RSS

Category Archives: culture

I Will Not Pray For You, I Will Be Here For You. aka: No Parent Should Ever Have To Bury Their Child. 

I Will Not Pray For You, I Will Be Here For You. aka: No Parent Should Ever Have To Bury Their Child. 

(This post was inspired by the tragedy that occurred at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City Sunday, August, 7th. And dedicated to all my friends who have lost their child.)

A parent should never have to bury their child.

That is not the natural order or progression of life. It makes no sense. And such is life: nonsensical at times. 

I am overwhelmed and feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut when I read of a child dying in a senseless accident  (that is not placing blame for yesterday’s accident)  such as being forgotten or locked in a car that overheats. No matter the instance, no matter the accident, illness, or malicious intent of someone, a parent burying their own child is an absolute tragedy. 

I’m only one person and know of too many friends who have had to bury their own child. Think of what I just said: 

Bury. Their. Own. Child.

If you don’t have children I’m not discounting your ability to understand this scenario but the rush of love that fills your life when you have a child is astronomical. Words can’t explain the amount of love that coarses through your life. I didn’t (couldn’t) understand this before I had my two sons. 

But then, to have the focus of your love taken from you – feeling helpless and impotent and frozen. With NOTHING able to fill that void. 

Good god. 

Horrific. 

As friends we think of the parents the day the tragedy happens and maybe periodically afterwards (not a guilt trip, just reality) but the parents have to live with the heartache every single hour of every single day. 

To all my friends who have had this tragedy happen, I am so sorry. I love you. I can not fathom or empathize what it is like to be in your shoes – to experience a heart-wrenching loss. My heart breaks when I hear of your tragedies. But please know I am here for you. 

To everyone else, please keep your children safe. 

Walk alongside your friends who have experienced this tragedy. If you’re a flesh and blood friend don’t tritely offer to pray. If they are religious they might be questioning a whole helluva lot of faith’s worth and don’t want to hear a hollow offer. I know I wouldn’t. 

Here’s a song by the band Needtobreathe singing of the importance of friends and community and how we should be there for each other during times in our life that can rock our foundation, crush our spirits, tear our souls to shreds. 

At the same time, their faith could be their only shred of hope they have to cling on to as they feel the walls of the natural order crumbling around them. Everyone reacts different. 
They need continual, tangible help; a shoulder, an ear, or a body to just sit with them. Be there and be available for them as they need you. 

Lord be with us all. 

I am here for you. 

Thy kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

https://youtu.be/R3-wie9NOZE

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 8, 2016 in creation, culture, spiritual, theology

 

“Jackie Robinson” Is Not Our Final Example of Racism. Brutally Honest Opinions

“Jackie Robinson” Is Not Our Final Example of Racism. Brutally Honest Opinions


I am really looking forward to the Jackie Robinson documentary on PBS tonight and tomorrow. I am a big fan of Ken Burns’ documentaries and can’t wait to see this one. 

Unfortunately some will watch this documentary and think, “I’m glad our society isn’t like that today”. Sad. Today, our laws may be different and our sports are integrated but the truth is our hearts tell a much different story. Our hearts still resemble the actions of what Jackie Robinson had to fight against. 

Racism Today

Racism baffles me. 

Yes, I unfortunately understand (and abhor) how people are racist a-holes and try to subordinate people who intimidate them (i.e. slavery – no, subordination is not why slavery started but I do think it might have been a contributing factor for what helped perpetuate slavery), and how the legal system allowed racism to legally linger well into the 1960s. 

But, how racism still exists in today’s society is completely beyond comprehension. Yes, a society will always have outspoken degenerates (today that seems to be the Republican party…sorry, but prove me otherwise), but I have heard racist comments from all walks of life, not just degenerates. 

Brutally Honest 

{Disclaimer – what follows does not fully encapsulate my opinion of Arkansas because I had a lot of great experiences, for example: I have some good friends who live(d) in Arkansas, 

L to R: Tad, Brian, John, and Me
I met and married my wife in Arkansas, p1010009and both of my precious sons were born in Arkansas.  But my horrible church experiences, and the racism I saw do not reflect favorably on Arkansas, to put it mildly. But unfortunately despite this disclaimer some will completely disregard what I have stated and think I hate Arkansas. This is not true at all.}  

a sign in Harrison, AR

 
Before I moved to Arkansas I had NO IDEA how alive racism is in Arkansas. They have Robert E. Lee day on the same day as MLK Jr day and are realizing how ridiculous and insulting that is and finally might get that changed. 
When I lived in Arkansas  (2008-2015) I heard racist comments on a regular basis: in doctors’ offices, on the golf course, playing soccer, playing softball, parties, out to dinner, everywhere. People in Arkansas were not bashful at espousing their disgusting racist opinions. 

Now that we (my family) have moved from Arkansas to Kansas (my home state), being able to get away from the rampant racism in Arkansas is one reason I’m glad we don’t live there anymore. I don’t want my sons being infected by others’ disgusting racist ways and am glad they won’t be inundated with those views. I hope my sons are so oblivious about the way some people are treated dependent upon the color of their skin that I have to teach my sons about racism and how wrong it is.  Despite Kansas being steeped in historical landmark decisions and actions of racial equality (being a free state, Brown vs Board of Education ruling, John Brown, Bleeding Kansas, and more) sadly more recently Kansas is not perfect when it comes to fighting for marriage equality (again, see the Republican party). 

And please understand not every Arkansan is racist, but when it comes to race Kansas is much better than southern states. (Considering the present state of the South and race that last sentence isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.)

Racist Christians

The church founded by Jesus should be known for what he was known for: radically embracing those that others refused to touch. – Jonathan McIntosh

Short sidenote that I won’t belabor – if you’re a “Christian” and hold racist views i.e. you’re a racist…I honestly don’t know what to say… What part of Christ’s message embodies racism? Unbelievable. 

Diversity and the Gospel – Christ City Church

This is a link to a great podcast of Matt Washburn guest speaking at Chrisy City Church who speaks about this issue more tenderly and eloquently than I do. I am more blunt and straightforward; for better or worse. 🙃

Rant over for now…I do have a blog post I’m still working on regarding racism, but for now, enjoy the Jackie Robinson documentary and think about how you can help eradicate racism. 

Cheers! 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 11, 2016 in culture, theology

 

Tags: , , ,

If You Vote You Can’t Complain Because You’re The One To Blame For The Mess. Why And When It’s Ok To Not Vote

If You Vote You Can’t Complain Because You’re The One To Blame For The Mess. Why And When It’s Ok To Not Vote


Note – there is coarse language used in this post because this is a hot topic for me. And you might be offended by what I say about you, if you’ve said what pisses me off. But do know that I still love you. 😊👍

I used to be super gung-ho about politics. It was just as exciting as sports for me. I grew up very similar to Alex P. Keaton in “Family Ties” but where he admired Nixon I admired Reagan.

IMG_1788 IMG_1819  

(Tangent – I love Michael J Foxx and am heartbroken by what Parkinson’s has done to him.) 

The third picture above is something I drew after the 1984 presidential election when Reagan won reelection against Mondale. The laser beam shooting from Reagan’s spaceship was clearly what helped Reagan win a landslide election against Mobdsle in a horse drawn buggy. What normal 9 year old kid does that? It’ll probably be in the Smithsonian someday. 😉

People used to tell me I should run for office. I have been to Reagan’s Library in Simi Valley, CA countless times. I have worked endless hours on candidates’ campaigns. I have stood on street corners waving candidates signs on Election Day. I stood next to a US congressional district candidate as he placed his concession call to his opponent late in the evening on election night. I even almost moved to DC after the candidate I supported lost…and then later after he had lost went to jail on wire fraud charges and a mortgage scheme. But that’s a story for later. 

But I am now disheartened super ticked off at both the Republican and Democratic parties for a variety of party-specific matters, but collectively from both parties’ desire to legislate morality. Legislating morality is not their job – government is not the moral compass of the people.

So here we are today on Super Tuesday and I knew rather soon I would start seeing people litter Facebook with the same old, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain”.

Bullshit!

That comment is tired, trite, pious, and just flat out wrong. Do not say this to people. You’re just being an ass and ending the conversation. Plus if you voted for the jerked in office then you’re the one to blame when everything goes to hell – not the person who doesn’t vote. George Carlin waxes eloquently and crudely on this topic. This video is NSFW and if you’re easily offended by cuss words…well you shouldn’t have read this post but definitely do t watch this video; and he also makes an allegorical reference of masturbation. You’ve been warned. 

Voting is an amazing privilege we have in the United States. If a voter feels so compelled to not attach their name/vote with any candidate because of a believed lack of proper representation from the candidates then that (non)voter has every right to be just as involved in discussions as some one who did cast a vote. Unless you’re going to continue in being an ass with that point of view.
Two weeks ago my wife asked me who I would vote for and I told her I don’t know and that I might not cast a vote for the presidential race. My conviction (as a recovering Republican) after studying the current candidates leads me to the conclusion that there are no candidates that I would put my name behind to support. Kansas is a caucus state and individual voters in Kansas do not vote today on Super Tuesday. So, thankfully I dont have to make a decision today about voting or not voting. As of right now I don’t know if I’ll vote. I’ll let the primaries play out and see who rises from the dust (read: multi-million dollar campaigns). I do know this; if Trump wins the Republican nomination I will vote for whoever the Democrat is. That is a definite.

Now having said that…
Two warnings to non-voters:
1) Not voting costs the non-voter nothing it should not be used as a scapegoat for that person to say, “Well, it’s not my fault, I didn’t vote.” Well, no shit Sherlock but this is not your time to grandstand because of your decision. You still have a stake in the game. You should be so upset by your lack of representation to be moved to action and not have to repeat the same abstention the next election.

and…
2) For god’s sake, don’t not vote as a cover for you to be lazy and ignorant about the candidates and the issues. Get off your ass, educate yourself and care about your community so when jackasses stop saying “If you don’t vote you can’t complain” then you can bring a reasonable opinion and point of view to the conversation.

So in wrapping up…if come election day I end up not voting you can be frustrated with me if you want – it’s your prerogative. But please understand this, I’m not voting because I don’t care enough, but because I care too much.

I care too much about our country and the sacrifices made by our military to see our government elections devolve into popularity contests and capital pissing matches. I don’t have the solution to everything (or anything in particular) but I also won’t sit idly by and watch my country’s government become a mockery of idiots making big decisions with far reaching ramifications and/or consequences.

Yes, I might not cast a vote in the presidential race, but dammit, it’s not it’s because I don’t care, but because I care too much.

Those are my four half-pennies.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 1, 2016 in culture, politics, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

My Unaffiliated Affilation With Politics

My Unaffiliated Affilation With Politics

This is a super short post, but I recently had a “first” for me and wanted to share some basic thoughts.

My wife and I moved from Arkansas to Kansas (officially in July) and recently I went to get my Kansas driver’s license. As we all know when you get your driver’s license you can also register to vote which allows you to identify yourself with a political party…if so desired.

Since day 1 of being a registered voter I have always been registered as a Republican. For the first time in my 22 year voting tenure I am now registered as, “Unaffiliated”. To say I’m upset with the Republican party would be a huge understatement. I really can’t stand what they now stand for, how they try to legislate morality, and what certain Republicans try to do to create division in attempting to script their narrative of what “biblical” means. I honestly feel some of these Republicans are less Christ-like than they even know.

Democrats aren’t off the hook either – they like to legislate morality just as much as Republicans. I have no desire to live in a nanny-state. Dear Democrats, government intervention is not the answer to every question and in most cases it’s the worst possible answer to almost every question.
The pendulum for me began to swing away from the Republicans about 13 years ago when the Republicans started aligning themselves more as a party that desired to legislate morality. In no way do I believe the government should be making moral decisions. Shoving laws and regulations down peoples’ throats is not a way to make a virtuous society. It only creates harsh dividing lines; and with each topic/issue it creates an us vs them scenario – god knows we need more unity and less division in our society.

This time when I went to get my driver’s license there were four choices for affiliation: Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Unaffiliated. I was very surprised and happy to see Libertarian as an option. But even though I identify more with Libertarian values politically I don’t feel the need to hitch my wagon to anyone in particular. This decision has been very freeing for me – I can now say I speak for myself instead of backing a specific party platform.

All that to say my vote can be bought. The right cigar or bourbon can garner my vote for your candidate…just kidding…kinda. 😜

In the near future I will have a longer post expounding upon the specific reasons of why I am no longer affiliated with the Republican party…but probably before that I’ll have posts on the rapture and later today a post on a gut check on my perspective.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 24, 2015 in culture, politics

 

Tags: , , , ,

Life Lessons from My Dad and Reliving Bachelorhood for 58 hours…32 hours left

(There are good life lessons from my Dad at the end of this semi-satirical post)

So I’m a bachelor today (Sunday) and for most of the day tomorrow while my wife, Tracy and our sons are in Arkansas. In case you’re concerned and wondering if I’ll be able to survive I’ll be keeping myself busy in this manner:

Cigar 
Breakfast 
Cigar
Finish cigar review blog post
Cigar
Reading of my favorite “heretical” authors (NT Wright, Rollins, etc)
Cigar
Finish “Rapture” blog post 
Cigar
Clean desk
Cigar 
Organize garage workshop
Cigar
Lunch
Cigar 
Pick up dog poop in yard
Cigar 
Head to Outlaw Cigar for Chiefs game
Cigar
Watch Chiefs game 
Cigar 
Beer
Cigar
Bourbon
Cigar
Dinner of my special-totally-unhealthy kicked up fettuccine Alfredo 
Cigar
Launder clothes that smell like cigar
Cigar 
Find way to get rid of cigar smell in the house
Cigar
Welcome wife and sons home 
Sneak out back for a cigar 

Life Lesson 1) All that is said tongue in cheek because I’m making humor in being able to get some things accomplished but in all seriousness, one of the many things my Dad has taught me is to remember to celebrate the victories in life and business, big or small. We need to be able to recognize the accomplishments we have achieved and keep progressing to be able to do more…not in a workaholic manner, but just in a way to make ourselves better by pushing our normal boundaries and limits. 

Life Lesson 2) I love my Dad so much, and as season ticket holders to KU football we’ve been through the bad years (Terry Allen), the awesome years (Mark Mangino, packed stadium every game, bowl games and winning the Orange Bowl), back to the horrible with Turner Gill and Charlie Weis); we have faith in Beaty but don’t believe he’ll stick around very long after he gets the program turned around. Along with celebrating my victories, he also taught me how we always stay for the entire game to show respect for the college players no matter how hot, wet (KU vs Northwestern deluge 2003), or cold it is at all the sporting events we go to including: KU football, KU basketball (as an 11 year old and each year after my Dad would take me to Late Night at KU just to watch KU practice and that was when the practice actually started at midnight and I loved doing it). The same holds true with KC Royals, and KC Chiefs games, but we have no problem booing them because they’re paid well and it’s their job, but thankfully things have been pretty good recently (past 7 years alone) with our teams:

  • KU Football: Orange Bowl (BCS) Champions 2008!
  • KU Basketball: Conference Champions – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015; Final Fours – 2008 & 2012; National Champions 2008!
  • Kansas City Royals: ALDS Champions – 2014 & 2015; ALCS Champions – 2014 & 2015; World Series Champions 2015!
  • Sporting KC: US Open Cup Champions 2012 & 2015; MLS Cup Champions 2013!
  • ….and then there’s the Chiefs…ummm…in 2010 they won the Division…oh well. 😉

Happy Sunday! Be well!…time for a cigar! 🙂

IMG_1666

My Dad and I at yesterday’s game, KU vs. West Virginia

Game 2 of the ALCS, KC vs. Toronto

Game 2 of the ALCS, KC vs. Toronto

"Popsicles with Grandpa" has always been a Blaylock tradition. I love seeing my sons spend time with my Dad. Dad with Greer.

“Popsicles with Grandpa” has always been a Blaylock tradition. I love seeing my sons spend time with my Dad. Dad with Greer.

My Dad with my youngest son, Henry

My Dad with my youngest son, Henry

IMG_4426

Royals game vs. San Francisco with my Dad and my Son, 2014

IMG_0467

KU football game vs…can’t remember, 2014

FullSizeRender

Campanile on The Hill at KU, taken yesterday at KU/West Virginia

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 22, 2015 in community, culture, sports

 

Tags: , , , ,

Rapture Teaser

Rapture Teaser


 The picture (thanks to @nakedpastor) is tongue in “cheek” (ha!) regarding Tim LaHaye’s brilliant “get rich quick by selling books to paranoid afterlife Christians about the rapture” bestselling series entitled…”Left Behind”. 

I have a much longer post about why I don’t believe in the rapture and how it is bad theology that I’ve been working on for awhile – it’s almost done. This post is just a little teaser to whet your appetite. 

I’ve pasted a link to the article below – and this post won’t make sense unless you read the article. It’s super short – 4-5 paragraphs; read it first then read my post. 

Most people who read the article would just say, “well they’re just crazy parents”. But if we think about it a little more how many of us are basically living our lives in the same manner? “Just passing through”, “This isn’t my real home”. All those thoughts convey the same ideal – you don’t care about the earth. 

As asinine, irresponsible, and deplorable  as these parents were to hold their children out of school, you know what, at least they practiced what they preached. That’s more than what I do sometimes. I talk one helluva good “game”. 

Moral of the story, God cares for his creation, people, animals, trees, mountains…everything. Sure we surmise (guess) what heaven might be like but with how little we actually know about heaven I think it’s important to make our life on Earth matter – I think God wants that from everybody! Help make things better: adopt a child or animal, be a foster parent, plant a tree (or 100 trees), be on the PTA, be there for your kids. Or if all that is too much just get out and talk with your neighbors – make your neighborhood better. 

Don’t just pass through life.  

…on EARTH as it is in heaven. 

The Right to be Raptured

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 5, 2015 in culture, theology

 

Tags: ,

“I’m Sorry.”

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. As a nation we have had so many things to process and work through. Mark Driscoll gets booted (rightfully so) from Mars Hill and Acts 29. Robin Williams commits suicide. And finally, after a couple days of ignoring it, the media started paying attention to what was going on in Ferguson, MO after Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer. And then on top of that all hell broke loose on social media – twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., about what was going on in Ferguson.

A very tough couple of weeks.

Throughout this past week’s racial tension that we all saw unfold in Ferguson, and then with the horrible fallout on social media, we were exposed to people and media outlets showing their true (racist) colors. On social media I saw “friends” post blatantly racist comments and also post veiled racist comments that were truly disheartening.

And disgusting.

Here in Little Rock, my wife, son, and I attend a multi-cultural church – Mosaic Church. Our church is made up of Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Eastern Europeans, and other ethnicities. It’s a beautiful thing to witness so many ethnicities worshipping our multi-racial god during what is the most segregated hour (11am-12pm) in America. Regrettably, racism is an issue that is unlikely to be solved in our ethnically segregated churches. If we don’t worship together how can we expect to work together on an issue that plagues our society?…and plagues the South moreso than anywhere else in our country.

When we went to church this past Sunday I was wondering what the atmosphere would be like. Would there be the elephant in the room (Ferguson) that we would not talk about? Would it be tense. Would it be normal? How could it be normal?

I don’t know why, but I arrived at church with an attitude of, “I’m sorry” towards my African-American brothers and sisters. I’m sorry for the way our nation has reacted to the situation in Ferguson, MO. I’m sorry for what happened in Ferguson. I’m sorry for the things that were/are being said in the media. I’m sorry for the hateful, vile things that were/are being said and spread on social media. I’m sorry that we (via the media) clamor to hear about the white couple who has gone missing, but turn a blind eye towards the minorities who die or are murdered every day in our cities’ core. I’m sorry.

But this past Sunday, I also saw hope. I saw understanding. I saw solidarity. I saw this issue addressed in the setting and clarifying manner it should be addressed – with multiple ethnicities being able to converse about the issue.

Every Sunday at Mosaic we close our worship service in prayer and each row of people holds hands with the people next to them stretching across the width of the worship area.

We do this every week and normally it doesn’t mean much more to me than a nice gesture, but this week it seemed like a strong gesture of solidarity after Mark DeYmaz addressed the white elephant in the room.

In the clip below watch what Mark DeYmaz had to say and the 5 questions he asked about the Ferguson situation. (click the play button)

I will have a longer, more in-depth post about racism in the near future – it’s been in the works for quite awhile.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 18, 2014 in culture, spiritual, theology

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Soccer in America: World Cup Fever vs. I’m Just Plain Sick of the World Cup: Part II, I Like You But I Don’t Need You

Ok, so here is part II. If you missed part !, it’s here. 

Expanding the American’s Mind to “Kiss Your Sister”

I like that soccer expands the minds of the people who are curious about soccer. I can’t tell you how many people (casual fans) texted me after the US tied Portugal, asking me, “So what happens now? Are we out? Can we advance?” While I was also trying to figure out all the tiebreakers – which are confusing and again not the way we as American’s would expect.

The way baseball fans can enjoy a quality pitcher’s duel is the same way I can watch and enjoy two soccer teams match wits and end in a 0-0 tie. Now, granted some 0-0 ties are ugly as sin and the fact some games can end in a tie blows people’s minds, but that’s soccer. Quirky, but beautiful.

I understand that some of the nuances of soccer, like a game ending in a tie, goes against our win or lose mentality here in America. We like black and white bifurcations – we won, you lost, that settles it, it’s over.

In America:

Win = good

Loss = bad

Therefore there is only one thing that can be good…a win.

In Soccer:

Win = good

Loss = bad

Tie = ok.

Tie = can be good.

Tie = can actually be awesome! Like this coming Thursday; if the US/Germany game or the Ghana/Portugal game end in a tie then the US will advance to the knockout stage!

In America we’re just not sure about how ending a game in a tie can be good. It confuses the hell out of us (even though NFL games can end in a tie) so we dump soccer in the “bad” category in our brain because we don’t know how to process/reconcile a tie. A tie is like kissing your sister!

But again a tie this Thursday in the US/Germany game or Ghana/Portugal game will send the US fans into a frenzy because it will send us into the knockout stage!

Pure, Absurd Hate That Makes Me Laugh and Pity The “Haters” 

What cracks me up is the way some people are so completely vehemently AGAINST soccer. I don’t get that. Where did all this vitriol towards soccer come from? You never hear people say, “Hell, no I won’t watch tennis?! What are you crazy?! That sport is terrible!”

Most Americans won’t try to process it, they’ll normally dismiss it and this is why you have so many people that are against soccer. If it is different or we don’t understand it then we dismiss it or oppose it.photo

Why are people so against soccer? And not just against soccer, there is pure vitriol coming from people who hate soccer. But I don’t get it. You don’t hear this same kind of hate spewed towards golf, or tennis, or hockey…why soccer? Is it because soccer is so different and we (people in general) dismiss things we don’t understand? Could they maybe feel threatened or afraid?…

Whatever. Spew your hate. I’ll laugh and I’ll show you some pity and help nurture you back to feeling good about life…

…because that misplaced hate is coming from a very narrow almost closed mind. But hey, suit yourself, that’s just more beer for me at the soccer matches.

On the lighter side of things…

If you’re not pulling for the US team…shame on you…but check out this flow-chart for who to cheer for…although some teams have been eliminated already. But this is pretty dang funny.

http://m.tickld.com/x/for-any-confused-world-cup-fans-this-is-absolutely-genius

What’s In A Name?

Look at the comical side of things…what other sport throws in an arbitrary water break (like in the US/Portugal game) 5 minutes before half-time. And, who couldn’t like a sport with crazy names: a Brazilian named Fred? Seriously, there’s a Brazilian named Fred, Hulk, Maxwell, and Oscar. What are their last names? It doesn’t matter, you will call me Hulk. And there are other great names, Nani, Mix Diskerud, Zusi, and Koke. If you want to have some real fun go to Croatia’s or Bosnia and Herzegovina’s team page and look at their names – yeah, big time tongue twisters.

I Promise I’m not a Haughty-Toddy/Snoccer Fan

Some friends and I got together at Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge to watch the US vs. Ghana game last Monday. It was a great end result with Brooks scoring the winning goal late in the game. During the game we were talking about the state of the game and it’s popularity in the United States. One friend made the comment about how much the popularity would grow if we did well in the World Cup. Well, the topic of “doing well” in and of itself is a huge topic but my initial thought about his statement was, “I don’t really care how much soccer grows in popularity in the United States”. Now, if I’m honest my thought isn’t 100% true. But at the same time I honestly don’t care too much about what other people think about soccer. I love soccer. Period. I don’t care if my neighbor is a fan or not; it doesn’t decrease my enjoyment. I’ve survived to this point in my life watching, playing, coaching, and enjoying soccer and I believe I’ll be able to do the same the remainder of my life as well with or without a new crop of fans by my side. Although I do have an adorable 16 month old son who I will try to brainwash… 😉

 

IMG_1233

I say all this and I don’t want to come across as haughty, but in all honesty I don’t need casual fans to enjoy one of my favorite sports.

Soccer fandom in the United States has always existed as a sort of quirky subculture in the United States. We sing dumb songs/chants, (I mean, they honestly are dumb, but when you’re doing it with 20,000 other fans it’s alot of fun!…did you actually watch this video?

…we hold scarves over our heads in 100 degree weather, and we don’t go berserk if a game ends in a tie. Yeah, I get it, we’re weird.

Now allow me to clarify something before y’all think I’m a jerk. In this post I made the comment it doesn’t decrease my enjoyment if other people are not fans…but the more fans there are watching at watch parties at all across the country, and packed in bars in Little Rock so tight the fire marshall has a coronary, that makes it all the more fun. More fans jumping on the band wagon can increase my enjoyment. Even if it is only during the World Cup.

Closing Time, Last Call

To those who will continue to post hateful comments about soccer, I want you to know I pity you and that you also make me laugh – it’s pretty funny to see people go out of their way to expend hateful energy on the world’s most popular sport. Oh, and you can also imagine my middle finger in your face too – I’ll expend that energy towards you. Love ya mean it. 🙂

To the casual fans peaking over the fence at the game of soccer, jump on over that fence, grab a beer, a scarf, and hop aboard the US Soccer Fan Train. I appreciate more people joining in on the fun. If you’re ever confused don’t feel hesitant to ask me a question. It’s a fun, beautiful game. We love that you’re with us. It’s going to be a fun ride on Thursday and hopefully beyond!

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 25, 2014 in culture, sports

 

Tags: , , , ,

Your Blame is Seriously Misguided

 

photo

First, I’m partially to blame for the loss. I jinxed us. Let me explain…as the game entered the final minute of stoppage time I turned to Tracy (my wife) and said, “It only takes 5 seconds to score a goal”. ——— 30 seconds later I was cussing at the tv.

Like Tim Howard said after tonight’s game, “Soccer is a cruel game”. So true, Tim, so true.

I’m mentally and physically exhausted from that game…and I’m also completely jacked up…but I want to clear something up.

I keep seeing people saying that if Cameron would’ve had a better clearance then Portugal wouldn’t have scored the first goal; or if Bradley scores on the open netter that was saved by a knee then we would’ve won. Well, that’s not actually factual. Soccer is a game that a simple touch, flick, or whatever that changes how the ball rolls then changes the sequence of the game from that point on. So this means the sequece of events is ever evolving. Does that make sense?

I guess some people just don’t understand alternate dimensions.

For example, in tonight’s game if Cameron gets a better clearance on the ball then the play continues on and doesn’t stop with a goal being scored – so the sequence of events would have been different than how the game actually played out.

If Cameron clears the ball we don’t know 100% how many other goals might have been scored…or whether or not a goal is even scored during the game at all. Those results are somewhere in an alternate dimension.

Consider this explanation from Michael Caine in the movie, “Mr. Destiny”. But when he says “destiny” just pretend he is saying, “the end result of the game”.

 

Soccer is not a systematic game…actually most sports are the same as well…the sequence of events are ever-changing. Every touch on the ball, tackle made or missed, fumble won or lost, 3 pointer made or missed – they all change the trajectory and sequence of events of a game.

I’m not 100% blaming Bradley…but factually, Bradley holding & losing the ball at midfield, or the defenders who were initially in position but were being lazy while watching Ronaldo cross the ball, are the only plays you can factually say that if that doesn’t happen, or something occurs differently in that sequence of events then we would win the game. This is “factual” because it happened with 10 seconds remaining in the game.

I’m sure there is an easier, better, or more articulate way of explaining all of this but like I said before I’m mentally and physically exhausted.

That is all for now.

My next post is a big middle finger and also laughing at the people who “hate on” soccer. Their narrow-minded, needle-brained, vitriol makes me laugh. And frankly, I don’t give a damn what they think about one of my favorite sports. I’ll explain soon…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 22, 2014 in culture, sports

 

Tags: , , ,

Damn. Just Damn. Well, Bourbon Too. Damn and Bourbon.

Damn. Just Damn. Well, Bourbon Too. Damn and Bourbon.

photo

 

Tomorrow morning.

The morning after.

It sucks. It’s hard.

You wake up and your brain is in a fog, and then all the broken pieces start to come together, and you remember…we lost yesterday.

Damn.

I’m always all-in with my Jayhawks, and losses have always been hard, but in 1998 KU had a team that was so dominant they only lost 1 game in overtime all season long. I lived and died with that KU team. Coming in to the NCAA tournament they were the overwhelming favorite to win the national championship. And then along came Mike Bibby and Arizona in the Sweet 16. We lost. We finished 34-2. Ever since that loss that crushed me, I’ve learned, like so many coaches tell us fans, “to enjoy the ride”.

College basketball is a crazy, unpredictable game. Especially in today’s game with so many “one-and-done” players. Why does everyone enjoy the ncaa tournament? Well, that’s an easy answer(s) – the bracket pools (which I would never take part in because they’re illegal 😉 and the upsets that happen during the tournament. We love to cheer for the underdogs.

We love it when David beats Goliath.

That’s why it’s hard to be a Kansas basketball fan.

I’m thankful to be born into a family who are crimson and blue through and through.

We are college basketball royalty. With our history and traditionKU is and never will be the underdog.

Kansan by birth, Jayhawk by the grace of God. 

KU is a blue-blood program.

The inventor of the game James Naismith was our first coach.

University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina’s basketball arenas are named after Kansans and alumni of KU.

Adolph Rupp (University of Kentucky) and Dean Smith (University of North Carolina) both attended and played at KU under Phog Allen.

With the lofty status comes yearly expectations (strong desires) of Final 4 and nothing less. I have those expectations myself, and while that might seem a bit cocky I’m glad my school is so successful that we expect nothing less. Thus, when KU loses in the tournament we not only are depressed we also have to endure pot-shots from people who love to see Goliath go down; from those who would rather cheer for us losing than see their own team succeed.*

The NCAA tournament turns college basketball into a crazy thrill ride with ups, downs, and loopty-loops that sometimes leave us wanting more, and sometimes make us sick to our stomachs. The morning after an NCAA loss feels like the morning after a night of binge drinking…and probably similar to morning sickness (although personally I’ve never experienced the latter so I can not give a specific account of the similarity between the two). You can’t do anything about it – you just have to endure it and get through it. Unfortunately, the earlier in the tournament your team loses the harder it is to endure because the tournament lasts for 3 weeks.

If you want to enjoy a couple team sports where the long season proves who is the best team you should follow European soccer or Major League Baseball. I love both sports/leagues.

But I love the NCAA tournament and my Jayhawks even more.

This is going to be a long next two weeks.

I’m appreciative of friends who are respectful to me after a loss. And I have many friends who know how I love my Jayhawks and they are genuinely kind to me after a loss. And then I have Mizzou friends…I don’t need to belabor this point any further. (see above *)

I try hard to refrain from replying to people who are on social media solely looking to provoke a reaction.

Provoking a reaction isn’t the same thing as saying something significant. 

– Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes

KU has given me so many thrilling memories and amazing history to be part of…

  • 5 national titles
  • 14 Final 4s
  • 10 straight conference titles
  • #2 school in all-time wins
  • deep tournament runs
  • countless All-Americans
  • all of my Allen Fieldhouse memories
  • consistently a #1 or #2 seed in the NCAA tournament
  • etc

…that I’m glad I won’t have to stoop to enjoying another’s school loss moreso than what my own school, or conference, can accomplish.

Being a KU fan is funny at times. We do not have to endure the similar drama of bubble teams and whether or not we will make the NCAA tournament – we haven’t missed the tournament since 1989. KU-drama is worrying about what uniforms we are going to wear in the tournament.

Tangential Sidenote – CBS should be ashamed and needs to stop showing the pictures of crying children. It happened two years ago with Hoiberg’s young son and today with a young KU fan and also a young Wichita State fan. Yes, it shows the passion of the fan-base…kindof…they’re children who believe their lives are over if they lose. But more importantly in today’s world of social media those scenes are made into tweets and posts that are like wildfire all across social media.

I have an annual tradition. After KU loses in the tournament I focus on what I have to look forward to in the future. It helps relieve the sting of the loss and bring my (in)sanity back to a level of “normal”.

It’s cathartic.

I’ve got so many great things going on and things to look forward to:

  • a great job I genuinely enjoy.
  • Springtime! Everything is blooming, things are green, and more people are enjoying the outdoors.
  • the Kansas City Royals – hope springs eternal in spring, although with David Glass as owner the hope only lasts for a couple weeks
  • Sporting Kansas City
  • the Masters on tv
  • working on lowering my handicap
  • grilling steaks, pork chops, steaks, steaks and some more steaks
  • perfecting the art of smoking meats – brisket, ribs, and pulled pork
  • enjoying cigars while outside
  • vacation to Mexico
  • vacation to Florida

…and most importantly

…my awesome Wife and my awesome Son.

I listed all the fun and important things I have to look forward to, but it also doesn’t hurt that I have a full bottle of bourbon in the pantry for tonight.

It’s also cathartic.

You might say it’s a necessary medication.

You might say I’m only kidding.

Or you might not. 😉

Maybe writing this whole post is just cathartic for me.

The sun will rise tomorrow and I’ll remember my list of things…

…starting tomorrow.

Like I mentioned, this is going to be a long next two weeks.

But tonight it stings…and you know what? That’s ok.

Pour me another glass.

photo 2

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 23, 2014 in culture, sports

 

Tags: , , , ,