Rock, Paper, Scissors

1 12 2008

I have a question for you sports fans.  If Rock smashes Scissors and Paper covers Rock and Scissors cuts Paper, then which one has the highest BCS ranking?



DVR – The greatest thing since sliced bread

10 06 2008

You ever heard the expression, “The greatest thing since sliced bread”?  About 99% of the time when I hear that expression, I think to myself…”no, I can think of a lot of discoveries or inventions that have come along since sliced bread was introduced that are better than that.

There is one item, though, that, I have to admit, really could be considered the greatest thing since sliced bread. 

Digital Video Recorders have completely changed my life for the better.  Tivo specifically, in my case, has revolutionized my television watching habits.

Everyone knows now what a DVR can do for you, so I won’t bog with the details.  But, suffice it to say, that this device has allowed me to maintain the real priorities of my life – wife, kids, work, church, friends, etc, etc, and not miss the television programs that I really love.  It’s not that I had my priorities out of whack before (although my wife might want to argue the point in regards to my sports viewing); it’s that Tivo has made it extremely easy to clearly draw those lines of importance in my life.

I tried for years to convince my wife to allow me to get a Tivo.  Nothing I said would convince her.  Then one day, a pastor friend of ours (the man who married us) used the words, “Tivo is the greatest thing since sliced bread.”  It carried weight coming from him because within a couple of weeks, we had our first Tivo.

Tivo has been a part of our lives now for a few years.  This is one of the few things my wife will now admit that I was right about.  Tivo is a benefit to everyone in our family.  We have 3 of them in our house now, all networked together.  We have a Tivo just for the kids with all their cartoons on it.  We have another main one in the Living Room for us and then another one in the bedroom.

I never miss a Mavericks or Cowboys game.  My wife never misses any one of a multitude of home improvement / home buying / home flipping shows.  Neither of us misses an episode of Survivor or Lost or any of the shows we enjoy watching together.  My kids always have a cartoon to choose from at the touch of a button.

In short, DVRs really are the greatest thing sliced bread.

Basketball sharing

4 06 2008

When I get ready in the mornings, I like to listen to sports talk radio.  This morning, they were discussing the recently released Sports Illustrated list of the 50 top paid athletes.  It is unbelievable how much money athletes earn in this world.  They made the point that many of the top 50 were basketball players.

Soon after listening to the discussion on the radio, I heardBasketballs my kids screaming at each other in the other room.  I calmly walked in there and asked what the problem was.  Essentially, they were both laying claim to the same basketball at the same time.  There were probably 5 basketballs laying within 6 feet of this particular altercation, but still they were having a yelling match over this one.

After being unable to figure out who had the ball first or having one of them volunteer to play with a different ball, I simply took the ball away from both of them and walked away.  Case closed.  Both kids happily moved on with their lives.

That got me thinking.  We have so much wealth in the world and we have so much poverty in the world.  Why is it so difficult to share?  Why do we have 1 athlete making $120 million a year when we have 120 million people living on $1 a day?

I think part of it boils down to the childish attitudes that most of us have about materials and possessions.  We think we are entitled to things and that we have to build up territorial walls to protect that which is rightfully ours.  We think that we have earned everything we have.  We don’t think we should be the ones to share.  Our hearts go out to those less fortunate than us, but when it comes down to giving from what we have, we are unwilling to pull the trigger.

And, I am talking to myself as much as anyone else.  I try to help those around me and give as generously as I can.  But, when push comes to shove, I want to make sure that my family is comfortable and has a future protected against financial constraints.

So, what will it take for the world to change?  What will it take for me to change?  What will it take for some of us to give up the basketball we are all trying to hold on to and pick up another one of our many basketballs laying beside us on the floor?  What governing body has the guts and the power to swoop in and redistribute the basketball from the spoiled screaming bunch of us and give it to a kid that has never even laid eyes on a basketball before?

Do I ask for too much?

Maybe the best thing I can personally do to help is to break this materialistic cycle with my kids.  I want to not only teach them that there are poor people in the world, but I want them to catch glimpses of what it feels like to be in need.  Be it through our friends at the Samaritan Inn, by helping people we meet on the streets, through people that walk through our church doors, or through some other avenue, I want them to have personal relationships with those in our midst that know what it means to live in need.  I want them to recognize the gap between the wealthy and the poor and look for ways to bridge it.

Maybe we need to gather up our basketballs and take them to the Samaritan Inn…

Afterall, it’s not the one with the most basketballs who wins the prize…but it may be the one who gives the most away…

Greatest moment in Mavs history

5 05 2008

What is the greatest moment in Dallas Mavericks history?  Well, it is pictured to the right.

When that moment happened 2 years ago, I thought the Mavs were on their way to winning a championship.  Honestly, I thought that they would be contenders for a title for several years to come.  For those of you non-sportsnuts like myself, Dirk made a 3-point play (See Ginoble’s foul there?) to push Game 7 to OverTime and an eventual win going away on the Spurs homecourt.

Boy, how times change.  They end up beating Phoenix that year in the conference championship series and then go up 2-0 in the Finals to Miami.  Then, they choke it all away.

Then they fool us all again, winning 67 games in the regular season the next season and locking up the #1 overall seed in the playoffs.  Then comes Golden State.  Another huge embarrassing collapse.

I remember reading Jerry Stackhouse’s quote at the beginning of this year.  To paraphrase, “Either going to the finals was a fluke or getting knocked out in the first round was a fluke, this year we will find out”.  Well, I think he was right.  We all found out. 

Dirk said last week, “For me, personally, I feel like it’s another wasted year”.  I feel exactly the same way as Dirk.

As a die-hard Mavs fan, I don’t have a lot to put my hope in either.  I think they do have some flexibility in their roster that might give them the ability to make a deal or two in the off-season.  But, I am not sure I see anything that can put them back to an elite contender status right away.  Maybe I am just a glass is half empty kind of guy, but I definitely need something big to happen to renew my excitement and get me out of this funk. 

And, hiring Rick Carlisle is not exactly what I am talking about.  I think he will be fine, but he doesn’t make me excited again.  I need to see something big.  And, I just don’t see what it could be.  But, I hope that Cuban and Little Nellie can come up with something to renew my excitement in a team that had me so caught up in excitement this time two years ago that I could hardly stand it.

Please, Sports Gods, please make things right for the Mavs.  They were the worst franchise in all of sports in the 90s and they got exactly zero #1 overall picks to show for it and only one in the top 3.  Meanwhile, the Spurs got two #1 overall picks exactly ten years apart (David Robinson and Tim Duncan).  They have 4 titles to show for that.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Which brings me back to the greatest moment in Mavs history.  When that moment happened, I thought for sure, it wouldn’t be their greatest moment for very long.  Now, it really looks like I am going to have to wait awhile for something better.  As a Mavs fan, I guess I should be getting good at waiting…