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Trip to Pittsburgh December 2008

Santa managed to get 4 tickets to the December 28 game between the Steelers and Browns and put them in our stockings, so we made a stop off in Pittsburgh on our way home to MI after spending Christmas in NC. 

We arrived Saturday evening at the Omni William Penn Hotel downtown.  Here are a couple of photos:



We took a walk Saturday night and had dinner at Cafe Milano (there was a flyer in the hotel lobby).  Sunday morning we got up, failed to get a family picture in the hotel room without Finn blinking from the flash, had breakfast at Starbucks (which we had scoped out the night before), and then walked down to the stadium.  The weather was pretty good...windy and not nearly as warm as the day before but generally comfortable since our seats were in the sun.

Unfortunately, the game was meaningless since the playoff fates of both the Browns and Steelers were already set, but the Steelers coach had decided to play his starters to win anyway.  It was fun to be at the stadium with the enthusiastic crowd enjoying the domination by the home team.  The low point was the 15 minutes Big Ben spent on the turf before being carted off with a concussion just before half time.  Here are some more photos.  We're sporting our jerseys in the first photo: mine (Mwelde Moore) received this Christmas, Lisa's a Jerome Bettis that we recently picked up at Salvation Army here in Midland, and the boys wearing the jerseys (Polamalu and Roethlisberger) that they received at Christmas a year or two ago.



















That last photo gives a good view of the Steelers hats Lisa made.  After the game we walked back to the hotel and then walked to McCormick & Schmick's for dinner.  Monday morning we got up and hit the road for Michigan but not before shopping for Steelers-gear at Goodwill and Walmart.

Here's some video:




I'm thinking we might try to make this the first of an annual pilgrimage to Pittsburgh for the Moore family.

Water Works

The water works were engaged a couple times recently, both football-related...

First as I read this article "Gainesville State high school football gets the best gift of all, hope" while on the road from NC to PA after Christmas and again while observing Browns and Steelers players gather at mid-field to pray together after the game on Sunday.

Act Like You've Been There Before

I was surprised to hear today that my alma mater Lipscomb University overcame a 21-point deficit to surprise the Indiana Hoosiers with a 74-69 loss on their home court this past Sunday (link).  Lipscomb's coach Scott Sanderson (son of Wimp Sanderson) said "[t]here is no question that this is the biggest win in the school history."  Maybe...but I'm not sure an early-season upset win over a struggling Indiana program not in its prime is without question a bigger win than their NAIA national championship in Kemper Arena in 1986.  I get it, can hardly blame Sanderson if in the heat of the moment he might slightly exaggerate the importance of this victory after coming close to pulling off other upsets in recent years since moving from the NAIA to NCAA (e.g. South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Kentucky).  Then today Lipscomb sent out a "Special Announcement" email to alumni with the headline "BISONS STAMPEDE THE HOOSIERS," and I started to think that we might be getting a little too excited about this win.  I'm reminded of the quote attributed to Landry, Paterno, or some other respected football coach regarding touchdown celebrations that are embarrassingly exuberant: "Act like you've been there before."

(h/t: Elrod)

30 Dec 08 Update:
"Special Announcement" Fail: the link in the email was broken so they had to send out a correction.


The Blind Side

blindside Last week I finished reading Michael Lewis' The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.  From Wikipedia:

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game is a book by Michael Lewis released in 2006 about American football. It features two dominant storylines. The first is an examination of how offensive football strategy has evolved over the past three decades in large part due to Lawrence Taylor's arrival in the 1980s and how this evolution has placed an increased importance on the role of the left tackle. The second storyline features Michael Oher, the current starting left tackle for the Ole Miss football team. Lewis follows Oher from his impoverished upbringings through his years at Briarcrest Christian School and on to his current position as one of the most highly coveted prospects in college football.

It was definitely enjoyable and interesting to read, especially since I'm a big football fan.  Big Mike's is a "heart-warming" story of sorts, and it will be interesting to follow him as he makes the move to the pros next fall.  Here's a link to an article by Lewis about Oher in NY Times magazine (link).

Basketball in Nashville in 1997

Here's a blast from the past video of several of us playing basketball (presumably in Nashville) in late May 1997.  It features Jayson Rawley, James Lashlee, Bill Alderson, David Wade, Peyton Crump, Prentice Cotham, Amy Queen, and me playing ball.  Laura and Matt Sullivan and Scott Allen also appear.  Lisa is the cameragal.  I can't remember why all those folks were in Nashville at the same time (this was several weeks after Laura's graduation).


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