The last fundraising plea for Ethan’s Avengers

October 9, 2014

The shirts are here and the walk is set for Saturday.

So, this is my last fundraising plea – until I get around to looking at the boy’s Yankee Candle stuff for school.

You can make a donation here (Give Now). Or you can come walk with us on Saturday (Join My Team).

Here’s why you should.

As an eternal realist – some say pessimist – I have waited for the day when I get a call from school. One like this where a couple of kids thought it might be funny to duct tape an autistic child to a soccer goal.

Fortunately, we’ve experienced nothing that rises to that level.

Ethan’s classmates, or at least the vast majority of them, are wonderful. They comfort him when he gets frustrated, or gently remind him to follow the rules. They even rat him out to the teacher when he pockets the cool compass from art class.

Why do they do this? Education.

They know Ethan. They’ve asked enough questions to their teachers and parents about Autism. They know he’s a smart, sweet kid and they want to see him succeed.

The Autism Society of North Carolina is one of the organizations out there committed to raising awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Shanna and I were lost, scared and confused when we began our journey with ASD. The Autism Society of North Carolina helped us find the path – one that has led us to a happy and healthy place.

That’s why I support them.

I hope you will, too.

A return to blogging: The joys of parenthood

May 1, 2014

OK, the fact that it’s been 11 months since I’ve posted anything here is a little embarrassing.

In my defense, I blog more often here. You know, where I get paid to do so.

Anyway, we’ve had some issues at the Capps household of late.

My son, now 12, is turning into a teenager. A teenager that lives somewhere on the Autism spectrum, which adds a level of challenge to an already complicated situation.

It’s interesting to watch his reactions to my attempts at parenting…

Come on over

June 27, 2013


I’ve been on the soccer blog.

It’s here.

Long time, no blog

April 17, 2013

I really should pop in here more often, on the off chance that anyone is still reading.

It hasn’t been a great time for me professionally as of late, but that’s no excuse to neglect the oldest piece of social media with which I am associated.

I’ll try to do better.


ESPN and the race card

December 14, 2012

Full disclosure: I don’t watch ESPN’s “First Take.”

I’m probably not the demographic, so I doubt they’ve missed me.

But yesterday, panelist Rob Parker crossed a line with these comments on Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Here’s the transcript:

I talked to some people down in Washington, D.C. … friends of mine who are around at some of the press conferences, people I’ve known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question, is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother? … He’s not really, he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one with us, he’s kind of black, but he’s not really like the guy you want to hang out because he’s off to something else ….

I don’t know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fianceé, there was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which there’s no information at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like, ‘I got black skin, but don’t call me black.’ So people got a little wondering about Tiger Woods ….

To me, [his braids are] very urban, and makes you feel like, I think you’d have a clean cut, if he were more straitlaced or not like, wearing braids, you’re a brother, you’re a brother if you’ve got braids on.

Now, I know that some people feel that this is a legitimate line of discourse, but for me, this crosses that line between controversial, edgy TV and out-and-out racism.

While ESPN has admitted that Parker’s comments were inappropriate, The same comments aired again Thursday afternoon in the rebroadcast and there is no sign of Parker on today’s show – or mention of his comments.

Personally, I expect better from a network that presents itself as a serious journalistic entity.

But then again, this is ESPN, so I’m expecting a week off (with pay) and a feeble apology from Parker sometime soon.

I’d love to start a boycott of ESPN, but who would I be kidding?

I’m going to watch the network anyway, which I means I play into ESPN’s notion that it is uncountable for the things it allows on its airwaves.

Seriously, sort it out four-letter.

Autism strikes back

October 8, 2012

We’re actually very lucky.

We’re at the point where Autism sort of stands over in the corner in Ethan’s life – noticeable, but not all that intrusive in day-to-day life. But, every once in a while, Autism walks into the middle of the room and shouts for a little while.

Today was one of those days.

We met at school for a meeting to go over Ethan’s summer evaluation with the school’s psychologist. We were a bit curious how he would test now, as opposed to his last evaluation back in 2005.

Well, to no one’s surprise, he still has Autism. But, apparently he now has a learning disability in math to go along with it.

What’s one more log on the developmental issues fire, right?

Immediately, I felt bad. I read line after line of the evaluation. His IQ score, his reading ability, his lack of memory function – it felt like Autism was standing in front of me, reciting it aloud.

It’s hard to hear your child described as below average, atypical, socially awkward and disengaged.

So, in short, I was having my own personal pity party.

Then, I thought about the boy.

His smile. His hard work to progress past the three-year-old boy they said was mentally retarded. The little boy who didn’t talk until he was four that can now chat up complete strangers for minutes on end. The kid who used to wear a weighted vest in class to comfort him that now stands in front of classmates to use the smart board.

He’s not listening to Autism.

Why should I?

The idea that I could ever spin such negatives into a hopeful vision of days to come is due in large part to the help we got from the Autism Society of North Carolina.

The annual Run/Walk for Autism is Saturday in Raleigh. Earlier contributions have helped change my life, and the life of my son.

There’s no telling how many lives you can touch with your donation.


Monday moments – featuring an apology

June 18, 2012

Wow, I’ve been really slack over here, haven’t I?

In my defense, I’ve been a bit more active on the soccer blog.

Of course, I get paid to do that one…

Anyway, I’ll try to do better…

Hats off to Webb Simpson for winning the U.S. Open. I watched a lot of the final round yesterday, and while folks like Jim Furyk and some guy named Tiger were busy imploding, Simpson just played smart and steady.

Good for him.

LeBron James and the Heat grabbed a 2-1 series lead in the NBA Finals. Oklahoma City left a lot of points at the foul line last night, so this series is far from over.

And I’ll leave you with this, a reminder that losing one’s temper can lead to embarrassing results:

We interrupt our sports coverage for a political announcement on Amendment One

May 4, 2012

This is a sports blog.

I still know that, my lack of recent postings not withstanding.

But I’m also something of a political junkie, which compels me to weigh in on Amendment One.

That’s the “gay marriage” amendment on the ballot next week here in North Carolina which, to be brief, seeks to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a conservative Republican, and have been since before I was old enough to actually vote. I argued with my high school teachers and accused them of political bias while thumbing through Rush Limbaugh’s books.

I’m also a Christian. I believe in God, his son Jesus and the idea that one day, we will all be judged for the life we’re living here.

So the political litmus test says that, as a conservative and a Christian, I have to be in favor of this amendment.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I know that some people will disagree with my choice. Thanks to the freedoms afforded to us as Americans, we are free to do so.

I’m not here to convince you to change your mind. I’m here to tell you why I feel the way I do.

It’s not necessary – North Carolina state law already defines marriage as a union between a man and woman. This amendment would add that law to the constitution, which would make it much harder to change in the future.

It’s a waste of time and money – There’s no way this will be allowed to stand should it reach the Supreme Court. And rest assured, it will.

It’s big government – I can’t rail against Obamacare, the current presidential regime, the silliness of our tax code or the Democratic party in general in one breath and then support an amendment that makes the government a tool of evangelicals in another.

I don’t buy into the slippery slope theory – Some proponents say, well, if we don’t pass this people will want to marry trees or their pets. OK, if that’s true, if we do pass it, is it not then possible to have laws forcing businesses to close on Sunday or for rapists to marry their victims? Sounds silly, right?

My thought exactly.

The Bible says that homosexuality is wrong – Yes, it does. It also says we shouldn’t judge people and we should love one another. Every verse I’ve read condemning it, there’s another that tells me, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Finally, I can’t cast a vote that discriminates against a group of people.

I’ve often wondered how I would have reacted if I were alive during the Civil Rights movement, or even the Civil War itself. Would I, as my ancestors did, pick up a rifle and fight for the Confederacy?

Or would I heed the words of Frederick Douglass, cross the Mason-Dixon Line and fight for the Union?

I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is this:

I’m not going to cast a vote that will push back the equal rights movement for gay and lesbian couples 20 years or more. I can’t cast a vote that defines some of my friends and family as unworthy of marriage, or under this amendment, even civil unions.

I refuse to condone any legislation that seeks to limit civil rights while expanding government to cover a religious definition of marriage.

I don’t have to agree with something to support the right for it to exist.

You vote however you’d like.

That’s just where I am on the subject.

North Carolina’s mass exodus – step away from the ledge

March 30, 2012

It’s tough for me to generate any real amount of sympathy for my North Carolina-loving friends.

Yes, I have friends.

Anyway, it seems that some members of Tar Heel nation are, well, blue at the early departures of Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes and John Henson for the NBA.

Some are questioning Barnes’ heart, Henson’s toughness and Marshall’s character while others are railing against a system that’s bad for college basketball.

Or, if a truth serum were in play, bad for Carolina.

The truth is on the other side of the spectrum.

What could be better than to have FOUR Tar Heels drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft this summer? You can’t buy better exposure for your school and your program.

Kids want to play in the league. Period.

They tend to notice when schools send guys there.

OK, a title would have been nice, but still – if you recruit top-tier players, some of them are not going to hang around for four years.

Even at Carolina.

Let’s assume that James Michael McAdoo stays around for his sophomore season. With him and the fifth-rated recruiting class (which I think the exodus may make a little better), the Tar Heels will still be favored for a top-three finish in the ACC.

I realize that having Carolina blue blood pumping through your veins means that the standard is set a little higher. And I know that this season, one filled with expectations, left much to be desired.

But imagine a world like the one I live in as a Clemson fan – a world where you get one McDonald’s All-American a decade if you’re lucky.

In short, the sun will still rise in Chapel Hill the day after Midnight Madness this fall, when your new group of heroes wearing the most recognizable colors in college basketball will take the floor.

And the sky, and to some degree, the world will still be a nice shade of Carolina blue.

Some fathers and sons go to baseball games – we have lightsaber battles

March 23, 2012

Not too long ago, my son (Ethan Capps) mentioned that he found a blog post about himself while searching on Google.

I guess we should stop for a minute and note the apparent science behind the fact that – without any suggestion from me – he had the idea to Google himself. It’s a feat that surely belongs in a science journal.

Anyway, he requested more blogs about him. Apparently, reading about what his dad thinks about sports is, well, rather less than thrilling.

So this one is about the boy.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m missing out a little in terms of having the traditional, sports-heavy father/son relationship with him.

But what we do share is an almost-daily lightsaber duel.

He has an extensive collection of weaponry, including what I estimate to be about 10 official, light-up, honest-to-goodness Star Wars lightsabers.

I wield the red one, favored by Darth Vader, while he uses the blue one – which I believe was inspired by Obi Wan Kenobi.

So, we wander around the house, swinging feverishly at each other with plastic swords. He occasionally cuts off my arm or leg – then gives it back to me by pointing his finger and saying “robotic arm” or “robotic leg.”

We cite movie lines, making up a few things along the way. One interesting thing to note is the fact that, not only am I apparently some kind of Sith Lord, but I’m a “chinny-chin-chin Sith Lord,” which is a reference to my goatee (which is my chinny-chin-chin, so I’m told).

He wins these battles, usually somewhere near 8 p.m. (bath time) by various methods. Usually, he runs me through, giving me a version of the speech Obi Wan gave Anakin in Episode III as he stands over me.

But sometimes, he convinces me to reject the Dark Side of the Force and become a Jedi.

We’ve been calling them “Friendship Endings.”

Reminds me of Mortal Kombat.

So, while I’m not coaching third base at a Little League game, I am fighting for control of a galaxy far, far away…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.