Sports

Running in the Rain (Psalm 68)

Running-in-the-rain (1)

Do you run or walk in the rain?  A recent post for Biblical’s website about how rain helps me connect to God.

Running in the Rain (Psalm 68).

Enjoy.

Keep running.  Currently, I’m limited by a bruised heel that doesn’t want to go away.

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Only one right side to Redskins debate, and history will remember – CBSSports

Washington-RedskinsI always find Gregg Doyel (of cbssports.com) provocative.  I usually agree with him.  I definitely agree this time.  Read his argument here for why the Washington Redskins (US pro football team) should change their racist name: Only one right side to Redskins debate, and history will remember – CBSSports.

It makes it easier that I’m a Broncos fan (since I went to Stanford with John Elway–he was a year ahead of me, he didn’t know who I was).

Doyel’s best line, “Sometimes politically correct is morally correct.”

What do you  think?  I’d love to hear from any Redskins fans.

Jesus versus Muhammad I

Our younger son Noah (16) is taking AP World History.  The AP exam was a few weeks ago, so they wind down the school year with May Madness–64 of the supposedly most influential people in history battle head-to-head over 6 rounds to see who will be crowned the most-influential person of all time.

The teacher selects many of the individuals, but she allows students to nominate people, many of these are recent, popular selections (Beyonce, Ken Jeong, George Lucas).  The students then draft the person they want to represent.

Noah got the 17th pick.  Muhammad was picked first in his class.  Noah was surprised that Jesus (one of the top seeds) was still available, so he decided to follow Jesus.

You’d think Jesus would have to be the overall favorite, but recent outcomes suggest otherwise.

1) Students in Noah’s class clearly didn’t Jesus was influential since the first 16 selectors skipped him.
2) In Nate’s class 2 years ago, Jesus lost in the 1st round to Socrates.  Nate made it to the Elite Eight with Pericles.  He also beat Gandhi as Hitler.  We felt bad about that one.
3) In the other section this year, Jesus lost in the 1st round to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates won overall.  Technological idolatry?

jesus-and-muhammadI guess that makes Jesus a dark horse (not literally).

First round: Noah went up against Ken Jeong (The Hangover).  It was a beat-down, Jesus-style.

Second round: Noah against Confucius (The Philosopher).  This one was close, but Noah didn’t turn the other cheek and defeated his second Asian opponent.

Third round: I would have thought this one would be easy against Osama bin Laden (The Terrorist), but it was a tough battle between OBL and JC, with the Christ coming out on top.

Fourth round: The girl who picked Muhammad had 3 people in the Elite Eight, including Benazir Bhutto (The First Female Prime Minister of Pakistan), and she was good, so she made this one close, but Jesus still defeated his second Muslim opponent.

Fifth round: Noah was torn on this one since he was born on May 4 (“May the Forth be with you”).  He decided to do and not try.  Victorious Jesus was over George Lucas (The Director).

The Final: Jesus versus Muhammad (The Prophet).  Jesus was a bit tired since he had already defeated the creator of Star Wars a few minutes earlier (the semis and finals were both today), but after a short nap in the boat, he was ready to take on his biggest rival among World Religions.

I’ll post the winner tomorrow.

But doesn’t it seem like the global story of the last twelve years has been Jesus versus Muhammad?

Foul Play

When I was 5 I went to see my first baseball game at Wrigley Stadium in Chicago (1967).  I was hooked.  Forty-six years later, I’m still a Cubs fan.  Most baseball fans would consider that a curse.

I don’t remember who the Cubs played that day, what the score was, or who won.  The only thing I remember is a foul ball that landed about 20 feet from us.  “Do you think we made it on TV?” I asked my parents.  “Perhaps.”

Why do I remember that foul ball.  Who knows?  I think it was that baseball came close to me.  I could almost touch it.  I thought, “how cool would it be to catch a foul ball?”  To actually touch the game.

I don’t attend many baseball games.  Probably a total of 20 games over the course of my life.  I played baseball growing up, from 8-14, but my sons grew up in England, where no one plays baseball.  Cricket is similar, but different.  My sons played basketball and soccer, so they never developed an appreciation for baseball.

Last Friday, I went to a Phillies game with friends from Biblical (Todd Mangum, Steve Taylor and Joe Longo).

Two years ago, we went to a Phillies game with this same group.  The game was delayed by a thunder-storm, and went into extra innings, so it was going late.  It was a work night, and Todd, Steve and I committed the unforgivable sin–leaving a tied game before it ended (at 11:00 pm), at the top of the 10th inning.  During the 10th inning, a foul ball came to the section where we were sitting, and ended up bouncing onto the seat where Todd had been sitting.  The kids sitting behind us ended up with the ball.  If we were still there, I could have been fighting with my boss over a ball.

Last Friday our seats were on the lower level, behind 1st base, up about 20 rows.  Prime foul territory.  Early on, a foul ball landed about 30 feet from us.  Joe said, “That’s probably the closest we’ll get to a foul.”  I thought, “I hope not.”  For the rest of the game, fouls were flying nearby, but not near enough to make a serious effort.

About halfway through the game, during one of the inning breaks, some folks wearing Phillies gear ran down to sing “Happy Birthday” to a kid a few rows in front of us.  He was a real fan, baseball cap, Phillies t-shirt and glove, poised to catch a foul ball.

Phillies May 2013 Foul Ball

In the top of the eighth inning, the Phillies were losing to the Brewers 7-5.  The Milwaukee shortstop, who is leading the National League in batting average, Jean Segura, came to face Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus.  Segura fouls the ball off, toward first base.  It’s coming toward us.  I’m sitting on the aisle, so I step out.  It’s hit high, but it’s in front of me, so I can’t get to it.  No one catches it as it bounces on the stairs, two steps in front of me.  The bounce takes it right up to face level for me about 18 inches in front of my face.  I grab it.  It’s mine! It was literally right in front of me (I didn’t have to punch anyone).

My 46 year-old dream has come true.

I dance, wave the ball, high-five the unfortunate guys around me who weren’t lucky enough to have a ball bounce in their face.

As I sat there staring at my treasure, it felt like God said to me, “What are you going to do with that ball?

I said, keep it, put it on my shelf, maybe give it to my sons.

They don’t like baseball.”  Good point.  Don’t give it to the sons.  I’ll keep it for myself.”

Phillies May 2013 Giving Foul Ball to Brian

Why not give it to the birthday kid?”  I don’t know him.  It’d be too weird.

If you give him the ball he won’t care how weird you are.

This debate went on for four outs, until finally I gave in.

For his 12th birthday, Brian (see picture) got a present of a foul ball hit by Jean Segura from a weird guy.