Wednesday, November 18, 2015

So much sadness

You ever just wake up and think, "Life"?  Like there is so much sadness in the world and you just want things to get better?  That's how its been lately, with the events surrounding Mizzou, Gary Pinkel retiring, then on a much grander scale, the horrible events in Paris and the war on ISIS.  Every day it seems I just hate looking at the news in fear of something else happening.  So I figured I would at some point this week do a post about my happy place again.  I seem to use that often, but I need something to make me smile.  I do have the Mizzou game this weekend to look forward to, I hope to go to it (last minute sickness made me miss their last home game).  A tradition at Mizzou is for the Seniors after the game to go to the hill (they are carried) and grab a rock from the giant rock M on the hill.  As it turns out, I will be on the hill if I do go, so I hope to get some good pics.  If I can stand the cold.  It seems I've been freezing a lot lately so I need to bundle up nice if I do go.

My happy place will be next time though.  I was on twitter a bit ago and saw Doug Flutie was trending.  Being a fan of his, I clicked to see what was going on.  I found his official twitter page which directed me to his facebook page and this is what he wrote:

What a horrible thing to go through.  I've lost many people in my life, but I could never imagine losing the two most important people in my life on the same day.  Prayers go out to Doug and his entire family for such a terrible loss.

After I read that, I decided to read his biography on wikipedia and I learned something.  I knew Doug played in the USFL, CFL, and NFL, and also played at Boston College, but I never knew his brother Darren played in the CFL.  As a matter of fact both Doug and Darren are in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as well as named 2 of the top 50 players all-time in the CFL.  So as I was reading this I thought I would show some cards off since I like showing pictures.  A big thanks to Trading Card Database for most of the scans.

This was the only card of Darren I found, but then again I didn't search for many.

Doug and Darren were teammates for a short while in the CFL.

Of course, before he was in the CFL, Doug played in the USFL.  I wish the USFL or a similar league was still around to compete with the NFL.  Shoot, I'd even settle for the XFL.

I think I remember and liked Doug because I remember having this card growing up.  This was also before his CFL stint.

I like this card, but I think I could have designed it.  Maybe I should try to replicate it.  This was in his final years in the CFL before returning to the NFL.

I believe if you suited up as a quarterback for the Bills in the 90's I rooted for you.  Jim Kelly, Frank Reich, Doug Flutie, even Todd Collins were ones I liked.  I think I like more of them than I do current NFL quarterbacks to be honest.

Being a college legend thanks to "The Pass" I had to include a card of him from his Boston College days.  Even though this was from a couple years ago.  There are even some cards of him in this years sets, which is pretty cool.

I also found out he announces Notre Dame games now.  Something I would never know because I don't like Notre Dame so I never watch.

Of course all these cards pale in comparison to why a lot of non sports fans may know him from.

If you have a cereal named after you, you must have done something right.

So, thoughts and prayers are with the Flutie family.

Thanks for reading everyone, and I hope that the news starts getting better.  Maybe a trip to my happy place will cheer everyone up.  Should post a new one soon.

Have a great night.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Football or Baseball, I got them both.

How about some scans?  I'm sure everyone would rather that then hearing about Mizzou from me more.  I might have to go to my happy place soon, but for now here's some packs I never showed before (I don't think I have at least).

I can't remember if I posted these, I didn't look back too far.  At any rate, I see a lot of ugly jerseys.  I'm still okay cutting my losses on the Bucs when I did.  I like Doug Martin, but those uniforms are hideous.  This coming from the same guy who wishes they brought back the creamsicle jerseys.  I'm also not too keen on the Dolphins new look, but not a lot has changed.  Maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't think teams need new uniforms all the time.  Maybe a throwback game once a year, maybe a variation jersey every couple years, but stick to tradition. Maybe that's why I don't watch as many college games anymore (don't get me started on Oregon with new unis every week).  Since I brought it up, Mizzou unveiled new uniforms this week for what was supposed to be their "white-out" game (totally serious).  It's an all white uniform and helmet.  Makes me glad I don't have SEC Network and don't have to watch it.

Stick to tradition, like the Cowboys, and Packers, and Lions.  I do wish the Bills would go back to the blue helmets though, I miss those.  Also, Pittsburgh, QUIT WITH THE PRISON UNIFORMS!

Speaking of helmets, I prefers the 90's Giants helmets too, but I'm okay with their current design. At least the Bears have tradition.

As for these cards, I'm on the fence if I need the Julio card, but I do like the Beckham card, it will look nice next to the autographed card I have of him.  I guess the pack was okay.  I needed a fix, so it worked.

This next pack I've wanted to show for a while but just now getting around to.  My sister bought me a pack of cards a few months ago and I never showed them off.  Now I finally get to.

These are some pretty solid names.  I got a good mix of AL Central players including FUTURE STAR Danny Santana.  I also got Dee Gordon and Nick Hundley to prevent the pack from being all American League.

Ahh, more National League. Also found it odd to pull two Kevin Gausman's in one pack, one being a gold card.  These four cards really made the pack for me.  While I harp on the Cardinals, I like that card and its going into my Cardinals binder.  I think I'm keeping the Kershaw card too.  Plus I believe this is my only series two First Pitch card, and its one I'm glad to have.  I need to finish both sets, and want to get the series two set for a friend, but this is a nice start.  Not to come up with more insane inserts, but maybe they could do a set featuring different performers of the National Anthem.  I'd like to see some of those.

That wraps it up for today, but something hit me the other day.  I haven't seen the design for the 2016 Topps set yet, but I'm excited.  I didn't think about it until watching a replay of the Royals celebration that next year the Royals will have extra cards in the set.  Since they won the World Series, they will be featured on those cards.  I just hope Topps finally decides to dedicate a card for each game instead of just the games the winning team won.

Thanks for reading and for bearing with me these last couple months of not a lot of posts.  Part of me just needed a break I think, so I hope to be writing more soon.  A lot of people have been talking about the Hall of Fame voting lately and I think I'm going to do a ballot again just like I did for this year.  I've already looked at who is nominated so it could be fun to do.  I also have a few other things to show off, so I look forward to writing more.  Have a great day.

Oops, I have another scan to show.  I forgot about it, it was another Dollar Tree pack I got and don't think I showed off.  Here it is.

What a pack!  I'm mad at myself for almost forgetting to show it.  This is one of the best packs I've pulled I think. Two great action shots of Royals defense, and a future Royals to boot.  I hope Ben Zobrist comes back to Kansas City, I like him.  That Moose card I've wanted for a while too, so I'm glad I have it.  Nice to get a Hot Streak insert as well, and a FUTURE STAR of Jose Fernandez.  Plus a Chris Heston.  I'm telling you, I can't beat this pack.

And to think, I almost forgot to show it off.  I really need to get back in the game.  I also almost posted this without a title.  I hope to shake the rest off soon.  Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Not Laying It On The Line

I made a post yesterday about a timeline of events that has happened recently at Mizzou.  I planned to follow it up with my thoughts on it.

I deleted it.  For me its time to move on from it, opinions about the situation isn't going to fix anything, especially from people who aren't alums or currently work or live on campus.  Sure everyone has thoughts on it, but its time to start repairing what has been broken.  Mizzou has been broken pretty bad.

It's funny because I said on Saturday I believe on twitter if you want to start a fire, burn it to the ground.  In many ways I still believe that, but its time to stop.  It's time to start communicating and working on how to make it better again.

One of my opinions involved the football team, but to be honest my views have even changed on that since my initial reaction.

So if you were waiting to hear my thoughts, if you've seen my twitter and facebook, you probably have a pretty good idea where I stand.  However don't confuse my views as being born out of racism or hatred, I just think actions from all parties involved could have been handled differently.

With that, I will try to move on and hope to have some new posts up soon.  I mean I never really showed how excited I was about the Royals winning the World Series.  I almost went to the parade, that would have been fun.

It's time to have fun again.  Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Laying it all on the line

*Sometimes I plan to use this blog for an opinion piece, this is one of those times*

Many of you may have heard about the recent issues coming out of Columbia, Missouri, specifically the University of Missouri (Mizzou) campus.  If you've read my blog before, you know I'm a big fan of the athletic program. If you have never read my blog before (thanks for reading now), know that while I am a fan, I am also very critical of them on certain issues.

While this concerns the athletics department, I will get into that a little later.  I want to comment on a few other things first.  To begin, if you aren't fully aware of everything that has happened recently, here is a timeline as best as I can tell.   A group of students felt actions weren't being done in a timely manner if at all when it came to racial and discriminatory events and situations occurring on the Mizzou campus.  After failed attempts to contact the University of Missouri system (in total the UM system has four campuses, one in Columbia, one in Rolla, one in St. Louis, and one in Kansas City) Tim Wolfe, they decided to take action.  The first attempt took place during the Mizzou homecoming parade where the group of students protested and in the process blocking Mr. Wolfe's car during the parade.  During the protest the car's bumper touched one of the protesters.  Their hopes that day were for Mr. Wolfe to begin a dialogue with them to address their concerns.  This group has said that no dialogue began as a result of this protest.  After this event, more racial tensions arose and in the process the campus started to become divided.

On November 2nd, on of the students decided to go on a hunger strike.  The purpose was to not only create a dialogue they had hoped for from the beginning, but also to oust Tim Wolfe as President of the UM system for not hearing them.  After 3 days, the hunger strike continued and not much else occurred in terms of a dialogue.  The strike gained traction however, as members of the student body and the faculty and some members of the community became concerned for this individual.  While not sports related, some students wanted the media to become aware of this situation (some even asked ESPN to mention the strike during their Thursday Night Game at Mizzou last week).  The strike continued through Saturday, when growing concerns for the student still on the hunger strike became too much for some of the football players (some of the players had been worried since the following Wednesday) and they notified their coach, and some of the football players decided to take a stand.  They stood by this hunger-striken student, and announced they would not continue football activities until he ate again (which would mean for his demands to be met).  On the next day, Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel along with the entire football team echoed those sentiments as well as the Athletic Director Mack Rhodes.

On Monday November 9th, a Board of Curators meeting was called, on the eighth day of the hunger strike.  Shortly after the meeting began, Tim Wolfe announced his resignation, and by doing so, the student was satisfied and decided to end the hunger strike.

Now having said all that, there is a lot more to this story than that, and I may have even left out some major details.  The story didn't even end there, and as of now, the story is still ongoing, and I will try to mention these other events too.   The actual beginning of this movement hasn't been completely pinpointed, and at this point seems speculative.  So with that I chose the protest at the Homecoming parade as the starting point, though more happened before hand that caused it to reach that point.   Two other side stories also occurred that I want to mention.

First is the resignation (or changing of jobs) or Mizzou chancellor R. Bowen Loftin. While all the above was occurring, some of the faculty as well as some students felt displeasure in Mr. Loftin and some of the changes he had recently made.  Among those was cutting funding from the University to Planned Parenthood.  Nine different deans met with MU officials in October to discuss their feelings. Here is a quote from the Columbia Tribune with a bit more insight.

 The deans said Loftin has shown failed leadership through a number of instances, including the elimination and eventual reinstatement of graduate assistant health insurance and the elimination of the vice chancellor for health sciences position. The deans claim Loftin created a "toxic environment through threat, fear and intimidation."

These deans met with Loftin, TIm Wolfe and other officials in early and mid-October to discuss their displeasure and last week a few departments made statements that entire departments had votes of "no confidence" in Loftin.  Mr. Loftin began his tenure at Mizzou in just 2014, and made the announcement after Tim Wolfe's resignation that he would step aside.  Mr. Loftin will still be a part of Mizzou come the New Year, but for now Mizzou is in search of a new chancellor and the University of Missouri system is looking for a new President.

After the resignations occurred yesterday, another incident happened at Mizzou.  While the student and some faculty were celebrating in what they described as a "safe zone" members of media (including student media) tried to get comments from the group.  The group was adamant about no media in their safe zone and refused interviews.  The situation took a turn when a student media member was pushed by a faculty member and harassed and later another media member was also threatened with harassment by another faculty member after entering the safe zone.

As I stated earlier, this is not everything that has happened in the past few months ( I did not mention a fecal swastika in one of the dorms  as well as other events I may not have heard about or are only rumored to happened).  Part of the racial tensions were caused by members of the black community being called racial slurs on campus on several occasions and had a huge role in this whole matter escalating to the point you may have read or seen on the news.  Again, I didn't include every piece of the story because honestly this post would be a lot longer than it already it.  For the most part I believe I have included all the major points of this still developing story.

Having said all that, I wanted to give my opinion on all of it.  However this is a rather long post as it is, and while I tried to be impartial you may see what side I favor.  I will still give my thoughts on it, but I will make that the next blog, which I hope to have up later today or tomorrow while its still a fresh topic.  Thanks for reading this far, and stay tuned for my thoughts.