Friday, April 29, 2005

If Your "Give a Damn's Busted" -- Fix It!

Wow, about that titled caught a few eyes......

Yesterday, I was at Hendrick Health Club spending my 60 minutes of torture on the elipticle machine listening to country's greatest hits and watching 10 different television monitors. At about the 48 minute mark of my exercise routine, Jo Dee Messina's current hit, "My Give a Damn's Busted" came through my earphones. The lyrics go like this:

Well, you filled up my head with so many lies.
You twisted my heart till somethin' snapped inside.
I'd like to give it one more try,
But my give-a-damn's busted.

You can crawl back home, say you were wrong;
Stand out in the yard and cry all night long.
Well, go ahead and water the lawn:
My give-a-damn's busted.

I really wanna care.
I wanna feel somethin'.
Let me dig a little deeper:.
No, sorry: nothin'.

You can say you've got issues, you can say you're a victim.
It's all your parents fault, after all you didn't pick 'em.
Maybe somebody else has got time to listen:
My give-a-damn's busted.

Well, your therapist says it was all a mistake:
A product of the Prozac an' your co-dependent ways.
So who's your neighbor these days?
My give-a-damn's busted.

I really wanna care.
I wanna feel somethin'.
Let me dig a little deeper:.
No, still nothin'.

It's a desperate situation, no tellin' what you'll do.
If I don't forgive you, you say your life is through.
C'mon, gimme somethin' I can use:
My give-a-damn's busted.

Well, I really wanna care.
I wanna feel somethin'.
Let me dig a little deeper:
No, I'm sorry.
Just nothin', you know.
You've really done it this time, ha, ha.
My give-a-damn's busted.

While listening to this, I'm watching the television monitor that's showing the Maury Povich show with an episode entitled, Parents who quit on their children.

Now, I'm not a psychologist or a thereapist, but I do understand a little about what's wrong with our society today. We live in a world where so many people have given up hope. They don't care anymore. It's all about me, myself and I. And for many of them, they've given up on themselves too.

I'm just thankful I have a wife, a family and great friends who don't share that philosophy. And even if they did, I've always got a Father in heaven that will never give up on me. I know as a child of God, I am able to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-5). And for that, I am forever thankful!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dallas, We Have a Problem!

In 7th grade, I took a typing class (I know, that really dates me!) for an elective. As part of our typing final exam, we had to type the following phrase:

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

As a sports fan, and more specifically, as a Dallas Mavericks fan, this phrase has crept into my mind this morning. Except, I would change the phrase to read:

Now is the time for Dirk Nowitzki to come to the aid of his team!

What in the name of Dick Motta and Uwe Blab is going on here! The Mavericks entered the playoffs winning 9 in a row and 13 out of their last 14. This team had a new attitude, a new focus, a new direction and a new coach. They emphasized defense and ball movement. This is the year that the Mavericks were supposed to make a serious run at the western conference title. This is the year the Mavericks proved their critics wrong. This is the year.......they get swept by the Rockets!?!? In the first round!?!?

There are (hopefully!) 5 more games left in this series. It's not time to hit the panic button yet. We can still pull this out. In my opinion, here's what's gone wrong and here's what needs to happen for the Mav's to win the series:

What's Gone Wrong:

-- Avery Johnson looks like a rookie coach in the playoffs. He is being out-coached by Jeff Van Gundy.

-- The Mav's look very hesitant. Probably because of their coach.

-- Michael Findley is old.

-- Dirk Nowitzki is not involved.

What Needs to Happen:

-- Avery, get advise from Nellie. He's been there...a lot. He's watched your two games against the Rockets and I am sure he can give you a pointer or two. Don't let your pride get in the way. I think Avery can and will be a great coach. However, the playoffs are completely different than the regular season.

-- Open up the offense. I know Avery Johnson's preaching defense, but this team thrives when it put points on the board. Run, run, run!!! Make the Rockets play their game, not the other way around.

-- Sit Michael Findley's old rear end on the bench. Play Marquis Daniels. Daniels athleticism can provide mismatches for the Mav's. I like Michael Findley but he's had it.

-- Do whatever it takes to get Dirk more involved. Dirk stands around and does not get into the flow of the game when he doesn't touch the ball. He is your best player. When he plays with energy, the Mav's play with energy. When Dirk's on, the Mav's are on.

It's not too late. The Mav's play well on the road. Maybe that's what they need to get things turned around.

Now is the time for Dirk Nowitzki to come to the aid of his team!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Joy of Travel

As the Grateful Dead used to sing, what a long, strange trip it has been (Kevin Roberts should like that opening). I just returned this afternoon from a two day trip to Denver, Colorado. I should have known that with the massive spring snowstorm on Sunday, this trip would be anything but typical. Here's a breakdown of everything I encountered in 48 hours:

Monday, April 11

9:00 am - Arrive in DFW airport to find that my 9:30 am connecting flight to Denver is delayed by 45 minutes.

9:30 am - Instructed to move from gate C31 to C35.

9:45 am - Instructed to move from gate C35 to C37.

10:00 am - Instructed to move from gate C37 back to C31.

10:30 am - Flight takes off for Denver.

12:00 noon - Arrive in Denver...however, there are no open gates so we wait on the runway for 55 minutes.

12:55 pm - Pull into the gate and leave the plane. I make my way to the baggage claim area.

1:00 pm - Informed that flight 1115's luggage would not arrive to baggage claim until at least 2:00 pm.

2:00 pm - Informed that flight 1115's luggage would not arrive to baggage claim until at least 3:00 pm.

3:15 pm - Luggage arrives!

4:30 pm - Arrive to hotel in Denver, CO.

4:55 pm - I take a shower. Upon getting out of the shower, I grab a towel from the shelf. I unfold the towel to find a massive wad of intertwined human hair. I nearly puke.

Tuesday, April 12

9:00 am - I inform the front desk of the Doubletree Hotel that I need to extend my reservation through Wednesday night because David Pitmman, admissions counselor would be staying at the hotel with me but would not leave until Thursday (I left on Wednesday morning). PROBLEM - I did a poor job of explaining and made it sound like that I was sharing the room with another guy -- someone I had just met. I spend the next 5 minutes re-explaining my situation and assuring the front desk that we are co-workers, not life partners!

10:45 pm - David and I return from our Purple and White recruiting party to find all local restaurants already closed. We find a sports bar and grill open and enter. Upon sitting down, we are told the only thing we can order is fried foods from the appetizer menu. We each get 4 chicken strips...each about 4 inches long. We're still starving.

Midnight - David and I get to our hotel room and I pack everything since I have a 6:00 am flight and need to leave the hotel by 4:00 am.

Wednesday, April 13

1:00 am - Wide awake!

1:30 am - Wide awake!

2:00 am - Wide awake!

2:30 am - Wide awake!

3:00 am - I get up and shower and leave.

4:15 am - The Hertz shuttle bus takes me to the terminal. I leave my Oakley sunglasses on the bus just seconds after the bus drive reminds me to take them with me.

10:03 am - Flight 1389 is ready to leave DFW for Abilene. The props are spinning when the pilot shuts everything down, and announces that the terminal has requested access to the plane.

10:07 am - The ticketing agent, the pilot and an armed police officer enter the plane. They ask for a young lady (about 30 years old, blonde and very cute and innocent) to leave the plane with them.

10:25 am - The pilot informs us the the woman had something illegal in her suitcase. So, her and her suitcase are now being searched. We will leave without her.

11:45 am - I am in the Abilene airport waiting on my luggage (oh no, here we go again!) and talking on the phone to Shawna. I accidentally trip and kick the emergency shut off button to the luggage carousel -- just as our luggage was about to be fed through! The "workers" cannot fix it and have to manually bring our luggage into the bagage area. I get dirty looks from everyone!

11:55 am - I am leaving the airport in my car which I had parked at the airport while I was gone. The gate keeper informs me I owe him $15. Of course, I have $9. He says, "I take checks." I reply, "I have no checkbook. What about a credit card?" And you already know the answer to that question. I promise him I will go home, get my checkbook and return with the $15. He reluctantly agrees.

12:40 pm - I return with a check for $15 and try to put this miserable trip behind me.

I hope I never go back to Colorado for as long as I live!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I Am My Father's Son!

Have you ever had the feeling strike you when you realize, "Oh my gosh, I am my father/mother!"?

Mine happened last week. It was a gorgeous spring Tuesday morning and I was preparing to leave the house for work. I had rolled the trash can out to the curb and was walking back to my car when I saw a weed in the front yard. Well, being the perfectionist I am, I immediately walked over to that weed and yanked it out of the ground. Before I could make it to the garage, I spotted another one. So, I plucked it from the earth. Then, I saw another, and another, and another, and another........

Before long, I had a pile of pulled weeds in my front yard, my hands were caked with dirt and grass stains, I was 30 minutes late for work and I was having flashbacks to my own father doing the same thing.

I guess we are all like our parents in some way. I just hope I can be like my dad in many more ways than just having a green thumb! If so, I will be a very blessed man.

Friday, April 01, 2005

March Madness x 5!

I read an interesting article on the internet a few weeks ago about the actual origin of the term March Madness. As it turns out, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) began a basketball tournamnet in 1908. By the 1930's the tournamnet was referred to as the March Madness Tournament. In the 70's the IHSA officially changed their tournament name to the IHSA March Madness Tournament. It was shortly afterwards that Brent Musberger (announcer for CBS Sports) referred to the NCAA Tournament as March Madness. The two sides have since been in litigation over who actually owns the name. Both sides (IHSA and the NCAA) now have equal control over the term.

While most folks suffer March Madness for three weeks out of the year, I actually endure the torture for over 5 months! In case you did not already know, my wife (Shawna) is the head women's basketball coach for Abilene Christian University, a position she has held for 2+ years. In November of each year, I shed the relatively calm demeanor that most people know me by for the raving lunatic husband, fan, cheerleader and, to Shawna's amusement, unofficial director of basketball operations. I feel as DBO, it is my position to help her plan the next season's non-conference schedule, provide insight of when the team should practice, eat, sleep and travel as well as who we should be recruiting and who should be playing at any given point in the season. I'll share more about some of the predicaments I've found myself in in upcoming blogs!

But for now, I want to brag on my talented wife. I never cease to be amazed at what Shawna can accomplish. She could go an entire year without winning a game (let's hope for everyone's sake that never happens!) and I would still be so proud of her. From the coaching staff to the players, each facet of this program is run with class. I have never been around a more talented, beautiful and Christian group of ladies than the ones that wear the purple and white of ACU women's basketball. But most of all, I am forever in awe of the most talented and most beautiful one of them all.

This past year was a truly amazing year. The preason polls came out and we were picked to finish 5th in conference. No one really gave us a chance since we had lost 6 players (4 starters!) to graduation. But that never phased this group. You could sense the purpose this group of ladies shared. The 2004-05 Wildcats finished 3rd in the Lone Star Conference and made it to the LSC semi-finals. They won 20 games for the first time since the 1998-99 year and went to the NCAA Regional Tournament (the field of 64 for women's basketball) for the first time since that same 98-99 season. We also handed the #12 team in the nation 2 of their 4 losses on the year. Even though the season ended with a lop-sided loss to the #1 team in the nation, I could not have been prouder of each and every person on that team.

I cannot wait for my next bout of "March Madness" to begin...... in early November!

For what it's worth, here are my picks for this weekend:

Louisville over Illinois
North Carolina over Michigan State
North Carolina over Louisville