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Saturday, October 13, 2007

MLB, football, basketball, and music

Hello! I finally have time to get caught up some here. I just have to say first of all that last night my mom and I went to "Hoosier Hysteria", IU basketball's first practice, last night. It's always a good opportunity to check out the new team and get excited about the upcoming season--as if we need any help getting excited about basketball here in Indiana! It was a very exciting night here in Hoosierland. A note from last night: after the men's basketball team was introduced, head coach Kelvin Sampson singled out a couple of players, one of whom was junior college transfer DeAndre Thomas. Sampson said that Thomas had lost 58 pounds in 8 weeks, going from 356 pounds to 298 (and he's still huge!). Sampson said that he was able to do it with "a lot of hard work and the grace of God."

The first article is an interesting Christian article about the Colorado Rockies team from the "Saved In Sports" blog. They seem to be a Christian team that is reluctant to be labeled as such. Here's the article: http://savedinsports.wordpress.com/2007/10/10/colorado-rockies-nice-guys-can-finish-first/.

In the above article, there was a link to another good Christian sports blog, "The Christian Sports Blog" by freelance writer Lee Warren: http://christiansportsblog.blogspot.com/.

Next, an article about 49ers quarterback Trent Dilfer, a Christian, letting go of a grudge against Ravens head coach Brian Billick for the way Dilfer wasn't brought back by the Ravens the season after helping them win the Super Bowl in 2001. Here's a quote about it from Dilfer:

Dilfer felt disrespected when Billick didn't contact him personally after the Ravens dropped him, and that hurt has festered. The quarterback has lobbed several verbal shots at the coach since then, culminating in a critical interview in the Baltimore Sun in February.

"I regret many of the things I said in February," Dilfer said. "What I do stand by is the fact that I'm heartbroken that I didn't get the chance to repeat and go through the struggles of what that entails. Where I've been wrong ... is I haven't been able to let it go.

"I feel very hypocritical," Dilfer said, "because I'm dealing with my sixth grader every day and talking to her about relationships and how to handle these relationships, and yet I'm a 35-year-old man and I can't let something go in the past."

Here's the article: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3048284.

Here's an article about how veteran Diamondbacks 1st baseman Tony Clark, a Christian, has become a father figure for the young team: http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=283678.

Also, an article about Redskins wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, a Christian, and how he has become more important to the team's offense this year in his second year with the team. Unfortunately, the former IU quarterback was injured last week and is questionable for this week. Here's the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/03/AR2007100302271.html?nav=hcmodule (originally found at: http://apps.facebook.com/sportsuperfan/teams/news/32).

Here's an article about Buccaneers kickoff/punt returner Mark Jones before their loss to the Colts last Sunday. Here's a few great quotes from him about trying to get the first kickoff return for a touchdown in Bucs history and his being released and then re-signed by the Bucs this year:

If you return kickoffs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it's important to keep the faith.

That's why it helps to be the son of a preacher.

"That's how I approach all of them, that this is the one," said Mark Jones, the latest player attempting to end the Bucs' franchise-long streak of 1,862 kickoff returns without a touchdown. ...

But the fourth-year pro from Tennessee, who has been signed or released six times by the Bucs, never stopped believing. It's a lesson he learned growing up the son of a minister in Wallingford, Pa.

"That was pretty much it. I just stayed consistent to the Word and continued to work out physically and stay in shape," Jones said. "I didn't talk bad about anybody or ask why or tried to figure it out myself. I just said, 'Lord, it's in your hands.' " ...

Now, about being the first to return a kickoff for the Bucs?

"I know what I did the past (three) weeks," he said, "but I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me this week."

Here's the article: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071005/SPORTS03/710050450.

Next, an inspiring article about Jordan Ewart, a freshman basketball and baseball player at Pendleton Heights High School in Indianapolis, who plays with a prosthetic leg. He plays on a level playing field with other "normal" kids, even though he lost the lower part of his leg in a lawn-mower accident when he was four. In a recent freshman football game he had three sacks. It just goes to show that if you set your mind to it you can do anything, no matter what apparent limitations you might have. Here's the article: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071005/SPORTS0202/710050465/1247/SPORTS.

Here's an interesting article about University of San Diego freshman forward Rob Jones, the grandson of the infamous Jim Jones of Jonestown fame. He's the son of the Jim Jones, Jr., the adopted son of Jim Jones and his wife. Just a warning, the article is kind of graphic as it tells about what happened with the mass suicide at Jonestown. Jim Jones, Jr., was away from the compound playing basketball when the suicides happened, so he survived. I knew very little about what happened, so it was interesting, but hard to take too. There's also a video of the ESPN "Outside the Lines" segment about it, which I haven't watched. Here's a quote from Rob Jones about his dad:

"I thank God every day," says Rob, now a freshman forward at the University of San Diego. "I'm a real lucky man just to have a father and that he's there supporting me in whatever I do, no matter what."

Here's the article: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=3047543.

Also, an article about how a few successful veteran NFL quarterbacks have gone from being starters, to backups/mentors, and then back to at least short-term starters. The 49ers Trent Dilfer (a Christian), Cardinals Kurt Warner (a Christian), and Rams Gus Frerotte all became starters because of the injury and/or ineffectiveness of the younger starting quarterbacks. Just a note: since this article was written, Cardinals starting quarterback Matt Leinart was injured and is out for the year, making Warner the starter. Here's a quote from the article about Dilfer, Warner, and Frerotte:

It is not inconsequential that, in addition to being terrific teammates, each of the three O.G.'s (that's "old guys" or "original gangstas," depending upon your musical orientation) is an even better father and husband.

Here's the article: http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AkixaeqtkTqXo2Cjy5OMhpo5nYcB?slug=ms-thegameface100507&prov=yhoo&type=lgns.

Here's another inspiring article, this one about Washington State guard Taylor Rochestie is giving up his basketball scholarship next season so that the team can give it to a top recruit: http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/stories/100507aaz.html.

Next, an article about the gruesome arm injury suffered last season by then Wake Forest quarterback Ben Mauk. While trying to recover a fumble early last season, players fell on his arm and shoulder, breaking his upper arm and severely injuring his shoulder. He had a plate with eight screws put in his arm and a separate surgery to tighten the shoulder with three metal anchors. Even with some pain, he has been able to return to playing college football after transferring to Cincinnati for his senior year this year. He's helped turn around the football program there, leading them to the #15 ranking this week. Here's a quote from him:

Ben Mauk has given some thought to what he'll do when his football days are done.

"I've thought I'd be somehow involved in churches, maybe being a youth pastor or a motivational speaker, something like that," he said.

This kid could give some speech.

Here's the article: http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/stories/100507abp.html.

Here's a good quote from Braves 1st baseman Mark Teixeira, a Christian, and then Braves general manager John Schuerholz about his being traded to the Braves from the Rangers on July 31st and hopefully making the playoffs next year:

... When Teixeira thanked John Schuerholz and told him how much he'd enjoyed these past two months, the Braves general manager reminded him that he hadn't yet experienced ultimate jubilation.

"I told him, wait until you have somebody pour champagne on your head," Schuerholz said. "That is really fun."

How many players thank the GM for trading for them? I thought that was neat. Here's the article: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071005&content_id=2251761&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb.

Also, a Christian note from Thursday's "The Daily" from Sports Spectrum about Rockies outfielder Willy Taveras, who, in last night's NLCS game against the Diamondbacks, made a game-saving catch and walked in the winning run in the 11th inning:

ROCKIES ADD WILLY: It's nice to be able to add a .320 hitter to your lineup as you being an important series. The Colorado Rockies did that on Wednesday by adding Willy Taveras to their roster for the NLCS. Taveras, who missed the last month because of a leg injury, gives the Rockies' offense another guy who can get on base. He's no power threat, but his on-base percentage of .367 is fourth-best on the Rockies. Additionally, he led the team in steals with 33 this season. But best of all, if you like to know which athletes to watch because you like to follow fellow Christians, note that he was the Real Life subject in the July-August edition of Sports Spectrum. Among the things he said was that his favorite Bible passages are "Psalm 23 and Psalm 91. You put everything on God, and He will take care of you."

Here's the webpage: http://www.sportsspectrum.com/daily/archives/071011.php.

Next, Colts punter Hunter Smith and his group Connersvine's self-titled debut contemporary Christian music album is coming out on October 23rd. Here's their website for more information: http://www.myspace.com/connersvine.

Lastly, a preview of the articles in the new November/December edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine is available on their website, including Bucks guard Michael Redd, Bears head coach Lovie Smith, Louisville football head coach Steve Kragthorpe, Bengals defensiveback David Pollack, and the Senators Mike Fisher: http://www.sportsspectrum.com/.

4 comments:

savedinsports said...

Wow, you have packed in an incredible amount of good stuff here! This'll keep me busy for quite a while. :-) Thanks again.

Glad you got your Hoosier fix!

Rena Ball said...

Yeah, there happened to be a lot of interesting and inspiring articles this time. I hope it gave you some ideas. I have to admit, I'm not a writer. In school, I always liked to do the research for papers, but when it came time to write the paper I wouldn't want to do it. So I guess we make a good pair. I find and post the articles and you use them and add what you have to write an article. Part of the reason I decided to start the blog was to just get the articles and information out there for people to read. So it's working well.

Yeah, I'm excited about the college basketball season getting closer to starting, especially IU. They should have a good, exciting team this year. But head coach Kelvin Sampson getting in trouble today for too many phone calls to recruits again was disappointing.

savedinsports said...

Rena, I think you're a great writer actually. And boy can you research, that's for sure!

Rena Ball said...

Thanks!