Friday, November 30, 2007

This is why I don't play football

A couple weeks ago, I decided to play football with a group of guys in our community. Some of my friends who play every week had been inviting me and I kept turning them down but they finally won me over.

I was one of the oldest, slowest and smallest guys on the field and it was a serious game, not some family picnic game. And while I didn't excel, I don't think I embarrassed myself which is saying a lot since I hadn't played in a long, long time.

Well during the game, I attempted to make a tackle and afterwards noticed that my thumb was a little sore and bent out of shape. I figured I just dislocated it and kept playing. Fast forward two weeks and the thumb feels okay but won't bend or work at all so I break down and see the doctor. My initial thought was that maybe I broke it and would need a little thumb cast. Uh no! Apparently, I torn a tendon in my wrist which is why I can't move my thumb. Now I have a temporary cast on my left arm and am scheduled for surgery on Monday morning to repair the tendon.

It's frustrating because my thumb doesn't even hurt and yet I still have to have surgery and wear a cast for up to 8 weeks. So lame. I mean knew I was getting old but this is ridiculous. The only good thing to come out of the whole incident, is that several women think it makes me look tough. Especially after I tell them I injured myself playing football.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


They just posted my sermon online. It is available here.

Go Mike Go

Mike Huckabee continues to climb in the polls and last night he shined in the presidential debate. For those that think Huckabee is a one trick pony who is going to ride away after Iowa, forget about it.

Just this week he surpassed Romney in Iowa despite being greatly outspent there. He also has more enthusiastic support than does Romney, as many of Romney's voters said they could still change their mind about voting for him. Not so with Huckabee supporters.

Huckabee is also rising in South Carolina. He places third in the most recent poll only 4 points behind Romney and 2 points behind Thompson. Huckabee is the one with momentum. He is the one with an engaging personality and an attractive message.

One pundit said it best when they stated that Huckabee is the only Republican that has story and agenda that connects with the middle class. I completely agree. And while some will say he is not a complete conservative, I say so what. America doesn't want the same tired conservative dogma that die hards want to pass off as an agenda. That's the problem Fred Thompson is facing.

Many people are trying to say the race is now down to Rudy and Romney. And that may still be the case but if Huckabee beats Romney in Iowa then Romney is finished. And if Huckabee can squeeze Fred Thompson voters in the south he has a real shot at beating Rudy head to head. So don't believe the political hacks like Hugh Hewitt, who try to tell people that voting for Huckabee is throwing your vote away. They just say that because they support Romney and don't want Huckabee to embarrass them.

I suspect that the attacks will continue to be ramped up against Huckabee as he continues to gain in the polls. But unlike others, his likability will shield him from the attacks. And ultimately Huckabee will be left standing after Feb 5th.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh No, Not Kirk Ferentz!

I just read from a reliable source that Michigan has offered the job to Kirk Ferentz of Iowa. This is the same source that broke Lloyd Carr's retirement so I have confidence it is not just a wild rumor.
Unfortunately, Bill Martin was honest when he said he wanted a clone of Lloyd Carr as Ferentz has the same stale, predictable football philosophy as Carr. Basically Ferentz is Carr but without the high winning percentage, big ten titles, national championship and strong recruiting skills. If you think Michigan football was stagnate with Carr, just wait til Ferentz accelerates the decline and turns Michigan football into Iowa East.

I really question why Michigan would make such a choice. I guess they think they are such a good program that they don't need a great coach and that they will win just because they are Michigan. Well look how that turned out for Nebraska. But maybe this signals that Michigan really isn't the dream job that every other coach wants. Maybe they already sent feelers out to other coaches and Ferentz is the best they could get. I really hope that's not the case.

Our only hope is that Ferentz turns down the job to stay in Iowa out of some sense of loyalty to his players. After all he has such great talent coming back next year, he wouldn't want to miss going 7-5 next season and playing in the Alamo Bowl.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me last night. The sermon went very well and I sense that it was just the right message for our community. I'll admit that I was nervous before hand and almost panicked when I got a call just before the service, that our entire worship band was not coming because they were sick or out of town. Without any music, I didn't like the idea of being the sole center of attention. But thankfully, it wasn't about me and when I was reminded of that, it helped me relax a bit.

So instead of singing, we prayed and took communion and it was a really good service. I have to laugh because last Easter we didn't have heat in our building and now on Thanksgiving we didn't have music. I suspect Christmas will be interesting. Maybe we will run out of coffee or have no power. Good thing we are flexible.

Last night's message was from Numbers 11 and was a reminder to be thankful for what God provides in our lives. I think the church will have a podcast available of the sermon later this week on our website. So for those who missed it in person you can listen at home.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

This weekend at Barefoot

For those interested, I am preaching this Saturday night at Barefoot Church in Lansing. Our pastor is out of town visiting family and I am filling in for him. I will be speaking on thankfulness for our daily bread. It should be a very exciting service. I would encourage those who are in Lansing this weekend to come by and check us out. Here is the link to our church. See you Saturday.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Goodbye Lloyd

Over the past few seasons I have not been a big fan of Lloyd Carr. But watching his press conference today did make me a little sad and reminded me of what I do like about him and what I like about Michigan football. I was reminded of my first time at the big house which was also Coach Carr's first game. It was against Virginia and they had an amazing fourth quarter comeback on a last second catch from Scott Driesbach to Mercury Hayes. It was the start of a special run at Michigan.

And while I want to win every game, there is something to be said for running a clean program with honor and integrity. Lloyd Carr did that. On top of that he did win 75 percent of his games and delivered us the only national championship in my lifetime. He was also one heck of a recruiter. He can certainly leave Michigan football feeling very proud of the things he accomplished. Unfortunately, I don't think was able to keep up with the new schemes in college football and his inability or unwillingness to adapt is what ultimately led to his downfall. I also don't think he ever truly got the most out of his players. Look at Tom Brady for example.

Now as for the new coach, I have seen 20 names listed as possibilities. Here are a few that are mentioned most often:
Les Miles - LSU
Brian Kelly - Cincinnati
Rich Rodriguez - W. Va.
Kirk Ferentz - Iowa
Paul Johnson - Navy
Jeff Tepford - Cal
Mike Belotti - Oregon
Chris Peterson - Boise St.

The most prominent is Les Miles from LSU. I'll be frank, I don't want him coaching Michigan. I have watched LSU this year and they have great talent but even though they are ranked #1 they have under achieved and play below their talent level. For those Michigan fans who are upset with Carr, that pattern should sound familiar.

My criteria for the next coach is someone with experience running a winning program and someone who is a good recruiter. They also need to be innovative offensively and able to get the most out of their talent. Most of the coaches listed above fit that criteria but not all (See Kirk Ferentz). My top two choices are either Brian Kelly or Paul Johnson. Both are having good seasons with minimally talented programs and both would excel with the kind of athletes that Michigan attracts. Chris Peterson intrigues me as well but he doesn't have a very long track record although 23-1 in his first two seasons is pretty impressive.

I suspect it will be a couple weeks before we find out who the next coach is. But in the meantime, I am going to remember the good job that Carr did and be thankful that he leaves the program in good shape for whoever the next coach is.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Movie and a Makeover

While most men are watching the Michigan-Ohio St. pregame show, I have been feasting on several romantic comedies. TBS has been showing When Harry Met Sally, Serendipity and Spanglish as part of their movie and makeover and they are three of my favorite films. So basically, I have up since 7 a.m. mindlessly watching movies that I have already seen but thoroughly enjoying all three of them. They remind me of the possibility of love which sounds sappy but then again, I live vicariously through romantic films. The dating and relationships are always much better and exciting in films than my own personal experiences. I want to fall in a love with an old friend, or spend years pursuing a woman after just one date, or better yet have a hot Spanish maid move into the house. Instead, I find myself having half hearted interest in women with boyfriends and no interest in women that are available and interested in me. Not exactly the makings of a movie. More likely a really good Greek tragedy.

Silver Bells

One of the things I enjoy about most about Lansing are the festivals and events that occur throughout the year. Last night we welcomed in the holiday season with the annual silver bells parade and Christmas tree lighting. To celebrate the event, I invited several friends of mine downtown and we watched the parade from my office. This is the first year that my office actually faces the capitol building. About 12 of us watched out the window in the dark. From the sixth floor it was a great view of the parade route along Capitol Avenue. It was also a lot warmer than standing on the street. My favorite part was watching the fireworks with the capitol building as background. It was a good time and I am already looking forward to next year's silver bells.