Saturday, October 28, 2017

Football Counter-Programming 2017: Week 9

Today . . . I'm pretty tired.

For reasons:

And so, because of that, I'm going to keep the Counter-Programming short and sweet this week. In fact, I'm going to rely on Hank Green to fill in the majority of the content this week in my stead. Not simply because it reduces my need to think, and not simply because it is full of good thoughts. 

But most importantly because I strongly agree with his point. I've said many times at work that we cannot let the Perfect become the enemy of the Good. Call it expediency if you wish. Call it strategy if you must. Sometimes it is simply a necessity. But I also think that it is good practice.

Here's Hank to explain more:

Thanks for stopping by again and I hope to see you next week. But until then, please remember. No amount of practice will help your team if they are 0-6 and have just fired their coach. Sometimes you've got to move on to next season.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Football Counter-Programming 2017: Week 8

It's week 8 in my quest to prevent you from having a good time on Saturdays. How is it going, from your perspective? Have you filled the empty hours each weekend with long walks in the crisp Autumnal air? Apple-picking? Chestnut roasting? Leaf pile burnings? Or maybe just lots and lots of board games?

However you fill the time, just be happy that you aren't devoting your time and energy to an alma mater that only remembers you when you send in a dues check that is going to be used to buy more free weights for the athletic training facility.

But, now . . . what else should I write to distract you in week 8?

Let's see.


Stranger Things 2 goes live on Netflix in the coming week. Are you excited to see what is going to happen next to Mike, Lucas, Will, Dustin, and Eleven? Will Hopper move into Joyce's house and will they become romantic partners? How creepy is Jonathan going to be this time around? Is Steve Harrington still rocking the worst (but most compelling) haircut in the 1980s Midwest?

And when, oh when . . . will there ever be any justice for Barb?

Now, I have a question for you. Am I supposed to have opinions about pop culture? I am, after all, now 46 years old. Does anyone outside of my family and friends, care at all what I think about entertainment? I was talking about this a bit with Sarah last night and I am curious about it. Have I (long ago) slipped into the set of the population where only my opinions on low-rate mortgages and erectile dysfunction medications matter?

Maybe this is my midlife crisis talking . . . but am I still a vital, significant member of the greater community? Or should you just put on an ice floe now and get it over with?

Question Time: 1.) What unpopular opinions about culture do you share--that maybe no one cares that you have them? 2.) How more jumbled could I make the word structure of that last sentence? 3.) Do you feel that you are in or out of the cultural zeitgeist? 4.) Do you at all care about that feeling?

Please answer these questions in comments, if you feel inspired.

And remember . . . no one cares if your starting right tackle kills it at trivia night. It won't help him slow down the opponent's league-leading running back.

Until next week!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Football Counter-Programming 2017: Week 7

There is a particular guy at work. I see him in the side halls on my floor, most often when I am going to and from the restroom and he is likewise going to and from the restroom. I do not know him. I have never spoken to him. But . . . for some reason, when I walk past him I feel like I should speak to him, smile more obviously, say hello, or in some significant way, acknowledge him.

Why this person and not any of the other people that I pass in similar circumstances, other people that I do not know at all?

The answer to that question is likely an uncomfortable one for me and my psyche and I need to confront those parts of my personality that I hide, that I don't acknowledge, that I wish were not true. This particular guy is more like me than others. We are not the same. But we are not obviously different. We share similar skin tone. We (probably?) share similar language. We have a better chance of sharing similar life/cultural experiences. (Though  . . . since I've never spoken to him, I could be quite right wrong in this assumption.)

Otherwise . . . I still don't know why this particular guy. Something about him seems quiet, timid, closed-in. So, why would I be (even slightly) drawn to him? It's probably not altruism. Is it a subtle need to be superior?

(As I said, confronting these impulses only dregs up my worst qualities. Those parts I don't' want to think and talk about.)

And yet, not admitting that these thoughts exist is not good. We can never change and grow and improve ourselves if we aren't honest first with who we actually are instead of who we imagine ourselves to be.

I don't know if I'll confront this particular guy in the hallways--either next week or next month. I doubt I'll stop him while he's on the way to the bathroom and try to really get to know him. You just don't do that sort of thing when you know someone is heading to The Facilities. But maybe I can start small with a genuine smile and direct eye contact. If I happen to cross paths with him in the coffee room, I should say "Hello" and try to have a bit of small talk. Or maybe I can invite him to play some ping pong in the old converted conference room? And then maybe the next time the company has an ice cream social, I can find him and begin an actual conversation.

How might that go? Probably pretty awkwardly. But even awkward things can be good things. Making assumptions will get me nowhere with him and no further in life.

Anyway . . . something for me to think about.

Thanks for stopping by this week. And until next Saturday, please remember . . . no one cares if you think you know whether your alma mater is going to cover the spread with a last-second field goal conversion.

Get out there and pick some apples instead.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Football Counter-Programming 2017: Week 6

Last Sunday, Fr. Jason (my priest at All Saints Episcopal Church) continued the examination of the Book of Exodus--which is part of the Diocese of Southern Ohio's Exodus Big Read. And--as shown in the embedded video of the sermon below--the theme was on our tendency to complain . . . and why that might be.

I really urge you to watch the video below and think about the pattern of complaining that you might have in your life. I know that I have been thinking a lot about complaints (and fighting not to do so) all of this week. And I will try to continue being mindful of that in the weeks following this one.

To give you full context of the sermon, I have included the first and second readings from this past Sunday to help you understand what Fr. Jason is referring to.

(And, yes, I know that at the five minute mark, Fr. Jason makes reference to college football. In his defense, he has no idea that I would use his words in my weekly post against college football.)

The first reading for Sunday, Oct. 1, from Exodus 17: 1-7

From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?" But the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?" So Moses cried out to the Lord, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me." The Lord said to Moses, "Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink." Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying "Is the Lord among us or not?"

The second reading for Sunday, Oct. 1, from St. Paul's letter to the Philippians 2: 1-13

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete; be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God, as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death--even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Thanks for stopping by. Good luck to you as you begin a more positive journey. When we meet face-to-face, let's celebrate our new, healthier, happier outlook together.

And until next week, remember . . . no matter how many turnovers your alma mater's defense fails to secure in the third quarter of today's game . . . try NOT to complain about it.