Sunday, November 27, 2005

BAH!

We lost against Georgia. Again. Sigh.

I hate those guys soo muchhh! Arghhah! One Georgia fan yelled, "Furrstt Downnn, Geeeoorrrrjuhh!" after EVERY first down they made. I've never heard that many syllables in those three words before. He annoyed me so much that after one key stop by our defense in the first quarter, I yelled, "FOURRTHH Down, GEOORRGIAAAA!" But I didn't get in a fight with anyone, which is certainly evidence of God growing me! Plus, Kennan told me I wasn't allowed. Shucks.

But I'm actually not too angry, just sad. We played a good game. They only beat us by a touchdown (although to hear their stupid fans after the game, you'd have thought it was fifty touchdowns, not one). We played "toe-to-toe" with them, and Reggie (our QB) made some decent decisions. Of course, there was the interception that pretty much ended the game... but Shockley (their lousy, rotten, good-for-nothing... was that out loud? quarterback) had two interceptions, compared to Reggie only having that one...

Earlier, Kennan & I were talking about being proud of our team and feeling that we fought hard and just lost to a slightly better team. But after looking at the stats, I don't think they really are better, overall. I think it came down to two things: the quarterback battle, and special teams. The stats are interesting: we had 327 offensive yards to their 266. We had 20 first downs to their 13 (take THAT, stupid "First Down" guy!) and our D had three sacks to their one. We had the ball for almost 10 more minutes (34:10 vs. 25:50) than they did. BUT... Shockley is more mature and has a crazy good arm. His two interceptions didn't come at the worst possible time (i.e. with just over a minute left in the 4th quarter when we were poised to score from the Georgia 26 yard-line), and he had no fumbles, where Reggie had 3 fumbles, one for a loss.

And then there's special teams. When I was teaching in DeKalb County, the term "Special Education" was changed to "Exceptional Education" to remove the stigma. Stay with me here, I've got a point. I think that our "special teams" should now be referred to as our "exceptional teams." An average of 5.5 yards per punt return when they had an average of 19.8?!? Are you kidding me? WHAT was poor Pat Clark thinking when he signaled Fair Catch and then tried to run with it? I guess he got excited, and come to think of it, I probably would have too... that is, if I didn't scream like the girl that I am and run away from the ball hurtling toward my head, in the first place. But I digress.

Although Ben Arndt didn't have the STUNNING, DEAD-SEXY 78-yard punt that he had against Miami, he did okay... but what happened to Travis Bell?!? I still maintain that it was aliens. Amusingly enough, their star kicker, Brandon Coutu, missed a 48-yard attempt, and no one was too down on him. Poor Travis missed a 47-yard attempt, and we were all pissed. Why? Because we know he is capable of such things. Good grief... as Charlie Brown would say.

So, another football season is over. How sad. I love college football season. But we do still have our 9th-in-a-row bowl game to play (screw you, NCAA sanctions; and screw you, Rudy, while I'm at it!), so that's fun. And although it's sad that we're all but out of the running for a Gator Bowl bid, we'll probably play a lower second-tier or upper third-tier game and whomp the snot out of some poor WAC (hee hee... it makes me laugh to say that) or Pac-10 team.

I'd have to say that I'm prouder of my team after losing with dignity to Georgia than I was even after we won with a ho-hum against Connecticut. We're 7-4, and that's nothing to sneeze at. We beat Auburn and Miami, and that's incredible. But... I think I'd give up some of the more thrilling wins and take maybe one more dignified loss (if there is such a thing!) all for the sake of consistency. Of course, I say that now, but if we'd played more consistently this season (more often playing the way that we're capable of, rather than cracking up against mediocre teams), beaten NC State like we should have, but lost to Miami and Auburn (and thus ended with a 6-5 record), I'd probably be more pissed right about now. Ah, well. It's the life of a Tech fan, and I know it. I'm a sucker for my team, and that just can't (and shouldn't!) be helped. Now on to basketball season. Go Jackets!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pouting

Boy, do I pout a lot. I pouted after we lost to Virginia weekend before last... I didn't even post about it, I was so disgruntled. I didn't listen to sports radio or read the sports section for a week. But I am glad to be able to say that I did get over it before we played (and beat!) Miami... I guess I am a faithful fan, after all. Just one who's prone to pouting!

I also pouted after seeing Harry Potter because of the places where the screenplay varied from the books. I don't deal with change well. I still say it wouldn't have killed them to find Fudge a lime green bowler, but I have to admit I was whiny. It was a good movie, and I had fun.

I must also confess to pouting that I didn't get to watch the game, but rather had to listen to it on the radio. Even though I LOVE hearing Wes's commentary on 790 The Zone, I wish I could have seen some of the catches and plays that I keep hearing about. But, it was fun to hang out at home with the in-laws (we don't have ESPN so we had to listen on the radio) and put together a puzzle, play with playdough and listen to the game. Sometimes I can be more guilty than even most men are about putting football over family. Oops.

Speaking of playdough, there's another thing I used to pout over as a kid. My mother never let me mix playdough colors. It was probably wise, since I would have had a big, brown lump pretty quickly. Still, it's nice to be an adult and mix colors. The 4 packs come with the primary colors (plus white) for a reason, folks! My mother-in-law and I both highly enjoyed making green, orange and even brown (I made a little football ornament for the Christmas tree). Apparently she too, was never allowed to mix colors as a kid. I guess there are some things that make adulthood (bills, stress, declining health, etc.) worthwhile.

I think the one thing that happened this weekend that was hard (or didn't go according to my wants/expectations) that I didn't pout over was the viewing and funeral. It was so hard to let go, but God has given me the grace to praise Him for Jesus' triumph over death that we can all have faith in, as opposed to pouting that I have to say goodbye to a man who was like a grandfather to me.

Now I have to go do housework. Laundry, dishes, bathroom (ugh). I guess I can still pout as long as I'm accomplishing something!

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Good Guys Won

Another Saint has gone Home.

I just found out that the man who was like a grandfather (that I never had) to me is gone. Gone after 8 years of fighting against cancer. Gone after many, many years of sharing his faith with so many---because he lived it out. Suddenly, GT getting sanctioned by the NCAA isn't so important anymore. Although, he loved his Tech football. He used to stand up and do announcements at church, and if Tech won the day before, he'd say in a slow drawl, "Well... the good guys won yesterday."

What a great man. There wasn't a doctor who cared for him who didn't receive prayer and love in return from him and his wife. And there wasn't a doctor who could deny the miracle of a "6 months to live" death sentence turned into year after year of vibrant life, all to the glory of God.

Yet he was tired, and in pain. So now the day that he hoped for and that we've dreaded has finally come. I think I'll put on Andy's The Far Country and (continue to) have a good cry while I listen. I'm not sad for him, but rather for us that are left to watch and wait and wonder. I pray for his family, especially for his sweet, sweet wife.

"So when you lay me down to die/ I'll miss my boys, I'll miss my girls/ Lay me down and let me say goodbye to this world/ You can lay me anywhere/ But just remember this/ When you lay me down to die/ You lay me down to live..."
--Andrew Peterson "Lay Me Down" from The Far Country
lyrics posted via the "Fair Use" section of the US Copyright Act...

Kennan said once that this day of grief would still be a showcase of the ultimate victory... a triumph over eternal death because of faith in Jesus. And so it is. He had a wonderful life then, but he is truly living now.

The good guys won, Tommy, and we love you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Chandra in the Middle

I was watching "Malcolm in the Middle" the other evening... that show is growing on me. I used to not "get it" at all, but now I think I'm starting to appreciate it. Lois still scares/annoys me, though. It's probably a similarity in personalities thing.

This particular episode featured Lois tangling with a cop after she refuses to give him the unspoken police "discount" of 100% off on his snacks at the Lucky Aide. As she leaves the parking lot after her shift, the cop pulls her over and gives her a ticket for reckless driving. Lois decides to fight it all the way, because she knows that she's right. RIGHT, do you hear me?!?

Unfortunately for Lois and her perfect record of being right, Malcolm finds a video that shows that she did cut off another driver and that she is indeed, WRONG. When confronted, she freaks out, and continues to proclaim her innocence. The boys are now completely confused, because after getting over the initial shock of Lois being wrong, they now have to figure out what it means that she still claims to be right, even with irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

Hal chases her down, and after some shouting, she starts to waver. She still says she is RIGHT and that there is something WRONG with the evidence. But Hal convinces her to agree to go to traffic school and accept the possibility that she is, for once, wrong. He pats her on the back as she breaks down, telling her that she is "So amazing... so beautiful... so WRONG!" with a voice full of wonder at this miraculous event.

Lois becomes "broken," as Malcolm puts it, and is easy to get along with, as well as willing to accept the possiblility that it was she who left the milk out or made the mess, etc. It's spooky, but nice to see Lois not screaming for once.

As I was sitting on the couch (and here comes the spiritual significance, so watch out), and watching Lois surrender the need to be always RIGHT and in charge, I felt like God was saying, "Let me hold you while you break down. Let me tell you that I love you and that you are so beautiful and so WRONG. Let me be in charge and you can just rest in my sovereignty and presence."

It was then that I realized how much I hold on to being RIGHT all the time. I fail to allow for mistakes in planning on my part because I don't trust him to be there when everything doesn't go according to plan (and does it ever?). I take the entire burden of whatever I'm trying to work with/on (family, friends, church, work, etc.) and refuse to let go to other people, much less to God! And that's why I, like Lois, am always angry. Despite my best efforts and planning, despite the fact that I am RIGHT about the way things should be, things get messy. I'm frustrated and exhausted from constantly trying to put the universe in order and failing miserably.

The analogy does break down at this point, because it turns out that there's another surveillance camera that shows the incident from another angle. That driver that had to brake to avoid Lois as she pulled onto the road? He was making an illegal U-turn and came to a squealing halt not because she was in his way, but because he was in hers.

It was a funny episode, especially since Lois ends up in jail because of Francis's 16 or so unpaid parking tickets. Their phone conversation is hilarious as always, as are Francis's attempts at making money to pay her back, which land him in a wheelchair and body cast. But underneath the clever humor lurked a truth that I'm not doing well at facing.

Even if there were a tape somewhere that would show how RIGHT I've been in all the grudges I've held, all the minutae that I've so stubbornly clung to, what good would it do me? It wouldn't help my lack of trust in God or change my habits. It would just make me more miserable. Seeing the knowledge of this (or perhaps just wanting to keep intact this precious instance of Lois being WRONG), father and sons stand united to destroy the new evidence and leave Lois blissfully ignorant.

Like I said, the analogy breaks down (they all do, at some point)... but I'm still amused to find God using a sitcom to reach me. I think it may be a sign that I do too much TV watching and not enough Bible reading!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ranked Again!

After a comfortable win against Wake Forest (this Fox Sports article is a hoot), we're ranked again, even if just barely. This football season has been weird. I keep forgetting that we've only lost 2 games... it seems like our record should be much worse than 6-2; something like 3-5, for example. It certainly felt that way when Virginia Tech creamed us or when we let NC State beat us. The win at Auburn seems like years ago. And now, in the ultimate of ironies, consider these bits of trivia from last week's upsets as we wrap up things in-conference with 2 terrifying road games:
---Nov. 12th at Virginia... Boston College lost to UNC. But UNC lost to us. And, BC put the hurt on Virginia back in week 6. I'll cling to the belief that this is a good sign for our little trek to Charlottesville next week... we beat the team (UNC) that beat the team (BC) that beat Virginia...
---Nov. 19th at Miami... Virginia Tech lost (and how!) to Miami. We lost (and how!) to Virginia Tech. We play Miami in two weeks. It's either going to be really bad, or really good; especially considering that Miami's prize RB, Tyrone Moss (any relation to Randy?), is out for the rest of the season. We still have P.J. Daniels AND Tashard Choice... barring no injuries at Virginia from the previous week.
---Oh, and NC State, who beat us, also beat FSU. However, FSU beat Miami and lost to Virginia... how strange is that? I don't really know what it means for us (probably nothing) or the rest of our season, but it sure is fun to type anything about FSU being beaten/losing. Those guys make my skin crawl. (I can't even enjoy Braves games because I feel like I'm surrounded by stupid FSU fans!)

Man, I love ACC football.