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Friday, February 23, 2007

sports misc.

First, a good note about Michigan State basketball player Drew Neitzel from Sports Spectrum's "The Daily":

Sometimes the most poignant stories in sports are the ones that combine what happens on the playing surface with what happens off. Such is the case with a young man named Adam Visser. Last year, Visser, who was a former high school player-turned-coach, sat in a wheelchair on the sidelines at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan, to cheer on his little brother, Aaron, and the Tri-Unity Christian High School Defenders as they won the Michigan Class D boys state basketball tournament. Adam was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, yet he was there and the team and coach Mark Keeler dedicated the win to Visser. Last week, Visser lost his battle with ALS, dying at the age of 35. On Tuesday, at the Breslin Center, another young basketball player Visser had mentored and guided and helped in his Christian walk, Drew Neitzel, shined on a national stage as he played in this important game with Adam Visser’s memory close to his heart. And just as Tri-Unity won a huge game, Neitzel led his team, the Michigan State Spartans to their biggest win of the year as they defeated top-ranked Wisconsin 64-55 behind Neitzel’s pinpoint shooting and 28 points.

Here's the webpage:

Here's just a fun article about the Braves Jeff Francoeur, a Christian, and the Pirates Adam LaRoche joining the Braves John Smoltz, a Christian, for Smoltz's annual round of golf with Tiger Woods:

Next, an article on the Phillies Ryan Howard. Here's a refreshing quote about being a role model. Some athletes today could care less about being a role model and how kids look up at them. It's nice to hear about an athlete who does care:

"As soon as you put on a uniform, you're a role model," he said. "When you're in a Minor League town and have kids coming up to you, [you are one] whether you want to be a role model or not. Once you get up here, it's no different. Kids are looking up to you."

Here's the article:

Here's a great article about the Reds Josh Hamilton, who is trying to make a comeback to baseball with the Reds after missing a few years because he was messed up with drugs. He sounds like a Christian and great guy to root for. It sounds like from the article that if he doesn't make the Reds, he might still have a good chance back with the Devil Rays. Here's a couple of quotes:

"There were many times I thought I'd never play again, just because of the lifestyle I had been living," Hamilton said. "Nobody can do anything productive out of what I was doing. There were definitely times I felt down and like I'd never get back to doing the thing I loved. God's grace got me here today."...

If he makes it to the Majors, another world of money and temptation could be waiting for Hamilton. He says he has a "backup" plan to confront any issues. Katie carries all of his cash, and the family keeps only one car in Florida to reduce the urge of his taking off alone. The couple is deeply religious and on Monday, Hamilton frequently mentioned his faith as an aid to his staying clean.

If he makes the team this season, the Reds would make arrangements on the road for someone to hold Hamilton's meal money and plan to offer a support system.

"I know there are temptations," Hamilton said. "The devil is going to come at me hard. I don't know from where yet. We'll handle it when it comes.

"It's amazing I'm here with the Reds about four or five miles from where it all began as far as drug use. Sometimes God brings you back to times and places that we were. It might not have been the best of times. But it brings you back there when you're doing well to remind you where he brought you from."

For Hamilton, even that short distance was one heck of a long road.

Here's the article:

Also, a short bit about the Braves Brian McCann:

Before Monday's workout, McCann visited with 14 kids who had been part of Bert's Big Adventure, a non-profit group that annually brings chronically and terminally-ill children to Disney World.

Here's the article:

Here's a good article on John Smoltz, a Christian, on his up-coming season and divorce. Here's a quote:

"I'm doing good," he insisted Sunday, speaking in a low voice while sitting at his locker. "I'm focused on the right things. I'm talking about my faith. That's the only thing that's going to get me through any of this stuff. I'm still determined to be and do the same things I've done before. I'm trying to be positive. Attitude is a choice."

Here's the article:

Next, a good article about Broncos kicker Jason Elam studying at Liberty University seminary this off-season. Between him and Colts punter Hunter Smith recording a Christian music album in Nashville, it sounds like the guys that boot footballs in the NFL are keeping busy this off-season! Here's the article:

Here's an article about Tony Dungy coming back next year to coach the Colts (YEAH!):

Lastly, the Colts are taking the Lombardi Trophy on a tour around the state and one of the stops is one of our neighboring towns here. It's next Saturday night, and I can't wait to go see it!

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