Category Archives: Harold’s Sports Thoughts

My Team Stinks

600x480_astrosAs April begins, Houston is alive with our Springtime awakening.  The flowers bloom, the birds sing, and the sports menu is out of control!  Basketball’s March Madness reaches its pinnacle.  The professional golf & tennis tournaments are Houston happening today.  Planning is underway for the NFL draft, and Spring college football fills the air with rumors and innuendo.  Now for the bad news: baseball season begins.

Many folks find the beginning of baseball is a cause for celebration.  I’ve heard that it’s a great time; because every team is undefeated and full of hope.  The problem is…I follow the Astros.  Today they are undefeated.  In fact they have the honor of hosting the first game of the season.  We even have a new place for our cellar dwelling team.  The bottom of the American League West.  ARod earns more individually than the entire Houston Astros team.  Hope does not spring forth this spring.

So what is a fan to do confronted with such a situation?   The truth is that we generally lose when we face a hopeless situation. I am big on sports analogies for life, and I know that in life many of us face hopeless situations.   Some would tell you full speed ahead and ignore the facts.  Butting my head into brick walls is a skill set I have honed.  That makes a favorite saying of mine…it feels so good when it quits hurting.  I probably stole it from an old country song.  Some folks tell you that whatever you believe will happen.  I have found that facts are hard things that we must deal with honestly.

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Meet-95-year-old-Artin-Elmayan-the-worlds-oldest-ranked-player-articolo6200.htmlI do get that attitude can influence a situation.  I understand if all you see is doom & gloom you are likely to find it.  I also think there is a place for an honorable effort even when the results are not likely to be what we desire.  I play tennis, and some folks are better players.  They are faster, stronger, in better shape, and this chaps me to admit…but younger.  I have a suspicion this circumstance is not headed in my favor, but I can still enjoy playing tennis.  A friend once told me that if you never lose it says more about the quality of your competition than the quality of your tennis.

We are not always going to win.  That is true for our sports teams.  That is true for our own athletic endeavors.  That is true for our lives.  We can do our best and enjoy the process, but that does not mean victory in the end.  My Astros are likely to set a record this season…for the most losses ever by a MLB team.  Mets fans prepare to rejoice.  I can still enjoy my team.  The stadium is awesome, the beer will still be cold, my buddies will still be fun, and a real upside is the tickets will be easy to get.  I can worry the young guys on the tennis court, but fewer will fall in defeat.  I can enjoy the exercise, the competition and the camaraderie.

When we face tough circumstances, we need to focus on the process.  Rather than focusing on the end goal, set smaller intermediary steps that we can accomplish.  Find that enjoyment one small step at a time.  With a realistic attitude, we might even get surprised by finding a bit of hope…perhaps even a surprising victory.  Here’s hoping the Astros have a great season….not expecting a pennant…but hoping!

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Rolido Boys Tennis Survey

Response Summary
Total Started Survey:  17
Total Finished Survey:  17  (100%)
PAGE: 1
DownloadCreate Chart1. Do you want/plan to plan tennis with the Rolido Boys this Spring?
answered question 17
skipped question
0
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes
100.0% 17
No 0.0% 0
DownloadCreate Chart2. Where would you prefer to play?
answered question 16
skipped question
1
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Missouri City Tennis Center
68.8% 11
Lee LeClear Tennis Center
31.3% 5
DownloadCreate Chart3. This season there is an over 40 and an over 18 age division for leagues. They will play on different evenings. Please check the age division or divisions where you want to play AND are eligible.
answered question 17
skipped question
0
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Over 18
76.5% 13
Over 40
52.9% 9
DownloadCreate Chart4. The HTA/USTA have changed the way that players of various ratings can play together on one team. You must be at or .5 below the level of the team to play on it. That means the Rolido Boys 4.0 can only have 4.0 & 3.5 members. Please check the teams that you would like to join. (This does not mean that we plan to have all these teams.)
answered question 17
skipped question
0
Response
Percent
Response
Count
3.5
17.6% 3
4.0
76.5% 13
4.5
64.7% 11
5.0 0.0% 0
DownloadCreate Chart5. The changes to the league structure also modify the singles and doubles league. There may be some singles only, some doubles only, and some singles+doubles (like the USTA summer league structure) in the Spring. Do you want to play singles, doubles, or both?
answered question 17
skipped question
0
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Singles
52.9% 9
Doubles
94.1% 16
DownloadCreate Chart6. With all these changes, I am concerned about the structure of the league divisions. If the number of teams in a division is small, a large geographic area will be required to get to some reasonable number of teams. This would require a lengthy trip to play the away matches. Tomball, Richmond, Katy, Jersey Village, Cypress, Clear Lake, and anywhere in Houston could be possible locations. Are you OK with playing anywhere they assign us, or will you only play in the South West?
answered question 17
skipped question
0
Response
Percent
Response
Count
I will drive anywhere
52.9% 9
I will only drive around the South West side of town
47.1% 8
Download7. With the number of bump-ups, the 3.5 teams may not be viable. We also are likely to be short on the 4.5+ part of the team. Who do you know that might be interested in joining our team?
answered question 4
skipped question
13
Response
Count
Show Responses 4

Tragedy…when you least expect it

KC linebacker Jovan Belcher

KC linebacker Jovan Belcher

This week as I was beginning to teach my class, someone called my attention to a hand raised toward the back of the room.  My heart dropped a bit when I heard, “What do you think about that situation in KC?”  I did not have a plan to discuss the murder/suicide of Jovan Belcher, the linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday morning.  I am also serious in my commitment to do the best I can with any question raised.

After some initial stammering to buy time, I began with observing it was a horrible and tragic event with  no good or right answers.  A professional athlete in the prime of his career killed his girlfriend, the mother of his three month old daughter; then drove to the stadium; talked with his coach & other team officials; finally turning his gun on himself.  In similar situations, I have heard folks say that it is all in God’s plan.  I recoil and reject any idea that a benevolent creator could plan such a tragedy.

I think it is OK to acknowledge that sometimes there just is no answer.  Sometimes there just are no right words.  Some situations truly can’t be fixed.  Sometimes we stand at the abyss with nothing to say.  We are not weak or defective or impotent because we find situations that we can’t solve.  We are human.

I wonder if Jovan would have made better choices if he had remembered his humanity.  He was a huge man.  Truly the biggest man on campus and admired by everyone.  To most of the folks he met, he was a hero.  So many little boys wanted to grow up to be just like him.  The biggest and baddest guy around.  He had a beautiful girlfriend, a lovely daughter, fame, and money.  He had what everybody is striving to achieve.  He destroyed the most important things that he had.

I don’t know why.  The investigations are ongoing, but no matter what they find…they will never really find any answers.

I hope that each of you will take a few moments this week to let the folks around you know that you care.  Even the biggest and strongest among us might need a bit of help and encouragement.  Even when we discover problems that we can’t solve, we can be there.

A little girl got home from playing late.  Her mother was unhappy and asked why she was late.  She explained that her friend had crashed and broken her bicycle.  Mom exclaimed, “You shouldn’t have stayed.  You can’t fix a bike.”  The little girl replied, “I know, but I could help her cry.”

Have a great week.

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