From the better late than never department, here’s a post that I just realized I never published…from when we made our annual trip to the Midland County fair last August. Here is video of Elliot on the “Super Shot”:
A couple days before Christmas we made the third annual Moore family pilgrimage to Heinz Field for a Steelers game (links to the 1st and 2nd trips). The Steelers stomped the Panthers...which was enjoyable enough but not nearly as exciting as last year's win against the Vikings. It was a night game and cold (in the 20s?) and we arrived several hours early...so we were getting pretty cold towards the end. We left a little early in the 4th quarter to get warm and vowing plan trips earlier in the fall next time. The next day we hit the road for Christmas in N.C. Here are some photos from the game:
Last summer we heard that Coach Don Meyer was coming to Midland to speak at a fundraiser. Not only was he the basketball coach when we were at Lipscomb, but he's also "...the winningest men's basketball coach whose career has included at least one stint with an NCAA member school." We made plans to attend.
Here's video of Meyer winning an Espy:
As the day of the event approached, we realized that we didn't have our tickets. We contacted the community center who told us that they had mailed them. I remembered receiving a receipt in the mail but didn't see the tickets in the large envelope. A few days later I received an email. Someone in another state had found the tickets on the floor, Googled the event, and realized that they must have fallen out of the envelope I had sent her. I had reused the envelope to mail a book, and the tickets went along for a ride. She kindly mailed the tickets back just in time.
In the course of trying to figure out what happened to the tickets, Lisa talked to Ryan and Bob at the community center quite a bit. She told him about the special memories we have of John Pierce setting the all-time scoring record. Lisa had an astronomy lab that night, and the instructor wasn't keen on letting the students out early to go to the game. When she got out of class, she ran across campus to get to the game...arriving just in time to see Pierce set the record. I remember them stopping the game after the record-setting basket, and Pierce threw the ball to his dad up in the stands as a tribute to him.
Meyer's talk at the fundraiser was quite enjoyable. He talked about faith and family...integrity and hard work. He told a bunch of jokes too (more about that in a separate post). He had some advice for parents: don't critique your kids after the game...leave that to the coach...your kids don't want to hear that from you.
When we talked to Meyer afterward, we could tell that Bob or Ryan had mentioned us to him as he reminisced with us about Pierce. Here's a photo we took together...
Over Christmas I read "How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer" by Buster Olney.
Early on in the book Olney glosses over the Meyer/Lipscomb split: "a disagreement on principle with the administration." I was worried that would be all it said on the subject, but later in the book it was addressed with some detail:
...in the late nineties, the administration began considering a move to Division I-A - a switch that Meyer vehemently opposed.
He believed that the university would have extraordinary difficulty raising the funds needed year after year to meet the costs of travel, as well as expense of adding the sports programs required to join a new conference. He felt, too, that Lipscomb - a church-affiliated school squeezed among the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and other Division I programs in the state of Tennessee - would have difficulty luring the level of student-athletes needed to have a strong program. Lipscomb contended annually for NAIA championships, but at Division I, Meyer believed, the team might have trouble continuing that tradition. He felt that Lipscomb should have more appreciation for the strong programs it already had.
In the end he resigned, feeling betrayed that the university made the decision without what he considered to be adequate deliberation. It was nice to hear how some healing of the relationship between Lipscomb and Meyer was triggered by Philip Hutcheson taking the AD job at Lipscomb. I also didn't know that, after resigning from Lipscomb, Meyer tried and failed to get the coaching job at Pepperdine. It's a shame that didn't work out.
It was interesting to see how Lipscomb's unique environment was described in the book. For example:
David Lipscomb College was affiliated with the Meyers' church, the Church of Christ, and Lipscomb operated under a strict code of conduct, as if there were additional commandments beyond the first ten.
and about how Don's wife felt upon leaving Lipscomb:
[Carmen] felt liberated, in part, by the move. When they were at Lipscomb, they could not have gone out to a restaurant and had a glass of wine, because the school's religious doctrine was so strict.
The book was quite frank about many of the Meyer family struggles...that the relationship between Don and his wife was quite strained before the accident, that both of his daughters got pregnant out of wedlock during the freshman years in college, etc. The one subject that I noticed as conspicuously left (mostly) unexamined was Jerry Meyers' (Don's son) dismissal from the team:
Before Jerry Meyer's senior season, he had violated team rules and Don Meyer kicked him off the team...
I was at Lipscomb at the time and heard rumors about what precipitated Jerry's dismissal. Given that the book was so transparent in discussion of so many other aspects of the Meyer family, Olney's reticence on this subject seemed odd.
Olney does a good job detailing many of the eccentricities that made Meyer the unique character that he is: his fondness for Captain D's, his humor, that he loved listening to Rush Limbaugh on long drives during recruiting trips, etc. It's clear that growing up on a farm with a hardnosed father had a profound influence on his work ethic and parenting style. (As a related aside, I found this anecdote to be quite remarkable and sad: once, when the pigs escaped from their pen, his dad kicked him "over and over" when he didn't figure out a way to contain them.)
Meyer is an interesting guy, and his story is quite inspiring. I especially enjoyed the book given my connection to Lipscomb and time there during part of Meyers tenure.
Here are some of the handouts I picked up when we went to hear Meyer speak. I'll reproduce some of the jokes he told in a separate post.
Stop and Think
- Is this a risk I can afford to take?
- How will this affect my future?
- How will this affect my family?
- How will this affect my teammates and coaches?
Coaches and Players with Great Team Attitudes
- Listen to each other.
- Are courteous to each other.
- Show concern for each other.
- Help each other out - share the load.
- Say what they feel, but watch how they say it.
- Don’t put each other down.
- Praise each other.
- Don’t talk behind each other’s back.
- Celebrate success.
- Treat everyone’s opinion as important.
- Treat mistakes as learning experiences.
THE SIMPLE FAITH
- The Fruit of Silence is PRAYER
- The Fruit of Prayer is FAITH
- The Fruit of Faith is LOVE
- The Fruit of Love is SERVICE
The 2nd Ten Commandments
- Thou shall not worry; for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.
- Thou shall not be fearful; for most things we fear never come to pass.
- Thou shall not cross bridges before you come to them; for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.
- Thou shall face each problem as it comes; you can only handle one at a time anyway.
- Thou shall not take problems to bed with you; for they make very poor bedfellows.
- Thou shall not borrow other people’s problems; they can better care for them then you can.
- Thou shall not try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it is forever gone; concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy now.
- Thou shall be a good listener; for only when you listen do you hear different ideas from your own.
- Thou shall not become “bogged down” by frustration; for 90% of it is rotted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive actions.
- Thou shall count thy blessings; never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.
Lisa and I went to see Band of Horses at The Fillmore in Detroit. It was a fun show to attend together because we've both grown to love their music over the last year or so. The first opening band was The Besnard Lakes. They were OK, but I grew tired of the falsetto vocals. Next came Jenny and Johnny. It wasn't long before I was missing The Besnard Lakes because at least they were kind of interesting...while Jenny and Johnny seemed boring. We were paying more attention to updates about the Dow vs. Midland High football game that were coming in via text message and Twitter. Finally, BOH took the stage. We were sitting up in the mezzanine, so we were a bit far away. Lisa wished we had been standing down on the floor, but I was glad to be sitting (because I'm getting old and grouchy). The last couple songs of the Band of Horses set featured The Detroit Party Marching Band. Here are a few videos from the show courtesy of YouTube:
"Is There A Ghost" (incomplete)
"No One's Gonna Love You"
"The First Song"
"The General Specific"
I missed the games last Saturday because Lisa and I were in NC for my 20th high school reunion. It seems like it was a bad day to miss.
Unlike weeks 1 and 3 when Finn only carried the ball once each, he apparently had 4 or 5 nice carries. They tied a tough team 3 scores a piece. This week they won one TD to zero. Finn played center and defensive line.
In weeks 1 and 3 Elliot carried the ball a hand full of times each, picking up positive yardage but not breaking anything big. In week 2 I missed seeing him make a very long run that almost went for a TD. They lost 13 to 6. Like they did the first week, they shot themselves in the foot with several fumbles. This week they got killed 35 (or 42?) to 0. Fumbles were a big problem again. We had to focus on small victories today...like the 3 first downs that they managed to pick up...more than the total number that their opponents had given up during the first two games.
Rumor has it that Elliot is going to play QB during the second half of the season...
The football seasons for both boys started on Saturday: the second year of tackle football for Elliot and the first year of flag football for Finn.
Elliot had an 8:30 game. He’s playing running back this year and is #22. His team (The Hurricanes) played well. There was only one play that the defense consistently had trouble stopping (an end-around by a big, fast kid), and that’s how they gave up their only score. The offense moved the ball well but had a bad case of fumble-itis. That led to 3 turnovers and a bunch of wasted plays. Elliot’s first run was stuffed in the backfield. His second run was a poor pitch that he fumbled. After that he had 4 or 5 decent runs for positive yardage. Towards the end of the game someone’s helmet hit his thumb after he was tackled and sprained it. He sat out the rest of the game and was sore for several days afterward. The final was a 6 to 0 loss.
Finn’s game was at noon. He had several nice tackles on defense. He was quarterback and running back for one play each. He made a nice cut on his run and nearly broke it for a TD. It ended up being just a nice gain because he stopped and let the other defenders catch up when it felt like someone had pulled his flag (but it actually didn’t get pulled until he stopped). I told that in the future he should keep running toward the goal line until he hears the whistle (and worry about the flag).
Here are some photos and videos from both games.