Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Two New Links

Added two new links, one for Kevin's Quincy blog, now that he appears to be doing stuff regularly.

The other is a teacher who has some interesting stuff. Check 'em out!

Brotherly Love

Beautiful time in St. Andrew gym in Chicago's Wrigleyville last night for Frank Calkins. Huge crowd, lots of laughing.

Frank can't talk anymore, though he does have a computer to relay his thoughts. His two daughters sat patiently with him last night and gently wiped his chin as he sucked soda through a straw. People came up to him and his face lit up at greeting old friends.

His family put together a book for the event and some of the stories made me laugh and cry.

His twin brother, Marty, wrote about growing up with Frank and finished with these paragraphs ....

"A couple of months ago when Frankie came to Chicago to go the Bears game with all my brothers, he stayed overnight at my mom's. The ALS had moved to his legs and he needed help walking. That night I sat next to him in our old bedroom located upstairs. I was holding his hand, talking about everything like we've done a thousand times before. He was explaining about what ALS was doing to his body, and said to me out of the clear blue sky, 'I'm glad I caught this instead of you; I couldn't handle it if it was you.'

"I called him a jerk and said, 'I love you.' He fell asleep holding my hand. As the tears rolled down my face, and I smiled and thought, 'That's my twin.'"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Friend

I met a dear friend for lunch yesterday and I was afraid I'd break her heart.

Instead, I got nothing but love and support.

When you make life-changing decisions, the consequences reverberate, much like the pebble in the pond. The last thing I want to do is hurt anybody, but sometimes you have no choice.

I appreciate friends and I have good ones in Quincy.

I'm also reading Rick Reilly's book, a collection of his Sports Illustrated columns, and time after time he drives home the point about not taking friends and family for granted.

We all do. It's human nature.

Stopping for two seconds to think about it will make you feel better and cleanse the soul.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gundy's Rant

Just saw Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy's rant about a columnist criticizing his quarterback. See it for yourself:

Gundy goes over the edge and makes several classic mistakes in his raving. First of all, his team won a big conference game, but nobody cares about that now, since all he did was get red in the face right after it ended. Secondly, he shouts at a guy who works for a business that buys ink by the barrel, and you simply can't win.

Gundy made some great points and should be commended for sticking up for his QB. But if thinks that these are "just kids" and if thinks college football is some sort of dream world where athletes are immune from media and fan scrutiny, he's not only sadly mistaken, he's been living under a rock for a long time.

Had Gundy simply stared the columnist down, or frozen him out, or simply ignored him, or made a short statement about what an idiot the guy is, he would have won. And he could have used it for the "us against the world" approach to motivating his team.

Division I College football is a big business, plain and simple. Are they 17 and 18 years old? Yes. Are they being paid? No. Do the vast majority bust their butts and make their universities proud? Yes.

Are they coddled and have advantages many students simply don't have in this day and age of $30,000-a-year tuition? Yes.

Look at Michigan quarterback Ryan Mallett, a FRESHMAN IN COLLEGE who is now throwing passes in front of 110,000 angry Maize and Blue fans on Saturdays. Is that fair to throw him to the wolves? Heck no, but he's out there and trying, and if some bozo writer says otherwise, that's the way it is.

The media doesn't care. There are sports writers and columnists out there who simply feed the beast, who have kids themselves, who don't want to hurt anybody, but also will run over their mom to get the story.

Coach Gundy needs to worry more about the rest of the Big 12 schedule that what a columnist says. This isn't a fairy tail with the gloves off, Coach. It's the big time, Big 12 football, and blowing up after a huge win doesn't get it done.

Gundy doesn't owe the columnist an apology, or talk to him ever again. He does owe an apology to his team and the rest of the media, because they wanted his take on a big game and he left them hanging.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Flinn Rocks

Huge crowd at the QHS football game last night for Homecoming.

Give Coach Little and his players credit for being prepared and playing really hard. The Blue Devils are 3-2 and 2-0 in the WB6, though the tough part of the conference schedule now looms.

I was working last night so I only saw a few minutes of the second quarter and the halftime show. The percussion and bells section especially were very good, not that I'm biased ....

The QHS band rocks. They were in excellent form in the parade Thursday down Maine Street and at halftime Friday.

The only thing I didn't like about the game was the public address announcer. Doing play by play is annoying. And there was more yelling than information given. If I want a running account of the game, I'll bring my radio. Just give us the ball carrier and who made the tackle.

Other than that, it was a Big Friday Night ....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Tookie

And a very happy birthday to the Web Warrior of Doom who turns 10 today. Don't hit him while he rides his new tricycle around Vermont Street. Be nice to him and try to talk to him now before McFadden turns his world upside down Saturday.

Tookie - sometimes I think it must be nice to not care about anything.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Could Be Worse ....

You could be a Georgia football fan.

Alas, turmoil galore in Ann Arbor. Even the great programs must struggle on occassion.

The boss at work says, "Who is going to watch two 0-2 teams play each other?" Uh, it's Notre Dame vs. Michigan, and just for the train wreck appeal, much of the country, actually.

Best game yesterday was Fresno at Texas A&M, three or four OTs and players were dropping like flies in the Texas heat.

Did you catch the mighty Chippewas dismantling Toledo last night? Brian Kelly bolted Central Michigan before last season ended and headed to Ohio. Love the guy, high-fived him on the field after Central beat bitter rival Western Michigan last November .... but part of me watches in a jealous rage.

In two non-CFB notes, we're up in Paloma today and looking forward to playing in the bright sunshine of rural Adams County.

And trying to listen to Journey without Steve Perry is like playing golf without a putter. It just doesn't work .... though I like the song "Higher Place."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Social Experiment

It's not quite a Michigan morning - still too much humidity - but it's comfortable sitting on the porch reviving with caffeine.

I've decided to quit drinking during the month of September, and to see where it leads. Until last night, I was doing fine. Then I went to Blues In The District at Washington Park and it got a little more challenging.

But seeing Tookie with H20 made me feel better. He's stopped to cut carbs. I've stopped to just see if I can do it.

I liken this to a social experiment. If you are hanging out and the beer is flowing, are your perceptions different if you decide not to drink?

Duh! Of course! I'm not saying it's better or worse, but it's very different.

I'm quitting because it was getting too easy to have a beer after work. After a walk. After dinner. At night. All night.

I know people who drink a lot more and are still functional. I know people who hardly drink at all and should drink more — "Lighten up, Francis ...." In the end, you can't worry about anybody else, just yourself. My liver will thank me, I know that.

Not sure how long it will last. I can't imagine sitting on a Lake Michigan beach without a beer. Then again, it might be nice to wake up in the tent and not wonder where the Aspirin bottle is.

Just thinking how huge the Oregon at Michigan game is this afternoon, and how nice it will be to just sit and watch college football today.

With a water, of course .....

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I luv Tookie

OK. He's a Web Warrior. He bashes people without caring. He can't spell worth a bleep. He doesn't really care about anything or anybody.

But I want Tookie to know this.


This has nothing to do with Tookie giving me Michigan at Illinois tickets. Yes, I am still a fan, despite Armageddon last Saturday. So I'm going Oct. 20 to Champaign. Right now, I have two extra tickets if anybody in Cyberspace is interested ....