The Post I Never Posted

September 24, 2017 v4 p39

I try to stay away from getting involved in political discussions, but the current topic making its rounds on social media has brought me in.  There are so many arguments to be made on both sides.

Last night I posed the question on my Facebook account of whether or not current NFL free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be offered a contract on Monday.  I asked that question because of the statements made by President Trump at a rally on Friday September 22.  As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed I saw multiple responses issued by owners of NFL teams speaking out against what the president had suggested, to fire any player who doesn’t stand during the national anthem.  I understand the President Trump may disagree with these actions by professional athletes, but does he need to be commenting on this?  I’d like to take a few moments to review a few points.

The first area I’d like to look at is what started all of this.  During the 2016 NFL preseason Colin Kaepernick began sitting during the playing of the National Anthem.  This went un-noticed for the first two weeks, but began to be noticed in the third.  The more it got noticed, the more other players began to support him.  His reasoning behind sitting was to bring light to injustice against Americans of African descent by law enforcement around the country.  As the season went he changed his protest from sitting to kneeling.  He made this change after talking with a former Green Beret as a way to “not take away from the military and those fighting for our country.”  He felt this was a way to continue to get his word out in a more respectful manner.  This didn’t change the level of disrespect to some.  A lot more athletes began supporting him by kneeling or otherwise showing solidarity in what he was trying to bring to light.  These types of protests continued throughout the season, throughout the league.

When the season ended Kaepernick’s contract was fulfilled and he was allowed to enter the free agent pool.  There were four teams that have been reported as having shown interest in signing him.  Seattle head coach Pete Carroll is quoted as saying that Kaepernick is “a starter in this league” but Kaepernick left Seattle without a contract offer.  At one time he was, and could justifiably go into a tryout with a team looking to sign a new starting quarterback.  After having early success in San Francisco as a starter his production began to slip.  Some may claim he isn’t that good, others may claim that defenses have figure him out.  Whatever your thought about it is, if you’re reading this you probably aren’t in the position to be making those decisions.  When you look at the list of free agent quarterbacks that have been signed since Kaepernick entered the field it’s hard to justify that the majority of them are better at the position than he is.  This looks a lot like he’s being evaluated for reasons other than his playing ability.

The second part of this I’d like to take a look at is our President’s involvement.  This is certainly a topic that our President should be trying to unify our country through.  The way he is handling it isn’t really in a Presidential manner.  To publicly come out and state that an American citizen is a “Son of a Bitch” is not the type of language our country needs to hearing from its leader.  This topic needs to be addressed, but resulting to name calling will only undermine the respect the President has in trying to bring about change.  What sort of message does that send to the rest of the world about President Trump?  I can’t believe it’s one that would instill trust.  There are far more important domestic and foreign issues that the leader of our country needs to concentrate on besides the actions of an unsigned free agent quarterback.  I don’t recall in my lifetime when a celebrity or athlete has caused this much turmoil in our country.

For the President to publicly state that a private entity should “fire” its employees is beyond the scope of the office.  No person in the government has the right take away a citizen’s First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech.  Especially if that right is being pursued in a peaceful and legal manner.  I think something that is being lost in this whole argument is that Colin Kaepernick has done nothing illegal.  The reasoning behind these protests are certainly warranted, police brutality and corruption are topics that need to be addressed all throughout the country.  If you don’t think that’s true then you should probably do some research on the topics.  I’m pretty sure that the majority of law enforcement officers do their jobs the right way, but it seems to be an almost daily occurrence where another one is found not to be.  This has eroded the trust of the citizens in the police force.  More often than not when I hear reports of shootings on the local news, the story includes the line, “the victim is not cooperating with Police.”  That leads me to believe that the victim knows the suspect, or is going to find out who they are, and then settle matters in their own manner.  Lack of trust is leading to that.

I don’t agree with the way Colin Kaepernick is going about his protest.  There are better avenues for a professional athlete to get his word out.  I do support his right to perform his protest in a legal way, just as I would expect every other person to support my right under that same amendment to pursue my religion in a legal way.  Before the playing of the National Anthem is played at sporting events the public address announcer ask all in attendance to “Please Rise.”  In the U.S. Flag Code issued by the United States Military is states that all non-military citizens SHOULD stand at attention during the National Anthem or when it passes during a parade.  How many times have you been sitting in your lawn chair, watching a parade, and the flag passes?  How many of those times did you stand, at attention?  While you’re sitting at home watching sports on television and they play the National Anthem, do you stand, at attention?  I’ve never really thought about that one before until today.  Is that really being any less disrespectful than what athletes are doing at the games?  There are a multitude of examples on the U.S Military website about how the flag should not be disrespected.  I encourage you to look them up and them maybe take a look around your home and your life and see how you may be actually committing a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail.  What you won’t find is that you must stand.

This topic isn’t one that’s going to go away anytime soon, and if we can’t discuss it in a peaceful manner we won’t get anywhere.  If it comes to all of us being told we must stand for the flag, then we will be heading in the wrong direction.

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Three for Thursday:Week Three

September 21, 2017 v4 p38

In week three of college football there were more matchups of conference games.  There were still mostly matchups against cupcakes for the Top 25.

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Michigan – The Wolverines faced an Air Force team that has historically been tough to stop on the ground, kind of ironically.  Don Brown’s defense showed that it could be special, hold their opponent to their lowest offensive yardage output in five years.  The offense continued to struggle, only scoring one touchdown late in the second half.

Michigan State – The Spartans enjoyed an early season bye week.  Kudos to the members of this program who traveled to the Houston area to help out with the recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey.  We should learn more about this team after this week’s matchup with Notre Dame.

Ohio State – The Buckeyes didn’t have any trouble handling Army in week 3.  Quarterback JT Barrett broke the B1G record for total touchdowns, previously held by Drew Brees.  It’s hard to say anything is different about this team after this win, Army in not Oklahoma.

B1G West – This side of the conference suffered two losses in week three.  One by Illinois to a ranked South Florida team, and one in embarrassing fashion by Nebraska against Northern Illinois.  The rest of the division thoroughly dominated their lesser competition, the conference season will start to separate the real teams from the rest.

Notre Dame – The Irish recovered from a tough loss in week two against Georgia by dispatching of fellow Catholic school Boston College, which should be a conference game.  This victory shows that Notre Dame is beginning to find its way back to success and that Boston College is still struggling to improve.  The Irish will be able to get a better idea of what they are after week 4’s matchup in East Lansing.

SEC – The only losses for the SEC that didn’t come in conference play were by Missouri and Ole Miss, not exactly the upper tier of the conference.  The biggest surprise of the conference is either Vanderbilt or Kentucky, both undefeated through three weeks with Vanderbilt’s week three victory coming against a ranked Kansas St. team.  The best finish of the weekend probably came in the Florida vs. Tennessee game, as the Gator’s won on a Hail Mary pass after it looked like they were going to settle for overtime.

ACC – Two of the top three teams, Clemson and Louisville, faced off against each other in week three with a much different result than in 2016.  Not different in the victor, but the score, as it wasn’t really close until Louisville scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.  With Florida State versus Miami being postponed it’s hard to judge where the rest of the top of this conference is.

PAC 12 – The conference came away with 10 victories in week 3, all of them pretty comfortably other than USC.  Stanford stumbled for a second week in a game they should have walked through against San Diego State.  Quarterback Josh Rosen may have used up all of his magic for 2017 in the comeback against Texas A&M their last ditch effort against Memphis fell short this week.

Big 12 – The two schools from the state of Oklahoma look like they might run away with this conference.  Texas is proving that their preseason top 25 ranking truly was based on their coach’s name.  West Virginia may crack back into the rankings with a victory at Kansas, who would probably struggle in the Mountain West Conference.

Purdue – The Wolverines travel to Ross-Aide Stadium in West Lafayette Indiana to face a resurgent Boilermaker football team.  They will certainly be pumped up, looking to upset the top 10 ranked Michigan program, who may be looking past them to Michigan State in week 6.  Purdue’s success on offense in the early season will test how good the defense truly is.

Western Michigan – The Broncos enjoyed a victory in their home opener, although it didn’t look like they were going to be able to in the first half.  During the second half their offensive line really began to dominate, and Idaho reminded everyone why you shouldn’t kick the ball anywhere near Darius Phillips.  The Broncos should continue to improve on both sides of the ball and enjoy pretty good success through the rest of the season, most likely attending another bowl game.

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It was great to be able to watch some good games in and amongst all of the cupcake games last weekend.  Now the heart of conference schedules will be starting and the matchups will only become that much better, college football is just getting warmed up!

This Post is Forgiving

September 19, 2017 v4 p37

Christians are called to forgive those who anger or offend us.  This week’s readings at Mass were a clear reminder of why.

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I’ve been trying my hardest to remember that I must forgive my fellow man.  It’s been a something that I had trouble with in the past.  Before returning to my faith I would make sure that I would go out of my way to try to get back at those who would did things to cause me difficulties.  I felt that I should just do the same thing to them that they did to me.  What I was forgetting was that if I considered myself a Christian, I still had to live a Christian life, even if I wasn’t attending church.  Ultimately what that would cause ended up being worse than the original offense.

As I started to learn more about my faith I began to see how wrong I was in the past.  I began to forgive people that weren’t really involved in my personal life.  Driving is a perfect example of this.  I used to get road rage really quickly, and really bad.  Every one of us, including myself, is guilty of driving like an idiot.  I really believe this is the root of a lot of problems in our society.  Almost everyone starts their day by having to drive somewhere.  Whether it’s to work or to drop the kids off at school, we’re in our cars.  It is rare lately that I go somewhere and I don’t see someone else do something on the road that really makes me shake my head in disbelief.  It’s not just texting or other distractions, although those are a big cause of it.  Too many people just don’t care that everyone else on the road has somewhere to go as well.  If you’re in such a hurry that you must drive in such a manner that you cause others anger, then maybe you need to plan your time better to allow yourself more time.  This way you don’t have to drive so fast.  If you needed to drive that fast then your vehicle would have lights on top and sirens.

More times than I can count I have gotten places and have been so riled up by the way other people have treated me on the road that my attitude has really gone sour.  That sets the tone for the rest of the day.  Nobody tries to go out on the road and be a jerk to everyone, if you do then you’re just a jerk.  Unfortunately too many people have been treated like jerks, get to their destination, and then treat other people like jerks.  I’ve learned that nothing I can do, on the road or afterwards, is going to change whatever reason people feel it necessary to act so selfishly when they drive.

On a personal level I’ve become much more adept at knowing when I need to forgive people.  There are still occasions where I have a tough time forgiving people.  Through my learning I have discovered that I don’t always have to give people the forgiveness they deserve right away.  I am allowed to be upset about how people have treated me, and try to figure out if there is something I’ve done that could have caused it.  I’ve been known to stew on things for much longer than I should.  It’s those times that I must turn to my prayer life to find it in myself to forgive.  Only after that can I truly put the incident behind me and move on.  Sometimes I’m not always able to get away and into that prayer that I need, and it causes me to hold onto that anger longer than I should.  I’m finding ways to get to a place where I can pray quicker, because holding onto the anger is never good.

In Matthew 18:22 Jesus tells us that we must forgive our brothers “Not seven times, but seventy times seven times.”  That doesn’t mean literally 490 times.  It means that we must always forgive our brothers.  I had a former coworker who really showed this to me.  It was on a weekly basis, sometimes daily, that his actions warranted me have to forgive him.  He didn’t necessarily do something directly against me, but his actions and words continually would cause problems.  I would often come home and complain to my wife about it.  Unfortunately when I did that she felt that I was yelling at her, not directly at her, but I would get so riled up over things that I would be raising my voice in disbelief of his actions.  I would then forgive him and finally be able to move on.

It was during some of my studying about my faith that I came across this passage in scripture that I realized how I needed to change.  I would continue to forgive him but I couldn’t understand how long it would have to continue.  I would start to ask my wife why anyone would continue to act in these ways and not see how it was effecting everything around him.  Then I realized that he wasn’t going to change, but wondered if I needed to continue to forgive him.  I don’t remember what resource it was that I was reading on this passage in Matthew’s Gospel, but it finally clicked.  I was going to have to continue to give forgiveness as long as this situation was a part of my life.  There would be no end to it, and if I didn’t continue to forgive, then there would be no end to my frustration.  After I realized that I found it easier to deal with the poor attitude and actually found enough confidence in myself to try and find a way to point out to him what his actions did, without flat out calling him a jerk.  Eventually his poor attitude ended up being his downfall.

I’m still faced with the need to forgive my coworkers because of their attitudes.  For the most part everyone I work with is great and will go out of their way to do things right.  There a few who have a cynical outlook, and really don’t care if they offend others.  I don’t have to deal with them much on a professional level so I am faced with the need to forgive less than before.  This past week however it did come up, and it wasn’t about anything work related.  As I heard in last week’s Gospel reading, I went to him and he wouldn’t hear out what I wanted to say.  Others agreed that he wouldn’t change.  So as I learned in Matthew 18:17 if he still won’t listen, then I should “treat him as a pagan or a tax collector.”  I said my prayers, gave him the forgiveness I needed to and decided that there is no need for me to talk to him unless it had to do with something work related.  Doing anything else will only continue to cause me problems.

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Forgiving someone who sins against you is sometimes the hardest thing to do.  Maybe if everyone tried harder to forgive then there would be less need for it to begin with.

Three for Thursday:Week 2

September 14, 2017 v4 p36

The second week of the college football season featured a couple of matchups between highly ranked teams.  It mostly had teams playing cupcakes though, so we haven’t really learned anything new.

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Michigan – The Wolverines came in heavily favored against the visiting Bearcats of Cincinnati, and were able to come away with a fairly lopsided victory.  I caught most of the first quarter on the radio while driving to my son’s soccer game and felt they should be comfortable while I was away from the game.  The offense seemed to sputter most of the game behind Wilton Speight, and it proved again that the defense is certainly the strong point of this team.

Michigan State – A lot of people were putting the Spartans on upset alert against Western Michigan this week.  They were able to take care of business against an overmatched MAC opponent who is still trying to figure out how to move the ball on offense.  A bye week early in the season will give them plenty of time to prepare for Notre Dame, but will it come back to haunt them later in the year when they get deep into their schedule?

Ohio State – The Buckeyes hosted seventh ranked Oklahoma, for the fourth matchup in the history of these two storied programs.  They were able to hang close to them for most of the first half, but Baker Mayfield really took the game over in the second.  The Buckeye offense looked stagnant when they weren’t able to run the ball, and were forced to pass behind quarterback J.T. Barrett, the weakest portion of his game.

B1G West – Another successful weekend for the other half of the Big Ten Conference.  The only losses were by Northwestern to a much improved Duke team and Nebraska on the road at Oregon.  The Cornhuskers made a valiant effort at a fourth quarter comeback, but did little to change my thought that Wisconsin is the cream of the crop in the division.

Notre Dame – The Irish hosted the Georgia Bulldogs and found themselves in an old fashioned slobber-knocker.  This was the type of game Knute Rockne would have loved.  The Defense looks to be much improved over last year, but the youth on the roster still has some growing to do.

SEC – Alabama and most of the rest of the conference rolled against their cupcake opponents.  The Auburn Tigers lost a close road battle against sudden rival Clemson, and the Georgia Bulldogs traveled to South Bend for a hard fought road win, that was put them north of the Mason-Dixon line for the first time since the 1960s.  The only conference matchup between South Carolina and Missouri doesn’t really tell us much, as the Tigers are still new to the conference and have never been much of a football school.

ACC – Conference favorite Clemson remained undefeated against Auburn after their loss to the last year, let’s hope this is an early season non-conference rivalry that sticks around for a while.  The Duke Blue Devil’s seem to have finally been able to leverage their basketball success into recruiting gains for the football program, as they hosted Northwestern and didn’t really have much difficulty gaining a victory.  Lamar Jackson showed why he is an early season favorite in the Heisman race again this year, throwing for almost 400 yards and three touchdowns.

Pac 12 – The matchup between two of the top teams in the conference, USC and Stanford, was close in the beginning, but the Trojans really pulled away to a comfortable victory in the second half.  Washing continues to show that it isn’t going to be a one-hit-wonder by rolling over Montana.  The rest of the conference went 5-3 in games that were against a 50/50 mix of teams that were cupcakes and major conference foes, showing me there may be a little more depth here than I first thought.

Big 12 – Aside from the previously mentioned Oklahoma victory in Columbus there wasn’t anything too shocking in the weakest of the Power 5 conferences.  The Iowa State loss in overtime to Iowa is less of shock than if they had won.  The most interesting thing to watch in this conference is to see how far Baylor is going to fall after the huge scandal that took place prior to the 2016 season.

Western Michigan – The Broncos traveled up I-69 to face off against the Spartans of MSU with a lot of confidence after hanging tough against USC in week one.  The struggled to move the ball on offense against the Spartans, not recording a third down conversion until the fourth quarter.  Darius Philips may be the best defensive/special teams player in the nation, as he recorded two more touchdowns on his career (9 total) for a team that will fare much better in their own conference.

Air Force – The Falcons are averaging 62 points per game in 2017, against the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Southern Alabama, not exactly B1G caliber teams.  The Wolverines are an early 24 point favorite, but there were a 34 point favorite last week.  Air Force traditionally runs the spread offense, which in the past has given Michigan fits, but that wasn’t this defense.

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The games may not have been exciting as they were in week one, or as they will be later in the year, but it’s always a great Saturday when college football is on.  And as always there’s something that happens that makes you go holy cow, like a 3rd and goal play from the team’s own 7 yard line.

This Post is Clear

September 13, 2017 v4 p35

In the Old Testament Elijah is told to listen to for the voice of God.  There is a fire, an earthquake, some thunderstorms, but he doesn’t hear him in any of those.

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Over the past couple of months I was kind of getting a stale feeling in my prayer life.  Through the faith studying I’ve done on my own I’ve learned that that is going to happen.  That wasn’t really a surprise to me, because I’ve had the same type of staleness happen in my professional and personal life.  What I also knew was that I needed to continue on the path I was following, because so far it’s been the right one.  After some time I began to see my prayers being answered.  That again told me that I was going in the right direction.  I was still getting a stale feeling though.

Out of the resources I had found to study my faith I began to struggle to find new content.  The videos I was finding were just the same ones I had already watched.  It’s not a fault of the speakers.  I was only able to find speeches online from the same year, just at different events.  I would liken it to an author out on a speaking tour.  They would give the same speech at every bookstore they appeared at.  Generally the audience is different, but the subject matter is the same.  So I began looking for older videos to watch.  That didn’t really produce much content.

At some point I stumbled on some new speakers though.  They came to me by looking back at the events I had watched videos for that featured the speakers I was initially looking for.  YouTube is great for that.  It really made me thing about how many possibilities I could come up with because the people I was listening to initially clearly weren’t the only speakers at those specific events.  Especially the ones I knew were multiple days long.

For the most part my wife and I were watching mainly male speakers.  That was partially because the first people I started looking toward for teaching were priests.  We watched a lot of general session speeches, and men’s session speeches.  I thought that they all had great content that was applicable to everyone, but that maybe my wife would enjoy listening to some female speakers.  I’m always trying to soak in as much as I possibly can too, so a different perspective if always refreshing.

One of the best sources we’ve found for videos to watch has been the ones produced at The Steubenville Youth Conferences.  These are a series of conferences around the country that are geared toward bringing the message of the Catholic Church to teens.  There were 25 total conferences in 2017.  Although these are geared towards high school aged kids the content is still great.  Does it really matter what age the audience is when you’re speaking about faith?  It applies to young and old the same way.  That goes the same for men’s sessions versus women’s session.

Not only is that message important to all ages, but I feel it especially hits home for me.  It was in my early high school ages that I really started to drift away from my faith.  So for me listening to the speeches is kind of picking up where I left off.  I still attended Mass on Sunday and went through my faith formation classes all through high school, but I wasn’t engaged.  I was pretty much only there because I was told by my parents that I had to be.  That wasn’t the right way for my evangelization to occur.  I have a feeling that a lot of the people that I went through faith formation were experiencing the same thing.

The other day I finally came up to a video of a speech by a priest at the Grand Rapid’s Diocese Men’s Conference.  He was pretty brash, and really didn’t hide it.  He also didn’t care if you didn’t like his attitude.  I totally get that though because his message was completely on point.  I immediately started following him on social media and shared the video with my best friend, another Catholic.  I mentioned that the video was filmed in Grand Rapids at the conference neither of us could find time to attend.  He replied a day or two later that he had watched it and stared following him on social media as well.

I went and searched out more videos from that same priest.  He actually gave two talks at the conference in Grand Rapids, and in the second one he mentioned one he had given earlier in 2017 at a conference in Atlanta.  I found that one pretty quickly and put it in my que.  Before watching that one I had some time to contemplate what his message was.  I was beginning to see that he was going to be a good source for me to study.  I could start to see that I needed to listen more.

I put a post out on social media about starting to get messages clearly and that I needed to be a better listener.  I watched that third video by the same priest yesterday and it really hammered home what I was being told.  I’ve always knew that I needed to continue to strengthen my faith actions, but I’ve always been afraid.  I’ve been afraid of what others will say, which is kind of strange since I don’t seem to have any difficulties writing blog posts about it.  I will admit the first few that spoke so much about my faith did kind of make me feel a little naked.  But now I was receiving the clear message that what I thought I needed to do is exactly what I need to do.

I had another moment of clarity this morning during my morning prayers.  I’ve been kinda-sorta practicing Lectio Divina prayers.  I read the daily scripture readings, but haven’t taken too much time to meditate and pray on them for whatever reason.  Today however was different.  Not sure why or what prompted it, but did the meditation portion.  Today’s readings seemed to fit in with what the video I watched yesterday was saying.  During my meditation and prayer I was shown the next steps I must take in my faith formation, and I’m ready.  For those of you keeping score I am planning to take my lunch break on Thursdays and drive to my church for Eucharistic Adoration, I am going to fast on Friday’s (not just during Lent), and I want to begin praying the Liturgy of the Hours.  That sounds like pretty insignificant changes, but only if you don’t truly know what each of those entails.

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Sometimes He shouts at you from the mountain tops, other times He comes through as a softer whisper after a huge storm.  All that I know is right now I’m hearing and listening clearly.

Three for Thursday:Week 1

September 7, 2017 v4 p34

The first week of college football started with a lot of the usual cupcake matchups, and a couple of highly ranked team facing each other as well.  What it didn’t do is disappoint the fans, that’s for sure.  Here’s my take away.

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Michigan – Aside from a five minute stretch in the middle of the second quarter the Wolverines dominated the Florida Gators.  The quarterback position seems to be the biggest question on this team, with Wilton Speight struggling against top level competition.  The running game really was able to do whatever it wanted and the defense showed that it has the potential to be better than last year’s top ranked unit.

Michigan State – The Spartans started kind of slow against a lower tier MAC opponent.  In the long run they ended up taking care of business in a rather comfortable manner.  Will it be enough to continue to win the rest of the year against better completion?

Ohio State – The Hoosiers looked to be able to expose a weakness on the defensive side of the ball for the Buckeyes, short and inexperienced defensive backs.  Quarterback J.T. Barret still struggled to throw the ball, but their defense and running game are good enough to cover that up in a lot of cases.  This week’s match-up against Oklahoma will show a lot of what they really are.

Big Ten West – The teams in the B1G West held their own against their opening week opponents.  The only loss from that side of the conference came from Purdue, who was unranked and facing the 16th ranked Louisville Cardinals, and they certainly put a scare into them.  The biggest surprise from the west division may have been Minnesota, who didn’t look very impressive in PJ Fleck’s coaching debut against a lower tier MAC team.

Notre Dame – Brian Kelly was able to take care of business in the Irish’s season opener.  It probably helped that they were at home and facing Temple.  It could be considered a blessing or a curse to be an independent and be able to schedule whoever you want for the most part.

SEC – Alabama showed once again that they can really just reload year after year, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who watches college football on a regular basis.  The rest of the conference seemed to hold up well against their cupcake schedules.  Well, except for Texas A&M in the second half, but I don’t think UCLA is really a cupcake.

ACC – An 11-3 weekend with one of those losses coming to the top team in the land is pretty good.  The only thing is that beyond that match-up it was more cupcake scheduling and there wasn’t a whole of lopsided games aside from the powerhouse program at Duke (HA!).  I have a feeling this is a top heavy conference and may be a case of the big 2 and little 12.

Pac 12 – The fourth ranked Trojans had all they could handle with the visiting Broncos from Western Michigan University, but in the end their talent proved to be just too much, as it should have.  The rest of the conference seemed to not have much trouble taking care of their own business. This will be an interesting race to watch with USC, Washington, and Stanford looking like the teams to beat.

Big -12 – Beyond the shocking upset of Texas at home against Maryland the conference didn’t struggle much at all.  A single touchdown loss by West Virginia against similarly ranked and long-time rival Virginia Tech doesn’t hurt the conference after the opening weekend.  The amount of cupcake games on the schedule may, and also help make the case for less of them in general.

Western Michigan – The Broncos traveled to La La Land and landed a square shot to the jaw of perennial powerhouse USC.  They with stood a return jab for as long as they could before the Trojan’s ultimately just out muscled them for the victory.  This performance gives me hope for the continued success of this program under new coach Tim Lester, and a good excuse to go see my kid on campus and buy some of the best donuts available in the country.

Cincinnati – The Bearcats played host to Austin Peay in the opening week and were able to come away with a victory.  Michigan opened the week as a 33 point favorite.  This isn’t Brian Kelly’s Bearcats and the Wolverines should have no problem getting lots of players on the depth chart in the game this week.

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I didn’t even know that the Texas A&M versus UCLA game was on until I started flipping through channels during the halftime of the WVU vs VTU game.  Boy am I glad I did because it was a reminder of why I love college football so much.

This Post is Eye-Opening

September 5, 2017 v4 p33

When I started writing this blog almost three years ago it was to share my opinion about the University of Michigan football program.  I always wondered if that was the right platform for myself, and that answer became clear to me last week.

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Over the years I’ve touched on a few different subjects.  I’ve written a lot about sports.  I’ve written about the death of both of my parents.  I’ve written about parenting.  I’ve written about my faith.  I’ve written about fitness, and I’ve written about leadership.  So it’s really been a wide range of topics.  The subject matter that has received the biggest response is my faith.  So that’s where I plan to continue to put my focus.  A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about how I was rebuilding the four pillars of my life based on the most important one, my faith.  Most likely I will continue to write about most of these topics, but just like rebuilding my life based on faith, most of my posts will be built around how they are tied to my faith.

When I do write about sports it will most likely be about college football.  In my mid-twenties most of my personal life was centered on sports.  College football has always been my favorite, followed by college basketball.  I would watch the NFL too, but not with the interest I had in college football.  Once March Madness was done I would begin to pay attention to the NHL, then the NBA, as that was the order those leagues would finish their season.  After that I would kind of half-heartedly watch Major League Baseball.  When the Tigers began to turn their team into a contender I started paying more attention earlier in the spring.  As time has gone on I’ve just become less interested in sports other than college football.  I pay just enough attention to the NFL to be able to know what’s going on with my fantasy football team.  College basketball is still something I enjoy watching, but it’s been narrowed down to the last couple of months of the season, after football is over.

It’s hard to tie college and professional sports back to faith.  You always see athletes praising God for their touchdown, or home run, which is good, but they should be praising them in their everyday lives, not just the contests that they compete in that allow them to make millions of dollars.  It’s rare to see athletes take that praise into their personal lives.  When they do, they are often ridiculed for it, for example Tim Tebow.  He makes no attempt to hide his faith and always praised God for his talents, not just his results.  Yet a lot of “fans” think he should keep that to himself and off the playing field.  I would guess that there are more athletes and fans that support Colin Kaepernik and his protest of injustice than Tim Tebow and his show of faith.  While Kaepernik is doing nothing illegal, it is certainly causing a problem in his career as he is currently being passed over for open positions in favor of less talented, retired players.

As I’ve grown in my career and my faith my life priorities have changed drastically.  I’m now more interested in growing myself in my faith and my leadership.  I began telling God I was ready to do His will last winter and things have really changed in my life.  My career has taken a major uptick.  My faith has begun to follow that same path.  I continue to tell Him every day that I’m ready to do His will.  I pray for knowledge to see the path He has chosen for me, the wisdom to choose that path, and the strength to complete the journey.  It really has been a game changer for me, to borrow a sports cliché.

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I’m going to continue to my weekly analysis of college football because I really do enjoy it.  It’s hard to tie it to my faith though, other than the fact that Jim Harbaugh is Catholic.