Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Observations - Dec 7

1. Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Kinda overshadowed with the economy, Christmas season and various other distractions, but please don't forget what happened 67 years ago today.

2. Knights Wrestling had a tough week. Took a beating at Madison (46-27) and didn't meet expectations at Falcon Frenzy. After some early success, maybe the rough week was what we needed.

3. With OJ Simpson now going to jail, does that mean he will "go away"? If I had gone through what he went through with the murder trial, I would have avoided the spotlight.

4. Why do musicians feel like it's okay to hijack Christmas music? I was driving to church and there was this version of "Joy to the World" that I just abhorred. It's like they think, "Oh, I have no more creative energy, let me ruin this great hymn." I bet everyone can think of examples of otherwise good Christmas songs ruined by some artist looking for a paycheck.

However, one of my favorites is Barenaked Ladies and Sarah MacLachlan's version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings".

5) Please don't bailout the Detroit Big Three. I know that an estimated 3 million jobs lost if Detroit fails, but I believe that bailing out inefficient and bloated corporations is not the answer. The minimum 15 billion that the GM, Chrysler and Ford are asking for can be better used to help the people displaced by jobs lost if the industry shutters rather than assist companies that have thumbed their noses at fuel efficiency, ignored the futures market and offers too many okay and good cars but not enough great cars.

6) I haven't done any Christmas shopping. I resolve not to. I am going to sit at the computer and bring everything to my house.

7) I am at the age where the Holidays have changed for me. I don't look forward to presents. Matter of fact, I would be fine if I didn't receive any; I am blessed beyond what I deserve already. I do look forward to the Holidays and not just for the break from school (as the wrestling coach, I don't really get much of one anyway). But I do get to see friends who, though close in heart, are not close in proximity. I am looking forward to visiting with Emily, Paul, Ryan, Jeff, Karen and the rest of my friends from out of town. See you soon guys!

Crush of the Week:
I read a nice article by ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski on Greg Maddux's retirement. I barely remember this week's announcement of one of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball history. Granted, I am not much of a baseball fan anymore, but I am a SPORTS fan. When one of the all-time greats leaves a sport, it's a big deal. And there was barely a commotion when Maddux retired outside of a small press release. Maddux wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

He wasn't built like a tank, he was dorky and skinny. Despite 355 wins (8th all-time), 10th on the career strikeout list, 4 Cy Young awards as the best pitcher and a record 18 Gold Gloves for fielding, Maddux never quite got the press of Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez or even his teammates in Atlanta, John Smoltz or Tom Glavine. And he was okay with it. This SI cover was printed 13 years ago (in 1995) and the article by the great Tom Verducci basically is a preview for the retirement commentary by Wojciechowski. Maddux hasn't changed, he's still unassuming, job oriented, blue collar.
In an age of "LOOK AT ME", Maddux is a refreshing change of pace. There will be no one else like him who can pitch, field, hit garner all sorts of awards and go around unnoticed. Greg Maddux: one of my favorite baseball players of all time (with Nolan Ryan and Cal Ripken, Jr) and this week's crush.

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