Thursday, December 8, 2011

Random Sports Reflections

Lot to talk about (hopefully I'll get back into a regular blogging routine in 2012) so it's bullet point time:

*I can't say that I'm disappointed about the BCS Championship Game, because it being the BCS, one should not be surprised.  I've said it before & I'll say it again, if every level of football except Division 1 football can have a playoff and do well with it, why not them too? I had several discussions on facebook about it, almost to the point that I got sick of it. I don't fault my friends who are Alabama fans who are happy about being in the national championship game but the BCS is a messed up system.  Would a playoff be perfect? No, but at least a championship would be decided on the field and not by computers and voters.  Maybe someday there will be one but we'll see.

*Lots of Tim Tebow talk going around.  It seems every week (or even every day) there is new Tebow talk.  In a lot of ways it reminds me of Brett Favre and the media attention he got in the past few years.  It seems a lot of writers and media come up with a story, slap Tim Tebow's name on it and boom.  Given the 24/7 nature of news (sports or general), it's a given.  But there comes a point when a lot of it is just rehashed news (he's not seen as the QB of the future, his faith being mocked, etc) pointing back at events that were a month or more ago.  It will be interesting to see how long this media frenzy will hold up.  When the offseason comes, will the Tebow talk still continue? Should be interesting.

*Albert Pujols signed with the Anaheim Angels (still refuse to call them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) this morning.  I can't fault him for signing the 10 year 250+ million dollar contract.  I just fault him for signing with the Angels, mainly because they're a rival of the Mariners & it means for the next 10 years (barring him waiving the no-trade clause) I'll have to root against him.  Well I guess there's Tim Tebow to root for.

Friday, November 4, 2011

How a Christian Can Be a Critic of Tim Tebow & Still Like the Guy

There have been a lot of articles (and by a lot I mean an exorbitant amount) written about Tim Tebow.  There have been a lot of them written recently.  Some of them are really good and some of them not so much.  For a lot of people, the Denver Broncos QB is a polarizing figure.  From where he went to college, to his faith, there seems to be a lot of reasons why people choose to be on opposite sides.

The problem comes when there is criticism (whether constructive or not) is placed on Tebow.  On one side, any level of criticism regardless is seen as a personal attack on him.  On the other side, people feel he gets a free pass and that he's been given a lot considering where he is and done.

Where do I stand on the matter?  Given that I am a follower of Jesus, my worldview is in line with Tebow's.  I don't know all his theological stands (I've never met him nor talked with him) but from what I've read and heard they are in line.

So do I feel that people who criticize him are persecuting him because of his faith?  Not necessarily.  Now granted there are some who are critical of him because of his faith but I'm sure they would be critical of me or any other Christian as well.  But those who share criticism (particularly constructive criticism) are doing it of Tebow the player, not Tebow the person.

Right now he is a second year NFL QB.  He has had at this point 5 NFL starts in 2 seasons.  He has shown to make some spectacular plays.  He has also looked really really bad.  He was drafted by and for a head coach in Denver who is no longer there.  He is under a head coach that didn't want him and for all intents and purposes still doesn't want him.  There are some fundamental things as a QB he needs to learn to do (read defenses, anticipate throws, throw the ball to open receivers) that are slow in developing.  Does this mean he is a bad person or that is challenging his faith?  By no means.  It's simply stating facts.

Tebow has been hurt in his development as an NFL QB because of the coaching change with the Broncos along with the NFL lockout which cut out the offseason of minicamps & a full training camp which would've benefited him greatly.  It doesn't help that Cam Newton, who came from a similar style system in college & who was once Tebow's backup at Florida before transferring, has come out of the gate like gangbusters in his rookie year.

I like Tebow, despite the fact that he went to Florida.  I think he needs to improve if he wants to be a starting QB in the NFL.  I'm sure he understands that as well and is working hard to improve.  Being critical about his timing or his tendency to take a lot of sacks is not the same thing about being critical about his faith.  A Christian can be a critic of Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos QB and still like and support Tim Tebow the person.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Decision 2011...Or The Next Step For Me

"What a long strange trip it's been."  I seem to quote Bill Walton quoting the Grateful Dead at regular instances in my life.  Once again, that seems to be the case.  To be honest, this entry has been about 4 months in the making.

When I graduated from seminary back in May, I had already been in the process of looking for a ministry position.  I loved the position that I had in Kansas City but it was an unpaid position and I needed to find a paid position.  In some ways,  it is like a free agent in a professional league.  You look around at what's out there (send out resumes), give "tryouts" to show off talent (participate in interviews) and wait to hear back on an offer.

It has been a long process.  There have been hundreds of resumes sent out.  There have been several interviews that I've done.  And there has been a lot of waiting and a lot of rejections.  I personally have gotten to know the phrases "We are going in a different direction." and "We wish you the best in your ministry." very well, even to the point of never wanting to hear or say those phrases ever again.

It has definitely been a lot of learning (or better yet relearning) patience.  There were several times throughout this process where I really thought I was about to hear a yes, that I got a certain position only to get a no.  It has been a lot of trusting God that He knew what was best for me.

Finally, today I received word.  After over four months of praying and seeking and waiting, the decision has been made.  I will be bringing my talents to.....Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Yes I will be taking a position as an Associate Campus Minister for the Spartanburg BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministries).  There are 5 universities in the Spartanburg Area and I'll be helping out on a couple of those campuses.  I'm excited about the opportunity.

There is still a lot to work out.  The position does not start until January.  That's good because there are several things that need to be taken care of before then.  One of those is the fact that at this point it is only a part time position (or better described as a part-part time, 10 hours a week).  I will need to find something else to help supplement my income.  The BCM Director has assured me that she along with the DOM (Director of Missions) of the Baptist Association in the area will work to help me in maybe getting a part time church staff position.  It might be an option to raise support but that's still to be determined.

I'm excited and thought I don't know how it's all going to work out, at least now I know what the next step is.  Looking forward to 2012 and starting the next "season" of my life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bartman and Both Sides of Forgiveness: Review of Catching Hell

Last night on ESPN was the debut of the documentary movie "Catching Hell".  Initially this movie was to be included last year in the 30 for 30 Series but got bumped.  However, they released it as the first movie in the new "season" of documentaries on ESPN and in my opinion is right up there with some of the best in the 30 for 30 series.

The story of "Catching Hell" essentially one of a scapegoat.  Although the main part of the story is about Steve Bartman, Chicago Cubs fan, there is also the story of Bill Buckner, Red Sox player that bookends the story.  In both instances, the label of scapegoat is placed because fans essentially want someone to blame for the losses that their long suffering teams had to face.

The movie itself was very good.  When it first started and the majority of the first twenty minutes was about Buckner I was kinda eh.  I was like "When are we going to get to Bartman?"  But the director, who's a Red Sox fan, tied it together and it ended up working out using Buckner in that capacity.

As some may know, growing up as a kid in Tennessee in the 80s, my allegiance to a MLB team were fluid.  In 1986, it was the first time I actually kinda kept up with it.  I liked the Red Sox and was pulling for them.  At the time, I was disappointed that they lost but didn't realize until later why I wasn't supposed to like Buckner.  Later on, I found out why and looking back now I understand why part of the blame should go to him but not all of it.  It wasn't just him who caused the team to lose but it was easy to put the full blame on him.  (Side note, in the documentary there was a clip of the postgame interview of the losing pitcher who was more than willing to throw Buckner under the bus, highly disappointed in that guy for not standing up for his teammate).  Red Sox fans for the longest time could not forgive Buckner, so much so that he had to move from Boston.

Fast forward to 2003, both the Red Sox and the Cubs were in the championship series with a chance at the World Series (side note, one of two contentions with the documentary, the movie made it seem in a sense that the Red Sox/Yanks series was over with prior to the Cubs/Marlins series, those two series were going on at the same time).  At the start of the playoffs, I predicted a Red Sox/Cubs World Series....mainly because I thought it'd be an awesome series.  Unfortunately on the AL side that didn't happen thanks to Grady Little and Aaron Boone in Game 7.

On the NL side, the Cubs had the opportunity to clinch a World Series berth in Game 6 of the NLCS.  They had the lead into the 8th inning when an innoculous foul ball hit by Luis Castillo is interferred with by a Cubs fan.  Later on in the inning, an error by Alex Gonzalez extends the inning and from that the Marlins blast open the game and end on winning Game 6 to force a Game 7.

At the time, I thought two things.  One, how in the world could a fan of the home team reach out onto the field when the home team was playing defense?  Second, what was he thinking?

After the fact, was it told who the person was & there was a firestorm from it.  Local media then national media picked up on the story.  Everyone knew about him but no one knew him.  And he wasn't talking, he issued a statement that was read by his brother in law but other than that nothing.  The Cubs ended up losing the series and the long streak of no World Series victories continued.

I had thought that Cubs fans were mad at Bartman more so after Game 7 but watching the documentary it was evident fans in the stadium were mad that night.  Home video from inside the stadium showed how hostile "The Friendly Confines" became.  The documentary does a great job of incorporating that footage into the story.  I think the main things that I picked up from that footage are that from an angle in the upper deck right over the really does look like Bartman interfered with OF Moises Alou in making the catch (there was long dispute whether Alou really had a chance at it) and that people really hated Bartman for that.

Since that incident, there has been no public words from him.  Aside from an reporter trying to track him down in 2005, there has been seemingly no contact with him.  He has seemingly disappeared.  And in some ways, it has made it even easier to keep protraying him as a scapegoat for that series.

What is a scapegoat by the way?  It refers to an Old Testament ritual that was established for the Israelites after they had left Egypt.  As part of the process for atoning for the sins of the people on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would have two goats brought to him.  One of the goats would be sacrificed in response to the need for atonement.  The other goat would be presented in front of the people.  The high priest would then lay hands on the goat and that symbolized the sins of the people being placed on the goat.  The goat was then released out into the wilderness, hence the scapegoat.

(The other point of contention with the documentary was that they had a female Unitarian minister explain what a scapegoat was...could've got someone with a little more authority to speak on that but that's my opinion)

The documentary ends showing Buckner throwing out the first pitch at Opening Day at Fenway Park in 2008 after the Red Sox had won the World Series for the second time in four years.  It was a touching moment because Buckner was shown to have forgiven the media (who he blamed, not the fans for the troubles) and the media and fans forgiving him.  I had forgotten about that scene and was really cool to see.  With Bartman, there is a question mark still left.  The director thinks (and maybe rightly so) that Cubs fans will forgive Bartman when the Cubs win the World Series.

After watching the documentary, there were several things that came to mind that I tweeted about.  One, what would it have been like if Twitter or iPhones had been around?  In 2003, social media wasn't what it was today.  There were blogs but not to the extent there is now.  Texting hadn't really taken off as a means of communication.  Second, how would it have been different if the play had taken place in like the 1st inning or the 3rd inning instead of the 8th inning?

I think the main one was "What if Bartman had spoken up right after it or that offseason?"  I think it's one thing to issue a statement, it's another to speak out.  I wonder in some ways if Bartman hasn't forgiven Chicago and Cubs fans for how they treated him that night.  I wonder if he still holds a grudge and if that isn't a part of why he has never talked about it.  I don't know.  I do know that forgiveness is best when it's both ways.  God calls us to forgive one another.  When situations happen and when we are wronged, we are to forgive as He has forgiven us.  Sometimes the other person will not forgive but we are still to forgive them.  We are to do our part to reconcile.

It would be cool for this story to have a happy resolve.  That would be up to the city of Chicago and Cubs fans and also to Steve Bartman.  There can be a great example of forgiveness and redemption here.  Hopefully, someday that can be seen.

"Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."  (Colossians 3:13 ESV)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Predictions for 2011 NFL Season

It has been over a month since my last post.  I really need to write more.  Maybe this will be the start.  Considering that the NFL season starts tomorrow, I guess I should get in my picks (sure to be wrong) for 2011.

NFC East
NY Giants

NFC North
Green Bay

NFC South
New Orleans
Tampa Bay

NFC West
St. Louis
San Francisco

Wild Card:  New Orleans, Detroit

AFC East
New England
NY Jets

AFC North

AFC South

AFC West
San Diego
Kansas City

Wild Card:  Cleveland, Houston

Super Bowl:  Tennessee over Atlanta

Friday, July 29, 2011

CM Punk and The Art of Making an Impact

(First off, let me give this preface.  I know that to say that that professional wrestling is a sport is a bit of a stretch but just go with me on this one.)

I enjoy watching professional wrestling (or sports entertainment as some like to call it) from time to time.  Watching wrestling usually goes in cycles for me.  When I was a kid, I was a huge wrestling fan.  Growing up in the 80s, I was a big fan of Hulk Hogan, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior.  During my junior high/high school years, it was Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.  When I was in college, my watching of wrestling was off and on but I kept tabs on it now and then.  Since college, I have went in cycles.  There are times when I watch a lot of it and other times not so much.  To this day, I will still watch old matches in large part due to the nostalgia factor.

Recently (because I've had more access to cable), I've been watching more wrestling.  I would attribute this in due part to the "storyline" of one wrestler.  His name is CM Punk.  For those who don't know who that is, he's a wrestler from Chicago, IL.  Prior to working in the WWE, he wrestled in several wrestling organizations around the world.  He was been world champion in various organization, including several times in the WWE.  His "gimmick" is tied into his real life in that he is straight edge.  The straight edge lifestyle is one in which a person refrains from alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs.  There are others who hold to this lifestyle in sports including Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson.

Punk has played both the "face" (good guy) and the "heel" (bad guy) during his time in the WWE.  When he was a "face", his straight edge life was protrayed as a positive thing in which his "drug" was competition and winning.  When he was a "heel", his straight edge life was protrayed as a negative thing in which he was holier than thou with the fans and the "face" wrestlers.

Recently, his character had been kind of floundering and wasn't among the "top card" wrestlers.  However, that changed when he was named the #1 Contender to the WWE title.  This also coincided with the fact that his contract with the company was about to expire in real life.  So on June 27th, CM Punk came out on Monday Night Raw and told the fact that his contract was expiring.  He then went on to say that he was leaving the company and taking the belt with him.

What really stood out was the "shoot" message he gave at the end of the show.  A "shoot" is a real not fake thing.  What he did that night was a "worked shoot", which meant he had permission to say what he said but it was pretty real.  Usually if a worked shoot is done well, people don't know the difference and that night was a clear example of that.

That night onward leading up to the pay-per-view event "Money in the Bank", CM Punk created a buzz that even drew into mainstream media.  By the time of the event in his hometown, it was at a fever pitch.  His entrance to the ring was one of the loudest I have ever heard.  If you get a chance, watch his entrance.  There's no fireworks, nothing super flashy.  But the response of the crowd was loud.  Punk went on to win the match against John Cena and took the belt with him.  This has led to the storyline of there being two champions and will be settled I'm sure at the next PPV.

What got me thinking was about was does this translate into reaching out into a community with the Gospel and if so how?  What lessons (if any) can we learn?

1.) Let the Gospel make an impact.  We, as followers of Jesus, are called to share the Gospel.  We are not responsible for what happens afterwards.  We leave that up to God.  God will use our words and actions to change hearts and minds.  He is the one, through the work of the Holy Spirit, that makes that impact happen.  We are called to be faithful to share.

2) When Christ is at work, there will be a buzz.  When the impact of the Gospel happens in a community, it's hard not to tell others about it.  Word spreads all around.  People talk about it, even those you don't expect to talk about it.  It has an impact in people's lives.

3) Keep the message in the forefront.  After winning the title, Punk kept popping up at various events with the title to let people know he was around and had the belt.  As followers of Jesus, we're to keep the message of the Gospel out there, popping up in various places as we travel along sharing our stories.

It will be interesting to see how the storyline goes with CM Punk and the title.  But it'll be more interesting to see how God uses believers to continue to reach the world with the Gospel in the various contexts that He has placed us.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The "Ricky Bobby" Prayer: Reflecting on the Prayer from Saturday's Nationwide Race

During the summer months, there's not much sports related news taking place.  Baseball is in the middle of their season but it's not to the point of pennant races.  Basketball, football and hockey are in their offseasons.  MLS is quietly going on with little fanfare.  The only other major sporting event going on is racing.  In other words, it's pretty quiet.  So when I heard about what happened a few days ago at a race in Nashville, it caught my attention in several ways.

I had previously blogged (2 years ago) about how NASCAR is the only major sport that has an invocation or prayer prior to their event.  This is the case both at the major circuit (Sprint Cup) and their secondary circuit (Nationwide Series).  Last Saturday, there was a Nationwide Series race at the Nashville Motorspeedway.  Like other races, there was a pre-race invocation prayer.  I personally didn't see the prayer live but I later watched it on replay.

The pastor who led the prayer, Pastor Joe Nelms of Family Baptist Church of Lebanon, TN proceeded to give a prayer that has been talked about on sports talk shows, SportsCenter and newspapers across the country.  In his prayer, he gave thanks for the racing fuel, for some of the car owners providing engines for the cars, the tire company.  He also thanked God for his "smokin’ hot wife tonight, Lisa, and my two children, Eli and Emma, or as we like to call the, ‘The Little E’s".  He finished his prayer by saying "In Jesus’ name, Boogity Boogity Boogity, amen."

Here's the clip from YouTube of the prayer:

Some newspapers rightly described it as the pastor channeling Ricky Bobby in the prayer.  For those who don't know, Ricky Bobby is a fictional character from a movie called Talledega Nights which starred Will Ferrell as a race car driver.  Ferrell's character prayed a somewhat similar prayer saying grace at the dinner table.

To be honest, when I watched this I felt uncomfortable.  After watching it, I thought to myself "Would I pray like that if I was given the opportunity?"  The answer I came up with was "No."  I just wouldn't feel comfortable praying in such a manner as Pastor Nelms did.  It does make me think of how I pray privately with God.  Do I honor God with my prayers?  As a follower of Christ, I should be able to come before God and talk to Him like a child to a father.  Just as a child is comfortable talking to one's father, there is also a level of respect there too.

Did Pastor Nelms get attention?  Yes.  The question is what will he do with this attention?  Will his "Ricky Bobby" prayer help him as he shares the Gospel?  That would be a great question to ask him.  In the meantime, I know for me it has reminded me of how I pray to God and what I pray about to Him.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Lesson on Selflessness With a Baseball: Derek Jeter's 3000th Hit

There are moments in sports that are special and historic.  There are moments that happen spontaneously and others that build up to the moment.  They are those "where were you?" moments.  One of those happened over the weekend.  Derek Jeter, shortstop and captain of the New York Yankees (a team which I cannot stand but I respect him), had his 3,000 hit.  Going into Saturday's game, he had 2,998 hits so it was only a matter of time before he got to 3,000.

Going against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and starting pitcher David Price (who's originally from Middle Tennessee), Jeter got hit 2,999 in the first inning to set up his next at-bat and a shot at 3,000.  I caught wind of it via Twitter and turned on my PS3 to watch it happen live on  I somehow expected a hit.  What I did not expect was a home run.  Sure enough, Jeter hits a home run into left center field for his 3,000 hit.  That was only the 2nd time out of 28 men to reach the milestone that it was done via home run (the other was Wade Boggs).  Jeter ended up going 5 for 5 and winning the game.

To me, the cool part of the story came out later.  Christian Lopez, a 23 year old cell phone salesman, was the one who ended up with the ball.  He got the tickets for his birthday from his girlfriend.  As soon as he got the ball, he was whisked away by security to the Steinbrenner's suite.  When asked what he wanted in return for the ball, Lopez said nothing and was willing to give the ball to Jeter for free.  Lopez did end up getting stuff, including season tickets in the Legends section (which is some big time stuff) for the rest of the season including playoffs, a couple of signed bats and jerseys from Jeter, spent some time in the YES Network booth and got to meet Jeter in person.

It's a cool act that Lopez did.  There are a lot of people who have said he should have held onto the ball and sold it.  There have been some who have even called him a moron for doing this because he doesn't make a lot of money at his job and has a lot of debt from school.

Personally, I definitely don't think he's a moron.  I think what he did was a pretty stand up act.  He looked out for someone else's interest ahead of his.  It's a good reminder that those of us who follow Jesus should put others' interest ahead of ours.  Lopez was rewarded anyway for his selfless act.  For followers of Jesus, our ultimate reward is in heaven but we also get to enjoy benefits of serving Him now.

Hat's off to you Mr. Lopez.  You made this anti-Yankee fan stand up and salute you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sports Analogy: The Draft

I thought about writing this post last month when the NFL draft was going on but it's still appropriate with the upcoming drafts of the other major sports (NBA, MLB, NHL).  When thinking about the draft, it works well with the situation of life that I'm in right now.  I just finished my Master's of Divinity degree and am in the process of looking for a full time ministry position.  In many ways, it is similar to a college athlete who finished his collegiate career and waiting for the time of the draft.

There is the declaration that you are available, the answering of questions, the checking over of one's background and credentials.  And then there is the wait.  We see the players as they wait to hear their name called and find out where they will be going to play.  In a lot of ways, that is how I'm feeling right now.  Sending out resumes, answering questions, and waiting.  Waiting to get a call saying I have been hired, that I've been "drafted".

Just as certain teams look for a particular need to fill for their teams, the same is true in ministry.  God has designed me with gifts and abilities that work well with certain ministries (college/young adult, discipleship).  And I know that He has the right place for me to serve.  I just pray and wait for the call.

Wherever I get "drafted", I'm excited about the next phase of my life and what God has in store for me.  Until then, I wait for the call...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Diamond Club and a Walk Off Win: Sixth Royals Game of 2011....In Review

It was about time for another Royals game.  As my time in Kansas City is coming to the end (because I'm graduating from seminary), I wanted to make sure that I got in at least one more Royals game.  So to celebrate that (and because my friend Kyle came in to visit), we, along with Lane and Tyler, headed out to the K to see the Royals take on the Texas Rangers.

We got some really sweet seats off of Stubhub.  They were Diamond Club tickets (so some of the really sweet seats behind home plate) for almost half off.  The tickets also included premium parking (which was pretty sweet).  When we got to the ballpark, we got to park literally right across from the ballpark (inbetween the K and Arrowhead).  We went through the Home Plate Gate and headed into the Diamond Club section.  It was really cool.  The club section has a suite area that has its own restaurants and seating area.  We sat at a table and someone came up and took our orders.  We could even have started a tab (we didn't).  I had a slice of oven bricked pizza (a BBQ brisket pizza) that was really good and some Dr. Pepper and watched the Rangers do BP.

When the game started, we headed over to our seats.  We were 12 rows back from the field (not counting the BATS section which is directly behind home plate) on the first base side (think where the left handers bat from and that's the section we sat in).  The seats had a cushion built in to them and there was in seat ordering of food as well.  I ended up ordering a foot long hot dog (that was really good too).  The game itself was interesting.  There was a HR by the Rangers in the 2nd inning and for most of the game that was the score.  Luke Hochevar, starting pitcher for the Royals, pitched well aside from the HR he gave up.  He ended up pitching 8 2/3 innings before they went to the bullpen.  The Royals finally got the clutch hit in the bottom of the 9th to tie it up and they went to extra innings.  Then in the bottom of the 10th, Jeff Francoeur came through with the walk off base hit to win the game 2-1 in 10 innings.  The winning pitcher, Greg Holland, was called up that day from Triple A and pitched 1 1/3 innings.

After that win, the Royals were now 5-1 in games that I've attended.  After my time in Kansas City, I've grown to enjoy watching baseball even more.  I will miss watching games at the K.  We'll see where God leads me next.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Buck Night & Fireworks Friday: Fifth Royals Game of 2011...In Review

Yesterday was my second Royals game in a row to attend and fifth of the season.  I went with a couple of guys from church and got to take in another Buck Night/Fireworks Friday.  Buck night is $1 hot dogs, peanuts and small cokes and then Fireworks Friday is a fireworks show after the game.

Yesterday was also a Baseball Equipment drive that the team was doing to collect money and used baseball gear for those who need it.  And for a $20 donation, you could get a brown bag with an autographed baseball inside.  I tried it and ended up with a Jason Kendall autographed ball.  Eh, not who I wanted but it's something.

It was also the debut of superstar prospect 1B Eric Hosmer.  He was called up after Thursday's game and the sports world was buzzing afterwards.  His name became a trending topic on twitter.  People were making up "Hosmer Facts" in the same was as they're "Chuck Norris Facts".  For his first game, he didn't do too bad.  He helped turn a double play in the 1st inning.  He had two walks & a stolen base.  He did strike out looking two times to finish the night 0-2 (I will say at least one of his called third strikes looked like ball four).

The game itself was a good one for the most part.  Alex Gordon hit a home run.  Sean O'Sullivan pitched a pretty good game (a quality start).  Unfortunately one bad inning proved to be the downfall as the Royals lost 3-2.  They now have a record of 4-1 in games I attend.

It was a fun night for the most part and I'll miss going out to the K once I graduate in a few weeks.

Friday, May 6, 2011

School Day at the K: Fourth Royals Game of 2011....In Review

It had been awhile since the last time I had been to the ball park and I was itching to get back out there again.  So me and Lane made the trek out yesterday to the K to see the Royals take on the Baltimore Orioles.  It was School Day at the K which meant lots and lots of little kids.  We learned our lesson and got tickets in a section not in that area.  In fact we got Dugout Box seats for really cheap, they were 4 rows from the field.  They are probably the closest I've ever been to home plate & the field.

We were fortunate as we were late getting to the ballpark because of class (it was a day game, 1:10 scheduled start).  However there was rain that morning and on the way to the ballpark so there was a delay.  When we got inside the ballpark, the rain pretty much ended.  There ended up being about a 45 minute delay to start the game.  Once the game got started, there was no rain until we got back into the car at the end of the game.

The game itself was a good one...for the Royals.  Aside from giving up a run in the 1st inning, starter Bruce Chen pitched a really great game.  And the offense really came through early and often, including a 4 run 1st inning which even included a play when the sun peaked out and it caught the Orioles off guard and it dropped right down.

The scoring got capped off with a home run in the 8th by Melky Cabrera.  The Royals went on to win 9-1.  The cool thing also about the game was that Lane and I got on TV several times, mainly like blink and you miss but if you pause it at certain points you can make us out pretty clearly.  That was cool.

So right now the Royals are 4-0 in games I attend.  I joked with Lane that the Royals should bring me on the payroll in some capacity since they win every time I go to their games....just a thought.  :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Flair for the Dramatics: Third Royals Game of 2011...In Review

On Thursday night, I went to my third Royals game of the year.  This time I went with my girlfriend, who is in town for a few days visiting.  It wasn't the best weather for baseball.  It was cold, windy, and rainy (the not raining hard but light rain/mist).  There were only about 9,000+ at the ballpark that night.

It was the first time I had been to a game during the week at night where they really weren't any promotions (except for the all you can eat seats).  The seats that we got were super cheap and were essentially front row in the lower level, third base side near the foul pole.

The Royals were playing division rival Cleveland (alas no Trevor Crowe as he's on the DL).  It was the last game of the series.  It was the second time in as many games I saw Sean O'Sullivan start (he started the game last Saturday too).  It was a pretty uneventful game for the most part.  I think weather played a part in that.

It came down to the 9th inning, Royals down 2-1.  They hadn't led for the entire game.  But they came through on some clutch hitting and ended up with a walk off hit by Melky Cabrera.  They ended up winning 3-2.  It was an exciting ending to say the least.  Aaron Crow picked up his 2nd major league win.

The Royals are now 3-0 in games I've been to this year.  I don't know how many more games I'll be able to make but hopefully it'll be as exciting as the end of this one was.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Divided Loyalties: Mariners vs. Royals: Second Royals Game of 2011...In Review

It was another great day to head to the ballpark and so yesterday (Saturday) I did.  It was a convergence of several things to make it a reason to get out to the ballpark.  First, it is major league baseball, so that's a good reason.  Two, it was free jersey day and as been tradition I've went to the previous three years in a row.  Finally, it was a game against my other "home" team, the Seattle Mariners.  Add all that up, and it was enough reasons to make it out to the ballpark.

It was another early start to a Saturday game (12:10pm first pitch) so that meant getting out to the ball park early to make sure to get a jersey.  It was cold out for sure.  It had rained the previous day and dropped the temps and the wind was blowing.  It felt like football weather more than baseball weather.  However, once we got to our seats (lower level, third base side) it felt okay as we weren't getting the wind blown much on us.  Plus right before the game started, the sun came out and that helped warm things up.

The free jersey was a road (grey) jersey.  It was cool looking.  I still say my favorite free one was the powder blue Billy Butler jersey I got.  There's just something cool about having a jersey with a name and number on the back of it.

This was the first year that I did not wear Mariners gear to the game.  I went with Royals gear.  The Royals have been off to a hot start and I wanted to support that.  As always when it comes to these games, my loyalties are divided.  I've grown to love the Royals and I love the Mariners so it's always bittersweet when they play each other.  I'm happy on the one side and sad on the other.

The game itself was a pretty good one.  It was a pretty close game until the 5th inning.  Seattle had their ace, Felix Hernandez pitching while the Royals had Sean O'Sullivan their 5th starter who was starting his first game of the season after starting out the year in the bullpen.  The Royals offense got the job done while the Mariners offense did not.  Some key moments/stats in the game:

*Alcides Escobar has some really huge defensive plays including robbing Ichiro of a hit (which is really hard to do)
*Speaking of Ichiro, he went 0-5 snapping his multi-hit streak he had at the "K" which was the longest of anyone at that stadium, breaking the record a few days ago that George Brett held.
*Got to see Tim Collins pitch, the dude is short but he can throw.  He looks like a mix between Hideo Nomo and Tim Lincecum in his windup, it is crazy looking.  The Royals have a bullpen with three rookies (Collins, Jeffress, Crow) who can seriously throw the ball and throw it hard.
*The Mariners left 11 guys on base and scored 0 runs.  The Royals scored 7 runs and left only 4 on base.

The Royals ended up winning the game 7-0.  With that win, they went to 10-4, which is the 3rd best start in team history.  Last time they did this well was back in 2003.  The Royals went to 2-0 in games I've attended this year and record in series of games between the M's and Royals since 2008 (moving to KC) it is a split with each team winning 3 game apiece.  It should make for an excited next few weeks as my time in K.C. winds down.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Albert Pujols and 60 Minutes

Last night on 60 Minutes there was a piece on Albert Pujols, star first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals.  It was about his time that he spends reaching out to people both in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.  He is one of those players that I have a lot of respect for and who I've followed since he came into MLB a decade ago.  The more I've heard his story, the more I've seen how God has used Pujols through his testimony.  I recently got Pujols' biography that came out in February (and was cowritten but Tim Ellsworth, who works at my alma mater Union University) and I look forward to reading it.

Here's a link to the piece from last night

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring is Here and So is Baseball: First Royals Game of 2011....In Review

It's spring and it's time for baseball again.  I had really gotten tired of winter so it was nice for spring to come around and with it the start of baseball season.  With this being my last few months in KC, I want to try and make as many games as I can as I don't know where I'll be in a few months so I made sure to be at the ballpark for the first homestand.  It also happened to be a doubleheader as they also were going to have the "Futures Game" between the Royals AA (Northwest Arkansas) and the AAA team (Omaha Storm Chasers).

Because of this, it was a day game on a Saturday.  Lane and I made the trip to the ball park and it was a pretty easy ride out.  There wasn't any real traffic out and got into the ballpark rather easily.  There were some changes between last year and this one.  First off, they have free programs they give out instead of buying a program (which means I was one of the last ones in history to win the autograph in the program contest).  Second, there are some different sponsors out in the signage (including the Fountain seats not called the Dri Duck seats anymore).  And third, the Royals switched bullpens (now out in left field instead of right field).

It was free magnet schedule day so that was cool too.  The game itself was a decent one against the Anaheim Angels (I refuse to call them Los Angeles Angels).  It was a back and forth game with the teams trading leads.  I got to see one of the young phenom pitchers in Aaron Crow pitch.  I will say he was really good.  He seems as good as advertised.  Royals scored in the bottom of the 8th with new Royal Matt Treanor coming through along with Chris Getz.  Treanor is awesome in my book because his walk up music is The A-Team theme.  That is awesome.  Soria came in the 9th to shut it down and pick up the win, which was Crow's first career win.  Ironically, it's the first time since May of '09 that the Royals have been above .500 (they were never above .500 all of last year).

After about 30-45 minutes, the second game started.  It was cool seeing all the young stars playing.  I was really impressed by Mike Montgomery, pitcher for Omaha.  He had 4 no-hit innings.  Lane and I lasted to the end of the 5th before calling it a day, partly because we both got sunburnt.

It was a good start to the year and looking forward to seeing some more games before the end of my time in Kansas City

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Comparing Charlie Sheen & "Pacman" Jones: A Case Study

Given the news that's been going on the past several days regarding Charlie Sheen, I've been thinking a lot about the way he's acted and the things he's said.  I've tried to figure out the best way to address it.  And then comes along an article from Yahoo Sports on a person who has been written about several times on this blog:  Adam "Pacman" Jones.  I figured it'd be a great time to address the two.

Charlie Sheen, like "Pacman" several years ago, pretty much is living life with reckless abandon.  Sheen is partying it up both inside his home and outside of it, said in interviews some ridiculous things, & pretty much exlemplifying the motto "eat drink & merry".  On the outside he's protraying this "I don't care about anything, I'm enjoying my life" persona but deep down there has to be a lot of hurt and pain.

It seems that Sheen is on a crash course and seemingly is okay with it.  I thought this was the case with "Pacman" as well but thankfully in Adam Jones' case I was wrong.  Jones has stayed out of trouble since he joined up with the Bengals.  In the Yahoo article, it talks about the changes he's made in his life including cutting out going to the clubs and spending more time with his fiancee and kids.  He's quoted in the article as saying "What am I sorry for?  There are a million things.  I’m sorry for everything.”

I don't know if at this point Jones has a personal relationship with Jesus.  The article does point out that it is a process that Jones is going through and he's not all the way there.  But it is encouraging.  From the man that gave the quote "It ain't no sin to go to the strip club" to be where he is now is encouraging and I hope that it continues.  And I wish the same for Sheen as well.   I do hope at some point Sheen can turn things around and begin a relationship with Christ.  Then indeed he will be winning.

(The Yahoo article on Jones can be found here)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Using the Platform...Trevor Bayne and the Daytona 500

We as sports fan or just people in general love stories about people who come out of nowhere and are successful.  Those who overcome the odds to win.  We like hearing those kind of stories.  As believers, we also like it when those people who are successful recognize God in the process...even more so when we know more about their story and life.

Trevor Bayne is an example of this.  Before Sunday at around 4:00pm, I didn't know who he was.  You could have put him in a lineup with other NASCAR drivers and I could pick him out only because he'd be the only one I didn't recognize.  But after Sunday at around 4:00pm, I found out more.  He's 20 years old & a native Tennessean like myself (he's from Knoxville).  He had only raced in his second Sprint Cup race ever and he had just won the Daytona 500.  From what I watched, he ran a great race and deserved to win.

In Victory Lane, he was excited and shared that excitement.  During one of the many interviews post race, he said "We said a prayer before.  We pray a lot, and we expect a lot of things, but this just shows how powerful God is."  I was like, "Ah that's cool."  But didn't think nothing of it.

Then the next day, I did some looking around about Bayne.  Come to find out, he is a very strong follower of Jesus.  He has a twitter account (@tbayne21) and prior to and after the race was tweeting about his faith and verses of scripture that he had been reading.  I've read transcripts of interviews that's he's done since the race where he shares about his faith in Jesus.

A lot of times we see and hear athletes talk about God and Jesus.  Sometimes we wonder if they mean what they say, especially when the succeed.  That's between them and God.  But when someone whether they're known or not known is sharing their faith, that's encouraging, especially someone like Trevor Bayne.  I love working with young adults and seeing them grow in their faith.  It's nice to see someone like Trevor who is out there and using the platform God has given him to share his testimony.  May we use the platforms that God has given us to likewise share.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Prediction

It's time again for the Super Bowl, Super Bowl XLV.  I had an interesting picking time this postseason.  I was .500 until the Conference Championship round when i picked both games correctly.  Coming into this game, I'm 6-4 picking games.

This year's matchup is the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Green Bay Packers.  Two teams known for their toughness and their defenses, though they both have pretty good offenses.  Pittsburgh has won the Super Bowl twice in the last five seasons while Green Bay hasn't won since the '96 season.

I'll make this short and sweet.  I don't like Pittsburgh.  I still think back to Super Bowl XL where the refs pretty much gave the game to them against the Seahawks.  And I usually go with a rule that if I don't like a team, I'm picking against them.  Even though the Madden simulator had them winning (and they've been right except for once the past six years or so), I think one key element will play a huge factor.  Starting Center Maurkice Pouncey is out for the game.  Given the Pack's 3-4 D, it'll be tough for a backup center to hold off B.J. Raji.

I'm going with the Pack and Aaron Rodgers (part of my fantasy football team [K.C. Masterpieces] that won the championship in the Speed Kills league) to get the championship.

Packers 27 Steelers 17

Friday, January 28, 2011

End of an Era: Reflections on Jeff Fisher and Titans

I was taken aback when last night I heard that Jeff Fisher and the Titans were parting ways.  After a few weeks ago it seemed that Fisher was going to be the coach for next season, it changed.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I remember when Fisher became the coach of the then Houston Oilers back in 1994.  He has been the coach of the team that became the Titans and a team that me and people from Tennessee could call our own.  He took the team to the Super Bowl and was one yard away from having a chance to win it.  There have been ups and downs.

I like Jeff Fisher as a coach but I'm okay with him leaving.  At some point, there should be a change.  I wouldn't be surprised in a year or so he's back coaching.  And I think he would be successful.  I also think that the Titans will be successful as well.  I think they will find the right coach and the team will rally behind the coach and I think that they will have a chance to make the playoffs next season.

Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 Conference Championship Picks

It's time to make my picks for the AFC & NFC Championship Games.  It's funny so far I've been a combined .500 so far this year in the playoff (4-4).  The odds are that means I'll pick one right and one wrong....or I could pick both correct or get both wrong.  So we'll see...

The first game is the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.  These two long time rivals are facing each other only for the second time in the playoffs (the last time was in 1941).  These two split the season series matchup.  The Bears beat the Packers in the first matchup while the Packers won in the last week of the season to get into the playoffs.

After early season bumps, both teams turned it on later in the season.  The Bears found somewhat of a balance between pass and run and their defense is as strong as it always is.  The Packers fought through injuries to key players and are riding a hot streak into and through the playoffs.

The two key questions are the following:  Can the Bears trust Jay Cutler?  Can the Packers win three road playoff games?

In thinking through who to pick in this game, two factors play into it.  One, the Bears beat the Seahawks, one of the two teams I root for.  Two, I had Aaron Rodgers on my fantasy football team (the one that has won 4 championships in 10 years).  With those two factors in play, I picking the Packers to win.

Packers 17 Bears 13

The late game is the AFC Championship game between the New York Jets and Pittsburgh.  They faced each other in the regular season with the Jets getting the win.

The Jets are the definition of up and down.  They have the talent but they also squander it on numerous occasions.  The Steelers overcame the loss of Big Ben early to end up the #2 seed.  Both teams have really good defenses.  Both teams have offenses that can make plays.

This matchup I really don't care about at all.  I don't really like either team.  But I do respect Pittsburgh's coach Mike Tomlin.  And I don't respect the way the Jets talk and act.  If I have to pick between these two, I'm going with the Steelers.

Steelers 24 Jets 10

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trash Talk: Is It Really Entertaining?

I think I've been on a blogging roll of late.  It helps that I have some time to it, plus there have been some topics to talk about.  One that has recently stood out was last week's playoff games, particularly in the AFC.  Both in the Ravens/Steelers and Jets/Patriots there was a lot of words being said from both sides.  What seemed different from the usual "We're the better team" or "We guarantee we're going to win", there was more vulgar and harsh words and actions being used.

For instance, Terrell Suggs of the Ravens wore a shirt that showed him giving a finger (the middle one in particular) to the city of Pittsburgh.  Then you had Antonio Cromartie of the Jets calling Tom Brady an expletative (I'm not even going to mention what it is).  Then Bart Scott of the Jets, in reference to comments that Patriots WR Wes Welker made in reference to Scott's coach Rex Ryan, said that Welker's "days in a uniform will be numbered.", insuating that he'd take him out of the game.

On Monday, I was listening to one of my favorite sports talk shows out of Nashville online, and they were talking about this.  All three of them agreed that it was fine and was in fact entertaining and shouldn't be legislated out (the NFL over the weekend sent memos to teams saying to tone down the trash talking).  When I heard this, I was disappointed.  How is calling someone something inappropriate entertaining?  Same goes for flipping the middle finger at a city?

Words do matter and they can affect a lot of things.  Personally, I think it's more entertaining what happens on the field rather than words that are said off the field.  Words do have an impact.  I know personally how much of an impact words have in people's lives and what my interaction is with them.  As a follower of Jesus, I'm reminded of the words that Jesus himself said in Matthew 12:34b where He said "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks".  What's in my heart is reflected on what comes out of my mouth.  When I'm following after Jesus like I should be, it will be reflected in my words and actions.

When I hear trash talk like this past weekend, I'm not entertained, I'm saddened.  I hope that there are people who can speak into those players' lives and show them Christ.  Let the product on the field be the entertainment, let the conduct off the field be more respectful.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Interesting and Cool Experiences Last Week

Last week I had two cool things happen to me that I wanted to share with you, my faithful readers.

The first was this.  To preface, I follow Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Twitter.  This past Monday, he tweeted that the first 25 people to e-mail the publishing company that published his book "Win Forever" would get a free copy of it.  I thought to myself "Why not?" and so I did.  A few minutes later, I get an e-mail back from a representative of the publishing company saying they would love to send me a free copy and asked for my mailing address.  A few days later, I get the book sent FedEx and it didn't cost me a thing, not even for shipping and handling.  That was pretty cool.

The second cool thing also came about initially through Twitter.  One of the guys who works at the radio station that is the broadcast home of the Tennessee Titans & also works for Titans Radio as their "insider" Jonathan Hutton, tweeted this past Tuesday that he was looking for someone to write an article for Titans Radio website.  All season, they have this section called the 12th Man and they have fans submit articles and post them.  Hutton was asking for someone to do it for January.  I thought to myself again "Why not?"  So I e-mailed him about being interested in writing the article.  I get an e-mail that evening saying I was selected to write it and gave me the parameters on it.  I wrote the article in about 15 minutes, edited it and sent it off.  On Thursday, it was published and is on the website now.  Here's a link to the article here.

It was some pretty cool experiences and with some stories worth sharing.

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Divisional Round Predictions

It's time for more predictions, the Divisional Round is here and last week I went 2-2.  Ironically it was the first game and the last game of the weekend that I got correctly.  This weekend has some intriguing matchups with some hard decisions as to who I will pick.  So here's the picks:

The first matchup of the weekend is Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh.  If there was any matchup this weekend that I didn't like either team, this would be it.  I kind of wish this was an instance where it was like pro wrestling and there was a double disqualification and both don't advance.  However, that's not the case.  Baltimore came off a win against Kansas City.  Pittsburgh enjoyed the bye week off and got some rest to help with some of their injuries.  A key stat is that Baltimore's coach John Harbaugh has never beaten Pittsburgh when Ben Roethilsberger starts for the Steelers....he's starting for the Steelers.

Steelers 24 Ravens 17

The primetime game on Saturday is Green Bay vs. Atlanta.  They met in the regular season in one of the marquee games of the year and the Falcons came out on top.  Aaron Rodgers got his first playoff win last weekend on the road against Philly and it was the first time Green Bay had won a road playoff game since the late 90s.  Matt Ryan has lost only two times as a starter at the Georgia Dome (20-2) however, he lost his previous playoff game in a shootout against Kurt Warner and the Atlanta Falcons a couple of years ago.  This will probably be the game of the weekend.  I like both teams.  I could see either of these teams in the Super Bowl.  But given propensity to who I'm picking in the next game.  I'm going to say that Rodgers and Green Bay get revenge and eek out a victory.

Packers 27 Falcons 24

The early Sunday game features Seattle vs. Chicago.  Last week Seattle won in a shootout over the defending champs New Orleans.  They put together one of their best games of the season.  The running game came alive and QB Matt Hasselbeck channeled the 2005 version and had a big game.  Now they travel to Chicago to take on the Bears.  These two teams met earlier in the year and Seattle won that matchup.  The Bears are a different team but so are the Seahawks.  One key stat is that first time starters in the playoffs since 2003 are 5-19.  On top of that, this is the first postseason game in the career of Jay Cutler, college or pro.  And then a thought, prior to the playoffs starting I said that these Seahawks remind me of the 08 Cardinals, inconsistent in the regular season, turn it on at the end and make a deep playoff run.  Last week didn't do anything to deter me from that thought.  I'm going homer and picking the Hawks.

Seahawks 27 Bears 17

The final game of the divisional round is between the NY Jets and New England.  This has become of the big rivalries in the NFL with both sides spouting off at the mouth.  I know there are a lot of people who can't stand New England.  I don't mind them that much.  I used to like them but after the 2009 game against the Titans when Belicheck ran up the score I don't really like them anymore.  But, I'm really not a fan of the Jets.  So simply put, I'd like to see what happened the last time these two teams met happen again.  Pats roll.

Patriots 42 Jets 17

So there you have it, I'm thinking a Packers/Seahawks NFC Championship game and a Steelers/Patriots AFC Championship game.  So lets see if I end up right or not.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Syncretism and LeBron James: Mixing Karma and God

There are times when I should know to not be surprised.  When it comes to LeBron James, I guess I still get surprised by some of the things he says.  The latest thing he said was in a tweet Tuesday night that came out after his former team the Cleveland Cavaliers got blown out by the Los Angeles Lakers.  James tweeted the following:  "Crazy. Karma is a b****. Gets you every time. It's not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!"

When I first read the tweet (which was later retweeted by Michael Smith, ESPN columnist), I didn't know the context of the Cavs/Lakers game.  I just read it straight up.  My first thought was "You're mixing God and karma....they really don't go together."  I wondered if he understood that or if to him they're the same thing or if he thinks God uses karma or whatever.  When I found out the context, I thought "Well it seems he is still bitter and holding onto some hurt there."

The next day he then responds kind of backpedaling saying the following:  "It's just how I was feeling at the time.  It wasn't even a comment from me, it was someone who sent it to me and I sent it out  It wasn't toward that team.  It definitely wasn't a good showing by that team last night, I know they wish they would've played better."  First off, if he retweeted it, probably would have been designated as a retweet.  Second, he doesn't say where it comes from, he just says someone sent it to him.  Aside from the twitter ettiqute of knowing what you're tweeting, it is interesting how he will say a controversial comment one day and then the next day try and defend or retract the statement.

But as much as that stood out, another comment that he gave stood out.  He said when talking about karma, it is a word or concept that "I've kinda always used my whole life."  You want to know something (or someone) LeBron that's better than karma?  Jesus.  Instead of getting what we deserve for the bad that we do, we can put our faith and trust in Jesus, who died for our sins and we don't have to worry about trying to do good to save ourselves (because we can never do enough good for that).

I hope that LeBron comes to know Jesus in a personal way as his Lord and Savior.  Because right now it seems that he's trying to do his own thing to appease karma.  And you can't really mix karma & God.  Doesn't really work...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Predictions for the 2011 BCS National Championship Game

The time for the national championship game is here.  It's funny how late it is now that the 1-AA national championship along with NFL Wild Card Weekend is already done.  Hmmmmm......maybe yet another reason why there should be a playoff.

Anyway, the big game is here.  Oregon and Auburn.  Pac-10 vs SEC.  And as someone who has lived in both areas, I know what the conference fan bases are like.  It's true that the Pac-10 get slighted out east & are better than the perception is.  And the SEC is really really good and it plays out on the field as such.

The two teams are offensive powerhouses.  Oregon is a full throttle offense that doesn't want to stop.  Auburn has the Heisman Trophy winner in Cam Newton.  Each team's strength is their offense and their defense, while not bad....isn't as good.  So many people are predicting a shootout.

Two questions are key to this matchup.  One, how will the layoff affect these teams & which team will overcome that.  The other is which defense will stop the other's offense.

I'm okay with Auburn.  They're not Alabama or Florida to me so I don't have a problem rooting for them.  Now Oregon on the other hand I can't root for.  As a Washington fan, there are three rivals for me.  Washington St (Wazzzu), USC and Oregon.  So, weighing everything.  I'm going to pick the Tigers to end up winning this game.

Auburn 48 Oregon 41

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Wild Card Weekend Predictions

The first entry in 2011 is predictions for the start of the 2011 NFL playoffs, Wild Card Weekend.  After an up and down season, the playoffs are here and should be interesting.

(FYI, this is my opinion, the main thing is who I'm picking & not the score...)

On Saturday the first game is the Saints verses the Seahawks.  The defending Super Bowl champs vs a division winner that finished with a losing record at 7-9.  The Saints are banged up but they do have a lot of talent.  The Seahawks have the underdog role and Qwest Field advantage.  I like the Saints, I really do.  But I have to go with the Seahawks and the upset.

Seahawks 20 Saints 17

The second game on Saturday is the Jets verses the Colts.  The Jets have been a hard team to figure out.  They have beaten top teams like the Patriots and Steelers but have lost some unexplainable games.  The Colts made the playoffs on the last week and have overcome a lot of injuries.  I think Peyton will prevail in this matchup.

Colts 27 Jets 17

The first game on Sunday is the Ravens verses the Chiefs.  The Ravens aren't the Ravens of previous years but they are annoyingly tough.  The Chiefs are a surprise division winner and are hosting their first playoff game since 2003.  I don't like the Ravens at all so it makes it easier to make this pick.  My Kansas City friends will be happy as I think the Chiefs will roll.

Chiefs 31 Ravens 10

The final game is the Packers verses the Eagles.  This is probably the most intriguing matchup of the weekend.  The Packers are probably the most dangerous team in that you don't know what to expect.  They are one of those teams that could make a deep run.  The Eagles have some explosive offensive players including the should be Comeback Player of the Year Michael Vick.  This one is a tough one to pick.  I'm going with the Packers in this one but it'll be close.

Packers 34 Eagles 31