Monday, April 27, 2009

Second Royals Game of 2009...In Review

Saturday marked the second Royals game of the year that I attended. I went with a group from church as a part of a fellowship event. It was also free jersey night so there's another Royals jersey hanging from my closet. Here's just a quick review of the game:

*The stadium looked great with a sellout. When it got loud, it really got loud.

*The game itself wasn't that great. Detroit hit two home runs early in the game and cruised to a 9-1 victory.

*This game did mark the first (and only time) I have left a major league game before the game ended. This was because the people I was riding with wanted to leave. I'm the type of person that if I pay the money to watch a game, I will sit there and watch the game through to the end. I guess that's just the type of sports fan that I am. Doesn't matter if it's a blowout or not.

So as it stands right now, the Royals are 1-1 in games I've seen them this year. Hopefully I can get out there for another game or two before I head overseas for two months...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Athletes and Televangelists

A few days ago, I saw on an article from their TV program Outside the Lines, which is an investigative show (kind of like 60 Minuties). It was on the connection between televangelists and athletes. Of course when I saw that, I had to read it and watch the segment. In the segment (which aired on TV and is online), it had interviews with Evander Holyfield and Kurt Warner along with televangelists like Creflo Dollar and Randy White. It discussed how athletes in some ways have been "targeted" by these televangelists and the celebrity status that these televangelists have recieved from having athletes in their churches.

Here's my breakdown of the thing. I personally don't like televangelists, especially the "prosperity" kind like these are. They are the ones who say that God wants to bless you not only spiritually but financially as well. This is nowhere in Scripture of course. The one thing they do get right is the importance of tithing for believers, no matter whether they are a minimum wage worker or an athlete making millions of dollars. But it should be out of a heart to give and serve, not as a means of thinking I'm going to get something back financially because of it.

I would hope that if I was a pastor of a church and had athletes in my church that a) they would feel welcome and feel a part of the community of believers, b) they would be viewed like any other person who walks through the doors of the building. I wouldn't want them to feel like they had to put on a persona because in the church is where people are to be real. I would hope that they tithe, but I also hope that they would serve in the church, teaching or leading a bible study, helping out in a ministry when they can. More than anything, I would want them to be a part of the body like everyone else, contributing with the gifts that God has given them.

If you would like to read the article, here is the link, and on that site you'll find a link to the video from the segment on OTL

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reflections on the Retirement of John Madden

Last Thursday, John Madden, former Oakland Raiders coach, color commentator and hall of famer, decided to retire from broadcasting. It was something that I knew at some point would happen and it happened to be now.

For me, football on Sundays (and for a while on Mondays) were defined in some ways by Madden. Growing up watching games, the big games had Madden calling them. When you turned the TV on and you saw and heard Pat Summerall and John Madden calling the game, you knew it'd be a good one. My favorite memories were during Thanksgiving when Madden would give a turducken leg to the player or players of the game.

Of course to be my age, Madden is also sinonymous with video games. I remember playing my first Madden game on SNES when I was about 11 or 12. I have owned several versions on several consoles and it was cool to hear Madden's commentary while playing a game.

It will be a loss not hearing him in the booth. Wish you all the best John in your retirement.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

First Royals Game of 2009....In Review

Yesterday, I made it out to my first Royals game for 2009. I went with my friends Kyle and Lane to check out the team and the newly renovated Kauffman Stadium. Some thoughts and highlights from yesterday:

-It was COLD! It was about as cold as the game last year vs. the Twins. The temp was in the low 40s at gametime and was pretty much cold all night which made for a little shivering here and there.

-The stadium looks cool. It's a lot more open and the outfield part is very interesting. And the seats we had were awesome. We had left field seats right above the bullpen of the opponents for the evening, the Cleveland Indians. I hadn't set in true outfield seats since I lived in Seattle and the view was great.

-The game itself was a good one. The Royals won 4-2 thanks to a 3 run first inning along with a Home Run by Mike Jacobs. Zack Grienke struck out 9 batters in five scoreless innings and Joakim Soria came in in the ninth and got the save. There even was some good ribbing from some of the fans around where we were sitting of the Indians left fielder Trevor Crowe. It was really funny and has gotten me to adopt him as a player to like kind of like in football there is Sage Rosenfels.

Overall it was a great time and a 1-0 start to games I've been to. I've already got on my calender the next one I'm going to, April 25th. I will blog about that one as well and hopefully have some pics up as well.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sad Day in the World of Sports

It is a sad day in the world of sports as Harry Kalas, longtime sportscaster of the Philadelphia Phillies, along with doing some NFL radio work and commercial voiceovers, died today at the age of 73. He had one of those classic voices that worked great as a broadcaster. My experience with him was listening to highlights from NFL Films with his voiceovers and then when I moved to Seattle listening to some of the NFL games that he would do the play-by-play. He will be missed. As a tribute, here's a sampling of his work:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good Sport Award

A new feature to Reflections on Sports is the Good Sport Award. It's about sharing a story of an athlete doing something good and being recognized as a good sport. This time it goes to DB Brian Dawkins, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles and now with the Denver Broncos.

For those who don't know the story, his former team didn't want to resign him and so he left as a free agent and signed with the Broncos. He was well loved in Philly and fans didn't like the fact that the team didn't try to get him back. One such fan wrote about how upset he was on his Facebook page. Unfortunately, he also worked the Eagles organization, in a part time role, as a west gate chief. Because of his statements, he was fired.

Personally, I understand the sentiment (though I didn't agree with the expletive nature of the message) of the guy and felt bad that he lost his job. Turns out Mr. Dawkins felt bad too. Because the Broncos are playing the Eagles in Philly this year, Dawkins is giving his allotment of two game tickets as a visiting player to the man who lost his job. Here's a quote by Dawkins that he gave to the Philadelpia Daily News:

"I thought it'd be a good gesture. Had I not ... signed with Denver, that guy would still have his job. Obviously, he made a decision and out of emotion said something. He was one of probably thousands and thousands of Eagles fans who felt that way. That didn't surprise me, that someone said that on their Facebook. It did surprise me that he was let go, though ... I felt it would be a good thing, to reach out to that individual and just let him know how much I appreciate it.''

So, Brian Dawkins, you get a Good Sport Award. Keep up the good work.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another News Article on Trey Hillman

Last Sunday in the sports section of the Kansas City Star, Sam Mellinger wrote an article about Kansas City Royals manager Trey Hillman. It talked about Trey and his story, about how his first year of big league managing last year and the prep for this season. The coolest part was throughout the article it talked about Trey's faith and how it is such an important part of his life. I knew about this last year when he and GM Dayton Moore came to Midwestern Seminary during Royals Day to speak about their lives and their walk with Jesus.

This article was reassuring to me because Trey was open about how last year was a drain for him by the end of the year because he wasn't reading and studying the Bible like he wanted to. I can totally relate to that as there are times in my life where I don't have the personal devotion time like I should and it translates into not feeling connected to God like I should. It is encouraging to me that he is committing to deeper study and personal time and I hope to do the same.

I would encourage you to read the whole article. Here's the link