A model of effective, powerful communication...and maybe the best Super Bowl commercial I've ever seen. Never before has my whole family turned breathless.
A model of effective, powerful communication...and maybe the best Super Bowl commercial I've ever seen. Never before has my whole family turned breathless.
This is one of the greatest sports-related products ever invented. "The only club in your bag guaranteed to keep you out of the woods."
Trying to capture a memorable moment during a sporting event isn't easy. You never know when it's coming. You make guesses and take lots of pictures that are just ok at best. I think I got a good one with Elijah running in a cross country meet. You can also check out the rest of my photography.
Not only is this ump's strikeout call great, the fan laughs like Alan Alda in M.A.S.H. I've watched this a dozen times in 5 minutes...
Yes, that is Master's 2012 champion Bubba Watson in the overalls. Also in the video, pro golfers Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, & Hunter Mahan. Awful, and awesome. Congrats Bubba!
Derrick Rose's favorite movie is The Notebook...
Jesus: "Read the playbook, alright? Do you read that?"
Tebow: "The Holy Bible is my playbook."
Jesus: "Oh. Ok. Great. That's great. That's great. But, uh, you need to read the regular playbook, ok? Seriously, I'm doin' all the work here."
One of the best shootout goals I've seen. And at the end, one of the easiest. When you are as fast, creative, and as dangerous as Patrick Kane, this is how you can end a game. Awesome.
Very interesting video of Tim Tebow mic'd up against the Bears. I'm a big Bears fan, so this isn't all that fun for me. But it's interesting enough to post. FYI, Tim Tebow isn't a very good singer. :)
He never gives up and you know he's going to get a touchdown...
Cubs. First, the undefeated champion Woodstock Little League Cubs. (more here) Elijah (10) on the right with teammate Nate. Second, me, Danny (right) and Elijah after our championship game victory. (First two pics taken by my daughter, Sarah) Third, my two boys first trip to Wrigley for a Chicago Cubs game on June 16th. (more here)
All the buzz this week has been about Albert Pujols and whether or not he will get a contract worth signing from the Cardinals before Spring Training. His set deadline for noon today is almost upon us and sources say talks are over, apparently meaning there will be no new contract and Pujols may play elsewhere next season (or move elsewhere this season? Can you say Cubs? C'mon!).
Whatever happens, with Pujols all over the news, this may be the perfect time to pick up Pujols: More Than The Game from my friends Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth. It gets beyond the money and stats to the man and his faith. Also check out the website, and follow @PujolsBio on Twitter.
This is why you never mess with a mascot.
Tullian Tchividjian: Counterfeit Gospels
The good news of the gospel is that both inside and outside the church, there is only One Savior and Lord, namely Jesus. And he came, not to angrily strip away our freedom, but to affectionately strip away our slavery to lesser things so that we might become truly free!
As I was just talking to Jayne about this she said many people are willing to do the basics of hospitality, but shut down once it gets difficult and messy. It is at this point, where the Gospel gives us strength to continue AND where the opportunities to give a reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15) open up because most people (believer and unbeliever alike) know how to be “good neighbors”, however, very few are willing to “suffer” (if we can call it that) for the sake of others.
We have found that the mess and the difficulty of loving hospitality done in the power of the Gospel is one of the most powerful witnesses we’ve had to our neighborhood.
Don't start with a big program. Don't suddenly think you can add to your church budget and begin. Start personally and start in your home. I dare you. I dare you in the name of Jesus Christ. Do what I am going to suggest. Begin by opening your home for community...
How many times in the past year have you risked having a drunk vomit on your carpeted floor? How in the world, then, can you talk about compassion and about community--about the church's job in the inner city?
Joe Thorn: Do You Love the Law?
But here's the rub: we can only love the law after it has been fulfilled by Christ on our behalf. The law will only be a delight to us after we have found life by the gospel.
Lifehacker: Create your own QR-Code, like this one for my Tim Keller Resources...
A few weeks back I wrote about connecting with suburbanites during the summer. I mentioned participating in cultural events, being servants through things like coaching sports, and having hospitable events like cookouts. With 5 full weeks left we still have a lot of great opportunities to connect. I’ve noticed in my life and in the life of my family that 5 tools have stood out this summer as helpful for connecting with our neighbors. Here they are for you. I hope you’ll add to the list.
1. Invite Cards — My church, Doxa Fellowship, just recently had some branding work done and immediately had some invite cards created. If your church doesn’t have them, I highly recommend getting some done. They are simple, attractive business cards with key church info. On ours we have the church name, website and email on the front and our Sunday location and time, including a map, on the back.
I have invite cards in my wallet, backpack, both cars, camera case, etc. I don’t drop them under windshield wipers or “accidentally” leave them lying around. The last thing people need is to feel like your church is the same as the going-out-of-business furniture store. I use them relationally. They give a better connection to our church when meeting someone or having a conversation.
I think after a shipping snafu we ended up paying $25 for 1,000 cards. You can get them plenty cheap, and they are of great value. I pass them out all the time. I keep them in front of my face as an encouragement to use them. I have a stack by where I set my wallet and keys. I put 3 on the table at the café when I sit down to read or work and see if I can give them out before I leave. It’s a great tool.
2. Tennis Ball — I have two sports-oriented kids who will watch girls softball if nothing else is on. One thing we have learned to do is always keep a tennis ball in the car, in our swimming pool bag, in Elijah’s bat bag, etc. When we are at the pool and they force that 15 minute break, we grab the ball and play “hot box” in the grass. Hot box is where you have two bases, a guy catching at each base, and everyone else is a baserunner trying to advance but not get an out. And guess what. Kids see us playing and want to join in every time we play.
A few days ago we had about ten kids playing hot box at the pool. Just last night we were on the Woodstock Square for a band concert. We took the tennis ball and started up a game of hot box well off to the side. Sure enough others joined in. We’ve connected with parents and kids by just having fun with my kids and inviting others to join in.
A tennis ball is nice because it’s heavy enough to throw hard and soft enough to not damage someone. But if you aren’t baseball oriented try a good nerf football (you need to be able to really throw it or it’s worthless), a frisbee, hacky sack, bag toss (sorry, I won’t call it “c*orn hole). You have nerdy kids? Cool. Embrace it. Bring extra magnifying glasses and invite kids to burn ants. Or if nothing else works, just play a game of tag.
3. Extra ______ — It’s happened to you. You are at the pool or the park and someone didn’t bring something they needed. Maybe it’s a water bottle. Maybe it’s bug spray or sunscreen. I was golfing several weeks ago and someone needed a Tums. I had one. When you go somewhere, bring extra consumables and be aware of folks around you who might be suffering from forgetting something or a lack of planning. Be over-prepared and generous.
It doesn’t need to just be consumables. Early in the Little League season it was cold and we would have plenty of blankets in the van for our family and for others if needed. Bring an extra umbrella if it might rain. It’s snowing? Bring an extra sled.
The key here is to think of others when planning for your events and
outings. Whatever you need for yourself, just add more. We leave bug
spray, sunscreen, umbrellas, sweatshirts, wet wipes, lawn chairs, and
water bottles in the car pretty much at all times.
4. Camera — I can’t tell you how many times I have my camera with me and see someone trying to get a “family picture” with one member of the family holding the disposable camera. I let them get their shot and then tell them I’m happy to get a photo with my camera and email it to them. They love it. Most often I just tell them I’ll take the photo and they can see and download it on Flickr. I carry Moo mini cards with my name, email address and Flickr address on it.
I also like to grab photos of other people and/or their kids in the park, playing baseball, etc, and then give them a Moo card. In the last few weeks Elijah (8) played on the 7-8 year old all-star team. I took a handful of photos, put them on Flickr, and gave a Moo card to every parent and coach. Same with the 9 year old team. Same with Danny’s (6) bittie ball team. The commissioner of the entire Woodstock Little League organization has been grabbing my photos for next year’s book because of it. Lots of great connections. A few weeks ago a woman in Woodstock was getting a photo of her kids by a piece of local art and I told her to pose with her kids and I’d email her the photo.
If you have a decent camera, it can be a great tool for making connections with your neighbors.
5. Courage — How often do you kick yourself for not striking up a conversation? Or are you so bad at it that you just gave up and don’t even feel bad about it anymore? We need a renewed courage to strike up conversations along the way.
I’m an introvert. Everyone in my church thinks I’m an extrovert because I’ve forced myself to learn to strike up conversations when in public, though I’m still learning how.
Having invite cards, tennis balls, a can of Cutter and a Nikon won’t get you anywhere without a little courage to gently push into the lives of others with an opportunity to serve them. Too often people won’t ask for help. They will swat the mosquitoes rather than asking if you might have spray. Often the kids will stand on the sideline and watch us play catch rather than ask to join in.
Once you are prepared with a few “connection tools” you have to be looking and longing to be involved in the lives of others. You have to find opportunities, and open your mouth. “Want to play with us?” “You know, that picture of your wife would look better with you in it. How about if I get a picture for you?” “Skittles?” Once you have a way to connect, go ahead, connect!
Let me know some tools you have found helpful for connecting with your neighbors.
*Originally posted at sub•text
Molly Update: Molly is very, very tired. Every day she sleeps about the right amount of time and feels like lying down for the rest of the day. She can't nap well and never feels refreshed or energized. It's very frustrating for her. I regularly walk in the house or walk upstairs from my office and find her on the couch or in the bed. Her attitude is in the right place but her body just won't keep step. Calls to the neurologist and medication adjustments continue.
Curator: An American Beer Garden. If wishing made it so.
Seth Godin: Ignore Your Critics
Jonathan Dodson: Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?
Tim Chester: A review of Rob Bell's Everything is Spiritual
Donald Miller: Advice on writing from Stephen King. Unfortunately Miller spells it "Steven" which should be another piece of advice on writing. While we are on writing, what about cut and paste writing?
Kevin Gregg is the Cubs' closer, not Carlos Marmol. It's not as sexy to set up, but Marmol has been good at it.
Rapping flight attendant...
Brief Molly Update: She is doing really well. Scheduling a neuro/psych test for the late summer and a sleep test in the near future. Otherwise, all is relatively well.
Are you going to The Gospel Coalition 2009 Conference? C'mon! I'm one of the speakers at Band of Bloggers. My topic is "What is the place for art and culture in Christian blogging?" As you know if you've read Reformissionary for long that I'm very fond of music, photography and poetry. Should be a good time.
A summer Chicago Tea Party? Interesting CNBC video...
I'm hooked on the eyeballing game.
Have you seen The Legend of Speedo Guy? Good stuff. Yes, Joe Thorn actually found something in sports that I hadn't heard of.
My 5 year old, Daniel, colored a picture for kindergarten. He was supposed to write a sentence about the picture. Here's what he wrote...
Now at first glance it appears that Danny says "The Cubs are not in the World Series" followed by crying "Wah wah wah wahhhhhh." But When I asked him about what he wrote he made that sound like on a game show when you pick the door with the goat behind it. Like this. Hilarious! I'm not even sure where he came up with that. But he sure does understand the Cubs!
Molly Update: Molly has been really worn out, feeling sick to her stomach, and has been in bed most of the time after returning from surgery. Because of that she has been very frustrated and wants to feel better. I'm just trying to remind her to take it slow and realize this is a long term healing thing.
Mark Devine has mentioned me in his new book. The chapter is found here.
Ahh, the growing Covenant Theological Seminary Worldwide Classroom. What a great resource.
Justin Taylor: From John Piper's new book, Spectacular Sins, What To Do, and What Not To Do, With Evil.
Mark Driscoll is releasing the book Porn-Again Christian online for free. It will be released progressively over the next several months.
Josh Harris' Preaching Notes series: Mark Driscoll.
Ahh, the baseball playoffs are here. Love it. Love baseball. Inspiration...
Just one this week, and one some of you have already seen. It's Lou Piniella and his self-induced wedgie. Um...yuck, but funny. See all my photography.
Quick Update: GoatRiders of the Apocalypse linked to all and posted some of my photos. Thanks guys!
I got a call on Sunday afternoon from Gary, a church attender and big Cubs fan. He wanted to know if I wanted to make the trek to Milwaukee's Miller Park for the Monday afternoon Cubs game vs the hurricane Ike displaced Houston Astros. They had just been scheduled on Saturday. I had already considered it after reading a Cubs fan blog on the two game series. After a bit of thinking I called Gary back and asked, why not Sunday night (that night)? The main reason I thought about Sunday night was that I could take my two youngest who are Cubs/baseball fanatics. They have seen a White Sox game live but not the Cubs. Gary agreed and we left 45 minutes later for the game.
We remarked before even leaving my driveway that we were so fortunate to be attending a game where Zambrano was slated to pitch. We made the 90 minute trip to Miller Park and Cubs fans were seemingly in every car on the highway. The parking guy commented as I shelled out $10, "Welcome to Wrigley North."
We entered Miller Park, which had the roof on because of approaching rain, to see the Cubs during batting practice. We found our seats, but went up next to the field to see them practice up close. After a bit we ate (me: Italian sausage, hot pretzel and a Pepsi, boys: cheese pizza and a Pepsi) and sat down for the game in the upper deck almost right behind home plate. It was actually a great view of the field.
Alfonso Soriano opened the game with a homer, leading us to the first of many fist pumps and screams for the evening. Two innings in I noticed that Zambrano hadn't given up a hit, but that happens a lot early in a game. In the third inning the Cubs threw down four more runs to take a 5-0 lead. Zambrano came out and pitched a no-hit third and 4th inning. I turned to Gary and my boys and mentioned the no-hitter in the works. Gary and I both commented about how cool it would be if that would happen, neither of us really believing it would happen. Too much game to play. We decided not to take it too seriously until after the 6th inning.
After six innings we all looked at each other wide eyed, realizing that Zambrano was doing more than just having a good night. This night could make history. There was a cautious but noticeable buzz in the crowd as you would overhear people talking about a "no-hitter" again and again as they chatted about the game.
The last three innings were intense. Every strike led to loud cheers, high fives, and raised arms in triumph among most of the 23,441 fans (since nearly all were Cubs fans). As the 6th inning ended I began Twittering the no-hitter. After the 7th inning we started counting down how many outs were left. I found myself almost crouching with every pitch, hands on my knees, eager but afraid to see the no-hitter broken. The stadium was electrified.
Around the end of the 8th inning or so my phone rang. It was my Dad. He said, "Do you get the Cubs on your TV?" He didn't and was listening to the radio. I said, "Dad...I'm at the game!" He already knew that after calling my house and was pulling my leg. He said something like, "Bring it home!" "I'll try Dad."
As you can imagine, the 9th inning was very loud. Several times the crowd started chanting "Big-Z!" or "Cubb-ies!" My kids were shouting and screaming, Gary and I were giggling like kids at the entrance to Disney World. We couldn't believe it was happening, but it was. I grabbed my camera, which I had put away after the early innings, and started getting some last shots of Zambrano and the Cubs on the field to remember the night so that if he finished the job we could remember. I also wanted to be ready so that if it did happen I could capture the celebration.
As we got to the last out, and the batter swung at the last pitch, the crowd went bonkers. I was snapping photos and Gary hugged me so tight I had to stop taking them for a second. Then I took many other photos of the on field celebration as well as high-fived everyone around me. It was surreal. No one left the park as we all cheered and watched the players slapping Zambrano on the head wildly. Finally the Cubs began to leave the field and we all cheered very loud. As Zambrano took several on-field interviews we stayed and cheered until he walked off. Waving to the crowd he went down to the club house and we finally packed up and left.
We hit the john, and everyone walk talking to each other at the urinals. Some drunkish looking guy looked at me and said, "Did that just happen? Tell me that just happened!" We started the long walk out of the stadium and everyone is talking, yelling, cheering, singing, high-fiving, waving signs, talking about winning the World Series, and more. It was, again, surreal.
We got outside and started toward the parking lot and a couple of guys were talking to my boys. They talked about how they will remember this for their whole lives. I called Molly and my Dad and told them about the experience of being there. We hopped in the car and couldn't really move to get out of the packed parking lot. A guy came up to our open window and started in on how historic this game was. "Google it! It's been 36 years man!" He looked back at my kids in the van and started cheering and they cheered back. Then he went in front of the car that was blocking my way into the line out of the parking lot and told them we needed to go first because "They are Cubs fans." Well, that car was full of Cubs fans too, but I was happy to inch forward a bit.
We drove out, turned on the radio and listened to post-game. The 2 hour trip home (added time for lots of bumper-to-bumper back toward Chicago) was full of conversation and laughing and realizing that we had seen something really, really special. Gary and I talked to the boys about how important and historic this game was. I'm so glad I was there, and I'm espeically thrilled my two boys were there. Add to that the fact that Gary initiated the evening by calling me and paid our way into the game. Should God give me a long life, this will be one of the stories I will never tire of telling. Now...let's get to the World Series!
News today that Lance Armstrong is riding in next year's Tour de France...
The move would reunite Armstrong with Johan Bruyneel, now the team director for Astana.
VeloNews reported Armstrong also will compete in the Amgen Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Georgia and the Dauphine-Libere.
I hope the rumors are true because the Tour needs some excitement, it needs a hero, WE need a hero...
Tim Keller in byFaith Magazine: The Case for Commissioning (Not Ordaining) Deaconesses (via)
Trevin Wax: Bedtime Prayers With Our Children
Kent Shaffer: Top 10 pet peeves about worship leaders
Brad Lomenick from Catalyst: Turning Ideas into Reality
Joe Thorn and I have an announcement coming on Friday. Stay tuned.
Justin Childers has some great questions from John Bunyan. Do these characterize your life?
If you haven't found it yet, Re:Lit (Resurgence Literature) has a new site.
In sports news, I'm enjoying following the Tour de France, though it doesn't come close to the Lance years. And good news for the Cubs comes in a trade for two pitchers.
I remember years ago hearing Mark Dever talk about the book The Gospel Blimp by Joseph Bayly, a book on how to do and not to do evangelism. The author's sons have put up the comic book version for your enjoyment. Well worth checking out.
Andy Davis talks "Dangers in Reforming a Church." Thoughtful.
How can you encourage expressiveness in worship? Some thoughts from Bob Kauflin.
Jeremy Pryor: 3 powerful tools for discipleship.
Craig Groeschel: 10 lessons on developing people.
Matt Chandler audio: Creating pathways for spiritual formation.
Quite coddling your kids. Please! And don't miss the excellent TED video in the article.
Tony Morgan: 9 do's and don'ts for ministry growth.
My 7 year old, Elijah, is in the 7-8 year old Little League division here in Woodstock, Illinois. Elijah is small for his age, one of the smaller kids in the league. That hasn't stopped him from being one of the most important players on our team: a pitcher, first baseman, infielder, etc. He is a natural at baseball with good form and a heart to be good at what he does. Plus, he just loves the game.
The tryouts for the 7-8 year old all-star team was on Saturday. They had three stations: pitching, fielding and hitting. I was proud at how Elijah did. He was solid at each task, as were many of the kids. With him being younger, smaller (the smallest at tryouts!), less powerful at the plate and so on, it seemed easy to assume that Elijah would be better suited for next year's all-star team. I worked hard to convince him that it's okay to wail until next year and that he probably wouldn't be chosen for this year's team. I was wrong.
We got a call from the coach on Sunday who informed me that Elijah was an all-star. We were surprised he was chosen, but not surprised at how Elijah has showed that the size of your body matters less than the size of your heart, effort and passion. He now has a number of new practices coming up and a new uniform to wear to a tournament in mid-July. I'm so proud of my boy, who is much like his Daddy at his age (though I was taller). Looking forward to a few fun weeks ahead.
My brother captured two tornados on video last week. Neither were doing anything amazing, but it's still pretty cool to a storm buff like me.
I love coaching Little League, and would love to coach this kid. Awesome...
Jeremy Pryor continues explaining his Story-Formed Life discipleship class/strategy...
The Office originated in Japan. Did you know that? Here you go...
Tim and Kathy Keller: The Role of Women in Ministry.
Tim Chester: How I teach the Bible in a household church.
Tony Morgan: 7 reasons why the church needs artists.
Jonathan Dodson on building missional cores.
I'm really sick at the moment (102 temp) and I thought a lots-o-links post would be therapeutic. And away we go.
A Cubs website: Just One Bad Century.
JD Greear: Multi-Site = Multi-Opportunity.
The Empire Strikes Barack...
Check out Ed Stetzer's post about the current decline of the Southern Baptist Convention. Joe Thorn and I have been blogging on these issues for years, and Ed offers some very good commentary and critique. I'm very thankful for guys like Stet who are speaking to the convention honestly and directly. Here's a snippet...
Baptisms are at their lowest levels since 1970 with seven of the last eight years showing annual declines. Even though some might hope the decline in membership numbers is due to lack of reporting, the inescapable conclusion is that baptisms by individual churches is falling off. (LifeWay Research will provide more analysis in the next month.)
For now, Southern Baptists are a denomination in decline. Some of you were born into an SBC church; others of us chose it of our own accord. Either way, it is dear to us all. Our responsibility before God is, then, to urgently consider how we should respond.
Also worth checking out is the New Evangelism Research.
Bob Hyatt shares a great photo of what a church that packs out a coffee shop looks like. Love it.
A Cubs hater (meaning, someone who likes another team) sent me a video filmed from the bleachers of Wrigley Field. In it two fans, who probably had too much to drink (it's a Cubs game, duh), decided to have a hot dog eating context. The result is worth watching. There is at least one word that is not for kids, so please heed the WARNING: Not for kids or judgmental Christians...
The WGA writer's strike is over. I've been following the strike online and through some podcasts, and was hoping the writer's would get a fair shake. It appears they are content, and now we can get back to watching some well-written new TV and movies.
I recently rented The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, a documentary of one man's effort to beat the high score of Donkey Kong from a guy who you want to see lose it. It's a very entertaining movie that I highly recommend. Rent it and then tell me what you think. Here's the trailer...
Pitchers and catchers reporting today for the Cubs. Very good news. I've briefly visited HoHoKam Stadium, where the Cubs have spring training, in Phoenix a few winters ago when on a golf trip with my dad and uncles. My rabid-sports-nut-7-year-old, Elijah, reported as a pitcher last Sunday here in Woodstock. They have a handful of pitcher's and catcher's training sessions at our local rec center. He's shorter than most kids his age, but has an arm on him. AND he is accurate. I often have to encourage him to throw harder because he's afraid the kid across from him will not catch it and get hurt, or something. And since I'm helping to coach his team this year, I'm considering trading him to another team for a case of Schlitz!
Some of you know I have an autistic son. My wife enjoyed this video recently, so I thought it was worth sharing...
Great slideshow about what it's like being a Cubs fan. When you are a Cubs fan you are more than a fan of a team or a sport. Love this slideshow. By the way, if you make some stupid comment about the Cubs or your particular team, I will ban you as a commenter for life. Deal with it. :)
Hearing John Piper do QnA is always a good time, and very encouraging. This one was at Wheaton. Here are the rest of his Wheaton messages.
Bryan Chapell on Expository Preaching
Cawley talks Nation of Rebels
You know that cycling is in good shape as a sport when the team that won the Tour de France 8 of the last 9 years disbands after their most current win. Doping sucks.
Watch the PGA Championship online for free 9am-7pm each day. Nice
Drew Goodmanson gives a nice history of his church's website, Kaleo, through version 5. Helpful in thinking about church websites.
"Church Squared" by Stetzer
We are hoping to make a train trip into Chicago again before school begins. Here are two videos of previous trips...
The Cubs are now in 1st place in the NL Central thanks to a great mid-summer stretch of exciting, well-coached (rare in these parts) baseball. From Sportsline...
The Cubs, who were 8½ games behind on June 23, finally overcame the Milwaukee Brewers -- at least for a day. Chicago's win, coupled with the Mets' 8-5 win at Milwaukee, puts the Cubs a percentage point ahead of the Brewers.
"You can't make too much out of it on the first of August," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We've got a lot of baseball to play. We can't get caught up in it."
It could all change tomorrow, as I know having lived through 2003, but this has been a fun summer for Cubs fans...especially my son, Elijah. He has gone from watching the occasional game on our limited cable setup to following all of them in real time on Sportsline.com. I've really enjoyed cheering along with him as he comes into my office to give me the latest update on who's on base, who hit the latest homer, which players are on the bench, how much he loves Soriono, and so on. A few days ago we got him a Soriono T-shirt. And yesterday (Wednesday) we followed the latest game on the computer, then listened on the radio for a bit as we sat in the car, then back on the computer again, then to the radio for the finish. Lots of fun with my little athelete.
The Prologue of the Tour is underway as I type (follow it here). It takes place in London. Will doping continue to detract from this fantastic sporting event? I hope not. It's three of my favorite weeks of the year.
I follow most of the event on Sportsline's Tour page, and their live updates found here. I'm going to be checking in on Versus.com as well, which seems to have a lot of good info. It seems that Vs is the new Outdoor Life Network, which televised the Tour. Now on Vs there should be live updates, video clips, and more. Also check out the TdF live tracker.
My wife and I both have degrees from Southern Illinois University (1993, 1994), so we are excited to see that the Salukis have made it to the Sweet 16 thanks to a "suffocating defense." They decisively beat Virginia Tech yesterday 63-48. I missed the end of the game because they were looking so unbeatable that they switched to another game on TV. Now they move on to play Kansas, the #1 ranked team in the West.
It's especially cool for us because the coach of SIU is Chris Lowery, the point guard of the Salukis when we were dating in college and attending every home game. One season we had like 4th row mid-court tickets.
I was watching some of the Pro Bowl with my sports fanatic 6 year old son, Elijah. He asks so many questions during sporting events that I often miss the on-air discussions with the "experts." Yeah, I know talking with my kid is way better than listening to Greg Gumbel, but sometimes I really want to hear what they are saying.
After tonight, I will never question the priority of listening to my son. Somewhere around question/comment #1,724 he noticed that a guy on the Redskins was playing where Brian Urlacher would play. I missed the first half of his comment as I was coming out of my game-mode zombie state and switching to loving-dad-mode, but he said something like, "Dad, did you notice that a guy from the Rednecks is playing where Urlacher plays?"
Where in the heck has he heard of rednecks? I think he has listened to too many Mark Driscoll sermons.
Man, I love my kids.
I decided to NOT make a prediction on the Super Bowl, though everyone already knows I believe the Bears will win. But I can't restrain myself. I...must...predict. My mandatory "Da Bears" pick is Chicago 213, Colts 10. But my slightly more realistic pick is Bears by 3: Bears 31, Colts 28.
I believe the Bears will see a slow first half of offense and a mediocre first half of defense. They will be down at halftime. At the beginning of the second half the special teams and defense will come on in a huge way and make a few plays and stops. There will be at least one second half touchdown by the defense. The Bears will be up and Peyton will be Peyton, taking over the game. He will lead them to one touchdown but on the second drive will give up an interception ending their Super Bowl hopes. The MVP will be Mark Anderson, who will have a great game and put pressure on Manning beyond anyone's expectations but his own.
Okay, that was way too much info. Go Bears!
NFL officials spotted a promotion of Fall Creek Baptist Church's "Super Bowl Bash" on the church Web site last week and overnighted a letter to the pastor demanding the party be canceled, the church said.
Newland said his church won't break the law.
"It just frustrates me that most of the places where crowds are going to gather to watch this game are going to be places that are filled with alcohol and other things that are inappropriate for children," Newland said. "We tried to provide an alternative to that and were shut down."
Other Indiana churches said they are deciding whether they should go through with their Super Bowl party plans, given the NFL's stance.
My thoughts? You can't love Jesus and the Colts, so either the church is a cult or they are misguided on their choice of football team.
Seriously, how about telling the members to invite their lost neighbors into their homes for the game? Or how about going to your lost neighbor's house if they invite you?
"There's no one here who does it like me. My Super Bowl Shuffle will set you free."
Note four guys.
1. Steve Fuller (#4) has no rhythm or talent in this video. Awful stuff. Is his voice still changing?
2. Richard Dent (#95) has the best voice for the song. Cool man, really cool.
3. Gary Fencik (#45) was fierce on the field. It's hard to believe this is the same guy. Geez. What the crap is going on here? "Were going to do the Shuffle then ring your bell." Ugh.
4. William "The Refrigerator" Perry (#72) looks small compared to today's football players. He's like a dorm fridge.
Photo HT to Sportsline.
Love this Monday Night Football video.
Things are looking up for Chicago Sports. Last year the White Sox won the World Series. The Cubs have shaken the Dusty off their feet and grabbed what I hope is a real manager in Piniella. The Bears have returned to Monsters of the Midway form.
And now, is it possible? Could the Bulls be moving toward a new era of winning? They have made some good off season moves and there is a lot of buzz about the team. But no one expected the 42 point blowout on opening night against the defending champion Miami Heat tonight. Pretty cool, and it should be a good season to be a Bulls fan.
Thanks to Todd Hiestand for reminding me of this vintage video. I hope the current Bears team has more rhythm.
Watch the meltdown by Arizona Cardinals' coach Denny Green. Go to Sportsline, watch the free video on the right side all the way to the end (just a couple of minutes long). Man, no doubt, the Bears looked awful. Chicago has a lot to learn, especially Grossman. But Denny Green's meltdown comes from a coach watching his job slip through his fingers. Pretty funny.
I'm not one of those "season of destiny" guys. But I am a Calvinist, so can you say "predestination?" The Bears come from down 23-3 near the end of the 3rd quarter to score two defensive touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown to defeat Arizona 24-23. The Arizona kicker missed a 40-some yard fieldgoal with under a minute to play. Unbelievable.
When you can win after an ugly game (defense gave up two touchdowns in the first quarter and Grossman had 6 turnovers!!!), it says something about a team. Go Bears! Read about the game at Sportsline. Picture from Sportsline.