Skip to main content

Thursday Sports-August 20

Thursday Morning Sports—August 20 2009

Well, the Thursday sports crew has had a busy week. The Braves have done well, done poorly, and moved hardly a notch in the standings. NFL pre-season games have started, and our beloved Titans won their first game, although Yahoo Sports was misreporting the score the next morning. The scoreboard on my home page showed them losing 24-21, when they had won 21-18. You know what matters? Really, none of it---it's a preseason game! However, there's a real record book, and there's what gets reported in the media. Even if every news agency reports it wrongly, no matter who believes CNN/SI, FOXSports, CBSports, or ESPN, there is an accurate record kept by the NFL, and that's the only one that matters. Hmmm....there might be some thoughts to add to Tuesday Morning Theology. About the idea of objective standards and records compared to what the world thinks or believes. Then, we've got College Football cranking up, and the SEC is sure to be the crazy conference it's always been. Add to that the increased governmental interest in nit-picking the BCS to death, which might blur over on to Monday Morning Politics.

So, what shall we turn our attention to today?

First, a warning to Kentucky fans. Right now, the reports are that Memphis will have to vacate the wins, and the national runner-up status, from the 2007-2008 season. You remember that one? When John Calipari had recruited Derrick Rose to come to college free for a year before going to the NBA? When, since NCAA rules prohibit using the names of incoming freshman to advertise, they just put up billboards around town with a rose on it and talking about the Tigers “Blooming”? Well, guess what? It turns out that, apparently, someone involved with the University of Memphis Basketball program, related to recruiting, qualifying, and bringing in new athletes, was aware or involved with helping falsify an SAT score for qualification of a new freshman player.

No names have been released, but apparently it was a freshman on that team that never played for the Tigers again. And because of this, which is cheating, the team will have to invalidate its wins for that season. This is the second team that Calipari has coached to the Final Four that ended up vacating its wins. It happened at Massachusetts in the 1990s.

So, Kentucky fans, I'd like to pass on a warning for you. If the Wildcats make the Final Four this year, don't celebrate yet. Wait until Calipari has gone on somewhere else, and the NCAA is done investigating before you celebrate. Better a late party than voided party. Now, I'm sure there are some that believe “He didn't have anything to do with it.” Right. After all, as the head coach, he's not responsible for what happens, right? And he's never been tainted by this type of scandal before, right? So, it's just an illogical jump that he'd be involved.

The university athletics system is breaking, folks. It exists to provide educational opportunities to student-athletes and to provide the leadership and life training sports can provide. It is becoming a self-serving beast. Your college doesn't have a team to win championships, but that's what we expect. And coaches should be teaching athletes by word and deed the life skills they need. Instead, they are learning that as long as they win games, any wrongdoing is overlooked. Is it any wonder we have steroid scandals, sexual assault scandals, drug dealing, dogfighting, and all manner of other criminal behavior?

Second observation: stick with what you're good at. Jimmy Johnson knew he needed to pit, but then decided to play fuel-mileage games at Michigan. And lost. Mark Martin knew he probably needed gas. Didn't pit. Lost, and is just a few points from falling out of the Chase. Both of them could have pitted, fueled, and still finished top-10 in that race. Lessons? 1.)Refuel when you need it. 2.)Don't press your luck. It'll get pressed enough. Mark Martin could find himself caught up in a wreck next week and fall completely out of the championship race, while he'd have held on to that spot had he finished top-10. Life will send enough bad your way. Don't add to it.



Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Put Down That Tablet! Exodus 35

Moses assembles the people of Israel at Sinai one last time before they set out into the wilderness, headed for the Promised Land. He gives them a reminder of some portions of the commands of God and emphasizes the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35 link).He also gives the one Biblical mention of tablet-type mobile devices in Exodus 35:3, where the command is given not to use your Kindle Fire on the Sabbath Day. Some of you just groaned. Some of you skipped the one-liner, and others just missed it. I’ll address you all in turn, but first let us address the person who thought this might be the hidden meaning of that command. After all, we are so easily distracted from our worship and commitment by all of the digital noise around us, why would we not take this text in this manner?The quite simple answer is: because it is not about digital devices. In total, the command to focus the day on Yahweh, Covenant God of Israel and all of Creation, and if your device subtracts from your f…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…