“God anticipates us again and again in unexpected ways. He does not cease to search for us, to raise us up as often as we might need. He does not abandon the lost sheep in the wilderness into which it had strayed. God does not allow himself to be confounded by our sin.
Again and again he begins afresh with us. But he is still waiting for us to join him in love. He loves us, so that we too may become people who love, so that there may be peace on earth. Saint Luke does not say that the angels sang. He states quite soberly: the heavenly host praised God and said: "Glory to God in the highest" (Lk 2:13f.).
But men have always known that the speech of angels is different from human speech, and that above all on this night of joyful proclamation it was in song that they extolled God's heavenly glory. So this angelic song has been recognized from the earliest days as music proceeding from God, indeed, as an invitation to join in the singing with hearts filled with joy at the fact that we are loved by God. Cantare amantis est, says Saint Augustine: singing belongs to one who loves.
Thus, down the centuries, the angels' song has again and again become a song of love and joy, a song of those who love. At this hour, full of thankfulness, we join in the singing of all the centuries, singing that unites heaven and earth, angels and men. Yes, indeed, we praise you for your glory. We praise you for your love. Grant that we may join with you in love more and more and thus become people of peace. Amen.”
Rest Day Read (SR-65) Cold Enough To Start Your Leg On Fire
by Mike Hays
Back in my football coaching days, we had a group of kids who were, to put it mildly, a bit deviant. One mid-season Monday when we show up for JV game/varsity practice, one of these young men has an injury and is not able to participate. He has a fairly severe burn that ran just below his knee all the way down to the high ankle. When asked how this happened, the young man said he was jumping over a camp fire the past weekend. He guessed he just did not jump far enough. It was a nasty burn. He said he did not go to the hospital because his dad's girlfriend was a nurse. She wrapped it up and would take care of it. Needless to say, he missed some action, but came back no worse for wear a couple weeks later.
Flash forward to the last week of the season. We have practice and it is friggin cold, with a north wind blowing about 40+ MPH. Probably the coldest practice we ever had. Colder than the 2002 practice where we had the entire sidelines of 20 or so substitute players hunkered down in an incrementally lower squat position on the south side of a 6'2" 275 lb. lineman. (Dang that was funny, wish I had a picture of that.). Well, the kids are complaining about the cold. Over and over and over complaining. I just keep telling them it is not even cold yet. Burnt-leg boy keeps saying he's not cold at all. Then it starts drizzling! Misery squared!
Burnt leg boy finally lets go, "!@#$, Coach! How !@#$-ing cold is it out here?"
In one of my greatest stupid-funny lines ever, I answer, "Son, I believe it's cold enough to start your leg on fire."
Rest Day Read (SR-64) 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Award Presentation to China's Liu Xiaobo
-acceptance speech given by Thorbjorn Jagland of the Nobel Committee on 12-10-201 because of Liu Xiaobo's political imprisonment in China. "We regret that the Laureate is not present here today. He is in isolation in a prison in north-east China. Nor can the Laureate’s wife Liu Xia or his closest relatives be here with us. No medal or diploma will therefore be presented here today. This fact alone shows that the award was necessary and appropriate. We congratulate Liu Xiaobo on this year’s Peace Prize."
"Liu has said that "The greatness of non-violent resistance is that even as man is faced with forceful tyranny and the resulting suffering, the victim responds to hate with love, to prejudice with tolerance, to arrogance with humility, to humiliation with dignity, and to violence with reason."
"Liu Xiaobo is an optimist, despite his many years in prison. In his closing appeal to the court on the 23rd of December 2009, he said: "I, filled with optimism, look forward to the advent of a future free China. For there is no force that can put an end to the human quest for freedom, and China will in the end become a nation ruled by law, where human rights reign supreme."
Thank you, Liu Xiaobo for exhibiting the courage to stand up for what is right. The great people of China deserve the freedoms promised in their constitution. Each citizen deserves to enjoy a life blessed with the fundamental human rights. They deserve to express themselves in thought, word and action. China is a great country. The Chinese people a great people. Liu Xiaobo is considered a dangerous dissident of the highest level by the Chinese government for the simple belief in freedom. I hope in my lifetime, I am able to witness Xiaobo's China, a free China, a great China. His story, his non-violent resistance and his love and patience should be an inspiration to us all. Thank you, Liu Xiaobo, for standing up for what is right and for the ideals you embrace.
"For there is no force that can put an end to the human quest for freedom"
1 In due course John the Baptist appeared; he proclaimed this message in the desert of Judaea,2 'Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.'3 This was the man spoken of by the prophetIsaiah when he said: A voice of one that cries in the desert, 'Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.'
4 This manJohn wore a garment made of camel-hair with a leather loin-cloth round his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.5 Then Jerusalem and all Judaea and the whole Jordan district made their way to him,6 and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins.
7 But when he saw a number of Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism he said to them, 'Brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming retribution?8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance,9 and do not presume to tell yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father," because, I tell you, God can raise children for Abraham from these stones.10 Even now the axe is being laid to the root of the trees, so that any tree failing to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown on the fire.11 I baptise you in water for repentance, but the one who comes after me is more powerful than I, and I am not fit to carry his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.12 His winnowing-fan is in his hand; he will clear his threshing-floor and gather his wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.'
This is a scene from Matthew I wish was captured on video. Can you imagine? Picture the Pharisees and Sadducees faces when they get called out by John. They'd heard the rumors and the mumblings about the madman in the desert, preaching, baptizing in the Jordan and proclaiming the coming of the King. They sensed the drumbeats of a revolution, they sensed a HUGE threat to their status quo religious establishment and they crawled their way out to spy on what was really happening. They weaseled their way into the crowd to bear witness of wrongdoing by the preacher in a camel hair garment who ate honey and locusts. But John had guts, John was powered by the Spirit and laid into the Pharisees and Sadducees with a verbal attack the likes they had never been exposed to before. I love it! The holier-than-now Pharisees and Sadducees probably tucked their red faces between their tails and squirmed like snakes back to the comfort of their homes. John the Baptist! I think him and me would have got along very well.
Rest Day Read (SR-62) Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
by Karina Fabian By the 2040s, the shambling dead have become and international problem. While governments and special interest groups vie for the most environmentally-friendly way to rid the world of zombies, a new breed of exterminator has risen: The Zombie Exterminator. When zombie exterminator Neeta Lyffe gets sued because a zombie she set afire stumbles onto a lawyer's back porch, she needs money, fast. So she agrees to train apprentice exterminators in a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like a game of tag. But that's nothing compared to having to deal with crazy directors, bickering contestants and paparazzi. Can she keep her ratings up, her bills paid and her apprentices alive and still keep her sanity?
Doesn't this one sound like fun? Zombie Exterminators reality TV? This is going to be a very entertaining one to read. Release date is December 1, 2010. You can get the ebook for mere pennies at the Damnation Books web site. I am going to dig in and read this ASAP. And how can you pass on cover art like this..
Fam-Fit Time Trial
5.0 miles Stationary Bike Note: After I hose the dust off stationary bike, it will return from its exile in the Man-Garage to its rightful place in the basement Man-Corner, the new location of the room formerly known as Man-Room.
Rest Day Read (SR-61) Toughskins: The Official Kid Coach Hays Outfitter
by Mike Hays
Looking back, I was a difficult child. I had issues. Shy, stubborn, quiet and stocky. But I think clothing and associated issues were, and still, are some of the great issues of me. Clothes shopping is the most painful of activities. Hated it. Did not like looking through racks, did not like trying clothes on in the fitting rooms and absolutely despised the clerk and mother asking questions concerned over the status of the fit in the crotch. Horrific! Always a difficult activity that shopping for clothing, plus when I was a kid in the 1970's, fashion leaned a bit to the embarrassing as a general rule. But as I have said on several occasions, I was a lineman, a Bubba, from day one, and finding clothes was always a difficult task.
I also had trouble with a shirt tuck. Seriously. Still do at age 46. One of my favorite pictures from childhood is what could be an Easter Day photo of my older brothers, my sister, and me, all dressed to the hilt. Pat, Tim and Kathy stand as perfect kids of fashion, worthy of any Madison Avenue ad campaign, cherubs sent down from ,heaven. Then on the left side of the photo is me. Dress pants, clip-on tie, scowl on face and hands balled up tight at my side. Not bad, except the right half of my shirt's completely un-tucked. In this photo of youthful fashion perfection, I stand out like a flashing red light. Pathetic.
But with all those negative incidents, there was a pillar of apparel hope. Toughskin Jeans from Sears. Look at the photo. Appreciate the high tech design features. The tri-blended material Toughskins, the HUSKY variety in my case, were the jeans for me. I had gone through a pair of Levis by the end of first recess, scoffed at the durability claims of Wrangler and the blue-light special jeans of K-Mart, forget it. Only one jean could handle the abuse of the Kid Coach Hays, Husky Toughskins.
Listen, these jeans were so tough they didn't need a sappy name variation, like Tuf' Skins or any of that sort of marketing mumbo jumbo. (Look at the models in the ad, those are no nonsense kids, ready for action! And the jacket! Holy jumping jehosephat! That is the height of big lapel 70's greatness.) The Toughskins were so bad-ass, so tough-as-nails that Sears, confident in their invention, put a guarantee on Toughskins. If you wore through the 3/4 inch, highly fortified knee of the pant, they would trade you out a new pair. And thanks to a certain young boy, a decision which almost took the company down in the mid-1970's.
I never fancied myself any sort of fashion expert. As my wife points out, I often wear black shoes with brown belts. But, I have to tell you, I became sort of a celebrity at the 38th Street Sears store in KCK. As previously mentioned, I was tough, tough, tough on clothes. I still rip through clothes, especially my fashion foundation of blue jeans. I've gone through knees, ripped out belt loops, ripped gashes front and back. Heck, one time, I even caught the cuff on the heel of my shoe and walked/tore the hem right off the pants. So naturally, a mother, with six lovely children and limited budget, would eventually throw up the white flag and to insure the financial solvency of the Hays family, put destructo-boy in the new technology out of Sears Research and Development. But, it was not that mother believed any of the Sears durability claims, she liked the guarantee.
Long story short, I became somewhat of a celebrity at our Sears store. I would go through the indestructable Toughskin jean in a matter of months. Right before the guarantee would expire, I would do something else and have to go switch out for a replacement pair. Mostly the quadruple fortified knee would crumble under the pressure of recess on a parking lot. Falls, dives, rolls, tackles took down many a pair of Toughskins. I would walk into the Sears store with mother and after a few moments for my ears to adjust to the ever-present high pitch squeal of our Sears store, the clerks would call out my name. I felt like a Hollywood celebrity strolling into a premiere, flash bulbs popping, fans waving. "Hello, Master Hays. New jeans, sir?" "New pair of Toughskins. Husky, not regular." I felt like 007 in a exotic Russian nightclub. "And may we interest you in the new forest green color, or the goldenrod, or perhaps the corduroys?" "Not today, just the usual blue will do."
The new pair would be traded out with the old pair. I always like to believe they were sent by armored courier to Sears-Roebuck Home Base in Chicago for additional research and study. The clerks would step off to the side in private conversation with mother, with an occasional point to me standing in the aisle. She never cared, mother loved the fact that she outfitted me in one purchase of Toughskin jeans for several years. I went through them so fast, the growth spurts played little effect.
It was the perfect, accidental plan.
Fam-Fit Pull-Up Ladder
Do 1 pull-up in first minute, 2 pull-ups in second minute, 3 pull-ups in third minute, 4 pull-ups in fourth minute and so on and so on, until you can't complete the prescribed number of pull-ups in the one minute window.
"A good QB throws the ball where the receiver is going to be, not where they are when the ball is snapped. A good educator throws an education where kids are going to be. We have to know that. I want you to know there are thousands of educators worldwide who get this, who are connected to an EDU-VERSE of other ideas and people on BEHALF of their kids, and their kids DESERVE this."
Watch, listen and learn. Parents, teachers, coaches, grandparents, uncles, aunts, everyone watch, listen and learn. This is good, no, it's great stuff. Get out there people, take the plunge into the digital age. Learn from the kids, learn with the kids. Take it from me, it is a great experience to learn Facebook, Twitter or blogging from your kids. It is a very rewarding experience and a whole new world for us old farts.
by David H. Freedman from Discover Magazine, July-August 2010
"Many, and possibly most, scientists spend their careers looking for answers where the light is better rather than where the truth is more likely to lie. They don’t always have much choice. It is often extremely difficult or even impossible to cleanly measure what is really important, so scientists instead cleanly measure what they can, hoping it turns out to be relevant. After all, we expect scientists to quantify their observations precisely. As Lord Kelvin put it more than a century ago, “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it.” There is just one little problem. While these surrogate measurements yield clean numbers, they frequently throw off the results, sometimes dramatically so. This “streetlight effect,” as I call it in my new book, Wrong (Little, Brown), turns up in every field of science, filling research journals with experiments and studies that directly contradict previously published work."
"The results? We get heavily hyped drugs like Avastin, which shrank tumors without adding significant time to cancer patients’ lives (and increased the incidence of heart failure and blood clots to boot); Avandia, which lowered blood sugar in diabetics but raised the average risk of heart attack by 43 percent; torcetrapib, which raised both good cholesterol and death rates; and Flurizan, which reduced brain plaque but failed to slow the cognitive ravages of Alzheimer’s disease before trials were finally halted in 2008."
This article was hard to read, hard to admit the truth behind it. I can't wait to read Freedman's book, WRONG. But it is true, science has gone a bit off course. When we should be about truth, we have become driven by gain. We have let the truth be molded by what we (or our sources of funding) want to prove rather than the facts. And ladies and gentlemen, that is a slippery slope we tread upon. Dangerous and treacherous to all of us.
Being a scientist, I especially would like to put absolute faith is everything science produces. But more and more, I am afraid we must go with the old adage "Don't believe everything you hear". Ever heard that one? Maybe from your parents, perhaps? Be wary, dig deeper and search for the truth.
Note: If you are looking for some awesome, informative reading to have around your household, why not try a subscription to Discover Magazine? (Non-compensated, non-celebrity endorsement)
Rest Day Read (SR-58) The Dingo Ate The Bingo by Mike Hays
I was going to link to an intellectually uplifting article for today's RDR, but I have got to relate to you a story about fatherhood. But to warn you, it runs a bit to the smartass/amusing side. In fact it made the Mom expel her lime green jello from mouth to plate during the dinner where the tale was first told. For the record, that hasn't occurred in a LONG time. (Don't say anything to the Mom about the lime green jello incident, though. Some things are better left between us.)
Son, age 16, and father, age 46, went to Salina for a doctor's appointment. While on the hour long drive, son periodically shouts "Bingo" and tallies a count.
Finally, as they hit the I-70 Abilene to Salina stretch, the dad says."Bingo? What the heck is that?"
"You say 'Bingo' when you see a yellow vehicle."
Okay, easy enough. So we travel a few miles ahead, the ultra-observant dad sees a school bus. "Bingo!"
"That doesn't count." says passive-competitive son. "Buses don't count."
Next, the dad sees a Caterpillar bulldozer in a construction zone. As "B..." begins to slip out of dad's mouth.
Teenage son says, "Neither do construction vehicles."
"Are you making the rules up as we go?" dad asks.
In that wonderful teenage tone comes the answer, "No."
So he runs the score up through the city of Salina on the way to the doctor's office. Apparently, not only are yellow buses and construction vehicles not legal fare in this game of Bingo, but about every yellow vehicle the dad points out lies outside the rules. "Too orange-ish", "no delivery vans", "no 1972 Coup de villes", etc., etc. etc...
After the appointment, a trip to exchange some clothes at the mall, which feels like sticking pins into the eyes, hit the McD's for a quick lunch and hit the road back toward home.
Son continues Bingo game, every yellow vehicle he points out is acceptable within the rules of the Bingo Society of North America and every yellow-ish vehicle the dad points out gets negated. Back on I-70, the dad has just about had enough of the game of Bingo.
Ahead, as if sent by God himself, the dad sees a tandem Fed-Ex tractor trailer in the westbound lane. "DINGO!" the dad shouts.
Teenage son, 'What are you talking about? Dingo?"
"Yeah, I am playing Dingo. Delivery truck Bingo...Dingo. Get it?" The dad, using superior evasive strategy, completely dumbfounds teenage son.
"Dingo!" he shouts out at a passing Old Dominion trailer.
"It's Monday, isn't it?"
"Yeah. So..." he mind is racing trying to figure what is coming next.
The dad chuckles, "Son, Monday is Fed-Ex Dingo Day. I am up by one."
On the east side of Salina, another tandem Fed-Ex trailer. "DINGO! Up 2-Zip"
About a mile or so down the highway we pass a mid-size Fed-Ex delivery van. The son points and just about jumps out of his seat.
"DINGO!" He shouts.
"Sorry." says the dad. "That's a van, not a delivery TRUCK." The laughter from one half of the car is uncontrollable as the car veer slightly in the lane. (Note: This is where the start of the green jello incident commences on the retelling of the story later that evening.)
"That is NOT funny!" Teenage son is not happy as the tables turn in old papa's direction.
You know sometimes you just can't script real life any more funnier than it turns out. There is truly a God who has a great sense of humor. For just at that moment, as the teenage son turns around and is complaining and pointing at the Fed Ex delivery van that did not count as a legal hit in the game of Dingo, four or five Fed-Ex tandem delivery tractor trailers, a virtual convoy, rise up over the ridge in the opposite lane. As son is still lamenting about his lack of a score, the dad, who is laughing so hard he doesn't really remember if it was actually four or five trucks in the convoy, says, "Dingo, Dingo, Dingo, Dingo and Dingo!" (Herein lies the actual point that the Mom expelled the lime green jello from her mouth. 3 family members at the dinner table are laughing so hard they can hardly breath, while one stays absolutely silent.)
Teenage son sits in stunned silence. About 30 minutes down the road, he's still silent. The dad sees a yellow trash truck down the road where they are at a stop sign. Just to rub it in, he calmly says, "Bingo."
Teenage son's head snaps up, returns to straight ahead stare position then deadpans, "Nope, that's gold."
Rest Day Read (SR-57) Physical Space a Coach Hays Rant
The secret to physical preparation lies in the the work. The physical space is a vital component of that work. The outpouring of heart and soul, blood and sweat, time and effort, is key. The pressure applied by the athlete toward themselves over time prepares the body for physical challenge, much like pressure applied to carbon over time results in the formation of a diamond. Hard work, every day, every minute, every second.
The secret to success is not a shiny new training space with matching new pieces of equipment. The success lies not in mirrors and color coordinated outfits. The success lies in offering a good physical space which, above all else, is safe and effective. Let me repeat, safe AND effective. A good physical space needs heavy things to lift, move and carry. It needs places to hang from, drag things over and move upon.
The environment has to be welcoming, the athletes should want to go there to work. Athletes should know they are expected to be there. The cultivated physical, mental and emotional environment must make the athlete want to show up and put it out there every session. Everyone gets better, everyday. That is how teams are made. That is how athletes learn to trust each other and become a unit, a team. Players know their teammates are putting it out there. Hard work and trust become contagious. Then the diamonds are formed.
“In the dark shadow of the grove, on the margin of the brook, he beheld something huge, misshapen and towering. It stirred not, but seemed gathered up in the gloom, like some gigantic monster ready to spring upon the traveller.”
I read this story every October. I read it from THE BOOK. Used to read it to my kids when they were little to get hyped up for Halloween. It is a magnificent story written by a master. Enough said. Read and enjoy.
Note: Later this week, come back for the spine tingling story of a young boy, his hand-me-down Johnny Roger pirate costume, a wet chilled Halloween and how he came to be despised by his three older siblings. A truly haunting tale.
Fam-Fit Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee I. Gym Work
1. 10 Straight Leg Deadlifts
2. 20 Heavy Bag Punches (10 RRL, 10 LLR)
3. 50 Speed Bag Punches (50 R, 50 L, 50 Alt.)
-5 Rounds II. Road Work
Wii Fit Island Run
Rest Day Read (SR-54) CHARACTER, Numero Uno. a Coach Hays rant.
Character, the missing link in the search for humanity in our modern world. It is rapidly disappearing from the American landscape. No, that's wrong, character is there, it is just not being developed. We live in an age of great physical and mental accomplishments. An age where the focus has shifted solely to these attributes (test scores, times, wins, etc.) and away from the development of fine, upstanding citizens. Have we forsaken the development of upstanding character as part of the well-rounded individual? The greatest country on the face of the planet is not threatened by outside forces, it is threatened from within by lack of character in our educational, political, religious, commercial institutions.
As a coach, the development of well rounded athletes of fine character was always the goal. Sometime we succeeded, sometimes we failed, but we always tried. We dealt with virtually every imaginable social ill of teenage boys. We tried to help them through difficult times and decisions. Sometimes we succeeded, sometimes we failed, but we always tried.
Character is something I used to preach to our kids. Then our school administrators stepped in with an "upgrade" in their drafting and enforcement of behavior policies. One of my biggest mistakes EVER as a coach was defaulting this duty to the "professionals". They tried to enforce behavior without getting involved, without getting their hands dirty and heart wrenched. And, ladies and gentlemen, that does not work. If I regret anything in my last year or so of coaching, it was defaulting that role to the administrators. Should never have quit pounding the development of character. I let those kids down.
Kids are floundering. They have landed in a great age of opportunity, can we sit idly by and allow it to slip through their fingers because we choose to neglect what's important? Because, it is all for naught without the empathy and humanity which comes with outstanding character development.
"Nothing you do on the field of play can make up for being a piece of crap off it."
Rest Day Read (SR-51) Do It. Did It. Done It! "Johnny did P90X" "Mary did RKC" "Andrew did CrossFit" "Elizabeth did Maximum Effort Black Box (MEBB)" "Frank did Bigger, Stronger, Faster(BSF)."
I was sitting in the doctor's office with one of the offspring today. It was quite the extensive visit, so I had the chance to read a couple Men's Health magazines from their selection of reading materials. It had been several years since I have even opened a MH issue. I subscribed for a year to their spinoff Men's Fitness a while back, but that was about it. I was amazed how many "workout" systems they present in ONE issue of their magazine. It sent my mind reeling. Do you realize how many "workout" systems there are out there? I imagine it is somewhere into the thousands. And in the rise of internet based information, that number probably is more into the tens of thousands. With the incredible number of choices and information floating around out in the world, how are we supposed to know what we are supposed to be doing for fitness? Which choice is the correct answer? Do, Did, Done.
Set a goal and get to the "do".
Make a plan and make it a "did".
Then get after the goal and get it "done".
There are many ways to exercise, find one you like and get moving. Walk, run, air squats, weightlifting, dancing, sports, etc. Like TV? Well do something during commercial breaks. Just hop off your keister and get busy. Do, Did, Done.
Rest Day Read (SR-50) The Arena of Compete: Tickets, Please. a Coach Hays Rant
"May I see your ticket, please?"
"What ticket is that, fine sir?"
"Your ticket to the Arena of Compete, of course."
Now that's the ticket I am talking about! The ticket to the Arena of Compete. The ticket to the big show, the big stage, the place where you get the chance to shine.
By this point of the season, everyone, regardless of sport, has probably played a few games. You probably know whether you possess a ticket or not. You probably have a pretty good idea who is holding the tickets on your team or on your opponent's team. You probably know who belongs and who does not.
Wins alone are not the ultimate indicator of possessing a ticket for the Arena of Compete. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, so maybe one can squeeze out a win here or there, regardless of ability. What matters is the ability to compete when times get tough. The ability to compete when it is all on the line. The ability to compete when the opponent or situation becomes daunting and overwhelming.
How much to buy yourself a ticket? Sorry, you can't buy one. Cash is not good at the Arena of Compete. You can't buy your way in with money, by association or by appointment. There are no gift memberships. Nothing is given freely, all must be earned! Earned by blood, sweat and tears. Earned through hours of toil and labor. Forged through continual preparation and through the Fail Cycle (pushing, failing and conquering...pushing, failing and conquering...)
No ticket? No problem. You can still enter through the back door without a ticket. Intertwined into the Area of Compete is the Field of Fraud. Sure enough, don't do the work, just show up. Wear the right uniform, say the right things, look the part and you can get onto the field. Realize, though, that you and your weaknesses will be exposed in front of God and everyone. There is no place to hide on the Field of Fraud. It will be glaring. It will be obvious you did not earn a ticket. You will lack the confidence and the swagger of those who did. You will be a fraud and everyone will know it.
The Arena of Compete can be a brutal, unforgiving place for the unprepared. Do the work. Earn your way, earn your ticket into the Arena of Compete.
Hard Work is the Currency.
Hard Work is the Magic.
Rest Day Read (SR-49) Aesop's Fables: Four to Live By (with Coach Hays translations) The Hare and the Tortoise The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. "I have never yet been beaten." said he, "when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me." The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept you challenge." "That is a good joke." said the Hare. "I could dance around you all the way." "Keep your boasting till you've been beaten." answered the Tortoise. "Shall we race?" So the course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not run up in time to save the race. Then said the Tortoise: "Plodding wins the race." Show up & work hard every day. Everyone gets better every day. Do your job every day. Every man, every play. The Fox and the Grapes One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. "Just the thing to quench my thirst." quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: "I am sure they are sour." It is easy to despise what you cannot get. Shoot FOR the moon, not AT the moon. Learn from failure, don't accept failure. Improve from failure, don't spread blame for failure. The Dog and the Shadow It happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more. Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. Appreciate what you have and what you are. Take what you are blessed with and make it better. Protect what is yours. The Lion and the Mouse Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down upon him: this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his jaws to swallow him. "Pardon, O King." cried the little Mouse: "forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days?" The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Some time after, the Lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him on. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of Beasts. "Was I not right?" said the little Mouse. Little friends may prove great friends. Everyone has something to offer. Everyone is important. Everyone contributes. Be the best YOU that you can be.
Rest Day Rant (SR-48) Football is NOT Life a Coach Hays rant
I know this may sound highly irrational and maybe even a bit hypocritical coming from me, but contrary to what the t-shirts say, FOOTBALL IS NOT LIFE!.
Football is the greatest damn game ever invented, but it is not life. Football is intensity, competitiveness, sportsmanship and violence, but it is not life. Football requires immense strategy and teamwork, but it is not life. Football provides education, drama, entertainment, and a solidarity which binds communities, campuses and fan bases throughout the nation, but it is not life. Football is universal, it is played by presidents and paupers, genius and idiot, big and small, aggressive and passive, rich and poor, but it is not life. Football should not be all consuming. Football should not be the top priority. I know this for a fact, I have tripped and fallen down that hole before (see my story).
Football can be like a package of Oreos, with a need to be consumed in moderation. You've been there, you open the package of Oreos and leave it out on the counter. Sooner rather than later, the whole package is gone and you don't feel so good. But, if you open that package and only take a couple of Oreos and place the package in the cupboard for a later date, they not only taste spectacular, but last and satisfy for days upon days. Football is not life. It should be taken in moderation and/or with a tall glass of milk, (1% or skim preferably).
Football has it's proper place, it has it's proper perspective. Football is not the primary reason for the existence of high schools, colleges and universities.
Yes, football is important. It is important to compete. It is important to work hard to be the best coach or player you can be. It is important to compete with purpose, pride and passion. But, I think Coach Paul Lane said it best with his prioritization of the sport, "Faith, Family, Football, in that order".
Football is important to me. But, football is not life. Let's work to keep football in it's proper perspective and place. I would hate for you to get a football belly-ache.
The School of Block
There is Honor on the line.
There is Glory in the trenches.
Honor in the protection of what's ours and in the destruction of what's theirs.
Honor in the 50-79 numbers, invisible to all but coaches and blood relation.
Honor in aggressively getting in the defender's way. Line it up, tear them down, repeat.
Glory in a facemask decorated in turf and mud. Hands bruised. Fingers battered. Knuckles bloodied.
Glory in watching the backside of your running back move down the field.
Glory in crushing the will of the opponent.
The School of Block
Rest Day Read (SR-46) Moral Machines: Introduction by Wendell Wallach and Collin Allen "As noted, this book is not about the horrors of technology. Yes, the machines are coming. Yes, their existence will have unintended effects on human lives and welfare, not all of them good. But no, we do not believe that increasing reliance on autonomous systems will undermine people's basic humanity. Neither, in our view, will advanced robots enslave or exterminate humanity, as in the best traditions of science fiction. Humans have always adapted to their technological products, and the benefits to people of having autonomous machines around them will most likely outweigh the costs. However, this optimism does not come for free. It is not possible to just sit back and hope that things will turn out for the best. If humanity is to avoid the consequences of bad autonomous artificial agents, people must be prepared to think hard about what it will take to make such agents good." "Is it possible to build AMAs? Fully conscious artificial systems with complete human moral capacities may perhaps remain forever in the realm of science fiction. Nevertheless, we believe that more limited systems will soon be built. Such systems will have some capacity to evaluate the ethical ramifications of their actions—for example, whether they have no option but to violate a property right to protect a privacy right. The task of designing AMAs requires a serious look at ethical theory, which originates from a human-centered perspective. The values and concerns expressed in the world’s religious and philosophical traditions are not easily applied to machines. Rule-based ethical systems, for example the Ten Commandments or Asimov’s Three Laws for Robots, might appear somewhat easier to embed in a computer, but as Asimov’s many robot stories show, even three simple rules (later four) can give rise to many ethical dilemmas. Aristotle’s ethics emphasized character over rules: good actions flowed from good character, and the aim of a flourishing human being was to develop a virtuous character. It is, of course, hard enough for humans to develop their own virtues, let alone developing appropriate virtues for computers or robots. Facing the engineering challenge entailed in going from Aristotle to Asimov and beyond will require looking at the origins of human morality as viewed in the fields of evolution, learning and development, neuropsychology, and philosophy."
I definitely want to read this book. Their fictitious scenario of the automation-triggered disaster of Monday July 23, 2012 is plain scary. I love their mutli-discipline approach to establishing the parameters for automated systems. Interesting dilemmas and interesting ideas highlight the need to set the foundation of ethically and morally defined robotics from the start. We will all be better off in the long run.