Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tipping.

Not cow or drinking a beer, I'm talking about the type of tipping that you do at a restaurant or a taxi ride. I have a beef with this, you might say I have a very large beef with tipping. Why do we tip? Better yet, why do we tip the professions that we tip? We recently took a trip to NYC for christmas joy and it was just that, pure joy. However, we were forced into tipping left and right. We tipped the taxi driver after taking us to the hotel. We tipped the waiter at breakfast the next morning. We tipped the guy that let the horse drag us around Central Park. We tipped the waitress that night at dinner. We tipped the guy at breakfast again, and again the lady that brought us our food. We even tipped the door man for hailing us a cab, and finally, we tipped the taxi guy for bringing us back to the airport.

What did these clowns do that deserved extra money? Seriously. I ask you...blog reader, what did they do above and beyond their job to deserve more money? Why are we so conditioned to tip some jobs but not others? Why does a guy get an extra 4 bucks for driving me from point A to point B? That's his JOB! He is a taxi driver. He is supposed to drive me from A to B. Am I tipping him for not killing me in a crash? really? If he killed one person wouldn't he be fired from his taxi job? How about that waiter or waitress? Isn't she supposed to bring me my food? Isn't she supposed to fill up my water? That's her job description right? I'm not blowing her mind when I ask her what the steak is marinated in am I? The guy hailing me a cab, that's his job. The clown with the horse carriage, he should spend any and all extra money he receives on carrots for his horse.

I don't get it. I honestly don't. My father was a teacher/counselor and coach for 35 years. Did he receive one tip from a family that he helped by smacking their kid's mentality with a little common sense? What about a defensive end that he coached into a full out scholarship at THE ohio state university? Did that family come in and Tip him one tenth of the $26,000 a year they saved by not paying tuition? How about my mom that deals with autistic children all day long for 30 years? When they leave these kids that can't even use the restroom at the right time can balance a checkbook. Mom never came home from work with a smile and saying "you won't believe the Tip I got today from Johnny's family"

What about a doctor? The guy that just performed Triple Heart Bipass surgery to save your father or husband's life. Did you go tip them? Of course not. What about the farmer that grew that delicious corn you eat all summer long? Do you happen to take the time to husk a few dollars his way for his service?

The Garbage man? The guy that picks up your garbage. Deals with your, forgive my language, shit at the freezing dawn of the morning, all week. Do we tip them for removing this? No.

Heard of the swine flu? Oops, the H1N1. What about millions of people that received the vaccine? Did you? If you did, did you whip out a fiver for the nurse for delivering a perfect shot that maybe saved your life? What about the pharmacist that gives you the right medication? How about an extra coin in his pocket for giving you the right dosage?

I could honestly go on for the next six hours about people we tip but I have to go to dinner with my beautiful wife, and yes, we'll tip the food transporter for doing such a miraculous job that makes the emergency c-section being performed right now somewhere in the world as simple as sharpening a pencil.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

rev-e-la-tion

the webster dictionary definition of revelation is: : something that is revealed; especially : an enlightening or astonishing disclosure

Let me tell you about a few revelations I had this weekend. I went to pittsburgh with my brother a few cronies to watch the UC vs Pitt football game.

Revelation....
1. Football played in snow is automatically much more exciting. Seeing elite athletes still perform at a high level in harsh elements is impressive. Imagine Lebron shooting a 3 with the air conditioning set to 32 degrees.

2. Being married means that when going out to the bar with guys on a roadtrip you don't have to worry about that awkward feeling of wanting to impress girls anymore, and it's great.

3. Wearing a ridiculously large coat or a baggy hooded sweatshirt to a college bar because of revelation #2 is totally normal.

4. If you have a friend that is in the military and home on leave....a night can be filled with making hilarious jokes about their jason bourne likeness.

5. Putting a panera in the bottom of a hotel is genius.

6. A late night food joint could serve anything at 2:30 a.m. and people will love it, even if they don't serve you the fountain drink that is promised with the special.

7. Pittsburgh fans love two things, blaming random fans for referee's bad calls and large push broom style mustaches.

8. A defensive coach should always wear short sleeves for four full quarters in the snow.

9. Always jump on the "we should do this" moments instead of finding excuses to not do something.

10. Last revelation I am discovering is that I stop lists at 10. I don't know what it is, but i hit ten and that feels right. Maybe I should have stopped at 6, or maybe should I keep going, but I'm going to stop.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks for the giving

It's not even the food I enjoy. Don't get me wrong, we have great food, but it's not it. Each turkey day my shaw side (a.k.a. the dark side) gather under the prized homestead of our Cabin. Close to 20 of our family members, 5 dogs, and sometimes a crazy ass neighbor enjoy the fixin's of all the holiday treats. We're even so american we fry a turkey, I know right? But, it's not the food. It's the idea of coming to the lake each year that makes this my second favorite holiday. For 3-4 days my entire side of family can laugh, play games, drink awful alcoholic gas station energy drinks and not hate eachother. We'll leave here and not see one another until the fourth of July and when that happens, we'll pick up our conversations like they never ended.

I'm not sure if it's our terrible white elephant gift exchange, the magellan like planned hikes, or simply laughing till our pancreas's hurt (minus brad), but I love this time. My poor wife married into this unorganized madness and gave up her holiday tradition, she's still married to me so it can't be that bad. Whatever you do for thanksgiving I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, if you don't I say start a new tradition. If your day is boring, throw something into it that shakes things up. Most importantly, enjoy the time you have with family, talk to the crazy uncle or grandpa that you rarely see. Ask your cousin's questions about their life and get to know them. Give thanks for whatever you're thankful for, me....? I'm thankful for the family I have and the family we're starting.........................Oh by the way. The real Thanksgiving story is that the pilgrims slaughtered an Indian village in retaliation for stealing cattle. To celebrate their slaughtering of the indians they had a large feast of food, giving thanks. Deal with it, it's the real truth.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heisman Hopeful

You wanna be the next heisman winner? Really? Have you thought this through? Little boy in the backyard that just juked your unathletic friend past the maple tree for a TD stop and think before you strike that iconic pose. If you have a dream of playing in the league someday, or the NFL for those that are behind on your hip lingo, you better hope you are the runner up at the downtown athletic club. You better hope that when Chris Fowler gets to that podium your name isn't behind that manilla folder. Why? After all the trophy is the defining moment of a college career? Thats exactly why. It's the defining moment of your college career, and your career there after. Lets take a look at the previous 20 year winners. Stay with me.


2008 Sam Bradford Oklahoma QB- Broke his shoulder like a cheap pair of velcro shoes. twice. Lost a guaranteed $20 million in first round money. His career is still up in the air.

2007 Tim Tebow Florida QB- The most hated man in college football, why? He's great in all aspects of football, life, and being awesome.

2006 Troy Smith Ohio State QB- Blew the championship game against Florida, is now a career back up to a guy that played Div. I AA

2005 Reggie Bush USC RB- Not even the feature running back. He's a slash player, a gimmick guy. Sure he's flashy but do you hear Pierre Thomas or Reggie Bush's name more?

2004 Matt Leinart USC QB- HA. Really? The guy that starts in front of you bagged groceries and has a midget wife. You're a backup, maybe for life.

2003 Jason White Oklahoma QB- Not even in the league anymore. Really?

2002 Carson Palmer USC QB- I'm calling this the heisman exception right now, he's playing outside of his mind and could bust my theory.

2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska QB- Retired after 2-3 seasons. For injury you ask? Oh no, because he sucked.

2000 Chris Weinke Florida State QB- This guy pulled social security as soon as he won this award. He might be a backup right now, or a AARP rep.

1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin RB- Had a decent start to his pro career, but where is he now?

1998 Ricky Williams Texas RB- wedding dress. marijauna. now the wildcat. Ricky might be back.

1997 Charles Woodson Michigan DB/WR- The only Defensive player in the last 12 years. This dude is still making plays, very impressive, plus my high school beat him in high school.

1996 Danny Wuerffel Florida QB- HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

1995 Eddie George Ohio State RB- THE MAN. FINALLY A TRUE WINNER THAT WENT ON TO A PRO CAREER.

1994 Rashaan Salaam Colorado RB- Oh man....how bout this guy? never made it. ever.

1993 Charlie Ward Florida State QB- Hilarious. did he get drafted? Honestly, he didn't.

1992 Gino Torretta Miami QB- Do you hear his name with Brett Favre? No, me neither.

1991 Desmond Howard Michigan WR- He's great on college gameday each sat. enough said. His pro career is like his old college now.

1990 Ty Detmer Brigham Young QB- Loved this guy. Had one year in the pro, or was that his brother Koy? I can't remember.

1989 Andre Ware Houston QB- 5-8 as an NFL starter. Ha


So do you want to be the next heisman trophy winner? Go look at the list of runner ups, I'll be on that list anyday. Forget the SI curse, someone start talking about the Heisman curse. If I have a son, I'm going to teach him to strike the runner up pose when he scores a TD, stand there, clap and nod in approval.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

DJ Hero

My brother sent me a text a few days ago about me acquiring DJ Hero for our festive thanksgiving family get together. I didn't think much of it until this morning when I was driving to school. I heard this mash up of the Jackson 5 and Third Eye Blind. Now there are two things I love when it comes to music....Michael Jackson stuff and Third eye blind. Third Eye was my first concert, I was a sophomore in high school and went to OSU campus with my brother and nate williams, among others. Getting back to the point, this morning I heard this song from DJ hero and I love it. Take a gander and send me money so I can buy DJ Hero.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Day

On election day today I can't help but think about how everyone feels today compared to one year ago when they went ahead and voted in the first african american president. It was like a new year buzz around town, everyone excited, everyone hopeful, everyone believing in America again. What happened? The honeymoon is over is I guess. Everyone is back to the feeling of what I don't have, what I can't get, what I'm losing.....I watched this video this morning and felt good again. I'm going to try and focus on what I have and know that "yes we can".

Monday, October 26, 2009

The fist pump

I've been bothered by this for awhile and tried to think it out in my head before I shared it. Have you ever watched an NFL game or College football game and witness some fool celebrating himself and the play that he just made when it was just his job? For example, the guy that runs down the field on kickoff coverage and makes a tackle pops to his feat and starts thumping his chest, waving to the crowd. I always ask myself, isn't that your job? Aren't you on the kickoff coverage team for that exact reason, to make a tackle? This made me start to think, what if normal people in everyday jobs reacted this way?

What if I were teaching today and when I passed out the correct number of tests to my students I threw the remaining ones in the air and started spiking dry erase markers saying "You see me?....you see me pass those mothers out???

What if my brother, who works for a church, had someone laugh at one of his on stage jokes and Brad pumped his chest and yelling "J.C. ain't got nothin on me"

What if my buddy Martin just finished a showing of a real estate home and on their way out he slapped the lady on the butt and said "Huh, how 'bout that kitchen I showed you??" And started to flick the lights on and off whooping and hollering....

What if my Uncle Steve the lawyer closed a divorce and stood up at the table throwing his personalized pens across the room and asking everyone to call him "Relationship Terminator" and goes around doing bad Arnold impressions.

It seems ridiculous to think that any of these would happen, but when a guy knocks down a deep pass what gives him the go ahead to start bouncing up and down, nodding his head like he just ran back a pick 6, when in fact he did the simple task that is being asked of him.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Power of a Song


You know the power of a song? It's when you hear a song and instantly you're transported to that place. Now I'm not talking about hearing a song and saying "oh I remember when" no, no, no. I mean when you hear a song and it's like you're physically taken to that memory like your own virtual reality smelling salts. I love flipping through the radio and listening to songs to see if anything happens. Let me give you an example. If Rage Against the Machine "Bulls on Parade" comes on, I can remember right away my brother playing high school football because they always walked out of the locker room to that song. If I hear Willie Nelson "Crazy" I think of my cousin Joe's knockout impression of him. But neither of those songs transport me. I think there is a fine line between a memory and what I'll call a back to the future moment.

If I hear the song "Dreams" by Van Halen I have a back to the future moment. I can instantly feel like I am sitting in the locker room after my final football game in high school. That song was blaring in the background, guys leaving and turning in their jersey's and then there is me. I sat there refusing to take my jersey off. My brother brought my cousin Andrew down to the locker room and we hugged it out like guys do. I can remember the smell, the sticky feeling my eye black left on my face, the used athletic tape thrown across the floor and that awkward pit in your stomach of not sure what happens next. The next day, front page paper had a picture of me crying with the title, "Broken Dreams" a crafty play on words from a second rate hack journalist for the AT. I heard this song today on my way home and my 20 minute drive turned into me pulling into my driveway wondering when I made that left off of 23. I know this happens to other people, so if you are the one person that reads this blog, what is a back to the future song for you? Where do you go in your mind when you hear it?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

BERT DOG

The other night I woke up with an image in my head. I love breakfast, more than any other meal. My favorite is a good breakfast sandwich, however, the vision that came to my head was a breakfast dog. I sat awake and created the BERT DOG. Follow the following steps to have a life changing breakfast experience. The images are in the post below.

BERT DOG IMAGES








Friday, October 16, 2009

Play on Words....

So on my morning commute to work I listen to a local talk show, two guys that seem as normal as can be. They have catchy segments they do but one I have started to enjoy is every monday morning they have a guy on that runs the website www.urbandictionary.com . This is a site that takes words mashes em together to get a different meaning. You can submit your own, so I thought I would share a few of my favorites to maybe inspire you to submit your own.

- Joke Insurance, when you have a mutual understanding with your buddies that if they tell a joke in public, no matter it's level of funniness you are going to laugh for him.

-Cookie Duster, a full mustache that could potentially be used as a duster if you were to eat a cookie.

-Food Douche, a person that believes they know the best place to get different foods. "thats good, but you should go to Quizno's for bourbon chicken"

-Making Clay, to take a large dump.

-Email Courier, a person that immediately following the sending of an email, goes to that person to confirm that he did receive the email.

-Birther, A conspiracy theorist who believes that Barack Obama is ineligible for the Presidency of the United States, based on any number of claims related to his place of birth, birth certificate, favorite birthday, or whether or not he has heard the song Africa by Toto.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

College Good. College Bad.

What I love the most about college football is also it's achilles heel. I will tune into any college football game and be interested for a multitude of reasons but the biggest reason is because it means so much to both teams. Every game is like fighting for another breath. This provides "us" the viewers, with fantastic television and the right to cheer like idiots for a simple first down. But, this is also where college football loses fans, because if you were hoping for a title shot you better have the following:
1. Be a part of a major conference, the SEC, PAC 10, Big TEN, Big 12.
2. Be undefeated or lose really really early in the season.
3. Be in the top 25 to start the year.

These three determine who goes and who doesn't. The worst part about college football is if your team loses, your season is pretty much over. Without a playoff like the NFL and March Madness, the college football season hooks you and loses you with a score on the scoreboard. It also saddens me to say that fans like my brother will end up pissed at the college football world, because an undefeated Cincy Bearcat team will not end up playing in the National Title game as long as there is a one loss Alabama, Texas, USC, OSU, LSU, etc... If it comes down to it, Cincy will end up 15-0 and looking on the outside just like UTAH a few years ago. Without a playoff, fans will forever be disgruntled about their team either making it or not making it. I am not sure what the solution is, but I'll continue to cheer for my bucks because they lost early, they're in a big conference, and they were in the top 25 to start. Sorry bearcats.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Glee

Glee. I'm not against the show, but I'm also not a fan yet. I see the potential the show has, riding the coat tails of the successful "high school musical" movies it would sing and dance its way right into the living room of every teen. I can't say I blame kids if they enjoy it, after all I grew up loving Saved By The Bell. I first wanted to like the show because I thought it was going to be a good show about athletes crossing over the line using jazz hands and the story would be one that was welcoming. Then I watched. I found out that it wasn't going for that feel at all but rather just going for the quick hook with the football star singing and the cheerleaders walking around in their uniforms 5 days a week, I mean is there a game everyday these pom pom's are bouncing for? Even harder to swallow were the terrible excuse for a principal character and cheerleading coach. Here is a lady that is clearly a lesbian dressed head to toe in adidas warm up suits that hates anything prissy and girly. Hello? Name one high school that doesn't have a cheer coach that loves miley cyrus more than her girls. But even with all that I still was ok with the show because at the end of the day they did entertain. Until last night.

If you don't watch, you're smarter than me, but the show was based around the kids being given an over the counter drug that would boost their energy. They sang and danced like superstars and boy did they love it. At the end they realized it was wrong but nothing ever came out of it. The worse part wasn't last night, because I didn't think twice about it until I had three students at separate times come tell me they wanted to take what the students were taking on Glee. Whether these were stupid kids or not is irrelevant because if they were thinking it, so were others. So now my beef with Glee isn't about their lack of storyline, it is the storyline.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hater

I was driving to the local Kroger today when I got stuck behind a large chevy truck that had this sticker on it. It dumbfounds me every time I see these stickers. First of all, someone actually makes these, second, someone actually buys them and thinks it's okay to stick em on their truck/car. I can't help but be embarrassed for the people riding in the car. You have that much hate or anger to have someone peeing on a logo. Worse than that are the ones that have the middle finger. Maybe this blog is a rant...but come on, really? This is when I wish we lived in a communist country so these people would get their cars crushed into a coaster. But lets look at stickers I would be okay with.
1. If taylor swift had a moon man statue peeing on kanye west sticker
2. If the US open line judge had a tennis ball stuffed mouth of serena williams sticker.
3. If Barry Obama had a Joe Wilson head with a bar of soap sticking out his mouth sticker.
4. If 49ers coach Mike Singleterry had a baby picture of michael crabtree with a rattle and bib sticker.

those are stickers I would buy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Little Brown Jug



Today marks the first day of the Delaware County Fair. For most days this is a normal fair, you have your oversized elephant ear, bucket 'O Fries, and plenty of interesting people to look at. I was never a fair guy growing up, actually I despised them. Not entirely sure why but when the fair came around I would avoid it at all costs. When I moved to Delaware it was no different. The fair came around and I avoided it, even when our crazy school district gave us a day off for the fair or this thing called the "little brown jug". They could call it "eat yourself stupid day" for all I cared because I got the day off. Then it all changed when I married the first family of fair going. You know how the Bush's love their texas ranch, the Beckstedt's love their fairs. What is it about the fair? I never understood the big deal, until I attended my first brown jug.

For those of you that didn't know, The Brown Jug is like the Kentucky Derby of Harness Racing... at least it's part of the triple crown. What does that mean really? It means that for one day in september, thursday, over 50,000 people pack into Delaware, OH to watch a series of horse races. The event is like a rock concert with really big fast horses instead of doped out rockers. If you take a minute while you're there to walk around the track you'll see huge tail-gates with cornhole, grills, and beers on ice for miles. Keep walking and you'll see the general admission backstretch, it's literally rows of lawn chairs 30 deep with people just having the time of their lives. You'll see ladies pull their shirts up, drunk guys screaming, and usually parents of the kids you teach asking if you want a beer. I kept thinking to myself, what and the hell is going on? Then I went to the OSU-USC game. It's the same thing, and it dawned on me, this is it for a lot of these people. This is their nationally televised game that means the season to them. My father-in-law talks about this week like it's spring break for teachers, and it makes sense to me now. As much as I love the feeling of a OSU game and the little things that surround it, he feels the same way about the Jug, along with the other 50,000 + people. Not to mention they win over a half million. Yeah. So get out your foam fingers with your favorite sulky on it and lets light this town up, it's Jug week. Besides, 50,000 drunk fans having the time of their life is better than the browns or bengals can say they play in front of.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Muppet































Emmy. She's often been referred to as the "The Muppet"....looking at the two pictures I can tell why, Barkley the muppet dog on the left is a hair dyed version of Em. I started this blog with the idea of writing about Emmy and the hijinks she was surely going to cause. She hasn't let us down. From the second night we had her when she shat all over her cage and I was cleaning it up at 3 am in the morning to the week long illness she gave me, she's been a handful. One day I went to pick up my headphones to mow the lawn, and the two silicon ear coverings were missing. Hmmmm, later that day when I was scooping poop, sure enough that dookie was rocking a ipod headphone. Everytime you walk down the stairs Emmy thinks it's a game. She will paw at your feet and growl the entire way down the stairs, every time. She hates the middle of our lawn in the backyard. When we play catch I will throw the ball there, and she'll circle it like it's a vietnam mine, slowly she reaches out and paws at the ball and picks it up. She'll then circle around to get back to the steps. About an hour or two before bed a trigger goes off in her head and she starts running circles inside or out, I guess to burn energy but it sure seems like she's chasing some wabbit....everytime I walk over to fill up her food cup, she jumps in the air and does like a half twist, she must love cardboard.....the reason for this post, I just talked to a friend about getting a dog....he said is it worth it? I laughed and a million things flashed through my mind like her chewing apart our laptop charging cords (twice) and the times she digs in the yard and comes to the door with a face full of dirt. But yeah it's worth it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kool Aide and Cheerios


That is the scene Martin and I took in about 39 minutes before kickoff. Operation Trojan Horse was a success. Oh how the night felt like none other in the shoe as the sun was dropping, the beer stenched crowd rolling into their seats excited about the possibility of knocking that king kong sized monkey off our back. The decibel level rivaled a Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana concert when the bucks took the field. It was electric, Pryor looking extremely confident, and Barkley extremely young. For about 58 minutes martin and I high fived eachother and any person with a willing hand as we screamed for the little success that we had. The defense playing like national champs and the offense showing the nation how big of a chump they really are. After we couldn't seal the win, again, we started our 3 mile walk to our car and we started talking. Here now is a synthesis of what we talked about and my humble opinion on the state of ohio football.

Consider this. Every great team has an offensive identity. Florida and Urban Myer, you know you're going to see the shotgun Tim Tebow, Chris Leak, dude from Utah, and dude from B.G. running the scheme like a well oiled machine. Success everywhere he goes. Oklahoma, you know no matter who is the QB you are going to get the no huddle offense and a powerful one back attack. Texas Tech, the sling it everywhere offense, Texas, shotgun with great balance, USC, pro style offense, play action and screens, you see my point. I could almost go through the entire top 25 and lay this out for you. It's called consistency and confidence. What do the backs do? seriously....what is their identity? I finally figured it out last night, they don't have one because they don't know what to do and it showed last night.

Consider this. How many great assistant coaches has Pete Carrol sent off to become head coaches or prominent coaches in the NFL? Lane Kiffin, current head coach of Tennessee. Norm Chow, could have picked any job he wanted, went to be the OC for the Titans. Steve Sarkishan, current head coach of Washington. How many coaches has Tress sent out on their own? Zero. Why? because he micro-manages the game and play calling. Where is the delegation? We're a top program and we don't have an OC. Don't even joke with me that Bollman is an OC, he should be fired before tressel eats his cheerios tomorrow. Hire an OC that focuses on the offense, that will gameplan and make adjustments while the defense is on the field.

Consider this. We have the nationally ranked #1 recruit at QB last year. USC had this years #1 recruit. He makes our QB look like a tour de france rider without a bike. Can someone teach this kid how to throw, how to read a defense, and help him by giving him an offense that fits his abilities.

Consider this. Mark my words, we will lose big time recruits this year unless an OC is hired and change is promised. Do not get rid of Tress, he is a tremendous head coach I wouldn't trade him for anyone. But I want Tress to drink his own kool-aide that he preaches to his team, it's not about the individual but about the team. It's time to accept he's awful as a play caller and someone else needs to do the job.

I still love the bucks, but how many times can you go back to the abusive relationship when they keeping beating you?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Inflated

Most of you know that I have been taking classes to become a principal along with teaching for the past 6 years. All in all I have been a part of the education world close to 25 years counting the years as we lil' lad. Going through grade school I always thought I was pretty smart, after all I received all of those pluses on my grade card, maybe not for handwriting, but nonetheless I breezed through grade school. I know I left Krout Elementary with a lot of skills I use today but I can really only remember winning the 600 race each year and getting punched by a girl in 5th grade. Another blog in itself.

Middle school provided little challenge to me and that was the same all the way thru high school too (with the exception of math). Looking back I earned high marks, I could have done better that is without question, but my 3.5 was a happy place for me to be. I don't remember working very hard at the books at all, many a night my mom would ask me "where are your books?" I would reply like it was a dumb question with "In my locker..."

My point of this post is simple. I did very very little in school and yet I got by with honor roll, national honors society, etc... how? Inflated grades. I was fortunate enough to go to school during the time period of education I did. Did my 3.5 actually stand for what I knew? I am not sure, but today in education (at least in Olentangy) that 3.5 means you have a 3.5. Let me explain.

How many of you reading this received participation points? Homework completion points? Binder organization points? (unless you teach elem. and this is a standard for them to meet) extra credit for bringing ol' teach a box of tissues? Explain to me how any of that should be factored into your final grade, the final grade that is supposed to reflect what you have learned. It doesn't. I graded that way my first four years of teaching, and I was stupid. I inflated kids grades left and right with things like I mentioned above, but the dawn of the more effective assessment is here. Now I, along with our district and many others, are giving grades for what counts, the assessments. I give on average 3 at most 4 grades per 9 weeks. Those of you that went to school in our era of 65 assignments are scoffing. I ask you why? I am willing to bet that my 3 to 4 grades are a more accurate assessment of what you know compared to the A you're pulling because you raise your hand a lot in class, and boy was your binder neat. My kids receive an A, and they have A knowledge. If they don't we continue to take that test over and over until they have that knowledge down.

If you are a teacher and still give points for this ridiculous stuff, change, change fast because you're contributing to our students lack of superior knowledge...if you have a young one and they attend a school that is still behind the curve demand more from your district and teachers.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's Time.

If this doesn't make you tackle your dog or your wife, check your pulse.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day

Tomorrow is our official work day. Full of meetings and professional stuff that we put off for two months. Tomorrow I will be presenting at our staff meeting about a professional development trip I took to St. Louis. During this trip I sang Karaoke to Vanilla Ice. So naturally, to present our information to the staff we made a music video. It's what all meetings are like, right?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

5 Minutes for Michigan

Today I went to watch Ohio State practice with my dad. They are in the middle of two-a-days but today it was just a morning session. We arrived a little early and checked in with a guy that sits at the open gates, just checking in people that are coming to watch OSU practice. He hands you a nametag, a roster, and a smile and you're on your way. Imagine that. What if I had martin standing outside of my classroom door just to check in people that were coming to watch me teach? I'm onto something.

If you aren't familiar with college level practice the oversized guys in pads trot out and go to their respective spots on the two fields. They stretch, fat guys complain about the heat, running backs compare biceps, and quarterbacks pretend they are doing something. Roughly every five minutes the horn goes off and the guys scamper to another portion of the field for a new drill. The funny thing that dad and I noticed today is that no matter what level you're coaching, you pretty much do the same thing. Football is football. Just in this case you have a 6'5 dude that runs a 4.33 40 yard dash.

A few things caught my eye as we watched them today. 1) Coach Tress makes spotting the ball the most envious job on earth. If a grad assistant were spotting it, I would probably laugh at him and say something like "chump". But Tress does it and I think, "man, a second masters might help me get to that spot"
2) Pryor still can't throw. It's terrible. But everything else is amazing, including the running left stiff arm of a defensive end to the ground move he decided to do like it was swatting a fly.
3) Tress is Tress. What I mean by this is that when a DB got into a skirmish with a Wideout and threw him to the ground, Tress kicked him off the field. A few plays later he tried to pop back into the game. Tress noticed this and said "You were ejected from the game for that move, sit out". Later the kid was put back in by the DB coach, Tress before spotting the ball in the coolest way ever said "Did you not hear me? that will get you kicked out on a saturday, get off the field". Needless to say he didn't come back in.
4) Offensive line is terrible.
5) Best moment of the morning. In the middle of Team drills the Michigan fight song kicked on and started blaring over loud speakers. Without missing a beat the players scattered to their corners to a conditioning drill. The entire time the Michigan fight song blaring "Hail to the victors" Meanwhile the coaches just kept pushing the guys through these conditioning drills, for 5 minutes they did this. Everyday, every practice, practice is interrupted by "Hail to the Victors" and they go through their drill called 5 minutes for Michigan. That trumped the spotting of the ball.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fire Dog

I am sitting inside typing away on a paper that is due this weekend when I hear a dog barking outside. I know that my walking muppet of a dog is out back so I think nothing of it. A few moments pass, I continue to type what turns out to be a great line of graduate level B.S. when I hear a thumping at the sliding door. I pop up to let emmy in and I look at her with a curious expression because her face is all wet. I look outside...nope, it's not raining. I start thinking about what she could have gotten into...nothing comes to mind. So I take a step outside to only hear what sounds like running water. I turn towards the only possible producer, and yup...the faucet is on. Somehow this fluffball turned on the outdoor spicket and proceeded to play in it like it was a summer afternoon in harlem, circa 1955. I couldn't do anything but laugh, and turn off her oasis playground.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Good Morning....morning.

Not a morning person? Are you a personified snooze button with the first cognitive thought going through your mind in the a.m. "I can't wait to get back in bed" ? If this is you, then we do not share the same feeling about the sunrise. You see, I've always been a morning person and I don't drink coffee. I tried the java juice for about a month, I kicked that habit before it started because I don't need it. Some people rely on the coffee jolt, others just fight and kick their way into the afternoon, not this guy. I'm going to change your life by giving you my first hand action plan of making the mornings an anticipated part of your day.

Step 1. This is my most effective step for making the mornings like a trip into the wonka factory. Plan something for the next day to look forward to. I don't care how big or how small, plan something. I find that when I plan something out of the ordinary for the next day I pop out of bed. Examples: A round of golf with buddies, a dinner date w/wife, or something small like a breakfast sandwich at your favorite place.

Step 2. Get dressed, shower, etc... in the morning to music that is unfamiliar to you or an old favorite that you haven't heard in awhile. This can be a large risk, large reward because if you hit a song that is just awful while you're tying your tie, the day could come up short. But, the reward of hearing a new song that plays in your head like a magical jukebox can stimulate your mind for the day. When in doubt crank out an old favorite song. Guys, turn this tune on the next time your shaving in the morning and tell me you didn't have a good time.

Step 3. Go to bed happy. Believe it or not I believe there is a strong correlation between a good night makes a good morning. How can you achieve this? A few suggestions. If you have a wife...sleep with her. If not, read something positive or a story you love...in my case I love to watch an episode of the west wing (a blog to come). Basically spend some time getting your mind right before you sleep, pray, think, meditate, whatever you need to do.

Step 4. If the first three steps don't work. Get a dog. Every morning a dog is waiting tail-a-waggin' for you. Your dog is like your personal sold out crowd each morning. They sit and wait looking at you thinking to themselves..."oh man...oh man....I can't wait....can't wait. I know he's gettin up...OH...he moved....hheeeee mmooooved". You start to get up and the dog's tail is like a pin-wheel, they jump up and down licking your hand, running around in circles happy as can be. All because you got out of bed. beat that.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Will it Float?

I'm a Letterman guy, always have been. At the height of my obsession with the Late Show they featured a great game called "Will it Float".

Time now to bring that game back.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Conflicted



My 28th birthday is around the corner, that used to seem so old. Not anymore. I don't feel much different than 24 when I first started teaching. What does feel different is the direction my career is headed. Ask young Brent what he wanted to do with his career and before you could finish he would have said "Be a head coach, teach, have a family". Ask the hair turning gray older version of that little pipsqueek and you'll get a "......can you repeat the question?"

I'm not sure where that sure fire answer went or where that focus for my career started to change. Here now I am not coaching at all, taking classes to become an administrator, and filming weddings. Don't get me wrong, I think all of those are great things and I don't regret anything. However, this is where I am conflicted. Am I doing what I really want to do?

For the life of me I can't answer that question. Each year I was driven by the fact that I was going to put my head down and coach, learn as much as I could and make a run at the head coaching gig when that season started. But I don't have that this year. Instead my head is down and trying to learn as much as I can to become an administrator. Hell, I don't even know if I want to be a principal, but I know I want that option in my career. I am getting what I asked for, I wanted a chance to look at my career without blinders on and decide if what I am doing is still my goal. Is this a Jerry Maguire "mission statement" moment in my life, no, it's a guy that is trying to decide if swallowing his childhood dream of being a head coach is the right decision, or if trading in the whistle for a larger paycheck and no lesson plans is the right decision?

Conflicted.

Only thing left to do is pray and see if he can straighten this out, cuz I can't.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mary and John's

I have a few things in the summer that I get really anxious for, 4 man golf scrambles are one of those. This saturday we are traveling to my hometown of Tiffin to play in a memorial tournament for Nick Zeyan, the father of a close friend. I love the golf scramble because it brings so many things together...teamwork, redemption from a bad shot, and the opportunity to win. The only thing that could make a golf scramble even better is a pre-round breakfast from your favorite place. So when we decided to play in this outing I instantly thought it was the perfect setup because my favorite breakfast joint "Mary & John's" is in Tiffin.

.....or at least it was. I hyped up this breakfast of champions to only find out my childhood hash brown maker is closed. The level of disappointment I feel makes me want to blow up Bob Evan's even though their Rise and Shine had nothing to do with it. Mary & John's is that local flavor for a small town that is more than their eggs and bacon, it's their nostalgic feeling they pour out on you. The booths still have the music playing machines that you flip like a roladex until you find the song you want. This was the first place I heard the words "Do you want your usual?" This was a place I went to with my dad when he was a football coach. I would tag along as a little guy with the staff as they sat and talked about the upcoming scrimmage or 2-a-day. I would order my scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and hash browns and listen to those coaches intently. So to my dismay I will not be able to combine golf scrambles with egg scrambles because The Man took down my breakfast joint. I have a similar place here in Delaware called the Diner, my father in law has a place in Celina called The Fountain, and Tiffin is now short one great place. These places are more than their food, I hope you can find somewhere to eat where the term "usual" means a glorious start to your day.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

One Year



Today (7-11) marks our one year anniv. Looking back it's hard to think that a year went by and I find myself sitting on my front porch watching the rain drop on the pond wondering what we did our first year? I know people say your first year of marriage is difficult and "boy things are going to change".....really? You have to be somewhat of an idiot to think going into marriage nothing is going to change. If you marry someone and expect your life to stay exactly the same then chances are you're having your divorce televised live on Judge Judy. Luckily we have a brain that works.

Sure things changed in my life, and hers, but that change has been well needed. I showed lindsey how to slow down her life a little and look around, while she showed me how to stay driven on things and keep motivated. She showed me the lifestyle of eating healthier, while I showed her that candy is actually pretty good. She would cook amazing meals, I would make amazing fires. She would show me how to keep my room clean, I would show her I am still a work in progress on that. She would screw something up with the computer, I would fix it. I get dressed, she tells me to change. She gets dressed, I tell her to get undressed.

Overall I've learned from our first year of wedlock that it's a partnership. It's a give and take, like ketchup and mustard.....or fried batter and anything. Have an open mind and remember the reason you said "I Do" and your first year of marriage should be as enjoyable as ours was. When in doubt, throw something into the mix like a dog and really see how fun things can get. The cool thing is that we started our own family, we are making our own traditions, our own decisions, and our own mistakes. Year one brought us a lot of laughs and some great stories, who knows what year two has in store for us, I can tell you what it doesn't have in store....a baby.

now to pay honor to the Duke of Earl one year Anniv:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Harmless Fun Evidence

My good friend scott wrote a blog about harmless fun. In that blog he spoke about our experiences with leafing people. Here is evidence of one time when I was leafed my second year of teaching by the football team.






Saturday, July 4, 2009

The 4th



It's one of those days that I think lost it's original intentions, like we've turned the actual events of the day into what we should be celebrating, that a group of guys dared to make this bold statement of their declaration to cut all ties with the king. So the morning of the 4th as I sat awake while my dog chewed on rawhide, I did some research. As it turns out, I am wrong. We are doing exactly what John Adams wanted us to do, just two days late.

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more". John Adams to his wife Abigail

So I started to think if our 4th celebration met John Adams criteria, after all he was one of the architects of the reason for this pomp and base go boom. For nearly every 4th of July my family goes to our cabin on Rocky Fork Lake with most of my mothers side of the family. We pack close to 18 sleeping here at a time with more coming throughout the day. We have all the fixins' that John speaks of...we play all sorts of game, we do multiple sports, bonfires, potato guns, and of course illumination. Each year we take in two shows of fireworks...the first is at a local legends house that puts my hometown of tiffin fireworks to shame, the second is on the lake taking in various shows in all directions. The local legend though has to be in the witness protection program and this is his way of riding out the remainder of his former mob life. But, each year he delivers. He lights up the sky and cranks his cheesey patriotic music as the "booms" get louder and louder. It works though. For the 20 min we are there for the exact reason John Adams wrote that letter is fulfilled. We sit there and feel good about the place we live, feel good about our life we have built, and probably slip back into some distant memories from fireworks long ago. So whether or not you actually thought about the signing of the declaration or the group of men that approved the decision on July 2nd, and signed the letter stating their intent on the 4th, if you got together with family, friends, or your dog and played a game, watched a giant sparkler blow up, or ate pounds of fried goodness like we did, then you fulfilled John Adams request of succeeding generations celebrating the historic day of July 2nd, well 4th.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mr. Roush and Julius Sumner Miller



About ten years ago I had a physics teacher named Mr. Roush that brought a very unique way of teaching to my attention. Walking into his classroom was like walking into Wonka's candy factory, it seemed like this crazy guy came up with some saying or action that would cause you to fall on the floor laughing. The best part was we never knew if he was serious or doing it as one elaborate prank. He would stand at the front of the room with a meter stick and as you were asking him a question or answering one of his he would be playing an imaginary game of golf or baseball with previously said stick. He would even pause after swing, admire where the ball landed and then answer your question. It was fantastic. He would refer to everyone as Mr. and Ms. and he loved putting you in awkward situations. I had a buddy that slept in his class all of the time, and Roush loved calling on him because of that exact reason. He would be sarcastic and yet sincere in his drubbing of him "Ah, Mr. (Smith) it's so nice of you to join us, I will let you get back to sleeping in a minute but could you help us out". The best was when you tried to lie to him about something, he would get all huffed up and say "Now, Now, Now don't be telling me that" He would repeat that about three times in a row....you either cracked up or told him the truth.

One of the greatest memories most of his students have from his class is a man by the name of Julius Sumner Miller. I think it was at least once a chapter we would watch this old cable TV show of a professor doing physics experiments. He was quirky and yet entertaining. Here is a clip, don't watch all of it, but at least watch his intro.

Mr. Roush was all of those things I mentioned above, but now that I am a teacher and I look back, he was the guy I would want my kids to have. He was real, even though I couldn't tell if he was spoofing us all. He made me enjoy physics and I even remember a good amount of the experiments we did. He wasn't like other teachers and that is why I can remember him now. I have to admit, over the years I have stolen his technique of the meter stick swing....and I get the same crazy look from my students. Maybe it was his way of dealing with a job like teaching, whatever it was Mr. Roush made an impact on many students, including this guy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Coming up Short....

You ever feel like in life no matter how hard you try you end up short on some things? Your intentions are there, you make an honest go at it, but you fall short. I can't tell you the number of times in my life I've set out to do something and fall short, for whatever reason I didn't reach my goal. But I was taught to get back up and try it again, or in a different way. That one time you succeed erases all the other failures.

This boy knows what I mean.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wanna be startin' something....

My phone started buzzing around 6:00 with the same message. Michael Jackson: Dead at 50.

Thriller was my first and only record I can remember having. My brother and I had this fisher price record player that we would spin the wax on for hours. We could speed it up so it sounded like the chipmunks were singing "billie jean" or slow it down so a deep voiced homeless man was singing about a "PYT". A moment of honesty if I may; I was scared to death of the creepy voice in thriller. To go with the official record we had a white glove with sequins on it (actually made at vacation bible school i believe) my father had a black hat, and I had an obsession of trying to mimic his every move.

For years his music would accompany me in my cassette player, portable CD player, the black mazda truck, and finally on every computer I've ever owned. It was his music and his dancing ability that made him such a phenomena to me at least. Like a sports star he was on top of the music world, whatever he did was gold, and you can see the influence in today's stars.

The shame of it is, is that most people are going to reflect on him today for the blemishes that stained his career. I can't argue with that nor can I blame them. But to each person that thinks about a crazy guy that held a baby over the railing of a German hotel I say this.... no one will be remembered for one single dance move like he will be for the moon walk.... no one could entertain an audience on the fly like he did at each of his concerts..... you can take your memory of a broken masked man, I'll take my memory of the guy in the white tux in smooth criminal, putting any other dance solo to shame....ever.

When it's all said and done you'll remember MJ for every song he recorded and the mind blowing dance moves he performed with the same ease as you and I putting on our shoes. For me, MJ died today, but in a weird way he hasn't been alive for the better part of a decade. His music has been living on and the memory of who he was is stronger for me than the person he is. MJ was talking about a comeback, 50 show tour, I had my heart set on finally seeing him live, until today, but the wax record will have to continue to spin, chipmunk or homeless voice, it's still a solid gold #1 hit.

Shamoan....



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bando or Cheerleader?

I was once told by a friend "If you don't play sports you're either a Bando or a cheerleader"

enjoy this clip

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Agent


I have a friend that said Jerry Maguire is the biggest spoof on every male out there....look at the sports, look at the sports...then BAM...."you had me from hello"...... aawwww suckers.

I have thought about the idea of having an agent before, someone out there that works hard for you to get a better job, a better contract, or whatever. The more I think about it, the last two years I really have had an agent, just not on payroll. I have a close friend, I'll refer him to him as Otis. Otis is a high school asst. principal, but before that he was a lowly teacher just like me. I had the pleasure of working with Otis in the classroom and on the football field. We developed a friendship that was partly mutual respect for our views and because of flat out humor. You see Otis is the kind of guy that when he says something, you want to hear it because you're going to roll over laughing. My man has more one liners than anyone I know...he's like a rolodex. I had the pleasure of being on the headset one year with him on fridays night....I heard some of the funniest quotes that would make eddie murphy bust out with his big hearty laugh...

but the reason for this post is because of his agent status. Over the past two years Otis has been working behind the scenes to help me get a job. Last year when I didn't get the head coaching job at Hayes he worked tirelessly to get me an interview at North Union, where he was on the interview committee. I know he was in a tough spot but he put the pressure on me and forced the best out of me during the three rounds I went through. When I didn't walk away with the job, he was as disappointed as I was, but didn't stop being my agent. That same week he was back on the phone searching better jobs for me....and wouldn't you know it, I got a call about an interview at Orange. I did end up with this job and to be honest if it wasn't for my agent, Otis, I might still be sitting in a classroom where it's like a carnival of chaos outside and I wouldn't be challenged professionally like I am now.

Otis didn't feel satisfied with just vaulting my career to a fantastic district, he had to do the same for my wife. This past month my wife accepted a job in my same building large in part because Otis and his wife (his much better half) we'll refer to her as Pretty Girl, spoke very highly of Lindsey to my principal/their friend.

My family can't thank Otis/Mike Mcdo enough, who knows, maybe that agent will be my co-worker again someday, but knowing him he'll look to better my career again and I don't even know it. Thanks 'boot.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Got Cute?


So the summer of brent had a stipulation of getting into shape, so I took that first step saturday with lindsey. We ran in the Powell 5K. I have to say that with little to no training I felt like I did ok....that was until the point I went ahead and told my wife to "go ahead, you don't have to go so slow"..... she then took off and proceeded to beat me by 4 and 1/2 min. It's amazing the amount of mental battles you face during a run. It's nothing but your mind telling you

"hey stupid, doesn't a chipotle burrito and an episode of saved by the bell sound great?"

Then your ego kicks back "shutup man, I can do this.....I can be like running zack" (sorry if you don't get the reference)

whomever wins that battle determines if you are going to stop and walk, or keep on running. I lost that mental battle right after I got a drink of water at the halfway point and I choked on it. After that brief walk it was like world war II in my head. I started running again and I would go back and forth arguing with myself about stopping, running, stopping, sleeping under that shaded tree.... Meanwhile, my amazing wife is just trucking along passing all of these people like it's a stroll in the park. She later would tell me all about the houses that she liked and etc...on the run. I said "There were houses?" I just found out that the winning female ran a 20:08 or something, my wife ran a 24:12. So even though I was watching people fly by I could say "you won't catch my wife....sucker."

This type of event defines my wife. She is a person that doesn't back down from anything. (shoot, she married me). She has a work ethic and desire to succeed that is hard to match, the thing I love the most is that she busts down that stereotype of a "cute blonde" all while being a really really cute blonde. She wakes up every day, whether she's feeling good, sick, or upset and says "I have to workout today"......so she goes on to kill herself on a spin bike or running the lonely pavement. It's inspiring in many ways and I am very proud of her each time she wins her mental battle.

They say that marrying someone is like finding your other half, and I believe that now. I started to lose some of that spunk in my step and work ethic towards things like staying in shape took a backseat to what new gadget I could play with. Lindsey is helping me find that again, she's challenging me in different ways and even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it, she has the best intentions at heart. So let the summer challenges continue, find someone to do it with you, I have my cute blonde, whatya' got?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer of Brent....

June 3rd marked the official end of my fifth year as a teacher. I am sitting here this morning on my first day of summer vacation writing and watching emmy eat/chew anything that moves. Before I go into my post I know those of you out in the real workforce as you put it, like to scoff at the thought of a summer vacation. I say this to all of you hhaaaatters, "Spend one month, or better yet, one week as a teacher and let me know if your brain, body, and sense of life doesn't need a 2 month break". Don't throw out three months because we don't get three months, pipe down chachy.

My bro just wrote a great blog about picking up challenges and how it changes his life, so I got to thinking about the challenges I could pick up. For the first time in 20 years or so I will not be on a football sideline, practice field, or film room. It's with weird emotions that I start this summer because typically I am planning everything around my hectic football schedule. Now as I am in my 3rd hour of summer I am looking at endless possibilities over the next two months. I want to make some changes, I want to have some fun, but overall I just want to enjoy it. I said goodbye to 100 7th graders the other day and they busted out of school with such joy...looking forward to going to the pool, playing pick up games, and having slumber parties. I started to think about how much that last bell meant when you were a kid and the endless thoughts that popped into your head. The summer was the fresh smell of grass after the sun was setting, the cool breeze that made it possible to stay outside in the heat, the feeling of the sand volleyball courts at Hedges Boyer, the pure exhaustion of football workouts, only to have everyone over to swim till the late hours. The summer was a non-stop thrill ride without an alarm clock or deadline to meet.

So my plans for the summer is simply to reach back and grab some of that old feeling. Whether that is taking trips to the lake with lindsey or sitting outside around a fire pit in my backyard late at night, I am going to enjoy it. Every moment I plan on finding the joy that we did as kids. I want to take on challenges like brad talked about, i want/need to get back into shape...I want/need to get this house to where we want it....and I need to find relaxing time and happiness with my wife, dog, and friends/family. So if you are on board for the summer of brent propose a time or place to hang out, propose a challenge I should take on and you'll join, or simply stop by to enjoy a beer around a fire and laugh. Summer is too short to not spend it laughing.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

MJ

Lebron is good. MJ was amazing. Since the king won't be in the finals, maybe he could try his hand at golf like his airness.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back when we we're kids: Part Two


AROUND THE HOUSE FOOTBALL


(cue song and read)


Continuing the series on games from my childhood, I bring to you the grand daddy of them all. I wanted to wait and save this game for the last post but I kept getting blinded with stories from it. We were a huge football family and our group of friends loved playing any form of the game we could think of. The actual origination of around the house football is a little foggy to me, maybe brad can help clear up how it started.

Most football games are played in a straight line, wide open grass, not this one. At our house we had a pretty decent sized yard all the way around. We had a few trees, bushes, basketball pole, and a pool. Instead of torn up turf marks, we had dog droppings. Instead of first down markers, we had consecutive completions. Instead of out of bounds lines, we had sidewalks, fences, and brick siding.

The game went like this, you started on our driveway and going counter clockwise you had ten plays to get around the house and back to the driveway for a touchdown. I'll pause and let your mind wonder..........We had receivers dart around our yard like the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Guys would use the trees as a pick to get open as long as the 8 steamboat didn't run out and the quarterback was being rushed. I must say though the classic move of the game was the bomb over the house. If you had the arm for it you could send your receiver on a dead sprint around the corner where he vanishes out of sight. Using your best guess you let the ball fly overtop the roof and wait......everything goes silent until you hear one of two things...if it was a catch you would hear the defender "get him on the other side" and the rest of his buddies would take off to try and head the receiver off going clockwise. If he dropped it, you typically heard something like "AAAHHHHH I almost had it" or a splash...because you didn't throw it far enough and the pool monster just ate your hail mary.

We once had an all day tournament my senior year of high school. We had 8 teams of 4. It was everything that was right in this world.

I hope brad or martin share their personal accounts of this fine game. Or even our dad, to give us some insight on seeing his crazy kids playing football in a giant circle. To everyone, if you have kids, teach them around the house football. It's the greatest game ever invented by the Tecumseh trail crew. Snow or summer, catching a football that bounces off of a roof a few times and coming down on the driveway never felt better.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Back when we we're kids: Part One

I have been known to tell people that I would put my childhood up against anyone else's. I swear I had the best of every world. I had an older brother that let me hang out with him without question, he would include me in almost everything. We had parents that provided us with everything but instilled in us the difference between a want and a need. Our house had a yard built for two boys and a wide open basement to match our creative minds. We lived in a "U" shaped neighborhood that had 4 of my closest friends living on the same block (3 others just a short bike ride away). We lived for the outside and for playing games together. I started to think about all of the different games we played and figured, why not share them with you all. I swear if there were an ESPN Kids we would have been it's sportscenter. So stay tuned as I will discuss a different game each post.

Game #1 - Mini Baseball

You know those mini baseball bats you could get at big league baseball games? Sure to the non-athlete out there they are a collectors item, something to hold onto. But to the guys of Tecumseh Trail it was the building piece of mini baseball. We decided that since the bat was mini the entire game needed to be mini. So, in the front yard of our buddy Gase we made a mini ball diamond (roughly, 8 yards to each base). The ball was a wiffle golf ball (of course we had several disputes on the allowable speed). We lowered the number of outs needed per inning and enforced the rule of throwing the ball at eachother to force an out. Gase's house was positioned in right field, so naturally if you hit the roof it was a home run. It took quite a shot to achieve a home run and usually was celebrated with some sort of yell as you rounded the short base paths.

Ghost runners were used as were various names when hit with a stinging ball. Different techniques were used for batting, one handed swing, two handed if you wanted to stay true to the real game or the opposite hand. Different strategies were used for playing the field, none really proven to be better than one or the other, we of course argued that point.

It might not sound great, but when the crew divided up to play this game we entered into our own fantasy world where we took on the profile of our favorite players.