Tag Archives: rest day read

Football is NOT Life, A Reprise

I originally wrote this post last year for me, to help me get over myself being down in the dumps over another year not coaching football. I wrote is as a therapeutic reminder that, even though I miss coaching dearly, this great game of football is not, and should never be, the MOST IMPORTANT thing in life.

I am re-posting the blog piece, Football is NOT Life, for you.  You know, you folks out there who have let things slip out of focus in the Fall of 2011. The ones who are half crazed with the emotion and the frustration and the disappointment associated with sports, especially when things are heading south in a hurry.

Everybody wants to win, it is written in the marrow of our bones. However, not everybody can win and we need to remind ourselves there are worse things in life than losing a game of football, no matter how much it hurts.

Respect the kids and respect the coaches. Respect the work and effort everyone invests, no matter how disappointing the outcome is. Please read this post and think about it. If it helps, then pass it on to the next person before we adults take all the fun out of this great game.

Football is NOT Life! (originally posted on September 21, 2010)

I know this may sound highly irrational and maybe even a bit hypocritical coming from me, but contrary to what the t-shirts say, FOOTBALL IS NOT LIFE!.

Football is the greatest damn game ever invented, but it is not life.  Football is intensity, competitiveness, sportsmanship and violence, but it is not life.  Football requires immense strategy and teamwork, but it is not life.  Football provides education, drama, entertainment, and a solidarity which binds communities, campuses and fan bases throughout the nation, but it is not life.  Football is universal, it is played by presidents and paupers, genius and idiot, big and small, aggressive and passive, rich and poor, but it is not life.  Football should not be all consuming.  Football should not be the top priority.  I know this for a fact, I have tripped and fallen down that hole before (see my story).

Football can be like a package of Oreos, both need to be consumed in moderation.  You’ve been there, you open the package of Oreos and leave it out on the counter.  Sooner, rather than later, the whole package is gone and you don’t feel so good.  But if you open that package and only take a couple of Oreos and place the package in the cupboard for a later date, they not only taste spectacular, but last and satisfy for days upon days.  Football is not life.  It should be taken in moderation and/or with a tall glass of milk, (1% or skim preferably).

Football has it’s proper place, it has it’s proper perspective. Football is not the primary reason for the existence of high schools, colleges and universities.

Yes, football is important.  It is important to compete.  It is important to work hard to be the best coach or player you can be.  It is important to compete with purpose, pride and passion.  But I think Coach Paul Lane said it best with his prioritization of the sport, “Faith, Family, Football, in that order”.

Football is important to me.  But football is not life.  Let’s work to keep football in it’s proper perspective and place. I would hate for you to get a football belly-ache.

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Bugs in the Arroyo by Steven Gould

Rest Day Read (SR-75)

Bugs in the Arroyo by Steven Gould

(chapter excerpt from his forthcoming novel, 7th SIGMA. Release July 2011)

“Bugs care about three things, near as Kimball could figure. They loved metal. That’s what they’re after, what they’re made of, what they ate to turn into even more bugs.

You don’t want to have an artificial joint in the Territory. Ditto for metal fillings.

In preference over metal, though, they go after electro-magnetic radiation. This means they love radio and really, any of the humming frequencies caused by current flowing through conductors.

Forget computers, radios, cell phones, generators, and—remember fillings and crowns?—well, a pacemaker, an imbedded insulin pump, a vagal stimulator brings them quicker.

But there is one thing that brings them even faster than all of those, that makes them swarm.

A broken bug is to the territory what blood is to a shark pool. They come in numbers, they come fast, and they come with their coal-black nano snouts ready to eat through anything.”

They say a good writing does not just tell about the action, good writing shows the reader the action. GREAT writing drops the reader into the action, not only telling the reader it is raining, but making the reader feel the drops hit the face.  In BUGS IN THE ARROYO, I felt I was walking around the desert scene looking over Kimballs shoulder the entire time.  GREAT STORY, folks.  Please, give it a try.

I stumbled across Steven Gould’s BUGS IN THE ARROYO around the end of 2010 when I registered to win free ebooks of his novels in a Twitter contest.  I had known him as the author of JUMPER, but that was about the extent of my knowledge of Steven Gould.  After I registered, I went to his website, http://www.digitalnoir.com, roamed around and found a link to this story on TOR.com.  It is impressive to say the least and cranks up the anticipation for the July 2011 release of his novel, 7th SIGMA, from which this story is a chapter of.

Hope you enjoy!

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Snow, Shovel, Cold…Repeat

The weather has been fairly crappy in Kansas for this year 2011.  While shoveling out of the latest the other day, I felt that awesome feeling of ice formation in my beard.  Honestly, that is just a kick butt feeling even though it means it is butt cold outside.  When the ice crystal form on the beard, it always takes me away to one of my favorite stories, Jack London’s To Build a Fire.  I apologize for the re-run of the very first Rest Day Read, but I just had to do it to celebrate the cold.

Rest Day Read

Short Read #1 (SR-1)
Jack London’s To Build a Fire

Great winter tale on man’s struggle versus nature. This story almost always pops into my head whenever we get a good deep snow to shovel or a real cold snap. Probably one of the stories that really lit the spark on me becoming a reader.

I am sure I had some sort of learning disability as a kid. Probably still do (especially if you ask my people for their opinion). Today, I would probably be in several federally mandated sp. ed programs, but in bygone years at the CTK* they usually would send you down to a learning center, a.k.a storage room, to work with a volunteer doing some special lessons. Once, in 6th grade, I went down to the reading help session and was given a mimeographed copy of To Build a Fire. I sat down at a folding table placed between walls of textbooks boxes and ran my finger and eyes over the first line “Day had broken cold and grey, exceedingly cold and grey…”. Everything in the room disappeared. I found myself in the Yukon looking over the shoulder of the “new-comer” in his struggle for survival. I was transformed, the locked door to books kicked open, snapped from its hinges. Life would never be the same again.

* Christ The King Catholic School, Kansas City KS. The 1970’s LMC socio-economic landscape of the CTK forced the administrators, teachers and parents to develop a highly innovative, creative school environment. Looking back, it was a school way ahead of its time.

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Did You Just Call Me a Wuss?

Rest Day Read (SR-72)

Are Americans Wusses or Just Fond of Trash Talk?

by Jeffrey Zaslow in Wall Street Journal

[Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell belittled the NFL for postponing an Eagles-Vikings football game because of a snowstorm. “We’ve become a nation of wusses,” he said.]

[Gov. Rendell says he was stunned by the interest in his comments, but on reflection, he now understands why his words stung. “Our country was founded by incredible risk-takers,” he says. They were an army of farmers and shopkeepers, and they fought knowing that if they lost, they’d be hung. We seem to have lost our boldness.”]

[The United States defined itself by its pioneer spirit. “We were the brash Paul Bunyan nation with a don’t-tread-on-us culture,” says John Strausbaugh, author of the 2008 book SISSY NATION.]

[“We’re now a culture focused more on safety than freedom,” says Steve Olson, a 41-year-old IT manager in Savage, Minn. He dates the change in America to sometime between 1984, when “baby-on-board” signs were first seen on minivans, and 1988, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned lawn darts.]

[Ms. (Lisa) DeNoia was bothered by coverage of Gov. Rendell’s remarks. In a letter to him, she wrote: “We’re not a nation of wusses. We’re a nation of fearless, bumbling morons in pickup trucks who like to drink beer, go shirtless in the freezing cold for football, and drive in blizzards.” She argued that true leaders are mature enough to make unpopular decisions to protect the public’s safety.]

“Did you just call me a wuss? Meet me back here then in 20 minutes, I need to get my gloves, my mouthpiece, headguard, my inflatable body suit and my Chuck Norris SAFELY KICKING ASS, THE WALKER TEXAS RANGER WAY manual. You are getting a good old fashioned butt whipping today, my friend!

Have we gone too far in America? Have we swung too far to the side of trying to make everything as safe as humanly possible that we actually have become weaker? Safety is good, don’t get me wrong, but have we taken it to the point where we are worried more about complete prevention from bad things rather than preparation for bad things. We work to completely prevent the bump on the head, the cut on the arm or being bullied in school but we do not work to prepare ourselves and those we love to deal with these things.

We will fail, we will lose, we will get hurt. These things are all part of life and part of living in a great free society as we do. We need to be prepared to deal with these things so that we may learn and move
forward as better individuals and society.

If we give everyone a trophy, we basically give no one a trophy.

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My Blackberry is Not Working!

Rest Day Read (SR-66)

Not a read today, but a funny rest day video from The Mrs. Coach Hays.  A little humor is always good for the winter solstice.

 

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The Physical Space: A Coach Hays Rant

Rest Day Read (SR-57)

The Physical Space a Coach Hays Rant

The secret to physical preparation lies in the the work.  The physical space is a vital component of that work.  The outpouring of heart and soul, blood and sweat, time and effort, is key.  The pressure applied by the athlete toward themselves over time prepares the body for physical challenge, much like pressure applied to carbon over time results in the formation of a diamond.  Hard work, every day, every minute, every second.

The secret to success is not a shiny new training space with matching new pieces of equipment.  The success lies not in mirrors and color coordinated outfits.  The success lies in offering a good physical space which, above all else, is safe and effective. Let me repeat, safe AND effective. A good physical space needs heavy things to lift, move and carry.  It needs places to hang from, drag things over and move upon.

The environment has to be welcoming, the athletes should want to go there to work.  Athletes should know they are expected to be there.  The cultivated physical, mental and emotional environment must make the athlete want to show up and put it out there every session.  Everyone gets better, everyday.  That is how teams are made.  That is how athletes learn to trust each other and become a unit, a team.  Players know their teammates are putting it out there.  Hard work and trust become contagious.  Then the diamonds are formed.

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Rest Day Read: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Rest Day Read (SR-55)

THE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

“In the dark shadow of the grove, on the margin of the brook, he beheld something huge, misshapen and towering. It stirred not, but seemed gathered up in the gloom, like some gigantic monster ready to spring upon the traveller.”

I read this story every October.  I read it from THE BOOK.  Used to read it to my kids when they were little to get hyped up for Halloween.  It is a magnificent story written by a master.  Enough said.  Read and enjoy.

Note: Later this week, come back for the spine tingling story of a young boy, his hand-me-down Johnny Roger pirate costume, a wet chilled Halloween and how he came to be despised by his three older siblings. A truly haunting tale.

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