I had a great fall helping coach my son’s flag football team through the local Y.M.C.A. I asked the head coach if I could be the offensive coordinator; since I have years of experience playing football video gamesJ. I went online and found some ideas for plays for our 5-on-5 league. Using the “paint brush” app on my computer, I drew up a few plays. Now for the first time, I will reveal the playbook that made our team a winning success. Use with caution! Explosive plays contained here! User discretion is advised.
I played organized baseball from the time I was 6 until the age of 17 (High School). I was a decent player as a kid, but the older I got the worse my hitting became. I went something like 1 for 28 my senior year (no I’m not kidding); it was humiliating. In the months that followed I searched for an excuse, which I finally found when I was diagnosed as having visual astigmatism. Finally, I thought to myself, I know now that I was a terrible hitter; it was simply because I could not see the ball.
Well as I learned today from this 1954 article from Sports illustrated<http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1129050/>, the fact is; no one can actually see the ball all the way to the plate. All pitches, even the slow ones (55mph), disappear about 20 feet from the plate; batters actually swinging blind. After reading this, and losing my excuse, this verse from 2 Corinthians 4:18 came to mind:
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Could it be, that like hitting, life has some areas where we have to operate by focusing on the “unseen”? You may think it’s impossible to focus on unseen things, but somehow, there are people in this world, who can walk up to home plate and hit a ball they can’t even see. God has delivered to us the truth in the person of Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible. As you read God’s story you can sense Him coming toward you, but then it can seem as if he has disappeared. But that is when you have to swing and trust the unseen hand of God, and know that He is there. That my friend is called faith.
I’ll be honest I didn’t know what to think at first. We went from a fiery middle age “Sound the Attack”, coach, to a little older, greyer, mild-mannered, unassuming coach in Ellis Johnson. Then we go out and gathered a new coaching staff: A defensive coordinator who was a part of a team that only won 3 games in 2011, a high school coach for our offensive coordinator and Bobby Boucher as our new water boy. So I’m thinking, do I really want to renew my season tickets or watch this season from a safe distance? But then I remembered a few numbers that persuaded me to come back in 2012.
#1 Tacy Lampley – Scatt back Tracy Lampley is back for his senior year! This kid’s heart is bigger than his body. Simply put he is a “baller”. His quickness and speed are “video-game-like” and with #1 on the field we will score, maybe not as much as previous years, but we will score. “Lamp” will be fun to watch.
#8 Jamie Collins – This young man is a “BEAST” on defense. His decisions to come back for his senior year helped me make the same decision to come back. With combination of size and speed this guy will help lead, what I believe statically, will be one of the stingiest D’s in the country. Following in the footsteps of Adalius Thomas, Rod Davis, and Micheal Boley: Jamie Collins is going to be a great one.
With all this said; I’m still an Eagle Fan at heart and I have made the decision not to simply be a Fedora Fan, but a Southern Miss fan. SMTTT! Can’t wait for the season kickoff!
I got back home around 1:30 this morning. My Dad and I went to the New Orleans Bowl last night and had a great time. No one is under the impression that the N.O. Bowl is a top tier bowl, but out of all the bowls coming up this year; you won’t see a more exciting game. And from the team and fan reaction after the game, you would have thought we had won the Sugar Bowl! It was a wacky game.
- A fumble returned for a touchdown
- One Broken Leg
- A Flea Flicker for TD
- Reverse Pass for a TD called back on a bad call from the ref.
- Coming from behind by 10 points in the 4th to tie.
- Overtime field goal block to win the game by the Eagles. (See Photo: Credit AP)
Congratulations Coach Fedora on your first/winning season in Hattiesburg. I don’t regret buying season tickets and joining the Eagle Club because of the product that you put on the field. I know that success awaits you, I just hope you stay around Hattiesburg long enough to enjoy the journey and see this team move up on the national scale. Southern Miss, To the Top!
Thanks to my friend James Cochran, TJ got a chance yesterday to practice with the Southern Miss Kickers and Punters. For some reason he’s developed an interest in kicking the old pigskin and when I mentioned it to James (the Team Chaplin) last week he invited us out. All I can say is the little guy had the time of his life. It took him a little while to warm up, but before it was over he was booming some punts for over 12 yards with a .83 second hang time. Britt Barefoot came over and gave TJ a few lessons and had his picture take with him. The coaches wanted to sign him on the spot, but we didn’t want to rush to commit. So for all you recruiters out there, you’ll have to wait in line.
I began to write a blog about how far football video games have come since I played my first “Football” game on the Atari 2600 almost 30 years ago! While looking for screen shots I found out that the guys at gamespot.com had already done an incredible job on the History of Football Games. I know this may not interest some of you, but for those of us whose lives have been radically altered by these games, may you enjoy the nostalgia. So I’ll leave with screen shots of both the first and last football video game that I owned.
Atari 1978 – “Football” for the Atari 2600
Wii 2008 – NCAA Football 09
I just finished reading Gridiron Gold which I enjoyed immensely. The book gives insight in to the history of High School football in the state of Mississippi. Mississippi has arguably produced some of the greatest football players/coaches of all time. Here is a short list of some stories/insight I enjoyed from the book.
- How High School football played a huge role in integration
- Stories surrounding the University of South Panola. (They currently hold the longest winning streak in the nation)
- Walter Payton running backwards 50 yards for a touchdown.
- Tons of great quotes for coaches. Including some from my old coach on page 81 and 91.
- The role faith and ministry plays in the life of a team
Several Funny stories:
- School that only had 2 pair of track shoes
- Kids that fumbled because he was holding his concession stand money.
- The kid that asked his coach, during a dramatic part of the game, if he could ride home with his dad.
- A coach going into the opposing teams locker to give them a pep talk.
I’ll end with the pre-game prayer (p. 33) from the legendary coach from East Marion, Les Peters. I’ll never forget hearing Coach Peters pray at an FCA breakfast I attended back in 1990. When he finished I thought to myself, this man knows God personally. Besides his ability to talk with God he also has been known to say some of the most comical things about his football team that a coach can say. So here it is-
Lord, if it’s thy will, make us agile, hostile and mobile. Put that gleam in our eyes, zip in our feet and that determination in our hearts. Let’s go Eagles.