It has been a really long time since I blogged. I didn't have much to blog about. No one wants to hear about my unexciting life in Campbellsville. And even since I got back to Bowling Green, there wasn't too much to report. I have been working at Red Lobster. But I just got hired by Fruit of the Loom, and will start soon. I will be an order entry specialist in the customer service department. I am really excited about starting the new job and feeling more like a grown-up. I will still work at Red Lobster part-time to make some extra money, but won't be there much.
But the new job isn't the most exciting thing going on right now. I just got off the phone with Chuck, and its official-he will get his first career start this Friday in the first round of the playoffs. Chuck has waited for a long time to get a chance to play. Last year he was the #1 qb going into summer camp, and a student transferred in and was named starter. Then when that kid got suspended, they promoted the #3 qb to first string, and Chuck never saw the field. This year, a new quarterback transferred in, and he is really good, so he was the starting quarterback. The qb who jumped ahead of Chuck last year is now the 2, and that leaves Chuck as the #3 qb. The coaches put him on the kick return team and field goal unit, but he's still not on the field much. Well, this past Friday on senior night, the #1 qb hurt his shoulder on a big hit. He won't play this week. And the #2 qb is suspended for an off the field incident, so that makes Chuck #1 this Friday.
For years now, I told Chuck that he would get his chance. But when I saw how good the starter and backup were, I will be honest, I didn't think it would happen. Chuck is the emotional leader of the team, even if he doesn't play much. If anyone deserves a chance to play, it is Chuck. I wasn't planning on coming in this Friday, but it now appears that I will be making another quick trip to Chatty. I wouldn't miss this one for the world.
Well it's all over for WKU. They lost in the Regional Championship game 4-1. Ole Miss' starting pitcher went on two days rest (in college baseball starters get a week rest, and in pro ball it's typically 4-5 days or in rare cases 3 days). He turned in the great pitching performance in school history, and what many consider the best in SEC history. He pitched a complete game, giving up one unearned run and two infield singles, and set a school record for strikeouts. Our starter Matt, also on two days rest, pitched an awesome 7 innings, only giving up one run. They scored there final 3 runs in the 8th off Chad, and we just couldn't get enough hits to win. But the guys had a phenomenal run, and it is comforting to know that it took a historic performance to knock them out. The Ole Miss fans, team, and announcers showed a rare amount of respect, and I know that meant alot to our guys.
But for me, the best part of the night was an hour after the game. I sent Chad a text, because he was a senior and on the mound when the winning run came in. It was nothing big, just telling him how much he had grown as a player and just how important their impressive run was to alot of people back home. Chad's story is an interesting one. He came from Eddyville and tried out as a walk-on shortstop. It was just a week or so into Coach Finwood's first month on the job. As he was turning double plays, he threw sidearm to get the throw around the runner. Finny and our pitching coach at the time talked for a second and asked him to go to the bullpen. He pitched in high school, but they wanted him to try to throw sidearm. So they brought him on as a little pet project. It's difficult to change somebody's mechanics that much, and Chad has admitted that he wasn't all that great a pitcher in high school, which is why he tried out at short.
Chad was the first player that I met on my first day on the job. I met the coaches, talked for a little bit, and they asked if I could help move some infield dirt from outside the left field fence into the stadium. It was in mounds, and when I got back there, Chad was there shoveling. All of the other players were in drills and practicing, but they sent him to the dirt piles, basically casting him off. We hit it off and became buds quickly. He said that he didn't think the coaches would even keep him on the team through that first semester, before the season even starts. Well, he stuck and worked hard. He only made a few appearances here and there his first 3 years, and only in mop up duty. But he did the work, and this year, he became an important reliever on a good team. He got trusted to hold the lead after WKU came back on Ole Miss a few days ago, and got a win at Vanderbilt a few years earlier. But the best thing about the guy was how excited he was about the team Bible study. He invited everybody. It helped that he was good friends with Balcy and me, but he was pumped.
So when I texted him, I was worried that he would be crushed about the loss. But the first thing he said was how great his 4 years were. And he also said that if he had been a freshman of sophomore trying to deal with the loss, that he couldn't have, but that since his faith had grown so much, he knew that God trusted him with that burden because he could handle it. And I was super excited to hear that so soon after a loss. He thanked Balcy and me for everything, but in all honesty, he was going in the right direction, so we had to just make sure not to hinder his growth. I get really pumped to hear about these guys who I got to spend so much time with growing in the Lord. I love hearing from campers and seeing God's love in them, and it's the same thing with the ballplayers. So WKU is done, but I don't think I could be any happier with the way everything finished. Go Tops!!
It's been awhile, so I need to give a brief update on how the WKU baseball team has done. They won a share of the conference regular season title, but lost in the conference tourney semifinals. So we crossed our fingers and hoped for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, and we got it. We got sent to the Oxford Regional, with Ole Miss, a powerhouse, as the host. It's double elimination, and we played the #2 seed Missouri in the first game. They chose not to use their All-American pitcher, and we crushed them. Ole Miss beat Monmouth, so we ended up facing Ole Miss in a winner's bracket game. We made a late push, but they won 7-4. So that left WKU in a tough spot. We had to play Missouri again, who knocked Monmouth out of the tournament with a blowout win. We crushed Missouri on Sunday morning, then had to turn right around and play Ole Miss an hour after that game finished. Ole Miss is #8 in the country and is on the short list of schools with the best home field advantage. Their fans come in the thousands and are smart baseball people. Well, Ole Miss jumped all over us. They got up 7-1, and then 9-3 going into the 8th inning. And to make things worse, they brought in their closer in the 8th, who happens to be the best closer in America.
And then magic. Our 7th place hitter ledoff with a single, and then our 8th place hitter with a walk, and then a single by our 9 hole made it 9-4. A few singles later and it was 9-6 with our star slugger coming up. Well, Wade crushed a 3-run homerun to tie the game. At this point I am going nuts. It's tied at 9 going into the bottom of the 8th. My buddy Chadcock came into pitch and worked out of a jam but held Ole Miss scoreless. So we go top 9, and our 7th place hitter leads off the inning with a homerun to give us a 10-9 lead. And at this point, I'm freaking out. In the bottom of the 9th, we bring in Garrie to pitch. Garrie had faced Ole Miss 3 times in his career and never gotten an out. But Garrie shut them down, completing the best comeback and biggest win in WKU history.
So tonight is the Oxford Regional Championship game. Every game from here on out is the biggest in school history for us. The winner will move on to the Super Regionals for a 3-game series against Virginia, with the winner going to the College World Series. Both Ole Miss and WKU have depleted pitching staffs, but WKU does have all the momentum going back into tonight. My good friend Matt Ridings will get the start at 8 pm tonight. More updates to follow. GO TOPS!!!!
For the few that read my blog, I apologize for being behind on my blogging. Our neighbor came over a week and a half ago and asked to borrow our computer mouse for a little bit, because he left his at the Fire and Rescue Station where he works and didn't want to drive back into town to get it for the night. Since then, we have missed each other, and my work schedule has been hectic, so we haven't been able to get online for awhile, until tonight. Sorry for the delay.
The big news that I have been wanting to fill everyone in on is that last Tuesday my dad won his hearing and got approved for Social Security Disability. Our lawyer really knew what he was doing. It turns out that the judge for our case was a groomsman in our lawyer's wedding. So our lawyer went to his chambers early in the day to show him the case info, and the judge decided that it was basically an open and shut case. The albatross that has been around our family's neck for 3 years was gone just like that. It will still be awhile till all the benefits come in for him, but he does get his medicine for close to free now, which is huge. Seriously, you all have been awesome and so faithful in prayer. I can not thank you all enough. I love all you guys and gals.
As for what I have been up to-I look like a lobster. I have spent a ton of time at the pool getting it ready for next weekend, and I am burnt to a crisp. But the good news is that all the tough stuff will be done tomorrow. I will be honest, it felt good to put on the WKU visor, aviators, and whistle again. It's good to be the Hoff.....haha.......but seriously, it does. The staff that I have met seem great, and the lifeguards seem to be mature enough to handle it. I'm ready to get things going.
New topic-I'm a terrible friend. Ben's birthday was yesterday and I didn't call. I was thinking about it last week, and knew that it was this week, but couldn't remember the exact date. And I didn't have internet, so I couldn't get on Facebook. No excuses. I'm just a terrible friend. I sang to him today, but it's still not good enough. I have got to be a better friend.
I realized that it has been a good while since I last updated, and that most people don't want the first thing they see when they get on my blog is the Full House gang. So here is a picture from After Graduation 2003. My old friend Sam(on the right) recently added it on Facebook, and frankly, I just needed a picture to move Danny, Jesse, and Joey further down the page. I was a straight balla in high school(or so I thought when this picture was taken). Samantha and the guy in the back, my boy Tooley, are now married, and the girl in the middle, Constance, got married a few weeks after this picture was taken and now lives with her hubby on an Army base in Hawaii. And yes, I did think I was that cool.
So this past weekend was fun for me. I love the NFL Draft, and luckily, I didn't work this weekend, so I got to watch most of it. My Packers did some great work. Since the weather was really warm, I also got in some great runs. Living where I live can be really frustrating, because there are no sidewalks near where I live, so I have to run in the road. But the lake is really close, so there is alot of RV and boat traffic. A 2-lane country road with no shoulder leaves me running in the tall grass too much for my liking. Hopefully it will calm down a little bit.
Church on Sunday was great. I have been checking out Campbellsville Baptist, and the message was exceptional. It was definitely the kind of sermon that every person in this town needs to hear, including me. The pastor spoke on unity in the Body of Christ. Campbellsville has had alot of issues with churches under cutting other churches, especially after the big church in town was rocked by a scandal with the pastor. And this town also has alot of racism still going around, and Shane talked about all of it in a very poignant, scripture filled way. It convicted me alot, because I know that I cut down other churches alot. I have been getting in scripture alot lately, and a message like that just really drives home alot of the points that God is showing me need to be fixed in my life.
This afternoon was fun, because I got to see me cousins Jordan and Hunter play baseball. Jordan is a senior, and Hunter a sophomore in high school, and they live a few counties over, but were in town to play Taylor County. They got embarrassed, but the two of them played well. I relate to the two of them more that anyone else in the extended family. Jordan even wants to go to WKU, but may have to wait, because his parents don't want him going to a public university. I'm thinking he will end up there, though.
As for my school situation, I have been looking into grad schools and the GMAT alot. My ideal situation would be to get on with TVA and go to UTC for grad school. If that falls through, I am looking at WKU, because they have a full-time, lock step program that gets you done in a year. It is a great program, and I would be done quickly. University of Florida also has a Masters in Entrepreneurship, but the school would be a little out of my reach money wise. I looked at other schools, but I am down to UTC and WKU, with UTC being my tops right now. I really want to be back in Chattanooga, and that would get me there the quickest.
This past weekend was Bromance Fest 2009. If the ominous picture wasn't enough of a give away about how goofy the three of us are together, the trip ended up being great. Ben, Joe, and I left BG around 8 am on Good Friday. We left early so we could get checked in to our hotel and get to Turner Field early for Opening Day festivities. It turned out that our early departure also helped us beat the deadly tornados that ripped through Murfreesboro. We got to the park a good hour plus before the gates were even open, and it turns out that there isn't much to do outside the park before gates open.
When we got in, we hit up the Clubhouse Shop and Ben and Joe picked up some Braves gear. We then spent a good amount of time looking for our seats. Ben found our tickets on Stubhub for 26 apiece. So we are thinking upper deck and actually walk to the upperdeck, only to go the wrong way and end up at the Casino Lounge. So Ben and I both looked at our tickets and thought we saw section 231, and when we found 231 saw that it only went up to Row 17, and we were in Row 21. So we walked down to the right field fence and watched BP for a little while. I asked an usher where we our seats were, and he pointed to the 6th row behind the right field foul pole. Turns out, Ben and I both read our tickets wrong, and we ended up with amazing seats. So as we are sitting there marveling at our awesomely cheap amazing seats, we start chatting up the family in front of us. While sitting there, some Japanese media members asked to talk to Ben and Joe about the Braves newest pitcher, Japanese star Kenshin Kawakami. They sent the camera crew to me because they didn't know much about him. I only know what I had read on the Braves website, which turned to be more than anyone else in the section knew. So after a few minutes of being interviewed, they interviewed the girl in front of us(who had to ask what to say). Any Japenese player brings a huge media following. Since Kawakami was such a big star in Japan and being the first Japanese player on the Braves big league roster, it was a big deal. Needless to say, I'm a big star in Tokyo. I spent the rest of the weekend waving at any person of Asian decent that we saw. Not sure if Ben and Joe liked it, but the fans call......just kidding.
The game turned out to be awesome. The Braves won in ten innings on a walk-off single. Derek Lowe made his home debut and Yunel Escobar hit a huge homerun.......unfortunately, there was a 2 1/2 hour rain delay after the 3rd inning, and we left, thinking that the game couldn't be resumed. We still had fun, though. The next day, we tried to go to World of Coke, but it was packed, so we decided to just head to the Varsity for lunch. I enjoyed it much more this go around. After lunch, we headed to Marietta to see Kristin, Ma and Pa Slug, and Mitzy. The Mardis family is pretty amazing, and Kristin's mom is incredibly hospitable. She always fixes cookies, so we knew we couldn't drive by Marietta without stopping in. After spending some quality hangout time, we headed to Chattanooga. We had wanted to have lunch with Reilly on our way through on Friday, but he was still sleeping after noon, so we were planning on meeting up on Saturday. Turns out that Saturday was the Falcon's birthday and they were having a big family dinner at Olive Garden. So we got to see the Falcon and Falconness, Reilly and ......girl......Chris and Lindsay Slaten, and the Walker parents and Liner parents. We only stopped in to say hi, and stayed maybe 20 minutes. Chuck wanted to swing by and say hi, so we met him and Gator in the parking lot for a few minutes to chat, which was great. After that, we drove back to BG to end Bromance Fest 2009. All in all, a great trip.
I went to Living Hope with Ben on Easter morning and the service was amazing. I love and respect the way the church is run, and I have so many people that I love to see there. I didn't see everyone I wanted to, but it was great. For lunch, Joe and I met up and went to Buffalo Wild Wings. After lunch, I went to the Nick for the WKU baseball game. I hate that I haven't been to many games since I left, so I couldn't leave town without going. WKU beat New Orleans 14-4. This is the best team WKU has had and they have all the pieces to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Afterwards, I stuck around to say hey to some of the guys. After standing around I heard a loud yell and Terrence Dayleg dropped his gear and ran over for a man hug. Terrence is a senior and a star shortstop. We got to be buddies as soon as he got the the Hill, and its always fun to see him. We stopped using names.....just going with "best friend" instead. I got to talk to all of the guys from the Bible study, which was awesome. I even got word from Wade that he won't be back for his senior year and will instead sign after he is drafted in June. In college baseball, if you play for an NCAA school(juco and NAIA not included) you cant be drafted until after your junior year. Wade has been a star since he got to the Hill, and I'm gonna hate to see him go. I spent an hour after the game hanging out and catching up with the guys, and will hopefully come back to BG for a week and take Chadcock up on his offer to crash with him and hang out with the guys for a weekend and catch more games. After I left, I headed back to C-Ville to resume normal life.
Other updates:24 was amazing this past Monday......word came out that Friday Night Lights, one of my favorite shows ever, will be back for 2 more seasons. It was uncertain if they would be picked up, but it is a done deal......I will be painting the city pool this week-woohoo!!!.....more posts to come later. Sorry this one was so long, but it happens. Have a blessed day.