Monthly Archives: December 2017
There are 12 hours left in 2017, at least in the Central time zone of the United States of America. Some places have already flipped the calendar. Others have a few more hours left of this year.
Tonight, millions of people will dress up in tuxedos and evening gowns, drink champagne and celebrate…THE FLIPPING OF A CALENDAR.
If I have said it before in this blog, then too bad. I’m going to say it now.
NEW YEAR’S EVE IS BY FAR THE DUMBEST HOLIDAY THERE IS.
To say New Year’s Eve is a stupid reason to celebrate is saying the Titanic’s collision with the iceberg in the North Atlantic was just a bump in the night.
Those who go out on New Year’s Eve are screaming to the universe that I SUCK. MY LIFE SUCKS. I NEED THIS LAME EXCUSE TO PARTY.
Dick Clark was one of the best hosts in the history of entertainment, no matter the medium. However, when he came up with the idea of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in 1972, he screwed the pooch big time.
Dick, you would have done much better going to bed at 9:30 on New Year’s Eve than sitting out in Times Square watching a ball drop.
Wow, stop the presses. That’s something I have always wanted to see up close.
Okay then. If you cannot spot the sarcasm, shame on you.
I don’t watch it on TV, and you couldn’t pay me all the money in the world to go to New York to see it live. In fact, I have no earthly desire to go to New York for any reason, period. Watching the ball drop would be the last reason on earth I would ever want to set foot in that city.
Yes, when you wake up tomorrow, it will be 2018. Will your debts be magically forgiven because it is a new year? HELL NO. If you are single, will you magically have a significant other because it is a new year? HELL NO. If your marriage is in trouble, will all be hunky dory because it is a new year? HELL NO. All that’s different is you’ll be putting a different digit at the end when you write a check. That’s about it.
As for resolutions, that’s another big HELL NO. What’s the big deal about starting something on January 1? If it’s something to better your life, will it not better your life if you start it on May 18, August 3 or October 23? Of course it will.
To the idiots going to the Kansas City Power & Light District to ring in the new year: see a medical professional. SOON. First, it’s beyond idiotic to go out drinking any night, especially on New Year’s Eve, and second, it’s going to be very, very cold. I don’t want anyone to die, but if someone did succumb to hypothermia tonight, it would be amusing, simply because it’s so stupid to be out tonight.
The only time I have been out past 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve was after the 1995 Sugar Bowl between Virginia Tech and Texas (the Hokies won 28-10 if you’re wondering, and you’re probably not). I recall being scared to death of the drunks that would be out, although my route home did not come anywhere near the French Quarter. Fortunately I made it home without incident.
Goodbye 2017. Hello 2018. Life goes on.
In my most recent blog post, I listed five people whom I have not heard of in any way, shape or form in many, many, many years, five people whose absence from my life really hurts.
Now, I’ll list some people whom I hope never, ever appear on that list. If they are on the list at any time, the quality of my life will be extremely diminished.
Lisa (Toebben) Daniels
How we met: Lisa began working at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa in March 2014. Worked there through June 2015.
Lisa was impressed with my knowledge about trivia, especially sports and history. I always tried to sit in her section when she was working, except the times when I would sit in Liz’s section. I tried to even it out between them.
Lisa quickly found out I really liked Liz, and there were times Lisa had to calm me down when I was upset about Liz. I liked Lisa too, but she told me about her boyfriend (now her husband), Jeffrey Daniels. Turns out they had been dating since 2010, long before Buffalo Wild Wings opened in Zona Rosa, and long before I knew any of our paths would cross.
In August 2014, she issued the Ice Bucket Challenge on Facebook to me. I tried to get out of it at first, but then gave in and did it. Two young ladies from closer to where I live, Mindy Gower (Phillipsburg) and Addison Kingsbury (Smith Center) also challenged me. Liz poured the bucket.
Unfortunately, Lisa had to put up with a lot of the bad things in my life. She saw me melt down far too often, and I know it angered her. She did all she could to keep that anger from bubbling over, but there were times I pushed her too far.
Lisa and another Buffalo Wild Wings worker, Shannon Swanson, beseeched me to get help. I stalled and stalled until both Lisa and Shannon told me to either get help or they would stop being friends.
I wish I had listened to Lisa and Shannon sooner. I first started seeing Crista near the end of 2014, and I’ve been going to her ever since.
Lisa and Jeff welcomed a son, Liam Gearhart Daniels, into the world on December 30, 2015. They were living in Jeff’s native Chicago at the time, but later moved back to Kansas City, where they still live. They were wed this past October 7 in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold.
I don’t see enough of Lisa, but I understand. She’s doing wonderful things. I’m glad we’ve been able to stay friends even though I gave her too many reasons not to.
Dr. Stacey (Day) Jones
How we met: Dr. Jones has been my opthamologist since moving to Kansas.
In October 2005, once my new health insurance policy through Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas kicked in, I figured I would attempt to find new doctors. One of the worst things that happend with Katrina was losing the great doctors I had in Louisiana.
My opthamologist in Louisiana, Dr. Martin Schoenberger, had a medical degree from the University of Virigina and studied at Johns Hopkins, a university in Baltimore recognized as one of the world’s most pretigious medical schools. He performed numerous pioneering eye surgeries and proudly displayed those articles from medical journals. He was also a regular participant in the Crescent City Classic, the 10-kilometer race in New Orleans every spring.
Losing Dr. Schoenberger was a blow for me, but Dr. Jones has been absolutely wonderful. She is a very compassionate lady who cares so much about her patients. She has to get on me at times to keep my blood sugar under control, but I know she does it because she doesn’t want to be treating me for cataracts and/or glaucoma later in life.
Her partner in Hays, Dr. Kendall Krug, has drawn rave reviews from his patients, too. I’m in good hands. Hopefully that won’t change.
Dr. Shanon Custer
How we met: Dr. Custer has been my primary care physician since moving to Kansas.
I had no clue what to do for a new doctor once I moved. I was VERY LUCKY my m other’s physician, Dr. Joe Johnson, took care of me when I fell very ill with pneumonia and a collapsed lung near Thanksgiving 2004. If my mother had not insisted on taking me to see Dr. Johnson, I never would have made it to Kansas, much less be sitting here more than 12 years later.
I wish I could have taken Dr. Johnson and Dr. Schoenberger with me (and my dentist, C.J. Steeg) to Kansas, but I couldn’t. The only thing I looked for when I hunted for a new doctor in Kansas was (a).an internal medicine specialist and (b) preferralbly, a female.
Thank God for Dr. Custer.
My first appointment with her was about three months after my last with Dr. Johnson. She has taken very good care of me, even if I don’t want to follow her admonitions to exercise and eat better.
Dr. Custer has been very understanding with my Asperger’s and emotional trouble. She, in fact, referred me to High Plains Mental Health, which started me on the road to seeing Crista.
We are the same age. Dr. Custer was born four months before me, so as long as we’re both in Hays and Russell, respectively, I will keep going to see her. I wouldn’t trust my health to anyone else.
How we met: Liz was working at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa when I started to come regularly in the spring of 2013. She started talking to me when she mentioned how much she liked the music I was selecting to play on the store’s jukebox. The song she really liked was Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)”.
When I lived in Baton Rouge, I frequented Ivar’s Sports Bar near the LSU campus. I got to meet quite a few of the lovely waitresses, as well ast he managers, Pat Quigley and the late Larry Stolzfus. However, I didn’t get to know them nearly as well as I have gotten to know Liz.
Four and a half years later, I can’t imagine life without Liz.
Liz accepted me for who I was. I explained to her I suffer from Aspeger’s Syndrome. It might have scared some other people away, but it seemed to draw Liz closer.
She moved to Colorado Springs in August 2015. I miss her very, very much. I saw her earlier this year for a couple of days, and it brought back a flood of very good memories.
Liz has told me more than once that we would be friends until we were old and gray and using walkers to get around. I certainly hope that comes to pass.
How we met: In January 2015, Dawn and her then-husband, Robb, came into Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa to play trivia on a Monday night. Their visits became more and more frequent, and we got to know one another better.
Dawn and Robb lived in south Florida before coming to Kansas City. At first, I was suspicious of them, as I am with most new people. There were some ugly incidents playing trivia, especially on Opening Day 2015, when the Royals were beating the pants off the White Sox and I was pissed off when they were beating me. I swore never to come back. Tori was bartending that day and her parents happened to be there. Tori’s father, Shane, was extremely angry with me. If he would have punched me, I would have deserved it.
Thankfully, I’ve patched things up with Shane and Terri, Tori, and Robb and Dawn.
Dawn is a certified event planner. She is a very kind, very beautiful and very intelligent lady. I think the world of her.
One of the best nights I’ve had came on my 41st birthday, when I drove her home. We were able to have a very intimate, very deep conversation, one which I will always treasure. I hope to have more of those.
Dawn, I love you. Very much!
How we met: See above with Dawn.
Robb, who is almost halfway between the ages of Dawn and I, grew up in Kansas City.
In years past, I would probably not have considered being a friend of Robb. Robb and Dawn both sit on the left of the political spectrum, in stark contrast to most of the people who live in northwest Kansas. Russell is Republican to the core, thanks to longtime U.S. Senator Bob Dole having grown up in the town. In fact, Dole and my grandfather were elementary school classmates; Elmer Steinle is only five months older than Bob.
Robb and Dawn knew I was conservative, but I listened to their point of view. Slowly over time, I began to respect what they had to say and just not dismiss everything they talked about as hogwash. I found myself open to more positions across the spectrum and not just accepting the gospel of the Republican National Committee, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and other conservative talking heads.
In the days after the 2016 presidential election, I did my best to console Robb and Dawn. They were hard for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, and really hated Trump. I got sick of Trump, too. I won’t reveal who I voted for, sorry.
I cheered them up with a case of Abita beer from Louisiana. They were very appreciative.
I feel kind of guilty that I went to Kentucky and wasn’t in Kansas City as much as I could have been when Robb was first having trouble with Dawn. He said it was fine, but I kind of wish I could have helped him.
Also, I’ve bitched to him way, way, way too much. That shouldn’t be. That’s what I pay Crista for (see below).
We talk about music all the time. Good music. Not the music some people like to play at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Robb is my best male friend. I won’t say best friend, but I don’t have close relationships with many other males, save for Bill Franques (see below) and a few others. I don’t want to screw it up.
How we met: Crista has been my therapist for the last three years. She keeps her life pretty private, and she needs to given her position. I don’t blame her. I do know her husband, Lance, is the director of the Hays Kids Wrestling Club, because she brags about watching wrestling quite a bit. They have a four-year old daughter.
When I returned to High Plains Mental Health, I told the staff I wanted to see a female therapist. Crista drew the short straw.
Best luck I’ve ever had.
Crista has gone above and beyond to improve my quality of life. She has been very patient with me, even though I have made her mad more than once. I fear there will come a day when she will no longer want to be my therapist. I have told Peggy more than a few times how much I fear it.
(This section is short because (a) I want to protect Crista’s privacy and (b) it’s not something that needs to be on the blog. The good readers have their own problems and don’t want to read too much about mine)
How we met: Bill has been the public relations director for the LSU baseball program since August 1988. I met Bill when I first came to LSU in 1994. I helped him a lot with baseball, first in 1998 and 1999 as a student, then in 2001, ’02 and ’03 when I was freelancing for The Advocate, Baton Rouge’s daily newspaper.
When I first met Bill, he wasn’t seeing anyone. He was a little difficult, in my opinion, to get a read on. However, we got along fairly well, except the thousands of times I screwed up in my first year at LSU.
When I came back to LSU in 1997 after a year and a half in exile back in New Orleans, I started working more closely with the baseball team. I was his right hand man in 1998 and ’99, two years which I really enjoyed, but two years which had to be hell for him. I really regret causing him such pain and headaches.
He apparently held no grudges, or else he would not have invited me to his November 1999 wedding to Yvette Lemoine in Bunkie, a small Louisiana town about 100 miles northwest of Baton Rouge. I made the drive even though I was feeling quite sick that day. Probably would not have done it for anyone else (fortunately, I was feeling physically fine on Lisa’s big day earlier this year).
From 2001-03, when I helped Bill again, it was more of the same. I was a pain in the ass. Bill got angry at me more than.a few times. Every time was completely justified. I screwed up, not him.
When I moved to Kansas, I screwed things up back in Louisiana by claiming I was much better off than I had been in Louisiana, and called Michael Bonnette’s attempts to say Louisiana was still a place worth living in LSU’s media guides a bunch of bull. Michael cut me off for quite a while wen that happened, as he should have. That was totally uncalled for on my part.
I recall attempting to contact Bill in the press box at the old Alex Box Stadium in March 2006 before a game. When he answered the phone and I identified myself, he was very cold. I got the message and hung up before another word was said.
In June 2009, I was really mad about LSU winning its sixth baseball national championship. I said some really nasty things about some of Bill’s colleagues at LSU. I didn’t say much bad about Bill, but he was pretty angry about it. He should have been, and frankly, if he wanted to never speak to me again, he would have had every right to cut me off.
In November 2009, he called me on the carpet in an e-mail. It took me a few minutes to realize how wrong I was. I apologized to him, posted a public apology, then deleted the post forever. We slowly repaired our relationship, and by 2013, everything was well between us.
So well that we’ve reunited twice at Missouri (2013, 2016) and once at Kentucky (this year). Hopefully I’ll get down to Baton Rouge in 2018.
How we met: Caitlyn is Peggy and Clark Cox’s youngest child.
I first saw Caitlyn coming to watch her sisters Chelsea and Courtney play for Norton Community High School. She began her high school career in the fall of 2013 and graduated earlier this year. She recently completed her first season of playing volleyball for Johnson County Community College in Overland Park.
Of the four Cox children, I am closest to Caitlyn. She is the only blonde of the Cox kids (the others have dark hair like their parents), and she is the most outgoing by far. She is not afraid to express herself on social media, unlike Chelsea, who is much more selective, and Courtney and Conor, who are much less visible, almost off the grid, but good for them.
Caitlyn knew about me for many years having seen me at her sibling’s events, but we didn’t start talking to one another until her sophomore year. I’m so glad we have grown so close over the last three years, although there have been many times I have said and done things I should not have. Caitlyn is purely innocent in all this and never deserves my anger. Never. I have to do better with it.
Norton’s seniors usually put together a picture collage before their final home game. Caitlyn included a picture of me that we took together at Hays High in 2015 in her collages for both volleyball and basketball. I was humbled.
I’ve only seen her once recently, and fortunately, I got to treat her to lunch at Outback in Overland Park. I know she is very busy and is doing wonderfully at JCCC. Every parent should be as lucky to have a daughter like Caitlyn.
I know we might drift apart, but I hope it’s not to the point as with the people in my earlier post. Peggy told me just don’t mess up and it won’t happen.
How we met: When I was covering Peggy’s eldest child, Chelsea, compete for Norton High during the 2005-06 school year. I covered many of her matches during her two stints as the Bluejays’ volleyball coach (2007-10, 2015-16), and discussed my life endlessly with her as I was watching her children, and other Norton teams, perform.
As far as my life in Kansas goes, Peggy knows more about it than anyone else. More than my parents. More than Liz, Lisa, Robb Dawn and anyone in Kansas City. I tell Peggy as much as I can, probably too much. I probably overwhelm her, but I am beyond lucky that she is there to listen to me.
Clark is a native of the area and went to school at Norton. He does a lot of farming in Long Island, a microscopic community northeast of Norton on the Kansas-Nebraska state line. Peggy said she lived in quite a few places growing up, and told me about Sterling during her high school years. She and Clark met at Kansas State (not Fort Hays as I first posted) and married in 1985.
Peggy gets me for some reason. She really does. I never want her to refer to me as a “best friend”, because (a) I don’t want to single out one person over anyone else and (b) she has known quite a few people much, much longer than I.
I love Peggy very much. She would leave a gigantic hole in my heart if we were ever to part ways. I would eventually get over it, but it would very difficult. Outside of my family, she means more to me than anyone.
These people are always in my thoughts and prayers. I love them more than life itself and would give anything I could to help them. They deserve at least that. And probably much more.
One of my favorite television shows is Monk, where Tony Shalhoub portrays a dectective with a crippling case of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Shalhoub’s charcater, Adrian Monk, is a brilliant detective who can find the most obscure clue one could dream of and use it to solve a case which no one else can. On the other hand, he cannot function in social situations. I cringe at these many instances, because it reminds me so much of me.
Monk’s gift, as he calls it, is a “blessing and a curse”.
Same with me and my memory.
I will remember arcane details about events from years ago. Here’s a great example…
Yesterday, I was playing trivia with Robb in Kansas City, and there was a list of notable figures who had been assassinated. The question asked who was assassinated in 1995? I didn’t even need to look at the list of answers to know it was Yitzak Rabin, then the premier of Israel. The other choices were Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Anwar Sadat and Martin Luther King Jr. I immediately pointed out to Robb the years the other leaders were assassinated. He sat there in stunned silence and bragged to Jarrod Myers, the general manager of the Buffalo Wild Wings Robb and I frequent, about how I could do that.
On the other hand, my memory is so good that I will remember too many painful things in my life. Crista is quick to point this out to me. So does Peggy.
Right now, I’m going to delve into a very painful part of my memory, one that comes up often.
I’m going to list some people whom I have had no contact whatsoever with in many, many years. People I would give anything to see again. ANYTHING.
5. Wendy (Durr) Wall
How we met: Wendy came to work in LSU’s sports information office when she was a graudate student in LSU’s journalism school in 1997 and 1998. Unlike someone else I once worked with at LSU (see below), I knew Wendy was off-limits because she was already married.
Wendy and I got along very well, save for a few bumps in the road. I did all I could to help her while she was handling publicity for the softball team in 1998, even though I had a lot to do with baseball.
One day, I got really worried when she didn’t show up in the office in the morning. I was panicked. Thankfully, I saw her just before I left with Bill Franques and Jim Hawthorne for a baseball game that night in Lake Charles against McNeese State.
Wendy got her master’s degree in the fall of 1998 and moved with her husband, Sid, to Houston. She had a son, Davis, in late 2002, so he is now 15.
Last time I saw her: September 28, 2002 at the LSU-Mississippi State football game. I saw her and Sid twice in Houston, once while my father, brother and I were in town for an Astros-Royals series at what was then Enron Field (now Minute Maid Park) in 2000, and again during the LSU-Rice super regional in 2002. I got Wendy and Sid tickets to the super regional, and that’s when Wendy told me she was pregnant with Davis. She contacted me via e-mail in December 2003, but nothing since.
I attempted to contact her through Facebook during the floods of Hurricane Harvey in August. God I hope she, Sid and Davis (and any other kids) are okay.
I know she’s busy, but I don’t get why she won’t contact me.
4. Rebecca (Borne) Brennan
How we met: Rebecca’s dad is Dan Borne, the public address announer for LSU football and men’s basketball games. I met Dan and Rebecca at the 1994 LSU football media day, the last for then-coach Curley Hallman (THANK GOD). Rebecca and I worked togehter in LSU’s sports information office our first semester in school, but I was fired by Herb Vincent for incompetence (something that needed to be done, even though I didn’t see it then). I left LSU after the spring semester and went home to attend the University of New Orleans because I was immature. Rebecca stayed at LSU, but quit the sports information office after December 1995.
I kept contact with Rebecca throughout 1996 and returned to LSU at the beginning of 1997. I really liked her. REALLY liked her. I didn’t realize it then, but I was not in any condition to be in a relationship. No way. I cried a lot over it, but frankly, it was best that I wasn’t. I couldn’t see it in 1997 and ’98, but now, I see it perfectly.
However, my crush on Rebecca continued, and it frankly irriated everyone I was around. Bill Franques tried to be as patient and understanding as he could, but had to jump my butt a few times. Herb got fed up with it. Michael Bonnette did too. They were right. I don’t know if I could handle a relationship today at 41. I know for sure I would have messed it up when I was 21.
Rebecca graduated cum laude in four years, while yours truly farted around and farted around. She got a job with Arthur Andersen, a prestigious accounting firm, in their New Orleans office, so she moved after graduation. Eventually, she lost her job there in 2002 after Arthur Andersen was implicated in the Enron scandal. She went to work at another big firm, Ernst & Young, before going to law school at Yale. More on that later.
Last time I saw her: May 13, 2001, at the LSU-Auburn baseball game, Skip Bertman’s final regular season game as coach. Our last phone conversation was in August 2002, when she called me after I had attempted to set up a date with somone I met on Match.com, but then said no a few minutes later. Our last e-mail communication was in December 2002, when I saw something she sent before I covered a high school football playoff game in Kentwood, the hometown of Britney Spears. In fact, I think I’d have a better chance of having Britney return a phone call/text/e-mail of mine than Rebecca these days.
Now back to the Yale Law School bit.
Dan told me in October 2004 that Rebecca was in New Haven attending Yale. I knew she had big dreams during her days at LSU, and it turns out she has fulfilled them.
In April 2014, I happened to read an article about her in an alumni magazine for St. Joseph’s Academy, the Baton Rouge all-girls Catholic high school where Brenda LeBlanc won so many state titles. Incidentally, Brenda’s first year at St. Joseph’s was the year after Rebecca graduted as valedictorian. Had Brenda been one year earlier, maybe I could have kept in touch through Brenda.
Rebecca is still living in Connecticut, married with (at least) two boys. I have done everything I can to contact her, but nothing. Dan has not helped me. I hate to bring it up with him, because I fear he won’t want to have anything to do with me if I do.
I feel terrible about the hurt I have caused the Borne family, especially Dan’s wife and Rebecca’s mother, Lisette. It doesn’t hurt as much now as it did when I lived in Louisiana, but I’d still like to know what happened. And why she hates me.
3. Tiffany Peperone
How we met: Tiffany was a cheerleader for Brother Martin who attended St. Mary’s Dominican High School. Her father, Vincent, graduated from one of Brother Martin’s antecedent schools, St. Aloysius, in 1964 (St. Aloysius and Cor Jesu merged in 1969 to form Brother Martin). Many young ladies who attended Dominican preferred to cheer for Jesuit, the all-boys Catholic school which has produced many Mayors of New Orleans (Moon Landrieu, Marc Morial and Mitch Landrieu are all former Blue Jays), but Tiffany always wanted to cheer for Brother Martin and she did for four years, something few did.
Tiffany was super sweet. She was a lot like Caitlyn Cox, except she didn’t play sports. Tiffany was extremely bright and intelligent. Graduated with honors from LSU and went to LSU law school. Was very highly thought of in LSU’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She also was a cheerleader for two years at LSU, but gave it up to concentrate on studies and the sorority.
I wanted to ask Tiffany to the Brother Martin homecoming dance when I was a senior and she was a sophomore at LSU. I knew LSU had an open date in football that weekend, and the plan was to go down to the field before LSU’s game vs. Utah State and ask her then. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the press pass Herb Vincent gave me for the game allowed me to go on the field prior to the game, and it never happened.
Last time I saw her: October 1, 1997, at Ivar’s Sports Bar in Baton Rouge. I was there with Bill Franques and Fred Demarest from the LSU athletic department. I have desperately tried contacting her in numerous ways recently, but nothing.
Honestly, I don’t know her marital status, anything. She has gone off the grid. Well, good for her if she has. I’d love to see her, but if she feels safer off the grid, I understand.
2. Janine (Jacques) Koenig
How we met: Janine was my eighth grade science teacher at Brother Martin High in New Orleans. In fact, she was the first teacher I encountered at Brother Martin. It also happened to be her first class at Brother Martin.
I gave Janine a very bad time during the 1989-90 school year. Her frustration with me boiled over one day in early May when she kicked me out of class. She had every right to. I was behaving very badly and although I couldn’t see the problem, it didn’t take me long to see where I was wrong.
Luckily for me, she didn’t hold 1989-90 against me during my next four years at Brother Martin. In fact, I often went to her when I needed help in science instead of asking the teacher who was instructing me that particular year. I trusted Janine.. A lot. Probably more than any teacher I have ever had at any level.
Last time I saw her: Decmeber 12, 1997 when I visited Brother Martin after finishing up the fall semester at LSU. I tried contacting her through Facebook, but nothing. Same when I wrote her in October 2016.
She left Brother Martin shortly after our visit. I don’t know where she is today. I know her son, Joshua, is almost 23. Hard to believe.
Janine is a highly intelligent lady. She was a four-year member of her quiz bowl team at St. Mary’s Dominican. She originally wanted to attend Duke, but settled for LSU.
There are a couple of other Brother Martin teachers I would give anything to see again: Rebecca Hale, who taught me English during the first semester of my junior year; and Eileen Depreo, who was my civics teacher as a senior.
Rebecca loves the Tulane Green Wave, but of coruse, I forgive her. She was simply incredible as the director of Brother Martin’s drama club, and I attended many of those productions. I found out late in my senior year that she was being fired, and I was crushed. At the last play of my senior year in May 1994, she found me outside the auditorium after a production and personally thanked me for attending. I’ll never forget that.
Eileen taught me a heck of a lot, and she was impressed with my knowledge, too. It was her guidnace which allowed me to score very highly on the American government advanced placement exam.
1. Renetta Rogers
How we met: Through Match.com. First date June 25, 1994. Went on a couple more dates in Louisiana before she moved with her parents to Arkansas, which came about nine months before Katrina hit and I moved to Kansas.
We reconnected once I got settled in Kansas, and visited her and her parents in Arkansas. The first time went wonderfully. A visit I had with her and her mother in St. Louis was not as good, but I won’t bore you with the details. When I went back to see her in Arkansas in August 2006, it all disintegrated.
Eventually, I got to see her in 2008, but that was it.
I loved Renetta very, very much. She is a 5-foot-10 beauty. I really, relaly cared for her. I would do anything to get her back in my life.
That’s it for now. I need to stop or I’m really going to lose it.
My God, I have gone way, way, WAY too long without posting. I am sorry. I am also very lazy.
There were some problems just before Thanksgiving, problems I do not wish to divulge, problems I do not wish to bore you, the good reader, with.
As for Thanksgiving itself, I didn’t eat upstairs with my parents, my paternal grandfather and his female companion. I did eat some turkey and fried cauliflower later, but no dressing, no mac and cheese, no sweet potatoes, and certainly no cranberry, which I have never eaten. Turkey sandwiches were just fine with me, thank you.
Kansas held its EIGHT high school football state championship games at SEVEN sites. Utterly ridiculous. I have ranted and raved about this for over a decade.
By comparison, Louisiana’s high school championships begin today. All nine games (too many) will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
I’ll talk about that in another post.
It’s very cold this morning in Kansas City. THANK GOD. Last weekend, it was close to 70 degrees. Unacceptable in this part of the country in December. I hated it when it was 70 degrees in Louisiana in winter. I REALLY hate it in Kansas and Missouri.
The Chiefs suspended cornerback Marcus Peters for this Sunday’s game with the Raiders at Arrowhead.
Last week, Peters threw a penalty flag into the stands at MetLife Stadium last Sunday during Kansas City’s loss to the Jets. Thinking he was ejected, he went back to the locker room, only to return without his socks.
Andy Reid, who would rather go through a root canal without anesthesia than punish a player, finally got tough with Peters, a known malcontent.
My question: what took until Wednesday, Andy? It should have been done before the Chiefs’ plane departed Newark Liberty International Airport after the game. Bill Belichick would not put up with this shit. After Rob Gronkowski speared Bills safety Tre’Davius White following an interception Sunday, Gronk was done for the day. The NFL suspended him for one game, and I’m certain had it not, Belichick would have punished Gronk in his own way.
The college coaching carousel is in full spin mode.
Arkansas, which waited eight seconds after losing its season finale to Missouri on Black Friday to fire Bret Bielema, hired SMU coach Chad Morris. Morris is 14-22 with the Mustangs, but let’s face it, SMU has been a wasteland since the NCAA gave the program the death penalty in 1987, shutting down the Mustang football team for the ’87 and ’88 seasons. SMU has done next to nothing since, and for Morris to win 14 games in three years has to be considered a success. The Razorbacks are definitely betting on the come, given Morris tutored DeShaun Watson at Clemson for two seasons before leaving for the richy-rich school in the University Park section of Dallas.
Jimbo Fisher traded Tallahassee for College Station. I don’t know of many coaches who would want to challenge Nick Saban every year, but Fisher has the ego. Texas A&M made it easy, giving Fisher a FULLY GUARANTEED 10-year, $75 million contract.
To replace Fisher, Florida State hired Willie Taggart, who went 7-5 in his first season at Oregon. Previously, Taggart coached at Western Kentucky and South Alabama. Florida State is in danger of becoming a distant third in its own state behind Miami and Florida, but the Seminoles also may become an afterthought in the ACC Atlantic, where Dabo Swinney has built a superpower at Clemson.
And it looks like Tennessee will have a coach today or tomorrow. It’s likely going to be Jeremy Pruitt, currently defensive coordinator at Alabama. Then again, being defensive coordinator at Alabama doesn’t carry much cachet, since everyone knows it’s Nick Saban’s defense.
The last time I posted, Butch Jones was still Tennessee’s football coach. He would not be three days later, fired after the Volunteers lost 50-17 at Missouri. It got no better for Tennessee under interim coach Brady Hoke, who lost to LSU and Vanderbilt, both in Knoxville.
The day after the loss to the Commodores, the Volunteers appeared to have found their man in former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, now the defensive coordinator at Ohio State under Urban Meyer.
My first thought? BAD HIRE. Schiano is an uptight prick. He alienated people across the NFL in his second game with the Bucs when he ordered his defense to attack Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who was kneeling down to run out the clock, which is standard operating procedure in football since the Miracle of the Meadowlands, the 1978 play which saw the Giants’ Joe Pisarcik botch an attempted handoff to Larry Csonka and fumble. Philadelphia Eagles safety Herm Edwards scooped up the fumble and scored in the game’s dying seconds, lifting his team to a 19-17 victory, and eventually, the Eagles’ first playoff berth since winning the 1960 NFL championship.
Schiano was even worse in his second year with the Bucs, covering up several cases of MRSA, a deadly infection which is resistant to antibiotics. Thousands of people have died from the infection. Kicker Lawrence Tynes contracted the infection, but instead of placing him on injured reserve, the Bucs screwed him royally by placing him on the non-football injury list, which meant he would not be paid, he would not have access to the Bucs’ doctors, he would lose his health insurance, and lose a year of service time for pension benefits.
What a piece of crap. What did Tennessee see in this guy?
People who defended Schiano said he won at Rutgers, which is usually pitiful. But I say he was ONE GAME over .500 (68-67) with the Scarlet Knights, and Rutgers did not win consistently until Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech all left the Big East for the ACC.
Well, Volunteer fans let their displeasure know via social media. But it wasn’t over what happened with the Bucs, or his mediocre record at Rutgers. Rather, it was the fact he had allegedly covered up sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky. Schiano had been an assistant at Penn State under Joe Paterno before leaving for Piscataway. I don’t know the full details, but the reaction in Knoxville was swift and overwhelmingly negative. Even state legislatures and U.S. Representatives took to Twitter to denounce Schiano.
Six hours after it first broke Schiano was heading to Knoxville, the offer was rescinded.
Athletic director John Currie went on the hunt for a new coach. Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy? Nope. Duke’s David Cutcliffe, who was offensive coordinator at Tennessee when Peyton Manning played there? No thanks. North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren? Nope.
Currie thought he had his man on the last day of November, flying to Los Angeles to meet with Washington State coach Mike Leach. Leach, who previously coached at Texas Tech, is as goofy as they come. Would he have fit in the SEC, which is as buttoned up as it comes in college football: I don’t know.
However, the next day, Currie was asked to return to Knoxville by Tennessee chancellor Beverly Davenport. The reason: Currie was given his pink slip. Fired after less than nine months in charge.
Philip Fulmer, who coached Tennessee to the 1998 national championship, was named as Currie’s successor. After rumors first leaked that Fulmer reached out to former LSU and Oklahoma State coach Les Miles about the position, Pruitt emerged as the front-runner, ahead of fellow SEC defensive coordinators Kevin Steele (Auburn) and Mel Tucker (Georgia).
That seems to be the new trend in the SEC: hire somebody who coached under Saban. Pruitt will become the third coach in the SEC East who was once a Saban assistant, joining Kirby Smart at Georgia and Will Muschamp at South Carolina. Muschamp was a teammate of Smart’s at Georgia and also coached Florida for four seasons before ending up in Gainesville.
Of course, Saban assistants aren’t always successful. Jim McElwain, the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator on their national championship teams of 2009 and ’11, bombed in three seasons at Florida. He was replaced by Dan Mullen, the winningest football coach in Mississippi State history. The Bulldogs were ranked #1 for several weeks in 2014, thanks to the exploits of Dak Prescott, now the Dallas Cowboys’ starting QB.
I’ve got to do better at posting. Much better. I will reflect on this in the time between posts, which hopefully will be very short.