Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello Blog World!!!

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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Incredible Run

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!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Most Improbable Comeback

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!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Long Overdue Post

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.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Slow Past Few Days and Thoughts on Grad School

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.
Well thats all. Have an awesome week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bromance Fest 2009

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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Day in the Life

So I have noticed that most of my posts lately have been about one particular thing. Either sports, work, family, working out, that kinda stuff. But here ya go-a day in the life.

Wake: Alarm goes off at 8:15 am. I wake up to Gabe Dixon's "All Will Be Well" off my phone. I usually roll around and complain to myself about needing to skip Jimmy Fallon at night and just sleep. Around 8:25 I open For the Love of God and start my daily devotional and Bible readings. As soon as I finish, my phone rings. I shouldn't be getting calls that early, so I knew who it must have been-Chuck. He thought I had died because he hadn't heard from me in a few days and he was wondering how the state of Big Blue Nation was with the hiring of Coach Cal. My response......."I think Jesus came back....." In all seriousness, aside from his questionable recruiting tactics, Coach Cal never breaks the rules, his players, coaches, and administrators love him, and he wins.

9 am: Don't worry, I won't give hourly updates on my day. Not enough goes on for that. I enjoy....well, enjoy may not be the right word.......but I tolerate a few soy sausage biscuits, scrumptulesant yogurt and orange juice. The UK press conference introducing Coach Cal is at 9:30, so I'm kinda waiting around for that. I hear my dad's phone ring. I know who it is-uncle Dan. He calls to make sure my dad is going to watch the press conference so he can update him while he is at work. We watch the press conference (which more people in Kentucky watched than the Super Bowl, I'm sure).

10 am-noon: I lounge around and stay busy. I clean a little bit, check the mower blades because I have to mow the next day, and basically wait on my dad. We go into town to run some errands. Not much exciting.

2pm-4pm:Not much after noon. But at 2 I checked out the Campbellsville University Job Fair. Now I have been to job fairs before and know that they can land you some great leads. This, however, was not one of those job fairs. There were 20 booths-4 branches of the military, 3 banks wanting you to open accounts, 8 advanced education booths offering to help you learn Microsoft Office and stuff like that, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Kroger's, Enterprise, and Aflac. That was it. So I met with Enterprise and Aflac, and the Aflac meeting went well. Learned alot about the company, had a good rapport, and may have gotten a lead. Not sure if it's anything I would have interest in, but it went really well.

4-5:15pm: Came home, changed, and started my latest Netflix movie-Fireproof. I'm overly critical of acting in films and on stage, and the christian film sector especially annoys me. Don't get me wrong, they must be done. They have a phenomenal message and touch alot of lives. The first night after my mom got back from her treatment last January we watched Facing the Giants, and it was great sharing that with her. But the quality usually isn't great. But Fireproof was much, much better. Kirk Cameron gets it and has some acting chops, and the script and other actors were much better. There were certain scenes that I laughed at because they were corny, but I really enjoyed what I saw of it.

5:30-8:30 pm:Went to my cousin Zach's freshman baseball game. Zach doesn't have an older brother, so I guess I kinda took up that. I took him to a WKU baseball game last year and we sat with the redshirted and injured guys who keep the charts and speed gun in the stands, and he was in awe. And he knew who they were, because some of them were the State Tourney MVP, Mr. Baseball runner-up, and big players in the state. So he has thought that I was pretty ok since I was friends with those guys. So I go check out all of his games and am right now helping him choose his plate music. He's only in 7th grade and starts at short and hits 2nd on the freshman team. Given, the team isn't good, but he has talent and potential. But when Zach isnt batting or getting anything in the field, I sit up in the stands and steal the other team's signs. One of the things that I picked up from working with the guys at WKU was how to steal signs. The coaches never talked about it, but the players not in the game would try to figure them out. It's all part of the game and a cool skill that won't be applicable for anything else in my life. Since the dugout is right near where I sit, if the game is out of reach I will motion to Zach what the signs are and he will see if I am right. If he is in the field, I will see him watch the 3rd base coach between pitches and just laugh because he knows what the signs are at that point. And it's easy for me because freshman coaches don't change it up and are usually obvious so as not to confuse their own players.

9pm-10:15pm: At home I did my daily workout (Plyometrics) and am really wiped.

10:15-11pm: Read for a little bit, watched some Fox News, and about to hit the hay.

So that is a day in the life of a bored Campbellsvillian(if that is how you spell it......looks more like I'm a villian from Campbellsville.....where is Ross to correct my grammar and spelling....)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Get your hands off our man, Kentucky!!!

Well the state is in limbo right now with the news that Billy Gillispie was let go by the University of Kentucky. Being a Gators guy, I immediately panicked over our main man, Billy Donovan (seen above). Donovan played college ball for Rick Pitino at Providence, played a little bit in the NBA, then worked on Wall Street in New York. But he missed basketball, and called his old coach for a job. Pitino was at UK then, so Donovan became the lowest coach on the totem pole. He worked his way up, and ended up getting the job at Marshall, before resurrecting that program and then going to Florida. He was considered the wrong man for the job shortly after his hire. But he led them to an improbable title game appearance against Michigan State, and eventually back to back National Titles.
But because he is so high profile and used to coach at UK, everyone and there mom claims to have spotted him in Lexington recently and that it was a done deal that he was coming. His wife reportedly was in Lexington looking at real estate, although at the exact same time she was in Gainesville on national television for the Gators NIT game. And then he was seen at the country club. And Donovan was spotted at Fazolis. And apparently he was leaving flowers at Adolph Rupp's grave. And then he was spotted buying royal blue ties from Men's Warehouse. No joke, these were the reports. WKYT out of Lexington showed a graphic of all the places fans had spotted him at in Lexington the last two days. It looked like Bigfoot was on the loose.
But Billy Donovan has always been a Pitino guy, and not so much a UK guy. He said in November when asked about UK that he loved his time there, but that he felt more connected to Louisville because Pitino is there. And news came out quickly that UK officials had contacted Billy Donovan's agents about the job. And then the rumor mill sped up. News even came out that he had resigned from Florida and was flying to Lexington......
BUT MY MAN BILLY CAME THROUGH. "In response to the rumors circulating about my interest in other jobs, I wanted to address this as quickly as possible. I am committed to the University of Florida and look forward to continuing to build our program here." He came out quickly and turned the job down. If you wait around, recruits worry, boosters worry, fans worry. So he hit it quickly. I will admit that Florida has no where near the tradition that UK has. And as far as fan base, there is no fan base on any amateur level in the world that is as rabid and passionate as UK fans. After all, there are no real professional sports teams in Kentucky, and no other college team or program that has been successful, so basketball is all there is. I would compare the level of passion to European soccer. Florida is a football school, but Donovan is committed to making basketball right up there as well.
So thanks Billy Donovan. Glad to have you back.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Knockout Blow

Since I have gotten back to Campbellsville, I have tried to be more conscious about what I eat and my workouts. I have more down time than normal, so I can focus on it more. I have started a new workout plan, and it is definitely kicking my butt. But the diet is always the hardest part for me. But as I have grown older, I have learned how to tolerate foods that I don't really like. Yesterday, I actually fixed a mushroom omelet. It wasn't really my cup of tea, but it was healthy, and I ate it. I have stopped mindless snacking during the day, instead going with nuts and celery, which I like.

Which takes me to Saturday. I was really excited for Saturday, because the Hilltoppers were playing Gonzaga in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. I had picked up some cashews, which I grew up eating and always loved. As I'm watching the UNC-LSU game, I'm just kinda snacking on them. And then I just got a brutal migraine. I don't really get bad headaches, but this was one of the worst that I have ever had. My face got really hot and red. And about five minutes later, I looked down, and both of my hands had swelled up like a guy who just finished an MMA fight. I knew immediately that my I was having an allergy attack. So I took the cashews upstairs, popped in some aspirin and allergy meds, and hit the sack. I missed the 2nd half of a great Carolina game, but did it so I could get some rest for the WKU-Gonzaga game. I woke up just in time for tip-off and got to watch the guys drop a heartbreaker on a last second lay-up. I really couldn't enjoy it, but stayed up for the game, and then went to bed.

The next day I talked to our neighbor and family friend Allen, who is in charge of the emergency medical services in town. His 3-year old daughter Jenna comes over to play all the time, so we know them all really well. I talked to him about it, and he thought that I was allergic to sea salt, which is now in all Planters peanuts. Since I last had cashews less than a year ago, he didn't think I could have developed the allergy in that short of time. So I went and got some non-sea salt cashews. As soon as the headache started coming back, I knew that it was cashews. So no more cashews for this guy. Luckily, I'm a big almonds fan.

Hopefully, I won't have any random allergies to new foods that I'm eating. The diet and new workouts should help me gear up for the Memphis Marathon in December, which I am focusing on. Now that I have my friend K-Lew running it as well, I know that I have to keep pushing it. Watch out Steve Prefontaine, I'm coming for ya.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Time Has Come for #1

With the NCAA Tournament upon us, it is now time to reveal my favorite NCAA Tournament moment of all time. It's not really a surprise. This play made the phrase "Kick it to me" the coolest thing for elementary school ballers in Kentucky to say. So for those of you who have been waiting (mainly Joe, because I think he is the only one following), here you go. Sorry for the poor quality, but YouTube pulled alot of NCAA clips leading up to the tourney. But this one has a little music in it that you may like.

And in the spirit of big shots, I am including this clip. I may be the only hardcore sports fan who missed this. If you hate sports, you still have to watch it. This is probably the funniest prank I have ever seen. If you dont watch anything else, watch this.

Lastly, GO TOPS!!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

World Baseball Classic and NCAA Moment #2


So the World Baseball Classic has had a ton of criticism. It was started by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to try to expand the game globally. It is wildly popular in every country but the USA. And that blows my mind. I am jacked up about the Classic, but American media members continue to question the US player's heart and desire and will to play and win. They have been accused of not caring and rolling over to the Latin and Asian teams. Sure, the WBC does have its issues. It is played every 3 years and the whole tournament takes place during Spring Training. Pitchers are not in shape yet, and hitters havent seen much live pitching. And teams are worried about their players getting hurt there, while they could get hurt just as easily with their MLB team. In 2006, the USA finished 8th. Now a disclaimer:many teams, including Cuba, are filled with players who are midseason, so they are in better game shape. And that US team didnt care as much. It was mainly a team of big names without much concept of team.
Enter the 2009 crew. There were only a few players back from the 2006 team (including Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter). From day one, these guys said it meant alot. The American media still questioned them, especially after a 2nd round loss to Puerto Rico, leaving them one loss from going home before the semifinals. They rebounded to knock off the Netherlands, setting up a rematch with Puerto Rico, with the winner going to the semifinals, and the loser going home. It was an intense game, with both teams squandering scoring chances. The pitching was good for the most part, and the defense was outstanding. In the 9th, with the USA down 5-3, they went to work. Back to back singles got men on. After a flyout, a stolen base, and a walk, the bases were loaded with one out. Another walk brought home a run, making it 5-4. A double play could still end it. But David Wright (the guy in the picture) came up to the plate. He has been the most vocal American supporting the WBC and saying how important it is. In fitting fasion, he knocked a tough down and away slider for a single, scoring the tying and winning runs. The USA mobbed each other near 2nd base. Now every journalist says how much fun the USA is having, and how important it is to them. It had to be important enough before now, otherwise they would have gone home. But it was one of the games that I wont forget. And yes, I'm not the average fan, but the casual fan or just anyone would have been excited watching the team after the winning run came in. I can't wait for the semifinals.
And now we are on to NCAA Tournament Moment #2. I know many people probably arent following my choices, but I persevere regardless. This play was one of my earliest tournament memories. My dad actually called my school and told them I was sick so we could stay home and watch the games. And this happened. Enjoy #2. #1 comes tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Hoff is Back!!!!

That's right, I will be donning the trunks again to resume my career as The Hoff. This summer I will be lifeguarding for the Campbellsville Swimming Pool, and will be working with Parks and Recreation till then. I talked to my uncle Dan, and he is close with our mayor, so that got me in. Seriously, the mayor interviews and appoints the lifeguards. Apparently they take care of the pool, because its the place to be. Have you ever heard of a town mayor hiring lifeguards? When I went to City Hall to pick up my application, I didn't realize that City Hall was basically a glorified double-wide. Definitely the smallest City Hall I have ever seen. Outside of the mayor, two other women work in the office, and that's it. Welcome to Mayberry, folks.
More big news from the weekend. My beloved Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will be the 12-seed in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament and will play Illinois in the first round. It's a tough game, but their star player is hurt and wont play. ( So you're saying there's a chance? ) We actually got a great draw. We would play a hurting Illinois team, and if we get the upset, would probably play Gonzaga, a team that we lost to at the beginning of the year. Thing is, we are 1000 times better now than we were then, and Gonzaga has regressed. If we pull off another big win, and make it to the Sweet 16, we would play North Carolina in Memphis. Why is that a big deal? BECAUSE I AM GOING TO THE SWEET 16 AND ELITE 8 IN MEMPHIS!!!! My ticket hook-up, aka Chuck, scored some free tickets from his uncle Gerald, so we are going to make the trip. I have never been to the NCAA Tournament, and if my Hilltoppers are there, my head may explode with excitement. Now that is assuming we upset two very good teams, but we made it last year, so its possible. Beating North Carolina wont be, but hey, it could happen.
A quick update on Hilltoppers Baseball. The guys swept another conference series this past weekend, and we are now 6-0 in conference. We have four losses, with three of them coming to SEC and NCAA powerhouses Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Auburn. They have swept every weekend series played, the last two sweeps against really good teams.
And now NCAA Tournament Moments #3. This should have probably been a little bit lower because my man Gus Johnson wasn't announcing, but it sits here because the last shot is ridiculous.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Get your dancing shoes on Hilltoppers!!!!

This image, brought to you by Kevin Bacon, should tell the story. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are going back to the Big Dance! Last year we were the darlings of the tournament, so hopefully we can make another run. Dust of your best ruffled shirt and blue suade shoes and get ready to dance, Hilltoppers!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Busy Weekend/NCAA Moment #4

Well I ended up having a pretty busy weekend for once. I don't like not having something to do, so this weekend went well. On Saturday, Brent, my dad, uncle Dan, aunt Leslie, and myself went to Bradfordsville to do some work. My 13 year old cousin Zach(Dan and Leslie's son) inherited a house and land from his great aunt on Leslie's side. She was really old and he would spend more time with her than anyone, so she left most of her stuff to him. Well she lived in a very old, run down home that was packed wall to wall with stuff. She never got rid of a thing. She had four or five stand up record players, including one that was a crank player which was used before electricity. So it was definitely circa turn of last century. We all went to clean up and start packing things that were not going to be sold at auction. I realized one thing:I am so thankful that I am not a packrat. Alot of the stuff was tacky to us, but at some point someone gave it to her and it meant something to her. So we spent alot of the day out there working.

That afternoon my Gators went ahead and punched UK's ticket to the NIT by giving them there 4th straight loss and knocking them into a much more difficult side of the SEC Tournament bracket. I don't have anything against the players, and think that Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson are both class acts, but the inner workings of the athletic department is very backwards and crooked. And Billy Gillespie has certainly benefitted from there efforts at keeping his misgivings and legal trouble away from the major media, much in the same way they did with Rick Pitino. I was born a UK fan, but fell in love with Florida early on. Tubby Smith may have struggled in his last few seasons, but he also graduated all of his players, kept them in line, was a champion in the state for children's charities, and did win some ballgames(2nd best win percentage in the country during his tenure). And the way he was treated by the administration, the local media, and most importantly the fans really turned me off of UK basketball. Had Coach K from Duke been at UK he would have been fired 4 years ago for not delivering enough championships. That's how they work. And the money allocation within the athletic department is also so slanted towards basketball. That's why I respect so much what Rich Brooks has done with the football team, because he didn't have the universities unyielding support. So this long, unexpected rant is basically to say that I love when a class act like Billy Donovan and Florida knock off Billy G. And that we still have an outside chance at getting an at-large NCAA Tournament bid also gets my hopes up.

Since we are on the topic of the NCAA Tournament, I now present my #4 NCAA Tournament moment. I was actually on the phone with Joe Brunk when this happened, so we got to share the moment. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Favorite NCAA Tournament Moments-#5

And here we go with #5. The video is just over 3 minutes and explains it all for you. Enjoy it like I did.

Monday, March 2, 2009

7 Favorite NCAA Tournament Moments-#7 and #6

I woke up yesterday, looked at my phone, and realized that my favorite month of the year was finally here. I love March. The weather starts to warm up, Spring Training is upon us, but most importantly, the NCAA Tournament is right around the corner. A majority of the tourney is played in April, but the first and second round is where the fun happens. I hope to one day have a job that will allow me to stay at home for two weeks in March to watch every game. Nothing is a sure thing. There are always miracles, buzzer beaters, and Cinderella teams.

With that being said, I'm going to count down my Top 7 NCAA Tournament moments. I was privileged to watch most of the moments live, with the one exclusion being #1. If you know me, #1 shouldn't be much of a surprise. I will go ahead and knock out #6 and 7 in this post. I am a very vocal Florida fan. I try not to rub it in people's faces, but I know I have been a jerk in the past. So to spare you, I will just include Florida's back to back National Championships from 2006-2007 in this post. 2006 Championship Movie 2007 Championship/Not for Geyer eyes

So there you go. I do know how blessed I have been as a Florida fan and that I will probably never see a run of championships like I have the last few years from them. Look at our basketball team now. No tournament last year and maybe no tourney this year.

BONUS POINTS: If you can name 4 of my top 5 moments, I will give you one free day of doing whatever you want(aka washing your car, running errands, cutting your grass, etc.) I'm sure everyone can think of one of the 4, so just 3 more. I'm thinking of you Joe Brunk. This is your strength. Hint: 2 are plays, 2 are games, and 1 is more of a team than a moment. Think hard, because I will start with the top 5 on Wednesday!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

Well no one ever accused Campbellsville of being fast paced like New York City. Being back has been a big change. You don't really see how much the economy has been affected in small town USA until you are here. I am working, but only odd jobs. The company that I got offered a job with has a hiring freeze in place until further notice.
Luckily, I have been able to do small odd jobs here and there. I have spent alot of time at the doctors office that my mom works at. It's a small, private practice eye doctor's office, and the doctor is only in twice a week, because he has other offices in surrounding counties that he visits. But he is the biggest pack-rat I have ever met. He has five rooms filled with old junk that needs to be tossed or sold. I counted 23 old computers that don't work that he refused to toss. And old equipment that is out of date and can't be used. So he has brought me in to move it into the attic. I keep thinking of the scene in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? where the mom (who is in excess of 350 pounds easily) dies in the upstairs of the family home. The family can't carry her downstairs, so they burn down the home. I feel like that is what will happen to this doctor's office when he passes, because there is so much junk in the attic now. And he owns an unused office next door that is filled with junk also. But instead of cleaning it and renting it out, it just houses junk. Pretty pointless, but organizing the junk has given me work.

And a little update to my last post. Last Friday the Hilltoppers baseball team won in a shutout, and Matt pitched six dominant shutout innings. There was supposed to be a doubleheader Saturday and another game on Sunday, but they were all cancelled because of rain/snow. So that only gave us one game before we went to Vanderbilt to play. For those who don't know college baseball, Vanderbilt is kind of like USC in football or North Carolina in basketball. They constantly pump out top players and live at the top of the rankings. We got down 7-1, but came back, only to fall short 10-7. Tough loss, but a good game for the guys. What was good to see was my buddy Chad Adcock pitch great. Chad was the first player that I met when I came on with the team. He tried out as a walk-on shortstop. While turning double plays during tryouts, he was throwing sidearm, and the coaches saw it and sent him to the bullpen to pitch. He had never pitched sidearm, but they kept him on as a project player. So my first day on the job, I was fixing the mounds, and they made him help. He didn't think they would even keep him around, but he is now a senior and has played off and on. He joined the Bible study and is maybe the most liked guy on the team. He had a rough year last year, but really got after it in the summer and fall. So the coaches brought him in to pitch, and he shut down Vandy. He threw 1 2/3 innings and struck out a few guys without giving up any runs. Against a team like Vandy, that's a very big deal.
And yesterday, our guys played a doubleheader against Albany, a team that beat us in a home series two years back. Matt pitched the first game and threw six more dominant shutout innings and we won 11-0 in 6 innings. In college baseball, there is a ten run rule after six innings during a doubleheader or Sunday game, so it only went six innings. The second game was total domination, and we won 23-2 in six innings. We played alot of freshman, and the two runs were given up off a backend pitcher who wont see much action this year. So the season has started off well. More updates to follow. Have a blessed day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Play Ball!!!

That's right, it's finally opening day at WKU. This year's WKU baseball team is projected to be the best that the school has ever fielded. And from being pretty close to the program for the past few years and knowing the history of the program, I know that this will be a great year. The program has gotten a huge makeover since Coach Finwood took over. Last year, we won the conference title. And for those who don't know, the college baseball landscape is much different than basketball and football. In baseball, the Sun Belt Conference is a legit national contender. So winning the conference tourney last year was a big deal. And this preseason, we have been picked by every publication and the coaches to win the regular season title.
The guy on the top right is Matt Ridings. Matt was the first guy to come on board the baseball team Bible study back when I was with the team. He wasn't heavily recruited, but has a great chance to set every pitching record in school history. He is a preseason All-American and preseason conference pitcher of the year. I had to put him up because his picture was the only that I had. My only complaint is that I can't get a radio broadcast in Campbellsville, so I have to get text updates from the guys still working for the team. But don't worry, I will keep my bloggies updated on how the team does periodically.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Beyond Belief

I spent most of the day Monday reading. I love to read, but I definitely don't spend hours on end reading. The longest book that I had read in one sitting may be Green Eggs and Ham. But I love biographies, especially athletes biographies. I know many don't see athletic biographies as higher reader, but I dig it.

When I was a senior in high school I heard the tragic tale of Josh Hamilton, the number one draft pick from the 1999 MLB Draft. He was considered a can't miss prospect, one with his head on straight, humble, and with everything in order. And he torched the Minor Leagues in his first two years, so much so in fact that his parent team, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, strongly considered calling up "their future" at the tender age of 19. They didn't, and soon after, things began to unravel for him. He was in a scary car wreck with his parents during spring training, on the same day that the Rays told him that he would be in the Minors for a bit longer. He had a resulting back issue, forcing him to rest. His parents, who had traveled with the team his first two years in the Minors, went back to North Carolina to nurse their injuries, so for the first time, he was alone, and without baseball. He decided to get a tattoo, and after getting several tattoos in a short period of time, got introduced to alcohol and cocaine by the tattoo artist. He would eventually spiral downward, fail several drug tests, get bounced from rehab to rehab, and get suspended from baseball for an extended period of time.

That was the story as I knew it my senior year of high school. And that was the story for awhile. He was a drug addict, alcoholic, deadbeat dad and husband, prodigal son, and estranged grandchild. All of that resulted on him losing all of the athletic ability and strength that he had.

After a failing marriage, nights spent on dirty trailer floors with crack dealers, losing the trust of everyone around him, and having his story told at seminars as a cautionary tale, Hamilton hit rock bottom. After a night of extreme drug use and wandering aimlessly, he ended up on the front porch of his Granny. She was the only one left who would take him in. And she loved him unconditionally. Hamilton had become a believer early on in his drug use, but just allowed Satan to take control. But he began to look to God. He opened a Bible in his granny's spare room, and began to read. And let it soak in. He began to detox, and had dreams of beating up Satan with a bat but never finishing him off, and eventually losing strength and giving up. But after a short time with his granny, he had another dream, but God came to his rescue, and Satan was defeated.

The next time I heard about Josh Hamilton was in January of 2007. He had finally kicked the addictions and was getting back into baseball. He had lost almost all of his chances, but was trying a comeback. He was sober for two months in 2006 and the Rays let him play for a low level independent ball team, which is as low as you can get in professional baseball. In early 07, MLB had their Rule 5 Draft. This is a draft where any player who was signed to a big league contract who wasn't on a big league's 40-man roster(anything below the bigs, essentially) could re-drafted. Usually, this draft isnt a big deal. Nobody notable or really promising comes of this draft. But the Cubs drafted Hamilton and traded his rights to the Reds. A rule with this draft is that a drafted player has to be placed on their new teams big league roster, or they get sent back to their original team. So Hamilton was going to be a big leaguer.

For non-baseball or non-sports people, that may have seemed like alot of babble. Basically, the former addict, the former joke, the former cautionary tale was going to be a big leaguer. But this time, he was following God, and seeking to put people around him to hold him to a higher standard. He had the team essentially hire a babysitter who took his meal money, traveled everywhere with him, and never left him alone. He was being drug tested 3 times a week, never failing one. One more failed test and he was banned from baseball for good. When he made his debut with the Reds, the fans gave him 4 standing ovations. He was finally the feel good story. And every reporter and fan who wanted to hear the story got it. And he always lets them know where his power came from.

My favorite and probably everyone elses favorite Josh Hamilton moment came in July of last year. I was at Xtreme Fitness in Campbellsville running on a treadmill and watching the Home Run Derby on one of the tvs. When Josh started training again, he had a vivid dream of being at Yankee Stadium in the Homerun Derby and seeing him hit balls out, and then being interviewed by a femial reporter. At this point, Hamilton was my favorite player in the game. But Hamilton stepped into Yankee Stadium and put on a show that no one will forget. Instead of having a coach or teammate throw him pitches for the Derby, he brought along a man in his 70's who used to throw him batting practice as a kid. He told this man when he was still in high school that if he ever competed in the Derby that he would let him pitch to him. Hamilton put on the greatest show in Derby history. In the Derby, you get 10 outs, and an out is any swing that is not a homerun. At one point, he hit 13 straight homeruns. He finished with 28 in the first round, a record. The last time he was in Yankee Stadium he heard chants of "Josh smokes crack", but this time they were chanting "Ha-mil-ton." Afterwards, he was interviewed on the field by Erin Andrews, ESPN's female correspondent. He told the world about his relationship with Christ and how God is His strength.

So I was excited to read his book, if you can tell. And sorry for the extremely long post, which may be longer than the book itself. But I can man up and say that there were times in the book when I was in tears reading about his struggles and recovery. I highly recommend the book. I read all 250-plus pages in one sitting, and wish there was more. If not the book, check out the link at the bottom of this post. Early into the 2007 season, while he was still with the Reds and before the Derby and his All-Star appearance, he wrote a guest letter/article for ESPN:The Magazine. It's not terribly long, so if you get the chance, check it out. This book also excites me because of the ballplayers at WKU. I had talked to them before about Josh's testimony, and they were all intrigued. on Western's sports website, they have been doing profiles of each of the senior players leading up to the season. Each of them were asked the same questions about themselves. One of the questions was "What book have you recently read or enjoyed reading?" Every single senior on the team said Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton. It excites me to know that these guys are hearing an incredible testimony from a guy more talented than them, who seemed to have everything, but who wasn't following God. That excites me more than anything. If you read the article below, there is an incredible addition to the story at the end of the article that is in the book. If you read the article, let me know and I can fill you in.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Bucket List(for 2009)

I am a person who likes to set goals. I like to look at a piece of paper and see a list of desires that I have. It keeps me focused and actively pursuing those. I was thinking about my bucket list the last few days. It was funny, because as I was thinking about it, I was on Facebook, and Chris Raynolds made a comment about bucket lists in his status. Technically, a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you "kick the bucket." But I don't know when I will kick the bucket. So this is my Bucket List for 2009, in case I kick it on New Years 2010.

1.Do all the devos and readings for DA Carson's "For the Love of God." For anyone who never went to Living Hope in Bowling Green, this was a churchwide challenge to read God's word and study together, but it was from a few years back. I didnt do it because I was doing my own thing, and focusing on just a few verses at a time. But I really want to gain perspective on the grand scheme of the Bible, and see how it all fits together. It's a devotional book with assigned readings, and at the end of the year, if you have followed along all year, you will have read the Old Testament once and New Testament twice. So I'm excited to continue reading.

2. Get out of unnecessary debt. This includes all debt except for my student loans, which will take me awhile to get paid off. I have some medical bills because of my dads old company filing for bankrupcy and not paying the insurance company for families that were covered on the insurance plan. And I didn't know I had outstanding debt till I did a credit check. Not fun.

3a. Run a half and full-marathon. The half will come during my training for the full. I have had this great desire to run a marathon, but for one reason or another(injury, lack of time, lack of will-power) I haven't finished my training plan and run the race. I'm already on the path. I started a 12-week Spring Training schedule designed by Hal Higdon, Runner's World's former editor. After the 12-week plan, I will begin a 30-week plan, with the goal being to run the St. Jude's Memphis Marathon in December. Katie Lewis, it better be a good one, so don't let me down. When training in the past, I havent given myself enough time to build up a good base and shed weight before starting. I have a slow pace anyways, so the spring training and extended summer and fall training plan should help drop my times. So keep on me folks! I want to do this.

4a. Go bungee jumping. I have wanted to go bungee jumping for awhile, but haven't been around a place that does it. Well, I'm going to take the initiative and find somewhere that does this year. I'm really excited to think about it.

4b. Go skydiving. This is a bigger goal. I don't know anywhere to go skydiving, but this summer I'm going for it. So if anyone wants to join me for either of these, let me know!!

5. Fly to LA to see Jeremy and Amanda. I have never been on an airplane. The closest I have ever been to an airport was to pick up Balcy from the airport. I'm not scared of flying at all. My family didnt vacation much growing up, and when we did, we drove. I'm shooting for late July/early August to go out there. Jeremy and I have talked since my sophomore year of high school about going to LA and being tourists for a little bit and even going on an audition or two, just for fun. And since he lives and works out there now, and is kinda in the industry, he swears that it will be easy for him to get us into a meaningless audition. Definitely no hope or desire to stay or act, but I would love to say that I auditioned. Plus I miss them and want to hang out with them.

6. Get back on track to graduate. With everything going on, I know that finishing school as quickly as possible is a huge goal. I will be working full time, so going to school full time also will be tough, but do-able. I want to be back in Chattanooga soon, so this is how that is going to happen.

7. Coach little league baseball. I absolutely love kids and baseball. And I know how big of an impact coaches have on kids, and how so few impact them the right way. I want to coach football as well, but Campbellsville doesn't really have much of an outlet for youth football. I get more and more excited the more I think about it. And my dad was an incredible coach (winningest coach in Kentucky, led lots of youth teams to state titles, lots of kids playing pro ball, president of the top little league in the US), and even if he cant do much physically, I know he would love to get out there and help out with the kids. Even though he can come off as a grizzly bear to people my age, he is great with kids.

8. Be a better friend. I have the best friends in the world. But I also know that I can be a subpar friend at times. I'm not very good at calling(other than Jeremy), and I want to do that more often. I also don't pray enough for my friends. Sure, I pray when they are dealing with things, but definitely not the way I should when things are going good. All of the other things on my bucket list have a set goal, while this one doesnt, but this one is really important to me.

9. Make the deans list. I would love to be on the dean's list my first semester back. I am a little bit worried about my study habits, since I have had a break from school. But I also think my resolve is better than ever. So dean's list it is.

10. Send my parents on vacation. My parents really need a vacation. They have alot of burdens and worries, and a vacation would go a long way. And they never want to go anywhere big. They would much rather go to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood than really anywhere else. And they have really helped me in the past, so I want to repay the favor.

Well there is my bucket list. I have alot of other goals in my spiritual life, but I don't think the Blogger website is big enough to hold all of those. For my readers: what's your bucket list? I know everyone has goals and desires. Well, share. That's my challenge. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

National Signing Day Thoughts

Well, yesterday was National Signing Day, aka Todd is glued to all day. I'm kinda obsessed with It is set as my homepage right now and I check it a ton. For those who don't know, is a sports website that works primarily at reporting, scouting, and projecting the future of prep athletes. The biggest thing that rivals does is rank football recruits, classes, report on where they might go, and uncover a ton of information on soon to be college stars. They don't ever touch personal lives, only report on grades if they are really, really outstanding, and try to stay away from crushing souls, which can happen with athletes at that age. I got hooked on Rivals my junior year of high school, when two guys I went to school with were big time recruits. That was the first class that Rivals evaluated, so it was cool following the progress of those guys as I was still in class with them. Both are playing pro ball now, one was a pro-bowler and now with the Raiders, and the other is in the CFL, so it was cool to know them when.

But here we go, my thoughts on signing day:
2009 Top Classes-
1. Alabama
2. LSU
3. Ohio State
4. USC
5. Texas
6. Florida State
7. Michigan
8. North Carolina
9. Georgia
10. Florida

Now this only shows the projections of which classes will turn out better. Tennessee had to dominating recruiting classes in the last four years and they have stunk. And generally if your team won a national title or were in the title game, you usually dont get a top class, so Florida being top 10 is awesome. We took fewer recruits because we have so many young stars. Several top prospects chose against us because they knew they wouldnt get playing time as freshmen. But our average prospect rating was the highest in the country, so overall, the guys we got were just as good or better than any other school, there just werent as many. And going back and looking at the top recruits from years past is what I did alot yesterday. Here are the top recruits from 2006-
1.Percy Harvin!!!!
2. Andre Smith
3. Chris Wells
4. Gerald McCoy
5. Sergio Kindle
6. Matthew Stafford
7. Vidal Hazelton
8. CJ Spiller
9. Allan Bradford
10. Mitch Mustain
11. Sam Young
12. Myron Rolle
13. Brandon Spikes!!!!
14. Reshad Jones
15.Brandon Graham
16. Taylor Mays
17. Robert Rose
18. Stafon Johnson
19. AJ Wallace
20. Al Woods
21. Ricky Sapp
22. Tim Tebow!!!!

If you follow college football, you will see that most of these guys ended up being studs. Some were major busts(Mitch Mustain, Sergio Kindle). And I stopped at 22 because I wanted to show how far down the list Tim Tebow was. He was considered a once in a lifetime recruit, but a good one. So the rankings dont usually go exact, but they are still pretty dead on, generally.

In other recruiting news, WKU put together their best recruiting class ever. They signed 26 players, 3 of which have no business even going to WKU, because they could have gone to bigger schools. But after you go 2-10(given, they played the toughest non-conference schedule in the country with games against Alabama, Ball State, UK, and Virginia Tech), everybody thinks they can start as a freshman. We scored the best recruiting class in the conference, and will begin our first official bowl eligible D-1 season with a good foundation.

Sorry to the mainly female persuasion who read my blog who dont care one bit about all of this recruiting stuff. But these are Todd's Thoughts.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snowmageddon 2009

It has finally come. I am once again a citizen of Campbellsville. Keith and I loaded up the truck on Monday and I shipped out that night. I was planning on staying one more night to just kind of soak it up, but there was apparently going to be a snow/ice storm in Kentucky around midnight. I have always been skeptical of weathermen's predictions, but I headed out anyways. As soon as I rolled into the driveway, the heavens opened up. To make a long story short, Kentucky has been under a state of emergency for the last few days. Power outages were widespread, families had to leave their homes to go to shelters, roads were covered, and cell towers got knocked down, leaving alot of people without phone service. Luckily, Campbellsville didn't get the worst of it, but it was still pretty bad. So leaving early was the right call.

I am not the kind of guy who can go to sleep knowing there is work to be done. So, at 11:15 Monday night, I started unloading the truck. Yep, the whole thing that night. I put most of it in the garage to start, and spent much of Tuesday organizing and sorting. The highlight of Tuesday was hooking up my LCD TV in the living room for my dad. He can't get up and down the steps very well anymore, so the living room is his place now. By Tuesday afternoon everything was done, including rearranging the downstairs, my bedroom upstairs, and putting everything away.

That night it hit me-I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO IN CAMPBELLSVILLE!!!! I pretty much did everything there is to do in one day. I am hoping that future posts are filled with new and exciting things, but from being in this city before, I know that may not happen. I'm crossing my fingers though......and missing Chattanooga....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cause I'm Leaving, On A.......Uhaul. I Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again.....

Well it is time for me to head back to Campbellsville. I will be leaving on Tuesday morning. Since most of my blog friends posted their Favorites of 2008 posts and I didnt, I decided that I will post my favorite Chattanooga things. To clarify, it is my favorite things or pictures that have happened since I moved here. Some won't be Chattanooga related, but happened over the past few months while I was here. So here we go(in chronological order):

1.Wedding season
You probably cant tell, but on the right are the Geyers. They got married the day after I moved to town. And on the right are the Wellmans. Ross was my roommate and friend since high school. The only problem was that they got married on the same day, and since David proposed first, and the wedding was in Chatty, I decided to go to the Geyer's wedding and miss Ross' Bowling Green wedding.

2.Calvary Chapel/New Building
I was really praying for a church to get involved with in Chattanooga, and God answered in a big way. I fell in love with Calvary Chapel and the staff. This picture is actually from the first service at the new building. If you look closely, I am sitting in the next to last row. The third person in the row wearing the red shirt is Joe Brunk, then me, Kasey, Megan Stephens, Deb Jones, and David Nigh.

3. Good People
And most of the people who read my blog are the good people that I got to spend time with here. So if you are reading this, you are one of these people, so... nuff said.

4. Da Gators!!!

Come on, you knew I couldn't go through this blog without giving a shout-out to my boys from Gainesville. And 2 of our big 3 will be coming back, so next year is looking great as well. And this picture may be my new favorite. Sure, the gimmick was stolen from Lebron's Nike campaign, but I still like it.

Well, I think that will close out my time in Chattanooga. I have loved it and can't wait to come back for good.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tagged(I think I'm obligated to do this)....

So Kristin tagged me in this little picture thing. I was going to skip it, but I decided to after seeing the picture. You have to go into your photo albums and post the 4th photo from the 4th album. And here we go:

This was taken at the 2007 AOPI Rose Formal. On the left is Victoria Sansom, my date, and on the right is Lori Morel, Joe Brunk's date. It was definitely a fun and exhausting day. Kasey had already asked Ben to go, but Victoria and Lori wanted to do something fun to ask Joe and me. Lori actually made a little scavenger hunt, leading Joe all around Bowling Green. At the end, she had a big plate of bacon (Joe is a big bacon fan) and she asked him to formal. And Victoria rewrote the lyrics to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rap, and asked me in the song (Lori laid the beat). And the formal was alot of fun. We were about the only ones there not hammered, so we had our own fun. I ran a half marathon that morning and was exhausted, but still got down with it. The girls were alot of fun, and anytime you get Ben, Joe, and me together on a dance floor, it is pretty awesome. Definitely a highlight of that semester.

P.S. I think most of my blog friends were already tagged, so I guess I get to skip that part.
P.S.S. Refer to my last post about 24. After 24 aired that night, I realized that I had missed my calling as a prophet.Well, only a prophet when it comes to 24. And no, I did not cheat. I just had more faith in the "bad guy."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thoughts on 24, the new "bad" guy, and the Gators

OK, I have been waiting anxiously for last night. It has been a year and a half since 24 was last on. Because of the writer's strike, it didn't come on at all last year. And that was a little rough, because season 6 ended on probably the worst note that it could have. I started watching 24 almost 2 1/2 years ago, when I lived in the 502. Ben and I hadn't seen 24, and Jochim was a big fan, and everyone we knew was a big fan, so we gave in. We watched the first 5 seasons in a short amount of time, and you can look at our grades that semester to see that we spent too much time watching 24. Ben even bought a Jack bag, and I just walked through life assuming that at least one of my closest friends had to be a spy for Japanese terrorists (I would have guessed Ross).
*Attention!!!!! Stop reading immediately if you are not caught up to the current season of 24!!!! I'm talking to you Sarah Guin!!!!!*

So the new bad guy on 24 is apparently Tony Almeida. I refuse to believe this. Ben and I hold Tony as one of our favorite tv characters of all time. His "death" in season 5 was tough, but I was always skeptical. And now he is supposedly back as a terrorist loyalist. My bold season 7 prediction: Tony is working as a double agent. His death was faked in order to protect him and those close to him(that were still alive). I believe that Bill Buchanon knew he was still alive, and used him to get a man on the inside of a terrorist plot. I also think that Aaron Pierce, David Palmer's former secret service agent, is involved somehow. I know that Aaron is coming back because Glenn Morshower, the guy who plays Aaron, was in a movie that Jeremy worked on and they talked about it and how he has a big role this season. So Tony is good. I mean come on, he got caught in hour 2. That shouldn't happen.

Thursday night wasn't bad either. The Gators came through in a big way and won the BCS title. That's my man Brandon Spikes holding up the crystal ball. I know that it is rare to have your favorite team pull through and win it all, so I'm enjoying the victory. The Braves haven't won it all since 95 and haven't been good the last few season. The Packers haven't won it all since the 90's, and are usually up and down. But Florida has come through. I have got to enjoy 4 national titles( two football and two basketball) in 3 years. That is unheard of, so I will enjoy it for now. Oh, by the way, Tim Tebow is coming back. He is probably my favorite athlete ever, so having him for one more year is exciting.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Good Night's Sleep

So I have had alot of sleepless nights lately. Now that it is a certainty that I will be heading back to Campbellsville, I knew that things were going to change quickly. And I have loved being in Chatty. It seemed like the second I moved in I was already plugged in. And the more and more I got plugged in at Calvary, the more and more I fell in love with the church and the area. The youth there, and the way it is run, is amazing. I went to youth group one night, mainly to observe, and connected with two kids immediately, and have gotten pretty close with one of them. So the idea of moving now was not seen as a good thing.

And it's not that I think it's the wrong decision, because I know it's right. I know that you just don't end up somewhere. God divinely places people in certain areas, and He works everything out for the good of Him. But I realized why I hadn't slept much-my prayer life. I have been praying so much lately. But one of my greatest weaknesses is that I often times try to look eye-to-eye with God. Being a regular church goer for almost 9 years now, I know all the cute phrases. And I know stories, and some theology. So when I have been praying, it has almost been a formula. I know what to say, I know what the Bible says, I know what will please God. Except I didnt know what would please God, and it certainly wasn't my prayers. I was trying to put myself on level with God, by thinking that I knew everything that needed to be known. I failed to realize that the prayers that are powerful are the ones where we realize that God is the maker of the universe, and while we pray, that we are actually in His presence, on our face before Him. I was praying standing upright. Not physically, but in spirit.

So on Tuesday the guys came over for a little Bible study hang out time. Having a core group of guys has been huge for me since being down here. Nothing earth moving or mountain shaking was said, but that night, I prayed, truly prayed, and felt right to sleep. The first good night of sleep in over a week.

God can move people, and He doesn't need us to realize how big he is for it to be real. I am so small when it comes to a prayer life. I realize that praying before and after your Bible reading, or before meals, or bed, or Bible study doesn't mean you have an active prayer life. The active prayer life is constant. It's in the car. It's walking downtown. It's while watching tv. God is constant and always near, so a set schedule of prayer undermines the fact that He is there even when we don't realize it. It's when I fully realize this that my sleepless nights will end, and my burdens will really be laid before Him.

So there you go, a whole lot of rambling from a guy who needs to listen to his own words.

One last thought-8 pm. Fox. Find a good spot. Go Gators!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

At a Crossroads/Campbellsville AGAIN????

Sorry that it has been so long since I updated. I didn't really touch a computer over the Christmas break(except to watch season 3 of Friday Night Lights online), so now is really the first time that I get a chance. And there are some big things that may happen soon, but first, my musings about the holidays.

Ralphie's Gun
So I will admit that I am a big fan of Christmas Story, the move about Ralphie and his gun and bullies and all. I normally watch it a few times, but this year I spent most of my tv watching with Brent as he watched season 1 of Friday Night Lights(my 3rd time going through it). Thus, this year, I didn't really watch A Christmas Story. But I did catch the ending. I turned it on just as Ralphie came downstairs in his bunny suit. So basically, right when he was getting his gun through the traditional oriental dinner.

It made me think of the way I usually see Christmas. I celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, with Christ's birth, God in flesh, redemption for sin, all of that. But generally, I don't think about the lead-up to His birth. But there was a long period of anticipation for this baby. The trinity is alluded to early in Genesis, so we know that this was planned for awhile. And the book of Isaiah is filled with prophecy of His birth. But I usually skip all of that and get right down to the birth. But this year was a little different. I love to listen to Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God cd, and it is basically a chronological story of Moses through Christ's resurrection. And it just helps to show a thick-headed guy like me that this birth just didnt happen, it wasnt just a miracle birth in a remote place a long time ago. But it was prayed for, and wept over, and many people were even put to death in a feeble attempt to stop His life (think Herod). So what I am saying is that this Christmas was pretty great, and we have a great God.

Big Changes
So now to what is going on with me. There is a very real possibility that I will have to move back to Campbellsville. Without going into much detail, money is tight, and school is important. I absolutely love Chattanooga and want to spend the rest of my life here, but I have to make sure that I can do it the right way. It is becoming obvious that I can't finish my degree while I am here, because there is no room to save for classes. I am in a position where I can leave without too much of a problem (ie no wife, a lease I can get out of, etc.) All of this is to say that prayer is needed. I have been open-minded about moving back and have been praying alot lately. But there have been alot of sleepless nights over the past week. I think I have seen 4 am on my bedroom clock more this past week that in my entire life. I have great friends here and a church that I love and I work for and with some great guys, but I have to do what is right. And that change could come sooner rather than later.