Monthly Archives: February 2009

Turning Point

marv

A couple years ago, a week like this would have rocked me to the core.  I wouldn’t have known what to do or where to turn.  I would have been sad and angry and devastated.  But I’m not.  I’m accepting it and I’m moving on.  I’m understanding that this is for the good of the team and that in these hard economic times, decisions have to be made that aren’t necessarily popular.  And that’s ok.  It’s going to be ok.  Because this is what happens when you become a fan of the actual team as a whole instead of one individual player.  I’ve reached a turning point in my relationship as a fan of the Indianapolis Colts. 

This week, Marvin Harrison turned in his #88 jersey for the last time, probably.  I had friends and relatives coming at me with questions of “are you ok?” because they weren’t sure how I’d take it.  And like I said, a couple years ago I would have taken to my bed to sob it out.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t LOVE Marvin Harrison.  It doesn’t mean that come fall I’m not going to think it’s weird to see someone else lining up in Marvin’s spot.  It’s going to be weird, but it’s going to be ok, too. 

I’ve come to understand that the NFL is a business and in this era of free agency and salary caps, things are going to happen that hurt our hearts.  We’re going to be sad that the people we came to love in those jerseys aren’t in those jerseys anymore.  But, I suppose over the years I’ve started to learn just how difficult the jobs of owner, president/GM, and head coach really are.  You can look at one season or you can look at the big picture, but when you’re in one of those executive positions, you have to consider what’s best for the team and not what’s best for an individual player. 

Marvin gave 13 years of his life to the Indianapolis Colts, and that’s more years than a lot of wide receivers give to any one team.  He’s made it perfectly clear that Indianapolis is not his home by returning to Philadelphia whenever he had the chance.  He’s also made us fans proud.  From every wobbly thrown, off the back foot, last ditch oh goodness I’m going to get sacked pass he caught from Peyton Manning to every perfectly thrown, tight as can be spiral, right on the money, thread the needle pass he caught from that same Peyton Manning, he was in a word amazing.  And the great part about it is that no one ever asked him to risk it all to catch the ball no matter what.  They only asked that he do his job.  In his mind, that meant doing the little things and the big things to the best of his ability.  That meant believing that he got paid to practice and Sundays were just a perk of the job.  That meant handing or flipping the ball to the referee after every touchdown (except that one time in New England…but I’m ok with that one) instead of spiking the ball and taunting his opponent. 

He kept cornerbacks honest.  He made them live the saying “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”  He could make a cornerback bite on a fake like nobody’s business.  Sure you could hang with him for about 10 yards, but then he’d make his move.  And the funny thing is every corner in the league knew it was coming but they bit anyway.  Result: TD Colts.  For every year of my life I lost watching the Colts defense “develop,” Marvin would give me that year back with one of his catches.  And in the end, I’m grateful to him for everything he ever did to make the Colts better.  He will be missed and he will be a great veteran asset to whatever team gets him. 

I can only imagine how difficult it was for Jim and Bill to make that decision to release him.  Someday they may have to make a similar decision about Peyton or Reggie Wayne or Dwight Freeney or Bob Sanders.  But I’ll understand.  Because this is a business.  I respect Jim Irsay and Bill Polian more than I can even put into words.  Because the same owner of the franchise who had to lay off 25 front office employees last month because of hard economic times, knows that he can’t look Marvin Harrison in the eye and say take all the money you want because you’re more important than those people who no longer have a pay check coming in.

Thanks for the memories, Marv.  Best of luck wherever you go, but my hope is that our corners don’t bite on the fake whenever we play you.

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FINALLY

Found via Rob and Kathryn’s blog:

By Erika Morphy
WASHINGTON, DC-Sonic, a drive in restaurant franchise, is looking to open between 40 to 50 stores in the Greater Washington area over the next several years. The franchisee for Washington, Denver-based John Platten, will be touring sites in Maryland and Virginia this week for his initial investments, Green Light Principal Peter Framson, tells GlobeSt.com. Green Light is representing Sonic in its expansion into the metro area. Platten did not return a call to GlobeSt.com in time for publication.Platten owns franchises in Denver and southern Virginia–specifically the Tidewater area. Now he wants to aggressively expand into the DC area, Framson says. Typically these restaurants are developments of about 33,000 square feet, Framson says. He could not provide average development costs.

Possible locations would be in pad sites in retail centers or locations along well trafficked roads. All of the DC area’s submarkets are possibilities. “We are looking at the Dale City’s and Montgomery County’s of the area,” Framson says.

Is It Just Me?

Is it just me or is the last thing the golfers on the PGA tour wanted to hear was that Tiger Woods had improved his game during his medical leave?

Tiger Says Legs Are Stronger Than Ever

So I Lied

Yeah…I did.  On 1/11/2009, I said I wasn’t going to write about the Tar Heels any more this season until March Madness started.  Well I attended the game in College Park, MD on Saturday and was so disgusted by the end of it that it took until probably some time this morning to get over it.  The sad thing is that I think they looked a lot like they did two years ago in the Elite Eight against Georgetown.  They’d built a 10 point lead going into the back end of the 2nd half and then proceeded to allow Georgetown to come back and beat them in overtime. 

Well Maryland did the same thing on Saturday afternoon, and what frustrates me the most is that it’s obvious to me that they haven’t learned their lesson.  Last season I saw a fire in these guys that was almost like revenge was ever present on their minds.  Like every missed shot cut them to the core.  I’m not seeing that now.  They don’t seem to care if they lose the game or their defense is poor.  They think that their offense can simply outscore any opponent who tries to make a comeback.  Well, from this point forward, they can’t afford to make any mistakes, and I for one will be SHOCKED if they actually play mistake free basketball.  I never want them to lose a game, but when they do, I prefer it to be that they put up every fight in the book and the other team just had the ball last. 

I mean, I get it.  Marcus Ginyard is out for the season when they were expecting to have him.  Well as much as I love Marcus and as much as I know how much we need him on defense.  If Marcus was the key to the whole thing, they’d be defending their 3rd straight title at this point.  Plenty of teams lose players unexpectedly and find the drive and ambition to overcome it.  This group of Tar Heels by far should be able to do that.  Coach Williams shouldn’t have to coach desire.  That’s something every athlete should be born with to the point that I’d question any athlete who didn’t and say, “then why do you do what you do?”. 

Here’s hoping they’ll make me smile soon because right now, I’m thinking Tyler didn’t come back for his senior season for this.  In fact, I’m not sure any of them came back for this.

Epidemic

I know at this point it’s old news, but I promised you all a blog entry on the Michael Phelps situation.  Since I’m about to admit lying to you all in my next blog entry after this, I figured I ought to do one thing right. 

So…before I get started I want to make it perfectly clear that nothing…and I mean absolutely nothing…I say in this entry makes what Michael Phelps did ok.  It does not explain it or provide a viable excuse that gets him off the hook for inhaling/consuming an illegal substance.  What he did was wrong and he, quite frankly, should be glad that no one will help the police in corroborating their evidence against him.  That said…

What we have here is an epidemic.  I grew up in the 80s during the Nancy Reagan “Just Say No” Campaign.  I know the difference between an illegal drug, a lethal drug, and a legal drug.  What I also know is that for a long time a large part of the population of this world has believed that marijuana should not be an illegal drug.  I am not a follower of this line of thinking.  As long as it’s illegal, it really doesn’t matter if you think it shouldn’t be…it doesn’t change it’s illegality.  Unfortunately, a large part of the group that believes marijuana shouldn’t be illegal is of a certain age group in which Michael Phelps’s age fits.  I don’t mean to pin this on the youth of the world, but over time I’ve realized that a younger generation than me sees these things as simply ok, which is not right.  Pick up any season of the HBO series Entourage and you’ll see how nonchalant marijuana use has become.  In fact, it’s evident to me that the use of marijuana has become as prevalent as the use of your average nicotine cigarette.  So, as we continue to move forward, we can choose to chastise Michael Phelps for his use of the drug, or we can attempt to find a way to educate people that while they might believe marijuana shouldn’t be illegal, that does not make it legal…not to mention educating them on why marijuana was deemed illegal in the first place. 

My second concern on this matter is the parents of the kids who look up to Michael Phelps.  It concerns me whenever I see someone allowing their child to “worship” a sports figure or celebrity in every aspect of their life.  Certainly publc figures have a huge responsibility to the public, once they become a public figure, to conduct themselves in a manner in which they want to be viewed.  So, yes Michael Phelps presented himself as someone who was dedicated, if not obsessive, about his sport.  What he did not present himself as was a straight-laced saint.  The thing is that Michael Phelps is human.  Regardless of what his career choice is, he’s still human.  And I defy you to go look yourself in the mirror and say to yourself that you have never ever in your life made a mistake that you wouldn’t want publicized to the entire world.  We need to get passed this whole idea that because he’s Michael Phelps he should be held to a higher standard.  He should be held to the same standard as any other human being.  And that is that we make mistakes and when we make drastic mistakes, we are punished for them (theoretically). 

It is absolutely OK for parents to tell their children that Michael Phelps is an example of how to be incredibly passionate about the sport or talent that you have because he is that example.  What he does outside the pool are his choices to make just like any child who looks up to him has the right to make his/her choices outside the pool.  Those choices do not have to be emulated, but at the same time, the way he represents the sport of swimming…in competition and practice and the like…is exactly how I would want any competitive swimmer to represent it. 

Bottom line…there’s no easy answer, but I think the best place to start is education and communication.  Education about illegal drugs and communication about what types of emulation are ok and what types are not.  Perhaps then we might be on the road to recovery.

I Don’t Understand

There are things in this world that I don’t understand.  No matter how many times someone might give me an explanation of why something is the way it is or why something happens.  I still don’t understand why.  Now, I know that I’ve lived a few less years than the wisest among us, but I’ve also lived a few more years than the not so wise among us.  So I feel like I’ve gotten a fair view of the world and how it works.  But still…these things baffle me.  This isn’t to say that I need another person to explain them to me.  I just felt like having share time.  This is a list of ten things I just don’t get.  Feel free to make your own list…cause I know how much we in the blogosphere love lists.  🙂

  1. Traffic congestion.  I’ve never understood why, if we’re all going in the same direction, that we can still be at a stand still.  Now I understand that things happen like accidents and construction.  But when none of that exists and there’s just a bunch of cars, I still don’t understand why we’re not moving.
  2. Babies that cry when they’re playing.  I mean actively playing with a toy or something else that generally makes a person happy and they’re crying through it all.  I just don’t get it.  You can’t actively play and be sad at the same time because if you’re sad, you shouldn’t be playing.  You should be finding your parent or guardian to help eliminate the sadness.
  3. Staying with babies…I don’t understand teething.  It just seems wrong to make such a little life go through such a traumatic experience as a tooth breaking through your gums.  Now, I realize that it’s just not the way it’s done to have a baby born with its teeth, but it just seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
  4. Offensive Goaltending.  I understand defensive goaltending, but I don’t understand that if you’re on the same team that just threw the ball up to the basket why you can’t help that ball on through the net.  By my estimation, that’s a tip in.  🙂
  5. People who don’t like Tom Hanks.  This one needs no explanation.  Really…
  6. People who can only find the negative in Title IX.  Yeah I get it…Title IX ruined male sports like gymnastics.  Gosh…that’s upsetting.  But get freaking over it and realize this…if it weren’t for Title IX, do you think Pat Summitt would have won 1,001 (and counting) women’s college basketball games as a head coach?  We might not even know who Pat Summitt is.  This subject has a very personal place in my heart because I watched my brother’s passion for the game of basketball parlay itself into a passion for coaching girl’s basketball, and he might not have a job in the field of coaching if it weren’t for Title IX.
  7. Competitive people.  Not typical competition like in contests and sports…that I get.  But I’m talking about a person who sees something someone has done and absolutely has to go do it themselves and figure out how they can do it better than that person.  I understand progression and new invention.  But I’m talking specifically about people who do something just to show someone up when that someone they’re trying to show up doesn’t even know there’s a competition.
  8. Auburn fans.  I accept that they exist.  I just don’t understand why.
  9. Dusting.  It just comes back.  Why do it?
  10. Baseball foul balls.  Specifically, I don’t understand why the first two balls fouled off are strikes and the next 3+ are not. I get that it’s the rule, but why is it bad to do it twice but it’s ok to do it any time after that.

Alright…that’s my list.  What’s yours?

Headlines

So here’s how this works: I type a headline, newstory, event that happened, and I give a short blurb (to the best of my ability) opinion on said topic.  This is how a blog writer catches up with everything that’s happened after failing to write blogs for a month.

  1. Inauguration: crazy day, freaking cold as all get out, thankfully went off without a hitch…the swearing in/safety part of it anyway.  Ended up with a sinus infection, which is the main cause of my blog deficiency.
  2. Michael Phelps Inhales: this may get a full blog on it’s own because there are some things that I want to explore about the epidemic elephant in the room that no one seems to want to talk about.  Was he stupid for doing it? Heck yeah.  Does it change what he accomplished in the pool in August?  Nope.  Is he still a role model?  Depends on your definition of a role model and if you’re teaching your kids the right way to emulate someone.
  3. Super Bowl: great win for the Steelers.  So glad to see Mike Tomlin get a ring for himself.  He’s part of the Tony Dungy coaching tree, you know.
  4. Australian Open: Fabulous finish, Rafa!  Well deserved and well played.  I’m starting to come down a little from my hatred for Federer.  Don’t necessarily like him still, but the humility he showed after the loss proves to me that maybe he just needed a swift kick in the teeth to make him realize how pompous he was acting.
  5. Mark Gottfried resigned (fired) as Bama’s b-ball coach: Not happy.  Not happy in the least.  And boy the team has just been winning like gangbusters since his departure, so he was obviously the problem.  NOT!
  6. A-Rod did PEDs: Wasn’t against policy when he did it.  Unfair to single him out when there are 103 other people out there who tested positive when there wasn’t a policy against it.  Shouldn’t have done it to begin with policy or no policy.
  7. UNC/Duke: Amazing.  Until that last second ticked off the clock I didn’t think the seniors would go 4-0 at Cameron, but the seniors should be thanking Ty Lawson and the rest of the juniors that they made it out of there with a win.  Always a great, heart pounding match up.  Still need work on that defense.
  8. Stop me if you’ve heard this one already: Brett Favre is retiring from the NFL. Incidentally, UNC is 2-0 on days when Brett Favre retires.
  9. Valentine’s Day: hate it.  Russell Stover, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Pro Flowers…GO AWAY!  This economy can’t handle your stupid “buy this crap for one day out of the year to prove your love to someone stimulus plan.”
  10. Rihanna/Chris Brown: If he did beat you up, girl, stick with the charges.  You can send a message to one group of people by seeing the charges through or you can send a completely different message to a completely different group of people by dropping charges that shouldn’t be dropped.

Inauguration Photos

I know I’ve been gone awhile.  I won’t bore you with the excuses.  I will have sort of a quick hit catch up in a blog to be posted later, but until then, enjoy the pictures from the Inauguration.