Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blatant disregard for safety

This past weekend, a high school football team in Iowa was forced to forfeit a game simply because a school administrator didn't agree with how things were handled.
The issue came up after Des Moines East High School received a threat of gun violence on a Thursday. School officials and Des Moines Police say the threats weren't credible and that there was no theat.
However, while they say the threats weren't credible, the school gave parents the option of keeping kids out of school on Friday without any penalty of them being counted absent. This begs the question, if school officials and police didn't think the threat was credible, why did school officials offer the free pass for students to stay at home on Friday.
The school was also supposed to play Ames in a high school football game on Friday night. Ames school officials caught wind of the threat of violence and balked (rightfully so) at the idea of having Ames students and spectators traveling to Des Moines and possibly putting themselves in harm's way.
Ames school officials also involved officials from the Iowa High School Athletic Association, which oversees boys' high school sports in the state of Iowa. The athletic association agreed that the game should be rescheduled for Saturday and not played on Friday night.
The issue seemed to be taken care of until a Des Moines School official stepped in with his personal opinions and decided that Des Moines East was not going to be pushed around and told what to do by Ames or the athletic association. The school official decided that game was not going to be moved and was later given the option to move the game time to Saturday or forfeit the game.
The school official (without consulting coaches and players) decided the game would be forfeited and later made the announcement to coaches and players during practice on Thursday night.
After making the decision to forfeit, the school official then cries foul and states it was unfair for Ames and the athletic association to "bully" Des Moines East into moving a game time even though the threat of violence had not been found credible by the school or Des Moines police.
This is where I take issue with the Des Moines East school officials. Bullied or not, the decision to move the game away from Friday night was the right decision to make. While they say the threat had not been substantiated, they also couldn't prove the threat was not there.
Because of this, the decision to move the game should have been honored by both sides. The administrator who made the decision to forfeit the game instead of submitting to the "bullying" of Ames and the athletic association only has himself to blame for this situation. He only has himself to blame for possibly jeopardizing his school's playoff standings and chances in the post season playoffs. He only has himself to blame for screwing the Des Moines East players out of playing their eighth game of the regular season. For him to lay blame elsewhere is unfair and a childish move.
In situations like this, safety should always be the number one priority. The Des Moines East School official decided he wanted to gamble with the safety of the lives of all coaches, players and spectators who would have been involved in this weekend's game. That is a gamble that no one should take. For him to think he could take that gamble is completely unacceptable.  His blatant disregard for human life is wrong and in my opinion, anyone willing to make decisions like this is also someone who is not fit to be an administrative leader in any school district.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Jeter earned respect

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is finishing up his career as a player in the major leagues. I have never been a fan of the Yankees and never will be. However, I have to tip my cap in "Re2pect" to Jeter in his career as the Yankee shortstop.He has earned it by being the best player and citizen he can be.
Jeter has survived as a player on one of the toughest teams for a player to achieve longevity. He has played his career free from scandal and constant ridicule from the fans and the media. In short, Jeter has survived in an arena by doing things the right way.
Jeter achieved respect by being a proper gentleman and citizen both on and off the field. He played his career by using his God-given talents and abilities. He didn’t succumb to the pressure of using performance enhancing drugs to better his statistics or performance on the field.
He has lived his life personally as a gentleman and is a perfect example of how a citizen of this country should act and behave in their daily life.
I would like to tip my cap to one of the truly great baseball players of our time. Children should look to him as a role model of how a professional baseball player and athlete should act and live their life.
Maybe some of Jeter’s fellow MLB players and teammates should take a closer look at his demeanor and career. They need to take some lessons on how to behave as a professional athlete. The game and sports in general would be better for it.
The following video is further proof that good things come to those who chose to do the right thing. It’s a video of Jeter’s final at-bat in his last game at Yankee Stadium. Enjoy.

Monday, August 18, 2014


It seems as though yesterday is a word that sticks firmly in my mind. Yesterdays are the only place that I will find your unlimited time. You worked hard to do so many things that made my life complete. At times some seemed insignificant, but now I realized it was simply no small feat.
My time with you was limited by hours and by years. You left me way to soon. You left me with my tears. It was yesterday I walked and ran and caught that first baseball. You taught me how to play the game that I’ll love forever more. How I wish for one more lesson, one more practice, one more season, one more score.
Sports were not the only lessons to come forth from your strong mind. You taught me how to drive, how to ride a bike, how to be a man and how to be so kind. We didn’t always agree on things, or how they should be done. But in the end, I knew that you taught me well. You helped me go from walking to a full run.
At times, I was a stubborn child. I wanted things my way. You didn’t agree with all my choices by you let me live my life my way. I sometimes wish I’d listened more to you about the life I led. Maybe then I’d not of seen your face turn so bright red.
I’ve questioned you many times throughout the years. However, I know now why you led me down the path despite my tears. You created and you molded me to the best that you new how. I only wish that heaven would allow you to take a bow. Your leadership has affected me and many more. But now all I have left are memories, laughter and the lore.
Yesterday contains many firsts in my short life, which include crawling, walking, running, playing ball, driving, and much more. You took me to my first Hawkeye game, my first Cardinal game and trips to far off places. Lets not forget it was you who taught me how to tie my laces.
One thing I love about my yesterdays is your sense of adventure. Just who could say the job they have was offered in a public venue. Sitting in Jack Trice, it was so nice to be by your side that day. A Hawkeye win, and a job offer that would bring us closer together. Without it, my life would be completely changed. If someone had told me I’d be working here I’d said they were deranged. At this point there is nothing I would have changed, because It brought us closer together and gave me more yesterdays.
My life is full of memories we shared upon the diamond. You watched me play and grow into a young man who loves the game. You gave me my first coaching chance. You knew I could handle it. Our love of the game of baseball turned into rivalry one day, to see who could win the most and who might get out-coached or out-played.
The talent pool was deep and shallow but that it did not matter. For on the diamond we did spar, we created quite a chatter. Supper table conversation was fun I will admit. Mother heard many verbal spats about whose teams were legit. But I always knew no matter what, no matter how much I puffed my chest, during all of those fond moments, there were lessons to be learned from the best. At this point in my life, life lessons I still yearn. If I could only wish for one more. I’d wish for your return.
You sometimes did things in weird ways but with results to be acclaimed. You led people toward perfection. You guided and pushed them to be the best you see. But most of all, the one you pushed most, it happened to be me.
I know I am a better man because of your firm hand. You led me when I needed it, but most of all you taught me to be a man.
Yesterdays are so full of memories to fill up the human mind. Some yesterdays I’d rather skip some I’d like to hit rewind. To bring back some of those yesterdays its what I’d like to see. Because that would mean you’d be back here spending another yesterday with me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

NFL season gets underway

The NFL season got underway tonight with a great game between the Saints and Packers. The two teams put 76 points on the board and didn't really show much in the way of defense, until.....the last play.

The Saints trailed 42-34 and made a valiant effort at the end to try and score. The Saints drove the length of the of the field and end up with a pass play in the end zone as time ran out. The pass was incomplete, but a defensive penalty against the Packers gives the Saints one more chance. The game came down to one un-timed down. The Saints elect to run a dive play right up the middle. Green Bay stuffs the middle and stops the running back a half yard short of the goal line.

Victory went to the Packers, 42-34.

For me, the game was just simply exciting. I love watching football, but I don't have a favorite NFL team. In the case of tonight's game, I liked both teams. It was a win-win situation for me. I've even been to Green Bay for a preseason team scrimmage, which was an experience in itself. Lambeau Field is an awesome place.

By the way, would you like to see a Packers game for real? Good luck getting tickets. The stadium is sold out to the point that there is a waiting list for tickets. Packers employees have even put their unborn children on the waiting list to get tickets. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? You better know someone or have some kind of a connection, if you want  to see a game in that stadium.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about the NFL and professional sports in general. I like to watch them. However, I really get sick and tired of hearing about which player is the next "highest paid" player in their sport. I realize professional sports is a business, but come on. Is anyone really worth millions of dollars annually to play a  game? I mean really!

I understand their careers are much shorter, but it is  a career path they chose. Should they make more than any "regular Joe" who works a normal blue or white collar job? I say they probably should but contacts worth millions annually? Come on! No one is worth that kind of money. I don't care who they are.

All I can say is players and team owners are just simply greedy. They are all more worried about the all mighty dollar than going about their business of providing entertainment for those in the public who choose to buy tickets or turn on the television to watch games.

I also started something new tonight in terms of being a football fan. For the first time, I have started a fantasy football team and joined a league. Being "green" in terms of knowing what to do, I opted for the easy route on the website. We will see how it goes.

Enjoy the 2011 football season. There will be lots of high school, college, and NFL games to enjoy. I hope its a season full of games like the one between the Packers and Saints tonight. Enjoy your favorite teams.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

View From the Cheap Seats

Greetings and welcome to View From the Cheap Seats. It is a new blog I've created, which will focus pretty much on my random thoughts. The blog will focus on sports, news, and whatever is happening in the world. There might be even a few personal blogs about things happening in my life. We will just have to see. The one thing I want to stress is that this blog will have nothing to do with my job. Readers should not connect the two. This is completely a personal blog with no ties to my job as a newspaper writer.

Hope you enjoy. 

Did anyone see the MLB game Sept. 7 between St. Louis and Milwaukee? St. Louis pitcher Chris Carpenter pitched a complete game for the win. In the ninth inning, Carpenter struck out Nyjer Morgan. Morgan then proceeds to shout profanities at Carpenter because he struck him out. Come on! First of all, its a game. Second, strikeouts are part of the game. Why would Morgan bad mouth Carpenter for striking him out? Why would he compound the embarrassment of being struck out by drawing more attention to it?

Carpenter was focused on the task at hand. After the strikeout, Carpenter was focused on his next batter and had turned to the outfield while waiting for the ball to be returned to him from his infielders. Benches began clearing before Carpenter even knew a situation had developed. Luckily only Morgan spouted words. Carpenter never considered retaliating or responding.

In the end, Morgan was ejected for his antics and rightfully so. Carpenter displayed he is a class act who is concerned only about playing his game, respecting the game, and simply doing his job. Morgan should take some lessons from the veteran pitcher. 

Attitudes have no place in professional sports. Those men get paid to play a game. They should act like they deserve to earn the money they are paid, instead of expecting the money no matter what their abilities are. Don't their realize their actions are emulated by every kid who watches the games?

Simply put--Grow up Morgan and act like you deserve to be a member of a professional sports team! BE A PROFESSIONAL!