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Today is my 3rd Soccer game of the season. Right now we are 0-2. The last game was a disaster, because my mid-fielders and forwards were all gravitating to the ball. My Defense is doing well, because I have a player that has played that position for a number of years, so he knows where to position the other players on defense, which is a plus. Last game it got to the point where my Defensive Captain was playing like a forward. He would keep the ball from going towards the goal, then he would take off and start maneuvering towards the opponents goal. He did this because the forwards and mid-fielders were not doing their jobs. I kept screaming for my forwards to stay closer to mid-field so in the case the goalie punts the ball we have a chance to get it and score.

So far this season we have only scored 2 goals. I have one kid that is extremely fast and can dribble, knows all the basics and I want him to be the Captain and take control and position players where he needs them, but he wants to play goalie. I explained to him that if we are ever down by 2 points, then he is coming out of the goalie box and is going to play forward. I hope for the sake of the kids today that we at least give the other team some competition. This is only the second year that this county’s recreation department has had a soccer league. The team we are playing tonight belongs to one of the counties around us that breeds soccer players.

I know that my goal for the players was to have fun, but the morale of the team is going down the drain because we are not scoring goals or winning. I do my best to keep them motivated by saying, “Good job” or “you’re playing your position very well” stuff like that. I’m sure you guys get the picture. I’m going to do everything to keep my kids motivated and stress the point that you have to play your position and players are positioned a certain way for a reason. We will see how it goes tonight. If we do lose tonight, I pray that it isn’t by a large margin. Our last game we played was one of the 3 we have in our recreation departments league. They beat us 6-0. I know the coach and he explained to me what he thought I needed to do and exactly what you’ve read above is what he told me.

Like I mentioned before, I hope for the kids sake that we can give these guys a run for their money and keep them from running up the score. I will have an update for you guys after the game. Hopefully it isn’t too bad.

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We always talk about the United States Military being heroes, which I strongly believe is true. But we forget about our Firefighters, Police Men/Women, Paramedics, Doctors and Nurses that work hard while the U.S.  Military is abroad fighting for our country, they are back here in the United States keeping our families safe. I am not trying to take the spot light off of the military, but trying to l get us recognize those individuals that also put their lives on the line, just in a different way.

I have a friend that was a paramedic in Oakland, California for about 4 years. In his 4 years of working as a paramedic he helped the victims of the Oikos School shooting and has seen many people lose their lives. He and his comrades had received calls for an emergency only to arrive to a scene with victims DOA (Dead on Arrival), victims that are fighting for their lives or on the verge of death knowing that once they get that patient in the care of the doctors and nurses of the emergency room they are going to die. He has seen children die at the hands of gang violence, extreme cases of child abuse by the hands of a parent or guardian and children that are on the verge of death because they were neglected by their parents or guardians for numerous reasons.

I’m sure that these men and women that do everything they can to save lives, deal the loss of life and witness senseless violence day in and day out also deal with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). In my opinion, many Americans only associates PTSD with the Military, but Fire Fighters, Police Men and Women, Paramedics, Doctors and Nurses deal with these issues also. They deal with issues as do the military, but their battlefield is different. They don’t get enough recognition. In America they are the ones that are the QRF (Quick Reaction Force) reacting to whatever comes their way. Of course, just like in the military, you’re going to have those that treat the job as “just” a job instead of actually caring about the people they are protecting or possibly saving a persons life.

I don’t want you as readers to think that I am making the suggestion or interpret that I am taking any credit from our U.S. Military, but trying to get you to recognize the sacrifice that these individuals do every single day. Keep in mind that while we are back home and you are not near a military base and you are injured or in need some of medical help, it’s going to be these brave men and women to help you or possibly save your life or a life of a family member. It is unbelievable that these individuals are over looked over because they are not on the news. Think about all the violence going on in major cities such as Chicago, Oakland, New York, etc. These are the people that are on the “front lines” if you want to call it that, protecting our family members.

I don’t want to make it seem like I am sounding like a broken record, but we need to remember that these individuals also volunteered to be police men/women, firefighters and paramedics. They sacrifice just like the military does, just in a different way. Just as there are REGULARS in the military, there are REGULARS that save lives and protect the REGULARS here in the United States. Let us not forget, but remember the sacrifice they make every single day.

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Cuarenta y cuatro

I know a lot of you readers that support my Blog don’t seem to like it when I post about College Football. The reason I say that is because I only have like 4 views. Today, I will not be talking about the game College Football, but the reason why I love the game.

The reason why I love College Football is because these players are playing their hearts out for no money. Yes, they are playing for the chance to make it to the next level, but they aren’t focused on that during the season. It’s awesome to see these guys make the transition from playing High School Football to playing College Football. The difference in their play is unbelievable. I know that at the College level they have different coaches for each position and also a strength and conditioning coach, but it amazes me how they leave High School as a 5 star recruit and get even better. I know a lot of you don’t care, but I think it’s amazing. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good you are, sometimes it’s just not in your cards to get picked up by an NFL team or invited to any training camps. Another thing that sucks about it, is if that player thinks he’s good enough to play at the next level, they are able to make a decision to declare for the NFL and leave as a Sophomore or Junior. So if that player doesn’t get picked up, he has no education to fall back on.

Here’s an example for you, Rolando McClain a former Alabama Crimson Tide Linebacker, who chose to forgo his Senior year at the University of Alabama and declare for the NFL. He  was the 8th pick in the 1st Round of the 2010 NFL Draft and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. Earlier this year, after a number of disciplinary problems and a bunch fines the Oakland Raiders chose to let him go. The Baltimore Ravens accepted him with open arms, with stipulations of course. He had been on the Baltimore Ravens roster for approximately 1 week or so and went to his hometown and got into some trouble. It had something to do with a gun and assaulting another person. The Baltimore Ravens organization were only going to fine him, which the amount of money he was making would only be a slap on the hand, but he instead decided to retire after almost 3 years in the NFL. He did produce in his rookie year, but second year he didn’t really do anything and was fined by the NFL on more than on occasion. He did say that he wanted to get his personal affairs in order before committing to another NFL team. That takes a lot for a decent Linebacker to do, but I said all that to make this point, because he decided to forgo his Senior Year he doesn’t have a degree to fall back on in the case he isn’t allowed or in shape to make his return to the NFL. He did re-enroll to the University of Alabama so that he could complete his Senior year so he could graduate.

Yes, I know this post wasn’t to talk about a Former NFL Linebacker, it’s to talk about my love for the game of College Football. I would much rather watch a College Football game instead of an NFL game, because NFL players are prima-donnas. They require the teams manager to have something a certain way or else they complain. In College Football, it’s either you’re going to take it the way its given to you or you can turn in your stuff. This is just my opinion, but I think that College Football players are hungrier. I know that opportunities to leave College Football and declare for the NFL draft as a Sophomore or Junior and you are an NFL caliber player, then it’s a no brainer, but during the offseason, you should do everything you can to complete your degree. I honestly feel that if a Division 1 University or College offers you a 4 year scholarship, then you should have to stay for all 4 years. That University or College invested a lot into recruiting you and you signed a letter of intent stating that you would attend that school. So if you declare for the NFL as a Sophomore, that school just wasted a lot of money for no reason. Of course, a good coach would do all they can to talk you out of this decision. The school can’t legally tell you that you can’t declare, but they will do all they can to keep you.

I love College Football, the atmosphere is electric and the fans are crazy. One of these days I will get my chance to see my Alabama Crimson Tide play in person. Another reason why I prefer to watch College Football over an NFL game is because a College Football, in my opinion, is unpredictable. You can try all you want to try and predict the score, but you never know how the game is going to play out. A simple mistake by an Offense, Defense or Special Teams can change the outcome of the game. To me a lot of games are won or lost due to Clock Management and that is apart of the excitement for me. It also has something to do with coaching staff, but that has nothing to do with today’s post. Its game time and this is where I end today’s post. Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole Miss Rebels.

 

Nick Saban

XLIII

This week has been full of ups and downs. Today is Friday so I am thankful for that. Lately my emotions have been up and down, why? I don’t have a clue. I’m sure is has something to do with PTSD, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. It’s crazy because one minute I’m fine, but two seconds later I either feel sad or a lot of rage. I am seeing a psychiatrist every 4-6 weeks. Its cool talking to him, but he doesn’t really know how I feel because he hasn’t experienced or seen what I have. I do my best to explain it to him, but he tries to explain it back to me and I just agree so I can leave. I try to talk to my wife, but she doesn’t understand either. She really does her best to understand, but sometimes I think it frustrates her, because when I get in certain moods it is very hard for me to explain my emotions.

I do my best, but it only frustrates me even more. Sometimes, I get mad for no reason and act like an asshole to everyone, but I don’t mean to do it. I wish I could stick a usb cord to my head, hook it up to my computer so you guys could see what is on my mind. I’m not saying I’m crazy, just unbalanced right now. You know whats crazy, I can sit and talk to my girls and they ask the right questions and they listen to me talk. It makes me feel so good that I can sit there and ramble on and on, they just sit there and listen. That does give me an outlet, but there are somethings that I don’t want to talk to my girls about, so those things are just stewing in my head. I’m sure someone out there is like what the hell is he talking about? If you are asking yourself that question, don’t worry that is the same question I ask myself sometimes.

All I can do is take it one day at a time. I just want to be there for wife and my girls when they need me. Sometimes its hard, but when they need me, I have to put my emotions to the side or ignore that pain and make sure my family is taken care of. That’s my goal as a Man, Father and Husband. I’m not perfect and they know that, but with everything that I do wrong, say something inappropriate, do something stupid or act like an asshole, they accept me as I am. That goes the same for my family and close friends. It has been one of the weeks, but that’s no excuse; just like when I was a soldier I had to just suck it up, stay motivated and make sure I accomplished the mission.

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I’m going to share something with you guys that a lot of you don’t know about me. Most of my friends already know this, but I am a dipper (smokeless tobacco). My dip of choice is Grizzly Wintergreen, pouches of course. I know it’s a bad habit and I am honestly going to quit one day. Right now, I don’t want to quit so I don’t need any speeches about that my lips are going to fall off, that I will get cancer in my mouth or any horror stories on how bad it is. I get that from the three women that live in this house. I don’t do it in front of my kids or my wife, I don’t dip in public and I WILL never spit out a dip and kiss my wife. When I first got married, I used to smoke cigarettes, another bad habit I know. One day, when while my wife and I were dating, she smelled cigarette smoke on my uniform and she asked me if I smoked? She then went on to say because I don’t like people who smoke. So of course me being a dumbass man, said NO I don’t smoke. I told her that I hung around people and rode in cars with people who did smoke which was true.

We are a good bit into our relationship and she always smells it on my uniform and she always said something about it. She even suggested that I get new friends. Now I’m going to fast forward a little bit. We are now married, so naturally we are going to put our clothes together for laundry. Well, one day she was going through the pockets of my uniform to make sure she didn’t any pens or anything of importance would be washed. She didn’t find any pens, she didn’t find anything of importance, but what she did find were some cigarette butts. She called me in the laundry room and asked what are these doing in your pocket? So of course, me being the dumbass man I can sometimes be replied with ” those were in my pocket because my platoon was responsible for cleaning the smoke shack right outside the Motorpool gate.” She then said, why didn’t you throw them in the garbage, I told her that I forgot because we were getting ready for end of the day formation. She said well next time you need to throw them away before you come in the house.

I really can’t remember if this next incident happened while we were dating or if we had already been married, but I was standing outside of the Motorpool gate in the Smoke Shack smoking a cigarette. What I didn’t know is that she wasn’t in her office, she had gone to the warehouse to pick up parts. I will never ever forget this day in my life. I see this 5-ton come rolling up and Muddy (a soldier’s nickname whom I will not identify) jumped out of the truck to ground guide the vehicle into the Motorpool, but guess who was driving? Yep, you guessed it my wife. If you’re driving a vehicle into the Motorpool, you’re going to pass the smoke shack and of course you will see who is inside. I don’t know what told me to go outside of the smoke shack, with the cigarette I had just lit in my hand and blowing smoke from my mouth, but I did and guess who saw me? It was like fate set me up. Not only did she see me, we made eye contact. Man, did I feel like the biggest retard in the world. I did all I could to avoid her, but she finally caught me off guard and said, why didn’t you just tell me you smoke, you didn’t have to lie about it. I felt like the world’s smallest man. She was pregnant and she said you need to go to some smoking sensation classes or something, because our child WOULD NOT be around cigarette smoke.

I told her that I wouldn’t smoke another cigarette. I promised her that. I would occasionally hit a cigarette of one of my homeboys you know, but not enough to where you would be able to smell it on my breath or uniform. I did quit smoking, but like the dumbass man I can be, I said to myself hey, I can still get my nicotine fix by dipping. I can put small dips in and she would never know it. When I had my first dip, I felt like shit. Everything was spinning, my stomach was hurting and I felt like I was going to vomit. But guess what I did? Yep, kept dipping. My dip of choice at that time was Copenhagen Fine Cut. I made sure not to do it until I knew she wasn’t around. If you haven’t noticed I don’t have the best luck. One day after lunch I’m in the Motorpool working on one of my Vehicles, I had a dip in, but this was a big one. One of my soldiers comes running up to me and says hey, your wife is coming. I said on shit, quickly spit out the dip, but I didn’t have any water so I couldn’t spit out the residue that was left in my teeth. She walked up to me to ask me some questions. She said you have some black stuff in your teeth. I said what? She said, you got some black stuff in your teeth and she said what is it? I said I don’t know, so she shrugged it off, so I thought.

Women are very smart, but of course my dumbass had to find out the hard way. I kept my dip stash in my closet (in our room we had two closets, one was for her and the other was for me). I kept my stash on the top shelf hidden in a hygiene bag. I remember getting a call from her asking where something was, but this item was located where? Yep, you guessed it in my closet on the top shelf. My stash wasn’t out in the open, I “thought” it was hidden, but that day I had forgotten to zip the bag close. Well, she found my stash. What she did next almost made me cry. I don’t remember where she had to go, I just remember her saying to me that she left a surprise for me in the bedroom. Me being a man, I thought it was going to be some sexy lingerie that she was going to where later or something of a sexual nature. Nope! She had the ironing board up and displayed in a line was all my cans. She opened every single one of them. I had 6 cans. Once I saw the cans, of course they were empty, under one of them there was a note and it read, go look in the bathroom. In the toilet was all my dip. There was also a note, it said, you flush it and that we would talk about this later. We talked about it and I told her I would quit. But guess what, I’m a Man, a very hard headed man. I continued to do it.

I did my best to hide it from her, but she always found a can either full of dip or an empty one. When it comes to being sneaky and trying to hide the “evidence” I suck at it. So I want you to keep this in mind, If you ever want to rob a bank and get away with it, keep me off your list because we will get caught. It took us going back and forth about this issue until we finally agreed to some terms. She asked me why I do it? I said, because I like it? She asked why? I said I don’t know. She then asked why don’t you know? I said I don’t know. I finally said to her, look, I like to do it and I am going to continue to do it, but I will promise you this, that I will never do it in front of you or the girls, I will not do it in public, especially with you and the girls and I will make sure I don’t leave evidence around to suggest that I do it. She said okay, but asked me if I would also try to quit and I agreed.

I don’t dip as much as I used to, because now it’s too damn expensive. I remember when a can of Copenhagen Longcut was $1.75, now Copenhagen is almost $4.00! I did all that rambling to say this, some times its better to tell the truth and your spouse be mad rather than you lie to your spouse about something, then you get caught red handed. When I sit back and look at it, I have made some really dumb decisions, but I can honestly say that by me making those dumb decisions, it made me a better man. If you don’t go through some pain, then how are you going to enjoy being happy? I’m not Dr. Phil and I am not trying to be him or a relationship expert. I just hope that by me, a REGULAR, explaining my experiences that someone will read it and take some advice from it.

 

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