession also came after denials were initially made by Cecil Newton in the past couple of weeks concerning pay-for-play arrangements or requests.
- Cecil Newton also claims that neither his wife nor his son ever knew anything at all about these discussions.
- As far as we know, there has not been any witness to speak at all to any such discussions having happened with other schools (including Auburn University). Auburn, who has known about this investigation since MSU turned in partial information to authorities in January, have determined Cameron Newton was not involved in any pay-to-play scheme and is fully eligible for play.
We obviously don’t yet have all the facts, but one huge question arises in my mind. And I’ve not yet read anyone asking this question:
Where is the line? How far away does a “representative” of a college athlete have to be before the athlete is not himself held responsible for that individual’s actions?
It seems we were all happy to call Cameron Newton innocent when it might have been Kenny Rogers asking for money from Mississippi State’s boosters. Kenny Rogers was just some evil, greedy, and scheming man — and Auburn and Cam Newton could never be held responsible for his nasty behavior.
But when Cecil Newton is doing the requesting “on behalf” of his son — even without his son’s knowledge — Cameron is no longer eligible?
What if it were Cam Newton’s brother who’d asked for money without him knowing? What if it had been his brother-in-law? What about his stepmother? Or an abusive father who lost custody in a divorce ten years prior? Grandmother? What if it was me who asked for money from Auburn, and agreed in exchange to deliver the quarterback?
Cameron Newton is 21 years old.. What if he were a 30-year old guy who’d come to college to play football after serving in the military or working for a while after high school? Would his dad asking for money then be a problem? What if it was his 10-year old son asking for money? His wife?
If Newton’s high school youth minister had asked for money, would he still be eligible? What if it was his coach from junior college in Texas? His auntie who always makes him sweaters for Christmas and just wants a little sumthin’ sumthin’ in return?
Where do we draw the line? That’s my big question. Whether there was money exchanged or not — no matter what’s true or false — I just want to know what happens when an athlete doesn’t know cash is being requested by a family member, a friend, or a pizza delivery guy? To what extent do we hold a 21-year old football player responsible for the actions of those with whom he has relationship (or doesn’t) — especially if he has no knowledge of the situation? Do we throw away a Heisman Trophy, a college education, a successful football season, and a university’s ability to compete in college athletics for the actions of a greedy weasel of a father? What about for the actions of a greedy weasel of a Kenny Rogers? What about for the actions of a greedy weasel of someone in between? This is a really important decision that someone’s likely got to make in the very near future.
Where is that line?